Minutes March 9, 2009
The Gwinnett County Public Library Board of Trustees held its regularly scheduled meeting on March 9, 2009 at the Five Forks branch. Present were Board members Phyllis Oxendine-Chair, Dale Todd-Vice Chair, Babs Wagoner-Treasurer and Phillip Saxton. Administrative staff members present were Nancy Stanbery-Kellam-Executive Director, Rhonda Boyd-Deputy Director, Jane Walters-Business Services Director, Kim Rodriguez-Human Resources Director, Liz Forster-Branch Services Director, Deborah George-Materials Management Director, Sue Calbreath-Events & Outreach Director, Michelle Long-Public Relations Director and Pamela Covington-Executive Assistant. Phyllis called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.
Board of Trustees' Meeting Minutes
Motion by Saxton to approve the January 12, 2009 meeting minutes as distributed, seconded by Todd, unanimous.
Report by Nancy Stanbery-Kellam, Executive Director
Nancy announced the retirement of Rhonda Boyd, Deputy Director, effective July 31, 2009. Liz Forster, Branch Services Director, will take over as Deputy Director.
Board of Trustees' Training Workshop
Lynn Hopper, Georgia Public Library Service, will conduct a "Tools for Trustees Training" workshop on Saturday, May 16, 2009 at the Administrative office from 9:00 to 12:00. Board members will receive additional information.
Peachtree Corners Branch
On May 12, the Peachtree Corners branch will celebrate their 20th anniversary. Board members were invited to stop by for light refreshments between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM.
Love Your Library Week
Love Your Library Week will run from April 12 through April 18 to celebrate Gwinnett County's libraries, librarians and community supporters. Several special events are being planned. Artists from Gwinnett County and the metro area can submit an Altered Book to any of the branches by April 10. Hudgens Center for the Arts will conduct the judging and selected artwork will be honored and exhibited. An Altered Book is any recycled book turned into a work of art by creative means (example: picture frame, purse, painted, collaged). Georgia Center for the Book is generously loaning altered books for display. Library books will not be used for this project.
GCPL was one of six libraries to receive the 2009 John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award. Since 1946, this award has recognized and honored outstanding achievement in library public relations. It is considered to be the most prestigious of all library awards in the field of public relations and marketing. The award was won for a brilliantly planned and implemented reading festival with more than 50 authors that attracted more than 4,500 people. The library collaborated with 46 community partners and garnered in-kind media sponsors totaling more than $67,000. An impressive variety of communications mediums were used to spread the word about the event including outdoor ads, blogs and electronic and print media. The award is a tribute to the success of the Gwinnett Reading Festival and to the hard work of our new Public Relations Director, Michelle Long. Nancy stated this accomplishment was possible because of the enormous support received from library staff, volunteers, partners, sponsors, and the community.
2009 Virtual Staff Day/Service & Care Awards
On February 25 staff experienced their first Virtual Staff Day by viewing a 30 minute online presentation. Thanks to Human Resources and the Staff Day and CARE committees for doing an incredible job. CARE Awards are presented to staff members nominated by their peers in recognition of outstanding performance. This year there were 130 nominations. Emery Pinter, MPK Library Associate, received the Rookie Award which honors a new staff member who has demonstrated enthusiasm and commitment. The Performance Award honors staff members who have demonstrated superb job-related performances and was presented to three staff members: Nikki Clement-CHL Library Associate, Pat Herndon-GRA Branch Manager, and Wilson Young, LAW-Library Associate. The Website Management Team (Christopher Baker, Meredith Bowermeister, Scott Bramblett, Michael Casey, Elissa Checov, Deb George, Lorena Gay-Griffin, Diane Payne and Laura Savastinuk) received the Team Award which honors the team whose unified efforts have had the most significant impact on how GCPL serves its customers. Karen Harris, NOR Branch Manager, received the Impact Award which honors a single staff member who has promoted GCPL's mission and vision and made an impact on the system. Service Awards presented: 7 staff received their 5 year pin; 9 staff received their 10 year pin; 7 staff received their 15 year pin; 5 staff received bookends for 20 years of service, and Rhonda Boyd was honored for 25 years of service.
Library Legislative Day
Through the generosity of community partners, Wayne Reece & Associates coordinated a lovely luncheon at the Commerce Club for legislators and other important people in the community. Several were able to attend including three Board members, Chairman Bannister, Commissioner Lasseter and Library Directors. Prior to the luncheon some administrative staff attended the Legislative Day Program at the Floyd building which is coordinated by the State Library and Georgia Council. Although 11 reservations were received from Senators and Representatives, the Georgia Power bill kept legislators in session and unable to attend. Staff had the opportunity to talk with community leaders that were in attendance. Packets are being prepared to send out to legislators.
Construction continues on GCPL's first green library. Trash recycling requirements are being met. To date, over 10 tons of waste that otherwise would have gone to a landfill has been recycled making a positive impact on the community. You can go to the library website and link to a camera to watch the branch being build and track the progress.
Commissioners Pass Final CY2009 Budget
On Tuesday, March 3, Commissioners passed the final CY2009 budget. Although the library funds were reduced by 4.6% from the requested amount, the Program Modification for Operations of the Hamilton Mill branch was approved. Nancy has communicated to the State Librarian that GCPL has received enough county funding to qualify for State funding. Directors and administrative staff have worked hard to reduce the operations expenditures for the remainder of FY09. Jane will be providing more information and requesting approval for an FY09 Budget Adjustment to reflect spending reductions of $478,000.
The Centerville branch received a nice customer comment. "I appreciate the outstanding way you serve the community. You have the latest books and book CD's available as soon as they appear in the bookstores. Your reservations system is excellent…You are tops!"
In January, 265 customers enjoyed Enzo, a gentle but funny clown from the Big Apple Circus, at the Five Forks branch. Enzo stayed after the performance to visit and talk with children and parents. E&O staff did a wonderful job guiding and directing all the strollers and bodies. The children (young & old) were delighted!
The 2009 Winter/Spring People and Stories/Gente y Cuentos programs have begun at Corley and Sycamore Elementary Schools with participants from the Parent's Liaison Groups. This is the fifth series of programs sponsored by the library. When People and Stories/Gente y Cuentos started, the library had to market the programs to the community. Now schools are approaching the library and requesting the programs. Nancy attributes the success of the programs to the "word of mouth" within Gwinnett County Public School Parents Resource Centers, and the hard work of Karen Harris and staff. The word now used to describe each segment is "Tertulia". This name was given to the program by an attendee of the first program in 2005. The term tertulia is Spanish for "Conversational Group" or "Social Gathering". To quote the attendee, "tertulia is a gathering of people who want to be together to discuss and share". GCPL is proud of these programs.
February Black History Month
Branches had beautiful displays and several special events celebrating Black History Month. Duluth Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and the Upsilon Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority held read relays on every Saturday during February. The movie Pride and Remember the Titians were shown, and Daniel Black critically acclaimed author of They Tell me of a Home and the Sacred Place appeared at the Five Forks branch. As part of the Terrific Family Series, LaDoris Blas-Davis presented Journeys through the African-American Experience.
The Gwinnett Reading Festival 2009 Committee announced a public design contest for the official annual design. The winner of the design will be honored at the Gwinnett Reading Festival which will be held in October. While there are some specifications for the contest, the committee is particularly interested in originality. The winner of the contest will be announced during "Love Your Library Week" in April.
FY09 Financial Statement & Budget Adjustments
FY09 Financial Statement, Seven Months Ended January 31, 2009
Jane reported the actual revenues of $16.1 million include the January quarterly County subsidy of $4.6 million. The total expenditures were $13.4 million. The excess of revenues over expenditures were $2.7 million which is high due to the County subsidy. The ending fund balance was $8.6 million.
FY09 Budget Adjustments
A budget adjustment is required to adjust the County revenue budget to reflect the Calendar Year 2009 Library subsidy of $18,962,433. This amount is $270,000 more than the 2008 subsidy. Jane mentioned even though the subsidy is $270,000 more than last year, it still is $802,000 less than the County's original recommended amount. The County revenue budget needs to be adjusted to reflect six months of the library's fiscal year. The adjustment will increase County revenue $135,000 and decrease the amount of the fund balance required to balance the budget. Motion by Todd to increase the County revenue budget and decrease the fund balance requirement by $135,000, seconded by Saxton, unanimous.
Due to the current interest rate trends, the interest revenue budget needs to be reduced by $50,000 to bring the budgeted amount in line with actual projected interest revenue for FY09. Motion by Wagoner to decrease the interest revenue budget by $50,000 and increase the fund balance requirement by $50,000, seconded by Todd, unanimous.
In light of revenue reductions, Library management/department heads have diligently reviewed their area of responsibility to determine critical FY09 spending and have planned specific spending reductions. These spending reductions include: the postponement of the Card Access System and Staff Day, postponement for non-critical conferences/travel, training and network consulting. Additional reductions were made in advertising, marketing, materials, Gwinnett Reads, Unique notices and computer maintenance. Jane reviewed each line item reduction and answered the Board's questions. Phillip stated his concern with spending reductions regarding the Marketing Plan. Jane explained some of the marketing would be handled in-house. Phyllis thanked Jane and staff for doing an excellent job on the spending reductions which do not eliminate staffing. Motion by Saxton to reduce the operations expenditure budget by $446,000 and the materials budget by $32,000 and decrease the fund balance requirement by the total of $478,000, seconded by Todd, unanimous.
Jane discussed the fixed asset schedule detailing equipment that has been replaced by newer technology. Once the Board declares the assets as surplus, the items will be transferred to Gwinnett County for disposition. If sold at public auction, the Library will receive a portion of the proceeds from the sale. Motion by Saxton to approve the surplus of fixed assets totaling $10,764, seconded by Todd, unanimous.
Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia, Financial Statement
Jane reviewed the Statement for the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia Quarter ended December 31, 2008. The value at that time was $191,794.23. For the year there is a 23% decline in value.
Revisions to Library Card Policy
Rhonda Boyd discussed three changes proposed for the Library Card Policy. In order to support Gwinnett County and city governments within Gwinnett, who partner with the library on many projects and provide support with funding and/or other assistance, staff are proposing to expand the eligibility for an organizational card to include Gwinnett County and city government agencies within Gwinnett County, and eligibility for personal cards to employees of cities within Gwinnett County. (Employees of Gwinnett County are already eligible for personal cards at no cost.) In addition, the library would like to implement a $1.00 fee for replacing a lost card. Customers often choose not to carry their card and request a new one. The library is doing their part to protect the customer's library records, particularly with the pin implementation that will take effect April 1. The library hopes this minimal charge will encourage customers to hold onto their cards. Motion by Todd to expand the eligibility for an organizational card to include Gwinnett County and city government agencies within Gwinnett County; eligibility for personal cards to employees of cities within Gwinnett County; and for imposing a $1.00 charge for the replacement for lost cards, seconded by Saxton, unanimous.
Revisions to Unattended Children Policy
In an effort to tighten and clarify existing library policies, the Security Improvement Team assessed the current Unattended Children Policy and made recommendations on wording that would be more specific and informative to customers and staff alike. Legal has reviewed the revised policy. The policy revision does the following: incorporates the ages under which the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services recommends not leaving children at home alone or as a caregiver for younger children; defines the level of supervision that is expected for young children under 8 (responsible parents or caregivers must remain within sight or sound range of their children at all times); defines the expectations for minor caregivers of younger children (13 or older, able to effectively supervise young children, and must be willing and able to provide contact information for a parent/caregiver upon request); and sets forth specific actions to be taken for minors in each age group if they are deemed in need of supervision and no parent/caregiver can be located. If a child is under 8 or between 9 to 12 years old, and the library staff deemed the child in need of supervision and cannot locate a parent or caregiver in the building, the police would be contacted. If 13 or older, they can be in the library by themselves as long as they can comply with the Code of Conduct. In addition, this policy now includes a statement that the police will be called when minors remain on library property 30 minutes after the library closes. This simply restates the language from the current policy, "Customers without Transportation at Closing," and allows that policy to be rescinded. You will note that language requiring staff to offer to wait with adults without transportation has not been included in the proposed revision. It is proposed that staff be allowed to use their judgment in determining whether to make such an offer. Board members had several questions and recommendations regarding the policy. Board recommendations: policy should be posted in all branches and on the website; adequate training should be provided for Branch Managers and all staff; and, when the guidelines are written for the policy, they should be sent to Board members. Phyllis would like the Manager or Assistant Manager from each branch to attend Board meetings which will assist Managers at monthly branch meetings explain to staff all items voted on by the Board. Phyllis stated every employee should understand the function of the Board of Trustees and the items being voted on. Policies like the Unattended Children Policy are important for the security of employees and patrons. The Board is appointed by Commissioners and responsible for a large budget. The Board is working diligently to help the library system and staff during bad economic times. Motion by Todd to approve revisions to the policy on Unattended Children and rescind the policy on Customers without Transportation at Closing, seconded by Wagoner, unanimous.
Phillip stated he visited three branches and looks forward in the future to visiting all the branches. He thanked Margaret Rafferty-Dacula, Sue Kelley-Suwanee and Glenda Sartain-Peachtree Corners for providing a tour of the branch.
Phillip advised his Partnership Gwinnett Workforce and Education Committee would be meeting on April 28 at 3:30 PM at the Administrative office. Mike Levengood, Committee Chairman, will share information regarding Partnership Gwinnett. Phillip invited the Board to attend and asked Nancy and Phyllis to speak to the Committee. He also requested the committee tour the Lawrenceville branch.
Phyllis thanked Glenda Sartain and Anna Rubin for wonderful Peachtree Corners and Duluth branch tours. She stated the Board and administrative staff will be visiting all the branches two at a time. Phyllis was impressed with the way Peachtree Corners had arranged the brochures and display of Veteran's books and information. She thanked all the branches for the work done on behalf of the Veteran's and knows they appreciate it.
Motion by Todd to adjourn the business meeting at 7:38 PM, seconded by Saxton, unanimous.
Minutes submitted by Pamela Covington for Margaret Tiller, Board Secretary.