August 23, 2017 Friends Meeting Minutes

Board Members Present: Sarah Hughes, Betsy Bleck, Lynn Miracola, Pat Ludwig, Jacque English

General Members: Ben Nelson 

Co-president Sarah Hughes called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. 

The meeting began with a review of members present. 

Minutes from July were unanimously approved.

Treasurer’s Report:

Lynn reported that the Friends accounts are in good standing with $140.96 in checking and $5497.39 in savings. This does not reflect an additional $50 for adult gift certificate prizes for summer reading still to be paid. 


Betsy reported that there are 113 paid memberships through 2017 including board, staff, and lifetime members. This number includes any active members since 2014.

Book Sale:

There were no updates from the Book Sale.

Other Committee Reports:

Hospitality was acknowledged for their work providing refreshments for the Friday Lunch & Learn series. Betsy reported that attendance at the Lunch & Learn series fluctuated by topic.

 Ben was acknowledged for his help in publicizing the tech fair. He and his daughter drove her  solar-powered Barbie car around the Farmer’s Market to promote the tech fair which had an excellent impact on attendance.

Presidents’ Report:

The co-presidents commended the success of youth events and the summer reading program. Caitlin Schaffer and Jennie Fidler have done an excellent job in organizing and coordinating these services. 

Additional Remarks:

Ben provided positive feedback about the library presence at the Oconomowoc Farmer’s Market. The location was ideal and activities for kids was a perfect niche for the library. 

Director’s Report:

Betsy reported that circulation in June was highest month in at least 6 years! Overall circulation is up year-to-date as well.

Betsy updated the Board on building updates including a wider sidewalk poured up front (6ft). Next steps include landscaping updates and a new boiler being installed. 

Ben inquired about how how funding for libraries is tied to circulation. Betsy confirmed most funding is from the City of Oconomowoc. Agreements with adjacent counties for providing service to residents also provides a percentage of funding, as does circulation to Waukesha County residents who live in communities without libraries. Additional revenue is received through a variety of channels (e.g. fines, copies, meeting room rental). Program attendance, door counts, and other measurements are important measures of success for the library, though they do not directly affect funding in the way that circulation does.

Betsy reiterated the Library’s commitment to the privacy of patrons.

Betsy also reported on the resounding success of the Summer Reading Program. This year’s program served 1920 adults, children, and teens. The Library plans to try to reach 2000 registrants next year in conjunction with the 125th Anniversary.

Regarding the Farmer’s Market, Betsy shared that having Friends staff the event proved impossible because we never had the required number of individuals available. Library staff did staff a booth several times though and it was positively received. Lynn suggested bringing up Friends staffing a booth at our Annual Meeting. The Board discussed next summer providing an orientation for volunteers offering step-by-step procedures for set-up and take-down. Some concern was raised regarding the difficulty of setting up and taking down the tent.

Old Business:

There was no old business to discuss.

New Business:

Credit Cards at Book Sale:

Lynn researched the possibility of accepting credit cards at the book sale. Going directly through the bank was deemed too involved and costly as it involved background checks, equipment, etc. Square charges a 2.75% per transaction fee for swiped cards and a 3.5% fee plus 15 cents if the number has to be entered. Magnetic strip readers are available free of cost through Square and it works with IOS or Android. The Board discussed how to manage this fee in terms of passing it on to book sale shoppers or absorbing it. There was some thought that it would be easier to introduce a fee at the time of accepting cards as it would be easier to remove a fee than to add it. A flat transaction fee option was also suggested along with with signage that establishes that it pays for the library’s ability to provide this service.

Concerns were raised regarding the additional work for book sale volunteers calculating percentage. Paypal charges 2.7% per swipe with the same 3.5% plus 15 cents for manually entered cards. Paypal readers are not free.  Other readers investigated were more expensive. Lynn recommended Square for its auto transfer feature should we opt to proceed with this method.

Betsy agreed to obtain input from Sue Boyer and Book Sale volunteers.

125th Library Anniversary:

Betsy explained the overall goals for the celebration of our anniversary are to be joyful, manageable, and celebratory. The theme will be “The Oconomowoc Library, Transforming Our Community for 125 Years.” The Board discussed t-shirts, a button/bookmark design contest, a historical display in the spring featuring artifacts, social media promotion, etc. August is the actual anniversary month and the Friends have been asked to plan a party to celebrate. The current suggested date is August 25, the week after Festival Week. The Board suggested e-mailing the Friends list looking for who wants to be on Anniversary Committee and list it on Facebook in October in conjunction with the button contest. Lynn volunteered to facilitate this. 

Betsy also proposed a Parade float for the anniversary. The float could participate in several parades. The Board discussed the possibility of including a presence in the annual Venetian boat parade. Ben discussed his ideas for the event and inspiration for the float. He also suggested engaging the Teen Advisory Board or partnering with high school tech classes or the high school robotics team. Ben, Betsy, and Caitlin will move forward with the float.

Annual Meeting

As Board members serve two-year terms, no elections will be held this year. A general summary of the year will be provided along with a treasury report. Members will be advised of upcoming Friends opportunities including the Library 125th Anniversary party, proposed Library float, Book Sale, etc. Pat Ludwig and the Hospitality committee volunteered to provide refreshments.

Vending Machine

The Library currently has an older, empty vending machine. There was discussion about taking over maintenance of the machine for staff use. Instead, an honor system was proposed for a basket of snacks. Lynn volunteered to manage snacks the snacks and funding. Money received would be used to replenish snacks with any extra funding diverted into the sunshine fund.

National Friends of Libraries Week is October 15-21

The Board discussed this as an opportunity to thank Friends and promote OPL Friends membership.

Our next meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Wed, November 8th.

Lydia moved to adjourn the meeting and Nancy seconded the motion. The meeting was unanimously adjourned at 8:29 p.m. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
200 W. South St., Oconomowoc, WI 53066 • (262) 569-2193 •