Meeting Minutes - February 25, 2010

The Chairperson, Colleen Van Auken, called the meeting to order at 7:32PM
Present: K. Schulz, M. Siegrist, D. Turner, C. Van Auken, J. Fausone
Absent: G. Snow
Also Present: E. Davis, K. Gladden

Call to Audience

No comments (R. Havenstein-Coughlin, A. Heidemann, C. McLaughlin, L. Papa, S. Rzetelny)

Approval of Agenda

The agenda was approved as amended

Approval of Minutes

Minutes of the January 21st Meeting were approved as presented


Eva Davis had no communications to share. However, Chair Van Auken said she had received email from Cecil Young, indicating that Trustee George Snow would not be present at the meeting.

Report of the Library Director

E. Davis said that Gail Bell received an updated SEV projection from the Township Finance department. While residential properties have declined 9.8%, the projection now is that commercial development will offset some of that loss. The projection shows an overall 7% decline in total SEV (residential and commercial), which is worse than what was projected 6 months ago (4%).

Trustee Fausone filled in some background on our limits on Belleville patrons’ checkouts, stating that the board instituted the limits in 2007 to encourage Belleville patrons to use their library and advocate for better library services in their community. The three communities served by the Fred C. Fischer Library (the City of Belleville, Van Buren and Sumpter Townships) have approved the Belleville Area District Library Agreement (E. Davis has a copy if board members would like to see it) and are awaiting approval from the Wayne County Library system and certification of Belleville’s withdrawal from that system. The agreement will then be sent to the Library of Michigan for final approval.

The failed millage increase in the city of Troy, which city leaders said would result in closure of the library, was also discussed. Cathy Russ, the Troy Library director, has not communicated anything official to the library directors, so it is not known if the library would close completely or if it would operate on a reduced schedule with reduced staff. Davis said she would share updates with the board. J. Fausone expects more closures of public libraries that are city departments, as those cities are forced to cut costs. Trustee Schulz asked what happens to the collections of closed libraries. Davis explained that if it is a city library, usually the city has a policy on the disbursement or sale of surplus equipment, although the library may be able to offer their collections to other libraries, as the Library of Michigan is doing.

Davis is closely monitoring the Library of Michigan situation, but doesn’t think CPL would be a likely candidate for any of the collections being dispersed. The genealogy collection will possibly go to the MSU library.

Old Business

Endowment Fund Philosophy – The purpose of the current Endowment Fund is to reach $1 million, at which time 1% will be available to be used as operating funds; the fund at present has reached one quarter of that goal. Trustee Turner asked if it was not hard to market such a fund to prospective donors, when the goal was so far from being realized. C. Van Auken said that the Board could establish a second fund through the Canton Community Foundation with a lower threshold amount, but that it would probably dilute the value of the original fund; with fewer dollars going to the original fund, the $1 million threshold would never be reached and the money already donated would just sit there, unable to be used.

J. Fausone said that the matter could be pursued in Probate Court; a request could be made to re-purpose the original fund, at which time a lower threshold amount could be established. K. Schulz expressed a desire to exhaust the possibilities of what could be done to amend the current fund before starting over with a brand new fund. She and J. Fausone agreed to work with E. Davis to determine if a legal opinion should be sought regarding amending the current fund.

Contract for RFID Sorting System – E. Davis requested that this be made an item of discussion rather than an action item, as the project is not ready for a vote to be taken. Leo Papa explained that the sorting system, while related to the RFID tagging project, can be viewed as an enhancement, not a required part of the RFID system. When the project was presented to the Board last year, a conscious effort was made to make do with physical plant conditions as they existed in an attempt to avoid further capital expenditures. The sorting system originally budgeted (to fit into the confines of the present book drop room) does not have the capacity to handle anticipated future circulation volume. It could be used at present as a stop-gap method to relieve some burden from the pages, but would need to be expanded in the future (the system would allow for expansion.) Davis said that if a new sorting system is not installed, additional people will need to be hired to handle the volume. Davis and the department heads will continue to discuss possible solutions and will re-visit the issue at the March meeting.

New Business

Library Director Performance Evaluation & Objectives Setting Process – D. Turner presented five (5) proposed documents to be used in future performance evaluations. J. Fausone questioned the value of a mid-year review; other Board members and E. Davis agreed that it was desirable and could be accomplished in an informal manner that would not consume a lot of time. C. Van Auken requested that the evaluation form be amended to incorporate the director’s job description and goals as part of the document. She indicated a preference for meets/exceeds check boxes as a way to evaluate performance. J. Fausone said that the director functions as Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for the auditing process; he requested that the job description be amended to include those items. Turner agreed to make the suggested changes and requested that it be an item of discussion at the March meeting.

Jungle Java Lease Renewal – Eric & Laurel Hess now have sole ownership of both Jungle Java Express and the Jungle Java Canton store. They indicated to E. Davis that they’d like to renew the existing lease with the same terms when it comes up for renewal in May. There was no objection, although J. Fausone expressed an interest in getting financial statements from the café; Davis will request them.

Schedule Laurie Golden to Present an Overview of User Profiles – E. Davis talked about the Help Us Help You online survey and the user profiles created by Susan Kennedy from the data collected from the survey responses. While the Board was interested in viewing the data, they don’t need Laurie Golden to make a presentation.

Call to Audience

No comments


The meeting was adjourned at 9:02 PM
Don Turner – Secretary/Treasurer

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