November 8, 2010
The Gwinnett County Public Library Board of Trustees held its regularly scheduled meeting on November 8, 2010 at the Five Forks Branch. Present were Board members Phyllis Oxendine-Chair, Dale Todd-Vice Chair, Babs Wagoner-Treasurer and Phillip Saxton. Margaret Tiller-Secretary was absent. Administrative staff members present were Nancy Stanbery-Kellam-Executive Director, Liz Forster-Deputy Director, Jane Walters-Business Services Director, Barbara Spruill-Branch Services Director, Kim Rodriguez-Human Resources Director, Deb George-Materials Management Director, Michael Casey-Information Technology Director and Pamela Covington-Administrative Assistant. Other Administrative staff were also in attendance. Phyllis called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.
Report from Nancy-Stanbery-Kellam, Executive Director
The Hamilton Mill Branch was honored by the Georgia chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council. The Council presented their 2010 ‘Excellence in Sustainability’ and ‘Excellence in Sustainable Innovations’ awards on October 2. Hamilton Mill was recognized with an Honorable Mention for ‘Excellence in Sustainability’ for their “commitment to holistic sustainability and the value of return on investing in a public project during times of economic hardship.” The awards were highly competitive this year with over 35 projects participating from around the state of Georgia. The Board of Commissioners recognized this special award by honoring Hamilton Mill with a proclamation on October 19. Hamilton Mill continues to do great things for the organization and for the County.
Gwinnett County – Bronze Level Green Community
Gwinnett County has been unofficially notified that they will be designated with the Bronze level Green Community by the Atlanta Regional Commission on December 1. The Green Communities Program is a voluntary certification program for jurisdictions in the 10-county Atlanta region to encourage local governments to become more sustainable. ARC developed the program to assist local governments in reducing their overall environmental impact. Local governments earn points in 10 categories by implementing specific policies and practices that contribute to overall sustainability. Eamon Shelton, Capital Projects Manager, served on the County’s Environmental Sustainability Committee. Several of the initiatives that were part of the application were enacted at the libraries: Government LEED Policy, Government “Lights Out Power Down Policy” (all branches), Government Cool Roof (Hamilton Mill), Government High Efficiency Plumbing Fixtures (Hamilton Mill), Government Landscaping Practices (Hamilton Mill) and the Community Bicycle Facilities (all branches).
Fall Into the Arts (FITA)
The first three FITA events have been very successful, wonderfully attended and appreciated. The community has embraced the program, and the library has received a lot of volunteer participation.
The kickoff event took place at the Aurora Theatre on September 16. Approximately 145 guests enjoyed a spirited discussion between Gwinnett Daily Post columnist Rob Jenkins and the New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen.
The visual arts component of this year’s FITA was attended by 60 guests on September 21 at the Hudgens Center for the Arts. Tom Nakashima gave a very interesting presentation of his background and art. There was no admission charge for the evening’s reception, lecture and museum tour.
On October 31 Gwinnett Symphony Orchestra & Chorus presented a Halloween Spooktacular at the Performing Arts Center. Thanks to the generosity of the Symphony, the library was able to offer 100 complimentary tickets to customers. There was such a positive response; the library had a waiting list for tickets in case of cancellations. This was a great family program. Many children along with some of their parents came in costume.
Last Two Exciting FITA Events Will Be Held In December
On Friday, December 3 at 7:00 PM, Tim Green, former Atlanta Falcons star defensive end and New York Times bestselling author of fifteen highly successful adult suspense novels, will discuss his work and the publishing and writing process at the Norcross Cultural Arts and Community Center. When the library learned Tim Green has a particular interest in working with young readers, a partnership with local supporters and schools was formed to enhance what was already going to be a great visit. Using funds received from the Dacula Business Association, Target and Sweetwater Middle School, the library will be able to purchase books to be given to students the author will be speaking to at both Dacula and Sweetwater Middle Schools. Tim Green has also agreed to be interviewed by the Dacula students as part of their Author in You TV series. The series is shown in every middle and high school. Also, the Collins Hill High School teachers and football coaches are encouraging students to attend the evening event in Norcross for extra credit.
On December 4th, Gwinnett Ballet Theatre will present The Nutcracker at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center. A limited number of complimentary tickets will be distributed by the library. The Nutcracker has a cast of over 120 performers, glorious sets, costumes and Tchaikovsky’s wonderful score. What makes this particular performance unique is that Liz Forster, Deputy Director, has agreed to be Mother Ginger. Liz will be wheeled out on stage on a platform as little children come scurrying out from under her dress.
Mobile Version of the Website
The mobile version of the library’s website was launched in October. The mobile website has full catalog search with the ability to place holds and access personal accounts from your phone. It also offers hours and directions to all branches and a listing of events. A link that allows customers to text the library will be added in the next few months.
WebEx – Benefits Q & A
The library has been utilizing WebEx which is a communication tool for video and audio participation for training, meetings, conferences, and webinars. In October, Human Resources used WebEx for Open Enrollment questions. Employees were able to log onto a computer at their worksite, connect with the Benefits Specialist and ask questions or listen in for responses to other staff’s questions. WebEx is another way the library can use technology to further work without greater expense.
Ask GCPL On Website
IT has put the Ask GCPL on a web page. Customers can search all topics or select topics from a Word Cloud which highlights the most popular questions and answers. Customers can view most recent questions and most popular answers. The web page is also interactive where customers can contribute to the discussion.
Materials Management eBooks & OverDrive Training Award
Customers are using eBooks more and more every day. To help customers and staff become more comfortable using eBooks, Christopher Baker, Materials Selector, developed a video for the library website. Customers and staff can follow a step-by-step guide to downloading and transferring eBooks. The Library learned OverDrive was offering eBook training, so that was also made available to the staff. In September OverDrive’s Training Month consisted of 6 courses hosted daily via web conference. To enable every library to have a chance to win an award, OverDrive created four categories based on library size: small, mid-size, large and consortia. The winner in each category was selected based on number of courses attended and percentage of staff participating. GCPL won the award for most staff participation in the large library category and received $1,500 credit toward OverDrive’s eBook collection and five MP3 Players.
Gwinnett County 2011 Funding
Nancy discussed as part of the 2011 budget planning, Gwinnett County requested the library provide information indicating what the impact would be on services should the County funding be reduced by 10% and 20%. Nancy reported the document was forwarded to the County, as well as Board members, in October. At this time the library has not heard back from the County. Phyllis mentioned she was glad to see the information sent to the Commissioners indicated the library has already taken several proactive cuts. Phyllis reported concern regarding a paragraph in the document that indicated with a 20% reduction in funds the Board would be responsible for voting on any branch closures. Phyllis stated she would not vote to close any branches as it is not fair to pick and choose which tax payers are less important than others. She mentioned if the library system has to, reducing hours and staffing would be better than closing branches. Board members agreed with Phyllis and indicated they would not support closure of any branches. Board members discussed the possibility of furlough days if the County funding is reduced 20%. Phyllis mentioned the Board appreciates and looks out for library employees, but the Board has some tough decisions to make. The Board members stressed the importance of library services be made known to County staff and citizens. Nancy passed around a PowerPoint Presentation that Beth McIntyre, Lawrenceville Branch Manager, put together. At Phillip’s suggestion staff added some personalized additions to the presentation; pictures of branches and Branch Managers with quotes about their experiences. Phillip discussed how libraries and librarians are providing great services to the citizens of Gwinnett County. He mentioned ideas where the library could do more with less and become even more creative in providing for the needs of the community. One suggestion was a series of rotating seminars that move from branch to branch providing citizens help in the following areas: resume and job application assistance, job seeking help, foreclosure assistance, entrepreneur assistance, etc. Other ideas mentioned were mentoring resources and student support.
Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes
Motion by Todd to approve the September 13, 2010 Meeting Minutes as distributed, seconded by Saxton, unanimous.
FY2011 Financial Statement – September 30, 2010
Jane reported on the library financial statement for the first three months of the fiscal year 2011. Total revenues and total expenditures were at 25% of the budget which is on target for the first quarter of the fiscal year. Overall total revenues equaled a little over $5 million and expenditures equaled about $5.7 million. Personnel expenditures were 25%, materials expenditures were 27%, and operations expenditures were 26%. The fund balance decreased $294,139 due to the first quarter expenditures exceeding revenues. The fund balance at the end of September 2010 was a little over $7 million. Included in the September 30, 2010 fund balance is the carryover encumbrance, replacement fund for technology infrastructure, vehicles and equipment, and the remaining funds include the fund balance requirement and operating contingency. Jane answered Board members questions on various line item expenditures.
Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia Financial Statement – September 30, 2010
Jane reported on the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia financial statement. As of September 30, 2010 the Gwinnett Library Fund Endowment was $229,761. The financial statement is based on the calendar year. For the first 9 months, GCPL has received 5% return on money, which has gone up and down depending on the appreciation of the stock.
FY2011 Budget Adjustments
Library Services and Technology Grant (LSTA) - PRIME TIME – Family Reading Time
The Library received a federal Library Services and Technology Grant for the PRIME TIME Family Reading Time Program. The program is designed specifically for under-served families with children ages 6-10 to encourage reading. The grant period runs from December 1, 2009 to December 1, 2010. The grant is up to $3,800 for actual direct expenses. Motion by Saxton to approve recording the LSTA PRIME TIME Family Reading Time Grant increasing Grant Revenue and Operations expenditures up to $3,800, seconded by Todd, unanimous.
Library Services and Technology Grant (LSTA) - Staff Development
The Library received a federal Library Services and Technology Grant for Staff Development. Staff attended the Association of Library Service to Children 2010 National Institute held at Emory. The grant covers expenses in the amount of $796. Motion by Todd to approve recording the LSTA Staff Development Grant increasing Grant Revenue and Operations expenditures for $796, seconded by Saxton, unanimous.
Georgia Humanities Council Grant
The Georgia Humanities Council has approved a Grant for $2,000 for the “Meet the Author” event, which is one of the literacy components of the Library’s Fall Into the Arts Program. Motion by Saxton to approve recording the Georgia Humanities Council Grant for the “Meet the Author” event, increasing both Grant Revenue and Operations expenditures by $2,000, seconded by Todd, unanimous.
Jane reported through discussions with the auditors, and to keep good business practices, the library should include Use of Estimates for Financial Reporting as one of the financial policies. When financial statements are prepared, especially annual year-end financials that the auditors review and audit, library management staff make estimates. These estimates are assumptions that are based on historical experience or other reasonable rationales, and the actual results could differ from these estimates. As an example: estimates are used in determining the library’s allowance for doubtful accounts. This allowance will be used to reduce the total amount of accounts receivable on financial statements. The library’s accounts receivable consists of fines and fees owed by library customers. In conformity with GAAP, the library will record a reasonable estimate of the amount that will not be collected. This is an estimate and the actual could be different. Motion by Todd to approve the Financial Policy, Use of Estimates for Financial Reporting, effective July 1, 2009, seconded by Saxton, unanimous.
Certificate of Appreciation – Dale Todd & Margaret Tiller
Phyllis announced Margaret Tiller and Dale Todd have served on the GCPL Board of Trustees long and very faithfully. Their terms will be completed at the end of the year and tonight is their last Board meeting. Margaret Tiller was unable to attend the meeting due to health issues. Phyllis requested everyone keep Margaret and her family in their prayers and thoughts. Phyllis presented Dale a framed Appreciation Certificate for her faithful service of 8 years. Phyllis thanked Dale and Margaret for diligently and consistently representing the library in a positive and supportive manner. Margaret’s certificate will be mailed.
Motion by Todd at 7:30 PM to adjourn the business meeting, seconded by Wagoner, unanimous.
Motion by Todd to go into closed session to conduct the Executive Director’s Annual Review, seconded by Wagoner, unanimous.
Motion by Wagoner at 8:10 PM to come out of closed session, seconded by Saxton, unanimous.
Minutes submitted by Pamela Covington for Margaret Tiller, Board Secretary.