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April 14, 2020 – 10:00AM
Conducted via Google Meet

Present: Mike Banick (Director, Millburn), Larry Bergmann (Trustee, Livingston) Kathy Cannarozzi (Director, Rochelle Park), Patricia Durso (Executive Administrator, Allendale & committee co-chairman), Dave Hanson (BCCLS Executive Director), Jenifer May (Director, Secaucus), Tom Madru (Trustee, Park Ridge & committee co-chairman), John Mongelli (Trustee, Ho-Ho-Kus), Darlene Swistock (BCCLS Liaison), and Mike Violano (Trustee, Westwood).
Absent: Peter Wendrochowicz (Trustee, Mahwah).

  1. Call to Order & Introductions:
    The meeting was called to order at 10:08AM by Tom Madru. Members provided brief introductions.
  2. New Business:
  • In addition to its effect on public health and safety, the novel coronavirus has unleashed pernicious economic distress that is expected to be long-lasting and to worsen over time. Forecasts and assumptions library trustees and directors had made regarding budget allocations, human resources deployment and overall funding based on municipal and state sources may need to be revisited. Trustees would benefit from timely updates and education as they grapple with these issues.
  • Two (2) continuing education webinars are being proposed for trustees and directors, to be delivered in May, 2020 and recorded for review/archive by those unable to attend live:

    A frank introduction to the considerations and best practices surrounding labor issues libraries may be facing, such as furloughs, layoffs, talent retention, and the real cost of unemployment benefits. Delivered by an attorney specializing in employment law, this session will offer a period of Q&A after the main remarks.

    In the current environment of extraordinary competition for monetary support, this presentation will focus on 1) successfully communicating to local officials (Mayor & Council, CFO, Business Administrator, etc.) the value and relevance of libraries to their communities in times of economic hardship; 2) learning how libraries were affected financially and in terms of usage during and after the Great Recession, and drawing from those lessons an action plan for the circumstances ahead; 3) better understanding the one-third mill funding formula and its central place in supporting the library.
  • Mr. Hanson provided an overview of the dire effects on libraries in the wake of the Great Recession, when usage of library services soared concomitant with severe reductions in funding. He drew parallels between that time and the current economic crisis, and recommended that libraries proactively advocate to preserve funding in the interest of their communities.
  • Adjournment:
    The meeting was adjourned at 11:33AM.
  • Mr. Banick will contact Mark Ruderman, a labor attorney who has previously presented on employment law and negotiations at NJLA, to determine if he is available to present Webinar #1 during the week of May 4. He will report his findings back to the committee.
  • Ms. Swistock will issue a call to directors to identify trustees who may have served during the Great Recession and can provide first-hand accounts of the effect on libraries and communities for Webinar #2. Tentative presentation date of May 13 or May 20.
  • Mr. Hanson advises that questions for the labor law presentation should be collected in advance of the session or alternatively posed by chat box, rather than voice. A section to input questions will be included in an Eventbrite enrollment form.
  • Mr. Hanson notes that the issues facing BCCLS libraries are shared by those in other area consortia, such as PALS and MAIN. He requests that the sessions be open to the membership of these organizations as well. The Committee agrees. The BCCLS office will open registration to these groups.
  • Mr. Madru, in composing the agenda for the next meeting, will include discussion of administrative details surrounding these events, such as the method of distribution of Continuing Education credit certificates and the collection of evaluations.

  • NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, April 21 at 10:00AM
    2020.04.14 Trustee Development Minutes