Meeting Minutes

Board Meeting Minutes

Approved 11/16/2017

TETON COUNTY LIBRARY BOARD MEETING

Thursday, October 19, 2017

 

Board Member Attendance

Present: Ari Goldstein, John Hebberger, Jr., Mark Hendrickson, Susan Scarlata

Absent:   Carol Peck

 

Audience:  Valerie Maginnis, Library Director; Isabel Zumel, Assistant Director; Rebecca Huntington, Communications Manager; Madeleine Sturmer, IT Manager; Susan Centrella, Collection Services Manager; Diana Eden, Communications and Digital Media Specialist; Jordan Rich, Library Assistant, Senior; Wren Kominos-Marvel, Library Assistant, Senior; Pauline Towers-Dykeman, Teton County Library Foundation Executive Director; Judy Opatrny, Teton County Library Foundation; Karen Terra, Teton County Library Foundation; Smokey Rhea, Teton County Commissioner.

 

Board Chair John Hebberger, Jr. called the meeting to order with a quorum present.

 

Public Comment

No public comment.

 

Consent Agenda:  Minutes from 9/28/2017 Board Meeting, Correspondence Report, September 2017 Financials, Director’s Report, Library Supporting Organization Reports – Teton County Library Foundation and Teton County Library Friends

 

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

 

Payment of Library Vouchers

Ari said that there were a couple of big SPET expenses for furniture.  The library received two invoices for September and October for County Health Insurance and both are in the vouchers for October. Finally, the vouchers reflect a lot of spending on library collections.

 

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

 

Adding Hours of Service – Jackson Main Library

 

Valerie thanked the library board for the opportunity to bring the recommendation of additional library hours at the Jackson Main Library.  Library Administration and the Management Team worked through a thorough process in crafting the recommendation.  Use patterns, public and staff input, and reviewing peer libraries were all considerations.  We considered guiding principles, including ensuring the option was sustainable without having to hire additional employees.  The process was a textbook case of being responsive and data driven.

 

John said that the report to the board presented four options.  He asked why Option D was the recommendation.  (Note: Option D was Monday-Thursday 9:30 am-8:30 pm, Friday 9:30 am-6:30 pm, Saturday 9:30 am-2:30 pm, Sunday 12:30-6:30 pm.)

 

Valerie said that Option D added 4 hours to the current 60 hours per week that we are open, bringing total library hours to 64 hours per week.  The community survey results were split down the middle of opening earlier and closing later.  Option D addressed both preferences by opening half an hour earlier and closing half an hour later.  Public comment showed a preference for more time being open on Friday afternoons.  Saturday mornings have robust use in the mornings, but use drops off later in the afternoon.  We had always intended to increase Sunday hours.  Public comment showed a preponderance of support for additional Sunday hours.  Hence, Option D proposed adding 2 additional hours on Sundays, with hours 12:30-6:30 pm.  An important consideration was ensuring the new opening and closing hours were as easy to remember as possible for the public.  Consistency in opening times, as well as opening and closing times all on the half hour were important.  Option D also took into consideration staffing capacity and increasing hours without adding additional staff.

 

Mark asked if staff would be asked to work longer or that staff scheduled would be staggered.  Valerie responded that schedules would be staggered.  We also asked what kinds of services the public would use during additional hours.  The services the public identified do not require a higher level of staffing.  The public expressed interest in later hours to use the auditorium for programs.  This can be accomplished without asking staff to work longer by staggering work schedules.

 

Susan asked for the thinking on opening at 9:30 on Saturdays, but 12:30 on Sundays.  Valerie explained that we have begun early literacy programming on Saturday mornings, which is in demand.  We want to continue this offering on Saturdays and public comment showed that the most successful time for this programming is in the morning, as opposed to the afternoon.

 

Ari observed that the Saturday closing time of 2:30 pm is a significant change and asked what our data was to support this.  Valerie replied that we tracked public comment and looked at library use statistics.  Comments showed a preference for Saturday mornings.  Use statistics by hour show that there is a drop in attendance later in the afternoon on Saturdays. 

 

John asked how we would monitor if this works for the community.  Valerie said that we would continue to track public comments and analyze use statistics.  The comments will be particularly important.  We certainly wanted to propose additional hours because of public desire, but also wanted to be mindful of balancing this with not incurring additional staffing costs.  If approved, we plan to provide ample notice to the public about the changes in hours and to implement the change on January 2, 2018.

 

John requested that we schedule a March 2018 board meeting agenda item about additional library hours in Jackson and to look at public feedback on the change, particularly on Saturdays.

 

Valerie said that it was an honor to bring this recommendation forward.  The consideration of adding library hours tends to be the exception rather than the rule.  She noted that the increased access in Alta Branch hours has been met with success so we are expecting the same in Jackson.  Approval of this recommendation would accomplish a key action item in our Strategic Plan.

 

John noted that the recommendation was planned without the addition of new staff.  He pointed out that our ability to accomplish this underscored efficiencies that the library has built in over the last year and a half, and responds to the Strategic Plan.

 

Action Item: Mark moved to approve the recommendation to increase of library hours at the Jackson Main Library, from 60 to 64 hours per week, in the configuration presented in Option D.   Susan seconded.  All voted in favor.

 

Request to Close Library for TCL All-Staff In-Service Training, Friday, December 15, 2017

John asked how the library would notice a library closure and manage responses.  Valerie replied that asking in October for approval of the one day closure at the Jackson Main Library and the Alta Branch would give the library almost two months to notice the public.  We would use our usual channels of web, social media, signage, newspaper, and contact with community organizations and schools.  We would suspend collection of fines and remind the public of access to our downloadable content, available 24/7.  Friday is a day we close earlier, which is a reason we selected this day.  Valerie continued that when public libraries close for in-services, it is best to close for the entire day for the greatest impact of the training.  The focus of the training is Customer Service and team building. 

 

Mark asked how the cost of the training would be paid.  Valerie responded that there is a line item in our budget for core training and that we would use these funds. 

 

John said that the training fits two parts of our Strategic Plan:  (1) Outreach and responsiveness to community and (2) Staff development.  He noted that there is little that we do that can be more important than developing library staff.

 

Action Item:  Ari moved to approve the request to close the library on Friday, December 15, 2017 for a TCL All-Staff In-Service Training.  Mark seconded.  All voted in favor.

 

TCL Staff Housing Fund – Survey and Status of Fund

Valerie noted that it has been a privilege to work with the Library Board and Library Foundation on the development of the Staff Housing Fund.  The fund was effective August 25, 2017 with an opening amount of $15,000.  The fund is available to all Teton County Library staff.  It is confidentially administered by the Jackson Hole Community Housing Trust, using criteria developed by the staff housing task force and approved by the Library Board.  Since the fund opened in August, it has been heavily used and nearly depleted.  In early October, a confidential staff survey was sent to staff asking for information about their potential future use of the fund.  There was strong response to the survey.  The survey identified a continued need for assistance.  The recommendation is for the library board to request that the Teton County Library Foundation replenish the fund with $15,000 for the remainder of FY 2018.

 

Mark asked if there was a cushion for unforeseen needs.  Valerie said that the fund was initiated at $15,000 with a dedicated donation.  At that point, we were not comfortable identifying a larger initial amount and instead began conservatively with a $15,000 request.  Mark asked if the survey showed more demand.  Valerie said that the majority of identified requests approach the cap of $3,000 per year.

 

Susan asked if the Library Foundation has funds for this request.  Pauline explained that there are two options for funding this.  First, the initial donor to the fund could entertain another request.  Second, endowment payout funds could be used for this from a donor who is enthusiastic about deploying funds to support this.

 

Judy remarked that this is a new concept and new fund.  She asked Valerie if there is data that points to requests of the fund being seasonal; also if the fund has helped with staff retention.  Valerie said that she is removed from reviewing applications, but that her instinct is that it has been paramount for retention.  She also used the availability of this fund as a piece for recruitment of an Adult Services Manager.

 

Ari asked a clarifying question - That if the fund is between the library staff and library foundation board, why did we need a motion from the Library Board requesting additional funding?  Pauline said that the role of the Library Foundation is to be responsive.  The initial donor to the fund desired that the Library Board is apprised of staff housing need.  Pauline added that in the survey there were as many as 14 discrete staff members indicating a need, including 5 in the next year requesting as much as $3,000.  Judy said that the Library Board’s motion would be a request for funding the Staff Housing Fund.  The request underscores how significant this issue is for staff who the library has invested in.  Judy said that this is a discussion we will likely need to have later with the County Commissioners, and a topic we will continue to revisit in the foreseeable future.  She reminded the Library Board of the Redmond Project that the Library Foundation invested in.  The unit will be available in fall 2018 for 15 years.

 

Pauline requested that the library institutionalize data on the use of the housing fund in the monthly staffing report provided to the library board.  Mark and Ari agreed that this would provide valuable information.  Susan asked how often it makes sense to request support from the housing fund donor.  Pauline said that we are on the cusp of the process to yield information this kind of information.  John thanked the Library Foundation for its support, as well as the library staff involved in putting together the criteria.

 

Action Item:  Mark moved to request $15,000 in additional funds from the Teton County Library Foundation for the Staff Housing Fund.  Susan seconded.  All voted in favor.

 

“Get to Know” TCL Staff – Diana Eden, Communications and Digital Media Specialist

Diana introduced herself and shared that she has been with the library since 2009 in various capacities, and joined Communications in the last year.  Communications work involves promotion of 30-60 events in a busy month and library services to the public, website and monthly newsletter content, working with press, social media posts, paid advertising and in-house promotional signage.  Diana said she has not yet been in her role a year, but it has been a great experience and her daily work is varied.  Valerie complimented the responsiveness of the Community Engagement Team and that Diana in her role has been available when we need a photo taken immediately.  These photos are posted on social media and they generate excitement about the library.  Rebecca noted that the library’s Instagram has had the most engagement and that is due to Diana’s expertise with these posts.

 

Ari asked if there is a direct correlation between social media promotion and use of the library.  Rebecca said that number of followers is somewhat of a vanity metric; that the numbers we are really looking at are engagement.  Pauline observed that she attributes a part of the success of the library in Old Bill’s fundraising this year to our social media campaign.

 

TCL Use Statistics for FY 2018, Q1

Valerie summarized that the statistics report overall shows that library use is robust and vibrant.  She provided an explanation of our circulation numbers, which shows a decrease in comparison to the same period in FY 2017.  She said that we learned this year that using the State Library’s Director’s Station tool is the standard for generating circulation statistics for libraries in the state.  We have previously pulled our circulation statistics from the Sirsi Dynix Workflows system.  Director’s Station statistics are those that are shared with the Institute of Museum and Library Services for national statistical purposes.  Starting in FY 2018 we’ve “righted” our process of using Director’s Station by training library managers on this tool, and discrepancies will now be corrected.  

 

Isabel reviewed overall trends of library in-person visits increasing, with the most notable increases at the Alta Branch due to increases in library hours; significant growth in the use of the library’s digital collections, both in our downloadable content and our databases; and the value of the library’s spaces, as seen in the high use of study and meeting rooms, wireless, and growth in auditorium and computer lab use by outside groups.

 

John asked about Hoopla content use.  Valerie described the digital content through Hoopla as collections that are popular and responsive.  We do not have to catalog, own or keep this content because all of that is handled by Hoopla.  Library Directors around the state that provide Hoopla content to their patrons view it as a big bonus to their community.  At our library, we are looking forward to more patrons using this content once we begin circulating Wifi Hotspots.

 

John requested that we continue to review statistics and that the presentation of comparisons is useful.  He further requested a once a year look back at our longitudinal statistics to put usage in perspective over a longer period of time.  Having the ability to do so is an important aspect of our strategic planning.

 

Action Item:  John moved to adjourn the library board meeting.  All voted in favor.