Board of Library Trustees Governance Committee January 8, 2021

Committee Members Present:

Jill Dame, Committee Chair

Virginia Berg, Trustee

Mario Payne, Trustee

Carlo Fassi, BOLT Chair, Ex Officio


Committee Members Absent:

Donnie Horner, Trustee

Fernando Meza, Trustee


Others in Attendance:

Tim Rogers, Library Director

Julie McNeil, Deputy Director

Gretchen Mitchell, Deputy Director

Chris Boivin, Assistant Director, Community Relations and Marketing

Tristan Denmark, Clerk of the BOLT


Call to Order

Committee Chair Jill Dame called the meeting to order at 12:05pm with all members in attendance.

Introduction of Invited Guests

There were no invited guests present.

Opening Call for Public Comment

There were no members of the public present, and no cards were submitted for public comment.

Governance Committee Minutes

Chair Dame asked if for edits to the November meeting minutes, and hearing none, asked for a motion to approve the minutes as presented; Trustee Berg moved and Trustee Payne seconded.

ACTION: Item 4a) November Governance Committee Minutes was approved unanimously.

Unfinished Business

               Item 5, the changes recommended in the Policy Revision: Public Programming Policy were described by Library Director Tim Rogers and discussion ensued.  Chair Dame suggested two changes to the policy as written, clarifying the last sentence in the first paragraph on page 11 by adding the word “otherwise” between ‘unless” and “explicitly” (i.e., “unless otherwise explicitly agreed to in writing by an external presenter and the Library;” and striking the first full sentence on page 13 (“All programs – including those provided by external presenters – are the responsibility of the Library”).

               After additional discussion, Chair Dame asked for a motion of the item as edited; Trustee Payne moved, and Trustee Berg seconded.

ACTION: Item 5a) Policy Revision: Public Programming Policy was approved unanimously.

New Business

Director Rogers presented Item 6a) Library Operating Hours which will, if approved, open the Main Library and all but three neighborhood branches at least 48 hours per week.  The regional libraries will be open 52 hours per week.  Brown Eastside, Maxville and Westbrook will remain closed due to anticipated difficulties with facility usage and social distancing.  Director Rogers mentioned that staff are concerned about how an increase in hours open could potentially impact the likelihood of COVID transmission in the libraries.  To date, approximately 25 staff have tested positive (out of a staff of nearly 450), and based on contact tracing, none of the transmission occurred on the job.  Most seemed to come from contact with friends and family members who were positive.  Director Rogers conveyed to the Committee that the schedule proposed was in line with those of other large public libraries in Florida.

After additional questions and answers, Trustee Berg made the motion to approve for recommendation the proposed schedule of library operating hours, effective February 1, 2021.  Trustee Payne seconded.

ACTION: Item 6a) Library Operating Hours was approved unanimously.

Chair Dame introduced item 6b) Public Feedback via Email as a discussion item, inviting Director Rogers to review the issue.   He indicated that occasionally the Clerk of the BOLT receives emails from the public recommending changes, sharing ideas and thanking staff for services rendered.  He mentioned that staff would like to draft a board policy or procedure that would outline the process to be used to ensure that communications to the BOLT, as well as responses from them, are shared appropriately.  General discussion of the issue occurred.

Chair Dame asked the library director to work with staff to draft a document identifying a process to be used to share public comments with the BOLT and for providing a timely response.  When a document has been drafted, the item will be placed on the Committee’s agenda for additional discussion and possible action.

Chair Dame added item 6c) Acceptance of Gift to the agenda, hearing no objection from the committee against doing so.  Trustee Berg, who participated in the preparation of the gift and the donor letter, stated that she would abstain from voting since her employer (FSCJ) may benefit from the acceptance of this gift.  Director Rogers explained that this item was the result of several months’ work by members of the Library’s staff and representatives from Florida State College at Jacksonville and the FSCJ Foundation.  The FSCJ Foundation wishes to provide the Library with a gift of 25 computers to be circulated to FSCJ students who need them to better complete their academic work.  The gift is given with certain conditions and will be accepted in accordance with City Ordinance Sec. 90.102. - Authority of Board.  Questions and answers ensued, after which the fourth bullet on page one was edited to read:

“Upon receipt, the technology devices will be owned by Library, and as such the Library will have no responsibility or obligation to repair or replace any of the devices.  Should it decide to do so, all maintenance and will follow Library's existing maintenance and servicing procedures.”

An additional change was made to the last bullet on page one of the letter so that it read:

“The Library will continue to make the technology devices available to students for the earlier of a period of three years (through the academic term ending December 31, 2023) or the useful life of the devices.”

Trustee Payne made the motion to approve and refer acceptance of the Gift from the FSCJ Foundation to the full BOLT for consideration.  Chair Dame seconded.

ACTION: Item 6c) Acceptance of Gift was approved unanimously.

Chair Dame called on Assistant Director of Community Relations & Marketing Chris Boivin to present Item 7) Month Communications Report.  Assistant Director Boivin presented the December 2020 report, which highlighted the Library’s Net Promoter Score output, email trends and social media responses.  Mr. Boivin responded to questions and comments from the committee.  Chair Dame thanked Assistant Director Boivin for the informative report.

Final Call for Public Comment

There were no members of the public present, and no cards were submitted for public comment.


Chair Dame asked if any committee members had any comments for the good of the order, and hearing none, adjourned the meeting at 12:58pm.

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