Minutes: July 2020




JULY 20, 2020




Present: Tony Cardinal, Joe Braun, Adam Bird, Tricia Lyons, Mary Jo Waite, Jennifer Doss

Absent: Judith Kocica

Staff:  Chris Wick, Maura Gray, Leslie Jacobs, Theresa Herron

Guests: None

Mr. Cardinal called the meeting to order at 6:01 p.m.


Roll Call: Tony Cardinal, here; Joe Braun, here; Adam Bird, here; Judith Kocica, absent; Tricia Lyons, here; Mary Jo Waite, here; Jennifer Doss, here.

Mr. Cardinal asked everyone to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.


Mr. Cardinal entertained a motion to go into executive session under ORC 121.22 (G) (1) to consider employment and compensation of a public employee(s) or official(s).

Motion by Mr. Braun, seconded by Ms. Doss, to go into executive session at 6:02 p.m.

Roll call vote: Mr. Cardinal, aye; Mr. Braun, aye; Mr. Bird, aye; Ms. Lyons, aye; Ms. Waite, aye; Ms. Doss, aye. All present were in favor, none opposed.

The board came out of executive session at 6:42 p.m.

Mr. Cardinal said the Library board has been very fiscally responsible over the years. He believes the plan put into place when the COVID-19 pandemic began served the Library well. Now, the finances are favorable enough to restore full hours in the branches, return nonexempt staff to regular hours and exempt staff to full pay effective July 27, 2020.

Motion by Mr. Braun, seconded by Mr. Bird, to restore branch and nonexempt staff hours and exempt staff pay pre-April 27 levels and be effective July 27, 2020.

Discussion: Ms. Lyons said the Library must be flexible and make decisions going forward based on the information the Board has. Based on current information, the Board is making the right decision by returning to regular hours and pay, which is in the best interest of the staff and community.

Ms. Waite said other budget cuts are still in place and the Library has that money to cover possible fluctuations.

Ms. Doss asked administration to work with staff members who need to make arrangements for things like childcare as they go back to working normal hours.

Mr. Braun said for many years the Library has budgeted very conservatively. It’s that kind of guidance that allows the board to reinstate hours and pay now. He hopes the staff knows the board did not want to cut employee pay and hours, but no jobs were lost. He appreciates the staff who are interacting with the public every day in a professional way.

Roll call vote: Mr. Cardinal, yes; Mr. Braun, yes; Mr. Bird, yes; Ms. Lyons, yes; Ms. Waite, yes; Ms. Doss, yes. All present were in favor, none opposed. Motion carried.

JUNE 15, 2020, MINUTES:

Motion by Ms. Doss, seconded by Ms. Waite, to approve the June 15, 2020, meeting minutes. All present were in favor except Ms. Lyons who abstained. Motion carried.


Question by Jaime Wirth: I’ve been following the updates from the governor and health department and watching how many organizations, including the Cincinnati Library, have acted to save face rather than protect their staff. How will the library work to ensure workers’ health and pay if the state mandates that the library and other organizations close due to the county going to a level 4? Mr. Cardinal said that the library did not want to lay people off because no job means no benefits. In a time of a worsening pandemic, how will the library rise to the occasion and protect people?


Answer: The Library’s number one priority is to the taxpayers of Clermont County who deserve services. The Library has safety protocols in place. Curbside service is available as an alternative for those who don’t want to come inside the buildings. The Board hopes the state does not mandate the closing of the Library facilities again. Employment cannot be guaranteed if there is no work for the staff to do. The Board feels strongly the Library is a vital public service and board members are working hard to keep the staff employed and serving the public. It is important to know the Library offers an excellent service and the Board wants to get the libraries back to full status. Effective July 27, 2020, the Library will be back to full status.


Ms. Gray submitted the June financial report.

Ms. Doss asked about the payment to CDWG. Ms. Gray said that is for Webex so meetings can be conducted virtually online.

Ms. Gray also reported there were no credit card rewards this year. This report is required to be given to the Board each year.

Motion by Ms. Braun, seconded by Ms. Waite, to approve the June financial report. All present were in favor, none opposed. The motion was adopted.

Motion by Ms. Waite, seconded by Mr. Bird, to approve the June bills paid, as listed. All present were in favor, with the exception of Mr. Braun and Ms. Doss, who abstained. The motion was adopted.


Ms. Wick thanked the board for restoring hours and staff pay.

Ms. Wick said the new Ohio Health Advisory System was discussed by the Reopening Task Force. The group had a good discussion and while they understand staff concern about working with the public, the Library needs to stay relevant. The task force members recommended expanding hours. Curbside was about the same in June as in May. Managers are reporting the branches are slower than usual. She asked the Board to be aware of the great online programming staff has been creating on topics like early literacy, cooking, history, and more.

The State Library is offering a mini Cares grant and CCPL has applied for that grant to purchase additional personal protection equipment and plexiglass barriers.

Several staff members suggested the Library offer an online chat service.  One of the added benefits of the service will be the expanded hours the service will be available via a chat widget on the website.  The service is provided by Unique Patron Services Solutions.  Unique is the same firm that works to resolve the Library’s delinquent accounts.  Unique personnel will answer general questions like hours and locations, printing and faxing, etc. The service will be available to patrons Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. It will be available some holidays that the Library is not open. It is not the intention to replace staff with the chat service. The intention is for staff to continue doing the face-to-face work with the public and should take some work off the plate of the staff. The chat service is scheduled to go live on the Library’s website in August.

Ms. Wick asked the Board to ratify holiday pay for Memorial Day and July 4, 2020, for staff. With the reduced hours and pay for staff, the Board needs to ratify the pay to be in compliance with the Human Resources Policy as if staff were working full-time hours.

Ms. Wick has an interview with Miami Township TV July 21. She will report on the Library going back to normal hours, safety and cleaning protocols and curbside pickup service.

The REALM study being conducted at Battelle in Columbus released the results of the second phase of testing July 20, 2020. Staff will take a look at extending the current three-day quarantine because the second phase of tests indicates the COVID-19 study can be found on magazine pages for four days.


The Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library has received enough funds to go live and begin registering children.


Motion by Mr. Bird, seconded by Ms. Lyons, to ratify staff holiday pay for Memorial Day and July 4, 2020. All present were in favor, none opposed. The motion was adopted.

Motion by Ms. Lyons, seconded by Mr. Bird, to approve Resolution R-2020-016: Acceptance of gifts to the Library: donations as listed. All present were in favor, none opposed. The resolution was adopted.

Motion by Ms. Waite, seconded by Ms. Doss, to approve Resolution R-2020-017: Disposal of unneeded or obsolete library material. Roll call vote: Mr. Cardinal, aye; Mr. Braun, aye; Ms. Lyons, aye; Ms. Waite, aye; Ms. Doss, aye. All present were in favor, none opposed. The resolution was adopted.

The board approved an update to the Human Resources Policy Manual to be in compliance with a recent Supreme Court decision making it a violation of Title 7 to discriminate against employees based on homosexuality or transgender status. This update is part of the nondiscrimination policy and the harassment in the workplace pages of the manual. This has been reviewed by legal counsel.

Ms. Doss asked about notary service. Ms. Wick said yes, each Library does have a notary and some notaries also had some additional training at their request.

Ms. Doss also asked if the first hour of the expanded hours will continue to be for those at higher risk of COVID-19. Ms. Wick replied yes.

Mr. Braun asked how the search for the Human Resources director was progressing. Ms. Wick said they had another interview set for July 21, 2020.

Ms. Doss asked when the Library will accept donations again. Ms. Wick said it’s a matter of storage. Most branches don’t have enough storage to keep the donations.

Ms. Wick told the Board that Pat Schons is retiring July 31, 2020, from the Williamsburg Branch after 35 years of service to the Library.

Motion by Mr. Bird, seconded by Ms. Lyons to adjourn the meeting. All present were in favor, none opposed. The meeting adjourned at 7:14 p.m.

____________________________________                        _______________________________________

Board President                                                                            Board Secretary




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