To the Community of San Miguel
This is a report on the activities of the Board of Directors of the Biblioteca Pública during the last two and a half months it has been in office.
Despite the pronounced dip in income during the first month of the slow season, the financial results at the end of April 2016 showed an improvement over the same period in 2015, thanks to various factors: rigorous financial controls, better accounts receivable management at the newspaper, better results at all the social enterprises of the Biblioteca, and a helpful donation of almost 250,000 pesos from three private supporters.
In April several staff members and a board member (Ali Zerriffi) participated in a workshop on conflict resolution held in San Miguel, organized by the Vicente Fox foundation “Vamos México.”
A full staff meeting was held the following Sunday to exchange ideas and provide a new dynamic in interdepartmental relations within the library. There were several working sessions right after that meeting to re-establish policies and procedures with the heads of the various departments.
Shortly after, three new members were appointed to the board:
Secretary: Rocío del Carmen García Barrera, IT engineer (and past recipient of Biblioteca scholarships).
Treasurer: Enrique Carrillo Aguila, a financier who has worked for almost 40 years in the banking sector and as treasurer for various organizations.
Member at Large: Gregory Diamant, who has served on the Biblioteca board as vice president and president, and has extensive experience in education, theater, arts, and business.
Rocio García has accepted, apart from fulfilling the position of Secretary, to help the two persons in charge of the library computer system and the two web sites, Daniel Herrera and Rosario Muñoz.
Enrique Carrillo has started working with Octavio López García, the administrative manager, and his team to refine the internal financial reports for each department. A master plan is being worked on based on the financial results of the last four years and projections for the rest of 2016 and the next five years. It will take into account the commitments of the Biblioteca like the Scholarship Fund and all other financial obligations and factoring in inflation, salaries, maintenance costs, and priority projects.
Along with the tangible elements of the plan there are other considerations of great importance that will be incorporated in the overall management of the Biblioteca: properly established manuals and procedures, a code of ethics, strategies for financial investments and cash flow projections, and planning of fund-raising campaigns to meet the financial needs of the next five years.
Enrique Pascual has taken charge of the educational and reading programs, working closely with Juan Manuel Fajardo, the head librarian. Gregory Diamant is working with Irineo Muñoz, the theater manager, on upgrading the light and sound equipment, and has liaised with the theater community to organize various productions next season.
Dr. Robert Merrill (President) and Ali Zerriffi (Vice-President) are in charge of the overall coordination of all departments, with a special focus on social enterprises. They are also engaged in outreach actions within the San Miguel community, which have resulted in attracting committed new board members and some funding to help start equipment upgrades and some renovations throughout the library. There are still two vacancies on the board, and we have strong hopes that one of them will be filled very soon by a very dynamic Sanmiguelense who is currently out of town. We invite anyone who is interested in helping with any of the activities of the Biblioteca to reach out to one of the board members for information on how to be part of this great organization.
Thanks to the support of Teri Kavanagh, in charge of liaison with Non-Governmental Organizations at the municipality, we were invited to a Fundraising conference at the Vincente Fox Center in León. Three board members and two staff members attended at various panels and workshops; that takeaway will help in planning the library’s strategy for building alliances with governmental offices and corporate entities. Executives of the foundation Vamos México came in turn to visit our facilities and were impressed by the scope of the activities the Biblioteca offers members of our community, both young and less young, nationals, and foreign residents.
The Biblioteca employees have spent a great amount of time on clean-up during the slow month of May, from the theater area to the reception courtyard. A fresh coat of paint did wonders to the centuries-old building on Insurgentes.
Please come visit and join your local library if you are not already a member. The Biblioteca needs your support.
The Board of Directors