Meeting Minutes

Board Meeting Minutes

Approved 2/16/2017

TETON COUNTY LIBRARY BOARD MEETING

Thursday, January 19, 2017 12:00 pm

 

Board Member Attendance

Present:  Ari Goldstein, John Hebberger, Jr., Mark Hendrickson, Carol Peck

Absent:   Katherine Dowson

 

Audience:  Valerie Maginnis, Library Director; Isabel Zumel, Assistant Library Director; Mary Jo Pollard, Accounting Specialist; Diana Eden, Communications Assistant;  Smokey Rhea, Teton County Commission; Brian Hultman, County Attorney’s Office; Pauline Towers- Dykeman, Teton County Library Foundation Executive Director;.

 

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

 

Consent Agenda:  Minutes from 12/15/2016 Board Meeting, December 2016 Financials, Director’s Report, Library Supporting Organization Reports – Teton County Library Foundation and Friends of Teton County Library Board

 

Mark asked to pull the December 2016 Financials.  Carol and John asked to pull the Director’s Report.

 

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

 

Mark observed that the December 2016 financials were incomplete because they did not fully reflect the assets of our library, including books, building and land improvements.  John said that at a previous meeting we had discussed including these in future financials. Ari asked if the issue was that a balance sheet and assets were missing.  Mark replied that this was the issue.  Valerie said that in February we will have a report on the library’s capital assets to begin to address Mark’s observation.  John added that there will be further discussion about financial report formats later in the meeting.  Carol said that we should make sure to address this issue and suggested following up with the County on financial reporting formats for a complete picture.   Valerie said that now is a good time to look at financial reporting formats with fresh eyes and how to provide clear and accurate reporting.

 

Regarding the Director’s Report, Carol expressed appreciation of the summary of employee separations, hires and vacancies and asked about recruitment efforts for the Collection Development Manager, an important position in the library.  Valerie shared that she and Isabel were working with County Human Resources to move forward with a recruitment at the end of January.  Valerie mentioned updating the job description duties to match trends we are seeing.  She said that in February she is excited to look at increasing our materials budget as part of the FY 2018 budget preparation.  The Collection Development Manager position will be recruited internally and externally.  John asked if there is a consistent process for exit interviews in order to have more detail about why library employees have moved on.  What is missing in the summary is a full understanding of the reasons behind the separation.  Valerie said there is a process that involves giving the employee the choice to do the exit interview with County Human Resources, the Library Director, or both.  Exit interview information is somewhat confidential, but the employee may give permission to share more details.  We do honor employee’s requests for confidentiality, and use employee’s exit interview observations to address internal improvements.  What was provided in the director’s report was a brief summary, and sometimes there are multiple reasons why an employee leaves.  Carol observed that as a board member she wants to get more information on staffing, and that the request for additional details about the separation seems to be a different issue.  Valerie asked if library administration should provide summaries of staffing, separations and hires on a regular basis to the board.  Carol and John agreed this would be helpful, and would like to receive regular updates, perhaps monthly.

 

Action Item:  Carol moved to approve the December 2016 financials and Director’s Report, with the need to follow up on completeness of financial reporting.  Mark seconded.  All voted in favor.

 

Payment of Library Vouchers

Ari said he reviewed the vouchers and noted that a health insurance issue in the library vouchers was resolved.

 

Action Item:  Ari moved to approve the vouchers.  Carol seconded.  All voted in favor.

 

TCL Staff Housing

Valerie reported that the TCL Staff Housing Task Force met on January 18.  The Task Force reviewed additional information from the November 2016 individual staff consultations with the Jackson Hole Community Housing Trust.  (1) JHCHT engaged in 9 staff consultations.  The majority of the staff who participated were single or couples, or single parents.  Anne Creswell of JHCHT shared that from her experience, the type of dwelling that met most demands and needs for this demographic was a 1 bedroom, 1 bath dwelling.   (2) If housing or rent is subsidized in order to be affordable, a rent of $1,100/month is at the top of the spectrum, while $900/month is more comfortable.  This translates into rent most appropriate for a 1 bedroom, 1 bath dwelling.  (3) If an investment in a dwelling is considered for recruitment purposes, the recommendation is to avoid concurrent recruitments in the event that we have two qualified candidates that may need housing. 

 

The Housing Task Force discussed drafting criteria for both a dwelling to assist with recruitment and a possible housing emergency fund to assist with retaining staff.  Task Force members discussed concepts including capping the number of months for a short-term dwelling opportunity, financial review and requirements for assistance that are standardized with the JHCHT and HUD.  They also began discussing staff situations that could be addressed with a possible housing emergency fund.  For example, staff who are above HUD income qualifications or staff who may be facing a crisis, such as an eviction.  They also discussed possible criteria for prioritizing assistance - including critical positions at the library, positions that have been vacant for longer periods of time, or positions in departments with multiple openings – while providing a level of discretion to the Library Director to make determinations.  The Task Force felt that general criteria which is transparent, realistic, objective and that can be explained to staff was important.

 

Carol observed that it seemed that the Task Force looked mostly at immediate needs versus longer-term retention.  Valerie said that the first priority based on our current staffing vacancies was a temporary dwelling for new hires.  Carol asked about longer-term needs.  Pauline responded that a housing emergency fund could address short-term and longer-term retention needs.  John remarked that the Task Force is making good progress, wants to fine tune housing assistance criteria, and believes it will meet the March deadline for a final recommendation.  Pauline acknowledged the important work that the Task Force is pursuing now, which is developing the guidelines and criteria for assistance.  She described that what the Foundation Board is looking for is an indication from the Library Board about a direction for a request to the Foundation.  Carol said that we will likely always have 9-10 staff with longer-term needs.  Pauline said that this is an iterative process, and that we continue to act on the information that we have.  John agreed that the key word is ‘iterative’ and that we are in a learning process. 

 

Carol reiterated that housing is hugely important, asked what a first step could be, and what we have learned from the rental property that the Foundation is leasing.  Pauline said that what we have learned to date is that a 2 bedroom, 1-1/2 bath is a little bit too big.  The Foundation is subsidizing this property.  Mark asked what the harm is in requesting the Foundation pursue a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom dwelling for the purpose of recruitment. 

 

Valerie described that she is aware that the Foundation is subsidizing the current 2 bedroom dwelling.  Yet, our candidates have primarily been single.  Valerie said that based on this, she believes we can manage to support recruitment with a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom dwelling; that this kind of dwelling is a good place to start.  Carol said that based on the board’s discussion, the 2 bedroom dwelling currently being leased has been helpful, but not ideal.  If a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom dwelling makes more sense, she is supportive.  Ari agreed and said that a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom dwelling will always be in demand.  He is not sure this kind of dwelling will address all staff need, but is comfortable with this being a first step towards something concrete.  Mark agreed.  John said the Task Force will continue to work on criteria for a housing emergency fund, understanding that having some flexibility will be important because we will never fully know what the range of needs will be.

 

 

 

TCL Use Statistics – October-December 2016

Valerie explained that the statistics narrative report shows comparisons to the previous year, information on use trends at our library and nationally.  Today, the board also received charts with longitudinal data on use trends. 

 

John asked if it was our intent to decrease public internet computers based on decreased use.  Valerie responded that we will evaluate that in tandem with our technology replacement schedule.  We are seeing the benefit of laptop portability with laptop lending having been added in the Youth Wing. 

 

John also noted that when we looked at use statistics last year, we saw declines at Alta Branch.  However, there have been many changes at the branch since then.  He suggested that the board make a point of looking again at Alta six months from now, in July.  Valerie said that the new Alta Branch Manager, Eva Dahlgren has been working diligently on having the Alta Branch be consistent with processes and procedures at the Main Branch, on increasing training and competencies for continual improvement in customer service.  Now, with the additional hours at the Alta Branch that began January 1, 2017 there is an opportunity to bring back patrons who may have stepped away.  Additionally, there are continued opportunities to collaborate with the Victor and Driggs community and libraries.

 

John expressed appreciation for the long term trend data.

 

TCL Monthly Financial Reports – Draft Narrative Summary Format

Valerie said that she provided a sample of a narrative explanation of our December 2016 financials to gauge if this kind of reporting is what the Library Board was seeking.  The narrative was modeled after the Poudre River Library financial narrative since the board indicated that they found this format helpful.  Valerie requested that the board identify formats and information to include on monthly financial reporting. 

 

Mark said he appreciated this first pass at a financial narrative.  He suggested focusing on the elements that drive our business, putting these items on a balance sheet and income statement, and providing comparison from same period of the previous year, similar to how our Use Statistics Report was formatted.

 

John said he appreciated the short narrative explanation of the financial health of the library.  He noted that Poudre River Library’s reporting, which included 2 pages of concise financial information, along with the short narrative was concise, highlighted the high level important items, and provided enough information.

 

Valerie explained that our financial reports to the board follow the forms the county provides to us for preparing annual budgets.  She said that for FY 2018, she would work to submit the library’s budget request in the county format, and also develop an internal budget reporting by division for clearer information.  Mark said he would be happy to help with formatting monthly financial reporting.  Ari suggested focusing on keeping reporting simple – Actual, Budget, Comparison, Variance.  Carol suggested hiring a Quickbooks consultant to translate the financial reports based on the county format into a simpler format. 

 

Other Discussion

John asked about the library board receiving quarterly progress on the Strategic Plan, the status of key objectives, and how we are progressing on the objectives.  Valerie said that we will use the assistance of Susan Ericksen-Meier, who assisted us in the strategic planning process, to work with library managers on a quarterly basis in order to provide board and staff updates.  Valerie explained that new service and program ideas that arise will be considered by examining how they match with our vision, mission, goals and objectives.  She agreed that library administration will provide regular strategic plan updates.  John requested that Strategic Plan quarterly reviews be included in the Library Board’s advance planning calendar.

 

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