February 13, 2013

Minutes of the regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Skokie Public Library held in the Skokie Public Library Board Room, Wednesday, February 13, 2013.

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; Susan Greer; Jonathan H. Maks, MD; Zelda Rich; and Carolyn A. Anthony, Director.

Member absent: Mark Prosperi.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF JANUARY 9, 2013

Mrs. Rich made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Parrilli to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of January 9, 2013, subject to additions and/or corrections. There being no additions/corrections, the minutes were approved and placed on file.

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

Mrs. Rich made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Parrilli:

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE THE FINANCIAL STATEMENT, 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.      CORRESPONDENCE: LETTER FROM JONATHAN H. MAKS, MD, TO BOARD OF LIBRARY TRUSTEES DATED DECEMBER 19, 2012 RE ACCEPTANCE OF JOINING LIBRARY BOARD

5.      GIFTS: $18. FROM BARBARA KEER IN MEMORY OF BRENDA B. WEISS FOR PURCHASE OF A BOOK ON CD; $500. FROM EVANSTON SUBARU IN SKOKIE FOR WINTER READING CLUB

6.      PERSONNEL: RETIREMENT: KAROLYN FUKUDA, ADMINISTRATIVE SECRETARY, ADMINISTRATION, EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 28, 2013; HIRE: DIANA RITTER, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT, ADMINISTRATION, EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 25, 2013.

Mrs. Hunter questioned the Cole Taylor fees. Mr. Graham asked Mrs. Anthony to make a chart showing the fees for 6 or 12 months for the March Board meeting.

Dr. Maks arrived at 7:34 p.m.

The motion passed unanimously.

YEAR-TO-DATE BUDGETARY STATUS

The Year-to-Date Budgetary Status was noted.

BILLS

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

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

The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.

BALANCE SHEET FOR THE NINE MONTHS ENDING FROM 5/1/12 THRU 1/31/13

The Balance Sheet for the Nine Months Ending from 5/1/12 thru 1/31/13 was noted.

DIRECTOR’S REPORT

USAGE----Circulation in January was up 3% over the same month last year with increases in the use of both Youth and Adult materials. While circulation of books to adults increased only 1%, there was also an increase of nearly 60% in the use of eBooks as well as sustained growth in the circulation of DVDs. Circulation of books to youth jumped 8% with the launch of the Winter Reading Program. Interlibrary lending through ILL and LINKin grew by double digits while Skokie’s borrowing from other libraries was flat. Reciprocal Borrowing has increased to nearly 7% of circulation, whereas it was at a constant 15% of circulation before the limitations on borrowing. The gate count was up over 20% from last January as more people come to the Library to use various meeting rooms and simply to study or read in an attractive and quiet place. Use of other digital resources such as Business 24X7, the Gale Virtual Reference Library, and the Zinio file of magazines have also increased considerably from earlier in the Fiscal Year.

VILLAGE SURVEY----The Village of Skokie conducted a community survey in the fall of 2012 as part of The National Citizen Survey administered in approximately 500 jurisdictions throughout the country. Of 204 surveys that included a question about use of the public library, Skokie ranked 5th with an average rating of 89 on a scale with 67 as good and 100 as excellent.

TOBY GREENWALT TO BE PLA LEADERSHIP FELLOW----Toby Greenwalt, Virtual Services Coordinator, has been selected as one of 24 participants in a PLA Leadership Academy from among over 160 applicants. The PLA Leadership Academy is a pilot institute conducted in partnership with ICMA, the International City/County Managers Association, and funded in part by IMLS. Mrs. Anthony has been involved in obtaining the grant and developing the agenda for the program and will serve as one of the coaches when the program is held at the Union League Club in Chicago in early March.

MOLD IN WALLS----Staff discovered mold in the walls of the storage room between the Craft Room and the Story Room in Youth Services. This past May, there was a failure in the drinking fountain on the second floor which allowed water to gush down to the first floor, nearly ruining the ceiling in the Story Room. At that time, insurance covered the repairs to the Story Room ceiling, but the water between the walls was not discovered at that time. Eliminating the mold will cost about $6,000., not including the cost of replacing the wall, and this work is specifically excluded from the Library’s insurance coverage.

INNOVATIVE INTERFACES----Gail Shaw has been working with staff at Innovative to install the new Sierra library system which will officially launch February 12, replacing the Millennium system used by the Library in recent years. Sierra is a more open system that will allow the Library to integrate non-Innovative products more easily. It will also be easier for staff to use in moving from one module such as Circulation to another such as Cataloging. Functionality for the public will be at least as good or better in all aspects as with the present system.

In related news, Jerry Kline has completed the sale of Innovative Interfaces and has stepped down as Chairman of the Board. In May, he had sold the majority ownership to private equity firms Huntsman Gay Global Capital and JMI Equity. Kim Massana is the new Chief Executive Officer. We are told that no major changes in operation are anticipated. Mrs. Anthony plans to go to the Innovative Directors’ meeting in late March to hear just what is happening.

ADJUSTMENT IN FICA WITHHOLDING----Because Congress made decisions about taxes at the very end of the calendar year, we were not able to make the additional 2% withholding adjustment for FICA in employees’ paychecks received January 4. The Village informed us that we had until the end of the first quarter to make the adjustment. We have decided that we will withhold the additional 2% from the paycheck received March 29. That will be a third paycheck that month so it will lack deductions for health insurance and other elective deductions, making the 2% withholding less painful.

COMING TOGETHER IN SKOKIE---Coming Together in Skokie with a focus on the Greek culture got off to a great start at the end of January and other programs have been well attended. Board members are encouraged to read The Green Shore and to attend one or more of the programs to be held throughout the community.

ALA MIDWINTER----Mrs. Anthony attended the Midwinter meeting of the American Library Association in Seattle in late January and had a very busy schedule of meetings for PLA and the ALA Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee. Mrs. Anthony also attended a meeting of the Readers First group of about 200 libraries which had a productive meeting with distributors of eBooks regarding what public libraries would like to see from the vendors. The meeting was open and frank without hostility with the vendors countering regarding their concerns re cutting their competitive edge. It was a worthwhile beginning to achieving more acceptable terms for licensing electronic books in a complex market.

PROPOSED BUDGET FY 2013-2014

The nine month balance sheet of revenues and expenditures confirms that our estimates of static revenues including Corporate Replacement Taxes, Fines and Fees, Interest, Grants and Other are about on target for the coming year. On the Expense side, the Bureau of Labor Statistics data for twelve months ended December 2012 show a wage and salary increase for state and local government workers of 1.1%. The Salary line in the budget allows for a 1.1% across the Board increase at the start of the Fiscal Year and an additional 2% step increase at the time of their evaluation for those staff who are not at top of scale.

We’ll take a closer look at other budget lines next month. Conference and Memberships line reflects a reduction because expenses are less when the ALA Annual Conference is in Chicago. Offsetting that savings, however, is a PLA National Conference in Spring 2014 in nearby Indianapolis.

APPROVAL OF EXHIBITION HONORING 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CALDECOTT AWARD

Skokie Public Library has been invited to host a special exhibition honoring the 75th Anniversary of the Caldecott Award for children’s book illustration. The exhibit was curated by Lyn Ellen Lacy, a retired elementary school media specialist and author of “Children’s Literature: An Analysis of Caldecott Award Winning Illustrations.” The exhibit features more than 160 pieces from 33 popular children’s book illustrators. Most of the artworks were supplied by the artists themselves and while there are numerous final watercolor paintings, there are also pencil sketches and drafts with notations.

The exhibit was initially planned as a celebration of Maurice Sendak and the 50th anniversary of “Where the Wild Things Are,” but then evolved into a tribute after Sendak’s death in May, 2012. Two other award-winning children’s illustrators Leo Dillon and Remy Charlip also passed away in 2012 and the exhibit is dedicated to them also. From November through January, the exhibit was on display at the Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala, Florida. An exhibition catalog features an essay by John Cech, Director of the Center for Children’s Literature and Culture at the University of Florida.

The exhibition is considered an official part of the 75th Anniversary of the Caldecott Award. A Chicago area venue for the summer is desirable because of associated activities that will be held in connection with the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago June 27-July 2. There will be a Preconference A Wild Ride: 75 Years of the Caldecott Medal, to be held at the Art Institute. The ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) President’s program will also be on the Caldecott Anniversary. The May issue of Children and Libraries will be devoted to the Caldecott 75th Anniversary. Brian Selznick, 2008 Caldecott Medal Winner, has designed a custom logo for the Anniversary featuring characters from Caldecott award-winning books dating back to the first in 1938.

The Caldecott Medal “shall be awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American Picture Book for Children published in the United States during the preceding year.” John Cech in his essay observes that these outstanding works of art by children’s book illustrators are characterized by honesty about children’s emotions and behavior, transformation of the realistic into the fantastic, and bringing children with “profound feelings, endless fantasies and brave souls” to life. In addition to artists already mentioned, some of those represented in the exhibition are Molly Bang, Diane Dillon, Ed Emberley, David Macaulay, Jerry Pinkney, Chris Raschka, Eric Rohmann, David Wiesner, Ed Young, Mo Willems and Don Wood.

Head of Youth Services Jan Watkins has served on the Caldecott Committee and is currently on the Board of the Association for Library Service to Children. Christie Robinson has checked with our installer to confirm that the Library has sufficient wall space to hang the exhibit. Related books and objects would also be featured.

It would cost $15,000. to host the exhibit throughout the summer. Mrs. Anthony requested Board approval of this unusual expense for a special opportunity.

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

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVAL HOSTING A SPECIAL EXHIBITION HONORING THE 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CALDECOTT AWARD FOR CHILDREN’S BOOK ILLUSTRATION IN THE AMOUNT OF $15,000. AND THAT MRS. HUNTER  BE PERSONALLY INVOLVED IN THE PROMOTION AND PUBLICITY OF THIS EXHIBIT.

The motion passed unanimously. Mrs. Anthony and Mrs. Hunter will meet to discuss Mrs. Hunter’s involvement/ideas.

STRATEGIC PLANNING

An outline of the strategic planning process is in place including four four-hour meetings of a primary planning committee with six additional committees looking at areas that may become larger clusters of service in the future. These areas are identified as follows:

·         Access Services (how people identify, find, and obtain needed resources)

·         21st Century Literacy and Training (life skills, creative, social)

·         Partnership and group work (in community or in-house)

·         Individual service (Book-a-librarian, BookMatch, Employment Resource, etc.)

·         Programming (inc. civic engagement, facilitated experience, etc. as well as presentations)

·         Local information (SkokieNet, newspaper index, local history, Skokie authors, etc.)

The committees will prepare short reports on the opportunities, issues and challenges of greater development of activity in the service cluster. How does the cluster overlap with others? What skills will staff need to expand offerings in these service areas? What resources and support services will be required? The reports will be prepared by March 14.

Board comment and input into the planning process is welcome. Library trustees have received an invitation to a Community Conversation about the Future of the Public Library. About 60 members of the community have been invited. We hope to engage thoughtful people in dialogue about the ways in which libraries are changing and to hear their ideas of what they hope doesn’t change as well as which developing opportunities they would like to see the Library pursue. The Board may want to have its own discussion of these matters in addition to participating in the larger Community Conversation.

Mrs. Rich has volunteered to take Mrs. Parrilli’s place on the Strategic Planning Committee.

Lengthy discussion followed regarding Skokie’s demographics and the ways the Library can serve its users best.

USE OF THE BUSINESS CENTER

Board member Diana Hunter asked for a report on use of the new Business Center. The Business Center has been very well received and appears to be welcomed by the home-based and small business community. Although the Chamber Board had one meeting in the Business Center in October, the Center officially opened in November.

Mrs. Anthony distributed a chart of the bookings of the large room in the Business Center by outside groups and for Library-sponsored functions for the past three months. Mrs. Anthony also included a chart of the bookings for the smaller rooms showing a growing number of bookings and persons served each month with a total of 86 bookings and 243 people served by use of the smaller rooms.

The Board thanked Mrs. Anthony for her report.

REACHING ACROSS ILLINOIS LIBRARY SYSTEM (RAILS)

Mrs. Parrilli reported on the RAILS Board of Directors meeting January 25, 2013 held at the Burr Ridge Facility.

The Board of Directors approved the Minutes of the Closed Session of the November 2, 2012, meeting and the special meeting on January 4, 2013, regarding the sale of the Shorewood property and the listing of the Coal Valley property. The Board approved the sale of Shorewood property in the amount of $450,000. Also approved was the listing to sell the Coal Valley facility at an asking price of $495,000. (In the February 6 RAILS eNewsletter, the Wheeling building has been sold [the sale price was not mentioned], with an agreement to lease space for continued RAILS delivery services.)

Treasurer’s Report: Jim Kregor reported that RAILS received its final payment for FY2012 Area and Per Capita (A&PC) grant. The payment of $1.1 million was made toward the FTY2013 A&PC grant from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) FY2011 funds. As of December 31, 2012, “cash and investment balances are approximately $13.4 million”, which represents 18 months of operating funds. The        Y-T-D December expenditures are 9.7% below budget. RAILS received a bequest from the estate of a former Alliance Library System employee in the form of cash and government bonds totaling $44,596.36, which will be used for special programs to be determined.

Report from Interim Executive Director Jane Plass (November-December 2012): There has been an on-going search to fill a new position of Director of Member Development and Resource Sharing. She mentioned the search committee is close to making its selection and the position will be filled by February 1, 2013. In her report she mentioned that RAILS and IHLS have formed a working group to explore a state-wide cooperative eBook collections model. (In the February 6 RAILS eNewsletter, the working group is investigating two models: an Illinois model and a multi-state consortium.)

Report from the new Executive Director Dee Brennan (January 2013): After being on the job for 15 days, she is conducting town hall meetings at different facilities in order to introduce herself to as many people from member libraries throughout the RAILS’ regions. (See my comments from the Wheeling meeting.) With Ms. Brennan’s position as Executive Director, Jane Plass has been named Associate Executive Director.

Illinois State Library (ISL) Report: Their representative mentioned that all member libraries must complete the necessary requirements through the ISL/SUSI certification no later than March 31, 2013. They introduced a new staff member who is charged with delivery services, specifically working with member libraries on standardization and a pilot delivery program.

Report on Delivery Services: Delivery Supervisor Mark Hatch reported that the implemented “standardizations, efficiencies, and other cost-cutting measures” have saved $174,000 in the 2012 Y-T-D projected budget. The Delivery Committee will bring to the February Board meeting its recommendation to follow through with a two-year pilot study to streamline/outsource delivery services beginning July 1.

Items approved by the Board:

·         Implementation of the Advisory Outreach Center located at the Burr Ridge facility, as part of the Talking Books grant;

·         Acceptance of the videoconferencing contract template to be used when entering into an agreement on relocated RAILS-owned equipment at member libraries;

·         Adoption of the RAILS Privacy Policy to protect members’ personal information gathered in L2 website;

·         Adoption of the Revised Fiscal Accountability to approve changes to signatories;

·         Adoption of Indemnification Policy;

·         Appointment of a nominating committee to prepare a slate of candidates for open Board positions as of July 1, 2013;

·         Adoption of Flexible Spending Benefits for employees.

Comptroller Jim Kregor reported that there is a mortgage balance of $1,092,000 for the East Peoria facility, with refinancing the loan due August 2013. Proceeds from the sales of the Wheeling and Shorewood buildings would be enough to cover the balloon payment. He is awaiting the loan proposal from the mortgage holder. The Board will be asked to make its recommendation at its next meeting.

In addition, on January 24 Mrs. Parrilli attended a “Meet and Greet” with RAILS new Executive Director, Dee Brennan, at the Wheeling facility. She introduced herself and stated that she is from Oak Park Public Library, and previously from Massachusetts. She spoke on:

·         A new approach to resource sharing with input from member libraries.

·         The upcoming sale of the Wheeling property, with the measure going before the Wheeling City Council for zoning.

·         Her concern about RAILS staff and “morale.” Lost in the consolidation was the human contact among members. RAILS is looking into meeting places as part of dividing the RAILS area into 15 regions. (Originally, Northbrook was designated as SPL’s regional site, but their library is under construction.) Member libraries have the option to choose another region.

·         Talking Books and Braille services localized in Burr Ridge and Springfield.

·         Delivery services – There was little to no response to the recent RFP and bid request conducted by ISL. Vendors stated there were too many variables to bid services properly. Staff is currently looking into a pilot program for a state-wide, more efficient system.

·         There is grant money from the state to help libraries with eBook services.

·         General Assembly is considering providing library grants, with no foreseeable cuts, mainly because of advocacy. “Springfield is listening to library directors, staff, and advocates.”

Next meeting: February 22, 2012, at the East Peoria facility.

The Board asked Mrs. Parrilli to investigate who purchased the RAILS Wheeling facility and the sale price, if possible.

COMMENTS FROM TRUSTEES

The Greek culture article from the Chicago Tribune was noted.

Mrs. Hunter suggested the Board re-examine the policy of not charging for programs. She stated that Michael Phillips (movie critic, Chicago Tribune) will speak at Elmhurst College on “Why Go To The Movies” in April and is charging $10 per person admission. Along with admissions collected, the remainder of the Harry Hunter Fund could be used to bring Michael Phillips to Skokie Public Library. She stated that charging for special programs could bring more dynamic events to the Library. Mr. Graham said this item will be placed on the March agenda.

Mrs. Greer left at 8:46 p.m.

ADJOURNMENT

At 8:48 p.m. a motion was made by Mr. Graham, seconded by Mrs. Rich to adjourn the regular meeting. The motion passed unanimously.

__________________________________

            Karen Parrilli, Secretary