August 19, 2020 Heartland Library Cooperative Governing Board Minutes

Highlands County Board of County Commissioners Board Room
600 S. Commerce Avenue, Sebring, FL.

Minutes to the August, 19 2020 meeting

The Meeting was called to order at 10:07 a.m. by Donna Storter-Long. Invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Donna Storter-Long.

Governing Board Members Present: Donna Storter-Long Chair Glades County; Denise Whitehead Director Okeechobee County; Brad Goodbread Commissioner Okeechobee County; Sue Rood Highlands County; Margaret Dewey Highlands County; Ann Ryals Desoto County; Vikki Brown Coordinator Heartland; Sonya Chapa Assistant Coordinator Heartland.

Also Present:  Julie Fowler Auditor; Samantha Librarian Highlands County; Leah Sauls Highlands County Director; Mary Booher Librarian Glades County; Linda Waters Librarian DeSoto County; Kresta King Librarian Okeechobee County;  Joe Gyntelli Archbold Biological Station.

Absent:  Fran Syfrett Okeechobee County; Jeanette Peeples Vice-Chair Glades County; Julie Perry Glades County; Steven Spinks Hardee County; Jeannie Palacios Hardee County; Rick Knight Commissioner Hardee County;  Arlene Tuck Commissioner Highlands; Judy Schaefer Commissioner DeSoto County; Tara Poulton Director DeSoto County; Dee Shackelford Librarian Hardee County; Cheryl Williams Accountant.

Executive Order Number 20-179: Extension of Executive Order Number 20-69 by the Office of the Governor until September 1, 2020. Regarding Sunshine Law, “[the Governor] hereby suspend[s] any Florida Statute that requires a quorum to be present in person or require a local government body to meet at a specific place.”

Notice of Public Meeting: Notice was properly given.
Additions to Agenda:  There were no additions to the agenda.
Approval of the Agenda: Motion to accept the agenda made by Margaret Dewey, seconded by Sue Rood, unanimously passed.
Approval of Minutes of Previous Meeting: Motion to accept minutes made by Sue Rood seconded by Margaret Dewey, unanimously passed.

State Aid to Libraries Grant application approval:

Vikki Brown stated that the State Aid to Libraries Grant was currently unavailable but should be open soon. State Aid to Libraries is projected to stay the same for the coming fiscal year. Due to the need for approval from the Board, a placeholder will be submitted with the application by October 1st, 2020, pending Board approval at a later date; this future meeting is still to be determined. Margaret Dewey made a motion to approve the use of a placeholder, seconded by Sue Rood, unanimously passed.

Wicks, Brown, Williams & Co., CPA’s LLP Accountant Engagement approval:

Wicks, Brown, Williams & Co. have submitted their letter of engagement for the year ending September 31, 2021. There is no price increase for the firm’s services. The Heartland Library Cooperative asks that the Governing Board approve the continuation of Wicks, Brown, Williams & Co. as the Cooperative accountants. Motion to approve made by Margaret Dewey, seconded by Sue Rood, unanimously passed.

CliftonLarsonAllen LLP Audit Engagement approval:

CliftonLarsonAllen LLP have submitted their letter of engagement for the audit of the Heartland Library Cooperative’s financial statements and activities for the year ended on September 30, 2020. There is a slight fee increase of $110.00 for this year’s services. Motion to approve CliftonLarsonAllen as auditors for the Heartland Library Cooperative made by Margaret Dewey, seconded by Sue Rood, unanimously passed.

Budget and Financial Statements approval:

Vikki Brown presented the current financial statements and Fiscal Year 20 year end budget projections. There were unplanned changes resulting from Library closures due to COVID-19, resulting in a decrease in courier services days, now operating five days per week. A decrease in travel due to County restrictions also resulted in savings. The goal for a full year of carry forward funds has almost been met and is projected to be completed in the coming year. Vikki Brown also presented the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 21. As State Aid to Libraries is projected to remain the same at the Cooperative level, there are no major changes expected for the upcoming budget. Savings in travel and courier services due to COVID restrictions are expected to continue in the new fiscal year. There is an increase in budget for Other Charges due to a planned membership to the SouthWest Florida Library Network at this time. The budget for Pink Carts remains the same to assist member Libraries with collection development that may be strained due to local budget cuts. A motion to approve the Budget and Financial Statements was made by Sue Rood, seconded by Margaret Dewey, unanimously passed.

Annual Plan of Service approval:

Vikki Brown presented the Annual Plan of Service. The Plan of Service for Fiscal Year 21 will focus on updating interlocal agreements and by-laws for the Heartland Library Cooperative. This endeavor will be undertaken in cooperation with Librarians from all member Libraries.  The KOHA system will be entering its third year of use and will continue to be modified to meet local staff and patron needs. The Heartland Library Cooperative will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in April 2021; an event will be planned to celebrate this milestone as allowed by any COVID restrictions that may or may not be in place at the time. Another major focus will be updating the Heartland Library Cooperative’s website to meet compliance regulations with the American Disabilities Act and a more modern look. Courier service will remain at five days per week. The Pink Cart program will also continue to assist Libraries. Motion to approve the Annual Plan of Service was made by Margaret Dewey, seconded by Sue Rood, unanimously passed.

2020/2021 Meeting Dates:

Potential dates for quarterly Governing Board meetings were presented. A suggestion was made on changing the time to 10:30 a.m. The locations of future meetings is to be determined. A motion to approve the following dates for the Heartland Library Governing Board was made by Sue Rood, seconded by Margaret Dewey, unanimously passed.

First Quarter: Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.

Second Quarter: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.

Third Quarter: Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.

Fourth Quarter: Wednesday, August 25, 2021 at 10:30 a.m.

Member Comments:

Donna Storter-Long stated that she was looking forward to working with Vikki Brown and Sonya Chapa in the coming year. She thanked Kresta King for her excellent services as Heartland Library Cooperative Coordinator for many years and was happy to see the Cooperative continuing in a good direction.

Joe Gyntelli introduced himself as the new representative from the Archbold Biological Station. He was looking forward to attending meetings and learning about the Heartland Library Cooperative.

Margaret Dewey stated that Highlands County was celebrating its 100th anniversary in April 2021. She stated that it would be nice if the Heartland Cooperative was able to participate in the celebratory events or partner with local organizations to celebrate member counties.

Donna Storter-Long stated that Glades County was also celebrating its 100th anniversary as it separated from Desoto County along with Highlands County in 1921. She stated that centennial events were being planned and it would be great if the Heartland Cooperative could be involved in these events as well.

Kresta King congratulated Linda Waters on the approval of the Tails and Tales grant for the Heartland Library Cooperative. This grant will provide technology and other materials for STEAM programming to be shared among all member libraries. Kresta King also stated that she was excited for the new team leadership for the Heartland Library Cooperative and was looking forward to their efforts in the new year.

Linda Waters stated that she was enjoying working with Vikki Brown and Sonya Chapa and was also looking forward to the new direction for the Heartland Cooperative in the future.

Mary Booher stated that she too was happy with the new leadership and the positive direction of the Heartland Cooperative in the coming year.

Donna Storter-Long stated that the last time the Governing Board met in person in January, there had been discussion on a split of the Heartland Library Cooperative into two organizations with the addition of Hendry County. These discussions had been halted due to the impact of COVID-19. While there are no plans to resume these talks or move forward with this project, she hopes the Heartland Library Cooperative will continue to move forward in a positive direction to continue improving and updating the organization so that whatever may occur in the future the Heartland Library Cooperative will continue to serve our patrons with excellent service.

Next Meeting: 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.

Meeting adjourned at 10:41 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sonya Chapa