03.18.21 – SC Minutes
SYSTEM COUNCIL MINUTES
BERGEN COUNTY COOPERATIVE LIBRARY SYSTEM
March 18, 2021
Stephanie Bellucci, Cliffside Park
Attendance sheet is attached to the minutes in the BCCLS office
- Call to Order
Stephanie Bellucci called the virtual meeting to order at 10:03 am. She thanked everyone for coming
and gave the usual reminders: ensure display names and libraries are descriptive (rather than
“Director” or “Laptop”) when signing in via the computer, email Darlene Swistock if participating via
phone or attendees may not be marked as present, use the chat box to indicate a request to speak
and wait to be recognized, mute mics unless speaking, state name and library before speaking, and
wait until the Public Portion, Membership Hearing or when asked for comments before speaking,
remember that roll call voting cannot be done via the chat box. Lastly, she welcomed Michelle Albert
who was named Director at Nutley Public Library and offered the membership’s support as she gets
acclimated. She also mentioned that Cheryl McNeil is no longer at Norwood.
- Minutes of Previous Meeting – December 10, 2020
It was MOVED BY: Ellen O’Keefe Seconded by: Chelsea Coleman
to approve the minutes as written. All in favor. Motion carried.
She thanked Darlene Swistock and everyone who read the draft of the minutes for their help
ensuring that a clean copy of the minutes was in the meeting packet.
- Public Portion
● John Trause congratulated the staff of BCCLS’ member libraries who were recently elected to
the NJLA board:
− Jessica Trujillo, Montclair – Vice President/President Elect
− Allen McGinley, Teaneck – Second Vice President
− Selwa Shamy, Montclair – Secretary
● Dave Franz asked about submitting copies of the state reports electronically to the BCCLS
● Kathleen McGrail pointed out that email is not the forum for discussions about System Council
agenda items; those conversations should take place during System Council meetings.
Everyone needs to be mindful of OPRA requests.
- Treasurer’s Report
Terrie McColl’s report was previously shared with the membership. As she was not present in the
meeting at that time, Dave Hanson offered to answer any questions. There were no questions about
It was MOVED BY: Amy Babcock-Landry Seconded by: Kathleen McGrail
to accept the Treasurer’s Report. All in favor. Motion carried.
- President’s Report
Stephanie Bellucci’s report was previously shared with the membership. Since there was a full agenda
today and to save time, she did not add anything further. There were no questions about her report.
- Executive Director’s Report
Dave Hanson’s report was previously shared with the membership. He mentioned that BCCLS’
$150,000 Bergen County grant was in process; although it was a difficult year for the county, BCCLS
was fortunate to continue to receive this funding. He also noted that Newsbank acquired the current
and historical issues of The Record, and 6 of the Dr. Seuss books won’t be published any longer.
There were no other questions about his report.
- Committee Reports
a. Committee Chairs Wrap-Up Meeting Notes
The notes from the Committee Chairs Wrap-Up Meeting on March 1 were included in the meeting packet. Stephanie Bellucci thanked Darlene Swistock for her work on the notes and commented that virtual meetings and Google docs worked well for most of the committees last year. She thanked the committees and their chairs for their hard work. There was a Committee Chairs Kick-Off Meeting on March 16. Chairs will meet quarterly: the first meeting explained how to run a committee, the second and third meetings will review the committees’ activities and the fourth meeting will be a wrap-up meeting. Going forward, there may be an orientation for new committee chairs. She thanked Dave Hanson and Darlene Swistock for their work on the committee rosters.
b. Quarterly Committee Updates
Quarterly Committee Reports were included in the meeting packet. There were no presentations
or questions about the committee reports.
- Old Business
- New Business
a. Policies & Procedures Committee – Recommendation – VOTE
Chris Doto, co-chair, reviewed the recommended changes:
● Damaged, Incomplete and/or Mislinked Materials
● Preferred Name Field > Uniform Manner of Entry
● Catalog Submissions > Submissions > Requisites for All Accepted Formats
Stephanie Bellucci thanked the committee for their hard work.
It was MOVED BY: Amy Babcock-Landry Seconded by: Linda Corona
to approve the recommendations from the Policies & Procedures Committee.
A discussion followed. John Arthur proposed a friendly amendment: changing “A chosen American
name” to “A Chosen Name”. Amy Babcock-Landry accepted the friendly amendment.
It was MOVED BY: John Arthur Seconded by: Ellen O’Keefe
to approve the recommendations from the Policies & Procedures Committee reflecting the
amendment. All in favor, 1 abstention. Motion carried.
Dave Cubie asked how to validate names and Mike Grgurev replied that the registration name is
currently the preferred name.
b. Code of Conduct – VOTE
Stephanie Bellucci explained that the Code of Conduct document was drafted by Amy BabcockLandry, Peter Coyl and Camille Valentino with help from her and Dave Hanson. It was decided
that BCCLS needed to look at how everyone interacts with each other and BCCLS needed
something to guide the membership. It was approved by the Executive Board on August 19, 2020
but, due to an oversight, it was not passed to System Council for a vote.
It was MOVED BY: Kathleen McGrail Seconded by: Peter Coyl
to approve the Code of Conduct that was approved by the Executive Board on August 19, 2020.
Ellen O’Keefe proposed a friendly amendment to adopt the Code of Conduct through part of the
first paragraph: “Anyone asked to stop a hostile or harassing behavior is expected to comply
immediately. All participants and presenters are expected to observe these rules and behaviors at
all BCCLS events, meetings, and listserv communications. Participation in a BCCLS meeting,
event, or discussion signals a willingness to comply with this Code of Conduct. This includes email
and other written correspondence, and meetings and events, both virtual and in-person.” The
friendly amendment was not accepted by Kathleen McGrail. John Arthur suggested reevaluating
enforcement within 2 years. Kathleen McGrail would be agreeable if the Code of Conduct is
A lengthy discussion followed and many directors shared their thoughts. The drafters of the Code
of Conduct were thanked for their efforts. Several directors said they were sad and shocked by
the situation and wished that everyone would be kind to each other. Several other directors felt a
Code of Conduct was needed, it should be reworked and then reviewed by an attorney. There was
also concern about legal liability, how the code will be used, does it promote animosity and
bullying. Stephanie Bellucci pointed out that directors do have the opportunity to voice their
concerns at Executive Board and System Council meetings. Other directors felt that a code of
conduct was not necessary. A director commented that one director shouted down another director
and that stopped him from speaking at meetings. It was also suggested that the Executive Board
issue an apology to Judy Heldman; the situation will be discussed at the next Executive Board
meeting in April.
Peter Havel suggested that, since there still seemed to be a lot of questions about the Code of Conduct, perhaps it could go to a committee and some of the remaining concerns could be addressed. Dave Hanson explained that the Code of Conduct can be referred back to the drafters or passed on to another committee or task force to be
rewritten and clarified, not to determine if a Code of Conduct is needed.
John Arthur read his proposed referral amendment
Motion to convene a Code of Conduct task force, with applications for inclusion on the task force
to be received by May 15, 2021, and with appointments made by the BCCLS President by May
31, 2021, to consist of Executive Board members and non-Executive Board members, not to
exceed seven total members (three from Executive Board and four non-Executive Board), with the
BCCLS Executive Director serving in an advisory and non-voting role. The first charge of the
committee will be presenting an opinion to System Council at the October 2021 meeting regarding
whether a Code of Conduct is needed, drawing on Code of Conduct policies from other library
consortia, other similar organizations, and attorney opinion as to the necessity of such a policy.
System Council will then vote regarding whether a Code of Conduct should be drafted by the task
force. If System Council approves the drafting of a Code of Conduct, the Code of Conduct will be
drafted, vetted by an attorney, and submitted to Executive Board by December 31, 2021 and must
be approved by both Executive Board and System Council by a 2/3 majority.
Dave Hanson reiterated that the referral amendment would not be to determine if a Code of Conduct is needed. John Arthur suggested he could make his motion after the vote on the current motion or change his referral amendment. Amy Babcock-Landry said she would propose an updated referral amendment.
It was MOVED BY: Amy Babcock-Landry Seconded by: John Arthur
to convene a Code of Conduct task force, with applications for inclusion on
the task force to be received by May 15, 2021, and with appointments made by the BCCLS
President by May 31, 2021, to consist of Executive Board members and non-Executive Board
members, not to exceed seven total members (three from Executive Board and four non-Executive
Board), with the BCCLS Executive Director serving in an advisory and non-voting role. The first
charge of the committee will be to draw on Code of Conduct policies from other library consortia,
other similar organizations, draft a Code of Conduct to be reviewed by an attorney and to be voted
on by the Executive Board at the Executive Board meeting closest to the end of work and then
onto System Council if approved by the Executive Board.
Kathleen McGrail asked if she needed to accept the referral amendment and Peter Coyl replied
that she did not. She felt the timeline was very long and proposed presenting a draft of the Code
of Conduct to the Executive Board by April 15, 2021 so it could be introduced at the System Council
meeting in June and then voted on by the membership at the System Council meeting in
September. She was surprised that some directors were surprised about the Code of Conduct as it has been mentioned in the Executive Board and System Council minutes since 2019.
Amy Babcock amended her motion with the revised timeline and it was seconded by John Arthur.
It was MOVED BY: Amy Babcock-Landry Seconded by: John Arthur
to convene a Code of Conduct task force, with applications for inclusion on the task force submitted by March 31, 2021, and with appointments made by the BCCLS President by April 15, 2021, to consist of Executive Board members and non-Executive Board members, not to exceed seven total members (three from Executive Board and four non-Executive Board), with the BCCLS Executive Director serving in an advisory and non-voting role. The first charge of the committee will be to analyze Code of Conduct policies from other library consortia, other similar organizations, draft the Code of Conduct and submit it to the attorney for review of the policy. At that point, a report will be made to the Executive Board as soon as possible after the completion of the work.
Stephanie Bellucci asked directors to volunteer to work on rewriting the Code of Conduct. Dave Hanson advised that the membership vote will determine if the Code of Conduct is ultimately passed. He advised that a super majority vote is not needed; a majority vote is sufficient. This vote is to refer the Code of Conduct to a new task force to continue working on it; it is not a vote to see if the Code of Conduct should be adopted.
A voice vote was taken: Yes (43), No (25), Abstain (4), Not Present (5). Motion carried.
c. Additional New Business
● Ellen O’Keefe wanted to make a motion to end the second phase of the materials’ quarantine.
Dave Hanson replied that it was part of the emergency powers recommendations passed by
the Executive Board and it will be discussed at the Executive Board meeting in April or the
Executive Board can decide to have a special System Council to discuss and vote. Ellen
O’Keefe withdrew her motion.
● Kathleen McGrail asked about the status of the Conflict of Interest policy. Dave Hanson
explained that it would be for members of the Executive Board as well as BCCLS staff members. The
work is in process. It would need to be added to the Personnel Manual and reviewed by the
Personnel Committee. A determination would need to be made where it would reside (bylaws,
policies). Then it would be presented to the Executive Board and System Council for their
- Membership Hearing
● John Arthur wants to invite everyone to his library after the pandemic.
● Tara Cooper thanked Stephanie Bellucci for her great work as President during the pandemic.
● Jennifer Breuer thanked Mike Grgurev for the MeeScan checkout reports and Eric Lozauskas
for the BCCLS Value Report and Cybersecurity Report.
● Monica Smith recommended that everyone read Getting to Yes. It is a good read during these
● Samantha McCoy mentioned that the annual NJLA Conference will be virtual this year and its
new Executive Director made 17 virtual legislative visits in her first month.
● Stephanie Bellucci noted that the annual ALA Conference should be virtual as well.
● Lina Podles announced that she will be retiring on June 1 after 20 years. She thanked
everyone for the great memories.
● Susan Meeske advised that the Northern Valley libraries have started a pen-pal program; 70
people have signed up to participate.
- Next Meeting
System Council: Thursday, 6/17/21 @ 10:00 am – Virtual
Executive Board: Wednesday, 4/28/21 @ 10:00 am – Virtual
It was MOVED BY: Ellen O’Keefe Seconded by: Chris Hartigan
to adjourn at 12:27 pm. All in favor. Motion carried.