Felton Library Friends Meeting Wednesday, January 8, 2020

4:00-5:30 p.m. at the Felton Firehouse 

Desired Outcomes: 

  • Understanding of the project to date
  • Understanding of Community Led Programming pilot program progress
  • Ideas for future of FLF

Facilitator: Linda Bixby Notetaker: Jim Mosher


Laura Dolson, Linda Fawcett, Caroline Fitz, Nancy Gerdt, Joe Griffin,  Gail Levine, Angie Lyons,

Nancy Macy, Michele Mosher, Mike Steele, Mary Jo Walker, Donna Ziel

Library Update

Library building and staffing status:  Angie reported that the interviews for librarian are ongoing and that there are some promising candidates.  The County is scheduled to hand off the building to the library system in mid-February. The grand opening is tentatively scheduled for February 22.  It is possible it will be delayed. A library assistant has been hired, and two aides still need to be hired. It will take time to train the new librarian.  Librarians stationed at the Scotts Valley branch will cover during the training period.

Plans for library grand opening celebration: Nancy reported on the meeting with major players involved in planning the celebration.  There will be a ceremony with a ribbon cutting and speakers. Demonstrations will be held in smaller rooms and there will be tours and arts and craft tables.  Park staff will be present. FLF is preparing two slide shows, one describing the history of the Felton branch and the other honoring people who have made donations associated with naming of rooms and areas of the library and park.  Gushee street and the parking lot will be cordoned off and a large tent will cover the parking lot. The planning group is also considering having a food truck or two present. FLF will have a booth and there will be a place with information regarding community-led programs.  The group is also considering having taiko drummers. The drummers have been at other library events.

Plans for donor open house Thursday before opening:  The donor recognition party will be scheduled on the Thursday before the grand opening, probably February 20, but subject to change based on the schedule discussed above.  It will take place from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00, with sparkling wine and cider and catered snacks. Major donors will have the opportunity to tour the library before opening. This will be a drop in event with no formal program.

Park Update

Park status; planning for Grand Opening:   Michele reported that the Resource Conservation District is taking the lead in organizing the park opening event.  The RCD has funding to organize a public event every other year and it has agreed to make the park opening its event for 2020.  An organizing committee has been formed with representatives from FLF, RCD, the Parks Department and the Library. The opening is scheduled for May 2, with ribbon cutting and speeches.  There will be lots of activities, with several organizations being invited, with a special focus on activities for children. The SLV Historical Museum, Friends of the County Parks, FLF among other groups will have tables.

Park sponsorships: Michele reported that there are still two naming opportunities for the library – the arbor and the gathering area.  There are several sponsorship opportunities for the park. She circulated a list of opportunities to the group (available on the FLF website).  The Parks Department does not place donors’ names at the specific site being sponsored.  Rather, there will be one sign that lists all the donors and the sites that they have sponsored.

Treasurer’s Report

Michele reported that the fund balance for the FLF primary account at the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries is $188,118.  There is a second account that contains the Community Foundation grant and one other grant. The CF grant will pay for specific, special items for the library that will focus on materials for science exploration and will greatly enhance its attractiveness.  The steering committee approved transferring an additional $49,000 to the park to purchase and install musical instruments and children’s play equipment. This is in addition to our original donation of $175,000 needed to accept the base construction bid. This will come out of the $188K balance.  We will also have other expenses associated with the library opening – donor wall, room signs honoring donors, etc. We still have approximately $45,000 in uncollected pledges, due by June 30, 2020.

FSCPL Board Report

Michele reported that she is now on the board as the Felton chapter representative.  The Executive Director, Vivian Rogers, has resigned effective the end of this month. The deadline for submitting applications to serve as her replacement was January 6.  The next quarterly meeting of the full Board is January 17 at 9 am at the Downtown Branch, and all are invited to come.Michele reported that the FSCPL administration fee is being raised from 5 percent to 6 percent.  This is the fee that FLF pays FSCPL for everything we raise (off the top) to cover bookkeeping and other administrative tasks.

Community-led Programs: Pilot Project Update

Nancy reported that the Felton library branch is the pilot for this program which will eventually be system wide.  A working group has been working on the organizational elements and functioning of the program. A handbook is being drafted and is almost completed.  Judi Sherman is the facilitator. The group has decided to start the program with three primary foci: environmental sciences, local history, and adult arts and crafts.  These were chosen based on the interests expressed by participants in the FLF survey. There will be a volunteer coordinator for each topic, who will be responsible for reaching out to potential participants and presenters and organizing presentation with library staff.  Nancy stated that Lisa Robinson will be the coordinator for the local history topic and that she (Nancy) will be the organizer for adult arts and crafts. The working group is looking for a coordinator for the environmental sciences topic and asked the group for suggestions.

Discussion followed Nancy’s report.  The working group decided on having a limited number of topics initially in order to test the program and its operations so that modifications can be made early in the process.  It is anticipated that additional topics will be added as the program moves forward and that the community members will have an opportunity to participate in what topics are chosen.   The group agreed that starting off small and figuring out the process was a good idea. Caroline stated that she is doing a workshop on travel sketching at the Scotts Valley library February 1 from 2:00 to 4:00.  This program could easily be transferred to Felton. Angie stated that the library will be organizing other presentations and workshops in addition to those being developed in the community-led program. Community members can propose programs on other topics directly to library staff.  She also stated that there were other library programs she anticipates will come to Felton, such as the afternoon board games event. Nancy reported that the rules for using the community room are still being developed. After-hour users will have to be library partners, which will involve a vetting process.  Jim stated that it would be a good idea to reach out to the San Lorenzo Valley Water District, which is a partner in the overall library/park project but has not been participating since its Environmental Programs Jen Michelsen resigned. He noted that her replacement has now been hired.

Future of FLF: Discussion

Three small groups were formed to discuss the following two questions:

  •  What do you see as Felton LIbrary Friend’s ongoing purpose/mission?
  •  How do you imagine being involved in FLF?

FLF’s Mission Statement was handed out to provide a starting point for the small group discussions — are the activities listed in the mission statement still relevant?  Should there be a change in emphasis?

Mission  Statement (from website)

Felton Library Friends actively supports the Felton Branch Library and the adjoining Nature Discovery Park by:

  • Advocating for the needs of the Library and Park
  • Fundraising for identified needs not covered in Library or Park operational or capital budgets
  • Supporting Library, Park, and community-led programming and services.
  • Collaborating on agreed-upon projects with community organizations and project partners: the Santa Cruz Public Libraries, Santa Cruz County Parks,  San Lorenzo Valley Water District.

Small Group Notes

  • Keep existing mission statement
  • Consider adding something about FLF’s role in helping make the library a welcoming place for all–outreach to community.  
  • Move bullets 3 and 4 up on list as more important now that the  library is built.  
  • Use social media marketing, website.
  • Need for parent, home school and senior outreach.  Transportation for seniors is important.
  • Fundraising still needed and should be ongoing.
  • Liaison to facilitate partner relationships.  
  • Develop more partners , e.g. schools and UCSC. Recruit UCSC interns to support the environmental learning library.  
  • Work to connect library and park programming.
  • Library’s K-12 team does outreach to schools.  Involve FLF.
  • Question: Is there a school library internship program for interested students?
  • Have an annual event, mostly to bring people together.  This should be a signature event that has the same theme and structure each year.  FLF-branded.Fundraise and friendraise.
  • Coordinate with water district.

Strategic Planning meeting

After discussion, the group agreed to change the date from Saturday 2/1, 10-12:30, to Saturday February 8, pending Nancy checking with key participants.  She will send out confirmation of the new time shortly. The meeting will take place at the Felton Firehouse.