2011 minutes

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




Minutes September 12, 2011

Opening:  The meeting of the Board of Directors of the Association of Rural and Small Libraries was called to order at 9:00 a.m. on September 12, 2011 in Frisco, TX by Becky Heil, President.

Present:  Andrea Berstler, Lesley Boughton, Louise Greene, Larry Grieco, Tena Hanson, Becky Heil, Paul Healey, Carla Lehn, Jennifer Peterson, Steve Seale, Lorie Womack

Absent:  Donna Brice, Dwight McInvaill, Alison Miller, Sharon Michie, Sonja Plummer-Morgan

Quorum Present?  Yes

Others Present: Don Reynolds, former president of ARSL, retired

A.    Election of Board Treasurer and Board Secretary

Andrea Berstler moved to elect Lesley Boughton as Treasurer and Louise Greene as Secretary.  Tena Hanson seconded.  No discussion.  Motion carried.

B.   Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the previous meeting July 18, 2011 were unanimously approved as distributed.  Andrea Berstler moved; Lesley Boughton seconded.  No discussion.  Motion carried.

C.   Treasurer’s Report

Andrea Berstler distributed four pages of financial reports produced by AMR for board discussion. Discussion ensued on report structure; discussion of further breakdown of fees; questions about fees and where total line items are disbursed. Consensus reached that some transaction reports from AMR be requested for clarification.  Lesley Boughton, as Treasurer, will contact AMR.  Discussion whether AMR contract will remain in place at the same rate and of timeline for contract renewal; investigate future conference board meeting presence of AMR personnel, review satisfaction with conference registration experience.  Jennifer Peterson moved that board will review online conference registration software and membership experience with AMR.  Lesley Boughton seconded.  Motion carried.  Andrea Berstler moved that annual contract with AMR be renewed unless the annual cost to ARSL exceeds a 2% increase.  Jennifer Peterson seconded.  Motion carried. Paul Healey moved to approve Treasurer’s Report.  Tena Hanson seconded. Motion carried. Action: Becky Heil will follow up with AMR on online conference registration experience.  Paul Healey will examine existing and new AMR contract language.  Andrea Berstler added that ARSL has not yet been through an audit cycle.

D.   President’s Agenda

  1. Reviewed relationship with AMR.  Becky Heil will verify with AMR the line of communication between AMR office and board members.
  2. Board Member Description. Discussion of Board Member Job Description Art 5. Section 8 of By-Laws and Board Member Responsibility number 3 in description document (participation in regular board meetings). Discussion of role of ex-officio members. No action at this time.
  3. Committee Chair Description. Discussion tabled.
  4. Board Work Processes.  Lorie Womack requested a TO DO List following board meetings.  Louise Greene requested timely conclusion of board meetings.  Consensus reached that board meetings last 1.5 hours unless otherwise noted in advance.  Lesley Boughton requested Executive Committee Meeting minutes be distributed to entire Board.  Paul Healey will investigate group document work space.  Consensus reached that members be on time for meetings.  Louise Greene recommended new member orientation be formalized.  Consensus reached that Board visibility be heightened.  Proposed logo policy discussed.  Paul Healey will review and agreed to be Ad Hoc Policy Review Committee Chair. Discussion of creating a brochure for distribution. Discussion about which services are available to ARSL as an ALA affiliate.  Discussion of Board business cards.  Carla Lehn reminded committee chairs of conference call number availability.  Steve Seale moved to discontinue press release services of volunteer ARSL member.  Discussion of role of public relations functions within committee structure.  Motion withdrawn.  Jennifer Peterson will investigate press release functions within the Member Services Committee.  Consensus reached that agenda for Board meeting be posted on ARSL list-serv and that a telephone number be published for member participation in comment session.
  5. Discussion of Directors’ Liability Insurance Policy.  Discussion on previous quotes for policy premiums.  Lesley Boughton requested policy be put in place as soon as possible.  Consensus reached that new avenues be explored for liability policy.  Becky Heil will discuss with AMR.


E.    Membership Committee Report

Tena Hanson reported on membership dues structure, levels of membership, benefits.  Discussion about $10.00 donation embedded in Premier Membership dues voluntarily sent to conference scholarship fund.  Ways to recognize members who donate to fund were listed.  Jennifer Peterson moved that $10.00 donation in Premier Membership option be retained.  Larry Grieco seconded.  Motion carried.  Discussion of member newsletter.  Lesley Boughton recommended newsletter be consistently published on schedule and distributed to the entire membership through website.

F.    Partnership Committee Project Update

Larry Grieco indicated additional information on the NSF grant and ALA Public Programs Committee work will be forthcoming for the next Board meeting.

G.   Committees Meetings

Consensus reached that committees would meet in the even numbered months.  Becky Heil urged committee chairs to consider budget requests as well as volunteer roles among membership to accomplish organization tasks.

H.   Recap of Actions to be Taken

Becky Heil: Discussion with Alison Miller, Dwight McInvaill, Sharon Michie on board roles and duties; AMR on liability insurance for director, expanded financial reports, member registration experience, contract renewal, conference board meeting presence. Position letters (2). Follow BMGF grant process, represent ARSL with BMGF in Washington, D.C.

Paul Healey: will review all current and future policies. Paul will look at DropBox

Carla Lehn: will send Paul all policies. Assemble Board Retreat discussion for strategic planning and distribute, assemble remarks from membership about conference experience

Andrea Berstler: conference contact follow up, partners at NC State Library, DropBox orientation

Jennifer Peterson: Marketing webinar on 9.20.11, newsletter for conference wrapup, set up editorial calendar.

Larry Grieco: follow up ALA public programs and NSF

Lesley Boughton: Contact AMR in preparation on budget for January meeting; will report at executive committee in October.

Tena Hanson: brochures, membership campaign, traveling exhibit

Steve Seale: conference wrap up, represent ARSL with BMGF in Washington, D.C.

Lorie Womack: recording duties for Conference Manual

Louise Greene: continue UNT partnership exploration

Meeting Adjourned:  12 p.m. Noon, Becky Heil, President

Next Board Meetings:

November 3, 2011 Thursday   4 p.m. PT/3 p.m. MT/2 p.m. CT/1 p.m. ET

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


Respectfully Submitted,

Louise W. Greene, Secretary






Minutes July 18, 2011

2 min. I. Welcome and Call to Order Sonja Plummer-Morgan,
In attendance: Jennifer, Andrea, Becky, Carla, Lesley, Jim, Tena, Louise, Sonja, Dwight,
Call to order by Sonja 1:08
Timothy not able to make it
3 min. II. Consent Agenda
– Approve Minutes of March 21, 2011*/** Alison Miller, Secretary
– Approve Minutes of May 16, 2011*/**
– Current Financial Statements */** Andrea Berstler, Treasurer
● Move to approve minutes: Alison Second by Jennifer: no discussion: all in favor – motion
● Andrea – current financial statement
○ sent out copies of May/June financial statements (condensed covers everything –
○ any questions (from Andrea) – no questions
○ Motion to accept Andrea: Second by Donna: no discussion: all in favor – motion
10 min. III. President’s Report Sonja
· Nonprofit Status Update
· ALA – New Orleans
● provided via email: overview of activities;
● 501c3 app status update: spoke with Nick and Tracey and Sarah w/AMR Fri and
this morning; addressed some miscommunication; get sense of when draft would
be sent/submitted; expressed concern about the amount of time that has been
taken so far; factors include finance/comptroller (being extra cautious) – especially
due to lack of filing tax returns; some of the answers that we have given AMR
have not been accepted; one example – the board roster (also recent emails from
Sonja); one issue – adding Inc to every reference of arsl title to the website (would
require major work, as discussed via Sonja and Steve) – decided to change as
many as possible – initial response was that is not enough: second example
– Sonja asked Carla to send the updated roster (all updated); wasn’t initially
accepted based on format; third example sent the same question to several
different board members, receiving different answers, etc. At this point, promised
a draft of 501c3 app today; originally was going to mandate review today at this
meeting; Sonja requested that the draft go to the Executive comm – let the board
decide about further requests to app
● who is to answer questions from AMR to Board – examples treasurer, Andrea:
Member Services, Jennifer/Alison – copy Sonja and Carla on responses: if not
appropriate, email Sonja and Carla
● IMLS preconference
● Booth – staffed by Jennifer: successful: Constant Contact newsletter shared
● Additional comments about meetings/people/arsl promotion
● status on social networks provided
● QR Code
● Discrectionary funds of President – asked John Chratska for prof dev at
conference for board (working on day and time)
Questions: None
5 min. IV. Executive Committee Report Sonja
· Decision on General Liability Insurance
● Determined to be around $8000 – will be assessed each year; bring up at a
meeting in the future – should be discussed each year in terms of need
10 min. V. Treasurer’s Report Andrea
· ARSL 2011 Budget Change*/**
Increase Board travel budget by $1400 to $6400 – this allows up to 8 board travel scholarships
of $800 each
● needs request for consideration for fin aid and needs to be in by Aug 11;
● request Board to increase Board travel budget from $1400 to $6400
Motion made by Alison; seconded by Tena – all in favor – motion carried
forms from:
Tena, Becky, Carla, Louise, Jim, Lori
10 min. VI. Nominating Committee Report Lesley Boughton, Chair
· Election Outcomes
· Comments from Members
● Carla shared election results week of July 1 – Lesley made a suggestion to review
survey monkey results regarding nominees and process; question from Sonja –
objection was that there were not many names to choose from
● information is distributed on the listserv/key contact/social networks
● members may not know it’s competitive in terms of who the nominating
committee selects to meet organizational needs
10 min. VII. Conference Update Steve Seale, Chair
● report sent out – information from that reviewed
● additional information regarding volunteer times and board meeting will be sent
● additional marketing information will be shared by Tena
15 min. VIII. Partnerships Committee Timothy Owens, Chair
· Committee Update
· Strategic Partnerships Update Dwight McInvaill
· Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
· Pushing the Limits Project Update Larry Grieco
· ALA Public Programs Office – Exhibits Larry Grieco
● Larry not in attendance – Louise filled in: pushing limits moving at a steady pace;
Larry visited w/various people at ALA – talked about smaller exhibits more feasible
for smaller libraries; long telephone conversation with Bernie – interested in
revitalizing the Center – Louise will write up a summary and share
10 min. IX. Member Services Committee Jennifer Peterson, Chair
· Online Newsletter Update
· Media Channels in conjunction with Press Releases
· ALA 2012 session (Anaheim) in partnership with Committee on Rural, Native, and Tribal
Libraries of All Kinds
· ARSL liaison to the Committee on Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds?
● Meeting last week – newsletter how to ensure content, double check where they arrive
(SPAM), frequency (perhaps quarterly), issues/segments/etc discussed
● Formal call to Board members for ideas relating to website roundup, rural innovators
● discussed aggregator, hashtag for conference
● would like a table at the conference
10 min. X. Membership Development Committee Tena Hanson, Chair
· Update
● Report sent out last week;
● 1. Does anyone have any great testimonials about membership and/or conference
we could use in promotions? people will look and share any information/possibly
also from evaluations
● 2. What do you think about our Welcome Back letter idea — a letter to be sent to
those with expired membeships 6 months afterwards to encourage them to rejoin?
● 3. How about offering the ability to order ARSL logo items (conference badge
decorations) online? Is this cool with our logo policy? Yes
● comment/question about how many state reps we have
Discussion about diversity
Next Board Meeting – Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, September 11 & 12, 2011
Motion to adjourn – Andrea, second Jennifer, all in favor

Minutes May 16, 2011

Association for Rural and Small Libraries, Board of Directors Meeting

Present: Timothy Owens, Sonja Plummer-Morgan, Alison Miller, Andrea Berstler, Becky Heil, Dwight McInvaill, Jennifer Peterson, Larry Grieco, Jim Connor, Lesley Boughton, Louise Greene, Steve Seale, Donna Brice, Tena Hanson & Carla Lehn.



 I.          Welcome and Call to Order                                                 Sonja Plummer-Morgan,    President

 II.        Consent Agenda

 –         Approve Minutes of March 21, 2011*/**            Alison Miller, Secretary

–        Current Financial Statements */**                        Andrea Berstler, Treasurer

 VP-President elect called the meeting to order in Sonja’s absence. March minutes were not yet available, Alison will transcribe them from the recording, as she was not at the March meeting. 

 Andrea asked if there were any questions about the financial statements provided.  There were none.  Timothy moved, Larry seconded to approve the financial statements as presented.  Motion carried.

III.       President’s Report        Sonja

·         Subpoena Status

Sonja explained that we have satisfied everything that was asked for that we were able to provide.  AMR believes that we have done what we can do, and that there will probably not be any additional concerns about this.  Sonja will let the board know immediately if anything else comes up on this.

·         Rural Library Services Newsletter Relationship

It was the consensus of the board that we wanted to move to an electronic newsletter from ARSL itself to our members.  The RLS Newsletter has been provided as a membership benefit to those who paid for the Premium membership or the Institutional Membership, but there have been issues and concerns about if everyone who should get it is getting it.  Andrea will follow up with AMR to be sure that the final bill is paid to the RLS Newsletter.  Alison asked if the Premiere Membership category will be changed as a result.  Sonja said yes, it will eventually be phased out.  Sonja is working with Sara at AMR to determine the best way to do that. It was  determined that the by-laws do not require changes in the membership structure to be taken to the membership.

·         Nonprofit Status Update

Sonja reported that happily, by the end of this week, we will have the 501 c3 application submitted.  AMR’s controller has asked for more detail in the narrative that was developed by Sonja, Becky and Timothy.  The budget submitted originally showed a 2% loss for each of the next two years.  This was revised once we recognized that we had budgeted for website “design” each year, and that isn’t accurate.  Fixing that created a brief gain in revenue for each of the next two years.  AMR wants very specific information on the application, is so that we don’t get any “red flags” for the IRS that would slow our application down.  The logo was another issue that came up, and Timothy was able to find the Crowdspring contract that shows that we do have the copyright.  But we need to find out if we need to trademark it.  If ARSL is going to charge for the logo, the 501 c3 application will be more complicated.  Louise has agreed to do the research on this.  If ARSL pays another organization for the scholarship and emerging leaders programs, that sets off red flags for the IRS.  However, since we are paying the scholarship recipients and the Emerging Leaders directly, that makes it OK. 

 The main thing outstanding for the 501 c3 application is that the IRS requires that we send a copy of the by-laws.  But the by-laws that are sent have the current name on them, not the new name, which is “The Association for Rural & Small Libraries, Inc.”  The question is whether or not we can change the name on the by-laws without taking it to the membership.  It seemed to be Sara’s reading of the by-laws that made it sound like we would have to take it back to the membership.  Timothy said we announced in the business meeting last year about our progress on receiving the 501 c3. After much discussion, members agreed that we can move ahead. 

 Andrea moved that we approve this change to the by-laws, and that we develop a press release for the membership that educates and updates them on the 501 c3 process.  Jim seconded the motion.  Motion carried. Carla will make the change, and send to Sonja and post on Google Docs.

·         Website

We had a number of people asking Steve Eyler for website changes.  This is difficult for Steve since he doesn’t know all of the committee members and doesn’t know if they’re ok to suggest changes for the website if he hasn’t heard from a board member.  Steve doesn’t charge us for what he’s doing, so we need to reduce the amount of traffic to him as much as possible.  So please go back to sending things to Sonja, and she will get them to Steve.

 ·         ALA – New Orleans

            Sonja will be there.  If you have meetings you would like her to attend or people to meet, or want to get together, just let her know.


IV.       Executive Committee                 Sonja & Timothy

·         General Liability Insurance*/**

Sonja said we got a quote for this  – almost $8,000 – and she asked Sara to get other quotes because that one was so large.  So we are not ready at this point for action on this issue.  AMR  recommends to all their associations that they purchase it, and Sara did not feel that this was an imminent need. Louise asked if it affects our 501 c3?  Sonja said it did not.  Andrea said she feels that this will be most needed at a point where we have our own location and/or start bringing on staff or contractors.  Others asked if we are covered for the conference this year?  Steve and Andrea said the hotel contract was approved and signed by AMR, so our understanding is that we are currently covered for the conference under AMR’s policy.

·         Directors and Officers Liability Insurance*/**

Sonja referred members to the bids we’ve received.  She and Timothy discussed them and recommend the one from Great American, which looked best for our needs.  Moved by Andrea, seconded by Jennifer to accept the bid from Great American.  Motion carried.

·         Timothy update

Timothy reported that he is leaving the NC State Library at the end of this month, and has accepted a job at IMLS in Washington DC, as a Program Officer in the Grants to States program.  Members congratulated Timothy and wished him well.  He also noted that he won’t have access to the state library’s webconferenceing service, so that will need to be taken on by someone else.

V.        Treasurer’s Report         Andrea

·         Conference Budget*/**                                        Becky

  • ARSL 2011 Budget */**                                      Andrea

 Becky reviewed the Conference Budget which is built on 200 people for full conference at $200, and 100 people who each attend one day.  We anticipate about 50 free registrations, which includes presenters, vendors, etc., for a total of 350 people.  Largest budget items include: $10,000 for 3 keynote speakers, $3,000 to help break-out speakers who need assistance to get to the conference, and $2,000 to bring the Best Small Library folks to the conference to make a presentation, although that is still under discussion.  History of this is that in some previous years (not all) we have had conference leaders spend funds that had not been approved by the board, therefore, we are requesting board approval for the conference budget that will be used by this year’s committee.  A board policy was established in this regard. To exceed expenditures in the approved budget, the conference committee will need to come back to the executive committee or board for approval.  Steve mentioned that as conference chair, the budget is originally drafted based on best guesses about numbers of attendees, vendors, etc.  He believes the budget figures will be “moving targets,” that he may need to come back to the executive committee or board for approval.

 There were no questions.  Louise moved and Andrea seconded to approve the conference budget as presented.  Motion carried.

Andrea then asked for questions on the ARSL 2011 budget.  She stated that it’s probably as accurate as possible – working to get final reports from BCR, and including the draft conference budget.  We will re-visit the budget later this year as things firm up, but we need to get a board approved budget to AMR which provides them with spending limits, as they pay the bills for us. Carla noted that “conference vendors” amount is projected at $45,000  seems high – Andrea confirmed that this is a typo – should be $4,500.  Timothy asked about the $500 left to pay for our ALA Emerging Leader, of the $1,000 total, but he doesn’t see that on the budget.  Andrea agreed to add a line item budget of $1,000 annually, under Administrative Expenses, noting it as Emerging Leader.  She said that brings budgeted expenses for the year to $71,000 and budgeted income to $87,000.

 Becky moved to approve the conference budget as amended.  Timothy explained that a second is not required. Motion carried.


VI.       Nominating Committee Report*/**             Lesley Boughton, Chair

Lesley reported that the Nominating Committee recommends for VP/President Elect, Andrea Berstler.  Because Andrea would be moving into that position, that gives us 5 board openings to fill –  4 for 3 year terms and 1 for a one year term, and we had six applicants.  Two are current board members – Donna and Steve.  The other 4 would be new:  Paul Healey, University of IL; Sharon Michie, NC — our Emerging Leader; Shirley Vonderhaar from IA, who chairs our conference scholarships subcommittee, and Lorie Womack from Utah.

             We have two options for the election:  (1) would be to offer a contested election, putting all 6 on the ballot and a write in.  In this case, the candidate with the least votes would not be elected, and the candidate with the next least votes would get the 1 year term.  (2) In order to implement our uncontested slate as we’ve done in the past, we would need to remove one candidate.

             Sonja asked if the committee has a recommendation between the two election options.  Lesley said that we wanted to get the board involved in the discussion.  She said the committee recognizes that the organization is maturing, and will at some point want to have a contested election as a way to engage the membership, but the board can decide whether they want to go there now or not. 

                        Also, the recommended by-laws change is now moot.  In the Articles of Incorporation, Article 5, Section 7 – the board of the directors has the authority to amend the by-laws themselves with a 2/3 majority.

         Larry moved and Louise seconded that we hold an un-contested election for this year, with Sharon Miche, Paul Healey, Steve Seale, and Donna Brice, with Lorie Womack being assigned the one year term.


VII.     Conference Update         Steve Seale, Chair

 Steve reported that his experience says that people tend to register late.  Registration opened a couple of weeks ago, and it’s been extremely slow so far.  Several states have announced there will be scholarships for people to attend, but very few of those people have registered.  All the signs are good.  Program committee did an outstanding job of soliciting and then choosing programs.  We are waiting now to hear back about which presenters will be accepting our offer.  We’ve been hearing from some vendors.  Donna is chair of that subcommittee and reported that although only one has registered, she’s heard from several others that they intend to participate.  John Asmundson from ALA has been extremely helpful – sending information out through his networks.  An overflow hotel has been selected.  An issue has been the convoluted registration process at AMR.  Becky has done a great job working with Sara at AMR to try to streamline it, but it has been an issue.  Summary – so far, so good!


VIII.    Member Services Committee         Alison Miller, Chair

 ·         Online Newsletter Update

Alison reported that she and Jennifer have been co-chairing the committee, but since Alison has had her workload substantially increased, Jennifer will be the Chair and she will remain a  committee member.

Alison sent out a sample of the electronic newsletter through Constant Contact to board members, and got a few comments back.  As we move forward, the committee will be putting out a call for more content ideas so that we have a variety of news to share with our members.

·         Media Channels in conjunction with Press Releases

Jennifer posted the notes from their committee meeting in Google Docs.  They don’t plan to do any committee recruitment at this point, but want to have a committee recruitment table at the fall conference in order to get more members involved.

 Jennifer has been appointed Chair of ALA’s Rural, Native, and Tribal Libraries of All Kinds Committee. (RNTLOAK)  She will attend their meeting at ALA in New Orleans.  (Members congratulated Jennifer on her appointment.)  Alison and Jennifer will create a small article for the May newsletter on events of particular interest for rural libraries at ALA.  They would also like to try to create an informal event where people can meet up, and that will be noted in the newsletter as well.  Also, because we are an ALA affiliate, we will be able to put some printed materials out at the Affiliates table.  Their plan is to use print copies of the newsletter for that purpose.

 We can also have an ARSL liaison position to the RNTLOAK committee.  We will want to be sure we fill that for this year.  Jennifer believes this is a great opportunity to think about what we want to look to ALA to help us achieve, as she will be in a position to influence the direction.

 Jennifer reported on their committee meeting: In terms of our social media work, we decided that live chat on the ARSL website should be de-prioritized.  Sonja has been doing that alone, but we feel the committee has it’s hands full with other responsibilities at this point.  We have several Facebook admins.  Jennifer will be approving the Facebook requests, and Alison will approve the LinkedIn requests.  Andrea will be creating an automatic feed between Facebook and Twitter.  We want to encourage everyone to feel free to post in order to create more traffic.  Andrea will be posting the press releases to the blog, and we will request a website change to focus on the blog traffic.  Andrea remains committed to responding to posts on the listserv when no one else responds.  We will also be looking at transitioning to a Facebook page from a Facebook group.  It was a very productive meeting.

IX.       Membership Development Committee                    Tena Hanson, Chair

Tena reported that she has two other members on her committee, and she did post a written report of their committee meeting on Google Docs.  They identified goals and formulated a “to do” list.  First they are working on revising the new member letter and the renewal letter that AMR sends out.  Both of those documents are in Google Docs for members to review and give feedback.  A draft job description for the Key Contacts was revised.  They are brainstorming ways to bring in new members.  They would like to post the Key Contact Job Description on the website so it can be linked from the new member letter.  Tena asked if this document needs to be approved by the board.  It was determined that since they are working on items the board has tasked them to do,there is no reason to have that approved, but are happy that they are providing opportunities for input from board members.


X.        Partnerships Committee                                           Timothy Owens, Chair

Timothy reported for Dwight who had to leave the meeting early that progress is being made on building relationships with both the Gates Foundation and ICMA, and he will be representing ARSL at the Public Access Technology Benchmarks project meeting in Chicago, along with several other organizations and state libraries.  The Association will get a little funding as a result of this, and will be part of the development of these benchmarks.

 They have also been discussing with Bernie Vavrek the possibility of helping to find a new home for the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship, and have been approached by Taped Editions, with some grant assistance for public libraries.

 Louise has been working on a database of rural libraries’ resources.

 ·         Pushing the Limits Project Update    Larry Grieco

Larry reported that the project is right where it should be after one year of work.  Larry serves as an advisor to the team that is developing films that will be used in the project.  They just completed a rural librarian survey that was very successful – they got over 300 responses, most from ARSL members.  They would like to have a focus group at the ARSL conference.  The team will meet in person in Chicago in October.


 There was no public comment.

Next Board Meeting – Monday, July 18, 2011

The meeting adjourned after 2 hours and 8  minutes.



Minutes March 21, 2011

Association for Rural and Small Libraries, Board of Directors Meeting

PresentBecky Heil, Andrea Berstler, Lesley Boughton, Donna Brice, Jim Connor, Louise Greene,

   Tena Hanson, Dwight McInvaill, Jennifer Peterson, Sonja Plummer-Morgan & Steve Seale.

 AbsentTimothy Owens, Larry Grieco, Alison Miller, and Carla Lehn.

2 min.     I.          Welcome and Call to Order         Sonja Plummer-Morgan, President

Since Sonja had not arrived to the meeting yet, VP/President Elect Becky Heil started the meeting and welcomed all who were present –

3 min.    II.        Consent Agenda

 –         Approve Minutes of January 24, 2011*/**          Alison Miller, Secretary

–        Treasurer’s Report */**                                         Andrea Berstler, Treasurer

 Andrea briefly discussed the treasurer’s report since it was the first time seeing it in this format prepared by AMR.  It’s called “February 2011 Condensed” version of the financials.  The only thing missing from it is the itemized check register report, which she felt other board members wouldn’t be interested in.  First sheet is the total summary.  Revenue for month of Feb was $1187, and expenses were $783. We have $83, 515 in the checking account as of the end of February.

 Motion to approve the consent agenda by Jim Connor, and seconded by Donna Brice.  Consent agenda approved.


10 min. III.       Executive Committee Report   Sonja

·         Call for committee members from the membership

Sonja announced that Tena Hanson is the new Chair of the Membership Committee, and will be working with AMR to update the letters that are sent to members to remind them to renew, etc.  Larry was initially going to be Membership Chair, but decided his plate is full with the NSF grant.

 Sonja announced that there are committees for which there is no Chair, such as Nominating Committee.  She referred members to a document Carla prepared in Google Docs which identifies where there are openings.  She asked members to look at that list and let her know if there’s a place they would like to see themselves be appointed.

·         Subpoena

            While the word “subpoena” seemed rather alarming, the good news is it’s not as bad as it sounds.  AMR has been going through our financial records back to 2007 because of a subpoena request for information about a conference registration fee from a library in West Virginia.  They were asking specifically about a check sent to ARSL on behalf of a specific person.  Our records unfortunately reside with Clarion University for that time period.  Becky was the Treasurer at that time, and did have a record of receiving the check for this person, and does have a copy of the deposit slip for the month of September, but since they didn’t give the check #, she couldn’t verify for sure that it was deposited, although the requestor seemed to have the information that it was deposited.  Essentially the way things worked back then was that money was sent to Clarion, they kept track of it all, and the checks were sent to Becky for deposit just in an envelope with no information about what each check was for.  Becky copied down the check numbers and made the deposit.  AMR responded to the subpoena by saying that we no longer have those records, but that they could check with Clarion to see what information is available. If they wanted a copy of the check numbers deposited, we would be happy to get that to them.  We have not heard anything else about it.

 When Sonja arrived later in the meeting, she summarized by saying that AMR is on the case, and we really don’t have to worry about this unless we hear from them again.


20 min. IV.       President’s Report        Sonja

  • ARSL Meeting on Tax Exempt Status**

Sonja reported that Executive Committee had a meeting with AMR on our Tax Exempt Status.  We clarified for them that we are seeking a 501 c3, not a 501 c6. Essentially what AMR said to us is that we should have been filing an IRS form 990 all along – Clarion should have filed when they were handling our records, and BCR should have filed when we were with them. The IRS could penalize us for not having filed these.  BCR was filing their form 990 as a group, and therefore we were operating under the assumption that our responsibility was taken care of.  AMR informs us that it does not.  Going forward it means we’re going to be able to file our 990 and make it right with the IRS.  They may or may not expect some retribution back to 2007.  So while we have really made some great strides, it did uncover these issues:  (1) where are our records from those time periods?; and (2) what happens if the IRS comes back and asks us to file 990’s for those years?  But in the meantime, we will be doing it right in the future, and that we will get our 501 c3 status, and AMR feels we will come out stronger from having gone through this process.  The executive committee did authorize having a CPA review the application ($250/hour for a couple of hours) in order to make sure the information is presented in the best way to the IRS to limit as much as possible any liability we may have incurred from not filing in the past.

·         Directors and Officers Liability Insurance*/**

Three quotes were provided to everyone.  Sonja asked if the group is ready to make this decision, or did they want more time? Decision was made to table this item, and to have members review the choices and provide their feedback/recommendation to Sonja before the end of the week.  She will share the synthesis of that feedback out to everyone, and we can use that to help us make that decision. 

·         Board Meeting at Conference (Sun only? Or Monday am too?)

Since most can’t get a flight out Sunday night, staying over to complete the board meeting on Sunday morning until noon would allow folks to fly home Monday afternoon.  Andrea commented that we really need that Monday morning to get the work done.  Consensus reached to stay over for a Monday morning board meeting.  Sonja asked Becky to work with Steve to be sure it is included in the hotel contract.

  •  Continuation of Rural Libraries Newsletter as a Member Benefit

Sonja reported that The Rural Libraries Newsletter has been around for some time for ARSL, and has been a source of confusion.  Some members have gotten it, and some have not, and it does cost us to provide it.  She recommends that we switch to a monthly ARSL electronic newsletter.  Member Services Committee is already looking at possibilities for making this happen.  Constant Contact would be a good option. Sonja is meeting with Alison later this week.  She sees our own newsletter as a member benefit, and mentioned that we get great coverage from WebJunction’s newsletter as well. 

 Jennifer commented that doing a monthly newsletter may be a challenge – both in developing content and in terms of producing the newsletter. The final decision is in the committee’s hands.

·         Firming up Conference Partners through 2015

Sonja has asked Patty Hector to take on this project.  Patty is working on revising the Conference Partner Document, as well as putting an actual form on the website that will allow states to express interest in hosting the conference.  Then a formal decision-making process will be developed to determine where the upcoming conferences will be held, and who will be the conference partners and what role(s) they will play.

 She mentioned we have several locations who have discussed bringing the conference to their state, but we have no partnerships in place.  Patty has already revised the conference partnership form, and it looks great.  She is going to approach those folks in the years they have mentioned, and firm up the partnership agreements for those years.  2015 remains open.  So by the end of the next couple of months, we should have Partnership Agreements in place through 2014, and a location determined for 2015.

Our PR person is doing a remarkable job with our press releases.  If your committee has news, you can forward it to Sonja.  She and Sonja talk frequently via e-mail, and another press release is forthcoming.

  •  Logo use policy*/**

Sonja has received at least 3 requests from people who want to put our logo on their website, so this is why she wants to finalize a policy.  A couple of board members, Sonja and AMR have drafted this policy.  She wanted it to be as simple as possible, simply directing those inquiries to Sara at AMR, and to use some basic rules and standards.  She asked for a motion to accept it.  Louise asked if our logo is copyrighted.  Sonja said that AMR will work us through that process, and that this policy is a pre-cursor of the copyright process.

Louise said she didn’t see anything in the policy about using the policy in a for-profit setting.  If we’re partnering with a for-profit, this may be an issue.  Andrea said she also thinks we should reserve the right to ask someone to remove our logo if it felt it didn’t meet our logo guidelines policy.

 Sonja will go back to the drawing board and add those two things. 

·         Nominating Committee and Process – need to have slate of candidates by May 1 for approval at May 16 Board meeting and June online election

Looking for a Nominating Committee Chair, and if you have an interest in being an officer, please let Carla know.  Also, if you know someone who would be good for our board, please pass those names along to Carla.  Andrea suggested the chair be someone who is either in the middle of their board term, or if they are ending their board term this year.

  •  Update on Micro-Library Award

Andrea will put together draft guidelines and application process for Becky and Sonja to review before the next board meeting.  The plan is to make an announcement at the 2011 conference that the first award will be presented at the 2012 conference.  Sonja suggested this will give us some time to discuss with Rebecca Miller at Library Journal, to be sure she’s on board, and to ensure we don’t step on any toes. 

Jennifer said she and Rebecca have tentatively planned to do a Best Small Library webinar with this year’s winner later this fall, after the conference.  We could possibly do some dual promotion for it during the webinar.

  •  Membership Development Committee Chair Change

Sonja reported that Larry has decided to forgo the Membership Committee Chair, as he has his hands full with the NSF project.  Tena Hanson has agreed to Chair the committee, and Sonja thanked her for her willingness to do that.

 Other Business:

 (1) Sonja congratulated Jennifer Peterson on being named one of LJ’s “Movers and Shakers,” and thanked her for the shout out Jennifer gave to ARSL  in the LJ announcement.  It was great press for the organization.

 (2) One of the things Sonja finds she does as President is the “unsung” projects such as 501 c3 etc., and the newest one is that Liability Insurance that AMR has recommended.  Sonja feels strongly that this is an important thing for ARSL to have, and so Sara from AMR will be putting together information on General Liability Insurance. 

 (3) Sonja will be going to ALA in New Orleans, so if there are meetings people want her to attend, or if others who will be there want to meet up, please let her know.

 10 min.  V.        Proposed Budget for 2010/11*/**                            Andrea

Andrea reported that Executive Committee did not make changes in the budget reviewed and approved by the board at the last meeting.  They just refined some of the titles of line items, but no changes were made in the proposed amounts.  Until Conference budget is finalized, and we have action on that, the organization budget won’t be revised.

10 min.  VI.       Proposed Conflict of Interest Policy*/**                 Andrea & Becky

Drafted by Andrea and Becky, and reviewed by Executive Committee who recommends approval.  Becky reminded us that we must have such a policy in order to complete our application for 501 c3 status.  No changes were identified by members. 

 Motion to approve the Conflict of interest policy made by Jennifer Peterson, seconded by Andrea Berstler.  Motion passed.

10 min.  VII.     2011 Texas Conference Update                               Steve Seale, Chair

 Steve reported everything is full speed ahead.  Program proposals are being taken.  Registration will be up by mid-April.  Three keynote speakers have been identified – Unshelved guys; Joe Bob Briggs; Linda Braun, a technology presenter.  Steve feels they are the best presenters he’s ever seen.  Steve talked to John Asmundson at ALA who will be helping with press releases and dissemination throughout the library community.  Becky is very close to having the conference budget completed, and it will be brought to the board asap. Conference team is doing a great job.  No big issues so far.

Becky reported on registration process.  Sara at AMR is working with vendor team to get that info up.  A one page info sheet about the conference will be up by April 1.  Shortly thereafter, registration page and vendor pages should be ready as well.

Registration fees will be simplified.  $200 for members for the full conference.  Non-members will be $225 or $250.  Individual days will be $100 per day, and there will be a special rate for library school students of $100 for the full conference, or $50 per day.  We will be in a high population area (Dallas/Fort Worth) which includes 2 library schools within 30 minutes of the hotel.  We anticipate a very big turnout, including a lot of walk-ins and drive-ins.

Alternate hotels are being discussed in case we fill the conference hotel.  Steve will be checking them out personally, and rates will be the same as or below the $109 we have from the conference hotel.


 10 min.  VIII.    Partnerships Committee                                           Timothy Owens, Chair

 Timothy couldn’t be here, and asked Dwight to report.  They held a virtual meeting on March 15 attended by Larry, Louise, Timothy and Dwight.  Louise has developed a state-by-state matrix of resources and opportunities for rural libraries.  It’s a work in progress, and she will be asking for info from the board to add to it.

 Dwight said that Larry reported on the National Science Foundation grant – science and math live events at rural libraries with two content experts from local colleges – a scientist and a mathematician.

 Dwight talked about the Benchmarks project of the Gates Foundation with ICMA.  A committee is working on a framework for the benchmarks.  Dwight was one of 50 people asked to review and comment on the draft framework.  A smaller committee of 17 people are incorporating comments, and that will be shared soon.  Dwight will follow up with Gates Foundation contact, who continues to ask how ARSL’s 501 c3 application is coming along.

Dwight also reported on an e-mail from Timothy who said to let the board know that the Partnerships Committee is in touch with Bernie Vavrek, who is looking for a home for the Center for the Study of Rural Librarianship.

10 min.  IX.       Member Services Committee                                   Alison Miller, Chair

 Alison is ill today, and couldn’t be on the call.  Jennifer offered that the committee — she, Alison and Andrea — have had trouble getting together, however, they are in the process of clarifying roles around ARSL’s media channels to coordinate with the excellent work being done on the press releases, and a determination of who posts what where. 

Andrea added that biggest project is to come up with a newsletter for all our members, in place of the “Rural Libraries Newsletter” formerly provided to Premiere Members.  They are looking for the best format to use to send to members.

Jennifer asked if anyone else would be at ALA.  They have been looking for other programs through which to promote ARSL.  Dwight announced that he and Larry are presenting a program on Saturday – “Public Programs that work in Rural Libraries.”  Jennifer asked Dwight if they would be willing to include a couple of ARSL talking points in their presentation to ensure attendees are aware of ARSL and its conference.  The committee will come up with a paper handout that can also be used in that regard.

April ARSL/WebJunction webinar featuring Andrea already has terrific registration numbers.  WebJunction will be promoting both that event, and the conference proposal requests.  Jennifer asked Dwight to provide a brief paragraph to publicize their ALA workshop as well.

 5 min.    X.        PUBLIC COMMENT


Next Board Meeting – Monday, May 16, 2011


 The meeting was adjourned after 1 hour and 17 minutes.