Meeting Minutes

Board Meeting Minutes

Approved 10/19/2017

TETON COUNTY LIBRARY BOARD MEETING

Thursday, September 28, 2017

 

Board Member Attendance

Present: Ari Goldstein, Mark Hendrickson, Carol Peck, Susan Scarlata

Absent:   John Hebberger, Jr.,

 

Audience:  Valerie Maginnis, Library Director; Isabel Zumel, Assistant Director; Madeleine Sturmer, IT Manager; Diana Eden, Communications and Digital Media Specialist; Mary Jo Pollard, Library Operations Coordinator; Pauline Towers-Dykeman, Teton County Library Foundation Executive Director; Karen Terra, Teton County Library Foundation.

 

Vice Chair Carol Peck called the meeting to order with a quorum present.

 

Public Comment

No public comment.

 

 “Get to Know” TCL Staff – Kurt Plagge, Reference Librarian/Supervisor

Kurt Plagge introduced himself and said that he has worked at Teton County Library since 1999.  In his current position, he supervises the Research Team of two staff. The Research Team develops the procedures, best practices and trainings for staff to provide research services.  These services range from helping patrons find specific books to more in-depth research on detailed questions.  A common research question we receive is related to locating obituaries.  The library’s new searchable local newspaper database has greatly assisted in these searches.  Some questions are easy to answer and others are more complicated.  To answer these questions most thoroughly, we utilize a reference interview form with prompts for staff.  We also receive questions related to using databases and how to use Boolean operators to narrow searches.  A trend Kurt noted was less reliance on paper resources.  We are seeing an increase in questions about downloadable materials and accessing the library’s downloadable content.  We also offer tailored reader’s advisory through a service called Personal Librarian.

 

Carol asked about the use of Personal Librarian.  Kurt responded that it is most popular and heavily used when it is included as a summer reading challenge.  Answering Personal Librarian requests teaches staff to make connections and how to use database and other tools to help match readers to books.

 

Consent Agenda:  Minutes from 8/17/2017 Board Meeting, Correspondence Report, August 2017 Financials, Director’s Report, Library Supporting Organization Reports – Teton County Library Foundation and Teton County Library Friends

 

Carol asked to pull the August 2017 financials.

 

Action Item: Mark moved to approve the Consent Agenda. Ari seconded. All voted in favor.

 

Carol asked a clarifying question about a very large percentage in one of the financials that compared expenses as a percentage of income for August.  Ari replied that the large percentage was a result of an odd math anomaly because the monthly revenue for August was very small when compared to the monthly expenses. 

 

Action Item: Susan moved to approve the August 2017 financials. Mark seconded. All voted in favor.

 

Payment of Library Vouchers

Ari reported that there was one out of the ordinary invoice that referenced a salary survey.  Valerie explained that the invoice was from the consultants that worked on the County salary survey, but that their work for the library was related to the review and revision of library position descriptions.  Their work brought these descriptions into alignment with standardized public sector position descriptions.  The consultant’s work also contributed to the realignment of library divisions.  She commented that she and Isabel contributed input to the position descriptions and realignment work.

 

Action Item: Ari moved to approve payment of monthly vouchers. Susan seconded. All voted in favor.

 

Budget Amendment – 2017 Salary Adjustment

 

Valerie explained that a salary adjustment was put into effect in July 2017, at the beginning of FY 2018.  Library administration deemed it appropriate to bring adjustments to our FY 2018 budget because the salary adjustment resulted in a significant enough budget change.  We used this process to also clean up other line items where we had updated rates or formulas. 

 

Carol asked if all of the salary increases would be paid out of reserve funds.  Valerie replied affirmatively that they would and that there would be not be a change to our approved property tax request.  Carol asked how other departments are handling the salary adjustments. Valerie said that the comment from the County Clerk was that they were going to adjust budgets and pay the salary increase with county reserves.  Other county department budgets are administered differently from ours.  Susan remarked that the numbers in the budget were different from the budget worksheet she had received when she began her tenure on the board.  Valerie said that the salary increase was a factor in the difference.  Isabel explained that with the salary adjustment, salaries are now 5% higher than what was originally submitted in the FY 2018 budget.  Some personnel items, such as health insurance, are not tied to salaries so they are not reflecting a 5% increase.  Since the FY 2018 budget was approved, we received new information on health insurance and other rates.  Mary Jo added that examples of this included reductions in Workers Compensation rates and employer-paid retirement rates as employees are now providing a slightly larger contribution to retirement.

 

Action Item: Mark moved to approve the FY 2018 budget amendment reflecting the July 2017 salary adjustment.  Ari seconded.  All voted in favor.

 

Adding Hours of Service – Jackson Library (survey/poll results)

Valerie prefaced the discussion by noting that increasing public library hours was included in our Strategic Plan.  She said that the approval in December 2016 of increasing Alta Branch hours was an example.  We identified an opportunity to add up to 6 hours per week, or up to 10% increase in hours, in the Jackson Main Library.  She explained that we intentionally wanted to take into consideration the public’s input. We worked with library staff to elicit public input by the onsite token-in-the-jar poll and an online poll.  The blanket mailer to all residences was successful in encouraging voting.  A couple of things we want to keep in mind include (1) an assurance that the library has staff capacity to support the new hours and (2) consistency in the schedule for the public.  We already knew we wanted to increase hours on Sundays so this was not included in the poll. 

 

We received a tremendous number of comments.  The results were essentially neck and neck in terms of expressed preference for opening an hour earlier and closing an hour later.  Valerie said that we have gathered a lot of data and was seeking the board’s input so that it is taken into consideration for developing our recommendation to the library board in October.

 

Ari commented that the 4,200 votes was a strong number.  Valerie agreed, adding that when we conducted the Needs Survey for the Strategic Plan we received 1,500 responses.  She also said that the lion’s share of comments we received through the survey of library hours were positive.   Some expressed a desire for more access to the library, while others were pleased with the status quo.  Susan asked if it would be more difficult for staff to open earlier or to close later.  Valerie responded that strictly by the numbers we have adequate staffing to add hours.  We are, however, considering staff input and listening to their situations related to work scheduling.  We have heard from staff that there is many times a crowd when we open, speaking to a desire for opening earlier.   Other comments indicate a desire for access to the facility later into the evening for programming.  It is possible that we’ll land on a hybrid recommendation.  We are considering adding at least one hour on Sundays, possibly two, based on feedback.  Carol asked if there was capacity to open 6 more hours.  Valerie replied affirmatively.  Carol commented that the number one thing we could do is add hours, and that the over 4,000 votes speak to the community’s interest in adding hours.  Valerie said that she has reworked library hours in past experiences and that she recommended consistency.  Ari observed that the votes were not definitive and asked what our process would be.  Isabel replied that there are other data points that managers are looking into, including the times of day of online library resource use, our space studies this past year and classifying and coding the over 400 comments  we received.  Carol said that expanding hours on Sundays was an obvious positive.  Valerie agreed and said that based on feedback, Sundays seem like a day that expanded hours would be desired.

 

Carol commented that she feels that we now have all of the information to make a recommendation.  Valerie said that we are taking into consideration staff schedules, as well as the level of service we commit to provide during these additional hours.  Carol asked what a basic staffing level would be.  Valerie said that basic staffing would be two staff at the front desk, one in the youth wing, a few Library Pages and a senior staff member or manager on duty.  As a note, Valerie said that we have redesigned the Front and Reference desks to serve multiple needs, and that they are being produced and built.  The new desks will serve multiple needs at one desk.   Valerie closed by saying that it is an honor to approach the library board about adding library hours.    

 

Other Updates

Pauline shared an update on the Library Foundation-funded Housing Assistance Fund.  She noted that the fund started with an initial investment of $15,000 and that after receiving staff requests, about $2,000 remains.  A survey was sent to staff to gauge needs in the next six months in order to project funding that we can discuss with interested donors.  The Redmond Hall Project is moving along.  A year from now, or less, the library will have a dwelling that can be used to assist with recruitment or an employee emergency housing situation.

 

Valerie updated the library board on the recruitment of an Adult Services Manager.  We were not able to fill this position in the recent recruitment and will re-advertise at a later date.  Some county positions have taken two or more recruitments.  We have filled the Library Assistant Senior position in Collection Services with a candidate that has done similar work at a public library in Wyoming.

 

TCL Strategic Plan Update, Q3 2017

Susan Eriksen-Meier presented the strategic plan update.  She described this update as characterizing impact versus actions.  When she asked the question ‘How do you know the library is making a difference?’ staff replied that they know by listening to patrons and their stories of how the library has helped them thrive. 

 

Susan presented slides of how the library is a connector through its space; specifically sharing stories about the filming of Wyoming Cowboy Hall of Fame recipients in our study rooms (a choice made by film makers) and a patron who uses our study rooms to sew quilts that are sold to support St. Jude’s hospitals.  Susan described the impact of our resources and collections, highlighting how the newspaper digitization database brought a long-time community resident into the library for the first time to compile past newspaper columns written by his friend; and how a patron studied our design magazines in our periodicals collection when she first moved to the town and now was proud to have her own designs in the same magazine she studied at the library.  The final slide told the story of a young girl who came to the library to pick up free tickets to the Eric Litwin/Pete the Cat event at the Center for the Arts.  The family had been struggling and the show tickets provided a memorable and special mom-daughter date night that wouldn’t have been otherwise possible. 

 

Valerie said that for our Q4 2017 update, we will share a combination of thrive stories and quantifiable data.  Upcoming related to the Strategic Plan will be having Susan Eriksen-Meier engage with staff on identifying ways to achieve Library Journal Star Library status.  Achieving this status would acknowledge the community’s support and engagement with the library, and in a quantifiable way demonstrate that the library is a vital community amenity.

 

Action Item:  Carol moved to adjourn the public library board meeting and move into Executive Session.  All voted in favor.