FALCONS Meeting Minutes – August 20, 2020

 The meeting was held on Zoom. Rex called it to order at 9:30 AM.

FLLS Staff Present: Nora Burrows, Eric Franks, Deb Geier, Sarah Glogowski, Rex Helwig, Jenny Shonk

Member Libraries Present: Cathy Sorber (APAL), Sandra Groth (AURO), Fran Miller (BERK), Marcia Enright (CAN), Gayle James (CATO), Aimee Dorward (CORT), Jen Graney (CORT), Diane Pamel (DRY), Allen Tompkins (FAIR), Priscilla Berggren-Thomas (HOM), Michelle Calupca (LAN), Erin Chapman (NEVA), Sue Chaffee (NEW), Heather Dungey (OVID), Lisa Semenza (POP), Jenny Burnett (SENF), Jen Schlossberg (TCPL), Ksana Broadwell (TRU), Carla Piperno-Jones (UNS), Chris Brewster (WAV), Cheryl Austin (WEED)



There are no new directors since the last meeting in May.  PORT is currently looking for a new director.


Sarah Glogowski:  There were updates regarding state funding received via e-mail this morning from the State Library.  This is new information since the Directors’ meeting held on 8/19/20.

  • In addition to the 80% of Library System BASIC Aid payments announced on July 31, the State Library has learned that additional State funds will soon be available for partial payment at 80% of Library System Supplemental and Library System Categorical Aids due this fiscal year for the public library systems, reference and research library resources councils and school library systems.
  • State funding for final payments to systems typically made later in the year and next year is not yet available. This includes the final 10% payments for FY2020/2021 PLS Local Library Services Aid, PLS Local Services Support Aid, and PLS Adult and Family Literacy. All such aid payments are dependent on further guidance and directives from the State Division of Budget. The State Division of Budget has not yet released their aid-to-localities plan for the current fiscal year.
  • After our directors’ meeting on 8/19/20, 80% of our basic aid was deposited, with the exception of 10% of that sum.  Payments to systems are made in a 90% first payment, then the final 10% of the total by the end of the calendar year.  The amount deposited was $660,000 yesterday, with a projected total of $825,000 if the final payment is not cut.  This is down from $1.1 million we normally receive in basic aid. 

Approval of Minutes:  Cathy Sorber (APAL) made a motion to accept the May 2020 minutes.  Priscilla Berggren-Thomas (HOM) seconded this motion.  The minutes were approved unanimously.


One Card-Many Libraries:

  • Rex reported that the patron purge was completed in May. Blocks for duplicate patrons are in place.  Please merge as many as possible.
  • Be sure to include a middle initial (or preferably middle name) to help differentiate patrons.
  • Check with patrons to update e-mail addresses. There are blocks are patrons whose e-mails have bounced.

Bring your own device printing: The majority of libraries have indicated they are not interested at this time so no discount will be available to libraries who remain interested.  Rex is recommending they use Princh.  Rex or Eric can assist with setting this up.

2020 Bulk Computer Buy:

  • The desktops and laptops have arrived. Eric is working on staging them.
  • He needs to have software needs and license keys sent ASAP. Microsoft Office 2016 and 2019 are still supported but Office 2013 will no longer be supported during the life cycle of the new computers so should be upgraded before installation.


“The Great Giveback”:  Jenny also reported on this at the Member Support Group meeting on 8/13/20.  It began on Long Island but is now a statewide initiative for libraries to “give back” to their communities.  This is especially important at this time during the pandemic.  The date is set for Sat 10/17/20.  Libraries located by water can partner with Riverkeeper.og to organize clean up efforts.  Jenny has sent out an e-mail with more details.  Please contact her if interested or have any questions.

FALCONS 2020-2021 Budget – Rex has worked to present a conservative budget with some cost savings to the member libraries.  Highlights include:

  • There is a reduction in the Polaris budget and maintenance fees – Libraries will see a decrease of 3.51% with the fee for up to 2 clients set at $5700 and $1250 per extra client.
  • Salaries have been frozen for Rex and Eric. The FLLS Board of Trustees has frozen all salaries with the exception of a few workers who belong to a union.
  • Telecommunications expenses are reduced.
  • There are no changes in server costs, support cell phones, supplies, travel, or training.
  • There is a slight increase in costs for equipment and software upgrade reserves.

Polaris 6.6

  • During the time when libraries were shut down Rex upgraded Polaris to 6.5 and that documentation has already been posed on the FLLS protected site. He will post the What’s New in Polaris 6.6 documentation to the protected website also.
  • On 8/19/20 a problem with filling holds for “preferred borrowers” was discovered. Rex was able to fix this in the SQL table.
  • Rex will not be doing the upgrade for 6.6 and will wait for the next one.
  • One of the 6.6 features is being able to print notices from Polaris Leap which may be a stepping stone to being able to print spine labels. Once libraries are able to print spine labels and add quick-bibs we will then move libraries to using Leap.  This will save on licensing costs for the Polaris clients.


REALM Study:

  • Diane Pamel (DRY) asked if people were thinking of wiping down DVDs and storage bins rather than wait for the time to quarantine since this seems to be an option for these types of materials. The libraries have various lengths of quarantine with the average across the system being 4 days.
  • Rex has added information to the messages patrons receive regarding book renewals and overdue notices to let them know of their library’s length of quarantine to cut down on confusion.
  • Sarah reported that the 4th phase of REALM testing will retest some of the materials from phase 1 in more realistic settings (e.g. books left in a book drop).
  • Cathy Sorber (APAL) asked if we needed to clean items people touch since items are handled in stores all the time. Some libraries are quarantining items after they are touched during browsing but most do not seem to be doing so.  They are typically asking people to clean their hands when they enter the library before they touch anything.  We are quarantining items that are returned due to the length of time they have been handled when in the possession of patrons.

 Computer Use: Eric asked how computer use has been going.  For libraries in which computers are being used there don’t seem to have been any problems.  He reminded everyone that all keyboards can be wiped down with Clorox wipes or something similar however the washable keyboards can be sprayed with disinfectant as well.

The meeting adjourned at 10:25 AM

Next meeting:  November 19, 2020  (9:30 AM)

Respectfully submitted by Lisa Semenza (POP)

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