Change in Yangon: Change in NLR

Nargis Library Recovery Board Meeting 11 March 2013

PRESENT ON TELEPHONE CONFERENCE: David Leuthold, John Badgley, Jack Simpson, Roger Paget, Sasha Babic, Matt Daley, Allen Bjergo, (Thant Thaw Kaung joined later).  Hector Rivas did not participate.

 David Leuthold called the meeting to order at 0905 MDT.

1] Chairman Leuthold asked for any additions or changes to agenda. None were suggested.

a. Approval of minutes from last meeting, 9/5/2012, attached. There were no changes and minutes were approved by consensus.

2] Old Business:

2A] Income, expenses YTD, Fiscal Year 2013, Badgley (Report attached) [Contributions of $10,000 from Jack Simpson, $13,430 from David Leuthold, $2,500 from Dave Richards, $660 from Sasha and Lya, $347 from Asia Foundation for travel, $250 from Clem Work, $195 from John Parker, $120 from Allen Bjergo, $100 from others, for total of $27,602.

2B. Expenses First half of Fiscal Year 2013

$ Spent               $ Budgeted

10,000            12,000 JHB admin. Fee

0                             500 bookkeeping

10,154            14,500 Four container deliveries @ $5,000

4,881               (3,500) Travel & fundraising in Myanmar

995                1,000 Travel for director’s meetings & fundraising

675                 (675) for CPA tax filing

0                   250 Website & publicity

200                   500 Contingency

3,000                         0 Unbudgeted Gayle/Sue workshops

$29,905   $32,925

This table compares our expenditures for the first half of the fiscal year, with half of the budget adopted for FY 2013 (except that numbers in parentheses are full year budget, for expenditures expected to incur only in first half of the year).

The JHB administrative fee was $2,000 less than budgeted, because JHB changed from $2,000 per month to $1,000 per month as of January 2013. He plans to take no administrative fee after March.

Only one container delivery was made in FY2013. NLR was overcharged for that delivery due to four pallets held over from our June, 2012 container by our shipper. We tried to save money with a new Yangon-based company, but high trucking and storage expenses came with this low cost shipping.

NLR had not budgeted for Gayle and Sue’s workshops. They were funded by Jack and Sue Simpson in Jan. 2012 and paid for afterwards. This year Jack donated $10 K in Nov, primarily for that purpose although his donation was not restricted.

NLR has approximately $3,000 in the bank, plus $2,000 that Thant is holding, and obligations of about $800 to Sesh Velamoor for travel to Yangon, and $500 to bookkeeper.

3] Income, expenses by MBAPF YTD, FY 2013; MBAPF Report attached. $29,725 raised at book buffets; $4,159 expenses for book buffets; $8,122 for purchase of Myanmar language books; $2,163 clearing charges for container 15, $1,598 for expenses with NLR visitors and donations to libraries for total expenses of $16,042. MBAPF has $13,683 cash on hand.

4] Report on shipments and distributions YTD FY 2013. One shipment since June, 2012 and MBAPF can handle only two shipments in calendar 2013. The “low cost” Yangon shipper delayed our August container three months, resulting in a huge storage charge for four Gaylords [pallets] of boxes they failed to load in our June container shipment. They promised to load those four in our August container, then our Yangon shipper failed to reserve a berth for three months. At first JHB refused to pay the storage fee, then Janel blocked our container in Yangon Port claiming we failed to pay the shipping cost. Actually, we had already paid the Yangon contractor who required us to use Janel for both June and November shipments. To release the container, JHB paid a $2960 charge to Janel. To resolve the impasse, JHB flew to LA and negotiated full return of the $2960 charge, plus a $1,000 reduction in the fee for storage of the four pallets of books.

5] Report on Library Readers’ workshops in January. Gayle Holmes reported great success with three workshops she and Sue Simpson conducted in the Yangon area. Over 100 teachers and librarians participated. Materials she developed, which were published and made available by MBAPF, worked beautifully. This has been a very successful innovation. Simpson said that other entities were getting into the book business and continuing with the workshops should be successful. He suggested that innovations started by Sue and Gayle could make money, and those who went through the program could carry it on.

6} Report on November/December 2013 Myanmar tour and recent developments in Myanmar. Badgley reported eight individuals, including two Karen from a village near Pathein, joined on the tour from Yangon to Mandalay, Thaunggyi and Inle libraries between Nov. 30 and Dec.8; he joined the Leuthold family in visiting the same cities, but different libraries between Dec 10 -18. We also cut the ribbon for our new library built at Nwe Kwe’ village.

7] New Business: A. Reduced income expectations. Denials on grant requests to Gates Foundation, Asia Foundation, Elsevier Foundation, request for additional grant from DeBoer Foundation. The Simpsons reduced their contribution by 2/3rds this year, and only small donations came from others. Leutholds have met their previous year level at mid-year. Thant & May will reduce buffet book sales by half. Badgley said that he had just gotten an email from DeBoer Foundation, indicating some possibility of additional funding.

B] Options:

(1) Remain in business as currently structured. We still have a million book goal. Our books are appreciated by librarians and we are constantly finding new libraries and opportunities, especially on our library tours.

(2) Downsize: We could generate enough contributions to pay cost of two shipments per year; but we need to eliminate JHB administrative fee and future Myanmar travel as well as fundraising travel within the U.S. We can maintain ourselves entirely with volunteers until we reach the million book goal.

(3) Declare success, a magnificent success, and go out of business. Thrift Books’ charity arm could do the shipments, and MBAPF could still receive and distribute their books in Myanmar. Thant believes MBAPF could finance the cost of container shipments.

Paget said that it made sense to follow option 3, and declare success, since more non-profits entering the field can carry out much of the mission. Chairman Leuthold said that another shipment will go in July and by August we will all know if DeBoer had responded and if there can be further action. Badgley was authorized to continue discussions with the DeBoer Foundation.  Badgley noted that if DeBoer funding was for cost of shipments that that money could be transferred to MBAPF.   Badgley also noted that Asia Foundation was preparing to provide new books to Myanmar university and college libraries, and that George Soro’s Open Society Program is funding library network development to access global knowledge and develop central library capability.

 MOTION # 1: Simpson moved, and Badgley seconded a motion to continue with Option # 3, with NLR planning to hold another Board meeting in late August, with the expectation that NLR would dissolve at the end of the fiscal year. Approved by unanimous vote.

 At this point, Thant joined the conversation and was informed about the decision, which he supported. He said that MBAPF could finance the cost of container shipments, but that if DeBoer Foundation money could be used to pay for shipments, that more Myanmar language books could be purchased. The need for networks of local libraries was discussed. Thant said he would be meeting with Sesh Velamoor, following his March 22nd workshop in Yangon,to discuss use of the Foundation for the Future materials.

 Badgley and Leuthold each thanked the Board for all of the effort and support given in our five years of operation.  Thant thanked the Board for all of the help given to his country, and was thanked, in turn for all the work he and May have done. [Subsequent to the meeting, Hector Rivas emailed Badgley to explain his absence (sports injury), and confirmed Thrift Books’ intention to complete the million book donation, and to work directly with MBAPF if NLR goes out of business.]

 There being no other business the meeting adjourned at 1015.

 Allen Bjergo




Wednesday August 21 2013, 9am MDT, 8 am PDT.   At Swan Lake, Montana

Present:  John Badgley, Sasha Babic, Roger Paget, David Leuthold, Alan Bjergo.  Thant Thaw Kaung participated by Skype.   Absent: Hector Rivas (in Guatemala), Jack Simpson.

1] Additions, changes to agenda?   Approval of minutes from 11 March 2013 (attached)

2] Old Business:

2A] Income, Fiscal Year 2013. (Report attached) [Contributions of $13,430 from David Leuthold, $10,000 from Jack and Sue Simpson, $8,000 from the family of U Po Tint and Daw Ma Ma Lay, $7,500 from DeBoer Family Foundation, $2,500 from Dave Richards, $1,000 from Howard Alper, $660 from Sasha Babic and Lya and $1113 from other donations and sources for a total of $44,203.

For comparison income in FY 2012 was $80,655, and in FY 2011, $51,055.

2B. Expenses Fiscal Year 2013 (Report attached)

$ Spent            $ spent

first 1/2   second 1/2                      $ Budgeted

10,000      2,500                          24,000 JHB admin. Fee

0                 500                                  500 bookkeeping

13,555                0                           29,000 Four container deliveries @ $5,000

4,881           800                              3,500 Travel & fundraising in Myanmar

996                   0                              2,000 Travel for director’s meetings & funding

675                   0                                  675 for CPA tax filing

0                      0                                  500 Website & publicity

209               111                              1,000 Contingency

 5,000          0                                               0 Unbudgeted Gayle/Sue workshops

$35,317  + $3,911 = $39,228  $32,925

This table compares our expenditures for the first half of the fiscal year, and for the second half of the fiscal year with the budget adopted for FY 2013.The JHB administrative fee was less than budgeted, because JHB changed from $2,000 per month to $1,000 per month in January and February 2013, then to $0 for March through May, then $500 per month June-August. We made only two shipments instead of four, and the first was more expensive than we had budgeted.  The second shipment of the FY took place in June, but we have not yet received a bill for that shipment.

Total expenditures in FY 2012 were $80,129, and in FY 2011, $44,870.

NLR has $16,588.78 in the bank, of which $7,500 is DeBoer’s grant for container shipping, and $8,000 will be budgeted for the fall conference in Myanmar to consider formation of Myanmar Foundation for the Future.  DeBoer agreed to release 10% [$750] for NLR’s administrative fee.

3] Income, expenses by MBAPF YTD, FY 2013; (Reports attached) Income of $29,845, almost entirely from book buffets, and expenses of $23,202.   Of the expenses, 33 percent were for purchase of Myanmar language books, 23 percent were for library supplies and ELT readers, 18 percent were for expenses of clearing containers (two shipments), 18 percent were for expenses of book buffets, and 5 percent were for expense associated with visiting NLR delegations.

 4] Report on shipments and distributions FY 2013. A container shipped in November encountered complications discussed in our March 2013 meeting. Our second container was shipped in June and unloaded in late July. MBAPF has yet to send related bills for trucking, port fees and shipping.

5] Other Projects Completed in FY 2013.

A] Sue Simpson & Gayle Holmes completed three workshops for librarians and teachers of English in Yangon in December/January. Materials and methods they created proved to be of real value and are being assimilated around the country. Over five hundred participated in their nine workshops between December 2011 and January 2013.

B] The UNWG-funded library in Ashin Dhammapiya’s orphanage school, located 30 kilometers north of Yangon, was completed. Leuthold and Badgley cut the ribbon in December. Over 300 students, including 120 orphans from Cyclone Nargis are boarder students, entirely sustained by funds raised by Ashin Dhammapiya .

C] Josh Vickter, a Cornell University physics major, volunteered to teach in the school during his winter break, following a path laid out by Marc Piano, a young U.K. solicitor who NLR also sponsored. Both use materials developed by Gayle Holmes and books contributed by MBAPF.    

6] New Business  

A] Thant (MBAPF) will receive a grant of $75,000 from Beyond Access to conduct librarian training in Myanmar. Because of the U.S. sanctions, the grant must go through a U.S. entity for at least the coming year. In the proposal Thant stated that NLR was a partner; he asked if we would process these funds, and Badgley has agreed. As NLR will incur costs to remain open, we requested funds to cover some of our administrative costs in fiscal 2013. Thant believes $3,500 can be dedicated to that purpose. Meanwhile, Thrift Books will work directly with MBAPF to send books to avoid the problem we encountered in December, while MBAPF will continue distributing books.  [The Beyond Access grant is a part of Thant’s original proposal and budget, which are attached.]

Question:  Should NLR continue in existence for another year to help process this grant, or should we go out of business, as anticipated in our mid-year meeting?

MOTION # 1: Babic moved, and Paget seconded: A motion to continue for another year.

Passed by unanimous vote.

B] The family of U Po Tint and Daw Ma Ma Lay has granted NLR $8,000, to be used in pursuit of our library mission to acquire &  develop access to global knowledge. Badgley has exchanged messages with family members [Roger Neil Barton] who agreed to dedicate the grant as seed money to launch Myanmar Foundation for the Future. The grant was forwarded through a London bank.

C] If the Directors elect to continue NLR for another year, should we co-sponsor a forum with Myanmar Engineering Society to create a mission and endowment for Myanmar Foundation for the Future? If so, should be it held in November, to be financed by the grant from the family of U Po Tint and Daw Ma Ma Lay?

MOTION # 2: Paget moved, and Badgley seconded: A motion to co-sponsor a forum with MES for a mission and endowment for the MFF, with development of articles of association for mission and operation.    Motion passed by unanimous vote.

9] Proposed budget for Fiscal 2014

MOTION # 3: Paget moved, and Babic seconded: A motion to add $4000 for other needed travel for fundraising, passed by unanimous vote. (This changed the income and expense budget totals to $103,450) passed by unanimous vote.

FY 2014 Budget as amended

       $71,500  Beyond Access Project, transfer for MBAPF operations

6,750  DeBoer Grant transfer to MBAPF for shipping costs

12,000  Administration fee

4,500  Cost of MES/MFF Forum (Grant from the family of U Po Tint and                              Daw  Ma Ma Lay)

3,500  Travel for Velamoor and Badgley to Myanmar (Grant from the                                 family of U Po Tint and Daw Ma Ma Lay)

4,000  Travel and other fundraising expenses

  1,200  IRS filing and bookkeeping

$103,450 TOTAL

Expected sources of income:

$75,000  Beyond Access Grant to MBAPF (awarded but not received)

8,000  Grant from the family of U Po Tint and Daw Ma Ma Lay (already received)

7,500  DeBoer grant for shipping books (already received)

 12,950  Donations by directors, others

$103,450  TOTAL

MOTION# 4: Babic moved, and Paget seconded, a motion to accept the proposed budget for 2013, as amended, passed by unanimous vote.

10] Election of directors.  Terms of Hector Rivas and Jack Simpson are ending. Hector Rivas wishes to retire from the board.

MOTION # 5: Badgley moved, and Babic seconded:A motion to retain Simpson as a director, and elect Sesh Velamoor as director on the Board, passed by unanimous vote.

 11] Election of President, Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer

MOTION # 6: Paget moved, and Babic seconded, a motion to elect officers as follows:

 David Leuthold: Chair

John Badgley: President

Allen Bjergo: Secretary

Jack Simpson: Treasurer

 Passed by unanimous vote.

 12] Reaffirmation of John Badgley as Executive Director.

MOTION # 7: Paget moved, and Babic seconded, a motion to reaffirm John Badgley as Executive Director. Passed by unanimous vote.

 Meeting adjourned at 12 Noon.



11th August 2013

All Directors

Nargis Library Recovery 

Report of Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation from Sep ’12 to Aug ‘13

I am now enclosing financial as well as stock report of MBAPF.  Activities of MBAPF are as follows:

  1. 1.     Book Donation

During the financial year of 2012-13, we have donated ( 81,470   ) number of English language books and (3,909   ) number of Myanmar language books to over (  206  ) libraries.  Myanmar language books are donated mainly to village libraries and English language books are donated mainly to city libraries.

  1. 2.     MOU with Daw Khin Kyi Foundation (DKKF)

With the request of Daw Aung San Su Kyi, Thant is now working as Project Director of Mobile Library under DKKF.  Over (21) village libraries are visited by mobile bus in two weeks circle.  Visit includes village libraries and school libraries.  So far, this project is very successful as we are getting over (1,000) members a week and majority are students.

  1. 3.     Partnership with Beyond Access Foundation

A team of delegation from Asia Foundation, EIFL, IREX (all are under Beyond Access) visited Myanmar in December 2012.  Thant led them and showed all the MBAPF activities and also organized Library forum by inviting all the stake holders as well as donor associations such as World Bank and Open Society Institute.  Beyond Access members met with many officials such as Deputy Minister of Information, Deputy Minister of Information and Telecommunication and Daw Aung San Su Kyi.  Moreover, the team visited over (12) village libraries around Mandalay to know the current situation of public libraries.  All the team members convinced and they would like to support more to the local community.

A potential grant of USD 70,000 is at the final stage and Beyond Access will contribute to MBAPF.   Once this grant can be funded, MBAPF is able to organize other big workshop as well as funding for support to public libraries.

  1. 4.     Foundation for Future

A large collection of books and proceedings were donated by Foundation for Future with the arrangement of John.  This collection is one of its kind in Myanmar and the recipient, Myanmar Engineering Society, is very much appreciated with the collection.  Donation ceremony as well as Dr. Sesh’s talk and discussion went very well.  At present, MBAPF is negotiating with MES to set up Myanmar Foundation for Future (MFF) in Myanmar.  We hope we can get some feedback from MES soon.

Even though there are more activities involving MBAPF, our core business of book aid is crucial and again we would like to thank to all our NLR’s directors for all your continuous support.

Thank you very much for all the continuous NLR support to MBAPF.

Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate contact me.

Thanking you in advance.

With bet regards,


Dr. Thant Thaw Kaung

Executive Director

Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation




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