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Van Buren County Library Board Minutes

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Van Buren County Library Board Meeting

Jan - March 2020


 April 8, 2020
Phillip Ellis called the monthly meeting of the Van Buren county library board to order on April 8, 2020, at 5PM. Board members Phillip Ellis, David Emmerling, and Kelly Tester were present, as well as Regional Director John McGraw. Joining by phone were board members Kristy Eastridge and Stephanie Treece. 


Minutes of the March 11 meeting were reviewed. Kelly moved to approve the minutes. Stephanie seconded the motion, which passed.


The financial report was taken up. Phillip noted that payroll is 26% expended and supplies 14% expended. There was a question about the payment for FOIA request, which was to compensate staff for the time and materials needed to copy the video footage from the parking lot on election day. David moved to accept the financial report and expenditures. Stephanie seconded the motion, which passed.


Old Business:
Phillip reported that talks with Arvest had not progressed much. There was broad discussion about approaching other banks or attempting another ballot question.


There was a review of the issue around Andrea's pay. The February 2019 minutes indicate that the position was offered at $25.24 per hour. The May 2019 minutes indicate the board elected to make the position a salaried position. The Quorum Court appoved the 2020 budget. The county clerk indicated she would be willing to meet with the board to resolve any questions. 


Board bylaws were taken up. Kelly moved to accept the bylaws as presented. Kristy seconded the motion, which passed.


New Business:
Staffing during the closure had been informed by county directives, which has since changed. At the time of the meeting the directive was to work normal schedules if possible. Kelly moved that the library offer limited curbside services Monday through Saturday on a skeleton crew based on willingness to work. Kristy seconded the motion, which passed.


John reported that the Regional board was meeting April 22. Email accounts for Van Buren county library board members is on the agenda.


There being no other business, the meeting adjourned at 5:22PM.



May 20, 2020.
Phillip Ellis called the monthly meeting of the Van Buren county library board to order on May 20, 2020, at 4PM. Board members Phillip Ellis, and David Emmerling were present, as well as Regional Director John McGraw, Lisa Nelson, and Deborah Meyer. Joining by Zoom were board members Kristy Eastridge, Kelly Tester and Stephanie Treece, as well as Library Administratory Andrea Singleton


Minutes of the April 8 meeting were reviewed. David moved to approve the minutes. Stephanie seconded the motion, which passed.


Statistics were reviewed. There was a call for comments.


The financial report was taken up. David moved to accept the financial report and expenditures. Kelly seconded the motion, which passed.


Old Business:
Phillip reported that refinancing talks continue.


New Business:
Summer Reading programming would be online at least through June. 


Services impacted by COVID19 were discussed. The need for computer access was highlighted as an unmet need. Policies for sanitizing machines and maintaining social distancing were discussed and the board recommended staff explore how to safely provide computer access. John suggested recommending masks on patrons. That issue was tabled until June. 


The county's new Personnel manual was discussed. Existing leave accumulated would be grandfathered in, but going forward the library would be in compliance with county policy. John was asked about having a library benefits policy that exceeds the county's. John reported that Saline County had recently been faulted by Legislative Audit for this, and that at present state law mandates that county benefits are across the board, no more and no less.


There being no further business, David moved to adjourn. Kristy seconded the motion and the meeting adjourned at 5:22PM.




July 8, 2020
Phillip Ellis called the monthly meeting of the Van Buren county library board to order on June 10th, 2020, at 4:08PM.  Board members David Emmerling, Kelly Tester and Stephanie Treece were present, as well as Lisa Nelson, David Jeffries, library administrator Andrea Singleton and Regional Director John McGraw Board member Kristy Eastridge joined by Zoom.


Minutes of the June 10 meeting were reviewed. David moved to approve the minutes. Stephanie seconded the motion, which passed.


David asked about the phone bill. Andrea explained about the number of lines the library maintains for phone, internet, and alarm services, as well as e-rate refunding a great deal of the charges.


Statistics were reviewed. Curbside service is increasingly popular, both in Clinton and Damascus. 


The financial report was taken up. The millage is running below 2019 collections, though the last two months have improved. Andrea highlighted that there is no path to making a full payment on the building in 2021 by austerity measures alone. There was discussion of collections on the voluntary tax, and the suggestion that it be promoted more on social media. Stephanie moved to approve the expenditures. Kelly seconded the motion, which passed.


Old Business:
Lacking any report from county officials on efforts to refinance the payment schedule, ballot options were discussed. David moved to pursue a quarter cent sales tax for ten years on the November general election ballot. Stephanie seconded the motion, which passed.


Plans for reopening the library were discussed. Reopening would likely result in reduced hours, as the numbers of staff especially vulnerable to the virus are high and any reopening plan would be labor intensive. It was agreed to continue as is for the present.


New Business:
The need to approve a room policy gave Andrea an opportunity to update the current policy. Andrea asked about instituting a cleaning fee for the duration of the virus outbreak. She promised to send the policy to the board members to review.


David Jeffries reported on the Friends of the Library meeting, and also said that the book sale table had brought in $1,100. Sales, memberships, and grants had brought in a total of $9,000 for the year.


There was discussion about expanding internet availability. Options discussed include a canopy over the patio area, wifi extenders for the parking lot, and a grant to get hotspots which could be checked out by patrons.


Phillip read a brief letter tendering his resignation from the board. 


David moved to adjourn. Stephanie seconded the motion and the meeting adjourned at 5:04PM.



July 8, 2020
David Emmerling called the monthly meeting of the Van Buren county library board to order on June 10th, 2020, at 4:08PM.  Board members Kristy Eastridge, David Emmerling, Kelly Tester and Stephanie Treece were present, as well as library administrator Andrea Singleton, Regional Director John McGraw, Lisa Nelson, Kim Tyler, and Vicki Carver.


Stephanie nominated David to chairman. Kelly seconded the motion, which was approved.


Minutes of the July 8 meeting were reviewed. Stephanie moved to approve the minutes. Kelly seconded the motion, which passed.


Old Business:
Plans for reopening the library were discussed. Andrea said it could be possible to staff a single day per week to the be open to the public. Wifi extenders were discussed but it was agreed that there is no good sense of demand until school starts. The board asked for a plan to reopen one day per week by September 10.


Andrea presented the new meeting room policy. Comments included the need to come up with COVID protocols for the maximum number of attendees.
Kelly moved to approve the policy as presented. Stephanie seconded the motion, which was approved.
 
Statistics were reviewed. Curbside service is increasingly popular, both in Clinton and Damascus. 


The financial report was taken up. Stephanie moved to approve the expenditures. Kristy seconded the motion, which passed.


New Business:
Vicki Carver spoke to everyone about her background and her interest in being on the board. Stephanie moved to recommend her to Judge James for appointment. Kristy seconded the motion, which passed.


A side discussion about the meeting time led the board to agree that 4PM is a difficult start time. Stephanie moved to begin board meetings at 4:30PM. Kelly seconded the motion, which passed.


Andrea discussed the findings of the legislative audit. All of the findings were supplemental findings, and had been reflected in past audits. Efforts had been made where possible to make library practices more amenable to a quick and easy audit.


Andrea discussed upcoming issues, including making a 2021 budget in the absence of information about refinancing.


Stephanie moved to adjourn. Kelly seconded the motion, and the meeting adjourned at 6:21PM.



August 12 2020
David Emmerling called the monthly meeting of the Van Buren county library board to order onAugust 12th, 2020, at 5:06PM.  Board members Kristy Eastridge, David Emmerling, Kelly Tester and Stephanie Treece were present, as well as library administrator Andrea Singleton, Regional Director John McGraw, Lisa Nelson, Kim Tyler, and Vicki Carver.


Stephanie nominated David to chairman. Kelly seconded the motion, which was approved.


Minutes of the July 8 meeting were reviewed. Stephanie moved to approve the minutes. Kelly seconded the motion, which passed.


Old Business:
Plans for reopening the library were discussed. Andrea said it could be possible to staff a single day per week to the be open to the public. Wifi extenders were discussed but it was agreed that there is no good sense of demand until school starts. The board asked for a plan to reopen one day per week by September 10.


Andrea presented the new meeting room policy. Comments included the need to come up with COVID protocols for the maximum number of attendees.
Kelly moved to approve the policy as presented. Stephanie seconded the motion, which was approved.
 
Statistics were reviewed. Curbside service is increasingly popular, both in Clinton and Damascus. 


The financial report was taken up. Stephanie moved to approve the expenditures. Kristy seconded the motion, which passed.


New Business:
Vicki Carver spoke to everyone about her background and her interest in being on the board. Stephanie moved to recommend her to Judge James for appointment. Kristy seconded the motion, which passed.


A side discussion about the meeting time led the board to agree that 4PM is a difficult start time. Stephanie moved to begin board meetings at 4:30PM. Kelly seconded the motion, which passed.





September 8, 2020
David Emmerling called the monthly meeting of the Van Buren county library board to order on September 8th, 2020, at 4:33PM.  Board members Kristy Eastridge, David Emmerling, Kelly Tester and Stephanie Treece were present, as well as library administrator Andrea Singleton, Regional Director John McGraw, Lisa Nelson, and board member nominee Vicki Carver.


Minutes of the August 12 meeting were reviewed. Stephanie moved to approve the minutes. Kristi seconded the motion, which passed.


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


Old Business:
Protocols for opening to the public were reviewed. The library will be open on Thursdays. External and internal doors will remain locked and will be opened by staff to admit patrons. A table in the lobby is set up for staff to screen entrants.


Vicki's nomination has been sent to the judge but it did not come up at the Quorum Court meeting. The nomination has been sent to Pam's attention in hopes of getting a vote next month.


Budget discussions centered on the question of how much lease financing would be required of the library, word-of-mouth news about the county's plans for the debt service and the building. Andrea circulated some projections of minimal budget requirements. 


New Business:


Stephanie moved to adjourn. Kelly seconded the motion, and the meeting adjourned at 5:09 PM.




October 14, 2020
Kristy Eastridge called the monthly meeting of the Van Buren county library board to order on October 14th, 2020, at 5:08PM.  Board members Vicki Carver and Kristy Eastridge were present, as well as Friends of the Library President David Jeffries, Regional Director John McGraw, and Lisa Nelson. Board member Kelly Tester joined the meeting by Zoom.


Minutes of the September 8 meeting were reviewed. Vicki moved to approve the minutes. Kristi seconded the motion, which passed.


Financial report was taken up. It was noted that the Workman's Compensation line is in the red. Vicki noted the number of budget lines with no funds appropriated to them and asked if they were necessary in future budgets. Kristy moved to approve the expenditures. Vicki seconded the motion, which passed.


Old Business:
Budget discussions centered on Andrea's proposals. Vicki moved to send the proposal to the Budget committee of the Quorum Court. Kelly seconded the motion, which passed.


Reopening discussions centered on staffing. Would adding a day require additional hours, and if so, from whom? David asked if there was evidence of traffic sufficient to shave hours off of curbside-only days to staff another day open to the public. Kelly moved to reopen on Mondays from 2PM to 6PM and cut Saturday hours to 10am to 2PM, beginning November 2nd. Vicki seconded the motion, which passed.


New Business:
First Service Bank, there is a need to get the signing statement updated. John recommended all board members be authorized to sign.
First Security provides the credit card, which might be discontinued if need be. No action was taken on either bank.
Discussion of online banking involved authorizing Quicken to connect to the account. Kristy moved to authorize online connection to the account via Quicken. Vicki seconded the motion, which passed. 
Andrea has been confined to home by her doctor, but would like the board's permission to do some work from home. Kristy moved to allow Andrea to work from home pending doctor's approval. Kelly seconded the motion, which passed.
Vicki moved to adjourn. Kelly seconded the motion, and the meeting adjourned at 6:05 PM.



November 11, 2020
David Emmerling called the monthly meeting of the Van Buren county library board to order on November 11th, 2020, at 5:35PM.  Board members Vicki Carver, Kristy Eastridge, Kelly Tester, and Stephanie Treece were present, as well as Friends of the Library President David Jeffries, FOL Vice-President Heidi Kottke, Regional Director John McGraw, Lisa Nelson, and Joye Hawk. 


Minutes of the October 14 meeting were reviewed. Stephanie moved to approve the minutes. Kelly seconded the motion, which passed.


Financial report was taken up. There was a side discussion of the budget approved last month, specifically budget lines in the Personnel subsection left blank. Lisa advised that those are nondiscretionary and are filled in by the county. Questions arose about the budget for internet versus the expenditure. Lisa and John explained that erate is a subsidy to refund a majority of internet bills, but the initial bills must be paid. John was asked whether there are costs for belonging to the Region. John responded that, on the contrary, 5% of Regional aid is paid to the county for discretionary spending. Also since the collections are shared, the book budget might be the softest target if the board has to make more cuts outside of Personnel. David Jeffries stated that the layout makes it difficult to decipher balances. Stephanie moved to approve the expenditures. Kristy seconded the motion, which passed.


Old Business:
Asked about the signing statement, Lisa said she would have it for the November meeting


New Business:
Joye Hawk introduced herself and offered to join the board when Stephanie's term expires in January. The board voted by acclamation to forward her name to Judge James for approval by the quorum court.


John asked for someone to serve a two-year term on the Regional board. Kristy has just completed her term, and Kelly will be the chair in 2021. The Regional board meets quarterly and makes decisions about state aid: frequently the digital tools and digital collection, but also the courier and Summer reading programs. Vicky volunteered and the board voted by acclamation to approve her representing them in January.


Lisa broached the subject of Christmas bonuses for staff. David Emmerling said that was not in the board's jurisdiction. David Jeffries said that while Friends of the Library had done that in the past, it was not where Friends presently wanted to direct their support. 


In the absence of reports from county officials, David shared discussions he had had about reducing the library's debt service to $150,000, with the county picking up the other $180,000.


David asked that the library revisit previously approved plans to extend wifi to the parking lot. An approved plan had bogged down with other cabling needs, but the board reaffirmed spending up to $2000 to extend wifi signals to the parking lot. Lisa suggested that erate might assist there as well.


Stephanie moved to adjourn. Vicki seconded the motion, and the meeting adjourned at 6:25 PM.


December 11, 2020
David Emmerling called the monthly meeting of the Van Buren county library board to order on November 11th, 2020, at 5:06PM.  Board members Kristy Eastridge, David Emmerling, Kelly Tester, and Stephanie Treece were present, as well as incoming board member Joye Hawk, Regional Director John McGraw, Lisa Nelson, and Joye Hawk. 

Minutes of the November 11 meeting were reviewed. Kelly moved to approve the minutes. Stephanie seconded the motion, which passed.

Statistics were reviewed. A sum at the bottom of the column for the balance in the discretionary fund was erroneously inserted. 

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

Old Business:
Asked about the 2021 budget, Lisa said the Quorum Court had approved it..

First Service bank can add board members as signatories to the library account via email. 

Joye reported that she had been approved by the Quorum Court, but had not been sworn it yet. David covered the history of the lease for Joye, outlining the board's responsibility and the county government's responsibility.

New Business:
Lisa broached the subject of Christmas bonuses for staff. David Emmerling said that was not in the board's jurisdiction. 

The board thanked Stephanie for her service on the board.

Kelly moved to adjourn and the meeting adjourned at 5:25 PM.




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.