Last week I attended my first board meeting of the library trustees. Since I hope I’ll be on the board soon, I thought it would be a good idea to get my bearings with how their meetings are run.
Nothing surprising overall, the meetings are run in pretty much the same way all local government meetings are. The board president (Bob Hall) ran the meeting, with the interim executive director Michael Crose acting in the same way I’ve seen city managers or county administrator interact.
Anyway, here are a few notes from the meeting:
1. At the time of the meeting (and still up to this point) there is no agenda posted online. For a system this big, this is kind of annoying and troubling. If I was a library patron from one of the outlying counties, it would be near impossible to decide whether to attend based on a agenda that doesn’t exist online.
2. There was a presentation on the budget, with the most interesting note coming from Crose who observed that the system is quickly becoming a single revenue source entity: property tax. As you might be able to tell from the name of the library system, private timber taxes used to make up a healthy portion of revenue. But, in the coming years, Crose observed that timber taxes will trend down to zero percent of the budget (from under 10 percent now).
3. The library system is updating its library catalog software. To me, this is excellent news. I’ve had some issues in the past with the current software (how hard it is to link to a particular item in the catalog).
Some local examples of the new system Timberland will be using can be seen at Kitsap and Pierce county libraries. The Pierce is example is pretty cool, because it shows that the new system could allow patrons to review books.
There were some some more items covered , but I’m hoping to save them for individual posts. In the future, I hope these meeting reports become a bit more timely and smooth.