Minutes – Library Advisory Board – March 30, 2020

Manassas Park Library Board Meeting

March 30, 2020; 7 p.m.



Andrea Barbuzza

Robin Hatcher

Michele Herd

Ann-Marie Stewart

Lillian Zhu

Laszlo A. Palko, City Manager

Lana A. Conner, City Clerk

Dean Crowhurst, City Attorney

Jerry Swisher, Parks & Recreation Director

Todd Frager, LS&S

Jennifer Giltrop, LS&S

Cullen Donohoe, LS&S

Debbie Joy, LS&S



Mr. Palko called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.


Ms. Herd self-nominated

Ms. Herd was elected unanimously by voice vote. None opposed or abstentions.

Ms. Herd asked for nominations for Vice Chair. Ms. Hatcher self-nominated.

Ms. Hatcher elected unanimously by voice vote. None opposed or abstentions.


City Attorney Dean Crowhurst said meeting agenda mirrors other public bodies. Members must attend meetings in person unless they have a permanent personal disability or other specific requirement. Remote participation is not permitted for closed meeting – members are able to decide if they want this to be permitted or not.

Roberts Rules of Order still apply when members are remote.

Members must supply an address of where they are staying when they are remote. This must be applied strictly and members must be fair and equitable. These rules are designed for governing bodies.

Ms. Herd asked for questions and asked for motion. Ms. Herd asked for motion for permission for Ms. Barbuzza to participate remotely in tonight’s meeting.

Ms. Stewart moved and Ms. Hatcher seconded. Motion carried as written.

Ms. Herd asked for motion to approve the agenda. The motion carried.


Mr. Palko said City of Manassas Park is in the process of completing application to be recognized as a certified Virginia public library. This is the first time in City history that the City of Manassas Park will provide its own library. LS&S will operate library and is in process of hiring a director. Library is planned to be open by July 1.

Mr. Palko said the documents that will be reviewed in tonight’s meeting can be edited and changed even after they have been submitted to the Library of Virginia. The application requires the bylaws to be reviewed tonight to be accepted by governing body.

It was confirmed the draft copy sent in the agenda packet is the same as shared by Mr. Palko for review during the meeting.

If an edit is requested, at least three board members must agree to the edit. Ms. Herd asked about board terms, and the need to identify terms for each new Board Member. City Attorney Dean Crowhurst asked for recommendations about who would take each term length. The following terms were recommended- four-year terms for the chair and vice chair; other members will serve three, two and one-year terms. Ms. Herd and Ms. Hatcher asked for the four-year terms as chair and vice chair, Ms. Stewart asked for a two-year term and Ms. Zhu asked for a three-year term, and Ms. Barbuzza asked for a one-year term. City Attorney Dean Crowhurst noted that members could be reappointed at the expiration of the term. The recommendations on term appointments will be made to the Governing Body.

Ms. Herd asked for a motion to approve. Ms. Stewart moved and Ms. Hatcher seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Ms. Herd asked about Article II, Sections (d) and (f); both mention annual meetings. She suggested they be consolidated. This change was made.

The Library Director is a non-voting ex-officio member of board. Ms. Barbuzza asked about Chair and Vice Chair being elected annually in the context of Ms. Herd and Ms. Hatcher serving four-year terms when no other board members are serving those terms. Ms. Herd said Chair and Vice Chair would have to be elected every year. The person serving as Chair might change, but the individual’s term of service would not.

Ms. Herd asked for other questions and asked for motion to approve revised bylaws. Motion carried unanimously.


Ms. Herd observed inconsistent references to the name of the City. The City of Manassas Park should be used consistently.

Mr. Palko said Manassas Park City Library is the official name of the library. The strategic plan was changed to reflect these changes.

Ms. Herd asked what “support local business by coordinating services” meant. Ms. Giltrop answered that it meant outreach to small business development organizations, employment related workshops, and partnerships with organizations making connections for internships, etc.

Ms. Giltrop said the plan is meant to provide priorities that will drive the work of library staff.

Ms. Stewart suggested reworking collection reference to include both digital and print materials.

Ms. Herd asked for motion to recommend the strategic plan to the State. Ms. Zhu moved and Ms. Hatcher seconded. The motion carried unanimously.


Members asked if the document should be reviewed for grammar and typos. City Attorney Dean Crowhurst suggested the board review for content only. The policies will be reviewed by the city attorney prior to recommendation to the Governing Body for adoption.

Section 1. Collection Management

Ms. Barbuzza asked who the Library Director is and how that person is chosen. Mr. Palko answered that LS&S would hire a director by June.

Mr. Palko said LS&S will hire in close collaboration with Parks and Recreation Director.

Ms. Stewart asked about the phrase “contemporary ideas and traditional points of view” regarding collection selection. She said ALA Bill of Rights language on this topic is clearer and suggested its use. The text was changed to reflect some of the ALA Bill of Rights language.  “Reflect all points of view on current and historical issues” is the new language.

Section 2. Programming

Ms. Barbuzza asked about accommodations for patrons with disabilities – how patrons can request these accommodations. Ms. Giltrop said requests for accommodation would not be limited. She said the library would follow City of Manassas Park stance on accommodation request. The Library Director will manage these requests. Ms. Barbuzza asked about reasonable accommodation; will it be possible for a small library to provide all accommodations that could possibly come up? Ms. Giltrop said in general the numbers of accommodations requested is minimal and that the library would be required to provide reasonable accommodations for programs.

Ms. Herd asked about library sponsorship of a program constituting an endorsement of the view of the presenters or participants.

Ms. Herd also asked about library developing its own programs versus partnering with organizations to provide programs. The word “also” was added to note the library will develop and also participate in programs.

Section 3. Fines and Fees

All references to “City Council” in the policies should be changed to “Governing Body.”

Ms. Stewart said that more and more libraries are ending the collection of fines. Ms. Giltrop acknowledged this movement and said most still charge fees for lost items. She noted the draft policies provided to the Board are suggestions based on other Virginia libraries, and that they can be changed to meet the expectations of this Board.

Ms. Herd and Ms. Barbuzza suggested the library not collect overdue fines. Ms. Giltrop said patrons who borrow and never return items continually can be blocked at a certain dollar threshold. The suggested block amount of $25 was a suggestion based on average cost of a hard cover book. Ms. Giltrop said protocols would be developed that defined when an item becomes lost, usually in the 40-45 day range. Ms. Zhu said she has no objection but suggested a more gentle time frame.  Usually at that point the patron is billed for the item. Ms. Barbuzza said this is consistent with schools so students would be used to it.

It was decided the library would not charge overdue fines and this language was added to the section. The statement “$25.00 fee for lost items” was moved to lost or damaged section of document.

Section 4. Library Closings

Parks and Rec will be changed to as Parks and Recreation in the policies document.

Section 5. Gifts

Gifts valued at $5,000 or less will be reviewed by the Parks and Recreation Director and gifts of $5,000 or more would both be reviewed by the City Manager, both types of gifts would be reviewed upon the recommendation of the Library Director. This was made consistent in the document.

Ms. Barbuzza noted gifts are not always helpful to the library. Mr. Palko noted Library Director would review gifts.

Section 6. Volunteers

Ms. Herd asked if volunteers could serve in staff role if a qualified person volunteered. Ms. Stewart pointed out that volunteers are not typically able to reliably replace staff.

Section 7. Library Support Groups

No changes

Section 8. Library Card Account

Ms. Giltrop said different types of documents can be provided to show residency, ownership of property, work or school attendance can be used to register for a library card.

Ms. Herd asked how staff will know which records are acceptable.

Mr. Palko asked about why some digital resources not being available to reciprocal borrowers. Ms. Giltrop said that licenses for digital resources will guide what is allowable for cardholders to have access to, when discussing reciprocal borrowing.

Ms. Zhu asked how reciprocity works vs. Interlibrary loan. Ms. Herd explained the difference.

Ms. Hatcher suggested the statement about every resident “regardless of age” be broadened. Mr. Palko said it is addressed in the addendum.

Section 9. Library Rules of Conduct

Ms. Barbuzza said number 11 (consuming food or drink that creates a nuisance) is nebulous. She suggested allowing food or not allowing food. She suggested food not be allowed near computers or near upholstered furniture – only in designated areas. This was changed to reflect her suggestion.

Ms. Herd asked if grounds around the library would be covered by these rules. Mr. Palko said the rules would be enforced in the library building and in the shared parking lot. The area around the library will be governed by Parks and Recreation rules. Ms. Herd suggested the prohibitions also apply to program spaces. These changes were made.

Ms. Herd suggested modes of transport including bicycles, scooters, etc. must be left outside. This change was made.

Section 10. Safe Children

There were no comments

Section 11. Privacy

There were no comments

Section 12. Facilities Use

Ms. Stewart suggested referring to Library Director consistently in this section. It was clarified that meeting room users or program presenters cannot solicit donations at the library.

Ms. Herd asked to clarify “no charge for use of facilities by government, nonprofit groups and etc. For profit businesses can be charged a fee.” She suggested library lobby uses be simplified to library-sponsored or partnered programs or events.

Ms. Herd asked if the section about meeting room use and asterisk section be combined. This change was made. She asked about the library grounds section – was this not covered in previous section? Mr. Palko noted it referred to meeting rooms. This change was not made.

Ms. Zhu asked about displays and exhibits in the library. Ms. Barbuzza asked if there should be a process for review – Ms. Herd agreed this is a good idea. Patrons who want to use these areas must submit request to library staff.

Ms. Zhu and Ms. Herd asked about language allowing petition signing on library grounds. The 25 feet limit is the same as voting places. A sentence that petition signing is allowed with prior notification was removed. Mr. Palko suggested the City Attorney review the 25 feet restriction.

The City Attorney will review the section about posting handouts and publications.

Section 13. Internet and Computer Use

Ms. Herd asked if this promises technology that budget does not fund. Ms. Barbuzza described Virginia program in which students refurbish and donate. Mr. Palko said there is a budget for technology.

Addenda A – L

Ms. Herd said these reflect ALA statements and Virginia Code and asked for questions. There were no further questions.

Michelle asked for motion to recommend adoption pending City Attorney review. Ms. Stewart moved, Ms. Zhu seconded. Motion carried unanimously.


Mr. Palko recommended meeting quarterly; members agreed. Members selected June 11, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. for the next meeting.

Ms. Herd asked for motion to adjourn. Ms. Stewart motioned Ms. Zhu seconded.

Meeting adjourned at 8:50 p.m.

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