May 17, 2017 Friends Board Meeting Minutes

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

Co-president, Lydia Schleicher, called the meeting to order at 7:03 p.m.

The meeting began with a review of members present.

Minutes from 2/15/17 were unanimously approved.

There were no announcements.

Treasurer’s Report:
The treasurer reported that the Friends’ finances are in good order. There is currently $6129.43 in the savings account and $1344.63 in the checking account. This does reflect book sale income. There are no unusual outstanding payments. Finances are in excellent shape to support the upcoming summer reading programs.

Lynn agreed to connect with the membership committee to obtain a membership report before Board meetings moving forward.

Committee Reports:

Book Sale:
Betsy shared that we received an average amount of profits from  the book sale. She pointed out several differences in this event from previous book sales. One difference is that a large selection of outdated nonfiction books were donated directly to the Salvation Army instead of including them in the sale. The completion of a recent 16-month-long weeding of the nonfiction section resulted in an abnormally large number of nonfiction books taken out of circulation. The subsequently smaller nonfiction section has had numerous positive effects on the library. The decision to exclude them from the sale was based on the fact that these books do not typically perform well at the sale. Exclusion made the book sale inventory more manageable and easier for buyers to peruse. The sale made comparatively similar profits as previous sales.

Another difference was that postcard reminders were not sent due to confusion about who was to facilitate the mailing. As the sale was just as successful as previous sales, the Board discussed eliminating this mailing. It was decided to eliminate the postcard mailing and include membership renewal information in the December newsletter.

Pending Betsy’s approval, Lynn will be posting a sign thanking people for participating in the book sale and outlining how the profits support the library.

Lucky Day Collection:
Betsy reported that the collection has been incredibly popular. Lydia added that patrons are extremely positive about it and that it is regularly utilized. She also suggested that moving the collection together into one location could have a positive impact on circulation.

Youth Events:
Friends members were recently helpful in completing DVD testing for Children’s Librarian, Caitlin Schaffer.

Adult Events:
Friends member Ginger Carney has volunteered to help with hosting one of the upcoming  Adult Coloring sessions at the library.

The committee will soon be soliciting support in distributing summer reading posters.

Betsy has been working with the committee to provide refreshments for the weekly Lunch and Learn sessions on Fridays.

Remaining committees have nothing to report at this time.  Committees continue to communicate via e-mail rather than in-person meetings.

Co-Presidents Report:
Sarah had no remarks to share.

Lydia brought up the possibility of accepting credit card payments at the book sale perhaps via Square or another program. Betsy shared that the Friends did have a PayPal account and thinks that credit cards were accepted at a past event, like the antique book sale. There was discussion about transaction fees and other fees associated with participating in different programs. The Board discussed implementing a convenience fee and/or a minimum payment account to address fees associated with accepting electronic payments. Lynn agreed to look into options including Square, something through our bank, or PayPal. She will share her findings and recommendations at our next meeting. The Board also discussed the possibility of accepting membership dues online through PayPal. Betsy pointed out that the library system is working towards accepting online payment for library fees.

Director’s Report:
Betsy shared that this meeting’s agenda was shared via social media and e-mailed to the general membership, and was posted on the library’s website. She hopes to get the agenda posted on the library website sooner next time.

This Friday Night, May 19, 2017, the Library will be hosting an after hours event. Classical guitarist, Naeim Rahmani, has performed internationally and will be performing a concert at the Library at 7 p.m.

Betsy updated the Board that the library budget this year includes updating of the six study rooms. In addition, the sidewalk will be widened, a retaining wall will be added, and an irrigation system will be added. In addition, the landscaping, which is original to the building, will be updated.

A new circulation staff member, Meg, has joined the Oconomowoc Public Library. Staff is very excited to have her on board.

Next year the library is turning 125! Betsy suggested the Friends begin considering how we might like to recognize this milestone. The library started in 1870 as a private association, became a public institution in 1893, and became a City of Oconomowoc department in 1918. The OPL is one of the oldest libraries in the state! The Board agreed to begin brainstorming and suggested sharing ideas via e-mail, etc. to discuss formally at our next Board meeting.

Old Business:


New Business:

  1. The library is joining the Oconomowoc Farmer’s Market! The Market has agreed to provide booth space at no cost. The library already shares parking space and bathroom facilities with the Market. The library will begin staffing a booth in June. Bridges library staff has agreed to staff some dates but there are some openings where Friends volunteer support would be welcome. Betsy shared that she had approached Sue Boyer about Friends members facilitating a pop up book sale on some dates. Pat suggested also selling library book bags. Lynn pointed out the importance of keeping book bag sale profits separate from book sale profits. It was suggested that a minimum of three volunteers be secured for each date. The Board approved moving forward with this opportunity. Jennie Fidler will coordinate Friends participation in the Market.
  2. Annual Meeting: 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 13, 2017
  3. Next Meeting: 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Pat moved to adjourn the meeting and Sarah seconded the motion. The meeting was unanimously adjourned at 7:58 p.m.

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