Minutes of BERGEN COUNTY COOPERATIVE LIBRARY SYSTEM
Executive Board January 29, 2014
PRESIDING: Len LoPinto Cresskill
PRESENT: Rita Browning Cresskill
Christine Hartigan East Rutherford
Tim Murphy Fair Lawn
Laura Kirsch Hackensack
Judy Heldman Harrington Park
Dave Franz Hillsdale
Richard Mariconda Little Ferry
Kurt Hadeler Mahwah
Marianne Willms Wallington
Robert White BCCLS
Pat Loughnane BCCLS
GUESTS: Ridgewood Trustee Gale Campbell, Franklin Lakes Board President Twinkie Polizzi,
Nancy Greene, Michael McCue, Carolyn Blowers, Gerry McMahon, Chris Yurgelonis
Len LoPinto welcomed Board members and the guests and asked them to introduce themselves. He advised that the Agenda order is being revised in order to expedite the Ridgewood Hearing.
- Minutes of Previous Meeting: MOTION: There being no additions or corrections to the minutes, they will stand as written. Motion carried.
- Election of 2014 Vice-President & Treasurer: It was noted that Robert White is the Secretary of the Organization.
Following past practice, Len LoPinto made the following recommendations:
Nominated Dave Franz for the office of Vice-President. There being no other nominations, the Secretary casts one vote for the unanimous election of Dave Franz as 2014 Vice-President.
Nominated Tim Murphy for the office of Treasurer. There being no other nominations, the Secretary casts one vote for the unanimous election of Tim Murphy as 2014 Treasurer.
- Ridgewood Hearing: Len LoPinto prefaced the discussion by reading the section of the Bylaws pertaining to Ridgewood’s violation: Section 3 Qualifications for Membership (a) (iii) The member library shall not charge BCCLS valid card holders for BCCLS reciprocal borrowing or any of the other services provided by BCCLS. He reported that the Policies & Procedures Committee brought charges to the November 13, 2013 Executive Board meeting against the Ridgewood Library relating to the fees being charged by them to patrons for reciprocal borrowing pick-ups being sent by other libraries to Ridgewood and the action that resulted, which was that an ALL message was sent to the membership advising that Ridgewood Library immediately cease and desist from charging BCCLS valid cardholders for reciprocal borrowing or any of the other services provided by BCCLS and that a letter be sent to the Library Director and Board President of the Ridgewood Library concerning same; and that Library Director Nancy Greene be invited to attend the January 22, 2014 Executive Board meeting.
Ridgewood Trustee Gail Campbell addressed the Board stating that Ridgewood interprets the relevant Bylaw differently and that Ridgewood Library wants to be a good member of BCCLS. Her Board takes issue with the cease and desist statement contained in the December 17th letter to Ridgewood, wants clarification on the difference between fees and fines, questioned the process going forward, and expressed concern about the hostile tone of some of the email correspondence.
Len LoPinto again pointed to the relevant section of the Bylaws and Dave Franz specifically asked if Ridgewood is charging a fee for items being sent by other libraries to Ridgewood. Nancy Greene stated that Ridgewood loans all materials to any member for no fee. Several directors responded that all BCCLS libraries do the same. Nancy Greene advised that Ridgewood Library charges an internal processing fee for pickups at Ridgewood – $.25 per book; $.50 per CD; $1.00 per movie and that the $8,000 income derived from those fees enables the library to open on summer Sundays. She also mentioned that Ridgewood pays a private contractor to pack up materials for delivery.
Lengthy discussion ensued about Ridgewood Library charging their own residents for items sent from other BCCLS libraries; the amount of labor time incurred by other libraries packing up materials for residents of Ridgewood; charging for ILLs beyond BCCLS; how the choice of pickup changed with the migration to Polaris; and Ridgewood residents picking up items at libraries other than their home library. At this point in the meeting, Laura Kirsch stated that Bylaws Section 3 (a)(iii) is clear as is state library statute…a fee is a payment for service-a user fee; a fine is a penalty. Len LoPinto referred to the NJLA statement on Charging for Public Library Services and Dave Franz opined that public libraries are to provide free and equitable access and services to all in the community. Kurt Hadeler commented on materials being sent to Ridgewood for ‘free’ but not being received for ‘free’.
Additional discussion included the following: sending an email to the membership reminding them that charges must not be assessed for BCCLS services, surveying the membership on fees charged; correspondence from the Policies & Procedures committee relating to the Ridgewood violation goes back to June 2013; complying with per capita state aid regulations; Polaris software changes; striving for consistency; material budget disparities. Len LoPinto polled Board members for comments on the issue. Dave Franz summed up the commentary by stating that the issue is a Bylaws violation and asked Gail Campbell to convey to her Library Board at their next meeting that they are charging a fee for Hillsdale reciprocal items being sent to Ridgewood in order to add to Ridgewood income.
At this point, Len LoPinto closed this portion of the meeting. He stated that the Executive Board will discuss the issue further and have a determination at the February 26th Executive Board meeting.
- Public Portion: Franklin Lakes Board President Twinkie Polizzi commented on budget cuts, libraries ceasing to operate including Franklin Lakes, and libraries that are open on Sundays when others are not. She opined that the ILS software should be changed so delivery goes to the home library only and that the reciprocal fee charge should be put in an escrow account. Gerry McMahon reported that 96% of the Franklin Lakes foot traffic on Sunday is from out of town and that restricting access to some of the online services to non-residents is a public relations problem. She suggested a minimum amount be mandated for materials budgets.
Len LoPinto pointed out that the Bylaws and Policies & Procedures committees & the Reciprocity Task Force will be studying all of these issues in 2014.
- Treasurer’s Report: Robert White presented the November and December 2013 P&L Reports. Board members received a Guide to Financial Reports from Robert White in advance of the meeting. No questions.
Of the 2013 Budget of 3,047,350 3,326,063 has been received
leaving a balance of 278,713 Total expenses 3,241,250
leaving a balance of 193,900 NJ Cash Management 989,507
Checking Account 219,840
The financial reports have been filed for audit.
- Correspondence: Already done.
- President’s Report: Len LoPinto referred to his January 13th email to the Board asking each member to review the Bylaws concerning the duties and responsibilities of the Executive Board. He remarked that 2014 is a pivotal year for BCCLS…preparing for Robert White’s retirement and the hiring of a new Executive Director. It was noted that he plans to activate the Search Committee in February and that he has added Vice-President Dave Franz to it. He mentioned the work of the Structure & Organization Task Force, the role of the Board to act as Trustees, and how a complaint or concern about a BCCLS staff member should be handled. He established two ad hoc Board committees – Finance, comprised of Dave Franz, Tim Murphy, Kurt Hadeler and Personnel, comprised of Judy Heldman, Rita Browning, and Chris Hartigan. He mentioned that 2014 is the 35th Anniversary of BCCLS and that there is much to celebrate.
At this point, Kurt Hadeler went on record about his concerns that the Executive Director Search Committee is limited to Past Presidents and the current Vice-President and that the flaw might be that the committee is weighted on the memory side. Discussion ensued about the section of the Bylaws pertaining to the Search Committee, historical perspective and institutional memory. Laura Kirsch remarked that Bylaws should be charged with looking at the one-year term for rotation Board members and commented that expanding the Search Committee has merit. Following commentary from several Board members on broadening the Committee, Len LoPinto advised that the issue will be discussed at the initial meeting.
- Executive Director’s Report: Robert White’s monthly report was distributed to Board members earlier. He reported that Maplewood Library has one training session remaining and the 2013 statistics are now online
Collection HQ – after seeing a presentation of this software, this collection management tool intrigued BCCLS staff as a possible successor product to POW (Paperless Online Weeding) and some aspects of Librarian’s View. The key feature being that Collection HQ allows one to view the circulation and collection data both as a “virtual library” and as an individual library. He proposed spending $64,000 in capital funds in the introductory year and for the set-up fee with a charge of $525 reverting to each library in 2015. Prices are good until January 31st. In response to a question about funding, Mr. White replied that the cost can be paid out of $200,000 in capital funds. He stated that not more than 40 members would probably want to get started this year. Kurt Hadeler expressed concern about expending 1/3rd of capital funds without much discussion and if the 2015 pricing is equitable for some libraries. At the conclusion of a discussion about ala carte products and pricing, concerns about selling it to libraries, the Collection HQ fee in the 2nd and 3rd years, and approving ongoing budgetary items, the following action took place: MOTION: Dave Franz moved that the expenditure of $64,000 in capital funds for Collection HQ be pre-approved for purchase contingent upon the approval of the Collection Development committee. Laura Kirsch seconded. Mr. White noted that he will seek a 45 day extension in pricing. Motion carried.
Short takes – Robert White reported that BELs is looking at another automated system. If they leave BCCLS it will free up 85 Polaris licenses. With the addition of one time fees from Maplewood, this will enable us to advertise for a full time cataloger effective February 1. Brief discussion took place about NJLA working with Assemblyman Gordon Johnson to develop legislation that would allow libraries to seek a greater minimum appropriation than the 1/3 mil and be out of the cap.
- Committee Reports:
(1) Policies & Procedures – Committee submitted the attached recommendations for approval.
MOTION: Chris Hartigan moved that the attached recommendation be sent to the membership for approval. Kurt Hadeler seconded. Motion carried.
(2) Youth Services – Written evaluation submitted for the Mock Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz Awards held on January 10th at the Township of Washington Library for 41 people.
- Old Business:
(1) Open Borrowing Memo of Agreement
MOTION: Marianne Willms moved that the Open Borrowing Memo of Agreement for the period 1/1/2013 thru 12/31/2014 be approved. Judy Heldman seconded. Robert White summarized the history of the open borrowing program and the initial funding by the State Library and the Regions. Dave Franz commented on his concerns about the overall program and Tim Murphy spoke about Fair Lawn’s situation vis a vis open borrowing. Following brief discussion about the statistics included with the Memo, the limits on the number of items at checkout & the annual limits, participation in the statewide delivery service and accepting the Agreement as is with the caveat that the Reciprocity Task Force reviews the document for 2015, the vote was called.
All in favor; 1 Nay; 1 Abstention; Motion carried.
- New Business:
(1) 2014 Committee Assignments will be distributed to the membership at the conclusion of the meeting.
- Membership Hearing: Dave Franz announced that Hillsdale Library has been awarded a Makerspaces grant; Kurt Hadeler reported that two Mahwah staffers will make presentations at the NJLA Conference and announced that Allison Moonitz has been appointed Assistant Director.
- Date of Next Meeting: Wednesday, February 26, 2014
- Adjournment: 12:45 p.m.