October 10, 2012

Minutes of the regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Skokie Public Library held in the Skokie Public Library Board Room, Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

CALL TO ORDER

John Graham, President, called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

Members present: John Graham, President; Diana Hunter, Vice President/President Emerita; Karen Parrilli, Secretary; Richard Basofin; Susan Greer; Mark Prosperi; Zelda Rich (arrived at 7:32 p.m.); and Carolyn A. Anthony, Director.

Guests present: Al Rigoni, Village Manager and Fred Schattner, Director of Engineering, Village of Skokie; Bill Grieve and Amanda Larson, Gewalt Hamilton.

Visitor present: Dr. Irwin Rich, 5238 Fargo, Skokie, IL (arrived at 7:32 p.m.).

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 12, 2012

Mrs. Parrilli made a motion, seconded by Mr. Basofin to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of September 12, 2012, subject to additions and/or corrections. Mrs. Hunter asked for the following corrections:

·         On page 9, first paragraph, the sentence “Mrs. Hunter said she has not seen figures for the taxing rate…” should be changed to: “Mrs. Hunter said she has not seen figures for the per capita expenditure by Evanston, Morton Grove, etc. to know how they are supporting their libraries. She would like a comparison chart at the next Board meeting.”

·         On page 9, second paragraph, the sentence, “…legislation to temporarily permit libraries to qualify in spite of failure to maintain what had been considered minimum effort.” should be changed to “…legislation. The legislation originally applied to Chicago Public Library only and it was extended.”

Dr. and Mrs. Rich arrived at 7:32 p.m.

The motion passed unanimously.

CONSENT AGENDA (Financial Statements; Circulation Report; Library Use Statistics; Report(s) from Department Head(s); Personnel)

Mr. Prosperi made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Greer:

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS, SUBJECT TO AUDIT, AND THAT THE FOLLOWING CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS BE PLACED ON FILE:

1.      CIRCULATION REPORT

2.      LIBRARY USE STATISTICS

3.      REPORT(S) FROM DEPARTMENT HEAD(S)

4.      PERSONNEL: RETIREMENT: ALLAN ZIRLIN, PART-TIME TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANT, ADULT SERVICES DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 26, 2012.

Mrs. Hunter questioned how statistics and attendance at programs are analyzed. She considers programs a success that have large attendance. Mrs. Anthony explained that statistics and attendance are analyzed in a variety of ways – quarterly program reports, objectives reports twice a year, the statistical summary, to name a few. Not all programs are intended to have a large audience, for example book discussions.

The motion passed unanimously.

BILLS

A motion was made by Mrs. Hunter, seconded by Mrs. Rich:

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE THE BILLS, SUBJECT TO AUDIT.

The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.

DIRECTOR’S REPORT

USAGE----Circulation in September was down by just over 2%, with a decrease of 5% in use of Adult materials and a gain of 2.5% in use of Youth materials. Bookmobile circulation was down by just over 1%. Interlibrary Loan via LINKin continues to increase while conventional Interlibrary Loan continues to decline in both the number of items borrowed and lent. The number of reference questions was up although total information requests were down. Computer use in the building was down 19%, but check-out of laptops (also used in the building) was up. There was a 14% increase in logged sessions on electronic databases. The gate count was up nearly 18% for the month.

FLU SHOTS----The Village offered flu shots to Library employees in September at the same time as shots were administered to Village staff. Fifty-nine employees took advantage of the opportunity to get a free flu shot at Village Hall.

APPRAISAL----Marshall & Stevens has completed their annual appraisal of the Library and its contents as conducted each year for insurance purposes. They estimate that it would cost $63,519,800. to reproduce the building and equipment on site. The insured reproduction cost is $59,919,900., up from $57,564,400. last year for an increase in insured value of 4.1%.

ILLINOIS LIBRARY ASSOCIATION----Eight staff members will attend the ILA Annual Conference “Bouncing Higher” to be held in Peoria this year October 9-11. Several staff are presenting programs. Mrs. Anthony will not attend the ILA Conference this year and no Board members have planned to attend.

BUSINESS & CAREER CENTER----The Business & Career Center has had a soft opening October 1 although a white board for the Committee room has yet to be received. The first meeting in the Business & Career Center will be a meeting of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce, hosted by the Library October 15. We have also invited 30 business persons to a meeting October 17 to talk about ways in which businesses may get involved with “Coming Together in Skokie.” More events and publicity are planned for this fall.

VOLUNTEER RECEPTION----The Library had a Volunteer Reception Sunday afternoon, September 23, attended by 40 volunteers and their guests as well as four Board members. Holding the event earlier in the Fall resulted in a larger turn-out as “Snow Birds” are still in town. Ten staff were also on hand to talk about how each of the volunteers helps the Library carry out critical work. A lovely lunch was enjoyed by all. The event was coordinated by Dawn Wlezien and Beth Dostert of Human Resources.

3M PLANNING SEMINAR-----At the invitation of 3M, Mrs. Anthony participated remotely in a 3M Planning Seminar by talking through a PowerPoint slide show about current trends in public libraries. Fifteen senior members of the Library Division of 3M listened to Mrs. Anthony’s presentation and asked questions for a total session of one hour. It’s helpful for libraries to view major vendors as partners and to help them understand current library conditions and desires. 3M has gotten into the business of distributing digital titles to libraries so it was an opportunity to tell them what we’d like to see.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT----Mrs. Anthony participated in a half-day planning retreat for Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center in late September. She also attended the Chamber Executive Board meeting as well as a meeting of the full Chamber Board and a meeting of the North Suburban Business Development Foundation. October 2, she attended and spoke briefly at a ceremony at the Gandhi memorial on McCormick on the occasion of Gandhi’s birthday. Mrs. Anthony spoke on behalf of the Library at a hearing at School District 69 on the proposed Skateboard Park to be built on the property of Lincoln Junior High. The Skokie Park District will build and maintain the Park which will be financed by a grant of $250,000. from Downtown TIF funds. Since young people frequently skateboard on Library property and the Village Green, Mrs. Anthony indicated that the Library is supportive of the proposal for the Skateboard Park in Downtown Skokie.

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT----Mrs. Anthony distributed a Snapshot of Employer Action Items with a Timetable for implementation under the Affordable Care Act. The Library is closely monitoring the requirement to be effective 1/1/14 that health insurance must be offered to employees who average at least 30 hours per week. Given the number of part-time staff employed here, we are working with supervisors to be sure that no staff accidentally slips into that category because of shift changes and/or picking up temporary work for absent staff.

PER CAPITA GRANT----Although the Library has not yet received a Per Capita Grant for 2012, we were notified that a grant will be received. We will continue to have faith and file for a 2013 Per Capita Grant by the October 15 deadline.

PLA RESPONSIBILITIES----Later this month Mrs. Anthony will attend a one day orientation for all PLA division President-Elects and the next day attend the PLA Fall Board meeting. Both meetings are in Chicago. The PLA Board has Fall and Spring meetings in addition to meeting at Midwinter and Annual Conference.

APPROVAL OF DRAFT AUDIT AND DEPRECIATION OF THE LIBRARY’S COLLECTION

In reviewing the draft audit, two items gave Mrs. Anthony pause this year. One item concerned the status of the Village’s portion of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (inclusive of the Library’s portion). The audit confirmed that the Library has kept up with payments as required for the Employer’s portion of the IMRF for each employee, yet there is a funding gap currently exceeding thirteen million dollars. Mrs. Anthony asked the Village for an explanation for the shortfall. Village Finance Director Bob Nowak gave a clear accounting of the reason for the gap which is considered a temporary matter. Mrs. Anthony distributed Mr. Nowak’s response.

The other item Mrs. Anthony noted was that, at the current rate of depreciation used for the collection, the collection would be without value on the balance sheet in ten years. The value of the collection is determined each year by a proportional reduction in value of the collection base according to the number of useful years of the items, plus addition of the amount actually spent on new materials, minus a calculated amount for deletion of items weeded and discarded.

The auditors are all right with a change in the useful life of books from ten years to fifteen years if the change has the Board’s approval. While some books are weeded after two or three years (eg. medical books or multiple copies of popular fiction), other books are kept for twenty-five or more years (eg. art books, philosophy, or classic fiction). Mrs. Anthony thinks the value of the collection as presented in the audit will be more accurate if the term of depreciation is changed from 10 years to 15 years. Board approval of this change is requested.

By agreement between Irene Tam, Administrative Assistant for Accounting, and the auditor, she will continue to depreciate the old books over 10 years, but begin depreciating new books over 15 years, if approved by the Board. An additional adjustment will be made to the average cost of an item for disposal which had been fixed at $24.61 prior to FY 2006, but will be revised to $15.00 per item for removal of the older items in the collection until the value of the collection as of 2006 is depleted. At that time, withdrawn books will be valued at the average rate for acquisitions for each subsequent year until that year’s value is depleted. The method assumes that the oldest materials are the ones to be withdrawn.

The combined effect of these changes should slow the rate of depreciation of the collection in an appropriate manner, resulting in a better indication of value.

A motion was made by Mrs. Hunter, seconded by Mrs. Parrilli:

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE THE TERM OF DEPRECIATION CHANGE FROM 10 YEARS TO 15 YEARS.

The motion passed unanimously.

APPROVAL OF ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES FEE FOR 1ST FLOOR

Paul Steinbrecher has prepared a proposal for architectural services for the first floor. The extent of proposed changes on the first floor is more limited than on the second. In keeping with our plan from the building expansion of 2002-2003, the first floor is intended for services requiring shorter visits, more talking and movement while the second floor is designed for more lengthy study. Several marble tables were moved up to the second floor to accommodate this need.

The first floor will have more reading chairs with a small side table. The Teen Area has been made larger. We propose to get a quotation for enclosing it with KI walls, similar to those defining the Business Center and study rooms on the second floor. Some modification of the west circulation desk is needed to accommodate more self-check as done at the east circulation desk. Registration, overdues, and some assisted check-out would continue to be offered at the west desk.

Youth Services wants to modify a portion at the end of the preschool area to better serve crawling and toddling babies. The recently created Youth Digital Media Lab needs some design features appropriate to the new use of the space.

Rather than recarpet the entire first floor, it is proposed to use attic stock to recarpet the areas of greatest wear, replacing entry way carpet with a sturdier walk-off carpet. Limited engineering services are anticipated for just the enclosing of the Teen Room.

Mrs. Anthony distributed a quotation that spells out services to be provided for a fee of $7,650.00. Board approval is requested, given the scope of anticipated work.

A motion was made by Mrs. Rich, seconded by Mr. Prosperi:

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE THE QUOTATION FROM INTERACTIVE DESIGN/EIGHT ARCHITECTS THAT SPELLS OUT SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED FOR FIRST FLOOR REPLANNING FOR A FEE OF $7,650.00.

Discussion followed regarding the KI walls in the teen area and modification of the west circulation desk to accommodate a group of self-check machines.

The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.

APPROVAL OF REPLACEMENT CHAIRS

The Library purchased 285 Ceska chairs in 2002-2003 for use at study tables on the open floor and in the small study rooms. The chairs appeared to meet the need for more comfortable seating with arms for ease in transitioning to standing. They are also made of tubular steel so are compatible with the look of the Mies Van der Rohe chairs and marble tables on a chrome base. Nevertheless, the chairs have not proven to be satisfactory. The black wood arm caps on the chairs have been scraped by the marble when pushed under the table tops. The steel frames have not held up to the heavy daily use by the public. Many frames have bent from use and cannot be repaired. Early on, while the chairs were still under warranty, the manufacturer replaced a number of chairs that failed. Without the warranty, replacement chairs cost $750. - $800. each to replace, an expense we rejected due to the rate of failure of the chairs.

After observing that a number of tables were down to only two or three chairs, Mrs. Anthony asked Susan Dickens, Administrative Assistant, for a census of chairs. We now have only 205 Ceska chairs out on the floor, a loss of 80 chairs over ten years. With our success purchasing Brno chairs online at a fraction of the cost, Mrs. Anthony asked Katie Chambers who has handled a lot of replacement and repair work of furniture for the Library whether we might find a bargain in replacement chairs for the tables. Katie found a model of Steelcase chair which has a high quality polished chrome frame with a cantilever base. A sample chair was tried out by the Board. The chair is quite comfortable and has arms that will fit underneath a table. Architect Paul Steinbrecher has reviewed and approved the chair. With an allowance of two yards of fabric per chair @ $55. per yard, and with the purchase of arm caps in faux leather rather than fabric, the replacement chairs would cost $267. each, including delivery.

Mrs. Anthony distributed the quotation from Katie’s Chambers. Mrs. Anthony recommends that the Board approve an order of the chairs from Steelcase as quoted in a quantity of at least one hundred. Given our experience with the Ceska chairs, we may want to order more while this alternate chair is available. Mrs. Anthony contacted Katie Chambers regarding the history of the chairs. They were purchased by a large insurance company ten years ago, have been used in conference rooms and as guest chairs in offices. The company replaces furniture every 7-10 years due to depreciation, regardless of wear. The chairs, when purchased, had a lifetime warranty.

Discussion followed. Mrs. Anthony said the price for 200 chairs would be $53,400. The Board questioned the age of the chairs and the kind of use the chairs have seen. Most members agreed the chair had good back support.

A motion was made by Mr. Basofin, seconded by Mrs. Hunter:

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE PURCHASE OF 200 STEELCASE CHAIRS FROM KATIE’S CHAMBERS FOR A COST OF $53,400.

The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.

APPROVAL OF CARPETING PROPOSAL FOR THE FIRST FLOOR

We propose to use the remainder of the attic stock of carpeting to replace carpet throughout the primary trafficked areas on the first floor as per the proposal from Vortex. The areas shaded in red would all be carpeted with attic stock. Because the quantity of attic stock is not sufficient to cover all the areas of greatest wear, Vortex proposes to install walk off carpet in the area between the west entrance and the circulation desk (shaded dark blue) and a solid color broadloom in the area leading into Readers Services and by that desk. This area of carpet would mimic the pattern in the Audiovisual area. The design and scope of this work has been reviewed by architect Paul Steinbrecher.

The quotation from Vortex is for $40,217.97 for purchase of additional carpet as needed to complete the proposed scope of work, with floor preparation as needed on a T&M basis of 0.45 per square foot. Since we have two entrances, we should be able to complete the work with limited, if any overtime. Usually, a lot of work can be accomplished in the early morning hours before opening, all regular hours for carpet installers.

The life expectancy of this interim partial recarpeting is ten years as the balance of the carpeting will be twenty years old at that time. We do anticipate returning to the Board with a proposal for replacement carpeting in the enlarged Teen Room.

Board approval of the proposal for carpeting with attic stock and new carpet as described in the amount of $40,217.97, plus floor preparation is requested.

A motion was made by Mrs. Hunter, seconded by Mrs. Parrilli:

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE THE PROPOSAL FOR CARPETING WITH ATTIC STOCK AND NEW CARPET AS DESCRIBED IN THE QUOTATION FROM VORTEX IN THE AMOUNT OF $40,217.97 PLUS FLOOR PREPARATION.

The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.

The question was raised about donations of books to the Library. Mrs. Anthony will review donation procedures with staff as more than two Board members sited experiences with donating materials and not receiving gift letters.

The Board agreed to move the regular order of business while waiting for the Village of Skokie and Gewalt-Hamilton staff to arrive.

REACHING ACROSS ILLINOIS LIBRARY SYSTEM (RAILS)

Mrs. Parrilli reported on the RAILS Board of Directors Meeting held September 28, 2012 at the Burr Ridge IL Service Center. The following was taken from the videoconference:

The meeting began with a report from the auditing firm which completed RAILS’ first audit. (A written report was not included in the Board packet available online.) Their representative, Dan Berg, complimented staff on their cooperation complying with the auditors’ requests. From the legacy reports the contributions of the five legacy systems reflected total assets of just over $14,000,000, including $1.2 million in lands and $5.5 million in buildings. The auditors gave their “clean and best opinion” to RAILS on their financial position for FY2012.

Executive Director Search Committee’s Report: The final selection of the Executive Director will be made on November 2, 2012. President Alan Davidson requested that the November 16 Board meeting be moved to November 2, so as to interview the recommended candidates.

Interim Executive Director’s Report: Jane Plass stated in her report that a contract has been signed with the realty firm of National Network Realty for the sale of three properties from the legacy systems. They are on the market as follows: Geneva - $2,030,000; Shorewood - $450,000; Wheeling - $1,150,000. The contract also stipulates that these properties are open to leasing. Her report mentioned that “to accommodate all the staff currently at Geneva, Shorewood, and Wheeling, we are also investigating other options, such as telecommuting and leasing space, perhaps from member libraries.” Ms. Plass announced at the meeting that as of this week, the realtor has received a “letter of intent” on the Wheeling property, including furniture and maintenance equipment. They would be willing to lease back to RAILS the garage space for delivery services.

Unfinished Business: Treasurer Jim Kregor reiterated the status of a surplus of $47,000 in the Educational/Endowment Fund from Alliance Library System (ALS). This matter was discussed at the August Board meeting. In question is what to do with collected funds for the original purpose of scholarships and educational programs. Now that it has been transferred to RAILS, the Board will need to decide if the funds remain for educational/scholarship purposes, or should the balance be deposited in the general operating fund. After further study and discussion with the auditors, the Personnel and Finance Committee recommended “transferring the assets to the General Fund to support current priority services.” After Board discussion, it was determined that this money would be available in the future to start an educational program. Board moved to approve by 6 to 4 votes the Committee’s recommendation. President Davidson suggested that at a later date the Board look at the assignment of this money to an educational program fund.

New Business: The Board approved the resolution to participate in the State of Illinois Joint Purchasing Program.

Mary Witt presented the revised draft of the Resource Sharing Policy to the Board for their review. The Board will be asked to approve the new policy in October, which will then need approval from the Illinois State Library. Discussion followed regarding identifying the terms of digital and audio/visual materials, limiting the number of items checked out by reciprocal borrowers, restrictions on special collections, and participating in resource sharing and still be mindful of what is best for local taxpayers. The Board asked that the Members Advisory Group revisit these sections in the policy. (Mrs. Parrilli distributed the section on Reciprocal Borrowing for Public Libraries, as it appears in the Draft.)

According to the October 2 website, RAILS is seeking bids from vendors for technology hardware and software, including CISCO 4510R+E Bundle.

Next meeting: October 26, 2012.

The Board commended Mrs. Parrilli for her monthly report. There was brief discussion regarding the search for the RAILS director and the proposed changes to the reciprocal borrowing portion of the RAILS Resource Sharing Policy.

COMMENTS FROM TRUSTEES

Mrs. Parrilli commented on this week’s ILA Reporter which announced that ILA has been very successful in working with legislators in defeating bills that take money away from libraries.

VILLAGE TRAFFIC STUDY

The presentation began at 8:17 p.m.

Village Director of Engineering Fred Schattner and two engineers, Bill Grieve and Amanda Larson from Gewalt Hamilton, presented the results of a recent study of traffic on Oakton Street. Village Manager Al Rigoni was also present.

This phase of the traffic study on Oakton considered the need for a traffic light at Park Avenue, the volume of pedestrian traffic at Laramie and the flow of traffic into and out of the Library’s parking lot. With a PowerPoint presentation, the engineers discussed existing traffic volumes and pedestrian volume between Lockwood and Floral on Oakton Street over a four-day period in mid-July 2012. Key findings were that a traffic signal should be installed at Oakton and Floral as Floral serves as the western entry into the Central Business District. In 2012 a traffic signal could be warranted at Oakton and Laramie based on pedestrian volumes but the addition of a signal at Floral may shift some of the pedestrian and vehicular traffic. A proposed roadway plan was also discussed. There will be an island with plantings as a median on Oakton Street by the Library and the small island currently at Floral will be moved to Laramie. Curbing in the Library drive of the west parking lot on Oakton will enforce right turn only on exiting. Entrance at that point will be allowed only for vehicles approaching from the west. Vehicles approaching from the east will need to turn left on Park and enter the parking lot from Park Avenue. Vehicles leaving the Library and heading west will need to do so from Park Avenue.

Discussion followed.

The Board thanked Mr. Rigoni, Mr. Schattner, Mr. Grieve, and Ms. Larson for their informative presentation.

ADJOURNMENT

At 9:20 p.m. a motion was made by Mrs. Hunter, seconded by Mr. Prosperi to adjourn the regular meeting. The motion passed unanimously.

__________________________________

            Karen Parrilli, Secretary