Minutes Thursday, November 3, 2011

Opening:  The meeting of the Board of Directors of the Association of Rural and Small Libraries was called to order at 1:04 p.m. Pacific; 2:04 p.m. Mountain; 3:04 p.m. Central; 4:04 p.m. Eastern on November 3, 2011 through WebEx by Becky Heil, President.
Andrea Berstler, Lesley Boughton, Louise Greene, Larry Grieco, Becky Heil, Paul Healey, Carla Lehn, Alison Miller, Sharon Michie, Jennifer Peterson, Sonja Plummer-Morgan, Steve Seale, Lorie Womack
Absent: Donna Brice, Larry Grieco, Tena Hanson, Dwight McInvaill

Quorum Present:  Yes

Others Present: none

A.   Consent Agenda

Lesley Boughton explained that financial statements were received every month within ten days of closing.  Lesley presented the current financial statement which was for September 2011.

Approval for minutes from March 21, 2011 and May 16, 2011 was discussed and postponed until January 2012.

Paul Healey moved to approve minutes for the September 12, 2011 meeting and the current financial statements.  Lorie Womack seconded.  Motion carried.

B.   President’s Report

AMR Contract Update

Becky Heil examined difference between last year’s contract with AMR and this year’s contract.  This year’s contract for financial services eliminates intercessions with the IRS, adds a hard copy membership mailing, identifies additional conference duties for registration, one staff member to attend a board meeting, name badges for the annual conference and attendance roster.  The charge for this year’s contract will be $9,768, a difference of $2000 more from last year.

Lesley Boughton asked for clarification of the Membership Services Committee expenses that were requested. Louise Greene asked for clarification of the percentage increase over last year’s contract.  Paul Healey questioned whether the additional expenses were justified.  Sonja Plummer-Morgan questioned justification of conference registration desk expenses.  Paul Healey questioned the added value of the services.

Paul Healey moved to accept the contract with the 2% increase over last year’s but without additional expenses.  Discussion followed to clarify if the Membership Services Committee would receive the allotted funds as opposed to AMR for assistance at the conference.

Becky Heil reiterated that the new contract incorporated this year’s work plan by adding a follow up hard copy letter and mailing to members, sending an account executive to the annual conference, and preparing name badges and an attendance roster.

The motion was tabled.

Paul Healey made an amended motion to accept the contract with all proposed additions except sending an account executive to the annual conference. Louise Greene seconded the amended motion. It was acknowledged that the new contract may cost slightly more than the 2% increase previously approved by the board. Motion carried.


Appointment of Sharon Michie as Volunteer Coordinator

Sharon Michie explained that she cannot accept the position this year due to work responsibilities.  She remained open to future appointments.

It was agreed to send the volunteer coordinator idea back to the Membership Services Committee.

DRAFT Committee Volunteer List

Carla Lehn requested that additions/changes to the volunteer list be sent to her.


Quarterly Committee Chair Meetings

Jennifer Peterson noted that project based needs should dictate when another meeting is added to responsibilities.

It was agreed that it will be up to committee chairs to identify the necessity for additional meetings.

Approval of updated Strategic Plan

Jennifer Peterson questioned whether creating a public relations policy and plan was a feasible charge for her committee.  Discussion ensued of the distinction between public relations functions and official board statements and where those duties could be charged.  Agreement was reached to transfer this part of the plan to Executive Committee tasks.

Jennifer Peterson moved to accept the Strategic Plan with this amendment.  Paul Healey seconded the motion.  Motion carried.



It was agreed that Dropbox was a functional tool for board documents.  Jennifer Peterson requested moving meeting documents into a meeting folder and further organization.  Carla Lehn offered to organize Dropbox documents with assistance from Becky Heil.

Board Meeting Dates

The January 5,2012 meeting date was set with agreement to conduct a Doodle poll for Mondays, Tuesdays or Fridays for succeeding meetings.

  1. C.   Executive Committee Report

Recommendation on General Liability Insurance || Recommendation on Directors & Officers Insurance

Paul Healey explained that new premium quotes were needed for general liability insurances as the previous quotes had likely expired or were invalid.  A distinction was made between claims versus instances.  It was clarified that tails would apply to currently serving board members and not to former board members whose terms had expired.

Becky Heil confirmed the Executive Committee recommends Great American for Directors and Officers insurance.

Jennifer Peterson moved to accept the Executive Committee recommendation with an updated quote for the premium. Lorie Womack seconded. Carla Lehn clarifies the motion that Great American would be the selected carrier for Directors and Officers insurance. Motion carried.

Paul Healey explains that AMR has general liability insurance to cover all organizations under contract and that limits are shared among clients.  The quotes are in Dropbox.  It was discussed that AMR could carry ARSL on general liability since ARSL doesn’t have risk for employees or a facility.

Paul Healey moved to revisit general liability insurance in one year and allow AMR insurance to carry ARSL for this year. Lesley Boughton seconded the motion. Motion carried.


  1. D.   Treasurer’s Report   

Leslie Boughton presented a draft budget and asked for clarification of the fees for Constant ContactJennifer Peterson clarified the purpose of the budget line.  A question was raised about using the funds for other items.  Leslie Boughton explained that the draft budget shows $14,000 deficit in revenues received and that additional revenue is not expected.  The hotel bill for the conference is shown as $23,000 but portions will be paid by organizations that used the conference venue, some expenses would be distributed to other budget lines.  The question was raised about adding anticipated grant funds in this year’s budget even though the funds had not been confirmed or disbursed.

It was agreed that a vote on the budget would take place at the January 5, 2012 meeting when updated information would be included in the budget.

  1. E.    Conference Committee Update

Becky Heil reported for Andrea Berstler. The contract with the Sheraton, Raleigh had been signed, the Conference Committee was set with many volunteers, and a Conference Committee meeting was scheduled in the near future.

  1. F.    Update on Washington D.C. Trip

Steve Seale reported that he met with Karen Perry from the Gates Foundation and attended meetings with representatives from Schools, Hospitals, Libraries Broadband Coalition (SHLB), and various state libraries.  Meetings centered on serving the connectivity needs of anchoring institutions. Steve reported hearing that the quality of internet/broadband connectivity was the highest priority among rural librarians and the factor that made the most difference in library operations. ARSL presence was well-received.  Steve spent most of his time attending meetings about the FCC Connect America Fund Goal – to provide universal broadband availability to anchor institutions in rural areas.  Steve explained the close relationship between the Gates Foundation and SHLB.

  1. G.   Partnerships Committee

Sonja Plummer-Morgan reported on the Seattle conference and the discussion with Karen Perry of the Gates Foundation and its relationship with SHLB.  Sonja Plummer-Morgan moved to purchase an ARSL SHLB membership.  Motion carried.

Sonja confirmed that board corrections were being incorporated into the Gates Foundation grant proposal and that she would send the amended proposal to the board when it was finished.  She confirmed that the grant had been verbally assured and that it would be for approximately $30,000 each year for a period of three years.  She explained that 501c3 status could be expedited but that the Gates Foundation was willing to fund when that status had been attained.

Sonja motioned to accept the grant proposal as it stood with promised modifications so that the November 11 submission deadline could be met.  She outlined that the changes would be incorporated, the amended proposal would be deposited in Dropbox for board inspection, the Partnership Committee would approve the changes, and that Becky Heil would sign it and that it would be submitted by November 11, 2011.  Motion carried.

Sonja reported that the partnership committee was focused on Gates and UNT as partners and that the Gale proposal should be respectfully declined for reasons of a lack of capacity at this time.  Sonja would deposit of letter of declination in Dropbox for inspection.

Sonja moved the partnership with UNT remain in the exploration phase but that further time was needed to explore the structure of a partnership.  Motion carried.

  1. H.   Member Development Committee

Jennifer Peterson described upcoming webinars and programs and referred to the committee report in Dropbox.

  1. I.      Membership Services Committee

In Tena Hanson’s absence, Jennifer Peterson called for a vote to send the 2nd membership renewal notice by mail to members for the approximate sum of $400.  Sonja Plummer-Morgan moved; Paul Healey seconded.  The motion carried.

  1. J.    Policy Review

Paul Healey reviewed the Logo Policy and moved the policy be accepted as it stands.  Motion carried.

The next policy to be reviewed will be Board Member Travel.

 Recap of Actions to be Taken

Becky Heil: Organize Drop Box, request updated insurance quotes, send Volunteer Coordinator position back to committee, amend AMR contract, review and sign Gates Foundation grant proposal, amend Strategic Plan, Doodle Poll

Carla Lehn: update Drop Box, volunteer list

Lesley Boughton: update financial reports

Paul Healey: review Board Member Travel policy

Sonja Plummer-Morgan: adjust Gates Foundation grant proposal, submit, compose letter of decline to Gale

Executive Committee: create Public Relation Plan and Policy


Next Board Meeting

January 5, 2012     Thursday   4 p.m. PT/3 p.m. MT/2 p.m. CT/1 p.m. ET


Public Comments: None

New Business: None

Meeting adjourned: 4:40pm


Respectfully Submitted,

Louise W. Greene, Secretary




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