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NYSALB Board of Directors’ Meeting
Hampton Inn and Suites, Albany, NY
Saturday, March 14, 2009
President Richard Strauss called the meeting to order at 9:00 AM. Present: Directors R. Strauss, A. Elman, M.E. O’Connor, F. Picart, J. Hurley, Sam Leadley, Bola Majekodunmi, S. Stockman,: R. Reissig, G. Stamatiades, Sally Swierczek, Sam. Patton, and Association Manager M. Malicki. Guests: Bernard A. Margolis, New York State Librarian, and Carol Desch, Coordinator of Statewide Library Services at The New York State Library.
Bernard Margolis was introduced to the NYSALB Board by Richard Strauss as the newly appointed New York State Librarian and spoke at the beginning of the meeting, Margolis advised that he had been in his position for 8 weeks and that he was in now deep in the process of getting to know the very multi-layered New York State Government system which differed considerably from his previous state system in Massachusetts. Margolis advised that his most important goal was to be able to provide sufficiently effective assistance and resources to libraries to allow them to develop and deliver their services beyond their current standards and he expressed the view that he would need considerable help in his effort to support and guide New York libraries. Margolis advised that he saw trustees as critical agents and assets that could help him in his work and he invited NYSALB to help him in his outreach to trustees to ask for their input and assistance in negotiations for New York State resources. particularly through the development of efficient and good governance models and practices which can serve as models for other state systems as well.
Margolis spoke of making the state library a strong and indispensable resource for libraries in the state and of putting the state library forward as the “go to” agency in the state. He spoke of his support for trustee education and reeducation in this effort.
Margolis answered specific questions from the NYSALB directors. These answers including comments on good friendliness and bad bureaucracy, a need for increases in marriage license and recording fees etc, to re-supply the Cultural Education fund as well as a need for up to date active trustee lists. Concerns were also discussed over the uses, misuses, and replacements of LSTA funds as salary supports for state library staffs, especially in regards to shrinking federal abilities to maintain and increase those funds. Beyond those questions difference between Directors and Trustees were discussed with needs for mutual and overlapping training, lay boards for 3R’s councils were discussed with better incentivized opportunities for collaboration between different library types. Efficiencies from statewide purchases of library materials and electronic resources were discussed. What can we do for you in the face of the present budget cut possibilities was asked as a question. Call, call, and call was given as an answer. Some things were left for future discussions.
Carol Desch , Coordinator of Statewide Library Services at The New York State Library , was introduced by Richard Straus as the second guest. Carol spoke on the Novel pilot project and its steering committee work to advertise the availability of the Novel database resources including via driver license options. She also advised us on the progress of the 2009 summer reading program dubbed “Be Creative” and Express Yourself with a Quadra-Centennial celebration focus and handed out posters.
Carol also advised us on the 2009-2010 budget prospects with more details on the $14M construction aid. Discussion was had on the work that is going on with NYLA seeking changes in match requirements from 50% to 25% to better support libraries in more difficult economic environments. Schedules for construction aid application workshops were given out. Some discussion was also had on the collaboration of library facilities and programs with the state Department of Labor facilitate the work of the Department of Labor into communities with the possibilities of state workers supporting the work in libraries.
Work on state wide licensing of the Learning Express program for $800,000.00 was discussed as well as a Spanish Language programs project involving the Gages Foundation and Mid Hudson library system and progress on the development of 1.5 Mb/sec targets in other Gates initiatives were discussed along with the true need for 10-30 Mb/Sec connectivity in comparison to the 50 Mb/sec currently available in Japan.
Minutes: Due to the late delivery of the minutes for the January 2009 NYSALB meeting consideration of the minutes was deferred to the May 1, 2009 meeting.
Treasurer’s Report: A. Elman presented the Treasure’s Report with the following highlights:
1. There was a 28.4% loss of about $19,400.00 in our investments worth due to the general loss of performance in the financial markets. No changes were suggested for our investment strategy at this time but we must follow the situation closely.
2. Going forward, membership may be affected negatively by the developing financial climate which would further erode our finical base. This possibility will also have to be tracked closely.
3. Velma Moore award funding at $750.00 and $250.00 expense funding is good to continue for now.
Mary Ellen O’Connor moved and Francis Picart seconded that we accept the Treasurer's Report. The motion was approved unanimously.
Strategic Plan-NYSALB Vision and Values
Discussion was had reviewing the outcomes from the NYSALB pre-meeting session last night Friday 3/13/2009.
A summary of the session was given by Richard Strauss which included wording of a new mission statement that was developed by Sam Patton.
Work on new Vision and Values statements are to be developed at a Friday pre-meeting session before the September 2009 NYSALB Board meeting.
A separate planning workshop was proposed for June 12.2009 or June 13, 2009 to continue the background work for the strategic planning. Schedules will be reconciled and a date chosen by email vote. If all else fails an electronic workshop was proposed.
Budget, Finance, and Planning:
A records retention policy development and selection program is going on with Margaret Malicki. The goal is to make our records available to members on the web.
Mary Ellen O’Connor moved and Arnold Elman seconded the motion to allow Elman to develop a policy proposal, which was approved unanimously.
Suzanne Stockman reported on the status of the Trustee Institute with the following content:
The Board was advised that the brochures have been received and the budget was handed out and discussion was had about the numbers of attendees that would be necessary to cover costs.
Sam Patton will print the names of newly certified trustees in the Newsletter.
We were advised that no bus will be needed for tours since the hotel has a large van for 15 people and cars can be used.
Richard Strauss will send out invitations to the Trustee Institute to local politicians and invitations will be sent out to Assemblywomen Amy Paulin and Kathy Nolan as well as one to the replacement for Senator Farley.
Mary Ellen O’Connor reported on her work for NYSALB participation in the upcoming NYLA Conference, although no programs are confirmed yet. Possibilities for program topics are Personnel Development, Greening your library, Branding, Ethics and Intellectual Freedom, Budget Preparation. Other less developed possibilities were discussed.
Francis Picart reported that no real work has taken place on the update for the Trustee Handbook with Jerry Nichols but work should begin this Spring 2009
Legislation and Policy:
Francis Picart reported on the status of the Trustee Training legislative proposal. He reminded us of a commitment from Amy Paulin to resubmit the legislation to the New York State Assembly but advised that he still does not yet have a Senate sponsor to replace Senator Farley who lost his committee position after the last election. Some discussion was had as to the best path to follow in obtaining a senate sponsor. He reported on contacts with the office of the newly elected Senator Brian Foley representing the 3rd Senate district on Long Island including Brentwood. That contact sought a meeting to discuss general library issues and to seek support for sponsorship for the resubmission of the Trustee Training legislation. To date there has been no response from the Foley Office. Mary Ellen O’Connor advised that contact with Senator Suzi Oppenheimer directly as chair of the standing senate Committee on Education might be a better starting point and the suggestion will be followed up. Senator Neil. Breslin of the 46th Senate District consisting of Albany County was also suggested.
Francis Picart discussed with the NYSALB Board some of the ideas that he has been developing to seek more direct funding of library trustee training support and library funding in general from funding streams outside of the general fund support for Education in the state budget with possible sources being designated Lotto funds or penny sales tax sources. Interest and caution was expressed.
After some discussion a slate of officers was put forth for election at the May 2, 2009 Organizational Meeting following the Trustee Institute.
The slate of Officers is:
Mary Ellen O’Connor, President
Francis Picart, First Vice President
Rita Reissig, Second Vice President
Arnold Elman, Treasurer
Susan Stockman, Secretary
Adria Ripka from the Salina Free Library in the Onondaga Library System was nominated to replace outgoing NYSALB Director and President Richard Strauss who completes his term limit of nine years
Mary Ellen O’Connor who will start her 2nd 3 year term, and Bola Majekodunmi and Sam Leadley, who will start their first 3 year terms need election at the May 2, 2009 Organizational meeting.
George Stamatiades reviewed the membership summaries. 78 libraries in new membership since last meeting. The total is 385 or 463 check.
A list of members and non-members was given our to directors with a request for them to personally contact non-members to encourage their membership and answer their questions.
Sam Patton advised us on the newsletter progress and Sam Leadley agreed to work with Sam Patton over the next year to take over the newsletter responsibility when Sam Patton completes his nine year term on the NYSALB Board.
The review of the NYSALB website is still in progress.
Velma Moore Award and Distinguished Service Award:
Eleven nominations have been received this cycle for the Velma Moore Award, eight by mail and three by website. The original Board of Trustees of the Corning Library was selected as a group to win. The Corning Library was closed in 1990 and reopened as the South East Stuben Library in 2000 by the persistent action of the trustees as a group. The nomination was made by Jan Fenn and Pauline Emery.
The Distinguished Service Award was not publicized this year and there were no entries. The award will not be given this year.
Rita Reissig moved and Francis Picart seconded the motion to accept the recommendation of the Velma Moore Committee. The measure was approved unanimously.
By-Law Committee (ad-hoc):
Calendar: May 1, 2009, September 12, 2009, and November 14, 2009 were confirmed as NYSALB meeting dates. June 12, 2009 and June 13, 2009 were added as possible meeting dates for a NYSALB workshop on mission and strategy.
There being no further business Mary Ellen O’Connor moved that the meeting be adjourned. The meeting adjourned at 2:36 PM.
Francis Picart, Secretary