17 NOVEMBER 2004

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Webster Groves Public Library was held at the Library House at #5 Mason Avenue on Wednesday, November 17, 2004. President Jon Furst presided and Acting Library Co-Director Elise Fortman kept the minutes. Present: Library Board Trustees Stacy Deleste, Debra Fortney, Christine Krueger, June Gill, Tom Reedy, Julie Schaper, and Gladys Tolley. Trustee Charles Maas joined the meeting at 7:45 PM. Also present: Acting Co-Director Michelle Haffer.

Call to Order

Mr. Furst called the meeting to order at 7:15 PM.

Public Agenda

There were no items for the Public Agenda this month.

Minutes of the October 2004 Meeting

Mr. Reedy moved that the minutes of the October 20, 2004 meeting be approved as submitted. Ms. Gill seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.


There was no correspondence to report this month.

President's Report

Mr. Furst had no items to report this month.

Librarian's Report

Ms. Haffer advised the Board that Storytimes in the Children’s Department have been cancelled until after the first of the year due to staff being heavily involved in training prodedures for the new Horizon system. Ms. Haffer reminded the trustees that the date for “going live” is Wednesday, December 15th. Test data has been loaded, and initial problems are being worked out so that records can be moved from one system to the other. Training dates have been set up at University City’s computer lab for most of the staff during the week of November 29 through December 3.

Ms. Haffer reported that she and Ms. Fortman attended the Consortium’s monthly meeting on November 4 at the Ferguson Library. Kirkwood Director Wicky Sleight urged as many staff and trustees as possible to attend Missouri’s Library Legislative Day on February 2nd to 3rd in Jefferson City. This is an opportunity to lobby our districts’

representatives regarding the importance of restoring needed funding to Missouri’s libraries.

Ms. Fortman reported that the Library would need to be closed on Friday, December 3rd, to enable the majority of the staff to attend the Horizon system training at University City. Sending all eligible staff to the workshops would mean one or two staff members would be available to keep Webster open. The trustees agreed to the additional closing, but would like as much advanced notice given to the public as possible.

Ms. Fortman advised the Board that the Library’s full-time cataloger had begun training on the new cataloging system, but has decided that it will be too difficult to switch from the original cataloging she’s done for years to the more complicated system with Horizon. She has asked to not be considered for the cataloging job and to be made part-time until she retires in a year or two. We have a part-time staffer whose abilities qualify her for cataloging, and who has wished to work full-time, so the two will flip hours and jobs, and have already begun training.

In addition, Ms. Fortman reported that the Library will be closed on Monday, December 13th and on Tuesday, December 14th. These are the days when there will be no system, old or new, up and running while all the Library’s holdings, patron records, and circulation functions are transferred from the Inlex system to the Horizon system. Monday will take the place of the annual Staff In-Service Day usually held during the summer, and will be used for some morale and team-building exercises. The staff proposes to hold its Holiday Buffet on this day as well. Tuesday will be devoted to practice on the new system as it becomes live, and polishing our library skills in general.

Advance Planning

Ms. Fortney reported that she, Mr. Furst, and Ms. Schaper met with Ittner Architectural Company to get ideas on how to proceed towards putting a bond issue for the Library’s expansion on the ballot. They were told the first step should be to sell the concept or the dream, gathering input from the public before developing a concrete building design. The Committee will continue to interview area architects to discuss these planning steps.

Ms. Fortney said that there would be several members of the Board attending a meeting of the Friends of the Library Organization on Friday, November 19 at 9:00 AM to discuss future fund-raising and support of the future bond issue campaign.


There was no report from this committee this month.

Building and Grounds

Mr. Reedy reported that there would be bids taken during the next several months for various maintenance projects needing attention.


Ms. Tolley reviewed the financial reports and disbursements for October. Mr. Reedy moved that the bills be approved as presented. Ms. Gill seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.

Human Resource

Ms. Gill reported that the Human Resource Committee suggests that the timeline for hiring a new Director be pushed back until the spring to give the co-directors a chance to complete staff evaluations, job descriptions, new system procedures, organizing of files, budget preparations, etc. This was agreed upon by the other members of the Board.


Ms. Krueger reported on her ideas for getting the Friends Group to more fully participate in fund raising ventures for the Library, and that she will attend the Friends’ meeting on November 19th.

Ms. Krueger stated that the Policy Committee will be meeting on Friday, December 3rd to go over the Library’s existing policies, and to determine which ones may need revising, and if there are any that need to be written as recommended in the Missouri State Library Standards. The most important document to be addressed would be the By-Laws. Other policies in need of review are the Operating Policy (which includes the Personnel Policy), a Mission Statement, a Collection Development policy, and others.

Ms. Krueger also listed some of the issues that she feels the Board should address in the future. There should be a community needs assessment survey taken every 5 years; there needs to be a clear job description written up for Board of Trustee members; a volunteers coordinator might help draw more people to the Library; and someone should be designated to act as a spokesperson or media liaison for the Library’s publicity.

Old Business

Ms. Gill said that a friend of hers reported run-ins at Meramec’s Library with the same problem patron who used to frequent the Webster Library.

New Business

Ms. Krueger reported on programs taking place in several schools called “April Book Showers” and “Kids Care Book Share” whereby children bring in their used books to pass around to other families. Ms. Haffer said that she is working with the school district and other libraries to collaborate in encouraging reading and library use.


There being no further business, Ms. Tolley made a motion to adjourn the meeting and Mr. Reedy seconded the motion, which carried unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 9:10 PM.

The next meeting of the Library's Board of Trustees will be held on Wednesday, December 15, 2004 at the Library House at #5 Mason Avenue at 7:00 PM.