Bryan-Bennett Library

July 18, 2023, Full Board


Bryan-Bennett Library Board of Trustees Meeting

July 18, 2023, 6:30 p.m. in the Board Room

Call to Order, Roll Call of Trustees

Bryan-Bennett Library Board President Ed Dolbeare called the July 18,2023, meeting of the Bryan-Bennett Library Board of Trustees to order at 6:30 p.m. Trustees answering fall call were Jennifer Dice, Mark Decker, Ed Dolbeare, Gary Hahn, Lynn Larimer, Joyce Raver, and Gayla Wilkerson. Trustee Brad Crow was absent from the meeting. Library Director Kim Keller, Circulation clerk Jerry Speaks, and 3
members of the public were present with Library Assistant Director Jodi Trinkle entering later.

Public Comment

The meeting began with public comment to allow the 3 patrons present to voice their concerns. Kari Donoho reached out to several Board Members via Facebook  Messenger, to address the recent negative encounters she, her husband Tim, who was also present, and their two young children have had with Library Director Kim Keller. Donoho stated she was there on behalf of several parents of young children who have also experienced negative interactions with Director Keller. Donoho's main concern was that she and other parents do not feel like Keller specifically, respects or supports them as patrons of the library. A recurring theme was that Keller has been rude and hostile towards parents of children and their older siblings at Story Time and other times throughout the week. Donoho went on to compliment the library staff saying they all have been extremely friendly and helpful. She stated that specific rules are not clear on several library policies including the age limit at Story Time, the use of the Childrens computers and the proximity a parent must be in relation to their child. It was also mentioned that the abundance of new signage around the library has made moms feel like they are "in trouble." Donoho expressed the reluctance of other parents expressing their opinion for fear of retaliation by Keller.

The patron and mother of two young children, Elizabeth Bauman, spoke on behalf of the children that are considered too old for Story Time and the possibility of the library offering something for them as well. Space was a concern for both parties as there are several new patrons taking advantage of that program. The Board appreciates and welcomes all public comments and concerns. A committee including Trustee Dice, Trustee Hahn and Trustee Raver will meet Monday July 24, 2023, in the Library Board Room to discuss next steps. There is an agreement to then meet with Director Keller to reiterate expectations and outcomes.

Employee Spotlight

Jerry Speaks, a lifetime Salem resident was featured in our monthly employe e spotlight. Jerry has been with us at Bryan-Bennett Library for almost 4 years. After retirement Jerry decided to try his hand working at the library. Jerry considers the good hours he works as the best part about working here. Director Keller complimented Jerry's willingness and availability to step in wherever needed. The Board is appreciative of Jerry and his dedication to Bryan-Bennett Library.


Secretary's Report

Approval of the June 20, 2023, Board Meeting Minutes

Board members assessed the June 20, 2023, minutes. A motion to accept them was made by Trustee Decker and seconded by Trustee Wilkerson. Roll call vote was taken. All members voted yes. The motion carried.

Treasures Report

Payment of July 2023 Bills

After reviewing thee July 2023 bills, Trustee Wilkerson made a motion to approve payment of those bills and Trustee Decker seconded it. Roll call vote was taken with all members voting yes, and the motion carried.

Financial Report July 2023

Last month's discrepancy of $19.06 was found to be a previously ordered movie that was just recently billed. Treasurer Gayla Wilkerson agreed to work with Kim Keller on the spread sheet layout for future financial reports. A motion to accept the July 2023 financial report was made by Trustee Wilkerson and seconded by Trustee Lynn Larimer. Roll call vote was taken with all members voting yes. The motion carried.

Asset, Memorial Fund, and Donation Reports for July 2023

There was no change from last month, so no discussion was had.

Committee Reports
Finance- No reports

Policy- No reports

Personnel- Closed session

Building and Grounds- Trustee Raver expressed her disappointment with the Northeast corner of the library parking lot where a rose bush had been removed and one severely pruned. She also stated that it is full of weeds and needs more rock.

New Business

Library Services

Veteran card 1st draft flyer was handed out. Suggestions were made and will be taken into consideration.


Kids free library card draft flyer was handed out. Suggestions were made and will be taken into consideration,

Mission and Vision Statement

Trustee Wilkerson along with Trustee Larimer have agreed to work with Director Keller and the library staff on reviewing the library's Mission and Vision statement. This will be brought to the board at the August 2023 meeting.

Unfinished Buisness

The Anti-Censorship draft is still available to the public. A vote on this draft will take place at the August 2023 meeting. The vote must be taken before January 1, 2024.

It was decided that the board will hold off on ordering the inflatable planetarium until the funds are secured. Director Keller will attend the August meeting of the Salem Tourism Committee to try and secure the remaining balance.

Directors Report
See attachment

Addition to Directors report- Kim Keller will call the DAR and encourage them to come back to BBL for meetings. City Manager Rex Barbee has approved this and is aware they do not carry the required million-dollar insurance coverage.

Board Member Reports

Trustee Decker has encouraged the board as well as Director Keller to partner with the city on a possible Williams Jennings Bryan Festival. When information is released, the board will be notified.

Adjournment from Open Meeting

A motion to adjourn the open meeting and go into dosed session was made at 8:07p.m. by Trustee Larimer and seconded by Gary Hahn. All present in the board room that were not elected board members were asked to leave.

Final Adjournment

A motion made by Trustee Larimer and seconded by Trustee Raver was made at 9:00 p. m. concluded the July meeting.

Respectfully submitted by,

Jennifer Dice, Board Secretary

Meeting July 24, 2023, Library Board Room 10:00 a.m.

A meeting was held Monday morning July 24, 2023, between Personnel Chairman Joyce Raver, Vice President Gary Hahn and Secretary Jennifer Dice at the request of President Ed Dolbeare. The group came together to discuss the current rift between Director Kim KelIer and specific members of the public. Topics agreed to be discussed with Director Keller included Kim's side of the events, signage around the library, staff capability and solutions for rectifying missteps.

Meeting with Director Keller July 24,2023, Library Board Meeting Room 10:45 a.m.

At approximately 10:45 a.m. July 24, 2023, Library Director Kim Keller met with 3 members of the library board that included Personnel Chairperson Joyce Raver, Vice President Gary Hahn, and Secretary Jennifer Dice. Director Keller was encouraged to tell her recollection of the events brought up by the parents who were present during the public comment portion of the July 18, 2023, meeting of the library board. Specific complaints such as treatment of children, library signage, bath room safety and employee competency were discussed. Director Keller has heard the concerns and offered solutions accordingly. The 3-person committee has agreed along with Keller to meet at a later date, determined by President Dolbeare to assess the success of the changes.


Bryan-Bennett Library Director’s Report July 18, 2023

QuickBooks fee to increase

We were notified that the QuickBooks fee will increase to $90 per month, effective August 2, 2023. The Library enrolled in QuickBooks in December 2021 with a special fee of $24 per month for the first 3 months. In March 2022, the fee was increased to $80 per month. In August 2022, the fee increased to $85 per month.


We have received our Fiscal Year 2023 Per Capita Grant, in the amount of $10,740.95. When I write that grant application, I say that the grant money will be used to help the Library meet State Standards for collection acquisitions. The State Standard is 8-12 percent of the Library’s Operating Budget. Based on your budget of $267,906.35, 8% equals $21,432.51. Twelve percent is $32,148.76.

The E-Rate Funding Year 2022 has just finished. I applied for the permission to submit the “BEAR” Form which will release the grant money to us. I’ll file the BEAR for in the next couple of days.

I’m attending a grant writing workshop on July 25 for the E-Rate Form 486 for our Category 1 application, which is submitted at the beginning of the service year.

The Universal Service Administrative Company has more questions about the firewall included in our Category 2 application for Funding Year 2023. Lazerware has been working with me to complete the Form 471 for the application.

New employee

I’ve hired Shanan Reed to fill the job left vacant by Renee Coffee. This job is for minimum wage ($13 per hour) for 16 hours per week. Her first day will be July 19.

Planetarium Inflatable Tent

I have talked to Leon Chapman regarding a donation toward the inflatable planetarium, which will cost a total of $3,330. Bryan-Bennett already has $2,130 of the expense from the Memorial and Donations Funds. Mr. Chapman cited several significant donations he’s recently made toward City causes. However, he stated that he would support our application with the Tourism Council. He is 99% certain the application will be approved. He said that if we didn’t get the Tourism grant, he would help us get the money. The Tourism Board meeting is August 14.

Midland Area Agency on Aging

Asked to us facility for September 8 regional gathering. They can pay the rental fee of $50. But, cannot get insurance. I talked to City Manager Barbee, who said that basically, if a renter is just walking in the building and planning to sit down, read, listen to program, then the activity would work with regard to insurance guildelines.



Lazerware informational meeting

I attended the Lazerware informational meeting on July 13 in Mt. Vernon. They discussed their various services and the migration to Windows 11.

KC Community Engagement

I attended the Kaskaskia College Community Engagement luncheon on July 13. I came away with a couple of ideas for programming that can be coordinated with the college.

Wreath fund-raiser

Staff will be making seasonal wreathes in the next couple of months. Flowers for the wreaths were donated by Walmart. Money used from the sale will be allocated toward the books that Santa distributes in December.

Recruiting for Retention Webinar

I viewed the webinar which was presented by Candace Fisher of HR Source, a company that consults with the Library System.

Engagement and retention go hand-in-hand. If you retain employees, you won’t have to recruit as many. To retain, you have to bring in well-qualified candidates that meet the job requirements and culture of your organization. A culture-fit would be interested in enhancing services.

Employee Value Proposition: We need employees/Employees need value

Employee onboarding and employee offboarding. Find out why someone wants to work at Library.

Consider the following qualities important to prospective employees:

  • Work Life Balance, employees treated with respect and dignity.
  • Benefits: need to re-evaluate offerings every couple of years.
  • Ability to learn and grown in job and at company; Employees become more committed to organization, when organization is committed to them. This of upskilling and reskilling.
  • Opportunity for Promotion: rewarding managers for developing team’s skills; have real conversations with employees.


Effective check-in conversation:

  • Ask effective questions. Don’t ask how are you, but how are you on a scale of 1-10. Then ask a followup question.
  • REALLY listen.
  • What skills or talents would employees like to develop.
  • Employee gets sense of belonging.


Respectfully submitted by, Kim Keller