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Van Buren County Library Board Minutes

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Van Buren County Library Board Meeting


Minutes for Executive Board Meeting 
January 5, 2021
11;00 am
Van Buren County Library, Clinton AR


David Emmerling – Chairman of the Board, called the meeting to order at 11;02 a.m.
The following members were in attendance: David Emmerling, Kelly Tester, Vicki Carver in person, and Joye Hawk and Kristy Eastridge were conferenced via telephone. Also, Judge Dale James attended via telephone for the first 10 minutes.


Judge Dale James was apprised of the Boards decision with regards to the suspension of Lisa Nelson for 30 days – without pay, as well as how the Board would facilitate Debra Myer’s obtaining her personal personnel file. Furthermore, Judge Dale James ensured the Board that the payment for the Van Buren County mortgage payment would be made or possible had already been paid. Judge Dale James commended the Board on the handling of the issue between Lisa Nelson and Debra Myer – stating that “the Board responded appropriately in this matter and appreciated the comfort in knowing the matter had been addressed, well done.”
It was agreed that Lisa Nelson and Debra Myer would be personally contacted to review the Board’s recent decisions.
Afterwards, Judge Dale James exited the meeting.


Discussions began about filling the position of Interim Director. It was decided that the Board would hire an Interim Director on a temporary basis for 90 days.
Reviewed a resume from Ms. Adiago Bernstein, discussed her qualification and experience. After discussions, it was decided to personally meet with Ms. Bernstein, she was contacted and joined the meeting in person.
Ms. Bernstein was asked to expound on her experience and qualifications, Board members were allowed to ask several questions throughout the interview. Board discussed some of the personnel issues that she would inherit, hypothetically, she was given an opportunity to expound on the ways that she would be able to build a cohesive team and unite staff. She was given the information that the position is temporary for a period of 90 days, so that the position for permanent Director to be advertised in order to fill the position with best qualified applicant.
Afterwards, Ms. Bernstein exited the meeting.


The Board decided to offer Ms. The temporary position of Interim Director with a starting salary of $15.00 an hour 40 hours a week for 90 days.
David Emmerling would personally contact Ms. Bernstein with the offer. 
Further discussion about contacting Pam Bradford for clarification of a benefits package.


Motion was made by Vicki Carver to adjourn, seconded by Kelly Tester.
Adjourned 11:52 a.m.



 February 10, 2021
David Emmerling called the monthly meeting of the Van Buren county library board to order on February 10, 2021, at 5:10PM.  Board members Kristy Eastridge, David Emmerling, and Kelly Tester were present, as well as Interim Director Augie Bernstein, Deb Meyer, and Friends of the Library President David Jeffries. Joining by phone and Zoom were board members Vicki Carver and Joye Hawk, as well as Regional Director John McGraw.


Minutes of the January 13 meeting were reviewed. Kelly moved to approve the minutes. Kristy seconded the motion, which passed.


Statistics were reviewed. 


Financial report was taken up. Kristy moved to approve the transactions. Kelly seconded the motion, which passed.


Old Business:
Andrea's return to work and resignation dates were discussed. The need for a subcommittee to search for a permanent replacement was discussed. A committee consisting of Vicki Carver, Joye Hawk, and John McGraw was tasked with conducting the broader search and bringing one or two candidates before the full board. Compensation would range between $15 and $17 per hour, depending upon past experience.


New Business:
Augie presented a bid from VSC to inspect the fire alarms. Kelly moved to accept the VSC bid. Kristy seconded the motion, which passed.


Augie asked about opening an additional day to the public. Alternatives included opening a half-day. The board agreed by acclamation to leave that to her discretion. Reopening Damascus to some extent was likewise discussed and left to the Administrator's discretion. 


Issues with the fire doors were discussed. 


Kelly moved to go into executive session to discuss disciplinary action for an employee.  Joye seconded the motion, which passed. Kelly would later move to exit the executive session. Kristy would second the motion, which passed. Joye moved to seek a resignation, and to terminate employment if no resignation was made. Vicki seconded the motion, which passed.
John asked the board to consider the Regional bylaws' Article 1 ahead of the February Regional board meeting. Vicki moved to recommend the board amend membership to three members from each county. Kelly seconded the motion, which passed. 


Kelly moved to adjourn and the meeting adjourned at 6:27 PM.



March 10, 2021
David Emmerling called the monthly meeting of the Van Buren county library board to order on March 10, 2021, at 4:58PM.  Board members Vicki Carver, Kristy Eastridge, David Emmerling, Joye Hawk and Kelly Tester were present, as well as Interim Director Augie Bernstein, Deb Meyer, and Regional Director John McGraw.


Minutes of theFebruary 10 meeting were reviewed. The board noted that Andrea's last day on payroll is March 11th. Augie reported that all keys, equipment, cards and everything is in hand. Asked about the wifi extension, Deb said bids are still being taken. John announced that Faulkner county had hosted Van Buren county staff on a day of cataloging training, and hoped that might be revisited soon. Vicki told the board that the search committee had received eight applicants for the library administrator position. Three interviews are scheduled for the following Wednesday. The hope is to have two finalists to present to the whole boad. Vicki moved to approve the minutes. Kelly seconded the motion, which passed.


Financial report was taken up. Kristy moved to approve the transactions. Vicki seconded the motion, which passed.


Old Business:
There was a call for any old business.


New Business:
Augie receommended reopening on Wednesdays all day starting on March 24. Damascus would reopen on Tuesdays. There was discussion about reopening the meeting room with some adjustments for CDC recommendations about group meeting facilities.


David suggested a virtual run fundraiser, to be held in May. There was discussion about the lead time to get sponsors and produce a shirt. Vicki moved to pursue the fundraiser as described. Kelly seconded the motion, which passed.


Vicki moved to adjourn and the meeting adjourned at 5:53 PM.




April 14, 2021
David Emmerling called the monthly meeting of the Van Buren county library board to order on March 10, 2021, at 5:00PM.  Board members Vicki Carver, Kristy Eastridge, David Emmerling, Joye Hawk and Kelly Tester were present, as well as Interim Director Augie Bernstein, Shauna Rushing, Deb Meyer, Friends of the Library President David Jeffries, and Regional Director John McGraw.


Vicki moved to go into Executive Session for the purpose of interviewing two finalists selected by her subcommittee for the Library Administrator position. Kelly seconded the motion, and the board voted to go into Executive Session. Interviews with Shauna Rushing and Augie Bernstein were conducted. Vicki Carver moved to return to regular session. Joye seconded the motion, which passed.


Minutes of the March 10 meeting were reviewed. The March minutes stated the Friends of the Library had given $10,000 toward debt service, but that question was discussed without coming to a vote. Vicki moved to approve the amended minutes. Kristy seconded the motion, which passed.


Old Business:
There was a call for any old business.


New Business:
Vicki moved to offer the Library Administrator position to Augie Bernstein and pay her at the salary budgeted for 2021. Kelly seconded the motion, which passed.


Financial report was taken up. Augie noted that she needed to amend the Law Library financials and would send that out the following day. 
Augie asked the board about adding a part-time worker. After some discussion, Vicki moved to add a part-time position. Kelly seconded the motion, which passed.


Yearbook ads were discussed for Clinton, Shirley, and Southside. Kelly moved to approve up to $300 for yearbook advertising. Joye seconded the motion, which passed.


Kelly moved to adjourn and the meeting adjourned at 6:29 PM.



May 12, 2021
Kelly Tester called the monthly meeting of the Van Buren county library board to order on May 12, 2021, at 5:05PM.  Board members Vicki Carver, Kristy Eastridge, Joye Hawk and Kelly Tester were present, as well as Library Adminstrator Augie Bernstein, Deb Meyer, Friends of the Library President David Jeffries, and Regional Director John McGraw.


Minutes of the April 14 meeting were reviewed. Vicki moved to approve the minutes. Kristy seconded the motion, which passed.


Old Business:
There was a call for any old business. Vicki asked for clarification on monthly vs. quarterly meetings. John stated that Arkansas statute provides for monthly meetings of county library boards & promised to provide particulars to the board.


Augie reported that plans to do yearbook ads in all the schools had not happened as two schools had already gone to press. 


New Business:
Financial report was taken up. Augie noted that attendance was up in April.
Augie reported she was about to post the job opening for part-time help soon. 
There was a question about how the law library was funded and what those funds could address. The library is funded by the county attorneys who need access to a law collection. It can be to purchase print volumes or a database or whatever is deemed necessary. The funds can be spent to maintain the law library, which can mean it funds an accessible building by way of utilities.
Vicki moved to approve the financial transactions. Kristy seconded the motion, which passed.


Deb Meyer asked to read a written request from a volunteer to be cleared for work at the front desk. John stated his understanding of the state statute of patron record privacy prevents anyone but library staff from accessing patron records. He promised to send the actual statute around later.


There was a question about Damascus. Augie reported it was again open 5 days per week.


John asked if ARPA grants to libraries could be discussed. Van Buren county is set to get $16,000 in one-time grant money. There are some broad areas the grant is meant to support, but they include past agenda items such as wifi expansion and computer replacements.


Augie announced the next board meeting is June 9th. John announced the Regional board meeting in April did not convene for lack of a quorum. It is rescheduled for May 26th.


There was a discussion of the Fun Run, which earned some $3500. 


Kristy moved to adjourn and the meeting adjourned at 5:44 PM.


June 9, 2021

David Emmerling called the monthly meeting of the Van Buren county library board to order on June 9, 2021, at 5:05PM. Board members Kristy Eastridge, David Emmerling, Joye Hawk and Kelly Tester were present, as well as Manager of Library Development at the Arkansas State Library Jennifer Wann, Library Adminstrator Augie Bernstein, Deb Meyer, Friends of the Library President David Jeffries, and Regional Director John McGraw.

Minutes of the May 12 meeting were read. Kelly moved to approve the minutes. Kristy seconded the motion, which passed.

Old Business:

There was a call for any old business. Augie reported that she had submitted a proposal to use $13,900 of the ARPA grant award.

New Business:

Financials were taken up. Augie pointed out attendance and circulation numbers continue to climb. Sheila Pearson--a part-time staff member--has been hired. Kristy moved to approve the financials. Kelly seconded the motion, which passed.

The next meeting was announced for July 14th.

With no further business, David turned things over to Jennifer Wann to conclude the meeting with board orientation.

Board orientation focused on the roles of the board and director. There were discussions of the interaction of each with the quorum court. There was question as to whether the county's insurance with AAC covers the library board. The board was advised to review some policies periodically.

The meeting adjourned at 6:18 PM.