Meeting Minutes

September 12, 2023
MEMBERS PARTICIPATING: Eddie Weaver, Susan King, Ryan Trask, Donna Permar, Heather Brown, Jim Turner, Patricia Tessnear, Susanna Dean, Yvonne Kea, Brice Smith, Debbie Meadows, and Catherine Rubin (ex officio)
EXCUSED ABSENCES: Mary Flanagan and Verdina Gillette-Sims
ABSENT Jeremiah Rogers
OTHERS PARTICIPATING: Nellie Taylor, Winnie Webb, Adrian Sanders, Clint Exum, Kellie Spruill, and Angelo Sonesso
The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:00 by Eddie Weaver, President. Following introductions, a motion was made by Donna with second by Susan to approve the minutes from the June meeting as submitted. The motion passed.
Kellie joined the group to provide an update on the Braille Literacy Grants. At the last meeting, the committee that reviewed the grants recommended two recipients, one of whom was Veronica Puente, with the provision that the Committee was doing some additional research into the proposal of developing a podcast, particularly in terms of cost.  Based on the additional information, the Committee felt that the proposal was good and creative, but not ready to move forward within the time frame that the Friends has for spending the funds. Therefore, the Committee moved to its 3rd choice for an award, Bradley Blair. Mr. Blair’s proposal was for holding a Braille Literacy Workshop. The cost of the proposal is $1,000 and his intent is to hold it in October. In the future, the Committee will provide the Board with the rank order of the applicants once the applications have been reviewed. This means that the Board will be familiar with the applicants in the event the recommended recipient does not work out for some reason and an alternate is awarded.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Winnie reviewed the current budget numbers. Nellie gave the report in Mary’s absence, indicating that 17% of the budget has been spent to date. The Friends will be receiving a $26,000 check from a trust. Our CPA cost is increasing from about $8,000 to $13,000 per year. While we will be looking at other options for this service, for the present time and in order to get the tax form completed in a timely manner Mary asked that line 8tem 7120 for account services be increased from $8k to $13k. Susan made a motion to increase the line item to $13,000 with a second by Patricia. The motion passed without dissent.
Catherine shared the following update from the Library:
Staff Changes:
As you may have heard, ALL of state government has been struggling to keep
staffing levels up since the pandemic. Unfortunately, ABLS is not an exception.
 First off, the good news is that we have a new Assistant Director! Josh
Berkov, former Collection Management Librarian, has taken my old job, and
he has hit the ground running. He oversees public services and will be in
charge of programs for adults. So, his old position is now vacant.
 Here’s the tougher news:
o Reader Advisor Marlene Debo and Cataloging Technician Assistant
Todd Clayton retired on 7/31/23.
o Gina Powell, Outreach Librarian, left 7/31/23 --Adrian and Clint have
been holding down the fort for Outreach and have been doing a wonderful job.
o David Vick, Circulation Supervisor, also resigned in July to take a job
closer to home.
o Lornita Turnage, Patron Processing Assistant, recently left, and
Theresa Hawxwell, receptionist, will be leaving at the end of this week.
We’ll miss them! And we are working to fill the vacancies as soon as possible.
Planning to host the Eastern Braille Challenge in 2024.
We’re working on details now. Hope that this coming year Governor Morehead
School can team up with us. They were unable to team up last year because of
lots of events going on there at that time.
NLS News
Ten years ago, representatives from 51 nations met in Marrakesh, Morocco and
voted to facilitate better access to published works for persons who are blind,
visually impaired or print disabled.
What this means is that, since 2020, when the treaty was fully implemented in the
US, NLS added over 5,700 books in over 25 languages—including English. This
summer, NLS observed a milestone with patrons’ 100,000th download of audio
and braille materials acquired under the treaty. Tomorrow, September 13, from 1-2 pm Eastern D T, the Library of Congress in partnership with the US Copyright Office, will hold a virtual event to celebrate this 10th anniversary of the signing of the Marrakesh Treaty. You can register to attend this event and will get a confirmation email with information about joining the event.
There’s a link to it from our web site the address is
Next State Holidays will be:
Veterans Day – November 10
Thanksgiving – November 23-24
For more library news, please check the new Fall 2023 online Tar Heel Talk that just came out last week. Clint worked really hard on that and did a fantastic job.
ABLS Staff’s Email Address Changes: Not mentioned in my report but when
Adrian Sanders spoke:
Staff email address have all changed! Instead of having as part of the
address the new addresses all have at the end. For example, new
addresses for Adrian and Catherine are and
OUTREACH: Clint reported that he has participated in several events since the June meeting including a presentation at Union Diversified Industries in Monroe (set up by Susanna); a senior living center in Matthews; two DSB mini-center classes; resource event for youth with autism; Governor Morehead School Open House; along with some others participated in a series called NEW TO NC which gives information of interest to those new to the State; (series is available to watch on State of NC Library YouTube channel). Last week, the digital Tar Heel Talk was released in multiple formats. The Summer Reading Program was completed with 44 participants in the adult category and eight participants in the youth category. 2022 Writing Contest winners have been recorded and should be available for download in the next few weeks. The 2023 Writing Contest will begin taking entries on September 15, 2023.
Adrian reminded members of the upcoming Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon to be held on September 30th at the cafeteria on the GMS Campus.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE: The Wells Fargo account balance is $1,023,288.72 which is up from the previous balance of approximately $981,200.  The TCF balance (as of last quarterly statement which would have bee for the end of June) is $281,557.51 which is up from the last report of about $272,000. The current total net worth is $1,408,555.43 compared to that of the last meeting, $1,370,561. We will invite Marti, our Wells Fargo representative to speak with us at our December meeting.
PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Jim reported on an activity he held for a group, Vision Insight. The final version of the new brochure will be sent to Eddie electronically so that he can prepare the braille file. Susanna will begin serving as chair of this committee—thanks Susanna!
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE: Donna reported on efforts that are beginning at GMS to transition over to the Board of Trustees which was enacted into legislation last year. It was also noted that a photo ID is now required in NC to vote.
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE: Ryan reported on the categories which included 254 individual members and a total of 431 members. Donna will send out the report from the last meeting so that the figures can be compared, but it was noted that there is an increase which is being credited to the phone calls made to unpaid members by Donna, Eddie, and Debbie.  All three reported that making the calls was a very positive experience. People were complimentary of Library services and appreciative of the Friends. Thanks to Winnie and Nellie for providing the list of unpaid members and for sending out applications when needed as a result of the phone calls.
JAMES BENTON BRAILLE WRITER PROGRAM: Brice reported sending out two machines since the last meeting. He indicated that there are currently 50 machines available which is a significant increase over what he had understood to be available at the last meeting. We will look at the current inventory to confirm the number.
WEB SITE UPDATE: Eddie reported that Patrick is working on some options for the Web site update. The issue is complicated in that the site and membership database are tied together as it is set up now. Part of the cost paid to the current host is for the site and part for the database as we understand it. A good bit more research and discussion needs to occur regarding whether the two can/should be separated and whether they can be hosted by different providers based on cost.
Following Eddie’s election as President effective July 1, the vice president seat was left vacant. The bylaws indicate that this position should be filled by the Board from the Board membership. Donna nominated Brice Smith to fill this role with second by Debbie. The motion passed without dissent. This leaves Brice’s at-large seat open which the Nominating Committee will work to have a nomination for by the December meeting.
WEB SITE: Eddie brought to the Board the possibility of obtaining a ZOOM account for the Friends. In the past, we have relied on accounts of individuals such as Susan and Angelo. The cost for this service would be $150 annually for the Friends. A motion was made by Susan with second by Susanna to purchase an account. In discussion with Nellie, we felt that the line item for Software Services should be used, and there is enough money in that line item for this expense.
DVD CLUB: Eddie made the Board aware of some changes needed in how the DVD Club operates based on recent instructions given to the Library staff. Currently, patrons who join pay a one-time $20 fee which comes to the Friends to support purchase of new videos. Library staff manage the inventory and send out requested videos. If a DVD was lost or damaged the borrower was assessed a $20 fee. However, we have been advised that Library staff cannot provide a service to patrons for which there is a fee—all services of the Library are free. In order to continue the Program, the Friends will continue to purchase DVDs based on the recommendation of Library staff, but those who want to receive DVDs will not be charged a fee to either receive or replace them, making the service the same as getting braille or large-print books. There have been six new memberships since July 1. Eddie will contact those people to let them know that their $20 fee can be reimbursed as the change will be retroactive to 7/1/23.
BRAILLE LITERACY GRANT: Because of the number of grant applications received this year, Eddie indicated a willingness to reconsider the previous decision not to award any grants for the current year but because the grant application needs to begin in December, someone would need to be ready now to take this on. As no one came forward to take this on this year, we will look at funding and someone to manage the process for the 2024-25 year.
NCCVIB in March 2024.
NFB of NC this coming weekend
NCCB the weekend of 9/22
VIP Fishing Tournament the week of October 16 – Eddie is still looking for someone to attend as he cannot this year. This is a significant event for renewing memberships and recruiting new members. 
There was a motion by Jim with second by Donna to adjourn at approximately noon.
NEXT MEETING: December 12, 2023
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
Board Meeting Minutes
June 13, 2023
MEMBERS ATTENDING: Susan King, Sandy DeLuca, Patricia Tessnear, Jim Turner, Brice Smith, Heather Brown, Eddie Weaver, Donna Permar, Melaney Stein, Verdina Gillette, Yvonne Kea, Debbie Meadows and Catherine Rubin (ex officio)
MEMBERS ABSENT: Jeremiah Rogers, Latiesha Adams
OTHERS ATTENDING: Nellie Taylor, Clint Exum, Adrian Sanders, Carl Keehn, Ryan Trask, Susanna Dean
The meeting was called to order by Susan King, President, at approximately 10:00. Following introductions, a motion was made by Verdina with second by Jim to accept the minutes from the March board meeting as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
NOMINATING COMMITTEE: Sandy reviewed the results of the election, announcing that winners include as President, Eddie; Treasurer, Mary; at-large members Brice, Patricia, Verdina, Jim, Susanna, and Ryan. 116 ballots were received with no write-ins. A motion was made by Donna with second by Verdina to accept the results of the election as reported.  Officers and board members will begin their terms on July 1st. At the September meeting a Vice President will be elected from the membership of the Board to fill the role being vacated by Eddie, and a new Board member will be recommended to fill the at-large seat held by the board member who becomes Vice President.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Nellie reviewed the budget line items noting that $42,000 has not been spent. The income for the YTD is $47,039.
Eddie shared the following comments prepared by Mary. 
Regarding the current budget, we have spent approximately half of the total budgeted amount for this year.  We don’t anticipate many more expenses between now and the end of June. One of the key concerns about this is that our budget is way out of line with our anticipated income. Our income for this year is approximately $47,000, and we have spent $42,000. So, we are actually within our income range. Going forward, we need to bring our budget in line with our anticipated income. As you will see with our proposed budget for 2023-24, we are still higher than where we should be, even though we have lowered the total amount by $10,000. This will be a process that will take place over the next year.
Nellie reviewed the figures for the proposed 2023-24 budget.  The total proposed budget is $72,950  compared to the 2022-23 budget of $83,185.
Eddie gave the following comments regarding the new budget, prepared by Mary:
In developing this budget, basically, we looked at what was spent this year and lowered those line items accordingly. There are just a few items that need further explanation.
In determining the amounts for each line item, we used our most current budget and reviewed what has been spent YTD. The only significant expense anticipated between now and the end of June is our DNO Insurance premium, which is typically around $700. There will also be charges from our CPA for May and June, and these are anticipated around $500 combined. The only other expenses would be those requested by the library and would come from their line items.
Here are some further explanations for some line items.
  1. Accounting Fees – In a recent email sent to the executive committee from our CPA, it indicated an increase in fees. We hope that an additional $1,200 will be sufficient to cover any additional fees.
  2. Assistant to the Treasurer – Last year this line item was increased to cover the cost of training. This year, we would like to recommend a $2.00/hour increase for this position. Nellie is highly qualified and has taken on a lot of responsibility in Mary’s absence. So, even with the $2.00 increase, this line item can be lowered.
  3. Promotional Items – At this time, we have a lot of luggage tags and will probably not need any additional giveaway items. So, the only expense we will have is the cost of printing the brochures.
  4. Sponsorships –we believe we need to put the two grants on hold for next year, or until our income increases. Also, we have typically allocated $2000 for the James Benton Braille Writer Program. We now have approximately 15 braille writers and do not believe we will need to purchase any. We are proposing leaving only enough for this program to purchase Braille Writer covers and boxes for shipping. The other $1000 will remain for the Braille Challenge event.
We are recommending we try to lower our total budgeted amount to $60,000 or less. With the cuts that have been proposed, it would lower the current budget amount by $10,000. If you can identify other areas, let us know.
While the budget for the coming year was reduced by about $10000 over the previous year, the interest is to get the budgeted amount more inline with income.  This led to discussion of several items in the Library budget beginning with Newsletter Printing budgeted at $7,500. Because the Library is no longer having the Tar Heel Talk newsletter printed, but instead making it available online, it seemed unlikely that they would need this full amount. There is the possibility of printing a newsletter geared specifically to youth, but the distribution would be fairly small.  Also, Donna raised a question about why the Tar Heel Talk is no longer produced in Braille. It seems that this stopped during COVID. The Library has the ability to produce braille newsletters in-house, so the primary cost would be for paper. Clint indicated that he can include in the next newsletter following the one already underway, that Braille copies can be obtained by request. We agreed to reduce this line item by $5,000 leaving it at $2,500 and with the knowledge that more can be added if needed.
There was a discussion about the Library’s line item for staff travel, $1,000, which has not been used recently. The line item was increased several years ago when the State was having budget shortfalls and travel was being cut. Now staff are able to use state-owned vehicles or receive reimbursement from the Library’s state funds for travel. While mileage is not being charged to this line item now, it appears that table rental for conferences might be included here. That being the case, we decided to leave the full $1,000 as is because conferences are just beginning to occur in-person following the pandemic.
Motion was made by Debbie with second by Sandy to adopt the budget with the change noted above of a reduction of $5,000 in the Library portion of the budget. The motion passed without dissent.
Catherine provided the following update from the Library:
As you know, I’m the new Library Director, and that change is the first of quite a few other staffing changes.
My old position as Assistant Director has been vacant for 6 months now, and we’ve been interviewing for that position for the past 2 weeks and hope to complete that hiring process soon.
One opening recently filled was that of the Receptionist, the person who
welcomed you when you entered the library today, and who helps with various Patron Processing duties, from logging new patron applications to transferring patrons from North Carolina to other states.
Her name is Theresa Hawxwell. Hal, Head of Patron Processing and her new supervisor, says, “She previously worked in the Wake County Public School System, where she provided media assistance to students, as well as technology assistance, and delivered reading materials.”
I’m sorry to say that Craig Hayward, Systems & Digital Service Librarian for 15 years and whom many of you know, resigned. His last day with us was May 26, and he went to work for UNC – Chapel Hill as a Digital Accessibility Consultant. Craig was our expert on our online library system, our online catalog, and he provided a lot of expertise to other libraries and institutions wanting to know about how to become more accessible. We certainly miss Craig, and it will take a
special skill set to fill his position.
We have 2 retirements of longtime ABLS’ employees coming up on August 1st: Marlene Debo, Reader Advisor and ABLS Book Club. Marlene has been with the library for almost 17 years. She works with people on the phone and via Chat or email as well. Marlene has been running the Raleigh ABLS book group for 9 years. Reader Advisor Emily Tracey will administer the book group when Marlene leaves.
Todd Clayton, Cataloging Library Technical Assistant, has been with the library for almost 34 years, all of that time was spent at ABLS! Todd served as Assistant to the Director for 4 years and as Reader Advisor for 13 years. He has spent 16 years in his cataloging role! Recently, he has been helping process the increasing number of books—around 8,000 more--that NLS has been sending out per year. Thanks to Todd, books are available more quickly and are also easier to find because of the coding he provides.
Of course, we’ll certainly miss Marlene and Todd a lot too! They’ll definitely leave a void, but we hope to fill their positions as soon as possible.
Want to tell you about National Library Week –April 23-29, 2023
This year we had a wall of stars at State Library and at ABLS – staff recorded on star cutouts ways that their coworkers go above and beyond their work and also why they value working with ABLS.
As part of that National Library Week, we asked patrons to respond to an online survey to get them to tell us their stories and say what our library means to them. They all gave permission to use their names:
Sheri Robinson from Middlesex, NC
“I’ve always loved to read. I was devastated when I suddenly went blind and was unable to read my books. Then I was told about the library services. It is amazing. I listen to all kinds of stories. Now that I have learned to read braille, I can get books to read in silence. There’s nothing like it. I have my reading back.”
Andrew Arecco from Clayton
“It means thousands of hours of reading enjoyment over the years. I was able to rest my eyes and still enjoy reading, it allowed me to use my imagination and enjoy the entire book, hear the original words of the author. This is one of the best government services, worth every penny spent on providing folks like me, with vision issues.”
Kristine Gupta from Raleigh:
“It means EVERYTHING! I’ve always loved reading and writing, but my MS advanced to a point that reading print was not possible. Thanks to SLNC I can again read at least six audio books per month along with some magazines. Because of my access to books, I organized a neighborhood book club. The staff are always helpful in getting the selections needed for each month. I’ve also enjoyed the annual writing contest because it encouraged me to try my hand at writing short stories.”
More News:
National Library Service Summer Reading Program
ABLS has been doing its own summer reading—and now winter
reading—programs for a long time, but the National Library Service is also running one, which will enhance our program with virtual events. The kickoff event will be on Monday, June 26, and will feature Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden, who’ll read picture book for young readers. Between Thursday, June 29 and
August 3, there will be weekly author talks, story times, and music. The list will be on the ABLS social media. I could send a schedule out via email.
Follow up on Eastern NC Braille Challenge (event held on February 11) – Eastern NC Braille Challenge patron, Reese Blum, who lives in Raleigh, made it to the Braille Challenge finals in the Sophomore level! She’ll be going to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles to compete June 23-25.
NCLA October in Winston-Salem
Clint and Josh Berkov will be heading up a panel discussion about how patrons use our library and ways that other libraries could improve accessibility – They have lined up 3-4 patron panelists for this discussion. It could help if they have one or two backups in case someone can’t attend. If you know anyone who could readily get to Winston-Salem for the conference who could help, please let us
know. Date of the panel discussion is Wednesday, October 18, from 3-3:45 pm.
New Business Cards with new library name—with brailled name, phone
number, and email address on back – We also have a generic card with main number and address.
Clint reported on the following outreach activities from the Library:
He has connected with a group, Wake Up and Read. Their goal is to get children  to a 4th grade reading level. He attended the Deaf/Blind Tech Conference (gave out about 26 applications) and the Easter Egg Hunt for kids with disabilities in Sneed’s Ferry (about 12 applications.)   He presented at three DSB Independent Living class with each group having 8-12 participants. Two Tar Heel Talk newsletters have been published since the last meeting—one in mid-April and another that came out this week. The Summer Reading Program is now underway.
Adrian reported that she has had contact with GMS and will be forwarding the contract to Eddie and Susan for completing for use of the School’s cafeteria for the Volunteer Recognition Luncheon. She is working with the School to find a date, hopefully in September/October.  
Adrian is currently working with Scott Mason who does the Tar Heel Traveler series on WRAL-TV. He is recording one of his books.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE: Debbie reported the following account information – as of 5/31 Wells Fargo balance was $981,269.58, up about $20,000 from the last meeting; and as of 3/31 TCF balance was $271,996.88, up about $13,000.  The current net worth is $1,370,561.12.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE: In Jeramiah’s absence there was no report.
BRAILLE WRITER PROGRAM: Brice reported that we have 22 machines available. We have begun receiving braille writer donations from a group in California that asked if we could use ones that they no longer need. One machine was sent out last week and one will go out in about a week. Brice did a program about the program for an upcoming issue of Tar Heel Talk.
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE: In her report, Donna had some comparisons of membership last quarter with today.  For example, in the individual category there were 169 last quarter and 237 currently. In the family category there were 61 members and there are now 79.  Total for this quarter is 407, up from the previous 308. There are 642 unpaid members compared to 731 last quarter.  The second renewal notices went out but a little later than usual. Because of the number of unpaid members, we discussed the possibility of making some phone calls to try to identify those who might want to renew. Nellie will work to generate a list which Eddie, Donna, and I will take a look at.
LITERACY GRANT: After getting off to a slow start, by the deadline seven applications had been submitted for the two grants. Melaney reported that the committee recommends awarding one grant to IFB Solutions in the amount of $1,000 for the purchase of braille books to help children and adults learn to read Braille. A second recipient being recommended is Veronica Puente for development of a podcast related to the Expanded Core Curriculum including areas such as braille, adaptive technology, etc. Melaney indicated that the Committee is consulting with staff from NC Radio Reading Service to understand more about the process of developing a podcast and the costs. Ms. Puente’s request was for $1,000. Until they can do the additional research, the Committee is recommending award of $500 now with the remainder made available after receipts have been submitted for the start-up and costs are understood related to completion of the project. A motion was made by Sandy with second by Patricia to approve the two awards as outlined by Melaney. The motion passed unanimously.
PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Susan reported on two outreach events that she was involved with—the IFB SEE (Student Enrichment Experience) and Catawba County Association for the Blind. 
Debbie provided information on work that is underway to update the Friends brochure, a task that became necessary after the name change. The supply of brochures is nearly out so the goal is to have the updated one ready by late August. We are working with the same printer that has printed our brochures in the past. Various suggestions have been made for possible improvements to the brochure including perforation to help it detaching the membership application once completed and color to make the brochure more visually appealing.  The text of the brochure should remain black to provide good contrast. It was also noted that the current photo of the Library needs to be removed because the old name is still on the building. Both changes mentioned will add to the cost, but members felt that the added cost was worth the benefit. A motion was made by Yvonne with second by Eddie to add $1,000 to line item 8150 (Promotional items) to bring it to $1,550 to cover the cost of the color and perforation. Motion passed without dissent.
Eddie updated the group on the Web site changes. 
The number and type of changes needed are beyond what Eddie feels comfortable doing. There are pictures to be replaced and contents changed, so fairly good layout skills are needed to make the site look right and make it accessible. Susan asked if Board members know of anyone who might be available as a volunteer or for a fee to make the changes. Donna and Yvonne know of someone who has done work for other groups associated with blindness. His wife is a speech access user so assists in making sure sites are accessible. They will get the name and contact information to Eddie for follow-up.
Donna mentioned upcoming conferences –
NCCB, September 22-24 in Raleigh;
NFBNC, September 14-16 in Burlington
GMSAAI, August 11-13 in Raleigh
Eddie has gone to the VIP Fishing Tournament for several years but would like another member to pick up this event. He did stress that it is a 3-day event and a busy time. It takes place the 3rd week in October. 
Susan and Nellie reviewed the change that has been recommended by our accountants to the travel reimbursement policy. The accountant has advised that paying any more than $.14 per mile is income to the volunteer. We currently pay $.56 per mile. Susan asked if we would have to issue a tax form (1099) to those who receive above $.14 and Nellie indicated that would be the case only if the person received over $600 for the year. The likelihood is slim of a Board member earning $600 for the year. One suggestion was that the policy state $.14 with the option of the member asking for an exception which could be granted by the Executive Committee. Deciding to make a few more inquiries about this issue, it was tabled until the September meeting.
As there was no additional business the meeting adjourned at noon.
The next meeting will be held on September 12, 2023.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
March 14, 2023
MEMBERS ATTENDING: Susan King, Donna Permar, Heather Brown, Sandy DeLuca, Jim Turner, Eddie Weaver, Patricia Tessnear, Jeremiah Rogers, Brice Smith, Mary Flanagan, Melaney Stein, Debbie Meadows, Catherine Rubin (ex officio)
EXCUSED ABSENCE: Verdina Gillette-Simms
ABSENT: Yvonne Kea and Latiesha Adams
OTHERS ATTENDING: Nellie Taylor, Adrian Sanders, Clint Exum, Susanna Dean, Ryan Trask
The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:00 by Susan King, President. Following introductions, a motion was made by Donna with second by Eddie to accept the December 2022 minutes as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE: The Committee recommended the appointment of Heather Brown to fill the vacant position left by the resignation at the last meeting of Ginny Lou Laughlin. A motion was made by Debbie with second by Donna and the motion passed unanimously appointing Heather to fill the position immediately effective with the March 2023 meeting.
Sandy reviewed the list of recommendations from the Committee for the upcoming election. Biographical information was sent out prior to the meeting. There were no nominations from the floor. The slate of nominees will include Jeremiah Rogers for President, Mary Flanagan for Treasurer, and for at-large seats: Jim Turner, Patricia Tessnear, Brice Smith, Verdina Gillette-Simms, Susanna Dean, and Ryan Trask. A motion was made by Mary with second by Jim to accept this slate of nominees. The motion passed unanimously.
The ballots will go out by the end of April with new terms beginning in July.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Nellie reviewed the line items. To date about 44% of the annual budget has been spent. YTD income is $16,667 which is about $4,000 less than last year at this time.
The organization’s tax form (990) has been filed by the accountant, and the Charitable Solicitation license has been renewed.
Although the Friends committed to spend money in support of the Braille Challenge, thanks to donations from Eye Shine and funds from the Dept. of Public Instruction, no Friends money was needed.
Nellie is working with the Library staff to recover or receive credit for an overpayment for the Large Print standing order in the amount of $4,500.
A local author has raised money to have her book brailled at a cost of about $1,584. The donation will be handled through the Friends. The check will go into the line item for Braille Books and the cost of transcribing the book will be paid out of that line item.
Catherine shared the following from the Library:
February 11 Braille Challenge
*It was held at the State Library in downtown Raleigh
* Secretary of NCDNCR Reid Wilson gave opening remarks
and took photos with the kids
*12 students attended, along with parents and over 30 volunteers.
Presentation included a 2-minute video --Audio Description Preface – Mostly
interviews of contestant, parent, Catherine Rubin so no places or audio description, but it shows the event, student,
volunteers, and parents in different locations. Most unique footage from the NC Museum of Natural Sciences’ activity
with live animals and shows a contestant touching a snake. While competitors were taking the braille literacy tests, Parents’ session about summer activities for visually impaired kids, Parent activity speakers about:
* Considering having a guide dog
* Camp Dogwood
* Summer programs at Governor Morehead School
* NC Museum of Art programs
* Accessible Books and Library Services
Lunch with pizza and cupcakes
Activity featuring animals from the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.
* Snake
* Tortoise
* Lizard
* Tenrec, hedgehoglike creature
Closing ceremony with gifts and drawings – lunch bags with pencil cases and other goodies
* To Friends for help
* Use of braille writers
* Mary for DPI grant
* Willingness to provide additional funding needed
Collaborations and the future of Eastern NC Braille Challenge:
Planning to host it again next year
Worked with Kim Flanagan with Western Braille Challenge
and DPI staff – Hope to collaborate with them in future.
Other Meetings/Events
* Craig’s and my interview with NC Reading Service to air
March 14 at 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm
* Craig gave a very good talk about online accessibility on March 9, “Adventures in Alt Text”
* NLS News
o New Spanish language web site – much of the same information as English language site: applying for service, finding resources and library materials in Spanish, information about NLS.
* Next State Holiday: Good Friday,
OUTREACH REPORT: Clint made several outreach presentations during the quarter including one for staff at the Government & Heritage Library in January where he and other ABLS staff demonstrated braille technology and talked about the history of braille. He presented for residents at the NC Meadows Retirement Center. He staffed a display at the African-American Cultural Festival and presented to the parents at the Eastern Braille Challenge.
The Writing Contest concluded and Clint announced the winners. Their works will be recorded for patrons to hear soon. The Winter Reading Contest is underway. A couple of changes to this contest—digital and hard copy book are in separate categories and readers can get additional points by submitting a review of the book read. And, in recognition of Braille Literacy Month (January) a special Braille Reading Challenge was held.
Working with the State Library, Clint and Craig made a video of ABLC services that school media centers. The video was presented at a conference of school media center directors in February. It will help school media center staff understand the services available to their students through ABLS.
Adrian reported that she is working with 40-45 volunteers. A genetics company is coming in as a group to do some volunteer work. Groups from other companies have also been in. This is a good way to get a lot of work done in a short period of time. Volunteers continue to record books, and on author is recording her own book. There will be some recognition of volunteers during National Volunteer Week in April. The larger Volunteer Recognition Luncheon will be planned for September.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE; Debbie reported that the Wells Fargo dropped about $30,000 from the end of January with a closing balance at the end of February of $962,509.89. During the quarter ending on 12/31/2022 the TCF account increased from $242,809.90 to $258,652.20. 
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE: Jeremiah had no report of activity.
BRAILLE WRITER PROGRAM: Brice reported that there are 23 machines out on loan and 17 available. Brice will do a piece on the program for the Tarheel Talk that will go out in late May or early June.
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE: Donna reported a total of 308 paid members compared with 472 at the end of December. There are 731 unpaid members. A past due renewal letter will go out in March.
BRAILLE LITERACY GRANT: Melaney reported that the closing date for grant applications is May 1st. To date there is one individual application and one organization application. Melaney also indicated that she will be leaving the Board as of the end of June as she has moved out-of-state.
OUTREACH COMMITTEE: In addition to Clint’s presentation at the Braille Challenge in Raleigh, Susan attended the one in the western part of the State.
Possibility was raised of adding the Braille Writer Program and Literacy Grant to the Face Book page.
Eddie will be reviewing feedback/edits from those who looked at the various Friends web pages for the updated Site.
Please share any events that we might consider participating in to get the word out about the organization and identify new members.
There being no other business, a motion was made by Eddie with second by Donna to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 11:30.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
On April 2nd the Executive Committee received notice that, for personal reasons, Jeremiah needed to withdraw his name as candidate for President. He expressed regret that he could not fulfill the commitment he made to run for this office, but felt it best to withdraw. Following discussion by the Executive Committee it was agreed that Eddie Weaver, currently serving as Vice President, would be presented to the full Board as the nominee for President. 
Given the need to get the ballot prepared/ printed, and out by the end of April, an email went out from Susan on April 7th to the full Board presenting the situation and Eddie’s name as nominee. Board members were also invited to nominate others. 
On April 9th Susan reported having received 13 “yes” votes in support of Eddie running for President, one abstained, and there were zero “no” votes. Therefore, the recommendation passed without dissent. 
Prepared by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
Meeting Minutes, December 13, 2022
MEMBERS ATTENDING: Mary Flanagan, Susan King, Eddie Weaver, Jim Turner, Melaney Stein, Verdina Gillette, Brice Smith, Sandy DeLuca, Latiesha Adams, Donna Permar, Patricia Tessnear, Debbie Meadows, Catherine Rubin (non-voting)
EXCUSED ABSENCE: Jeremiah Rogers
ABSENT: Yvonne Kea
OTHERS ATTENDING: Michelle Underhill, Clint Exum, Nellie Taylor, and Marti Switzer
The meeting was called to order by Susan King. Following introductions, Marti Switzer, the Organizations account manager with Wells Fargo, provided a summary of account activity. The account is made up of 70% stocks and 30% bonds in about twelve mutual funds. While the account is down for the past year, it is up overall for the past three years and increased an average of 4.9% annually since moving to Wells Fargo in 2015. The past year has been a bad one for bonds, but Marti is seeing some recovery.
A motion was made by Mary with second by Verdina to approve the minutes for the September meeting as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Mary introduced Nellie Taylor, who has taken the role as Assistant to the Treasurer held by Winnie Webb. Nellie reviewed the budget section totals. Mary indicated that approximately 30% of the year’s budget has been spent at the midpoint in the year. We are about $5,000 below the income received last year, but she also pointed out that a large donation was received last year which inflated the income figure. The accountant is completing the form 990.
The Library is printing the Tar Heel Talk only twice each year now. However, a new newsletter is getting started specifically for youth. In order to have more flexibility in spending the funds in the line item now named Tar Heel Talk Printing, the Board was asked to rename that line item Newsletters. A motion was made by Eddie with second by Debbie to rename line item 7950 Newsletters. The motion passed without dissent.
For the first time, the Library is hosting the Eastern Braille Challenge to be held February 11th. Mary has made the request to DPI for $1,000 to be divided between the Eastern and Western Braille Challenges. There is unspent funding from a previous year Braille Challenge which can be used, allowing an additional $100 for the two upcoming events. Catherine has received funding from the EyeShine Foundation in the amount of $1,500 for the Challenge. Catherine is requesting that funds in line item 8120 (Meals and Refreshments $600) be made available for use if needed. These funds have generally been used for refreshments for the Book Club meetings, but the meetings have not taken place in-person for some time and likely will not for the remainder of this fiscal year. Motion by Debbie with second by Donna to make the $600 line item for Meals and Refreshments available to support Braille Challenge costs if needed. The motion passed without dissent.
The invoice has just come in for the meals from Hope Valley Catering for the  Volunteer Recognition Luncheon. We used them last in 2019. The cost this year went up between $9 and $10 per person. Mary has not seen a quote so is not sure if we are being charged September or December prices, but she has sent a message and Catherine will follow up with Adrian to see if she has a quote from September.
Catherine provided the following update from the Library:
Prior to her report, Catherine was able to share that she has been selected to fill the role vacated by Carl Keehn. She looks forward to continuing to work very closely with the Friends and the group, and the Board members expressed their pleasure with Catherine’s selection!
ABLS News:
As I’ve mentioned before, we’re planning to have a Youth Book
Group at Governor Morehead School -- Emily plans to meet
with students to discuss further in January 2023.
Braille Challenge, a braille literacy competition for children
grades 1-12, – February 11, 2023 at State Library/Archives
Bldg. Friends have obtained a grant for the Eastern and
Western Braille Challenges in the past. More on that with
Summer Internships
ABLS is participating in the 2023 DNCR Historically Black
Colleges and Universities/Minority Institutions of Higher
Education (HBCU/MIHE) Summer Internship Program. 
Internships will be from May 22, 2023 – July 28, 2023. 
Submissions were reviewed and ranked by Executive Staff and
both ABLS’ proposals were granted.
Josh Berkov, Collection Management Librarian – Proposed an
intern to perform a diversity audit of ABLS’ large print
Craig Hayward, Systems & Digital Services Librarian—Proposed
an intern to create accessible online catalog search tutorials
and activities.
NLS Visit
We got a visit from 2 NLS staff on December 7, Kevin Watson
from Engineering.  Joseph Dorsey, Head, NLS’s Equipment and
Infrastructure (EIS) section. They came to observe how our
staff repair digital players.
Federal Research Division
Josh was asked to sit (virtually) for a 45-minute interview on
December 5th with the Federal Research Division at Library of
Congress to discuss NLS’s use of Library of Congress subject
headings in its online catalog and in one of the online systems
used by some of the network libraries.
Digital player stock
Our stock of the advanced players, ones with the bookmarking
feature is running low. Once we run out, we’ll assign a standard
player with a remote control which will give it the advanced
bookmarking features.
Recycling/Braille Move
Collection Management hopes to recycle the rest of the one-
book-per-cartridge cartridges by September 30 and move the
braille collection from compact shelving on the main floor for
easier access. Also, the compact shelving is not in good
Vox Books – Print children’s books with audio playback
machine built in. Passed around after the meeting.
National Library Service News:
NLS added 8,856 audio books and 478 braille books to its
collection in FY22, including 1,355 books of regional interest
produced by network libraries add to the national collection.
Compared to approximately 3,000 per year before digital and
the system for working with publishers to obtain commercial
audio books.
Braille on Demand – Mentioned previously where patrons can
request braille to keep directly from NLS. Now you can request
up to 5 books per person per month now instead of one book.
Each request must be on a separate request form—NOT in
notes or email.
New Online Catalog -- NLS will launch a new online catalog on
Thursday, December 15 to make searching easier and more
user-friendly for screen readers and other assistive tools.
Some new features:
Searching will be easier
System will be faster
Ability to create saved searches
Allows patrons to submit a request to NLS for a title not in
the catalog
New system will replace the old one, but it should be easy to
adjust to the new system.
Delays on NLS audio magazines sent via US mail. Large backlog
of around 20,000 cartridges to be shipped by first week of
February 2023. This includes Talking Book Topics for Sept/Oct
and Nov/Dec. NLS is working to get them on BARD. ABLS will
be able to send via cartridge with audio books
Also, on the ABLS’ web site, there’s a way to go from the online
catalog’s HOME tab to a BROWSE tab and that takes you to a
way to search the latest Talking Book Topics by genre. So, for
example, biographies, Black interest, Medicine & Health,
Mystery, Romance.
Better Homes and Gardens to be available on Braille--monthly.
Patron’s Corner – 12/12/22 – Music section
On Monday, December 12, at 7:00 p.m. EST, the NLS Patron
Engagement Section hosted the quarterly Patron Corner. The
topic for this session is Do You Hear What I Hear: The NLS
Music Section Is Not Just for Musicians. It was recorded, SO you
could access it later.
ABLS will be closed for State holiday: Friday, December 23,
Monday, December 26, Tuesday, December 27, and for New
Years on Monday, January 2.
Clint gave Outreach report.
Clint provided the following Outreach report:
The writing contest and winter reading contest are underway now. Since the last meeting he has participated in several outreach activities including the Charlotte/Mecklenburg Library Staff day, Indican Heritage Celebration, and presentation to UNC library students. A book club for young people is being organized. And, he has been involved with staff from the Dept. of Public Safety to explore their interests in starting a program in one of their units to teach braille to inmates.  There are several inmates in this facility who have vision loss and the goal of DPS is to help them develop some skills in basic braille to be more prepared when they transition back into the community.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE: Debbie provided the following account updates: Wells Fargo account increased in November approximately $64,790 for a balance of $964,609 at the end of November. There is no current update from TCF.  The Organization’s net worth is $1,316,194.32.
PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Latiesha reported making a presentation as part of a class she is taking.
BRAILLE WRITER PROGRAM: Brice indicated that we have 10 machines ready to distribute out and four being checked/repaired. The program has loaned out 23 braille writers to date. An article on the program will be prepared for an upcoming issue of the Tar Heel Talk. A thank-you note will be sent to the DSB Asheville Office thanking them for their donation of several machines.
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE: Donna reported a total membership of 476 with 582 unpaid past members. Some new members were gained through the Fishing Tournament and it is our belief that as more outreach activities can be done in-person now, more members will join. Membership letters will go out again in January.
LITERACY GRANT COMMITTEE: Melaney reported that the application is online and application period is now open until May 1st.
NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE: Following the last meeting, Sandy DeLuca, former President, agreed to fill the seat of Past President vacated by Eddie when he was selected by the Board to fill the vacant Vice President seat. Motion by Donna with second by Mary to approve Sandy to fill this role until 7/23 when Susan’s term as President ends and she moves into the Past President role. The motion passed unanimously.
Eddie also pointed out that the Organization will need to elect a new president and treasurer in the upcoming election. Susan indicated that Ginny Lou has resigned and Melaney has moved to Alabama. She will remain on the Board through June to finish out the awarding of the Literacy grants. Terms that expire include Jim, Patricia, Brice (who is finishing out a vacant term) Latiesha, and Verdina.
WEB SITE UPDATES:  Eddie, Mary, Debbie, and Jeremiah have had some discussions about the Web site updates. Eddie will be sending out assigned pages for each person or a small group to review and provide recommendations for changes. It was agreed that Jeremiah should be given Admin rights to the site as this is his field of expertise and he will be able to make some changes.
MEMBER AGREEMENT: Susan has provided the Executive Committee with a draft Member Agreement for consideration. The Committee will review and discuss it prior to the next meeting. If accepted by the Board, each Board member would sign it.
As there was no additional business, the meeting adjourned around noon.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
Board Meeting Minutes
September 13, 2022
MEMBERS ATTENDING: Donna Permar, Mary Flanagan, Brice Smith, Susan King, Eddie Weaver, Jim Turner, Patricia Tessnear, Melaney Stein, Jeremiah Rogers, Yvonne Kea, Debbie Meadows, Catherine Rubin (representing the Library; nonvoting)
EXCUSED ABSENCES: Verdina Gillette-Sims, Ginny Lou Laughlin
ABSENT:  Latiesha Adams
OTHERS ATTENDING: Adrian Sanders, Winnie Webb, Clint Exum, Susan Forbes, Angelo Sonesso
The meeting was called to order shortly after 10:00 by Susan King, President. Introductions were made. A motion was made by Mary with second by Donna to accept minutes from the June meeting as submitted. Motion passed unanimously.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Winnie and Mary reviewed the budget.  After one quarter, approximately 12% of the annual budget has been spent, leaving a balance of $72,063.33.  Income year-to-date is $1,068.86.  The Organization’s total net worth is $1,298,619.41. 
Mary indicated that we have a different accountant working with us from our accounting firm.  In reviewing the expenses, he had some questions about the codes being used, so some new ones have been established to be certain that all expenditures can be properly tracked for IRS purposes.  Examples of the new codes to be added include registration when attending an outreach event, advertising and background checks (the last two being used more now as the search for an Assistant to the Treasurer continues.)
Regarding the Assistant to the Treasurer position, Mary indicated that someone was hired for three weeks but for personal reasons could not continue, so Winnie has graciously continued to serve in this role. Another advertisement ran and Mary has spoken with another possible candidate. Because of the need to do more advertising and background checks that had initially been expected when the budget was established, Mary indicated a need for an additional $450 in the advertising line item and $75 in the criminal background line item. A motion was made by Debbie with second by Eddie to move the needed $450 and $75 from the general fund to the appropriate line items to cover advertising and background checks. The motion passed without dissent.
Mary indicated that steps are being taken to get the organization’s name change in place with Wells Fargo, Truist, and TCF. 
The small SECU account was closed out and the $23 in it moved to the checking account. Because the SECU is not opening new accounts with organizations now, there seemed no point in leaving this small account open as the intent for doing so had been the understanding that it would enable the Organization to open a larger account should it desire. However, when that was pursued recently, it proved not to be an option.
Mary reminded members to respond to the email regarding the required Code of Conduct form.
For many years the Friends has hosted a Web site for the Braille Literacy Council, costing $600 to host plus $15 per month.  The site has not bee updated in a long time. There was discussion about whether this is a good use of resources, but at the same time, wanting those searching for resources to find them.  Jeremiah moved that the Organization discontinue hosting the BLC site and have those searching redirected to the Friends site. Motion was seconded by Mary and passed without dissent.  This will mean only about a $15 per year cost rather than several hundred.
Catherine shared the following updates from NCABLS and NLS:
ABLS News:
Starting with news from our web site:
Please check out the Summer 2022 Online Tar Heel Talk which is out—Clint did a great job with that, and Susan [King] provided an excellent Friends Corner article and special recipe.
Current Podcasts Available on our web site are:
  • Tar Heel Talk
  • Heard Any Good Books Lately with NC Reading Service—that reviews of the library’s top 10 books each month
  • Notable on NOBLE—previews some locally recorded books and magazines
  • Craigs Desk, which answers technology questions, and discusses NLS news and showcases some of our online resources.
Speaking of Tar Heel Talk, the audio version through Books-on-Demand won’t be going out by itself on a cartridge anymore.  With the next issue, it’s going to go out only when you have an order of at least one book or magazine.
We have brand new large print brochures with our new name on them. I have some here with me, and we do plan to have them available in braille as well.
Moving to Collections News:
Earlier this year, we started diversifying the large print collection so that we add two titles per month written by African American authors.  As Collection Management Librarian Josh Berkov puts it, “We hope to continue diversifying the collection as large-print vendors continue to add monthly order plans focusing on highlighting diverse voices.”
Publisher Descriptions
In coming months, NLS will provide more in-depth publisher descriptions of books in the online catalog, Talking Book Topics, Braille Book Review, and on BARD rather than the briefer NLS descriptions.  These will provide NLS readers with the same descriptions as those of print readers. 
These full descriptions will only be for the braille books in Braille Book Review
Also, for now, some of the longer descriptions may be cut off in BARD, but NLS is working to remedy that.
Now, a bit about programs. Clint will go into more detail in his report:
  • Summer Reading wrapped up recently —June 1-August 31
  • Writing Contest Coming Up Soon, from September 15-December 15, 2022. 
  • Winter Reading coming up December 1-February 28
3D tactile map
  • In April 2021, 3 patrons and ABLS staff met with Linda Jacobson from UNC-Chapel Hill’s North Carolina Collection Gallery. Ms. Jacobson obtained a grant to create a tactile map from a map created in the 1850s by William D. Cooke, first Principal of Governor Morehead School.
What makes this map unique?
  • It includes a control panel with Braille, and Braille print out of all recorded text.
  • It has sensors embedded in it to activate information about life in NC in the 1850s, with the main emphasis on travel and transportation throughout the state.
  • In addition to the sensors, the map itself is printed in relief so that the user may feel the borders of the state, the decorations on the map, and elevation changes from the coast to the mountains.
  • It also features Spanish language translations AND recordings from one of our own patrons, Jamey Cook!
The map isn’t quite ready to exhibit, but it will first be exhibited at the NC Collections Gallery at UNC-Chapel Hill.  We’re hoping to co-host an event featuring this map at a departmental museum in Raleigh.
We’re collaborating with Governor Morehead School -- Clint has spearheaded some meetings with Governor Morehead School staff to focus on youth for outreach, and there are plans for Emily Tracey, our newest Reader Advisor, to start a YA Book Group there.  Clint will give you more details.
Now some NLS News:
A new service: Braille on Demand 
NLS braille readers can now request one hard-copy braille book per month for their personal use.  You can choose from over 16,000 ebraille titles available on BARD.  You just need to complete a short form, that includes the BR number, and you can complete that yourself OR you can contact ABLS, and we can complete it.
Braille on Demand might be helpful for books you re-read a lot, like a cookbook or children’s book.  
  • Copies are soft-cover format. 
  • Entire books will be sent, not just, for example, one volume of a 3-volume book.
Braille E-reader for North Carolina
I mentioned in the June meeting that we didn’t have any real news about when we’ll get the braille e-reader.
NLS still doesn’t have any e-readers in stock.  As of August 24, they said, “It will be into 2023 before NLS receives more eReaders to distribute. We expect to be distributing eReaders over the next two years.”
In the meantime, ABLS continues to take names for a waiting list.
Library Scheduling News:
Volunteer Recognition Luncheon is coming up this Saturday, September 17, from 1-3:00.  Adrian will give you more details on that.
Veterans Day          Friday, November 11
Thanksgiving           Thursday and Friday, November 24 and 25
Clint reported that outreach activities have been held with the following groups: Metrolina  Library Association, GMS Summer Reading Program, Veterans Affairs, Envision Services, and minicenter in the eastern part of the State. The Library is  focusing on increasing its number of youth patrons and youth involvement in its programs. Currently there are 300 patrons under the age of 25. Winners of the Writing Contest have been selected and their works can be downloaded from the Web site.
Adrian reported that volunteers are now serving regularly in the Library including   a group from Lenovo that volunteered one afternoon. She also gave an update on the Volunteer Luncheon to be held in a few days.  Though the number registered to attend is small this year, the hope is that the event will increase back to prepandemic size in the next year or two.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE: Debbie reported that the balance of the Wells Fargo account as of 8/31/22 was $938,610.61. The balance for the TCF account as of 6/30/22 was $256,657.53.  Not surprisingly, both accounts have dropped over the past months as has the overall market. Debbie will look into having our representative from either TCF or Wells Fargo attend our December meeting for an update.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE:  Jeremiah is chairing this Committee but was not available to report.
PUBLIC RELATIONS:  Latiesha was not in attendance, but others reported that she did staff a table at the NFB Convention in late August. Eddie is scheduled to represent the Friends at the VIP Fishing Tournament in October. Eddie asked whether the group wants to have the drawing at the Tournament for a $50 prize going to someone who has renewed or joined the organization. He has been staffing this event for many years and said that when the prize has been offered, the number of applications has gone up considerably. A motion was made by Jim with second by Mary to offer the $50 prize. It passed unanimously. Jim reported that he connected with the Durham County Library’s new Accessible Specialist to share with her about the Friends and services of the NCABLS and demonstrate his digital player for her. The person in this position works with all of the libraries in the county.
BRAILLE WRITER PROGRAM: Brice is the new chair of this group. He reported that there are four machines ready for distribution, 1 application for consideration, and 22 machines in use.  After some discussion it was agreed that the application should be revised to state the those who receive braille writers are responsible for the cost of repairs needed after receipt. We have the names of a couple of people in NC who do repairs. Melaney indicated having contact with someone who wanted to donate several from an agency.  Some will need repair.  She will contact the individual to discuss getting them to the Library for repair and distribution.
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE:  Donna reported 446 members, up from the figure in March, but down from the same time last year. There are 593 previous members who have not paid.  Hopefully figures will increase following the large Fishing Tournament. There was also discussion of the option for automatic renewal. Mary indicated that one difficulty is that we do not have email addresses for many of the members—quite a number still pay by check. Yearly payment can be set up for members who pay through PayPal.
LITERACY GRANT: Melaney reported that the committee will meet next month. Steps being considered to increase applications include more outreach, sample budget as part of the application because some applicants had difficulty with this part, a longer time frame to apply, and confirmation that access to the form and information is good.
NAME CHANGE:  Updates are needed on the Web site and hard copy brochure. Eddie, Susan, Jeremiah will work on the Web site updates and Susan will contact Jill McMillan who worked with her sister on the brochure in the past.
Susan has made committee assignments, but if anyone wants to make a change, please contact her.
VICE PRESIDENTL The death of Jennifer Gray left the Vice President position vacant.  The position must be filled by a current member of the Board according to the bylaws. No one indicated a desire to serve in this role nor were there any nominations. Eddie expressed his willingness to serve if the group was supportive, leaving the Past President position open.  A motion was made by Debbie with second by Mary to nominate Eddie to fill the vacant Vice President position, The motion passed without dissent. As was done once in the past, Sandy DeLuca, former President, will be contacted to see if she is available and interested in serving as Past President until Susan moves into that role in July 2023.
Susan shared her belief that the Organization should consider use of a Board Member Agreement document to be signed by each member. The Executive Committee will review a sample agreement with a goal of having something for the full Board to consider in December. 
The meeting adjourned at approximately 12:10.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary

Annual Meeting Minutes
June 14, 2022
Board Members Attending: Eddie Weaver, Patricia Tessnear, Donna Permar, Dawson Hart, Jim Turner, Kellie Spruill, Verdina Gillette, Melaney Stein, and Debbie Meadows
Excused Absences: Susan King, Mary Flanagan, Sharon Benton, and Latiesha Adams
Absent: Yvonne Kea
Others Attending: Winnie Webb, Catherine Rubin, Susan Forbes, Gina Powell, Clint Exum, Angelo Sonnesso, Ginny Lou Laughlin, and Adrian Sanders
The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:00 by Eddie Weaver, Past President, who presided over the meeting in the absence of the President and Vice President. There was a moment of silence in memory of Jennifer Gray, Board member, who passed away a few weeks prior to the meeting.
Thanks to Angelo for arranging the ZOOM  link for today’s meeting  in Susan’s absence.
A motion was made by Dawson with second by Patricia to accept the minutes from the March Meeting as submitted. The motion passed.
TREASURER’S REPORT: In Mary’s absence, Winnie presented the Treasurer’s Report.  Of the budgeted amount for the year ending June 30th approximately 50% has been spent. Income received comes to $47,700. The income exceeds the amount spent.  The Friends’ total net worth as of June 12 was $1,387,071.46. In follow-up to the Board’s earlier decision, $30,000 was transferred--$15,000 to the Wells Fargo account and $15,000 to TCF for investment.
The proposed budget was presented covering Friends items and Library items. A motion was made by Patricia with second by Verdina to accept the budget for 2022-23 as presented. The motion passed. An amount of $81,900 is budgeted for the coming year with some increases in areas of contracted administrative support, contracted technology services, and increased support to the NC Reading Service.
The following report was provided by Catherine Rubin who is serving in an acting role until Carl’s position has been filled:
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Catherine Rubin, and I’ve been the
Assistant Regional Librarian with SLNC ABLS for almost 14 years, and I’ll be taking
over Carl’s duties until a permanent Regional Librarian is appointed.
First, some staff news:
As you know, Regional Librarian Carl Keehn retired Wednesday, June 1.
And, as you can imagine, it’s just not the same without him. He did a great
job of giving me instructions about his duties with Friends and as Regional
Librarian. And I look forward to working with you further in that capacity.
A new staff member started Monday, May 23. Her name is Tawanda
Walters and she’s in the new role of Library Support Assistant. She’ll assist
Craig Hayward with customer support for technologies including BARD and
the digital players. She’ll also be working with the Public Services Unit and
contacting applicants, etc.
She has an excellent assistive technology background and has worked with
Alliance Disability Advocate, Lions Club Industries, and RLCB. It’s great to
once again welcome a patron to be a part of our staff.
We have lots of great news about the library building:
First, the building lease was approved for another 8 years, so we’ll continue to
be at 1841 Capital Boulevard.
Then the library opened back up to the public on March 21st. Even with some
COVID cases continuing to be reported in the state, we’ve had 166 walk-ins during
that period, so that’s also great news!
And, thanks to the Friends, we now have a much nicer looking landscape in the
front of the library. While the landlord has people come to mow and trim bushes
at the library, they don’t tend plants or flowers. That was especially true when
the building was closed for so long, so a group of staff volunteered to do a bit of
landscaping. (Adrian Sanders, who’s present at the meeting today, was one of
those who volunteered.) The Friends paid for the bricks, soil, and mulch.  The landscape fabric was brought in by Paul Luckham.  Some of the plants were either already there, brought in by staff members from their own yards, or purchased by staff members. So we now have: marigolds, purple and white petunia bushes, Mexican sunflowers and purple coleus.
NLS News:
NLS Virtual Conference was held May 16-19 – Major topics of conversation:
Braille E-reader still pending for North Carolina. NLS doesn’t have enough
e-readers in stock for us right now. We’re still keeping a waiting list for any
patrons interested.
As Carl mentioned in his March report, the large print Talking Book Topics
has ceased. We’ve also gotten the news that the large print Braille Book
Review and Musical Mainstream will no longer be produced. This is all due to
issues well beyond NLS’s control.
The last large print versions of Braille Book Review and Musical Mainstream
end of Federal Fiscal Year – September 30.
The last large print Talking Book Topics was the November/December
2021 issue.
All final issues will include notifications about the change.
Also, a onetime mailer will go out via USPS to inform patron subscribers
that the print versions will permanently cease.
However, ALL these publications will remain available in other accessible
formats. Reader Advisors can discuss this further with any patrons with
One last item from the conference, there’s now a Patron Engagement
Section that will host quarterly “Patron Corner” virtual events where NLS
staff talk about different services. The first one was yesterday and was
titled “Everything You Always Wanted to know about Collection Selection
but Did Not Have the Vehicle to Ask.” The meetings will be recorded.
Some scheduling news:
We have Summer Reading going on from –June 1 to August 31 / Registration
ends July 31
Upcoming Holidays:
Monday, July 4
Monday, September 5, for Labor Day
Gina provided the following outreach report:
Presentations have been conducted for new library directors (17 attendees) and for DSB Independent Living classes (8 attendees.) Two tours have been given for new State Library of NC employees (6 attendees.)  A tour and interview were part of putting together a piece on the Library by a reporter to be shown on Spectrum TV. There is a presentation scheduled for the Metrolina Library Association.
Susan Forbes indicated that there is no update on the selection of someone to fill Carl’s position at this point.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE: Debbie reported the following account balances – as of May 1 $980,.711.28 with a balance as of the end of May of $987,819.53.  While the account increased during the month of May, it is down from the previous meeting. As of the end of the quarter in March the TCF balance was $271,282.96.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE: -- No report pending appointment of another committee chair to fill Jennifer’s role.
BRAILLE WRITER PROGRAM:  There are five braille writers available and calls still come in occasionally to request one.
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE: Donna reported a total of 441 members, down since the end of last calendar year when the number was 492.  However, this is an increase since the second renewal letter was sent out in March.  There will be a strong emphasis on renewing memberships and recruiting new members at upcoming gathers in the fall such as the VIP Fishing Tournament and NFB Convention. 
LITERACY GRANT: Kellie reported that there were only two applications for a grant this year, compared to nine last year.  Of the two, one withdrew and the second did not respond to a request for additional information.  Melaney indicated that the Committee is looing ab beginning the process earlier for next year and offering assistance to those who need it in filling out the application. Although Kellie has moved out-of-state and will no longer be on the Board, she will continue working with this committee. Thanks Kellie!
NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE: Because they are not eligible to return for another term, Sharon and Dawson will leave the Board at the end of June along with Kellie as noted above.  Ginny Lou Laughlin and Jeremiah Rogers were elected to fill Kellie and Dawson’s seats. Donna Permar and Yvonne Kea were elected to serve a second term. Debbie Meadows was elected to continue serving as Secretary.  Sharon will remain in the Vice President role until the end of June. The Board will appoint a Vice President in September to fill that vacancy which would have been filled by Jennifer Gray.  The Nominating Committee recommended Brice Smith to fill the Board seat held by Jennifer Gray which she would vacate as the new Vice President. A motion was made by Donna with second by Patricia to nominate Brice.  There were no nominations from the floor. The motion passed without dissent. Brice will fill this position until June 2023, at which time he will be eligible to run for his first full term.
Name Change:  The proposed name change passed in the election with 147 votes casted—129 for and 19 against the change. Debbie will complete the form to be sent to the Secretary of State’s office to implement the change.
Volunteer Recognition Luncheon:  Donna and Gina provided updates on the luncheon plans. It will be held on Saturday, September 17th at the GMS Dining Hall from 1:00 – 3:00. The facility cost is $350.  A caterer will be used and prices are being gathered.
The VIP Fishing Tournament will be held the week of October 17th.  In the past this has been one of the biggest opportunities to sign up new members. A motion was made by Jim with second by Melaney to provide reimbursement for Eddie through the Friends. He will staff the sign-up table and interact with participants to promote the organization.
Latiesha has volunteered to staff a table at the NFB Convention. The table cost is $25. A motion was made by Donna with second by Patricia to support involvement in this conference.
Following some discussion about NFB NewsLine, it was agreed that Donna will provide an article about NewsLine for an upcoming issue of TarHeel Talk.
The next meeting will be on September 13. Catherine will check on the possibility of some in-person attendance for those who wish to participate in that way.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 11:15.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
Board Meeting Minutes
March 8, 2022
MEMBERS PARTICIPATING: Susan King, Eddie Weaver, Patricia Tessnear, Mary Flanagan, Jim Turner, Dawson Hart, Jennifer Gray, Melaney Stein, Kellie Spruill, Sharon Benton, Latiesha Adams, Yvonne Kea, Donna Permar, Debbie Meadows, and Carl Keehn (Ex Officio)
EXCUSED ABSENCE:  Verdina Gillette
OTHERS PARTICIPATING: Winnie Webb,  Angelo Sonnesso, Catherine Rubin, Susan Forbes, Clint Exum, Gina Powell, Jeremiah Rogers, Ginny Lou Laughlin, and Adrian Sanders
The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:00 a.m. by Susan King, President. Following introductions, a motion was made by Mary with second by Patricia that the minutes be approved as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Three thank-you notes were read by Winnie. Often these notes accompany membership renewals or donations. Mary and Winnie wanted Library staff and Board members to hear from these patrons and their families about how much the Library services have meant to them.
 Winnie reviewed the budget line items. Mary indicated that with ¾ of the year gone, only 37% of the budget has been spent. Continued limited in-person outreach still accounts for some of the low spending, but Carl did indicate that some Library orders will be arriving during the last quarter of the fiscal year.
The year-to-date income is $19,473.66 which is slightly higher than last year at this time. Total net worth is $1,476,970.38.
Mary indicated that our CPA has submitted the Form 990 and also our Charitable Solicitation License has been renewed. Some effort was made to switch from Truist to another bank based on some issues and confusion with Truist. Initially the intent was to transfer the account to the Credit Union where the organization has maintained a very small account ($25) based on the understanding that we could return there at a later time, However, when approached recently Mary was told that this is not the case as the Credit Union is not opening new accounts for organizations. An effort was also made to work with First Citizens but the branch was not efficient or responsive, so for now the account will remain with Truist. There has been no progress in filling the position that Winnie is now filling for us on a temporary basis. The ad in the News & Observer resulted in an applicant who was being considered, but withdrew. Hopefully as more businesses are reopening after the nearly two-year shutdown, more people will also be looking for jobs.
The State of NC does not support QuickBooks on state-owned devices; however it is needed for interaction with our CPA. Therefore, the Executive Committee voted to purchase one to be owned by the Friends. QuickBooks will be installed on it and eventually all Friends files may be transferred over from the state-owned laptop.
The floor was open for discussion of the new Accounting Procedures related to how the organization will handle requests from external groups for donations. The policy was sent out for review prior to the meeting. As there were no questions, a motion was made by Sharon with second by Dawson to accept the policy as submitted. The motion passed without dissent.
The following update was provided by Carl as his last report before retiring at the end of May:
Upcoming Holidays -
Friday                         April 15, 2022                     Good Friday
Monday                     May 30, 2022                      Memorial Day
In late January, the National Library Service announced that the large print edition of the January – February 2022 Talking Book Topics would not be published in a print format.  The reason given was due to issues with the supply chain and a worldwide shortage of paper.  NLS provide a number of alternative ways of accessing the Talking Book Topics, including the audio format, and as a pdf file.
North Carolina was able to identify our patrons that were most dependent on using Talking Book Topics to order their materials and informed them by mail of the issue.  In addition, an announcement has been placed on all books on demand cartridges, and the announcement was carried on our social media sources.  Our website also links directly to the NLS electronic sources for the Talking Book Topics.
The braille e-reader program is moving from a pilot process and will be going into general distribution.  Currently the distribution is being delayed by a shortage of inventory.  The e-readers are being distributed to network libraries according to an established schedule.  At this time, North Carolina is unable to determine where we stand in the distribution schedule.
We have established a waiting list for interested patrons, in preparation for the time we begin to receive our inventory.
The State Property Office and the leasing agent have reached an agreement on a new lease for the building, including required improvements.  As a result, the library should remain here for an additional 8 years.  It does need to be submitted to the Council of State for approval, which is planned for their April Meeting.
It seems hard to believe that the building has been closed to the public for over two years now; we were closed due to the pandemic in early March of 2020.  We are planning to reopen to the public on a limited basis, effective Monday March 21.  We are currently still following the DHHS guidelines for social distancing, which would impact on group gatherings in the building, but we should be able to reopen to walk in customers.  We will even be able to provide self service audio materials for books on demand patrons.  We now have a mini-scribe installed at the front desk.  Visitors can bring in completed audio cartridges and plug them in the device.  The returned materials will immediately be credited to their accounts and a new selection of books will automatically be downloaded to their cartridge.
The North Carolina Museum of Art has resumed operations and public tours.  We are hoping to partner with them again, to offer tactile tours of the museum, possibly in the Fall
I’m pleased to announce the appointment of two new staff persons, both of whom were appointed while we were working remotely in January.  Heather Riggs is our new receptionist and Emily Tracey is a new reader advisor.  Both of them started their working careers with us by working remotely and both of them are glad to now be able to work on site and to interact with our patrons.
We are currently working to recruit and fill a newly created position, that of a support assistant.  The support assistant position would provide basic patron level support on NLS provided technologies including BARD and the digital talking book player.
I’m sad to announce that this will be my last meeting as the Library Manager.  I have applied for retirement, effective May 31.  Catherine Rubin will be delivering the report at the June meeting. 

I want to say that it has been a pleasure to work with the Friends Board.  I appreciate everything that you have done to support the library program and the staff of the library.
Thank you.
Gina shared the following Outreach events and other activities:
12/6/21        Presentation to DSB Independent Living Class          10 
1/6/22           Braille Literacy Presentation to YWCA after school program            10
1/7/22           Presentation to InVision Insight Support & Advocacy Group            25
1/28/22        Presentation to New Hanover County Library Staff 70
2/22/22        Presentation to DSB Independent Living Class          8
2/24/22        Presentation to DSB Independent Living Class          12
Other Activities
Winter Tar Heel Talk produced
Judging Winter Writing Contest
Winter Reading Program
Meetings about new brochure
Clint reported that there were 34 entries in the Winter Writing Contest. There were three winners and ten Honorable Mentions. The next contest will be in September 2022.
Catherine Rubin introduced herself formally to the group. She will serve as the link between the Friends and Library until someone is hired to fill the position Carl is vacating.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE: Debbie reported the following account information – Wells Fargo account as of 2/1/22 $1,068,932.04 and ending balance on 2/28/22 $1,042,126.31. Triangle Community Foundation account as of 2/3/22 $282,569.81  with an ending balance as of 3/2/22 of $288,445.27. This does not include money from the Ben Easton Fund which should arrive in the next few weeks.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE:  Jennifer reported on the NFB Washington Seminar in which members of the Organization spoke with NC’s two senators and fourteen representatives (or staffers) to educate about and advocate for the need for legislation in several areas including a tax credit for assistive technology devices; update/access for medical devices; Web site access;  fair wages for people with disabilities including no below-minimum-wage certificates.  There was no update available on voting access/changes.
PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE:  Latiesha reported that no specific plans are in place yet but there is the hope of doing more in-person outreach as things are  beginning to open up and more events are being scheduled. 
LIBRARY LEASE :  Carl reported that a lease is being prepared for the meeting of the Council of State to be held in April, at which time it is hoped that the State will approve a new lease with the  landlord that will allow the Library to remain in its current location. If approved, it will be an eight-year lease.
BRAILLE WRITER PROGRAM: Sharon indicated there are no updates at this time. As staff and volunteers are more able to get into the Library, it will be easier to receive and distribute Braille writers.
LITERACY GRANTS: Kellie reported that the portal is now open for submission of applications with a May 1st deadline. Information about the grants is being distributed and members were encouraged to share this information with possible applicants. Melaney will be contacting applicants from last year’s pool.
NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE:  The Nominating Committee consisted of Eddie Weaver, Debbie Meadows and Ed Summers as the non-board member. Eddie reported that the following current members are not eligible to run for another term—Sharon and Dawson as well as Kellie because she has relocated out-of-state. Donna and Yvonne have agreed to run for a second term and Debbie has agreed to run for Secretary.  In addition, Jennifer has agreed to run as Vice President to take Sharon’s position and Ginny Lou Laughlin and Jeremiah Rogers have agreed to run for at-large seats. A motion was made by Patricia with second by Sharon to accept the nominations as presented and that motion passed without dissent. The ballot and letter will be prepared to be mailed out by the end of April for the 30-day voting period. Eddie will be available by phone to assist or answer questions by any members of the organization who need assistance.
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE:  Donna was not available at the time, so the following figures were reported by Susan—197 individual members and 354 total members. The second renewal letters will go out in late March. Donna is preparing an article about membership for the next edition of Tar Heel Talk.
OLD BUSINESS: There was none.
Friends Name Change:  In keeping with the name change of the NCLBPH effective on January 1, 2022 to the NC Accessible Books and Library Services (NC-ABLS) there was discussion about changing the name of the Friends organization. Mary had checked with the accountant who said that making a change is not very difficult. It involves completing a form which must be notarized and submitted to the Office of the Secretary of State. If the name is changed, we would need to be sure that the URL is available for change of the web site name and look at other documents/materials that need to be changed. Susan asked for volunteers to work on a committee. Volunteers should contact Susan within the next week.
As there was no other business a motion was made by Eddie with second by Mary to adjourn at 11:45.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
Board Meeting Minutes
December 14, 2021
MEMBERS ATTENDING: Eddie Weaver, Mary Flanagan, Patricia Tessnear, Jim Turner, Susan King, Melaney Stein, Verdina Gillette, Dawson Hart, Jennifer Gray, Kellie Spruill, Donna Permar, Debbie Meadows, and Carl Keen (Ex Officio)
EXCUSED ABSENCES Yvonne Kea, Latiesha Adams, and Sharon Benton
OTHERS ATTENDING:  Angelo Sonnesso, Gina Powell, Clint Exum, Winnie Webb, Catherine Rubin, Susan Forbes
The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:00 a.m. by Susan King, President. A motion was made by Mary with second by Donna to accept the minutes from the September meeting as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
While the Board continues to look for an administrative staff person to assist the Treasurer and support the business of the organization, we are pleased to welcome Winnie back to fill in during the search.
Winnie reviewed the budget line items. Mary pointed out that with half of the year gone; only about 25% of the budget has been spent, leaving a balance of $57,065.96. The continued limitation on in-person activities largely accounts for the slow spending, particularly in the area of outreach and activities such as the volunteer appreciation event.  The Organization’s total net worth is $1,520,432.60.
Mary reported that our IRS 990 is due on 2/15 and the accounting group is working on it.  We have a CD that matures on 12/20 for $27,468 which will roll over.  Mary also indicated that we have had some issues with Truist, so might look at moving that account. She reminded everyone to use AmazonSmile and designating the Friends to receive a percentage of each purchase when shopping on Amazon.
There was discussion of the difficulty experienced now and several months ago when trying to fill our admin position.  We agreed to place a month-long ad in the News & Observer which in turn is picked up by other sources.  With the holidays here, the ad will not be placed until January when more people might be job hunting. A motion was made by Eddie with second by Jim to increase line item #8430 by $500 to cover the cost of the ad.
Carl provided the following Library report which was preceded by his announcement of his upcoming retirement at the end of May 2022.
Upcoming Holiday Closings
Thursday – Friday               December 23-24    Christmas
Monday                                 December 27           Christmas
Friday                         December 31           New Years
Monday                                 January 17                Martin Luther King Birthday
The Marrakesh Pilot will be closed at the end of the month.  North Carolina had a small number of patrons working with us to help test both the Marrakesh database search system as well as our process to receive patron requests.  We received valuable feedback from our volunteer testers, which was forwarded on to the National Library Service.  NLS will take our feedback as well as the feedback from other pilot libraries, to refine the searching process for Marrakesh materials.
As a result of the Marrakesh Treaty, the National Library Service has been able to import over 1,600 foreign titles to BARD, making them accessible to US readers.  In addition, the entire NLS Bard collection is now available through the Marrakesh Database and has enjoyed active demands internationally.
NLS has announced that in the Spring of 2022, they will be instituting a Braille on Demand program.  Active patrons will be able to request any BARD available braille book to be embossed and printed for the patron to keep in softcover.  Patrons will be able to request one title per month.  Further details are expected to be released in a future Braille Book Review and NLS will be publicizing the program in their presentations to Consumer Groups.
We closed out our Histories Mysteries program series in November, with a program on the Americas before the Europeans Came, a look at Native American Culture and life prior to the advent of the European colonizers.  The series was developed as a way of continuing programming under the Covid 19 restrictions and used the Zoom conferencing platform to enable us to offer programming remotely.  We were pleased with the results; we have been given an effective tool to extend programming beyond the immediate area. Working with Timothy Owens and with the DNCR Legal Team, the library has drafted a series of revisions to the State Rules which govern the operation of the library.  Perhaps the most significant change is the request to change the name to Accessible Books and Library Services, a change we have been working on for a while.  In addition, the other rules impacting on the library are being streamlined and tied to the pertinent NLS policies so that as the NLS policies change, the rules will automatically reflect the change.  The proposed rule revisions were reviewed and approved by the DNCR Legal Department and by Staci Meyer, the Deputy Secretary of the department, and then submitted to the Office of Administrative Hearings, Rules Revision Committee for review and approval.  The name change is regarded as a correction of the rule and will take effect on January 1, 2022, having now been approved by the Rules Revision Committee.  The other rules will require public review and comment as they are revising currently active rules.
During the quarter, the library has witnessed a number of staff changes.  Timothy Owens submitted his resignation as State Librarian in October; to take a position with FEMA in San Francisco.  He was a strong supporter of the Library for the Blind and will be missed.  The vacant position has been posted on the State Human Resources website and will be open for a month, with a nationwide recruitment effort.
We were sorry to see the retirement of Allen Wight, one of our reader advisors.  Allen was very popular with our patrons and was often requested by name.  We have interviewed to fill the vacant position and hope to have a replacement in place during the New Year.

We were sad to see the death of one of our Circulation staff to cancer.  Caryl Klemm will be missed.  We have rewritten the job description and have requested that the position be transferred to our Public Service Unit.  We hope to recruit a person with experience with NLS talking book equipment to provide basic support for questions about the NLS player and the BARD service.  In addition, although a reading knowledge of braille will not be required, it is preferred.  When the job announcement is posted, we will share it with the board and hope that you can refer it to any interested people that you may know.
I am pleased to announce that we have offered the position of receptionist to Heather Riggs and she has accepted.  Her starting date will be after the New Year.
In light of the Library’s name change, the question arose as to whether the Friends will need to change their name.  Members were asked to send their thoughts on this to Susan for more discussion later.
Catherine reported on some programs that the Library hopes to offer in the coming year. She hopes that Museum of Art tours can be resumed and discussed a project that involves a 3D map of NC as it was in the 1850’s.
Clint reported that the digital version of the fall issue of the TarHeel Talk is out. The writing contest is about to end with a number of entries in both categories. Information has been shared in six DSB minicenters reaching 61 consumers in the last quarter. And, an article is in the works for Our State magazine.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE:  Debbie reported an ending balance of $1,090,696.62 compared to the beginning balance of $1,114,214.53 for the Wells Fargo account. And for the TCF account an ending balance as of 12/8 of $289,510.31 compared with the beginning balance of $282,339.01.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE:  Jennifer reported that she followed a couple of federal bills including a bill that would have allowed  online voting for people with visual impairments, but the bill did not pass. The concern was that it would open the system up for cyber attacks. The bill is likely to return next year with some changes that would hopefully provide more security. She also followed a tax credit bill for technology for work and independent living but it did not pass. Dawson added that he is following a bill related to service animals and the addition of penalties for violations.
PUBLIC RELATIONS:  Latiesha will be chairing this committee.
LIBRARY LEASE:  Carl reported that the lease proposal is at the State Property Office.
BRAILLE WRITER PROGRAM:  While there has been no activity because of the difficulty in getting into the Library to send the machines out, we do have five or six available when needed.
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE:  Donna reported 270 individual members with a total of 492 members.  The renewal letters will go out in January.
LITERACY GRANT: Kellie reported that the Committee is reviewing and updating the application. The application period will run from January-May with wide distribution planned.
NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE:  As Chair of the Committee, Eddie indicated that there are seven terms expiring at the end of June with three not eligible for another term. Eddie and Debbie will work together after January to identify another Committee member and identify possible candidates.
NEW BUSINESS:  Susan has distributed the committee assignments. Gina has been added to the Volunteer Recognition Committee.
Susan presented a request from the NC Reading Service asking for donations in support of their operations since they were unable to hold their annual fundraiser. There was much discussion of this item with various members pointing out that (a) any funding from the Friends must be in support of the Friends’ mission so donating for operational purposes would not be consistent with that requirement and could create a tax-related issue; and (b) the Friends are supporting a Reading Service program in the amount of $1,500 annually that does acknowledge the Friends and literacy.  Following discussion, a motion was made by Eddie with second by Dawson to increase the amount of funding for the program now supported from $1,500 to $2,500 annually. This motion passed without dissent. In order to have enough money in the line item for the current year, a motion was made by Eddie with second by Verdina to move the needed money from line item #7820.  This motion passed without dissent.
ANNOUNCEMENTS:  Eddie shared that the Division of Services for the Blind will be holding  a Public forum in March.
William Tubilleja, O&M teacher at GMS is fundraising in order to take kids to Space Camp again this year.
The meeting adjourned at noon.
The next meeting will be March 8th.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
Friends of the NCLBPH
Board Meeting Minutes
September 14, 2021
Members Attending: Susan King, Eddie Weaver, Patricia Tessnear, Melaney Stein, Dawson Hart, Jim Turner, Donna Permar, Mary Flanagan, Sharon Benton, Latiesha Adams, Verdina Gillett, Kellie Spruill, Yvonne Kea, Jennifer, Grey, Debbie Meadows, and Carl Keehn (Ex Officio)
Others Attending: Cindy Dial, Gina Powell, Clint Exum, and Angelo Sonnesso
The meeting was called to order shortly after 10:00 by Susan King, President. Following introductions, a motion was made by Dawson with second by Verdina to accept the minutes as submitted for the June meeting. The motion passed unanimously.
Mary and Cindy reviewed the budget for the first quarter of the year. To date 12% of the budget has been spent, leaving a balance of $67,194. Income to date was reported as $929.77. Total net worth was reported at $1,526,853.75.
Mary reviewed a few of the specific line items, such as nonrecurring costs, for the newer members. She indicated that the form 990 and State Charitable Solicitation License are in process. She shared thanks form the NC Reading Service and a man who made a donation in memory of his mother.
Mary reviewed the Revised Accounting Procedures which were approved by the Finance Committee earlier. The revised procedures call for a review of the Organizations QuickBooks files rather than the Annual Audit. An Extensive Audit would be done consistent with the requirement of the Memorandum of Agreement between the Friends and DNCR which currently requires an audit when an organization has an annual income of $250,000. A motion was made by Eddie with second by Sharon to adopt the procedures as submitted. The motion passed without dissent.
When looking at the income for the past two years, the organization’s increased because of two factors—an increase in the amount received from the Ben Eason Bequest and an increase from TCF funds.
Carl reported as follows:
Upcoming Holidays –
Thursday November 11 Veterans Day
Thursday – Friday November 25-26 Thanksgiving
Jason Broughton has been hired as the 11th Director in the 90 year history
of the National Library Service. Jason’s previous position was the State
Librarian for Vermont. His first day is Monday, September 13.
The Marrakesh Treaty is moving forward with the completion of a Union
catalog to enable the regional libraries to locate and download international
materials for patrons. Those libraries taking place in the Marrakesh pilot
project will be trained on the use of the catalog and then will be able to
download and lend out materials from signatory countries. North Carolina
is one of the states working on the pilot project and we are awaiting the
Our plans to resume normal operation were dealt a setback when the Delta
Variant of Covid caused a resurgence of cases and hospitalizations. The
original plan to resume full staffing on site, originally planned for late
August; has been put on hold. Phase 4, which allows staffing at a 75%
level; has been extended through October 15. Over the summer, Governor Cooper issued an Executive Order, which mandates that all State Employees working for a Cabinet or Executive Agency are required to either provide proof of vaccination or must undergo weekly Covid testing. Volunteers, who are currently meeting similar standards that staff do, are required to provide proof of vaccination, each time that they enter the building.
Despite the restrictions placed on us by Covid, the library has resumed
normal operations to the greatest extent possible. The building continues
to remain closed to the public, with only staff and volunteers permitted
entry. Our Circulation continues to grow, during the past year we were able
to circulate more items than ever before, averaging almost 62,000 items
circulated monthly. We continue to publish the Tar Heel Talk in an
electronic format and those readers who receive the audio version are now
having it included with their Books on Demand cartridges. We are
continuing with the VIP book discussion and the Charlotte book discussion,
both handled remotely. We are continuing to offer virtual programs, with
our second “Histories Mysteries” on the Oak Island Money Pit, attended by
20 patrons. Our final program in the current series, will be offered in
The library remains short two staff persons in the Patron Processing unit.
We thought we had filled one of the positions, however the person lasted
only a few months and then resigned. We have just completed interviewing
to fill the position again and hopefully will have the patron processing
assistant position filled quickly. The receptionist position continues to be vacant, the first series of interviews was unable to provide a suitable candidate. We have re-advertised the position and are in the process of interviewing the second round of candidates.
In addition, he pointed out that now, with Books On Demand, recipients can get the magazines they subscribe to rather than a cartridge containing all magazines.  The question was raised about getting the Braille version of the Tar Heel talk again. Eddie indicated that he is able to prepare the Braille file and send it to the Library if it can be embossed and proofread. Debbie indicated that she could proofread the document.
Gina reported that the summer edition of Tar Heel Talk is out. The children’s and adults’ reading programs ended on 8/31/2021, and the Writing Contest begins in September. Presentations were made to three ILR classes, the EYE Retreat, and others groups.  Volunteers have resume recording in the Library.
Membership Committee: Total membership of 486 which is down from last year. We attribute this largely to the fact that little outreach activity has been possible.  For example, there has not been a VIP Fishing Tournament, very little activity at Camp Dogwood, and all conferences have been virtual.
Investment Committee:  Debbie reported the following – Wells Fargo account balance as of 8/31/2021 was $1,115,427.54 up $13,874.02 over the previous month and Triangle Community Foundation balance as of 6/30/2021 was $284,321.74 which is an Increase of $14,568.44 over the previous quarter.
Legislative Committee:  Eddie reported that there is still not a State budget. Work continues on the bill related to nonprofits to allow for conducting business through remote and email communication.
Public Relations: Dawson was able to attend some of the DeafBlind time at Camp Dogwood. Susan sent out an email blast through Metrolina Association for the Blind.  Jennifer will be involved in a disability safety awareness day in Raleigh in mid October as part of White Cane Day.  It was noted that both the NCNFB and NCACB annual statewide conferences are coming up in the next couple of weeks as virtual events.
Library Lease: Carl reported that the Request for Bids is being reviewed and should be posted soon so that property owners with property that they believe meets the requirements can submit their proposal.
Benton Braille Writer program: Sharon reported that one Braille writer was sent out recently.
Literacy Grant: Kellie and Melaney reported that the funds from the first awards were distributed. The Committee is reviewing the process used for the first grant year to see if changes are needed before the applications open January – March for the second year.
Old Business:  There was none.
New Business:  The required Code of Conduct forms will be coming to each member for signature soon.
Sharon announced that the NC Reading Service is hosting a Vision Awareness Conference (virtual) on October 15th.  They are requesting financial support. Based on the available information, it was not clear to the group how the funds would be needed to support the virtual conference. It was agreed that Sharon would obtain additional information and the Executive Committee would then make a decision on whether the Friends should provide financial support with the main question being how this would relate to the Friends’ mission.
Susan is developing the list of committee assignments. Some members expressed their committee preference(s) and Susan will accept requests after the meeting, then develop the list.
The meeting adjourned about noon.
The next meeting will be December 14, 2021.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
June 8, 2021
Board Members Attending: Susan King, Mary Flanagan, Verdina Gillette, Kellie Spruill, Dawson Hart, Angelo Sonnesso, Melaney Stein, Donnie Best, JoAnn Wood, Karen Broderick, Sharon Benton, Debbie Meadows, and Carl Keehn (Ex Officio)
Excused Absence: Yvonne Kea and Donna Permar
Others Attending: Winnie Webb, Cindy Dial, Susan Forbes, Gina Powell, Clint Exum, Patricia Tessnear, Jennifer Gray, Miriam Dixon,  Latiesha Adams, and Jim Turner
The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:00 by Susan King, President. Brief introductions were made followed by a few words of thanks from Mary to Winnie who is leaving her position with the Board.
A motion was made by Verdina with a second by Angelo to accept the minutes from the March meeting as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
Mary introduced Cindy Dial who has been hired to fill the position held by Winnie, providing assistance to the Treasurer and general clerical support to the organization. Cindy reviewed the expenditures to date for the current budget.
Of the $72,280 budgeted for the year ending on June 30, 2021, $29,500 or 41% has been spent thusfar with no significant additional expenditures expected.  For nearly the entire fiscal year there has been no in-person outreach, no volunteer recognition event, or travel, accounting for the limited spending. To date the income is $55,359 which includes $32,000 from the Ben Eason Grant through the Triangle Community Foundation. This is about $7,000 more than expected due to the fact that Triangle Community Foundation felt that nonprofits could benefit from the added money because of a difficult year for fundraising, and investments have done well during the year. 
Mary reported that Eddie has been removed as a co-signer for BB&T checks as he is no longer President and lives far away.  Debbie Meadows, who is local, has been added as a co-signer along with Mary.  This will enable the Friends to continue making financial transactions when Mary is away.
Mary and Carl presented the proposed budget for 2021-2022 with a budget figure of $76,150.  The bulk of the increase over the current year’s budget is related to an increase in the CPA cost associated with the quarterly reviews and an increase in the Admin Assistant line item to allow for some overlap time for Winnie to assist Cindy if needed. A motion was made by Angelo with a second by Eddie to adopt the proposed budget as presented. The motion passed without dissent.
Currently the Organization does not have a retention policy. The CPA encouraged the group to develop and adopt one and provided a sample policy.  After a review and some revisions to it by Mary, Susan, Eddie and Winnie, Mary presented the recommended policy to the group today.  While there are some items shown that do not currently apply to the Friends, we chose to keep those in case needed in the future. A motion was made by Donnie with second by Karen to adopt the policy presented by Mary. The motion passed without dissent.
Carl presented the following update from the Library:
Upcoming Library Closings
July 4, 29021 Independence Day
September 6, 2021 Labor Day
The Marrakesh Treaty has already had an impact on the network and eligibility to receive the service. To meet the terms of the treaty, NLS has had to expand
eligibility to persons with reading or learning disabilities. Certification has also
been relaxed, no longer is the signature of a medical doctor required to certify
certain qualifying conditions. North Carolina currently has a technical corrections bill in front of the legislature which includes a section to bring the library in compliance with the updated eligibility requirements. NLS has also relaxed the requirements for a certifying signature, they no longer require a physical copy with a handwritten signature, as a result, electronic signatures are now permitted. As a result, NC has significantly revised our patron application.
Marrakesh has also had other impacts on the service. With the increased access to international materials, NLS has been augmenting the collection with materials obtained from other countries, including Canada and Spain. In addition, NLS is moving forward with the pilot project to enable network libraries to obtain international materials directly from participating countries. NC will be one of the participating Network Libraries and DNCR has already established an agreement with NLS to participate in the program.
North Carolina has released a new application to bring us into compliance with the new NLS eligibility requirements. It has been submitted to NLS and has been
approved and is now available on our website. The new application is designed
with the relaxation of certifying standards in mind and is now available as an
online form. Applicants can now fill out and submit the application electronically.
Our new phone system is in place and has gone live. We now have a new phone
number, 984-236-1100. Our toll free number will remain the same. The new
system enables us to answer the phone remotely and patrons calling us will now speak to a reader advisor again. We do ask for patience as we are learning the new system on the fly. New phone consoles have been installed in the library so as staff return to the library, they will be ready with the new phone system. A conference phone has also been added to the conference room. Phone calls made to our old phone number will be forwarded to the new system for the next year.
Over the next 6 months, we have three virtual programs planned. The first will be tomorrow at 1 pm. Entitled Spies in Plain Sight, it traces the impact of women as spies, from General Washington’s spy ring through World War II. Our second program on Wednesday September 8 will feature the Oak Island Money Pit. The final program, America Before Columbus; will be on Wednesday November 17. All three programs will be presented by Bill Stepien.
Our Patron Processing department is currently down two staff positions. The first position is a replacement for Hal Starling who was promoted to Patron Processing supervisor earlier this year. The vacant position is currently in the process of interviewing and hopefully will be filled soon.
We are sad to announce the resignation of Demetrius McCalop-Spotts , our receptionist.  We will be recruiting to fill this position soon.
Gina indicated that the digital version of the Tar Heel Talk is out and it will be going out by email soon.  The summer reading program is beginning to be followed by the writing contest.  Outreach has been provided as three Independent Living classes and the ARC in Lexington.
Investment Committee:  Debbie reported the current balance for the Triangle Community Foundation account is $270,395 which includes the annual distribution of the money from the Ben Eason Fund. The Wells Fargo account balance is $1,092,940.30, an increase over last quarter.
Legislative Committee:  Donnie reported that there is a continued focus on nonprofits as well as grant to states.
Public Relations Committee: Dawson reported that there are a limited number of campers and camp sessions at Camp Dogwood this summer. The Friends will have an opportunity to speak to the participants in the EYE Retreat in late July or early August when they meet at Camp Dogwood. There was a question about whether the VIP Fishing Tournament would be held as their Board was still considering the options.  Susan indicated that Metrolina Association for the Blind does email blasts periodically and she will have one sent out about the Friends in the near future. And Dawson will work to get Friends and Library information on the Lions’ Mobile Screening Unit.
Membership Committee:  Cindy indicated that there are 471 paid members.
Nominating Committee:  Eddie reported on the results of the election.  The following members will be leaving the Board as of June 30th as their terms expire and they were not eligible to run for another term: JoAnn Wood, Karen Broderick, Donnie Best, and Angelo Sonnesso. Members returning for another term are: Susan King, Mary Flanagan, and Verdina Gillette. Joining the Board for a new term are; Latiesha Adams, Jennifer Gray, Patricia Tessnear, and Jim Turner. Those leaving the Board was thanked for their service and invited to remain involved with the group while new members were welcomed and given an opportunity at the end of the meeting to introduce themselves more fully.
Library Lease: Carl reported that the Library’s current lease is good through 09/30/2022.
Literacy Grants:  Kellie and Melaney reported that there were seven applications for the two $1,000 Braille Literacy Grants.  The recommended winners were (adult) Hope Clontz to obtain a Braille display and (children) The Governor Morehead School to update its UEB collection. Motion was made by Eddie with a second by Dawson to approve these two recommended aware winners. Motion passed without dissent.
New Business
The EYE Retreat will be held in late July/early August at Camp Dogwood. The Program has requested support in the amount of $800—up from $400 in previous years. Following discussion of the request a motion was made by Angelo with second by JoAnn to provide the $800 support as requested.  Because this is more than budgeted for in the 2021-22 budget, a motion was made by Angelo with a second by Karen to increase the budget for the upcoming year by $400 to cover this cost.
As there was no further business the meeting adjourned around noon.
NEXT MEETING: September 14th.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary

Friends of the NCLBPH
Board Meeting Minutes
March 9, 2021
Members Attending: Susan King, Eddie Weaver, Donnie Best, Angelo Sonnesso, Mary Flanagan, Dawson Hart, Donna Permar, Sharon Benton, Karen Broderick, Verdina Gillette, JoAnn Wood, Melaney Stein, Kellie Spruill, Debbie Meadows, and Carl Keehn (ex officio)
Excused Absence: Yvonne Kea
Others Attending: Winnie Webb, Reid Wilson, Susan Forbes, Timothy Owens, Gina Powell, Adrian Sanders, Clint Exum
The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:00 a.m. by Susan King, President. Following introduction of participants, Reid Wilson, Secretary of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, spoke to the group about his priorities for the coming years. Because of the nature of the Department, these priorities are far-reaching and diverse. Among the priorities discussed were education, promotion of public health, strengthening access to services, economic development, equity, inclusion, and diversity. Goals include grants to increase Internet access, improvement of water quality, education on how to make our communities more resilient, increasing access to parks and trails, to mention a few. Mr. Wilson expressed strong support for the NCLBPH and he expressed his appreciation to the Friends.
A very special welcome-back was offered to Gina Powell!  It is great to have Gina back with the group and back at work!
Motion was made by Eddie with second by Angelo to approve the minutes of the December 2020 meeting as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
Treasurer’s Report: Mary reported that we have spent 27% of the annual budget. As expected, spending has been much lower than usual because so many activities were either canceled or held in a virtual format. Income year-to-date is $18,888 which is a bit ahead of last year at this time. Approximately $22,000  from the Ben Eason trust will come to us in  mid March. The Form 990 was submitted to the IRS and the Charitable License has been renewed. 
And, after five years with us, Winnie will be leaving in June. Her position has been advertised and two people will be interviewed for the position. Hopefully there will be some training time for the new person with Winnie.
Carl shared the following from the Library:
Library Closings
Friday April 2, 2021           Good Friday
Monday        May 31, 2021          Memorial Day
NLS has released the newly approved qualification and certification statements.  Qualification for the service was revised and expanded to bring it in line with the requirements of the Marrakesh Treaty.  Along with the expansion of services to the learning and reading disabled, the certification requirements for reading or learning disabilities have been relaxed, they no longer require the certification of a Medical Doctor.
North Carolina is in the process of revising our library application to bring it in compliance with the new Federal Regulations.  The revised application will need to be submitted to NLS for approval, prior to using it.
In December, the library offered our first remote programs, a series of adult and Children’s programs to kick off our Winter Reading Programs.  The adult program featured Bill Stepien of Charlotte, presenting a talk based on the book “How the Post Office Created America (DBC02879).  His talk was well received, even including a guest from a network library in another state.  We have been in discussions with Mr. Stepien about potential future programs.
The two children’s programs involved a series of folk tales and songs, all presented by Jon Sundell.  After the second program, the DNCR Moderator commented that it was the most fun he had in moderating a program.
The library rolled out new websites for all sections, including LBPH.  Redirects were established to take browsers from the old website to the new website.  The new website was designed to emphasize the most heavily used sections by putting them prominently at the top.
We were able to get a waiver to enable an additional staff person to work on site one day a week.  The staff person is working in the machine unit, providing repair and refurbishment services for the digital players.
We were pleased to offer the Patron Processing supervisor position to Hal Starling, a promotion for him.  His old position has been posted and we should be interviewing to fill it soon.
We’re pleased to welcome back Gina Powell.  She returned to work the beginning of March.
Clint reported that outreach activities are still remote but some activities have been held. There were two programs for children in December and one for adults sponsored by the Library. The writing and reading contests have concluded. The digital version of the Tar Heel Talk will be out in April.
Investment Committee: Debbie reported on the investment account balances as follows: Wells Fargo beginning balance $1,010,255.23 and ending balance as of February 28th $1,040,219.75, showing a good gain. As of March 1st the TCF balance was $261,846.33.
Investment Committee: Donnie reported that much focus at the State and Federal level is still on COVID-19 funding.
Public Relations Committee: Dawson has made some limited contact with local libraries to talk with them about NCLBPH services and the Friends. There will be a reduced schedule at Camp Dogwood this summer, but Dawson will be meeting with each group.
Membership Committee: In the absence of a chairperson, Susan and Winnie reported that there are 370 paid members as of March 6th. The second renewal letter will go out in late March.
Carl reported that there has been some discussion about the needs of the Library as the Request for Bids is being prepared for the Library’s lease.
Sharon reported that the Braille Writer Program is basically on hold for now until we can get back in to the Library to box and mail out the machines.
Nominating Committee: Eddie thanked Debbie Meadows and Miriam Dixon for assisting in developing a list of nominees. The following members are not eligible to serve when their term ends on July 1st—Donnie Best, JoAnn Wood, Angelo Sonnesso, and Karen Broderick.  Susan has agreed to run for another term as President and Mary has agreed to run as Treasurer. The following people have agreed to run for Board seats—Latiesha Adams, Jennifer, Patricia Tessnear, and Jim Turner. Motion made by Angelo with second by Dawson to accept the nominees as presented. The ballot will be mailed out in April so that results can be in and ready to announce in the June meeting. In order to ensure timely delivery, the ballots will be mailed back to Winnie rather than to the Library.
Literacy Grant Update: Kellie reported that a letter about the grant has gone out to numerous organizations and the application is online. In April the Committee will discuss evaluation of grant applications and follow-up evaluations for those receiving grants.
Susan is working on resource listing to include on the Friends Web site.  Any suggestions should be sent to her.
As there was no additional business the meeting was adjourned about 12:30.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
Board Meeting Minutes
December 8, 2020
MEMBERS PARTICIPATING: Susan King, Eddie Weaver, Mary Flanagan, Dawson Hart, Donnie Best, JoAnn Wo                      
od, Melaney Stein, Donna Permar, Kellie Spruill, Verdina Gillette, Yvonne Kea, Debbie Meadows Sharon Benton, and Carl Keehn (ex officio)
MEMBERS ABSENT: Karen Broderick and Angelo Sonnesso
OTHER PARTICIPANTS:  Winnie Webb, Clint Exum, Adrian Sanders, and Marti Switzer
The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:00 a.m. by Susan King, President. Following introductions, Marti provided the annual update on the Wells Fargo investment account. She indicated that during the past week the account reached $1 million for the first time at $1,000,124.00 . The account is up 13.6% year-to-date. It is currently made up of about 70% stocks and 30% bonds. Marti has rebalanced the account during the year which has clearly paid off for the organization.
Motion made by Eddie with second by Mary to approve the minutes from the September meeting as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
Mary reviewed the expense areas and indicated an income of $5,589 and total net worth of $1,324,332. To date we have spent only about 16% of the budget, but ordering has been slower because of COVID. Our file is in to the CPA to begin work on the taxes. PayPal enrolled the organization Partners Giving program which could result in additional donations.
In addition to his report, Carl indicated that there is discussion about changing the name of the Library, to focus more on what the library does rather than who it serves. One option under consideration is NCLABS—NC Library for Accessible Books and Services. Another option discussed was NC Accessible Books and Library Services—NCABLS.  The main concern with the first option was that it could be confusing since there is a NC Lab which performs medical tests and is part of the State system. Primarily for this reason, the second option seemed better. A name change along this line would be consistent with the movement nationally toward emphasizing WHAT is provided  vs. WHO is served. 
Thursday – Monday          December 24 – 28 Christmas
Friday                                    January 1, 2021      New Years Day
Monday                                January 18, 2021   Martin Luther King Birthday
The National Library Service held their biennial conference as a virtual conference on December 1 – 3.  As it was a virtual conference, North Carolina was able to have more people represented.  With over 400 people attending, it was clear that other libraries also took advantage of its virtual nature.
During the conference, the NLS focused on three elements, BARD, new reading devices and Services.
BARD – BARD 1.5, The BARD service will be moved to the Amazon Cloud in either late December or early January.  This will enable increased download speeds and will provide increased capacity.  In addition, down the road NLS will implement automated account creation, people who register for service will automatically have BARD accounts created and won’t have to apply separately.
BARD 2.0 – Developers are working on an upgrade to BARD, which should provide significant improvements.  The new BARD will be based on a series of microservices, which will enable program changes and improvements to be made more quickly. A new search feature will be implemented, which will be easier and less clunky to use and will interface with an improved wishlist function.  Download speeds will be increased over v1.5.  BARD 2.0 will also synchronize content between multiple devices so that when you stop listening on one device, you can pick up where you left off on another device.
BARD Mobile –Both the iOS and Android versions of BARD Mobile are going to include an improved search function capability.  The ability to subscribe to book and magazine series will be added.  Finally, the Android version of BARD Mobile will achieve parity with the iOS version as Braille book support is to be added to the next update.
New Reading Devices –NLS is working to develop the next generation of reading devices with a new digital talking book machine, as well as a smart speaker project, which is testing the feasibility of using either a locked down cell phone or smart speaker to deliver content.  Both the cell phone and smart speakers would enable voice control of the devices, you can search for content as well as play content using your voice to control the cell phone or smart speaker. The smart speakers will be based on either Google or Amazon devices.
DTBM 2, the next generation digital talking book machine, will be based on the Humanware Victor Reader Stratus device.  It will feature a custom software and will allow the use of NLS cartridges or wireless download of content.  NLS anticipates that pilot units may be released in November 2021.
The Braille E-Reader pilot program is continuing with selected libraries and the pilot will be expanded in the Spring.  The program is based on two models of e-Reader, by Humanware and Zoomax.  They hope to begin distribution of the e-Readers to the network by the end of 2021. 
Service Delivery – With the implementation of the Marrakesh Treaty, eligibility requirements had to be changed to bring them in line with the treaty mandates.  This means that the NLS program is being expanded to encompass learning and reading disabilities.  Implementation should start early in 2021.  As part of the process, the certification process is being revised to bring certification for reading and learning disabilities in line with the other qualifying conditions and certification will no longer require the signature of a medical doctor.  The relaxed process has been tested by Texas and Pennsylvania.

The increased demand for services and equipment will be supported by a “BARD First” initiative.  When a new patron is registered for the service, if they can use the BARD service, they will be encouraged to receive their service through BARD rather than through the traditional manner. Through this initiative, they are hoping to stretch the inventory of digital talking book machines to encompass the anticipated increase in readership.
LBPH – We have received authorization to fill the Patron Processing Supervisor position and have contacted the successful candidate, Susana Martinez; to make an offer.
The majority of the staff are continuing to telework, with only 4 staff persons working on site on a part time basis.  Our Circulation and machine units are partially staffed to enable us to ship books and materials to our readers.
On Thursday December 10 between 1 and 2:30, Library Patron and storyteller, Bill Stepien will present a virtual program based on the book - How Our Post Office Created America by Winifred Gallagher, DBC02879. It will look at how the postal office has been serving and creating our way of life, since our nation's founding. This program will explore early impacts on America, such as post roads and the Pony Express, and future concepts like “missile mail”.  The program will be recorded for later viewing and will be available on Youtube.
Educational Entertainer, Jon Sundell will be presenting a pair of programs for our younger readers.  These virtual programs will feature an array of folk tales and folk songs from many cultures. 
December 15 between 1 – 1:40 pm for children, second grade and younger. 
December 16 between 1 – 2 pm for grades 3 – 6. 
Clint provided an outreach report detailing virtual events that have been held in the past quarter. In October, Clint and Josh participated in a live stream sponsored by the Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources reaching about 1,600 people. Clint participated in the virtual NC Assistive Technology Expo. Normally he would staff a table but since it was a virtual conference he presented on library services to about 200 people. He has had several other opportunities to present in phone sessions with groups including DSB and others. The reading program for adults began December 1, 2020 and runs through the end of February 2021.
Adrian gave an update on the Volunteer Program. Although volunteers cannot get into the building now, Adrian has maintained contact with them and has gotten some inquiries from prospective volunteers after COVID restrictions are eased. She indicated that one volunteer made masks for staff to wear and some others  helped with  getting out the newsletter. Some discussion about feasibility of having masks with Friends logo on them. Discussion included how to engage volunteers outside the Raleigh area, since most of the work is done at the Library or picked up from the Library to do at home.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE: Since Marti’s figure is more current than the report we have, we will use her $1+ figure for the Wells Fargo account. For the Triangle Community Foundation account beginning balance was $236,459.44 with a current ending balance of $232,841.98.  We are now able to access the web site for TCF so can get more current figures than when we relied on their quarterly statements.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE:  Most legislative activity has related to COVID assistance. With the election over, new members will be coming in at the state and federal level.
PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE:  Dawson has been able to get Friends applications into local libraries in his area. Overall PR has been slow due to the cancellation of in-person events. For example, Camp Dogwood and the VIP Fishing Tournament were cancelled due to the pandemic. 
BRAILLE WRITER PROGRAM: Mary reported for the group that 2 machines have been sent out recently, but no more will be sent out until the Library reopens as the logistics are very difficult. There are seven machines available now.
MEMBERSHIP: In the absence of a committee chair, Winnie reported that there are 545 members, up 20 from September. Membership renewal letters will go out in January.
LITERACY GRANT COMMITTEE: Melaney and Kellie reported that the group has met and the basic format for applying would involve a hard copy (or online) application and interview. The committee would expect to have a recommendation (one for individuals and one for organizations) for the June Friends Board meeting. The applications would be kept on file with Winnie for seven years for audit/review purposes. The committee will work to define “family” relative to family members of a Board member not receiving a grant. Motion was made by Eddie with second by Dawson to approve the application form presented by the committee. There were suggestions on where the RFP could be sent once ready for distribution, e.g. Dept. of Public Instruction’s listserve for VI professionals, Metrolina Association for the Blind, local libraries, etc. 
Susan raised the question of whether we would like to include a “Resources Page” on our web site. While we would not want to appear to endorse or support specific products/brands, general information such as for the Division of Services for the Blind, Governor Morehead School, etc. could be included. This issue arose when we were asked to include on our page a link to a medical practice in Texas.  We agreed that our focus should be more on in-state resources that our citizens could access. Maintaining the page and being sure that links are active will be important to its usefulness. Suggestions should be sent to Susan.
Eddie posed the questions of whether we should have a bylaws change stating that virtual meetings are acceptable.  During this time of COVID there has been no choice and nonprofit virtual meeting are covered by an Executive Order from the Governor. Eddie will check with the Center for Nonprofits and also look at the Friends documentation to determine if a change is needed and how that should occur.
Regarding the Library’s lease and possible move, Carl indicated that the lease process will get underway in 2021.
NOMINATING COMMITTEE:  Eddie and Debbie will serve on this committee along with one other person from the general membership whom they will select.  If anyone has suggestions for new board members, please send those to Eddie.
The meeting adjourned at 12:45.
NEXT MEETING: March 9 2021 by ZOOM
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
Friends of the NCLBPH
Board Meeting Minutes
September 9, 2020
Members Attending: Susan King,  Karen Broderick, Donnie Best, Mary Flanagan, Angelo Sonnesso, JoAnn Wood, Yvonne Kea, Verdina Gillette, Melaney Stein, Kellie Spruill, Donna Permar, Eddie Weaver, Debbie Meadows and Carl Keehn (ex officio)
Members not in Attendance: Sharon Benton, Dawson Hart
Others Attending: Clint Exum, Winnie Webb
The meeting, conducted on the Zoom platform, was called to order by Susan King, President with introduction of participants.
Kimberly Kandros talked with the group about inclusion as a designated organization to receive contributions from the State Employees Combined Campaign. While the FNCLBP could be included this year through the web site, it is too late to be listed on the hard copy listing provided to employees. The feeling is that people tend to rely more on that than taking the time to go to the web site. There are also some steps that need to be completed including submitting an audit. It was decided to work toward this for 2021.
A motion was made by Angelo with second by Karen to accept the minutes for the June meeting as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
TREASURER’S REPORTT – Winnie reviewed the line items for expenditures and income for the first quarter. Mary pointed out that the net worth figure ($1,192,327.41) is understated. Because of delays in getting mail because the Library was closed for many weeks due to the COVID-19 restrictions and because TCF was also delayed in getting statements, some new money is not showing up in this figure.  Some membership renewals and donations may not be  reflected in the figures for this reporting period.
Mary indicated that the organization spent just under ¾ of its budget during the last fiscal year. She also indicated that the IRS acknowledged receipt of our documents and she and Winnie continue to work with the agency on the change in our tax status for reporting purposes.
Carl provided the following update from the Library:
Upcoming Closings
Wednesday  November 11          Veterans Day
Thursday-Friday      November 26-27   Thanksgiving
NLS–The end of August, the NLS revealed that the Library of Congress has authorized the NLS to accept electronic signatures on library applications.  This enables the form to be filled out and submitted electronically.  In order to participate, North Carolina will need to revise our application.  As we were scheduled to revise our application to include new NLS mandated survey information, it will enable us to do so in an electronic format.  Our application will be required to be submitted to NLS for approval.
NLS is continuing to deal with various levels of library operation from partial service to completely open.  Recently they surveyed the regional libraries to determine their abilities to ship materials and machines, to process library applications and to respond to patron inquiries.
LBPH–The library continues to adjust to Covid 19 operations.The chat service that we instituted in May, continues to be a popular option for communicating, enabling us to communicate in real time with patrons and their caregivers.

In July, we were able to obtain a waiver to permit three of the circulation staff to work on-site on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  As a result, we have been able to process and ship library materials to our patrons again.  During our off site period, we were able to convert all of our active patrons to Books on Demand, enabling us to meet patron needs with the books on demand service.  In August we were able to ship more than 51,000 titles to our patrons.
In August, we were able to obtain a waiver to permit a machine unit staff person to work on-site on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.   This enables us to resume sending new and replacement players out as well as servicing the returned players.  Unfortunately, we had developed a significant backlog of new applicants that were awaiting player shipments.  NLS agreed to help us out by issuing players from Multistate West.  This has enabled us to make inroads into the backlog of applications and we are nearly to the point where we can handle machine operations independently.
We have been able to resume both our VIP book discussion and our Charlotte book discussion, both on a remote basis.  I’m pleased to announce that although the VIP discussion is offered remotely instead of in the library, attendance continues to be on about the same level.
During the last quarter, I had announced the retirement of two of our staff persons.  We were able to recruit and interview to fill both positions.  We have received approval to offer the Materials processing position, the candidate has accepted and will start on October 1.  We have submitted the paperwork and recommendation to fill the Patron Processing Supervisor position and are awaiting authorization to make an offer to the successful candidate.
Clint reported that outreach has remained very slow though a few virtual activities have been conducted with DSB consumers. Staff is beginning to mail out the TarHeel Talk.
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE -- Since there is not yet a Membership chairperson to replace Jill, Susan reported that we currently have 525 members.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE – Wells Fargo as  of 8/31/2020 the beginning balance was $894,044.94 and ending balance was $929,999.60.
We have not received a TCF statement since the last meeting.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE – Donnie indicated that much of the legislative activity has centered around COVID-19. Donna raised the issue of the upcoming November election and importance of/need for pollworker training, especially related to supporting use of voting machines for those who are visually impaired.
LIBRARY MOVE – Department of Administration is working on advertisement or renewal of lease
LITERARY GRANT – Melaney and Kellie have had one meeting and another planned for 11/18.
BRAILLE WRITER PROGRAM—In Sharon’s absence Mary indicated that a couple of short-term loan requests have come in as well as a couple of requests for permanent assignment of Braille writers. There needs to be more of a process in place for tracking Braille writers that have been distributed. There are four or five machines still available.
OLD BUSINESS – There has been a lot of discussion recently about services provided by the Post Office.  Members did not have and have not heard complaints regarding delivery of Library material. However, everyone will continue to monitor the situation.
As there was no additional business, the meeting adjourned.
NEXT MEETING – December 8th at 10:00AM.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
Friends Board Meeting Minutes 06092020.pdf
Board Memb    ers Attending: Mary Flanagan, Miriam Dixon, Susan King, Donnie Best, Eddie Weaver, Angelo Sonnesso, JoAnn Wood, Verdina Gillette (now holding
the position held by Max Bumgardner,) Sharon Benton, Dawson Hart, Karen Broderick, Jill McMillan, Donna Permar, Debbie Meadows, and Carl Keehn (Ex Officio)

Board Member Absent: Marsha Williams 
Others Attending: (three hnewly elected members) Kellie Spruill, Melaney Stein, Yvonne Kea, Susan Forbes, Timothy Owens, Winnie Webb, Clint Exum, and Adrian
(Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the meeting was conducted via the Zoom pl    atform.) 
The meeting began shortly after 10:00, lead by Susan King, President, Following introductions, a motion was made by Dawson with second by Mary to accept
minutes for the March meeting as submitted. Motion passed unanimously. 
TREASURER’S REPORT: Winnie reviewed the line items. The budget for the year was $80,442.00. As of June 2nd there was an unspent balance of $33,393.47.
It was noted that the income figures will not represent funds received since mid to late March when the Library was closed down through Executive Order
of the Governor related to COVID-19. Mail has not been picked up since that time so there will be membership checks to be deposited. The organization’s
total net worth as of 6/2 was $1,150,758.77. 
Mary reviewed the proposed budget for 2020-21. As part of the discussion of the budget, Eddie indicated that he has moved away from Raleigh. He has been
preparing the Braille version of the Tar Heel Talk Newsletter using Library equipment. He is willing to continue performing this function but does not
have Duxbury software. When asked, Carl was fairly certain that the Library does not have any available license. The membership agreed that the Friends
could and should purchase a copy of Duxbury which would be assigned to Eddie for his use in preparing the newsletter for as long as he is on the Board
or willing to 
perform the function. The proposed budget was increased by $500 to cover the cost of this purchase. A motion was made by Susan with second by Angelo to
approve the proposed budget (inclusive of the $500.) The motion passed without dissent. 
Carl provided the following report from the Library: 
Upcoming Holidays 
Friday July 3 Independence Day 
Monday September 7 Labor Day 
NLS – The Covid 19 Pandemic has generated significant adjustments to the services. During the last few months, a significant portion of the Regional Libraries
have either closed or gone to limited service, including the Multistate Service Center – East in Ohio. Multistate service Center – West in Utah, has remained
open and is providing interlibrary loan service for the entire nation. 
NLS has had to make adjustments in their support of the Regional Libraries. Early in the process, we received a questionnaire to determine how we would
receive bulk shipments if the library remained closed. More recently they announced a targeted publicity campaign and inquired if the Regional Library
would be able to handle anticipated influx of applications. 
LBPH – March was an interesting month for the library. In early March, DNCR facilities including the library, were closed to the public, due to the developing
Coronavirus pandemic. Remote working policies were implemented and any staff that did not require a physical presence, were encouraged to work from home.
On March 27, acting on Governor Cooper’s Covid 19 proclamation, all remaining staff were sent home. This meant that the Library would be unable to process
returned materials or mail replacement materials or machines to patrons. 
Since then, all staff have been working remotely from home. Staff have been working on administrative processes, updating book and patron databases and
reviewing and assigning subject headings to commercially produced materials. 
We have made adjustments to the way service is being provided and will continue to be provided in the future. In May, we implemented a chat service. This
gives patrons and caregivers an additional means of communicating with the library. With our antiquated phone system, we are unable to access the phone
lines remotely which would enable us to respond to patron messages. We will continue to support the chat service when we reopen. 
We have converted the majority of our active audio patrons to the books on demand service. When we reopen, this should enable us to provide more materials,
more quickly to our waiting patrons. The reader advisors used their remote working status as a means of creating and filling reading lists for the new
books on demand patrons so that when we return to on-site work, we can start sending to them immediately. 
Using end of year money, the library has been able to purchase a third Scribe Unit, the hardware used to produce the cartridges for the Books on Demand
service. The third Scribe unit will enable us to produce cartridges more quickly as all of our current Circulation unit are trained in their use. The third
unit has already been manufactured and should be installed before we reopen. 
Staffing – We are sorry to bid farewell to two staff who will be retiring at the end of June. Heather Brown, the head of Patron Processing, and Janie Stanley
from our Materials Management unit. We have submitted the paperwork to replace them, however with the disruptions caused by the Covid 19 response, it may
take a while to work through the process of obtaining authorization to advertise and recruit. 
No outreach activities were conducted over the past couple of months. Some events are rescheduled for the future but it is uncertain now as to whether
they will be held. Since the Library is not able to mail out books now, a BARD-only Summer Reading Program is being planned to begin in mid June with the
hope of having the more traditional reading program in late summer or fall when books are being mailed. 
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE: Jill reported 450 active members—a number that will increase when we have access to the mail and the renewals that have been sent
in. Although her term is expiring on the Board, Jill graciously offered to continue assisting with tracking membership and assisting the new Committee
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE: Debbie provided the following balances in the investment accounts: Wells Fargo account balance as of 5/31/2020 $840,440.00, up from
last month’s balance of $804,075.00 TCF balance as of 3/30/2020 $193,168.30, down from last quarter’s balance of 
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE: Donnie reported that the Legislature is in session now, but no indication of how the budget will look. 
PUBLIC RELTIONS COMMITTEE: Dawson reported that all camp sessions at Camp Dogwood and the Fishing Tournament have been cancelled for 2020. A group of about
60 people from Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba Counties hopes to have an outing at Camp during the summer. Members were encouraged to maintain contact with
their local libraries to be certain that they know about the NCLBPH and have current Library and Friends applications. 
LITERACY GRANTS: Guidelines have not yet been developed for awarding these grants. Susan requested volunteers to work on this project. In the current year’s
budget $2,000 was budgeted to aware two $1,000 grants to promote literacy. Prior to the meeting some discussion took place regarding the possibility of
donating the money to the Governor Morehead School Foundation and/or the Radio Reading Service for COVID relief in their efforts to support education and
provide information respectively at this unusual time. After some discussion of the benefits to donating to each organization in support of its work, a
motion was made by Eddie with second by Karen to make a $1,000 donation to the GMS 
Foundation in support of educational efforts for students and a donation of $1,000 to the Radio Reading Service. The motion passed without dissent. (Due
to their connections to GMS, Debbie as an employee and Mary as a Foundation member, neither voted.) 
LIBRARY LEASE: Carl reported that there has been little movement related to the renewal of the Library’s lease or move to a new location, but the group
that was considering needs that should be met in any location agreed that the needs now are essentially the same as when last reviewed in 2015. 
NOMINATIONS COMMITTEE: 159 ballots were returned in the 2020 elections. New terms will become effective July 1, 2020. Jill and Miriam are going off the
Board as they were not eligible to run for another term. Marsha was not able to run for a second term. The three newly elected members are Kellie Spruill,
Yvonne Kea, and Melaney Stein. The following were elected to continue serving: Sharon Benton, Vice President; Debbie Meadows, Secretary; Donna Permar for
her first full term; and Dawson Hart for his second full term. 
VOLUNTEER LUNCHEON is on “hold” pending developments related to COVID. 
NEXT MEETING: September 8, 2020 
Meeting adjourned around noon. 
Submitted by Debbie Meadows, Secretary FRIENDS OF THE NCLBPH

March 10, 202    0
MEMBERS PARTICIPATING – Eddie Weaver, Susan King, Donna Permar, Donnie Best, Mary Flanagan, JoAnn Wood, Miriam Dixon, Angelo Sonnesso, Karen Broderick,  Jill McMillan, Debbie Meadows, and Carl Keehn (Ex Officio)
EXCUSED ABSENCES – Dawson Hart and Sharon Benton
ABSENT – Marsha Williams
OTHER PARTICIPANTS – Darren Hunnicutt CPA, Winnie Webb and Clint Exum
The meeting was called to order by Susan, and introductions were made. A motion was made by Carl with second by Mary to approve the minutes from the December with the addition of Miriam Dixon as a participating member at that meeting. Motion was approved unanimously.
Winnie reviewed the budget items and income. Mary noted that we have spent only about 49% of the budget with a remaining balance of $40,428.91.   The Organization’s total net worth is $1,147,199.67.
She gave background on the move to the new CPA firm, and she indicated that we have not heard back from our request submitted to the IRS to change/correct our tax exempt status. This is not surprising as we had expected that it would take some time.
Darren Hunnicutt, our CPA from Mig Murphy Sistrom, then spoke to the group about work he has been doing for the organization including the research on the IRS tax exempt status and request to change that. He discussed the Friends’ status as a “supporting” organization to the NCLBPH.  And, he discussed realignment of the QuickBooks budget which will help with reporting in the future.
Carl provided the following update with the addition that the Library has a blog on the VA Web site.
Holidays –
Friday            April 10                     Good Friday
Monday        May 25                      Memorial Day
NLS–The National Library Service has been cracking down on Inventory Control among the Network Libraries.  They have been asking Network Libraries to conduct inventory audits to account for missing and unaccounted for digital talking book machines.  At the beginning of the project, all Network libraries were requested to perform a series of inventory checks to determine the accuracy of the inventories.  North Carolina was not requested to perform later, more extensive inventory audits.
NLS is in the process of studying how prospective patrons have heard of the service.  They are working with the programmers of the various Integrated Circulation systems to capture referral data.  As our current application does not include a section on how the applicant heard of the service, it will need to be revised once NLS indicates the data to be captured.
In February, we received the final consultant report for last summer’s Consultant visit.  There were no surprises in the report and the recommended improvements, were basically incremental and dealt primarily with administrative functions rather than service delivery.  Among other things, we are encouraged to work on increasing BARD registrations and promoting the use of the BARD express app.  We have been asked to review staffing patterns and requirements to reflect changes in demographics as well as revised service patterns.  We are also asked to perform regular annual machine inventory spot checks to ensure that our inventories are accurate.  We had already begun implementing the suggested actions.

NCLBPH – In late February, North Carolina was visited by the first real snow of the year.  Accumulations turned out to be more extensive than expected and our service was impacted.  Staff persons in outlying counties left early on Thursday to escape the oncoming snow and several staff were unable to report for work on Friday.  Although the impact on the roads in Raleigh was minor, the impact in outlying areas was much more severe.  Although we were able to open our phone lines mid-morning on Friday, we were unable to make a mail run as no circulation unit staff were able to report.
The books on demand program is continuing to grow and become a more significant element in our service.  In both January and February, circulation exceeded 70,000 items, the largest circulation that I can remember.  In February, the books on demand program accounted for 75% of our circulation.  The 3,445 patrons that we have signed up for the Books on Demand program make up about 43% of our audio readership.
In Gina’s absence, Clint provided the following Outreach report for the January – March period:
Tour with journalist, interested in pitching the library to Walter Magazine or Our State
Presentation to Book Club (7 people)
African American Culture Celebration with GHL (300 total. 10 interested in LBPH)
Retirement Home Presentation (30 people)
Raleigh Lions Club Presentation (30-40 people)
Radio Interview WYZD with Craig
NCCCLA presentation with Josh (15 people)
Wayne Community College (TBD)
GMS Students Tour (Cancelled)
DSB Mini-Center Presentation (TBD)
Fontana Library Staff Training Day (TBD)
Presentation to adults at GMS (Cancelled)
Columbus and Bladen Innovative Approaches Steering Committee – Presentation (TBD)
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE – Jill reported that there are 436 members which is up by 66 from membership last year at this time. She is working on the second notice to go out in April about membership renewal. Both hard copy and email contacts will be made. Jill also indicated that she did outreach at the Braille Challenge in Raleigh in February.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE – Debbie reported the following changes in the two investment accounts: Wells Fargo had a beginning balance of $874,355 and ending balance of $831,446.20 which reflects the downward trend the market has taken recently. Triangle Community Foundation had a beginning balance of $217,894.48 and ending balance of $230,432.20. Because this is a quarterly statement, any market changes that might affect it likely are not showing up yet.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE – Donnie reminded people of the importance of completing the census—something that can be done by phone, Internet, or by mail. The State continues to get “mini-budgets” and the Legislature will return for the Short Session in April.
LIBRARY MOVE ADVISORY PANEL - Carl indicated that the group that will be discussing things to consider in the Library’s next lease/move will meet in a week.
PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE – In Dawson’s absence, Susan reported that Outreach efforts took place at both Braille Challenges. Plans are underway to do activities in local libraries and at Camp Dogwood each week during the camping sessions.
NOMINATING COMMITTEE – Eddie explained that first the Board should fill the vacant position left by Max’s resignation. A motion was made by Miriam with second by Donna to appoint Verdina Gillette to this position. This motion was approved unanimously. That term will end in June 2021 at which time Verdina may run for two consecutive terms.
Seven terms expire at the end of June 2020. They are held by Sharon Benton, Debbie Meadows, Donna Permar, Dawson Hart, Marsha Williams, Miriam Dixon, and Jill McMillan. Sharon has agreed to run for Vice President and Debbie for Secretary.  Donna has agreed to run for her first full term and  Dawson for his second full term.  Marsha has indicated that she is not able to run for a second term and neither Jill nor Miriam are eligible to run for another term.  The following individuals have agreed to run to fill these three spots—Yvonne Kea, Kellie Spruill, and Melaney Stein. These seven individuals were recommended by the Nominating Committee and a motion was made by JoAnn with a second by Mary to accept these nominations. The motion passed unanimously. Ballots will go out to the membership by the end of April.
There was a brief discussion of the Volunteer Recognition event. Donna reported that GMS is open to hosting the event, but there are some limitations that relate to having students on campus during the week. The Friends representatives and Library staff will continue looking at options.
Carl also reminded the group of the availability of the Department’s graphics design staff to assist with projects whenever needed.
The Friends Annual Membership Meeting will be held on June 9th at 10:00 a.m.
The meeting adjourned at 11:55.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
Board Meeting Minutes
December 10, 2019
MEMBERS PARTICIPATING: Mary Flanagan, Donnie Best, Eddie Weaver, Sharon Benton, Jill McMillan, Karen Broderick, Susan King, Donna Permar, Debbie Meadows, and Carl Keehn (Ex Officio)
EXCUSED ABSENCES: JoAnn Wood, Dawson Hart, Angelo Sonesso
ABSENT: Marsha Williams
OTHERS ATTENDING: Winnie Webb, Clint Exum (NCLBPH staff), and Susan Forbes, Assistant State Librarian
The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:10 by Susan King, President. Following introductions, a motion was made by Eddie with second by Sharon to approve the September minutes as submitted. Motion passed unanimously.  Donna was welcomed as a new Board member and Susan Forbes as Assistant State Librarian.
TREASURER’S REPORT: The Treasurer’s Report was presented by Winnie and Mary with Winnie reviewing the budget by category. Mary indicated that we have spent about 38% of the budget. This includes the cost of the new embosser and also a retainer requested by the CPA because we are a new client. The CPA would like to revamp the QuickBooks and Excel systems now used to track our budget. Once completed these changes should make the budget work for us easier and faster. Cost of the work will be about $1,500. A motion was made by Eddie with second by Jill to move $1,000 from the BB&T account to the Accounting/Legal line item to cover the cost of the work. Motion passed without dissent. There has been no word back from the IRS following our request to change our tax reporting status. The organization’s total net worth is $1,155,963.90.
Carl provided the following Library report:
Upcoming Holidays –
Tuesday – Thursday          December 24 - 26  Christmas
Wednesday              January 1                              New Years Day
Monday                                January 20                           Martin Luther King Day
NLS – The National Library Service continues to focus their efforts in getting Regional Libraries to transition over to a Duplication on Demand Program.  Originally, they had released duplication equipment without charge to those libraries that used the NLS produced READS Integrated Library Software.  More recently, they have worked with Keystone Systems to adapt their duplication software to work with the KLAS integrated Library Software. 
NLS has just announced the four libraries which will participate in the braille e-reader pilot project.  The four libraries are Iowa, New Jersey, Kentucky and Utah.  The libraries were selected based on criteria which include their region, their circulation system and their size.  Those libraries that are not participating in the NLS pilot will receive one e-reader device for testing and familiarization.
LBPH – Our Books on Demand program is proceeding according to schedule.  In September, I had reported that we had transitioned about 11% of our new and continuing patrons to the service.  As of the end of November, we have transitioned about 26% of our audio readership.  All new patrons are automatically enrolled in the books on demand program.  As the recycle model of the program is further developed, we will be speeding up the transition of continuing patrons.
The Books on Demand program continues to be a major factor in our operation.  At the end of November, the Books on Demand circulation made up about 60% of our overall circulation.
Our refreshable braille display pilot program became active not long after the last Friends Board meeting.  The final few machines were distributed thanks to Eddie Weaver’s efforts at the fishing tournament.  All 40 machines are now in patron hands and initial anecdotal feedback tends to be very positive.  We will be conducting an initial satisfaction survey in the near future, contacting participating patrons by phone to get their initial feedback about the displays and the program.
On Wednesday, December 4, the library offered a program on the Culture of Bluegrass Music in North Carolina.  The program, part of the North Carolina Humanities Council Roads Scholar grants program, featured bluegrass musician and teacher John Santa.  Speaking before an audience of 107 patrons and Governor Morehead students, John Santa traced the roots and development of bluegrass music from its earliest days to the present, using the instruments he brought, to demonstrate different sounds and techniques.  The program would tie in with Come Hear NC, celebrating 2019 as the year of music in North Carolina.

After a brief question and answer period, John Santa sat and jammed with John and Sandy DeLuca, playing two more traditional bluegrass pieces, followed by an original composition.  The final piece brought down the house.  Afterwards, the participants had the opportunity to check out the various instruments that John Santa brought.

In closing I would like to thank the Governor Morehead School for hosting us, the auditorium was the perfect venue for the program.  I would like to thank the North Carolina Humanities Council, Roads Scholar program for underwriting the grant for the program, I’d like to thank John Santa for his entertaining and inspirational program and I’d like to thank Annie Davis for serving as the Master of Ceremonies for the program.
Carl also added that the Library will be getting a new phone system during the coming year.
In Gina’s absence, Clint reported the following Outreach activities:
9/14              NFB-NC Convention
100 people
9/20               NCCB Convention      
65 people
9/21               Caregiver Engagement Fair (Greensboro)
Vendor Table,
9/26               Assistive Technology Expo McKimmon Center
Vendor Table,
Presentation, ~15 attendees
9/28               Health and Wellness Expo Righteous Guide Ministries Fayetteville
Vendor Table,
10/2               New Library Directors
10/11            DNCR State Fair Outreach           
10/14            LICC (Local Interagency Coordinating Council) Presentation
Presentation, 12 attendees,
10/16-19      NCLA Conference
Vendor Table/Presentation >130 attendees    
11/6               NCDPS Staff Development
Presentation, 125 attendees
11/19            Davidson County Libraries Staff Day
Workshop, 60 attendees
11/22            State Library Commissioners                    
11/23            American Indian Heritage Festival  
Vendor Table 180 attendees
12/6               Southern Dames of America
Presentation, 33 attendees
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE: Jill reported 636 members, up 30 from the September report. Renewal letters will go out in January. Both hard copy and email copy will go out to those for whom we have an email address.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE: Winnie provided updated figures which show a balance for the Wells Fargo fund of $843,538.927which is up from the balance for the last report of $832,268.44, and for the Triangle Community Foundation a balance of  $217,894.48 down from the balance from the last report of $218,653.42.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE: Donnie shared that there is still not a state budget. There is a bill pending which would move DHHS administrative office from Raleigh to Granville County. And, there is a possible price increase that would affect all .org web sites.
PR COMMITTEE: In Dawson’s absence Susan reported that she and Dawson will be making presentation again this summer at Camp Dogwood each week. They are also scheduling local library programs and other members were encouraged to do this as well. There was some discussion of the request from the library in Havelock to assist them in their bulletin board display during January for the celebration of Louis Braille’s birthday.
BRAILLEWRITER PROGRAM: Sharon reported that there was one application for a brailler and tow machines were donated.
There was no update available on the literacy grant guidelines, and there has not been a meeting yet on the possible move of the Library.
Volunteer Luncheon: There was discussion about when/where to schedule the next luncheon. The hope had been that the participation would increase when the event was moved from a dinner to a luncheon, but after a couple of years that has not really been the case—42 participants in 2019. There was some discussion about having the luncheon on a Saturday as well as having it at a different location. Parking can be difficult at McKimmon Center. GMS cafeteria was discussed as a possible option but the timing would be tricky since staff could likely not accommodate a luncheon on a school day. Donna and Sharon will work with Library staff on planning for the next event.
Susan asked that members look at the committee assignment list and let her know if any changes are needed.
Because of time restraints, Max Bumgardner has resigned from the Board. The group will work to fill the vacant position at its next meeting. Suggestions can be given to Susan.
Susan indicated that she has set up a LinkedIn page for the Friends.
Members were reminded of the October 2020 date for getting their REAL ID.
The meeting adjourned at approximately noon
NEXT MEETING: March 10, 2020
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
Friends Minutes 091019.pdf
FRIENDS OF THE NCLBPH Board Meeting Minutes September 10, 2019 
Members Attending: Sharon Benton, Eddie Weaver, Donnie Best, Karen Broderick, Dawson Hart, Susan King, Miriam Dixon, Jill McMillan, Debbie Meadows and
Carl Keehn (ex officio) (NOTE) JoAnn Wood indicated that she would be calling in, and she attempted to do so, but due to a technical problem with the phone
in the conference room, we were unable to connect with her. She indicated that she remained on the line about fifteen minutes but connection was never
Excused Absences: Marsha Williams, Angello Sonnesso, and Mary Flanagan 
Absent: Max Bumgardner 
Others Attending: Winnie Webb 
The meeting was called to order shortly after 10:00 by Susan King, President. A motion was made by Eddie with second by Sharon that the minutes from the
June meeting be accepted as submitted. The motion passed unanimously. 
TREASURER’S REPORT: In her absence Mary left the following notes with Susan 
The organization spent approximately 10.5 of its budget during the first quarter of the fiscal year. In July the Friends received a donation of $15,000
in the form of a bequest from the Estate of Allen Cameron Jackson. The question had been posed to the CPA as to whether the Friends can offer grants when
the purpose is consistent with the mission of the Friends—to promote braille literacy—and the answer from the CPA is “yes.” Two grants will be offered—one
for a program for children and one for adults. Each will be for $1,000. And, the forms to change our tax reporting status with the IRS have been submitted
to the IRS. 
Winnie reviewed the various budget categories and reported that there is a current balance of $67,573.51 of the $75,442.00 budgeted for the year beginning
July 1, 2019. Income is $2,371.00. Total net worth of the organization is $1,164,945.66. When asked about the $15,000 bequest and how that is reflected
in the report, Winnie indicated that it was deposited into the BB&T Money Market account. 
Carl provided the following Library Update: Upcoming Holidays – 
table with 3 columns and 3 rows
November 11 
Veterans Day 
Thursday – Friday 
November 28, 29 
Tuesday – Thursday 
December 24-26 
table end
NLS – On October 1, with the new Federal Fiscal year, the National Library Service will be changing their name to more accurately reflect their role. They
will become the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, anticipating pending federal legislation to expand the reach of the service.
They will continue to be referred to as NLS. 
In preparation for the conversion to the Books on Demand service model, the NLS will be shipping us 42 cases of blank cartridges, to be used in the program.
This is about half of the total requirement for North Carolina. The rest of the cartridges will be held back from our inventory of cartridges that were
removed from the collection for recycling. Volunteers are currently going through the weeded cartridges, identifying and holding back the higher capacity
cartridges to be used for the Books on Demand program. 
LBPH – Our Books on Demand program is proceeding according to schedule. Currently, we have transitioned about 11% of our new and continuing patrons to
the service. All new patrons are automatically enrolled in the books on demand program. As the recycle model of the program is further developed, we will
be speeding up the transition of continuing patrons. 
The Books on Demand program is quickly becoming a major factor in our operation. As of the close of August, the Books on Demand circulation made up about
30% of our overall circulation for the month. That was up from 24% in July. 
Our refreshable braille display pilot was on hold, awaiting a promised firmware update from Humanware. With the firmware update being pushed back, we have
decided to begin shipping the braille displays with the firmware from the factory. We anticipate that we should be shipping out the displays within the
next few weeks. I had mentioned above, that the National Library Service would be rolling out their new name. North Carolina is also considering a rebranding.
We would like to follow in the footsteps of the Tennessee Library and are considering the name “North Carolina Library for Accessible Books and Media.”
As a name change will require Legislative action, we anticipate that the name change will be a drawn out process. It will require the amending of the North
Carolina Rules of Procedure. 
We are pleased to announce the appointment of a new Assistant State Librarian, Susan Forbes. Susan Forbes will be responsible for the administrative operation
of the State Library. Friends members will be able to meet her at the Volunteer Recognition event on September 30 and we hope that she will be able to
attend the December board meeting and meet the board members. 
The library is planning to offer a program on the Culture of Bluegrass Music in North Carolina; in December. The speaker, John Santa will discuss the history
and culture of North Carolina bluegrass music. This will tie in to our parent Agency campaign to celebrate North Carolina’s musical heritage. 
Library Patrons, John and Sandy DeLuca have been invited to participate and perform a few folk music pieces. 
The program is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday December 4, 1 – 2:30 pm and will be held at the Governor Morehead School Auditorium. 
In Gina’s absence Carl reported on the following for Outreach: 
Presentation to Association of Workers for the Blind Presentation to DSB Mini Center in Henderson South East Transition Institute (Deaf/Blind) Vendor Fair
Presentation to Charlotte DSB District Office 
In September: 
Presentation to DSB Mini Center in Wilson Presentation to NFB Conference Presentation to NCCB Conference Vendor table at NCCB Conference Presentation all
day Robeson County Public Library Caregiver Expo in Greensboro Vendor table and Presentation Assistive Technology Expo Righteous Guides Ministries Information
Fair, Fayetteville 
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE: Jill reported that there are 580 members, an increase of 47 members from June. 
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE: Debbie reported the following investment account figures – TCF for the period ending June 30th the beginning balance was $213,514.40,
ending balance $218,653.42; Wells Fargo for the period ending July 30th the beginning balance was $828,169.21 and ending balance $832,268.44. So, while
both accounts showed gains during this most recent period, the market has been much more volatile the last few weeks so we should not be surprised to see
a drop during the next period. 
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE: Donnie reported that there is still not a state budget. And reports seem to indicate that charitable giving is down—possibly due
to revised tax law. Disability Rights of NC is publishing a fully accessible voter’s guide which Susan will distribute to the membership. 
PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Dawson reported that he met with campers at Camp Dogwood during each of the nine summer camp weeks. He will be involved in
outreach at Industries for the Blind in Winston-Salem and in the Race for the Blind fundraiser in Lewisville and Asheville. Efforts are also underway to
connect with more local libraries. Miriam reminded the group to include information about NewsLine when making presentations. 
BENTON BRAILLE WRITER PROGRAM: Sharon reported that one student received a Braille writer recently. 
OLD BUSINESS The luggage tags have arrived and were passed out for use in upcoming events. They should be used primarily to be given to people who register
as new 
members or those who renew membership at an event such as the Fishing Tournament on one of the conventions. The tags will not be sold. There was concern
by the Braille readers about the quality of the Braille. Other options should be explored for future items. A sample should be obtained before final production
whenever possible. 
Dawson and Susan will have a table at the NCCB Convention in September. 
Jill agreed to staff a table at the upcoming NCNFB Convention. 
Eddie and Dawson will work at the Fishing Tournament in October. 
A committee was formed to establish the guidelines for the Literacy Grants to be awarded to groups promoting Braille literacy. The committee will consist
of Mary and Miriam. Susan will contact Sandy DeLuca to see if she is willing to serve and Dawson’s wife, Liz, (has worked with deafblind groups, teaches
sign language and is an interpreter, involved with Camp Dogwood activities) ) is also a likely member. 
After brief discussion a motion was made by Dawson with second by Sharon to have a drawing at the Fishing Tournament among those who register or renew
their Friends membership. The prize would be $50. This is consistent with what has been done the last couple of years. The motion passed unanimously. 
Reminder about Volunteer Recognition Luncheon to be held on September 30th at 11:30 at the McKimmon Center. 
Winnie reminded members that it is time to sign the Code of Conduct forms. She will get all who can to sign before leaving the meeting and will send out
by email to those not at the meeting. 
NES BUSINESS Carl asked for a couple of people to serve as advisors to provide input on what the new facility should be like if the Library has to move
in 2022 when their lease expires. When the current lease was signed it appeared unlikely that the landlord would renew beyond the seven-year period, but
significant investment has gone into the building since then and the landlord has recently shown more interest in retaining the Library on the property.
It isn’t clear whether the State will work out an arrangement to extend the lease or whether they will have to 
go through the bid process. Because the bid process is a lengthy one, they must begin now even though the current lease in good into 2022. Karen, Eddie,
Mary and Dawson volunteered to assist as needed. 
Susan asked for suggestions of people to fill the board seat that she vacated when she was elected President. The name of Donna Permar, a long-time Library
user and very active member of the VI community, was suggested by Debbie with a motion for made by Miriam with a second by Karen that Donna serve out Susan’s
term. The motion passed unanimously. 
It was also noted that Max has been unable to make many of the meeting with little contact with the Board. Dawson will follow up with him regarding his
interest in continuing to serve and ability to become more active. 
ANNOUNCEMENTS Sharon announced that the Triangle Radio Reading Service has changed its name to the NC Reading Service to reflect its statewide services.
Their New Visions Gala will be on November 1st . 
The meeting adjourned at approximately 11:45. 
Next Meeting – December 10th . 
Submitted by Debbie Meadows, Secretary FRIENDS OF THE NCLBPH

June 11, 2019
MEMBERS PARTICIPATING: Eddie Weaver, Susan King, Mary Flanagan, Sandy DeLuca, Karen Broderick, Donnie Best, Sharon Benton, Jill McMillan, Miriam Dixon, Dawson Hart, JoAnn Wood, and Carl Keehn (ex officio)
OTHERS PARTICIPATING: Gina Powell, Winnie Webb and Timothy Owens
EXCUSED ABSENCES: Angelo Sonnesso, Max Bumgardner, Marsha Williams, and Debbie Meadows
Motion made by Sharon with second by Mary to approve March meeting minutes as submitted. Motion passed unanimously.
TREASURER’S REPORT: Winnie reviewed budget expenditures and unexpended amounts. The total budgeted amount for the year was $77,400. $46,629.17 has been spent leaving a balance of $30,658.27.  The current balance for the restricted expenses is $4,116.13. Total income is $68,132.44 which includes restricted items such as Braille Challenge and donations specified for the Library. Subtracting these donations the income amount for the Friends is $66,370.00. The organization took in more income than it spent in its budget for the year. Total net worth is $1,144,960.99 as of the end of April. Expenditures are well under budget and Mary anticipates spending no more than $2,000 before the year ends on 6/30/19. JoAnn raised a question about the Braille Challenge expenditure figures which Winnie will check on. It appears that the formula did not subtract the amount spent from the total so the balance did not decrease.
Mary explained that in the past we have received our grant from the Ben Easton Bequest through TCF at an amount of about $26,000 annually, distributed quarterly. Due to a policy change at  TCF effective January 1, 2019, all endowed bequests payments will be made at 4% rather than 5% which had been the rate previously. The reason for the change is to avoid drawing down too much from the endowments making it necessary to begin drawing from the principle. The 1% decrease will be spread over three years and once fully implemented will be about a $5,500 decrease per year.
Mary has continued to explore moving the accounts at SECU to BB&T to streamline management of funds. Some questions were raised at the last meeting about any effect the merger between BB&T and Sun Trust would have—it seems there would be little to no impact on our business dealing with BB&T and the switch will not occur until the end of this year. Moving some money from the BB&T checking account, Mary set up a Money Market account at BB&T which earns 1% interest. The account was started with $30,000. This action was discussed with and approved by the Finance Committee in advance. SECU Money Market earns 1.75%. That money could be moved to BB&T 6-month CD at 2%. We have approximately $27,000 with SECU. Motion was made by JoAnn with second by Dawson to move money from SECU to BB&T 6-month CD. Motion passed without dissent.
Mary reviewed the fact that our tax exempt status that we are claiming on our form 990 is not the same as the tax exempt classification as the one  we were awarded when the organization was established as a 501(c)(3)  nonprofit in 1992. On the advice of the CPA, Mary confirmed that the IRS has us listed as a 509(a) type 2,but we have been claiming as a 509(a) type 3 organization. The main difference is the makeup of the Board with type 2 requiring voting members from the NCLBPH while type 3 requires a “close working relationship” with the organization that the nonprofit supports. The Finance Committee has posed some additional questions back to the CPA about implications of making the change and waiting for his response. Mary believe that we will make the change to type 3 since we are reporting that way now and since the purpose of type 3 is to support an agency such  as the NCLBPH as we do. Eddie stressed the fact that our 501(c)(3) status will not change. The change just relates to the section—509—under which we fall as a 501(c)(3) organization and how our reports are filed.
Mary reviewed the proposed budget for 2019-20. She pointed out that she has tried to bring the line items more in line with what we have actually been spending to decrease the amount of money carried over at the end of the year. This will be a more accurate reflection of our budget and the money can be moved into accounts where it can make money. Mary reviewed each line item noting that legal/accounting could be decreased because the accounting start-up fees with the new accounting firm will not be needed. Clerical support is being increase based on a $1.00 increase to $15 per hour. She explained the use of the money in the Braille Literacy line—$1,000 is set aside to support the Braille Challenge if needed; $2,000 for the Benton Braille Writer Program if needed; and $2,000 for the BELL Program if needed. The BELL money has not been used in a couple of years, so the Finance Committee has proposed establishing two $1,000 grants—one for a Braille literacy project for children and $1,000 for a Braille literacy project for adults. Guidelines for applying, reviewing and awarding the grants would need to be set up. We do need to hear back from the CPA to confirm that this is something that we are allowed to do since the grants will not go directly to the Library, though likely to individuals/groups that are served by the Library.
 Carl reviewed the recurring Library budget items, noting a number of reductions and minimal increase for Braille paper to restock the supply leading to an overall reduction of about $3,000 in the total recurring Library budget. The Library has requested an increase from $1,500 to $5,232.95 to cover the cost of a replacement Braille embosser to print mailing labels for the new Books-on-Demand Program. There are both compatibility and operational issues with the current embosser.
The proposed total for the new budget is $73,536.95 compared to $77,400.00 for the 2018-19 budget. Motion made by Jill to accept the budget as proposed by the Finance Committee with second by Miriam. The motion passed without opposition.
Eddie recognized and congratulated Timothy Owens on his recent promotion to State Librarian.
Mary asked about whether it is time to update the MOA between the Friends and the Department. She indicated that if the Friends move forward with changing their status with the IRS, some supporting documentation will be needed which would include the MOA. Carl and Timothy will follow up.
Carl provided the following update from the Library
Upcoming Closing Dates:
Thursday       July 4             Independence Day
Monday        September 2           Labor Day    
NLS – The Marrakesh Treaty, which expands access to accessible materials; went into effect on May 8. Currently, the National Library Service is unable to take advantage of the Marrakesh Treaty as Congress limits their involvement to US citizens only. It will require an act of Congress to enable the NLS to participate.
Local libraries, however, can participate in the Marrakesh Treaty and representatives from the Southern and Western Regions are establishing a task force to determine how we will.
As the result of an article on the National Library Service in a Department of Veterans Affairs newsletter, inquiries on the library service have increased within the network.
On October 1, the National Library Service will be changing their name to the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled. They will continue to be referred to as NLS.
LBPH – The Books on Demand program is going very well. All new patrons are being assigned to the Books on Demand program, and we have begun transitioning current patrons. As expected, patrons that are transitioned from the traditional model of one cartridge, one book have had to make some adjustments as they are no longer getting multiple cartridges at one time.  Instead, they start out with two cartridges, each with multiple titles. As they complete the first cartridge, they send it back to us to be refilled with new titles, while they read from the second cartridge. By the time they complete the second cartridge, the first cartridge should be back to them; reloaded with a fresh supply of books. The number of titles on a cartridge can be adjusted to ensure that the reader doesn’t run out of books to read.
Before current patrons are transitioned over to the Books on Demand system, they are notified by mail that they will be switched over. The letter explains how the program works and the patron is encouraged to call us with any questions that they may have, before they are transitioned over. 
As of the end of May, we have 481 patrons that are receiving their service through the Books on Demand program. This is about 5% of our audio readership. If you have not yet had the opportunity to see the Books on Demand program in operation, please see Craig Hayward, he would be happy to demonstrate the system to you.
The pilot project to distribute refreshable braille displays is proceeding. We have received our order of displays from the vendor. Our staff is currently working out the processes and procedures for distributing the displays.  
The National Library Service has announced the awarding of a contract to produce refreshable braille displays for general distribution. It is expected to take at least a year for the displays to be available to the public.
Both the Books on Demand program and the pilot braille display program are provided through Federal grants underwritten by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
Gina provided a summary of the outreach activities for the past quarter.
Library Outreach
Presentation to DSB Mini Center in Wilson 
Presentation to DSB Mini Center in Moore County                                   
Presentation to Library Association UNC-Chapel Hill
Presentation to Vision Insights Self-Help Group
Presentation to NC Community College Conference
Presentation to Craven/Pamlico/Carteret County Friends Meeting
Meetings with Activity Directors at Tara Plantation Assisted Living, Ashewood Estates Asst. Living, Home place of New Bern and Riverstone
Teleconference on BOD with Assistant Living Activity Directors
Meeting with Moore Co. Public Library Director
Meetings with Vision Center of Wilson, Wilson Eye Associates, Medical Eye Associates, Singleton Vision Center, New Bern Family Eye Care
New Volunteer Coordinator Adrian Sanders hired – Starts July 1st
Issue of Tar Heel Talk Newsletter Produced
Friends Outreach
Info Table at NCCVIB Conference
Presentation to Deaf Blind Conference
Shared library info with 8 students, 6 EC educators in Gaston County and 5 EC educators in Catawba County.
Coming Up:
Kids Summer Reading Program – Frog Calling
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE: Jill reported that there are 533 paid members. This is an increase of 163 from March. In the last meeting there was some discussion about whether email notices about membership could be going to spam folders, making it more unlikely that they would be read. Jill asked about the possibility of putting something in the next Tar Heel Talk newsletter encouraging readers to be sure to add the Friends as one of their contacts so that email will go straight to the inbox. Jill will prepare something for Gina to include in the next issue coming out in the fall.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE: In Debbie’s absence Mary provided the Investment Committee report. As of March 31, the TCF balance was $213,514 which is up from the beginning balance in January of $197,141.00. Wells Fargo account as of May 31st had a balance of $787,900 which is down from the beginning of May when the balance was $823,369. Even with the drop in May, the Wells Fargo account is showing a gain for the year beginning January 1.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE: Donnie indicated that there is continued discussion in US Senate about bills that might impact nonprofits in areas such as sales tax and other taxes. The NC General Assembly still in session and also working on bills related to nonprofits, gerrymandering, census, etc.
PUBLIC RELATIONS: Susan provided follow up on the luggage tags discussed at last quarter’s meeting. 500 tags would cost $3.65 each. We do not have the artwork the vendor would need but for a $40 fee she can convert what we have. Tags would have our logo and Web site in Braille. Sizes are 4 1/2 x 3 and 3 1/2 x 3 1/8. Cost for 500 would be $1,825 for tags plus $40 conversion fee for artwork and Susan estimates about $40 for shipping/handling. The tags would be give-away items at events. In terms of discounts ordering 1,000 reduces the cost per tag to $3.25. The line item in the current year’s budget for Newsletters and PR Materials (140) has a balance of $866.58.
A motion was made by Carl with second by Susan to increase that line item to $2,000 which should cover the cost of 500 tags, artwork conversion, and shipping/handling. Motion passed without dissent.
This will enable us to order the tags from the 2018-19 budget, leaving the full budgeted amount in this line item in the 2019-20 budget to be spent in the upcoming year. Susan will place the order and Mary will cover with the credit card. Timothy indicated that the Department has a graphic designer on staff and he will see if that person is able to make the conversion of the artwork before sending off at a cost.
A discussion followed about the one big event such as the Fishing Tournament could wipe out the supply. Efforts will be made to monitor the supply by limiting the number taken to an event, putting out only a small quantity at one time, and possibly giving only to those who join or renew membership. 
BENTON BRAILLE WRITER PROGRAM: Someone from the Charlotte area requested a Braille Writer because that person can no longer use the slate and stylus. The committee has approved this request. We have distributed about ten so far, and there will be something in the next Tar Heel Talk Newsletter to remind people of the program and process for requesting a machine. We still have several available.
OLD Business: Carl indicated that he received a higher-than-usual number of calls about the ballot for elections. The main issue seemed to be that people were not clear about voting for all positions. The ballot was no different from past years, but for whatever reason, more questions were asked. Carl has offered to work with the Nominating Committee next year to see if there are wording changes that can be made to make the process clearer.
NOMINATING COMMITTEE: Eddie provided the following results from the election --  President, Susan King; Treasurer, Mary Flanagan; Members-at-Large, Donnie Best, Karen Broderick, Max Bumgardner, Angelo Sonnesso, and JoAnn Wood. Eddie will move to the Past President slot.
The Board agreed to adoption of the election results.
Susan’s at-large seat will be vacant as she moves into the President position. Her regular term expires 6/30/2020. The Board will appoint someone in July to fill the one-year term, and that individual will then be eligible to run for two consecutive terms. Anyone with suggestions can submit those. Thanks to Sandy for serving in the Past President slot for the last several months! Eddie expressed his thanks to the Board for their work and support over the past four years as he has served as President.
NEW BUSINESS: As a member of the Collection Development Committee, Eddie and Josh from the NCLBPH recently attended a meeting of the group in Washington, DC. Josh was elected Chair of the committee. A lot of recommendations which are being finalized and will then go to the Collection Development Section of NLS. About 5,000 books are being added to the collection each year which is a significant increase from a few years ago.
NCCB Conference on Saturday, September 21st in Burlington. Susan and Dawson volunteered to do the Outreach table.
NC NFB Conference on Friday evening, September 13th at Sheraton Imperial in Durham. Miriam and Jill volunteered to staff the table.
VIP Fishing Tournament is October 21-23 and Eddie and Dawson will staff that event.
ANNOUNCEMENTS:  Carl announced that the Library is getting a new phone system next fiscal year. The conference room will get a speaker phone.
As there was no more business the meeting was adjourned.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows
March 12,2019
MEMBERS PARTICIPATING –- Sharon Benton, Mary Flanagan, Dawson Hart, Susan King, Donnie Best, Karen Broderick, Jill McMillan, Miriam Dixon, Eddie Weaver, Marsha Williams, JoAnn Wood, Sandy DeLuca, Debbie Meadows, and Carl Keehn (ex officio)
EXCUSED ABSENCES – Angelo Sonesso and Max Bumgardner
The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:00 by Eddie Weaver, President. A motion was made by Sharon with second by Mary to approve the minutes from December 2018 as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
TREASURER REPORT – Winnie review the budget/income figures as follows: Of the $77,100.00 budgeted for the year, there is an unspent balance of $40,252.81 meaning that about 48% of the budget has been spent with less than four months remaining in the year; total income - $36,346.01; and net worth - $1,059,445.05. 
Mary and Winnie have worked extensively with the new accountant over the past few months as our tax reports (form 990) was being prepared and our charitable solicitation license filed for renewal. Renewal notice has been received so license is good for another year.  In that process it was determined that our classification with the IRS needs to be changed to “Supporting   Organization.”   For the past several years our tax exempt classification on file with the IRS has not matched what has been reported on our taxes. The accountant suggested that we go ahead and file the tax form this year as we have for the past several years, then submit the paperwork to the IRS to have the classification changed.
Mary met with a person from BB&T  who works specifically with nonprofits. In that meeting there was discussion about why the SECU account has continued over the years. Reportedly SECU has stopped or will soon stop handling nonprofit accounts.  There is no financial advantage to having the SECU account at this point. Having those funds moved to BB&T would make the job of the treasurer much easier when transferring money and would mean fewer accounts to track. In order to have the money market account at the SECU we must maintain two other small  accounts. While no action will be taken now, the group asked Mary to look into options and implications for moving the SECU account to BB&T and provide a report in June.
The following was shared by Carl from the NCLBPH:
Upcoming Holidays
Friday April 19 Good Friday
Monday May 27 Memorial Day
NLS – NLS is rolling out a survey for current and prospective readers.
Much of the current emphasis on NLS service is to encourage network
libraries to transition to a duplication on demand service. Many of the
network libraries have been providing or are now providing a duplication on
demand service.
LBPH – The State Library has a new State Librarian. Timothy Owens has
been appointed as the new State Librarian, replacing Cal Shepard.
Timothy was the Assistant State Librarian for two years.
As mentioned above, Network Libraries are being encouraged to transition
to a duplication on demand service. North Carolina has begun phasing in
ours. North Carolina will be the first Network Library to use the KLAS
Scribe system, Keystone System’s second-generation duplication on
demand service.
The system consists of a server, which drives two 15 cartridge duplication
stations. The server is backed up by a 30-terabyte storage unit, which
carries the entire BARD service, updating itself nightly. Participating
patrons will be assigned a pair of cartridges. As the cartridge is inserted in
the duplication station, the server will identify the patron that the cartridge is
assigned to. Titles on the patron request list as well as titles that fulfill the
patron reading profile will be copied to the cartridge, which is then mailed
out to the patron. When the cartridge is returned and inserted in the
station, the old titles will be marked as “read” on the patron account,
removed from the cartridge and a new supply of titles will be loaded.
In February, the library conducted a public beta test of the system involving
14 patrons. The patrons were chosen, based on selected criteria, including
large numbers of book requests and interlibrary loan usage. The public
beta went very well and the patron feedback has enabled us to fine tune
the system.
We are now ready to begin a gradual roll out of the duplication on demand
service to our regular patrons. In the near future, we will begin providing
the service to new patrons. We elected to go with the new patrons first, as
we can introduce the service to them when the reader advisor contacts the
new applicant to complete setting up the service. We will then gradually
phase in our regular patrons, notifying them in advance that they will be
transitioning to the duplication on demand service and giving them the time
and opportunity to respond and ask questions before they’re transitioned
Our Systems Librarian, Craig Hayward has been leading the project and
will be happy to demonstrate the Scribe System.
Timothy Owens has submitted a nomination to NLS for Network Library of
the Year. Among the highlighted events are our first distance program,
Where the Sidewalk Ends, our first distance book discussion, carried out by
phone and the release of an updated library video. As a result of the
Where the Sidewalk Ends program, Catherine Rubin and Ginny Lou
Laughlin, one of our patrons were invited to the State Parks Annual
Conference of Superintendents to do a presentation on making the state
parks more accessible to people with disabilities.
Respectfully submitted
Carl R. Keehn
In Gina’s absence Carl provided the following Outreach update for January and February
: January
Presentation to NC State Park’s Annual Conference of
Presentation about Books on Demand to DSB Social Workers
Presentation to Hamlet DSB Mini Center
Meeting with Activity Director Hamlet House Asst. Living
Meeting with Library Director Hamlet Public Library
Presentation to Western Braille Challenge Students
Presentation to Chatham Co. DSB Mini Center
Following these reports a question was raised as to whether patrons would be required to go to the Demand format for getting books. Carl indicated that patrons will be encouraged to go to this method, but not forced.
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE – Jill reported that membership is now at 370.  While this insignificantly down from December memberships,  but the better comparison is with last year at this same time.  It was noted that more renewal notices were sent by email this year and the possibility was raised that some could have gone to “spam.”  The second renewal notice will go out in a few weeks and will go by hard copy mail.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE – Debbie reported that as of the end of February the Wells Fargo balance is $789,811, up $16,411 from the previous month.  The TCF account is down by $2,229 with a balance as of the end of December of $197,141. 
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE – Donnie reported that the General Assembly recent began its long session. Dawson is working with legislators on legislation that would provide greater protection for those using certified service animals. For example, fines might be increased or greater penalties for establishment that deny access to those with service animals. There was also  some discussion about possible implications on charitable giving since enactment of the new tax law.
PUBLIC RELATIONS – Susan has begun helping her coworkers at DSB to understand Library services by having them obtain a demo account which they can use to demonstrate the services to their consumers. She has also been able to pass the word along about the Benton Braille Writer Program. She continues to look at give-away items and will focus on luggage tags as an option. Recently Eddie attended the NCCVIB and Susan attended the NCDBA conference representing the Friends. Susan continues to look for artwork from people with disabilities for the Library conference room.
BENTON BRAILLE WRITER PROGRAM – Sharon reported that there have been three recent requests and, based on our guidelines,  one has been  filled. Efforts will continue to make people more aware of the program.
NOMINATING COMMITTEE – Sandy reported that the following names are being recommended by the Nominating Committee to serve the 2019-21 term:  Susan King, President; Mary Flanagan, Treasurer; Max Bumgardner has agreed to run for his first elected term; Donnie Best, Angello Sonesso, Karen Broderick, and JoAnn Wood have agreed to run for their second elected term.  A motion was made by Sharon with second by Miriam to accept this recommended slate of members.  The motion passed without dissent.  The paper  ballots will be mailed out by the end of April.
Carl indicated that Library has used most of its backlog of Braille paper and needs to replace the supply. He asked for a $300 increase in line item #337 (Braille Paper)  from $100 to $400 to enable the Library to re-stock Braille paper. Motion was made by Dawson with second by Mary to increase line item #337 by $300 as requested by Carl. The motion passed unanimously.
Sharon is doing a podcast, “Connect to Success” and will be calling on some of the Friends members to be interviewed.
Miriam advised the group that the Rehabilitation Center for the Blind as a new name—DSB Career and Training Center. The Center is part of the Division of Services for the Blind and is located on the GMS Campus on Ashe Avenue.
Motion was made by Karen with second by Dawson to adjourn. The motion passed and the meeting adjourned at approximately 11:50.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
December 18, 2018
Board Participants: Sandy DeLuca, Sharon Benton, JoAnn Wood, Donnie Best, Eddie Weaver, Karen Broderick, Miriam Dixon, Jill McMillan, Mary Flanagan, Angelo Sonesso, Marsha Williams, Debbie Meadows and Carl Keehn (ex officio)
Other Participants: Gina Powell, Winnie Webb and Marti Switzer
Excused Absence – Max Bumgardner
Board Members Absent – Susan King and  Dawson Hart
The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. by President Eddie Weaver. The first presentation was from Marti Switzer, our Financial Advisor from Wells Fargo Advisors.  She talked about the revision of the Investment Policy, indicating that the policy serves as guide for the management of the organization’s investment  funds. It also addresses cash on hand and when cash will be moved to an investment account. The Wells Fargo funds should be viewed as long-term investments—seven to ten years with less emphasis on the immediate performance. Our funds are invested in stocks and bonds in mutual funds with about 70% in stocks.
Following the presentation we moved into regular business with Sharon making a motion with a second by Miriam to approve the September minutes as submitted. Motion passed unanimously.
Carl provided the following Library update:
Scheduled Closings:
December 24, 25, 26th                  Christmas Holiday
January 1, 2019                              New Years Day
January 21, 2019               Martin Luther King Day
NLS – The current ad campaign will be continuing through August of 2019.
In 2019, the NLS will be conducting a nationwide survey of present and prospective patrons.  Among the topics to be explored will be their level of technical expertise, in preparation for the design of a 2nd generation talking book player.
NCLBPH – In October, we took our program on the road, with a program at the Beatties Ford Branch Library in Charlotte.  30 people attended the program, entitled “Where the Sidewalk Ends” which explored accessibility in the National Parks and Monuments, as well as the State Park system.  Ray Bloomer of the National Park Service, presented on efforts to make parks and monuments more accessible.  Our keynote speaker, Trevor Thomas of Charlotte, discussed his adventures in solo hiking, aided only by his guide dog.  Trevor has hiked many of the more challenging trails including the Appalachian Trail.  Kelley King of the Haw River State Park, turned the meeting room into a frog pond, through the use of rain sticks and props to imitate frog calls.
As a result of the contacts made at the program, Kelley King has invited the library to work with the NC State Park System to help them make State Parks more accessible.  Catherine Rubin, the Public Service Librarian, has been invited to attend the annual conference the end of January, to do a presentation on accessibility needs of visually impaired visitors.
In November, the library celebrated 60 years of service to the people of North Carolina.  90 visitors attended the open house event, which featured an author reading by Clay Griffith, our resident author.  There was live music, tours of the library facility and a display of talking book players through the ages.  Governor Cooper sent a letter of congratulation on 60 years of Service to North Carolina.
Carl added that the duplication equipment is now at the Library and being tested. It will enable the Library to load several books onto a single cartridge. And, after some delay with purchasing, the 42 braille display units are now beginning to move through the purchasing process.
Catherine Rubin announced that the NC Museum of Art is conducting docent training and she is seeking people who are blind and visually impaired to assist in that training to aid docents in  better understanding  how to serve visitors to the museum. Those who can volunteer to help can speak with Catherine about specific dates/times.
The Outreach update was given by Gina as follows:
Presentation to DSB Mini Center Cumberland County     
Presentation to NC Recreational Therapist Assoc.            
Presentation to Activity Professionals Assoc.                                 
Information Table – NC AT Expo                                                          
Information Table – Deaf/Blind Conference                                    
Presentation to NC Assisted Living Assoc. Conference                 
Information Table – Nat’l Assoc. of Bookmobile & Outreach    
Presentation to DSB Mini Center Greenville                                   
60th Anniversary Open House
Issue of Print Tar Heel Talk Produced
Friends Outreach
Manned info table at VIP Fishing Tournament                                            
Presentation to VIP Fishers                                                                                           
Manned info table at TRRS Gala
Manned Friends table at the 60th Anniversary Open House                                                                   
Discussion with participants at Disability: IN conference            
Provided applications to Stanly County Transition Fair   
Meeting with 3 staff at the Community Eye Clinic (Industries for the Blind) in Winston Salem.
Meeting with 2 EC staff at the Stanly County Schools office.
Attended the Iredell County Schools Transition Fair. Spoke with about 20 people about the library and other resources.                         
Coming Up:
January - Interviews for Volunteer Coordinator
Presentation about Books on Demand to Cynthia Speight, Director of DSB
January - Presentation to Dept. of Services for the Blind Personnel about the Books on Demand Program
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE: Jill reported a total of 628 members.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE:  Debbie reported the following account balances – Wells Fargo   account ending balance as of November 30, $750,967, an increase of  $8,758 over the last period. TCF balance as of September 30, $199,370,  an increase of $4,753 over the last period. Neither of these figures reflects money recently transferred from the SECU account to investment accounts as agreed on at the last meeting.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE: Donnie indicated that things are in limbo since the November midterm elections. General Assembly returns to Raleigh in January.
PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE: Susan was not present so no formal report though some outreach activities were covered by Gina.
NEW BUSINESS: Sharon has agreed to serve as Chair of the Benton Braille Writer Program. Miriam will serve with her along with one additional member that they will identify. 
Annual NC Conference on Visual Impairment and Blindness will be in Asheville, March 3-5.
Deaf-Blind Conference will be held in March.
Sandy will serve as Chair of the Nominating Committee along with Debbie and one non-board member whom they will identify. Sandy will receive the list of members whose term ends in June.
TREASURER’S REPORT:  Winnie reported that the current balance for  this year’s budget  is $54,907,40. This means that the organization has spent approximately 28% of the annual budget through the first six months of the year. The year-to-date income is $18,010.76.  The Organization’s total net worth is $1,050,929.66.
Mary reported that we are now working with our new CPA. They are working on the QuickBooks account and will soon be working on our taxes.
Mary also noted that we earn points through our BB&T account. We discussed ways to use the points so that they are not lost. Sharon made a motion that we cash in points up to $250 with second by Miriam. The motion passed without dissent. With the funds a gift card can be purchased for use in Library purchases for which Friends funds might otherwise be used.
As part of the annual Charitable Solicitation License renewal, Winnie read the two questions that all Board members are required to answer.  She will follow up with those absent—Susan, Dawson and Max. If there are any “yes” responses to either question she will note the responses.
As there was no other business a motion was made by Mary with second to Miriam to adjourn at approximately 11:45.
NEXT MEETING:  March 12, 2019.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
September 11, 2018
Board Members Attending – Eddie Weaver, Mary Flanagan, Susan King, Dawson Hart, Donnie Best, Karen Broderick, Miriam Dixon, Jill McMillan, Sharon Benton,  Max Bumgardner, Marsha Williams, Debbie Meadows and Carl Keehn (ex officio)
Advance Notice of Absence – JoAnn Wood and Angelo Sonnesso
Absent –Sandy DeLuca
Others Attending – Gina Powell and Winnie Webb
The meeting was called to order by President Eddie Weaver at approximately 10:00 a.m. Introductions were made.
A motion was made by Mary with second by Dawson to approve the minutes from the June meeting as submitted. Motion passed unanimously.
Carl announced that the Library’s 60th anniversary scheduled for September 12th was being postponed due to the likelihood of dangerous weather conditions resulting from Hurricane Florence. The new date will be announced later.
Treasurer’s Report – provided by Mary and Winnie.  Of the budgeted amount of $77,100 there is a current balance of $70,216.44.  Total income since July 1, $2,497.50.  Total net worth $1,091,079.29.
Mary has spoken with the new accountant, Mig. In October she will begin working with Winnie to simplify our bookkeeping process so that Winnie will not have to maintain both QuickBooks and Excel files.  The Excel file is maintained in order to generate the Braille reports.
The following Library update was provided by Carl:
Veterans Day                      Monday November 12
Thanksgiving                       Thursday – Friday, November 22-23
Christmas                             Monday – Wednesday                 December 24 - 26
The National Library Service has been putting their priority in getting Duplication on Demand programs up and running.  They have been supporting the WEBReads libraries, those using the NLS ILS by providing them with the required hardware and software.  They have also been working with Keystone Systems to develop a duplication on demand service which will more effectively interface with the NLS Guttenberg duplication software.
In August, I reported to the NFB-NC Convention at Camp Dogwood.  I was able to announce two programs that are in the process of being implemented, both of which will significantly expand our service.  We are able to add both services as a result of a pair of Federal Grants that we have been awarded.
The first program is a duplication on demand program for North Carolina.  Through a Federal grant, we have been able to contract with Keystone Systems to establish a Duplication on Demand station which consists of the server/control unit, a large storage device to maintain the full BARD collection locally and a pair of duplication towers, each with 15 slots.  Each participating patron will be assigned a cartridge.  When the cartridge is returned to us, the books that the patron has read will be removed from the cartridge and new books will be automatically loaded on the cartridge, based on the patron requests or interests.  Multiple books will be loaded on the cartridge, based on cartridge capacity and patron interest.  You won’t have to worry about the book being checked out and unavailable, nor will download only materials be a concern.  We will be maintaining a mirror of the NLS digital collection so that anything available can be copied to cartridge.  The station is up and running, we are currently running testing using staff accounts.  Our next step will be to run a public test, with a select group of patrons, prior to opening the program to our general readership.
The second program is a pilot instituted at the request of the National Library Service.  Later this Autumn we will begin circulating refreshable Braille displays to a select group of readers.  Through a federal grant, we will be purchasing a supply of Brailliant 14 cell refreshable Braille displays from Humanware.  The displays will be loaned out and will be handled like we are currently handling the talking book players.  A few years down the road, with input from the local pilot projects, the National Library Service hopes to make refreshable Braille displays part of their service.  For further information or to indicate interest, you can contact Craig Hayward toll free at 1-888-388-2460.
As a result of the impending hurricane, our 60th Anniversary Open House has been postponed to a later date to be determined.  Our public service staff is in the process of contacting those people who indicated an interest in attending and informing them that the program will be postponed, due to safety concerns with both patrons and staff.
Under the guidance of Sarah Brackett, one of our reader advisors; we are instituting our first distance book discussion.  We will use conference calling to enable distant patrons to participate in the discussion.  The program is being rolled out to Charlotte area residents on a pilot basis and will be held on the third Thursday of each month.  This will compliment the VIP book discussion which we hold in the library on the second Friday of each month.
Gina provided the following Library outreach report:
Presentation to Association of Workers for the Blind
Presentation to DSB Mini Center in Chapel Hill
Presentation at NFB conference
Info table at Person County Library Senior Fair Day
Tour of the Library for Deaf Blind Services
Presentation to New Public Library Directors
Issue of Digital Tar Heel Talk Produced
Friends Outreach
-Angelo Sonesso spent 1.5 hours with the North Beach Rotary promoting FOL, and requested they consider us for a grant during their grant process in the spring.
-Over the course of July and August in Susan King s role as a DSB PETS Associate, she had seven meetings with students who are visually impaired at their homes. She included the library and FOL in her presentations on available resources
- Susan King led a PETS Resources Seminar at the Charlotte DSB District office. She discussed the library with the attendees and other speakers.
- Miriam Dixon and Susan King worked a FOL/Library table at the NC NFB Conference Vendor session.
-Karen Broderick reported that on a West Coast Travel Tour she shared her volunteering experiences with her tour group, and recommended they contact their libraries and volunteer.
Coming Up:
Volunteer Recognition Lunch – September 27th
Presentation to NC Activity Professionals Association
Presentation to DSB Mini Center in Roanoke Rapids
Presentation to Council for the Blind
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE – Jill reported a current membership of 596, up by 45 from the June report.  Efforts have been made to purge the roles where appropriate so hopefully the list of those who have not renewed is a more accurate list now.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE – Debbie reported the following balances for the investment accounts: Wells Fargo Advisors as of 8/31, beginning balance - $783,385.00, ending balance - $791,739.84.
Triangle Community as of 6/30 , beginning balance - $194,517.57, ending balance - $194,617.65.
Debbie reported on work that was begun last year to update the Investment Policy and recently completed by the current committee which consists of Debbie Meadows, Max Bumgardner, Mary Flanagan and Marti Switzer. The policy had been reviewed by Marti and some changes suggested—many of which updated language as the policy had not been changed in several years.  Regarding more substantial changes, the revisions (1) clarify that the policy applies ONLY to funds in investment accounts, not to funds in the operating account; (2) changes the investment cycle from 3 to 6 years to 5 to 7 years which is more consistent with current industry standards; and (3) establishes guidelines for the amount to remain in the State Employees Credit Union account (held for emergencies).  The recommendation to accept these revisions came with a second from Max and passed without dissent.
The current balance of the SECU account is $56, 646,36.  The revised policy provides that the account should hold approximately the amount needed to meet budgeted obligations  for about eighteen months, taking into account projected income. This means that the overage should be moved from the account into an investment account. A motion was made by Sharon with second by Miriam giving the Investment Committee approval to determine the amount that should be moved based on calculations by Mary as Treasurer, and then move the remaining amount into an investment account. The motion passed without dissent.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE – Mary provided an explanation of the Johnson Amendment for newer members.  Donnie continues to follow the amendment as well as providing some update information on the impact of new tax law on nonprofits.
PR COMMITTEE – Susan reported that Angelo presented to a local Rotary Club. Miriam worked an info table at the recent NFB State Convention. In the coming quarter several activities are planned including Eddie’s involvement with the VIP Fishing Tournament along with Dawson and a large event planned at the public library in Charlotte. The Committee will look at possible give-away items. 
The updated Braille Literacy Council Web site is operation now. A HUGE thanks to Jill and to William Tabilleja for making this happen!
The NC Council of the Blind Conference is coming up in Fayetteville the weekend of 9/22. Mary and Winnie have agreed to staff the information table there.
THE Volunteer Recognition luncheon will be held at the McKimmon Center on September 27th.
As there was no further business a motion was made by Mary with second by Dawson to adjourn at approximately 11:30.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
June 12, 2018
The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:00 a.m. by President Eddie Weaver. Introductions were made and participation noted as follows:
Members participating – Sharon Benton, San    dy DeLuca, Eddie Weaver, Donnie Best, JoAnn Wood, Mary Flanagan, Karen Broderick, Susan King, Angelo Sonnesso, Debbie Meadows and Carl Keehn (ex officio)
Members with excused absences – Kathy Brack, Miriam Dixon, George Chester and Jill McMillan
Member not attending – Myra DeBruhl
Others attending – Winnie Webb, Gina Powell, Timothy Owens, Dawson Hart
Motion was made by Sharon with second by Susan to approve the minutes from the March meeting as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
Treasurer’s Report –Mary estimates that there will be approximately $15,000.00 remaining in the budget of $67,560.00 at the close of the year on June 30, 2018. Total net worth - $1,068,173.29.
Proposed Budget for 2018-19 –Mary and Carl reviewed the Friends and Library line items in the proposed budget pointing out a couple of notable changes. Because of some new requirements for nonprofits, the Finance Committee believes that the Friends should have an accountant who specializes in nonprofit tax work.  Two firms were interviewed and the Committee is recommending Mig Murphy Sistrom. While the company is a bit more expensive during the first year because of transition of data and working with staff to streamline reporting, the cost should go down in subsequent years.  If the Board agrees to go with the new company, the Finance Committee is recommending adding $5,000 to line item #125 Accounting/Legal bringing that line item to $10,000 for the coming year.
Carl noted that line items #315 Large Print Books and #320 Braille Books each increased by $2,500 as the result of a bequest specifying that the money be used to increase Library materials.
At the conclusion of presentation of the budget, a motion was made by Susan with second by Sharon to move the Friends accounting business to the new firm as recommended by the Finance Committee. The motion passed unanimously.
A motion was made by Debbie with second by Sharon to adopt the budget as presented by the Treasurer with the addition of the $5,000 to line #125 to cover the accounting cost for the move. The motion passed without dissent.
With the addition of the $5,000 one-time bequest and the $5,000 increase to line #125, the 2018-19 budget amount will be $77,000.00.
Carl provided the following Library update:
Upcoming Holidays
Wednesday  July 4             Independence Day
Monday                    September 3           Labor Day
BARD seems to have had issues with stability within the last few months.  There was a significant issue in April which impacted on patron access as well as statistical reporting to the libraries.  Since then there have been a number of events during which patron access was impacted for short periods of time.
There are concerns with the Magazine on Cartridge program and the limited number of allowed overdues.  Currently, when a patron has two overdue cartridges, their service is put on hold until at least one of the overdues is accounted for.  Problems with mail delivery can often place a patron in an inactive status and the only way to currently resolve the issue is to contact our Network Consultant.  This should be a matter of discussion at the upcoming NLS biennial conference.
Our 60th Anniversary Open House will be on Thursday September 13.  We have already submitted a request to the Governor’s office, for a proclamation to recognize September 13 as North Carolina Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Day.
Our first distance program will be offered in cooperation with the Charlotte-Mecklenberg Public Library on Saturday October 13.  The program will be hosted at the Beatties Ford Branch.  The program title is “Where the Sidewalk Ends: Accessing America’s Parks and Monuments” and will feature Trevor Thomas, a blind hiker and NCLBPH Patron who will be talking about his experiences in hiking State and National Parks throughout the US.  Ray Bloomer of the National Center for Accessibility, a part of the National Park Service; will discuss his work in making numerous National Parks and Monuments more accessible.  Kelly King, the park superintendent for the Haw River State Park is providing a “Frog Call” session where the audience will become part of the pond.  She will also be talking about adaptive programs available through the NC State Parks.
When you call the library on the local line, you may notice a new voice answering the phone.  We have hired a new receptionist, Demetrius McComb-Spotts, to replace Ellie Ward, who had retired this spring.
The Outreach Report was given by Gina.
11  Meetings with Activity Directors at Assisted Living Facilities
Presentation to Salisbury DSB Mini Center
Presentation to Garner Civitans
Presentation at Meadowview Assisted Living
Presentation at NCCVIB Conference
Info Table at NCCVIB Conference
Info table and game at Beeping Egg Hunt
Presentation to Martin Memorial Public Library Staff
Info Table Helen Keller Awareness Day
Info Table at Blind Idol
Summer Reading Tactile Art Tour
Coming Up:
60th Anniversary Open House – September 13th
Volunteer Recognition Luncheon  September 27th
Membership Committee – In Jill’s absence, Mary reported that there are 551 members as of today with 690 expired memberships. The number of memberships is up about 150 from the March figure. There was discussion of deleting members if they have not been heard from in a three-year period.  The belief was that there is no need to continue sending membership information to someone who has not responded in three years. Already there is an effort to remove names of those who are deceased or whose correspondence is being returned as undeliverable.
Investment Committee – In George’s absence Mary reported that the Friends’ TCF account stands at $194,524 as of March 31, the most current report available.  The Wells Fargo Advisors account is at $769,272 as of May 31st.  These figures represent a decrease in the TCF account and an increase in WFA over the previous report.
Legislative Committee – Donnie noted that local interest in the development of the Dix Park and overall downtown area. There are a number of changes impacting nonprofits in various areas including a requirement that parking fees paid for employees be counted as income to the employee.  Sharon made the group aware of an access survey being done by the City of Raleigh. She will send the link to Eddie for distribution and encouraged those who are local to complete it.  Mary brought up the issue of net neutrality and indicated that there are bills in the NC House and Senate to restore net neutrality to NC.
Public Relations Committee – In Kathy’s absence Eddie indicated that the one addition to the outreach activities mentioned by Gina was a table staffed by the Friends at the bowling tournament hosted by the Raleigh Outlaws. He estimated that there were about 125 people in attendance.
Braille Literacy Council – The updated web site is mostly finished except for adding text to pictures.
Election – Sandy reported the following election results for the coming two-year period: Vice President, Sharon Benton; Secretary, Debbie Meadows; Board Member seats – Miriam Dixon, Jill McMillan, Susan King, Dawson Hart and Marsha Williams were elected.  The seat being vacated through the resignation of Myra DeBruhl effective 6/3/18 will be filled by Max Bumgardner as appointed by the Board.  He will complete the final year of Myra’s term and will then be eligible to run for two terms.
Carl announced that the Library will celebrate its 60th anniversary on September 13th. It will be an all-day event with various entertainers scheduled during the day. He invited the Friends to have a table at the event.
The NFB of NC  convention is coming up in late August at Camp Dogwood  and the NC Council of the Blind convention will be in September in Fayetteville.  Anyone available to staff a table at either conference should let Eddie know.
Benton Braille Writer Program – There is a second application for a braille writer and possibly a third on the way. The link is now on the Friends Web site for the program.
Eddie expressed thanks to the Board members who will be leaving at the end of June: Kathy, George and Myra. Each will receive a certificate and paper weight.
Susan observed that the conference room where we meet in the Library has recently had a face lift with new furniture and wondered if we might further enhance the appearance with some artwork on the walls. Carl indicated his support for this effort. Susan knows some artists who might be willing to donate or loan some pieces to be used.
Blind Idol competition to be held in Durham on June 16th.  Donnie is one of several local semifinalists who will compete.
There was some discussion of how blind people might handle themselves in an emergency situation such as a mass shooting.  There are a number of complicating factors – general chaos, crowd noise, and unfamiliarity with the environment.  And, no easy and clear answers.  If members become aware of useful information, it will be passed along.
As there was no further business a motion was made by Sharon with second by Mary to adjourn at approximately 11:45.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
March 13, 2018
MEMBERS ATTENDING – Mary Flanagan, Sharon Benton, Karen Broderick, Myra DeBruhl, Eddie Weaver, Susan King, Jill McMillan, Miriam Dixon, Donnie Best, Sandy DeLuca, Debbie Meadows and Carl Keehn (ex officio)
The following member gave notice that they would be absent prior to the meeting – Angelo Sonnesso, George Chester, Kathy Brack
ABSENT – JoAnn Wood
OTHERS ATTENDING – Winnie Webb, Gina Powell
The meeting was called to order at approximately 10:00 a.m. by Eddie Weaver, President. Introductions were made. Sandy was welcomed and thanked for filling the role of Past President. Motion was made by Mary with second by Sharon to approve minutes from the December meeting as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
TREASURER’S REPORT – Of the $67,560.00 budgeted for the year, we have spent $32,593.26 leaving a balance of $34,223.74 with just over three months remaining in the year. Total income for the year is $42,190.15. Total net worth is $1,094,558.58.
Mary pointed out that we are now tracking donations in a different and better way. In the past if a donation was made along with a membership it was not counted separate from the membership, but now the donation is being shown as a “donation” and only the actual membership amount is shown as “membership.” Mary looked at  ways other than just PayPal for people to pay memberships online as online transactions are up.  However, other options are more expensive so no change will be made now. There was discussion of that fact that it is possible to use the PayPal site but use a different credit card to make the payment. Many were not aware of this so sending instructions along with membership letters might be useful.  Mary indicated that the Finance Committee is working on next year’s budget.
Carl provided the following NCLBPH report:
Upcoming Closing Dates
Friday            March 30                  Good Friday
Monday        May 28                      Memorial Day
NLS – The National Library Service has announced that commercially recorded books will be going straight to BARD, unless there is a large demand for them.  Including the commercial books, NLS has been releasing between 3 and 4,000 titles per month and there are not sufficient cartridges to release all titles in hard copy.  NLS recorded materials will continue to be released in cartridge form, for the time being.
LBPH –Two of the patrons selected for the MOCA test, have received their machines.  The MOCA test is testing the feasibility of delivering BARD materials, using cellular networks.  The participant receives a device and a blank cartridge.  The device grabs a title from the patron’s BARD wish list and loads it on the cartridge.  The next time that the cartridge is inserted in the device, the title on it is erased and another title is loaded.  The cellular service is provided by NLS for use with the devices.  The initial response of the patrons that have received the devices, is very positive, with one stating that his living room is lighted up by the brightness of his smile.
Adverse weather in January, impacted on our ability to provide service to our patrons.  Staff shortages as a result of the snow, prevented us from staffing the phones or making a mail run for two days.
We are sorry to announce two retirements that will impact us.  Ellie Ward, our receptionist, has announced her retirement; which will be effective the end of April.  Cal Shepard, the State Librarian; has also announced her retirement, which will be effective the end of May.  We are in the process of recruiting to replace Ellie.  At the moment, the recruitment process for the State Librarian has not been announced, although she will be replaced.
Gina provided the following outreach report:
13 meetings with Activity Directors of Assisted Living Facilities
3 presentations to residents at Assisted Living Facilities
Presentation at the Blind Center in Washington NC
Meeting with the Director of BHM Public Library in Washington
Presentations at DSB Mini Centers in Southern Pines, Lumberton and Oxford
Presentation at NC Community Colleges Conference
Presentation to seniors at Clayton Community on Active Aging
Eddie – Exhibit table and presentation at Deaf Blind Conference
Coming up in March
Coats Mini
Wilkes Co. Mini
GMS Career Day
Presentation to residents at Assisted Living Facility
Later this year
National Volunteer Week 4/16 – 20
NCCVIB exhibit table 4/19
Kids Summer Reading Kickoff – 6/27
60th Anniversary Open House 9/13
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE – Jill indicated that there are about 400 members including some whose forms have arrived in the last few days but not been entered into the system yet. This is down by about fifty from last year at this time. Reminder letters will go out later this month.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE – In George’s absence Mary reported that our most recent reported balance with Wells Fargo Advisors is $768,648 which is down for the past month but up for the year by $3,400.  Our most recent balance with TFC is $197,021 which is up $5,000 from the last report.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE – Donnie reported that the Johnson Amendment which we have been following remains on track. One of the items that he reported on that sparked the most discussion involved the REAL ID issued by DMV.  Though requirements related to this ID do not become effective until 2020, DMV is able to issue the ID now and people are encouraged to go ahead and get it, particularly if their ID expires before 2020. There was also some discussion of the possible impact of the new Tax Law on charitable donations. It is impossible now to know whether people will donate more because they have more take-home money, or less because they take standard deductions and do not itemize. Finally, the General Assembly returns in May for the short session.
PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE – In Kathy’s absence Eddie reported that Gary Ray assisted with Western Braille Challenge where 23 students participated and there were 25 family members involved. There were also fifteen students involved in the Central NC Braille Challenge. Miriam assisted with scoring of the contests. Eddie staffed a table at the deaf/blind conference where there were about 100 participants.
Sandy reported on work of the Nominating Committee which consisted of Sandy DeLuca, Charles Parker (Friends member) and Debbie Meadows. The following terms expire at the end of June: Kathy Brack (Vice President), Debbie Meadows (Secretary), at-large members: Susan King, Jill McMillan, Miriam Dixon, George Chester and Sharon Benton. Miriam, Susan, and Jill have served only one elected term  so are eligible to run for a second term and all three have agreed to do so. George is eligible to serve a second term but indicated that he is not able to run again.  Sharon is completing her second term and not eligible to run for another at-large term.
Myra indicated to the group at the meeting that she is not able to finish out her term which ends in June 2019, so the Board will appoint a replacement to finish out her term.
Debbie has agreed to run for another term as Secretary (the treasurer and secretary seats do not have term limits.)
Sharon has agreed to run for the Vice President seat.
This leaves one at-large seat being vacated by Sharon, and Kathy Brack’s position open for the election. The following individuals have expressed an interest in running for the Board and all have some background in advocacy/organizational work with and for people with vision loss. They are Marsha Williams from the eastern part of NC and from the West, Max Bumgardner and Dawson Hart.
Motion was made by Sharon with second by Miriam to accept the slate of candidates as proposed by the Nominating Committee. The motion passed unanimously.
Members will be asked to vote for two of the three people running for the at-large seats or write in another candidate.
Ballots will go out in April.
As an update from the Braille Literacy Council, the changes to the web site are nearly finished. William Tubilleja has agreed to maintain the Facebook page.
The Executive Committee discussed and agreed to name the Braille Writer Program in memory of James Benton who was a strong voice for getting the program started.  The program will be known as the James Benton Braille Writer Program.  When all of the logistics are in place (application, guidelines) a link will be placed on the Friends web site so that people can learn about the program and apply.
Reminder of the NCCVIB coming up on April 18 – 20 in Chapel Hill.
Sharon shared that the Outlaws will be hosting the bowling tournament in Raleigh the first weekend in May.
Motion made by Karen with second by Miriam to adjourn at approximately 11:40.
NEXT MEETING – June 12th  at 10:00  – This will be the Friends Annual Membership meeting.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
December 12, 2017
Participating Members – Eddie Weaver, Mary Flanagan, Miriam Dixon, Jill McMillan, Donnie Best, George Chester, Susan King, Sharon Benton, JoAnn Wood, Myra DeBruhl, Debbie Meadows, and Carl Keehn (ex officio)
Members not in attendance – Kathy Brack, Angelo Sonnesso, and Karen Broderick
Others attending – Gina Powell, Catherine Reuben, and Winnie Webb
The meeting was called to order at 10:00 a.m. by President Eddie Weaver. Introductions were made followed by a moment of silence in memory of James Benton, long-time dedicated Friends Board member and dear friend to each of us.
Motion was made by Mary with second by Miriam to approve the September Board Meeting minutes as submitted. The motion passed unanimously.
TREASURER’S REPORT – Winnie reviewed the expenditure and income figures.  Mary noted that at the midpoint of the year we have spent about one third of the budget. The current unspent balance is $46,201.99. Total income year-to-date is $19,523.10.  We are due to receive funds from the Ben Eason trust as well as sales tax refund in December. The organization’s net worth is $1,031,614.93.
Mary identified the need to move $1,000 into the accounting/legal line item (#125) and $1,000 into the trips & presentations line (#300). Motion was made by Debbie with second by Sharon to move $1,000.00 into each of these two line items as requested. The motion passed unanimously.  Mary indicated that a higher-than-expected accounting fee resulted in the need for the added money in that line. The group will begin looking at other accounting service options in January.
Cost for the Volunteer Recognition Lunch was approximately $4,285. Sixty-seven people attended the event. This was the first time the event was a lunch rather than dinner event. Feedback has been positive so we will stay with a similar format for the coming year.
Our 990 tax form has been completed. The organization had income of more than $100,000 for the fiscal year.
Carl shared the following Library update:
Upcoming Closing Dates:
December 25 – 27, 2017 Christmas Break
Monday January 1, 2018 New Year’s Day
Monday January 15, 2018          Martin Luther King Day
NLS – During the first quarter 2018, The National Library Service is planning a media buy to publicize the service.  Network Libraries were surveyed to determine if their phone systems would be capable of handling after hour voice messages.  North Carolina is capable of receiving voice messages on both the local and toll-free lines.
In January, NLS will be entering the second phase of the MOCA Project, by distributing MOCA units to selected patrons.  The MOCA Project tests the capability of pushing downloaded materials to a data enabled device.  Our Public Service Librarian had developed a series of talking points to be used in contacting prospective testers.  NLS asked if they could use and adapt the talking points to distribute to the entire network.
NCLBPH – We received the report from the NLS consultant visit and are very pleased with the results and the recommendations.  No actual corrections were identified, the recommendations basically advised us to take advantage of NLS services and processes. 
We are in the process of finalizing our strategic plan.  Mary Flanagan has been working with library staff to develop a plan to guide us over the next three years.  We have also revised our Vision Statement and Mission Statement as follows:
Vision Statement:  Extraordinary Living through reading for All
Mission Statement: To cultivate and enrich the community of print disabled residents of the State of North Carolina by providing access to talking books, Braille and more and to promote lifelong literacy and positive learning experiences.
The Plan focuses on 5 major categories, Outreach, Technology, Collection Development, Building Planning and Community, which will include our 60th Anniversary celebration in 2018.
We have made job offers for both the warehouse position and Reader Advisor position.  The Reader advisor position was offered to Sarah, Brackett, the temporary services employee that was filling the vacant position.  Because the job offer is regarded as a transfer rather than a new appointment, we were able to fill the position more quickly.
The warehouse position has been offered to Caryl Klemm, who will be starting on Friday, December 15.
Catherine Reuben talked with the group about some of the program options that the Library is considering for the future. While nothing has been finalized, some options include a must program involving some of the Library patrons, at outdoor theme program, a speaker from the National Park Service who works on accessibility issues, and another cooking program. And, there will be more touch tours with the local museums.
Gina provided the following Outreach report:
October Outreach:
Presentation to Carolina Meadows Assisted Living                                  
Exhibit Table at Fishing Tournament – Eddie Weaver                  
Exhibit Table at ALS Conference                      
Exhibit Table at GREAT Conference    
Presentation at GREAT Conference
Presentation at NC Library Assoc. Conference                                
Presentation to Murphy VIP Group – Gary Ray
Exhibit Table at TRRS Gala – James and Sharon Benton
November Outreach
Presentation at Southern Pines Public Library
Presentation at DSB Mini Center
December Outreach
Exhibit table at Foundation Fighting Blindness Conference
Upcoming Outreach:
            Presentation to Arden Woods Retirement Home  
            Beginning Outreach Pilot Project to Assisted Living Facilities   
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE – Jill reported a total of 671 members which is up 90 from last year. Membership forms that were received at the Fishing Tournament and the consumer conferences will become effective in January. Membership renewal letters will be going out for January renewal.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE –George reported that our Triangle Community Foundation account is at $188,323.00 which is up from the previous balance. Well Fargo Advisors account is at $747,728.00. This account is up about $82,864 for the year, which does not include the $25,000 added to the account by the organization.  The Committee is working to update the investment policy.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE – Donnie is working to establish contact with some of the advocacy and service organizations that James worked so closely with in the past. One of the main interests now is how the tax reform bill will play out at the federal level, and what impact it might have on services as well as individuals.  And through our non-profit contacts we continue to watch how things progress with the Johnson Amendment.
PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE – In Kathy’s absence Eddie mentioned that the group continues to look into possible give-away items for conferences.
Braille Literacy Council – Eddie reported that the group continues to work on updating its website. Jill has been working with William Tubilleja on the site.  One braille writer has been given to a person as part of the new Braille Writer Distribution Program.  A few others are ready when needed. Work continues to finalize the application form and process.
A couple of weeks ago the Executive Committee met to discuss how to fill the vacant position of Past President which had been held by James.  The decision was made to present to the Board the option of asking Sandy DeLuca to serve in this role as she was President of the organization a number of years ago.  Prior to the Board meeting Eddie contacted Sandy to see if she would be willing and available to serve in this role if approved by the Board.  She agreed. The proposal was presented to the Board at its meeting today and a motion was made by Sharon with second by Jill that Sandy DeLuca fill the Past President position until Eddie’s term expires in 2019. The motion passed without dissent.
NOMINATING COMMITTEE – Sandy will assume the role of Nominating Committee Chair. One Board member and one member from the general membership will complete the committee. Eddie asked for volunteers/suggestions for both spots. The proposed nominees will need to be presented at the March Board meeting so that ballots can be sent out in late April.
The annual Deaf-Blind Conference is coming up in March. Eddie has attended in the past but asked if anyone else could or would attend. Jill is a possibility and will let Eddie know.
The NC Conference on Visual Impairment and Blindness will be in Chapel Hill in April. In the past the Library and the Friends have shared a table and that is the plan for this year. Eddie and Gina are part of the planning group and will be at the conference but would welcome help from other members if available.
Debbie reminded the group that the Braille Challenge will be held in Raleigh on 2/22/18 and a second Western Braille Challenge is also scheduled.  Eye Shine Foundation is sponsoring the Raleigh event and they have been in touch with Mary.
As there was no other business, a motion was made by Miriam with second by Mary to adjourn at approximately 11:30.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
September 12, 2017
Members Participating – Eddie Weaver, Mary Flanagan, Kathy Brack, George Chester, Donnie Best, JoAnn Wood, James Benton, Sharon Benton, Jill McMillan, Miriam Dixon, Karen Broderick, Susan King, Carl Keehn (ex officio)
Board members absent with  notice given to President Weaver -  Debbie Meadows, Myra DeBruhl, Angelo Sonnesso
Others participating – Winnie Webb, staff
Welcome to new members JoAnn Wood and Karen Broderick with comments of introduction by both.
Susan indicated that she is no longer working with Lions Foundation and has provided Carl with updated contact information. Carl reminded members that anytime there is a change in their contact information to let him or Eddie know so that the directory can be kept current.
Motion made by Mary with second by James to approve minutes as submitted. Motion passed unanimously.
TREASURER’S REPORT – Winnie reviewed summary of budget items. Total budget $65,200; encumbered amount $1,443,55; spent to date $17,421.80; amount remaining $56,334.65. Income to date $6,200.  Total net worth $1,003,644.21—first time that organization has exceeded one million dollars! Mary pointed out  that there is a restricted line item of $3,240 which is restricted donations made to the Library which can be used only by the Library but which is received and held by the Friends.
Mary explained the various BB&T, SECU and investment accounts. Also explanation of Ben Eason Fund and receipts of nearly $26,000 per year distributed to us from TCF which handles the Fund.
Because of change of our year from calendar to state fiscal year, our taxes are now due by mid October. Winnie has now turned over files to our CPA to do taxes. Often CPA requests extension to first of calendar year. Board can get credit for volunteer work including board-related work. Send hours to Margaret Evans. Indicated that these are volunteer hours for Friends, not the Library. Margaret already has any meeting attendance hours but other hours outside the meetings should be given to her.
The LBPH quarterly report was provided by Carl as follows:
Upcoming Closings
Friday                        November 10          Veterans Day
Thursday – Friday  November 23-24   Thanksgiving
The library underwent our biennial consultant visit, the end of July.  Vickie Collins, the head of the Network Services Section, carried out our visit.  During the Consultant Visit, the library is evaluated on how well we meet the standards and Guidelines for service.  At the same time, the consultant looks for opportunities to improve library service.  At the end of the visit, Vickie took time to meet with me and present me with her impressions of the visit.  She was most impressed by the quality and enthusiasm of the staff, in fact she had reported several times during the visit, how impressive the Staff of North Carolina is.
Vickie indicated that there were no concerns with how effective North Carolina is in meeting the standards and guidelines for library service.  North Carolina is regarded as one of the better programs nationwide.  She did make a couple of recommendations for the improvement of service.  She suggested that we consider being a Southern pilot library for the refreshable braille display program, currently the only pilot program is that of Perkins.  She also recommended that we consider publishing an electronic edition of Tar Heel Talk to supplement the print edition that we currently publish.  The electronic edition would be sent by email and available online and would enable us to fill in the gaps between the two print editions we publish per year.
On Wednesday, August 30, the NC Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped along with the Governor Morehead School and Division of Services for the Blind, cohosted the program “Spirit in Motion: Stories of the Olympics and Paralympics”. The program featured WRAL Anchor Renee Chou, who spoke about covering the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and Paralympic athlete Lex Gillette, who spoke about his experiences in competing and winning medals in the 2016 Paralympics. DNCR Secretary Susi Hamilton and Miss Wheelchair USA, Madeline Delp, welcomed people to the program.  113 people attended the program and an additional 57 people have streamed the program on our YouTube feed.
The National Library Service has asked us to prepare a brief profile on the program, to be posted on their Facebook page.
We are sorry to announce the departure of Michael Shaw from our Circulation Unit.  We are currently planning to recruit to fill the vacant position.
Gina was unable to attend because of jury duty, but provided the following outreach summary  for the minutes.
July Outreach:
Presentation to Duplin County Low Vision Group                         
Meeting with Activity Dir. Dayspring Assisted Living                   
Meeting with Activity Dir. Windham Hall                                        
Presentation to Resurrection Lutheran Blind Ministries group 
Meeting with Kenly Public Library Director                                     
Presentation to Assoc. of Workers for the Blind                            
Presentation to My Independence Attendees        
August Outreach
Presentation to Kernodle Senior Center                                           
September Outreach
Presentation to Pender Low Vision Group
Presentation to UNC Greensboro Library Class
Presentation to NFB Conference
Exhibit table at NFB Conference
Presentation to NCCB Convention
Exhibit table at NCCB Convention       
Presentation at Durham Mini Center
Volunteer Recognition Dinner             
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE – Jill reported that we are up by 190 new members from March. Total membership is 643. Last year at this time we were at about 580 members so membership is up.  Membership list has been purged to remove those who have not renewed in many years possibly due to relocation or death.
INVESTMENT COMMITTEE – George reported that as of end of August the Wells Fargo account is at $724,477. TCF most current balance is $185,940. Both accounts continue to increase.
PUBLIC RELATIONS – Kathy reported that Gary Ray did a presentation with the DSB Independent Living Program for 15 participants. Susan provided Library and Friends information to participants at ten orientation sessions at Camp Dogwood over the summer. Based on suggestion from Karen, there will be some renewed effort to reach out to Senior Centers as people are available to make presentations to these groups.
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE – James reported things relatively quiet at the state level with the various agencies. He confirmed that NewsLine is secure in that it is budgeted on a recurring basis, though amount does not change without legislative action. Miriam is now the statewide coordinator for the NFB-NewsLine in NC.
James described some positives steps that have occurred within ART (Accessible Raleigh Transportation) which will hopefully make use of the system better for customers.
James noted the death of a former Board member, Les Seitz on August 31st. He was 57 years old. Memorial is being planned but has not been scheduled.
OLD BUSINESS – Reminder of Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on 9/28 at 11:30 at McKimmon Center.
Eddie shared that the recently re-formed Braille Literacy Council has begun work to update its website which is being funded by the Friends. Eddie and Mary are working to get cost for updating. Our current web host company (VIETH)  will charge $800 for the updated site plus $50 per month for it to function as a membership site; however, unlike the Friends site it is not a membership site so efforts are underway to see if that can be waived. The BLC site is an information/resource site. Question as to whether the BLC can be linked to the Friends’ page as a link from the Friends site, and if so, whether the cost would change.
James made a motion that $800 be approved for use in developing the NCBLC website, not to be dispersed until the Executive Committee has completed concrete investigation into the procedure to be used for the site development with language added by Kathy with James agreement that funds could be used for the current company or another company based on the Executive Committee’s investigation.  Jill seconded the motion with the added language. Motion passed without dissent.
Braille Writer Program update – At last BLC meeting William Tubilleja raised the possibility of getting older Braille writers from GMS and DPI.  These would be machines that are no longer being used and possibly in need of repair. To date fourteen machines have been obtained and placed at the Library to be held until they can be repaired and distributed. Three of the machines have been repaired and are ready to be sent out. The BLC has developed some guidelines and Mary has worked on the application. Eddie needs someone who is able to make the form accessible for completing on the computer by a VI person. Miriam offered to ask one of the technology teachers at the Rehabilitation Center. Miriam and Angela McCantz will be reviewing applications for the machines as they come in. Eddie will share the guidelines and application with members and Library staff once finalized.
NEW BUSINESS – Reminder to sign the Code of Conduct which is done annually.
NCNFB Convention in Raleigh to be covered by Angelo and Miriam unless other convention duties interfere. .
NCCB Convention in Durham will likely be covered by Eddie.
Lions Fishing Tournament to be covered by Eddie.
Eddie reminded the group that any new or renewal applications received between now and the beginning or 2018 will become effective on January 1st since the membership year runs from January through December.
ANNOUNCEMENTS – James announced  October 27th TRRS Gala.  October 4th Mayor’s Committee for Persons with Disabilities annual awards luncheon at McKimmon Center.
Motion made by James with second by Miriam that the meeting adjourn and passed unanimously.
Submitted by
Debbie Meadows, Secretary
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