May 9, 2018 Friends Board Meeting Minutes

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

Co-president Sarah Hughes called the meeting to order at 6:40 p.m. Minutes from February 21, 2018 were unanimously approved.


Communications and Announcements

Lynn mentioned the receipt of a $125 check to the Friends in honor of the 125th Anniversary.

Financial Report:

Lynn shared that the Friends currently have a total of $6,967.74 in savings and $551.17 in checking, with no outstanding balances. The Friends plan to order a new book cart for the retired Lucky Day books and other retired books for sale. Approximately $2,500 is marked to support the summer reading program for prizes and projects. The summer kick off event has obtained several sponsors so no donation of support is needed for that at this time.

Committee Reports:


On behalf of Jen, Betsy reported that we currently have 304 total members with 109 paid through the current year and 195 expired memberships. In 2017 at this time we had 286 total members with 109 paid and 177 expired. In 2016 at this time we had 259 total members with 166 paid and 93 expired.

The book sale yielded 8 new members and 18 renewals.

Regarding e-mail contact information, Betsy updated the board that a local student volunteer conducted phone calls to obtain email addresses. Unfortunately she received mostly voicemails and no return contacts were made. Several email addresses were obtained at the book sale event. The
possibility of collecting emails via website or Facebook was discussed. Lynn volunteered to explore the option of capturing to a Google spreadsheet from an online web page. Pat suggested posting a sign at the library as well. Pat also agreed to contact the senior center regarding including the initiative in the newsletter. Lynn and Betsy suggested it be included in the library’s June newsletter as well.

Book Sale

The recent book sale held April 27-29, 2018 was a notable success. Profits were consistent with previous sales. Betsy noted that book dealers appeared to attended in larger numbers than recent sales. A recent “weeding” of fiction books yielded a larger-than-normal amount of books in
this genre which may have contributed to event’s success. A record number of bags (128) were sold on the last day. Betsy also noted that two blasts promoting the event were included in Chamber of Commerce newsletters at the board’s request.


Betsy will be reaching out to the committee this week for help in distributing summer fliers.


Hospitality continues to do an excellent job supplying treats for various library functions. The board specifically recognized Pat Ludwig for her consistent support.

Youth Events

Betsy noted that Pat Ludwig staffed a craft/activity booth at the St. Matthew’s literacy event on behalf of the library. Pat praised the event for its strong literacy focus.

There were no updates from the Bylaws or Fundraising committees.

The board was briefly updated about the 125th Anniversary T-shirts. Betsy shared that the library was able to negotiate a great deal on shirt printing so the previously proposed subsidy from the OPL Friends is not needed. The original goal for the initial spring pre-sale was 50 shirts. Betsy shared that we exceeded this goal, selling 102 shirts! Lynn suggested that she would be able to help staff a pick-up event and Sarah agreed to help as well.

Co-President Remarks

Sarah shared that she loves the fun work coming out of the filmless film club. The board unanimously agreed that the 125 hellos video is delightful!

Board Member Remarks:


Library Director’s Report

Betsy updated the board that there are currently two strategic plans in the works that impact OPL. One is for Bridges and the other is the City of Oconomowoc. The library has been involved in both and is excited about future directions.

Betsy also shared that in 2017, a community needs assessment was conducted. This included polling both city residents and members of the greater service population as well as several focus groups. The assessment was conducted by the library and the Parks & Recreation department. Jerry Braatz facilitated the assessment and will present results to the library board this week. Betsy shared that the results were overwhelmingly positive with the number of households utilizing the library and the number of regular visits being particularly significant.

The focus groups featured people ages 20-39, teens, business owners, and senior citizens. Positive feedback overwhelmingly highlighted appreciation of the friendly, helpful staff, and love of the children’s programs provided. Results will be open to the public soon.

Betsy also updated the board on new personnel at the library. Epros Weiss is a new part-time reference librarian with Amy Shea and Kristen Sobehrad joining the library at the circulation desk.

Betsy also updated the board about the summer reading program. The theme for this year’s program is “Libraries Rock” and it will be related to music.


Appoint Nominating Committee

Betsy shared that the Friends bylaws state that Friends officers shall be elected at the annual meeting every two years. A nominating committee needs to be formed to create a slate of nominees to submit to the general membership for election. Responsibilities of the committee include surveying current officers for interest in continuing to serve and filling vacancies as needed with interested candidates. Betsy, Pat, and Jacque volunteered to serve on the nominating committee.

Annual Audit

The bylaws also require an annual audit of the Friends’ finances (article 4, section 3). The board discussed options but had questions about specific requirements. Betsy will inquire with other library friends’ organizations about their auditing procedures and report back.

General Membership Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting will be held September 19th at 7 p.m. The 26th was suggested as a possible back-up date pending room availability.

125th Anniversary Update:

Party Plans

As a member of the anniversary planning committee, Jacque updated the board on developments for party plans. The party will be divided into 25-year sections with each section featuring something to look at and something to do. Plans also include a display of artifacts from each section and information about bestselling books from that time period. Cupcakes will be served and a sheet cake with candles will also be included. A balloon artist will also be on hand. The committee is continuing to explore options for music and fundraising activities. The party will take place Saturday, August 25th from 2-5 p.m. The board noted the appropriateness of having the 125th anniversary event on the 25th of the month from 2-5 p.m.

Other Anniversary Activities

The board was previously updated about T-shirt printing/sales.

Betsy shared that the Filmless Film Club is proceeding with additional commemorative videos. Marilyn and Betsy are also working on a historical display that will debut in late summer. Housed in an old card catalogue, each drawer will feature a tube highlighting things that happened in 1893.

Hope Kramer is also working on a project to get 125 recommended lists printed on bookmark sized stock. Betsy invited submission of “top ten” lists of things accessible via library resources. Some examples suggested include top ten podcasts, songs, books, etc. Lynn’s favorite color is purple so she suggested she might compile a list of something like top 10 books with purple covers. Creative submissions are highly encouraged!

Next meeting date: Aug 1, 6:30 p.m.

Pat Ludwig moved to adjourn and the motion was seconded by Lynn Miracola. The motion was unanimously approved at 7:29 p.m.

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