Library Board of Trustees Minutes, September 27, 2017

Board of Trustees: Michelle Brown, Library Director; Donna Hurtak, President; Cheryl Gowing, Vice President; Laura Farley, Secretary; Antonie Downs, Kathleen Redmond


Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017 at 9am

Brockway Memorial Library Conference Room


The meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Brockway Library was called to order at 9:05 am by Chair Donna Hurtak.  

Present:   Michelle Brown, Library Director; Board members, President Donna Hurtak, Toni Downs, Cheryl Gowing, and Kathleen Redmond.   Excused: Laura Farley; Guest: John Camp



  1. Selection of Board Officers: Adjustments to the previously established assignment of Board roles based on year of service were necessary due to Board member availability.   Officers for 2017-2018 are: Donna Hurtak, President; Cheryl Gowing, Vice-President; Laura Farley, Secretary; Kathy Redmond, Community Alliance liaison; Toni Downs, Member-at-Large.   Michelle will send the schedule of term expirations for the Board.

  2. Minutes: Motion to approve the minutes of June 14 2017 meeting made by Donna Hurtak, seconded by Toni Downs; motion passed. Motion to approve the minutes as revised of the special meeting of June 16, 2017 made by Donna Hurtak, seconded by Cheryl Gowing; motion passed. Motion to approve the minutes as revised of the special meeting of July 15, 2017 by Toni Downs, seconded by Cheryl Gowing; motion passed.

    3.  Community Alliance report: Laura Farley supplied a Community Alliance report via email. The September meeting focused on preparations for Hurricane Irma with a presentation by Village Manager Tom Benton.

  1. Financial Report: Michelle Brown presented the financial report.   The Village fiscal year ends on Sept. 30th; the Library budget is on track with ca. 85% of the total budget expended. The Library is slightly over budget in professional services due to the wireless printing project, but this was offset by underspending in other areas.   The library does plan to send Frances and Brenda to the FLA conference this coming year.   Unspent capital project funds, such as for the main room lighting replacement, will be carried over into the next fiscal year. Motion to approve the financial report made by Donna Hurtak, seconded by Toni Downs; motion passed.

    5.    Circulation report: Circulation Report was presented.   Summer circulation was very healthy, with 15,408 circulations.   Weeding of juvenile collections in preparation for the new Children’s Wing/renovation continues, as well as weeding in the paperback, CDs, and adult fiction collections.   116 patrons were added, including 60 adult residents, 29 child residents; 8 non-resident adults; and 18 child non-residents. Many new families are joining due to the children’s programming.   Utilization of the Overdrive eBook collection is good and there’s increasing engagement on the library’s Facebook site.

    6. Old Business

  • Children’s Wing Expansion: The Village is applying for a blanket permit to allow the Library, Village Hall, and the Police Dept. to be hooked up to the sewers. Further delays due to issues with the county have prevented progress. The architect has put together a design criteria package for the Ms. Brown and Village Manager Tom Benton to review.   The Fire Marshall has confirmed that the Library’s life-safety plan does not need to be changed due to the project.   The outdoor courtyard will not be included as part of the maximum occupancy load calculations and fire sprinklers will not need to be installed throughout the library.

    The Florida State Public Library Construction grant was resubmitted; we likely will not learn of the grant awards until July 2018. Ms. Brown expects a visit by Marian Deeney of the Florida Department of State’s Division of Library Information Services, sometime in November.  

    7. New Business: Resident John Camp presented a proposal to explore implementation of a ‘Book Bike’ program at Brockway Library and distributed a handout illustrating the bike use and estimated program costs.    Book bikes are custom Hayley cargo tricycles with attached carrying units that hold library books and other library materials. Bikes are ridden/transported to local events and non-library facilities, then opened to display library materials. Supplied with a portable Wi-Fi hotspot and tablet/laptop, library staff and/or volunteers can register new patrons, loan materials, and promote library events.  

    The genesis of the idea came from the Mayor’s Bike Friendly Task-force and the subsequent achievement of a bronze level “Bike Friendly Community Status” through the League of American Bicyclists – one of only 9 metro communities to have achieved this status upon first application. In order to move up to the ‘silver’ status level, further improvements in bike-friendly businesses and services are needed.   Camp believes a library book bike program would contribute to that effort.

    Possible uses and/or venues for a Brockway Book Bike program are to visit shut-ins unable to physically visit the Library; establishing a regular presence at the Community Center and/or other community events [e.g., Farmer’s Market, Green Day, Unity Day, etc.], neighborhood block parties, community clubs and meetings.   In addition to loaning library materials, book giveaways or sales from the Library’s used/gift book collections could generate modest revenue and help make room for new titles in the Library’s physical sale area.   A book bike program could contribute to marketing the library and establishing a community brand, as the library logo can be added to the unit. Social media would be used to advertise the bike’s schedule/location.

    Book bike program elements & costs: The basic cost is ca. $3100, including an estimated $270-$300 for graphics; $250 delivery; $50-200 maintenance. It take about 30 days to build and deliver a bike. Based on current demand, the program could not begin until Spring 2018. The Bike Walk Committee can investigate possible grants that could help underwrite the program; local donors are also a distinct possibility.

    Issues needing further investigation: where to store the unit; liability insurance for the rider [whether staff or volunteer]; staffing [library staff, volunteers [adults, high school students needing community service hours, etc.]. it’s estimated we would need about 20 volunteers to staff the bike on location, with high school volunteers arriving on site to help provide service, rather than riding the bike to the location.

    John Camp volunteered to work the Michelle Brown on further development of the proposal. The Board agreed that the key issue would be resolving liability and deferred further discussion until liability coverage details were presented to the full Board.

    8. Other items:

  • Summer Reading Program was very successful, with a full crowd every week. Over 500 children attended, resulting in a spike in new library card holders and circulation of children’s books.   Children’s programming continues to evolve. A new Story Time on the 3rd Saturday of the month, a Game Day of Fridays, and a new book club for ages 7-10 have been added. We now offer programming covering ages 0-18.   A new Teen Advisory Board has been formed for ages 13-17 with participation from DCS and Miami Country Day schools.   They have organized a “Spooky Night” event for Oct. 30th.

  • Hurricane Procedures:   In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, the Library was asked to be open to residents in spite of the lack of building power.   Public Works provided a generator to operate a few lamps and standing fans donated by residents, however the environment was extremely uncomfortable and affected staff health. It was noted that county libraries without power in Miami-Dade and Broward remained closed.   Motion that the Library should be closed in the event of a power outage and only reopen when power is restored was made by Toni Downs, seconded by Donna Hurtak; motion passed.

    9. Announcements

  • The college admission essay workshop has been postponed from the original Sept. 30th date.

  • The Village Budget hearing was rescheduled from Sept. 12th.

  • The Library’s Artisan Fair on Oct. 7th has over 20 vendors registered.

  • The Fine Arts Exhibit reception will be held on Friday, Oct. 13th. It was noted the artist was not presented/approved by the Library Board, as per the Library Exhibit Policy. This will be discussed with the Fine Arts Council Chair.

  • Children’s Librarian Brenda Holsing will offer a “Roots & Shoots” program at Green Day on Sat., Oct 21.   The children’s gardening program is normally held in the Library courtyard, where the children are building a butterfly garden.   The program is currently wait-listed.

  • Historic Walking Tour this fall will be limited to 20, with priority registration granted to those previously waitlisted. The tour will start at MTC and conclude at Brockway Library.   Plans for a larger spring tour by bus are underway.


Meeting Adjourned at 10: 25 am.  

Respectfully submitted: Cheryl Gowing, Secretary