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NEW YORK STATE ASSOCIATION OF LIBRARY BOARDS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS' MEETING
January 8, 2005
Holiday Inn Express, Albany, New York
The meeting was called to order at 9:10 a.m. by President Norm Jacknis
Roll call: Present - Norm Jacknis, Martina Thompson, Richard Strauss, Joan Hurley, George Manitzas, William Taber, David Krogmann, Erin Apostol, George Stamatiades, and Francis Picart. Margaret Malicki, Association Manager was also present. Excused: Jane Sweet, Nancy Simaitis, Sam Patton and Jack Taylor.
Norm Jacknis asked for a motion, made by Dick Strauss, seconded by Erin Apostol to approve the minutes of September 11, 2004 and October 22, 2004; unanimous.
Dick Strauss reported that in 2004 NYSALB spent $15,000 more than received from income. This was attributed to a decrease in membership dues, two months of double management fees, and Trustee Institute expenses that were more than anticipated. However, the real need is to increase membership so this does not happen in 2005. To cover the shortfall in 2004, $6,000 was transferred from the investment account.
Norm Jacknis asked for motion, made by George Stamatiades, seconded by Tina Thompson to accept the Treasurer's Report; unanimous.
George Stamatiades asked if bank charges on accounts could be eliminated. Dick Strauss responded they may be linked to fund transfers and asked Margaret Malicki to research the bank charges.
Proposed Budget 2005:
The proposed budget for 2005 as presented by Treasurer Dick Strauss show a projected loss of $10,000. This is due to increases expenditures for the Trustee Institute, Advocacy and Insurance. After discussion and review of the proposed increases, the expenditure for the Trustee Institute was adjusted to $8,500 and Advocacy was reduced to $1,000. This leaves a projected operating loss of $750 for 2005. However, the need to increase membership is of major importance.
A motion to adopt the proposed 2005 Budget as amended was made by David Krogmann, seconded by George Stamatiades; unanimous.
In regard to finding a new financial advisor, Dick Strauss has been speaking with three potential advisors to learn what their recommendations are. He is still accepting additional names. David Krogmann asked if our investment policy is up to date and Dick responded that it is about four years old. The policy says investments should be split 50/50 with bonds and equities. Dick agreed with David that the policy should be reviewed each year and asked that it be put on the September agenda. Norm Jacknis asked that the issue of investment manager be resolved by the next meeting.
Long Range Planning: Dick Strauss reported on the January 7 evening Planning Meeting. Its purpose was to review where NYSALB efforts should be focused and how to strengthen those efforts. A summary of priorities will be forwarded to the Board. Board members will be asked to prioritize those items identified as “most important” during last night's meeting.
Education Committee: Tina Thompson reported on the Trustee Institute to be held at the Syracuse/Liverpool Holiday Inn, on April 29 & 30. Topics for the workshops are:
Workshop I - Basic Training for New Trustees by Dick Strauss and Sam Patton
Workshop II - On Beyond E-books (new technologies for libraries) by Susan Gibbons. This may include information about a wireless district proposed for the City of Canandaigua.
Workshop III - Special District Libraries - possible presenters- Dick Panz, past director of the Monroe County Library System, Janet Steiner, Director of the Tompkins County Public Library or Bob Prescutti from the Lewiston Public Library.
Workshop IV - Library Board Self Evaluation - Joan Hurley
Norm Jacknis asked if the Special District session could have a new twist as it has been done previously. David Krogmann recommended that Tina contact Jennifer Morris from NYLA. Her committee report about forming library districts has been released.
Following lunch, a panel discussion with legislative members will provide information to help trustees become politically active and aware of the information politicians need. A possible title is Developing Political “Savvy”. Norm asked if we should invite Joel Giambra, Erie County Manager who has proposed funding cuts to library service. This could provide the opportunity to understand the thoughts of those not wanting to fund libraries. George Stamatiades asked about security as a topic for the Institute, (collections on past due money and books). The topic will be kept for future sessions or as a backup for this year.
Comments from past Institutes have asked that the Friday evening program be expanded. In addition to the success stories, a more formal presentation will cover national legislation that affects library trustees (i.e. Patriot Act). The program will be from 8 to 9:30 pm. The ALTA trustee of year of 2004, William Murphy has asked to participate during the Institute. He will be invited to speak for approximately five minutes about ALTA on Friday evening.
In the past, NYSALB has offered two scholarships to libraries with budgets of less than $50,000. Tina asked if we want to continue to offer these scholarships. An observation was made that many trustees pay for their own expenses.
A motion to offer two scholarships to trustees from libraries with an operating budget under $50,000 who pay their own expenses was made by Bill Taber, seconded by Dick Strauss; unanimous.
Registration form wording will include check boxes Is your library budget under $50,000? and Are you paying your own way?
So far, we have been unsuccessful in finding someone willing to video tape the institute.
Tina said by February 1 details will be ready for the website. The brochure will be mailed by March 1 with early bird registration by March 30. An e-mail blast on the Institute will be a part of the promotion. Articles about the Institute have been in the last three newsletters. Dick Strauss indicated that board members should encourage their elected officials to attend.
Tina Thompson asked about the location of the Institute in 2006. Norm suggested Albany as it is a gubernatorial election year. Tina asked Margaret to see if the Holiday Inn Turf on Wolf Road is available for Friday, May 5 and Saturday, May 6 and to confirm these dates do not conflict with holidays. George Stamatiades asked that we consider a site for 2007 closer to Long Island and New York City. Such a location could provide many cultural and historical opportunities for trustees. Attendance at the Trustee Institute will probably increase due to a large number of trustees in the downstate area. Francis Picart mentioned that if we need to make money on the Institute then a more southern location would help generate revenue. The committee should be sure that future sites for the Institute include the downstate area.
Tina Thompson continued on education. For the October 26-29, 2005 NYLA conference in Buffalo, NYSALB will sponsor two Saturday morning programs.
- Evaluating library directors
- Evaluating library services in community to validate efforts
Tina asked if a board meeting should be scheduled for NYSALB at the NYLA conference. Dick Strauss indicated he will be there and could present the Velma Moore award. The decision was made not to schedule a meeting at NYLA this year.
Erin Apostol asked why we give the Velma Moore Award at NYLA. Bill Taber indicated that originally it was because it would increase the visibility of NYSALB, since there was no
Trustee Institute. At the NYLA Conference Tina was asked about inviting the Moore family to the banquet. Margaret Malicki will research our records to learn about family contacts.
Joan Hurley reported that work has not begun on the Handbook. We received an e-mail from Jerry Nichols stating that he has been asked by the State Library to update the Trustee Handbook. We agreed the Trustee Handbook should be presented from trustee perspective. Past versions have not effectively done this and part of this is NYSALB's fault for not being more active in its development. Bill Taber indicated if the Handbook is recommending policy for libraries we need to be sure they are accurate. How will these items be addressed? Joan Hurley said we need to determine what issues we want to address and how we wish to have them presented in the Handbook?
Norm Jacknis asked board members to review the handbook (copy on web) and e-mail ideas on content to Francis Picart. Norm will contact Jerry Nichols stating that we wish to collaborate on the revision and have appointed Francis Picart as liaison.
Legislation and Policy:
Norm Jacknis indicated that the past legislative session was a disaster for libraries. Trustees need to be advocates with their own legislators and in the communities we serve. Does our voting public have library cards? If not, that impedes process of voting on library items. Are library patrons aware of what is happening in our libraries?
Making your library proactive could be an article in the Trustee. There are a number of ways to involve the community but this should be initiated by trustees and their library. The public needs to be aware of the importance of the resources available at the library, such as meeting space, the collective library resource that include professional staff and materials, programming and more.
Dick Strauss reported that sponsorship for the March 15, 2005 NYLA legislative breakfast was requested. Tina Thompson contacted Kathy Miller, Chair of the NYLA Legislative Committee. A suggested contribution was $500 but any amount would be appreciated. A motion to donate $250 to NYLA for its legislative breakfast was made by Dick Strauss, seconded by Francis Picart; unanimous.
Norm Jacknis attended his first meeting of the Regents Advisory Council. He will report on future meetings.
Statewide hearings were held to determine the affects of the funding cuts to library services. Norm attended one in White Plains and spoke on the systematic problems with funding for libraries. There needs to be a reliable funding stream for all libraries regardless of type. After discussion, we agreed as a board to ask for a constitutional amendment that will provide guaranteed funding. Norm will draft a statement for us to review. Dick Strauss added that we should then take this proposal to our legislators. Francis Picart suggested they would want to know the cost involved.
Guest: Ristiina (Rusty) Wigg, Library PAC
Rusty Wigg, Director of the Southern Tier Library System, presented the purpose of the New Yorkers for Better Libraries PAC. Their brochure New Yorkers for Better Libraries was distributed. She summarized that the PAC was formed by library advocates who believe that increased state aid for libraries and systems is essential. Their web site is nylibs-pac.net Committee members of the PAC may be past participants in NYLA. Bill Taber asked how they related today to NYLA. Rusty indicated that they operated independently but are aware of NYLA's efforts. The PAC goal is to have 250 donors, which would provide $15,000 for distribution. Norm suggested that the goal could be set higher and that the committee should look for contributions from the general public, too.
Norm asked if there is a general statement of strategy on how the money will be used. Rusty responded it is to support the politicians who lead committees, and the governor. Francis asked how the money is presented to the politicians. A donation is made and meeting is then requested. David Krogmann asked if the organization had a written policy to control the actions and expenditures of the committee. George Manitzas asked if the PAC is registered with State of New York and files quarterly reports. Rusty indicated it is and it was suggested that this information be included in their brochure.
Tina asked if NYSALB could include a PAC brochure in the Institute packet that is provided to attendees. David wondered if this would be in agreement with the purpose of NYSALB. It was determined that the distribution of information would be an appropriate activity. We could also include an article in the newsletter. It was suggested that the minimum gift of $50 be lowered to make it more attractive to a wider constituency. We also suggested that the PAC Committee offer the opportunity for on-line donations.
Opening of the Archives Library was attended by Erin Apostol and Sam Patton.
Membership was reported on by Francis Picart. The Suffolk County effort was sent in early December; a special letter went to each of the 55 libraries and 13 responded to date. 11 are renewals while 2 are new members. Francis Picart has had personal conversations with trustees and it was positively received however the response has not reached level he had hoped. Next step with Suffolk County is to do a second mailing that describes who responded to date and process membership as we have in the past. However to let them know that 2006 will provide incentive as described in following motion.
Francis Picart asked for a motion that if a system reaches 85% libraries participating (in membership of NYSALB) then they receive a total discount of 25% (based on current rate schedule). In future, those systems that reached 100% will receive a 30% discount; the motion was seconded by Tina Thompson.
All other libraries received their first general membership mailing, which was sent to each Library Board President at their home address. Follow up mailing to be sent early February and will later assign remaining libraries not joining as members by system to board members. Use of emails was suggested to encourage membership.
Newsletter and Public Relations: Norm Jacknis reported that Sam Patton has nearly completed January newsletter and Sam expects it to be at printer soon. Margaret Malicki asked about having some of the columns published in other publications to raise the visibility of NYSALB. Articles of local interest might be carried by local papers. Joan Hurley said there is a book listing media sources.
Norm Jacknis indicated that email count for trustees on listserv is 1,984 addresses. Francis Picart asked if we communicate our accomplishments regularly to our members.
Library Living- an article in Governing magazine was suggested and handed out by Norm Jacknis.
Nominating: Tina Thompson reported that a request for nominations would be placed on our listserv and NYLINE. An article has been submitted for the newsletter. We identified the following skills that are needed to help future NYSALB efforts; writing, public speaking, development, organizational abilities and expertise in advocacy. The suggestion was made to send a targeted email to library board presidents and vice presidents that we are seeking nominations.
Jane Sweet will be leaving the board at the end of her first term. Nancy Simaitis will continue on the board foe her third term. Tina Thompson, Bill Taber and George Manitzas have fulfilled their three terms and will finish their service this spring. (We should think about staggering officer term dates so that we don't lose more than one officer a year.)
We discussed how to stay in touch with board members that finish their service. Should we set up an advisory group to keep them involved and NYSALB with them. Norm Jacknis asked for a motion, made by Erin Apostol, seconded by George Stamatiades to creating an ad hoc committee consisting of former board members. This committee will be known as the Advisory Committee. Norm Jacknis and Tina Thompson will contact some of the former board members.
Velma Moore Award: Bill Taber explained the purpose of the award is to recognize the efforts of individuals or groups who have provided outstanding service to libraries. He asked if there are members of the political or financial community who may be worthy of this recognition.
National Library Week - Norm asked for clarification about what is expected from NYSALB. We will need to provide a display and a volunteer to be with the display. Erin Apostol will speak with Carol Desch about getting volunteer help and what we wish to have at the Concourse.
Our next meeting date March 12, 2005 at same location.
Please note: the board meeting originally scheduled during the NYLA Conference in October has been cancelled.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 p.m.
Secretary pro tem
NYSALB Board Meeting Page 4