06.10.21 – SC Meeting Minutes
SYSTEM COUNCIL MINUTES
BERGEN COUNTY COOPERATIVE LIBRARY SYSTEM
June 10, 2021
PRESIDING: Stephanie Bellucci, Cliffside Park
NOT PRESENT: Teaneck
Attendance sheet is attached to the minutes in the BCCLS office
- Call to Order
Stephanie Bellucci called the virtual meeting to order at 10:05 am. She reminded everyone of the
usual reminders: ensure their computer-displayed names are descriptive when signing in and email
Darlene Swistock if participating via phone, mute their mics when they are not speaking and when
typing in the chat box, state name and library when speaking and wait to speak until the Public
Portion, Membership Hearing or when comments are requested. She asked that the motion be
clearly stated, identify who made the motion and who seconded it. Voting should be via voice vote;
if a library votes via the chat box, the vote will be repeated so it is documented. This will help to
ensure that there is a clear record on the recording and in the minutes.
She welcomed the new directors: Elizabeth Fried (Norwood), Emily Pepe (Northvale, was
previously Acting Director) and Morgan Taylor (Ho-Ho-Kus) and the new acting director, Rosary
Van Ingen (Hoboken).
John Arthur advised that Esperanza Pacheco will be the Interim/Acting Director at Englewood.
She also welcomed and congratulated the 2021 BCCLS Scholarship winners: Brigitte Carroll (Glen
Ridge), Gladys Cepeda (Hackensack and Ridgewood), Samantha Evaristo (Hoboken), Maureen
Herman (Hasbrouck Heights), Kristie Murru (Bergenfield) and Brandy Neary (Ho-Ho-Kus). There
will be a special video shown during today’s System Council since the scholarship winners were
unable to be recognized in person. They were invited to stay for the entire meeting if they were
able to do so. She thanked the Scholarship Committee for their hard work.
- Minutes of Previous Meeting – March 18, 2021
It was MOVED BY: Chris Hartigan Seconded by: Ellen O’Keefe
to approve the minutes as written. John Trause asked that 9c. Additional New Business be
amended to read members of the Executive Board as well as BCCLS staff members. All in favor
with the addition. Motion carried.
- Public Portion
Samantha McCoy thanked everyone who attended the NJLA Annual Conference and noted that
many BCCLS staff members were involved in the programs.
- Treasurer’s Report
Terrie McColl’s report was previously shared with the membership. She reminded everyone that
the Treasurer’s Report in the meeting packet is 4 pages; additional details are available in
MyBCCLS. There were no questions about her report.
It was MOVED BY: Chelsea Coleman Seconded by: Chris Hartigan
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, she only added that the committee chairs had a quarterly meeting on June 9. There were
no questions about her report.
- Executive Director’s Report
Dave Hanson’s report was previously shared with the membership. He mentioned the
Parliamentary Studies training on July 15 and encouraged directors and committee chairs to sign
up. He noted that budget season is starting and we expect an announcement regarding the new
NJLA Economic Navigator Initiative at the end of June. There were no questions about his report.
- Committee Reports
a. Committee Chairs Kick-Off Meeting Notes
b. Quarterly Committee Updates
The Committee Chairs Kick-Off Meeting notes and the quarterly committee reports were
included in the meeting packet. There were no questions about the notes or reports. Stephanie
Bellucci thanked the committees for their hard work and said she appreciated their efforts.
- Old Business
a. Audit Review
Dave Hanson noted that the audit was performed virtually for the most part. He explained that
Total Assets at year-end was higher because of the PPP loan that was converted to a grant
and a number of libraries prepaid their BCCLS bills.
- New Business
a. Policies & Procedures Committee – Recommendation – VOTE
Chris Doto, co-chair, reviewed the recommended changes:
• Communication > Emails
Stephanie Bellucci thanked Chris Doto, Amy Fletcher and the committee for their hard work.
It was MOVED BY: Mary Jo Jennings Seconded by: Adele Puccio
to approve the recommended changes from the Policies & Procedures Committee. All in favor.
b. Capital Plan Task Force Proposal – VOTE
Dave Hanson explained that Strategic Plan Outcome 6 called for a capital plan. The Capital
Plan Task Force looked at anticipated capital improvements for the next 9 years and they
recommended moving some of the fund balance to help fund the capital account. The cost per
library starts at $50 in 2022 and then increases to $1,200 a year for 2022-2030.
A discussion followed:
• What about inflation? (There is some flexibility as the proposal is very conservative.)
• Determination #3 indicates that the auditors recommend saving $500,000. (A more
realistic goal is $350,000-$400,000.)
• The 2023 replacement of the server/software/van is expected to be $182,000, but the
fund value is $59,050. (The fund value represents the value at the end of the year
assuming all of the capital improvements have been completed.)
It was MOVED BY: Amy Babcock-Landry Seconded by: Mike Banick
to approve the Capital Plan Task Force proposal. All in favor. Motion carried.
c. MOST Amendment to Strategic Plan – VOTE
Stephanie Bellucci thanked the directors for attending the Small Group Meetings to discuss the
proposed amendment to the Strategic Plan. She noted that it is a forward-looking document
and the challenges facing BCCLS will still be there whether or not the amendment is approved.
It was MOVED BY: Peter Havel Seconded by: Jennifer Breuer
to approve the MOST Amendment to the Strategic Plan.
A discussion followed. Many directors shared their opinions:
• The proposal will help libraries plan for the future and have control over payments for
• It is not forward looking and takes choices away from the individual libraries.
• A small group (Executive Board) will be making decisions for all of the libraries.
• All libraries should have a voice and a vote.
• If this passes, what happens to the billing buckets? (Dave Hanson replied that buckets
are still a part of foundational services and there would be a second “placemat” for
• The world languages optional service had been removed from the budget in 2018 and
the membership asked for it to be returned.
• A NO vote would require System Council to vote to allow libraries to ask for optional
services while a YES vote allows libraries to be flexible and innovative.
• Does the proposal work for the BCCLS office? (Yes per Dave Hanson.)
• Optional eContent can still have 100% participation.
• Will there be transparency and an accounting of BCCLS side time if members ask?
(Dave Hanson replied yes and explained that staff time would be easier to delineate
with the new proposal and everyone will know the costs that are in the optional
• One director said she does not want to embargo her collection and sharing it helps
• Another director replied that there is an embargo on physical items and there should
be parity; this is a way to ensure that the owning-libraries’ patrons can access their
• It is important to consider if the BCCLS’ office wants this.
• Another director reminded everyone that patrons can place holds and if there are a lot
of holds, that is an alert to libraries to purchase more copies.
• Under the current process, an increase in circs did not justify the increase in spending.
• What libraries spend as a percentage of their budgets varies from library to library.
• Is there a way to track personnel costs for mandated and optional services? (Dave
Hanson explained that he would need the definition of foundational and optional
services to do so.)
• Peter Havel explained that optional services will be charged to the libraries that use
them and the vote is not to tell other libraries to add and pay for services they do not
need. Libraries would be able to approve optional services for themselves. eContent
does not affect the MOST proposal; it is a small part of the proposal and the challenges
with eContent do not go away if the proposal is not approved.
• There was a question about the actual vote. The task force charge was to determine if
services were foundational or optional, the proposal takes away the voice of members
and the Executive Board would make decisions on behalf of the membership. Dave
Hanson explained that the proposal follows the Strategic Plan. The vote is to amend
the Strategic Plan and replace it with the MOST proposal. The billing formula will also
need to be reassessed.
• Another director mentioned the demographics and the per capita support for each
• One director asked for the definition of content. Is it digital? print?
• What happens after OverDrive acquires Kanopy and OverDrive states that BCCLS
cannot ask for something because everyone else does not want it? This is an
immediate factor to consider.
It was MOVED BY: Peter Coyl Seconded by: Amy Babcock-Landry
to call the question. 1 opposed and 2 abstained. Motion carried.
A voice vote was called: Yes (34), No (39), Abstain (3) and Not Present (1). The motion did
not pass. A new task force will be created and they will use the established rubric from the
Strategic Plan to evaluate services. Stephanie Bellucci thanked Peter Havel and the task force
for all of their work.
d. BCCLS Special Election – Executive Board
Lori Quinn, chair, introduced the 2 candidates running in the special election: Omar Khan
and Kathleen McGrail, and asked them to state their library and what they will bring to the
Executive Board. She explained that the election runs for a week and will end on June 17
at 5:00 pm. Directors should have received an email from Election Buddy today. She also
asked the directors to consider running for the 2022 Executive Board; self-nominations are
due on September 1.
e. BCCLS Scholarship Winners – 2021
The scholarship winners were recognized at the beginning of the meeting.
Additional New Business
Kathleen McGrail asked the Policies & Procedures Committee to review the sharing of
materials and make a determination that all shared materials can fall under the same guidelines
as our physical collection. She asked if she needed to make a formal request and Dave Hanson
replied that was not necessary and the Executive Board will discuss it in July.
- Membership Hearing
• Stephanie Bellucci wished Gerry McMahon well on her upcoming retirement and thanked her
for her work as director, member of the Executive Board, committee chair, mentor and more,
and said that she will be missed.
• She also thanked John Arthur for his work and said there was a long list of items that needed
to be filled when he leaves BCCLS.
• Ellen O’Keefe also thanked Gerry McMahon and said she was a super trainer.
• Tara Cooper thanked MOST for their hard work, thanked Gerry McMahon and said she would
miss John Arthur.
• Ruth Rando noted that Gerry McMahon gave her her first key to the Closter Public Library and
she will miss her.
- Next Meeting
System Council: Thursday, 9/23/21 @ 10:00 am – Virtual
It was MOVED BY: Ellen O’Keefe Seconded by: Chris Hartigan
to adjourn at 12:28 pm. All in favor. Motion carried.