Minutes – Library Advisory Board – March 11, 2021

Manassas Park City Library Advisory Board Meeting
7 p.m., Thursday, March 11, 2021
9701 Manassas Drive

Manassas Park, VA 20111



Michele Herd – Board Chair
Ann-Marie Stewart – Board Member
Lillian Zhu – Board Member
Holly Ritchie – Library Director

Robin Hatcher – Board Co-Chair

Andrea Barbuzza – Board member
Jay Swisher – City


Ms. Herd called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m.


No comments


Ms. Herd asked for motion to approve the agenda. Ms. Stewart moved to accept, Ms. Zhu seconded. The motion carried.


Ms. Herd asked for motion to approve the previous meeting minutes (December 3, 2020). Ms. Stewart moved to accept, Ms. Zhu seconded. The motion carried.


Library Director Report – attached.
December 2020-February 2021 Statistics – attached.

  1. Summer Reading Program
    1. Program will apply to all ages. Board Member Stewart suggested a partnership with the local scouts groups in order to have more assistance with putting on summer programs. Board Member Barbuzza stated that she could help promote the summer reading program at the schools as long as it is in April or Early May – later would not be possible due to testing.
  2. Seed Exchange
    1. Board Member Zhu asked for clarification on how the gardening workshops will work in relation to the seed exchange box. Director Ritchie explained that the box is always available to everyone but that the gardening workshops will encourage participants to utilize that box and will occasionally involve grab and go bags for workshop participants.
  3. Additional Comments:

Ms. Herd asked about marketing strategies the library is using and made some marketing suggestions, including marketing on more places on Facebook, getting Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Ms. Herd also mentioned she would like to see more Spanish programs and offerings available in Spanish. Director Ritchie mentioned that marketing materials produced by the library are available in both English and Spanish and that some ideas are in the planning stages in order to better reach the rest of the community as staffing and COVID restrictions allow.

Board members discussed use of the community center reading room. Director Ritchie will explore post-COVID possibilities that include placing donations in the space.

Ms. Stewart suggested outreaches at the community center. Director Ritchie agreed and stated that it is one of the ideas in the planning stages.

Ms. Herd asked about the possibility of getting a bike rack outside the library, Mr. Swisher stated he will explore this option.

Action Items

Short Takes for Trustees – Library Board Training from LVA

  1. Discussion: Ms. Barbuzza and Ms. Herd both appreciated the videos as resources.
  2. Next Video: It was decided that the next video would be Library Advocacy – to complement what had been talked about the meeting.

No action items

 Policy & Fees Amendment – Adding Non-Resident Fee

  1. Library Card Account

Residents of jurisdictions in the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) are eligible for free reciprocal accounts. Some online resources as well as Interlibrary Loan (ILL) may not be available to reciprocal borrowers.

Non-Residents are eligible for a library card for an annual fee as outlined in the Fine and Fee Schedule [Addendum E]. Residents of reciprocal areas outlined in Section 8.1 are not required to pay a non-resident fee. Some online resources as well as Interlibrary Loan (ILL) may not be available to non-resident borrowers.

    1. Ms. Herd asked for clarification on what qualifies someone to be a resident. Ms. Stewart asked for clarification to be added about the fact that those in reciprocal jurisdictions do not have to pay a fee. Ms. Hatcher asked that the word “free” be added to the reciprocal section.
    2. Ms. Hatcher made a motion to recommend policies and amendments as revised, Ms. Barbuzza seconded. The motion carried.
  1. Fines and Fees – $70 fee for non-resident cards
    1. The fee is based off information from the city’s finance department about the average amount one person would pay in taxes to the library per year.
    2. Ms. Stewart made motion to recommend policies and amendments as written, Ms. Zhu seconded. The motion carried.


Board set next meeting for June 10th at 7 p.m.

Meeting Adjourned

Director Report

We have continued to see a great response from the community and we have even more regular patrons. We are still seeing that many of our regular patrons are those coming to return items and check out new ones; but since PWCL has closed we are also seeing quite a few that will come in to work on job hunting, school work, work, or just personal projects.


We are still doing at least one grab and go themed activity bag a month and the turnout has been great. We make around 30 bags and they are usually gone the day of the program. We also have quite a few passive programs that post to our Facebook page throughout the week to encourage reading and visit from those that may not have stopped by yet.

For our virtual programming we are still doing our Live Virtual Storytime on Tuesday mornings, and a Teen recorded program (Real World Basics). We have added in a Live Virtual Bedtime Storytime as well as a Trivia night – both take place once a month.

We have begun to plan for Summer Reading and have decided on the theme: Tails and Tales. We are hoping to plan in-person programming that is outside and socially distant but all of our programs will be adaptable to a virtual environment. We will be using Bookpoints for participants to log their progress and earn virtual badges.

Starting this month, we are adding a virtual gardening workshop called Community Roots. This is to promote our new Seed Exchange Library and the entire project, from seed library to workshops, is spearheaded by a local girl scout completing her Gold Award project. The workshops will be recorded and posted to our website and YouTube channel for our patrons to reference for years to come.

Donation Weekend(s)

We had a great turnout for our December Donation Weekend in December. We were able to process about 200 items into the collection! Most of those were in like-new condition and many of them were materials by popular authors. We will be doing another donation weekend at the end of March and currently plan to do these evens once every 3 months.

Available Services

The library is currently open for walk-ins and curbside services. We are taking appointments if people would prefer to make them, but we are not requiring them. We do have a 7-person capacity limit and if that capacity is reached, we enforce an hour time limit to allow a greater amount of use. Our materials are currently quarantined for 7 days, but we are making plans to reduce that in the near future in line with recent information released by the VDH.

Social Media Response

The response on social media has been very positive. We have had a lot of people interested in our posts and currently have 450 likes and 475 Followers on Facebook and 10 subscribers on our YouTube channel (as of 3/4/21). Additionally, we have had a lot of suggestions of future programs, and have started to see some requests for future materials.


Since opening we have created 634 cards (as of 3/4/21).

Manassas Park City Library Statistics – December 2020-February 2021
GENERAL 2020-12 2021-01 2021-02 Total
Public Service Hours 199 206 182 587
Library Visits 708 573 662 1,943
Uses of Public Internet Computers 14 7 53 74
Wireless Sessions 12 17 13 42
Number of Website Visits 2,601 3,098 3,698 9,397
Total Number of searches of library’s online catalog 428 349 662 1,439
Total Reference Transactions 76 84 196 356
Total Children’s Programs 5 5 5 15
Total Children’s Program Attendance 16 30 21 67
Total Adult Programs 0 0 1 1
Total Adult Program Attendance 0 0 0 0
Total Recordings of Program Content 18 9 9 36
Total Views of Recorded Program Content 270 889 138 1,297
Total Live Virtual Programs 5 5 5 15
Total Live Virtual Program Attendance 16 30 21 67
Total Library Programs 23 14 15 52
Total Program Attendance 286 919 159 1,364


I have reached out to a variety of homeschooling organizations and groups to both partner with them as well as see what type of resources and programs may help them. We are also exploring a variety of other partnerships with non-homeschooling organizations, groups, and businesses as well. I would like to ask for your assistance in creating partnerships around the community. If you have any contacts or ideas for partnerships – please pass them on to me!

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Effective 8/30/21. Face masks will be required in all city buildings, including the library. Masks are available at the library. City Announcement