For several months New City Library Board Trustee Ed Kallen has been asking the trustees to agree to get proposals for an updated strategic plan. As chair of the Planning & Policy Committee, Kallen warned the board it should not simply change the date on the existing plan but have one created that develops the library’s future direction.
Kallen said the library is required by state law to certify every year it has a strategic plan. However, he pointed out all the New City Library Board has done is put the current date on the same plan for the past six years.
Kallen said the committee met on August 31 and agreed there were two options for developing a plan, basing it on either cost or need. He suggested finding out what other libraries pay for their plans to get an understanding of potential cost. If the plan is based on need, Kallen said it would have to look at what the library needs to get it back on track and give consideration to the “undercurrent of staff dissatisfaction,” “inability to function as a board,” and various administrative vacancies.
“I think our foundation as a library has been substantially shaken,” said Kallen.
He recommended hiring an independent professional to review the library from top to bottom.
Although Board President Joe Reiter said he did not want to spend any money on a strategic plan, the six trustees at Thursday’s meeting voted to solicit proposals for the next meeting in October. Kallen asked Interim Library Director Marianne Silver to get the proposals.
Other board action included the congratulating employee Veronica Reynolds for receiving the 2012 Forty Under 40 Award from the Rockland Economic Development Corporation. Silver said Reynolds, who joined the adult staff in 2009, designed and created the library’s website. Silver noted Reynolds convinced several staff members to become bloggers on the website and join various book groups.
Silver said she nominated Reynolds because she uses her skills to make the community a better place to work and live. Silver then presented Reynolds with a bouquet of flowers.
The board did skip one item on Thursday’s agenda. Gail Seidenfrau, the head of circulation services, was supposed to give a report on her department but was not asked to present during the meeting.