Board of Directors Meeting-June 7, 2021

In attendance were Nina North-Murphy, President, presiding; John Dubinsky, Alison Ferring, Jacque Land, Janet Rainford, Keith Savage, David Sweeney, and Vince Volpe. 

Also present were Chief Executive Officer Waller McGuire and staff members Jon Drakesmith, 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. 

President's Report: Ms. North-Murphy thanked everyone for participating in the CEO assessment, and announced that a task force has been appointed made up of Board members Alison Ferring, Nina North-Murphy, and Janet Rainford, to work with consultant Russ White on next steps. 

Fiscal Affairs Committee: Mr. Volpe reported that the Committee met and went over the current budget reports, and that staff had reported as requested by the Committee on the retirement program. Mr. Volpe asked COO Justin Struttmann to report on research being done on possibly modifying benefits. Further information and any proposed changes would be brought back to the Board for consideration. Ms. Rainford asked about the costs of the current program and the number of part-time employees who benefit from the ERS. Mr. Volpe announced that a possible tenant for the available space in 1415 Olive Street had withdrawn. 

Chief Executive Officer's Report: 

  • Mr. McGuire asked CPSO Porter-Reynolds to report on steps underway towards full reopening post-pandemic, including expanded hours and computer availability. 
  • Marketing Director Cathy Heimberger described a Library awareness marketing effort, beginning with a direct mail campaign and including social media, radio, billboard, and bus tail advertising. Ms. Rainford asked about how the Library would be measuring success and a timeline, and Mr. Savage asked about reaching targeted mobile and email audiences. Mr. Land suggested means of increasing interaction with the campaign.
  • Mr. McGuire asked the Board about their inclinations concerning moving from virtual meetings to in-person meetings. Board members indicated that they preferred virtual meetings through the summer, and that fall might be the best time to resume in-person meetings.
  • Mr. McGuire asked CFO William Jackson to report on the distributed financial reports. Mr. Jackson reported that revenue continues positively - as of May the Library is more than $500,000 ahead of collected revenue in the same period of 2020.
  • Mr. McGuire pointed out two narratives in the April monthly report: one concerning a mother coming to the Library searching for help understanding her child's cancer diagnosis; and another in which a widow of two days came to the Library asking for help preparing a tax return for the first time in her life. These are examples of the wide variety of important and unique work the staff does on a daily basis.
  • Mr. McGuire reported on the City's proposal for spending federal American Rescue Plan funds, and how the Library may be involved. This is very much a work in progress: no decisions have been made, but the Library is in communication with the Mayor's office. 

At 6:14 p.m., Ms. Ferring's motion to go into Executive Session to discuss individually identifiable personnel records was seconded by Mr. Savage, and approved by a unanimous roll call vote. 

 At the regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the St. Louis Public Library on June 7, 2020, the following actions were taken: 

Ms. Ferring moved: 

that the Board go into Executive Session To discuss individually identifiable personnel records. MOTION APPROVED 

(In favor Mr. Dubinsky, Ms. Ferring, Mr. Land, Ms. North-Murphy, Ms. Rainford, Mr. Savage, Mr. Schlafly, Mr. Sweeney, and Mr. Volpe.) 

Mr. Savage moved:  that the meeting adjourn. MOTION APPROVED (In favor Mr. Dubinsky, Ms. Ferring, Mr. Land, Ms. North-Murphy, Ms. Rainford, Mr. Savage, Mr. Schlafly, Mr. Sweeney, and Mr. Volpe.) 
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