MINUTES

Felton Library Friends Meeting Wednesday, August 7, 2019 4:00-5:30 p.m. at the Felton Firehouse

Desired Outcomes:

  • Understanding of the project to date
  • Understanding of FLF campaign
  • Library staffing and hours update
  • Understanding of Community Led Programming pilot program progress

Facilitator: Linda Bixby

Notetaker: Jim Mosher

Attendees:

JM Brown (Supervisor McPherson’s office), Laura Dolson (SLVUSD Board), Gaylynn Firth, Nancy Gerdt, Dan Lazarus (Santa Cruz County Parks Department), Nina Moore, Michele Mosher, Jim Mosher, Kevin O’Connor, Mike Steele, Jessica Vaughn, Laura Whaley (Santa Cruz Public Libraries), Melanie Baresh (Santa Cruz Public Libraries)

Question posed to group: What do you imagine you’ll be doing in the new Park?

Attendees mentioned a wide variety of activities that they hope to engage in when the new park is opened, with an emphasis on integrating park and library activities.

Park Naming Process

Michele outlined the process by which the park will be named. The Parks Department will take ideas and recommendations from the public, which will be given to the Parks Department Commission. Jim Rapoza sits on the Commission from our supervisorial district. The Commission will have a public meeting where proposed names will be submitted. It will review the nominations and make a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors; the BOS will make the final decision. FLF can play an influential role in the nomination process but does not make the final decision.

Michele provided the names suggested to FLF to date on a sheet. She asked participants if there were other names they would like to include and then asked participants to place an X by the name they preferred. The results were as follows:

Nature Discovery Park –1 Felton Discovery Park — 3

Felton Library Discovery Park — 0 Bull Creek Discovery Park — 4 Felton Library Park — 1

Bull Creek Nature Park (added at meeting) — 2

Project progress Park

Nancy provided an update on the park construction. Only one bid was received (in mid-July) and it was 58% over the County Park’s estimate. The county needed to identify additional

$210,000 in funding in order to accept the bid. Even with this funding, the bid alternatives (sun dial, children play structures, nest feature, musical instruments) would not be included. If the bid was not accepted, then construction would probably have had to be delayed for a year due to working around nesting season, and costs would likely be even higher with the delay.  Timing for identifying the needed funds was a challenge as the Board of Supervisors were in the midst of budget hearings and the Board does not meet in August. A decision was therefore needed in a very short time frame.

Jim Mosher, Michele Mosher, and Nancy Gerdt met with County staff, Supervisor Bruce McPherson, and Supervisor McPherson’s staff person JM Brown to discuss options. They were informed that FLF would need to contribute $175,000 in order for the county to go forward. An emergency meeting of FLF’s Steering Committee was called and it approved this expenditure.

The Board of Supervisors formally approved the bid August 6 and work has already begun.

Regarding the bid alternatives, Nancy states that the sun dial must be funded by August 31

to be included. ($30,000). The three others can be added at a later time – musical instruments, nest feature, play equipment (logs, climbing rope). (See below for discussion of possible FLF funding for sundial.)

Library

Laura Whaley provided an update on the library construction. She had a tour of the building last week and reported that the construction is far along and you can now visualize how the building will look inside when completed. The parking lot will be finished next week and the builders will start on the sidewalk after that. The construction appears to be on schedule for completion November 30.

Laura reported that Eric Howard is now Assistant Director at SCPL; he will be introduced to builder tomorrow. Angelica Lyons has been hired to be the new branch manager for Felton. She is a librarian, with 4 years’ experience as an academic librarian. The library will hire 3 half-time library assistants for Felton. One librarian will be assigned to Felton and Boulder

Creek. The new library will be open 50 hours a week, Saturday through Thursday and closed on Friday.

Community campaign overview & components

Nancy reported that FLF has received a $50,000 grant from the Community Foundation Santa Cruz County’s Borina Special Places and that the community room will be named accordingly.. She also reported that we received a $30,000 donation from an individual in memory of her brother a prominent archeologist in California. The donation will be used for the library’s environmental collection. The Almquist family has given a substantial gift, and an area in the children’s section will be named after Jeff Almquist, the former 5th District Supervisor and judge who died last year..

Michele reported on the current phase of the campaign, which is focused on outreach to both businesses and individuals.  Individual donors who give $500 or more and businesses that give

$1,500 or more will have their names on the donor wall. The wall is being designed and constructed by Lea de Wit, the public artist who is making the butterfly glass art for the library. She needs the names by September in order to complete it in time for the opening of the library, so FLF has set August 31 as the deadline for making a donation and being included on the wall.

Michele reported that on June 17, 60 packets were delivered to businesses, with Jessica, Ralph, Mary Jo, Diane, Gaylynn, Gail, Phyllis, Lynn, Nancy, Michele making personal visits to the businesses. Results to date: 7 paid business, 9 promised, 5 more probables (all at the $1,500 level or above). Nancy, Jim and Michele mailed 30 letters with enclosures to individuals in July and made follow up calls. Lea, Lynn, and Gaylynn helped get out second mailing to 60 prospective donors.

The Valley Press published a story about the campaign, accompanied by a half page advertisement.

Michele reported the results of these efforts combined with previous campaign activities: As of June 1, FLF had $246,831 in Capital Campaign income plus $33,650 in outstanding pledges, for a total of $280,481. As of 8/7, we have $382,281 plus $43,750 in confirmed

outstanding pledges (for which we have LOIs) for a total of $426, 031. This does not include any

of the ‘promised’ donations. She passed out campaign brochures and encouraged participants to take copies and give out to friends and neighbors.

Michele also discussed the process of approval for expenditures for the library and park: FLF’s Steering Committee makes recommendations regarding expenditures which are forwarded to the Library Director for approval. The Library Director has final authority to approve the use of funds, and FSCPL will then release the funds.

A discussion followed regarding priorities for using the funds from the capital campaign. Michele stated that FLF will be meeting with library staff in the near future to discuss library enhancements. Setting up a programming fund is also under consideration, including paying for a teacher to work part time after school to provide students homework help.

Jim asked whether FLF would like to consider paying for the sundial, noting that a decision needed to be made very soon and unlike the other park bid alternatives cannot be added later. Discussion ensued in which support for this idea was expressed. JM stated he would find out from the Parks Department when a decision needed to be made, and subsequently reported that the decision would need to be made by August 31. Laura Whaley suggested that FLF might consider naming the sundial in honor of itself, and idea that was well received by the group.

Gaylynn noted that our fundraising message has been that the park will be unique with great features. The sundial is one of those features. It was agreed that the matter would be referred to the Steering Committee.

Jessica asked if anyone had approached the Patagonia company, noting that they fund environmental programs. Nancy stated that Patagonia had not been approached. Jessica said that her daughter works for Patagonia and she would follow up with her to get information on how to apply.

Community-led programming Pilot Project Update

Laura Whaley reported that a working group of staff and FLF representatives has been meeting over the last several weeks. This is a new endeavor for the library, and Felton will be the pilot project. The working group is currently addressing the following: defining community-led programming, developing roles and responsibilities among the various parties, and figuring out how to organize and administer the program. There are many administrative challenges to address. Laura reported that Susan Nemitz, the library director, has a high priority on having lots of programming occurring in each of the branches and this initiative is part of meeting this goal. Michele reported that a program survey was administered in March. 315 people responded, and more than 60 people offered to lead programming. Nina asked if everyone who leads programs will be volunteers, and Laura responded that this is the case except for special events. Laura also noted that participants cannot be charged for attending any event or program at the library as a

matter of library policy. Those conducting programs can be paid a stipend. FLF’s proposed programming fund could be used to supply materials. Nina stated that she had met woman who does “messy play” program that might be a good fit for the community-led programming effort.

Events Team Report

Gaylynn provided the events team report. The Chili Cook Off will occur this year on November 2 at the Felton Covered Bridge Park and FLF will again be the beneficiary for net proceeds from the event. FLF will be handling raffle ticket sales, non-alcoholic drink sales, and beer, wine and cider sales. This year’s raffle will consist of 10-12 larger prizes (e.g. bundling prizes into packages such as Restaurant Packages, Sports Memorabilia Package, Local Sports Team Swag Package, Local Hotel Package, etc.) Prizes will be worth at least $200, either as an individual item or as a bundle of similar prizes. Tickets will cost $5 for one ticket or $20 for five. Ticket purchasers can choose to put all their tickets towards one prize or divide their tickets among several or all prizes. Raffle ticket sales will begin September 26th at the Wild Roots Market Community Day for Felton Library Friends 10:30am-5:30pm. We will all have a chance to sell tickets to friends and groups after September 26th. The drawing will take place Saturday, November 2 at the Chili Cook-Off. Winners need not be present to win. Members of the events team and the Chili Cookoff team have divided up the list of potential asks for prizes from local businesses.

Gaylynn circulated sign-up sheets for volunteers for the Wild Roots Market community day on September 26 and for a table at the Felton Farmers Market on October 15. Volunteers will show a display of the new library and park and sell raffle tickets.

Possible Book Sale Program

Nancy presented the idea of having FLF develop a book sale program. Five of the ten library branches do book sales. Community members often inquire about contributing books to the library, and in some cases the book collections offered can be quite valuable. The library does not accept book contributions, however. The contributions instead go to the Friends. The library will also be removing a large number of books from the Felton library collection that could also come to FLF. The hardest part of the program involves where to store the books pending the sales dates. Nancy stated that we need a group to organize such an effort and asked participants to let her know if they are interested or know someone who is interested in becoming involved in such an effort.

Next meeting: October 2 4pm – 5:30pm