August 14, 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, August 14, 2013.

CALL TO ORDER

John Graham, President, called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.

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

Members absent: Susan Greer; Jonathan H. Maks, MD.

Staff present: Tobi Oberman, Head of Circulation Services.

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

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF JULY 10, 2013

Mrs. Hunter made a motion, seconded by Mr. Prosperi, to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of July 10, 2013, subject to additions and/or corrections. There being no corrections, the minutes were approved and placed on file.

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

Mrs. Hunter made a motion, seconded by Mr. Prosperi:

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.      GIFTS: $100. FROM MITZI WALCHAK FOR THE BRENDA WEISS FUND IN HONOR OF THE 60TH WEDDING ANNIVERSRY OF GARY AND MAXINE GREENBERG FOR PURCHASE OF A FICTION BOOK ON CD; $35. FROM PHYLLIS RAVVE IN APPRECIATION

5.      PERSONNEL: HIRES: ANNELIESE TILLMANN, PART-TIME TECHNOLOGY ASSISTANT, ADULT SERVICES DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE JULY 15, 2013; MARIE GAWNE, PART-TIME SECURITY GUARD, MAINTENANCE DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 4, 2013; TERMINATION: RICHARD LUBOFF, PART-TIME SECURITY GUARD, MAINTENANCE DEPARTMENT, EFFECTIVE AUGUST 1, 2013.

The motion passed unanimously.

YEAR-TO-DATE BUDGETARY STATUS

The Year-to-Date Budgetary Status was noted.

BILLS

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

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 July was down over 3.5% despite active participation in summer reading. A drop of a little more than 2% in adult book use was compensated by an equivalent increase in the circulation of digital formats. Youth book circulation declined more than 5%, perhaps because children could count program attendance toward fulfillment of summer reading requirements, and youth programs were full, with waiting lists for most. Interlibrary loan was down with Judy Rinkor on medical leave. Interlibrary loan through LINKin continued to climb. Reference questions were up by 5% although total requests were down 10% for the month. E-commerce continues to climb, becoming the popular way to pay library fines. The door count was down 5%, but still exceeded 80,000 for the month. Database use is always lower in the summer, but the number of users is up more than 20% from last year.

TEEN ROOM----Work on the Teen Room is getting under way. The installers have been prepping the floor and will begin installation of the cork floor Thursday, August 15. The walls will be installed August 21. The room should be finished shortly thereafter for use by teens this fall. In my absence, Susan Dickens and Deborah Grodinsky ably coordinated arrangements for scheduling the work, before hours access, and issues re floor outlets.

BACKLOT BASH----The Backlot Bash will be held again Friday, August 23 through Sunday, August 25. Oakton Street will be closed from Lincoln Avenue to Lockwood/Park to accommodate the activities. In prior years, the closing was from Laramie, but Mrs. Anthony does not anticipate problems with the slight extension of the closure. Library users are accustomed at this point to modifying their route for the various closures of Oakton, Niles Center and parts of other nearby streets. The Library will be open throughout and staff will participate in the Bash activities.

UNLOCKERS IN CIRCULATION----The six new unlockers for DVDs have been received and installed so the two self-check-out stations at the west Circulation Desk are now in full operation. The unlockers appear to be functioning readily in use by the public.

VACATION----Mrs. Anthony had a wonderful, restorative time in Maine and is busy this week getting caught up with paperwork and matters needing attention. There were no major problems in her absence.

ADOPTION OF TAX LEVY (NOT FOR ACTION UNTIL SEPT MTG)

Next month, the Board will need to adopt a tax levy for transmission to the Village of Skokie. The 2013 levy will be introduced as part of the Village’s Levy Ordinance in early December and acted on by the Village Board before the end of December. This levy will fund the Library’s 2014-2015 Fiscal Year.

The 2012 levy was $12,632,752.00, representing an increase of 1% over the 2011 levy of $12,507,675.00. The Library’s debt payment for construction bonds in FY 2015 as presently scheduled is $1,264,475. We are still on target for completion of the Library’s debt repayment in December 2020, and have benefitted by a reduction in annual payment due to the refinancing of the bonds in September, 2010.

Collections in FY 2013 were short of budget by $125,170. or 1.00%. This was reviewed by the Board last month.

FY2012           $172,136.        (1.39% of collection)

FY2011           $250,492.        (2.06% of collection)

FY2010           $161,734.        (1.37% of collection)

So tax collections in recent years have been quite good, with a healthy distribution of taxes each year from the prior year, meaning that much of apparent collection shortage in a given year is in fact made up in subsequent years. We have not yet received our Per Capita Grant from the State for 2013 which has been pledged at $66,575.28.

We have maintained a healthy cash balance in the General Operating Fund, spending less than revenues for the past five years. The General Operating Fund balance as of May 1 has been as follows:

FY2013  $5,285,685.     (after transfer of $300,000 to the Reserve Fund)

FY2012  $4,859,765.     (after transfer of $.5 million to the Reserve Fund)

FY2011  $4,410,200.     (after transfer of $1 million to the Reserve Fund)

FY2010  $4,019,627.     (after transfer of $1 million to the Reserve Fund)

We have built a healthy balance in the Reserve Fund in recent years, with current status of approximately $5,538,563. in the Reserve Fund. In addition, $1.5 million has been budgeted in the Capital line for current capital expense.

With our starting balance of $5,285,685. (unaudited) in the GOF at the start of the Fiscal Year, the Library has sufficient funds for more than six months of operation with average monthly expenditure last year of $850,000.

In summary, the Library is in a favorable financial position which should allow us to minimize an increase in the FY 2013 levy. Levy increases in recent years have been curtailed as follows:

2010 levy        $12,383,836.   2% over 2009 levy

2011 levy        $12,507,675.   1% over 2010 levy

2012 levy        $12,632,752.   1% over 2011 levy

Mrs. Anthony distributed charts showing an Analysis of the General Operating Fund for the past seven years and a gross, preliminary look at a projected budget for Fiscal Year 2014-2015. A 2% increase in the levy may be expected to yield $12,885,407. in FY 2015, allowing up to $12,123,616. for the General Operating Fund. A 1% increase in the levy may be expected to yield $12,759,080. It is anticipated that revenues from interest and corporate replacement tax will continue to be rather flat. Before the September Board meeting, Mrs. Anthony will check with the Village regarding the outlook for the Corporate Replacement Tax.

Board action on this matter is not required until September.

Brief discussion followed.

APPROVAL OF PURCHASE OF VoIP PHONE SYSTEM

Our current Nortel Option 11c PBX-based digital phone system was installed in October 1994 and has served us well for almost 19 years. In February 2013 we learned that Application Builder (the programming software for Auto Attendant and multiple choices for voicemail boxes) was corrupted and attempts to re-install the software were unsuccessful. In addition, as of 10/1/12 Avaya (the company that bought Nortel) was no longer selling any Nortel products and in 2015 our phone system will no longer be supported. In addition we have no ports available to add additional extensions.

A phone search committee was formed consisting of Susan Dickens, Mark Kadzie, Barbara Kozlowski, Tobi Oberman, and Diana Ritter.

There are four major VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone systems: Cisco, Avaya, ShoreTel and Mitel. The committee decided not to pursue Cisco and Avaya, Cisco because of their inflated pricing (RAILS recently added a Cisco phone system – 120 phones for nearly $150,000) and propriety hardware/software and Avaya because of the way they handled the demise of the Nortel product line.

The committee met a number of times in person and via conference calls with three vendors: ShoreTel (Black Box); Mitel (TIG) and UCX (e-Metrotel).

The ShoreTel phone system is a true VoIP system. Site visits were made by the committee to Village of Skokie and Glenview Public Library. Both organizations gave high marks to ShoreTel.

The Mitel phone system is a hybrid VoIP system – it supports digital and VoIP. Site visits were made to Woodridge and Elk Grove Libraries. Staff at each facility gave Mitel high marks.

The UCX is also a hybrid VoIP system. The largest purchaser of UCX is the State of Nebraska. We asked e-Metrotel for a quote as they were recommended by our current phone maintenance provider. However, they are not part of a consortium and pre-bidding was not offered. We feel that by e-Metrotel providing Nortel phones is a step backwards. We cannot in good conscience recommend this system.

Below is a brief comparison of ShoreTel and Mitel:

·         Upgrade Process: ShoreTel is easier to maintain than Mitel; Library staff can do the upgrades after alerting BlackBox. It is a simple process--update server, reboot, update switches, reboot, update phones, reboot. The system guides staff through the process. Mitel wants staff to coordinate all upgrades through them. A real sense of the whole upgrade process was not provided.

·         Remote Access: ShoreTel has a terminal server that is able to provide hardware level access to their physical devices remotely. If there was a hardware issue with Mitel they would have to come in to have a look or have someone at the Library be their eyes.

·         Desktop Software: ShoreTel has better Outlook integration and nicer desktop client software.

·         Simplicity of ShoreTel system: One example is desk phone/cell phone interaction—very straightforward. Also, ShoreTel was built from the ground up solely based on VoIP (Mitel went from analog to digital to VoIP).

·         ShoreTel will do a network simulation prior to installing the system.

·         Both ShoreTel and Mitel have some way to automate backups and can also be backed up manually (tie).

·         ShoreTel (Black Box) is a member of the MICTA consortium; TIG is a member of the NJPA consortium, so the bidding process has been completed and the best prices given for both companies.

·         Switching Hardware: This is a small advantage as Mitel uses one physical device as opposed to three devices used by ShoreTel.

·         Technical References: The technical references had nothing but good things to say about their phone systems – Mitel and ShoreTel. (tie)

·         Mitel will integrate with a number of popular 3rd party applications; however this doesn’t benefit Skokie Public Library.

·         Mitel will accommodate our 12 wall phones; with ShoreTel we will need to have the wiring re-terminated and the phone in the basement will need a new line altogether because it is Cat3 cable. This is an added expense.

·         The quotes for each phone system are:

ShoreTel from Black Box Network Services with 1 yr support        $71,880.86

  and 12 re-terminated wall phones    

Total for ShoreTel with 1 year of support*:                                       $71,880.86

*Optional:       Partner support for 3 years is $9,600. 

Partner support for 5 years is $15,060.

(covers software, licensing, upgrades, technical support,

and switches)

Mitel from TIG with 1 yr support -                                                               $47,548.38

  with years 2-5 of pre-paid support                                                               $18,940.18

Total for Mitel with 5 years of support:                                                         $62,688.56

UCX from e-Metrotel with 1 yr support -                                                     $48,210.15

  with years 2-4 of pre-paid support                                                                   7,147.80

Total for UCX with 4 years of support:                                                        $55,357.95

Mrs. Oberman stated that VoIP is the wave of the future and it makes sense to make the transition now. We feel strongly that a total VoIP system is essential to the smooth functioning of the Library. The phone committee recommends the Board approve the purchase of the ShoreTel VoIP phone system from Black Box Network Services in the amount of $68,400.86 plus $3,480.00 for 12 re-terminated walls phones for a total price of $71,880.86. The Board may wish to consider Partner Support for 3 or 5 years as ShoreTel has increased Partner Support 2-3% per year.

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

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE THE PURCHASE OF A SHORETEL VoIP PHONE SYSTEM FROM BLACK BOX NETWORK SERVICES IN THE AMOUNT OF $68,400.86 PLUS $3,480.00 FOR 12-RETERMINATED WALL PHONES FOR A TOTAL COST OF $71,880.86.

The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.

Mrs. Hunter made a motion, seconded by Mr. Prosperi:

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE THE QUOTE FOR 3 YEARS OF PARTNER SUPPORT FROM BLACK BOX NETWORK SERVICES FOR THE SHORETEL PHONE SYSTEM IN THE AMOUNT OF $9,600.

The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.

Mrs. Oberman left the meeting at 7:54 p.m.

APPROVAL OF PURCHASE OF iPAD CLASSROOM SET

In the past year, Skokie Public Library has had a great deal of success offering programs involving tablet computers. Library staff have been offering classes in computer skills, digital literacy, and creative expression for roughly the past year, and have received positive responses and increased program attendance from children, teens, and adults alike.

The Library currently has 4 iPads on hand to facilitate these programs. When programs are not in session, they are kept at the Reference, Youth Services, and Readers’ Services desks to aid in roving patron service. It is cumbersome to locate and configure these tablets every time a program is offered. Furthermore, four tablets simply are not enough to meet the growing demand for these programs.

Approval is requested for $13,505.00 to be spent on iPads for public programming. Having a dedicated set of iPads for program purposes will allow Library staff to improve current offerings, and expand with wholly new programs.

Popular youth program series like CodeBots, Sensory Storytime, and Primary Time+ can benefit from this expanded capacity, as it will afford parents and children greater opportunities to interact with the technology together. This will also tie into staff efforts to expand teen programming, while tying into educational benchmarks related to digital literacy and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and offering outlets for creative expression. For adults, Library staff can use this set to turn more lecture-based classes into hands-on workshops, allowing attendees better opportunities to learn the workings of this new hardware and software.

Expanding tablet-based programming will help staff to better fulfill our strategic focus of developing 21st century skills. Approval of this purchase will help to fulfill our vision.

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

MOTION:        THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE THE PURCHASE OF 15 iPAD CLASSROOM SETS FROM THE APPLE STORE IN THE AMOUNT OF $13,505.00.

The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.

APPROVAL OF DESIGNATION OF FOIA OFFICER

In January, 2010, the Board adopted a policy in keeping with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act as required by Illinois law. The FOIA law prescribes explicit steps for responding to requests for public records and sets a deadline for response to requests at five business days with a potential five-day extension. These more stringent requirements, together with stiffer penalties for compliance failure, make it advisable to have a back-up FOIA Officer.

The Board designated Susan Dickens to serve as the Library’s primary Freedom of Information Officer. Diana Ritter, Administrative Assistant, served as the designated back-up FOIA Officer until her resignation at the end of July. Mrs. Anthony is asking the Board to approve Judy Papke, the new Administrative Assistant, as the Library’s back-up FOIA Officer.

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

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE JUDY PAPKE, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT, AS SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY’S BACK-UP FOIA OFFICER.

The motion passed unanimously.

APPROVAL OF 3-YEAR AGREEMENT FOR SECONDARY INTERNET

Board approval is sought for the signing of a 3-year contract with RCN for secondary Internet access. At the cost of $120.00 per month, the total cost of the contract over the 36 months would be $4,320.00, to be taken from the Technology budget line.

While the Library currently has adequate Internet access as a member of the Skokie I-Net consortium, the demand for more bandwidth is only going to continue to grow. Having a second Internet connection is advantageous for three reasons: 1) it would provide a secondary connection to the Internet should the primary Internet connection go down, 2) it would not sit idle – we would utilize it in some way to augment our total Internet capacity, 3) it could be used to test and troubleshoot Internet-related services on the primary connection from inside the Library.

When evaluating Internet options there are three tiers to consider: fiber, cable, DSL. Fiber can provide speed of over 100Mbps but at a high cost, typically $1,200 or more per month. DSL through AT&T or Verizon is the least expensive option but the lower costs are associated with lower speeds. Cable currently provides reasonable connection speeds (50-60Mbps) for a reasonable price ($120-$170/mo.).

After deciding on using cable for secondary Internet, the choice came down between Comcast and RCN, the only two cable providers in Skokie. Mark Kadzie, Network Manager, ultimately decided on RCN because 1) they offered better access (60Mbps vs 50Mbps) speed for a better price ($120/mo. vs $170/mo.), and 2) RCN has a huge infrastructure presence in Skokie and a much smaller subscription base (this second factor is important because cable Internet is a “shared” resource).

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

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES APPROVE A 3-YEAR CONTRACT WITH RCN FOR SECONDARY INTERNET ACCESS IN THE AMOUNT OF $120.00 PER MONTH / $4,320.00 FOR 3 YEARS.

The roll call vote for approval was unanimous.

REACHING ACROSS ILLINOIS LIBRARY SYSTEM (RAILS)

Mrs. Parrilli reported on the highlights from the July 12, 2013, RAILS Board of Directors meeting and Board documents held at the Burr Ridge Service Center. The meeting was held in two parts: 1) the last meeting of the fiscal year 2013, and 2) the first meeting of the new fiscal year with the new Board members and officers.

New RAILS Board of Directors Officers: Kathy Parker (Tinley Park Public Library) was elected president, with William Coffee (LaGrange Public Library) as Vice President, John Sayers (Kewanee Public Library) as Secretary, and Charlet Key (Black Hawk College) as Treasurer. Committee chairs and members were also announced.

Treasurer’s Report: Jim Kregor reported that with the auditors starting the RAILS audit in August the final end-of-year balance report will be presented at the September Board meeting. Net assets are currently at $24 million. The end of June 2013 cash balance of $14,800,000 represents 17 months of operating revenue.

Executive Director’s Report: In her Board Report, Dee Brennan announced three upcoming aspects of the strategic planning as RAILS works with the strategic planning consultants, Nancy Bolt and Liz Bishof:

·         Sometime in September or October library members will be asked to participate in a survey to identify their needs and their relationship with RAILS.

·         Mary Witt will conduct an environmental scan, which identifies “issues/trends/changes in our wider world that may occur over the next 3 years that will affect RAILS and RAILS members”.

·         Eight focus groups, 5 in-person and 3 online, will be held concentrating on special and school libraries. One meeting will be open to all members.

A final report on the strategic planning results will be presented at the December Board meeting.

The Board adjourned and went into Executive Session to discuss matters of the sale of real estate.

On July 26, 2013, the RAILS Board of Directors met at the LaSalle Public Library the day after Staff Day during their strategic planning sessions. Nancy Bolt and Liz Bishof, who were hired as strategic planning consultants, participated in the Board meeting. It was mentioned that approximately 120 RAILS staff attended, which was held at Starved Rock Resort.

The focus of the all-day meeting was to draft mission, vision, and value statements. The consultants also asked the Board to form focus groups, comprised of volunteers from library members, and devise an environmental survey for the purpose to better serve library members.

The next RAILS next meeting will be August 16, 2013.

From the July 31, 2013, RAILS E-News newsletter:

Delivery Service Outsourcing – Three bids were received to outsource delivery and sorting at the Burr Ridge Service Center. The Delivery Committee will present their recommendations on a pilot program to the Board at their August 16 meeting.

Seminar for Library Members -- RAILS has planned a seminar on the Affordable Health Care Act for library members. The seminar will take place at Burr Ridge Service Center on August 26, 9:30 a.m.

Lincolnwood Public Library – Proceeds from the sale of bricks from the Purple Hotel will benefit the Lincolnwood Library. Demolition of the hotel is planned in late summer.

Mrs. Parrilli announced that in the August 14 RAILS eNews, RAILS staff is investigating providing webinars and consulting services.

COMMENTS FROM TRUSTEES

Mrs. Hunter commented on the Chicago Historical Museum/Chicago Historical Society ad that had ‘punch’ in the Chicago Tribune.

Mrs. Hunter also commented on the Village of Skokie booth at the Skokie Farmers Market. The booth was well-manned and they had give-aways. She suggests the Library do something with a big sign or tent that would pertain to the market and not just a table with literature, perhaps some kind of small give-away.

Dr. Rich entered the meeting at 8:16 p.m.

Mrs. Hunter also commented on her recent visit to the Glenview Public Library.

CLOSED SESSION

At 8:19 p.m., a motion was made by Mrs. Hunter, seconded by Mrs. Rich:

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES GO INTO CLOSED SESSION TO DISCUSS THE DIRECTOR’S EVALUATION/SALARY.

The motion passed unanimously.

Adjournment

At 8:29 p.m. a motion was made by Mrs. Rich, seconded by Mrs. Hunter:

MOTION:       THAT THE SKOKIE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES ADJOURN FROM CLOSED SESSION AND RETURN TO OPEN SESSION.

The motion passed unanimously.

The Board reached consensus in regard to the Director’s salary.

ADJOURNMENT

At 8:29 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