2023 Annual Meeting Report

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Gresham Room, Ashland Public Library

Board Members Present

Donna Wright, Cathy Prazenica, Betsy Gentry, Leslie Dawson, Carrie Forbes, Elaine Hamlin, Diane Engelhardt, Claudia Everett, Gayle Smashey, Bonnie Johnson, Nicky Stanke, and ex-officio members Kristin Anderson and Karen Spence

In addition, there were approximately 36 Friends members and guests in the room.


Gayle Smashey called the meeting to order at 1:04 p.m. She thanked all Friends members and guests for coming, the Library for hosting us, and the Community Engagement Committee for the cheerful hard work put into planning and setting up the meeting. Smashey recapped the recent accomplishments of the Friends, citing a major gift of $100,000 toward the renovation of the lower level of the Library, which includes updated technology, new furniture, carpet, and lighting in the Gresham Room, the Guanajuato Room, the kitchen and the staff break room. In addition, we have allocated $75,000 toward the next phase of the Library renovation. Friends’ funds support adult, teen, and children’s programming in the Library, additions to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival collection, and seasonal decoration of the Library.

She introduced Kristin Anderson, Branch Library Manager.


Anderson demonstrated the technology now available in the Gresham Room, and thanked the Friends for all that was done and will be done with its help. She said the next big project at the Library is the complete overhaul of the HVAC System, which will begin on March 7 and run until approximately May 15. During that time the meeting rooms will be unavailable. March 27 until April 23, the Library will be providing “Front Door Service,” as was provided during the COVID lockdown, on the Siskiyou Blvd side of the Library.

Around April 24, the Main floor will reopen; the whole Library will reopen mid-May. Many accommodations will be made to assure access to services and materials needed during this time period.


Leslie Dawson thanked four outgoing Board Members, starting with Karen Spence, who started on the Board in 2014 and has served as President for the past six years. Throughout her tenure she led the Friends through a Library Director vacancy, created the Finance Committee that reports to the Board every month, oversaw the accumulation of funds to help remodel the lower level, established the website, upgraded and made more manageable the Friends Book Sale, updated the By-Laws, policies and procedures, and recruited new members. Karen did most of this through COVID and on Zoom! She was presented with a bouquet of tulips as a heartfelt thank you

Also thanked for their fine service were Teresa Montgomery who served as Secretary for many years; Diane Engelhardt who served on the Community Engagement Committee, and Karen Clarke from the Finance Committee.


Nicky Stanke, Secretary, conducted the elections for continuing Board members Cathy Prazenica, Bonnie Johnson, and Elaine Hamlin. All three were unanimously reelected by the membership. She then conducted the election of new members Carrie Forbes, Claudia Everett, and Betsy Gentry. All three were unanimously elected to the Board.


Cathy Prazenica, Treasurer, presented the FOAL Financial Report as of 12/31/22, showing the 2022 Budgeted income of $19,704 compared to the Actual income of $30,951, and the 2022 Budgeted expenses of $32,628 compared to the Actual expenses of $26,274. The net income for 2022 was $4,677, although a negative income had been budgeted. Assets at the year end total $167,422 of which $75,000 is earmarked for the next Ashland Library Renovation Project.

Official Business of the Friends of the Ashland Library concluded at 1:40 p.m.


Claudia Everett introduced Geoffrey Riley, from Jefferson Public Radio. Riley’s presentation was on the topic “Around the Region in Five Days at the
Jefferson Exchange with Geoffrey Riley.” After Geoffrey Riley’s informative talk, the formal annual meeting closed at 2:30, and then the members and guests enjoyed refreshments and a social time together.

Respectfully Submitted,
Nicky Stanke, FOAL Secretary