Red River Parish Library Board of Control

August 15 2014

The last meeting of the Red River Parish Library Board of Control was called to order at 9:30am by President Elizabeth Lester on May 12, 2014 with the following members in attendance: Elizabeth Lester, Barbara Brister, Ardis Almond, Tommy Glenn Jones, Ann Shaw, Shawn Beard, Trey Lewis and Jill Byttner.

The minutes were approved as read by a motion from Ann Shaw and a second from Barbara Brister. We discussed the DA’s recommendation for 7 board members and setting new terms accordingly 1-5 years.  We signed the bid from Library Interiors for our library furnishings which will include removal of existing shelving in the old building and reintegrating it into the new facility.

Upon a motion from Ardis Almond and a second from Ann Shaw we accepted the new program room policy with two changes to the original. Changing the age requirements from 25 to 21 years and adding that the room must be cleaned to the satisfaction of the library before the deposit is returned.

Upon a motion from Mr. Almond and a second from Mrs. Brister we adopted and updated hiring/nepotism policy which will limit hiring of relatives of existing staff or board.

The low bid from H and W demolition was accepted by a Motion from Ann Shaw and a second from Barbara Brister. Upon complete exit of the old facility and disposition of left over equipment and materials the building will be demolished to make room for a much needed parking area.   We also asked Mr. Beard to look into the possibility of Cleco adding a street light on the parking lot to aid in visibility at night.

Barbara Brister and Trey Lewis reported on their buying trip to Shreveport to purchase the needed refrigerators, stove and ice maker.

There being no more business to discuss the meeting was adjourned at 10:35 after a motion from Barbara Brister and a second from Ardis Almond.

New Business:

Approve May-July bills

New terms of the Board members as set forth by the Police Jury in there June 16 2014 meeting will be as follows:


6-17-14—-12-31-15   Mr. Ardis Almond and Mrs. Barbara Brister

6-17-14—-12-31-16   Mrs Betty Lester and Mr. Bob Harris (new appointee)

6-17-14—-12-31-17   Mrs. Alvester Barfield

6-17-14—-12-31-18   Mr. Tommy Jones

6-17-14—-12-31-19   Mrs. Ann Shaw


We would like to welcome our newest Board member Mr. Bob Harris. I can’t think of a better choice for a Board member than Mr. Harris and I am sure his background and interest in the library will serve us well.

New library laws :  Libraries must now post board meeting minutes to their websites and leave them there for at least 6 months.  We must post in the library paperwork to report perceived fraud and thievery of public funds as well.

Landscaping :  After running an ad in the Citizen requesting bids on our landscaping project I received none.  I therefore accepted the one bid I had received  earlier from Misuraka’s Landscaping out of Natchitoches.

Water Problems:  As most of you know there is some problem with water volume on our end of town.  The mayor and Representative Kenny Cox are working to find both a short-term and long term fix for this problem.    If that works our problems are solved, if not we will still be able to open the library on a temporary easement basis but will have to spend money for a fire watch in order to do so.

Spray foam installation. We hired an outside company to complete spray foam coating required by the fire marshal. This was done due to time constraints.

Move in:  We have substantial completion and with luck can begin the move across next week when the furniture arrives.  Fire marshal has no problem with a temporary permit even if the water volume isn’t up to par yet.  Hopefully this will be set by Friday but it appears we will begin furniture installation on Wednesday the 20th.  To that end, Tuesday will be our last day open in the old building.  If you are in agreement, we plan to reopen in the new facility on Sept 8.  This will be after the Labor Day holiday and should give us sufficient time to move everything and get the bugs worked out of the new equipment.

Maintenance Worker:  I received several applications for maintenance worker.  My plan is to hire someone probably 3 days a week to keep things up outside and in and then hire a person once a week to come inside the library and do a thorough cleaning.  This way I am hoping the maintenance won’t get away from us because there is much to do in a building this side with this much floor and glass.

Phone/Data: We have the backbone of our data system in place now. We are using voice over IP and will go with 8×8 instead of ATT for the phone and data network.  Detel will continue to provide our internet service.  We will have to keep our two ATT lines, to monitor the security and sprinkler system, but it will be basic service and cost little.  8×8 is a fraction of what ATT was costing us and all is covered by a grant I write each year which reimburses us 90%.

Our Mural is installed and it looks great. Cindy Shaw did it for us in a day and she was remarkable.

Display Cabinets:  I searched high and low for appropriate display cabinets for the library.  I ended up with one company’s product looking best for our needs.  I would like to purchase 3 at this time.

Open House: We have decided to do a library open house rather than a sit down dedication. Parking considerations was one of the biggest factors on that.  We plan on taking an afternoon and having people come at their own pace to take a tour of the place, have a donut and look things over.   Timing on this should be the last week in September.  Committee report.

End of year Budget Meeting: Our final meeting of the year is scheduled for Oct 17, 2014. This will be our annual budgetary meeting.

This coming year’s budget will be a work in progress as I have no way of knowing what anything is going to cost from utility bills right on down. After we have a year in the building it will be back to status quo and nothing much will change.

Other business

Motion to adjourn.


Red River Parish Library Board of Control

October 17th  2014

The last meeting of the Red River Parish Library Board of Control was called to order at 2:10 pm by President Elizabeth on August 15, 2014 with the following members in attendance: Elizabeth Lester, Shawn Beard, Barbara Brister, Ann Shaw, Ardis Almond, Trey Lewis, Jill Byttner, Bob Harris and Alvester Barfield.

The first order of business was reappointing our library board officers. It was decided that we would continue the same officers as were set on our existing board before reappointment by the Police Jury.   Officer’s were as follows:  Elizabeth Lester, President….Ann Shaw, Vice President and Marvin Lewis, Secretary.  At this point Mr. Beard, ex officio member, said that Mr. Lewis could not be secretary to the board.   After several minutes of trying to explain how library law works and that the Director serves as secretary to the board in the majority of library systems Mr. Beard then said we could not continue the meeting without officers and we could not set officers with Mr. Lewis as secretary so would have to adjourn unless another person assumed that office.  At this point a motion was made by  Mr. Almond and seconded by Ann Shaw to allow Mrs. Lester and Mrs. Shaw to remain in their respective offices and allow Barbara Brister to assume the office of secretary until such time as a legal determination could be made on who can serve as secretary.

The minutes were then approved by a motion from Ardis Almond and Elizabeth Lester and the May-July Bills were approved by a motion from Ann Shaw and a second from Barbara Brister. We discussed the new terms of the board members and welcomed our newest member, Bob Harris.

We discussed some of the final items needed on the building such as landscaping to be completed by Misuraca’s Landscaping service, a second round of spray foam installation required by the fire marshal and the ongoing problems with insufficient water pressure to activate our sprinkler system. This will necessitate our having to operate under fire watch or spend 100K to install a tank and pump to supplement the available water.

Opening date was set for Sept 8 and Open House for the new library will be on the 25th of September from 12-5.

We are hiring a maintenance worker to work at least 3 days per week. Our phone and data service will be provided by 8×8 and DETEL will continue to be our internet service provider.  Our final and budgetary meeting for the year is set for October 17.  The budget will be a work in progress between the PJ treasurer and library director until we can get a handle on the ongoing expenses.




New Business:


Laws regarding officers for Board: I was able to pull the laws concerning a library director serving as Library Board secretary.  In our specific situation it is written into library law to allow for this as it makes it far easier to conduct business with the director as secretary.

Move in furniture and books:   The staff and I moved every book and magazine from the old location to the new one over the course of 3 days.  Sore backs and legs but it was really the only way to handle it to keep us from having to box and unbox things several times.  The carts worked well to move everything in order a shelf at a time.  I can tell you that our doing this saved the library about 15K from what I can gather from other libraries that hired it done.

Maintenance: We have hired Russell Furhrman to work part-time maintenance for us.  At present he will work 24 hours a week.

Landscaping: Misurakas landscaping did our grass and beds.  I have an agreement with them for a monthly service to come in and check and replace plants as needed and keep up the beds.

Water problems : We still have insufficient water volume to work our sprinkler system, therefore we are under fire watch for the interim.  What this entails is keeping a daily log of hourly checks of the library to make sure it’s not on fire.  At the end of the day this log sheet must be faxed to the fire marshal office in Shreveport.  We are only required to keep a log for the hours we are open.   If the Town is unsuccessful in curing the water issue we will be forced to set a tank and pump or close our doors.  The tank required will have to be at least 9’ in diameter and 24’ tall.  Our only option will be to set the tank across the road on part of what will be the parking lot.

Extra painting: Labordes painting will come back in a few weeks to do touch up painting on the building.  This will mainly just cover some damage the contractors did in ‘cleaning’ smudges and such from the walls using magic erasers.  Mr. Coco has back charged Larwood for this.

Extra spray foam: Extra spray foam as if my writing this hasn’t been completed.  The fire marshall is scheduled to meet with Comfort Seal on the 15th to cure this last detail.

Open house: The open house was a great success.  Over 200 showed up for the afternoon and we had representatives from several libraries as well as State Library of Louisiana.  All the comments I received were positive ones.

Displays present/planned: Currently we have on display Indian relics, relics from the Guillot lot where the library sets.  Indian crafts from my personal collection and tatting and lace making tools from the family of Mearl Byles.  We are due to received the life preserver off the Coushatta Ferry boat as well as a picture of the boat that is on our mural.  This will come from the Florane Family.  Mr. Almond and Mr. Taylor are providing us with copies of some of the old photos that are in the Town Hall.  We will put them in the History Room to be viewed.

Saturday Hours: We have implemented our Saturday hours and will be open 9-1.  We will keep records on circulation and patronage.  I have received several positive comments on facebook about our return to Saturday openings.

State Aid /Revenue Sharing: State aid for 14-15 was 21,000 this year… a surprise as  funds were cut last year  so we received nothing for this program then.

Internet underwriting: Right now our internet and the majority of our phone service is paid for by what is called Universal Service.  This is a grant program I apply for each year which is very paper work intensive but pays for 90% of our internet line…State Library currently pays the other 10% and 90% of our phone service.  This program is scheduled to be phased out over the next five years where it pays a decreasing share of costs each year until terminated.  It is unclear whether it will be replaced with another program but having dealt with government programs for years, I would imaging they won’t let go that bit of control easily and will replace one program with another.

Future IT person: With the increase in electronic access and 16+ patron computers, a website and facebook page we will at some time in the future want to consider an IT information/Technology person for the library.  We have always needed someone dedicated to that aspect of service but we have never been in the position to hire one before.  Finding someone to fill that role wont be easy but we need to be on the lookout.  We have an interim plan in effect to service our computers and servers right now.

Problems with Larwood: I don’t have to tell you that our experience with Larwood Construction has been less than stellar.  It is what you get for having to take low bid on a project such as ours.  I am currently working with the architect to get them paid off and make sure that all the subs have been paid as well.  There has been some problems surrounding this but fortunately none of the dollar amounts involved have been extreme.  I can tell you this though…none of the sub contractors I have spoken with…and I have talked to them all…will ever work with Larwood again.

Audio visual equipment: The last thing to be purchased for the library will be some audiovisual equipment for the program room.   We will get a sound system and television that can be put on a roll around cart and a few other items.  I am waiting to hear on a price for this equipment.  For the past few weeks the window for state contract on this has been closed but they should be able to get figures for us soon.  In addition Chesapeake may be willing to chip in a little for some things they would like.  They want to do training here.

GreenGold Meeting: The library will be hosting the quarterly meeting of the GreenGold library users group.  We are in a consortium of sorts with other libraries from the area.  GreenGold represents the North and West part of the state and has Caddo, Bossier, Webster, Bienville, Claiborne, Red River, DeSoto, Sabine, Winn, Lincoln, Grant, Natchitoches and Ouachita parishes as members.  We will need to provide some sort of refreshments for this, donuts etc.  Lunch will be off site.

In order to be able to get rid of the excess items in the old building by the bid process, they must first be declared surplus by the Library Board.   After this we can then make a listing of what we have to bid out.  After it has been bid on and people have collected what they purchased what is left is considered useless junk and we can dispose of it accordingly.  This is a process that must be followed.  We must declare it surplus…then run the request for bids on the items in the paper  and then have a time set aside for people to come view the items and bid.  We then have a bid opening and contact the winners.  All of this will take some time so getting rid of whats left over there will not be done quickly.  In addition we still have some items I plan on moving over here including a good many books and miscellany.

Karen Gill is still working on our diorama and Russell said he would be able to do the necessary carpentry work to build the surround if we got the necessary lumber and materials.

John Thomas tenured his resignation October 8. Health issues with he and his wife make working and keeping a schedule impossible.

We plan on having a little retirement party for Mrs. Prealow and John next week. Plan on having a cake and a very low key gathering of library staff and Board.  If any of you want to come I am sure they would appreciate it.

Christmas party: We need to plan a date for the annual Christmas party.  Perhaps early  8-12th time frame.  That helps to avoid conflict with other Christmas parties etc.


Next meeting: Our next meeting is scheduled on are about the 16th of January.  This is a Friday.



Budget   Amended/Proposed

Revenue Amended/Proposed


The budget this year will be a work in progress as I have no idea what the costs associated with the new building are going to be. Carolyn and I used our “best guess” to come up with figures for such things as insurance and utilities.

Additional Business