April 21, 2011 - Library Board Meeting Minutes



April 21, 2011

Call to order at 4:06 p.m. by President Enos

Present:  Brunette, Crawmer, Eisen, Enos, Murray, Wicihowski, Wisneski

Absent:  Werley

Also present: Interim Director P. Nelson, K. Seefeldt (Administrative Assistant), C. Brandt (Head of Circulation Services), J. Bongers (Head of Adult & Technical Services)

Authorization of Bills

1.      Motion to authorize payment of the April list of bills from the 2011 budget by Eisen, seconded by Wicihowski, and carried unanimously.

Eisen inquired whether funds from the city budget were used to pay for library programs. He felt those expenses could be paid from the Endowment’s program account as a cost saving measure. Interim Director Nelson explained that library programming is considered to be a customary library expenditure which should be included in our annual budget.  It was noted that Endowment funds are used during the year for some programming expenses. The Finance Committee may discuss this further when they review next year’s budget plan.

Consent Business

2.      Approve minutes from the Library Board meeting of March 17, 2011

3.      Accept minutes from the Executive Director Search Committee meeting of April 13, 2011


Motion to approve minutes from the Library Board meeting of March 17 and accept the minutes from the Executive Director Search Committee meeting of April 13, 2011 by Eisen, seconded by Brunette, and carried unanimously.

Director’s Report/Information Items

4.      Statistics.  Interim Director Nelson reviewed statistical information covering a three year period, including circulation, children’s programming and attendance, door count, meeting and study room use, computer workstation sessions and exams proctored.  Discussion ensued.   

5.      WI Public Library Standards.   These standards, most recently published in 2010, provide a way to measure a basic level of quality for public library service.  Although Wisconsin’s public library standards are voluntary, every library is encouraged to provide a least a basic level of service.  Both qualitative and quantitative standards were reviewed. Nelson reported that Menasha’s Library received a majority of excellent ratings.  Eisen noted that we do not have adequate library signage on main thoroughfares throughout the city.  He recommended that this be brought to the city’s attention.

6.      Fond du lac Public Library.  Fond du Lac Public Library stated recently that they intend to withdraw from WALS if their current $102,886 shared automation system cost isn’t reduced to $50,000 for 2012.  The Winnefox Library System Board of Trustees is reviewing the pros and cons of agreeing to the library’s request.  They are also considering what the impact would be on WLS if Fond du Lac would also choose to leave the system.  Eisen asked for clarification of the estimated decrease in 2012 revenue if FDLPL would leave WALS.  The director will check into that and report back to the Board at their May meeting.

7.      Public Library Board Member Status Report.  The partial terms of Mary Crawmer and Patrick Murray are due to end on June 30, 2011.  Both indicated an interest in being reappointed to our Board.  Interim Director Nelson will notify the Mayor of this.

8.      Additional County Appointment to Library Board.  Interim Director Nelson reviewed previous Board discussions relative to this topic.  He recommended that a decision on this issue be deferred until a new director has been hired.   

9.      2012 Library Budget Process/2011 Budget Overview.  Nelson presented a general timeline of the budget process and reviewed 2011 library revenues and expenditures.  Aspects of the governor’s budget repair bill for 2011 and the impact they may have were also discussed.

10.  City of Menasha Police Report.  In January, 2011, 74 DVDs from the Menasha and Neenah libraries were checked out by members of a single family.  To date, the items have not been returned to either library. Appropriate overdue notices and 30-day cost/replacement charge notices have been sent.  On March 16th, all items were referred to our collection agency.  Staff have been unsuccessful in contacting the family and have sought assistance from the Menasha Police Department. Murray offered advice on additional measures that could be taken.

11.  Donations.  The library received $25 from East Central WI Regional Planning Commission, $12 from Neton Piano Recital, $30 from Conversations in Cloth and $20 from Bryan Oboe Recital for meeting room use.  We also received $165 in memory of Madeline Hafenbreadl and $110 in memory of Lucille Laleike.  Additional memorial donations for Mrs. Hafenbreadl are expected.  We also received word that Madeline Hafenbreadl bequeathed funds for a series of public service announcements for our library.  These will be done on radio station 91.1 and will promote our summer reading programs. 

12.  Report from the Executive Director Search Committee Report.   The committee met on April 13. They narrowed the applicant pool, reviewed drafts of interview questions, established dates for scheduling interviews and discussed other aspect of the hiring process.  The committee recommends allowing travel compensation up to $500 for one applicant who will be traveling from out of state.

Discussion/Action Items

13.  Request for Medical Leave of Absence.  Librarian Assistant Anne Keller recently submitted a request for an unpaid medical leave of absence lasting up to 6 weeks.  Because her surgery was scheduled for April 15, the Interim Director gave preliminary approval for the request. 


Motion to approve an unpaid medical leave of absence for a period of up to 6 weeks as requested by Anne Keller by Murray, seconded by Eisen, and carried unanimously.

14.  Library System Effectiveness.  The Board discussed whether Winnefox Library System did provide effective leadership and if they adequately met the needs of our library.  Supervisors Brandt and Bongers spoke of the exemplary services Winnefox employees have continued to provide to us.  Discussion ensued regarding our Library Board’s concerns as to whether the dual director position at WLS and OPL is in the system’s best interest.


Motion to affirm Winnefox Library System did provide effective leadership and adequately met the needs of the library by Eisen, seconded by Brunette.  Discussion ensued.

Amended motion

Motion to affirm Winnefox did provide effective leadership and adequately met the needs of the library and to include an explanation stating our Board’s preference to address a change in the structure of the system’s dual directorship position by Eisen, seconded by Wisneski, and carried unanimously.


Eisen reported that he and library administrative assistant Kris Seefeldt attended the Creative Fundraising Workshop for trustees, Friends of the Library, and other volunteers on April 13 in Ripon.  The workshop was sponsored by WLS.  Eisen received a videotaping of the workshop and will share that with Board members who may be interested. Presenter Boris Frank offered ideas on how libraries may be able to raise funds to help off-set budget reductions.  Eisen noted that it is the Library Board’s obligation to set the bar for fundraising.  He encouraged all Board members to consider making a financial contribution to our library.

Motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:40 p.m. by Wicihowski, seconded by Wisneski and carried unanimously.

Future meeting dates

The next regular Board meeting will be held in the Gegan Room on Thursday, May 19 at 4:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Paul Eisen, Secretary

Kris Seefeldt, Recording Secretary

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