October 9, 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, October 9, 2013.

CALL TO ORDER

John Graham, President, called the meeting to order at 7:32 p.m.

Members present: John Graham, President; Diana Hunter, Vice President/President Emerita; Karen Parrilli, Secretary; Susan Greer; Jonathan H. Maks, MD (arrived at 7:33 p.m.); Mark Prosperi; Zelda Rich; and Carolyn A. Anthony, Director.

Visitor present: Dr. Irwin Rich, 9360 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, IL.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2013

Mrs. Hunter made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Parrilli, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of September 11, 2013, subject to additions and/or corrections. There being no corrections, the minutes were approved and placed on file.

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

Dr. Maks arrived at 7:33 p.m.

Mrs. Hunter made a motion, seconded by Dr. Maks:

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: HIRE: RICHARD KONG, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, ADMINISTRATION, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 14, 2013; PROMOTIONS: MICHAEL ABRAHAM, FROM PART-TIME CIRCULATION CLERK, CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT, TO PART-TIME TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANT, ADULT SERVICES DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 24, 2013; GAIL DUNLAP, FROM FULL-TIME ASSISTANT BOOKMOBILE LIBRARIAN, ADULT SERVICES DEPARTMENT, TO FULL-TIME BOOKMOBILE LIBRARIAN, ADULT SERVICES DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE SEPTEMBER 23, 2013; DECEASED: PHILIP CARLSEN, BOOKMOBILE LIBRARIAN, ADULT SERVICES DEPARTMENT, SEPTEMBER 16, 2013.

The motion passed unanimously.

BILLS

A motion was made by Mrs. Rich, 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.

DIRECTOR’S REPORT

USAGE----Circulation in September was down 1.5% with the biggest decreases in Bookmobile circulation. Youth book circulation was up 4%, while Adult book use was up just .5%. Note that digital eBook use has more than doubled since September last year. LINKin continues to be the growth area in inter-library lending and Reciprocal Borrowing has also recovered somewhat from its steep decline with the limitation on the number of items borrowed. Self-check increased 19%, thanks to the new DVD unlockers and the new shelves for self-pick-up of DVD reserves. Circulation staff members have been guiding customers in the use of self-check at the west check-out desk. Book sale revenue was quite high in September. The gate count was down nearly 12%. There were 40,963 visitors to the Library website in September.

To the usual Monthly Statistical Report, Mrs. Anthony appended a new Dashboard report developed by Chris Lazaris, with help from Toby Greenwalt. The graphical depiction of data, combination of figures into a pie chart, and inclusion of brief narrative clips combine to make this a very informative and easy to read presentation of data. Each page features data related to one of the primary values for the Library as developed in the Strategic Plan.

APPRAISAL----Marshall & Stevens has completed the annual appraisal of the Library. Reproduction cost new is $65,833,900. and insurable cost is $62,015,500. A copy of the report has been sent to Boyle, Flagg and Seaman which should have insurance quotes for the Board next month.

NBC NIGHTLY NEWS----Skokie Public Library made the NBC Nightly News September 11 with comments by people who watched the President’s televised commentary about Iraq at the Library the evening of September 10. About 30 people viewed the telecast and stayed to talk with the crew of seven from NBC Nightly News. The crew was delighted with the diversity of the audience and the various viewpoints that were articulately expressed. A local fifth grade student was excited to see the film crew at the Library and borrowed his father’s iPhone to make a brief recording for You-Tube about the happenings at “his library.”

GRANT FOR NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK PROGRAMMING----Cole Taylor Bank has again pledged $3,000 to the Library for special programming during National Library Week in April, 2014. Cole Taylor will be merging with MB Financial in late winter or early spring 2014.

TEEN CENTER OPENING----The walls are up, cork floor laid, lights installed, and much of the furniture in place for the new teen area on the first floor. There will be a soft opening October 14, the beginning of Teen Read Week, promoted primarily through social media. A more formal opening with special programming will be held in February when Jessi Schulte returns from maternity leave.

REORGANIZATION----The realignment of staff is progressing. The consultant Paula Singer met with a design group of fourteen staff for the better part of one and a half days September 17–18. A second meeting was held with an enlarged group of eighteen staff October 2. Although Richard Kong has not officially begun to work at the Library, he has participated in these meetings and worked with Mrs. Anthony to revise material between meetings. As Mrs. Anthony said to the staff, we are fortunate to be operating from a position of strength. We are generously staffed compared to many libraries serving a similar size population and the Board has ensured that funding for the Library is strong and stable. We are therefore able to consider a realignment of staff to better meet our service objectives without having to reduce the number of staff. We hope to resolve a tension which has arisen between our current structure which primarily supports service to individuals at service desks within the Library and our actual service offerings which include an increased number and variety of programs and classes, an array of virtual services, group work and community partnerships. Paula Singer will be back in mid-November to work on implementation issues and to meet with the Board November 13. We expect the plan to be fully implemented this Fiscal Year.

Mrs. Hunter commented that she would like to see the cost of programs vs. how many people attend the program. Mr. Graham said the value of a program is subjective and won’t be analyzed very well financially. Mrs. Anthony will provide the data requested.

EGYPTIAN VISITORS----Six Egyptian librarians and two interpreters came to the Library October 2 as part of a tour of several libraries in San Diego, Kansas City, Washington D.C., and Chicago, arranged by the State Department. Two of the librarians were among those Mrs. Anthony had met on her visit to Egypt in June. The visitors were especially interested in the Business and Career Center where they met with librarians Terry Ratoff and Mike Buhmann as well as two local business persons who commented on their use of the Center.

VOLUNTEER RECOGNITION----Thanks to Board members Susan Greer, Karen Parrilli, and Dr. Jonathan Maks who attended the Volunteer Recognition luncheon September 22. About fifty volunteers enjoyed the luncheon and the commentary by staff representatives regarding the contributions made by each volunteer.

LIBRARY BOND DEBT----Diana Hunter inquired about possible early payoff of the Library’s bond debt. Mrs. Anthony made an inquiry to the Village Finance Officer, but he has been delayed in getting back to her because the Village Manager was out of town for several days. Currently, the Library’s outstanding bonded indebtedness is $8,640,000. Together with interest, we will pay a total of $9,974,687.50 to retire the debt in 2020 as scheduled. The bonds were refinanced in September 2010 for a savings of about $166,000. per year which amounts to more than $1,500,000 over the then remaining length of the loan. The original rate of the bonds was 4.626% and they were refinanced at less than 1.64% due to the AAA credit rating of the Village. There is a question as to whether it is worth considering an early payoff when the bonds are held at such a low rate of interest. It is speculative anyway as we do not have sufficient funds currently to pay off the existing balance.

RETIREMENT----Barbara Kozlowski, Associate Director for Public Services, will retire November 8 after 27 years.

OCTOBER ACTIVITIES----Mrs. Anthony will attend the PLA Board meeting in Chicago on October 25 and 26. She will also attend the Harwood Institute Training October 28-30 in Washington, DC along with Deputy Director Richard Kong and Assistant Head of Youth Services Susan Carlton. November 1 and 2 Mrs. Anthony will attend the PLA Measurement Task Force in Chicago.

APPROVAL OF UPGRADE OF ELEVATOR DOOR SYSTEM

Mrs. Anthony presented a proposal from the Mid-American Elevator Company for the installation of two new GAL door operators for the public elevators. Head of Maintenance Rich Simon advises that these upgraded controllers are needed to keep in compliance with regulations that will be in effect in early 2014.

Rich solicited proposals from both Schindler and Mid-American for this work. Both indicated that their quotes were contingent on also receiving the elevator maintenance contract. While our elevator maintenance in recent years has been conducted by Schindler, Mid-American gave a better price both for this elevator control work and for the maintenance. Therefore Rich recommends approval of the elevator door operators by Mid-American at the price of $23,700.00.

Mrs. Anthony requested Board approval of this work.

A motion was made by Mrs. Hunter, seconded by Dr. Maks:

MOTION:       THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE THE QUOTE FROM MID-AMERICAN FOR WORK ON THE ELEVATOR DOOR OPERATORS IN THE AMOUNT OF $23,700.

The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.

APPROVAL OF DATE OF BOARD MEETING MARCH 2014

Mrs. Anthony notes that the Library Board meeting in March, 2014 will fall on Wednesday, March 12 which is in the middle of the Public Library Association’s National Conference. Since this is an obvious conflict for Mrs. Anthony and for any Board members who plan to attend the Biennial conference in Indianapolis, Mrs. Anthony asks that the Library Board meeting be scheduled for the following Wednesday evening, March 19.

After brief discussion, a motion was made by Mrs. Hunter, seconded by Mrs. Parrilli:

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE CHANGING THE MARCH 2014 BOARD MEETING DATE FROM MARCH 12 TO MARCH 19 DUE TO THE PLA NATIONAL CONFERENCE.

The motion passed unanimously.

Mrs. Parrilli and Mr. Prosperi will not be in attendance at the March 2014 Board meeting.

Mr. Graham announced his resignation from the Board.

APPROVAL OF CONSIDERATION OF ELECTRONIC BOARD PACKETS

This issue is brought again to the Board after being tabled at the September meeting. As the Library has adopted eBooks and other digital formats, we have continued to rely on hard-copy printed Board packets. The packets each month are photocopied, collated and hand delivered to each Board member’s home.

The Board may want to consider moving to an electronic Board packet. There would be savings in printing and distribution of Board materials, and some other benefits would also accrue:

·        Ability to easily refer to materials from a previous meeting

·        Backfile of Board minutes re actions taken

·        Resource material such as Board Bylaws and Policies readily at hand

·        Ability to make last-minute changes to the agenda without having to reprint pages

Susan attended a webinar on the advantages of electronic Board packets and was convinced that the idea was worth the Board’s consideration. Initially, she looked at Boardbook which is software for use by Boards of cities, colleges, corporations, schools and nonprofits. The cost of Boardbook is $3,000. per year for set-up, training, use and support. The Gail Borden Library uses Boardbook.

Our LAN staff suggested that the Board might consider instead purchasing an iPad for each Board member. The initial estimated cost for ten iPads would be $7,470., but there would be no annual costs. A savings over Boardbook would be realized if the iPads were used for three or more years. Susan Dickens will bring a sample to the meeting for the Board to view. It has folders for the levy, budget, strategic plan, policies, Board minutes, etc. In addition to the cost advantage, all Board members would have the same device, facilitating training and support.

Related to this, our attorneys at Robbins Schwartz recommend that public bodies establish their own rules prohibiting members from using their personal electronic devices and accounts during meetings or using them to discuss public business. In addition, public bodies are encouraged to provide/establish electronic devices and accounts for their members to use as the exclusive channel for discussing public business.

Mrs. Anthony recommends that the Board adopt the practice of using an electronic Board packet on Library-provided iPads. She also recommends that rules prohibiting use of personal electronic devices of Board meetings or for discussion of public business be adopted by the Board.

Mrs. Hunter thanked Susan for the iPad tutorial but stated she will still vote ‘no’ as she prefers a paper Board packet.

After brief discussion, a motion was made by Mrs. Parrilli, seconded by Dr. Maks:

MOTION:        THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES ADOPT THE PRACTICE OF USING AN ELECTRONIC BOARD PACKET ON LIBRARY-PROVIDED iPADS.

The roll was called: Dr. Maks—yes; Mrs. Rich—yes; Mrs. Greer—yes; Mrs. Parrilli—yes; Mrs. Hunter—no; Mr. Prosperi—yes; Mr. Graham—yes. The motion passed.

The closed session minutes will not be placed on the iPads. Mrs. Hunter will continue to receive a paper Board packet. Mr. Prosperi asked if email would be available on the iPads. Mrs. Anthony answered yes. Mrs. Anthony will check with Library legal counsel about the policy regarding not using personal electronic devices for Library business.

APPROVAL OF SMOKE-FREE CAMPUS

The Skokie Health Department, in its five-year plan developed in 2012, lists four health priorities for the community:

·        Improving Access to Health Care

·        Preventing obesity

·        Preventing tobacco use

·        Protecting the environment

Two staff members from Skokie Public Library, Deborah Grodinsky and Annabelle Mortensen, assisted in the development of the Skokie Health Department plan. Copies of the plan document were distributed.

In the area of Tobacco Use Prevention (p.9) the Health Department has strategic initiatives to: Work with Village administration to make all Village properties smoke free by 2017 and to Encourage other public/private entities to have smoke free campuses. These initiatives also support the healthy environmental goal of protecting air quality in the Village.

These initiatives were discussed in the Department Heads meeting and it was agreed that Skokie Public Library should seek to become a smoke-free campus. This would mean that there would be no smoking outside the building entrances or in the parking lot. Mrs. Anthony spoke with the Director of another public library that has already adopted such a policy regarding the practical implications for staff who smoke. She said that the library supported staff participation in smoking cessation clinics. The library also acknowledged that people’s cars are private property and therefore staff could go to their car and smoke. The Village of Skokie offers smoking cessation clinics on a periodic basis and will have a new one starting later this month.

Mrs. Anthony recommends that the Board adopt the policy of the Library as a smoke-free campus effective January 1, 2014. The interval between adoption and the effective date will give those staff who smoke the opportunity to stop smoking before the policy goes into effect.

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

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES ADOPT THE POLICY OF THE LIBRARY AS A SMOKE-FREE CAMPUS EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2014.

The motion passed unanimously.

REPORT ON eBOOKS

Teri Room presented the following quarterly report on eBooks:

·        The Library has added a collection of streaming videos from Ambrose Video. Accessible from the eLibrary page of the Library website, patrons can view many education videos and documentaries, including the BBC Shakespeare Plays and episodes of Burt Wolf’s What We Eat.

·        The Library is contracting with Baker & Taylor for a new eBook platform called Axis360. This platform provides access to Scholastic Books (something the Library can’t get from OverDrive), but does not support Kindles. It is accessible with the Kindle Fire. We hope to add a good number of youth titles.

·        Library staff have held 13 one-on-one sessions with patrons about eReaders, tablets, and smartphones in September 2013, most of which were specifically about how to get access to Library eBooks and eAudiobooks.

 

eBooks Circulation

September 2013

September 2012

Percentage change

eReaders

   24 Kindles

   21 Sony Readers (adult   and youth)

30 checkouts

35 checkouts

Down 14%

eBooks from OverDrive

1942 checkouts

1351 checkouts

Up 43%

eAudiobooks from OverDrive

436 checkouts

495 checkouts

Down 12%

eBooks from Safari

298 sessions

164 sessions

Up 81%

eBooks from Tumblebooks

142 book views

168 book views

Down 15%

Zinio

211 clicks

205 clicks

Up 3%

 

Other eBook issues:

·        The big six publishers are now five. Penguin has merged with Random House to form Penguin Random House.

Brief discussion followed.

REACHING ACROSS ILLINOIS LIBRARY SYSTEM (RAILS)

Mrs. Parrilli reported on the highlights from the September 27, 2013, RAILS Board of Directors meeting.

Delivery Outsourcing (Pilot Program) for Burr Ridge Service Center: The Delivery Committee, after much study and discussion, asked the Board to accept the proposal to institute a two-year delivery pilot program with Continental Transportation Solutions (CTS), Bensenville, Illinois, for the Burr Ridge Service Center. In her cover memo to the Board, Executive Director Dee Brennan listed the benefits of delivery outsourcing:

·        State-of-the-art logistics and warehousing technology

·        A 24-hour turn around delivery, rather than 48 hours or longer

·        Eliminate leasing delivery facilities; savings in vehicles and maintenance

·        Personnel savings

·        Eliminate pre-sorting for member libraries, saving staff time and sorting space

·        CTS has promised to interview RAILS employees who are interested in open positions (possibly 4 new positions)

·        More opportunities to focus additional resources to meet library members’ needs  

The measure passed. The RAILS Delivery Committee will now pursue a contract with CTS. (P.S. Later in the meeting it was reported that the total number of items delivered in FY2013 was 23,884,511.)

Treasurer’s Report: As of August 31, 2013, the cash and investment balances saw a balance of $17,600,000, which reflects 20 months of operations.  RAILS received $889,685 for the eBook program through the eRead Illinois Project, as well as $2,145,000 in an Area and Per Capita payment. The final FY2013 APC payment of $1,072,500 was received on September 5. Later in the meeting the RAILS Board also approved a contribution of $50,000 to purchase eBooks for the eRead Illinois Project.

Illinois State Library Report: Anne Craig reported on the Illinois EDGE program through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which launches in January 2014. She also stated that the Area and Per Capita grant application is due October 15.

Two executive sessions were held, one to discuss personnel matters and the other to discuss sale of real estate. Action taken on the real estate issue was Board approval to sell the East Peoria Service Center in the amount of $1,700,000, including a five-year leaseback of the delivery space. Also approved was to list for sale the Geneva Service Center in the amount $1,450,000.

Next Meeting: Friday, October 25, 2013.

Mrs. Parrilli reported in the October 9 eNewsletter, RAILS received their first payment for FY 2014 of $1,157,230.

COMMENTS FROM TRUSTEES

Mrs. Parrilli said she volunteered at a storytime and a grandmother from Florida said how amazing Skokie Public Library is. Mr. Graham had a conversation with an Optima resident who raved about the bookmobile stop there.

Mr. Prosperi thanked Mr. Graham for his 23 years of service to the Library. He will be missed.

ADJOURNMENT

At 8:18 p.m. a motion was made by Mr. Graham, seconded by Mrs. Rich to adjourn the regular meeting. The motion passed unanimously.

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            Karen Parrilli, Secretary