March 19, 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, March 19, 2014.

CALL TO ORDER

Mark Prosperi, President, called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.

Members present: Mark Prosperi, President; Diana Hunter, Vice President/President Emerita; Susan Greer; Jonathan H. Maks, MD; Denis O’Keefe; Zelda Rich; and Carolyn A. Anthony, Director.

Member absent: Karen Parrilli, Secretary.

Staff present: Richard Kong, Deputy Director; Teri Room, Assistant Manager, Access Services.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF FEBRUARY 12, 2014

Mrs. Greer made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Hunter, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of February 12, 2014, subject to additions and/or corrections. There being no corrections, the minutes were approved and placed on file.

CONSENT AGENDA (Financial Statements; Circulation Report; Reports from Department Heads; Correspondence; Gifts; Personnel)

Mrs. Rich 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.      REPORTS FROM DEPARTMENT HEADS

3.      CORRESPONDENCE: LETTER FROM JESSE WHITE, SECRETARY OF STATE AND STATE LIBRARIAN TO CAROLYN ANTHONY DATED FEBRUARY 5, 2014 RE AWARD OF FY 2014 PER CAPITA GRANT

4.      GIFTS: $100. FROM JAMES AND MARY ANN McCAULEY IN MEMORY OF JOHN M. WOZNIAK; $100. FROM BRIAN McGUIRE IN MEMORY OF WILLIAM KATZ; $50. FROM GARDEN CLUB OF SKOKIE IN MEMORY OF VIRGINIA STAUBER FOR THE PURCHASE OF GARDENING BOOKS; $50. FROM HERBERT REECE IN MEMORY OF PHIL CARLSEN FOR PURCHASE OF LANDSCAPING BOOKS

5.      PERSONNEL: HIRES: ETHAN HERDRICH, PART-TIME DIGITAL LITERACY ASSISTANT, LEARNING EXPERIENCES, EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 19, 2014; SUSAN DUBACK, PART-TIME CUSTOMER SERVICES ASSISTANT, CUSTOMER SERVICES, EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 25, 2014; REGINA KWIT, PART-TIME MATERIAL HANDLER, ACCESS SERVICES, EFFECTIVE MARCH 3, 2014; RICHARD RYBAK, PART-TIME MATERIAL HANDLER, ACCESS SERVICES, EFFECTIVE MARCH 3, 2014; ANNA GOLASH, PART-TIME PROGRAM ASSISTANT, LEARNING EXPERIENCES, EFFECTIVE MARCH 4, 2014; JESSICA SABELLA, PART-TIME PROGRAM ASSISTANT, LEARNING EXPERIENCES, EFFECTIVE MARCH 4, 2014; PROMOTION: NOOR AZRA, FROM PART-TIME MATERIALS SHELVER, ACCESS SERVICES, TO PART-TIME MATERIALS HANDLER, ACCESS SERVICES, EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 28, 2014; TERMINATION: ATHENS MORENO, FULL-TIME BOOKMOBILE ASSISTANT, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT, EFFECTIVE MARCH 24, 2014; STATUS CHANGE: CARL CUTLER, FROM PART-TIME TO FULL-TIME BOOKMOBILE ASSISTANT, COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT, EFFECTIVE MARCH 25, 2014.

The motion passed unanimously.

BILLS

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

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

The motion passed unanimously.

DIRECTOR’S REPORT

USAGE----Circulation in February was down nearly 6% from the same month last year, but last winter was mild and this winter has been one of the worst on record. Use of digital books and audiobooks more than doubled from last February, still amounting to only 5.5% of total adult circulation. More resource sharing continues to be done through LINKin than traditional ILL. Other usage indicators such as the Gate Count, volume of questions, reference questions, and computer use were also down. Use of self-check is up, accounting for more than 40% of total circulation. Use of electronic databases was up 5%, with the number of users up by 16% and 18% more logged sessions.

REALIGNMENT----This past month, we implemented the Call Center for handling most incoming calls to the Library and the use of the Vocera communications system for more readily summoning staff to where they are needed. Both systems are working quite well, although some small glitches have been encountered as may be expected. There have also been some real success stories in getting help from security quickly and reducing the number of calls handled by staff at service desks. We will continue to refine the systems.

TURNING POINT TOWN HALL MEETING----The annual Turning Point Town Hall Meeting on mental health needs and services was held in the Petty Auditorium February 21. The Meeting was well attended by elected officials including the Mayor, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Representative Laura Fine, Cook County Board member Larry Suffredin and others. Speakers found encouragement in the inclusion of mental health benefits in insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Group homes in Skokie are functioning well and generally supported by neighbors. There is concern about renewal of the State income tax increase for early 2015.

ILA LEGISLATIVE BREAKFAST-----The annual ILA Legislative Breakfast in Buffalo Grove was well attended in spite of new snowfall that morning. Mrs. Anthony sat with State Senator Daniel Biss who talked about the pension reform enacted by the Legislature this past year. Challenges to the reform are expected to be heard by the courts. There was a lot of expression of appreciation for public libraries and their assistance in helping individuals and communities get through recent economic hard times.

POSSIBLE PARTNERSHIP WITH ERIE HEALTH CENTER----Some staff and Mrs. Anthony met with representatives from the Erie Evanston/Skokie Health Center and Northwestern’s Global Studies initiative regarding a possible program with Northwestern undergraduates receiving training to provide community information regarding health care services in the Library. Some staff had a tour of the new Erie Clinic this week.

COMING TOGETHER IN SKOKIE----Coming Together in Skokie ended on a very high note with the visit by author Sung Woo. Accompanied by his wife, he read and spoke at both high schools as well as at the Library where he was interviewed by Deputy Director Richard Kong. Students at the high schools served two wonderful luncheons of Korean food, coached by a professional Korean chef. It was gratifying to read Sung Woo’s comment “Never have I felt such pride as a Korean and an American than in Skokie, Illinois.” Ninety percent of those completing evaluations of the Coming Together programs indicated that they were not of Korean heritage. Seventy five per cent read or planned to read the featured title Everything Asian. Half indicated that they had attended Coming Together programs in prior years and half were attending for the first time this year.

PLA 2014 CONFERENCE----Eleven staff members and Mrs. Anthony attended one or more days of the PLA 2014 National Conference in Indianapolis March 11 – 15. Mrs. Anthony is pleased to say that the Conference was a big success by all accounts. Attendance was at least as good as in Philadelphia in 2012. The keynoter Bryan Stevenson was lauded by many as the best speaker they have heard at a PLA or ALA conference. He spoke movingly about continuing injustice in the justice system and the persistence of racism in our country while acknowledging the role of public librarians in serving people on the margins of society.  Several other TED talk speakers were featured in the Big Ideas series which was a new part of PLA and well received. The pre-conferences and program sessions were all well attended as was the conference reception. While Mrs. Anthony has continuing responsibilities through the end of her term as President June 30, it was gratifying to preside over such a successful national conference for PLA. In addition to introducing various speakers, Mrs. Anthony was a presenter at a program about the LibraryAware Award the Library received in 2013. Mrs. Anthony also gave three press interviews including serving as a guest on a local radio program. Mrs. Anthony had lunch with authors Richard Ford, Jane Pauley, Craig Johnson and Lisa Unger.

Mrs. Anthony also had the opportunity to participate in The Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries at PLA 2014. Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Public Libraries is a 34-member working group of library and non-library stakeholders which held two meetings in 2013. The purpose of the meeting at PLA was to have two small groups of invited public librarians react to a draft document developed by The Aspen Institute exploring the question “What do we want for our communities and how can public libraries help us get there?” Some major roles appear to be helping communities adapt to the digital age, enabling libraries to better educate and empower the next generation, and ensuring that communities address changing demographics and advance the common good. Experimentation, collaboration, and engagement are seen as key elements of the re-imagined public library. Networks of people and knowledge, not collections of books, are at the heart of the proposed library which will create great public spaces, both physical and virtual. Programs and services will reach beyond the walls of the library. Relationships will be established with authors, publishers and innovative partners in the knowledge economy. Investment in leadership and professional development will be called for.

FEDERAL SUPPORT FOR LIBRARIES----The President’s budget request for IMLS for 2015 is $2 million less than the $180.9 million enacted by Congress for the 2014 Fiscal Year, but $2.5 million more than the President called for in his FY 2014 budget. No funds for school libraries were included, but the President mentioned the need for better broadband access for “our schools and libraries.” IMLS has early learning, civic literacy networks, and STEM as major priorities for grant programs this year.

PROPOSED BUDGET FY 2014-2015

Mrs. Anthony distributed a draft of the proposed budget for the Operating Fund for FY 2014-2015. IMRF has been separated out from FICA and includes the additional $65,000. to pay back the Village for funds they have advanced in order to eliminate interest on the graduated increase in IMRF payments.

Later in the meeting, Teri Room will present proposed new budget categories for collection spending that will help the Board track spending on digital materials vs. traditional formats.

Most anticipated building repairs can be incorporated within the Maintenance of Buildings & Grounds line. Capital expense is anticipated for strengthening the fence support on the south side of the Library and replacement of the HVAC automated monitoring system. The Bookmobile was purchased in 2000 so it is now fourteen years old. Mrs. Anthony will propose that we look to replace it in FY 2016. The Library van was purchased in 2003 and so far is holding up well.

Next month, we will have recommendations from the Management Association of Illinois regarding any scale adjustments occasioned by recent changes in organizational structure and position descriptions. The Board can also consider at that time the level of increase for staff at the time of their annual review. Staff not at top of sale have been eligible for increases of 2% in recent years.

The Operating Budget for FY 2015 will need to be approved by the Board at the April meeting.

Brief discussion followed.

APPROVAL OF COST OF LABOR ADJUSTMENT FOR STAFF

Last month, Mrs. Anthony distributed the report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing a 1.1% annual increase in wages and salaries for state and local government workers for calendar 2013. It has been the Board’s practice to use this report in determining an across-the-board adjustment to the salary sale for the following Fiscal Year.

The proposed salary scale for FY 2014-2015 with the 1.1% adjustment across the scale was distributed. Mrs. Anthony asked the Board to approve this scale adjustment.

Typically, all staff would receive the 1.1% adjustment at the beginning of the new Fiscal Year. Because we have created a number of new positions and departments, we asked the Management Association of Illinois to review our positions and grades and to benchmark them against comparable positions in other area libraries. In the case of technical, custodial, and clerical positions, MAI has looked beyond libraries to a broader government and private sector range of employers. Mrs. Anthony will bring their recommendations to the Board in April. Preliminary findings indicate that most of our positions are already at an appropriate range. Some positions will need adjustment. Nevertheless, this base adjustment of scale will provide an up-to-date view of the ranges for consideration of any further adjustment as indicated for some positions.

In the case of a downward adjustment of a position, an employee’s current pay would not be reduced, but they would not get the 1.1% increase if their pay is found to be beyond the range of the new, recommended scale.

After discussion, a motion was made by Mrs. Hunter, seconded by Mr. O’Keefe:

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE A 1.1% COST OF LABOR ADJUSTMENT TO THE LIBRARY SCALE. IN THE CASE OF A DOWNWARD ADJUSTMENT OF A POSITION ON THE NEW SCALE, AN EMPLOYEE’S CURENT PAY WOULD NOT BE REDUCED BUT THEY WOULD NOT GET THE 1.1% INCREASE IF THEIR PAY IS FOUND TO BE BEYOND THE RANGE OF THE NEW, RECOMMENDED SCALE.

The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.

APPROVAL OF RESOURCES SELECTION POLICY

State law requires that the Board review the Resources Selection Policy every two years. Since it was last reviewed in March, 2012, an updated version was distributed for the Board’s consideration. The Library Mission has been updated to reflect the Strategic Plan of 2013-2016. Staff is not recommending any other changes to the Resources Selection Policy at this time.

Teri Room, Assistant Department Head, Access Services, came to the Board meeting and talked about collection issues generally, how the trend to digital formats is changing the nature of the collection and the Library’s buying patterns.

Mrs. Room said that the Library collection is changing with digital content becoming an increasingly larger part of the collection. While we continue to observe small decreases in print circulation we conversely see increased usage of eResources. For example, databases are used much more often for research than our print materials and downloadable eBook usage has increased by 71% since last year at this time. Usage at Skokie reflects what we see in society. According to Pew Research, half of American adults now own a tablet or eReader. People have more choices than ever before for their reading and information needs. The Library needs to keep pace with these trends.

This new landscape presents a number of challenges. Buying an eBook is not the same as buying a print book. When we purchase titles through OverDrive, we are really only buying access to those titles. If we decide to stop our OverDrive subscription, all the titles we had purchased with them are lost. 3M has a different, and more attractive model. While we are still purchasing access, if we were to leave 3M, the titles we had bought can be transferred to a new platform, as long as the publishers of those titles agree. To complicate things further, platforms from vendors such as ebrary have patron-driven acquisition models where titles are not purchased or leased until requested. Most of the materials on these platforms are quite academic but may have some usefulness for our library in meeting the long-tail needs of our patrons. And finally, some publishers continue to be unwilling to sell digital content to libraries at all. 20% of the current New York Times bestsellers (fiction and nonfiction) are not available for us to purchase as eBooks. One of those publishers, Scholastic Books, will allow us access with 3M, something other libraries don’t yet have, if we are willing to put a “Buy it now” button on our catalog record.

After discussion, Mrs. Greer made a motion, seconded by Dr. Maks:

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE PUTTING A ‘BUY IT NOW’ BUTTON ON LIBRARY CATALOG RECORDS SO PURCHASE OF EBOOKS FROM SCHOLASTIC BOOKS WOULD BE POSSIBLE.

The motion passed unanimously.

The ways in which these new materials are accessed vary as well. Some eBooks are downloadable and can be put on an eReader, tablet, mobile device, or computer. Others are accessed via an online platform. Users are linked to that platform and read the book live via the Internet. Some AV content like music and video is streamed live, while other content can be downloaded.

Given these complexities and the speed with which things change, it is difficult to know how to plan for the Library collection. As a result, we are considering a shift in how we prepare our materials budget. Because the lines of Books, AV, and Electronic Resources, and Periodicals are no longer so clear cut, we propose a different breakdown. The new categories would be Physical Books/AV/Periodicals, Leased Books/AV/Periodicals, Research Databases, and Learning Platforms.

·         Physical Books/AV/Periodicals would be anything we purchase in a physical format, be it a book, a DVD, a game, or a puppet.

·         Leased Books/AV/Periodicals would include content to which we purchase access, whether it is a downloadable book that can be checked out one user at a time, a book read from an electronic platform available to many users at once, or a platform for streaming music and videos.

·         Research Databases would include our online reference and article databases.

·         Learning Platforms would be for those products that allow patrons to teach themselves a new skill, a category we anticipate will grow.

After lengthy discussion, Mr. Prosperi asked that the Board review the Library’s Computer Use Policy at the April meeting in particular the policy as to what children can view online.

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

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE THE RESOURCES SELECTION POLICY WHICH REFLECTS THE STRATEGIC PLAN OF 2013-2016.

The motion passed unanimously.

QUARTERLY REPORT ON eBOOKS

·         The Library now has an additional eBook platform, 3M Cloud Library. Checking out eBooks from 3M is easier than with OverDrive. We anticipate this will be our preferred platform going forward. We will continue to get OverDrive as it still provides us access to eBooks for the Kindle and eAudiobooks.

·         We decided not to contract for Baker & Taylor’s Axis360, another eBook platform. It was not that easy to use and all of the same materials are available via 3M.

·         We are planning to purchase access to Hoopla, a platform from Midwest Tapes that provides access to videos, music, and audiobooks. With this model, there is no platform fee and the Library pays per use. Patrons are able to either stream the content or download to a tablet or mobile device.

·         The Library has formed an internal eWorkgroup to determine which new digital content products to provide to the public, looking at cost, usage, and promotion.

 

eBooks Circulation

February 2013

February 2014

Percentage change

eBooks from OverDrive

1855 checkouts

2126 checkouts

Up 15%

eAudiobooks from OverDrive

337 checkouts

611 checkouts

Up 81%

eBooks from Tumblebooks

 241 book views

712 book views

Up 195%

Zinio

304 clicks

310 clicks

Up 2%

eReaders

40 checkouts

21 checkouts

Down 52%

·         The checkouts for the pre-filled Kindles are down by more than half, even though new titles have been added recently. It’s possible that most readers of downloadable books have now purchased a device themselves. We’ll continue to monitor these statistics and see if we want to continue this service. The Kindles might be used to provide digital copies of our Book Discussion books along with the print copies.

REACHING ACROSS ILLINOIS LIBRARY SYSTEM (RAILS)

Mrs. Parrilli reported on the highlights from the February 28, 2014 Board of Directors meeting held at the Burr Ridge Service Center. The following information was taken from the RAILS March 5 eNewsletter, the meeting’s agenda, and supporting Board documents:

Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Jim Kregor reported that the cash and investment balance as of January 31, 2014, was $15,800,000. The balance reflected just over twenty months of operating revenue.

Executive Director Report: As featured in the RAILS eNewsletter, Dee Brennan, in her “State of the System” report, mentioned the accomplishments during her fourteen months as Executive Director. Most notable was the kick-off of the eREAD Illinois program. As of December 2013, this program through a grant from the Illinois State Library, includes 295 participating libraries serving a population of over 3.1 million users throughout the state with a collection of 10,829 items and growing. Staff remains focused on expanding continuing education and consulting services, as well as the completion of their Strategic Plan.

Ms. Brennan asked for approval on new procedures on the yearly evaluation of the Executive Director and for filling Board vacancies between elections.

The Board approved the Strategic Plan as presented by staff. Member libraries can view the entire Plan on the RAILS website.

The sale of the Geneva Service Center was finalized. Also approved by the Board were two leaseback agreements for the East Peoria delivery services.

Delivery Report: Outsourcing delivery at the Burr Ridge Service Center is still experiencing “major difficulties,” due to the severe weather in the area and drivers unfamiliar with routes.

Employee Retention Incentive Plan: Staff have proposed an employee awards program and asked for Board approval. This program would consist of three parts:

·         Birthday Recognition, affecting 43 employees with five or more years of service by the end of December 2014

·         Employee Referral Program, cash reward or paid time off for employees who refer new hires who remain in the job for 180 days or more

·         Years of Service Program, for employees who work 20 hours or more, ranging from $200 for 10 years of service to $1,000 for 50 years or more. This program would cost $8,043 for FY2014.

(Mrs. Parrilli was unable to view the videotape for the Board’s discussion and votes. Mrs. Parrilli will report on the outcome at a future date.)

Next meeting: Friday, March 28, Burr Ridge Service Center

Next month Mrs. Anthony will provide information on the recently released report on delivery services.

COMMENTS FROM TRUSTEES

There were no comments from trustees.

ADJOURNMENT

At 8:36 p.m. a motion was made by Mrs. Rich, seconded by Mrs. Greer to adjourn the regular meeting. The motion passed unanimously.

__________________________________

            Karen Parrilli, Secretary