November 16, 2016 Friends Board Meeting Minutes

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

Other Friends Members Present: Debbie Walton, Yvonne Moroni 

Co-president Sarah Hughes called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.

The meeting began with a review of members present.

Financial Report:

The treasurer reported a total of $7863.72 between checking and savings with $1046.06 in checking and $6817.66 in savings. It was noted that several bills were recently paid and no new bills or reimbursements are pending. just recently pd several bills.

Communications and announcements:

Betsy noted that a Library Friend who was unable to attend the annual meeting inquired about how the events of the annual meeting would be communicated to those unable to attend. It was noted that e-mail contacts exist for some, but not all member. Lynn suggested the possibility of a Facebook post. It was also suggested that minuets could be posted on a board at the library with copies available upon request. Providing a link in the monthly newsletter was also discussed. Betsy agreed to ask Lissa about utilizing the newsletter. It was also suggested that the minutes could be posted in the Friends section on the library web site. An added benefit of posting on the web site would be interested generated by increased visibility.  The final decision was that communication would be conducted through e-mail, Facebook, a link in the newsletter, and a link on the web site.

Committee Reports:

Membership: (reported by Betsy on behalf of Jen Chapman) There are currently 177 members in various categories. It was noted that members often sign up yearly at the Book Sale. The question of how members are notified of expired memberships was raised. Membership begins January 1 with anyone enrolling in the last four months of the year grandfathered to the following year. Forms are available at the circulation desk. Many people are reminded to renew and do so when they attend the book sale. Forms are available year-round at the circulation desk.

Book Sale: The book sale brought in expected revenue consistent with previous sales. The board discussed how the book sale is publicized. A flier used to be sent to everyone who had previously participated in book sales. This year fliers were only sent to those active within recent years. It was suggested that a sign-up sheet be made available at the sale for those wishing to receive future mailings specifically about the sale. The book sale is also noted in the current newsletter.

Other: Betsy noted that committee members involvement is currently facilitated via e-mail. This raises some concern that members unable to attend the last general membership meeting would not have had an opportunity to sign up for a committee. New members can be added to committees based on their indicated interests. Jen Chapman can add new members to committee lists maintained in Google Docs as they sign join.

The question of how volunteers are managed was raised. Betsy agreed to look into whether Jennie Fiddler might be able to merge Friends’ volunteers with general library volunteers. Spreadsheets of general volunteers and Friends’ volunteers are not currently merged.

Board co-president remarks:

Sarah thanked everyone for their attendance and involvement. She shared her background and commitment to supporting the library as an invaluable community resource. Sarah began her engagement with the Friends by joining the Bylaws committee to learn more about the Friends organization. She is pleased to be serving with Lydia as co-president. Unfortunately Lydia was unwell and unable to attend. She expressed her ongoing commitment to growing and supporting this fantastic resource for many years to come.

Board member remarks:

A question was raised regarding the absence of a specific organizational budget. Betsy clarified that we do have yearly audits and provide a specific copy of expenses to the city but The Friends do not maintain a specific budget. Rather, finances are managed between the Friends’ treasurer and the Library Director. Current budget items include library project requests, postage, the book sale, wallets for kids getting their first library card, Friends meeting supplies, and other expenses. A major expense is support for the annual summer reading program for which the friends typically maintain an approximately $5,000 reserve.

The Board discussed ways to help raise awareness of how Friends’ finances support the library. Suggestions included noting specific ways membership revenue supports the library on book sale signage, the web site, and the web site.

Library Director Report – Betsy reported that circulation has been up all but 3 months this year. Funding is tied to circulation and it is a way to help determine the success and impact of the library. She also shared that there has been a 30% increase in adult programming with 30% increased attendance. Kids and teen events are also going well. Jennie Fiddler has been initiating a revamped outreach initiative. In January, the library will be connecting with senior facilities in the community with a new and improved mobile library program. The next phase of increased outreach will include homebound delivery options.

Facilities – Betsy shared that construction on a new bathroom will begin November 2, 2016. Current bathrooms are not ADA compliant/accessible. The library was able to find a way to afford creation of a separate family/ADA compliant bathroom. In addition, construction on the parking lot is almost done. Signage will be happening outside the building to replace signs removed during parking lot construction. Lit signs will be installed along two sides of the library and unlit ones on the other two sides.

Mural –Anne Raskopf will be creating a mural on the West and East walls of the lobby. She will begin at the end of November pending bathroom construction. Library staff hopes to capture a timelapse video of the mural creation and will be sharing photos on Facebook. 

Book Sale: Betsy noted that every year after the sale, a number of books don’t sell. These are currently set aside and collected by the Salvation Army, 50 boxes at a time. Better World Books or Milwaukee Working are two organizations that would curate/sell the unsold books. The library will be pursuing the option of working with one of these organizations going forward. The board discussed providing a “free table,” stocking Little Free Libraries or leaving a permanent collection for sale in the lobby.

Old Business:


New Business:

Discussion touched on the Annual Meeting wrap-up. The main points of discussion were covered in the previous discussion regarding communication. Overall, everyone was happy with the meeting and attendance. The board was reminded that current protocol suggests one meeting per year for general membership and four meetings per year for the Board. The next Board meeting date: Wednesday, 15th Feb at 7 p.m. 

Pat moved to adjourn at 7:56 p.m. It was seconded by Betsy and unanimously approved.

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