Bucks County Free Library Board



The Regular Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Bucks County Free Library was held at the Samuel Pierce branch in Perkasie. The meeting was called to order at 5:30 p.m. Present were:  Det Ansinn, President; Jerry Balchis, Treasurer; Mary Ann Beltz and Christina-Paugh Greenwood, Board Trustees; Martina Kominiarek, Executive Director; Sue Ziegler, Public Services Director; and Pam Riley , Executive Assistant. Also in attendance were Perkasie Assistant Branch Manager Dawn Baum; Perkasie Youth Services Librarian Jen Cogan, and Quakertown Union Steward David Dunlap. Bill Draper, Vice President, and Roberta Foerst, Secretary, were absent.


A MOTION to APPROVE the minutes of the Regular Meeting of May 20, 2009 was made by Balchis, SECONDED by Paugh-Greenwood and APPROVED unanimously.





Report of Assistant Branch Manager/Perkasie

Assistant Branch Manager Dawn Baum updated the board on the Perkasie branch’s outreach efforts over the past year. She said they continue to have partnerships with the historical society and other groups. In addition, they are partnering with the local township and borough, obtaining space on their web sites with links to the library and getting promotional materials distributed at the township and borough offices. She also represented BCFL at Community Day in Dublin Borough and said that through IT’s help she was able to register people for library cards off site. She has an exciting partnership with Hilltown Township and K’NEX stemming from Pierce library user and K’NEX expert Tim Gibson. They have scheduled him to speak to two groups of children and will distribute kits that the library and K’NEX will purchase, each paying for half. Also, the Pierce Library will be kicking off their summer reading program at Menlo Park.


Jen Cogan is the newly-promoted Youth Services Librarian for the Pierce Library. She said she started full time at Pierce on June 1, and she has been actively building partnerships with the local school districts and school librarians, meeting over 1,000 students in that short span of time. She said her visits to the schools stirred up a lot of interest in the upcoming Summer Reading Program, with students excited about the kick-off event, which will feature face painting, balloons and arts and crafts.




Report of Executive Director (submitted in writing)


Executive Director Martina Kominiarek thanked Dawn Baum and Jen Cogan, who are both new at their positions and “hit the ground running,” keeping Perkasie moving forward.


Kominiarek distributed materials on two contests that will be part of the Summer Reading Program. For elementary students there is a lemonade stand contest and for teens a video contest. Both contests tap into students’ entrepreneurial skills and stress both education and fun. Working with Yardley branch staff, Youth Services Consultant Connie Hillman and Public Services Manager Holly Ambrose both did a great job incorporating businesslike attributes into the contests, and libraries are prepared to assist with books on how to run a business. Disbrow funding was obtained for these county wide projects. Board members are asked to volunteer to judge either or both contests and/or attend the awards ceremony for the video contest to be held at the Yardley-Makefield Library. It will be a “formal” event, fashioned after the Academy Awards, with prizes for similar categories.


A draft strategic plan goals and objectives report was distributed. The board is asked to review it to see if this format for reporting on BCFL’s progress will be satisfactory for annually reporting to the board. She noted that in many cases BCFL’s focus was changed in order to achieve successful results. If anyone has any suggestions for changing the report’s format, please let Executive Assistant Pam Riley know before the next board meeting.


A draft proposal and summary for the “I Can Do the 5 Things” project was distributed to the board. Kominiarek is working with the Area Agency on Aging to develop and co-sponsor this project to promote info fluency with people aged 55+. The Area Agency on Aging will provide some grant funds. She explained how library users will participate in the 5 Things project, starting with learning about e-mail, and progressing to a digital camera, Facebook, flickr, and Twitter. It is hopeful that one-on-one tutoring will be available through the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (RSVP) or through other volunteers. The start date for the project will be sometime between November 2009 and January 2010. She expressed hope that board members will participate in the project and encourage their friends and family to join. The goal is to have 5,000 people complete the project. Board trustee Beltz felt that it was a timely idea, especially for seniors who may want to communicate electronically with grandchildren or who are interested in understanding the many news references to Twitter.



Report of Public Services Director (submitted in writing)

Public Services Director Sue Ziegler acknowledged Quakertown union steward David Dunlap in attendance at the meeting.



Report of Chief Financial Officer

MOTION to APPROVE the payment of bills for May 2009 in the amount of $405,850.41 was made by Balchis, SECONDED by Beltz and APPROVED unanimously.


MOTION to APPROVE the May 2009 financial statements (subject to audit) was made by Paugh-Greenwood, SECONDED by Balchis, and APPROVED unanimously.



Board Committee Reports:  None



Correspondence – Submitted in writing


Several board members had received and submitted letters from State Representative Katharine Watson in response to the board e-mail to her requesting library support in budget discussions.



Public Comment – Mr. Robert Balbirer, a district coordinator of AARP’s Tax-Aid Program, addressed the board to get a waiver on the meeting room policy so that he would be allowed to book a room 30-36 times, which is more than the allowable 12 times per 12-month period. He also asked that his clients be allowed to use the public copier free of cost and to allow him to use library staff for setting up appointments. He is required to report to the IRS his site locations for 2010 by July, 2009. His program runs from February 1 through April 15 each year. Kominiarek told him that there is a high demand for the rooms and quiet space at the Quakertown Library. She said circulation has increased by 31% there, and library users or tutors working one-on-one request quiet space as well. The goal of the meeting room policy is to best serve the competing interests of all constituents. In 2009 the AARP Tax Aid program utilized two other branches at BCFL consistent with our meeting room policy (one library for ten sessions and one library for twelve sessions).


Board trustee Beltz asked for clarification about his request for staff assistance with appointments. He explained that he utilized library staff to take appointments and then inform him of same for confidentiality reasons. He said they had tried a daily first come/first served approach in the past, but that resulted in conflicts among his clients. The board agreed to discuss his request and would let him know their decision by July 1, 2009.


Mr. Balbirer stated he felt his use of the library was consistent with the library’s strategic plan goals. The board president stated that if the budget fails us, BCFL will fall short of goals, and priorities will need to be resorted. 



Unfinished business  None



New Business – None


The board met in Executive Session to discuss confidential legal and personnel matters at 6:48 p.m.


The Executive Session adjourned at 7:28 p.m.


There being no further business, a MOTION to ADJOURN was made at 7:29 p.m. by Beltz, SECONDED by Balchis and so MOVED.



Respectfully submitted,


                                                                                                       Pamela J. Riley


Executive Assistant





JULY 21, 2009





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