Library Board Liveblog – March 8

(sorry, running a bit late today)

5:15pm – Kevin had a long discussion of the white pride thing.  Reiterated that the group was asked to reschedule because of public safety concerns (between two groups meeting and protesters), not because of the content of their message.  Also, the city solictor’s office was contacted about whether asking a group to reschedule would be a first amendment issue and they indicated that it was not.

5:16 – legislative breakfast this Friday.

5:17 – Bill Coleman – hoping that many pictures are taken at the legislative breakfast.  “It’s great that we remind people what this place is all about” regarding the white pride thing.

Bill asks if there are still plainclothes police officers in the library.

Kevin — felt that this incident put them in good communication with police and city manager.  Whatever is needed for security, up to police.

Bill says that some parents were concerned about bringing children to the library because of safety issues.

They will do the official book presentation in honor of Judy Finkel at the volunteer event.

5:24 – Mark – commenting on white pride event.  Thanks Kevin for his leadership, working the phones, keyboard, fax machine, etc.

Budget season, have had a couple more meetings with the city.  “We’re going to do our darndest to make our case for” what we do here.

Trying to structure the request so that it’s sustainable; “we can’t get much thinner” staff-wise.

Worcester Talking Book Library – have had several more meetings with the state.  Good news is that the governor’s budget level-funded talking book services, but there’s a question about Worcester vs. Perkins.  [Nicole’s note — did anyone notice a billboard advertising for Perkins in Worcester?]

Mark – Foundation – quarter of a million in grant proposals.  Bob is hopeful.

Kevin and Mark met with folks at the city manager’s office and the library will be joining the Stand Up Against Racism program for the city.  May tap into Penny Johnson/Intellectual Freedom fund for that.

5:30 – Wei – migration to open source Evergreen system.  Three consortia (CWMARS and two others) joining together to implement.  We are working on both systems until October.  There’s a lot of involved work in this.  Big project for reviewing dual-barcoded items to one barcode.  Jason has recruited quite a few volunteers to assist with this project.

Doreen – Worcester Women’s History Project will be holding an author event tomorrow night. Also, more than 50 people have been coming to the Civil War movie events.

Anne – Next meeting, the WPI Scratch Team will make a presentation.  (Monday, April 11 at FPBL)

5:37 – Bill asks about the bookmobile.  Bob says that there is a proposal in front of Hanover right now and they are reviewing.  They should know in a week or two.

5:38 – Report from Committee on Administration — Terry — met Feb 28 at FPBL to discuss reviewing goals that Mark has set for his first year.  Mark sent a packet of material.  They did not have time to read it all that day.  They will meet with him in the near future, but that’s as far as they’ve gotten so far.

[Note: there are only seven board members here tonight]

5:41 – Finance Committee – Deb presenting a report.  This is in the packet, and I’ll type this and get it in a separate post later on.  Voted to extend pledge to fund the Foundation director position for 1.5 years ($65,000/year).  (They approve this once a year.)  Kevin says he feels that this position pays for itself with grantwriting, etc.

“We are fragile, we don’t intend on being fragile, and this will help us very much” says Bob in a thank you.

5:44 – WPL Foundation Update (Susan and Bob) – Maria’s last day was Friday, hired someone for 12-18 hours a week, Maria will be hired freelance to help support grant applications (3-4 months).  They’ve formed a search committee (8 individuals), finalizing job description this week and hope to publish it soon.  Will be posted for three weeks, and hope to have someone in this position in 60-90 days.  It will be a 32-hour (unbenefitted) position.

5:50 – Report of the Friends – Terry – Friends are going to subscribe to various magazines (not sure what yet) for Kindles.  The pass program was approved ($8,055 total in passes for the year).  Bookstore brought in more than $26k this year.  (Sorry, she’s going too fast for me to type all this.)  In June, there will be a 25 cent beach read sale, and will look into having a book appraisal day.

Friends will buy shades for the bookstore.  Legos Club has been very successful.

5:55 – Dante – concerned about NEWP.  Not sure if we’re understanding the long-term ramifications of allowing hate groups to continue to meet here.  Should we continue this discussion and form a committee to discuss this situation?  Kevin answers that Bill’s group is going to be discussing meeting room policy.

Bill mentions that the city manager’s group on hate might also be a place for folks to meet.

Bill also talks about how any group who meets here has to have an open meeting.

Kevin – we abide by ALA standards (reads from the meeting room policy).

Mark encourages folks to read the editorial in the Telegram, especially about how you should let folks in fringe groups speak and they will fall on the weight of their words.

(NEWP will be meeting at the library in April.  Keep your eyes peeled.)

Postscript from Doreen about Secure Communities meeting – there were some questions about whether the Tea Party would come and protest.  “Inside [the library] you saw democracy at work.”   “There was no sense of policing what people were saying. … There were some loud voices, but it never got to the point of disrespect.”  It was an overflow crowd, people coming in and going.

Kevin compares this situation to the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Westboro Baptist Church.

And…we’re adjourning.