05.10.18 – Trustee Dev Meeting – Agenda & Minutes

05.10.18 – Trustee Dev Meeting – Agenda & Minutes

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Trustee Development Task Force


Thursday, May 10, 2018 – 1:00 pm

Livingston Public Library

1.     Approval of March Minutes

2.     Discussion of what I know about the Advocacy Committee Charge for 2018

3.     Discuss our proposed three session deliverable including follow up on assigned tasks

4.     Discuss roles of former Government Relations and Friends of the Library Committees

5      Results of the level of interest survey

6.     Any new business

Conducted at Livingston Library10 Robert H. Harp Drive, Livingston, NJACTION ITEMSAPPEAR IN BLUE

Call to order

Tom Madru called the meeting to order at 1:30PM. Present at the meeting were:

Mike Banick (Director – Millburn), Larry Bergmann (Trustee – Livingston), Patricia Durso (Executive Administrator – Allendale), Tom Madru (Trustee – Park Ridge), Darlene Swistock (Executive Assistant – BCCLS), and Peter Wendrychowicz (Trustee – Mahwah).  Absent: David Cubie (Director – West Orange), and Lynn Kloss (Friends of the Library – Teaneck).

Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the March 22, 2018 Trustee Development Committee meeting were approved on a motion by Peter Wendrychowicz and seconded by Larry Bergmann.  Mike Banick abstained. 

Overview of Advocacy Committee

Tom Madru reported on the formation of a new BCCLS Advocacy Committee, to be co-chaired by Riti Grover (Director – Ramsey) and Jenifer May (Director – Secaucus).  The Committee is composed of 24 members, many of whom formerly served on the Public Relations, Friends of the Library, Trustee Development, and Government Relations and Public Policy Committees (all of which have been subsumed under the Advocacy umbrella).  The chairwomen will host a Committee Kickoff meeting at Ramsey Library on Monday, May 21, 2018 at 10:00AM.  

Tom Madru has a previous engagement and may not be able to attend.  Should an update of the activities of the former Trustee Development Committee be required, Larry Bergmann and Peter Wendrychowicz will speak in his stead.

Results of Johnson Legislation Education Survey Administered to Directors

On April 3, Mike Banick issued the survey regarding educational opportunities for the Johnson Legislation.  The survey was sent to all 76 BCCLS Library Directors, seeking responses on behalf of themselves and their boards of trustees.  Participation in the survey was optional.  Responses were due by May 2.  Forty-four Directors (58%) responded; 32 did not.  All 44 respondents answered all three questions.  Thirty-one of the 44 respondents identified the library they represent.  The questions posed and the responses collected were:

1.  Would you and your library board be interested in learning about new tools and processes to increase funding for library support beyond the 1/3 mil?  YES/NO

84% were interested in a workshop on increasing funding above the 1/3 mil rate.  16% were not.

2.  Would you and one or more representatives of your library board attend a 2-hour presentation on this topic, delivered by experts on these methods?  YES/NO

70% expressed interest in both the director and one or more trustees attending a session; 17% said director only; 2% said trustee only.  11% said no one would attend from their library.

3.  If yes, would you and one or more representatives of your library board prefer attending such a meeting during the day, in the evening or on a weekend?  DAYTIME/ EVENING/ WEEKEND/ NO PREFERENCE   

44% preferred attending a session M-F daytime; 36% preferred M-F evening; 3% preferred weekend; 17% had no preference.

4. Optional: Identify your library.

One anonymous respondent used this blank text box to comment:  “The key decision for my Board is the anticipated robustness of the presentation. They already know about Johnson, so they will want solid detail on the feasibility of mounting a campaign to pass a higher millage rate.” 


Discussion ensued on implementing a Johnson Legislation seminar within the parameters identified by the responding directors.  

There was a proposal that the session be held at two locations within the BCCLS community – one north and west, and the other south and east, to provide easy access to attendees without their enduring long travel times.  In the end, a consensus was reached that the presentation should be offered in a single, central location two times, once in the evening and again the following morning, to ensure maximum attendance.  

It was decided that the proposed session should combine a high level review of the Johnson legislation, potentially presented by NJ Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, its sponsor, with a more robust and detailed presentation on pathways and methods to putting a referendum on the ballot.  

While Pat Tumulty, Executive Director of NJLA, had previously been considered for part of the seminar, Larry Bergmann drilled down to whether Ms. Tumulty would be the appropriate candidate to present. While she would be able to provide the initial “mechanics and rules” regarding the new law, the focus of the seminar “should define and explain specifically the nuts and bolts” involved in mounting and sustaining a day-to-day campaign over the course of a year or more. 

Darlene Swistock read from the minutes of an early 2017 Trustee Development Committee meeting, which memorialized our conversation with John Chrastka of EveryLibrary, an advisory firm consulting on conceptualizing and executing “Yes” campaigns to pass ballot referenda.  The minutes stated: 

“A preliminary meeting to provide information to all of our member libraries would be $3,300 including travel for John and his partner, Patrick Sweeney.  If needed, a second meeting with the same agenda, would be $2,000 including travel.  After the big initial meeting with the libraries, consulting work with interested individuals would be done via phone and would be pro bono.  If any libraries wanted to move forward, it would be arranged on a library-by-library basis and would be pro bono plus travel.”   

The Committee found EveryLibrary’s approach professional and his firm’s track record impressive. Riti Grover had indicated to Tom Madru that the work of this [now] subordinate group in planning the proposed advocacy session should move forward, in advance of the formal Advocacy Committee kickoff, with the proviso that she be kept apprised of its activities.Pending approval by the Advocacy Committee, it was agreed that EveryLibrary should be engaged to develop a session on the pursuit of library ballot campaigns.

Tom Madru will contact the Advocacy Committee co-chairs to review today’s proceedings before moving forward with other proposed action items.   Subsequently, Tom will contact Mr. Chrastka to see if his offer to present stands, and to determine if Mr. Chrastka can deliver a 2-hour (vs. 6-hour) presentation.

Potential Participation of State Assemblyman Johnson

Lynn Kloss was in touch with Assemblyman Johnson’s scheduler regarding the Assemblyman’s interest in participating in a seminar, and of his availability in the late September/early October time frame.  The scheduler will confirm same on or around May 15, 2018. 

Tom Madru will e-mail Lynn Kloss to apprise her of today’s developments, and to ensure that he and she reconcile dates between Assemblyman Johnson and Mr. Chrastka.

In lieu of a speaking fee, Mr. Chrastka had initially offered to present if his travel expenses were covered.Darlene indicates that the Committee should quickly determine what the fee for the session will be and submit same to the BCCLS office.

Tom Madru will forward speaking fee information to Darlene as soon as it is available.

Patty Durso will pursue the Library Link NJ subsidy of up to $750 for professional development and will report back to the Committee at the next meeting.


The Committee Meeting closed at 2:55PM on a motion by Peter Wendrychowicz and seconded by Larry Bergmann.  All present voted in favor.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at 1:00PM at Mahwah Public Library, 100 Ridge Road, Mahwah, NJ.