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PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. You can donate through PayPal at the link on the bottom of the page. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
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J. Joel Edwards Public Library Board of Trustees Special Called Meeting
Thursday, April 4, 2024 - 4:30 PM

ZEBULON - The J. Joel Edwards Public Library Board of Trustees Special Called Meeting was held on April 4, 2024 mainly for the purpose of discussing the budget that had to be ok'ed before the 10th when the county manager will make the presentation of the budget to the commissioners. Present were: Grant Rowe, Susan Goodwin, Janice Cairnes, Curtis Ward, Baylynn Strader, Natalie Marshall - Director of the Flint River Regional Library System, Patsy Page, Joy Walker. Also present were Becky Watts from Pike County Times and County Manager Brandon Rogers.


Motion to approve. Approved.

Old Business

Budget will be presented on the 10th. Other business that needs to be discussed too.

3 signatories before Rosemary left. We need a 3rd person. Credit card needs to be in the library name. Motion to Grant Rowe, Curtis Ward, and Baylynn Strader as only signatories on the bank accounts and reauthorize the credit card in the name of the library with Baylynn as the authorized signatory. Approved.

Back to the budget.

Grant. How were we at the end of last year? Checking. $70,000 plus. Savings $20,000 plus. Guestimate. Discussion. We have funds that we can utilize if needed. No earmarks on current funds. This is not Friends of the Library money. That is completely separate. Curtis. We’ve had a large balance in those accounts. We’ve spent down a lot in the savings account for furniture, etc. Recommendation to keep a one to two month operation for emergency spending, but the county covers employee costs. Gave the long table to the kindergartners. Planning to get more tables for tutoring.

Discussion on how much has been spent up until now. Trying to gauge for the rest of the year through the end of June. Natalie worked with Helen on these numbers.

More expenses in May and June ramping up for the summer. Natalie. Extras for supplies for the Summer Reading Program will need to come from the checking account. Helen, Baylynn, and Brandon sat down a couple of weeks ago with the recommendation numbers. $206,864. Brandon. The only thing it doesn’t cover is the Summer Reading Program. $1220 is all that is written into the budget for the Library Board right now. The money from the bank accounts can be used too. Natalie. This is the only point of connection between the county and the library. Kind of like an allowance from the county. Brandon. The county really funds the operations of the library.

Curtis. The spot for the annual audit is blank. What are we supposed to do with this? Brandon. We don’t typically budget for the component part of the audit that runs about $2500. This needs to be added in.

Summer Reading breakdown so we can guess what we need. About $1,100 without the performers. Includes supplies and prizes. 3 have been booked already. Need to budget about $1,200 for performers. And need to budget $2,500 for the audit. Wanting to start a homeschool meet up too. Not necessarily a program but interaction. Need to ask for $3,600.

Have 3 active volunteers who have already had background checks.

Impact fees to cover potentially some of the projects needed at the library. Broke down the list of projects. Maintenance, Impact Fees, and Board items. $15,000 in books from Impact Fees per year.

Motion to increase the Library Board line item for an additional $3,600 ($4,800 total) to bring total to $210,264. Approved.

Baylynn. Sat down with Brandon, and the county took on a majority of the projects that were discussed from the past meeting.

The 3 wire easels are needed. New carpet for Toddler Time. Juvenile posters for the Juvenile section. Need an AED at the library. Spoke with Bobby Wilkerson to find out which one to buy. Pads for children and adults. Hands free model. The county bought the carts, tables, chairs, new circulation desk, storage rack, etc. all coming out of Impact Fees. Discussion about possibly adding on to the building for storage. Motion to amend the previous amount to be spent from $1500 to $3584. Approved.

Patsy. Question about weeding out and getting rid of books. Baylynn said that two employees from the J. Joel Edwards Public Library and Regional Representative Natalie talked to her about weeding out books. Told that most libraries pull books that have run their course, damaged, or updated versions that are more current. They are not going to do this doing Summer Reading but have been pulling now instead. Books not checked out ever or within 5 to 10 years. Pulled them off of the shelves to make room for new books. Talked to Natalie about the process of what to do. Can give them to the Friends group, recycle, or give them to another library. We don’t have a book recycling center around here. Pull reports from the system and the 5 worked together for these and agreed to sell the books through the Friends rather than throwing them away. Said that she has heaard that they are throwing away Classics and going with a Woke agenda. Not doing either one. Did pull a set of 150 classics like one with snippets of Mark Twain’s novels since the library already has Mark Twain’s whole novels here. The Harry Potter series was falling apart. Looking to order the illustrated novels. Want to provide books that people want to read. Questions about how to discard books. Discussion on how to be in tune with the community on this. Said that the decision on which books to weed out was based on written reports.

Saturday. Two people were scheduled to work on Easter Weekend, but the library had to close because there were people out of town or sick. Will be scheduling three people from now on because they have to have two people in order to open the doors. Natalie noted that there wasn’t anyone from the Region to help either because it was Easter Weekend.

[Note from the Editor: This was a very good discussion to get everyone on the same page. My biggest concerns since I have been going to meetings off and on for the past 5 years is just to be sure that the rules are being followed and everyone is on the same page so our library will thrive. I've seen a lot of squabbling over the years and watched as a prior board changed the Memorandum of Understanding so that the county now has control of the employees. There have been a lot of problems and confusion (over who does what) because of this. It has also resulted in an EEOC lawsuit being placed against the county and current county manager Brandon Rogers by former Library Manager Rosemary Bunn who was written up twice by Rogers last year in what appeared like an attempt to fire her from her job before she chose to/was forced to retire. (Library Director Rosemary Bunn filed a grievance against the county manager that was not settled by the county through its grievance process before filing an EEOC complaint against the county based on the county manager's behavior toward her. http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BREAKINGNEWSrogerscomplaint5.9.23.html.) Rogers seems to have a lot of time on his hands as he attends these library board meetings and several different board/authority meetings around the county on a monthly basis. He was needed here for the budget discussion, but I am puzzled as to why he would need to be at Library Board Meetings on a regular basis.]

Baylynn said that she postponed the sale from earlier today so she could get clarification on this so everyone was on the same page. She said that she will reschedule the book sale for next week. Friends of the Library will be helping with this. Friends of the Library needs more active members. Clarification that the library is discarding the books, and Friends of the Library is selling the books that are given to them. The money goes to the Friends of the Library, and they support the library. [Note from the Editor: Friends of the J. Joel Edwards Public Library is separate from the Board of Trustees, and the money from the two organizations is totally separate. There are certain things that can be bought according to their guidelines, and Friends of the Library is a support organization for the library.]

Motion to adjourn. 5:32 p.m.

Here are most of the meetings that Pike County Times has attended over the past 5 years.

To read about the September 15, 2023 meeting, click here.

To read about the June 8, 2023 meeting, click here.

To read the April 12, 2023 County Commission Write Up entitled "J. Joel Edwards Public Library Board of Trustees to Meet in January; Transitioning to a New Normal," click here.

To read about the March 9, 2023 meeting, click here.

To read about problems with Rogers' funding of the library from the May 26, 2022 county commission meeting, click here.

To read about the November 14, 2019, 2019 meeting where the board worked together to pass their bylaws, click here.

To read about the May 9, 2019, 2019 meeting, click here.

To read about the March 1, 2019, 2019 meeting, click here.

To read about the February 14, 2019 meeting, click here.

To read about the January 10, 2019 meeting, click here.

To read the December 26, 2018 article entitled "J. Joel Edwards Public Library Board of Trustees to Meet in January; Transitioning to a New Normal," click here.

To read about the December 13, 2018 meeting, click here.

To read about the November 8, 2018 meeting, click here.