Trustees' Finance and Audit Committee

Board of Trustees
March 21, 2011

Minutes of the Trustees Finance and Audit Committee Meeting
March 21, 2011 Johnson Trustees Room 8am to 9am
Chairman Evelyn Arana-Ortiz

A meeting of the Trustees Finance and Audit Committee was held at the Boston Public Library, Trustees Room, Johnson Building, on Monday, March 21, 2011 at 8:00 a.m.

Present at the meeting were: Chairman Evelyn Arana-Ortiz, Trustees Zamawa Arenas, and Donna M. DePrisco; BPL Chief Financial Officer, Sean P. Nelson, Budget and Procurement Manager Edward Maheigan, Supervisor of Accounting, Sean Monahan; Krista DeNofrio, City Budget Office; and Nancy Grilk, Clerk of the Board.

The Chairman noted that she received apologies from Trustee Byron Rushing, Mr. Ray Sullivan and Mr. Anthony Jordan who were unable to attend due to prior commitments.

Ms. Arana-Ortiz, Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee presiding.

The Chairman reviewed the agenda and addressed the first item on the order of business pertaining to the Minutes of the Trustees Finance and Audit Committee Meeting held on January 6, 2011. Pending clarification on Committee motions and voting, approval of the minutes was postponed until the next Finance and Audit Committee meeting.

Mr. Edward Maheigan provided an update on the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center (Map Center), which will open in its new, permanent location on August 30, 2011. Mr. Maheigan provided information on the Request for Proposals (RFP) that will be released today and will close in mid-April for the Map Center Display Furnishings for the new space. Ms. Beth Prindle, Manager of Exhibitions, will report on the results of the Evaluation Committee at the next Finance and Audit Committee meeting. A vote will be taken on the recommended award of the contract. Mr. Maheigan clarified that the RFP maximum amount of $99,000.00 will be appropriated from the $1.8 million raised to date to fulfill the commitment by the Boston Public Library to the Map Center. Trustee DePrisco requested and received copy of the bid document.

Mr. Maheigan advised that additional bids will forthcoming during the construction phase.

Mr. Sean P. Nelson addressed the next agenda item, the FY12 Boston Public Library Operating Budget. He provided a review of the three funding options that were presented at the March 8 Trustees meeting. He then gave an overview of the $39.84 FY12 Operating Budget recommendation that President Ryan will present at the Trustees March 23 Trustees meeting. The recommended budget is based on the assumption of level funding from the FY11 budget. Should there be any changes to the budget assumption; a vote the Trustees will be required at a special meeting.

Mr. Nelson outlined several routes to close the $1.5 million budget gap. Administrative measures include: the use of Enterprise Funds; the allocation of Kirstein Trustee fund for operations; and, a state grant. Other steps proposed, which can be reversed should additional funding become available, include: the elimination of Sunday hours at Copley; a 6% across the board reduction to the Collections budget; and holding up to 10 positions vacant. The budget does provide for position upgrades; added security; an increase in cleaning; and additional interlibrary delivery. Discussion followed on the impacts of the recommended budget. One option not recommended by the BPL staff is the elimination of the DVD budget which would impact 27% of the total circulation. Also discussed was reduction of hours at branches across the board; however this would result in layoffs which is not a palatable option. Other possible revenue sources discussed included: implementing a BPL buy-a-book program through an option on the web page; partnering with book sellers or other sources to provide a patron book donation program to the BPL; suggesting that Border's book store that is closing in Copley Square could receive a tax break by donating their inventory that they are liquidating to the BPL; and finally regarding the use of additional Trust Funds, Mr. Nelson pointed out that approximately 18% of the $2 million expected this year in Trust Funds are restricted in use.

Chairman Arana-Ortiz turned to the next agenda item: Fiscal update. Mr. Nelson reported on the conclusion of the 4 Public Budget Roundtables, each successful with a dedicated following. All of documents that were distributed at these meetings are posted on the BPL web page. Frequent audience questions were about the Boston Public Library Foundation, and the gift shop. Trustees La Camera and Rushing attended the final roundtable.

Discussion on investments was tabled to follow approval of the budget. An extended discussion will take place at the August meeting of the Committee.

Mr. Sean Monahan reported that he received the IRS Form 990. He will review the documents and highlight any questions that relate to the Trustees. The relevant Trustee questions regarding relationships to the institution will be sent to the Trustees in the near future. The filing date for the Form 990 is May 15, 2011. Past Form 990's are posted on the BPL web site. Mr. Monahan will work with auditors O'Connor and Drew on the management letter. O'Connor and Drew will remain auditor for one more year; however, staff has asked for a meeting to discuss new options for FY11.

Mr. Monahan reported on technical problems with the Accounts Receivable module. Between the BPL and City accounting offices, the problems are being addressed and staff is entering data retrospectively. The consulting firm came in on budget and on time; it was at high end. They were the successful bidder on the upgrade. The system is live and the Accounting staff is now in the process of training and rolling it out. Good news!

2011 Schedule

The April 28 meeting is rescheduled to May 5 to accommodate Committee members' schedules.

The Committee will establish a schedule at that meeting.

There being no further Committee business, Chairman Arana-Ortiz adjourned the meeting at 9:00 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Grilk, Clerk of the Board