Meeting Minutes

Board Meeting Minutes
Approved 12/15/2016
TETON COUNTY LIBRARY BOARD MEETING
Thursday, November 17, 2016 12:00 PM

Board Member Attendance
Present:  Katherine Dowson, John Hebberger, Jr., Mark Hendrickson, Carol Peck
Absent:  Ari Goldstein

Audience:  Valerie Maginnis, Library Director; Isabel Zumel, Assistant Director; Rebecca Huntington, Communications Manager;  Pauline Towers-Dykeman, Teton County Library Foundation; Brian Hultman, County Attorney’s Office;  Susan Eriksen-Meier.

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

Consent Agenda:  Minutes from 10/20/2016, Correspondence Report, October 2016 Financials, Director’s Report, Consent Memo – TCL Staffing Update, November 2016, Library Supporting Organization Reports – Teton County Library Foundation and Friends of Teton County Library Board

Carol asked to pull the Consent Memo – TCL Staffing Update from the Consent Agenda. 

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

Regarding the TCL Staffing Update, Carol asked about staff vacancies and John asked Valerie to provide a summary of how staff vacancies affect the libraries going forward.  Valerie described that since the Staffing Update was composed:  the Circulation Services Specialist was hired, the Accounting Specialist position recruitment was initiated, and three new Part-Time Library Assistants have started.  Carol asked if the Part-Time Library Assistant positions were difficult to hire.  Valerie responded that they were not, and that we were looking for strong customer service skills.  Also, these positions offer a wage that is competitive with other part-time positions in the community.  John asked if long term temporary help was a strategy we are pursuing.  Valerie said that for public desk coverage, the Part-Time Library Assistants have regularly scheduled hours.  Our current Substitute Library Assistants will transition to the title of Part-Time Library Assistants and that they will continue to pick up open desk shifts, so there is no disruption to their current work.  Valerie shared that we have had a history of long-term part-time staff stepping into full-time positions as these positions come open.  Also, each time a vacancy occurs, library administration evaluates the open position and adjusts the job description to best respond to present and projected future need.  We work with County HR to ensure that we are following policies and procedures, and that job descriptions are reviewed.  We are working to incorporate job competencies in all job descriptions.  Defining job competencies is tied to succession planning.  We will use these competencies to train staff up to the next level of competencies. 

Valerie stated that one of the longer-term vacancies is the Teen Program Coordinator.  She clarified that despite this position being vacant, the library is still providing services and programs to teens, including author visits to schools, the Young Adult collection, College Prep services and Summer Reading Program.  She noted that we are seeing growth in tween use of the library so we may look at moving our focus from older teens to tweens; that the Youth Survey initiated as part of the Strategic Plan will give us more clarity of what this demographic is seeking from the lirary.  Mark asked if we are suspending searching for a Teen Program Coordinator until this is clarified.  Valerie responded yes.  The other position that has been vacant since June 2016 is the Technology Coordinator position.  Valerie explained that we are pausing on technology instruction, but not neglectful.  Spanish tech instruction is being offered.  The library is investing in Lynda.com as an option for self-paced technology instruction and that there is a strong demand for device training. Multiple staff are eager to provide device training once our new public desk schedule is finalized.  Both of these technology instruction directions are in line with best library practices currently.  Finally, the Collection Development Manager position has been vacant since October 2016.  We believe this position will need to include recruitment outside of our community and that holiday season is not an ideal recruitment timeframe.  Library administration is already looking at how to speed up and increase access to our collections.  We want to take a little more time looking at key duties for this position and think the position will have a little different structure from the previous Collection Development Manager position.

Carol shared that a concern, particularly with the Teen Coordinator position being open for over a year, is if all of the work is getting done, and if so is the position necessary?  Carol also asked how long it takes to fill a position.  Valerie said that ideally, it’s less than a couple of months.  Some core positions we work to fill right away, and these are the ones with significant public service desk hours. 

Katherine asked about some of our Communications work being contracted out.  Valerie confirmed that we are contracting some of this out, as well as moving Spanish translation responsibilities into other existing positions.  The nature of Communications work is that it can be done remotely and that we will continue contracting whilw we work through hiring of a Communications Specialist. 

Carol said that she appreciated our effots on staffing and recognized that having some 40 FTE in staff is significant work.  John said he appreciated the flexibility in the system of examining how we utilize staff talent.

Action Item:  Carol moved to approve the Consent Memo – TCL Staffing Update.  Katharine seconded.  All voted in favor. 

Payment of Library Vouchers
Katherine said she reviewed the vouchers and doing so was a good exercise.

Action Item:  Katherine moved to approve the vouchers.  Mark seconded.  All voted in favor.

TCL 2016 Strategic Plan Update
John moved this agenda item up since Susan Eriksen-Meier, Strategic Plan consultant was present.  He noted that there will be a special library board meeting on December 5 from 10am-noon to review the plan, in advance of the December library board meeting when the plan is slated for board approval.  Valerie noted that in addition to the December special board meeting, there will be a library staff meeting on November 30 to review the plan.  Valerie shared that the November Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meeting provided valuable discussion about the evaluation plan of our Strategic Plan goals and objectives.  It informed the addition of more specific measurement tools so that the library director could do a better job of reporting to the board on strategic plan progress.

John and Valerie said that the library was well served with Susan Eriksen-Meier leading us through the process, providing effective facilitation and resulting in on-time delivery of the plan.  Susan shared that in the final Strategic Plan document there was discussion about Core Services of the library and the ratio of time calculated for staff on core services and other duties related to strategic plan and responsiveness.  The Strategic Plan will be released to staff on November 28 so that the board had the opportunity to first look at the plan.  The intention is to make sure any suggested refinements from the board were reflected before sharing the plan with staff.  Board members could contact Susan via phone or email to share refinements.

John suggested that board members hone in on the evaluation plan as this piece represented a large part of the board’s agreement with the library director about moving the library forward.  Carol asked which parts of the Strategic Plan were more dynamic.  Susan said that the implementation plan was the portion that would continue to be adjusted and updated.  John shared that both he and Carol felt comfortable with the direction of the Strategic Plan and that the TAG felt positive about the outcome of this process.  What was new in this plan was the inclusion of budget and staff time, and that staffing decisions could be better made with the plan in place.  Katherine noted that this format would be an effective way to share information about the library with County Commissioners.

Valerie thanked the Teton County Library Foundation for support of the planning process, and that she was in the process of writing an article for the Wyoming State Library publication about the planning process.  Valerie added that there is a marketing plan included in the Strategic Plan document that provides specifics for how we will market the Strategic Plan and library services.  John said that no other county library in the state has completed a strategic planning process like this.

TCL Financial Reports – Review
Valerie reviewed the financial reporting formats she found from public libraries serving similar populations.  These included formats from Wilkinson Public Library (resort town), Poudre River Fort Collins District (in Colorado) and Laramie County Library (in Wyoming).  The Poudre River report included a narrative and an easy-to-understand spreadsheet.

John recapped that the library board had discussed an interest in a simpler financial reporting format and that he had requested Mark to provide advice on such a format.  John shared that because financial management is a clear board responsibility, the motivation for a simpler format was to be able to provide financial management most effectively.

Mark said that the focus on simplicity in financial reporting was to reflect that the library has fairly simple operations.  Also, he expressed interest in financial reporting being more representative of how income and expenses actually go in and out each month of the year for a true comparison. John, Mark and Carol expressed preference for the Poudre River financial reporting format because it is brief, provides a comparison with prior year to date, includes a narrative summary, and is reported by programming areas. 

Carol asked if monthly reporting can include support from Foundation and Friends to get a full picture of resources to run the library.  John said he is not sure it would be appropriate to make public the financials of a private foundation.  Pauline said she can indicate the year to date basis of foundation contribution in the monthly Library Foundation report provided to the Library Board, and that she will add this topic to the January 2017 Library Foundation board meeting agenda.

Valerie said that our budget follows the format we submit to the county, and that when the new Accounting staff person comes on board we can work on creating a modified reporting format.  Valerie offered that in the January library board meeting she would work on a narrative report to accompany the financial report and that for the February board meeting we would present a simpler financial report spreadsheet with a narrative.

Other Business
John raised the idea of continuing individual library board member liaison work with County Commissioners.  He shared his check-ins every 6 months with Commissioner Newcomb have been appreciated.  Board members agreed to reach out to the following Commissioners in February 2017.  John Hebberger – Commissioner Newcomb; Katherine Dowson – Commissioner-elect Epstein; Mark Hendrickson – Commissioner Vogelheim; Carol Peck – Commissioner Macker; Ari Goldstein – Commissioner Rhea.

Valerie noted that the next Housing Meeting with staff representatives would be on December 8.  The Jackson Hole Community Housing Trust met with about 10 staff members for individual consultations, and the Housing Trust was pulling together data and information from these consultations in advance of the December 8 meeting.  John said that the nature of the discussion planned would be possible strategies to address recruitment and staff retention. 

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