Board of Directors Meeting – November 7, 2022

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

Also present were Chief Executive Officer Waller McGuire and staff members Maryann Brickey; Tiffany Davis, Jon Drakesmith, Cathy Heimberger, Laurie Lakebrink, Mary Meyer, Joe Monahan, Daisy Porter-Reynolds, Justin Struttmann, Liz Reeves, Jim Slattery, Lisa Thorp, Jen Wiese, and Lisa Stump, Lashly & Baer. 

The meeting was called to order at 5:35 p.m. by President Volpe. 

Mr. Dubinsky noted that he had voted at the Library and had been pleased and proud of how well-organized and significant the process had been. Ms. Rainford seconded his opinion. 

Ms. Rainford's motion, seconded by Mr. Savage, to approve the minutes of the October 3, 2022 meeting was approved. 

Chief Executive Officer's Report: 
Ms. Porter-Reynolds reported that all 1500 laptops from the Emergency Connectivity Fund grant have been checked out, and almost 5000 of the additional hotspots. The new Julia Davis Creative Experience has registered over 2000 visitors in October and 200 projects. Mr. Struttmann reported that the Maintenance department has completed 2477 work orders in 2022 and has been challenged by the workload and job vacancies. He stated that a restructuring of the department was necessary, including outsourcing some HVAC work on an emergency basis with a follow-up complete competitive bid next year. Staff is working towards making this a cost-neutral budget change by moving expenditures from the Salary & Wages line to the Professional Services line. 

The Library has had 865 reported incidents in 2022, up from 336 at this time last year. 47% are level 2 or 3 - the more serious levels. Public Safety staff have requested bulletproof vests because of their direct contact with persons causing incidents. The Library works extensively with SLMPD, SLFD, and other safety resources. The Library has conducted and is continuing to conduct, training on active shooters, mental health first aid, lockdown procedures, fire drills, and other staff and public safety training. There was extensive discussion about safety incidents and how the Library should react. 

CFO Jim Slattery went over the budget and revenue reports. Revenue is currently estimated at slightly over $28 million, about $1 million higher than budgeted. Expenses are currently about $450,000 over budget, chiefly as a result of changes made to the Salary & Wages line. The Library budgeted for a $3.6 million deficit budget, and we predict we will spend somewhat over $400,000 more than that. Final budget figures should be available shortly. 

Rubin, Brown has been engaged as auditor for 2022. The Emergency Connectivity Grant funds will be audited separately. 

The Board asked Mr. Slattery about his first months at the Library and offered its counsel and help. Mr. Dubinsky suggested the Library constantly evaluate its banking services and relationships. 

Jen Wiese summarized the Human Resources report and the additional options that were offered staff in open enrollment for 2022. 

The Foundation has transferred over $800,000 to the Library, funding all youth programming, exhibits, and many additional services such as the diaper program and the garden. The Creative Experience at Julia Davis was a major funding effort by the Foundation and a success, celebrated in the recent official opening. Mr. Dubinsky suggested a joint meeting of the governing and Foundation boards to foster even better connection and work. Mr. McGuire summarized proposed new rules from the Missouri Secretary of State governing how state and federal funds are distributed to public libraries. The funds typically bring about $280,000 to SLPL every year or about 1% of our budget.

The rule purports to protect children and families by forbidding "prurient" or "inappropriate" materials. The Board discussed the inappropriateness of the rules themselves and came to the consensus that they wanted to go on record as opposing them. Mr. McGuire said he would draft a resolution for the Board's consideration at the December meeting. 

At 6:40 Mr. Dubinsky moved the meeting be adjourned, seconded by Mr. Savage. The motion was approved unanimously. 

At the regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the St. Louis Public Library on November 7, 2022, the following actions were taken: 


Ms. Rainford moved:  that the Board approve the minutes of the October 3, 2022 meeting. MOTION APPROVED 
In favor Ms. North-Murphy, Mr. Volpe, Mr. Dubinsky, Mr. Land, Ms. Rainford, Mr. Savage, and Mr. Sweeney.
Mr. Dubinsky moved:  that the meeting be adjourned. MOTION APPROVED
In favor Ms. North-Murphy, Mr. Volpe, Mr. Dubinsky, Mr. Land, Ms. Rainford, Mr. Savage, and Mr. Sweeney.


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