Minutes September 8, 2008
Gwinnett County Public Library Board of Trustees held its regularly scheduled meeting on September 8, 2008 at the Five Forks branch. Present were Board members Lloyd Breck-Chair, Phyllis Oxendine-Vice Chair, Margaret Tiller-Secretary, Dale Todd-Treasurer and Denise Varenhorst. Administrative staff members present were Nancy Stanbery-Kellam-Executive Director, Rhonda Boyd-Deputy Director, Jane Walters-Division Director Business Services, Kim Rodriguez-Division Director Human Resources, Liz Forster-Division Director Branch Services, Deborah George-Division Director Materials Management, Michael Casey-Division Director Information Technology, Michelle Long-Public Relations Director, Denise Auger-Community Partnership Coordinator, Eamon Shelton-Capital Projects Manager and Pamela Covington-Executive Assistant. Lloyd called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.
Gwinnett Reads Presentation by Darrin Arvin, Committee Co-chair
The Gwinnett Reads 2008 selection was Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier. The book is about Will Cooper who is adopted by the Cherokee people. Programs included participating in the American Indian Festival, Cherokee Folk Stories with storyteller Donna Delgadillo, Native American Artifacts by Jeff Bishop, President of the Georgia Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association, and Claudia Oakes shared the tragic story of Major Ridge and the Trail of Tears. The signature event was held on July 12, 2008 at the Gwinnett Center. The event was a sit down discussion among Myrtle Driver Johnson, Charles Frazier and Darrin Wang. Ms. Johnson works with Mr. Frazier in preserving the Cherokee language and read passages from Thirteen Moons in Cherokee. Mr. Wang interviewed Mr. Frazier using questions from the audience. The signature event was very successful with 320 people attending. Mr. Frazier stayed for over two hours signing copies of his works.
Hamilton Mill Library Branch Report by Eamon Shelton, Capital Projects Manager
For the past several months Eamon, Nancy, Rhonda, Michael, Gwinnett County's Capital Projects Division, and architects, engineers and designers from Precision Planning have been working on the Hamilton Mill project. Finished boards were placed throughout the meeting room to show examples of interior finishes and materials that will be used in the building. Hamilton Mill will be Gwinnett County's first LEED certified library; in fact, a LEED Silver certification is being pursed. LEED is the acronym for the US Green Building Councils Leadership, Energy and Environmental Design Program. It is a tool to help determine how sustainable or how green a commercial project is designed and operated. The US Green Buildings Council (USGBC) is a national non-profit organization that was formed in 1993. The USGBC is the developer and the administrator of the LEED rating system. Benefits of having a LEED building include lower utility costs, improved air quality, reduced construction waste and education. The Hamilton Mill branch will provide passive and active opportunities to educate the public and community about conservation as well as sustainability. The design and construction document phases are complete. The Gwinnett County Capital Projects Division, in cooperation with Precision Planning, are currently reviewing all construction bids. Construction is set to begin in late October or early November. The Ground Breaking Ceremony will be on Tuesday, October 21, at 3:00 PM. Board members received a handout with an original rendering of the building and several of the sustainable features of the library.
Report from Nancy Stanbery-Kellam, Executive Director
Nancy thanked Darrin Arvin and Beth McIntyre, Gwinnett Reads Committee Co-chairs, all members of the committee, and branch staff for all their hard work presenting wonderful Gwinnett Reads events.
Hamilton Mill Library Branch
Nancy congratulated Eamon for receiving his LEED AP certification. Board members received the September Gwinnett Business Journal which features an ad placed by Precision Planning, Inc. spotlighting the Hamilton Mill Branch Library.
Events & Outreach
Board members received two River of Words booklets. The River of Words project is a national art and poetry contest for grades K-12 sponsored by the Library of Congress. The works focus on water conservation. A display featuring Georgia winners is touring libraries throughout the state. Suwanee and Grayson hosted the display which was provided by The Georgia Center for the Book.
Summer Reading Program
The August Directors Report shared highlights of how successful the Summer Reading Program, Catch the Reading Bug, was with approximately 27,625 Gwinnett County residents participating. Nancy mentioned 16,206 people attended the programs which was an increase of over 4,000 people from last year's 11,918 attendees. Nancy complimented the Events & Outreach Department for selecting and performing wonderful programs and thanked branch staff for all their hard work. This year E&O offered a contest for kids to design a bookmark around the reading program theme. Six winners were selected from the 523 entries. The winning creations were posted at branches and at the Hudgens Center for the Arts.
On Saturday, September 27 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM at the Historic Sweetwater Chapel, GCPL will celebrate the life and 166th birthday of Gwinnett County Civil War Soldier, Eli P. Landers. Esteemed author Elizabeth Whitley Roberson will speak and sign her award winning book Weep Not for Me, Dear Mother. The book is based on the letters Eli Landers sent to his mother during the Civil War. Mrs. Landers lived in Yellow River which is now Lilburn. In Atlanta during the 1960's, a neighbor of Ms. Roberson gave her a stack of yellowed letters that had been rescued from a pile of trash. Partners for this event include Atlanta Chapter 18 UDC, Gwinnett Historical Society and the Eli P. Landers Camp 1724 SCV. Volunteers will be dressed in period costume and will conduct tours of the Eli P. Landers home and of the nearby cemetery. Eli and members of other prominent Gwinnett County pioneering families, 33 Confederate soldiers, Veterans of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and World Wars I and II are buried in the historic cemetery. GCPL is very proud of this event and the opportunity to partner with new groups in the community. Phyllis is a member of the Gwinnett Historical Society and the UDC and has worked very hard on this upcoming event.
Gwinnett Reading Festival
The second annual Gwinnett Reading Festival is scheduled for Saturday, October 18 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM at the Gwinnett County Fairgrounds. The festival is a free event to encourage the love of reading and to promote literacy in our community. Readers, authors and educational vendors join together in a community-wide celebration of reading for all ages. Participates will have the opportunity to meet local, regional and national authors including Rick Bragg, Carmen Deedy and Steve Martini. Activities will include storytelling, crafts, artist workshops and a special appearance by Spider-Man. Every child that attends will receive a free book. The Georgia Humanities Council has approved a grant in the amount of $9,150 for the festival.
GCPL agreed to a trial Internship with a student from the Library & Information Science Technology (LIST) program offered by the Dunwoody Campus of Georgia Perimeter College. The intern will be working a minimum of ten hours per week at the Peachtree Corners branch from September 9 to December 5. The intern will work in circulation, reference, acquisitions, computer technology and shelving. The Georgia Perimeter College (GPS) offers a two-year degree program for students seeking training and lifelong learning skills to work in library and information centers without undertaking the rigors and expense of the full graduate-degree programs required of librarians. GPS has successfully placed interns in local libraries, as well as a placement at Georgia Public Library Service. If the trial internship is successful, it could lead to a fruitful professional partnership or a source of trained applicants for GCPL. Nancy thanked Liz who teaches a course at GPS and helped place the intern.
The Latin American Association Norcross office is working in partnership with the Norcross branch to introduce families to the joys of reading and learning. In July, the Norcross branch presented eight programs during the "Summer Learning Camp" for children ages preschool through grade 5. Programs included bilingual story hours, oral tradition stories, and games to help the children learn about the Dewey Decimal system. A recent musical program featured bilingual stories told by Maria Bruce-Aquirre, and Diane Granata played the Piccolo, Flute and Recorder. Nancy shared pictures of the event with Board members.
Students from the Afridansa Center for the Performing Arts held a demonstration and class at the Five Forks branch. The group is dedicated to providing youth and adults with a gateway to world cultures through the performing arts cultural excursions and exposure to foreign languages. The Center is designed to stimulate cultural awareness through traditional and contemporary dance forms, rhythms and songs. Everyone enjoyed the program. Nancy shared pictures of the event with Board members.
Podcasts, introduced with the 2008 Gwinnett Reads program, have been a wonderful communication tool and very successful. An anonymous compliment was posted on the Podcast: "I am quite impressed with the quality of materials and media that the public library continues to provide to the citizens of Gwinnet County. Providing Podcasts is just another way the library management shows they are informed about the vast array of media available today, and that they are willing to integrate it into the library. The staff at each of the public libraries, from management to the librarians, are well trained, informed, customer-focused and the best at what they do."
Relay for Life
GCPL reached the premier level raising $20,644 for the American Cancer Society. The public is not solicited and all funds are raised internally from staff.
Rotary Club of Buford/North Gwinnett
Again this year, Nancy's Rotary has chosen to sponsor a new book each week for speakers. The club has been doing this for several years. The Rotary club also applied for and received a competitive grant from Rotary International for the Littlest Reader Program materials in the amount of $3,500. In past years, rotary members assembled the Littlest Readers kits during their Wednesday lunch meetings. This year the club met in the evening at the Suwanee branch. Members brought their families, enjoyed a BBQ dinner, toured the branch and assembled the kits. Nancy and Denise are working on the program to make it more effective, stretch the dollars, and get more people into the branches.
State agencies have been instructed to freeze all vacant positions that are fully or partially paid with state funds. The state-paid professional librarian positions in the public library systems fall into this category. The State Librarian advised, effective immediately, no rehiring for state paid open positions. GCPL has eight state paid positions with no openings at this time.
County Capital Improvements & Operating Budget
Last week Nancy, Jane, Rhonda and Eamon attended the County Capital Improvements Budget Committee meeting to discuss the status of capital projects. Today Nancy, Jane and Rhonda met with the County Operations Budget Committee. GCPL's numbers continue to increase annually. Nancy gave Board members information that was provided to the Operating Budget Committee which reflects the increase in numbers (and successes) from FY07 to FY08. The information also shows the increased numbers over the past five years. Nancy shared with the committee that although the library acknowledges the economic downturn, historically when the economy is down, public library use is up. For the library to maintain the level of excellence that customers have come to expect, and that the library wants to provide, continued financial support is needed. During the County budget process, Lloyd encouraged everyone to remind their Commissioner of the value the library provides; access to materials to enhance job skills, internet availability, and job searches are very important to maintain a tax base that all Gwinnett County citizens rely on.
Lloyd introduced and welcomed Denise Varenhorst to the GCPL Board of Trustees.
Board of Trustees' Meeting Minutes
Motion by Oxendine to approve the June 9, 2008 meeting minutes as distributed, seconded by Todd, unanimous.
GCPL Board of Trustees – Code of Conduct
Lloyd discussed a Code of Conduct for the Board of Trustees. He stated there is a Code of Conduct for library customers and employees. This Code of Conduct reflects the expectations for Board members. As long as Board members know what the expectations are, especially as new members will be added in January, then members can live up to them. Motion by Oxendine to adopt the GCPL Board of Trustees Code of Conduct as written, seconded by Todd, unanimous.
FY2008 Budget Adjustment
The library's original FY08 State Revenue budget was adjusted at the March 2008 Board meeting to reflect information provided by the state. Subsequently, at year end the State adjusted their records to properly reflect the actual funds paid to the Library in FY08. Board approval is requested to adjust the State Revenue budget to reflect the actual State funding received in FY08 of $1,431,275, decreasing State Revenue by $90,037 and increasing the fund balance requirement. Motion by Tiller to record an adjustment to State Revenue, by decreasing State funding $90,037 and increasing the fund balance requirement by the same amount, seconded by Oxendine, unanimous.
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2008 Financial Statement
Total Revenues for fiscal year 2008 totaled $21,943,834. The Library received 83% of its revenue from Gwinnett County. State funding, through Georgia Public Library Service, totaled $1.4 million (6.5%) of total revenue. Self-generated income, other revenue and State funding for the Hamilton Mill Branch Construction Project accounted for the remaining $2.3 million of revenue. Total Revenue, excluding the Hamilton Mill construction grant revenue, exceeded budget by $354,449 due to the steady increase in self-generated income and favorable interest rates during the beginning of the fiscal year. Total expenditures for the year totaled $22.2 million, representing 85% of the budget. Personnel Expenses totaled $14.4 million representing 93% of the personnel budget. Salary savings of a little over $1 million were realized through position vacancies due to normal turnover of library staff. Material expenditures and material encumbrances at June 30, 2008 totaled a little over $4 million utilizing 100% of the materials budget. Operations Expenditures totaled $3.7 million representing 86% of the operations budget. Of the $606,079 remaining operations budget, $225,470 is encumbered for the following year. The remaining budget balances, which is the variance between the actual and the budget amount, for expendable equipment, capital outlay, computer software and supplies are being carried over to the next year as encumbrances. The remaining budget balances for professional services and advertising of $233,716 includes $9,300 of encumbered funds and advertising and marketing funds not expended due to the Marketing Director position vacancy and use of less expensive avenues for recruiting. General professional fees also realized budget savings due to services not being required. Communication's balance of $82,144 represents e-rate reimbursements, and the repair and maintenance balance of $39,708 includes $7,395 of encumbered funds, and $31,773 of budget savings realized on the automation system maintenance and fire/alarm contracts. Actual expenditures exceeded revenue by $349,309 for the fiscal year thus decreasing the beginning fund balance of $6.2 million. The fund Balance at June 30, 2008 is $5,926,867, broken down into four categories: 1) $570,747 carryover encumbrance will ensure that the FY08 encumbrances are funded in FY09. 2) The Vehicle and Equipment Replacement fund balance of $1.6 million provides the resources for the future replacement of library vehicles and library technology as outlined in the Fund schedule presented at the FY09 Budget Workshop. 3) The designated FY09 Budget Balance Requirement of a little over $1.7 million is necessary to balance the FY09 Library Budget. 4) The unreserved operating contingency fund balance of $2 million represents approximately 1/12 of the library's budget as mandated by Georgia Public Library Service.
FY2009 Budget Adjustments
The Georgia Humanities Council approved a grant in the amount of $9,150 for the 2008 Gwinnett Reading Festival. The grant will help cover expenditures for authors, publicity, supplies and printing. The grant period runs from July 15, 2008 to October 31, 2008. Motion by Oxendine to record the Georgia Humanities Council Grant for the Gwinnett Reading Festival to the FY09 budget, increasing Grant Revenue and Operations expenditure by $9,150, seconded by Varenhorst, unanimous.
The FY09 State Grant Budget was based on State information available at the time of the budget process. During July, the State informed the Library of the current FY09 State Budget of $1,458,745. Board approval is requested to adjust the State Revenue to reflect current State funding data, decreasing State Revenue by $37,674 and increasing the fund balance requirement by the same amount. The state has informed GCPL that there will be additional reductions coming soon, but no solid figures are available at this time. Jane will advise the Board members when the information is received. Motion by Todd to record an adjustment to State Revenue, by decreasing State funding $37,674 and increasing the fund balance requirement by the same amount, seconded by Varenhorst, unanimous.
GCPL July 31, 2008 Financial Statement
Jane discussed the Statement of Revenues, Expenditures and Changes in Fund Balance for One Month Ended July 31, 2008. Overall expenditures were 7% of the budget.
Jane reported on the Schedule of Fixed Assets that have been replaced by newer technology or become obsolete. Motion by Varenhorst to approve the surplus of fixed assets totaling $42,969, seconded by Todd, unanimous.
Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia Financial Statement
The Library Fund Endowment as of June 30, 2008 is $251,515.22. Jane reported the financial markets have not been good during the last quarter. The statement reflects the Grant Expense/Payment to the library of $30,837.48.
Rhonda discussed a proposed revision to the Extended Loan Fees Policy to exempt library staff from paying extended loan fees. Staff are thankful to be scheduled to receive a 2% merit raise and a 2% cost of living adjustment this year; however, that is still not keeping up with the cost of price increases. In tough economic times, one of the things that employers can do to look for ways to increase staff satisfaction is to offer some sort of a perk or discount. The policy was changed in 2003, and Management is requesting staff exemption be reinstated. Motion by Todd to revise the Extended Loan Fee Policy to exempt Library staff from paying extended loan fees, seconded by Oxendine, unanimous.
Policy Recommendation on Internet Viewing for Minors
Rhonda discussed the internet access survey conducted by the Carl Vinson Institute at the University of Georgia in April and May. Rich Clark presented the survey results at the June 2008 Board meeting. The primary finding of the survey was that a majority of respondents (63%) felt that parents should be able to instruct the library to restrict or disallow access to the internet for their minor children. Based on that result, staff developed a recommendation for revisions to the Internet Safety Policy. The policy revision calls for four options from which parents must choose when obtaining a library card for their minor children. In addition, parents of existing minor card holders (about 75,000) may come to the library in person to select an internet access option. Parents or guardians will be required to show some type of photo identification in order to make a change to a child's record. The proposed four options are CIPA-Compliant Access, Education/Reference/Health, Kids Sites and Catalog Only. The following process has been tested and is being recommended for managing internet access for minors: When a parent or guardian selects an internet option, that choice will be entered on the cardholder's record. When the card number is entered at a public computer, the automation system will check to see whether any restrictions have been entered, then access is provided through one of the four filter profiles that will be created and enabled on SmartFilter. If no selection is entered, access will default to the least restrictive level which is only what is necessary to be in compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). That is the one and only level GCPL has at this point. If the policy is approved, it would be implemented on November 1, allowing time to publicize the new options, develop landing pages to let customers know what their access level allows, and train staff in both the technical and customer service components required for this change. Rhonda defined the various access levels. 1) CIPA-Compliant Access: This is the default option, and imposes only those restrictions that are necessary in order for the library to be in compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act. 2)Education/Reference/Health: This option allows access only to the library's catalog, subscription databases and services, including GALILEO, and SmartFilter-allowed web pages devoted to health information and academic-related content. 3)Kids Sites: This option allows access only to the library's Kids Catalog, subscription databases for kids, and other sites identified by SmartFilter as being intended for children aged 10 or younger. 4) Catalog Only: This option allows access only to the database of materials purchased and cataloged by the library. Children who do not have a card, or do not have their card with them, may be issued a single-use guest pass that will default to the Education/Reference/Health access level which provides resources that can be used for homework assignments. For internal consistency, there are two other minor changes to the policy. Rhonda distributed copies of the final Survey Results to Board members. Motion by Varenhorst to approve the revised Internet Safety Policy, with changes to be implemented on November 1, 2008, seconded by Todd, unanimous.
Employment Agreement Between GCPL Board of Trustees and Nancy Stanbery-Kellam
Lloyd discussed revising the Executive Director's employment agreement from a three year to a five year contract. This essentially helps to depoliticize the Executive Director position allowing the individual to do what is right for the system, customers and the community without having to worry about political repercussions. The change from three to five years also puts the contract out beyond the tenure of current Board members. Motion by Oxendine to change the Employment Agreement between Gwinnett County Public Library Board of Trustees and Nancy Stanbery-Kellam from a three year term to a five year term, seconded by Todd, unanimous.
Motion by Varenhorst to adjourn the business meeting at 7:37 PM, seconded by Todd, unanimous.
Minutes submitted by Pamela Covington for Margaret Tiller, Board Secretary.