Joint Board of Library Trustees/Board of Selectmen Meeting
August 16, 2011
Medway Public Library
Carol Brown, Vice-chair
William Roberts, Secretary
Wendy Rowe, Chair
Dennis Crowley, Clerk
Richard Dunne, Chairman
Andrew Espinosa, Member
John Foresto, Vice-Chairman
Glenn Trindade, Member
Citizens (a few from the multitude):
Suzanne Kennedy, Town Administrator
Margaret Perkins, Library Acting Director
The library's long range plan is here
The Trustees' stategic goal currently is to implement this. In particular: "to continually maximize the Library's usefulness by meeting the evolving needs of the community."
Wendy spoke of the need for a full-time director. The arguments for this are listed here
Ed added that in order to meet our goals, having a fulltime Director is vital.
Wendy pointed out that in bygone times, the Library Director attended the Town Administrator's regular staff meetings and the library was well integrated with the town.
The selectmen generally felt that the Library Director (and through that person the rest of the staff) should report to the Town Administrator.
There was some discussion of how the library was organized. Briefly: the staff reports to the Library Director and the Library Director reports to the Trustees. Though the Trustees are primarily a planning board, they formally evaluate the Library Director once a year. Unlike with the unionized staff, this evaluation affects the Director's salary. The evaluations fell into abeyance when with the cutbacks (no professional Director to evaluate). The Trustees did not formally evaluate Felicia as she reported to the Franklin Town Administrator.
In the Selectmen's view, the advantages of having the Library Director report to the Town Administrator include:
Wendy suggested that something called matrix organization was something to consider. This works well in Weston (according to Susan Brennan, the Library Director there)
There was a question about library traffic and circulation. It has increased with the restoration of certification and the increased hours that came at the same time
There was the question of how many employees the library has - 7, 2 full time, 5 part time (under 20 hrs).
Carol said we need to figure out where we're going. Through Minuteman, the library's material assets are regionalized. Though sharing a Library Director did not work well for various reasons, we should still look into regionalizing library human assets. There needs to be a vision for this.
Dennis felt that library should integrate better with the town (this was a general theme of the meeting) and should look to regionalization with other communities.
There was a discussion of where the library should be in 2020. Mostly it was agreed that there should be more thought about this and that there should be another such joint Board meeting later in the fall.
Wendy said that the library was going to be open 4 more hours a week starting in September.
Richard is still our liason on the Selectmen.
On this cheery note, motion to adjourn (8:30PM): CM1, WLR2, passed unanimously
The Library has a FY11-15 strategic plan that we will update Sept-Oct, mainly with new target dates for items. Our overall goal is to continually maximize the Library's usefulness by meeting the evolving needs of the community.
Unfortunately, Library service has decreased drastically since FY2007 because we could not afford a full time Library Director. With a Library Director just part time, we are unable to make sufficient progress on the objectives to meet our goals.
As Medway climbs towards financial recovery, it is imperative that we invest townwide in education and self-improvement by restoring Library service. For an additional annual cost of $31,000 for the Library's budget plus the cost of health insurance, Medway can have a salaried full time Library Director. This would give us more than double the current available hours of our highly trained, knowledgeable Library Director's time, allowing her to make significant progress towards meeting the goals in our strategic plan.
The return on this investment is easily worth the cost. Service improvements would include: