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Carlinville Public Library

Monthly Board Meeting Minutes

Library Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes

Minutes for the monthly Board Meetings are available upon request at the Library Administrative Office, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.  The approved minutes for the last three meetings are:

 

Carlinville Library Board Minutes

                                                                                                                        July 6, 2020

 

              The Carlinville Library Board met in regular session on Monday, July 6. The meeting opened at 4:36 p.m. Members present were Fehr, Gillen, Fanning, Rosentreter, Clark, Yowell, Rush, and Emery.

            The meeting was held in the main conference room of the library, which is the normal meeting site for the board, and social distancing was practiced. Members wore face coverings during the meeting.

            There was no public comment or correspondence.

             The minutes from the June board meeting were read by board members. Fanning requested a change in wording in one passage of the minutes. A motion was made by Rosentreter and seconded by Yowell to approve the minutes as amended. The motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.

            Fanning presented the treasurer’s report with substantial detail. Bills totaling $19,598.65 were paid during the month, leaving a current balance of $16,665.64.  

            Fanning advised the board that expenses were higher than normal during the month, because three pay periods fell during the month of June.

            A motion was made by Gillen and seconded by Clark to approve the bills. The motion passed 8-0 on a roll call vote.

            Old business was then presented. The change of the title for the Return to Work Policy was approved by board members. The issue of the title had been discussed at the June board meeting. The new title is Return to Work During A Declared Pandemic, and will be added as an appendix to the library’s policy manual.

            Library Director Janet Howard updated the board on the replacement of the library roof. She advised that city officials had told her that a bid had been initially accepted, but that the city was cancelling the bid, and the project would be re-bid.  The issue was scheduled to be discussed at an upcoming city council meeting.

            During the two major rainfalls during the week of June 29, the leak over the west door became a problem again. When the new roof is installed, the drywall over the top of the door will require replacement.

            New business was presented. Officers for the next year were seated at the meeting. The slate of officers had been elected at the June meeting. Officers for the new year are Fehr as President, Rosentreter as Vice-President, Fanning as Treasurer, and Emery as Secretary.

            The meeting was the last for longtime board member Sarah Gillen, who had submitted her resignation in June. Gillen spent twenty-two years on the board, many as Vice-President. Other board members thanked Gillen for her service, and refreshments were served in her honor during the meeting.

            Howard read the Librarian’s Report. Children’s Co-Librarian Nadia Kahl submitted a detailed report on the library’s first-ever virtual Summer Reading Program, “Dig Deeper: Read, Investigate, Discover!”  All of the StoryTime sessions were recorded on the library’s YouTube channel. The first- through third-graders, who were the “Investigators,” had nineteen participants over the four weeks of meetings, which were conducted on the Zoom app.

            The Investigators learned from the First Little House book series of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  The children investigated artifacts from that time period and learned about summers on the prairie, travelling by covered wagon, building a log cabin, and county fairs of that period. In addition, children learned how to weave paper, churn butter, and build a model of a covered wagon, as well as performing hand-clapping songs and square-dancing moves. The Investigators’ four StoryTime sessions attracted a total of 62 views on YouTube.

            The Little Dinos, or the children from birth age to five years old, had nineteen children attend five Zoom meetings. That group learned colors, counted, and learned the names of dinosaurs, while enjoying rhymes, songs, and other fun activities about dinosaurs.  The Little Dinos’ five StoryTime sessions attracted a total of 79 views on YouTube. 

            Kahl advised that she used her personal tablet and laptop to record and host the Zoom meetings. She offered several recommendations to enhance and improve the virtual StoryTime sessions, as well as the Summer Reading Program on the whole. She suggested that the library add a computer with a camera and microphone, as well as Microsoft Word and Publisher, as she worried that schools could not open their programs correctly with different programs, and Word documents are sometimes difficult to convert in other software packages.  She also hoped to be able to connect her personal computer and Gmail account to a Carlinville library e-mail account, as she could not open her e-mail offsite.

            Kahl noted some obstacles in the Zoom meeting format, including that only the library platforms advertised the programs. The Carlinville newspaper never ran a story, despite having been supplied with information. In other cases, some children did not sign up because the format was virtual, and Kahl indicated that it was difficult to host a Zoom meeting with more than four participants. Kahl added that it was crucial for a parent or guardian to help the child stay involved and help communicate what is asked of them during the meeting.  As a result, some children found it hard to know when they were supposed to speak to Kahl, or when she was speaking to them. The time limit of the meetings, 30 minutes, also made it difficult for Kahl to cover all material in time.

            However, Kahl described many benefits of the program, including the smaller meeting sizes she experienced. She expressed her satisfaction at watching the progress of one two-year-old child, whose speech, words, and rhymes and songs greatly improved during the length of the program.  Kahl was also able to mute other participants when it was time to listen. In addition, some of the Investigators group bought their own copies of the Little House Books, and were reading them to their family because of the program. Kahl was also able to connect with patrons of other libraries, including two boys in Towanda, north of Bloomington, as well as her nieces from San Antonio.

            Kahl further noted her concern that the recorded story times may become lost amid the countless recorded readings by celebrities and other personalities on the Internet. She also noted the time, three to four hours, that it takes record, edit descriptions with complete information, and write posts for the library platforms.  Kahl advised the board that she would continue to create recorded story times for the library’s YouTube channel during the month of July, and worked with staffer Hannah Miller to create some take-home crafts for children and patrons, for use and construction at home. Some 23 crafts have already been taken home by patrons.  

            Fehr expressed her compliments for the excellent work that Kahl does in her position, and some discussion arose on the kinds of technological improvements Kahl is requesting, and how to obtain them. Board members recommended that Kahl be invited to the August board meeting, to discuss her recommendations in-person.

            The library had reopened with curbside service on June 1, to the pleasure of patrons, who missed the connection to the library.

            On June 5 at around 3 p.m., a fire alarm went off in the library, leading to a call from the Carlinville Fire Department. Howard checked the building, and called the police department on the non-emergency number.  Prior to the fire department’s arrival, staff inspected the library, and found no alarms were flashing. Four firemen in full gear then inspected the library, including the central corridor, and also examined the roof.

            As a result, Howard called Mac’s Fire and Safety to request a check of the system at the library. The owner visited the library and could not locate anything wrong. He asked that, the next time the alarm sounds, library staff not reset the system, but silence the alarm so he may see where the system is activated.  Signs with those instructions have been posted in the west storage room. Mac’s Fire and Safety also advised that the emergency lighting system’s batteries need replacement, and that two of the exit signs are not lighted.

            Tim Coonrod from Coonrod Electric examined the emergency lighting system on July 2, and found that all four exit signs need to be replaced, since they are out of date and replacement bulbs are no longer available. The total cost is $1,101.50. Coonrod was expected to re-visit the library on July 9, to perform the work.

            The library increased some services on June 15 as part of its phased re-opening plan. Curbside service and access to the front desk were included, and FAX, scanning, and copying services were reinstated.

            On June 22, the library resumed normal hours with the first 30 minutes of each day reserved for elderly patrons and those with health risks. The last 30 minutes of the day were reserved for sanitizing frequently-used surfaces. Four computers were available for the first 50 minutes of each hour for public use, with masks and hand sanitizer before the use as requirements. Stacks were open to patrons with a face covering, and who had sanitized their hands upon entering the building. Chairs, toys, newspapers, and puzzles not available, to keep visit times to a minimum. Restrooms were also closed to the public.

            On June 29, the library opened with the same protocols as June 15-28, after a careful decision to slow the reopening process. On July 6, it was determined that the library would continue on its present course, with the same rules in place.

            Under the maximum guidelines set forth in the state’s COVID-19 reopening policies, the library may operate at a patron capacity of 50% of normal. With caution in mind, the library currently has a maximum capacity of 20 patrons, which is well below that limit.

            Secretary of State Jesse White, who is also the ex officio State Librarian, awarded the Carlinville library $7,396.25 in the FY2020 Per Capita Grant. Over $15 million was awarded to Illinois libraries this year. However, Secretary White’s office has advised that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated guidelines for social distancing, the funds may be delayed for an extended period. The FY2019 grant monies were deposited by the library on Dec. 16, 2019.  The state budget for FY2020-21 was signed by the governor this June 12.

            The budget includes an increase in the per capita grant rate for both school and public libraries from $0.75 to $0.88, and from $1.25 per resident to $1.475. Using the current population of 5,917, this would increase the library per capita grant amount to $8,727.58. Howard advised that these statutory amounts have not been raised since 1995.

            The library is assisting the Summer Lunch Bunch program again this year, but in a new way. In recent years, the group provided weekday lunches and workers to make and distribute the meals during the summer months when school is closed. The pandemic, however, has rendered this impossible. Instead, the group is distributing sack lunches and a half gallon of milk each Friday in June and July from the City Hall parking lot. The library is providing space in the conference room to store equipment and house the cooler for the milk. Prairie Farms is donating the milk and cooler. Several dozen lunches have been distributed in nearly every week of the program to date.

            An ongoing nationwide study by the Battalle Corporation, in cooperation with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has revealed information on the coronavirus and how long it can survive on library materials. In one phase of the study, scientists have determined that the virus that causes COVID-19 is undetectable on five common library materials after a period of three days. Tested materials included the covers of both hardcover and softback books, plain paper pages inside a closed book, mylar protective book cover jackets, and plastic DVD cases. The tests considered a variety of surfaces with typical temperature and humidity conditions for indoor, air-conditioned office spaces.

            The findings were part of the Reopening Archives, Libraries and Museums (REALM) Project, which is supported by IMLS, the primary source of federal funding for museums and libraries, as well as OCLC.  IMLS was responsible for distributing the Live and Learn grants, which benefitted the Carlinville library in multiple ways.  A second phase of testing, scheduled to be released in July 2020, was to include braille paper pages, glossy paper pages, magazine pages, and children’s board books.

            The library hosted a Census Day on June 24, with a Census officer on hand from 3-6 to answer questions and help fill out forms. Two earlier Census Days had been cancelled due to the stay-at-home orders earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the library advertised the new Census Day on all of its platforms, no one attended.

            According to local Census2020 statistics, 73.5 percent of Carlinville citizens have completed the census, with 68.9 percent completion in Macoupin County. Some 66.5 percent of Illinois residents have self-responded, which is above the national average of 61.6 percent.

            Based on the previous census, some 1,500 residents are still uncounted. Any decrease in the city’s population could affect the Per Capita Grant, and many other grants and funding opportunities. The library will host five Census Training Days on July 31 and Aug. 4-7. Census workers resumed delivering questionaires to non-responders in Illinois in early June, and the deadline for data collection has been extended from July 31 to October 31.

            The Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS) and SHARE have eased the rules on providing residents of Carlinville and surrounding areas with temporary cards during the shelter-in-place executive orders. The temporary cards were limited only to eBooks and eAudiobooks, and expired on June 30. Residents who want a permanent card must come to the library with a photo ID and one piece of current mail, showing the address on record. Those outside the city limits must also pay the nonresident fee of $60.

            Gov. Pritzker signed HB 2096 into law in June. This law prevents a library from charging nonresident fees for the use of a library to a nonresident in an unincorporated area in Illinois who is a student in a household is at or below the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s income eligibility guidelines. The bill allows free access to children whose parents do not help support the library with tax dollars, and charges children who live in the library’s boundary for the same services.

            This law was the subject of discussion on June 24 in a Director’s Chat, and the consensus among participating directors and IHLS staff members was to wait for further clarification from the Illinois State Library on how to implement the policy.  A top concern is how to maintain confidentiality for students who qualify for the program, while another is that is provides free services for some students while charging others. If a Cards for Kids Act library card is requested, library checkouts using the card will be restricted to reasonably age-appropriate material for the student, in an effort to prevent parents from using the card for their own means.

            The Cubby Hole in Carlinville held a fundraising campaign with T-shirts to help raise money and support for local businesses and organizations. Half of the proceeds of the fundraiser were donated. The library received a $10 donation as a result.

            The Illinois Public Library Annual Report (IPLAR) was filed with the Illinois State Library on June 22. Board members were provided with statistics from the report.

            The library circulated a total of 1,467 items in June. The Year to Date Money Saved, as of June 30, was $321,430, which is compared to $621,102 at that point in 2019.

            The library is now at the midpoint of its calendar year. Item and patron circulation for the first six months of 2020 was 10,875, down from 18,331 in the first six months of 2019.  Of course, much of the decrease is attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic. Board members were provided with a breakdown of these statistics.

            A motion was made by Emery and seconded by Fanning to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 5:07 p.m.

           

 

 

Carlinville Library Board Minutes June 1, 2020

The Carlinville Library Board met in regular session on Monday, June 1. The meeting opened at 4:34 p.m. Members present were Fehr, Gillen, Fanning, Rosentreter, Van Nattan, Clark, Yowell, Rush, and Emery. The meeting was held in the children’s section of the library, to allow for social distancing. Members wore face coverings during the meeting. There was no public comment or correspondence. The minutes from the May board meeting were read by board members. A motion was made by Yowell and seconded by Van Nattan to approve the minutes. The motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.

Fanning presented the treasurer’s report with substantial detail. Bills totaling $12,880.92 were paid during the month, leaving a current balance of $19,210.94.

Fanning advised the board that an advance may be needed from the Haberle account to cover library expenses. This is accepted practice with the Haberle account, as all advances are repaid upon the library’s receipt of property tax revenue.

 Rosentreter made a motion to approve the bills, and to approve permission of an advance from the Haberle account as needed. Clark seconded the motion, which passed 9-0 on a roll call vote.

 Old business was then presented. The Nominating Committee, consisting of Yowell and Gillen, presented nominations for board officers for the next fiscal year. The slate of officers included Fehr as President, Rosentreter as Vice-President, Emery as Secretary, and Fanning as Treasurer.

There were no further nominations from the floor. A motion was made by Yowell and seconded by Gillen to elect the slate of officers as presented. The motion passed with a voice vote, thereby electing the officers.

Library Director Janet Howard discussed an update on the library’s portion of the roof, which has been an ongoing issue. She advised the board that the city had hoped to secure a grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), which was intended for shovel-ready municipal projects. However, the city’s project did not meet all requirements of the Rebuild Illinois FastTrack Public Infrastructure Grant Program. The estimated cost of the roofing project is $170,000 to $180,000, while the minimum grant amount was $250,000.

Howard also advised the board on Illinois Senate Bill 686, which will have an effect on the timeline for receiving the current year’s real estate tax proceeds. Though Macoupin County has not delayed the payment deadlines, the bill will allow late payment without fees or penalties. Under the bill, a county board may waive fees and penalties for late property tax payments for up to 120 days after the effective date of the legislation, or until the first day of the month after the end of the public health emergency, whichever is earlier.

New business was then presented. Howard gave a detailed report on the many activities at the library during the COVID-19 closure, as much went on behind the scenes. Howard attended two Director’s meetings each week, as well as two to three webinars or Zoom meeting each week. The Illinois Library Association, American Library Association, Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS), Reaching Across Illinois Library Systems (RAILS), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and other agencies have provided much information on COVID-19 and its symptoms. In particular, Howard recommended the IHLS website for useful information and related links.

A nationwide study is being conducted by the Battalle Corporation, in cooperation with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) on COVID-19 and how long it can survive on library materials, but that study is not expected to be released until late summer.

 Staff members have taken a collective total of 36 online classes, and most have completed the annual mandatory Sexual Harassment Training courses. Topics covered in the online classes completed by library staff include Polaris LEAP, effective marketing of libraries, advising adult and young readers, ethics in public service, Instagram use for public libraries, effective library culture, COVID-19, and race, diversity, and inclusion.

Personal protection equipment has been purchased and installed, including plexiglass shields in front of each of the circulation computers. All fiction shelves have been shelf-read, and an inventory of adult, young adult, and juvenile fiction is in its early phase. Many new policies, as well as a re-opening plan, have been written.

The library has been deep cleaned, and returned items have been checked in and quarantined for five days, an added measure of safety, since recommended guidelines require only 72 hours. Signs have been created to help patrons maneuver the library with social distancing in mind when the library building re-opens to the public, and various newspaper articles, press releases, and posting to the library’s social media platforms have been created.

Howard said that the re-opening plan is in at least its seventh edition, as it has been continually updated with new and changing information. The plan outlines the phases in which the library will reopen, and requirements and procedures for both staff and patrons. The plan was presented to board members, and has been posted on the library’s social media platforms.

For further review, Howard contacted Craig Bussmann, the director of the COVID-19 response team for the Macoupin County Health Department. Bussmann expressed his pleasure with the re-opening plan, which he said was very sound. He promised to call Howard with any changes to federal or state mandates that could affect its plan or its implementation. Bussmann also recommended the Carlinville library’s plan to several other libraries in Macoupin County.

 As the library will be operating under reduced hours in the phased re-opening, Fehr discussed how staff should be paid. The staff were paid their full wages during the shutdown. Some employees worked from home, while others were in the library performing various tasks.

With reduced hours, staff will alternate between approximately 16 and 20 hours per week. The board decided to pay part-time staff only for the hours they work during the phased re-opening, as those staff members will be working less hours than normal, and will have a slight pay reduction as a result.

The aforementioned plexiglass shields that were installed in front of the circulation computers were purchased by a company in Champaign. Howard drove to Champaign to pick up the shields herself, saving the library on expensive shipping costs.

Howard discussed the newly written Return to Workplace Policy, a highly detailed list of requirements and rules that the library will use during the phased re-opening. A motion was made by Emery and seconded by Rush to accept the policy. The motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.

 Howard also discussed the Policy for the Use of Face Coverings Social Distancing, and Hand Sanitizer During a Declared Pandemic. Fanning recommended that the policy be made permanent. A motion was made by Rosentreter and seconded by Van Nattan to accept the policy, with the intent to amend the title of the policy, and make it permanent. The motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.

Howard read the Librarian’s Report. Co-Children’s Librarian Nadia Kahl continued the LapSit/StoryTime group online with YouTube videos she recorded of herself, reading books and creating crafts. She supplied the URL addresses of those videos, for anyone who was interested in viewing them.

The Summer Reading Program, Dig Deeper, begins with the Little Dinos, children of birth age to 5 years old, on June 2 at 10 a.m. on the Zoom meeting app. Kahl said she would create a video every week on YouTube for that group as well. Registration materials, and advertising, have been posted on the library’s Facebook and Instagram pages, with assistance from library staffers Sandy Hobkirk and Hannah Miller. The teachers and the principal at the Carlinville Primary School have also passed information on library programs to students and parents.

The Investigators, the grade 1-3 children of the Summer Reading Program, were scheduled to begin on June 4 on the Zoom meeting app, and will examine artifacts from the Laura Ingalls Wilder time period. They will read and write about Wilder, and make connections to their own lives with instructions for crafts and recipes from that period. Kahl has developed a packet with activities and a journal for the children to record their activities.

Kahl added that Miller has volunteered to assist in gathering art supplies to create the craft packets for younger patrons.

Both houses of the Illinois legislature have passed HB 2096, which would amend the Local Library Act and Public Library District Act of 1991 to create a method for non-resident children to receive a library card without the non-resident fee. The privilege would be extended to non-resident students who live in unincorporated areas, or fall below the United States Department of Agriculture’s guidelines for income eligibility.

The Illinois Library Association and its lobbying efforts are working to prevent the bill from passing as it is currently written. The bill would allow free access to children whose parents do not support the library with their tax money, but charges children within the library’s boundary for the same services. If signed by the governor, the library would restrict those card to items that are age-appropriate, to prevent parents from using the cards for their own desires.

The library will host a Census Day on June 24. That day, a census officer will be at the library from 3-6 p.m. in the Quiet Study Room to answer patron questions and help them fill out census forms. Only two people will be allowed in the room at the same time, for social distancing. A face covering will be required, and hand sanitizer will be available in the room. The library and the Public Health Department had to cancel two earlier Census Days in May.

Howard has volunteered to drive to the IHLS outlet in Edwardsville next week to pick up all of the delivery tubs with materials for the library. System delivery is not expected until June 15. Currently, the three hub offices of the IHLS are holding over 14,000 items for delivery.

The Carlinville Public Library checked out 161 eBooks and 47 eAudiobooks in May. Howard said that the IHLS had circulated over 10,000 eAudiobooks for the first time in the month of May.

Howard and several volunteers from the board have spent ample time in planting and weeding the front spaces of the library. Howard also told board members that she has purchased three cordless phone handsets that may be taken into the stacks, for ease in filling curbside orders. However, technical difficulties have kept the phones from being properly hooked up.

 A motion was made by Fanning and seconded by Rosentreter to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 5:14 p.m.

                                                                                                                       May4, 2020

 

              The Carlinville Library Board met in regular session on Monday, May 4. The meeting opened at 4:31 p.m. Members present were Fehr, Gillen, Fanning, Rosentreter, Van Nattan, Clark, Yowell, Rush, and Emery.

            Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing shelter-in-place order from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the meeting was held in distance format, using the Zoom computer application. Members could see, and communicate with, each other freely on their computers or electronic devices, and a normal agenda was followed.

            There was no public comment or correspondence.

             The minutes from the April board meeting were read by board members. Clark requested a change in wording on a passage in the minutes, which was made.

            A motion was made by Yowell and seconded by Gillen to approve the amended minutes. The motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.

            Fanning presented the treasurer’s report with substantial detail. Bills totaling $15,351.31 were paid during the month, leaving a current balance of $31,528.53.  Fanning commented that the library appears to be in a strong financial position to conclude the fiscal year.

            A motion was made by Clark and seconded by Rosentreter to approve the bills. The motion passed 9-0 on a roll call vote.

            Old business was presented. Library Director Janet Howard revisited an ongoing issue, the library’s share of the cost of the replacement of the roof.  The library will bear one-half of the total replacement cost.

            Howard presented an e-mail from City Clerk Carla Brockmeier with bids on the cost of the roof, which were much higher than original estimates. The library’s financial share of the cost would be $70,000 in a best-case scenario, with $80,000 as the worst. The issue was scheduled to be discussed by the City Council at their May 4 meeting.

            Rosentreter pointed out, and other members agreed, that the library really has no other option than to accept the bids.  Fanning advised the board that the library is able to bear its share of the roof cost.

             A motion was made by Rosentreter and seconded by Van Nattan to accept the bids, and pay for one half of the final cost. The motion passed 9-0 on a roll call vote.

            New business was then presented. Howard again advised that anyone interested in learning the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could visit the websites of the Illinois Heartland Library System (IHLS) or the Illinois Library Association (ILA).

            Howard informed members that she spends 6-7 hours a day, researching how to keep patrons and staff safe when the library does reopen. She also indicated that she will participate in a webinar on May 12 that discusses the issue. Howard also said she had kept a running list of possible steps to take when the process of reopening begins.

            The shelter-in-place order from Gov. Pritzker is scheduled to end on May 30, and as that date approaches, more guidelines and suggestions will be submitted by the Illinois Heartland Library System, the Illinois Library Association, and the American Library Association.

            As part of her update, Howard offered an extended discussion on how, and what, library services may change when the reopening occurs. Bulk availability of cleaning and sanitation supplies, as well as potential state regulations and requirements, were among the issues that Howard addressed. Howard also recommended that a pandemic policy should be created.

            After considerable delay, the Illinois Department of Human Rights has developed and posted the mandatory Sexual Harassment Training Program. All library staff members must take this annual training program and fill out a certificate of completion before Dec. 30, 2020. All staff members have been advised of the program’s availability, as well as how and where to find it online.

            Staff members are also taking online classes through WebJunction, which offers free, on-demand courses, webinars, and related content for library staff and trustees.

            In addition, staff members without an at-risk family member have been coming in to re-shelve items. Though the recommended minimum is 72 hours, Howard has established a minimum quarantine of five days for all materials. Carol Miller has accessioned and covered new books received after the library closed on March 19, while Lisa Davenport has covered books at home while researching and placing orders for newly released books. Sandy Hobkirk has posted information about the library while it is closed, as well as Census2020 information and memes for the library’s Facebook page. Hannah Miller has posted photos on Instagram.

            Children’s co-librarian Nadia Kahl has posted several children’s programs to the library Facebook page. During those programs, she reads two or three books to the children, then plans a craft for them to do at home.

            Staff members expressed their appreciation for the board’s decision to pay them during Gov. Pritzker’s stay-at-home executive order.

            Howard told the board that she spends 6-7 hours a day at the library, taking phone calls, answering patron emails, keeping up with the latest news on COVID-19 and its impact on libraries, planning for the future, searching for necessary supplies needed to keep everyone safe when the library reopens, emptying and checking in materials from the book drop, bookkeeping, picking up mail, and various jobs needed whether the library is open or not.

            In planning for the reopening of the library, Howard priced freestanding Plexiglass shields that would be placed in front of the main circulation computer and children’s circulation computer. The shields measure 28 inches across the front, with side wings of 24 inches. The shield for the main computer is 30 inches tall, while the children’s would be 40 inches tall. Two bids were received: a $970 local bid and a $475 bid from a company in Champaign.

            The board agreed with Howard that the lower bid was preferable. The board also agreed with Howard’s plan to only turn on every other computer in the computer lab, to create an acceptable social distance.

            Real estate tax bills will be mailed in mid-May, with payment dates on July 20 and September 21. The library received $5,109.77 more in taxes than the previous year.

            President Fehr noted that elections for board officers is approaching, and appointed Yowell and Gillen to serve as the Nominating Committee. The committee will present a slate of board officer nominations at the June meeting.

            The board addressed the non-resident fee for FY2021. Persons living outside the Carlinville city limits, but having the Carlinville library as their closest public library and within the Carlinville school district, may pay a non-resident fee to obtain a Carlinville Public Library card. The fee entitles any family member at the same address to obtain a library card. The sale of a library card to non-residents is covered by state statute.

            The statute provides a general mathematical formula using total local property tax revenue, excluding state and federal, divided by local population in the 2010 census, then multiplied by the average number of persons in a local household.

            Based on the formula, the amount for Carlinville was $58.36. The library may not charge less than that amount, but is able to charge more. The library set the figure of $60 in 2017.

            A motion was made by Fanning and seconded by Rush to maintain the non-resident fee at $60. The motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.

            The Librarian’s Report was then discussed. The Lapsit/Storytime group continued online through YouTube videos that Children’s Co-Librarian Nadia Kahl recorded of herself reading books, conducting experiments, and / or crafts. The videos covered topics like animals, seasons, weather, and princesses and knights. Kahl indicated that she planned to continue these virtual storytime sessions through the summer.

            Kahl reported that she is planning for the Summer Reading Program, and considering adjustments in the platform to meet current and future social distancing guidelines. She indicated that she could create a series of short movies with take-home activities, and could try Zoom meeting conferences with attendees.

            She noted that many teachers have used the Zoom app to meet with students, and that it may be favorable to use for the Summer Reading Program. Kahl added that she is creating registration materials that may go out with teacher packets next month. Kahl also said that she could record Janet  Burns, who was scheduled for a presentation on Laura Ingalls Wilder as part of the program.

            Before the closure of the library and schools in March, Children’s Co-Librarian Karen Wills continued to visit second-grade classes. However, teacher Abby Kunz was forced to cancel her field trip to the library due to the closure. The library’s open houses for children on March 20 and April 10 were also cancelled.           

            Kahl began a reading reward program in March, and intended to extend it through April. Under the program, children could read ten picture books with text, or 100 pages of a chapter book, and turn in their log to the library. Then, the children could receive a coupon for a Hardee’s Star Pal Meal. Kahl said she could mail the coupons to the students directly, or send the coupons to the teachers, for distribution in packets to their students. The coupons expire on May 30, 2020.

            She noted that she had handed out coupons to about 30 children, but added that the quarantine hurt the participation in the program, as families could not get to the libraries and had to adjust activities to facilitate learning at home.

            The SHARE (Sharing Heartland’s Available Resources Equally) Cloud Library Annual Agreement for FY2021, lasting from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, has been signed, and an invoice for the fee will be sent in July8. The fee is $450, down from $473.50 last year.

            The SHARE Membership Agreement for FY2021 has also been signed. An invoice for the amount $2,899.53, will be sent in July. That number compares to $2,613.03 in FY2020.

            The State Journal-Register and St. Louis Post-Dispatch have been placed on Vacation mode during the library shutdown.

            Howard said that several people have inquired about curbside service during the modified stay-at-home order that became effective on May 1. She included a response from Phil Lenzini, an attorney and expert in library law who counsels many Illinois libraries on various issues. Lenzini’s opinion is that libraries are not included in the modified order.

            Overdue dates for all materials checked out have been extended by SHARE until June 7. Howard, as a gesture of goodwill, suggested extending that date until at least June 15.

            The Illinois Heartland Library System and SHARE have relaxed rules on providing residents of Carlinville and the surrounding areas with temporary library cards. The cards will be good until June 30, and apply only to eBooks and eAudiobooks. To apply, potential patrons are directed to the cataloging section of the Carlinville library’s website. There, they will be prompted to supply several bits of information, and create a username and password. After the form is submitted, they will receive a confirmation page with their temporary card number to access the library’s digital resources.  When the library reopens, the temporary card holders will have the option of obtaining a permanent card. This service will be advertised on the library’s Facebook and Instagram sites, as well as the library’s homepage.

            The modified stay-at-home order from Gov. Pritzker includes specific directions for employers, and Howard discussed the possibility that those directions will remain in place when all businesses reopen. The list includes designated six-foot distances for employees and patrons, sanitizing products that are readily available, separate operating hours for vulnerable populations, online and remote access, and face coverings, gloves, and shields.

            Howard indicated that 513 items were circulated by the library between the date of the shutdown, March 19, and April 30. Of that total, 344 were eBooks or eAudiobooks, while 169 were for books, mainly by staff. By comparison, the library circulated 4,160 items during that same period in 2019

            Applicants for the director’s position were notified by e-mail of Howard’s decision to remain in her position.        

            A motion was made by Rosentreter and seconded by Clark to adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 5:04 p.m.