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View a recording of this meeting.

LIBRARY BOARD MEETING
Monday, December 14, 2020
Hybrid In-Person & Via Zoom
7:00 p.m.

CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL/PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT

Anita Forte-Scott, President; Julie Wroblewski Bosshart, Vice-President/Secretary; David Jonen, Treasurer; Jillian Bernas; Erin Flannigan-Davies; Hannah Hyman; Theresa Seyring

BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT

STUDENT TRUSTEES PRESENT

Araha Uday

OTHERS PRESENT

Candy’s Phone, Amber Creger, Dan, Emily, Emily Gilbert, Justine Gilbert, Jennifer Hunt, Blake Kindl, Laura, Annie Miskewitch, Kathy Morgan, Tiffany Nash, Kate Niehoff, Jim Pye, Jason Santos, Joanne Schultz, Gretchen Schulz, Hollis Sienkiewicz, Bobbi Sloan, Patricia Smolin, Magan Szwarek, Lori Teipel, Gail Tobin, Beth Valenziano

PUBLIC COMMENTS

Patron Bobbi Sloan suggested a staff member help direct traffic in the Central Library parking lot during peak busy hours.

BOARD COMMENTS

Trustee Seyring commented she’s heard from the public they wish the current state of the Covid pandemic didn’t necessitate the closure of the Library, but they are grateful for all the staff does and that the Drive-Up Window has reopened.

Trustee Bernas was optimistic the Library will be able to reopen its doors soon now that Covid vaccines are starting to be administered. Once the Library returns to its pre-pandemic state, she hopes we will be able to continue successful new initiatives.

Treasurer Jonen has heard from excited community members about the Drive-Up Window reopening.

Trustee Flannigan-Davies attended Dann & Raymond’s Movie Club and was impressed with the professional presentation. She also commended the Youth Department on creating and distributing over 4,000 program kits since last spring.

Trustee Hyman saw the circulation remodel at the Central Library for the first time and thought it was even more impressive than the pictures. She congratulated the Library on its recent Five-Star rating from Library Journal.

Vice-President Wroblewski Bosshart is excited to attend Emma Donoghue’s author visit in February. She thanked the Library staff for all their hardwork connected to the Library’s Five-Star rating. She also complimented President Forte-Scott’s Board leadership and all of the effort she puts into her role.

RAILS - Ms. Hyman

No update

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

Trustee Hyman moved and Trustee Flannigan-Davies seconded that:

The November 16, 2020, Regular Board Meeting Minutes be approved.

Discussion included updated formatting.

Roll Call Vote:

Mrs. Wroblewski Bosshart Yes

Mr. Jonen Yes

Ms. Bernas Yes

Ms. Flannigan-Davies Yes

Ms. Hyman Yes

Mrs. Seyring Yes

Ms. Forte-Scott Yes

The motion passed unanimously.

APPROVAL OF BILLS

Vice-President Wroblewski Bosshart moved and Treasurer Jonen seconded that:

The Library Board approve the November 2020 Bill List.

Roll Call Vote:

Mrs. Wroblewski Bosshart Yes

Mr. Jonen Yes

Ms. Bernas Yes

Ms. Flannigan-Davies Yes

Ms. Hyman Yes

Mrs. Seyring Yes

Ms. Forte-Scott Yes

The motion passed unanimously.

TREASURER’S REPORT

Treasurer Jonen explained the General Fund balance decreased by $990,000 in November and there were no property taxes received in November. The Building and Equipment fund lowered by $36,000 due primarily to expenses for the outdoor Wi-Fi project and furniture for the former café space. Working Cash Fund reflects only market change activity. Total revenues for November were close to $48,000, composed primarily of replacement tax receipts at $19,000 and interest income of $26,000. Staffing adjustments continue to be evaluated due to state advisory mandates. Favorable variances are due primarily to staffing reduction. Insurance costs are expected to trend higher in the second half of the year.

The Library’s financial portfolio is currently composed of 35-40% municipal bonds, which is below the 50% policy limit. Market value of investments decreased by approximately $14,000 in November, bringing market value in excess of cost to approximately $11,000. Fluctuations in the portfolio are anticipated at this time, but overall yields on the portfolio are relatively stable. Cash flow is projected out based on investment maturities and anticipated revenues. Operating cash is higher than normal as investments are being evaluated.

Discussion included if the Treasurer’s Reports could replace the term “skewing” with a different word choice when referencing the budget. No final decision was made on a replacement, but will be kept in mind to possibly update for clarity.

ADDITIONS OR CHANGES TO AGENDA

The presentation from the architects will be moved before the President’s Report. There will be an Executive Session for Section 2c, 21 and Section 2c, 01.

PRESENTATION FROM PRODUCT ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN

Architects Dan Pohrte and Tiffany Nash asked the Board to share their initial feelings from the questionnaire and thoughts on the upcoming second floor remodel at the Central Library. The Board would like to see more natural light and for the second floor to remain a quieter space. They believe the second floor can and should have a different aesthetic and atmosphere than the first-floor remodel, with a subtler design. Additionally, some wood features should stay and the staircase should become more welcoming and brighter. The idea of creating different zones with specific purposes was suggested to design a more defined, functional use of space. The possibility of opening the space with more visual sightlines was of interest. The Board was open to the idea of adding a makerspace, but many trustees believe a business center might better suit community needs compared with a makerspace.

The Board decided creating additional study rooms should be based on current need from usage statistics. Staff work space should not be omitted in the remodel and adding high top seating or standing desks was a suggested update. A designated genealogy area could increase accessibility and interest for this popular hobby, as well as electronic device displays to allow interaction with technology equipment currently available for checkout. Rotating the library shelves or condensing the collection to create more floor space was suggested. The idea of a green living wall was positively received and could add a light and clean aesthetic to the space.

PRESIDENT’S REPORT

President Forte-Scott reviewed her report that compiled many of the Library’s accomplishments of 2020, including the 1.5 million dollar tax abatement, expanding digital resources temporarily to students in Districts 54 and D211, becoming fine free, two bestselling authors visiting to speak, distributing summer meals even during the building closures, and being the first library in Illinois to install Pick-Up Lockers. She congratulated Ms. Miskewitch on her one-year anniversary as Executive Director, and looks forward to her second year in this role. She also reminded the trustees that the annual performance review process for the Executive Director begins soon.

Discussion included how Ms. Forte-Scott’s year in-review reminded the Board how much has been accomplished at the Library in the past 12 months.

DIRECTOR’S REPORT

Executive Director Miskewitch noted the Library’s circulation is holding relatively steady considering the pandemic and the current building closure to the public. The Library is processing a daily average of 672 holds for patrons. Youth interactions have increased 26% over this time last year and some changes brought about through our closure may continue after the pandemic has ended due to popularity and interest. The janitorial bid will be prioritized once the building reopens. Ms. Miskewitch plans on creating a list of future goals and learning objectives, as well as her achievements from the past year to mark her anniversary to present to President Forte-Scott for the Board. The Library’s Facebook engagement continues to grow and she thanked trustees who shared family Thanksgiving recipes for a recent Facebook post.

Discussion included the Library’s recent Five-Star rating by Library Journal, and it was noted this rating doesn’t measure patron impact. President Forte-Scott highlighted the Library’s 6 five-star Google reviews from last month that demonstrate how well our staff serves our community.

DEPUTY DIRECTOR’S REPORT

Deputy Director Hunt shared the new Library collection of Binge Boxes from the Fiction, Movies & Music Department, which includes 4-6 themed films for patron movie nights. This year’s Per Capita Grant requirements have changed requiring the Board and Library staff to review the entirety of the newest version of Standards for Illinois Public Libraries. Libraries must report on any standards not met and steps taken towards compliance. The Board will review any applicable standards at the January and February meetings. The former café space has been opened as a Self-Service Station with a computer and copy, scan, fax machine by appointment. Since the implementation five days ago, there have been 11 appointments.

Discussion included continuing to gather statistics, especially of the new services connected to Covid and possibly creating a wrap-up statistics document when the pandemic has ended.

DEPARTMENT REPORTS

Youth Services – Amber Creger

Youth Department Director, Amber Creger, gave an overview of her department during this challenging year. Her department was able to pivot after the building closure in March and offer virtual programming within two weeks. When the building reopened, her staff innovated by creating kits and supplies for supporting programs. Dial-a-Story was introduced, as well as a homeschooling resource page on the Library website. Patron’s program needs have changed during the pandemic and her department has tried to address this with mindfulness and mental well-being themed programs. Teen Librarian Joe Marcantonio’s new project where teens share their pandemic experience, called ‘We Were Here,’ was featured in the recent ILA Reporter. With the funds from the Project Next Generation grant, the Library is founding a teen-created record label with take home recording kits in the months ahead.

Discussion included the excitement to welcome back all the kids and teens into the Library, especially with the recently renovated Youth entrance that hasn’t been fully activated yet.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

The Student Advisory Committee has updated the Student Advisory Trustee (SAT) position listing. Teen Librarian Joe Marcantanio has spoken with and recommends the student applicant for the open SAT position, and Trustees Jonen and Seyring plan to meet with her for an interview soon.

The Plan of Service Committee is looking into updating and revising the plan of service quarterly report, hoping to add updated goals, adding measurements of successes and confirmation when goals are achieved. They are also evaluating if staff and the community could be included in the process of determining future plan of services as part of a robust strategic planning process.

The Personnel Committee has revised policies connected to what is best for the Library overall. Creating an employee handbook is a goal to make benefits, policies and guidelines clear for new staff. They are using professional resources, such as HR Source and the Library attorneys, to clarify text and answer questions while they compile these documents into the new handbook that would need Board approval.

STUDENT ADVISOR TRUSTEE REPORT

SAT Araha Uday congratulated Executive Director Miskewitch on her anniversary and is excited to meet the newest SAT. She contacted the Hoffman Estates High School Media Center chair, Terri Berkowitz, about getting information regarding the Library and BrainFuse out to Hoffman High School students. She also shared with Schaumburg High School students information about the Library’s new Covid guidelines, virtual events and a BrainFuse how-to. She is sharing most of this information to Schoology while students are learning in a virtual format.

Discussion included having a SAT from Hoffman Estates High School, but the SAT represents the Library at all area high schools and doesn’t have a representative from every school.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

None

NEW BUSINESS

Review of Study Room Policy

Discussion included the minor updates to the policy, which include updating language and adding in information for branch locations.

Approval of Tuition Reimbursement Policy

Trustee Bernas moved and Trustee Flannigan-Davies seconded the approval of Tuition Reimbursement Policy.

Roll Call Vote:

Mrs. Wroblewski Bosshart Yes

Mr. Jonen Yes

Ms. Bernas Yes

Ms. Flannigan-Davies Yes

Ms. Hyman Yes

Mrs. Seyring Yes

Ms. Forte-Scott Yes

The motion passed unanimously.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Trustee Hyman moved and Treasurer Jonen seconded that:

The Library Board enter Executive Session at 9:11 P.M.

Roll call vote:

Mrs. Wroblewski Bosshart Yes

Mr. Jonen Yes

Ms. Bernas Yes

Ms. Flannigan-Davies Yes

Ms. Hyman Yes

Mrs. Seyring Yes

Ms. Forte-Scott Yes

The motion passed unanimously.

Trustee Hyman moved and Trustee Flannigan-Davies seconded that: The Library Board exit Executive Session at 10:07 P.M.

Roll Call Vote:

Mrs. Wroblewski Bosshart Yes

Mr. Jonen Yes

Ms. Bernas Yes

Ms. Flannigan-Davies Yes

Ms. Hyman Yes

Mrs. Seyring Yes

Ms. Forte-Scott Yes

The motion passed unanimously.

Trustee Bernas moved and Vice-President Wroblewski Bosshart seconded the approval of the August 24, 2020 Executive Session minutes to be published.

Roll call vote:

Mrs. Wroblewski Bosshart Yes

Mr. Jonen Yes

Ms. Bernas Yes

Ms. Flannigan-Davies Yes

Ms. Hyman Yes

Mrs. Seyring Yes

Ms. Forte-Scott Yes

The motion passed unanimously.

ADJOURNMENT

Trustee Bernas moved and Treasurer Jonen seconded that:

The Library Board adjourn regular session at 10:09 P.M.

Roll call vote:

Mrs. Wroblewski Bosshart Yes

Mr. Jonen Yes

Ms. Bernas Yes

Ms. Flannigan-Davies Yes

Ms. Hyman Yes

Mrs. Seyring Yes

Ms. Forte-Scott Yes

The motion passed unanimously.