Board of Directors Meeting – November 6, 2023

In attendance were Vince Volpe, President, presiding; and Keith Savage, Vice President; John Dubinsky, Jacque Land, Nina North-Murphy, and David Sweeney were present. Tom Schlafly attended virtually

Also present were Chief Executive Officer Waller McGuire and staff members Maryann Brickey, Tiffany Davis, Sam Dozier, Jon Drakesmith, Amanda Endicott, Adele Heagney, Cathy Heimberger, Sarah Matusz, Liz McArthur, Mary Meyer, Steve Morris, Lauren Miller, Lawrence Pruitt, Daisy Porter-Reynolds, Justin Struttmann, Liz Reeves, Sarah Whalen, Jen Wiese, and Lisa Stump, Lashly & Baer. 

The meeting was called to order at 5:30 p.m. by President Volpe

Mr. Savage's motion, seconded by Mr. Dubinsky, to approve the minutes of the September 11, 2023 meeting was approved

Chief Executive Officer's Report: 
CFO Jim Slattery was called away from the office on a family emergency. Mr. McGuire and Mr. Struttmann summarized the revenue and budget reports. Earnings from investments are substantially higher than 2022 and higher than budget predictions because of earnings on investments. Mr. Dubinsky asked for the difference between budget and actual: the September budget report is based on unaudited numbers but indicates $1.1 million compared to $250,000 budgeted as revenue. 

Mr. Struttmann reported on major capital expenditures planned for the 2024 budget year, continuing the replacement and efficiency work done at Julia Davis and taking advantage of utility and government financial support for replacing systems with more energy-efficient equipment. Buder and Schlafly HVAC equipment is at the end of its life cycle and engineering work is underway to replace it in 2024. 

Jen Wiese summarized the HR report and said that recruitment and hiring strong candidates for open positions was going well

Liz Reeves summarized the Foundation Report and said that the Foundation had been able to turn over $50,000 in additional unrestricted funds because of good investment performance. Foundation staff is working on sponsorship for the March, 2024 fundraising gala. There was a lengthy and substantial conversation about the 2024 deficit budget and how the Library would alter course to reflect that reality. The Board asked about shrinking population, the consolidation of wards, and changes in real estate and personal property values, and whether the Library must consider our locations. Mr. McGuire noted that the deficit budget was planned for some time as a way of bringing down reserve funds held and investing them in capital improvements, and that the Library remained in good financial shape for the immediate future. He stated that 2024 was planned as a year of looking at long term financial and service planning which would be a major Board topic. Mr. Dubinsky mentioned the work the Archdiocese did - All Things New - as an example. Mr. Schlafly stated that he had been on the Board when the last location closing had taken place, and that it was a very difficult and charged process. Mr. Savage asked that a Fiscal Affairs meeting be scheduled to discuss the budget moving forward. Mr. McGuire reminded everyone present that the Library is financially secure and what we are discussing is responsible multi-year planning and keeping the Library functioning as it is needed

Mr. Struttmann reported on Public Safety management and planning. The Library is seeing increased numbers of reported incidents and increases in severity, and has responded with new systems and personnel distribution, and is working on a new dispatch center model to further organize and streamline efforts. Mr.McGuire noted that SLPL spends a higher percentage of its budget on public safety than most public libraries, but that libraries across North America were experiencing the same challenges we are seeing in St. Louis

New Business:
The schedule for public service hours for the Library in 2024 was introduced for a vote. The change from 2023 is staff recommendation that the Library be closed for the federal Juneteenth acknowledgement 

Mr. Savage motion and Mr. Dubinsky's second that the 2024 Library Holiday Schedule as proposed be approved was approved

Ms. North-Murphy's motion and Mr. Savage's second that Central Library hours be modified on the day of the March, 2024 fundraiser was approved

At 6:25 Ms. North-Murphy moved the meeting be adjourned, seconded by Mr. Land. The motion was approved unanimously

At the regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the St. Louis Public Library on September 11, 2023, the following actions were taken

Mr. Savage moved that the Board approve the minutes of the September 11, 2023 meetingMOTION APPROVED
(In favor Mr. Volpe, Mr. Savage, Mr. Dubinsky, Mr. Land, Ms. North-Murphy, Mr. Schlafly, and Mr. Sweeney.
Mr. Savage moved that the proposed 2024 Holiday Schedule be approvedMOTION APPROVED
(In favor Mr. Volpe, Mr. Savage, Mr. Dubinsky, Mr. Land, Ms. North-Murphy, Mr. Schlafly, and Mr. Sweeney.
Ms. North-Muphy moved that Central Library hours be modified on the date of the March, 2024 fundraising gala to accommodate preparationsMOTION APPROVED
(In favor Mr. Volpe, Mr. Savage, Mr. Dubinsky, Mr. Land, Ms. North-Murphy, Mr. Schlafly, and Mr. Sweeney.
Ms. North-Murphy moved that be meeting be adjournedMOTION APPROVED
(In favor Mr. Volpe, Mr. Savage, Mr. Dubinsky, Mr. Land, Ms. North-Murphy, Mr. Schlafly, and Mr. Sweeney.
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