Minutes January 12, 2009
The Gwinnett County Public Library Board of Trustees held its regularly scheduled meeting on January 12, 2009 at the Five Forks branch. Present were Board members Phyllis Oxendine-Vice Chair, Margaret Tiller-Secretary, Dale Todd-Treasurer, Babs Wagoner and Phillip Saxton. Administrative staff members present were Nancy Stanbery-Kellam-Executive Director, Rhonda Boyd-Deputy Director, Jane Walters-Division Director Business Services, Kim Rodriguez-Division Director Human Resources, Liz Forster-Division Director Branch Services, Deborah George-Division Director Materials Management, Michael Casey-Division Director Information Technology, Sue Calbreath-Division Director Events & Outreach, Michelle Long-Public Relations Director, and Pamela Covington-Executive Assistant. Phyllis called the meeting to order at 6:37 PM.
Board of Trustees' - Election of Officers
Motion by Todd to elect Phyllis Oxendine as Board Chair, seconded by Tiller, unanimous. Motion by Tiller to elect Dale Todd as Board Vice Chair, seconded by Wagoner, unanimous. Motion by Todd to elect Margaret Tiller as Board Secretary, seconded by Wagoner, unanimous. Phyllis Oxendine, Board Chair appointed Babs Wagoner as Treasurer.
Phyllis welcomed Phillip and Babs as new Board members. She stated the board was honored to have them and looks forward to working with them. Phillip was appointed to the Board by Mike Beaudreau, District 3 Commissioner. He is a long time resident of Gwinnett County, married with two children and lives in Dacula. Phillip serves on the Gwinnett County 2030 Planning Commission and the Partnership Gwinnett Education Committee. Phillip stated the library system is a very valuable gem and one of the wonderful benefits of Gwinnett County. He looks forward to working hard serving on the Board over the next four years. Babs was appointed to the Board by Shirley Lasseter, District 1 Commissioner. She is a 10 year resident of Gwinnett County, married with three children and lives in Duluth. She is a special education teacher with Fulton County. Reading and teaching special needs children to read is one of her passions. Babs stated she looks forward to working with everyone and doing a good job for GCPL which she considers to be the best library system.
Report by Nancy Stanbery-Kellam, Executive Director
Nancy welcomed Phillip and Babs to the Board and congratulated Phyllis on her reappointment. Nancy thanked everyone for the flowers, cards and thoughts sent during her recent loss of a family member.
Library Business Numbers
Nancy stated the library has been very busy and shared numbers for the first half of FY09 (July through December 2008).
Circulation 3,693,051 6% increase
Program Attendance 62,181 28.2% increase
Door Count 2,068,381 8.6% increase
New Cards Issued 26,825 4.2% increase
Holds Placed 633,185 13.4% increase
One category that the library now has reliable statistics on is external visits to the website which was 1,168,853 for 6 months. Combining website (virtual visits) with door count (visits to bricks and mortar branches), total visits for the first 6 months of FY09 were 3,237,234 – over half a million each month! Also, in December the library had 85,412 public computer sessions at the branches, and 3,684 public wireless sessions. The library GCPL manages at Gwinnett Technical College also had increased numbers from Fall Quarter 07 to Fall Quarter 08: Assistance and Reference Transactions up 27%, gate count up 5.92% and student circulation is up 15%. Nancy asked Board members to feel free to share these numbers with their Commissioners.
-In addition to having two Boy Scout dens for tours of the branch, a local Cub Scout den practiced their flag ceremony by hoisting the flag and posting the colors. Several customers enjoyed the lesson, and one man even stood at attention in the parking lot as the Scouts raised the flag. Pictures were distributed to the board.
-Louise Caldwell participated in Pucketts Mill Elementary School's Literacy night. She shared promotional materials about upcoming events and issued library cards. This is the newest elementary school in their area and over 200 people attended.
-Students from Dacula High School's National English Honor Society are now teaming up with the Doggie Tales group to spend time the first and third Saturday of each month reading with young children at the branch. This is a great partnership between the library, Doggie Tales and the school.
-Teens enjoyed a Writing Workshop during Teen Read Week and a Murder Mystery program during Halloween week.
-A written comment was received from a Dacula customer who was pleased with the recent implementation of internet access options he could use to regulate his teenage daughter's access to the internet.
-The Lilburn and Mountain Park branch participated in Lilburn Daze. The Lilburn Women's Club Education Committee provided GCPL a tent site in the main area of the
event. Staff spoke to about 900 attendees about the library and its services.
-Lilburn staff met with a Middle School "Lunch and Learn" parents group and spoke about library services and resources for special education.
-Staff attended the Corley elementary School's Media Night, talked with 27 people and signed several up for library cards.
Glenda Sartain and Nan Williamson served as judges for Simpson Elementary School students' Reflections Contest. Kimberly Hale, Reflections Chairman, sent a nice thank you which Nancy read to Board members.
On Saturday Norcross partnered with Univision to bring the Therapaws Program directed toward the Hispanic community to the branch. The program was a success with 134 participants. This was the first of three programs we are partnering with Univision to bring to Norcross. The second program will be with Georgia Aquarium and the third with the author of the Roberto Series. Pictures were distributed to Board members.
Pat Herndon used the website TagCloud.com and pasted in a summary of the October customer comments. The word cloud displays the most frequently used words of the top 50 words used as larger or smaller depending on the frequency. It is a nice visual summary of the comments customers have made about the service they receive. Word Clouds were distributed to Board members.
Events & Outreach
E&O recently featured some special workshops that address the current economic challenges faced by Gwinnett residents. Programs were College Planning which included admissions and enrollment and financial aid advice from an expert in the field, How to Sell on EBay offered by the US Postal Service Outreach Department, and How to Live Well on a Budget led by the author of the book "How to Survive on a Teacher's Salary" Danny Kofke. Mr. Kofke has been on the Today Show and Good Morning America.
The library is excited to see work being done on the site. Garrard Construction is completing the retaining walls, and if weather permits, the foundation was to start today. The rain has been an issue and several days of work were lost this month. Eamon Shelton, Capital Projects Manager, is leading a Green Committee that will look at the use of materials. With this being a LEED project, the erosion control is intense.
Supporting our Veterans Materials
At the November Board meeting Colonel Hyder spoke with great passion about the materials he would like to see in the library. Staff have been working very hard, and Deb will provide more information later in the meeting. The library has many materials for active and retired military, and staff are designing a brochure to highlight some of these materials. Nancy showed Board members a "Supporting our Veterans" brochure. The brochure (Topic Guide/Path Finder) will lead customers to a great many resources the library has for active and retired military and their families. The brochure lists print resources as well as online resources. Nancy discussed some of the topics in the brochure: In Their Own Words highlights books that are firsthand accounts and oral histories from our veterans, Classic Soldiers' Stories lists books that are memoirs and fictional accounts of soldier's experiences throughout history, and Supporting Our Veterans are print resources for retired military personnel and their families. On the bottom of the brochures cataloged web sites are highlighted. Military.com provides news and information including up-to-date coverage of veterans' benefits. The Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Service is available online and updated daily. The last print version was 2006 and the publisher will not be publishing updates. The library is pleased to direct our customers to this collection. Once the brochure is completed, they will be displayed in each branch. Phyllis complimented the staff on a magnificent job.
County 2009 Budget/GCPL Budget
Nancy reported the library is currently working with an Interim Budget. Directors and administrative staff have been reviewing and making recommendations on the remainder of the FY09 budget. Administrative staff are also looking at the FY10 budget knowing it is going to be a tight year. Nancy stated although staff have been working hard on the budget and have made progress, a full report is not yet ready to be presented to the Board. She did want the Board to know a decision to cancel Staff Day was made on Friday. Staff Day had been scheduled for February 16, Presidents' Day. Nancy stated Staff Day is a great opportunity to celebrate individual and team accomplishments and for staff to receive training; however, cancelling staff day was the best decision for this year.
Board of Trustees' Meeting Minutes
Motion by Todd to approve the November 10, 2008 Meeting minutes as distributed, seconded by Tiller, unanimous.
Interlibrary Loan Report
In response to a customer's questions and comments at the November Board meeting, Deb George reported on the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) process. Deb explained ILL is a service through which print materials not owned by GCPL may be borrowed from other library systems, and other library systems can also borrow from GCPL. The demand for ILL has increased over the past few years and averages about 700 requests a month. The ILL department has a staff of 1 ½. The customer asked if the ILL process could be streamlined, so the Materials department has been looking at the process over the past couple months. Board members received a chart outlining the current ILL borrowing workflow. As indicated in the workflow, much of the time involved with fulfilling a customer request to borrow materials from other library systems is outside the control of the requesting library. Total customer wait time currently ranges from 30 to 50 days, or 4 to 7 weeks. After analyzing the various phases in the process, several strategies for decreasing the amount of time required to complete several steps were identified. When the new strategies are implemented, ILL anticipates a decrease of 8 to 10 days in the time it takes for borrowed material to reach customers. However, customers must realize that once the actual ILL request is submitted to potential lenders, the response time from lenders will still take from 1 to 20 days, and this response time remains outside the control of GCPL. Deb discussed the particular ILL request from the customer. The request was forwarded from the branch to ILL on June 25, 2008 and the item was received and delivered to the branch for customer pickup on July 3, 2008. Based on conversations with the customer, ILL staff expedited this request to greatly shorten the typical fulfillment time. The customer also requested the library purchase the 2006 edition of the Guide to the Evaluation and Educational Experiences in the Armed Services. Materials staff researched this request and learned that the 2006 edition is the final print version of the guide. The publisher now maintains this content solely in the online version, which is updated daily, thus providing convenient access and up-to-date, accurate information for library users. Because information in the 2006 print edition is already at least 3 years out of date, purchase is not advised, as customers' information needs should be met through the online version, linked through the library's online catalog. Deb stated it is always GCPL's goal to direct customers to the most accurate source of information and try to get it to them as soon as possible. Phyllis thanked Deb and the Materials department. She requested Nancy and Administrative staff meet with customer Colonel Hyder to share all the information reported on.
Last Tuesday the County Commissioners passed the interim 2009 County Budget which included reduced funding to the library. The library funding included in the interim budget is $18,568,633, which is $123,800 less than the library's 2008 funding. The County has assured the library that the program modification for the new Hamilton Mill branch of $393,800 will be approved at the March Commissioner's meeting. In anticipation of this increase, the final 2009 funding from the County will be more than the prior year and this will fulfill the state maintenance of effort requirement which will not jeopardize state funding to the library. Nancy let Board members know she has been in contact with the state librarian. Fiscal year 2009 budget adjustments will be presented at the March Board meeting.
December 31, 2008 Financial Statement
Jane discussed the financial statement for six months ended December 31, 2008. Total revenues (excluding the Hamilton Mill Grant revenue) totaled $10.9 million which represents 51% of the $21.7 million revenue budget. Fine revenue of $511,093 represents 57% of the fine revenue budget. Fine revenue has increased 3% from the same period last year. Lost material revenue has also increased from the prior year. Lost material revenue of $51,166 represent 64% of the lost material budget; a $7,572 or 17% increase from the same period last year. The continued increase in both the fine and lost material revenue can be attributed to customer use of the library's new web payment option accessible through the website. Interest revenue is lower than anticipated and a March budget adjustment may be needed. Total expenditures (excluding the Hamilton Mill Grant) totaled $11.1 million which is 45.9% of the budgeted amount. Personnel service expenditure totaled $7.7 million which is 48% of the $16.1 million budget. Expenditures for materials purchases totaled $1.8 million representing 46% of the budgeted amount. Materials encumbered at December 31, 2008 are $405,231. Operating expenditures totaled $1.5 million or 39% of the $4 million operating expense budget. Overall operating expenditures are in line with the budgets. The first six months of expenditures exceeded revenue by $156,558 decreasing the fund balance resulting in a fund balance of $5.7 million. The fund balance includes the vehicle and equipment replacement fund, the operating contingency reserve and a portion designated to balance the budget.
2009 Compensation Plan
The library has historically mirrored the County Compensation plan approved at the January Commissioners' meeting. This year the County Compensation Plan included: Pay for Performance increase to be paid as a lump sum payment of three percent (3%) on anniversary date of employees with satisfactory performance effective January 1, 2009. The County Plan also included a Market Adjustment of two and a quarter percent (2.25%) increase to base salary effective in June 2009. The County Plan also eliminates the 2009 Longevity Pay. At this time, the library will request Board approval to adopt the County Pay for Performance Plan with the January effective date. The Market Adjustment and Longevity will be addressed during the Board's May Budget Workshop for the FY10 budget. The library's FY09 Personnel Budget includes a 2% Pay for Performance increase to salary rather than a 3% lump sum payment. This change in payment will increase personnel expenditures by approximately $135,000 in FY09. A budget adjustment will be requested at the March Board meeting. Phillip asked if the Pay for Performance is administered across the board to all library employees. Jane explained if employees receive a satisfactory evaluation, they are eligible to receive the Pay for Performance. Kim added that Pay for Performance is for classified employees only, and out of 300 employees about 274 are classified. Phillip asked what percentages of employees receive satisfactory on evaluations. Kim reported about 90% to 92%, as the library has a lot of long-term employees and a very strong team. Dale explained the Library is mirroring the county. Motion by Todd to adopt the 2009 Library's Pay for Performance effective January 1, 2009: Pay for Performance increase to be paid as a lump sum payment of three percent (3%) on anniversary date of employees with satisfactory performance, seconded by Tiller, unanimous.
Each year the Board is asked to reaffirm the Current Practices (standard operating
procedures). Motion by Todd to reaffirm the Current Practices, seconded by Tiller, unanimous.
Phillip requested the library look at ways to help increase the graduation rate of children in Gwinnett County. He stated the male high school graduation rate is only 67%. Phillip would be interested in working with the Library to implement programs and build relationships with the schools to address the problem. Nancy and Liz discussed some of the programs the library has in place to assist students. Nancy stated assisting the schools is an area the library can explore.
Phyllis asked what type of training was planned for staff to replace the training that would have been provided at Staff Day. She would like to have intensive training on the Internet Safety Policy because of pornography issues. Kim stated that training has been started. The department is reconfiguring how they do Horizon training which teaches staff how to utilize the library's system and practices. The Training Manager is currently working with the team that created the internet training. The Training department will combine the Horizon and Internet Safety training so that all new employees have the same training opportunity.
Phyllis stated she would also like training for staff during 2009 on Customer Service, and the function of the Board of Trustees. Phyllis shared a customer service experience she had at one of the branches.
Dale stated when she was appointed to the Board she received orientation and asked if it would be provided for new members. Nancy discussed the new Board of Trustees training the state has developed. They are currently booked through April. Nancy is working with the state to schedule Board training/orientation for all members hopefully in May.
Motion by Todd to adjourn the business meeting at 7:48 PM, seconded by Tiller, unanimous.
Minutes submitted by Pamela Covington for Margaret Tiller, Board Secretary.