Minutes December 7, 2012
Approved January 14, 2013
The Gwinnett County Public Library Board of Trustees held a called meeting on December 7, 2012 at the Administrative Office. Present were Board members Phillip Saxton-Chair, Betty Atkinson-Vice Chair, Suzanne Skeen-Treasurer, and Dick Goodman. Babs Wagoner was absent. Administrative staff members present were Nancy Stanbery-Kellam-Executive Director, Liz Forster-Deputy Director, Jane Walters-Business Services Director, Barbara Spruill-Branch Services Director, Deborah George-Materials Management Director, Michael Casey-Information Technology Director and Casey Wallace, Adminstrative Support Librarian. Other administrative staff was also in attendance. Saxton called the meeting to order at 5:00 PM.
Saxton explained the meeting was called to discuss the 2013 proposed county funding for the library. The budget reflects a reduction of $1M with the recommendation from the county that it affect the materials budget and not operating hours. The board met to discuss the issue before attending the upcoming the Public Hearing at the county, to prepare a unified statement asking the county Board of Commissioners to reconsider cutting the materials budget. Saxton stated that a $1M budget cut would cause severe damage to the library system. Skeen agreed that the proposed $1M reduction is a drastic amount. Skeen said that the library needs to look at how the library can balance the materials collection and operating hours. Skeen commented that cutting the materials budget is not a good balance. Goodman stated that balance is key, and the library has not been operating with balance through the previous cuts. Goodman believed the materials collection has been treated ‘optimal’ while the hours have been ‘minimal’. There was discussion about whether the library was operating within state standards concerning materials and hours. In discussion it was discovered that two versions were being used leading to some confusion. Goodman indicated the Chairman Nash was guarding against another hours cut for the sake of balance. Stanbery-Kellam added that staff has been working on creating the right balance. Staff presented hours of operation study and branch profiles to Chairman Nash at the quarterly meetings. Goodman stated that it is reasonable to increase operating hours at the expense of materials. Skeen disagreed, stating the $1M cut is too big to absorb and that if hours are increased, then there will be a need for additional funds to cover operations. Goodman added that the library could enhance hours without incurring costs. Saxton commented it would be hard to do with 15 branches. Goodman disagreed that all branches had to have the same hours. There was discussion about the branch profiles study and its completion date as well components of the contingency funding. Stanbery-Kellam stated that library staff has done everything we were supposed to do for the funding. Saxton asked if the $1M could be cut from personnel. Stanbery-Kellam commented that there is no one place to cut $1M. Board agreed hours and personnel are not in the best interest of the community or politically astute. There was discussion about the current FY2013 Materials budget. George commented that the materials budget would be set at $2M. That could mean a reduction or elimination of full material sections, databases, eMedia. This budget cut will bring the library back to 2001 level. There was discussion on how this would affect the customers needs, the materials waiting time and circulation time. George stated the cut would be severe and it does not reflect a reduction in demand by the customers. Board had discussion to maybe ask county to reduce budget at a lower level. Stanbery-Kellam commented that the library cannot support any reduction. The board agreed to compose a letter to be sent to Chairman Nash and the County Commissioners stating why the library’s budget should not be reduced by $1M. The board will attend the scheduled budget public hearing at the county. Atkinson added that the Friends of the Library would be speaking at the public hearing as well.
Change January 14, 2013 Board Meeting time
Motion by Goodman to start the January 14, 2013 Library Board Meeting at 5:00 in order to accommodate a workshop presentation from the Ivy Group regarding the comprehensive planning project process with the regular Library Board meeting to follow at 7:00, seconded by Atkinson, unanimous.
Motion by Saxton to adjourn the meeting , seconded by Skeen, unanimous.
Minutes submitted by Casey Wallace.