ELISHA D. SMITH PUBLIC LIBRARY
DIRECTOR’S REPORT – September 2010
1. Bills. REQUESTED ACTION: Approval of bills as presented for September 2010.
2. Minutes. Minutes of Board meeting August 19, 2010. REQUESTED ACTION: Approve minutes of meeting.
3. Statistics. Our statistics increased slightly this month, continuing our pattern this year of remaining close to the record circulation we have been experiencing in the past few years. We saw nice increases in the double digits for magazines, Books on CD, children’s music CDs, children’s Books on CD, and Kits in the children’s room.
As many of you have noticed, our circulation for audiocassettes and videos has been steadily declining. This month, the library withdrew the last of the audiocassettes and videos from the collection to make room for Books on CD and DVDs. The last of the CD-ROMs will also be being withdrawn. We have also decided to move the nonfiction DVDs into the nonfiction stacks, just as the video collection had been handled. We hope it will increase circulation of these films. The new nonfiction DVDs will be in our new DVD display.
4. Community Foundation Reports and Endowment Report. I apologize for neglecting to share the Community Foundation reports with you for the last few months. In your packet you will find the August reports for both of our funds held by the Community Foundation. I will have copies of the other months of 2010 at the meeting.
I also plan to have the 2nd Quarter Endowment Report ready for the Board Meeting. It will be in the new format requested at the last Investment Committee Meeting.
5. Children’s Summer Reading Program. Kathy Beson reports on this year’s Summer Reading Program in her final report. The Children’s Summer Reading Program reached and far exceeded its goal of increasing participation by 25% by 2010. When written, we knew that this would be a challenging goal and I am so proud of the efforts of the children’s department which not only made it happen but doubled the increase!
It is also great to see such a vibrant selection of programs offered by our children’s department. Anyone who entered the department knew that something special was happening. And let’s remember that this was all done with one significant position vacant for the bulk of the summer. Well done everyone!
6. Re-Visioning Committee. The library staff is exploring new ways to merchandise our collection internally. We are in the very beginning stages of planning at this point but have some exciting changes already happening. One large change is to our main displays in the entrance area. We are adding some new genre categories to the new items which we hope will allow patrons who read specific genres to find them more easily. The new genres include Romance, Fantasy, Inspirational, Historical Fiction and Suspense. As these new collections are tested and are successful in the new material area, we will work with the general fiction collection to pull them out.
The changes will continue with other collections being handled in a more patron-friendly and browsing-friendly way. Our music CDs are going to be changed from the numerical codes currently used to terms like Classical, Rock, and Country. In the future we will need to explore new shelving for this collection so that it can be browsed more easily than on shelving.
One of the more cutting-edge and interesting changes we are exploring are new ways to handle our nonfiction collection. A few libraries in the US have already moved to more of a bookstore model, removing Dewey Decimals and instead moving to BISAC categories. Again, this is more word based and removes the confusion of numerical systems. It will look something like this:
All of these projects will take time to implement. Right now, we are deciding on the timeline, the changes we want to implement, and planning. We will be asking for input from the public in our changes and have already been tweaking our changes thanks to patron comments. At this time, I expect the changes to take around 3 years to complete.
We will be doing all collections in the library, exploring new merchandising, new genre collections and new ways to approach nonfiction. The goal of all of our decisions is to make it easier and more inviting for our patrons to come to the library, explore, and find the items they are looking for.
A piece of this is the addition of a morning meeting for staff in the library. We meet for 5 minutes to talk about the changes, the daily schedule, any staff out for illness or vacation. It makes for a great start to the day, since we all know what is happening. As the changes are made, I plan to ask staff to take turns serving as greeters at the door where they will also be responsible for tidying the new item displays which take a lot of attention.
7. Winnefox and WALS. Fond du Lac Public Library is threatening to leave the Winnefox Library System due to the expense of being a member of the WALS system (the shared automation system that runs our circulation system.) They are asking for membership fees to be reduced by 20% in 2011. They presented their concerns at the July Winnefox Board Meeting and will be offering their ideas for cuts to be made to Winnefox and WALS services at the September Winnefox Board Meeting. I have been in contact with our two representatives on the Winnefox Board, expressing my concerns about Fond du Lac’s plans.
They are calling for the elimination or reduction in several services that we use regularly.
· Printing and Graphics (we have had over 30,000 pieces printed this year at no charge)
· Web Support (we use this extensively and often lead the way on new website modules and programs)
· Delivery (they say that the service could be offered at a lower cost)
· Interlibrary Loan (they are recommending local libraries do it themselves rather than it being centralized)
I will be attending the Winnefox Board Meeting later this month and if asked will express my concerns with their proposal. To my mind, their proposed cutting of these services directly impacts the value that we receive from Winnefox as a library.
8. Minor Change in State Law. There was a recent change in state law that affects library trustees. The change states that persons serving in city appointive offices serve until their successors are appointed and qualify. State law has had this provision for villages but not cities, making the law more consistent.
9. WLA Reminder. Please let Kris or me know if you want to attend the WLA Conference this year. The days are November 2-5 and it is being held in the Wisconsin Dells. The library funds all of your travel costs, meals and lodging. We save money on registration if people register by October 1st, so please let us know by that date if you are planning to attend. Details can be found at:
10. Request for Excemption to Meeting Room Policy. The Valley Home Schoolers are requesting that their children’s home school writing class be able to use our meeting rooms twice a month for six months of the year. Currently, only one other group, The Toastmasters, has been allowed this variance to our policy that organizations can only meet monthly or on an ad hoc basis. We have a process in place that if not approved by the library director, a group can seek approval from the library board.
Our meeting rooms are used extensively by many groups. Our existing policy is written to ensure that a wide variety of groups are able to use our rooms. I would caution making too many exceptions to the policy. Under our current policy, the group would be welcome to use the library meeting room monthly for the entire year or for the six months, whichever they would prefer. The issue is the twice a month meetings.
11. Food for Fines. Once again our library is planning a Food for Fines campaign in the fall. We partner with the Neenah Public Library in this effort. This year the food will be being donated to St. Joseph’s Food Pantry. The proposed dates for the program are November 6-14. REQUESTED ACTION: Approve the dates and continuation of our Food for Fines program.
12. Appointment to Policy Committee. Kathy Wicihowski as the Chair of the Policy and Personnel Committee has asked that the board consider appointing Sue Werley to that committee. As a library board member, Sue was instrumental in the ongoing updates of our policies. The committee appointment would be limited to policy changes only and would not include personnel issues. REQUESTED ACTION: Appoint Sue Werley to the Policy and Personnel Committee with stipulated limitation to policy review only.
13. 2011 Budget. I am waiting for final figures from the City for personnel costs. It is my hope that the Finance Committee will meet the week before the Board Meeting and we can talk about their recommendations and reactions. If the figures do not arrive soon, this discussion will have to be postponed until the October Board Meeting.
In 2011, we are seeing an increase in funding from Calumet County as well as a slight increase in funding from the City. Our funding from Winnebago County fell by over $9000 due to the formula which is based on the percentage of county use. Our municipal usage increased enough to change the percentage and cause the drop in funding.
I am also budgeting for a 2.5% increase in salaries and wages which is what all non-reps in the City will be receiving, a 10% increase in health insurance, and a 25% increase in water. Because we are using estimated figures for insurance costs, those will be changed later in the fall.