January 15, 2014
Minutes of the regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Skokie Public Library held in the Skokie Public Library Board Room, Wednesday, January 15, 2014.
Mark Prosperi, President, called the meeting to order at 7:31 p.m.
Members present: Mark Prosperi, President; Diana Hunter, Vice President/President Emerita; Karen Parrilli, Secretary; Susan Greer; Jonathan H. Maks, MD; Denis O’Keefe; Zelda Rich; and Carolyn A. Anthony, Director.
Staff present: Richard Kong, Deputy Director; Jan Watkins, Youth Services Manager.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF DECEMBER 11, 2013 AND THE CLOSED MEETING OF DECEMBER 3, 2013
Mrs. Hunter made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Parrilli, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of December 11, 2013, and the closed meeting of December 3, 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); Gifts; Personnel)
After brief discussion, Mrs. Hunter made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Parrilli:
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. GIFTS: $500. FROM JANE PLOETZ IN MEMORY OF BERNICE FAINTUCH; $400. FROM DOLPHIN SWIM CLUB FOR WINTER READING CLUB; $100. FROM BRIAN McGUIRE IN MEMORY OF WILLIAM KATZ; $25. FROM MURIEL H. SHERMAN IN APPRECIATION; IN MEMORY OF JOHN WOZNIAK: $10. FROM CORALIE GINSBURG; $10. FROM MR. AND MRS. EDWARD STONE; $10. FROM JOSEPH AND KATHLEEN FRAKE; $25. FROM RICHARD AND PATRICIA POLLAK; $25. FROM ERNEST C. BILLUPS; $25. FROM J. REILLY; $30. FROM NANCY FRENK AND ROSEMARY MORRIS; $30. FROM WILLIAM AND ELLEN FRENK; $50. FROM MR. AND MRS. WILLIAM HAGEDORN; $50. FROM HEDY COHEN; $50. FROM MARYANN MONDRUS; $50. FROM DIANA HUNTER; $50. FROM HENRY MOUGHAMIAN; $100. FROM ALAN TUTZER; $100. FROM CAMILLE CLELAND; $100. FROM THE CEBULA FAMILY; $300. FROM JOHN AND ANGELA GRAHAM
5. PERSONNEL: TERMINATIONS: JORGE MONTERO, PART-TIME CUSTODIAN, MAINTENANCE DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 7, 2014; TOBY GREENWALT, COORDINATOR OF VIRTUAL SERVICES, ADMINISTRATION, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 10, 2014; DEBRA MYTNIK, FULL-TIME CLERK, ADULT SERVICES DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 10, 2014; PROMOTIONS: PAUL JIN, PART-TIME CIRCULATION CLERK, CIRCULATION, TO PART-TIME CUSTOMER SERVICE LEAD, CUSTOMER SERVICES, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 13, 2014; SOPHIA LAWRENCE, PART-TIME SHELVER, CIRCULATION, TO PART-TIME MATERIAL HANDLER LEAD, ACCESS SERVICES, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 13, 2014; BILL OHMS, PART-TIME SHELVER, CIRCULATION, TO PART-TIME PROGRAM ASSISTANT, LEARNING EXPERIENCES, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 13, 2014; MICHAEL POCRNICH, FROM PART-TIME CIRCULATION CLERK, CIRCULATION, TO PART-TIME DIGITAL SERVICES ASSISTANT, LEARNING EXPERIENCES, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 13, 2014; ALEX RANGEL, FROM FULL-TIME ASSISTANT SHELVING SUPERVISOR, CIRCULATION TO FULL-TIME MATERIAL HANDLER SUPERVISOR, ACCESS SERVICES, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 13, 2014; LINDA SAWYER, FROM PART-TIME PROGRAMMING COORDINATOR, YOUTH SERVICES DEPARTMENT, TO FULL-TIME YOUTH SERVICES ASSISTANT MANAGER, YOUTH SERVICES DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 13, 2014; EMILY SPILIOPOULOS, FROM FULL-TIME CIRCULATION CLERK, CIRCULATION, TO FULL-TIME CUSTOMER SERVICE LEAD, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 13, 2014; SMITTY VULIC, FROM FULL-TIME CIRCULATION CLERK, CIRCULATION, TO FULL-TIME MATERIAL HANDLER LEAD, ACCESS SERVICES, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 13, 2014; HIRE: ALLYSON COAN, PART-TIME LIBRARIAN, ADULT SERVICES DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 13, 2014; RETIREMENT: NINA HO, CIRCULATION CLERK, CIRCULATION, EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 3, 2014.
The motion passed unanimously.
The Board would like to see rotating departmental reports quarterly.
A motion was made by Mrs. Hunter, seconded by Dr. Maks:
MOTION: THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE THE BILLS, SUBJECT TO AUDIT.
The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.
USAGE----Circulation in December was down by 5.7%, with circulation of books by adults down 9% and check-out of youth books down 6%. The gains were in use of digital formats (up 7% from last month), with even video circulation starting to lag. Bookmobile circulation was up 12% for the month, with strong gains in check-out of youth material. Total questions at desks increased 3%, while Reference questions were down 8% for the month. Laptop check-outs were up 21%. Self-check continues to gain acceptance, increasing 39% from last December. The Gate Count showed a surprising decline of 30% to 55,209 for the month. Remote use of library databases increased 8% for the month and 4.5% more people logged in for the calendar year. External visits to the Library catalog are 10% higher than in-library visits. Our library statistics are in line with national trends to greater digital library use.
USE OF iPADS---The Board will note that members received a paper copy of Board materials for the January meeting. The iPads will be distributed late in the meeting and staff will give demonstrations of use and an orientation to the content that has been put on the iPADs. There will be an opportunity for questions and individual help.
IMPACT SURVEY----The Library participated in the Impact Survey, an online tool for better understanding how the public uses library technology resources and services. A total of 83 people completed the survey conducted in November. The demographics of respondents appeared to be representative of the community although the relatively low number of respondents makes it difficult to draw significant conclusions about use. In part, the results may be useful as baseline information as the survey is repeated in the future. Ninety-five percent of respondents use computers to access library services and 38% of respondents do so at least once per week. Overall, 93% of survey respondents had used a public access computer or the Library’s wireless network in the past year. This is interesting because 78% of users reported having regular personal access to a computer and the Internet elsewhere, meaning that 22% lack such access elsewhere. Sixty-five percent of public access users report having received one-on-one technology help from library staff and 94% found the assistance helpful or very helpful. In terms of what they were doing on the computers, social inclusion, eCommerce, health & wellness, civic engagement, and employment all ranked quite high. Seventy-eight percent of respondents reported that public computing resources are important or very important to them personally and 90% felt that these resources are important or very important for the community. Results from Skokie will also be combined with results from other communities to develop a national picture of technology use in public libraries.
TIF Reports----The Village of Skokie has three Tax Increment Finance Districts (TIFs) which divert tax revenue which otherwise would go to public agencies for the purpose of economic development in those areas. The Downtown TIF is coming to an end in 2014. The Village reports that the EAV for the Downtown District has increased from $15,011,774. in 1990 when the TIF began to $32,072,138. at the end of 2013. The other two TIFs cover the Science and Technology Park area and the West Dempster Street corridor, both of which will be continuing.
ALA MIDWINTER----Four staff and Mrs. Anthony will attend the Midwinter meeting of the American Library Association in Philadelphia later this month. Mrs. Anthony will be out of town from January 23 – January 28, involved in meetings of the Public Library Association Board and related work.
TOBY GREENWALT----Toby resigned from his position of Virtual Services Coordinator and has accepted the position of Director of Digital Strategy and Integration at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
GIFT OF STOCK----Skokie resident Gloria Bloom has been donating stock to the Library regularly and in December made another donation. The Board agreed to hold on to the stock.
ROOF LEAK----Mrs. Anthony reported two roof leaks, one in the Board Room and one outside of the Board Room. Because the roof is solidly frozen, the roofers will return when temperatures improve.
INTERNET NEUTRALITY----On January 14, the D.C. Court of Appeals struck down most of the FCC’s net neutrality rules. The court vacated the FCC’s “anti-discrimination” and “anti-blocking” rules, but upheld the transparency rule and the FCC’s authority to promote broadband deployment.
eBOOKS----For the February Board meeting, Mrs. Anthony will present a report by ReadersFirst, a group comprised of 292 libraries. The committee has been working on principles for the way eBook selling to libraries should operate and contains a guide that ranked the various distributors according to certain concepts. ReadersFirst suggests rules and concepts and the vendors were evaluated on that criteria.
COMING TOGETHER IN SKOKIE AND NILES TOWNSHIP----January 26 is the kickoff program at Niles West at 2 p.m. Mrs. Anthony will mail the program booklet to trustees. This year’s celebrated country is Korea.
PROPOSED BUDGET FY 2014-2015
The Village Board approved a levy for the Library of $11,620,932., exclusive of the debt repayment which need not be re-levied according to George Van Geem. The amount of the debt levy is $1,264,475. Together, these amounts equal $12,885,407. as approved by the Library Board in September.
Mrs. Anthony distributed a preliminary draft budget for FY 2015 which reflects some increased revenue from Corporate Replacement Tax as the economy improves and minimal increase in expenditures. She has shown an increase in the Capital line for FY 2015 with fewer anticipated capital expenses in the new Fiscal Year. One larger expense will be a proposed addition of more self-check machines and changed configuration of the west circulation desk. If revenues are close to projection, we should end Fiscal Year 2015 with a sum of close to one million dollars to be moved to the Reserve Fund.
The preliminary budget shows an increase of 2% in the Salaries line. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has not yet issued figures for salary increases for the twelve months of 2013, but the table of State and Local Government wages and salaries shows a modest increase of just under 1% as of September 2013. The Employer’s contribution rate for IMRF is up from 11.32% to 12.06% for 2014. Because the economy is improving and stocks are performing better, we can anticipate that this is a peak rate, to be matched or decreased in 2015 for the last four months of the Fiscal Year.
Health Insurance has had some large increases in recent years. Our cooperative has kept the rates unchanged for 2014. The cooperative is moving to a calendar year for their Fiscal Year so will be developing a new rate schedule for January 2015. We have no idea at this point what that will be, but since it will only affect four months of our Fiscal Year, we are gauging a modest increase for this line.
General insurance costs have been increasing so Mrs. Anthony made an allowance there. She has restored the Utilities line to $80,000. and may increase it further before budget adoption. After a period of warmer than usual winter weather, we appear to be in for new, colder weather patterns which could significantly impact utility costs.
Audit costs will be significantly higher because we will need to conduct an independent audit in 2014. Mrs. Anthony queried some other libraries regarding their audit expense to derive a budget number.
The Printing and Publicity budget was increased by 5% in anticipation of some projects by the new Graphic Designer. Similarly, we expect an increase in programs including more contracted programs and exhibits as well as library contributions to collaborative programming such as Coming Together and the Skokie Festival of Cultures.
The Library Materials Budget may change more before the budget cycle is completed. We are in the midst of discussions about the role and relative size of digital collections. There are also new options for pay-per-use access to collections such as streaming media. We will report more on this subject at a future Board meeting.
Questions and comments are welcome at this point in the budget process. Typically, the Board approves a salary adjustment in March and then the full Operating Budget in April.
Village Finance Manager George Van Geem informed Mrs. Anthony on January 14 that when the economy dipped in late 2008, IMRF gave municipalities the option of taking a significant increase in the contribution rate as of FY 2010 or taking a more incremental increase. The catch is that, with the more incremental increase, IMRF would add a 7.5% interest charge to the differential between what the true cost would have been and what the municipality paid. The Village of Skokie chose the incremental increase option and so informed the Library, but did not mention the interest provision.
George Van Geem did not want the Village to pay continuing interest charges for the incremental increase in IMRF so they have chosen to pay the remaining pension balance at a cost of $1,288,490. This amount includes a portion for the Library employees of $324,979.05. The Village is willing to allow the Library to pay the difference in what we owe over five years, without interest. The difference in the first year (FY 2015) will be 1.25% for a total IMRF contribution rate of 13.31%. Payment at the new rate will start in February, 2014.
It is reasonable to think that, with the stock market gains, the base rate of employer contribution for IMRF should have reached a ceiling and may be expected to decrease somewhat in the coming years. This may make it easier to absorb this additional payment of about $65,000. per year.
With the budget draft for the February Board meeting, Mrs. Anthony will recalculate the IMRF expense in light of this new information. The Board may also wish to make additional lump sum payments for IMRF, in whole or in part, to eliminate this debt and incremental annual expense. For example, we expect to have at least $30,000. remaining in the IMRF budget line at the end of this Fiscal Year. That balance could be paid to the Village to lessen the Library’s obligation. On the other hand, the Village is not charging the Library interest.
Mrs. Anthony asked for the Board’s direction in regard to this matter.
Discussion ensued. The Board came to consensus to repay the Village $65,000. per year for five years at no interest.
Mr. Prosperi requested FICA and IMRF be shown on separate budget lines.
APPROVAL OF PROPOSED BABY CORRAL FOR YOUTH SERVICES
Youth Services would like to have a wooden corral area for crawling babies in the northeast corner of the Department, adjacent to the toddler area. Currently, babies too young to walk are generally left in strollers while in the Library, missing an opportunity to explore and discover as afforded to older children.
Jan Watkins, Head of Youth Services, has written a background piece about this project. The corral is formed by a curved maple bench, upholstered on top for caregivers to sit. The wall and east windows complete the enclosure.
Mrs. Watkins also distributed a proposal from LFI for construction of the corral. The company has made similar installations for other libraries although this proposal is customized to the setting at Skokie Public Library. We have worked with LFI on numerous other furniture projects and have been pleased with the results and the process.
The total cost of the project, including installation, is $20,411. Board approval of this purchase is requested.
Mrs. Watkins described her visits to various institutions to gather ideas for the Baby Corral. A nature theme was decided on since the east windows afford a view of the out-of-doors. She passed around samples of the seat material and flooring; board books and toys would be provided as well as small manipulatives for the inside of the corral. Three mobiles would hang from the ceiling.
Discussion followed regarding the size of the corral; cleaning the area; and monitoring behavior in the area by children and adults.
A motion was made by Mrs. Parrilli, seconded by Mrs. Greer:
MOTION: THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE THE QUOTE FROM LFI FOR CONSTRUCTION OF A BABY CORRAL IN THE AMOUNT OF $20,411.
The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.
Mrs. Watkins left the meeting at 8:35 p.m.
There will be a baby fair in early May at the Library. The Board thought this would be a good public relations opportunity.
The Re-Alignment project is proceeding as planned. The official start date for staff assuming new responsibilities is January 13. However, for a variety of reasons, some staff will need to spend some time still doing their old job or training someone to fulfill their former duties. We have allotted the balance of the Fiscal Year for full implementation of the staffing plan. As you will see from the Personnel section of the Board agenda, a number of staff have applied and been accepted for internal promotions. These were filled through a competitive process involving an interview with two managers. The new positions approved by the Board in December have been advertised externally and candidates should be selected by the end of January. We are sorry to see Toby Greenwalt leave, but he is moving on to a promotional opportunity at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Debra Mytnik is moving with her husband to Ft. Worth, Texas, where he will assume a new position. Allyson Coan, the new hire, interned at Skokie Public Library while in library school and is taking on hours left vacant by a retiring reference librarian.
Beginning January 6, a number of staff are moving their work location and transitioning to new offices and spaces. The Re-Alignment Implementation Task Force has coordinated the plans for these moves which have been carried out by our Maintenance staff. The moves will continue throughout the month.
The first Department Head meeting with the new managers was held Monday, January 13. Every manager has been given a copy of the book Leading Change by John P. Kotter which was discussed at that meeting. Mr. Kotter is considered the expert on change management and leadership. In his book, he discusses what contributes to successful change and how it may be undermined. Later this month, training in the use of Outlook scheduling has been planned to facilitate meeting planning and the coordination of calendars.
The Board has asked for an overview of the new structure including an organization chart, photos of managers, and a brief description of responsibilities. The organization chart with photos was distributed. A brief description of responsibilities follows:
Mrs. Anthony will continue to directly oversee the Administrative Office and assume responsibility for supervision of Adult Services, Youth Services, and the new Learning Experiences Department.
Richard Kong, Deputy Director, will oversee Access Services, Information Technology (IT), Maintenance and Security, Customer Services, and Community Engagement.
Chris Lazaris is the new Access Services Manager. This past year, she has been Head of Technical Services, having been promoted to that position from Assistant Department Head after Camille Cleland’s retirement last January. Access Services includes the units formerly part of Technical Services including Acquisitions, Cataloging, and Processing, but will now also include Collection Development and Materials Handling, encompassing all aspects of materials for the Library.
Deborah Grodinsky will continue as Adult Services Manager. The Department consists of Popular Services (Readers Advisory and Audiovisual Advisory) and Information or Reference Services. All book discussions and other reading and writing programs will continue to be held under the auspices of Adult Services.
Jan Watkins will continue as Youth Services Manager, overseeing staff who serve the public in the Youth Services Department and coordinating all story times and reading programs for young people through middle school age.
Eileen Coulombe will be the Customer Services Manager, overseeing the public services component of the former Circulation Department. Staff in this unit will greet the public, register people for library cards, handle overdues, answer the phone, and in other ways engage in direct public service.
Susan Carlton will be the Co-Manager of the Community Engagement Department. This Department will oversee the Bookmobile, outreach programs and partnerships in which the Library is involved. The other Co-Manager, to be hired in replacement of Toby Greenwalt, will oversee the development of virtual community through development of Web content and engagement in social media.
Amita Lonial will be the Co-Manager of Learning Experiences, coordinating Library programming for adults, teens and youth. Co-Manager Mick Jacobsen will oversee the Digital Literacy Assistants who help people use computers, as well as the Digital Media Labs for Adults and Youth, and all Digital Literacy classes and training.
The Board asked that the organizational chart be put on their iPads in a new folder called “Re-Alignment”.
APPROVAL OF DATES OF UPCOMING BOARD MEETINGS
The calendar of Board meeting dates for 2014 and 2015 was distributed.
The Board reviewed the schedule to see if there are known conflicts with religious holidays or events which might impede attendance by a majority of the Board.
Mrs. Greer will not be at the October 8 meeting.
Mr. Prosperi asked that the March 2015 Board meeting be moved to March 18, 2015. The Board agreed.
Mr. Prosperi will not be at the February 2014 meeting; Mrs. Parrilli will not be at the March 2014 meeting.
REPORT ON LIBRARY FUND-RAISER / AUTHOR VISIT
Lynnanne Pearson, Manager of Popular Services, has pursued development of plans for a possible fund-raiser visit with author Steve Berry. Because of a delay in the publication date of Mr. Berry’s new novel, the proposed date for the event has been moved to Tuesday, May 27. Lynnanne developed a proposal for the event, suggesting that funds raised would be used to underwrite support for the Library’s new Local Author project. The Library has held programs on writing and publishing and is forming a local authors’ group. There is increased opportunity for self-publishing now, made possible by digital publishing.
Steve Berry’s agent will review Lynnanne’s proposal with Random House to obtain approval to proceed with plans. Mrs. Anthony has spoken with Howard Meyer, Chamber Director, and he is agreeable to either the North Suburban Business Foundation or the Chamber co-sponsoring the event. Because Mr. Berry and his wife are interested in history and have established a foundation History Matters, the Skokie Historical Museum seems to be a logical location for the fund-raiser.
If Random House approves the proposal and the Board supports the plan, Lynnanne will continue to make arrangements for the event.
Brief discussion followed.
DISTRIBUTION AND INTRO TO iPADS
The iPads were distributed and introductory training was given.
Mrs. Greer left the meeting at 9:04 p.m.
REACHING ACROSS ILLINOIS LIBRARY SYSTEM (RAILS)
Mrs. Parrilli reported that there was no Board of Directors regular meeting in December. The next meeting will be on Friday, January 31, 2014.
The Board held a special meeting on Thursday, December 19, 2013, to review, discuss, and vote on a contract to authorize Continental Transportation Solutions to handle the sorting and delivery services from the Burr Ridge Service Center. Next month’s RAILS report will include the final outcome of this meeting.
RAILS staff is looking at the interlibrary loan policy and asking for comments. Mrs. Parrilli will inquire as to what is proposed for the interlibrary loan policy, and what rules are in effect and what the proposed changes are.
COMMENTS FROM TRUSTEES
Mrs. Hunter suggested contacting the Tribune about duplicating/piggybacking their programs at the Library even though there would be a fee involved. Mrs. Hunter feels this would be dynamic in terms of publicity and getting people into the Library.
Mr. Prosperi says he knows U.S. Attorney Zach Fardon and may be able to get him to come to the Library.
At 9:23 p.m. a motion was made by Mrs. Hunter, seconded by Mrs. Parrilli to adjourn the regular meeting. The motion passed unanimously.
Karen Parrilli, Secretary