November 7, 2018 Friends Board Meeting Minutes

Attendance:

Betsy Bleck, Jacque English, Pat Ludwig, Lynn Miracola, Lydia Schleicher, Jen Chapman

Co-president Lydia Schleicher called the meeting to order at 7:20 pm.

The meeting began with a review of members present.

Minutes from 9/5/18 were unanimously approved.

There were no announcements at this time.

Treasurer’s Report:

There is currently $6,797.14 in savings, $257.23 in checking. No bills were needed for payment or reimbursement.

Committee Reports:

Membership:

The Book Sale table yielded 7 new memberships and 16 renewals. There have been 7 renewals via mail or walk ins. There were 304 members as of at the last meeting. Post book sale and housekeeping we have 285 members. Of these, 132 are paid through 2018/19. There are 153 expired memberships. They will receive mailings in January. Lydia pointed out that we will need to talk about our plan for sending postcards in January. Jen showed the renewal postcard proofs.

Nominating Committee:

The committee had no updates and will remain at rest for the next 2 years.

There were no additional committee reports at this time.

Pat asked about movie afternoons and whether or not hospitality services are needed.

There were no remarks from co-presidents or board members.

Library Director Report:

Betsy shared that the budget is progressing and City Council is in the process of reviewing it. The library has requested funding for hot spots to circulate. There was some concern about the necessity but after Betsy presented, no cuts were made. The library expects to be fully funded for next year.

There are no updates regarding staff.

Membership:

The Friends reviewed the current cost structure which is as follows:  Senior/student – $3, Individual – $5, Family – $10, Benefactor – $25, Altruist – $50, Lifetime – $100. This design has been unchanged since at least 2002. Discussion suggested the removal of the benefactor and altruist levels to be replaced with an “additional donation” option. Currently, the main benefit of membership is early admission to the book sales. There was some discussion about possible additional benefits that could be developed, including a members-only event, possible “fine freebies” (including possible removal of fines for anyone joining at the lifetime level). There was some confusion about the “lifetime” level and whether or not this applied to an individual or an entire family. Ultimately the board decided not to increase fees until membership benefits increase.

Also, beginning this spring, hard copies of membership cards will no longer be created. Rather some type of e-mail receipt which may include a printable card will be sent instead.

New Business

Annual Meeting Review:

Attendance at this year’s meeting was light but the meeting was deemed an overall success. The board discussed whether or not lower attendance levels are of concern. The board considered the impact of the start time, noting that this year it was at 6 p.m. while in 2017 and 2016 the meeting began at 7 p.m. The board discussed ways to increase attendance including: offering incentives such as free books (ARCs), connecting the meeting to a Friends-only perk such as an author event (which could also possibly be a collaboration opportunity with Books & Company), incorporating games and prizes, requiring RSVPs, and offering an awards-show style format.

Friends eBay Account:

The library has received donation of several valuable items including a statue and several valuable books. Options for divesting of these donations were discussed including creation of a Friends Ebay account, and listing in Facebook marketplace. The board ultimately suggested beginning by listing the items locally on Facebook marketplace as a way to minimize issues regarding listing fees, PayPal transaction fees, etc. If Facebook is unsuccessful, Ebay should be explored as an option. 

Accepting Credit Cards:

The board reviewed previous discussion about accepting credit cards. The library now accepts credit cards to pay fines (in excess of $5). Credit cards have not been accepted at past book sales due to concerns about complications. Betsy noted that this past sale was our most lucrative yet and did not accept credit cards. Pat inquired about other libraries’ practices regarding accepting credit cards at book sales. Lydia asked if fliers specify that the sale is cash/check only and suggested it be added if not already included. The board decided to table discussion pending more information from Sue regarding her vision for the future of the book sale. 

WLA Membership:

Each of the 24 Bridges member libraries has access to two free 2019 WLA memberships, one for a trustee and one for a Friend. Betsy asked for board input in how to distribute the Friend membership. The board wondered if the membership had to be tied to a specific person or if it could be an open position for one rotating Friend board member. If the membership needs to be tied to a specific member, the board decided it should be used by Sara or Lynn. In the event that neither was able to use the membership, it could be passed on to the rest of the board. Betsy agreed to coordinate this and to look into what would be involved in upgrading the membership to an institutional level.

Next Meeting Date: Wednesday, Feb 6 at 7 p.m.

The meeting was unanimously adjourned at 8:39 p.m.

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