Board of Directors Meeting Minutes – February 1, 2021

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

Also present were Chief Executive Officer Waller McGuire and staff members Cathy Heimberger, William Jackson, Mary Meyer, Joe Monahan, Angie Miraflor, Daisy Porter-Reynolds, 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 Mr. Volpe. 

Mr. Schlafly's motion, seconded by Mr. Dubinsky, to approve the minutes of the December 7th, 2020 meeting was approved. 

Public Comment:
Mr. McGuire read a message asking whether the Board had considered the first amendment of the United States Constitution had been considered in the formation of the Video Policy. The Board asked staff to formulate a brief response. 

Mr. McGuire mentioned an objection received from a vendor whose bid was rejected because it was received after the bid deadline. 

Mr. McGuire read a letter from a customer thanking Library staff for what she described as years of excellent service for her family. 

Fiscal Affairs Committee
Mr. Volpe reported that the Fiscal Affairs Committee had met the prior week to discuss the Library's annual audit and questions about revenue during the pandemic. He reported that the Committee had met with the auditors and that it was proceeding on time, going well, and that the full report would be reviewed by the Board upon completion. Mr. Volpe reported that the Committee had looked in detail at revenue and asked Mr. Jackson to report. Mr. Jackson stated that comparing 2020 revenue to 2021, the Library was actually ahead by 4.6%, and that we were waiting for figures on Manufacturing & Machinery. Mr. Schlafly commented that this was good news, considering what was happening with real estate revenue in some other cities, 

Chief Executive Officer's Report: 

  • Mr. McGuire asked Mr. Struttmann to report on budget expenditures, which Mr. Struttmann said were overall running below budget, including the Salaries & Wages budget, since the Library has reduced staffing during the pandemic. Some technology categories will be overspent because of special efforts being made to serve the public during the pandemic, but overall the budget was in positive numbers. The over-expenditure resulted from making 560 Hotspots and 416 Chromebook laptops available to be checked out by customers.
  • Mr. Struttmann reported on ongoing efforts to work safely under pandemic conditions. 11 cases of Covid-19 have occurred in staff: tracing reveals that none of them originated in the Library. Four public announcements have been made due to infections. This is about one third of the general public rate. CDC and City guidelines are being carefully followed in these matter.
  • Ms. Porter-Reynolds reported that the Library is working to provide the widest range of services possible through curbside service while the buildings remain closed. The Library checked out 55,590 ‘e-things' in January: ebooks, e-audiobooks, movies, music, and magazines. This is up 23 percent over January 2020. The Library began testing a home delivery service to the homebound in January as a pilot project, and is preparing, once again, to be a community polling place.
  • Cabanne Library has reopened after a series of repairs.
  • Mr. McGuire congratulated the Foundation on further successful fundraising for the Julia Davis Creative Experience project. The Ferring Family Foundation has made a major gift of $240,000 that brings that project very near fully funded.
  • Ms. Reeves reported that she continues to work with other funders to raise the remainder of the project funds; Jim McKelvey has agreed to be Honorary Chair of the next Foundation gala; and two virtual events have been scheduled for the Tennessee Williams Society members in the St. Louis Room and the Genealogy Room. 

Mr. Dubinsky's motion, seconded by Mr. Schlafly, to adjourn the meeting was approved. 

The meeting adjourned at 6:23 p.m. 

In the regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the St. Louis Public Library on February 1, 2021, the following actions were taken: 

Mr. Schlafly moved: 

(In favor Mr. Dubinsky, Ms. Ferring, Ms. Rainford, Mr. Savage, Mr. Schlafly, and Mr. 


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