Masonic Library & Museum Association

Minutes from MLMA Meeting XXXX

at The Grand Lodge of Arkansas

in Little Rock, Arkansas
November 4 - 5, 2005

November 4, 2005

Acting President Dick E. Browning, PGM, called the meeting to order at 9:05 a.m.

Attending: Dick Browning, Jerry Stotler,  Dave Lettelier, Eric Trosdahl, Carol and Dick Bish, Larissa Watkins, Helaine Davis, Marie Barnett, Bill Kreuger, Glenys Waldman, James Weatherall PGM, Grand Secretary, and Grand Master of Arkansas Darwin D. Lloyd as guests.

Introductory remarks: Dick Browning gave a wee pep talk on selling MLMA. (See note below about the Conference of Grand Masters, Deputy Grand Masters and Grand Secretaries).

Bill Kreuger and Dick Bish led a discussion MLMA Mission and Plan.

Review by Bill of Detroit meeting in October 2004 at which it was decided  we needed to talk about who we are and where we are going. "Vision Committee:" Bill volunteered, Dick Bish followed and Glenys Waldman added herself later.

Dick Bish had called for such a "Whither MLMA?" and wrote one, using the Mission statement. It was sent out to everyone. Discussion of responses: some negative, some merely concerned. Stated hope that we arrive at a conclusion Note: Indeed, the present document was thoroughly discussed and the revision will be sent out to the Membership as a separate document.

Preliminary: Dick Bish expressed appreciation for Dick Browning's stepping up to the presidency for our ailing president Jim Dufresne.  Murmurs of agreement.

Discussion "proper":

* Helaine Davis: How do we plan if we have no vision? Whom do we attract? What are their needs? What are our aspirations? Groups must reassess themselves; e.g. AASR, NMJ does so every five years; should we?

* Bill Kreuger: What are our needs?

* Dave Lettelier: Marketing to whom? gets 50,000 hits and 5000 sessions daily (where people stay on for awhile and study: e.g. there were 700-800 sessions on the Statue of Liberty alone!) This is possible because [virtually] every child has a computer of his own in school.

* Dick Browning: We must assess the needs of: our members, new members, and new prospects, e.g.: Grand Lodge of Missouri, American Antiquarian Soc (which has [Brother] Isaiah Thomas' whole library including much Masonica).

The assembled company agreed that our mission as stated is good.

The discussion moved on to Vision: Whither?


1. Should seek and reach out: to Grand Lodges, other Masonic bodies, other substantial (without definition) Masonic collections (whether libraries, museums, and of all Masonries), and individuals. Dick Browning:  include other kinds of libraries - even without Masonica - to have them refer queries to us. MLMA as "staff" of specialists - resource people for (e.g.) historical societies, small Masonic libraries, public libraries...

2. To promote professional standards of library and museum management (best practices, i.e. best procedures). Professional as attitude, not (academic) degree.

"We don't want to lose what we don't know we have" - Dick Browning

3. Communication with members.

4. Continuing education database of methods on website e.g. "handouts" from presentations. Resource contact list

Webmaster: Dave Lettelier volunteered and it was agreed to by acclamation.  Paul Bessel will be asked to give control of both website and Yahoo group to Lettelier.  A Certificate of appreciation will be presented to Paul.  Dick Browning volunteered.  Approved by acclamation.


Break ca. 10:45; reconvened at 11:00

How to help museums get started as we have been doing with libraries? We have Boyden-Bish for libraries but no equivalent for mueums. Proposed that we ask Mark Tabbert to tell us about the Mimsey museum cataloguing system for MLMA at our meeting next year.

Helaine Davis re: affiliating with another, or being our own branch of the Special Library Assn.  Will  contact and try to invite a representative to the next meeting.

Break for the Grand Master of Arkansas, Darwin D. Lloyd, who welcomed us and expressed appreciation for the information of which we are guardians. He also reminded us to make information "current," keeping in mind "Who are our customers?"

12:05 Adjourned for lunch and reconvened at 1:30

Grand Secretaries' Conference: Dick Browning will speak about MLMA to the Grand Secretaries at the annual Conference of Grand Masters, Deputy Grand Masters and Grand Secretaries to be held in Nashville, TN on February 19-21, 2006. MLMA can make the lives of Grand Secretaries easier: they are usually charged with the care of Grand Lodge libraries.  It was voted that Glenys Waldman should help with his presentation, because of her different perspective. It was anticipated that (Emeritus President) Paul Bessel would attend as Deputy Grand Master of Washington D.C.; and pre-conference publicity indicated that Mark Tabbert would be presenting. If possible, Paul and Mark will also assist. (See Business Meeting below). After the Conference, perhaps a blurb about MLMA should be put in each of the Northern Light and Scottish Rite Journal. 

Dues system: Fair? Yes, but the next revision of the By-Laws and brochure might do well to eliminate the actual figures - they can be posted in the application form on the website. Dick Bish moved to have an introductory membership of one year free. Kreuger seconded. Carried.

On the back of a special MLMA brochure/membership form to be revised and printed in a small run by Dick Browning, in time for the Grand Secretaries' Conference there will be a space for potential members to state their needs, interests, etc. (See Business Meeting below).

Adjourned ca. 5:30 p.m.


November 5, 2005

Acting President Dick E. Browning reconvened us at 9:30 a.m.

Business meeting: a mixture of old and new:

Appreciation from Jerry Stotler, Executive Secretary of Phoenixmasonry.

Webmaster-elect Dave Lettelier, also of Phoenixmasonry, reported that "" is available for our domain.  Approved by acclamation.

The Minutes of the MLMA meeting in Detroit in October 2004 stand as read. Bish moved; Lettelier seconded. Carried.

Treasurer's Report (Eric Trosdahl). $610.13 total expenses; $2045.04 income. We have a $5000 CD. Acceptance moved by Dick Browning; Waldman seconded. Carried.

Secretary's Report (Glenys Waldman). As informal representative (with Mark Tabbert to the Association of Masonic Museums, Libraries and Archives in Europe, GAW reported on the proceedings of their meeting in London, as well as the added adventure of being there for the bombings. She also read a draft of a letter to Jim Dufresne, thanking him for his Presidency of MLMA. Browning moved to accept both; Lettelier seconded. Carried.

Website: Bish moved establish new website, to be paid for by direct draft from the Treasury.  Kreuger seconded. Carried.

MLMA Membership certificate for Libraries was suggested.  Dick Browning volunteered to draft it.  All agreed.

Dick Browning and Glenys Waldman will represent MLMA at the Conference of Grand Masters, Deputy Grand Masters and Grand Secretaries meeting in Nashville in February. Financial support will be granted to Dick and Glenys (reimbursement up to $1000.00). Special MLMA brochures also to be printed.  Lettelier moved, Stotler seconded. Carried.

Newsletter: Issue "new series" number one to be done by Helaine Davis. All agreed.

Election of Officers:

* Dick Browning for President: Lettelier moved; Waldman seconded. Carried.

* Dick Bish  for Vice President: Lettelier moved; Kreuger seconded. Carried.

* Glenys Waldman re-elected for a third term as secretary. Acclamation.

* Eric Trosdahl for Treasurer. Waldman moved; Stotler seconded. Carried.

* Chaplain to be appointed by President Browning.

Webmaster: Dave Lettelier volunteered. Acclaimed.

The business meeting concluded with no formal adjourned.

Educational Discussion:

* Grand Master biographies: several told of their work (interviews, files, etc.)

* Dick Bish spoke about satellite libraries in Washington State. Minimum criteria: 200 books, dedicated space, security, librarian, computer. 7 responses. Program launched. They are providing inventory of their books. Dick had a table at the Grand Lodge; 5 more lodges became interested. They decided to adopt process of public libraries. There is a grassroots desire. also from concordant bodies: the satellite program was not imposed by Grand Lodge, as happened in another jurisdiction - notes were compared.


* Dick Browning told the story of the White House Stones (Brother President Truman gave each Grand Lodge a stone from the White House which had been removed during renovations. Each stone had a Mason's mark on it: Grand Lodge took their stone to each elementary school in a fast-growing area (Bentonville, Benton Co) and made a companion DVD - great little traveling exhibit!

* Glenys Waldman gave a short presentation on book boxes, folders, and bias tape.

* Larissa Watkins: Lincoln in 2009! See Paul Bessel re Lincoln Philalethes 5 years ago. She proposed a joint effort - catalogues of Lincolniana collections/host for traveling exhibit.

Adjourned 12:10 p.m. by acclamation.

Lunch at and time to see the Clinton Presidential Library, on the Arkansas River in downtown Little Rock.

Future MLMA Meetings:

2006 in Lexington-Boston, October 13-14 still tentative. Friday Lexington; Saturday Boston. Hope to be able to reserve rooms at a hotel in Burlington (near Lexington) [put in rules for host....] Block 25 rooms, release at arranged time. Shuttles?] Usually 2 permanent two traveling, plus one in library. Possibly behind the scenes tour...

2007 in Philadelphia - also still tentative; Supreme Council willing also.

2008 Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Duties of the Meeting Host:

* Reserve a block of 25 rooms and learn/follow the hotel rules for releasing rooms as number of attendees becomes clear

* Arrange for meals ("local color" restaurants appreciated)

* Arrange for transportation, including informing re airport shuttles. (Tip: sometimes the Shrine has a van they can spare.)

* Arrange for (preferably) two educational presentations in-house (experts in a library or museum-related function, e.g. conservation) or as field trips to related institutions

* Agenda to be e-mailed to all in advance

Respectfully submitted,

Glenys A. Waldman, Secretary