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 June 12, 2006 at the Carleton Branch Library, 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, Laurie Breitner

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

2. Motion by Trustee Bourque, supported by Secretary Taylor, to approve the agenda as amended. Motion carried.

3. Motion by Secretary Taylor, supported by Vice-Chair Gregory, to approve the minutes of the regular board meeting May 8, 2006 as printed. Motion carried.

4. Public Comment – None

5. Cindy Zawacki and Carolyn Gardetto, represented the Friends of Carleton Library, a small, but mighty group. They welcomed the board and listed projects they have sponsored the last year: new shelving for circulation, computer and staffing areas; worked with Swan Creek Garden Club on the landscaping; and partnered on programs with Rotary for Christmas, MCLS for Blues programming, Carleton Historical Society and Busch’s Valuland for an ice cream social. Fundraising includes a recycling program and Election Day bake sales. Chair Lux said it is wonderful to go into a library where there is such an extensive list of activities.

6. Stephen Smith, Architect for TMP Associates updated the board on the Ellis Building. The company did a feasibility needs assessment study on the Ellis Building in 1995. It was a collaborative effort; they interviewed staff, board members, and surveyed the public. The study put space needs at 40,000 sq ft; 13,000 additional to the existing 27,000 which includes the garage. In the early 90’s, there was little discussion on Internet and technology access in libraries, a big piece not covered extensively in the study at that time. Ellis had been mostly a warehouse for reference books more than anything else and emphasis was put purely on customer service space. We need to go back and revamp that study.  The uses of libraries as social destinations as well as purely information sources grow unabated. The 13,000 sq ft could easily be increased by 5,000 more sq ft to accommodate technology, a large meeting room, additional space for children’s programs, a teen room, media commons and housing of special collections such as Custer Genealogy. Trustee Bourque asked if any concentration was placed on administration staff needs during the original study. Mr. Smith said it was mostly public service; tech expansion and IP function were a pretty minor part of the program. The Ellis building is sound; when it was remodeled, re-supporting of second floor was done. There are weight bearing restrictions; okay for office use, not book stacks. Secretary Taylor asked if the 18,000 sq ft additional space needed was for current needs, or is it good for five to ten years. Mr. Smith said it only brings us to 2006. Young adult sections, media commons, self-checkout, a large quantity of computer workstations were not on the horizon during the 90’s and not put in study. Ms. Taylor said she would like to plan for more than 2006, but 2007, 2008 or longer. Board members will discuss more in New Business Item H about the Ellis Building.

7. Consent Agenda
Motion by to accept the items on the consent agenda as presented, including the May 2006 Financial Report, and place on file. Motion carried.

8. Committee Reports
Finance Committee
The committee met and reviewed bills. Penal fine income is ahead of this time last year. It was noted that 29 part time employees will be entitled to a pension that will affect the budget in future years.

Facilities Committee
No meeting.

Policy and Personnel Committee
The committee met and discussed several items on tonight’s agenda. They are awaiting language from Attorney Michael VanOverbeke regarding the 13th checks for retirees. The committee asked Director Colpaert to get a written agreement from the Monroe Evening News regarding digitization of War of 1812 materials. Director Colpaert and Assistant Director Bellaire will attend a personnel law conference on Wed. June 21.

Community Partnering Committee
No meeting.

Technology Committee
No meeting, but will meet before the next board meeting.

Woodlands Update
Mr. Gregory reported that Jim Seidl said the state has budget cuts planned for the next two to three years in order to balance the state budget deficit.

Legislative Update
Director Colpaert and Assistant Director Bellaire went to Lansing on May 9th to participate in MLA’s Legislative Day and meet with Senator Bev Hammerstrom and Representative Kathy Angerer.

9. Unfinished Business – none.

10. New Business
Motion by Secretary Taylor, supported by Vice-Chair Gregory, to approve payment of the bills for the month ending May 31, 2006, in the amount of $478,371.90. Motion carried.

Motion by Trustee Bourque, supported by Trustee Calder, to approve sending out the 2006 tax notices based on figures provided by the Equalization Dept. We are able to levy one mill. Motion carried.

Motion by Trustee Calder, supported by Secretary Taylor, to authorize the director to seek sealed bids for the sale of the 1997 Chevy Delivery Truck to highest bidder. A notice will be placed in the Monroe Evening News. Motion carried.

Motion by Secretary Taylor, supported by Trustee Bourque, to appoint Director Colpaert to an additional three-year term as MCLS representative to the Monroe County Employees Retirement System July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2009. Motion carried.

Motion by Trustee Calder, supported by Vice-Chair Gregory, to approve a fine amnesty program for the final week of the summer reading program with branches collecting pet supplies in exchange for fines, provided materials have been returned. Motion carried. Donations will be given to local pet rescue organizations.

Motion by Secretary Taylor, supported by Trustee Bourque, to adopt the revisions to five sections of the Personnel Policy. Motion carried.

Motion by Secretary Taylor, supported by Vice-Chair Gregory, to approve three facility service agreements from Dundee, Ida and Summerfield Townships and the City of Petersburg and Summerfield-Petersburg Library Board. Ida’s agreement differs slightly in that equipment is itemized in agreement. Motion carried.

Continued discussion on the Ellis Building. Chair Fred Lux said we’ve heard a very good thumbnail report from Steve Smith about the assessment of the building ten years ago, the use of the building ten years ago, and what he sees as the optimum space requirements for the building now in 2006, not looking ahead to 2010-2012. “The Ellis building is an issue that the board needs to take a very good look at. I don’t think for sure any one of us knows what the correct answer to that issue is but it is one that we need to address.” Chair Lux made the following charges to three committees with a deadline.

  • First of all, the Finance Committee will look at the overall budget and report to the board the impact of the budget paying off the Ellis note early, regardless of what we do with the expansion. If the board should decide to go ahead with an expansion of some sort be it to the Ellis facility, be it an off site building, whatever, how would that impact our budget, looking at what we are going to be saving from paying annually on the Ellis note. Think about if we were to do something with Roessler Street, what kind of projected long range expenses would we have for operations costs; what kind of impact would it have, positive or negative, whether a tremendous amount not too much over what we already doing for the note.
  • The Facilities Committee will take under advisement the report from Steve Smith. If we were to move the administrative branch out of Ellis, that includes Technology, how could we most effectively use Ellis to meet the current needs that we see for patron service? The second thing is if we decide not to move out of Ellis, how could we best address those needs of patron service and balance it with expansion needs of various administrative departments which means we may have to take stuff away from the patron area to take care of the administrative area.
  • The third charge goes to the Strategic Planning Committee. If we were to move out of Ellis and free up space, how does that meet certain goals in the strategic plan, how does it impact the strategic plan, how does it allow us to move further ahead. I know that the plan is being rewritten at this time, but we need to look at that

Chair Lux asked if the committees could be prepared to report back at the August meeting or would they rather have until the September meeting. Mr. Smith said TMP has the staff to do this work through the summer. Director Colpaert said there is money already included in the budget this year for an Ellis study.

It was decided to use the August board meeting as the deadline for committees to report back. A motion by Trustee Bourque, supported by Secretary Taylor, to authorize the committees through Director Colpaert to call on Steve Smith as necessary for the information they need to carry out their study—not to exceed amount that is in the budget. Motion carried.

11. Director’s Report
Director Colpaert thanked Carleton staff for hosting the meeting. She showed board members a PowerPoint presentation on our Strategic Plan that was viewed by employees on All Staff Day.

12. Board Comments
Board members thanked the Carleton staff for hosting the meeting, Steve Smith for his presentation, and the Friends of Carleton for all their projects and their support of the Carleton Library.

13. Public Comment – Carleton Librarian Laurie Breitner invited board members to view the traveling display currently at the library called “Free at Last: A History of the Abolition of Slavery in America,” sponsored by MCLS, Airport Community Schools, Friends of the Carleton Library and the Carleton Historical Society.

14. Announcements
Date of Next Board Meeting – Monday, July 10, 2006 @ 6:00 p.m., at the Dorsch Branch Library.

15. Adjournment
Motion by Vice Chair Gregory, supported by Trustee Bourque, to adjourn the meeting at 7:21 p.m. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Elizabeth J. Taylor, Secretary

Fred Lux, Chairperson


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