2022 Annual Meeting Report

Saturday, March 12, 2022 10-11 AM  Via Zoom


Present: Leslie Dawson, Teresa Montgomery, Cathy Prazenica, Karen Spence, Karen Clarke, Diane Engelhardt, Elaine Hamlin, Gayle Smashey, Nicky Stanke, Donna Wright, Kristin Anderson (Ashland Branch Manager)

Absent:   Bonnie Johnson, Pat Fuhrman

Notes: Teresa Montgomery 



Karen Spence, FOAL Board President, welcomed attendees and reviewed the schedule for the meeting.

2021 FOAL Accomplishments

Karen Spence reviewed the Board committees, their members, and activities during 2021.  Of particular note were the fundraising efforts of the book sale team and the By-Laws and Articles of Incorporation up-dates.  She also noted the new Recognitions Committee, which focused on small gifts to recognize Ashland staff’s work during the pandemic.

Contribution to Ashland Branch Renovations

Karen Spence reported that the Library reached out to the Friends for funding help for the needed remodel of the library lower level.   As a result of the generosity of Friends members, book sale income, and bequest monies, the Friends were thrilled to contribute $100,000 toward the renovation costs.

Membership Request

Diane Engelhardt invited attendees to renew their memberships if they haven’t already done so, and to encourage friends to join or renew their membership.

Annual Financial Report

Cathy Prazenica gave a brief Financial Report for 2021, reviewing budgeted amounts, actual income, and expenses.

Board Election

Board President Karen Spence introduced the continuing Board members up for reelection:  Montgomery, Stanke, Dawson, and Wright.  Elaine Hamlin introduced new member Gayle Smashey up for election.  Spence called for a motion for the election.  Diane Englehardt so moved and Amy Blossom seconded.  The Friends members in attendance unanimously approved them.  She then called for nominations from the floor and received none.

JCLS District-wide Programs and Initiatives

Claudine Taillac, Assistant Director of Public Services, reviewed JCLS programs and initiatives of the past year and described upcoming projects.

  • The recently ended Rogue Reads was very successful with more than 600 participants in the various programs surrounding “Braiding Sweetgrass,” including the virtual author talk by Robin Wall Kimmerer.  She announced “Treasure Reading” as the Summer reading theme.  
  • She reported on the completion of the five year strategic planning document which will be presented to the District Board Wednesday, March 16th.  Goals include: energize services and resources, extend access, engage community more fully, and nurture library infrastructure.  After formal approval, implementation of the new strategies will start.  
  • She reviewed two recent remodel projects in the Medford and Ashland branches, especially noting the new reading room, meeting room, and office space in Medford.  
  • Over the past year a new social services program was begun with the hiring of a full-time social worker and five resource specialists, using grant funds.  One example of the new service: every Wed. morning prior to the library opening there are social services available for unhoused people at the Medford branch.  Last Wednesday they served 30 people.  
  • The new DART van brings digital services to underserved areas in Jackson County.

Ashland Branch Activities

Kristin Anderson, Ashland Branch Manager, noted new staff members in the branch, the upcoming program on cookbooks by Maurine Battistella, a new partnership with the North Mountain Nature Center to start the Great Outdoor Book Club, and a daylong Summer Reading Club kickoff.  Also, in-person children’s programs will be returning soon.

Virtual Tour of Lower Level Remodel

Kristin Anderson showed attendees highlights of the renovation, including new furniture, lighting, tables, and carpet.


Ending; Karen Spence asked attendees to look for the celebration of the lower level reopening.  The meeting adjourned at 11:05 a.m.

Attendance: There were 24 attendees.