Meeting Minutes

JUNE 13, 2017
Board Members Attending – Mary Flanagan, Miriam Dixon, Jill McMillan, Sharon Benton, Donnie Best, Myra DeBruhl, Kathy Brack, Eddie Weaver, Angelo Sonnesso, Debbie Meadows and Carl Keehn (ex officio)
Board Members with Excused Absences – George Chester, Ed Summers, and Susan King
Others Attending – Winnie Webb, Tim Owens
Meeting was called to order at approximately 10:10 by Eddie Weaver, President. Motion made by James with second by Kathy to accept minutes from March meeting as submitted. Motion passed unanimously.
Treasurer’s Report – Mary and Winnie reviewed the current year budget. With only a couple of weeks left in the fiscal year, there is an unspent balance of approximately $18,000. Investments are just short of $900,000 and memberships are ahead of last year at this time.
The new budget for 2017-18 was presented. It is $10,700 less than the current year budget. We will not have the expense of an audit next year. .
As part of the emphasis on Braille literacy, the new budget proposes setting aside $1,000 to purchase braille writers for those who cannot fund the machines through any other method, e.g. Services for the Blind, school system, employer, etc. Glenn Parre has offered to clean/repair machines that might be obtained through sources such as eBay so that it would not be necessary to purchase new machines at a much higher cost. Discussion among Board members made it apparent that this is a recognized need and these purchases would be very much in line with the organization’s mission.  James suggested that we consider increasing the amount to $2,000 for braille writer purchases and this was well supported by the Board.  The Braille Literacy Council will be asked to develop some guidelines for the purchases.
Motion by Sharon with second by Miriam that the budget be adopted as presented with the addition of $1,000 to budget line 210 Braille Literacy Council ; therefore, increasing the total proposed budget for 2017-18 to $65,200. The motion passed unanimously.
Mary also mentioned Amazon Smile as a means of generating some funds for the Friends.  This was in follow-up to an email she sent earlier. Several members indicated that they have already designated donations to the Friends through Amazon Smile.
Tim Owens introduced himself to the group as the new Assistant State Librarian. From his previous employment he has some understanding of the nature of the work done by the NCLBPH and looks forward to working with us. Eddie invited him to attend future meeting as he is able.
Carl provided the following report from the NCLBPH:
Upcoming Holidays
Tuesday                    July 4             Independence Day
Monday                    September 4           Labor Day
NLS – The NLS reported that the stock of “new” digital audio players has been exhausted, especially the Advanced Players.  The players went out of production in about 2013 and NLS had been filling orders with excess inventory, which has now been exhausted.  Unfortunately, the demand for Advanced players was underestimated and they have recently become popular as a result of the magazine on cartridge program as well as the practice of putting multiple series titles on one cartridge.  Libraries are able to support the program using reconditioned machines.
One of the features of the digital player was the modular nature of the player, by switching the faceplate and keypads on the player it is theoretically possible to convert a standard player to an advanced player.  NLS is considering the possibility of retrofitting standard players as advanced players to increase the inventory.
NCLBPH – I had mentioned that Heather Brown was awarded the Julie Klauber award in recognition of her exemplary service to the patrons of the library.  The Julie Klauber award is presented by Keystone Systems, the company that produces our KLAS Integrated library system, the award recognizes the staff person who uses the KLAS system on a regular basis and who provides exemplary service to the patrons of the Library.  Heather was invited to the KLAS conference in Atlanta GA, where she was presented with the award.  She was also recognized by the State Library newsletter and the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources newsletter.
A week before Memorial Day, our mailing card printer failed.  Repairing it would take a week as a part had to be ordered prior to the service call.  As a result, we had a couple of days when we were unable to ship any materials.  By resurrecting a retired dot matrix printer and the old backup card printer, we were able to begin printing mailing cards and with the repair of the mailing card printer, were caught up by the Tuesday after Memorial Day.
We were pleased to have two representatives appointed to the NLS Collection Development Committee.  The committee is composed of representatives of the Regional Libraries as well as consumer representatives from stakeholder organizations.  Eddie Weaver was appointed as the consumer representative for the Southern Region and Josh Berkov was appointed to represent the Southern Region libraries.  They attended their first Collection Development Meeting in Washington DC in May.
NLS informed us that it is again time for our biennial consultant visit.  As our normal consultant is unable to make the visit, we will be visited by Vicki Collins.  She has served as our consultant in the past, so we are familiar with her.  The visit is scheduled for August 3 – 4. 
With the hiring of the processing assistant II in the warehouse, we are again fully staffed.  Teresa Stallings was hired to fill the vacant position and began working on May 1.
Carl also presented the following Outreach Report on Gina's behalf:
Presentation to Roxboro Low Vision Support Group Presentation to DSB Mini Center in Sanford                                                    
Presentation to Cambridge Hills Assisted Living Residents         
Presentation to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library Staff
TRRS Interview on Legal Matters Program
Coming in June:
Exhibit Booth – Raleigh Caregivers Conference
Exhibit Booth – Durham Caregivers Conference
                        Summer Reading – June 23rd – GMS (Program is Marvelous Mammals)
Membership Committee – Jill reported 602 memberships with 632 expired memberships. Some efforts have been made to “clean-up” the membership list by removing names of those who have passed away.
Investment Committee – In George’s absence Eddie reported for this committee.  Based on the most current statements the Wells Fargo Advisors account is at $707,650 and TCF at $180,337.  These figures reflect January transfer of funds into each of these accounts.
Legislative Committee  – James indicated that there have been no major issues raised in this legislative session related to the Library, GMS or DSB. James also announced that Cynthia Speight has been named as DSB Director after having served for a long time as the Interim Director.
Public Relations Committee  - Kathy acknowledge the great work done by Susan in the West in making presentations to a number of groups, and by Sharon on keeping our Facebook page updated.  Sharon indicated that the Amazon Smile info has been added to our page.
Reminder that the Volunteer Recognition event will be a lunch on 9/28 at McKimmon Center. More information will be shared later.
Election of New Board – At James’s request Winnie read out the vote tallies from the election of new board members.  Approximately 164 members voted.  The following were elected: Eddie Weaver, President; Mary Flanagan, Treasurer; Board Members: Donnie Best, Karen Broderick, Myra DeBruhl, Angelo Sonnesso, and JoAnn Wood.
Braille Literacy Council – Eddie reported on a meeting that was held in May to begin revitalizing the Braille Literacy Council.  The group will be looking at how it can best promote the awareness and use of Braille. The next meeting will be July 10, at 3:00 at the Fisher Building on the GMS Campus. Anyone interested in learning more or joining the group is encouraged to participate.
Collection Development Advisory Group – Eddie talked about his trip to Washington as part of his appointment to the NLS Collection Development Advisory Group. The group discusses books and magazines that NLS will produce for the coming year.  Eddie will be sharing information from the Group’s meeting with the Board by email.
Upcoming events
NFB of NC – 9/22-24 in Raleigh
NC Council of the Blind – 9/22-24 in Durham
VIP Fishing Tournament – Eddie will cover this event
Motion was made by James with second by Sharon that we offer a $50 prize at the Fishing Tournament of $25 at the NFB and ACB Conventions as incentives to attract members for a total of $100 to be used as membership incentives for these three events.
There was discussion of use of UEB when preparing materials at the Library for distribution.  Even though many patrons are not as familiar with UEB, it is the accepted Braille code and other materials such as magazines are being published in UEB.  Therefore, it was agreed that the embosser in the Library will be set to UEB printing.
Miriam shared information from a visiting scholar from Egypt who is looking at readability of braille magazines.  He has developed a rather lengthy questionnaire which Miriam reviewed and can share with anyone who might want to respond.
Meeting adjourned near noon.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
MARCH 14, 2017
Members Participating – Sharon Benton, George Chester, Donnie Best, Miriam Dixon, Jill McMillan, James Benton, Mary Flanagan, Angelo Sonnesso, Myra DeBruhl, Eddie Weaver, Kathy Brack, Debbie Meadows, and Carl Keehn (ex officio).
Other Participants – Winnie Webb, Gina Powell, Clint Exum.
Members not participating – Susan King and Ed Summers (both notified Board of their absence in advance).
The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. by Eddie Weaver, President. Following introduction of participants, a motion was made by James Benton with second from Mary Flanagan that the December 2016 minutes be accepted as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
Because James could not remain for the entire meeting, the group agreed to adjust the agenda so that he could report early.
New Business
As Chair of the Nominating Committee James presented the slate of recommendations to fill positions that are up for election for a new term.  The following people have agreed to run for re-election in the positions now held: Eddie Weaver (President,)  Mary Flanagan (Treasurer; no term limit,) Donnie Best, Myra DeBruhl.  Ed Summers’ term expires and he is not eligible to run again. Angello Sonnesso was recently appointed to fill a vacant position. That position’s term expires  this year. He has agreed to run for his first full term.  Karen Broderick has agreed to run for the position being vacated by Ed Summers. JoAnn Wood has agreed to run for the last vacancy (Jim Pappalardo’s position.) A motion was made by Miriam with second by Mary to accept the proposed ballot, and the motion passed unanimously.
The ballots should be mailed before the end of April  with results reported at the June Annual Membership Meeting.
Legislative Committee – James reported that there is still not a permanent director for the Division of Services for the Blind. At the federal level, Congress is considering a change to the Johnson Amendment which would allow nonprofits to become partisan, and of great concern, remove the tax-exempt status.
Treasurer’s Report – Mary reported that we had a larger than usual accounting bill because we had to file taxes twice to adjust for the Board’s change in its fiscal year, and we had our financial review.  The financial review was good with no significant changes to our accounting processes needed. In December the Board agreed to move some money into the Wells Fargo Advisors and TFC accounts. That money has been moved. The Finance Committee is working on the budget for the year to begin July 1, 2017.
Carl provided the following update from the Library:
Upcoming Holidays
Friday April 14                    Good Friday
Monday May 29                Memorial Day
NLS – It’s been quiet at NLS.  They released an upgrade to the BARD Express app, users were prompted to download the update when they signed on to the app.
BARD was down for nearly the entire week last week, due to technical issues.  Our readers were not amused.
LBPH – Heather Brown has been awarded the Julie Klauber Award in recognition of her excellent public service.  The Julie Klauber Award is a national award, presented by Keystone Systems, the provider of our Library Integrated Library System; in recognition of the Network Staff person who uses the KLAS software on a regular basis and who has provided exemplary service to their patrons.  Heather will attend the KLAS conference in Atlanta, the end of the month, where she will be presented with the award.
We have submitted a nomination as Network Library of the Year, to NLS.  Our nomination statement used the recent Celebration of Cooking Contest to highlight how we have forged community relationships to better serve our patrons.  If selected, the State Librarian and I would travel to Washington, where the award would be presented.
As of April 3, the State Library will have a new Assistant State Librarian.  Timothy Owens, a past State Library employee, has been hired to fill the position, left vacant since Laura O’Donohue left.
Peter Clukey received a promotion, moving from the Circulation unit to the patron processing unit.  He is replacing Anita Stack, who retired last Fall.  Among his duties will be providing some Reader Advisory service so you may soon be talking with him on the phone.
We have finished interviewing to replace the vacant position in the warehouse unit and hopefully will be fully staffed again
In mid-February I was asked to contact a patron, BARD records indicated that they had downloaded over 11,000 items by February 10.  As it turns out, the son-in-law of the patron was downloading blocks of books to his computer and would then have his mother in law select the titles that she wanted to read.  As a result, the library had an unusually high circulation in February, over 28,000 items.
The following Outreach report was provided by Gina Powell:
January – Presentation – Magnolia Glen – Raleigh
February – Info Table at Gov. Morehead School Career Day – Raleigh
March – Presentation at Mini Center in Chapel Hill
March – Presentation at Mini Center in Southern Pines
March - Presentation to Morehead City DSB VIP Support Group
March – Info table at the NCCVIB Conference with Jill McMillan
March – Radio Interview on Education Today Program at TRRS
Coming UP - March – Presentation to New Bern DSB VIP Support Group
March – Presentation to Stanley Total Living staff
3 Tours of the Library
Friends Outreach
February - Presentation at the Therapeutic Recreation Conference Susan King
March - Info Table at the Deaf Blind Conference Eddie Weaver
Interviews with Patrons for Library Video
Meetings with Sharon Benton and Margaret Evans about Volunteer Recognition Event
Triangle Radio Reading Service Board of Directors Retreat
Membership – Jill reported a total membership of 455.  Memberships continue to come in. A second renewal notice will go out in the next few weeks.
Investment – Balance in TFC amount as of last report, $159,065.  This figure does not reflect the $15,000 moved to the account in December. Balance in the Wells Fargo Advisors account, $685,129. 
Public Relations – In addition to the outreach activities reported by Gina, Kathy indicated that Gary Ray has done two events and Susan King has done several more events. The committee is looking at some type give-away. There was discussion of the fact that some on the Board have admin right to the web site, so we can make some of our own changes.  Eddie has explored this some and will do some more work so that he can do things such as update membership list. 
Old Business
As a follow-up to the December meeting, Sharon Benton, Gina Powell, and Margaret Evans have looked at options for a different type volunteer recognition event. They surveyed some volunteers.  They have decided to try a luncheon in September at the McKimmon Center.
Miriam reviewed some staff changes at the Rehabilitation Center for the Blind.
Motion was made by Sharon with second by Jill to adjourn at 11:35.
NEXT MEETING – The next meeting, to be held on June 13, 10:00 a.m.,  at the Library, will be the Annual Membership Meeting.  Any members who can attend will be welcomed.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
December 13, 2016
Members Attending: Mary Flanagan, Sharon Benton, George Chester, Miriam Dixon, Donnie Best, Jill McMillan, Susan King, James Benton, Eddie Weaver, Debbie Meadows, Carl Keehn (Ex Officio)
Members not Attending: These members notified the Board of their absence – Ed Summers, Kathy Brack, Myra DeBruhl
Others Attending:  Winnie Webb, Gina Powell
The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:00 by President, Eddie Weaver. A motion was made by Mary with second by Sharon to accept the September minutes as submitted. Motion passed unanimously.
The Treasurer’s Report was presented by Mary and Winnie as follows: To date we have spent 32% of the approved budget compared with 39% last year for the same period. The Friends received a $10,000 donation last week. The CPA is currently conducting the financial review with a focus on investments.
 Mary indicated that the Volunteer Recognition Dinner cost was $4,790 for a cost of $57 per person.  There was some discussion about looking at other options for recognizing volunteers which would draw more people and possibly cost less.
Our account representative with Wells Fargo Advisors, Marty, provided an update on our account. For the year the account has shown a 5.2% growth. The account consists of 25% bonds, 75% stocks.
Carl presented the following report from the Library:
NLS – Our consultant delivered the report from our visit last year.  The report is very positive, we are already in compliance with many of the recommendations that they made.
We have the following Holidays Scheduled:
Friday December 23 – Tuesday December 27 – Christmas
Monday January 2 – New Years Day
Monday January 16 – Martin Luther King’s Day
At long last, we were able to hold our Celebration of Cooking program, featuring the blind chef, Christine Ha.  Originally scheduled for October, the program was rescheduled when Hurricane Matthew impacted the power and internet connectivity of the Governor Morehead School.  The program was rescheduled for Wednesday November 30.
Christine Ha participated remotely from her Texas home, James Benton as local master of ceremony; conducted the interview.   After the interview, the program featured a local cooking demonstration featuring three people, an LBPH patron, a DSB client and a Governor Morehead student.  As they prepared their recipes, Jessica Caswell, serving as roving reporter, interviewed each of them and shared cooking tips.  The Governor Morehead Food Service staff prepared samples of each recipe to serve to the audience.  108 people attended the program at the GMS cafeteria, with an additional 65 people streaming the program live.  Our thanks to the Friends, the Cary Lions Club, Food Lion and Kroger for providing support for the program.  I also want to extend my thanks to the staff and administration of the Governor Morehead School for being such wonderful hosts, the Division of Services for the Blind for all their support and the DNCR Marketing Department for providing the videographers and technical support.
Our annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner was held at the McKimmon Center and was well attended; with 66 participants.  Service awards were presented, recognizing the awardees for the number of hours they have contributed to the program.  Dan Wade was recognized as Volunteer of the Year, Dan is a member of our recording program and has narrated two of the three books we have on BARD.  Our thanks for the Friends and their support of the celebration.
In FY 2015-16, 71 volunteers completed 3,610 hours of service.
Gina shared the following Outreach report on activities during the last quarter:
: Staff Outreach
Carl Keehn Presentation at NFB                                                                       September
Springmoor Assisted Living Health Fair (info table)                                   September
Presentation at Fabulous Friday (Public Librarians) High Point              September
Library tour                                                                                                             September
Presentation at Fabulous Friday (Public Librarians) Asheville                October
Presentation at Charlotte Public library staff enrichment day               October
NCAPVI Pumpkins & Prizes Kids Event Games and Info Table                October
RCLB Anniversary Expo Info Table                                                                   October
Eldercare Fair at SAS Info Table                                                                        October
Presentation & vendor table at the GREAT Conference                            November
Vendor table at ALS conference                                                                       November
Vendor table at Exceptional Children’s Conference                                               November
Presentation to Garner Civitans Club                                                              November
Presentation at DSB Mini Center in Oxford                                                  November
Presentation at Galloway Ridge Assisted Living                                          December7
Friends Outreach
Carl Keehn -  vendor table at the
NFB conference                                                                                         September
James Benton - vendor table NCCB conference                                          September
Eddie Weaver - presentation at Grace Lutheran Health Fair                   September
Gary Ray - presentation at Asheville VIP Support Group                         September
Gary Ray –presentation to Cherokee VIP Group                                          October
Eddie Weaver – presentation &vendor table at VIP                                   October
Fishing Tournament                    
Filming of segment about the library for UNC-TV
 NC Now program                                                                                      September
Volunteer Recognition Dinner                                                              November
Gina Powell has been appointed as a Board member of TRRS
Membership Committee: Jill reported 581 current members—down 68 from last year.  There was discussion of updating the application and also including more information about the programs supported by the Friends for adults including the Book Club and programs such as the recent Celebration of Cooking Program. We discussed continuing a give-away at events where memberships are likely to be completed.  At the Fishing Tournament a $50 prize was given—26 memberships were completed. Prizes might be smaller or different depending on the group—needs to be cost effective.  A question was raised about having a space at the Library where people can come in to read or use technology.  Carl indicated that a space is available and there is a PC for use by patrons and it has some adaptive technology on it.
Investment Committee: George reported that the Wells Fargo account stands at $634,850 which is a slight increase, and TCF stands at $158,494 which is a large increase over the previous report. The SECU account currently stands at $90,000. The Board unanimously approved the Investment Committee’s recommendation to move $25,000 to the Wells Fargo account and $15,000 to the TCF account for a total being moved from SECU of $40,000.
Legislative Committee: James pointed out that members need to be prepared to work with new members of the legislative and executive branch to understand the mission and services of all programs (Library, GMS, DSB, etc.) that serve people with vision loss.
Public Relations: In Kathy’s absence, Eddie indicated that the web site updates have been completed and if members have comments those should go to Kathy.
Old Business
Several weeks ago Jill, James, Eddie, Mary and Debbie had a conference call to review the matter raised at a previous meeting related to donations to other nonprofits. About 14% of Friends 2014-15 budget went to other nonprofits. This committee will continue to function as a mechanism for reviewing requests received by the Friends relative to areas such as overall Friends budget, correlation between requesting nonprofit and mission of the Friends, any donor restriction on Friends donations that might be violated by making such a donation to the requesting nonprofit,  etc.  
Nominating Committee: The Nominating Committee made a motion which received second from Susan that Angelo Sonnesso fill the position formerly held by Kevin Tillery. The Committee would like to find someone with a financial/accounting background to fill the second vacant position, and will continue working toward that goal.  They will prepare the ballot for discussion at the March meeting.
New Business
Eddie asked Gina, Margaret Evans and Sharon to look at options for the volunteer recognition event with information to be shared in March.
Upcoming events include – NCVIB, 3/9/17 – Jill will attend. NC DeafBlind Associates in March, Eddie to attend.
Western NC Braille Challenge will be on 2/9 at Camp Dogwood and Susan will be involved.
Central Braille Challenge on 2/16 in Raleigh and Debbie will be involved.
NCLBPH staff member Craig Hayden has been asked to serve on NLS Collection Management Board for the Southern Region along with Josh from NCLBPH.
TCF Open House in new RTP offices in February.
Museum of Art working on sensory garden.
Camp Dogwood is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Meeting adjourned at 11:50.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows
September 13, 2016
Members Participating – Sharon Benton, Myra DeBruhl, Mary Flanagan, Jill McMillan, Donnie Best, Eddie Weaver, James Benton, George Chester, Kathy Brack, Susan King, Debbie Meadows, and Carl Keehn (ex officio)
Other Participants – Gina Powell and Clint Exum from NCLBPH and Winnie Webb, Assistant to Treasurer
Notified of Absence in Advance – Ed Summers
Members not participating – Miriam Dixon, Kevin Tillery and Jim Pappalardo.
The meeting was called to order by Eddie Weaver at approximately 10:00 a.m.  Introductions  were made followed by a motion from Mary with second by Sharon that the minutes from the June meeting be approved as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
Treasurer’s Report – Mary reported that a change in the wording of the MOA by DNCR will mean that the Friends will not be required to have a financial auditInstead we will have a financial review.  We have been advised already that we need to track our investment/income as well as expenses in QuickBooks so steps will be taken to input that data into the program.
In reviewing the organization’s income from membership it was noted that there was less income from memberships.  Part of the difficulty has been with undeliverable forms meaning that people are not getting their renewal notices in the mail and we have no way of finding out an address change if the member doesn’t contact us.
There was also discussion of the possibility of establishing a committee to look at donations made by the Friends to other non-profits to determine if guidelines or a policy should be established.  Accounting and/or legal advice could also be needed in this area.  Mary will chair the committee which will include Jill, James, Debbie and Eddie as an ex officio member.
Winnie reviewed the expenditures and income figures.  Of the budgeted amount of $74,850, $62,733.39 remains available.
 Carl shared the following information through his quarterly report:
Closing Dates
Friday                                    November 11                      Veterans Day
Thursday – Friday  November 24-25               Thanksgiving
As mentioned in my last report, much of what NLS is involved in is developmental in nature.  Over the next few years, as NLS moves content to the cloud, access to downloaded materials will be easier and faster.  In addition, they anticipate that BARD on your devices, will function more like Netflix or the Amazon Kindle; as you move from device to device, it will keep track of where you left off on one device and pick up in the same place on the second device.
I had mentioned that NLS was working on an application to make the management and downloading from BARD easier, using a Windows PC.  BARD Express is now in beta testing, although no formal release date has yet been announced.  It is far enough along and mature enough that NLS has released a series of videos to YouTube, describing the capabilities of BARD Express.
Recently, Congress approved changes to NLS which will authorize NLS to distribute refreshable braille displays.  The bill only gives them the authorization, there is no funding attached at the present time.
we have transitioned to the PIMMS database system.  PIMMS replaces the old machine and patron databases and gives us the capability to make database changes in real time.  The old databases were batch updated on a weekly basis.
We are very excited about our upcoming program at Governor Morehead School.  On Wednesday October 12, The library, along with the Governor Morehead School and Division of Services for the Blind will be cosponsoring a cooking program, featuring the blind chef and Master Chef winner, Christine Ha.  Christine Ha will be participating remotely from her home in Texas.  We had asked people to submit recipes in one of three categories, a Governor Morehead Student 13 years or older, A DSB client and a library patron.  If their recipe is selected, they will demonstrate the preparation of the recipe, explaining it as it is prepared.  The GMS Food Service staff will also be preparing samples of the recipes for the audience to try.  We are hoping to make the program available to a wider audience by providing live streaming and it will also be made available in audio and video form for later enjoyment.  The Triangle Radio Reading Service will also be making the audio track available as a blog.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Clint Exum to fill the position of Outreach Specialist.  Clint will be working with Gina on outreach and will also be responsible for social media.  His first day is Thursday, September 15.
And finally, we are sorry to bid farewell to Anita Stack from our patron processing unit.  She has announced her retirement and will be leaving us the end of the month. 
An updated version of the “Talking Points” will be distributed within the next day or two. These can be used when making presentations.
Gina provided the following Outreach report:
Interviewed for new Outreach Specialist (Clint Exum)      July
Presentation for Blind Veterans Group – RLCB                    July 18
Presentation for EYE Retreat July 29
Presentation to Blind Workers Assoc. Conference             July 29
Miriam, Mary & Winnie had an info table
Info Table at Blind Workers Assoc. Con. (Friends)              July 29-July 30
Library Tour for Equal Eyes                                                        August 4
Presentation to Visions Connections Support Group                     August 9
Library tour for 2 Patrons August 25
SpringmoorAssisted Living Health Fair (info table)            September 29
Presentation at Fabulous Friday (Public Librarians) High Point  September 30
Summer Reading
Adults – 63 registered
Books read – 3538, Average of 56 per patron
Kids – 24 registered
Books read – 255, Average of 10 per patron
3 Fabulous Fridays (Public Librarians) Asheville, Fayetteville     October
Presentation at Charlotte Public library staff enrichment day   October
Presentation & vendor table at the GREAT Conference                November 2-4
Vendor table at ALS conference                                                           November 7
Vendor table at Exceptional Children’s Conference                                   November 8-10
Volunteer Recognition Dinner                                                  Wednesday November 16
Friends Outreach
Miriam Dixon and Carl will be working the NFB conference in mid-September.
James will work the NCCB conference in late September.
Eddie will be working the VIP Fishing Tournament in October.
Membership Committee – Myra reported total memberships of 570 with 825 expired memberships.  At this time in 2015 there were 614 memberships.  The Committee will continue to look at ways of increasing memberships and they are open to suggestions.  It was noted that there are several upcoming events which will give opportunities for new and renewed memberships.
Investment Committee – Eddie reported that both the Wells Fargo Advisors and TCF accounts are up for this reporting period. As of the end of August Well Fargo Advisors account stood at $633,652 and at the end of June TCF stood at $152,841.
Legislative – While there are no specific legislative issues now as the General Assembly is not in session, James noted ongoing changes at DHHS/DSB/DVR.  There is still not a permanent DSB Director.
Public Relations – Kathy indicated that though slower than hoped for, the web site changes have been made and can now be reviewed before going live.
Old Business
MOA with the DNCR has been signed.
Several outreach events are coming up and various members will be covering those.  The NCCVIB will be held March 9-10, 2017.
New Business
Notice has been sent from Jim Pappalardo of his intention to resign from the Board. 
It was noted that Kevin Tillery has missed the last several meeting with no contact from him and he has not responded to phone or email efforts to reach him.  He will be notified that he is being replaced on the Board.
James Benton and the Nominating Committee will identify two new members to recommend to replace Jim and Kevin on the Board. They will have their recommendation ready for the December meeting.
Eddie asked members to notify him of the committee(s) each member would like to serve on.
With a motion from Mary and second by James the meeting adjourned at approximately 11:15.
NEXT MEETING – December 13, 2016
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows

JUNE 14, 2016

The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:00 by President Eddie Weaver. The following individuals were present:

MEMBERS -  Myra DeBruhl, Kathy Brack, Sharon Benton, Mary Flanagan, Miriam Dixon, Eddie Weaver, Ed Summers, Sandy Scarlett, James Benton, Debbie Meadows, and Carl Keehn (ex officio) 

EXCUSED ABSENCES – Mary Helen Pearsall and Jim Pappalardo notified the group in advance that they could not participate.

ABSENT – Kevin Tillery

OTHERS ATTENDING – Winnie Webb, staff to Treasurer

Motion to approve the minutes as submitted was made by Mary with second by Sharon, and passed unanimously. 

TREASURER’S REPORT – Mary estimates that between $10,000 and $12,000 will be left in the current year’s budget.

The proposed 2016-17 budget was reviewed and Mary pointed out a few items—
*increase in the accounting/legal fees line item is due to the required audit that must be performed this year. Of note is the fact that the Department has begun requiring an audit in any year that an organization receives donations of $250,000 or more. This could be a factor for the Friends in future years. 
*Friends will turn over management of the BELL money to NFB of NC, but will make a $6,000 donation to the program;
*Friends will also make a $500 donation to support the Braille Challenge.

During the current budget year the Friends voted not to sponsor a table at the Triangle Radio Reading Service fundraising gala.  At the meeting when this decision was made and at the meeting today there was strong support for TRRS but also strong belief that sponsorship of a table was not the most suitable way to support TRRS.  After a good deal of discussion a motion was offered by   Ed with second by Kathy  and passed without dissent providing for an increase in the existing line item 220 TRSS Outreach  from $800 to $1,500. These funds are used by TRRS in support of program costs. 

Carl reviewed the recurring LBPH items with comment on a few specific items—
*Line item 300 – Trips and Presentations shows an increase of $800 because the Library will be hiring a new Outreach staff person.
*Line item 340 – Library Beautification shows an increase of $3,500 to cover the cost of the furniture purchase for the conference room as approved in a previous meeting. The $3,500 is a nonrecurring cost.

Total proposed budget with the amended line item for TRRS is $74,850 compared to $67,670 for the current year. 

Motion was made by James with second by Kathy to adopt the budget as presented with the amendment. Motion carried unanimously. 

The following Library report was given by Carl:

Upcoming Closings

Monday, July 4            Independence Day
Monday September 5        Labor Day

The National Library Service held their biennial conference in San Francisco, in early April.  Much of what was discussed was developmental in nature; although they did announce a few developments which have matured or which should mature in the near future.  Just before the conference, the first low cost refreshable braille display was announced, the Orbit Reader 20, which is expected to retail for about $500.  A 20 cell display, NLS hopes to incorporate it into their service in the future.  The BARD Media Manager was also discussed.  The app is designed to make downloading and managing bard books, easier for the consumer.  The Bard Media Manager app is currently in alpha testing.

With our studios both up and running, we are able to produce both magazines and books again.  Two of our recently released books were recorded in our studios, and the third, Changing Places by Myra DeBruhl, was recording in the studios of the Triangle Radio Reading Service.

Our first submission to the NLS BARD service was Scoundrels, Rogues and Heroes of the Old North State by H.G. Jones.  All three of the titles are also available through the local NOBLE download service.

On June 7, the last of our analog materials were shipped to the NLS recycler.  Feelings were mixed about the end of analog service.  Our warehouse staff is thrilled with the extra space they have for new digital materials, the announcement on the Facebook page was greeted with a “hisssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss” by one of our followers.   All in all, the discontinuance of analog service has been accepted by our patrons, many had already transitioned to digital service only, due to the ease of the machine and the better sound quality of the recordings.

We have finally gotten approval to advertise to fill the Outreach Specialist position for the Volunteer and Outreach Services Unit.  The Outreach Specialist position will be assisting with outreach and will also take over responsibility for the maintenance of the social media.  The position was delayed as State Government was expected to release a new position classification system in June.  The new classification system has been delayed due to legislative action.  The job announcement closes on the 15th.

The library is in the process of revising our long range plan, a long overdue need.  We would like input from our stakeholders and would like to invite any interested patrons and Friends members to volunteer to help us with their input.

We are in the process of developing a program, which we hope to offer this Fall.  It will be offered in conjunction with the Governor Morehead School and Rehabilitation Services.  Christine Ha, the first blind chef to participate in the Master Chef program and the 2012 winner of the Master Chef; has offered to participate in the program remotely from her home.  

In Gina’s absence Carl gave the following Outreach report:

Governor Morehead Beeping Egg Hunt April 9th - Information and games table for VIP children. 
National Volunteer Week April 10-16 – celebrated by giving volunteers a small 
appreciation gift

Fontana Regional Library's Annual In-Service Training April 18th - composed of public librarians and paraprofessionals from 3 counties: Jackson, Macon and Swain.  Made presentations to two groups about library services, with an emphasis on technology.  

Met with videographer Brian Nestor about video for NCLBPH April 27th
Brice Martin Foundation Festival May 1 – Information and games table for VIP children

Meeting with Triangle Radio Reading Service June 6th – will become new board member

Wake County VIP Group June 14 – presentation about library services with an emphasis on technology

Kids Summer Reading Kick Off at Gov. Morehead June 15th – Instrument Petting Zoo provided by the NC Symphony and a Snoring Contest

Raleigh and Durham Triangle Caregivers Conferences June 21st and 28th– Information table for conference attendees and outreach to assisted living facilities 

Volunteer Recognition Dinner Wednesday November 16th at the McKimmon Center

MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE -- Myra reported 542 active members with 842 expired memberships. This is a bit behind where we were last year at this time. There was discussion of the possibility of sending a Friends membership application along with the Library application packet rather than as part of the information packet AFTER a person becomes a Library patron. Carl will look into the option of making this change. 

INVESTMENT COMMITTEE – Eddie reported that both accounts have made gains since the last reporting period. The current Wells Fargo Advisors balance is $616,261 and TCF balance is $149,933. Hopefully a representative from TCF will be able to join us at our next meeting to provide an update.

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE – James reported that NewsLine funding is looking good in the General Assembly. There is still not a permanent division director at the Division of Services for the Blind. 

PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE – Progress on updating the web site has been slower than hoped for, but Kathy believes we are nearing the completion of the work. As a new board comes in at the next meeting we would like to take a Board picture for the site. We will encourage all who possibly can to attend the September meeting in person. 

OLD BUSINESS – In follow-up to a request from the Governor Morehead School for support of several events, it was the group’s belief that neither the 170th Anniversary celebration nor the Christmas Parade fitted into the Friends’ mission, but that the activities related to the Easter Music Festival did. James offered a motion with a second by Miriam that the Friends support the Music Festival in the amount of $300.  The motion passed without dissent. Debbie Meadows abstained from voting as an employee at GMS. 

NOMINATING COMMITTEE – James reported that the following member’s terms will expire at the end of June: Mary Helen Pearsall, Sean Loo, and Sandy Scarlett.  Ballots have been counted and the following individuals were elected for a new two-year term: Debbie Meadows, Secretary; Kathy Brack, Vice President; members-at-large - Sharon Benton, Miriam Dixon, Susan King, George Chester, Jill McMillan, and Donnie Best. Motion was made by James with second by Mary to accept the election results as presented. Motion carried unanimously. 

On behalf of the Friends, Eddie expressed our thanks to the outgoing board members. They will receive a certificate of appreciation and a paperweight. 

NEW BUSINESS – There are several events coming up in the fall for which the Friends sponsor an information table.  The following individuals volunteered to work the table at these events – Association of Blind Workers in late July – Miriam; NFB of NC in mid September – Miriam and Carl; NCCB in late September – James; VIP Fishing Tournament in October – Eddie. 

Currently Board members’ home address, phone number and email address are in the TarHeel Talk and on the web site. . While we want members to be able to reach us, we agreed that it is not necessary to have the home address printed, so asked that this item be removed.  Phone number and email address for each Board member will be listed. 


Meeting adjourned at approximately 12:15.

Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary

Board Meeting Minutes
March 8, 2016
Board Members Attending -- Eddie Weaver, Mary Flanagan, Sharon Benton, Myra DeBruhl, Kathy Brack, James Benton, Miriam Dixon, Mary Helen Pearsall, Debbie Meadows, Carl Keehn (ex officio)

Members with Excused Absence – Ed Summers, Jim Poppalardo, and Sean Lew

Board Members Kevin Tillery and Sandy Scarlett were  not in attendance.

Other Participants – Gina Powell (NCLBPH Staff) and Winnie Webb (Assistant to Treasurer)

The meeting was called to order shortly after 10:00 a.m. by Eddie Weaver, President. A motion was made by James Benton with second by Mary Flanagan to approve the minutes from the December meeting as submitted. The motion passed unanimously. 

It was noted that the name of Miriam Dixon needs to be added to the website replacing Gary Ray. 

Mary introduced Winnie Webb, Assistant to the Treasurer replacing Rita.  Rita is continuing to assist with Winnie’s training. 

Treasurer’s Report - Mary outlined two budget adjustments that are needed.  In the first, Line 145 for Website costs needs to be increased by $600 to cover the $1,200 cost of web update.  Motion was made by James with second by Sharon to make this line item increase and the motion passed unanimously. 

Second, some additional money is needed in support of the clerical assistance provided to the treasurer.  Rita has been providing training to Winnie for several weeks so there has been an increase in the personnel cost for a brief time, and some software training is needed for Winnie. A motion was made by James with second by Kathy to increase line item 115 by $300 and line item 150 by $1,800 to cover these costs.  The motion passed unanimously. 

Since 1/1/16 we have received approximately $9,000 in renewals and donations. As of 2/26/26 the organization has an unspent balance of $32,956.50 of it budgeted amount of $64,970. Total net worth - $876,894.66.

In beginning to look at next year’s budget, we could need about a $12,000 increase. The increase would cover the cost of the required four-year audit and replacement of conference room furniture. 

Mary reminded members of the current mileage rate and need for prior approval for overnight costs. 

Carl provided the following update from the Library:

Upcoming Holidays – 
Friday    March 25        Good Friday
Monday    May 30        Memorial Day

NLS – 
With the Biennial NLS Conference fast approaching, NLS has been actively encouraging network staff to plan and attend.  The conference is scheduled to be held in San Francisco on April 3 – 6.  NLS is also soliciting brief presentations, to be referred to as “Sparks” highlighting new and innovative programs or accomplishments.  North Carolina will be sending four attendees, with Catherine Rubin, Josh Berkov, Gina Powell and I; attending.

Demand has been fairly active for the DVD mailers, ordered with the assistance of the Friends.  Of the 12 cases that were ordered, 8 have been accounted for; North Carolina kept two to be used with our collection and three other agencies each purchased two cases.  Payment for the mailers is to be made out to the Friends so that they will recoup their purchase costs.  As North Carolina hopes to retain two additional cases, there are currently only two cases remaining to be sold.

The renovation of the library facility is moving along smoothly.  The restrooms are nearly complete, with some minor work remaining.  The break room is looking much fresher, with new floors, new furniture and a new counter and sink.  The cabinets will be refinished.  Already the break room looks much cheerier and brighter.  The landlord has also committed to updating the lighting within the building, replacing the exterior lighting with much brighter LED fixtures and replacing the garage door on the loading dock.

Catherine Rubin and I were invited to attend the unveiling of the new indoor navigation system at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Nature Research Center.  Based on the BlindSquare or BlindSquare Event apps for the iPhone and using locating transmitters called iBeacons, the navigation system provides location information for the Nature Resource Center to allow visitors to orient themselves to the facility.  The navigation system will be featured as part of our upcoming travel program, which is scheduled for Tuesday April 26, 10 – 11:30 am.  John DeLuca and Robert Kennedy will also be presenting their travel experiences during the program.

We were sorry to bid farewell to Deborah Barnes, as she moved from Raleigh to be closer to family.  Currently the braille coordinator position is vacant.  The library is investigating contracting with Metrolina or Corrections Enterprises for the short term, to ensure that books and patron information continue to be made available in braille.

Interviewing has been completed for the Processing Assistant II position in our circulation unit.  The Circulation Supervisor has made his recommendation for hire and we are awaiting final approval from our Human Resources office.

In February, I participated in the hiring process to hire a new Director for the Government and Heritage Library.  Currently the Library Development Director and Government and Heritage Library Director positions are vacant.  Together with the LBPH, they comprise the Senior Management Team.

Eddie expressed the group’s concern that the Braillist position vacated by Deborah Barnes several weeks ago.  Carl indicated that the position is under consideration by Department management relative to being filled. Contracting options are being considered with MAB and DOC being two local possibilities. Eddie expressed the group’s willingness and availability to advocate for filling the position. 

The following Outreach Report was given by Gina:

Gary Ray helped with NC Western Braille Challenge Feb. 18th. 
Gina Powell manned on information table at Gov. Morehead Career Day Feb. 24th
Gina Powell presented at a mini center in Southern Pines March 1st
Gina Powell manned an information table at the NCCVIB Conference March 3rd

Upcoming Events in March:
Eddie Weaver will attend the Deaf Blind Conference March 11th-13th
Josh Berkov and Gina Powell will do a presentation about the library at Surrey County Community College on March 11th
Gina Powell will have an information table at the NC Reading Assoc. Conference March 14th-16th
Gina Powell will present at a mini center in Fayetteville March 21st
Gina Powell will present at the Kinston VIP meeting March 30th

Membership Committee – Myra reported that the current membership is at 376 with 1,003 expired memberships. The renewal notice reminder will go out in late March. 

Investment Committee – Eddie reported that for the most recent period the Wells Fargo Advisors account stands at $574,672 which is down from the previous period,  and the TCF account at $149,043 which is up. 

Legislative Committee – There is a federal bill designed to strengthen IDEA, but the bill is not strong on braille. Some cities are looking at partnering their paratransit service with UBER  and LYFT. 

Public Relations –Kathy reported that web update work continues and indicated the need for an updated letter from the President of the organization. Please get any suggested updates to Kathy.

Old Business – No additional information on the letter sent by GMS seeking support.

New Business – Nominating Committee – As Chair of the Nominating Committee, James will email Board members with the Committee’s recommendations within a few days. Board members should vote on these recommendations promptly so that the ballots can be prepared and mailed to the entire membership of the Friends. 

Mary will represent the Friends at the upcoming DNCR support group meeting. 

Next Meeting – 6/14/16.

Meeting adjourned at 11:40. 

Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary

MARCH 8, 2016
Subsequent to the Board meeting, James Benton presented the following recommendations from the Nominating Committee for filling the vacant positions.

Secretary – Debbie Jackson Meadows

Vice President – Kathy Brack

  • Miriam Dixon
  • Susan King
  • George Chester
  • Jill McMillan
  • Donnie Best

The Board approved this proposed ballot without dissent by electronic vote. These names will appear on the ballot to be mailed out to the general membership.

Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary