FRIENDSJPL ANNUAL MEETING
November 14, 2020
Board Members present: Carol Race, Sandy Harris, Barbara Berg, Patience Frederiksen, Anne Fuller, Susi Gregg Fowler, and Robert Barr (Library Director and ex-officio). Also present were Debbie Fagnant, Barbara Pavitt, Kris Gray, Nikki Love, Maggie Dalrymple, MJ Grande (Director of Children’s Services), Ceann Murphy, Esther Millea, Michael Neussi, Trina Lynch-Jackson. Other members of Friends of the Juneau Public Library joined during the course of the meeting.
CR called the meeting to order via Zoom at 3:04. She shared the updated agenda on screen. SF moved the agenda be adopted and PF seconded. No objections, so ordered.
PF moved the Minutes of the regular meeting of September 10, 2020, and the special meeting of September 24, 2020, be approved. Motion was seconded. Approved by unanimous consent.
Youth Literacy/AmeriCorp/AEYC Grant Report
CR introduced MJ Grande, Nikki Love, and Maggie Dalrymple, present to share the progress of a community outreach project funded in part through Friends of the Juneau Public Library. Nikki (AEYC-Association for Education of Young Children), Maggie (AmeriCorps volunteer) and MJ (JPL Youth Services Librarian) spoke to the challenges of operating this program under the Covid19 pandemic limitations. AEYC has had AmeriCorps volunteers since 2012 and this year’s focus was early literacy. Maggie showed book bundles which were delivered to three preschool programs. They are aiming for two visits a month. They have organized outdoor story times, developed a video component, have had good parent engagement, and are hoping to expand into some family daycare homes. MJ spoke to the creativity and flexibility of the team, dealing with multiple and continuing issues in how to deliver services–especially with closures, restrictions, continuing change. They are already looking ahead to summer, setting up a “Beanstack” program for continued delivery of literacy resources. Maggie, Nikki, and MJ all expressed their appreciation for the programming money from FOJPL.
Mail services for delivery of library materials was acknowledged as vital during these times of library closure and PF was thanked for her part in facilitating this.
CR reminded members that BB had given notice earlier that she does not wish to continue as FriendsJPL’s representative on the Endowment Board after her many years of library involvement. She will present a report later in the meeting.
CR asked if there was any objection to retaining the current JPL board, and there was none. She noted it would still be helpful to add to the board membership.
RB, CBJ Library Director, spoke to the challenges of the year for the Juneau Public Library system. His report would usually be about statistics and programs, but COVID-19 has been the overriding occupation of the year. The library has been a significant part of the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) during the pandemic with everyone on the program staff being at one time or another pulled off to work on EOC tasks, including the hot line, taking notes, and direct support. This has of course affected what library activities could happen. As of this meeting (November 2020), service is curbside until Juneau’s Covid19 numbers go down.
Still, library programming went on, supported, organized and staffed, including: Harry Potter escape rooms; Memory Cafe programs, estate planning and partnering, spring gardening, banned books day, and summer reading on-line. Recently a group of churches has been providing spaces in the absence of schools for children most at need to attend during the day, a place for reading and safety. MJ has been working on that.
In response to a question about when the libraries are likely to reopen, RB said when the Covid-19 level is down to 2.
The Amazing Bookstore
SH presented a report on the Amazing Bookstore, detailing the determination and flexibility of her team. Her report is attached in full. Among other highlights, the Amazing Bookstore is now set up to accept electronic payments, protective cubicles (plexiglass and plastic curtains) are now set up for the volunteers, free book events have been held, and volunteers continue to find ways to get books into the hand of kids and adults in Juneau. The bookstore plans to reopen when the public libraries do so and will maintain the protocols they have established to maintain good social distancing and mask wearing. Report is attached to these minutes.
Although there was revenue loss during the weeks and months of closure (while rent and utility costs continue), RB mentioned that CARES grants helped offset those losses.
In response to inquiry about where the proceeds from The Amazing Bookstore go, PF discussed uses of the funds including operation of the bookstore itself, funding for special library projects that are not part of the JPL budget, past proceeds of almost a million dollars in funding for the Valley library, costs of renovations, furnishing, and programming for the Juneau public library system.
In addition to maintaining the FOJPL website (FriendsJPL.org), AF working with CR and Pat Race has our new Wild Apricot system for memberships and donations up and running.
CR manages most of the correspondence. SF has continued to send occasional notices and PSAs to media outlets.
Treasurer’s Report and 2021 budget proposal
PF began by commending the work of Ceann Murphy whose monthly reports and attention to detail are invaluable. Alexandria Capital continues to manage our investments.
Despite closures of the Amazing Bookstore, as RB noted, with a CBJ Business Sustainability grant and CARES grants, the bookstore is poised to end the year in the black. PF said $50,000 will be rolled into the investment account and suggested the Board might want to consider adding more.
Profit/Loss Previous Year Comparison, January through October 2020 is attached.
We will vote on the 2021 budget at our February 11 meeting.
BB said that the Endowment Board has not met this year. BB has been the FriendsJPL’s representative since she retired as Library Director in 2013 and wants to be replaced. A replacement needs to apply to the City when the opening is made.
BB provided history of the Endowment Fund. It was established with a legacy from Verna Corrigan to benefit the Juneau Public Library, University of Alaska Southeast, and the local Catholic diocese. The decision was to invest through the City’s protocols and this has worked well. Other funds have been added including other from other memorial funds. The records are with the city with copies in the Library Director’s office.
BB was thanked for her service to both the fund and the FriendsJPL Board.
2021 FriendsJPL Board Schedule
CR proposed quarterly meetings: February 11, May 13, and September 9 For FriendsJPL Board quarterly meetings, scheduled for 5:00 p.m, and November 13 at 3:00 PM for the next annual meeting. No objection, so ordered.
Trina Lynch-Jackson asked whether consideration has been given to the provision of professional development for library staff. She mentioned that the Friends of the Library in Gary, Indiana, has such a program to support and encourage librarians. Interest was expressed and CR said it would be added to the agenda of the next regular board meeting.
In response to an inquiry about membership, CR noted that the FriendsJPL.org now has clear membership information. As noted earlier, the Wild Apricot platform is now fully functional.
Meeting adjourned at 4:34 p.m.
Amazing Bookstore Report,
Budget report January through October 2020
Friends of the Juneau Public Libraries Amazing Bookstore Report To the Annual Meeting, November 14, 2020 from Sandy Harris
Needless to say, it’s been a very unusual year. The bookstore was operating smoothly over the winter. Some routine highlights:
We gained some new volunteers to work on pricing and stocking as well as the front desk. Two of our newest volunteers are teenagers who move boxes of books wherever they need to go(recycle or storage) with their mother who serves as driver.
Our partnership with AEYC and Alaska Airlines continued to provide books for young readers through the “Books on the Fly” program.
A shipment to Thrift Books was done through a joint effort of bookstore volunteers, World Wide Movers and Alaska Marine Lines. WWM and AML donate services twice a year to help us move and ship boxes of books to Seattle for resale. This fall we paid WWM to pack and load the books from the storage unit instead of using volunteers. The change was made due to social distancing issues for volunteers, and WWM was able to complete the entire operation in two hours. We may opt to use them again in the spring.
The Longenbaugh-Schoenfeld family continued the fund to provide $2.00 gift certificates to bookstore patrons age 12 and under. This has been a very popular program with both staff and patrons. Desk volunteers give out the certificates to children who are looking for books in the store and the children use the certificates to purchase books.
The free book closet is popular and helps us rotate our stock of books.
On March 16, 2020 the bookstore closed due to the covid 19 pandemic and remained closed until late July. While the bookstore was closed there were quite a few transitions made to adjust to the changes in circumstances.
Several long time volunteers decided to step back from their work at the bookstore and the Bookstore Committee which is responsible for running the store saw a few changes in membership. The committee began meeting regularly on Zoom to plan for reopening the store when the time was right. We decided to follow the protocols put in place by the public libraries regarding opening the bookstore to the public and our priority was the safety of the volunteers who work at the bookstore.
The volunteers were surveyed to see if they wished to continue working at the bookstore. We made the necessary adjustments to scheduling and work assignments.
We had large scale free book events in the front parking lot on a couple of weekends in order to free up social distancing space in the store and maintain a presence in the community.
We decided to begin accepting electronic payments in order to limit cash handling by the volunteers. Desk volunteers were trained to use the Square payment device.
In order to monitor in coming customers to be sure they were wearing face coverings and not overcrowding the store, we added a second volunteer to each shift to serve as “greeter”.
Dick Fagnant and Perserverance Glass worked together to provide plexiglass and plastic curtains so the volunteers would have protective cubicles.
In the midst of things, our light bulbs began to fail and Sam Cokely retired electrician, replaced our light bulbs.
We reorganized the store to provide for social distancing.
A schedule was put together that allowed the store to be open six hours a day for four days a week. Another schedule was put together for people to work when the store was closed and to limit the number of people in the store at any one time.
Our eventual reopening in late July was a great success. Weekends were very busy. Mondays and Tuesdays were a little slower. We closed again in October when the public libraries closed. Everything is in place to reopen whenever it is safe to do that. We are all eager to get back to the store.