In attendance were Nina North Murphy, President, presiding; John Dubinsky, Alison Ferring, Janet Rainford, Keith Savage, Thomas Schlafly, and David Sweeney.
AIso present were Chief Executive Officer Waller McGuire and staff members Cathy Heimberger, William Jackson, Mary Meyer, Joe Monahan, Angie Miraflor, Daisy Porter-Reynolds, Anna Strackeljahn, Justin Struttmann, and Jen Wiese; Liz Reeves, Foundation, and Lisa Stump, Lashly & Baer.
The meeting was called to order at 5:30 p.m. by Ms. North-Murphy,
Ms. North-Murphy asked members to respond to Board meeting invitations as soon as possible.
Minutes: Mr. Sweeney's motion, seconded by Mr. Dubinsky, to approve the minutes of the June 7, 2021 meeting was approved.
Public Comment: No public comment was received for the July meeting.
Chief Executive Officer's Report:
- Mr. McGuire updated the Board on the Julia Davis Library renovation project. The construction package was extensively advertised and drew wide interest. Eighteen firms expressed interest; eight firms requested drawings; and four firms attended the pre-bid meetings. Despite this interest we received only one bid, which was substantially over the architect's estimate. This is a very challenging construction market and staff are evaluating options.
- The Foundation has been very successful in raising funds for the Julia Davis project and has over $800,000 in hand. Mr. Savage recommended waiting to begin construction until materials are in hand to avoid construction delays.
- Mr. McGuire reported on how staff are tracking Covid-19 infection numbers and following CDC, City, and OSHA recommendations to plan Library procedures and actions. Mr. McGuire commended staff for providing excellent service while maintaining very low infection rates - staff have worked well to protected customers and themselves. There was extensive discussion about what measures the Library could and should take to protect against Covid-19.
- Ms. Porter-Reynolds reported on current levels of public service in the pandemic environment, and outlined plans to increase services and hours. Staff are planning on increasing hours to near pre-pandemic levels on August 2nd, and have been interviewing candidates to fill jobs necessary for these hours. Five existing staff members have been promoted into new positions.
- Ms. Porter-Reynolds outlined modifications to the Circulation Policy that staff are recommending the Board adopt, principally to make collection less onerous for customers. The policy will be up for vote during the September Board meeting. Mr. Savage asked that the Library continue to host our very successful canned food drives.
- Ms. Porter-Reynolds reported on the joint bid between St. Louis Public Library and St. Louis County Library for a county-wide integrated library software system.
- Ms. Wiese reported on the effort to build staff back towards pre-pandemic levels to support increased services. The Library is trending in the right direction using both internal reorganization and recruitment: we currently stand at 368 employees. The Library is having limited response to recruitment in some job openings and is investigating options which were discussed.
- Mr. McGuire reported that internal promotions reflected excellent candidates who had competed against highly qualified external candidates.
- Mr. William Jackson reported that the Library is in good shape in terms of revenue, and tracking well in expenditures at two thirds of the way through the fiscal year.
- Ms. Reeves reported on fundraising, including a $50,000 donation to the Julia Davis project from the Kemper Foundation, and progress on the 2022 fundraising gala.
- Mr. McGuire noted innovative and important work by youth services and outreach to help families and customers through the challenges of the pandemic. He mentioned early indications of good results from the current marketing awareness campaign. Ms. Rainford asked about how the effect of the pandemic and expanded hours could be measured.
Mr. Dubinsky's motion, seconded by Ms. Ferring, to adjourn the meeting was approved.
The meeting adjourned at 6:29 p.m.
At the regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the St. Louis Public Library on July 5, 2021, the following actions were taken:
|Mr. Sweeney moved:||
that the Board approve the minutes of the June 7, 2021 meeting. MOTION APPROVED (In favor Mr. Dubinsky, Ms. Ferring, Ms. North Murphy, Ms. Rainford, Mr. Savage, Mr. Schlafly,
and Mr. Sweeney.)
|Mr. Dubinsky moved:||that the meeting adjourn. MOTION APPROVED (In favor Mr. Dubinsky, Ms. Ferring, Ms. North Murphy, Ms. Rainford, Mr. Savage, Mr. Schlafly, and Mr. Sweeney.)|