December 14, 2005

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Webster Groves Public Library was held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14. This meeting had been moved up a week from its normally scheduled date on the 21st. President Jon Furst presided, and Library Director Tom Cooper kept the minutes. Present: Library Board Trustees Stacy Deleste, Gladys Tolley, Christine Krueger, Tom Reedy, Angela Birke. Absent: June Gill, Charles Maas.

Call to Order

The meeting was called to order at 7:05.

Public Agenda

There was no public agenda

Minutes of the November 16, 2005 Meeting

Stacy Deleste moved to approve the minutes from the November 16 meeting. Christine Krueger seconded, and the minutes were approved.


No correspondence was presented.

President’s Report

President Furst thanked new board trustee Angela Birke for volunteering to serve on the Library Board.

He reported on his meetings, along with Christine Krueger, with various community leaders and professionals, in search of talented volunteers to fill our last vacant seat on the board. At this time, the most likely candidates are either Jeanne Kirkton or Celia Bouchard. Both are good choices, though Ms. Kirkton may have other obligations that would prevent her serving on the board.

He reported on the fact that he has learned the YMCA, across the street from the library, may be looking to expand its facility in the relatively near future.

Reported on contacting Ellen Chapman, who has much experience in local politics, and whom he hopes will want to advise us during our tax levy campaign.

Mr. Furst has spoken also with UMSL Political Science Professor Terry Jones, who has broad-ranging experience in local politics, and who would be another valuable political consultant.

June Gill has reported that she has been hospitalized due to injuries sustained in a fall. She has expressed a willingness to step aside if her difficulties are hurting the board. But due to her devotion to the board, and the value of her work, Mr. Furst encouraged patience on the board's part in considering her situation.

Mr. Furst and Ms. Krueger have an appointment to meet with Robert Camenzind, the developer of the Old Webster Square project, to talk about any chances for partnering with the library.

Mr. Furst also noted that the Board of Trustees calendar for 2006 was in the current board packet. The suggestion was made to add the date June 6th to the calendar, which is the date the library intends to place a tax levy proposal on the ballot.

Librarian’s Report

Mr. Cooper elaborated on several items from this month’s report. The library will most likely get a ‘We The People’ Grant from the ALA, which is a set of 15 books on the theme ‘Coming to America.’ The expected upgrade to the library’s Horizon automation system has been postponed, since the upgrade is not ready yet. The new janitorial service has been in place for a few weeks, and is doing well. The library just went live with a newly designed Web site; Mr. Cooper noted the hard work that the library’s Network Manager Tim Nix had put into designing that. Mr. Cooper also mentioned that now that the library had been on its new automation system for over a year, beginning with the January board packet he hopes to present circulation figures comparing the numbers from last year and this year.

Advance Planning

Ms. Krueger reported on the success of the recent Friends recruitment event. There were 92 renewals, 45 lapsed renewals, and 87 new members. The Friends now have a membership of 224, which is strong, but not the record. Current attention is focused on finding members interested in volunteering time and effort, so the Friends Board members don’t continue to shoulder all the work. She pointed out some of the efforts that had been made to encourage volunteers, such as presenting a ‘wish list’ of things the library needs and a list of volunteer opportunities at the library.

Ms. Krueger reported on her and Jon Furst’s meeting with Webster Groves School District Superintendent Brent Underwood and Chief Financial Officer Diane Vaughan. They talked about strategies for a successful tax levy campaign strategy, such as forming partnerships with other community groups, encouraging testimonials from people who use and love the library, improving the relations between our library and local school libraries, meeting with local groups such as the Herb Society, Garden Club, etc., and linking information about our services and our need for revenue enhancement to the Web sites of supportive groups. She also mentioned that Diane Vaughan offered to help us figure an amount to ask for in the campaign.


There was no report from this committee.

Building and Grounds

Mr. Reedy reported that the paperwork for listing the Mason House is now in order, and a sign should go up soon advertising its availability.

Mr. Cooper mentioned that our recycling company, Abitibi, has asked us to put a second recycling bin on the parking lot, since our bin fills up too quickly. Board trustees thought the problem was a temporary one, resulting from the fact that Holy Redeemer School next door, which normally also has a bin, has been closed all year.


Ms. Tolley reviewed the financial report and disbursements for November, 2005. Mr. Furst asked how long it has been since the Library has solicited competitive bids on its lawn service, which seems expensive. Mr. Cooper noted that the library is under contract with Dunn Landscaping, but will seek bids before signing the contract again next year. Mr. Reedy moved that the financial report be approved as presented, Ms. Deleste seconded, and it was approved.

Human Resource

There was no report from this committee.


There was no report from this committee.

Old Business

There was no old business

New Business

There was no new business.


Ms. Tolley moved to adjourn, Ms. Deleste seconded, and the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

The next meeting of the Library’s Board of Trustees will be held on Wednesday, January 18th at 7 p.m.