September 12, 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, September 12, 2012.

CALL TO ORDER

John Graham, President, called the meeting to order at 7:29 p.m.

Members present: John Graham, President; Diana Hunter, Vice President/President Emerita; Karen Parrilli, Secretary; Richard Basofin; Susan Greer; Mark Prosperi; and Carolyn A. Anthony, Director.

Member absent: Zelda Rich.

Staff present: Teri Room, Coordinator of Collection Development; Barbara A. Kozlowski, Associate Director for Public Services; Tobi Oberman, Head of Circulation Services.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE REGULAR AND CLOSED MEETINGS OF AUGUST 15, 2012

Mrs. Hunter made a motion, seconded by Mr. Prosperi to approve the minutes of the regular and closed meetings of August 15, 2012, subject to additions and/or corrections. There being no additions/corrections, the minutes were approved and placed on file.

CONSENT AGENDA (Financial Statements; Circulation Report; Library Use Statistics; Report(s) from Department Head(s); Program Statistics 1st Quarter F.Y. 2012-2013; Gift; 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.      PROGRAM STATISTICS 1ST QUARTER F.Y. 2012-2013

5.      GIFT: $18. FROM MR. AND MS. LEONARD MOSES IN MEMORY OF MAURICE RASENICK

6.      PERSONNEL: HIRE: BRADLEY JONES, FULL-TIME TECHNOLOGY LIBRARIAN, YOUTH SERVICES DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2012.

The motion passed unanimously.

BILLS

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

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

Mr. Basofin questioned the payment to Scariano, Himes and Petrarca. The opinion from Scariano, Himes and Petrarca will be emailed to Mr. Basofin and Mr. Prosperi.

The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.

DIRECTOR’S REPORT

USAGE----Circulation in August was down nearly 5%, led by a drop of more than 13% in the loan of books to adults. The circulation of audio formats was down a similar amount while magazine circulation is down by almost one third. Circulation of books in electronic format has more than doubled since last August, but still accounts for a very small portion of titles checked out. It is interesting that circulation of books to adults via the Bookmobile is also down, albeit just over 4%, while circulation of materials to youth is up on the Bookmobile and down less than 1% in the Library. Lending to other libraries was down both through Interlibrary Loan and through LINKin. The volume of Reference and Information questions was down as was computer use. In spite of these declines, the Gate Count was up more than 10% to 81,338 for the month.

STAFF PICNIC----The weather cleared for the annual Staff Picnic September 5. Staff enjoyed hamburgers, hotdogs, wurst, and chicken breasts grilled by Hal Dickens and Gin Gaiser. The grilled items were accompanied by coleslaw, potato salad, tomatoes, chips, cookies and ice cream. A good meal and fellowship were enjoyed by all with thanks to the Board for this end-of-summer staff appreciation event.

BOARD MINI-RETREAT----The Board will have a mini-retreat October 30 at 7 pm, facilitated by Kathryn Caudill, an attorney and Board member at the Ela Area Library. She is also the former President of the North Suburban Library System. The Board will review Trustee responsibilities and ethics, reflecting on how the Board functions.

VILLAGE MANAGER TO COME TO OCTOBER BOARD MEETING----Village Manager Al Rigoni has asked that he and Traffic Manager Fred Schattner attend the October Board meeting. They will bring along a representative or two from Gewalt Hamilton, the consulting engineering firm. They would like to discuss the findings of traffic studies on Oakton Street and some recommendations regarding traffic entering and leaving the Library lot.

BUILDING RENOVATIONS----Work on the second floor should be completed with installation of audiovisual equipment in the new Business & Employment Center September 20. A few punch list items are still being tended. Meanwhile, the four additional study rooms and the new computer commons are in daily use by patrons. Attention has turned to the first floor where the plan is to use attic stock to replace heavily worn areas of the carpet, expand the world languages collection, set up some reading lounges, and make improvements to an enlarged Teen area.

PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES-----The Library has been asked to support an initiative by School District 69 to establish an after-school center at Lincoln Junior High and also a proposal by Dominican University to initiate a certificate program for preschool literacy services to the Hispanic community and other ethnic populations. Both programs are seeking grant funding.

PLA LEADERSHIP PROGRAM-----Since 2006, Mrs. Anthony has served on a PLA Leadership Task Force to establish a leadership development program for the Association. As Chair of the Task Force this past year, Mrs. Anthony initiated a successful application to IMLS for a planning grant to work with ICMA (International City/County Managers’ Association) in planning a leadership development program that would foster partnership work between senior library staff and municipal officials in order to achieve goals for the community. Friday evening September 7 and all day Saturday September 8, Mrs. Anthony will participate in a meeting in Chicago with other Task Force members and three representatives from ICMA to begin implementation of the program plan.

READERS FIRST GROUP----A group of libraries calling itself Readers First has been formed by the signers to a statement of requirements regarding eBooks in public libraries that was developed by the New York Public Library. A statement of the expectations was printed and sent to the major publishers. This past week, a Web-ex meeting was held among the large group of representatives to hear reports of progress on various initiatives related to eBooks and digital content. Progress is slow, but everyone acknowledges the need to work in concert to make ourselves heard and to improve our chances of success.

SPEAKING IN EGYPT----Mrs. Anthony has been invited by staff at the U.S. Embassy in Egypt to give several presentations to librarians in Cairo and Alexandria on the topic of programming in libraries next spring. Expenses will be covered and Mrs. Anthony will take vacation to cover the estimated week away.

Mrs. Hunter said this is a very unique invitation and reflects highly on the Director and the Library. Mrs. Hunter made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Parrilli:

MOTION:       THAT THE BOARD OF LIBRARY TRUSTEES GRANT LIBRARY DIRECTOR CAROLYN ANTHONY THE DAYS NEEDED FOR HER PRESENTATIONS TO LIBRARIANS IN CAIRO AND ALEXANDRIA ON THE TOPIC OF PROGRAMMING IN LIBRARIES NEXT SPRING WITHOUT HAVING TO USE HER VACATION TIME.

The motion passed unanimously.

REPORT ON eBOOKS

Teri Room, Coordinator of Collection Development, reported that the Library now lends Kindles, pre-loaded with books, for patrons to check out. So far, there are Kindles loaded with Bestsellers, Business, and Select. Soon more Kindles will be loaded with Romance and Mysteries.

Ms. Room provided the following eBook circulation statistics:

 

eBooks Circulation

August 2012

 

August 2011

Percentage change

eReaders

   18 Kindles (7 more pending)

   21 Sony Readers (17 adult,

   4 youth)

41 checkouts

24 checkouts

Up 70%

eBooks from OverDrive

1539 checkouts

681 checkouts

Up 126%

eAudiobooks from OverDrive

532 checkouts

472 checkouts

Up 13%

eBooks from Safari

216 sessions

138 sessions

Up 57%

eBooks from Gale

122 full-text retrievals

unknown

 

Zinio (currently 31 magazines)

232 clicks

NA

 

Skokie Public Library will be leaving the eBook consortium at the end of December and will be contracting as a stand-alone library with OverDrive, the Library’s distributor for downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks.

Kindles are very popular with library users and only OverDrive downloads to Kindles. More advantages include: more control over the look of the OverDrive page on the Library’s website; no wait for non-Skokie patrons in the hold queue; and staff can choose only the titles Skokie Public Library patrons want, reflecting more local interest.

The Skokie Public Library eBook group is currently working on these issues:

·         How might the Web page show patrons the Library’s eBook content more easily, both downloadable and read-on-the-screen.

·         Adding Library eBook vendors to the Acquisitions database so staff can easily keep track of all the information about them.

·         Reviewing new vendors to see if new content is available.

·         Working on a section for the Collection Development Plan, to determine the purpose and scope of eBook holdings.

·         Monitoring the work done throughout the country in regards to eBooks and their distribution.

Discussion followed. The Board would like to be kept up-to-date on changes in the eBook industry quarterly.

The Board thanked Ms. Room for her presentation. Ms. Room left the meeting at 7:59 p.m.

APPROVAL OF ADOPTION OF TAX LEVY

Mrs. Anthony stated that the Board needs to adopt a tax levy for transmission to the Village of Skokie. The 2012 levy will be introduced as part of the Village’s Levy Ordinance in early December and acted on before the end of December. This levy will fund the Library’s 2013-2014 Fiscal Year.

The 2011 levy was $12,507,675.00, representing an increase of 1% over the 2010 levy of $12,383,836.00. Last month, Mrs. Anthony reported in some detail on the Library’s current standing in terms of revenue collections, the Reserve Fund, and expenses from the General Operating Fund for the past seven Fiscal Years.

The Library’s financial standing continues to be strong. The Library’s cash position is unusually good for this time of the year because the property tax bills for the full collection were sent out so early this year by Cook County. While no one can be certain what the legislators in Springfield will do, the Village Manager has informed Mrs. Anthony that there was such an outcry from mayors throughout the State when the legislators proposed usurping the Corporate Replacement Tax that he doubts they will move in that direction.

Therefore, Mrs. Anthony recommends to the Board a 1% increase in the levy for 2012, yielding anticipated revenue of $12,632,752. in FY 2014. Board approval of the 2012 levy in the amount of $12,632,752. is requested.

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

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES ADOPT AN OPERATING TAX LEVY IN THE AMOUNT OF $12,632,752.00 FOR THE YEAR 2012, REPRESENTING A 1% INCREASE OVER THE 2011 LEVY.

The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.

APPROVAL OF DIRECTOR’S COMPENSATION

Mr. Graham stated this item was discussed at the August meeting.

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

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES SET LIBRARY DIRECTOR CAROLYN ANTHONY’S SALARY AT $171,360.00. FOR 2012-2013, EFFECTIVE AS OF MRS. ANTHONY’S ANNIVERSARY DATE OF SEPTEMBER 19.

The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.

FRAUD PREVENTION – SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY

Each year, the auditors ask about the Library’s practices to reduce fraud. Because each Board member is queried, Mrs. Anthony has prepared and distributed a description of library practice for the Board’s information.

Questions regarding procedures and suggestions are welcome.

Brief discussion followed regarding overtime for employees.

REVIEW OF LIMITS ON RECIPROCAL BORROWING

Last September, the Board approved an extension of Reciprocal Borrowing Privileges to all public library members of RAILS who are in good standing. The Board further decided to limit the number of items borrowed by persons from other libraries to three. Concerns were expressed at the time about the continuation of support for delivery of materials by RAILS and/or the State Library. The Board directed that the policy be reviewed annually.

Regarding support for delivery, both RAILS and the Illinois State Library continue to affirm that delivery of materials is the highest priority for service and funding. While funding from the State to RAILS has been delayed, full funding has been pledged and RAILS continues to have a year’s operating funds in reserve.

The Board also expressed concerns last September about local support for some of Skokie Public Library’s neighboring libraries, based on observed happenings at the Evanston Public Library and the Morton Grove Public Library. The Evanston Public Library had closed their South Branch and threatened to close the North Branch. Library Friends and volunteers started “The Mighty Twig”, a renegade replacement for the South Branch. In the past year, the Evanston Public Library Board has been successful in their efforts to gain a measure of autonomy from the City and a dedicated portion of the levy for library funding. Recently, it was announced that a rapprochement was in progress between the Friends running “The Mighty Twig” and the Evanston Public Library, with the Library pledging $100,000. this year in support to the Branch. Evanston Public Library has a new Director, the former Deputy Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library.

Morton Grove Public Library also experienced some upheaval in 2011, with a Board election in which candidates pledged to limit library support, the dismissal of the Director by the Board, and interim administration by a team of two staff members. In the past months, a new director has been named, support for the library has been maintained and no staff reductions occurred.

Statistics regarding use of Reciprocal Borrowing show a decrease of 65% in items borrowed from Skokie by residents of other communities. The traffic is still overwhelmingly from our closest neighbors including Evanston, Morton Grove, Lincolnwood, Niles, Glenview and Wilmette. The only change in pattern of use is that, before limitation of RBP items, Wilmette had greater use of Skokie than Glenview. Use by Wilmette patrons has dropped sharply and, in fact, Skokie has become a net borrower from Wilmette. None of our neighboring libraries have imposed restrictions on Skokie borrowers.

Specifically, circulation to Evanston residents has declined 65% to 75% per month and circulation to residents of Morton Grove has decreased 56% to 68% per month. A chart showing Reciprocal Borrowing use of Skokie Public Library by patrons of neighboring libraries for eight months before and after the policy change is below.

Borrowed from Skokie Jan-Aug, 2011

Library

Total

Monthly Average

Evanston

71,350

8,919

Glenview

10,883

1,360

Lincolnwood

29,945

3,743

Morton Grove

46,037

5,754

Niles

15,488

1,936

Wilmette

12,230

1,529

 

185,933

3,874

Borrowed from Skokie Oct 2011-May 2012

Library

Total

Monthly Average

Evanston

21,696

2,712

Glenview

3,913

489

Lincolnwood

11,651

1,456

Morton Grove

18,376

2,297

Niles

5,783

723

Wilmette

3,464

433

 

64,883

1,352

Before the limit of items, Reciprocal Borrowing accounted for a steady 14-15% of total Library circulation. In recent months, RBP circulation has accounted for only 5% of total Library circulation. Skokie Public Library continues to loan to other libraries nearly three times what Skokie patrons borrow from other libraries. While before the limitation, only Algonquin Public Library had a larger loan to borrow ratio than Skokie, since the limitation six other libraries loan more items to Reciprocal Borrowers than Skokie does, namely Arlington Heights, Ela Area Public Library District, Niles Public Library, Northbrook, Schaumburg Township and Wilmette, in addition to Algonquin. Skokie patrons only borrow an average of 3,100-3,500 items per month from other libraries and that pattern has not changed significantly since the policy change to limit items loaned to Reciprocal Borrowers.

In light of developments in neighboring libraries over the past year and in consideration of a significant reduction in circulation from Reciprocal Borrowing, Mrs. Anthony recommends that the Board lift the limits on Reciprocal Borrowing at this time.

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

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES LIFT THE LIMITS ON RECIPROCAL BORROWING AT THIS TIME.

Lengthy discussion followed. Mrs.Hunter stated that she has not changed her mind. She proceeded to read her statement regarding her strong feelings for keeping the three item limit in place. Her primary duty is to represent and safeguard the Library for Skokie taxpayers. Mrs. Hunter said she has not seen figures for the taxing rate for the libraries in surrounding communities to know how they are supporting their libraries. “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”. (changed at 10/10/12 Board meeting)

More discussion followed regarding the governance of surrounding libraries; the popularity of streaming DVDs, the popularity of NetFlix, the Robbins Library, lifting the limit for teachers and students in Skokie and Per Capita Grants and legislation.  to temporarily permit libraries to qualify in spite of failure to maintain what had been considered minimum effort. “The legislation originally applied to Chicago Public Library only and it was extended.” (changed at 10/10/12 Board meeting)

After discussion, Mr. Prosperi amended his motion, seconded by Mr. Basofin:

AMENDED MOTION:         THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES RAISE THE LIMIT OF ITEMS FOR RECIPROCAL BORROWERS FROM THREE TO SIX.

The roll was called: Mr. Basofin—yes; Mrs. Greer—no; Mrs. Parrilli—yes; Mrs. Hunter—yes; Mr. Prosperi—yes; Mr. Graham—yes.

The motion passed.

Mrs. Oberman left the meeting at 8:39 p.m.

REACHING ACROSS ILLINOIS LIBRARY SYSTEM (RAILS)

Mrs. Parrilli reported on the RAILS Board of Directors Meeting held August 24, 2012 at the Geneva IL Service Center.

The following was taken from the videoconference of the RAILS Board meeting and the accompanying board reports:

Interim Executive Director Report: Jane Plass reported that the Board of Directors hopes to fill the Executive Director position by January 2013. Deadline for applications is September 30. The Associate Director position will not be filled at this time. Mary Witt was appointed as Interim Assistant Director.

After library members reviewed the draft, the Resource Sharing Policy was edited and submitted to the RAILS Policy Committee for review. The policy will then be placed before the Board and Illinois State Library for approval.

Approximately $20,000 worth of repairs to the façade of the Wheeling service center building was approved. Contract negotiations with the realtor are still in progress.

Treasurer’s Report: As of July 31, the cash and investment balance is $8,812,000, which will cover twelve months of operations. RAILS Treasurer Jim Kregor reported that RAILS is waiting for the remainder of the FY2012 Area and Per Capita Grant, $5,362,500, which they hope to receive by the end of the calendar year.

A lengthy discussion ensued regarding surplus Educational/Endowment Fund from Alliance Library System (ALS). In question is what to do with approximately $50,000 in 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. It was agreed that further study should be done and this issue be placed on the next month’s agenda.

It was reported that delivery service is on the rise, with an anticipated 24 million pieces delivered by the end of this year. Because it has been difficult for delivery vans to make deliveries to special libraries in the downtown Chicago area, RAILS has contracted with a messenger service to provide this service.

Mary Witt made a presentation on the Community Online Forum, an opportunity through the RAILS website which enables members to communicate with each other on various subjects.

Board President Al Davidson announced the six committees for FY2013: Executive, Executive Director Search, Delivery, Finance-Personnel, LLSAP, and Policy. Discussion followed about having five or seven member committees and adhering to the Open Meetings Act.

According to the RAILS website on September 4, Don Johnson, Wheeling Service Center Delivery Supervisor, posted the following:

Due to an unexpected staffing shortage at the Wheeling Service Center, some routes may have to be shortened on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. While we will do our best to make as many of our regular stops as we can, some locations may need to be skipped on one or more of those days. Staffing is expected to be back to normal on Thursday.

Next Board meeting: September 28, 2012.

COMMENT FROM TRUSTEE

Mrs. Hunter read most of an article from the Chicago Tribune, September 8, 2012, edition entitled Chefs to serve as culinary diplomats. She was impressed with the State Department’s imaginative focus on programming and wishes that Skokie Public Library could do the same.

ADJOURNMENT

At 8:46 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