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  • Board Meeting


    NYSALB Board of Directors’ Meeting
    Hampton Inn and Suites, Albany, NY
    Saturday, January 10, 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, Association Manager M. Malicki, and Guest: Carol Desch, Coordinator of Statewide Library Services at The New York State Library.

    Absent Sally Swierczek and Sam. Patton


    It was noted that three vacancies remain to be filled on the NYSALB Board. Richard Strauss will leave at the end of this year and a person from Onondaga County should be found to replace him. Strauss is actively looking for his replacement from Onondaga County.

    Some discussion was had concerning past appearances of "self-serving." In the nominations of officers To help avoid that appearance Richard Strauss appointed a non-officer to Chair of the Nominating Committee that is currently chaired by Mary Ellen O’Connor for 08-09.

    Mary Ellen now serves as the First Vice President, and George Stamatiades agreed to assume the responsibility of preparing a slate of officers for the 09-10 year.

    It was noted that the current bylaws allow an individual to server only 3 years as a specific officer. Suzanne Stockman is completing her 3rd term as the 2nd Vice President and has requested that someone else accept the responsibility for the Trustee Institute.

    Richard Strauss recommended that we provide information to George. Stamatiades concerning:

    1. Offices held in other organizations, perhaps with a brief resume to the other members of the board,


    1. Offices you are willing to hold.
    1. Your recommendations to George for your slate of officers.


    George will contact individuals as to their willingness to serve, prepare a slate of officers, and present the slate at our next meeting.

    Nominations from the floor will also be accepted at our next meeting to fine tune the slate.
    Minutes:  M.E. O’Connor moved that the minutes of the November 15, 2008  NYSALB Board of Directors be accepted with A Elman seconding. The minutes of the November 15, 2008 NYSALB Board were approved unanimously,

    Treasurer’s Report:  A. Elman presented the Treasure’s Report with the following highlights:

    1.Our Profit and Loss report for the month of December shows that our dues receipts for the entire budget year are up by $25,043 from what was budgeted representing an increase of almost 43%. 5 or 6% of the increase can be accounted for by the increased dues rates with the rest coming from increased membership and investment dividends.

    2.Iinvestments for the month of December increased 2.5% in value but our investments have lost 25.5% in value (ca. $18000) over the entire 2008 year, due to the national economic situation..

    Although we have no guarantees on our investments, it was noted that NYSALB investments are very conservatively invested and that our holdings are regularly rebalanced. Although some future instability in the value of our investments are expected, it seemed reasonable to hope that the December increase may suggest the beginning of a positive turn around in the stock market that will continue to improve the value of our investments but the situation will be monitored closely.

    Rita Reissig moved that we accept the Treasurer's Report and the motion was approved unanimously.


    Guest Reports:

    Carol Desch

    Carol Desch spoke to the NYSALB Board on a range of topics that mostly focused on the proposed executive budget cuts to libraries but also discussed the areas where the budget proposals are preserving funds this year, mostly $14M for construction to 181 libraries with a separate $0.8M to go out soon for current projects. She also discussed possibilities that are being considered that would make the $14M a permanent rather than a renewable part of the budget. She further advised that State Education is working with NYLA to try to remove match requirements for the funds perhaps going towards the criteria types that are used for Gates Grants. Overall for 2010 the $800,000.00 and $8M supplemental are out with a $80.5M budget left. That is a $14.5M or about a 14% decrease, $18.5M. from last year or 22% loss relative to full funding of last year. Schools are seeing a 6% cut. Budget hearings are to be held this week coming and NYSALB should testify.

    Carol also advised the NYSALB Board on possibilities for the state library budget to benefit from the federal stimulus programs as part of $1.7B that will be available to New York for “Shovel Ready” projects with a 120 day starting time frame. She also advised of ALA plans to submit to the stimulus program or at least help libraries to develop programs that would allow libraries to participate in the federal stimulus programs.

    Carol reported on the progress of the phase 2 Gates Foundation Grant participants with 431 libraries participating. She noted that the 2nd year phase match is higher from 25% in the 1st year to 50% in the 2nd year. She further advised us on the Broadband component of the Gates program with data being collected in 7 states with New York among them. Margolis will participate in the process directly as required. A June 3 and June 4 dates have been given for a statewide library summit program that needs to assemble an advisory panel to the “connected nation” project and she will send out press releases on the program.

    Carol confirmed that Bernie Margolis will speak on Saturday at the Trustee Institute so she will not speak. On some legislative issues she also confirmed that the Regents have adopted the Public Library Certification Amendment and noted Suzie Oppenhimer in the New York Assembly and the change of Paul Tompko to replace Mike McNulty .on the House Committee.

    Finally, Carol Desch reported on the Talking Book and Brail Library services with handouts given and the summer reading program,” Be Creative at your library”, and she advised of the federal ALA Lobby Day programs on May 11, 2009 and May 12, 2009 with some final comments made on LSTA issues.


    Strategic Plan-NYSALB Vision and Values

    Discussion was had reviewing the outcomes from the last NYSALB pre-meeting session in November with Jon Allen. That outcome indicated a need for a more clear and updated vision and mission restatement for NYSALB and a better definition of goals. It was decided to hold another separate pre-meeting on 03/13/2009, the Friday evening before the next NYSALB Board meeting, to focus specifically on developing and updating our vision, mission, and goals sets for NYSALB.

    Richard Strauss will prepare send us a copy of our current mission statement and worksheets to help guide us in preparing for the meeting.

    Committee Reports:


         Budget, Finance, and Planning: 

    Arnold. Elman requested authorization from the NYSALB Board that he be allowed to draft a recommendation for a new policy regarding financial and general records retention, in consultation with our manager, Margaret Malicki, that the Board could consider and eventually adopt going forward.

    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 gave a report on the status of the Trustee Institute with the following content:

        Legislation and Policy: 

    Francis Picart reported on the status of the Trustee Training legislative proposal. He has a commitment from Amy Paulin to resubmit the legislation to the New York State Assembly but does not yet have a Senate sponsor. Amy Paulin is not at all confident of the prospects for passage in either house. Outreaches are being made to replace Farley as a senate sponsor now that he is in the minority. Outreach is also being made to Kathy Nolan to seek her help in planning better support for the bill.

    Mary Ellen O’Connor advised us on the state of the very active transition in the New York State Senate and suggested that committee selection will not be completed much before the next two weeks. Senator Farley is now in the minority.

    Discussions were had about possibilities for NYSALB responses to the proposed $18 million cut for libraries in the budget proposed by the Governor.


    George Stamatiades reviewed the membership summaries.

        Public Relations/Newsletter:

    Sam Patton was not available to speak but the newsletter was briefly discussed.

         Velma Moore Award and Distinguished Service Award:

    Award - R. Reissig reported that no nominations had been received to date. She will send out reminders by in the next week to NYSALB and NYLINE e-mail lists to remind the list clients that the deadline to submit nominations is February 15, 2009. The reminder will include a notation that previous years' nominations will not automatically be reconsidered. A new nomination letter needs to be submitted. Rita will forward nomination letters to her committee members after the February 15, 2009 deadline has passed.


         By-Law Committee (ad-hoc):



    Discussions were had about possibilities for newsletter articles and facilitating input to the Trustee Newsletter for the newly appointed New York State Librarian Bernie Margolis. Making opportunities for Margolis to interact with the NYSALB Board was also discussed.

        Old Business 


        New Business:

    Calendar: March 14, 2009, May 1, 2009, September 12, 2009, and November 14, 2009 were confirmed as NYSALB meeting dates.

    Dues increase was discussed and will be discussed again.

    There being no further business Mary Ellen O’Connor moved that the meeting be adjourned. The meeting adjourned at 2:30 PM.

    Respectively submitted,
    Francis Picart, Secretary


         Budget, Finance, and Planning:  Continued after Guest presentation 

    A. Elman corrected the professional fees in the budget proposal moving accounting down from $5,000.00 to $3,000.00. He also advised that the bills should go out by Thanksgiving 2008. Some discussion occurred on cash vs accrual accounting methods and why the cash method is used and good for us.

         Executive Session was entered at 10:08 AM:

    Personnel matters were discussed.

         Executive Session closed at 10:58 AM and regular session was resumed:


    1) A Trustee Institute summary was given with Mary Ellen O’Connor suggesting a double session should be involved covering fiscal management and budget preparation for libraries. Comments were made on presentations given by Jackie Thresher that had good reviews but that might need a more dynamic presentation mode in our setting.

    2) Suggestions were sought for program speakers and topics for the next Trustee Institute at the Holliday Inn in Syracuse, New York. Heidi Holtz (Roseman) the current Program Director, Community Grant making at Gifford Foundation in the Syracuse, New York area was suggested for speaking on organizational lifecycles. Richard Strauss will follow up the possibility with Holtz and look for other possible speakers via the speakers bureau. Strauss will also follow up on ideas for tours and with the local Chamber of Commerce for possible help in assembling packets for the Institute.

    3). Discussions were raised on possibilities of extending the Friday and Saturday program sessions with greater emphasis on networking and the possibility of including a poster session was raised. No decisions were made on these issues.

    4). Food service possibilities were discussed including a Friday night HorsD'Oeuvres buffet with assigned seating to promote mixing of the attendees and the NYSALB Directors. A Saturday sit-down lunch with theme tables was also discussed. Politician visits were proposed for the venue with presentations limited to between 5 to 10 minutes.

    5). Additional program suggestions were made by Mary Ellen O’Connor suggesting strategic planning workshops and panel sessions on Saturday. Arnold Elman suggested “getting out the vote” and anti-fraud policy topics with possible presenter and content sources in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, CPA’s. Other speaker suggestions emerged such as Richard Panz of Lancaster, New York, former Director of the Rochester Public Library and the Monroe County Library System. Sally Swierczek suggested that Utica, New York pollster John Zogby, President and CEO of Zogby International might be willing to speak on “whom are you serving”. George Stamatiades reported that his Queens library was planning a 3 day retreat for their board of trustees with a hired facilitator and suggested that we might want to consider incorporating the format into our institute or present it as a how-to presentation at an Institute. Other program suggestions included “Branding Libraries” via a public relations firm and programs for small libraries. George Stamatiades advised that he would have a person from his library available to present on “Branding Libraries”.

    6). The November 15, 2008 meeting was set as a target date for trying to finalize most of the details for the Trustee Institute.         


    The vote held to replace the retired 1st Vice-President was 7 in favor of Mary Ellen O’Connor who carried the vote and 3 in favor of Francis Picart.

    Several vacancies persist on the NYSALB board and Richard Strauss advised that he had been in contact with Director Larry Jorgensen from Farmingdale Library in Nassau County. It seems that Larry Jorgensen will be unable to continue in his NYSALB office because of his health and he will be asked to relinquish his seat on the Board. A replacement possibility know to George Stamatiades will be invited to join the board

    Mary Ellen O’Connor reported that there were some problems with successful outreaches to potential Directors but she expected to have 2 or 3 nominations available by the November 2008 meeting.

        Legislation and Policy: 

    Francis Picart reported on the status of the Trustee Training legislative proposal, which pass unanimously in the Senate during the last regular legislative session but did not emerge from the Ways and Means Committee in the Assembly. He reported that he has been in touch with Amy Paulin of the Assembly/ She is prepared to resubmit the bill unchanged in the Assembly and refer it out of her committee. She cautioned that in spite of support for the concepts she expects problems with passage in the Assembly because of the New York State economic problems. Mary Ellen O’Connor will reach out to Ron Canasteri to try to better position the bill for passage in the Assembly. After the November 2008 election planning will begin for educating and pressing new and returning legislators for passage of the Trustee Training bill in 2009 legislative session.

    It was agreed that the Certified Trustee Program should go forward and should be showcased at the Trustee Institutes and in the NYSALB newsletter. Expenses for certificates and related supplies will be put in the budget for the November 2008 meeting.

    George Stamatiades volunteered to chair the Membership Committee and the membership summaries were reviewed.

    There was agreement for the need to update our information on statewide budget data for individual libraries to correct and revise NYSALB revenues.

        Public Relations/Newsletter:

    Sam Patton advised that newsletter articles are due by the end of next week and that the newsletter will carry a bipartisan column from Senator Farley and Assemblywoman Paulin going forward. It was agreed that Sam Patton should contribute to library system newsletters and emailings.

    It was agreed that software costs of $200.00 to $300.00 should be borne by NYSALB to facilitate new program versions of software for Sam Patton to continue his work on the newsletter on his new computer platform.

    Joan Hurley reported that she did not look at the NYSALB web site until August 2008 and has since lost her computer data. She plans to have information for the November 2008 meeting. All links must be checked for existence and update and all data needs to be checked for current status and relevance.

    Attendees were sought for the NYLA Council meeting on Wednesday November 5, 2008 meeting. A reminder was made that NYSALB has 2 sessions at the 2008 Annual NYLA Conference beginning November 5, 2008 to November 8, 2008.

         Velma Moore Award and Distinguished Service Award:

    A newsletter article is needed to advertise for next year. A raise in the award amount was considered but declined by the board. It was agreed that nominees from previous years can continue to compete but they must reapply and the guidelines need to be revised to reflect the change.    

         By-Law Committee (ad-hoc):



    Richard Strauss will send articles on trustee training to the newsletter and articles and emails from Senator Farley with concerns about trustee training will be crafted for an article.

        Old Business 

    A Strategic planning session is planned for 7:00 PM Friday night November 14, 2008 before the Saturday November 15, 2008 NYSALB Board meeting. Pizza and Beer and flipcharts will be available for the session.

        New Business:


    There being no further business Mary Ellen O’Connor moved that the meeting be adjourned. The meeting adjourned at 1:49 PM.

    Respectively submitted,
    Francis Picart, Secretary

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