Monroe County Library System,  Monroe, MI 48162



1. At a Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Monroe County Library System held on January 12, 2004 at the Ellis Reference and Information Center, the meeting was called to order by Chairperson Catharine Calder. Roll call by Secretary Larry Gregory follows:

Present: Cathe' Calder, Chair; Larry Gregory, Secretary; Elizabeth Taylor and Barbara Mazur, Trustees; Nancy Colpaert, Director; and Diane Fetterly, Recording Secretary.

Excused: Fred Lux, Vice-Chair

Staff: Nancy Bellaire, Marie Sowa

A quorum being present, the Board proceeded to transact business.

2. Motion by Trustee Mazur, supported by Secretary Gregory, to accept the agenda as printed. Motion carried.

3. Motion by Trustee Taylor, supported by Trustee Mazur, to accept the minutes of the regular board meeting on December 15, 2003 as presented. Motion carried.

4. Public Comment - none.

5. Reference Librarian Margo Zieske gave a report on Government Documents. Monroe County Library System has been a federal depository library for federal documents since 1974. We are a selective depository, meaning that we select the documents we wish to receive. Records are kept for 60 months before being weeded. The GPO Access site is linked from our webpage and it gives access to the Federal Register, Congressional Records, and Congressional bills. Records can be retrieved in any electronic format. There is no fee for Monroe County residents to access this site. Mrs. Zieske also maintains the State of Michigan documents, the Senior Citizens listserv, and files for maps, travel information, and the Small Business Administration.

6. MCLS Board of Trustees Reorganization
Motion by Secretary Gregory, supported by Trustee Mazur, to nominate Cathe' Calder as Chair. Motion to close nominations and elect Ms. Calder passed unanimously. Motion by Secretary Gregory, supported by Trustee Mazur, to nominate Fred Lux as Vice-Chair. Motion to close nominations and elect Mr. Lux passed unanimously. Motion by Trustee Mazur, supported by Trustee Taylor, to nominate Larry Gregory as Secretary. Motion to close nominations and elect Mr. Gregory passed unanimously. Board Committee appointments will remain the same.

7. Motion by Trustee Taylor, supported by Secretary Gregory, to re-appoint Fred Lux as Library Board representative to a one-year term on the Retiree Health Care Board. Motion carried.

8. Consent Agenda
Motion by Secretary Gregory, supported by Trustee Mazur, to accept the items on the consent agenda, including the December 2003 Financial Report, and place on file. Motion carried.

9. Committee Reports
Finance Committee
Committee Chair Calder reported that the committee met and a number of items are on the agenda. We finished the 2003 year end with about 102% in revenue and spent less than was budgeted, which gives us enough to carry over to continue work on the Ellis Project Phase 4 and establishing an endowment fund with the Community Foundation of Monroe County.

The Facilities Committee, Policy & Personnel Committee, Community Partnering Committee and Technology Committee did not meet. There was also no meeting for the Woodlands Library Cooperative Governing Board for this month.

Legislative Update
Secretary Gregory said the State of Michigan is talking about the 2005 budget, and because Michigan is one of the industrial states lagging in improving their economy, look for further cuts even next year. The rate of poverty in Michigan is 25%.

10. New Business
Motion by Trustee Mazur, supported by Secretary Gregory, to approve the bills for month ending December 31, 2003 in the amount of $462,768.96. Motion carried.

Motion by Trustee Taylor, supported by Secretary Gregory, to award the purchase of the 1991 Voyager Van to the highest bidder for $459. Motion carried.

Motion by Trustee Taylor, supported by Trustee Mazur, to approve the language change to the Technology Plan 2002-2005, Section VII, Item #10, adding cell phones so that we may apply for USF discounts. The revised plan will be forwarded to the Library of Michigan. Motion carried.

Motion by Trustee Mazur, supported by Trustee Taylor, to approve the purchase of low vision software in the amount of $600, paid from the Ronald Kull Trust Fund. Motion carried.

11. Director's Report
Director Colpaert reported she has been in contact with the County Clerk's office to determine the deadlines for ballot language, etc. for the August millage proposal and will update the Administrative Calendar at a later date.

Ms. Colpaert received an email from the South Rockwood branch librarian stating she has had many inquiries about the Michicard from downriver residents; however, they want it primarily for media, which is not available for lending. South Rockwood patrons, however, are excited to be able to use the card while they travel.

Monroe Evening News editor, Doug Donnelly, said he would like to run a series of stories on people leaving a legacy to their community. She also commented on the positive press coverage in the Monroe Evening News in the recent days: the Navarre Branch Library study group, the Carleton Branch Library musical series, and Saturday's chess tournament at the Frenchtown-Dixie Branch Library.

Board members congratulated Director Colpaert on her recent "Spirit of Woodlands" award given in recognition of outstanding contribution to the Woodlands Library Cooperative. The award has only been presented five times since 1988.

Assistant Director Nancy Bellaire briefed the board on a car accident at the Bedford Library temporary site that damaged three employee cars. She also commented on the fallen trusses at the new addition construction site and said there have been two articles in the newspaper and two opinions on what caused the trusses to come down. As of today, the debris has been cleaned up, new trusses are on site, and they are awaiting a special crane used to put up trusses. Other work is continuing on utilities and meters, underground wiring, etc. The contractor still estimates completion of the project to be July 5th. There have been over 500 new library cards issued at the temporary site, and circulation is only down 24% considering only 1/3 of the collection is available at the temporary site.

12. Board Comments
Board members discussed the letter to the editor from Dean Patten and also a letter he is distributing with his campaign literature. The board stated for the record that they have heard Mr. Patten's concerns and they have been addressed through the proper channels that exist to air citizens concerns. They also corrected for the record all the misinformation he has regarding the Monroe County Library System's decision-making, USF funds, filtering and the way children can or cannot access the collection.

Secretary Gregory said he is glad to receive the good report following Trustee Lux's surgery. He appreciated Mrs. Zieske's presentation and said we are always talking about the many services that the library provides that the public is unaware of, and this is just one example of the great services where our tax dollars are going.

Trustee Taylor said Mrs. Zieske's presentation was informative and while she usually accesses government documents on line, it is nice to know they are here in paper form. She also thanked Director Colpaert for the way she handled the letter to the editor, and said sometimes we need to stand up and set the record straight without being abrasive.

Trustee Mazur said again she learned something new from Mrs. Zieske's presentation that she was not aware of that is available at MCLS. She congratulated Director Colpaert on her award, said it is terrific and is something positive that should be shared with the public.

Chair Calder told Director Colpaert to feel free to contact the Monroe Evening News and report what was said at the meeting and let them know the library board addressed Mr. Patten's accusations and are concerned that the public has the right information. The board needs to stand up for what is right. She said she is looking forward to 2004 to begin implementing the Strategic Plan, getting out and talking to the people about the millage and the library system. We need to think through the strategy that we will need to utilize in order to have a successful millage election.

13. Public Comment - none.

14. Announcements

Date of Next Board Meeting - Monday, February 10, 2003 @ 6:00 p.m., Ellis Reference and Information Center. Time change because of 7:00 blues program at Ellis.

15. Adjournment

Motion by Secretary Gregory, supported by Trustee Taylor, to adjourn the meeting at 8:07 p.m. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,
Larry Gregory, Secretary
Catharine Calder, Chairperson

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