January 28, 2015 Meeting Minutes

Board of Library Trustees for Caroline County

January 28, 2015 Meeting Minutes

Approved April 8, 2015


The meeting was called to order in the Central Library’s large meeting room at 5:45 PM by President Caroll Visintainer.


Caroll Visintainer,  Gale Nashold, Steve Fleegle, Terenda Thomas, Bart Johnson, Wayne Dhue; and Debby Bennett, Executive Director were present.


There were no members of the public present.



Gale Nashold moved that the minutes of the September 2014 meeting be approved as written. Bart Johnson seconded the motion.  It was passed unanimously.

Treasurers report

Ms. Bennett reviewed with the Board both the Balance Sheet and the Treasurer’s Report. The reports were accepted to be filed for audit. 

Staff quarterly report with statistical highlights was emailed ahead of the meeting and briefly discussed.   The process for keeping and compiling library statistics has been improved and a new staff member is learning to take over this task.  Staff are still working to improve capturing reference, technical assistance and traffic statistics.

Report of the Executive Director

  • A letter from Irene Padilla, State Librarian went out to every county attorney and president of county commission/council reminding them of the state law regarding the appointment of library board members. Caroline County Commissioners have always followed the law.
  • New, more efficient lights were installed over the Checkout Desk at the Central Library.  It also improved the lighting for the staff, reducing eye strain.
  • The new MyFamilyNeeds website (www.myfamilyneeds.info) is live and working well.  Staff will be heavily promoting it to agencies and the public this spring.
  • The new fire/securing monitoring company is working very well.
  • The Computer Training Lab is being used 3-6 pm Monday-Friday if not booked, for people working on homework, job searches or serious research.  A staff member is monitoring the lab and is available for one-on-one assistance during this time.
  • Work on the new strategic plan began in the fall.

Staff held one community conversation in December for library customers.  The rest of the conversations will be scheduled for the spring.

  • Saturday, April 11 from 1-3 pm staff will hold a community conversation with local historical and genealogical societies.  Linda Tompkins Baldwin, Manager of Digital Maryland (Pratt Free Library/State Library Resource Center) will join them for this event.  The projected outcomes are to create a county-wide inventory of important historical documents and a county-wide plan for digitization and preservation.
  • State funding – Ms. Bennett provided a handout listing the house and senate bills regarding the FY16 library funding.  She also provided an invitation for the board to attend the Maryland Library Legislative Reception in Annapolis on February 18.
  • MRDC update: 
    • The new high windows were installed in the Greensboro branch.  Still left to do are the Headstart and MRDC roof replacement/repairs and landscaping.  At this point, other than some random leaks, the only ongoing constant leak in the library is in the area by the wall where the adult book collection is located.
    • The library’s CAM (common area maintenance) costs for 2014 look like they will be a little higher than agreed upon and budgeted for.  Ms. Bennett is discussing some questionable bills with the MRDC representatives.  After that is settled, she will work with them to set up the 2015 CAM agreement.  Ms. Bennett has been keeping Ken Decker, County Administrator apprised.
  • Ms. Bennett reminded the board about the free board webinars through the United for Libraries Trustee Academy and encouraged them to take the courses.  Board President Caroll Visintainer stated she had gone through the courses and found them useful.

Old Business

There was no old business.

New Business

FY2016 Capital and Operating budgets must be submitted to the county by February 9, 2015.

FY2016 Capital Budget

Ms. Bennett reviewed with the board the proposed Capital Budget for FY2016, which the county calls the Capital Improvement Budget Worksheet.  Terenda Thomas moved that the proposed FY2016 Capital Budget be approved.  Wayne Dhue seconded.  The board passed it unanimously.

FY2016 Operating Budget

Ms. Bennett reviewed with the board the proposed FY2016 Operating Budget.  At the time of this discussion, the library had not received word on the state appropriation for FY2016, so had left a flat amount from FY2015 in the budget.  She discussed our loss of county funding since FY2010, which is now 25% of the library’s FY2010 budget.  Since then, the library board has had to budget approximately $60,000 annually from its unrestricted fund balance to fund the remainder of what the library needed to operate for the year.  The first few years the library lost a number of staff and time was taken to replace them.  As a result, the board did not need to expend these funds.  By FY2014, staffing was stabilized and the budgeted fund balance was expended.  It is projected that it will be expended again in FY2015 and moving forward.  While an approximate $20,000 does come in over the year through overdue fees, used book sales, and other fees; the library’s unrestricted fund balance is now below the recommended two months of expenditures required in the board’s budget policy.  Even with funding almost the entire amount of line materials, programs and staff development through grants and keeping all other line items as low as possible, the board can no longer continue to make up the difference of the needed budget with its unrestricted fund balance.  The proposed budget is for the county to include the extra money needed to maintain the library’s three locations, staff, and services, along with a small increase for the staff.  The board discussed their understanding of the county’s request to once more submit a flat budget.  The board and staff have worked hard to operate the library with the county’s reductions over the years.  The board decided it is time to tell the county commissioners that the flat funding hasn’t been enough to maintain the library, and the board can no longer make up the difference.  Wayne Dhue made a motion to pass the proposed FY16 Operating Budget.  Gale Nashold seconded.  The motion was unanimously approved.

Proposed changes of Library Board meeting months

Ms. Bennett proposed to move the quarterly meetings to October (audit review), January (proposed budget work and approval), April, and June (final budget work and approval).  The board agreed these months would work better, and are still happy with the second Wednesday at 5:30 PM.  Steve Fleegle moved that the board move their meetings to the suggested months remaining with the second Wednesday at 5:30 pm.  Wayne Dhue seconded.  The motion was unanimously approved.

Resignation of Abigail McNinch

Board President Caroll Visintainer reported that Dr. McNinch tendered her resignation in writing, due to other obligations.  Dr. Visintainer said she already has some possible people to pursue to replace Dr. McNinch.  She is looking for people with a background in budgeting and finance.

Damon Bee Bequest to the Federalsburg Branch

The library received a check for $20,000 from the Damon Bee estate.  Bart Johnson moved that this money be placed in a restricted account and be used as the donor requested.  Terenda Thomas seconded.  The motion was unanimously approved.

Terenda Thomas left the meeting at 7:30 PM.

Closed session

At 7:35 pm Bart Johnson moved and Gale Nashold seconded that the board move into closed session to discuss the performance of a specific employee under the authority of 2009 Maryland Code, State Government 10-508)a)(1); with the present trustees in attendance.  The motion carried unanimously.

At 8:10 pm the board adjourned their Closed Session and moved back into Open Session.

Board President Caroll Visintainer stated that the closed session discussion pertained to the annual performance evaluation of the Executive Director and no action was taken.

Update on FY2016 Operating Proposal

Ms. Bennett informed the board that she had checked her email while they were in closed session and found that the initial Maryland state budgets for local government and public libraries had been sent to the Maryland Public Library Directors late in the afternoon.  A $.27 per capita increase, rather than the expected $1.00 per capita increase, was given to public libraries for FY2016. Ms. Bennett updated the FY2016 Operating Budget with the expected state aid, reduced the amount the board needs to request from the county, and asked the board to vote again to approve the revised proposed FY2016 budget.  Gale Nashold made the motion to approve the revised proposed FY2016 operating budget.  Bart Johnson seconded.  The motion carried unanimously.

Actions taken

  • The board approved the proposed FY2016 Capital Budget
  • The board approved the revised proposed FY2016 Operating Budget
  • The board approved changing the quarterly monthly dates to October, January, April and June
  • The board voted to place the Damon Bee donation in a restricted account and be used for the Federalsburg Branch per the donor’s wishes


Meeting adjourned at 8:20 PM

Next meetings: April 8, 2015, June 10, 2015, September 9, 2015, October 14, 2015, January 13, 2016


Respectfully submitted,     

Gale Nashold, Board Secretary