2011 Minutes

Minutes for Board of Trustees Meeting
Held February 15, 2011

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:04 p.m. on Tuesday, February 15, 2011, at the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System at 33 Oak Street, in Plattsburgh, NY, by Richard “Dick” Kibben, President.

Amendment to Agenda

A motion to amend the agenda allowing for Barbara Stowe to be sworn in as a reappointed trustee was made by Dr. Nancy Church, seconded by Nancy Cooper. Motion carried. Barbara Stowe was then sworn in by Richard Kibben.

Roll Call

Present: Dr. Nancy Church, Nancy Cooper, Chris de Grandpré, Jennifer Henry, Richard “Dick” Kibben, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Barbara Stowe and Deborah Wells

Staff Present: Ewa Jankowska, Director, Michael Spofford, Betsy Brooks, Elizabeth Rogers, and Dawn Recore

Others Present: Stanley Ransom, Director, Plattsburgh Public Library

Nomination, Election and Resolution Accepting New Officers

A slate of officers for 2011 was provided by Cerise Oberman (not present), Chairperson of the 2010 Nominating Committee, and is as follows: Chris de Grandpré for president, Nancy Cooper for vice-president, Lisa Munich for secretary, Dr. Nancy Church for treasurer, and Barbara Stowe for member-at-large. Deborah Wells made a motion to accept the slate of officers as presented, seconded by Jennifer Henry. Motion carried unanimously.

Dick Kibben then swore in Chris de Grandpré, President. In turn, Chris swore in Nancy Cooper, Vice-President, Lisa Minnich, Secretary, Dr. Church, Treasurer, and Barbara Stowe, Member-at-Large.

Chris presented Dick with a card and small gift as a token of appreciation for his two years of service as President. Dick thanked everyone, and asked if he could return his gift card to have the funds applied to the Board’s Discretionary Fund.

Approval of Absences

Dr. Church moved that Frances Filshie and Kip Thompson be excused from this meeting. The motion was seconded by Dick Kibben. Motion passed unanimously.
Approval of Agenda

Deborah Wells moved that the agenda for today’s meeting be approved. Motion was seconded by Nancy Cooper and passed unanimously.

Approval of Minutes

Dick Kibben moved approval of the November 22, 2010 minutes as written. Motion was seconded by Dr. Church and passed unanimously.

Financial Report

A motion to accept the financial reports as distributed was made by Dr. Church, seconded by Barbara Stowe. Discussion ensued regarding the amounts that are over 100 percent on the Preliminary Budget. Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, explained that because the amount of remaining State Corrections and Coordinated Outreach Aid is not known, some parts of the grant have not been expended and other parts are over spent. These will be adjusted as the amounts are learned. Motion carried unanimously.

Public Comment Period

Elizabeth Rogers congratulated the new officers and Barbara Stowe for her reappointment to the board as a trustee.

President’s Remarks

Chris thanked the trustees who have served as officers. Cerise Oberman and Neil Surprenant are both receiving thank you cards and Borders’ gift certificates as tokens of appreciation. Chris also thanked everyone for their hard work.

Two items that Chris plans to address this year will be the idea of using a consent agenda and the number of trustees from each of the three counties serving on the board. There are five vacant seats to be filled. Chris suggested that trustees speak to their legislators and member libraries in their localities for names of potential trustees for our board.

Director’s Report

So far, Ewa has seen nothing on Listserv for news from State Library in regards to the charts showing how much money we will be receiving. The passing of Article VII would allow supplemental aid to be paid to the Library System. We know that whatever we have already received will be cut by an additional 1.1 percent. Any further cuts will constitute the sixth reduction in the last two years. We understand that in the 2011 budget that Governor Cuomo presented there would be a reduction of 10 percent, with another 10 percent cut foreseen for 2012. It is going to be a lean time for everybody who is in education and libraries. Ewa and some of the consultants will be attending Library Legislative Day in Albany on March 1st. Ewa offered a ride to others who would like to attend. Trustees have been given a copy of 2011 NYLA Legislative and Budgetary Priorities. The Association feels the cuts were not done proportionately, with libraries having already been reduced so many times. School libraries’ budgets were not increased per capita either. With schools receiving only $6.25 per pupil, public libraries have more responsibility to help students. Article VII would allow supplemental aid to become permanent, although with diminishing budgets, the amount of gain is questionable.

The $14 million Construction Grant Ewa brings to the Board every August is still in the Governor’s Budget. Therefore, the system libraries will still be able to apply for small amounts.

Service Priorities for 2011 are ready for the Board of Trustees to approve.

We have the preliminary results of the Member Library Survey that was done on line for the Board of Trustees to see how the libraries view our services.

Ewa plans to work very hard this summer on the Plan of Service for 2012-2016. She invites the trustees to serve on this committee so they will have some input.

Betsy Brooks will be going to the North Country Library System’s office on February 18th to discuss the future of our integrated library system (ILS) which includes our catalog and the circulation module. In the future, we will need to make a decision whether to continue with the same company or purchase another product. Horizon, the product we currently use, will not be developed any longer, although it will be maintained, probably for the next 5 to 8 years. The North Country Library System is using another product, by the same company, that will be their main ILS product. If we decide to go with the new product, we could possibly merge our catalogs with one site maintaining the hardware. Betsy would not have to worry about backup tapes and software glitches, and could concentrate on training, running reports and the quality of content. The decision that we will have to make would definitely be an important part of our future Five-Year Plan of Service.

{A copy of Individuals, Entities and Institutions with Whom the Library System Conducts Business in 2011, and, a copy of Library System personnel conducting Business on behalf of the Library System in 2011 has also been provided in each Trustee’s folder}*. The latter is a listing of who can sign specific documents. The Conflict of Interest Statement each trustee must sign yearly was completed by each trustee. There may be times when it is necessary for a trustee to refrain from voting on an issue due to a potential for a conflict of interest.

Ewa received an email from Linda Parks, who is on the board of the Plattsburgh Public Library and a docent at SUNY Plattsburgh. Ms. Parks has asked if we would like to donate or loan our three Rockwell Kent prints to the Gallery. The prints were donated to CEFLS by Rockwell’s widow and are displayed in our board room. Those who attend meetings here see them, but others do not as we are not really open to the public. Stan Ransom thinks they are probably worth several hundred dollars each, although they are not signed. Discussion ensued with various concerns, so Ewa will look further into the matter.
Ewa provided a copy of a proposal for public relations training by Jesse Feiler. The training proposed is for the benefit of trustees, staff and volunteers, on how to promote your library.

Ewa will be going to Poland on May 25th for her mother’s 80th birthday, returning on June 11th.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) (Library Director, Stanley Ransom)

Stan Ransom stated that CEFLS is a leader in this area for culture, arts and books and was delighted to get the Veiled Woman by Nina Winkle, which at that time he thinks was appraised at $10,000. He feels works like the Veiled Woman and the Rockwell Kent prints are nice for member libraries to see when they visit the Library System offices.

Stan thanked CEFLS for the services provided to all the member libraries, particularly PPL.

The PPL is dealing with the aftermath of their July 21st flood, which gifted them with black mold on the basement ceiling. In the aftermath, asbestos was discovered on the basement floor. The Mayor will visit PPL on February 16th. The City of Plattsburgh will be helping PPL by providing funds to have the mold and asbestos remediated. After that, PPL will have nice storage space in the basement.

On June 23rd, the Friends of the Library will sponsor an author luncheon at Lake Forest Senior Living Community featuring nationally known author, Julia Spencer-Fleming. The menu will feature salmon or chicken with a dessert called Earthquake Cake. Cost is $18 and reservations will be required.

Mayor Kasprzak has been discussing the possibility of establishing a Special Library District, which could include the City, the Town of Plattsburgh, and outlying areas that are not served by libraries. Jesse Feiler has been asked to help in the exploration of this idea. It is likely that additional services would have to be provided, such as a branch library in a currently unserved area. Stan thinks that the City would be relieved of an estimated $600,000 in funding expense. Outlying areas would be requested to help fund the Special Library District, which would require a vote of the taxpayers. Taxpayer support for such a proposal may be very difficult in these difficult financial times. Stan reported that a study was done on Special Library Districts in 2003 but he doesn’t know why it didn’t happen at that time. Other libraries and communities have successfully established Special Library Districts so there are models to investigate.

CEFDA (Frances Fairchild)

Francie was not present. Ewa reported that CEFDA has not had a meeting in a while.

Executive Committee: (Dick Kibben)

No report.

Finance Committee: (Dr. Nancy Church)
No report.

Nominating Committee:

There are five vacant seats on the Board of Trustees. There are three vacancies from Franklin County, one vacancy from Essex County and one vacancy from Clinton County. Ewa will contact Cerise Oberman who, as Chairperson of the Nominating Committee for 2010, has gathered names of prospective new trustees for 2011. Names of any additional prospective trustees should be submitted to Dawn Recore in the next couple of weeks so the appointment process can begin.

Once we have filled the vacant seats for trustees, we can determine who will serve on which committees.

Personnel Committee: (Barbara Stowe)

In Executive Session the Director’s evaluation will be discussed. Barbara Stowe would like to have Ewa participate in that discussion, and then the committee will further discuss it with the rest of the Board. The outcome of that will then come out at the next Board of Trustee meeting.

Advocacy Committee: (Dr. Nancy Church)

No report.

Development Committee: (Dr. Nancy Church)

The Leadership Campaign has received contributions from 75 percent of the trustees, totaling $925, based on twelve members at the end of December. Dr. Church would like to see 100% participation. Contributions of any size are appreciated.

In December 2010, a Press Release about the ability to give a tax deductible gift to the Library System or buy a book in honor of someone or in memory of someone was sent to many area newspapers and radio stations. Since then we have received several donations, totaling $350.

Work is proceeding on the Fueling for Literacy Campaign. Our list of gas stations has been updated and expanded. Dr. Church has a group of college students who will help with the Campaign and they will be contacting Ewa soon.


Neil Surprenant was expected to be here today to chat about negotiations. He was unable to attend. Discussion of upcoming negotiations will follow in Executive Session.


There were none.

Old Business

There was none.

New Business

Member Library, Central Library, and Reading Center Contracts for 2011 - Samples of the various contracts were provided in Trustees’ folders. Dick Kibben made a motion that the contracts be accepted. Lisa Minnich seconded the motion. Ewa explained that the General Services Contracts are the same as last year, with only the dates and signature lines being changed. Keene Public Library’s Automation Contract reflects a 10% increase approved last year. Per policy increases are approved one year in advance. Motion carried.

Order for Computer Workstation, Grant from Northern New York Library Network - Barbara Stowe made a motion that the purchase request and waiver of competitive bidding for the new computer workstation be approved. Lisa Minnich seconded the motion. The Northern New York Library Network Grant will allow the purchase of a more powerful server so CEFLS can teach libraries how to make short promotional videos and to teach CEFLS how to do training videos that will be available on our website. Because the workstation was available under State Contract, prior approval was not necessary; however, because the cost of the computer is over $2,000, the waiver is necessary. Motion approved unanimously.

Resolution for Check Signers for 2011 - A motion was made by Dick Kibben to approve the Library System check signers as follows: Chris de Grandpré, President; Nancy Cooper, Vice President; Dr. Nancy Church, Treasurer; Barbara Stowe, Member-at-Large; and Ewa Jankowska, Director. The motion was seconded by Lisa Minnich. Chris questioned whether the Secretary should be included. Ewa stated that it is whatever is convenient for the Board. Motion carried.

Conflict of Interest Statement - Trustees were all asked to sign and submit the annual Conflict of Interest Statement.

Circulation Policy - The CEFLS consultants reviewed the different lending formats of CEFLS, and amended the Circulation Policy to limit DVD’S and books on CD to five. Bookmobile patrons can check out 30 items, but within their 30 items, only five can be DVDs or books on CD. A motion to accept the amended Circulation Policy was made by Dick Kibben, seconded by Dr. Church. The motion was carried unanimously.

Service Priorities for 2011 – Service Priorities have not changed very much, as they are based on the Five-Year Plan of Service. Nancy Cooper moved to accept the Service Priorities for 2011 as presented. Barbara Stowe seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Date for February Meeting – The date for a February meeting was determined on January 24th when there was not a quorum for that regularly scheduled meeting.

Resolution Establishing the Date and Times for the Regular Meetings of the Library System Trustees - A motion was made by Lisa Minnich to approve the fourth Monday of the month for meetings. The motion was seconded by Nancy Cooper. Discussion ensued on having one 2011 Board of Trustee meeting each at Malone Weed Library, Westport Library Association and Champlain Memorial Library. We are waiting to hear from those libraries as to which month between May and September they would each like to host. Nancy Cooper asked if committees could meet one half hour to an hour prior to the Board meetings. It was pointed out that not everyone could arrive early and sometimes committee meetings last up an hour and a half, so it would depend on who is on a given committee and how long the meeting might last based upon the agenda of the specific committee. The motion passed unanimously.

Executive Session

Nancy Cooper made a motion at 5:13 p.m. to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing the Annual Evaluation of the Director, and Contract Negotiations with the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA). The motion was seconded by Dr. Church. The motion passed unanimously.

Return to Regular Session

The Board reconvened at 5:57 p.m. with Chris de Grandpré announcing that the members of the Negotiating Committee for 2011 will include Deborah Wells, Neil Surprenant if he is willing, Jennifer Henry, Nancy Cooper, and Jaci Kelleher as Chief Spokesperson and Negotiator on behalf of the Library System. Library System Director Ewa Jankowska will also serve on the Committee.

Chris de Grandpré and Barbara Stowe will confirm a date with Ewa within the next two weeks to review her Annual Evaluation for 2010.

Trustees are reminded to provide Dawn Recore with names of prospective trustees. At the time of nomination, the candidates Resume or Curriculum Vitae will be requested.

Trustees are also reminded to let Dawn know if they are interested in serving on any committees.


The meeting was adjourned at 6:01 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Minnich

Minutes for Board of Trustees Meeting

Held March 28, 2011

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 5:01 p.m. on Monday, March 28, 2011, at the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System at 33 Oak Street, in Plattsburgh, New York, by Chris de Grandpré, President.

Roll Call

Present:  Dr. Nancy Church, Nancy Cooper, Chris de Grandpré, Frances Filshie, Jennifer Henry, Richard “Dick” Kibben, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, and Deborah Wells

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Director, Betsy Brooks, Elizabeth Rogers, Michael Spofford, and Dawn Recore

Others Present:  Jamie Parrotte, Administrative Assistant, Plattsburgh Public Library

Approval of Absences

Nancy Cooper moved that Barbara Stowe and Charles “Kip” Thompson be excused from this meeting.  The motion was seconded by Dick Kibben.  Motion passed unanimously.

Approval of Agenda

Frances Filshie moved that the agenda for today’s meeting be approved.  Motion was seconded by Lisa Minnich and passed unanimously.

Approval of Minutes

Nancy Cooper moved approval of the February 15, 2011 minutes as written.  Motion was seconded by Dick Kibben.  Motion carried.

Financial Report

Dick Kibben moved acceptance of the regular monthly financial reports prepared by Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, as distributed.  The motion was seconded by Frances Filshie.

Michael explained that the first report is the budget-to-date report of NYS Aid from January 1, 2011 to February 28, 2011, showing what’s been budgeted, what’s been spent so far, encumbrances, and then balance to spend.  The second report is a balance sheet showing current assets, fixed assets, liabilities, and equity in CEFLS.  The third report is non-current aid from past years that we are finishing up spending or yearly grants from private companies or different foundations.  The last report is a snapshot of revenues and expenses comparing February 2011 and February 2010, as well as year-to-date 2011 to 2010.  At the end of each quarter, Michael does a quarterly report which will be included in next month’s financial report.  It will include accounts receivable that are 90 days with explanations of them.  The Over and Under Report explains the amount and percentage of the budget that has been spent or encumbered to date.  Motion carried.

Public Comment Period

Chris de Grandpré commented that he was happy to see some of the CEFLS staff present for the meeting.  He welcomed Betsy Brooks and Elizabeth Rogers and thanked them for attending.

President’s Remarks

Chris de Grandpré stated that we are all awaiting the outcome of the State budget; they claim we will have it later this week.  Some of the school aid might be restored and, hopefully, a portion of the library aid as well.

We need to work on finding more Trustees to get our Board up to full strength as soon as we can.  We have one vacancy in Essex County and three in Franklin County.  If anyone has any thoughts about any individuals who might be interested, pass them along to Ewa Jankowska, Chris de Grandpré, or Dawn Recore.  Fran Filshie has spoken with various people in Essex County, and the stumbling block she is finding is that Board meetings begin at 4:00; an earlier start time seems to be the preference.

Chris assembled a list of proposed committees which was distributed to Trustees.  If anyone is uncomfortable with it, please let him know.

Chris commented that all officers of the Board are check signers, except the secretary.  Ewa tried to determine why this happened years ago but could not find the reason.  A request for a resolution will be placed on the agenda for the April meeting to add the secretary to the list of check signers.

Director’s Report

Michael Borges is urging library systems and libraries that have democratic assembly members to ask for help with the budget.  It appears that libraries are low on the radar and may still be cut by ten percent.

We will be asking for Board approval of our Annual Report at this meeting.  We expect to receive official approval of our Annual Report by the State tomorrow.  Ours will be the first System to receive State approval.

Betsy Brooks and Ewa have a meeting set up for April with Mr. Sponza from Sirsi/Dynix to talk about our automation system and the possibility in three or four years of moving to another program.  Although Sirsi/Dynix will no longer develop the Horizon program that CEFLS has, they will supply full support to users.  A committee has been set up to look into different products.  Ewa and Betsy will be attending a meeting in Glens Falls with the Adirondack grantors, e.g. the Lake Placid Education Foundation.  The grantors are very interested in technology and we might be able to ask them to fund the initial expense of transferring to another system.

The schedule for CEFLS Board of Trustee meetings for 2011 includes “away” meetings for the months of May, July, and September.

Plattsburgh Public Library Report (PPL)

Due to a conflicting meeting in Albany, Stan Ransom, Director of PPL, was not able to attend this meeting.  Jamie Parrotte, Administrative Assistant at PPL, was present and reported for him.

Jamie passed out PPL’s newsletter, Highlights, which states that due to some budget shortfalls, beginning April 3rd, PPL will be closed on Sundays.

PPL does not expect to have to close during the removal of mold in their basement.  However, in case of the unforeseen, they would close during evening hours or they would close the children’s room only.  They apologize for any inconvenience.

PPL just received $500 from Stewarts Corporation for children’s books.

PPL had recently reported that Kelly Sexton, their local history librarian, was in the process of being appointed as City Historian.  They are experiencing a delay with that, as there are some civil service loopholes to be filled, so they are hoping this will happen in the near future.

An April calendar for PPL’s Public Computer Center was handed out.  The Center has hired two additional local people.  From 3:00 to 4:00, the Center has been popular with high school juniors and seniors, particularly from Plattsburgh High School and Seton Catholic.  They are participating in resume workshops and other workshops to gain employment skills.  Also, the Public Computer Center is conducting a pilot outreach program to let other libraries know they are offering these services.

At their most recent Board meeting, PPL’s Trustees complimented CEFLS staff on the recent edition of the CEFLS Trailblazer which they always enjoy reading, and they are looking forward to the upcoming Trustee forum with Jesse Feiler.  Jamie also complimented our staff for always being very helpful.

The Finance Committee of PPL met recently with the Administrators of NBT Bank about their Tilston Trust, as they do regularly.  They are now dealing with NBT in Burlington, not NBT out of Glens Falls.  NBT suggested that PPL change their formula, so they are hoping to see some positive changes.  Fifty percent of the money they receive goes toward business periodicals and materials, and the other half is for personnel training.

The Friends of PPL are sponsoring an author luncheon with Julia Spencer-Fleming to talk about her new book at Lake Forest Senior Living Community on June 23rd.

The Friends of PPL are revisiting the idea of establishing a Special Library District and presented a timeline to conclude by August to the their Board.  They are working with Ewa Jankowska, Jesse Feiler, and other community members and board members to learn the advantages and disadvantages of a special library district.

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Director’s Association (CEFDA) Report:  (Francine Fairchild)

Francie was not present.  Ewa reported that CEFDA has not had a meeting in a while.

Executive Committee:  (Chris de Grandpré)

No report.

Finance Committee:  (Dr. Nancy Church)

Ewa Jankowska prepared a report for the Trustees on the State funding of Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System Funding charts for 2010-2011that show that we were cut for the sixth time by 1.1 percent for the Federal Medicaid Assistance Program.  At the very end of her report is the amount we are going to receive or are receiving as we speak, which is $1,099,899.  That is a cumulative cut of $222,644 from what we should be getting per NYS Education Law.  We are still going to have some savings because we didn’t replace two full-time positions and also because we didn’t count on supplementary aid which was cut but was still received.  We should be able to balance last year’s budget and hopefully this year’s also.  If the cut is not restored and the Federal Medicaid Assistance Program sunsets on March 31st, we will be looking at an additional 8.1 percent cut to 2011’s budget.

CEFLS will soon be distributing checks to the Member Libraries for their share of 2010 Local Library Service Aid.

Nominating Committee:

Information on Vincent P. Carey, candidate for Trustee at CEFLS, was sent out to Board members last week for their review.  Dr. Church stated that he is a good candidate and motioned to elect Mr. Carey to the Board.  Nancy Cooper seconded the motion.  Discussion ensued regarding the remaining Board vacancies.  Dick Kibben stated that Cerise Oberman, former Chairperson of the Nominating Committee, has some names of potential candidates from Franklin County.  Ewa will contact Cerise to ask if those people are still interested.  The motion to elect Mr. Carey to the Board was approved unanimously.

Personnel Committee:  (Barbara Stowe)

No report.

Advocacy Committee:  (Nancy Church)

No report.

Development Committee:  (Nancy Church)

Dr. Church’s students at Plattsburgh State have an assignment to create public relations pieces for the Library System.  She is hoping they create brochures, handouts, and press releases for the Fueling for Literacy Campaign.


The upcoming contract negotiations will be discussed in Executive Session today.  A committee has been established and a meeting with Jaci Kelleher, CEFLS Attorney, is coming up soon.  A second meeting will then take place with CSEA.


Thank you cards were received from Neil Surprenant and Cerise Oberman acknowledging the gifts certificates to Borders that were given to them by the CEFLS Board of Trustees in appreciation for their years served as Trustees.  The cards were passed around for all Trustees present to read.

Old Business

Chris de Grandpré briefly recapped the List of Individuals to Conduct Business in 2011 and Individuals, Entities and Institutions with Whom to Conduct Business in 2011, which are along the lines of Consent Agenda.  Lisa Minnich motioned to approve the lists.  Jennifer Henry seconded the motion.  Motion passed unanimously.

New Business

Annual Report for 2010 – Ewa prepared a descriptive report, which was provided to the Trustees when they arrived for this meeting, to assist with understanding the New York State required Annual Report.  It is aligned with the Service Priorities to show how we address them.  Frances Filshie motioned to accept the NYS Annual Report.  Jennifer Henry seconded the motion.  Dick Kibben commented that the State’s report is very time consuming to prepare and that we should send feedback to the State.  Ewa stated that we have been sending feedback.   They are telling us that the software vendor cannot fix it; this software is then used to generate reports from all the systems and libraries.  There is a push to align the Annual Report with the Comptroller’s Report.  Motion carried.

Summer Reading Mini-Grant 2011 – The mini-grant is basically the same as it has been every year, but it must be approved each year.  Dick Kibben made a motion to approve the Summer Reading Mini-Grant 2011.  Fran Filshie seconded.  Motion carried.

Federal BTOP Grant-Funded Project “InternetXpress” – Only one bid was received for the public relations portion of this project and it does fit in the budget.  We are obligated to spend the full grant amount, $15,000 over the next 18 months.  Lisa Minnich motioned to approve the

Federal BTOP grant-funded project InternetXpress.  Nancy Cooper seconded the motion.  Dr. Church and Dick Kibben are both familiar with this agency and they feel it is a very good agency.  Betsy Brooks said there will be a launch event, likely in May, after the van has been decorated with graphics, with a job fair with employers and dignitaries present.  The motion to approve the grant-funded project InternetXpress was unanimous.

Trustee Committee Assignments for 2011 – Chris de Grandpré prepared and distributed a list of proposed Committees for 2011.  Frances Filshie motioned to approve the list.  Dr. Church seconded the motion.  Deborah Wells asked to be a member of the Development Committee, rather than Chairperson, so Dr. Church will chair it.  Motion carried.  Chris thanked everyone for their willingness to serve.

Executive Session

Nancy Cooper made a motion to enter into Executive Session at 4:50 for the purpose of discussing negotiations, salary adjustment for Confidential Staff, reviewing Director’s evaluation for 2010, and discussing salary adjustment for Director.  Frances Filshie seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Return to Regular Session

Full Board reconvened at 5:42, with Dick Kibben motioning to accept the recommendations made in Executive Session.  Nancy Cooper seconded the motion.  Motion carried.


Dr. Church motioned to adjourn the meeting at 5:45.  Nancy Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Minnich


Minutes for Board of Trustees Meeting
Held April 25, 2011

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:04 p.m. on Monday, April 25, 2011, at the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System at 33 Oak Street, in Plattsburgh, New York, by Chris de Grandpré, President.

Chris introduced Vincent Carey who has agreed to become a Trustee of Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System. Board members and staff present then introduced themselves and said where they live/what county they represent, including Stan Ransom, Director of Plattsburgh Public Library.

Roll Call

Present:Dr. Nancy Church, Chris de Grandpré, Frances Filshie, Jennifer Henry, Richard “Dick” Kibben, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Dr. Barbara Stowe, and Deborah Wells

Staff Present: Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk; and Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant

Others Present: Stan Ransom, Director of Plattsburgh Public Library

Swearing In

Chris de Grandpré administered the Oath of Office to Dr. Vincent P. Carey who now fills the slate of Trustees representing Clinton County.

Excused Absences

Dick Kibben moved that Nancy Cooper and Charles “Kip” Thompson be excused from this meeting. The motion was seconded by Frances Filshie. Motion passed unanimously.

Approval of Agenda

Dr. Stowe moved approval of today’s agenda as written. Motion was seconded by Lisa Minnich. Motion carried.

Approval of Minutes

Deborah Wells moved approval of the minutes of the March 28, 2011 Board of Trustee meeting as written. The motion was seconded by Frances Filshie. Motion carried.

Financial Report

Michael Spofford and Ewa Jankowska provided a brief explanation of the monthly financial reports, as requested by Chris de Grandpré. Michael reported that in March CEFLS received the balance of revenue for 2010 from New York State which helped our cash flow, although the amount was cut 16 percent, plus another 1.1 percent to help Medicaid.


The regular reports for 2011 show that we are under spent so the staff and Finance Committee will be meeting to review the 2011 budget. There is talk of another 4 to 5 percent cut, bringing the cuts to between 20 and 25 percent. We have only cut 20 percent based on the Education Law, so we will have to adjust our numbers. Our grants came in at a little more than anticipated. We have to apply for this year’s money at the full amount specified in the Education Law; however, we know that the money is not going to be received at the full amount. The quarterly report is an additional report this month and shows accounts payable or receivable over 90 days. There are no invoices in accounts payable that are over 61 days and there is about $2,500 in accounts receivable over 90 days that we are working on clearing. We are also working on clearing old grants and aids that are in this year’s budget.

Ewa stated that none of the budget items correspond with what is in the Education Law, so even though Supplemental Aid is now part of the Education Law, we don’t have the charts yet and don’t know how the money is going to be distributed.

 Hopefully the State will use the 2010 Census, which will help since some of our aid is based on inmate population in the prisons and jails of the three counties. That aid fluctuates more than other aids.

Dick Kibben questioned how the Library System ties in with Medicaid. Michael explained that all State funds are affected by Medicaid, and that is how the 1.1 percent that was further cut from us occurred.

Dr. Church inquired about our follow-up for accounts receivable when a patron owes something. Michael and Ewa provided an overview of the delinquent status policy and discussion ensued about whether patrons who are delinquent with CEFLS can borrow books from another library. It was explained that they can; however, if they are really delinquent, they are identified in the system to alert Member Libraries. Ewa will report more on this policy at next month’s meeting.

 Deborah Wells inquired why medical expenses appear to be so high to which Michael explained that we pay health insurance premiums ahead, so April’s premium was paid in March. Also in January, the health insurance buyout was paid to several staff members.

A motion to accept the financial reports as submitted was made by Lisa Minnich, seconded by Jennifer Henry. Motion carried.

Public Comment Period

Chris de Grandpré noted that Stan Ransom, Director of Plattsburgh Public Library, and Francine Fairchild, Director of Chazy Public Library, were present and he thanked them for attending.

Michael Spofford asked the Trustees to please submit to him their number of hours spent working on CEFLS business during 2010 for our Form 990. Travel time is not to be figured into this according to our auditors

President’s Remarks

Once again, Chris de Grandpré welcomed Dr. Carey to the meeting. We now have a full slate of trustees for Clinton County. We need one more for Essex County and three more for Franklin County. Ewa has obtained the names of three potential trustees from Cerise Oberman, former Trustee and former Chairperson of the Nominating Committee. Dr. Church, current Chairwoman, will contact these people. Chris de Grandpré recently communicated with Paul Maroun, Franklin County Legislator, who resides in Tupper Lake, and Mr. Maroun has agreed to assist in the search for individuals from his county who might be interested in serving on our Board.

Negotiations with CSEA commence on May 5, 2011 if there are no further changes.

Three Board meetings a year are hosted at Member Libraries, giving CEFLS Trustees an opportunity to see the Member Libraries and how they function. This year the meetings will be held at Westport Library Association on May 23, Champlain Memorial Library on July 25, and at Wead Library in Malone on September 26. Carpooling was suggested.

We will contact Stephen Smith, the director at Westport Library Association, to inquire what time we may arrive for the May meeting and to inquire whether we can have a tour of the library prior to the meeting.

Congratulations to Dawn Recore who successfully completed the mandatory Civil Service six month probation period last month, and now has permanent status as the Administrative Assistant at CEFLS.

The staff at CEFLS is doing an outstanding job with automating libraries. There is only one that is not automated.

A wonderful job is being done with the Trailblazer, the CEFLS newsletter.

Director’s Report

There will be two more trustee forums on the new media and communication with Jesse Feiler, one on May 3 at 6:00 p.m. at Dodge Memorial Library in Rouses Point, and one on May 12th at 6:00 p.m. at CEFLS. The two that have already taken place at Keene Valley and Schroon Lake were very good and well attended.

Betsy Brooks and Ewa Jankowska will be attending a seminar on April 27th at Halfmoon Library in Clifton Park entitled “Keeping your Library Relevant, Today and Tomorrow”. They hope to be able to meet with the library directors from Southern Adirondack Library System and Northern Library System to cumulatively determine the greatest technology need within the three systems. To recap, we were approached by Adirondack Community Trust with information on several foundations that are interested in helping libraries with technology in the Adirondack region. Fortunately for us, thanks to a grant this year, we subscribe to “Business Decisions” which provides profiles of communities and their biggest challenges. On May 15th, Betsy and Ewa will give a presentation on this topic at a meeting with the foundations.

Ewa received some interesting statistics today from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. State libraries lost 6.7 percent in funding, with 227 full-time employees to be laid off, with cuts on many different levels of libraries. To cope, some of the strategies that libraries are using are reorganizing, trying to form partnerships for grants, and integrating cataloging and circulation departments with other systems.

Kip Thompson has inquired about Amazon e-books and Kindle. In order to get e-books with Amazon, you have to subscribe to Overdrive, at $18,000, as the provider of the e-books, as libraries cannot provide e-books directly through Amazon. Then you have to purchase each book. Ewa would like to suggest to the foundations who want to help libraries with technology that they help us to buy a beginning collection and then we could gradually add to it.

Nancy Church’s public relations students have met with Ewa and Julie to discuss the creation of promotional materials for CEFLS. They will present their ideas on May 13th.

We have a tentative date, June 20, 2011, for the CEFLS annual independent audit for the period ending December 31, 2010.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

The Friends of PPL are preparing for their book sale which will take place on May 28th for the Friends of the Library and for the general public on April 29th and 30th. There will be thousands of books, with hardcover selling for 50 cents and soft cover for 25 cents.

PPL is receiving no increase in funds from the city this year, with Social Security up 19 percent and retirement up 64 percent. Right now they are looking at a $33,000 shortage. Additionally, they have lost about $10,000 in State Aid. As a result, PPL is now closed on Sundays, which is a savings of $9,000.

The front steps of PPL, which are only about three years old, are crumbling. PPL is asking the City engineer to have the contractor come back to repair them.

Mold remediation is expected to take place within the next week or two, followed by asbestos remediation. The children’s room will be closed for two days during the mold remediation.

Chris de Grandpré complimented Stan’s Administrative Assistant, Jamie Parrotte, who reported on PPL at the CEFLS Board meeting in March in Stan’s absence.

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Director’s Association (CEFDA) Report (Francine Fairchild)

A CEFDA meeting is scheduled for May 17th at CEFLS, at which time information on juvenile books will be exchanged.

Committee Reports

Executive Committee: (Chris de Grandpré)

Chris de Grandpré stated that the Executive Committee has established two goals for the Executive Director.

As mentioned in the President’s Remarks, there are several seats on the Board of Trustees that we are striving to fill.

Finance Committee: (Nancy Cooper)

Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, met on April 12th with Nancy Cooper, Chairwoman of the Finance Committee, and he reported in her absence at this meeting. Nancy would like to have meetings of the Finance Committee on a quarterly basis, perhaps a half hour prior to Board meetings. Michael went over the monthly reports with Nancy. She suggested that he break down some of the line items in his monthly report, such as state corrections and coordinated outreach. Nancy would also like to see more training occur for such things as financial reports, budgets, and yearly applications so that trustees will have a better overall understanding of Library System finances.

Nominating Committee: (Dr. Nancy Church)

Dr. Church will follow up with the names of potential trustees that Ewa will send her, plus any that are provided by Paul Maroon of Franklin County.

Personnel Committee: (Dr. Barbara Stowe)

No report.

Advocacy Committee: (Lisa Minnich)

No report.

Development Committee: (Nancy Church)

Dr. Church needs to meet with Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant, to pursue the Fueling for Literacy Campaign.

Negotiations Committee: (Neil Surprenant)

Neil Surprenant, who is a former Trustee and Negotiations Committee member, has agreed to stay on the committee to help with this round of negotiations, as he is quite experienced. Also on the Negotiations Committee are Nancy Cooper, Deborah Wells, Jennifer Henry, Ewa Jankowska, and the CEFLS attorney who is the chief spokesperson, Jaci Kelleher. There will be a Negotiations meeting on May 5th. Chris recapped that while the Board is in Regular Session, we can talk about the dates of meetings but any discussion pertaining to proposals should be reserved for Executive Session.

For the benefit of Dr. Carey, Ewa explained that there are nine CSEA employees at CEFLS and it is they who are involved in negotiations, and that Michael Spofford, Dawn Recore and she are Management/ Confidential staff, so are not CSEA members. However, all twelve are part of Civil Service.

At this time, Chris asked Dr. Carey to think about any of the committees that interest him, and to please let Ewa know during the next month so we can get him added at the next meeting.


There were none on which to report.

Old Business

Due to the travel required to get checks signed, a motion to add the Secretary of the Board to the list of check signers was made by Dr. Church, seconded by Dick Kibben. Currently, there are four check signers. Michael will get the necessary paperwork from the bank. Motion passed unanimously.

New Business

There was no new business.

Executive Session

Dick Kibben moved for the Board to go into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing negotiations, seconded by Frances Filshie. The Board entered into Executive Session at 4:55 p.m.

Reconvene to Full Board

Full board was reconvened at 5:01 p.m. with no further discussion.


Deborah Wells motioned for adjournment, seconded by Dr. Church. Motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 5:01 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary “Lisa” Minnich

Minutes for Board of Trustees Meeting

Held June 27, 2011

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:07 p.m. on Monday, June 27, 2011, at the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System at 33 Oak Street, in Plattsburgh, New York, by Chris de Grandpré, President.

Roll Call

Present:  Dr. Nancy Church, Nancy Cooper, Chris de Grandpré, Frances Filshie, Richard “Dick” Kibben, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Dr. Barbara Stowe, Charles “Kip” Thompson, and Deborah Wells

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant, and Betsy Brooks, Elizabeth Rogers, and Julie Wever, Library Consultants

Others Present:  Frances Fairchild, Chazy Public Library; David Minnich, Wead Library, and Stan Ransom, Plattsburgh Public Library

Excused Absences

Fran Filshie moved that Dr. Carey and Jennifer Henry be excused from this meeting.  The motion was seconded by Dr. Church.  Motion passed unanimously.

Approval of Agenda

Dr. Stowe moved approval of today’s agenda as written.  The motion was seconded by Nancy Cooper.  Motion carried.

Approval of Minutes

Dick Kibben moved approval of the minutes of the April 25, 2011 Board of Trustee meeting as written.  The motion was seconded by Nancy Cooper.  Motion carried.

Financial Report

The Finance Committee has not met since the April Board meeting.  A motion to approve the financial reports as presented was made by Lisa Minnich, seconded by Deborah Wells.  Chris de Grandpré thanked Michael Spofford for coming in for this meeting on his day off.  Michael has provided a Budget-to-Date Report for January 1, 2011 to May 31, 2011 and a State of Revenues and Expenditures Report for April 1 to April 30, 2011.

Michael explained that the fuel and maintenance expenses shown are higher than expected because effective January 1, 2011, we were told by Exxon Mobile that educational corporations cannot be tax exempt, so we have not been reimbursed for taxes paid on diesel fuel.  There also have been several vehicle maintenance expenses, plus we now have a fourth vehicle, the Broadband van, on the road.  Although the Broadband van expenses are funneled through the same account codes as the other CEFLS vehicles, there is reimbursement by the BTOP grant for them.  Discussion ensued on whether CEFLS is an educational corporation or a government entity.  Ewa Jankowska explained that she and Michael have been working on that determination for years and many efforts on the part of CEFLS have been made, including contacting the IRS and our State Regent.  The State Library and our auditor say we are an educational corporation.  The Department of Labor says we are a government entity.  The Office of Counsel at the State Education Department was not interested in giving us the definition of government entity.  Many library systems across the state are cooperative, so they definitely are not government entities.  We are a Federated System, established by a resolution by the counties of Clinton, Essex and Franklin.  At one time, we had a lawyer prepare a formal request to New York State, and still we weren’t able to get them to say we were a government entity.  Dr. Stowe asked if perhaps another fuel company might classify us differently if we make all our state connections known, such as that we are chartered by the State of New York, and our staff belongs to CSEA and the NYS Retirement System.  Fran Filshie suggested that we operate as two entities, one being a government entity and one being a 501(c 3).  After much discussion, a motion to approve the financials as presented was made by Lisa Minnich, seconded by Deborah Wells.  Motion carried.

Public Comment Period

 There were no comments.

President’s Remarks

Chris de Grandpré thanked Julie Wever, Karen Batchelder, and the rest of the CEF Library System staff for the great job they always do on the Trailblazer.

Chris welcomed Ewa Jankowska back from her trip to Poland.

Several vacancies on the Board of Trustees, one in Essex County and three in Franklin County, will be discussed later in the meeting.  Dr. Church has provided the names and resumes of several possible candidates.

Our July Board of Trustee Meeting will be at the library in Champlain.  The August meeting will be in Westport, and the September meeting will be held in Malone.

InternetXpress had a successful launching ceremony in Elizabethtown in May.  Betsy Brooks did a wonderful job emceeing the event and introducing InternetXpress to the community.  Ewa also made some fine comments.  Chris thanked Trustees Barbara Stowe and Kip Thompson for attending the event. Later in this meeting, the use of Consent Agenda will be addressed, for which Trustees were provided information last week.  Its use has been suggested to possibly reorganize how we do our agendas and perhaps redirect focus to save time, thus allowing more time for important topics of discussion.

Director’s Report

In addition to Ewa Jankowska’s written report, she reported:

The CEFLS annual audit began last week and will continue later this week, so Michael Spofford has been very busy.  This is the final year of a three-year contract with this auditing company.  We would like to send out letters soon seeking firms who are interested in doing our future audits and present the names to the Finance Committee for consideration.  Unfortunately, there are very few auditors who specialize in not-for-profits organizations.

Trustees who are check signers are asked stay after the meeting today to sign a bank document.

With the coordinated efforts of Julie Wever, CEFLS recently sponsored a wonderful and well-attended workshop on ADA Compliance as it also pertains to libraries.  Presenters were from North Country Center for Independence.  There is a new law coming in March for library compliance; however, we learned that there are some aspects of the law with which libraries as part of the System might not have to comply immediately.

Chad Chase has successfully completed his probationary period as Library Clerk I and he is now a permanent employee of CEFLS.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Stan Ransom reported:

On July 29th, Deputy Commissioner of Cultural Education, Jeff Cannell and others from the State Library will be at PPL for a press conference at noon to kick off New York State’s summer reading program One World, Many Stories.  Mayor Donald Kasprzak, Assemplywoman Teresa Sayward, Senator Betty Little, and other dignitaries are expected to be present.  Then at 1:30, Karen Pillsworth, storyteller laureate from Kingston, NY, will present the first of four summer reading programs for children.

July 1st will be the 110th anniversary of the chartering of PPL.  Their staff has prepared an exhibit in the auditorium of photos, maps, and other items of interest that show how their library has evolved.

At the first floor entrance of PPL is a tourist information center with many pamphlets from the Chamber of Commerce whose office building was unfortunately flooded out during the last couple of months.  If anyone wants information on summer events, recreation, places to visit, and museums, PPL can provide it.

The Friends of PPL have donated dehumidifiers to the library to help alleviate their mold problem.

The Friends of PPL had a successful luncheon last week at Lake Forest, featuring Julia Spencer Fleming, an author who was born in Plattsburgh.  She was promoting her seventh book, One Was a Soldier.  Her books are set in the North Country, so she talks about local places such as the Northway and once in a while Plattsburgh.

Kip Thompson asked about the effect on PPL of the 2% tax cap which seems to identify itself with municipal libraries.  Stan replied that he feels it is a detriment and it is one more cut for them, so they continue to look for grants.  He encourages everyone to contact legislators and anyone who will listen to take libraries out of this grouping.  Dr. Church suggested that since the Chamber of Commerce is displaying their summer event and recreation pamphlets at PPL as a tourist information center does, perhaps there might be some I Love NY funds available for PPL.

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Director’s Association (CEFDA) Report (Frances “Francie” Fairchild)

CEFDA had a meeting on May 17th at CEFLS.  Francie Fairchild read from a short report prepared by Karen Glass, Director of Keene Valley Library Association.  The Role of CEFDA was defined.  The directors appreciate the support they receive from each other when they meet in the less formal setting of a CEFDA meeting.  It is especially good for the younger librarians to garner information from the older librarians.  There are still libraries that are not automated and directors who (due to scheduling limitations) are prevented from attending CEFCAT.  Getting library coverage for directors while they attend meetings is an ongoing issue.  It was decided that CEFDA will meet twice per year, once in the spring and once in the fall.

Committee Reports

Executive Committee:  (Chris de Grandpré)

Chris de Grandpré reported that the Executive Committee met just prior to this meeting today and talked about a personnel request, they touched base on the Consent Agenda idea that will be discussed later in this meeting, and nominations for trustee seats which will also be discussed later in this meeting.

Finance Committee:  (Nancy Cooper)

Nancy Cooper reported that there was no Finance Committee meeting this month.

Michael Spofford recently got the necessary paperwork to add Lisa Minnich, Board of Trustee Secretary, to the list of check signers, so all of the current check signers are asked to stay after today’s meeting to sign the new paperwork for the bank.

All Trustees who have not already done so are asked to report to Michael Spofford the number of hours they spent on CEF Library System business during 2010.  It should include time spent attending meetings, reading emails and Board-related material, and telephone time, but it should not include travel time.  This is for the Form 990 which is sent to the IRS.

Nominating Committee:   (Dr. Nancy Church)

Dr. Church has spoken with four Board of Trustees candidates and their resumes have been shared with the Board.  She recapped each of them, adding that they are all excellent candidates.  From Franklin County we have Gary Alexander and Jim Britell, and from Essex County, where we have only one vacancy, we have Nicole Bryant and Martha Pritchard Spear.  Both Ms. Bryant and Ms. Spear know that if they are not appointed at this time, within a few years there will be other vacancies on the Board.  Due to her desire to do strategic planning, which a lot of people do not like to do, Dr. Church motioned a recommendation for Martha Pritchard Spear as the new Trustee representing Essex County.  Lisa Minnich seconded.  Motion carried.  Dr. Church then motioned to recommend Gary Alexander from Franklin County, seconded by Dick Kibben, and lastly Dr. Church motioned to recommend Jim Britell from Franklin County, seconded by Lisa Minnich. Ewa stated that Jim Britell has told her that he wants to represent the Board on the New York State Library Trustees Association and he has already spoken with them.  The motion carried.  With the addition of these three candidates, this leaves the Board with one vacancy for Franklin County.  Chris thanked Dr. Church for her hard work and dedication in taking us this close to the goal of a full Board of Trustees.

Dr. Church will email each candidate to inform them of the Board’s recommendations, and Dawn Recore will cc the three candidates with copies of the letters that CEFLS will be sending to their respective counties requesting consideration for the recommendations to appoint the three candidates.  The counties will then provide copies of the formal resolutions of appointment to the CEFLS Board of Trustees, after which formal congratulatory letters from CEFLS will be mailed to each new Trustee.

Personnel Committee:  (Dr. Barbara Stowe)

Dr. Stowe reported that Deborah Wells and Michael Spofford have met to discuss plans for updating the Personal Manual using the CEFLS policies that are already in place.  Each section of the manual will be dated, so when an existing policy is updated, that policy alone can be pulled and replaced with the updated one.  The rewritten manual will be presented in pieces to the Personnel Committee for their input , and questions or concerns can be addressed at that level, then they will be presented to the Board for preliminary approval, and when the entire manual is ready, the Board may want to consider sending it to the CEFLS attorney for fine tuning before adopting it.

Ewa Jankowska commented that much of the Policy Manual would reflect the Union Contract, to which Deborah explained that wherever there is a CSEA policy in place for union employees, their contract would supersede the policy in the manual.

Advocacy Committee:  (Lisa Minnich)

No report.

Development Committee:   (Nancy Church)

No report.

Negotiations Committee:  (Neil Surprenant)

A meeting of the Negotiations Committee took place earlier today.  There will be further discussion during Executive Session.


Three communications have been received.

A thank you card was sent to Ewa Jankowska from the family of Rose Waddell, a former Member Library Director, for a donation for books to be purchased in her memory.  The donation was made by David Minnich, Director of Wead Library in Malone.

Students and staff at Northern Adirondack Central School sent a thank you letter for Bob Welch and Chad Chase’s participation with the bookmobile at their Community Services and Health Awareness Fair on April 29th.

Brushton-Moira Central Elementary School sent a thank you card for the recent visit with the bookmobile and explanation of services provided also by Bob Welch and Chad Chase.

Old Business

State Aid Budget Application for 2011-12:

A resolution to adopt the State Aid Budget Application for 2011-2012 was made by Lisa Minnich, seconded by Dick Kibben.  Ewa explained that this application is based on Service Priorities that the Board has already approved and adopted.  Basically, it is the NY State document that is asks for statistics and our plan, and requires Board approval in order to get State Aid money.  Lisa Minnich made a resolution to adopt the State Aid Budget for 2011-2012, seconded by Dick Kibben.  Chris de Grandpré asked if the figures might have to be adjusted, to which Michael Spofford replied that what the Board is approving are numbers based on State Law (what we are supposed to receive) and not the cut amounts that are currently being proposed.  Resolution passed unanimously.

Central Library Development Aid Budget Application for 2011-2012

A resolution to adopt the Central Library Development Aid Budget Application for 2011-2012 was made by Dr. Church, seconded by Barbara Stowe.  Ewa explained that CEFLS receives two kinds of money for Central Library, PPL.  They are Central Book Aid and Development Aid.  Michael Spofford, Elizabeth Rogers and Ewa look at that money to see that it is appropriately budgeted to such things as reference librarian, salary, pages who deliver books between PPL and CEFLS, etc.  Central Book Aid is theoretically nonfiction reference books that are housed at PPL for Member Libraries’ use.  What we are trying to do now is to spend more money on databases which would be available to libraries and the Library System’s patrons on a 24/7 basis, versus only the hours that PPL is open.  Resolution carried.

2010-2011Central Book Aid:

A resolution to approve the encumbrance of 2010-1011Central Book Aid received in New York State’s previous funding year for adult non-fiction or foreign language materials in different formats was made by Kip Thompson, seconded by Nancy Cooper.  Michael Spofford added a note to this form stating that the State Aide was encumbered but not spent in the previous funding year because this Library System does not expense any funds until they are received from New York State.  Michael, Ewa Jankowska, and Elizabeth Rogers have communicated with the State in regard to asking our Board to approve spending before the money is received.  Resolution passed.

Consent Agenda:

Discussion of Consent Agenda dates back to Dick Kibben’s tenure as Board President, and its use or rejection has never been resolved.  An explanation and sample of Consent Agenda was sent to Trustees last week for review.  The idea of it is to make the use of time as efficient as possible.  Kip Thompson has experience using Consent Agenda and feels that it may even have the potential to allow a Board to have fewer formal meetings, with committee meetings being scheduled on the off months.  The key to making it work is for Trustees to take time to read thoroughly all materials sent to them prior to meetings.  Materials could be published on a confidential website that Trustees access or could be sent to Trustees via email well in advance of meetings.  If an item on Consent Agenda is of concern and discussion is desired, a Trustee would then contact the director or board president to request the item be removed from Consent Agenda and added to the regular agenda.  Routine motions such as the approval of absences, minutes, agendas, communications, reports for PPL, CEFDA, the director, and committees not requiring discussion could be Consent Agenda items.  Cumulatively, these could all be grouped together and approved with a single motion.  Agendas would be made available to Trustees about 10 days prior to meetings, then within five more days, if Trustees do have concerns with any items, they would need to contact the director or board president to request that the items be taken out of Consent Agenda so that they can be discussed.  Nancy Cooper suggested that Consent Agenda be tried, using only the most standard business items, and then the Board can determine whether to build on it.  Of concern to some Trustees is the acclimation of new Trustees as they come onto the Board and others like having PPL’S and CEFDA’s reports presented orally because they offer the opportunity to interact.  A motion was made by Dr. Church to try Consent Agenda for three months, seconded by Lisa Minnich.  Discussion ensued regarding changing the order of the agenda to put the more important items higher on the agenda and the Consent Agenda items just prior to adjournment.  The motion was seconded by Lisa Minnich.  It was then suggested that this be initiated for the August meeting with Dawn collecting agenda items from Trustees and then the director and board president deciding the order of the agenda.  The previous motion to try Consent Agenda was then amended by Fran Filshie to add that this will be initiated for the August meeting, seconded by Lisa Minnich.  Motion carried.

New Business

Deborah Wells would like to see more financial training for Trustees, as was noted earlier when Nancy Cooper and Michael Spofford’s meeting was recapped.  Nancy stated that it is important for Trustees to understand the financials of this Board; however, this might not be a good time to plan training because Michael has a lot going on right now with the audit.  Ewa Jankowska stated that a couple of years ago, Trustee training was the intention; however, there were several turnovers in the position of Administrative Assistant which made the organization of such trainings very difficult.

Executive Session

Dick Kibben moved for the Board to go into Executive Session for the purpose of CSEA negotiations update and discussion of a personnel issue.  Nancy Cooper seconded the motion.  The Board entered into Executive Session at 5:37 p.m.

Dick Kibben was excused from the meeting at 5:50.

Reconvene to Full Board

Full board was reconvened at 6:05 p.m. with no further discussion.


The meeting was adjourned at 6:06.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary “Lisa” Minnich


Minutes for Board of Trustees Meeting

Held July 25, 2011

 Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:02 p.m. on Monday, July 25, 2011, at the Champlain Memorial Library, 148 Elm Street, Champlain, New York, by Chris de Grandpré, President.

Roll Call

Present:  Dr. Nancy Church, Chris de Grandpré, Frances Filshie, Jennifer Henry, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Dr. Barbara Stowe, Charles “Kip” Thompson, and Deborah Wells

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk; and Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant

Others Present:  Alison Mandeville, Director of Champlain Memorial Library, Frances Fairchild, Director of Chazy Public Library and David Minnich, Director of Malone Wead Library

Chris de Grandpré thanked everyone for traveling to Champlain, some having traveled a great distance, for our meeting being hosted by Alison Mandeville at Champlain Memorial Library.  Chris thanked Alison for opening the library to us on her day off.

Swearing In of New Board Members

Chris de Grandpré administered the Oath of Office to Gary Alexander and James Britell, and they were welcomed as new Trustees by the rest of the Board.

Martha Pritchard has been approved by Essex County but was not able to attend today.  She will be at the meeting in August or September and at that time she will be sworn in.

Excused Absences

Lisa Minnich moved that Dr. Vincent Carey, Nancy Cooper, and Richard “Dick” Kibben be excused from this meeting.  The motion was seconded by Dr. Church.  Motion passed unanimously.

Approval of Agenda

Today’s agenda has been modified slightly since its distribution last week, so the amended agenda was handed out upon everyone’s arrival today.  Everyone was asked to take a moment to look at the additional items since they will require some action.  Fran Filshie moved approval of the modified agenda.  The motion was seconded by Dr. Stowe.  Motion carried.

Approval of Minutes

Dr. Stowe moved approval of the minutes of the June 27, 2011 Board of Trustee meeting as amended to state that Rose Waddall, in whose memory a donation for the purchase of books was made by David Minnich, was a former Children’s Library Consultant.  It was previously stated incorrectly that Ms. Waddall was a former Member Library Director.  The motion was seconded by Dr. Church.  Motion carried.

Financial Report

CEFLS was just notified that the Franklin County Legislature is requesting 2012 budget information a month early this year.  Michael Spofford had a great deal of extra unplanned reporting to do immediately upon his return from vacation.  Information for the financial reports to be discussed today was received today just prior to the meeting.

Michael explained that the May Status of Grants/Aids was not ready in time for the June meeting.  It reports on grants from past years and up to the present that are still open.  We are working to close them but they have to remain on the books until the money has been spent and the requirements of the grant/aid have been met.  He explained that Gates Broadband Grant money was encumbered in June but we are waiting for reports from three libraries (Keene Valley, Akwesasne and Willsboro) who are upgrading their Broadband connections.  Basically this money is given to the internet providers to upgrade services.  The Gates Broadband Grant is not as restrictive as far as time frame for spending it as some other grants/aids are.

Michael has submitted three out of four required current monthly reports for this meeting.

1)    Budget-to-date - Shows current Basic Aid and portions of State Aid received in 2011 and their status, encumbered and spent, and their balance. 

2)    Balance sheet as of the end-of-the month - Shows our cash and our current

assets, fixed assets, liability and equity in the corporation.

3)   Statement of expenditures and revenues - Looks at a current month snapshot     and then another snapshot of the same month in 2010, showing the            current changes and percent of change.  Fiscal year-to-date shows January to June 2011.  We also take a snapshot of January to June 2010, to show current change and percentage of change.

4)   Quarterly report – Looks at accounts payable that are 90 days past due and accounts receivable that are either 90 days past due and/or items over $2,500.

Status of Grant/Aid for June reporting and Over and Under reporting for May, June and July will be ready for the next meeting.

Ewa Jankowska stated, for our newer members of the Board, our accounting is difficult.  We are supposed to operate on a calendar fiscal year and yet the State Budget is announced in April and our aid for the year comes in even later.  Last year we got our aid for 2010 at the beginning of 2011.

Chris de Grandpré stated that the Finance Committee will meet before our next Board meeting and we will be in a better position to say what has and has not come in.  Franklin County’s request for the 2012 budget has had Ewa and Michael scrambling to put something together which is difficult when we do not have all the answers to our own budget situation.  Discussion followed as to different parts of the budgeted expenditures.

Ewa stated that she and Michael have cut everything that they could from the 2012 budget and they still have a $55,000 deficit.  Our biggest expense increases are health insurance, fuel and repairs for the vehicles, and retirement.

The proposed 2012 budget shows an adjustment of member contributions for health insurance.  NYSHIP, is talking of a 13 to 22 percent increase, for which Michael figured at 15 percent, and Excellus is talking a 10 to 14 percent increase, for which Michael figured at 12 percent.  A rise in Medicaid is not expected to affect us in 2012.  Optical insurance will rise one percent.

Fran Filshie requested to see the cuts that have already been made on the 2012 tentative budget.

Franklin County has said already that if we are going to request the same funding as 2011 we will have to come with a hard case to sell it.  Chris then suggested that we discuss this more when we get to item 12.B. on today’s agenda.

Gary Alexander motioned approval of the financial reports as presented today, and Lisa Minnich seconded.  Motion carried.

Public Comment Period

There were no comments.

President’s Remarks

Chris de Grandpré asked Dawn Recore to send the list of committees to the new Trustees and he encouraged them to consider serving on any that interest them.  A committee list will be sent also to the rest of the Trustees.

Bookmobile driver, Bob Welch, was commended for the recent article that appeared in Speak Out in the Press Republican.

The Negotiations Committee meeting that was scheduled for July 26th has been postponed.  Ewa will report on that in her Director’s Report.  There was no need for Executive Session today.

Dr. Church will be reporting on our one remaining Trustee vacancy.

Chris again thanked Champlain Library and its director for hosting the meeting today.  The August meeting will be held at Westport Library, and September’s meeting will be at Malone Wead Library.

Chris and Ewa Jankowska have been looking at the Consent Agenda process, and how they might use it to abbreviate meetings.  Chris invited input from others on agenda items to put into Consent Agenda.

The Finance Committee is planning to meet before the next board meeting.  The members of that committee are Fran Filshie, Kip Thompson, and Dick Kibben.

Director’s Report

In addition to Ewa Jankowska’s written report, she reported:

Jaci Kelleher, CEFLS Attorney, has cancelled tomorrow’s Negotiation Meeting because the CSEA Union representative will not be available.  Jaci has asked for dates between August 8th and September 8th that are not good for the Negotiating Committee so that a new date can be determined.

CEFLS has received most of our 2011State Aid.  The State also sent our correctional aid, coordinated outreach aid, and 90 percent each of our local library service aid and local support services aid.  That leaves us yet to receive about $10,000.

Thought has been ongoing into integrating a new catalog and circulation system. A quote for almost $87,000 was received, which makes the migration to the new system too costly.  Horizon, our current system provider, will continue to do maintenance for at least eight years, but they are not developing updates.

A comparison of county funding was distributed on arrival at today’s meeting, as was a draft report of the recently completed audit that we received shortly before this meeting.  There hasn’t been much time to review it.  [They also sent us a draft of Form 990.]

The bookmobile had an accident with a deer involving a small amount of damage to the front right corner which will be covered by insurance.

At one time we got a grant for TABOB, Take a Bite Out of Books, which is a competitive event held annually at Champlain Centre.  The Member Libraries have taken it over, and Wilmington was this year’s victor.  Julie Weaver helped to raise some money for this and some was used from the Summer Reading Program.  Julie sends an annual letter to Kiwanis Club to request financial assistance for this competition.  Ewa feels that CEFLS may not be able to provide funds from the Summer Reading Program for book purchases for this event in 2012.

Our original agreements with Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties regarding financial responsibilities on their behalf as part of the Library System were discussed.  Minutes from 1954 when Clinton and Essex Counties formed the System, and from the early 1960’s when Franklin County joined will be reviewed for resolutions involving financial responsibilities.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report (Stan Ransom)

In Stan Ransom’s absence today, Ewa reported for PPL.

PPL’s Summer Reading Program is going very well with excellent participation.

Jody Gibbons, Head of Circulation, reports extreme circulation of children’s books and great circulation activity with DVDs.

Bids for PPL building repairs are coming in slowly.

PPL is preparing for negotiations.

Caleb Moshier, Adult Services Librarian, is planning a board game afternoon, continuation of movie night, and creation of READ posters with local persons.

Stan is working on Construction Grant planning and on requests for other grants for books.

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Director’s Association (CEFDA) Report (Frances “Francie” Fairchild)

Francie Fairchild reported that Member Libraries are busy with their Summer Reading Programs.

At their last meeting, it was decided that they would have two meetings per year, one in the spring and one in the fall.

Committee Reports

Executive Committee:  (Chris de Grandpré)

There was to be a Negotiations Meeting tomorrow; however, it will be rescheduled.

Finance Committee:  (Nancy Cooper)

In Nancy Cooper’s absence, Ewa Jankowska stated that the Board is being asked to approve a tentative budget for 2012, although it is not known what our funding will be.

As stated after Director’s Report, it was suggested that our original agreement with Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties should tell us what the agreed upon responsibilities of each county are, and then it can be determined whether they are upholding them.  Ewa will research the minutes of Board meetings going back to the beginning of CEFLS.

The Finance Committee will meet soon to make budget recommendations.

Tentative 2011 Budget Amendment #01:  Ewa expressed that the 2011 budget was prepared at the end of last August when a tentative budget had to be prepared for the counties.  At that time, it was not known what the counties were going to provide.  Now that we know the numbers, we are asking our Board to approve the amended 2011 budget, although it has not gone to the Finance Committee.  The 2011 Budget Amendment #01 is a truer picture of what has happened and what will happen because we know our funding basically for the remainder of the year.

Revenues – The funded board reserve of $215,000 is basically savings from 2010 and increased revenues that we did not know we were going to get.  We feel we are going to get some good interest income from this and we only move it over to expend as it is needed.

The question was raised as to whether CEFLS is eligible, like Member Libraries, for Construction Grants.  Ewa stated that the Library System can apply for a Construction Grant, but unless the matching amount is lowered from 50 percent to 25 percent, we would not be able to afford needed repairs.  Even 25 percent is uncertain.  Bonding might be an option.

Our reserve fund will have to be depleted in 2012, plus we will need another $55,000.  We can show the counties that over the years we have had to deplete our reserves plus we will have further deficit.

Expenditures – Michael explained the new, more transparent way he shows the application of different portions of the State Aid in each budget item.  Ewa expressed her concern about the Maintenance of Effort clause in the Education Law.

With the close of the audit and a minor dollar amount of adjustment (under $5,000) to be done, the books are closed for 2010.

Jim Britell discussed the lower than other counties’ contribution to the CEFLS budget by Franklin County and strategies of approaching the Legislature and of making the System more visible and better understood.

Lisa Minnich made a motion to approve the Amendment #01 of the Tentative 2011 Budget, seconded by Dr. Church.  Motion carried.

Tentative 2012 Budget:  Consensus was that the Board is uncomfortable sending out a budget that is not balanced.  It was agreed that the Finance Committee would meet soon to work on a tentative budget that would balance out.  Fran Filshie moved to request a two percent increase in funding from each of the three counties, seconded by Dr. Stowe.  Kip stated that two percent is not enough to make up anything that is meaningful.  A list of cuts involving services was suggested to show legislators what funding cuts will mean to their constituents.  The two percent cap is devastating to libraries and library systems, and a decade from now services will either be drastically reduced or nonexistent.  Motion carried.  Ewa can include in her letter to Franklin County that we are requesting a two percent increase in 2012 funding.  A Finance Committee meeting will be set up where more cuts will be explored and decided upon.

Jim Britell stated that he has met with the head of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce who feels that a lot of what we are doing is out of the realm of library, and is economic development functions in underserved areas.  A change in focus more toward economic development functions to create a different funding source may be what we should be considering because those are the areas that are growing and funding is available.

Jim Britell also suggested we go to the small towns and villages to ask them what they want, assess their needs, and fully explain what we do for them.  As a new Trustee, Jim is impressed with what he is learning about the Library System, and feels it would only benefit CEFLS for the counties to better understand.

Ewa confirmed that the budget that the Finance Committee will turn out requires only the approval of the Finance Committee to be submitted to the counties.  That will also be the budget that is submitted to the Trustees at the CEFLS Board meeting on August 22nd.

Nominating Committee:   (Dr. Nancy Church)

Dr. Church is very happy to have two of the three new Trustees present for this meeting.  Martha Spear, who is also a new Trustee, will be joining us as soon as she is able.  Dr. Church feels the new members will bring great new ideas to the Board.  One Franklin County Trustee vacancy remains.  If anyone has potential candidates to suggest, please let Dr. Church know.  The candidate would need to submit a resume.

Personnel Committee:  (Dr. Barbara Stowe)

There was no report

Advocacy Committee:  (Lisa Minnich)

There was no report.

Development Committee:   (Nancy Church)

Dr. Church explained that for the Leadership Campaign the Board members are asked to put a little money behind their efforts.  It is not the amount that counts, but 100 percent participation of the members.  There are several giving options, and being a 501c3 organization, donations are tax deductible and receipts are provided.  One option is a buy-a-book program and you can select a genre, with bookplates that can be affixed either in honor or memory of someone. The Leadership Campaign runs from October through September.

It was suggested that letters be sent to Kiwanis, Elks, Rotary, Lyon’s Club and other organizations who fulfill their mission by contributing to 501c3’s.  Lisa Minnich pointed out that our letters should explain that we are regional and provide a good explanation of our services because so many do not know what we are and what we do.  It would be good to let organizations know that we could purchase books of a genre that touches upon their mission, such as history books with donations from Elk’s Club and large print books from Lyon’s Club.

There needs to be focus on the Fueling for Literacy Campaign.  Dr. Church was a little disappointed that her marketing students at Plattsburgh State did not choose that focus when they did their CEFLS projects.  Ewa requested a copy of the flash drive containing the student’s marketing ideas for promoting CEFLS and its services.  Deborah Wells has offered to work with Dr. Church on developing brochures.

Negotiations Committee:  (Neil Surprenant)

Chris de Grandpré explained that Neil Surprenant, who is a past CEFLS Trustee and has experience with negotiations, is serving as chairperson of this committee.  The committee has not met since the June Board meeting.


There were none.

Old Business

When the Franklin County Legislature met on July 7th, they tabled the CEFLS request for consideration of appointment of Gary Alexander and James Britell, and then appointed them at their July 21st meeting (Resolution #167).  Gary is fulfilling the unexpired term of Ed Sharmer which expires on December 31, 2012, and James is fulfilling the unexpired term of Lynn Dufort which expires December 31, 2014.

New Business

Reading and tools such as Kindle are evolving.  Discussion ensued about the ways the System can help Member Libraries participate in the new media technology.  To be effective, librarians need to be trained so they can help their patrons.  Our Five-Year Plan of Service can address this issue by putting together a training for Member Libraries in the fall.  Jim Britell suggested that Trustees take it upon themselves to become familiar with the databases that are already available so they can be good library ambassadors.

Kip suggested that staff members at CEFLS take turns giving a short 10-minute presentation to the Board at the regular monthly meetings.  Learn More About Us could help Trustees understand the roles of the consultants and Library System staff who support them.


The meeting was adjourned at 5:47 p.m.

 Respectfully submitted,

Mary “Lisa” Minnich


Minutes for Board of Trustees Meeting

Held August 22, 2011

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:01 p.m. on Monday, July 25, 2011, at the Westport Library Association, 6 Harris Lane, Westport, New York, by Chris de Grandpré, President

Roll Call

Present:  James “Jim” Britell, Nancy Cooper, Chris de Grandpré, Frances Filshie, Jennifer Henry, Richard “Dick” Kibben, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Dr. Barbara Stowe, and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk; and Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant

Others Present:  Stephen Smith, Director of Westport Library Association, Shirley Bullard, Trustee of Westport Library Association, and David Minnich, Director of Malone Wead Library

Chris de Grandpré thanked everyone for traveling to Westport, and thanked Stephen Smith for hosting our meeting and for opening the library to us on his day off.

Swearing In of New Board Member

Chris de Grandpré administered the Oath of Office to Martha Spear, and she was welcomed as a new Trustee by all who were present.

Chris then asked all who were present to introduce themselves for the benefit of those attending from Westport Library Association.

Consent Agenda

Chris de Grandpré explained that in keeping our meeting as efficient as possible, four items were selected for Consent Agenda, thus allowing less time to be spent on individual routine items.  A motion to approve today’s absences (Gary Alexander, Vincent Carey, Dr. Nancy Church, and Deborah Wells were absent and excused), today’s agenda as presented, the minutes of the July 25, 2011 meeting as presented, and the communications report for which there were none at this time was made by Nancy Cooper, seconded by Kip Thompson.  Motion carried.

Financial Report

Previous to this meeting, the May, June and July Over and Under Reports, June and July Grant/Aid Status Reports, July Budget-to-Date, and Balance Sheets – Revenues Verses Expenditures were provided for review.  A motion to approve these financial reports as presented was made by Dr. Stowe, seconded by Jennifer Henry.  At this time, all but ten percent of Local Library Service Aid (LLSA) and ten percent of Local Service Support Aid (LSSA) have been received from CEFLS’s total funding for the year.  Of that funding not yet released from NYS, some of it will go to member libraries and some of it will stay with CEFLS.

Public Comment Period

Shirley Bullard welcomed everyone to their beautiful Westport Library.

President’s Remarks (Chris de Grandpré)

The CEFLS attorney will be working with the union’s representative on a new date for a negotiations meeting.

There is one Trustee seat yet to be filled from Franklin County.  Dr. Church, who was not able to be present for this meeting, has a couple of names and will be reporting at our next meeting.

We are hoping to get some committee assignments for the new Trustees.  They are asked to look at the Committee Lists and let Ewa Jankowska or Chris de Grandpré know which ones interest them.  They are asked to consider two committees, more if more interest them.  These committees are vital to CEFLS operation.

Next month’s Board of Trustee meeting will be held at Malone Weed Library on September 26th.

Today is the inauguration of our use of Consent Agenda.  If Trustees feel there are additional items that can be added to it, please let us know.

The Strategic Planning Committee had a wonderful meeting on August 9th.  Their work ties in with our Director’s goals for the year and is so important to the direction the Library System will have to take in the future, specifically the next three to five years.  The committee will meet again on September 6th from 10:00 to 12:00 noon.

Chris de Grandpré asked Ewa to speak about efficiency grants and matching construction grants for libraries which she will do in her report that follows.

Director’s Report

In addition to Ewa Jankowska’s written report:

Letters were sent to Assemblywomen Janet Duprey and Teresa Sayward and Senator Little to ask if it is possible to get any assistance with the cost of running our bookmobile.  Teresa responded that legislative member items are not available at this time but if anything becomes available she will think about the bookmobile because she really appreciates its service.

We have two planning committees.  One is the Five-Year Plan of Service Committee.  The Five-Year Plan of Service is the document that we have to submit to the State Library by October 2nd.  We have staff and librarians from three other libraries participating on the committee.  There was a beginning meeting and there will be a final meeting prior to submission of the report.  The rest of the time the committee is using google.docs that is very easy to work with on line, so people have been inserting their comments and the form is now partially completed.

The other committee is the Strategic Planning Committee which is a Board committee.  Its members are Jim Britell, Chris de Grandpré, Frances Filshie, Dick Kibben, Jennifer Henry, Martha Spear, Dr. Barbara Stowe, and Ewa Jankowska.  There was one meeting in August and the next will be in September.  At a Public Library System Director’s Association (PULISDO) meeting that Ewa attended last week in Albany she learned about different revenue streams.  Our System charges for few of the services we provide.  We will need to develop a fee formula if we get a new on-line computer system and Ewa has several ideas she would like to present.

As Ewa learns of legislation, she shares it by email with board members and member library directors.  One bill the Governor has not signed yet would lower the amount of matching funds required from 50 to 25 percent for library construction grants.  This is expected to be signed in the near future.  If the governor doesn’t sign it within a specific period of time, it will be automatically passed.  We are developing a LISTSERV that will enable Ewa to send e-mail to trustees of member libraries to keep them informed as well.

Cali Brooks from the Adirondack Trust called Julie Wever, Outreach Coordinator at CEFLS, who handles construction grants.  Apparently there were two funders who were interested in providing matching funds and were requiring action right away.  Ewa and Betsy Brooks, Automation Librarian, went to a meeting organized with some of the foundations in Glens Falls earlier this year, and from what Ewa understood, we are the only System with “shovel ready” projects, so we are going in a very good direction.

The second bill that the Governor actually signed into law (August 19th) allows library systems, to apply for local government efficiency grants administered by the Department of State that can be used to study and implement shared, cooperative services.  This is very important for the future of ILS, the catalog and circulation system, because sooner or later we will be forced to replace our system.  As we have said before, the quote we got from SirsiDynix was $80,000, which is way too high, so we are getting more demonstrations.  Once we decide upon a system, we can look for another library system that is using that system, and we can ask to share it.  In the meantime, it seems that SirsiDynix will continue serving our current system for at least five years because libraries all over the world are using it.  Ewa feels they will not just end it, they just will not further develop it.

We have to submit budget applications to Essex County by September 2nd and to Clinton County by September 7th.

There is a Polish man in Plattsburgh who would like to organize a fund raiser for CEFLS.  He wants to invite a Polish soprano and sell tickets for $30.  This might take place in the fall. The general consensus was that if this costs CEFLS nothing, we should take advantage of it.  Ewa will get more information.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report (Stan Ransom)

In Stan Ransom’s absence, Ewa Jankowska reported from his prepared report.

  • PPL is promoting August as “Book Reading Month”.  They have assembled a display on the history of books and printing in their glass display cases, and they are encouraging everyone to stop by to view it.
  • Also on display are items picked up in 1947 from the Nagasaki atomic bomb explosion, when Stan was a soldier on duty in Japan with the U.S. Army of Occupation.
  • The Computer Center is offering new courses on Prezi (a new type of Power Point), digital photography, and even How to Make Friends and Influence People.
  • They are still working on the building problems and soon will be inundated with workers doing repairs.

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Director’s Association (CEFDA) Report (Frances Fairchild)

There was no report.

Committee Reports

Executive Committee:  (Chris de Grandpré)

Chris does not have anything to report on behalf of the Executive Committee.

Finance Committee:  (Nancy Cooper)

Nancy Cooper invited any Trustees who are interesting in becoming part of the Finance Committee to attend meetings which are held one hour prior to Board meetings, at 3:00.

The audit prepared by the certified public account has an error on page five, so a vote for approval of the audit will take place at our September meeting after corrections are made.

The Finance Committee has had two very good meetings in the last month and they have made some very hard decisions.  Ewa Jankowska and Michael Spofford have been asked to sharpen their pencils one more time and hopefully the final proposed 2012 budget can be presented at next month’s meeting.  The budget that will be going to the counties will be stamped confidential.

It has been a very hard decision, but the Finance Committee has decided to continue the bookmobile only through December 31, 2011.  They realize there are some communities who will not be happy; however, financially, it is just not something that can be afforded to continue.  Nancy Cooper made a motion, based on the recommendation of the Finance Committee, for financial reasons, that the bookmobile service of the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System cease effective December 31, 2011.  Kip Thompson seconded the motion.

Discussion followed with Jim Britell stating that the 60 communities served by the bookmobile should know of our intent, that we should keep the institutions, centers of disabilities and senior centers informed of our proposed action and do a press release explaining our situation – the bookmobile’s contribution to the communities, its increased costs, and the decline of county contributions by three-quarters over the last 25 years.  Otherwise, it will appear to be a snap decision.  Further discussion ensued that appropriate publicity is warranted; however, it remains a financial issue with imminent deadlines for submitting the proposed and balanced budget to the counties.

Ewa Jankowska and Julie Wever have started working on a press release and some of the points to be included, in addition to our more than 50 years of service, are:  inability to keep up with the bookmobile’s rising expenses, service area the size of the state of Connecticut, low levels of state aid, rising fuel expenses and overall costs of maintaining the bookmobile.

System staff plans to work with member libraries to find other ways to cost effectively deliver services to nursing homes, communities without libraries and geographically-isolated residents, pursuant to the mission statement of the Library System, which is to foster and improve public library service to the residents of the System area.

Jim Britell stated that it is the peculiar responsibility of the Board to secure funding for the Library System, to which Kip Thompson responded that this is not being taken lightly, this has been considered in the past, and the number of people who use the bookmobile does not justify its maintenance, although it was acknowledged that this is an emotional issue.  Kip feels that to ensure that there is a CEFLS going into the future, the budget must be balanced, and taking care of the flat building roof that is aging and the servers that are older than they should be is much more important than taking care of a constituency that is less than 10 percent of the three-county population.

CEFLS staff is already feeling the stress of the unknown so there is concern for the impact on them if a decision is withheld until the September meeting.

Kip Thompson seconded the motion made by Nancy Cooper prior to this discussion that based on the recommendation of the Finance Committee for financial reasons, the bookmobile service of the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System be ended effective December 31, 2011.  A vote was taken, yes – 9, no – 1, with Jim Britell being the lone no vote.  Motion carried.

Nominating Committee:   (Dr. Nancy Church)

Chris de Grandpré reported that Dr. Church, who was not present for this meeting, has some names of possible candidates of Board members for the one vacant Franklin County seat and she will present them at the September meeting.

Personnel Committee:  (Dr. Barbara Stowe)

There was no report.

Advocacy Committee:  (Lisa Minnich)

There was no report.

Development Committee:   (Nancy Church)

There was no report.

Negotiations Committee:  (Neil Surprenant)

Chris de Grandpré explained that Neil Surprenant is the chairperson of this committee and Debbie Wells, who is not present today, sometimes backs him up.  Business that must take place in Executive Session will be postponed until the September meeting.


There were none.

Old Business

Approval of the independent audit as submitted by Martindale Keysor & Co. was tabled until September because there appear to be errors on page five.

New Business

According to the 2010 Handbook for Library Trustees, trustee responsibilities are many.  The role of library trustees and System trustees is the same, although CEFLS trustees are appointed by their respective governing body and trustees of member libraries are not.

Conflict of Interest is an important adherence.  Ewa Jankowska explained that if a trustee were in the construction business, participation in awarding construction grants would be a conflict of interest.

Advocacy is a duty of trustees.  Whereas a library trustee would advocate to the community, CEFLS trustees have a further responsibility to advocate to legislators throughout the year, in addition to at budget time.  Kip Thompson stated that he can speak with the representatives in his town and area, but speaking with elected officials throughout his county is just not possible.

  • Jim Britell stated that elected officials speak with their constituents in other areas, and he feels strongly that in Franklin County we need to do more advocating since they have reduced their funding by so much over the years.  They are spending 10 times as much on snowmobile trails as they are on libraries. Jim feels that a lot of county and state legislators would be spending differently if they were hearing from libraries.
  • Jim Britell would like to see focus placed on teaching trustees of member libraries the absolute critical nature of what CEFLS does for their libraries, and in turn, their trustees can help advocate for CEFLS to their legislators.
  • Chris de Grandpré suggested that Trustees get to know their elected officials and one or two of their representatives to inform them of the challenges we face.  Chris also feels it would be advantageous for Trustees to attend Library Legislative Day in Albany with Ewa yearly to meet and talk with our legislators.  Lisa Minnich stated that we need to be more vocal because that is how they hear you.

In wrapping up this topic, Chris asked trustees to look at the Handbook for Library Trustees in its entirety as a lot of information in there relates to the responsibilities of trustees.  This topic will be discussed more at the next meeting, as well as topics brought forth by the Strategic Planning Committee as they put together a plan.  Ewa will send out the link for the handbook’s website so everyone will have the 2010 version.


The next CEFLS Board of Trustee meeting will be held at the Weed Library, 64 Elm Street, Malone at 4:00 p.m. on September 26 and will be immediately preceded by a Finance Committee meeting at 3:00 p.m.

This meeting was adjourned at 5:12 p.m.

 Respectfully submitted,

Mary “Lisa” Minnich


Minutes for Board of Trustees Meeting

Held September 26, 2011

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, September 26, 2011, at Wead Library, 64 Elm Street, Malone, New York, by Chris de Grandpré, President.

Roll Call

Present:  Gary Alexander, James “Jim” Britell, Nancy Cooper, Chris de Grandpré, Jennifer Henry, Richard “Dick” Kibben, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Martha Spear and Charles “Kip” Thompson

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director, Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant

Others Present:  David Minnich, Director at Wead Library, Sue Wool, Children’s Librarian at Wead Library, Chad Chase, Library Clerk at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, and Elizabeth Rogers, Librarian, Technical Services at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System

Everyone in the room then introduced themselves telling where they are from, and trustees stated which county they represent.

Chris de Grandpré then thanked Jim Britell, who is a trustee at both Wead Library as well as Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System (CEFLS), and David Minnich for hosting this meeting at their library.

A brochure with some history of Wead Library, written in 2006, was available to all in attendance.

Consent Agenda

Items in Consent Agenda are Excused Absences, Amended Agenda for September 26, 2011 CEFLS Board of Trustee Meeting, and Minutes of August 22, 2011 Meeting.  A motion was made by Kip Thompson to approve today’s Consent Agenda as presented, seconded by Dick Kibben.  Motion carried.

Financial Report

The four financial reports distributed prior to the meeting were Budget-to-Date ending August 31, 2011, Balance Sheet as of August 31, 2011, Statement of Revenues for August 2011 Compared to August 2010, Revenues and Expenses including Fiscal Year-to-Date 2010 and shows that we have received most of this year’s and last year’s funding in this year, so we are doing better financially than last year.  The final report is the Status of Grants or Aids as of August 2011.  These are grants or aids that are not in the budget per se and we are still working on clearing them.

A short discussion ensued about Capital Equipment and Capital Improvements in the Budget-to-Date Report, two funds that show there is 100 percent left to spend.  Michael explained those two amounts went into the 2012 budget under Board Funded Reserve.  At the October 13th meeting of the Finance Committee, there will be discussion on putting that money into a separate account to keep it apart from the regular operating budget.

Lisa Minnich motioned to approve the financial reports as presented.  Jennifer Henry seconded.  Motion carried.

Public Comment Period 

David Minnich welcomed everyone to Wead Library.  He suggested that we might give some thought to letting patrons know that member libraries are happy to take in bookmobile books and register bookmobile patrons.

President’s Remarks

Tomorrow the Negotiating Committee will meet at 2 p.m. at CEFLS.  An Executive Session will be planned for the October Board of Trustee meeting.

We continue to have one vacant seat on the CEFLS Board for a trustee from Franklin County.

We have had difficulty contacting Dr. Carey who hasn’t been with us for several meetings now.  We will do all that we can to reach him before our October meeting, and then we will have to decide how to proceed.  Dr. Carey is a Clinton County trustee.

Our next Board meeting will be October 24th in Plattsburgh.  If anyone has any Consent Agenda items, please share them so we can put them into that format.

The Finance Committee met at 3:00 this afternoon, just prior to this meeting.  At the next Finance Committee meeting in October there will be more discussion about the budget.

Participation has been very good for Strategic Planning Committee meetings, the most recent having been on September 22.  A lot of good information has been shared.  Martha Spear then presented a chart she developed with a list of Values and a list of Visions.  Two points that stand out in terms of Values:   we are loved by our customers and our responsiveness is excellent.  In terms of Vision, two points that stand out are:  CEFLS is able to be more agile than current funding parameters allow and CEFLS Trustees need to better understand the qualities of our constituent libraries (our customers).  Martha asked trustees to consider these lists, and the full Board will be invited to participate in a related exercise at the October meeting.

Those serving on the Strategic Planning Committee are Ewa Jankowska, Jim Britell, Chris de Grandpré, Fran Filshie, Jennifer Henry, Richard Kibben, Martha Spear, Barbara Stowe and Kip Thompson.

The Trailblazer, the CEFLS newsletter, was distributed to trustees prior to this meeting.  Chris thanked all who put it together, saying it looks great as always.

At the August Board meeting, Chris had asked trustees to take a look at the Trustee Handbook.  He himself has now read 37 of 53 pages.  He asked that trustees continue looking at the handbook with the intent of a discussion on the role of trustees at the next meeting.  Trustees have each been provided with a copy, and Ewa Jankowska recently provided a link to the 2010 Edition for those who have an older version.  Chris also asked trustees to take a look at the Bylaws which were last revised in 2008 by Cerise Oberman and Dr. Nancy Church.  The Bylaws can be found in trustee’s binders, as well as on the CEFLS website under About Us.  A committee can then be formed to take a look at them.  It is possible that not much change will be necessary.

Chris is pleased that Ellenburg Depot Library is now fully automated.

Director’s Report

In addition to Ewa Jankowska’s written report that was distributed with the packets for this meeting, Ewa reported on the following items.

Ewa and a committee have been very busy working on the Plan of Service for the next five years.  After this is approved by the Board, we will then work on Service Priorities for the next year.  The evaluation of Service Priorities is the basis for the Annual Report.

We have been working on two grants.  Elizabeth has been working very hard on the Betty Little Grant, buying books for member libraries.  It has been labor intensive and has taken an enormous amount of time.  Julie Wever has been working on Construction Grant applications for about ten member libraries.  This year Construction Grants have to be submitted on line which is quite challenging for many member libraries, so Julie is assisting them, and in some instances, she is doing their applications for them.

In a future Strategic Planning Committee meeting, Ewa would like to talk about adding an administrative fee for grant work.  It is the responsibility of CEFLS to look over completed applications to make sure everything is in order and forms are complete.  For some, Julie has to enter the member libraries’ information which is an additional service for which we should be compensated.

Ewa has been watching vigilantly for news on whether the governor has done anything with the Library Construction Bill which if passed would lower the amount of matching funds from 50 percent to 25 per cent.  The governor had until September 23 to either sign the bill or veto it, and if he didn’t veto it, it automatically became law.  It appears that he did not veto it.  Ewa feels that this year more libraries happen to have more small projects, which helps to explain the relatively high number (10) of members who are applying for construction grants.  With the passage of this Bill, Ewa would like CEFLS to apply for this grant as well, but we have a limited amount that is assigned to our System, approximately $340,000.

The other grants that we got are:  $700 and $250 from Kiwanis which will be used for new books, and $10,000 from Northern New York Library Network (NNYLN) to begin our e-book collection.

Completion of the Five-Year Plan of Service is one of Ewa’s goals, and that has been accomplished, so now with the approval of this Board we will be able to format it for submission to New York State Library.

The Strategic Planning Committee is progressing, with the next meeting scheduled for October 13.

Plattsburgh Public Library Report (PPL)

In Stan Ransom’s absence, Ewa Jankowska read his written report.

Use of PPL is continuous and they could use more book funds with the start of the fall publishing season.

There was an incident on September 13th that the PPL staff dealt with efficiently and quickly.

The PPL Construction Grant initial request for $14,832 has been submitted to their Buildings and Grounds Committee and their Library Board.  This will provide a computer cubical for job interviewing, renovation of two bathrooms, provision of panic bars for exit doors, and a different lock for the back door to prevent the public from wandering in before the Library is open.  The matching grant of 50 percent will be paid by the Adirondack Community Trust, according to CEF Library System.

A new Hi-Lights is in preparation for sending to the public after October 1.

Stan will be out on vacation from September 28 to October 11.  He will be in contact with Jamie Parrott, Administrative Assistant, and she and Roland Lockwood, PPL Board President will have his numbers. Stan has given information requested by Jay Girvin and his staff and will be available for questions at any time.

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Director’s Association (CEFDA) Report

Francine Fairchild could not be present for this meeting, so Ewa Jankowska read from her written report.

CEFDA met on September 19 at the home of Alison Mandeville on Point au Fer.  Twelve library directors attended.

Ewa asked for volunteers to serve on a Library Director Advisory Group to help

CEFLS set up a new formula for ILA reimbursement fees and other policy issues.

Other discussion included news from the libraries, fund raising, construction grants and needed repairs, flood damage, financial cuts, volunteers, dealing with illegal immigrants, and handling patron altercations safely.

CEFDA’s purpose was discussed.  It is helpful to all library directors, bringing new ideas to the forefront and allowing more discussion time than a formal workshop does.  The social aspect is enjoyed also; however, taking time off for directors, especially new ones is difficult.  Finding knowledgeable substitutes and the cost of travel are challenging.  They will continue to meet for two meetings per year, in October and either in late April or early May.

CEFDA’s next meeting will be at the Keene Valley Library.

In response to a question about ebooks, Ewa then reported that CEFLS is discussing spending some of the Central Book Aid for a subscription to Overdrive which would provide library patrons with access to e-books.

Ewa stated she needs a Directors Advisory Group that she can be in contact with every month.

New York Library Trustees Association Meeting Report

Jim Britell is a member of NY Library Trustees Association (NYLTA) and he attended their quarterly meeting two weeks ago in Albany.  They discussed come responsibilities they have for the NYLA Conference, dealing with Regents on better training of trustees, the NYLTA yearly conference for 7,000 trustees, and NYLTA’s newsletter and website.  NYLTA puts out some material on tax caps and writing their political guidance for being involved in library pacts, as well as fundraising and other topics as they pertain to what you can and cannot do.  In their next newsletter, they would like to feature our Library System and mention the recent devastation at Wells Memorial Library for whom they have been active in raising money.

North Country Regional Economic Development Council Public Meeting Report

Jim Britell attended the North Country Regional Economical Development Council meeting that was recently held in Tupper Lake, and Ewa Jankowska attended the regional meeting in Plattsburgh.  They have been advocating for the various things that CEFLS does, such as resume writing, small business databases and job finding that relate to the North Country Regional Economic Development Plan that is being written.  They provided information about our databases and explained that we are teaching Excel and Word and other “non-book” things.  The Council members are amazed at all the things that libraries are doing and Jim will be working with them on their draft plan, which will include libraries.

Committee Reports

Executive Committee

Chris de Grandpré reports that negotiations will be the number one item for discussion after the Negotiations Committee meeting that is scheduled for September 27th.

Finance Committee

Nancy Cooper reported that the Finance Committee had a very good meeting just prior to this meeting; however, an additional meeting is planned for October 13th as there was not time to resolve budget items.  Hopefully they will have a budget proposal to bring to the full Board at the October meeting.

Nominating Committee

Dr. Church, the chairperson, was not present to report; however, she recently spoke with Chris de Grandpré to say she is working on the one remaining vacant Franklin County seat on the Board.

Personnel Committee

There was no report.

Advocacy Committee

There was no report.

Development Report

There was no report.

Negotiating Committee

A Negotiating Committee meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, September 27.

Gary Alexander inquired whether there is a Hospitalization Committee and learned that would be the Health Plan Committee, which has not had to meet in a quite a while, as health care is part of negotiations.  It was further explained that an example of what the Health Plan Committee might do is review a newly introduced health care plan and then come back to the Board with a recommendation, as health care plans are a Negotiations Committee item.

Chris de Grandpré then asked new trustees to think about what two or three committees they might enjoy serving on and please let him know.


Dawn Recore read two items of communication to the Board.

  • Thank you card from Michael and Susan Spofford for the wedding gift from the Board
  • Letter from Janet Duprey, Member of the Assembly, which was in response to a letter Ewa Jankowska sent to our local representatives requesting assistance in procuring funding for the bookmobile. Ms. Duprey responded that unfortunately she doesn’t know of any state resources available at this time.


Ewa then reported that letters were also sent to Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward and Senator Betty Little.  She received a telephone response from Theresa Sayward which was basically the same as Ms. Duprey’s response.  No response was received from Senator Betty Little.

Old Business

Approval of the Independent Audit

The independent audit report by Martindale Keysor & Co. with its findings and recommendations for the period ending December 31, 2010 was distributed.  A resolution for the approval of the independent audit as presented was made by Dick Kibben.  A short discussion ensued regarding the auditors having to prepare a significant adjusting entry and the required note disclosures, which the auditors reported they are experiencing with most of their audit clients. Nancy Cooper seconded the resolution for approval; motion carried.

Chris de Grandpré offered congratulations to Ewa Jankowska and Michael Spofford for having a very good audit and for keeping very good books again this year.  Kip Thompson then requested a copy of Form 990.  Michael will provide it.

Bookmobile Service

Ewa Jankowska reported that she has received relatively few comments to the announcement that bookmobile service will be ending at the end of this year.  There were press releases to the local newspapers of the three counties and in response there was one article and one editorial.  Joe LoTemplio interviewed some patrons at the Cliff Haven bookmobile stop.  Everyone feels badly about the end of this service, but they know the economic situation, not just here, but everywhere in the country.

Ewa reported that as part of the outreach program we have to try to figure out how to service the people in rural areas who otherwise would not have access to a library.  Rotating collections may be delivered once every few months to nursing homes and places like that.  Member libraries know they might get a lot more patrons, people who can drive.  At the recent CEFDA meeting, Ewa sought directors’ input as to whether patrons should use their CEFLS card or get a member library card.  Member cards seem to be the answer since that helps the funding of member libraries.

Ewa then encouraged bookmobile questions from the trustees, adding that with Chad Chase who is a library clerk on the bookmobile present at the meeting, he could help to answer them.  There were none.

New Business

Approval of the 2012-2016 Plan of Service

The CEFLS 2012-2016 Plan of Service was distributed in advance of this meeting.  A resolution to approve the 2012-2016 Plan of Service as presented was made by Kip Thompson.  Dick Kibben questioned whether the Plan is amendable after it is filed with New State Library because as finances change, some of what is in the Plan may not be realistic, to which Ewa Jankowska responded that there is a clause that it can be amended.

Discussion then ensued that the Plan of Service requires that trustees be knowledgeable on library technology, which is our databases.  Jim Britell feels strongly that in order to advocate for libraries, trustee should be familiar with every database offered.  Although the Plan calls for 3 to 5 training sessions every year, he suggested that five minutes at each Board meeting be focused on some database with instruction provided by staff members so that over time trustees will be familiar with all the databases.  Ewa stated that would be doable at the Board meetings that are held in Plattsburgh.  At a previous Board meeting, it was suggested that beginning in October staff members do a 10 minute presentation on what each CEFLS department does.  Such presentations would not be possible at Board meetings that are held at member libraries due to limited staff attendance.

The resolution to approve the CEFLS 2012-2016 Plan of Service was seconded by Nancy Cooper.

The Plattsburgh Public Central Library 2012-2016 Plan of Service was also distributed in advance of this meeting.  CEFLS distributes their State Aid to them, and their Plan of Service must be approved by the CEFLS Board of Trustees.  A resolution to approve it as presented was made by Nancy Cooper, seconded by Dick Kibben.  Discussion ensued on how surveys can provide the information required in the Plan of Service.  Ewa stated that the most important thing for PPL from CEFLS’ point of reference is how they serve member libraries and member library patrons and act as a resource for reference.  We would like to see more money that we are giving them for reference books be used for data bases because informal surveys tell us that patrons from Malone will not come to Plattsburgh to use reference books, but if they have a database available, they can use it 24-7 from their homes.

The resolution to approve the PPL Plan of Service as presented passed unanimously.

Member Libraries Damaged by Flooding

Ewa Jankowska has been sending information to trustees on libraries damaged by flooding.  The only library that is really damaged is Upper Jay where they had water and mud up to the first or second shelf on the main floor, not to mention the basement.  Other libraries had no major damage.  Keene Library is concerned about mold and mildew but may not be specifically related to this flood.

Ewa went to Upper Jay to view the damage first hand.  Kate Messner brought Upper Jay’s plight to many, many people with her blog.  Unfortunately, a lot of people wanted to donate books.  At this stage, Ewa explained, librarians do not necessarily want to replace old books.  We have created a link on our website for Irene-related library stories and we are adding links as we learn of them.  Dawn Recore has been answering many questions by telephone and referring callers to the link. Other than getting information out to people, there is not much more that CEFLS can do to help.

Discussion ensued on the thought of putting the same historic building that houses the Upper Jay library up on stilts to protect it from the high waters of future flooding.  Martha Spear stated that she doesn’t know if the Upper Jay Board isn’t considering raising the library up.  Ewa stated that a seminar was once provided by Michele Brown who is a book conservator from Cornell where they have a very good preservation department.  Right now with Julie Weaver’s help we are trying to apply for a grant from the Lake Placid Education Foundation for a workshop on creating disaster plans for each member library.  Ewa has obtained a price from Ms. Brown for such a workshop.  Each library would get a binder and at least a skeleton of a disaster plan.

Jim Britell suggested a free an energy audit with focus on moisture problems.

Martha Spear was a trustee for Upper Jay Library for a number of years.  She stated that the community of Upper Jay was devastated and the library was the hub of the community.

Chad Chase, who is a library clerk on the bookmobile, then asked to address the Board.  He stated that in discussing the library clerk position he feels it is important to keep in mind the importance of the position to the daily operation of CEFLS.  He stated that listening to the discussions of this meeting has been very interesting but to do all these things that have been talked about requires an essential number of staff, for instance with most staff already doing more than one job, Julie Weaver is doing tasks, such as packing books, that Chad could do and that would free her up for more important jobs.

Chris de Grandpré thanked Chad for addressing the Board, and other trustees added that the bottom line is making sure that CEFLS has a balanced budget and can continue operating.

A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Gary Alexander, seconded by Kip Thompson. Motion carried.  Meeting adjourned at 5:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary “Lisa” Minnich


Minutes for Board of Trustees Meeting

Held October 24, 2011

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:04 p.m. on Monday, October 24, 2011, at Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System, 33 Oak Street, Plattsburgh, NY.

Roll Call

Present:  Gary Alexander, Dr. Nancy Church, Nancy Cooper, Chris de Grandpré, Frances Filshie, Jennifer Henry, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Martha Spear, Dr. Barbara Stowe, Charles “Kip” Thompson and Deborah Wells

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director, Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk, Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant, Elizabeth Rogers, Technical Service Department and Chad Chase, Library Clerk

Others Present:  Stanley Ransom, Director, Plattsburgh Public Library

Consent Agenda

Items in Consent Agenda are Excused Absences, Agenda for October 24, 2011 CEFLS Board of Trustee Meeting, and Minutes of September 26, 2011 Meeting, Communications (letter from Mary Beth Farr, NYS Library Consultant, distributed and reviewed by all prior to this meeting), Clinton-Essex-Franklin Directors Association (CEFDA) Report for which there is none at this time, and the following committees for which there are no reports at this time, Bookmobile, Property, Health Plan and Advocacy.

Dr. Church asked to have an amendment made to the September minutes.  On page 6 in the Director’s Report, the amount of the grants that were received from Kiwanis should be $750 and $200.

Approval of Automation Contract for Belden Noble Memorial Library has been added to today’s agenda as an amendment to New Business.

A short discussion then ensued on what constitutes an excused absence.  It was agreed that if a trustee requests prior to the meeting to be excused, it is likely to be granted, but if there is no notification prior to a meeting then it is an unexcused absence.  We have a trustee that we have not heard from in several months to whom we will send a letter to inquire whether he is interested in serving.  If he is not, we will look to fill his seat.

Dr. Stowe made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda to include the amendment to the Kiwanis donation amounts and the addition to today’s agenda of Approval of Automation Contract for Belden Noble Memorial Library under New Business.  Nancy Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.

Financial Report

Michael Spofford reported that contingency funds have been separated from our main money market account and a new money market account with $50,000 has been set up for such things as repair of the physical plant as needed.

A motion was made by Lisa Minnich to approve the financial reports as distributed, seconded by Deborah Wells.

Michael briefly recapped the reports as Budget-to-Date Report for period ending September 2011 which shows revised budget amounts, year-to-date actual, year-to-date spent in percentages, year-to-date encumbrances, year-to-date actual and encumbrances, and then the remaining balance and the actual and encumbered percentage.  As of the end of September 2011 we were 62.2 percent spent, and we should have been at about 75 percent spent because that was the end of the third quarter, so we are under budget.  The Balance Sheet as of September 30th 2011 shows our assets and fixed assets, liabilities, equity in our assets and change in equity.  The Statement of Revenues and Expenditures compares the end of September 2011 with September of last year 2010 and year-to-date ending September 30th of both years.  The Status of Grants/Aids as of September 30, 2011 shows grants and aids that are not in our present operating budget.  The bolded ones are a final report and will not be in the report after September because they have been spent.  Expenditure of Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) funds is on target.

Motion carried to approve the financial reports as distributed.

Public Comment Period 

There were no public comments.

President’s Remarks

Chris de Grandpré stated that there will be an Executive Session later during this meeting to talk about the status of negotiations and today we begin the process of annual evaluation of the director.

Later Dr. Church will talk about a trustee seat that is open, and we have already discussed the Clinton County representative that we need to contact.

The Nominating Committee will need to begin their work as the November meeting will be the final meeting of the fiscal year.  Our Bylaws state that we need to present a slate of officers for 2012 who will be sworn in at our January meeting, so as the chair of that committee, Dr. Church will be working on that.

Our final meeting of the year is on the calendar for November 28th, which follows Thanksgiving weekend.  Due to concern for a quorum, an informal email survey will be sent to trustees inquiring whether that date or another would be better.

Under New Business, we will talk about the automation contract for Beldon Noble Memorial Library.

Director’s Report

In addition to Ewa Jankowska’s written report, she reported on the following items.

The annual meeting with correctional services librarians took place on Friday, October 21 at CEFLS office.  During the meeting the CEFLS services were discussed and met with uniform approval.  The State Library expects a signed agreement between CEFLS and the area correctional facilities every year.  In general the library staff seems to be happy with what they receive but they would like to have more training on .gov and .org websites to which they recently got access to on the internet. 

We are working on the bookmobile schedule for November and December.   These two months are dedicated to returning books.  The Equinox will be utilized as much as possible for this purpose verses the bookmobile that only gets 6 to 7 miles to the gallon.  The bookmobile staff reports that they expect to be very busy at some stops which may cause patrons to wait for long periods of time while standing outside in inclement or cold weather.  With the bookmobile, patrons will be able to  get out of the weather while they wait.  Julie Wever is working on a schedule that will offer some compromise.

Ewa gave a short PowerPoint presentation with a basic explanation of the three (font size of three is smaller than rest of type) types of Library Systems in New York State, of which CEFLS is a Federated System.  At the next Board meeting, she will talk more about what CEFLS does, and then in January, CEFLS staff will begin rotating to do short presentations on their responsibilities.

Plattsburgh Public Library Report (PPL)

Stan Ransom, Director, reported that PPL is very concerned about services that the bookmobile has been provided to the many nursing homes in the Plattsburgh area, so their staff is working with CEFLS staff to determine how to proceed.

PPL is pleased to have approval for a Construction Grant and they are hoping that the matching funds with the Foundation will go through.  They have been assured that half of the Grant has been funded but at this point PPL has no funds to complete a $3,708 match.

The Friends of the Library are preparing for their twice yearly book sale which furnishes about $1,100 to $1,200.  Recently, the Friends spent $2,100 on a cleaner for CDs and DVDs which has put back into almost new condition a lot of disks that may not have been able to be used again.

About 75% of the director of PPL’s time is spent on building problems.  Repair people are coming in next week to tend to the leaking roof, the mold has been taken care of, and bids have gone out for asbestos removal in the basement which will probably begin the first of November.  Additionally, boiler pipes sprang giant leaks last week which has in turn caused no heat on the second floor.

PPL’s Public Computer Center is doing very well.  The number and type of classes are ever increasing, and Stan is encouraging his staff to participate in some of them.

Circulation at PPL had built up to a crescendo last year.  Then in March, the library had to close its doors on Sundays and circulation has trickled down, with the DVDs outpacing the nonfiction as far as borrowing goes.  People do love the new trends, and PPL looks forward to technology upgrades.

Committee Reports

Executive Committee

Chris de Grandpré reported that earlier today when the Executive Committee met, topics were the status of negotiations, director’s annual evaluation, strategic planning, and gearing up for the election of officers in the new year.  More on these discussions will be shared in Executive Session today.

Finance Committee

Nancy Cooper reported that the Finance Committee had a very good meeting on October 13th.   There are expenses that will still be incurred after bookmobile service is discontinued at the end of the year, such as building heat, lights, telephones, professional fees, office supplies, and other things that have been dispersed to various cost centers which in the past included the bookmobile.  Without the bookmobile, there will be one less cost center for disbursement.  The difference in the proposed 2012 budget verses the proposed 2011 budget is due to bookmobile costs.

Trustees have received a Proposed 2012 Budget and a Tentative 2011 Budget.  The proposed budget has been reviewed with Michael Spofford and Ewa Jankowska, and the Finance Committee has approved it.  CEFLS is required to have a balanced budget.  The 2011 budget is tentative because an amendment is needed to take some of the funds from the 2010 budget to add to the 2011budget to be offset by the expense that has been incurred on the 2011 budget for the negotiations.  In conjunction to that, part of what was not spent in 2010 will be included in the proposed 2012 budget.

Trustees will be asked to approve the proposed 2012 budget by the end of the fiscal year.

Dr. Church proposed a motion to approve the amendment to the tentative 2011 budget from what it was, amendment number one, $1,369,282, to amendment number two, $1,374,957, an increase of $5,675.  Fran Filshie seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Little is known right now about the 2012 budgets of Clinton, Essex and Franklin Counties.  If there are “local” cuts of more than five percent, CEFLS might lose 25 percent of the NYS funding.  If that happens, we can apply for a waiver/variance from the Maintenance of Effort clause in Education Law.

Nominating Committee

Dr. Church, the chairperson, stated that there is one more seat to fill for Franklin County, and due to additional employment responsibilities, she herself will be leaving the Board at the end of the year.  She has someone to recommend for her Clinton County seat that she feels would be a good trustee, and for the Franklin County seat, she will contact Mr. Maroun to ask for recommendations.

Dr. Church will be contacting the current CEFLS Board of Trustee officers to ask them if they would consider serving another year.  The Bylaws will be reviewed to see if there are limitations on executive positions.

Personnel Committee

The Executive Committee has asked Dr. Stowe to put together a report on the goals of the Director, which were the coordination of services and the three-to-five year plan.  Around the first of December Dr. Stowe will send the report to trustees along with an informally structured evaluation form.  Upon completion, the evaluation forms are to be returned to her.  She will figure a numerical range of performance which will be discussed, along with salary, before January 5th.

Development Report

Dr. Church reported that the new annual Leadership Campaign for Trustees of the Board begins this month.  Letters will be sent to trustees requesting their support at whatever level they are comfortable.  The campaign runs from October to September of next year, so if now is not a good time to support it, anytime up until the end of next September is fine.  Full participation at any level is encouraged.

With Dr. Church going off the Board on December 31st and the loss of the bookmobile, the Fueling for Literacy Campaign may or may not be something to pursue in the future.  Dr. Church has provided a memory stick with that and other projects she has worked on over the years.

Negotiating Committee

Chris de Grandpré asked if anyone would like to add to what was already said about the Negotiating Committee earlier in this meeting.  Further discussion will follow during Executive Session.

Strategic Planning Committee

Martha Spear led an exercise with trustees eliciting their thoughts on values and visions for CEFLS for the purpose of aiding in strategic planning.  Several values, such as sharing resources (books, technology and information resources), increasing literacy (books verses DVDs), serving the underserved, and providing services to member libraries were named.  The list of visions included technological advances, leverage for grants and matching funds, increasing regional partnership and collaboration, more economic development, continued evolution of our mission and services, more enhancement of what the Friends of the Library do to assist their libraries, and developing new revenue streams.

Kip Thompson talked about his very long-term vision for fees to be paid for services rendered, with the size of the business (CEFLS) determining the services to be provided.  He would like the State to be more aware of the services that are provided by CEFLS.  It is difficult to count on the State when they keep cutting library funding.  To counter this, Kip feels it is important to strengthen member libraries so they will be strong entities that are able to pay fees for services.

A brief discussion ensued on the importance of training library trustees because oftentimes small libraries have only a librarian on staff, and he/she already has too much to do.  It is also important to make training for trustees ongoing to accommodate turnover as well as to help them think outside the box.  What trustees have always done is not necessarily what is needed today.

Old Business

Chris de Grandpré then suggested that, in light of time, the next item on the agenda, #11. Discussion of the Role of Trustees, be moved to the November agenda, to which there was no objection.

New Business

Approval of Variance for Dannemora Free Library

Trustees were asked to approve a variance for Dannemora Free Library so that the population of Clinton Correctional Facility will not be considered in determining the hours for the library.  A motion to approve the variance as written was made by Lisa Minnich, seconded by Fran Filshie.  Motion carried.

Construction Grant Update

Ewa Jankowska explained that there are ten libraries who are seeking Construction Grants, requesting in total $152,000 out of $380,000 allotted.  A motion to approve the grants was made by Martha Spear, seconded by Dr. Church.  Motion carried.

Northern New York Library Network (NNYLN) Conference and Creating the Future: A 2020 Vison and Plan for Library Service

In Jim Britell’s absence, Chris de Grandpré reported that Jim, who was recently elected President of Wead Library Board of Trustees, attended the NNYLN Conference which he felt was fabulous.  Steve Abram, from Canada, spoke about the future of libraries.  Jim observed that only a very limited number of member libraries of our System were represented at the conference and he feels that we should work on that.  Jim has been calling the presidents of the member library boards to speak about advocacy and so far has been well received.  He feels the member library trustees are a delightful group of people with a lot of energy that we need to tap.  Jim would like to see the libraries join the Library Trustees Association.  The fee is based on population of geographic regions, and trustees then receive the association’s newsletter.  Trustees can also join individually.

Automation Contract for Belden Noble Memorial Library

Ewa Jankowska explained that Belden Noble Memorial Library in Essex has signed a standard contract to automate, and CEFLS will be helping them to do this.  Their first year membership is free and then they will share the cost of our software membership subscription with SirsiDynix.  With Belden Nobel, 29 out of 30 member libraries will be automated.

A motion to approve the Belden Nobel Memorial Library Automation Contract as presented was made by Nancy Cooper, seconded by Kip Thompson.  Motion carried.

Executive Session

A motion to enter into Executive Session for the purpose of discussing negotiations and personnel was made by Dr. Church, seconded by Fran Filshie.  Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned at 5:20 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary “Lisa” Minnich


Minutes for Board of Trustees Meeting

Held November 28, 2011

Call to Order

The Board of Trustees meeting was called to order at 4:06 p.m. on Monday, November 28, 2011, at the Clinton-Essex-Franklin Library System at 33 Oak Street, in Plattsburgh, New York, by Nancy Cooper, Vice President.

Roll Call

Present:  Gary Alexander, James Britell, Nancy Cooper, Jennifer Henry, Mary “Lisa” Minnich, Martha Spear, Dr. Barbara Stowe, Charles “Kip” Thompson, and Deborah Wells

Staff Present:  Ewa Jankowska, Executive Director; Michael Spofford, Principal Account Clerk; Dawn Recore, Administrative Assistant, and Elizabeth Rogers, Library Consultant

Absences:  Dr. Vincent Carey, Dr. Nancy Church, Chris de Grandpré, Frances Filshie and Richard Kibben

Others Present:  Stan Ransom, Plattsburgh Public Library

Consent Agenda

Consent Agenda for this meeting includes approval of excused absences, approval of agenda for today’s meeting, communications (there are none), and the following committees for which there are no reports at this time:  Finance, Health Plan, Negotiating, Property and Strategic Planning.

Requests were made to have the following items removed from Consent Agenda for the purpose of discussion today:  Advocacy Committee, Bookmobile Committee, and Approval of Amended Minutes for October 23, 2011.

A motion was made by Dr. Stowe to approve Consent Agenda, seconded by Martha Spear.  Motion carried.

Approval of Amended Minutes

The Personnel Committee Report for the October 24, 2011 meeting was amended per request of Dr. Stowe to state that she had been requested by the Executive Committee to put together a report on the goals of the Director.  A motion to approve the amended minutes was made by Kip Thompson, seconded by Gary Alexander.  Motion carried.

Financial Report

Michael Spofford formatted the October Financial Reports as a Microsoft Word document and embedded them into this month’s Board packet. The intent is to streamline the packet so the financial reports are easier for recipients to open and print when sent as e-mail attachments.

The financial reports are the standard four reports.  Michael closed out 2010 and our numbers are the same as the auditor’s.  Now we can go on to 2011.

Michael clarified three budget items on the Over and Under Report.  The State Retirement Expense, Budget item 5110, is at 70 percent spent with two months left, with the savings to be put into the 2012 Budget.  Next, Utilities and Electric, Budget item 5323, is at 53 percent spent.  Summer water, sewer and electricity usually run about $300 to $400 per month, while the winter months run around $1,000 to $1,100 per month.  We may end 2011 under budget for this also.  A significant savings is expected for Vehicle Expense, item 5330, which is also under budget due to the use of the Equinox and the van  in place of the bookmobile for the majority of the final bookmobile pick-up routes in November and December.

The CEFLS staff was commended for the savings being realized in 2011.  It is evident that everyone has worked very hard to cut expenses.

Public Comment Period

There were no comments.

President’s Remarks

Nancy Cooper conveyed Chris de Grandpré’s hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and since we are not going to be meeting again in 2011, he extends his best wishes for a joyous holiday season to the Trustees, Director, management confidential staff and CSEA staff.

There is no Executive Session planned for today unless a Trustee has something that warrants it.

There is nothing to report on the status of negotiations.  Ewa Jankowska is waiting to hear who will be appointed as our mediator.  Once that is known and that could be several months into next year, a date for further negotiations can be arranged.

The Franklin County trustee seat vacated by Neil Surprenant is still empty.  Dr. Church has indicated a report is forthcoming with a possible candidate for that seat.  Also, Dr. Church will not be staying on with the Board after December 2011.  She has presented the resume of a potential Clinton County Trustee to fill her seat.

Dr. Vincent Carey was appointed to the Board of Trustees in April 2011 and has since attended only one meeting and all attempts by telephone and e-mail to contact him have been unsuccessful.  A registered letter was sent to him by Chris de Grandpré and that was returned by the post office on November 18, 2011as undeliverable after two delivery attempts.  A letter will be sent to Clinton County Legislature notifying them of the situation and requesting permission to replace Dr. Carey.  A relevant motion will be entertained later during this meeting when the Personnel Committee reports.

Lisa Minnich will present a slate of officers for 2012 later in this meeting on behalf of Dr. Church who was unable to attend the meeting today.

This is the final Board of Trustee meeting of 2011.  The next meeting will be on January 23, 2012.  We will have a discussion later today on the time of the meetings.

Today we will be voting on the 2012 Budget that was distributed last month.  Keep in mind that we do not know definitively the amount of money we can count on at this time but the Finance Committee and the Board have looked at all the figures provided to us at this time.

Director’s Report

In addition to Ewa Jankowska’s written report, she reported:

We have received some information about county funding although it has not been voted upon yet.  A letter was received from Mike Zurlo so we expect Clinton County funding to stay the same.  On December 7th, Michael Spofford and Ewa will attend the Clinton County Budget Hearing.  According to Essex and Franklin Counties’ websites, funding increases of two percent are expected, which is what we requested.  Michael Spofford will be going to the Essex County Budget Hearing on December 5th.  Unfortunately Ewa will be attending another meeting in Keene Valley on that night.

A quote was received for E-books from OverDrive.  For $9,000 per year, we would subscribe to their service and receive $3,000 in credit toward book purchases.  Upon agreement of the Central Library Book Aid (CBA) Committee, the money would come from CBA for the purchase of non-fiction books.  Stan Ransom confirmed that Plattsburgh Public Library’s Board is in favor of this offer from OverDrive.  Currently CEFLS does not have in its purchasing policy a provision for purchasing databases of this type.

A resolution was then made by Lisa Minnich to spend $9,000 from Central Book Aid providing all parties involved approve it, and for future purchasing of this type, a purchasing policy will be developed as soon as possible.  Barbara Stowe seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

An earlier $10,000 grant from Northern New York Library Network was used to purchase E-readers to begin the E-book program.  The remaining $8,000 can be used to buy E-books other than non-fiction to add to our core collection.

New York Library Association is trying to get a lawyer that libraries belonging to the association could access.  Most of the Library Systems say they would contribute $700 toward that law firm, but it could be less if there are more who participate.  CEFLS has contingency funds in our budget in the amount of $1,000 for issues other  labor law.  Ewa has attended two trainings conducted by this law firm in Saratoga Springs and was very impressed with their understanding of education and library law.  She is waiting to see what they would provide and if their legal opinions will be available to everyone on line.  At their trainings, Jim Britell who was also in attendance, said these lawyers discussed the various relationships libraries can have with towns, villages, counties and school districts.  Jim has been talking to the trustees of many of our member libraries and they want coaching and guidance as to how they can become taxing districts.  These lawyers are willing to come to speak with the trustees of our libraries.  Jim feels our System should pay for access to these lawyers because we have a particular need for their services as we have so many libraries with no financial base.

In the new year we will have to think about selling the bookmobile by sealed bid and guidance on how to determine a fair price is welcome.  The bookmobile is a little over six years old and has 102,000 miles.  Discussion ensued on such topics as depreciation, the market for such an item and the possible necessity of purchasing a new van after the bookmobile is sold.  The current van has over 200,000 miles.

Plattsburgh Public Library (PPL) Report

Stan Ransom reported that when he was at CEFLS and was responsible for disposing of a couple of bookmobiles, an ad was placed in the newspaper and they notified anyone who might be interested in them.  They generally used to last about 10 years, and in the past the three counties were pretty helpful with the purchases.

Right now PPL is trying to provide book service to the nursing homes in Plattsburgh and they have seniors from homes making group visits to the library.  Seniors are also renewing books by telephone.

Asbestos removal in PPL’s basement is now complete, their roof has been repaired, and the mold has been remediated.  The boiler problem continues and there is no heat on the second floor.  Those who use the auditorium are forewarned that it is cold.  Today is the deadline for bids for the boiler repair and they hope it is repaired quickly.

The city has established a team to service computers and that is a welcome thing

PPL has a budget shortfall of about seven percent and the City has a two percent tax cap; therefore the City is unable to help.   As a Central Library, it is mandatory that PPL is open 55 hours per week.

Clinton-Essex-Franklin Director’s Association (CEFDA) Report

There has not been a meeting, so there is nothing to report.

Committee Reports

Executive Committee:

Nancy Cooper, Vice President, reported for Chris de Grandpré in his absence that the Executive Committee has not met.

It is time to mention the Trustees’ Discretionary Fund.  A suggested donation of $10 from each trustee is requested and will be used as the trustees agree upon as a “sunshine fund”.

Bookmobile Committee:

Nancy Cooper welcomed ideas on how to get the word out that the bookmobile will be for sale.

Development Committee:

Nancy Cooper reported that currently our Leadership Campaign is at 35.7 percent participation, with contributions received from 5 out of 14 Trustees.  This campaign began October 1st and will run through September 30th.  Martha Spear stated that although we talk a lot about grants and funding, as Trustees one of the prime responsibilities is fiscal so she strongly encouraged everyone to participate in this campaign.

Personnel Committee:

Dr. Stowe stated that Ewa Jankowska has requested more time to complete her report.

Dr. Carey’s seat on the Board will need to be filled.  It is a Clinton County seat.  We have a potential candidate, Maiko Barcomb.  The Board wants to be certain that Ms. Barcomb knows that this would be a five year commitment with 11 meetings per year.  Dr. Church will be asked to confirm this, and a letter will be sent to the Clinton County Legislature with Ms. Barcomb’s Curriculum Vitae.  If she is approved by the County, Ms. Barcomb could take the Oath of Office at the January meeting.

Nominating Committee:

Lisa Minnich presented the following slate of officers for the Board of Trustees for 2012 as recommended by the Nominating Committee:  Chris de Grandpré - President, Lisa Minnich - Vice President, Treasurer – Nancy Cooper, Secretary - Jennifer Henry and Member-at-Large – Barbara Stowe.  Lisa Minnich motioned acceptance of the slate.  With a quorum present today, the officers for 2012 will be elected with acceptance of the slate as presented, and they will take their Oaths of Office at the January meeting.  Deborah Wells seconded the motion.  Motion carried.

Advocacy Committee:

Jim Britell provided examples of advocacy materials that are being used in Onondaga County where they have a very comprehensive advocacy program with multiple meetings and events in a month.  They were successful in getting their county to approve a $5 million dollar bond for library renovations.  The head of their Advocacy Program, Robert Manning, who has a camp in our area and is a patron of Weed Library, has agreed to do advocacy training for Trustees in the spring.  Mr. Manning would combine this advocacy training with a trip to his camp and he would provide two to three weeks’ prior notice.  Jim has been speaking with presidents of our member libraries about such a training meeting and has found there is a lot of interest.

The President of the Library Trustees Association (LTA) of New York, Mary Ellen O’Connor, who is a compelling speaker, has also agreed to come up in the spring to meet with trustees of CEFLS and member libraries’ trustees.

Old Business

A resolution was made by Martha Spear to approve the Proposed Budget for 2012.   Copies of this proposed budget were distributed at the October Board of Trustee meeting.  Lisa Minnich seconded, resolution carried.

A short discussion ensued on the responsibilities of library trustees.  Ewa Jankowska summed up the three major duties:  hire and evaluate the director, set or approve policies and probably the most important one is to oversee the budget.  Kip Thompson added that it is of the utmost importance that the trustees maintain the continuity of library services for the future.

Nancy Cooper summed up that everyone brings their own areas of expertise to the table, and it is good to have this discussion because things are brought out that perhaps others haven’t thought of.

Jim Britell, who is a member of the New York Library Trustees Association (LTA) communicates with trustees from major libraries almost daily and has gained a real perspective of our state.  Trustees of the rural library really advocate the trustees’ role to the librarians and the executive directors, and Jim feels the only way to really understand the role of the trustee is to be exposed to people who are successful trustees, such as Mary Ellen O’Connor, who is the president of LTA.  The Regents and associations of librarians are looking to trustees to carry the ball in raising funds which means the roles and responsibilities are going to change.  Jim suggested that all trustees become members of the LTA.

New Business

Nancy Cooper resolved that a reserve contingency fund as a line item in yearly budgets be established.  The Finance Committee has discussed this and recommends it.  Dr. Stowe seconded.  Resolution carried.

Guidelines need to be established for increasing or decreasing this contingency fund.  If trustees have suggestions, they are to bring them to the Finance Committee who will develop a recommendation to bring back to the Board.  Basically the fund was set up so that Michael Spofford and Ewa Jankowska can request the Board’s approval for a specific reason to increase or decrease funds.

Service Priorities:

A resolution was made by Martha Spear to approve Service Priorities 2012.  Ewa Jankowska stated that Service Priorities 2012 were extrapolated from the Five-Year Plan of Service which NYS Library has approved.  Service Priorities 2012 will be part of the Strategic Plan.  Jennifer Henry seconded the resolution.   Resolution carried.

NYLA Conference:

Jim Britell reported that he helped to man a very interesting booth at the NYLA Conference.  Vision 2020, The Future of Libraries, encourages trustees to take interest in smaller libraries that don’t have revenue streams and figure out how to convert their status to taxing districts.  Jim further stated that if you are levying taxes and you have a two percent tax cap like Plattsburgh does, library trustees could vote to increase the taxes beyond the cap and then through a ruling of voters, you only need 50 percent plus one to have that higher budget take effect instead of 60 percent of the vote.  Once you become a taxing district, the trustees only need 60 percent of their vote to increase the taxes.  This would be beneficial to towns as they struggle with their budgets.

Jim Britell feels all libraries and library systems in New York State should become members of New York Trustee Association (LTA).  CEFLS has about 20 out of 30 who are not members.  For the smaller libraries, the fee is only $10 and then all of their trustees are members.  Jim has been talking to trustees of the non-member libraries to let them know that as LTA members, they would be provided with the latest information on tax caps, taxing districts, and how to do advocacy legally.  So far they have all agreed to join.  Jim is also speaking with them about Northern New York Library Network and the fact that many member libraries did not send anyone to their most recent meeting, nor did they send anyone to the Library Assistants Conference.  Jim feels that more communication is taking place among trustees of the system now, and they are delighted at the prospect of opportunities to meet with other library trustees.

This year’s New York Libraries Trustees Conference will be on Long Island in April.  More information will be forthcoming.

Jim Britell also recommends that our Library System joins the New York State LTA.  Once our System joins, then all our trustees will be members.  Membership fees are based on budget size, so for CEFLS the fee would be $225.  Jim suggested that if trustees don’t want to burden the System, everyone could chip in.  To join as an individual trustee, the fee would be $30.

Discussion ensued about the time and the expense involved for trustees to attend conferences since CEFLS does not have a budget for that.  Jim Britell feels strongly that CEFLS should have a trustee present at the NYLA Conference and the other various conferences, and that it should be a CEFLS expense.   Our Library System is fortunate to have two trustees who do attend the aforementioned conferences, due to library commitments other than here at CEFLS, where their membership fees and conference expenses are covered.

Lisa Minnich suggested that each trustee contribute $15 to a System membership to New York Library Trustees Association, which would make each trustee a member.  Others felt that CEFLS should be able to come up with $225 for the System to join.

Nancy Cooper then made a motion for CEFLS to join New York Library Trustees Association for $225.  Lisa Minnich seconded.  Motion carried.  More discussion ensued on the importance of being able to network with other libraries to learn how they have dealt with tough situations and worked through them.

Ewa Jankowska stated that she attended a POLISDO meeting in Saratoga at which Ms. O’Connor said New York LTA intends to put on their website webinars, seminars and power point presentations that other Systems might have done in the past.  NYLTA also maintains a policy data base that members can access.  Jim Britell added that as a point of interest, LTA raised money for Wells Library after they were devastated by flooding earlier this year.

Kip Thompson feels we must support and improve the health of our member libraries, and for CEFLS we need to shift to fee-for-service.  It is becoming more and more important to shift away from the current methods of funding for small libraries to make them taxing districts.

Proposed Calendar for Board of Trustee Meetings in 2012:

There was general consensus by the trustees that the proposed calendar for Board of Trustee meetings in 2012 looks good.

Discussion of Time of Day for Board of Trustee Meetings:

Thought has been given by some CEFLS trustees as to whether there might be a better time of day, other than 4:00 p.m. to begin Board meetings.  Two major considerations were difficulty driving after dark and trustees who work during the daytime.  At this time, it was agreed that all things considered, 4:00 p.m. works for the majority.

What the Staff at CEFLS Does:

It was decided that the second part of Ewa Jankowska’s presentation from last month’s Board meeting on what the staff at CEFLS does will be given on January 23rd, at 3:30, just prior to the Board of Trustee meeting.


Deborah Wells made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Nancy Cooper seconded.  Motion carried.  The meeting was adjourned at 5:40 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary “Lisa” Minnich



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