Library Board of Trustees, August 2017

August 31st, 2017  |  Published in Observer Reports

Library Board of Trustees
Aug. 28, 2017

Present: Board Members Brian Gleisser, Michael Bertsch, Troy Meinhart, Melissa Garrett, Doreen Katz, Carmella Williams
Absent: Thomas Cicarella

The board approved the minutes of the July meeting and the fiscal officer’s report.

Library Director Amy Switzer reported a September push, countywide, to ensure every student has access to a library card (program: Three for Teen, which allows independent sign-up for borrowing three items at a time). She also noted improved software in place for reserving meeting rooms, and ongoing meetings with school officials (both private and public schools) to facilitate communication and coordination.

The distribution agreement among the nine Cuyahoga County library systems is soon to expire and requires re-adoption. State funds are divided, with the Shaker Heights Public Library receiving 2.8352 percent of the total for the county, based on the funding level of 2007, and 2.52 percent of any funds above that 2007 level. The board approved re-authorization of the agreement. It is expected the distribution ratio will be renegotiated after the 2020 census. The board also approved two changes in personnel policies, one regarding life insurance and the other, off-the-books work (the latter prohibited for non-exempt employees).

Ms. Switzer presented a timeline for an upcoming levy on next year’s ballot. The bulk of the meeting was devoted to discussion about how to proceed: the scope of the project, timing of steps needed to proceed, political considerations, and communication with the community and city and school officials. The board approved proceeding with work with architects and planning for a project that would require a 1.9-mill property tax increase (yielding $12.4 million) for repairs, renovations, and also operating funds. It was noted that the Library had not been on the ballot for 10 years, and it has been 21 years since millage was last raised, despite dwindling state financial support. It is estimated there would be no further levy request for an additional 10 years. The levy and project as outlined would result in an increase of $67 per 100,000 home valuation. The levy timeline calls for the board to request certification from the city auditor at the October meeting and, at the November meeting, a resolution to request the Board of Education to place the measure on the ballot. It is expected the School Board would act on that request at its January meeting.

Next meeting of the Library Board is Sept. 26. Agenda includes time for community comment.
Kathleen Hickman

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