Minutes of July 24, 2006
The meeting began at 7:30pm at the library. Present were Christine Adams, Mary Antzak, Glenn Geher, John Georghiou, Dolores Hulse, Amanda Maynard, Jean Poirier, Emilie Rapplyea, Lynne Ridgeway, Dora Orris, Carolyn VanDuser.
The agenda was approved with the addition of one item: Discussion of the conditions of the meeting space located adjacent to the library.
Dolores Hulse, a representative of the Plattekill Seniors group addressed the Friends regarding the conditions of the meeting room adjacent to the library used by community groups including the Plattekill Seniors. Dolores reported that the center needs remodeling. Improvements needed include: stripping and waxing the floor, replacing tables and chairs, cleaning curtains, fixing the leaking faucet, and fixing the heating/cooling system. Dolores reported that many calls had been made up until this point for repairs but that no reply was received. She is also checking with a friend for estimates on the cost of painting. The Plattekill Seniors group had written a letter to the Town Board to discuss the issue. John Georghiou reported that the Town has since surveyed the building and has been made aware of the issue and that the library would do what it could to assist. The library brought two fans to the space and Barbara Dawes assisted with some clean up including the curtains. John indicated that coordination of information exchange during the process of improvements would be very important. Dolores reported that on July 25, 2006, the Plattekill Seniors would meet from 12:30-1:00pm and Mabel Gordon (President) had invited Sara Cousins to the meeting. It was noted that multiple people would attend that meeting and be involved in the decision-making including John Georghiou and Barbara Dawes, the Town Clerk. Christine Adams reported that her husband Leonard could donate his painting skills along with drop cloths and rollers if needed.
2. Meeting Time for the Friends
The meeting time was established to be the first Monday of the month at 7:30pm at the library. The next meeting will be August 7, 2006. The September meeting will be moved back a week to September 11, 2006 due to the Labor Day holiday.
3. Organizational Structure
Presently, the Friends of the Plattekill Library had only a President, Carol Maxwell. John Georghiou and Mary Anzak reported that due to personal reasons, Carol would not be able to serve as President at this time but wishes to remain a Friend. Therefore, officers were needed for the Friends. It was noted that Board of Trustees members cannot serve as officers of the Friends as the Board of Trustees sets policy for the library, while the Friends group advocates for the library. Jean Poirier reported that the process would be (1) to establish an ad hoc board of officers until such time as the bylaws are revised and an official election can be conducted, (2) have a membership drive, and (3) hold elections. The fiscal year for the Friends is January 1 to December 31, so elections would be tentatively scheduled for January.
Members were asked to volunteer for positions. After discussion, the ad hoc board of officers includes: Jean Poirier (President), Glenn Geher (Vice President), Carolyn VanDuser (Treasurer), and Amanda Maynard (Secretary). Carol Maxwell will bring her signature card to the library and Carolyn VanDuser will sign the card once it is provided. Carol Maxwell will maintain signature as a back up.
Future tasks will include updating the membership application to include professional expertise and skills. Jean Poirier asked Glenn Geher if he would be willing to update the web page for the Friends. Glenn suggested that we add the website as an agenda item for the September meeting allowing time for members to review the site and discuss possible suggestions at that time. He also suggested that in future the meeting minutes could be forwarded to him for inclusion on the website. In addition, the Friends group is not formally tax exempt and will need to seek formal status in the near future.
Liaisons are needed to facilitate communication among the Board of Trustees, the Library Professional Staff and the Friends. Volunteers were requested. The liaisons are:
Friends-Board of Trustees: Dora Orris
Professional Staff-Friends: John Georghiou and Mary Anzak (rotating)
Board of Trustees-Friends: Lynn Ridgeway (rotating)
5. Library Trustee
Lynne Ridgeway, representative of the Board of Trustees, reported that the Board is pleased with the revitalization of the Friends and stated that it is critical for a library to have an active Friends group. Lynne reported that the Board of Trustees hires the Director of the library and the Director hires the professional staff. The public also has access to the minutes of the Board of Trustees meetings. The Board looks to the Friends to engage in activities on behalf of the library that they themselves cannot do, such as fundraising and budget campaigns. Lynne noted that the existing bylaws of the Friends (2002) predated the designation of the library as a special district library and were in need of revision.
6. Library Director
John Georghiou reported that libraries can be created in a number of ways and that a special district library designation can be created in an effort to obtain more funding for the library. The Town of Plattekill approved of a Special District designation and on September 5, 2002 the public voted to approve the designation effective in 2003. This resulted in tax dollars being used to support the library in the purchase of books, shelving, and computers. The Friends support the library by assisting in the purchase of materials that cannot be purchased using government funds.
John also noted that the date of the budget vote had been changed. Lynne Ridgeway reported that the pre-election petition deadline was missed; therefore, the budget vote date has been changed to September 18, 2006 from noon to 9pm at the library. As required, a public notice of the vote is placed in the paper and in three public sites in town. Discussion ensued about the best ways to encourage voters to support the library. Glenn Geher reported that many people from outside of the Town of Plattekill frequent this library because of the friendliness of the atmosphere and called it the “gem of the Town of Plattekill.” John Georghiou noted that libraries benefit the community and property values by providing valuable services to the community which may be a factor considered by future home buyers in the area. Christine Adams suggested publicizing the cost to an individual family for supporting the library via this budget increase. John Georghiou reported that this amount changes depending on the property value but might be approximately a dollar a month increase and would be difficult to state definitively given the various property values of votes. Amanda Maynard suggested finding out the range of the values of the tax increase and reporting that in amount in terms of movie tickets which would be easily understood by voters. Dora Orris suggested likening the amount to a dinner at a restaurant (e.g., McDonalds). Jean Poirier, Christine Adams and Amanda Maynard will brainstorm ideas for a poster.
Finally, John reported that with a final revision the Friends newsletter, Just Between Friends is ready for distribution on July 25, 2006. Jean Poirier reported that there were many revisions since the draft that was emailed to current Friends and thanked Lynne Ridgeway for her comments and changes. It was noted that nonprofit mailing could be obtained from the post office if a letter from a CPA and a copy of the bylaws were presented to the post office. It was also noted that John Georghiou and Mary Anzak have been publishing the newsletter and that the Friends should take over responsibility for the newsletter. Jean Poirier volunteered to work on the newsletter.
7. Membership, Fundraising and Publicity/Marketing Chairs
This item was moved to the agenda for the August 7, 2006 meeting.
8. Current Funding Structure
This item was moved to the agenda for the August 7, 2006 meeting.
9. Current Friends Bylaws
Carolyn VanDuser reviewed the current bylaws as compared with other library bylaws available from the Mid Hudson library system website. She distributed a handout of the bylaws and her suggestions for revision which included: a statement of nonprofit organization status in Article I, redefinition of the types of services provided to the library in Article II, redefining membership status including a contact person if the member is a business in Article III, more precise definitions of organization structure and process in Article IV, revised statement of meeting times in Article V, discussion of removal of fiduciary obligation in Article VI, revision of typo in Article VIII. Carolyn also recommended consideration of the future amendments including: voting (and definition of “good standing”), definition of a quorum, officer responsibilities and length of tenure, rules for conducting meetings, role of the Board in decisions about committee actions, membership removal process, endowment fund establishment, procedures for deposits, withdrawals and any limitations, and an ethics provision. It was also noted that the Friends does not have liability insurance.
Jean Poirier reported that Rebekkah Smith-Aldrich of the Mid Hudson Library System would be willing to review revised bylaws and provide some suggestions. The Friends will need to establish a subcommittee to revise the bylaws. It was suggested that we consult Rebekkah on how to proceed. Carolyn VanDuser will contact Rebekkah for counsel and if appropriate invite her to the August or September meeting.
10. Friends Matter Recognition and Leadership Development Event
Two seats will be reserved for members of our Friends group to attend the Friends Matter Recognition and Leadership Development Event which will include dinner on Thursday, October 12, 2006 from 4-8pm. Volunteers from our group who are willing to attend and report back at the next meeting are requested to contact Jean Poirier as soon as possible. Seats must be claimed by September 15, 2006.
11. Immediate Projects
A. Budget Vote: Date has been changed to September 18, 2006. The original plan of holding a phone bank the Sunday prior will not work as the immediate Sunday prior is Plattekill Day. The Friends will need to revise this plan.
B. Friends Newsletter (see final paragraph of item 6).
C. Plattekill Day Coordinator
Plattekill Day offers an opportunity to present the library in a positive light to the community. Mary Anzak has arranged for a space at Plattekill Day for the Friends and has also arranged for a craft bus to come to do free crafts with the children. Carol Maxwell authorized the charge of $300 for this event. Craft kits will be available for sale and 50% of the profits will be donated to the Friends. A coordinator for the day from the Friends is needed to be sure that volunteers to staff tables are organized, tables and chairs are taken to and from the site, and any other organizational details are handled. The day will run from 10am to 5pm. Mary also has some prizes that could be used for a 50/50 raffle. The decision was made at the last meeting not to include a book sale on Plattekill Day. In the past, the VanDusers have donated apples for the event. Emilie Rapplyea will see if a donation will be possible this year. A volunteer for coordinator will be needed at the next meeting. Volunteers for shifts during the day will also be needed.
12. Long-Range Plans
This item was moved to the agenda for the August 7, 2006 meeting. Lynne Ridgeway was asked to share ideas from the Board of Trustee’s Long Range Plan which is up for revision at that time. Ideas from Friends will also be requested at the next meeting.
Jean Poirier also reported to members that she has been e-mailing agendas and minutes to Friends. Those members without e-mail should be receiving a hard copy in the regular postal mail.
Meeting adjourned 9:17pm.