November 14, 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, November 14, 2012.

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; Richard Basofin; Susan Greer; Mark Prosperi; Zelda Rich; and Carolyn A. Anthony, Director.

Staff present: Mick Jacobsen, Supervisor of Lab Assistants (arrived at 7:48 p.m.).

Visitor present: Dr. Irwin Rich, 9360 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, IL 60077.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF OCTOBER 10, 2012

Mrs. Hunter made a motion, seconded by Mr. Basofin to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of October 10, 2012, subject to additions and/or corrections. There being no additions/corrections, the minutes were approved and placed on file.

BALANCE SHEET FOR THE SIX MONTHS ENDING 10/31/12

The Balance Sheet for the Six Months Ending 10/31/12 was accepted as presented.

YEAR-TO-DATE BUDGETARY STATUS

The Year-to-Date Budgetary Status was accepted as presented.

BILLS

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

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

The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.

APPROVAL OF AUDIT – 2011-12 FISCAL YEAR

Mrs. Anthony distributed the Library’s audit for FY 2012 and the accompanying Management Letter. The audit was conducted by Sikich as a component audit of the Village of Skokie. Irene Tam and Mrs. Anthony had no problems in working with the auditors.

Mrs. Anthony indicated last month that two items in the audit caught her attention, namely the gap in the funding level for the Village/Library portion of the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund and the rate at which the Library’s collection is depreciating. Both of these matters were addressed last month. Village Finance Officer Bob Nowak provided a clear explanation for the funding gap in IMRF and how it is being addressed. The Board took action to extend the period of depreciation for the Library’s collection from 10 years to 15 years and to adjust the value per item from $24.00 to $15.00.

In reviewing the audit, the Board will note that the Library’s Fund Balance May 1, 2011 was $4,509,229. and on April 30, 2012 the Fund Balance was $4,896,855. for a net change of $387,626. Total Operating Expense for the year was $10,026,038. and Total Expense, inclusive of Capital Expense and Debt Service was $10,732,965. The Library’s finances are in good order.

The Management Letter notes one issue which was not a Material Finding. The issue concerned a deposit payment of $80,902. for carpeting for the second floor which was made in the spring and had been counted as an expenditure on the Library’s books. The auditors explained that since the carpet had not been received and installed, the sum should be considered an assigned asset rather than an expenditure and made an adjustment accordingly. Clearly, this was not a misrepresentation by the Library.

Also included in the Management Letter are notes regarding GASB regulations that will affect the Library in the current and subsequent Fiscal Years.

Action by the Board to accept the audit as presented is requested.

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

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES ACCEPT THE AUDIT AND MANAGEMENT LETTER AS PRESENTED BY SIKICH LLP, CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS & BUSINESS ADVISORS.

The motion passed unanimously.

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

Mr. Graham requested that the resignation letter from Camille Cleland be removed from the Consent Agenda. The Board agreed.

Mrs. Hunter 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 RICHARD BASOFIN TO JOHN J. GRAHAM DATED NOVEMBER 14, 2012 RE RESIGNATION

5.      GIFTS: $25. FROM DAN AND CATHARINE COLE IN APPRECIATION; $100. FROM RICHARD BASOFIN IN APPRECIATION; $100 FROM ROSS STORES, INC. FOR WINTER READING CLUB

6.      PERSONNEL: TERMINATIONS: GUS PALAS, PART-TIME CIRCULATION CLERK, CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE NOVEMBER 4, 2012; ANTHONY VITALE, PART-TIME TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANT, ADULT SERVICES DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 2, 2012; HIRES: KEVIN TOOMEY, PART-TIME TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANT, ADULT SERVICES DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 15, 2012; PAUL JIN, PART-TIME CIRCULATION CLERK, CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 30, 2012; WANDA YOUNG, PART-TIME CIRCULATION CLERK, CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 30, 2012.

The motion passed unanimously.

PERSONNEL:

RETIREMENT: CAMILLE CLELAND, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR FOR TECHNICAL SERVICES AND AUTOMATION COORDINATOR, EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 31, 2012

Mr. Graham stated that anyone who works in cataloging knows it has to be the most tedious job and Camille has always done her job with a sense of joy that is truly remarkable. It has been suggested that she would like a lifetime Skokie Public Library borrower’s card since she is not a Skokie resident.

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

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES AWARD CAMILLE CLELAND A LIFETIME SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BORROWER’S CARD.

The motion passed unanimously.

DIRECTOR’S REPORT

USAGE----Circulation in October was up 3.7%, with Reciprocal Borrowing up from 5% to 6% of total circulation. The decrease in Adult book circulation equals almost exactly the circulation of books in electronic format suggesting that the newer formats are replacing rather than adding to reading in paper form. Video circulation is continuing to increase for adults while it has dropped slightly for Youth. Circulation of books to Youth is up more than 7% however. And circulation to adults and youth on the Bookmobile was up more than 10%. Reference questions were also up---by 12% to 4,501 for the month. Computer use sessions are down while laptop check-out is up. The gate count is up to nearly 80,000 for October. A total of 48,181 unique visitors registered 121,664 page views of the Library website. Another 435 unique visitors registered 6,524 views of the AirPac Mobile Catalog.

PER CAPITA GRANT----The Library’s 2012 Per Capita Grant in the amount of $66,435.99 was deposited electronically in the Library’s account October 30. We filed for the 2013 Per Capita Grant October 15.

AMERICA’S STAR LIBRARIES----According to the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service, the Skokie Public Library is ranked as a four star library again for 2012. Skokie is one of 111 public libraries that have received a star rating for five consecutive years. Our rating has consistently been four stars on a scale of one to five, based on LJ’s assessment of service outputs. Illinois had the fourth highest count of star libraries with 20. Kansas, Ohio and New York had more. The article ends with a call for new output measures reflecting the changing nature of public library service. This is a concern Mrs. Anthony hopes to address during her presidential year at PLA.

RAILS NEWS----Late-breaking news from RAILS is that they have selected Dee Brennan to be the new Director of the system, beginning just after the New Year. Currently Dee is Executive Director of the Oak Park Public Library. Previously, she was Director of a multi-type library system in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, the Illinois State Library reported that no bidder met requirements for outsourced delivery in the State so delivery will continue to be handled as it has been by each System.

BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS----Mrs. Anthony is happy to report that punch list items have been completed on the second floor so the work on the Business Center, study rooms, and Computer Center is now done. Not surprisingly, the additional study rooms are regularly in use as are the computers. Staff has begun to take bookings for the Business Center beginning with hosting the Skokie Chamber for their Board meeting in October. Attention has turned to the first floor, beginning with modifications to the west circulation desk to accommodate two self-check machines that can be overseen by staff.

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES---Mrs. Anthony attended a meeting of the Dominican GSLIS Advisory Board, the training for Presidents-Elect at ALA and the PLA Board meeting this past month.

WORK INITIATIVES----Within the Library we are working on Staff Day and beginning to plot out the new Strategic Planning process that will take place after the first of the year. During Staff Day, we will have a large brainstorming session to capture staff thinking about how the environment in which libraries operate is changing and what the implications are for library service, structure and operations. Mrs. Anthony has also been working on plans for Coming Together in Skokie which will focus on the Greek culture from late January through mid-March, 2013.

DIGITAL MEDIA LAB PRESENTATION

Mick Jacobsen arrived at 7:48 p.m.

Mr. Jacobsen stated that so far this fiscal year there have been 752 check-outs of DML computers, a 5.5% increase in usage from FY 11-12 and a 24.4% increase from FY 10-11. The actual people who utilized the DML this fiscal year is estimated at 1,169. There has been a 10% increase in peripherals from last fiscal year. Staff have taught 46 official one-to-one classes (and many unofficial) classes this fiscal year; there is an average 10 to 15 group classes per quarter.

The Board viewed a Kangaroo cup video which was produced in the Digital Media Lab.

The Board was impressed with the many ways users are utilizing the Digital Media Lab. Mrs. Anthony stated that libraries used to be primarily collection centers that were organized and made available in a passive way; now the movement is about engaging people and helping people engage with each other.

Mr. Jacobsen left the meeting at 8:03 p.m.

RENEWAL OF LIBRARY INSURANCE COVERAGES

Tom English of Boyle Flagg & Seaman has prepared quotes for renewal of the Library’s insurance coverages with the exception of Directors & Officers coverage which is never quoted until they have received the audit. The quotes show a significant increase this year which Mr. English attributes to conditions in the industry generally. Travelers quoted a price of $57,648. for the Package policy, including automobile, up 12% from last year. Together with the Umbrella and coverage for Boiler & Machinery, the Library’s liability insurance will cost $71,313. this year, a 10% increase from last year.

Mr. English did bid the coverages out to Chubb and Hartford, the latter reflecting the plan administered by Arthur J. Gallagher for the American Library Association. Mrs. Anthony distributed summary information from this investigation by Mr. English. It is a little hard to make direct comparisons as each company groups the coverages somewhat differently. For example, Chubb is lower in some regards, but had a much higher rate for coverage of the Bookmobile. While Chubb’s bottom line quote was $4,300. less than Hartford’s, Mr. English does not recommend a change for such a small difference. He points out that there are advantages to continuity of coverage and dealing with a company with which we have developed a history.

Last year, Travelers offered a reduction in the quote of $2,300. for an increase in the deductible from $1,000. to $2,500. This year, they are offering a deduction in the range of $3,000.-$4,000. in the quote if the deductible is increased to $5,000. As can be seen from the Loss Summary for a four year period, the Library had five claims in 2011 for a total of $15,310. and three claims in 2010 for a total of $50,430. The Library’s total deductible was $8,000. for these recent claims. Had our deductible been $5,000. per occurrence, the Library would have paid up to $40,000. for these claims.

Mr. English recommends that the Library continue with Workers Compensation coverage through the Illinois Public Risk Fund. The quote for this coverage for 2013 is $39,465., an increase of 8% from the current year’s $36,482. The Board reviewed the Library’s experience with Workers Compensation over the past four years as summarized on the Loss Summary. The Illinois Public Risk Fund will offer once again a safety grant of $3,100. for purchases of items related to increasing worker safety. In addition to this grant, IPRF will cover 50% of the cost of YakTrax, a shoe guard for icy conditions, for Maintenance staff who are required to work outside in wintry weather.

The Board does not need to approve the renewal of the insurance coverages until the December meeting.

Discussion followed. The Board questioned why Chubb had different building limits and wants to make sure the Library is covered in the event of a catastrophic loss. The Board would like Mr. English to come to the December Board meeting.

APPROVAL OF DIRECTOR’S AUTHORIZATION LIMIT

At the August Board meeting we briefly discussed a matter of increasing the Director’s threshold for authorization of expense under certain circumstances. There were some questions and a full agenda so the matter was tabled, to be taken up at a future meeting.

The Board inquired about the threshold for authorization of expense by the Director without the expressed approval of the Board. The level was set at $10,000. by the Board at their meeting July 11, 2007. At the Board’s request, Mrs. Anthony asked our attorney if there were laws regarding the authorized spending limit. Heidi Katz responded that “Neither the Local Library Act nor, to my knowledge, any other state law requires prior review by the Board of Trustees of expenditures by the Director above specified amounts, when those expenditures are within limitations of the Board-approved annual budget.”

Ms. Katz did brief research to determine that there is no “best practice” in this regard. She offered that “It would be within the Board of Trustees’ discretion to require prior review by a designated Board member approval of budgeted expenditures by the Director exceeding specific amounts.”

This information is provided to the Board to inform the discussion of whether to authorize a secondary higher spending limit, within approved budgeted amounts, by the Director and a designated Board member or members jointly. Occasionally, there is a needed repair to building equipment that cannot wait for the approval process at a regularly scheduled monthly Board meeting.

Mrs. Anthony proposes that in the event of an occurrence of an urgent nature such as the failure of a pump or damage to a cooling tower, the Director be authorized to obligate expense up to $25,000. with approval of two Board officers. The matter would then be brought to the full Board for information purposes at the next Board meeting.

After discussion, Mr. Prosperi made the following motion, seconded by Mrs. Parrilli:

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE THIS SPECIFIC DIRECTOR, CAROLYN A. ANTHONY, ONLY BE AUTHORIZED TO OBLIGATE EXPENSE UP TO $25,000. WITH WRITTEN APPROVAL OF ONE BOARD OFFICER AND ONE OTHER BOARD MEMBER. THE ENTIRE BOARD WOULD BE INFORMED OF ANY ACTION TAKEN AT THE NEXT REGULARLY SCHEDULED BOARD MEETING.

The motion passed unanimously.

REACHING ACROSS ILLINOIS LIBRARY SYSTEM (RAILS)

Mrs. Parrilli reported on the RAILS Board of Directors Meeting held October 26, 2012 at the LaSalle Public Library (LaSalle, IL). The following was taken from the videoconference and Board reports:

Interim Executive Director Jane Plass reported on the status of the legacy properties up for sale: 1) Wheeling – two offers have been received, each requiring a special use permit. The Board of Directors will go into closed session during this meeting to discuss the offers*; 2) Shorewood – staff awaits an offer from an interested buyer; 3) Geneva – no interest has been shown at this time; and 4) Coal Valley – the realtor contract expires November 30, 2012.  Staff will seek a new realtor within the facility’s area.

*Per the October 31, 2012, RAILS e-newsletter: “The RAILS Board accepted an offer on the RAILS Wheeling service center at their October 26 meeting. Final contract negotiations are currently underway. Because the organization that made the offer is required to get a special use permit, RAILS anticipates that there may be a lengthy contingency period.” Upon return from their closed session, the Board voted to accept the offer from a religious organization in the amount of $1,151,800, subject to final contract negotiations.

Ms. Plass’s Board report also mentioned the status of the Talking Book Program and its staff. As of May 2013 the Talking Book collection and operation will be transferred to the Illinois State Library. RAILS is the in the process of downsizing and terminating the staff, informing them of their termination dates, IMRF benefits and unemployment compensation.

President Alan Davidson announced that the Executive Director Search Team will present two candidates who will be interviewed by the Board at their November 2 Board meeting. The two candidates are Interim Executive Director Jane Plass and Deirdre Brennan from Oak Park Public Library.

Mary Witt, on behalf of the Policy Committee, asked for approval of the revised Resource Sharing Policy, which includes all changes that were requested over the past several months from library member input and Board members’ suggestions. (http://www.railslibraries.info/special/ResourceSharingPolicyDraft20120619.pdf). The Board approved the policy as presented. This policy will now go on to the Illinois State Library for final implementation.

Mary Witt also asked the Board to approve the recommendation that the RAILS area be divided into 15 regions in order to improve communication, to ensure representation on the Member Advisory Board, and to provide locations for easier access to meetings and networking for member libraries. The closest facility for Skokie Public Library is in Northbrook. The Board approved the request to establish 15 regions within RAILS.

Mrs. Parrilli reported on the RAILS Board meeting November 2, 2012 held at the RAILS Burr Ridge Service Center. Dee Brennan, Director of the Oak Park Public Library, was selected to be the new RAILS Director starting January 2, 2013. RAILS put out a request for proposals for outsourcing delivery, but no acceptable submittals were received.

The next meeting is January 25, 2013 at the Burr Ridge Service Center.

COMMENTS FROM TRUSTEES

Mrs. Hunter mentioned the Reach Out and Read’s program at New York’s Bellvue Hospital which gives poverty stricken children books. Most of the books were lost in Hurricane Sandy. Mrs. Hunter suggests some withdrawn children’s books could be sent to them.

Mrs. Hunter mentioned an article in the Chicago Tribune about Chicago’s top places to work. Four libraries were mentioned: Northbrook, Naperville, Elmhurst, and Warren-Newport. What makes them better libraries? It was mentioned that those libraries submitted their qualifications for selection.

Mr. Prosperi appreciated receiving the article about 10 Most Amazing Library Laboratories. He cited the lab at Sacramento Public Library which has a community writing and publishing center and asked if Skokie Public Library did that/could do that.

On behalf of the Board, Mr. Graham expressed his gratitude to Mr. Basofin for his service. Mr. Graham will contact each member in the next week or so regarding the vacancy.

ADJOURNMENT

At 8:40 p.m. a motion was made by Mrs. Hunter, seconded by Mr. Prosperi to adjourn the regular meeting. The motion passed unanimously.

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            Karen Parrilli, Secretary