Board of Library Trustees
February 20, 2020
Main Library Conference Center, Multi-purpose Room
Jacksonville Public Library
303 North Laura Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Carlo Fassi, Chair
Ronnie King II, Trustee
Celia Nass, Trustee
Guy K. Anderson, Trustee
Donald Horner III, Trustee
Steven Eagerton, Trustee
Fernando Meza, Trustee
Mario Payne, Board Secretary
Tim Rogers, Library Director
Julie McNeil, Deputy Director for Public Services
Gretchen Mitchell, Deputy Director for Support Services
Ray Albury, Assistant Director for Facilities Management and Planning
Chuck McNeil, Assistant Director for Financial Services
Chris Boivin, Assistant Director, Community Relations & Marketing
Amber Holley, Assistant Director, Learning Services
Lynn Jacobson, Systems and Technology Manager
Charlene Adkins, Manager, Collection Development & Acquisitions
Lynne Baldwin, Region Manager, West Region
Keli Likins, Region Manager, South Region
Michel Sullivan, Region Manager, East Region
Stephanie Miller, Region Manager, North Region
Tracy Pigott, Manager, Professional Development and Training Services
Jill Langford Dame, Trustee
Matt Swanson, Trustee
Virginia Haworth, Trustee
Marc Hardesty, Trustee
Tia Leathers, Duval County Public Schools
Mari Ganues, Assistant Director, Pre-Teen & Teen Programming, Kids Hope Alliance
Jeannette Ali, Friends of the Brentwood Library
Ferlandis Green, Friends of the Brentwood Library
Roxanne Henkle, Friends of the Willowbranch Library
Judy Klein, Friends of the Bill Brinton Murray Hill Branch Library
Margaret Smith, Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library
Richard Mott, Manager for Strategic Initiatives
Zoe Carr, Community Resource Manager
Tristan Denmark, Special Assistant to Library Director
1. Call to Order
Board Chair Carlo Fassi called the meeting to order at approximately 12:05 p.m.
2. Welcoming of Newcomers and Guests
No guests were recognized.
3. Public Comment
No visitors requested the opportunity to address the Board.
4. Honors and Recognition
Chair Fassi announced the two winners of JPL Employee Awards for the first quarter of FY 2020, which included Theresa Welch (Inspire a Shared Vision Award and Employee of the Quarter) and Paul Schaffner (Model the Way Award).
5. Consent Agenda
The consent agenda was presented to the Board. It included:
a) Board Meeting Minutes: January 16, 2020
b) 4 Policy Revisions
c) New Gift Policy
d) 7 FY21 Capital Improvement Projects
e) FY21 Community Development Block Grants Projects
Trustee Ronnie King moved to approve the Consent Agenda as presented. Trustee Steve Eagerton seconded the motion. Motion approved.
6. Chair’s Report
Chair Fassi reported on Tallahassee day, which members of the BOLT and Director Rogers were unfortunately unable to attend. In the near future Chair Fassi and Director Rogers intend to travel to Tallahassee to meet with our state legislators. Chair Fassi also spoke on the Director’s evaluation and discussed the Governance Committee’s amendments to the BOLT bylaws.
7. Director’s Report
Library Director Tim Rogers presented his monthly report to the board, which was also provided in written form. He discussed a potential opportunity to purchase land for additional parking next to the Murray Hill Branch, as well as a possible mural to be painted on the Murray Hill building. He discussed the upcoming Jax Book Fest featuring young adult and adult author Brad Meltzer, and that the possibility of moving the Friday 2/28 gala to the Ansbacher Map Room is being explored. Tickets for the gala are $125 per person, which supports the Foundation. The story walk grant was approved – this project makes reading visibly active. This will be the first story walk, and the current plan is to have 5-6 over the next year. Trustee Anderson asked if the story walks are permanent? That is to say, won’t people get tired of coming and reading the same book? Director Rogers explained that the books will be changed every 3-4 months so there is always something new to read.
8. Unfinished Business – None
9. New Business –
a) Bylaws Amendments
a. Director Rogers went over the changes made as Trustee Dame could not be in attendance. He explained the changes made and provided clarification, pointing out specific lines he thought might be helpful. Director Rogers noted that there was a fair amount of discussion about Article 9. He also said that most of the changes were not substantive; rather they were mostly wording changes. There were no additional questions.
Trustee Fernando Meza moved to approve the changes to the bylaws. Trustee Ronnie King seconded the motion. Motion approved.
b) Director Evaluations
a. Director Rogers left the room, and Chair Fassi reviewed the Director Evaluations. He gave all grades that were submitted by BOLT members, followed by the Executive Committee’s final grades. Chair Fassi also gave a summary of the final grades and an explanation of the overall grade of exemplary. He asked if there was any discussion on the director’s performance or the evaluation process? There was not. Chair Fassi advised that the BOLT will likely undertake the evaluation process again around the end of this year (2020). Trustee Anderson said that as a veteran of the Board, he thinks the results are valid and Director Rogers has done a great job in his two years, leading the Library through some changing times and some things we have to do. He said, “I think the committee did a great job.” Trustee King agreed, and said, “As a past chair I think Tim’s ability to work with all the parties involved is a strength. The only ‘ding’ from the last year was the Pride Prom; not necessarily the handling, but ways that it could have been handled better. I think Tim was trying to please all parties and that got him in a bit of a bind, but he was able to turn it around. He’s done a great job; I think it was a good decision to hire him and he’s doing really well.” Trustee Payne also, saying, “He’s doing a great job moving the Library forward.” Chair Fassi said, “Tim’s self eval grades were lower; he is hard on himself. I think it’s also worth noting that he’s been operating without an executive assistant until recently, so it’s going to get even better.” Trustee King said, “He’s done a good job owning things and not placing blame.” Trustee Meza agreed with Trustee King. Trustee Horner said, “The Library has an immaculate reputation within the City and the City as a whole and that’s because of him. A great leader deflects blame and accepts praise and that’s what he does.” Trustee King suggested that perhaps some staff feedback could be added to the evaluations? He said that he thinks it would be good for the Board to see staff opinions of the Director as well. Trustee Anderson said, “Most major companies have eliminated staff evaluations because there are other ways to get that information. I would suggest we look at the City’s process for handling that.” Trustee King said that he deferred to Trustee Anderson’s experience on that. He did say that when the library went through the process of picking a new director, it was maybe the first time that the Board interacted with the staff in terms of director relationships, and the Board learned a lot. Chair Fassi wondered if there is any value in maintaining this process but maybe allowing opportunities for staff to interact with the Executive Committee without the Director present? Trustee Anderson noted that all input is valid but the Board must make sure they go through the proper channels with any potentially negative information they receive. Chair Fassi said that he thinks the Board should be sensitive to the potential for retaliation in the event of negative information, but it should also allow for staff feedback. He suggested perhaps the Chair should sit down with staff? Trustee King noted that feedback can be taken in context, but it is still good to have and the Board doesn’t have to know where it came from.
10. Mayor’s Office and Ex-Officio Reports
Tia Leathers of DCPS discussed the Parent Academy, and said DCPS would love to partner with the Library on the story walk project. She also stated her concern regarding the new Unattended Child Policy; as the parent of an eight year old she feels that is rather young for a child to be allowed to be unattended in the library. Mari Ganues of the Kids Hope Alliance advised that the Mayor’s Youth at Work application period starts soon; also, it is year 15 of the Jax Book Club. Trustee King asked if KHA had selected an Acting Director, and Trustee Horner advised that they had: Mike Weinstein.
11. Committee Reports
Chair Fassi mentioned that the Finance Committee meets after the full BOLT meeting, at 1:30pm today, so there is not a Finance Committee report to give, and the Chair of the Governance Committee is not present. Chair Anderson gave the report of the Capital Improvements Committee, stating that the City CIP system is a rolling number and if you don’t get money in at the beginning it’s hard to get it in later. He reiterated that the City now owns property for the future New Berlin library, and he thanked Director Rogers for his hard work on that. Chair Anderson advised that the CIC will hopefully be coming together for a meeting within the next 30-45 days to check on the progress of the 21st Century Urban Library Study. For the Personnel Committee’s report, Chair Fassi discussed the Director Evaluations and reminded attendees once again about the Jax Book Fest next week. The Foundation’s next meeting is in March.
12. Friends’ Reports
Jeanette Ali with the Friends of the Brentwood Branch Library announced on behalf of Sharon Coon, February has President’s Day, is Women’s Health month, and Family Engagement month. She also mentioned the event at Edward Waters College this coming Saturday. She advised that next Tuesday the 25th is the 120th anniversary of Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing. Roxanne Henkle with the Friends of the Willowbranch Library reported there was a “really nice send-off” for Margaret Morford, and that there had also been funds donated for the prize box in the children’s department. Judy Klein with the Friends of the Murray Hill Branch Library advised they are planning for an annual meeting on March 31st and they are getting donations from local merchants for the silent auction, which is their main fundraiser. Margaret Smith with the Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library reported that the Friends had their first bag sale of the year, which made $11,000. She advised that in March, everything in the store will be BOGO. They are hoping to increase their revenue streams, since besides advocacy, one of the Friends’ goals is to support JPL with as much money as they can raise.
13. Public Comment
No visitors requested the opportunity to address the board.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:13 p.m.