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Faulkner County Library Board Minutes

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Faulkner County Library Board Meetings 


Minutes for January 17, 2022


Stephanie Vanderslice called the monthly meeting of the Faulkner County Library board to order on January 17th, 2022, at 5:32PM. Joining via Zoom were board members Stephanie Vanderslice, Ben Thompson, Jeff Moncrease and Jeff Whittingham, as well as Director John McGraw, Assistant Director DeAnna Dillon, Teen Librarian Katie Scott, Danny Brown and Brad Frye from Wade Company.


Stephanie asked for nominations for Board Chair for 2022. Jeff Moncrease nominated Jeff Whittingham. Ben seconded the motion. With no other nominations forthcoming, Jeff Whittingham was elected with all in favor.


Minutes of the December meeting were reviewed. Ben moved to approve the minutes. Stephanie seconded the motion, with all in favor.


Regular order was suspended. John asked Danny and Brad with Wade Company to address the board. Danny proposed to upgrade the AHU system to a Single Zone Variable Volume System for $24,680.   They shared a video on variable speed fan systems that had some technical difficulties. There was a summary of Wade's service of the building since its construction. Currently the fans may consume as much as $23,000 per year in electricity. Variable speed fans would reduce that cost by 25% or more. The current system also has the boiler and chiller working against each other year-round. Variable speed fans would significantly reduce the load on both the chiller and boiler, perhaps eliminating the boiler running in the summer months. Currently the gas bill is around $3,000 per month. John noted that bids for a new boiler would likely mean that the gas bill would decrease, so the fans would not be saving as much.
Ben moved to seek bids on a variable speed fan system. Jeff Moncrease seconded the motion, which passed.


Summary Statements of Operations were reviewed. John reported that the library spent less in 2021 than it took in in revenue. Revenue for 2021 was 113% of projections, and January 2022 was stronger than any January on record. 
Purchase Orders were reviewed. Jeff Moncrease moved to approve the purchase orders as presented. Ben seconded the motion, which passed.


Statistical Reports and Programming were reviewed. Attendance and Circulation were up over 2020. John also stated the ADLC hit 1 million checkouts on Overdrive in 2021.


Fines and Donations spending was reviewed. There were questions about THINK coffee. John explained that THINK had been paid a flat fee to provide a free coffee bar at the Holiday Lights program. They were extremely popular. They would like to partner in the future, but would prefer to charge and to donate a share of revenue to the library. Ben moved to approve the transactions. Jeff Moncrease seconded the motion, which passed. 


Regional transactions were reviewed. John noted that the board would need to select representatives to the 2022 Regional board, which will meet via zoom on January 27th to ratify these transactions.


Old Business


Fritzie Vammen was not in attendance so the Faulkner County Law Library will be tabled until she is able to attend.


John updated the board on several personal changes. Assistant Director Bob Beck passed away suddenly on Jan 8th.  DeAnna Dillon has accepted the position. John also stated that a new Adult Programmer has been hired and will be announced in the coming week. 


John updated the board on the CareACT Grant. External Book Drops have been purchased for Vilonia, Greenbrier, Mayflower, Mt. Vernon and Twin Groves.  The Conway library will be receiving 4 Book Lockers. The programmers have picked out a 2020 Honda Pilot that they would like to purchase with the remainder of the ARP Grant.


New Business


John presented a Telescope lending policy for approval. Jeff Moncrease moved to approve the policy. Stephanie seconded the motion, which passed. Mount Vernon and Vilonia will share a telescope, and all other locations will have one to lend.


John presented an invoice for Felton Dillard’s cement work for the book drop at Vilonia, Greenbrier, Mayflower, Mt. Vernon and Twin Groves. Ben moved to approve. Jeff Moncrease seconded the motion, which passed.


John presented an invoice for Garrett Plumbing to fix the irrigation system at the back of the Greenbrier location. Jeff Moncrease moved to approve. Stephanie seconded the motion, which passed.


John requested that the board resolve to add the new Assistant Director DeAnna Dillon to the Fines and Donation, State Aid and Comiconway bank accounts. Jeff Moncrease moved to so resolve. Stephanie seconded the motion, which passed.


Stephanie, Ben, and Jeff Moncrease will be serving on the Regional board for 2022. The board will meet January 27th in Van Buren County and via Zoom.


John was asked about COVID and staffing. John stated that exposure and quarantine had hit one branch hard. One day with five exposures tested Conway’s limits to operate. A batch of N95 masks had been purchased for staff and distributed. The board urged John to purchase more masks.


Included in supplemental material is the State of the Library Graphic to be presented to the Quorum Court on January 18th 2022.



Ben moved to adjourn at 6:30PM.  Stephanie seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned.




Minutes for February 21, 2022


Jeff Whittingham called the monthly meeting of the Faulkner County Library board to order on February 21st, 2022, at 5:33PM. Present were board members Stephanie Vanderslice, Ben Thompson, Jeff Moncrease and Jeff Whittingham, as well as Director John McGraw, Assistant Director DeAnna Dillon, Branch Manager Misty Henry, and Liz Hamilton of H&N Architects. Joining by Zoom were Teen Librarian Katie Scott, Children's Librarian Mary Spears Polk, and Adult Programmer Jen Beritiech.


Minutes of the January 17 meeting were reviewed. Ben moved to approve the minutes as presented. Stephanie seconded the motion, which passed.


Regular order was suspended. John asked Liz to discuss the plans for a new Mount Vernon library. Misty had compiled a number of questions from the city as well as from patrons and staff. What is the timeline going forward? Should the board approve the plans as presented, the plans are submitted to contractors in order to price the project. If the pricing fits the budget, we pursue bidding the project with the courthouse. If the pricing is over budget, we evaluate how to cut costs or increase the budget. How much have costs increased? Hard to say, as this is an unconventional building and costs are fluctuating wildly. Are all the elements originally discussed in this plan? Programming rooms, a staff room capable of food preparation, and a safe room are present. John suggested that if costs need to be cut, the softest targets would be the amount of glass on the front, as well as the safe room. Ben moved to approve the plans as presented. Jeff Moncrease seconded the motion, which passed.


Summary Statements of Operations were reviewed. John reported that January revenue was higher than any January on record. John stated that he regretted reducing part-time budgets for 2022, as there was already need for additional part-time labor exceeding the budget line if it continues.


Bookkeeper's Reports were reviewed. John reported that the previous Garden Programmer had accepted grant money in the summer of 2021 from a non-profit for designing a performance space in the back garden that had not moved forward. The non-profit would be getting $2,500 refunded to it, which would make Garden Programming expenditures appear excessive.


Statistical Reports and Programming were reviewed. Circulation in January was at summer peak levels, rather than the usual quiet wintertime levels. Attendance was higher than any month in 2021. Niche Academy numbers appear for the first time, primarily on the public side while staff content is being assembled or built.


Purchase Orders were reviewed. Ben moved to approve the purchase orders as presented. Stephanie seconded the motion, which passed.


Fines and Donations spending was reviewed. The Honda purchase is in this list.
Jeff Moncrease moved to approve the transactions. Ben seconded the motion, which passed. 


Regional transactions were reviewed. John noted that the Regional board was supporting AAAL in its pursuit of grant money for libraries.


Old Business


Three bids for replacement boilers had been submitted. The lowest bidder was Voegele Mechanical Contractors, who had installed the present boiler when the building was constructed. Other bids came from Wade Company, currently contracted with maintenance of the HVAC software, and Harrison Energy, currently contracted with maintenance of the HVAC hardware. John had pursued questions about taxes and the existing flue to insure that all bidders were presenting all costs in their bids and describing the same work. Ben moved to accept the Voegele bid. Stephanie seconded the motion. The motion passed with one vote against.


John reported that the quorum court had exited Budget talks in 2021 by inviting county departments to come in and discuss wage gaps with the hope of doing a comprehensive adjustment. John would be putting together job descriptions for all positions, as salary surveys are already complete. 


Grant money for bookdrops has been paid. Bookdrops have arrived and concrete pads are being poured for them. Jeff Moncrease moved to approve payment to Felton Dillard for the work. Stephanie seconded the motion, which passed. Book lockers have been ordered but will take some time to fabricate.



New Business


John summarized the response to the legislative audit's supplemental findings. All issues dealt with the 2020 ComiConway event. Some issues are simple to correct, but others were noted to have been repeated and are a problem of working at scale, perhaps, though 2020 was scaled down considerably and still produced issues.



Included in supplemental material is January minutes of the Regional board meeting.


Ben moved to adjourn at 6:27PM.  Jeff Moncrease seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned.





Minutes for March 21, 2022


Jeff Whittingham called the monthly meeting of the Faulkner County Library board to order on March 21st, 2022, at 5:30PM. Present were board members Jeff Moncrease, Ben Thompson, Suzann Waggoner and Jeff Whittingham, as well as Director John McGraw, Assistant Director DeAnna Dillon, Children's Librarian Mary Spears Polk, and Adult Programmer Jen Beritiech.


Minutes of the February 21 meeting were reviewed. Ben moved to approve the minutes as presented. Jeff Moncrease seconded the motion, which passed.


Summary Statements of Operations were reviewed.


Bookkeeper's Reports were reviewed. There were questions about the Grant Expense budget line. John noted that the grant income had been received last year, but it would be prudent to add Grant expense and Grant income budget lines to the Fines and Donations budget.


Statistical Reports and Programming were reviewed. Attendance was roughly the same as the peak of Summer Reading last year. Circulation numbers remain strong, as do programming numbers. Niche Academy numbers for staff appear for the first time. Downloadables exceeded circulation in Conway. There was a request for details on the Hot Chocolate Bomb program.


Purchase Orders were reviewed. John highlighted work done by Harrison had already put the Parts and Labor line over budget, with more work to be performed. Jeff Moncrease moved to approve the purchase orders as presented. Suzann seconded the motion, which passed.


Fines and Donations spending was reviewed. Grant expenses for the Honda and the Bookdrops are included. Ben moved to approve the transactions. Jeff Moncrease seconded the motion, which passed.


Regional transactions were reviewed.


Old Business


John reported on his preparation to discuss library salaries with the Quorum Court's Budget and Personnel committees. Salary surveys are complete and job descriptions are almost complete. There is a great deal of ambiguity as to what the request should be. The 12% COLA debated last fall would have brought front-line staff up to their peers. So to recover the 8% removed from consideration during debate would be a minimum. To bring all staff up to the class 6 average would be an additional $60,000.


John reported that another grant opportunity was beginning to move through legislative committees. The application window had again been very brief. Carpet removal was again an option, but only with hard surface replacements. A proposal was quickly assembled with the boiler replacement, variable-speed fans, and replacing the carpet with hard surface flooring.


With revenues for Fines and Donations coming in as they are, John asked the board to increase programming budgets for Children, Teens, Adults and Garden by 75%. A third of projected revenue had already been collected by the end of February. Jeff Moncrease moved to increase those budget lines by 75%. Suzann seconded the motion, which passed.


New Business


John circulated material related to the re-appraisal of library property. This had been an issue when John assumed the office in 2015, but was low priority for the assessors. We may still be under-insured, but we have better numbers on the value of the library buildings and collections.


John introduced a photography and videography policy. He reports he has been quoting the policy to patrons for years only to find it did not seem to exist as formal policy so much as a procedure of considerate behavior. The policy requires patrons to have the consent of other patrons or their caregivers to be filmed. The library may designate by signage and verbal address that library programs may recorded for promotional purposes and that patrons wishing to opt out should speak with staff. Jeff Moncrease moved to approve the policy as presented. Ben seconded the motion, which passed.


John presented an estimate from Harrison Energy. During maintenance, three air handlers were found to be offline and needing replacement motor starters. Other repair needs had been noted including replacing bearings on another unit and nonworking pressure and temperature gauges. Jeff Moncrease moved to approve the repairs. Ben seconded the motion, which passed.


Included in supplemental material is cost estimates for the labor of carpet replacement and shelf-moving.


Ben moved to adjourn at 6:21PM. Jeff Moncrease seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned.




Minutes for April 27, 2022


Jeff Whittingham called the monthly meeting of the Faulkner County Library board to order on April 27th, 2022, at 5:38PM. Present were board members Ben Thompson, Stephanie Vanderslice, Suzann Waggoner and Jeff Whittingham, as well as Assistant Director DeAnna Dillon and Director John McGraw.


Minutes of the March 21 meeting were reviewed. Suzann moved to approve the minutes as presented. Ben seconded the motion, which passed.


Summary Statements of Operations were reviewed. John noted that revenue was coming in strong, above years prior, though the forecast is for a lower collection this year.


Statistical Reports and Programming were reviewed. Programming numbers jumped from February numbers. Circulation was at levels last seen during Summer Reading last year. Attendance is now about 75% of what it was pre-pandemic.


Purchase Orders were reviewed. Ben moved to approve the Purchase orders. Suzann seconded the motion, which passed.


Fines and Donations spending was reviewed. Grant expenses for the Bookdrops are included. Ben moved to approve the transactions. Suzann seconded the motion, which passed.


Regional transactions were reviewed.



Old Business


John provided an update on Personnel. The Network Administrator position is out for advertising and closing this week. Two full-time staff are retiring at the end of May. It may be necessary to advertise externally to fill these positions, but the goal is to have people in place before Summer programming kicks off.
Salary surveys are ready for the Personnel and Budget committees of the Quorum Court. Job Descriptions are still being formatted for a uniform look.


The partnership with the county Law Library went live this morning. Lexis-Nexis searching is available at the public computer stations in Conway.


Lockers purchased with CARES Act grant are expected May 16th.


New Business


John presented a proposal from Robinson Brothers to remove one section of desktop in the children's area and replace it with shelving. Ben moved to accept the Robinson Brothers proposal. Stephanie seconded the motion, which passed.


Included in supplemental material is patron surveys from Greenbrier and Conway calendars for May programs.


Stephanie moved to adjourn at 6:04PM. Ben seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned.





Minutes for May 16, 2022


Jeff Whittingham called the monthly meeting of the Faulkner County Library board to order on May 16th, 2022, at 5:33PM. Present were board members Jeff Moncrease, Suzann Waggoner and Jeff Whittingham, as well as Assistant Director DeAnna Dillon and Director John McGraw.


Minutes of the April 27 meeting were reviewed. Suzann moved to approve the minutes as presented. Jeff Moncrease seconded the motion, which passed.


Summary Statements of Operations were reviewed. John noted that revenue was coming in strong, above years prior, though the forecast is for a lower collection this year. Maintenance costs were running ahead of where they should be at this point.


Statistical Reports and Programming were reviewed. Attendance in April returned to levels seen in January and February, prompting discussion as to whether March was a bad data point or something drove the extra traffic. Programming numbers continue climbing. May will be a lighter month for programming as we gear up for Summer Reading Club.


Bookkeeper's Reports were reviewed. John said that the first round of grants that purchased audiovisual equipment for the meeting rooms, as well as the Honda Pilot, were closing out soon, so any unspent funds from that would be returned in June. Regional balances are getting low, and John regrets fully funding Hoopla for the year, rather than breaking that down into quarterly payments. Ebook spending may be shorted until Summer Reading bills are paid.


Purchase Orders were reviewed. Jeff Moncrease moved to approve the Purchase orders. Suzann seconded the motion, which passed.


Fines and Donations spending was reviewed. A surprise gift from Worthen Bank in excess of $1,000 was received. Programmers asked for a light table for the children's room and some collapsible shelving for pop-up library events.


Regional transactions were reviewed. Rescheduling the Regional meeting was discussed. June 22nd might be possible.


Old Business


John provided an update on Personnel. The Network Administrator candidates were interviewed and there was no consensus that a suitable candidate was available. After discussing Deanna's early months on the job, it was decided to name Assistant Circulation Manager Christopher Bowen to the position. Christopher has been absorbing Network Administrator job duties to assist Deanna as she began assuming Assistant Director duties. This process will
continue and there will likely be refinement of what duties remain with Deanna and what with Christopher before a new Assistant Circulation Manager is selected. Two full-time staff are retiring at the end of May, and two part-time staff are being promoted to replace them. There will be some shifting of duties between the front desk and Technical Processing which will result in more staffing for the front desk.
The Budget committee has passed on to the full quorum court the ordinance flipping salary lines for the Circulation Manager and the Adult Programmer. That meeting is Tuesday, May 17th. The Personnel committee passed on to the Budget committee the omnibus salary correction. That will be taken up by the Budget committee in June, perhaps.


New Business


John presented two quotes to repair and re-shingle the roof at Greenbrier. Collier roofing had the lower bid, but offered a much shorter warranty. Jeff Moncrease moved to accept the Collier bid, provided that a 5 year warranty could be included in the cost provided. Suzann seconded the motion, which passed.


John provided a quote for a new refrigerator for the breakroom. This is the largest appliance that Zellner's sells which will fit the space. The existing refrigerator will be moved to the meeting room kitchen. It has been serviced twice in two years and may warrant replacement as well. Jeff Moncrease moved to purchase the refrigerator for the breakroom. Suzann seconded the motion, which passed.


The supplemental material is patron surveys from Greenbrier and Vilonia.


Jeff Moncrease moved to adjourn at 6:18PM. Suzann seconded the motion. The meeting adjourned.