The October 2013 New City Library Board Meeting marks the 6th month of my employment.
I am happy that the Board of Trustees has come together to approve unanimously all of the library-beneficial projects that have been placed before them. They have recognized consistently that what is best for the library is worthy of their support.
I will offer a few general statements and then review where the library stands on the initiatives that have been proposed and approved for implementation.
Following are the updates:
1. Weeding Project: The weeding project proceeds. A new "dusty shelf" list report will be generated because the previous report from which the collection development staff worked has not resulted in shelf space being freed up in many areas of the library. To the extent possible, it is my hope that sufficient weeding will empty the top shelves in many sections of the collection, and generate sufficient space at the end of each shelf to facilitate browsing and display individual books. It also will eliminate what should be unnecessary labor by the pages, i.e. shifting whole shelves to get a single book put in its proper location.
2. Children’s Shades: The children's and circulation department shades are on order. They will be installed in the next couple of weeks.
3. Audio & Video System for the Meeting Room: Metro Sound Pros has finished most of the installation as of this writing (October 9). Everything is in place for the opening of the Director's Film Series (the first series, Jewish related topics) on October 10. We have no idea how many people to expect, but we will prepare for a capacity crowd. Refreshments will be served. Prior to the movie being shown State Senator David Carlucci will be recognized for his role in providing the funds that underwrote most of the expenses of the grant.
4. State A-V Grant: Progress is being made on the work required to fulfill the requirements of the State A-V Grant.
Currently, the Children’s Department is closer to completion of the specifics for moving the juvenile DVD, CD, and games to the Children’s Room, and making the ensuing design changes required. Options are being explored as part of the redesign work to provide storytelling capability in the Children’s Room, and, overall, to maximize the functionality of the Room. Janet Makoujy and I will bring forth a proposal in November that will virtually complete the renovation of the children's department.
The relocation of the adult AV materials to the first floor and the redesign of the first floor and the basement are much larger tasks. We will maintain communication with the Board Personnel & Finance Committee (fiscal issues) and Building Committee (building and layout issues) regarding both projects (children's & adult).
A plan for the circulation and security of adult and children's AV materials is underway. We will endeavor to present that plan for consideration by the committees and the full board in November, as well.
5. NOOKS: Getting the "reloaded" Nooks out to the public hasn't happened as of yet, but we are expecting to resolve everything relating to their circulation and promotion soon.
6. Director’s Film Series: I am writing this the day of the opening. I'll provide an oral report to the Board on how the first two films went. (The second film, Watermarks, will be presented the day of the Board meeting.)
7. Progress on outstanding projects:
a. Sliding glass doors: The doors are installed and working fine. We have received numerous compliments from patrons regarding how nice they are and how well they operate.
b. Phone system: The installation of the phone system is tentatively set for October 17 and 18. The latter date will be for the training.
c. Parish Building Inspection: Parish has begun its inspection and review of the building. Their HVAC specialist examined the library's HVAC equipment. The overall review of the building and the more specific recommendations regarding HVAC should be forthcoming soon.
8. Antiquated Alarm System: The updating of the alarm system is complete.
9. Aerate the Lawn: The aeration and treatment of the lawn has been completed.
10. Install a New Panel in the Electrical Box: This work almost is complete as of this writing and should be concluded by the date of the board meeting.
11. Exterior Lights in Children’s Garden and Emergency Exit Lights: Motion sensitive lights were installed in the children’s garden to ensure the safety of staff and public. The sensors in the Exit Lights (regular and emergency) were replaced or installed where there had been no sensors. These are small but important matters that were of urgent concern to the children’s department staff (which had never been addressed), and regarding the exit signs, updating them speaks to the basic safety of the building.
12. Senior Fair, September 12, 2013: Excellent contacts were made and the library's presence has been noted and appreciated by some of the regular attendees of the annual Fair.
13. Personnel Recommendation: I will submit to the Personnel and Finance Committee for its review and recommendation to the full board the appointment of the Head of the Community Relations Department. Numerous candidates were interviewed, all of whom presented excellent qualifications. Ultimately the person I will recommend will provide the best fit for the library. The position, when held by Sally Pellegrini, comprised 25 hours of community relations department work and 10 hours of reference and local history collection work. No immediate change will be recommended, but the staffing will be reviewed.
14. Budget Vote & Trustees Election: Preparation is underway for the coming votes on the budget and election of new trustees. So far the nominating committee has met and interviewed 8 candidates. The nominating committee will make its recommendations at the October board meeting. We are working with the new director at West Nyack Library, Eugenia Schatoff, to schedule the budget hearing for the combined library budgets of the two libraries. As of this writing, we are looking for a polling place in Congers because the school—the usual site—is closed.
15. Attendance at the New York Library Association Conference: I spent a great deal of time at the exhibits. I met with vendors who are offering e-related products: books, videos, music, etc. , a vendor that specializes in library-promotional products, and I took a special interest in the 3-D printer. The latter seems to be the "latest" device that libraries are acquiring. We will take a look at how it could be used to good service advantage in the New City Library. Also of value, the NYLA conference gave me the opportunity to profitably network with numerous librarians and vendor representatives.
My thanks to the entire board for its support of the initiatives presented (1-10 above). The unanimity of the Board on these matters bespeaks each trustees commitment to what is best for the library.
Maurice J. Freedman, Director
October 10, 2013