January 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, January 9, 2013.

CALL TO ORDER

John Graham, President, called the meeting to order at 7:33 p.m.

Members present: John Graham, President; Diana Hunter, Vice President/President Emerita; Karen Parrilli, Secretary; Susan Greer; Jonathan H. Maks, MD; Zelda Rich (arrived at 7:37 p.m.); and Carolyn A. Anthony, Director.

Member absent: Mark Prosperi.

A motion was made by Mrs. Hunter, seconded by Mrs. Parrilli to ratify the appointment of Jonathan H. Maks, MD, to fill the unexpired term of Richard Basofin. The motion passed unanimously.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF DECEMBER 12, 2012

Mrs. Parrilli made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Hunter to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of December 12, 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); Correspondence; Gifts; Personnel)

Mrs. Parrilli made a motion, seconded by Mrs. Hunter:

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.      CORRESPONDENCE: LETTER FROM KATE DONEGAN, SUPERINTENDENT, SKOKIE SCHOOL DISTRICT 73.5 RE LETTER OF SUPPORT

5.      GIFTS: $75. FROM EVELYN MARKS SIEGEL IN APPRECIATION; $500. FROM DOLPHIN SWIM CLUB FOR WINTER READING CLUB

6.      PERSONNEL: PROMOTION: CHRISTINE LAZARIS, FULL-TIME ASSISTANT HEAD OF TECHNICAL SERVICES, TECHNICAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT, TO FULL-TIME HEAD OF TECHNICAL SERVICES, TECHNICAL SERVICES DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 31, 2012; HIRE: EMILY COMPTON-DZAK, PART-TIME LIBRARIAN, ADULT SERVICES DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE JANUARY 8, 2013.

The motion passed unanimously.

BILLS

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

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

Mrs. Rich entered the meeting at 7:37 p.m.

The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.

DIRECTOR’S REPORT

USAGE----Circulation was up by 2% in December, with gains in circulation of Youth books and Adult audio and video. Reciprocal Borrowing is up to nearly 7% of total circulation. The gate count was up nearly 24%, reflecting the greater number of persons coming into the building each month. In virtual use, 42,723 visits to the website were made by persons outside the Library and another 22,602 visits by persons inside the Library for a monthly total of 106,183 page views by 41,238 unique visitors. The Encore/Discover Opening Page had 112,132 page views by 97,944 unique visitors. Mobile users of AirPAC, the Mobile Catalog, registered another 8,180 page views by 541 unique visitors. It is apparent that virtual use of the Library now equals or exceeds in-Library use as measured by the Gate Count.

OPEN MEETINGS ACT----By now, all Board members should have completed the Open Meetings Act training as required by Illinois law. An additional modification of the Illinois Open Meetings Act (House Bill 4687) requires that local government meeting agendas set forth the “general subject matter” of any issue that will be up for a final vote. This action attempts to further transparency as some agendas apparently carried matters by assigned number or other shorthand which did not enable the public to know the issue to be decided. The action is effective as of January 1, 2013.

NEW FILM ABOUT THE SKOKIE MARCH----With sponsorship of the Illinois Holocaust Museum, Todd Whitman of Highland Park has written and produced a new film about the threatened Nazi march in Skokie in the late 1970s entitled Skokie: Invaded But Not Conquered.

The hour-long film will have an opening at the Illinois Holocaust Museum January 17 and it will be shown on WTTW—Channel 11 January 24. Reference Librarians Bruce Brigell and Steven Jablonski assisted the author in researching the film.

CARPETING AND CHAIRS----Installers took advantage of the Library’s closure December 24 as well as lighter use over the holidays to complete the installation of replacement carpet in the most worn areas on the first floor. One can certainly see the effect of 10 years of foot traffic in the difference in color between the old and newly installed carpet, but the difference will be less visible with time. On January 8 the 200 replacement chairs for general library seating were delivered. The chairs are already receiving good reviews from the public. Fourteen of the Equa task chairs will be sent out to be reupholstered and the remainder of the Equa and Cesca chairs from the second floor has been placed in storage.

SIERRA----We are scheduled for February 12 installation of Sierra, the new catalog from Innovative Interfaces which will allow easier connection with products from other vendors as well as modifications by in-house programming. Component servers and back-up tape drives are already arriving so staff will be preparing for the software switchover through the next several weeks.

CAMILLE CLELAND----We bid farewell to Camille Cleland who retired as Assistant Director for Technical Services at the end of December after 30 years of employment at the Skokie Public Library. Camille was appropriately feted and will be missed. The Assistant Department Head Chris Lazaris has been promoted to Department Head and is fully qualified to assume her responsibilities.

STAFF DAY----Staff Day 2012 featured time for conversation in small groups about current community problems and opportunities for service by the Library in the coming years. It was interesting to have such conversations in groups that were mixed by Department and staff level, enabling everyone to have a voice. Ideas were captured on paper and laptops for consideration in the upcoming planning process. Coincidentally, we had scheduled a Skokie Police Officer to talk about workplace violence and he showed a short film about responding to an active shooter, the same day as the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.

COMING TOGETHER IN SKOKIE----The Press Conference for Coming Together in Skokie 2013 will be held January 10, with the kickoff program at Niles West High School Sunday afternoon, January 27. This year’s program is a celebration of the Greek Culture and will feature reading of The Green Shore by Natalie Bakopoulos for adults, War Games by Audry and Akila Couloumbis for intermediate readers and Marianthe’s Story: Painted Words and Spoken Memories by Aliki for picture-book readers. The Adult Winter Reading Program is entitled Passport to Greece, encouraging people to read The Green Shore in advance of the author’s visit in March. The water court in Readers Services has been transformed into a Greek temple to invite patrons to read about the Greeks.

PROPOSED BUDGET FOR FY 2013-2014

The Village Board approved the Library’s requested levy of $12,632,752. in December, reflecting a 1% increase from the current Fiscal Year. Together with other anticipated revenues from Corporate Replacement Taxes, Fines, Interest, Grants and Other, we should receive total revenue of about $13,425,291. in FY 2014. Of that amount, $1,266,675. is pledged to repayment of bond debt and interest, leaving $12,158,616. for Operating and Capital expense.

Mrs. Anthony distributed a preliminary draft budget for FY 2014 which reflects $259,197. in anticipated increases in expenditures offset by $28,000. in reduced expenses for a net increase of $231,197. in expenses for the Operating Budget. Excluded from that amount is the Capital line which has been decreased by 7.3%. The Capital line is also used to cushion any shortfall in revenues received. Mrs. Anthony does not anticipate Capital expense in FY 2014 at anything like the level in the current Fiscal Year in which major renovation improvements were made to public space on the second and first floors. Therefore, if revenues are close to projection, we should end Fiscal Year 2014 with $800,000. or more 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 2012, but the table of State and Local Government wages and salaries shows a 1.1% increase for twelve months as of September 30. Related to the Salaries line is the FICA/IMRF line which is projected up at 6.6%. The Employer’s contribution rate for 2013 is 11.32%, up from 10.29% in 2012 and 9.35% in 2011.

At this point, Mrs. Anthony has allotted a 3% increase in Health Insurance. Because the LIMRiCC consortium is on a Fiscal Year beginning in July, we never know the increase before the budget is adopted. Nevertheless, LIMRiCC has been running with a surplus so there are funds available to lessen the impact of any increase in assessments. We do not expect an increase in the number of enrolled employees due to the Affordable Care Act.

General insurance costs were up 8% or more this year. Given the increase of natural disasters, Mrs. Anthony is allowing for an 8.7% increase next year.

Most other adjustments are relatively small. Postage rates for a first class letter will go up by .01 as of January 27, 2013, with rates for other classes of mail also increasing slightly. Similarly, the Standard Mileage Rate for reimbursement of use of a personal automobile for library business is also increasing by .01 as of January 1, 2013, to 56.5 cents per mile for business use.

The Conference, Membership & Workshop line has been decreased slightly because the ALA Annual Conference is in Chicago in 2013. An offsetting factor will be the biannual PLA National Conference in Indianapolis in 2014. Because the location is relatively close and it will be my Presidential year, more staff and Board members may want to attend the PLA National Conference.

The budget does not need to be adopted until March or April so we will continue to make adjustments. This is a good time for questions and discussion.

Discussion followed. The Board was asked to contact Mrs. Anthony with questions.

APPROVAL OF DATES OF UPCOMING BOARD MEETINGS

Mrs. Anthony distributed the calendar of Board meeting dates for 2013 and 2014.

The Board saw no known conflicts with religious holidays or events which might impede attendance.

APPROVAL OF USE OF DESKTOP COMPUTER BY PATRONS WITH FINES OVER $20.

Mick Jacobsen, Supervisor of Adult Computer Labs, is requesting the Board remove the policy requiring adult library patrons to have fines totaling less than $20. to use the adult desktop computers.

The Computer Area staff must refuse computer access to Skokie Library cardholders and reciprocal patrons an estimated 5 times a day because of fines totaling over $20.

Patrons with significant fines are permitted to use other Library resources such as reading books in the Library, wireless Internet access, attend events, ask questions, and so on. They are not permitted to check-out materials until they have made restitution and are proven trustworthy. Mr. Jacobsen believes that desktop computer use should be categorized with attending events, asking reference questions, etc. as there is no concern of them not returning a desktop computer. Banning patrons from an essential resource such as the Internet is, in his opinion, punitive and stops Skokie Library patrons from performing basic tasks such as searching and applying for jobs, completing homework, filing for unemployment, and many other tasks. These patrons are often under significant pressure and being unable to use a computer is often a flashpoint for security issues.

Mr. Jacobsen believes that removing this policy will improve the patron experience and help Skokie Library users without a cost to the Library.

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

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE REMOVAL OF THE POLICY REQUIRING ADULT LIBRARY PATRONS WHO HAVE FINES TOTALING LESS THAN $20 TO USE THE ADULT DESKTOP COMPUTERS.

After discussion, and with the approval of the original motion makers, the motion was amended by Mrs. Greer, seconded by Mrs. Rich:

AMENDED MOTION:         THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE THE POLICY REQUIRING ADULT LIBRARY PATRONS WHO HAVE FINES TOTALING LESS THAN $40 TO USE THE ADULT DESKTOP COMPUTERS.

The roll call vote on the amended motion was unanimous. The motion passed.

Mr. Graham would like clarification of the sentence, “These patrons are often under significant pressure and being unable to use a computer is often a flashpoint for security issues.”

Mrs. Greer suggested placing signs at the desks to notify patrons of this change.

STRATEGIC PLANNING AND LIBRARY REORGANIZATION

It is time for the Library to review our Strategic Plan and to consider once again how the Library may contribute to meeting community needs and to expanding our impact on the people who live and work in Skokie. Mrs. Anthony distributed a page of the Library’s current Vision, Mission, Roles and Goals. The new Strategic Planning Process will develop a plan for 2013-2016 and should be completed for the Board to review at the April meeting. We have become quite adept at planning so this does not need to be a terribly time-consuming process. Recent plans have typically been developed primarily by staff, with participation by two Board members on the primary planning committee and another Board member on each of several contributing committees. Mrs. Anthony is open to input from the Board re how Board members would like to be involved in the upcoming process and what kind of time commitment Board members might be able to make.

This new Strategic Plan will take the Library through a major transition. We have seen that changes in the reading habits of individuals, in the publishing industry, in people’s expectations of the library, in technology and in the demographics of Skokie are all contributing to fundamental changes in library operations, services, and allocation of physical space. It is anticipated that major changes will also occur in library organization, staffing and duties. For years, the Skokie Public Library was known for its outstanding reference collection while only about 20% of those print materials remain. Ranges of bound periodicals have been withdrawn along with the multi-volume printed indexes that pointed to articles on various topics. For more than two decades, circulation of materials in print and audiovisual formats continued to increase. With the trend to digital formats and use of eReaders, that pattern will not continue. Streaming of audiovisual formats will follow the digital distribution of music which is already widespread. The nature of Reference has changed from a lot of quick-answer ready reference to a consultative service in cases requiring information sleuthing.

The Library has always been more than a collection center, but it is clear that some roles that have been less important will gain in prominence as they become primary vehicles for meeting community needs. Mrs. Anthony sees, for example, the following as Primary Service Clusters for the Library:

·         Access Services (how people identify, find, and obtain needed resources)

·         21st Century Literacy and Training (life skills, creative, social)

·         Partnership and group work (in community or in-house)

·         Individual service (Book-a-librarian, BookMatch, Employment Resource, etc.)

·         Programming (inc. civic engagement, facilitated experience, etc. as well as presentations)

·         Local information (SkokieNet, newspaper index, local history, Skokie authors, etc.)

Supportive services will include Technical Services, LAN, Shelving, Maintenance, Security, Marketing, Measurement & Evaluation.

Mrs. Anthony anticipates that repositioning the Library to deliver service in different patterns will necessitate changes in staff organization and position descriptions. Camille Cleland’s retirement as Assistant Director for Technical Services is the first in what may be expected to be a series of retirements of senior staff over the next four years. The time is right to rethink staff organization and positions to facilitate the transition to the changed modes of service delivery.

Mrs. Anthony values the Board’s participation in rethinking how the Library contributes to meeting community goals. A discussion of the Vision, Mission, Roles and Goals would be a good starting point, and the information above, followed by Board participation in a new strategic planning process.

Lengthy discussion followed with Mrs. Anthony explaining the Primary Service Clusters in detail. Mrs. Greer and Mrs. Parrilli are interested in participating in the Strategic Planning sessions. The Board would like Strategic Planning on the February agenda.

REACHING ACROSS ILLINOIS LIBRARY SYSTEM (RAILS)

Mrs. Parrilli reported that Dee Brennan, formerly Director of the Oak Park Public Library, started as Executive Director of RAILS as of January 2, 2013.

This announcement appeared in the December 19, 2012, RAILS E-Newsletter:

Special RAILS Board Meeting on January 4, 2013

The RAILS Board will hold a special meeting on Friday, January 4 at 9:30 a.m., to consider an offer on the RAILS Shorewood property and a new listing agreement for the RAILS Coal Valley property. The meeting will be held at Burr Ridge and will not be available via videoconference. Most of the meeting will be held in closed session.

The next regular Board meeting will be held on Friday, January 25, 2013. A report of this meeting will be included in the Board report for our February 13, 2013, Board meeting.

COMMENTS FROM TRUSTEES

Mrs. Parrilli knows a Skokie realtor who says the housing market in Skokie is great: young families are moving back in, transportation is better, and home prices are rising.

ADJOURNMENT

At 8:51 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