Special Meeting of the Board of Library Trustees
May 21, 2020
Zoom virtual meeting
Carlo Fassi, Chair
Ronnie King II, Trustee
Celia Nass, Trustee
Guy K. Anderson, Trustee
Donald Horner III, Trustee
Steven Eagerton, Trustee
Fernando Meza, Trustee
Jill Langford Dame, Trustee
Matt Swanson, Trustee
Virginia Haworth, Trustee
Mario Payne, Board Secretary
Tim Rogers, Library Director
Julie McNeil, Deputy Director for Public Services
Gretchen Mitchell, Deputy Director for Support Services
Tristan Denmark, Special Assistant to Library Director
Marc Hardesty, Trustee
*Please note that this is not a complete list of attendees, due to the nature of the meeting (virtual).
*Please note that this is not a complete list of staff attendees, due to the nature of the meeting (virtual).
1. Call to Order/Housekeeping
Board Chair Carlo Fassi called the Zoom meeting to order at 2:31p.m. after determining that a quorum was present. He thanked everyone for being in attendance at the emergency meeting and said it was great to see everyone. He discussed the action and discussion items from the agenda. He called attendees’ attention to the instructions for the day’s meeting, which were displayed on the screen for viewing. He also proposed having specified ‘motioners’ and ‘seconders’ for clarity in the meeting; Trustee Swanson volunteered to be the designated ‘motioner’ and Trustee Horner volunteered to be the designated ‘seconder’.
2. First Call for Public Comment
No visitors requested the opportunity to address the Board.
3. FY2021 Budget Request
Chair Fassi said that the new fiscal year’s budget is generally presented in March, but as the March and April BOLT meetings were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic this special meeting was scheduled to approve the FY21 budget. He said the FY21 budget is nearly the same as the FY20 budget, and gave the floor over to Director Rogers to present the FY21 budget after stating that the budget had previously been presented to BOLT Finance Chair Swanson.
Director Rogers stated it was good to see everyone, and thanked Finance Chair Swanson for his feedback on the FY21 budget. Director Rogers presented the FY21 budget, starting with the General Fund Revenues, then the General Fund Expenditures, followed by the Conference Center Revenues and the Conference Center Expenditures; he gave a detailed explanation of each. Once the presentation was complete Director Rogers opened the floor for questions. There were several questions/comments/observations, including from Trustee Swanson regarding the financial future of the Conference Center, as well as Trustee King. Director Rogers addressed these.
Trustee Swanson moved that the BOLT approve the FY21 budget as presented, and Trustee Horner seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously after a roll call vote by the clerk of the BOLT.
4. Overdue fine waiver and temporary suspension of fees
Chair Fassi presented the overdue fine waiver and temporary suspension of fines. He said that last month the Jacksonville City Council passed a stimulus package in response to COVID-19; this package waived fees across the City, including the Library; this Action item will formalize that. Chair Fassi also took the opportunity to publicly thank the numerous Library employees who are working on the MRU stimulus program; he said that he is hearing very good things about the Library employees, and that he is appreciative of those working. Director Rogers advised there are more than 100 Library employees working on the stimulus relief effort. He also gave some background information on the proposed waiver of fines. Director Rogers opened the floor for questions; Trustee Haworth asked a question about making the public aware of the forgiven fees and fines, and Trustee Dame asked a question about the $2.4 million currently outstanding.
Trustee Swanson moved that the BOLT waive all overdue fines as presented, and Trustee Horner seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously after a roll call vote by the clerk of the BOLT.
5. Re-Launch of Library Services
Chair Fassi ceded the floor so that Director Rogers could present the management guideline outlining the re-opening of the Library. Director Rogers gave some background information on the plan and how it was created; he said that May 27th is the tentative date for curbside service at nine branches to begin and gave a quick overview of how the curbside service is expected to work. He mentioned some of the emergency budget issues that have been facing the City throughout the COVID-19 shutdown, as well as the priority of having enough PPE for staff and the public. He said that depending on how the curbside service is received it may be a service we choose to continue providing even once the Libraries have completely reopened. He gave information on the hours of the curbside service and the staffing required, as well as all the ways the public is being made aware of it. He said the staff is very excited about it. He mentioned the possibility of providing limited on-site service at Main around June 1st; however, it is dependent on staffing levels. He specified that access to the entire building of Main would not be permitted, but that we feel it is important to have the ‘flagship’ location of the Jacksonville Public Library open. Director Rogers said we feel adhering to social distancing guidelines will be less challenging at Main than at some other (smaller) branches. He mentioned Summer Learning, which will be conducted online this year.
With the presentation complete, Director Rogers opened the floor for questions. Trustee Meza asked about hand sanitation/gloves for the staff working the curbside pickup; Director Rogers briefly went over the PPE rules for staff, and said he is not sure what rules the City will set for customers. He mentioned the Employee Assistance Program that is available to all staff, as well as the Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act. He discussed that the buildings are being cleaned every few hours, and that hand and spray sanitizer will be available in all buildings.
6. Temporary Policy Revision – Unattended Child Policy
Director Rogers gave some background on why the policy revision is being proposed – the concern is that with programs and camps being closed for the summer we might experience children being left at the libraries and dropped off unattended due to parents’ need to return to work, and we are neither equipped nor legally allowed to provide childcare. He explained the change this temporary policy revision would make – Any child under the age of 12 would be required to have a parent or engaged caregiver with them; the revision changes the age from eight (which it is currently) to 12.
Chair Fassi asked Trustee Dame if, as Governance Chair, she had any opinion on how to proceed; Trustee Dame said she was in agreement with the temporary policy revision and she would have no issue at all with approving it today, as well as a sun-setting option for it. Director Rogers said Library administration would absolutely be in favor of this.
Trustee Dame moved that the BOLT adopt the temporary revision of the unattended child policy as presented, with a stipulation for future review, and Trustee Horner seconded the motion. The motion was passed unanimously after a roll call vote by the clerk of the BOLT.
Chair Fassi recognized the Friends groups who were present on the call and thanked them for joining. He said as we become more accustomed to the Zoom meeting format he will start allowing for Friends reports in the future. He asked Director Rogers if he had anything to add; Director Rogers thanked everyone for their support through the COVID-19 shutdown, and mentioned that since much of the Library staff is not working, many of them are present on this call.
7. Second Call for Public Comment
No visitors requested the opportunity to address the board.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:04p.m.