DUPAGE LIBRARY SYSTEM
OPERATIONS/PLANNING JOINT COMMITTEE MEETING
August 28, 2003
Call to order
The meeting was called to order at 6 p.m. by Chair Marguerite Treest.
Committee members present were: Marguerite Treest, Stephen Fulton, Karen Hannah, Laurie Kagann, Joyce Whitehead, and Robert Kepka, ex-officio participated by speakerphone. Committee member Jackie Plourde was an excused absence and John Slusser was absent. Staff members present were Shirley May Byrnes, Jane Plass, Pam Kramer, Karen Odean, Claudia Sheets, Denise Zielinski, Jim Holt, and Phylis Wagner.
Durrant Report - Prioritization of Recommendations for 1-5 and 6-10 years
Exec. Dir. Byrnes introduced Jim Holt, DLS Building/Shipping and Receiving Supervisor. Jim has been with DLS for many years and is familiar with the building and its additions.
As requested, Claudia Sheets and Jim Holt have prioritized the recommendations for repairs in the 1-5 years and 6-10 years columns of the Durrant report, and in the handouts this evening is a sheet outlining these recommendations. Claudia explained the format of the sheet, which references the Durrant facility review report. The column on the right-hand side will reflect input from the Committee.
Claudia and Jim recommended that checking for asbestos on the ceiling of the mechanical room should be given a higher priority. The Durrant report put it in the 6-10 year column for action. Pres. Kepka stated that he was on the Board when the first addition was made to the building, about 1982. He said that there was an asbestos abatement as part of that addition, and that staff should look for that report. Even at that time, the law stated that asbestos had to be removed from the whole building if there was an addition. He remembered that employees had to be out of the building for three weeks, so he suspects all the asbestos was removed at that time.
Staff also recommended that a sleeve for the chimney should be moved to this year from the 1-5 year column. If a sleeve will not correct the problem, the whole chimney will have to be rebuilt.
Committee members made the following suggestions:
Claudia updated the Committees on some of the recommendations in progress.
The Committee members commended Claudia and Jim for the nice job that they did in prioritizing the report recommendations, and thanked them maintaining the building. By consensus, the Committees agreed to recommend the prioritized list to the Board at its September meeting.
Information on Area and Per Capita Grant Amount
In the handouts was a letter from Jean Wilkins at the Illinois State Library regarding the Area and Per Capita Formula Grants for 2004. This letter was faxed to the system directors on August 20 and, on Thursday, August 21, there was a conference call about the 16.5% reduction in system funding, which we were told is a permanent reduction. It means that in addition to systems not having an increase in funding since 1992, DLS now has a $228,958.10 less.
b. Proposed Revisions to FY04 Grant Application and Budget
The DLS managers have met several times to reduce the budget, and the budget notes have been revised to reflect the recommended reductions. In mid-May, we learned of the $185,949.20 reduction and brought revised budget notes to the Board at its June meeting. Those notes are in red. The additional recommended reductions are in blue. There is a good possibility that there will be more reductions. The 16.5% takes into account the 8% administrative fee which is likely to be assessed on the Live and Learn (L&L) funds and a 2% reserve on both GRF and L&L funds. On the revenue sheet, the interest has not been reduced since we will earn interest on the reserve accounts. However, we will not receive a lump sum payment and are likely to receive FY04 payments late so no interest is likely to be earned on FY04 funds.
Under expenditures, reductions were made in several line items. These include a 1% reduction in the maximum annual employee wage increase, reinstating the employee contribution to health insurance premiums, and reductions in travel and supply lines. In addition, the staff is proposing the discontinuance of backup reference service provided by the Suburban Library System (SLS). Member use of this service has dropped to 4 questions a month since February, the reference staff at SLS has been reduced through attrition and layoffs so questions are not answered as quickly, and there are others methods of getting questions answered with the resources available at member libraries and the advent of virtual reference service. Several systems have already discontinued this service. The Committee members agreed to recommend to the Board that DLS discontinue backup reference service.
The Committee stated that it is important to let the membership know the impact of the funding reductions on our services to them. This includes not filling the consultant and information technology positions.
If there are additional reductions in FY04 funds, the staff will bring further recommendations to the Board. The final payment for FY03 was received in August although the fiscal year ended on June 30. As of the August 21 call, FY04 funds for the talking book centers, i.e., the Voices of Vision (VOV), have not been reduced and include the additional funds which were requested. No funds have been received, however, and reserve funds are being used to pay the bills.
Because nothing can be done about the state funding at this time, it is necessary for systems to cooperate with each other in order to offer some services that may be too expensive for one system to provide and to share expertise. Pres. Kepka expressed the need to explore other avenues outside of our current revenue source. One possibility would be the establishment of a foundation that could do fund raising.
There are five openings on the Board. Two of these are for public libraries seats, and we have not received any nominations for these positions. Denise Zielinski has sent a personal letter to public library trustees that have attended programs sponsored by DLS inviting them to serve on our Board. Included in the handouts is a list of these public library trustees and the programs they attended. Exec. Dir. Byrnes has sent emails to the public library directors mentioning the need for nominations.
So far, two special library nominations have been received. The Committee was asked for help in contacting friends or associates, who are trustees in different member library districts, and encouraging them to join the DLS Board. The deadline for submitting nominations is Friday, September 5.
The minutes from the Operations Committee on May 7 and Planning Committee on June 9 have not been approved and are not listed on the agenda for this meeting. It was decided to make these an agenda item for the September meeting under approval of minutes.
Meeting adjourned at 7:34 p.m.
Phylis Wagner, Recorder