Skip to main content
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

                                                                                                                        August 3, 2020

 

              The Carlinville Library Board met in regular session on Monday, August 3. The meeting opened at 4:29 p.m. Members present were Fehr, Fanning, Rosentreter, Clark, Van Nattan, Yowell, Rush, Bouillon, 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.

            In correspondence, the board received a thank-you letter from Chris McDaniel, a Census office manager, for use of the library as a Census Bureau training site.  The board also received a thank-you letter from the Federated Church Free Lunch Program, who, along with members of other local churches, coordinated the annual Lunch Bunch program in the summer of 2020. The library had served as a storage site for the cooler that housed the free milk for this year’s Lunch Bunch effort, which offered free sack lunches and a half-gallon of milk to anyone who requested it.

            The Lunch Bunch program concluded on July 31, and provided 645 lunches throughout the duration of the effort this summer.

            There was no public comment. The board welcomed a new member, Robyn Bouillon, who read and was given her oath of office later in the meeting.

            The board then listened to an in-person request from Children’s Co-Librarian Nadia Kahl, who conducted her Summer Reading Program by remote this summer. Kahl will also conduct her regular fall children’s programming online. She asked the board to consider the purchase of a camera with a microphone as a technological upgrade on her computer systems. Kahl is currently using her own devices, including her tablet, to conduct library programs.

            Kahl indicated that it would be easier to use Zoom platforms for her children’s programs, as well as to confer with other libraries. She presented research showing the cost would be around $28-52.        Kahl also requested a new tablet for library use, to assist in programming for adults and children. She stated that a new tablet would help with the cloudLibrary and other offerings. The cost for the tablet would be $150-$189. She indicated that she would continue to upload her reading sessions to the library’s YouTube account, as she did this summer. Fanning offered to donate $100 to the library to purchase the tablet.

             The minutes from the July board meeting were read by board members. A motion was made by Van Nattan and seconded by Rosentreter to approve the minutes. The motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.

            Fanning presented the treasurer’s report with substantial detail. The first payment of real estate taxes was received by the library. Bills totaling $19,136.37 were paid during the month.  

            A motion was made by Clark and seconded by Rosentreter to approve the bills. The motion passed 8-0 on a roll call vote. As she had not yet been sworn in, Bouillon did not cast a vote.

            Old business was then presented. The city of Carlinville was slated to reopen bidding for the roof project at the August 3 council meeting. Bids will be opened on August 13, and the winning bid will be discussed at the August 17 council meeting. 

            The library suffered two active leaks during the heavy rainfall of July 30, with one in the conference room and the other near the west door, which has been a recurring problem. Fehr said that she had discussed the matter with Dan Held of the city’s public works department, and he was going to see where the leaks were in the library, so they could be reflected in the bids for the roof.

            Library Director Janet Howard has continually updated and reviewed library policies through the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of old business, she said that the current Policy for the Use of Face Coverings, Social Distancing, and Hand Sanitizer During a Declared Pandemic needed a slight change to the title. She recommended that the policy title be changed to Use of Face Coverings, Social Distancing, and Hand Sanitizer During a Declared Pandemic Policy.  Howard also recommended that the policy include the wording “During a declared Pandemic State of Emergency, patrons and staff members are required by Federal and State Mandate to stay at a social distance (6 feet) from other individuals, to use hand sanitizer, and to wear face coverings that cover both the nose and the mouth.”

            A motion was made by Emery and seconded by Rosentreter to accept the recommended changes to the policy. The motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.

            New member Bouillon recited the oath of office, and began to vote on library business.

            New business was then presented. Based on concerns of the ongoing pandemic, and the fact that it may continue into the fall and winter, Fehr recommended that the library’s annual Christmas Party should be cancelled. Members agreed with that assessment.

            A motion was made by Clark and seconded by Yowell to cancel the party. The motion passed 9-0 on a roll call vote. Employees will still receive their Christmas bonuses, and Howard was advised to both inform staff, and send letters to prospective guests, on the board’s decision.

            Howard discussed the library’s Attendance Policy for the Length of Time Patrons Are Allowed to Stay During a Declared Pandemic.  Since Illinois has continued to move to different phases of its statewide reopening plan, Howard recommended the amount of time patrons are allowed in the library will increase from 20 to 30 minutes, with the exception of patrons using computers, who are allowed a maximum of 50 minutes, once a day. 

            Therefore, it was recommended for the policy to read, “When the City of Carlinville is in Phase 3 or 4 of the Restore Illinois plan, patrons, except those using the library’s computers (maximum of 50 minutes once a day), are limited to a 30 minute visit.”

            A motion was made by Rosentreter and seconded by Yowell to accept the recommended changes to the policy. The motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.

            Library staff member Christina Twitchell announced her retirement in July. Twitchell was an exceptional employee during her six and a half years of service, and was responsible for most of the seasonal artwork, posters, and book displays during her time at the library. Fehr authorized a thank-you note to be sent to Twitchell, in recognition of her outstanding efforts.

            Following the resignation, a discussion was held between Fehr, Fanning, and Howard that resulted in the decision not to replace Twitchell’s staff position. One of the factors in the decision was the state-mandated minimum wage hike, a topic which had been addressed at previous board meetings, as there has been concern that the library may either be forced to cut staff or reduce hours of business as a result the wage increase.

            The recommendation was made to reduce the library’s hours of business, to compensate for the loss of a staff position. The suggestion was made for the library to close one hour earlier each day from Monday through Thursday, and not be open at all on Sundays. The change would become effective on August 17.

            A motion was made by Rosentreter and seconded by Yowell to accept the recommendation to reduce hours. The motion passed 9-0 on a roll call vote. The hours for the library will be as follows: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, as before; and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, as before.

            The board then re-addressed the library’s Sexual Harassment Policy, which had been previously adopted. The decision was made to keep the policy as is. A motion was made by Van Nattan and seconded by Rosentreter to maintain the current Sexual Harassment Policy. The motion passed unanimously on a voice vote.

            Following that vote, the board discussed Chapters 1-4 of Serving Our Public 4.0 as part of the requirements for the Per Capita Grant. Chapter 1 covered Core Standards, while Chapter 2 was on Governance and Administration. Chapter 3 was on Personnel, with Chapter 4 focusing on Access. Each board member had read the chapters before the meeting.

            A prolonged discussion ensued as the board carefully considered each chapter. The accompanying checklists in the chapters were analyzed, and several board members asked questions to ensure that proper standards were being met. It was determined by the board that the library is in compliance with all applicable standards outlined in each chapter.

            Howard presented the Librarian’s Report. Children’s Co-Librarian Kahl submitted a list her StoryTime sessions that she has posted on the Carlinville library’s YouTube channel.  The list of titles included It’s Summer!, Swimsuit, Surf’s Up, Five Green and Speckled Frogs, Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah!, Backyard Bugs, Llama Llama Yum Yum Yum!, and Batter Up Wombat!  Kahl included the number of Facebook likes and shares, as well as YouTube views, for each session, as well as the URL for each posting.

            In addition, Kahl submitted information on special posts that she has made, including ones on new books, new juvenile biographies by Penguin Kids, new David Shannon Board books, and new Minecraft and Marvel books.

            Each of Kahl’s posts, StoryTimes, and online programs were also posted on the Facebook page for Carlinville Talk of the Town. She advised that she would continue to post StoryTime on the library’s YouTube channel until Phase 5 of the COVID-19 reopening plan is reached, or until the board requests that she schedule and plan in-person StoryTimes.

            Kahl added that she plans to post and create advertising for StoryTime. As part of that, she will contact the principals and teachers of local schools to set up a Zoom meeting or other online platform to share the library’s stories with them.

            As Howard reported at the July meeting, a nationwide study is being conducted by the Battalle Corporation in cooperation with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and OCLC, a nonprofit library and technology corporation. The study focuses on the coronavirus, and how long it can survive on library materials.

            The second phase of testing was released on July 21. Items in the second tests were Braille paper pages, glossy paper pages, magazine pages, and children’s board books. As compared to the first test, the items in the second phase were stacked instead of spread in a single layer. After four days of quarantine while stacked, the virus was not detectable on the Braille pages, glossy paper pages, or board book, but a trace amount was found on the magazine pages after four days.

            To implement this new information, all items but magazines will now be quarantined for four days, rather than three. Magazines, by comparison, will be quarantined for five days. All quarantined items will now be checked in on the fifth day, with magazines on the sixth.

            Rosemary Clark, the Open Meetings Act representative for the board, has renewed her OMA Certificate for FY2020. Clark is the only board member who needs to renew her certificate, with the exception of new member Robyn Bouillon, though anyone is welcome to visit the Attorney General’s website and access the training module.

            Four of the emergency exit lights were replaced, and the one at the east door was rebuilt with parts from other exit lights on July 7 by Coonrod Electric. All batteries for the emergency lighting system were also replaced on the same day.

            The library’s collections are currently undergoing a major cataloging project. The library’s collection was first computerized in 1997, when the library moved to its current location.  In that time, the number of individual collections, such as adult fiction, adult nonfiction, large print, easy readers, and juvenile books, have increased, and the number of books in each collection has likewise increased.

            As a result, it is time for a comprehensive overhaul of the library’s cataloging methods. Staff members, along with a cataloger from the Illinois Heartland Library System, are streamlining collections, and adjusting templates for each collection. The goal is to aid in the inventory of the library’s fiction, DVD, and audiobook collections. An inventory of the nonfiction collection will take place at a later date.

            The second minimum wage increase in Illinois for 2020 took effect on July 1. The minimum wage was raised from $9.25 to $10 per hour. The next increase, for $1 per hour, will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2021.

            The U.S. Census Bureau was scheduled to use the large conference room for five days of local Census taker training classes on July 31 and from August 4-7. From August 11 until October 31, Census takers will interview homes that have not responded to the 2020 Census, to ensure that everyone is counted. The Per Capita Grant and many other funding opportunities are built around population numbers, and a decrease in population will directly affect the library.

            At the current population number of 5,917 in Carlinville, the library will receive a Per Capita Grant of $8,727.58 or $1.475 per citizen. For Census response, the state of Illinois has a 67.3 percent rate, which is below Macoupin County at 69.3 percent and the city of Carlinville at 74 percent. Still, over 1,500 Carlinville residents have not responded, which means a decrease in next year’s Per Capita Grant of up to $2,212.50.

            The library was scheduled to be closed on August 12 for the annual Special Projects Day.  Full-time staff were to work eight hours, and part-time staff a minimum of four hours. Projects include tasks that are difficult to handle while also taking care of patrons, including inventory, deep cleaning, straightening the work and storage areas, reviewing computer user agreements, shelf reading, and shelf weeding in the children’s section.

            A total of 2,005 items were checked out by the library in July. As of July 31, the Year to Date Money Saved amount is $355,351, as compared to $729,092.16 at the same time last year.

            The September board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 8, as the normally scheduled day, September 7, is Labor Day.

            A motion was made by Fanning and seconded by Rosentreter to adjourn. The meeting ended at 5:23 p.m.

 

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.