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 August 7, 2006 at the Ellis Reference and Information Center, the meeting was called to order by Chairperson Lux. Roll call by Secretary Elizabeth Taylor follows:

Present: Fred Lux, Chair; Larry Gregory, Vice-Chair; Elizabeth Taylor, Secretary; Catharine Calder and MaryAnn Bourque, Trustees; Nancy Colpaert, Director; and Diane Ohlemacher, Recording Secretary.

Staff: Nancy Bellaire, Rachel Braden, Bill Reiser

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

2. Motion by Trustee Calder, supported by Secretary Taylor, to approve the agenda as printed. Motion carried.

3. Motion by Trustee Bourque, supported by Vice-Chair Gregory, to approve the minutes of the regular board meeting June 12, 2006 as printed. Motion carried.

4. Public Comment – None

5. Consent Agenda
Motion by Secretary Taylor, supported by Trustee Bourque, to accept the items on the consent agenda as presented, including the May and June 2006 Financial Reports, and place on file. Motion carried.

6. Committee Reports

Finance Committee
Committee Chair Calder said only $20,000 a month in penal fines is needed to make budget. We will probably exceed budget if we continue to receive recent monthly averages. The committee also reviewed bids received for the sale of the 1997 delivery truck and recommended it be awarded to the highest bid of $5,500.

Facilities Committee
Committee Chair Bourque updated the board on facilities. Requests for bids will be going out soon for the Dorsch Memorial Phase II building renovation project. Summerfield Petersburg has a millage on the August 8th ballot. A library PowerPoint presentation was given to Luna Pier city council members at their meeting. There is nothing new to report regarding the South Rockwood facility.

Policy and Personnel Committee
No meeting.


Community Partnering Committee
No meeting.

Technology Committee
The committee reviewed a plan to increase Internet broadband service at a significant lower cost and made a recommendation for action on tonight’s agenda.

Woodlands Update
Mr. Gregory reported that state aid to Michigan libraries will increase 4.4% next year. The state, however, reduced aid to co-op administration by $5,000.

Legislative Update
Mr. Gregory encouraged everyone to vote in tomorrow’s election.

7. Unfinished Business

Ellis Building Reports: Chair Lux thanked the committees for the amount of time and work put into preparing their reports.

Director Colpaert said the Strategic Planning Committee conducted surveys of patrons and employees during a two week period in July and also conducted several staff focus groups. The results basically pointed to the fact that the Ellis Reference and Information Center is in space crisis. The Ellis building was originally built as a service support center for the county-wide library system with no public service desk. Over the years we began to offer services to the public through the Ellis Reference and Information Center.  With the 1998 renovation, we further addressed public service needs, but at the expense of support services. The technology office space planned for two employees now is shared by five people.  The Collection Services staff handles every item added to the collection.  Currently there is no space for a computer needed to link materials in the database. Senior outreach and our printing operations are working in space carved out of the delivery area.  Ms. Colpaert said that it was a unanimous opinion of the Strategic Planning Committee that providing adequate space for administrative and support service departments will make library operations more efficient and effective, ultimately providing better service to patrons throughout the county. She added that one of our goals in the new strategic plan will be making Ellis a stronger central library.

Trustee Bourque reported that the Facilities Committee met twice since June to discuss ways to address Ellis building space needs and to review results of patron surveys. Administration is overcrowded.  Expanding it into the public service areas of Ellis was not a viable option according to the committee. The committee discussed other options such as moving some of the support services out to branches, adding on to the existing building or even housing administration in the Ellis building and building a new larger central library. It is the committee’s recommendation to move administration offices to another site and expand services for the public here at Ellis.

Trustee Calder said the Finance Committee addressed the most difficult question: Can the library system afford it? The answer is yes because the system has been paying on a bond issue which will be paid off at the end of 2006, two years ahead of schedule. That will free up $250,000 a year to allocate to a new project as long as the bond is capped at $2 million. The Finance Committee recommends purchase of a building for administration and support services, renovation of that building, and reallocating the space at Ellis. Retiring of the bond early is due to careful management of money putting us in a position to make improvements without any additional expense to tax payers.

8. New Business
Motion by Trustee Calder, supported by Secretary Taylor, to approve payment of the bills for the month ending June 30, 2006, in the amount of $665,811.51. Motion carried.

Motion by Vice-Chair Gregory, supported by Secretary Taylor, to approve payment of the bills for the month ending July 31, 2006 in the amount of $482,451.13. Motion carried.

Motion by Secretary Taylor, supported by Trustee Calder, to approve the Membership Contract with the Woodlands Library Cooperative for Fiscal Year 2006-2007. Motion carried.

Motion by Trustee Calder, supported by Secretary Taylor, to approve automation services, fiscal services, interlibrary loan services and delivery services contracts with Woodlands Library Cooperative beginning October 1, 2006 through September 30, 2007 totaling $135,724. Motion carried.

Motion by Secretary Taylor, supported by Vice-Chair Gregory, to award the sale of the 1997 delivery van to the highest bidder in the amount of $5,500. Motion carried.

Motion by Secretary Taylor, supported by Vice-Chair Gregory, to approve the facility service agreement with the City of Monroe for Dorsch Memorial and L.S. Navarre branch libraries. Motion carried.

Motion by Trustee Calder, supported by Trustee Bourque, to approve the proposal to utilize cable systems as Internet service providers for public access computers at Bedford, Ellis, Dorsch, Carleton, Navarre branches. Head of Technology Rachel Braden said this is only a stop gap measure, a two year guesstimate, while other options continue to be researched. The contract with the cable companies is on a month to month basis. Secretary Taylor requested that our attorney review the boilerplate contract document and get a price locked in for a number of years. Motion carried.

Motion by Trustee Bourque, supported by Trustee Calder, to change the mission statement for the 2007-2009 strategic plan to read: “The Monroe County Library System enriches the quality of life for all residents of the county by providing free access to informational, educational and recreational resources.”

The board continued to discuss the Ellis Building. Trustee Calder said the process has been very thorough. This Ellis building serves the entire library system and has been evaluated by three different board committees as well as staff and patrons. There has been no inconsistent information. It is our turn as a board to signal and give permission to move forward to acquire a building for administrative staff and utilize the Ellis building completely for public service.

Motion by Trustee Calder, supported by Secretary Taylor, to authorize Director Colpaert to pursue purchase of a building to house administrative and support service staff, to be overseen by the Facilities committee. Motion carried.

Motion by Secretary Taylor, supported by Vice-Chair Gregory, to authorize Director Colpaert to contact the Monroe County Building Authority to retire the current bond on the Ellis building project. Motion carried.

Motion by Trustee Bourque, supported by Secretary Taylor, to authorize Director Colpaert to consult the Monroe County Building Authority on a new bonding issue not to exceed $2 million. Motion carried.

9. Director’s Report
Director Colpaert showed the board picture posters of members of the Ellis Mystery Book Club created with a new computer software program.

At the Monroe County fair last week, the library system had an entry in the parade, the Book Truck Brigade. We also won a first place award on our booth, which is our eleventh award. We have had five first place and five second place awards.

On August 24th we are going to “Read for the Record” in an attempt to set a record of children reading a book with an adult on the same day. The book selected is The Little Engine That Could.

Ms. Colpaert said that there is a piece of legislation she is concerned about, HR5319, which would require libraries to block access to online sites such as MySpace in order to receive USF discounts. She will notify board members when it is the appropriate time for them to contact Senators regarding this legislation.

10. Board Comments
Board members thought committees did an excellent job getting information for the Ellis Building report together and citizens of Monroe and library employees are to be commended on their completing of surveys.

Trustee Calder said one of the most exciting things coming out of the strategic plan is what will happen to Ellis when support services are moved out of the building. We will be thinking of Ellis as the center of the library world in Monroe County and enhancing this particular facility. She thanked Director Colpaert for the chapters of the Library of Michigan Trustee Manual included in the board packet.

Chair Lux said he really appreciated the work the committees have done over the past few months. He thanked Director Colpaert for the hours and hours gathering data for the committees so they could do their job. He echoed board comments to Ms. Braden, very nice to see an innovative network proposal.  The board appreciates keeping the best interest of the library in the forefront.

11. Public Comment – None.

12. Announcements
Date of Next Board Meeting – Monday, September 11, 2006 @ 6:00 p.m., at the Bedford Branch Library. The Building Authority will meet at 4:00 on this date, just prior to our meeting.

13. Adjournment
Motion by Trustee Calder, supported by Secretary Taylor to adjourn the meeting at 7:06 p.m. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Elizabeth J. Taylor, Secretary

Fred Lux, Chairperson


Click here to go back to Board of Trustees Meetings for 2006


If you experience any difficulties with this web page please contact the Library at:
contact e-mail
Copyright Infringement Policies and Procedures,
Internet Service and Acceptable Use Policies
Copyright © 2012-13 Monroe County Library System

Home - Site Map - Library Catalog - Event Calendar - My Library Card  
MCLS Zones - Library Information - Books, Movies, Music
eResearch - Genealogy - Local Information

twitter Facebook Flickr Youtube