July 10, 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, July 10, 2013.

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; Susan Greer; Jonathan H. Maks, MD (arrived at 7:36 p.m.); Mark Prosperi; Zelda Rich; and Carolyn A. Anthony, Director.

Staff present: Barbara Kozlowski, Associate Director for Public Services.

Visitor present: Dr. Irwin Rich, 9360 Skokie Boulevard, Skokie, Illinois.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF JUNE 19, 2013

Mrs. Parrilli made a motion, seconded by Mr. Prosperi, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of June 19, 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)

Mrs. Rich 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: FOR SUMMER READING CLUB: $2,000. FROM NORTH SHORE COMMUNITY BANK, $500. FROM SKOKIE DUXLER INC.; $50. FROM CAROLYN A. ANTHONY IN MEMORY OF NORMA L. ZATZ

5.      PERSONNEL: TERMINATION: ROY CONLEY, PART-TIME TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANT, ADULT SERVICES DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE JULY 15, 2013; HIRE: SHAUNA MASURA, PART-TIME TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANT, YOUTH SERVICES DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE JUNE 18, 2013.

The motion passed unanimously.

BILLS

A motion was made by Mr. Prosperi, 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.

DIRECTOR’S REPORT

USAGE----Circulation in June was fairly flat with an increase of less than one percent from last June. Circulation of books to adults was up 2%, but nearly 5% if digital formats are included. Youth circulation was up nearly 4%, with book checkouts increasing by over 8%. Bookmobile circulation to youth and adults was down by 17%, in part due to two days off the road for Bookmobile gatherings. LINKin use was up sharply, particularly in lending, as the number of participants in the consortium grows. The gate count was down 9%, perhaps due to construction on Oakton and rainy weather. Both total questions and the number of reference transactions were down by double digits for the month. Computer use increased by 36%. There were 1,526 bookings of study rooms in June. Self-check was up more than 15%, possibly furthered by the trial of the new unlockers for DVDs.

ALA ANNUAL CONFERENCE----Mrs. Anthony was officially installed as PLA President July 2 at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. At the Urban Libraries Council session before the conference, Skokie Public Library was recognized with an Honorable Mention in the 2013 Top Innovators competition in the category of Economic and Workforce Development. The focus of the day and a half session was: Libraries Igniting Learning. Amita Lonial, Adult Services Programmer, and Mrs. Anthony were inspired by a series of presentations by outside speakers such as Connie Yowell, Director of Education for the MacArthur Foundation, and Dr. Milton Chen, Executive Director of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, as well as hearing about some exciting programs at a number of other libraries. Connie Yowell advised that the “top 1%” is using their wealth on experiential learning and, to level the playing field, the library needs to offer enriching experiences to children as well. Dr. Chen said that kids are in front of screens 7 hours per day now. He talked about building on kids’ natural curiosity by offering “free choice learning” with the observation that integrated learning in and out of school is possible with school/community partnerships in a way that is unique to the U.S. While much of the focus was on children, there were also many ideas for extending learning opportunities to adults.

Mrs. Anthony concluded her responsibilities to the ALA Public and Cultural Programs Advisory Committee with the Annual Conference meetings and a fundraiser for the 10th Anniversary of the Cultural Communities Fund at the Robie House. Mrs. Anthony attended meetings re PLA and ALA finances, met with the PLA Leadership group, and the Civic Engagement interest group, the CommunityConnect user group, the PLA Board, and the PLA Conference Committee for 2014. She also met with people to launch her PLA President’s initiative which will begin the development of some additional service measures for public libraries to capture community penetration, services such as digital literacy and early childhood literacy, as well as some outcome measures of community impact.

For general interest, Mrs. Anthony attended a presentation by Temple Grandin, as well as a talk by author Ann Patchett and another by actress/author Octavia Spencer. She also had the opportunity to have lunch with the woman from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo who was her host while she was there. She does not know when she will be able to return to her apartment and things she left there.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT----Before leaving for ALA, Mrs. Anthony had a busy couple weeks with evening meetings including the Taste of Skokie Valley, the North Suburban Health Foundation, Turning Point, and the Mayor’s presentation to the Lions Club of Skokie.

AUGUST BOARD MEETING----The August Board meeting will have agenda items for approval of a new VOIP phone system for the Library as well as a first look at the levy request for 2013.

TAX LEVY COLLECTIONS TAX YEAR 2007-2011

Next month, the Board will need to begin consideration of a levy request for 2013. The final adoption of the levy will occur at the September Board meeting. This levy will fund the Library’s FY 2015. In order to inform the Board’s consideration, Irene Tam has prepared tables showing tax collections for Library Fiscal Years 2009-2013, and Tax Levy Years 2007-2011.

In FY 2012, $188,496. in prior taxes was collected, an amount in excess of the prior year’s shortage in collection of $159,970., indicating that some of the late collections were from Tax Year 2008 or earlier. In FY 2013 just completed, $144,716. in prior taxes was collected against a shortfall of $258,276. the previous year. The undercollection in FY 2013 was $275,043., representing 2.2% of budgeted tax revenue. We may hope that prior years collection is larger in FY 2014.

Cook County has been prompt in issuing property tax bills, with current bills issued July 1 as was the case last year. Timeliness does not affect the total amount collected, but it does ensure receipt of a significant flow of revenue by summer’s end, obviating the need for the Library to borrow from its reserves for cash flow.

Dr. Maks entered the meeting at 7:36 p.m.

After discussion, the Board asked Mrs. Anthony to prepare the Library levy with a tentative 2% increase.

APPROVAL OF LIBRARY REORGANIZATION

Cumulative changes in library services and operations have been profound in recent years, having a significant impact on staff roles and responsibilities. While a decade or more ago, librarians would be hired for bibliographic knowledge, skills in organizing materials and data, and information-seeking skills, current needs call for more emphasis on interpersonal skills, speaking and presenting, teaching, project coordination, collaboration, and use of technology. The current organization of the Library supports major priorities of circulation, reference, and readers advisory services. While these activities will continue for the foreseeable future, new priorities include access (both in-person and digital), learning and life skills, and community engagement and partnerships. Over time, staffing patterns have reflected some of these changes. For example, there is a whole group of Technology Assistants, hired initially to assist customers with operational functions such as printing or saving their work, who are now engaged in teaching the use of software applications, helping people apply for jobs and government services online, and assisting people in content creation.

Many of these newer functions and responsibilities fit awkwardly into an existing structure, in spite of cumulative adaptations. The time has come for a purposeful reorganization of staffing patterns and structures. This will take time to implement as it will require a review not only of organizational structure and reporting relationships, but of position descriptions and grade levels.

Mrs. Anthony shared her thinking about this process with the Board to ensure that we have a common understanding of what is proposed and why before detailed plans are made and implemented. It should also be acknowledged that much of the change in library services and operations has occurred due to developments in technology that are outside the scope of library control and cannot even be anticipated. For example, we kept hearing about digital book publishing for years and experimented with awkward eBook readers until eInk was developed, the Kindle was introduced, and suddenly the technology took off. Another example would be the development of the smart phone and the tablet computer that enable people to have convenient access to the Internet anytime, anywhere. Just as we have come to appreciate the Library’s open physical structure that gives us the flexibility to shift the collection and make other changes in the use of space as needs change, we should look to have an organizational structure that is open and flexible, allowing us to be responsive to the changing dynamic in library services.

To begin to implement the needed organizational change, Mrs. Anthony proposes to introduce a single Deputy Director position instead of the structure of Associate Director for Public Services and Assistant Director for Technical Services. The Deputy Director would have responsibility for support services including Technical Services, the Library Automation Network (LAN), Integrated Library System support, programming for computerized systems, Maintenance, Collection Development and Shelving. Mrs. Anthony proposes to assume direct responsibility for public services, allowing her to more closely guide the development of new priority service areas of Learning and Life Skills, Access, and Community Engagement and Partnerships. These areas have been further outlined in the Values statements in our recent Strategic Plan as well as in some of the Subcommittee reports from the strategic planning process.

If the Board supports this proposed library reorganization process, Mrs. Anthony requests permission to proceed with posting a notice for the Deputy Director position. Mrs. Anthony also proposes pursuing a consulting contract with an outside agency for assistance with the new organization plan, revised position descriptions and grades, and implementation of the new plan.

Lengthy discussion followed regarding the reorganization plan.

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

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES PROCEED WITH THE HIRING OF A CONSULTANT FOR ASSISTANCE WITH THE NEW ORGANIZATION PLAN, REVISED POSITION DESCRIPTIONS AND GRADES, AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW PLAN.

The motion passed unanimously.

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

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE PROCEEDING WITH POSTING A NOTICE FOR THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR POSITION.

Mr. Prosperi amended the motion:

AMENDED    THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES MOTION: APPROVE PROCEEDING WITH POSTING A NOTICE FOR THE

DEPUTY DIRECTOR POSITION BUT THAT THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR NOT BE HIRED UNTIL WE TALK WITH THE CONSULTANT.

Mrs. Hunter withdrew her motion. The motion failed.

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

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE PROCEEDING WITH POSTING A NOTICE FOR THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR POSITION PRIOR TO HIRING THE CONSULTANT.

The roll was called: Dr. Maks—yes; Mrs. Rich—yes; Mrs. Greer—yes; Mrs. Parrilli—yes; Mrs. Hunter—yes; Mr. Prosperi—no; Mr. Graham—no. The motion passed.

APPROVAL OF NEW BOOK RETURNS

Two of the Library’s three outside book drops need to be replaced. The interior book carts are worn out, with handles breaking, wheels falling off, and the interior lining degrading. Maintenance has kept them up as well as possible, but the repairs are more frequent and ineffective. The exterior of the units is rusting and the locks are no longer working properly so security could be an issue. Both book drops were purchased at the time of the Library renovation and expansion in 2003 so are not ten years old.

Current new model book drops are a somewhat different size so replacement carts would not work in the book drops we have. Circulation Head Tobi Oberman recommends the purchase of two new large capacity outside book drops and four carts (to enable exchange of carts while one is being emptied) from Midwest Library Systems at a cost of $15,994.00. Due to special summer promotion, the freight charge of $907. is waived. Each drop will hold up to 540 standard books.

Board approval of the purchase of the book drops is requested.

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

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE THE PURCHASE OF THE BOOK DROPS FROM MIDWEST LIBRARY SYSTEMS IN THE AMOUNT OF $15,994.00 AS PRESENTED.

The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.

APPROVAL OF CLOSING FOR STAFF DAY

Mrs. Anthony asked the Board to once again approve closing the Library for the day Friday, December 13, for Staff Day. This has proven to be a beneficial opportunity for staff training and fellowship. Given the number of part-time staff and staggered schedules over seven days, some staff rarely see each other and Staff Day gives everyone the opportunity to become better acquainted. The holiday lunch is also held that day as well as award longevity recognition. Board members are welcome to attend.

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

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE CLOSING THE LIBRARY ON DECEMBER 13, 2013 FOR STAFF DAY.

The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCAN

This year, for the Per Capita Grant application due October 15, the State requires in part that Library Boards conduct an environmental scan of the community. “Based on the information gleaned, the scan will assess the library’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges in meeting the needs of the service area.”

We have been through an information gathering process this year as part of the strategic planning process. An updated demographic summary for Skokie was distributed to the Board for the February Board meeting. We have also recently reviewed the outcomes from the Strategic Plan for 2010-2013. In light of all this information, the Board is asked to engage in a discussion of the Library’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges in meeting the needs of Skokie and its residents.

The Strategic Planning Committee considered the strengths and opportunities for the Library at their meeting February 27. Mrs. Anthony distributed those as a starting point for Board discussion. Weaknesses and threats were not identified at that time, but may be inferred in part as the complement to strengths and opportunities.

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

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES HAD DELIBERATIONS ON THE STRATEGIC PLAN, INCLUDING STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES, IN MEETING THE NEEDS OF SKOKIE AND ITS RESIDENTS THEREBY COMPLETING THE ENVIRONMENTAL SCAN.

The motion passed unanimously.

QUARTERLY REPORT ON eBOOKS

Teri Room, Coordinator of Collection Development, reported:

·         Bought the next book being considered for Coming Together in Skokie, Everything Asian by Sung J. Woo, for some of the Library’s Kindles;

·         One-on-one appointments for help with downloading eBooks are now managed within our larger class schedule;

·         Zinio is increasing their per magazine prices significantly—the Library will continue to subscribe.

eBooks Circulation

June 2013

June 2012

Percentage change

eReaders

   24 Kindles

   21 Sony Readers (adult and youth)

47 checkouts

35 checkouts

Up 34%

eBooks from OverDrive

1714 checkouts

1563 checkouts

Up 9.7%

eAudiobooks from OverDrive

Fewer titles to choose from compared to last year due to changeover

444 checkouts

530 checkouts

Down 16%

eBooks from Safari

319 sessions

unknown

 

eBooks from Tumblebooks

12 book views

unknown

 

Zinio

314 clicks

NA

 

 

Other eBook issues

·         OverDrive Big Library Read project (designed to demonstrate the positive exposure and sales influence library eBook catalogs provide to authors and publishers) successful

o   The Four Corners of the Sky, the 2009 Michael Malone novel promoted during OverDrive’s Big Library Read ebook initiative, was checked out almost 24,000 times from May 15 through May 23 …The title’s position on Amazon’s Sales Rank charts also rose dramatically during the promotion’s first nine days, moving up more than 50,000 spots from 67,198 to 16,798.”—Matt Enis;

·         Innovative Interfaces has entered into a partnership with OverDrive to integrate eBooks with Sierra and Encore;

·         Hachette (one of the big six publishers) has now made eBooks available through OverDrive. All of the big six have agreed to provide library access in some capacity.

Brief discussion followed.

REACHING ACROSS ILLINOIS LIBRARY SYSTEM (RAILS)

Mrs. Parrilli reported on the highlights from the June 21, 2013, RAILS Board of Directors meeting and Board documents held at the Burr Ridge Service Center:

Before the regular Board meeting, it was moved to go into Executive Session to discuss “setting the price for sale or lease of property owned by the executive body.” Upon return to the open meeting, the Board approved authorization for staff to enter negotiations on the sale of the Geneva service center with the approval of the RAILS attorney and to make the needed repairs. The amount offered is $1.75 million. The Board also approved the leasing of the East Peoria facility.

Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Jim Kregor reported that the balance as of May 30, 2013, was $15,200,000. The balance reflected just over twenty months of operating revenue. Included in this month’s budget was the expenditure of $150,000 for a new VOIP phone system for Burr Ridge. He also mentioned that $15,000 was spent on a truck and its contents damaged in one of the recent floods.

Executive Director’s Report: Executive Director Dee Brennan announced that the Illinois General Assembly approved an additional $3.7 million to the Public Library Per Capita funding. She mentioned that RAILS will have a booth at the upcoming ALA Conference in Chicago.

eBooks and Libraries: Dee Brennan reported on the Book Expo conference she recently attended in New York. She spoke with representatives of CALIFA, which is the organization that RAILS is considering for its eBook project partnership. She talked about authors’ opinions on publishers leasing their books rather than directly selling to libraries. She said the Authors’ Guild prefers that publishers lease books, which afford the authors more in royalties.

RAILS Consortia Committee: Dee Brennan explained this newly formed committee, which replaces and expands the functions of the LLSAP Task Force. Committee members will explore more ways to “improve and increase resource sharing among member libraries in RAILS.”

Next meetings: July 12, 2013, at Burr Ridge Service Center, to officially end of the current term of Board members, and then reconvene the meeting to install new Board members and elect officers. Another Board meeting will be on July 26, 2013, as part of the Strategic Planning program.

President Alan Davidson gave a farewell speech, as his term as Board President and Board member ends June 30.

COMMENTS FROM TRUSTEES

Mrs. Hunter commented that the bookmobile looked very nice in the 4th of July parade.

ADJOURNMENT

At 8:46 p.m. a motion was made by Mr. Graham, seconded by Mrs. Rich to adjourn the regular meeting. The motion passed unanimously.

__________________________________

            Karen Parrilli, Secretary