Memorial Day Closing

The Library will be closed on Monday, May 29th for Memorial Day.  We will reopen on Tuesday, May 30th at 9:00 a.m. 

FY2011/2012 Annual Report

Library Usage Highlights

  • Library patrons visited the library this year 253,846 times, averaging 21,154 visits per month, 4,882 per week, and 695 per day.
  • There are a total of 145,431 items in the library's collection -- a net increase of 2,675 items since last year.
  • Checkouts of library materials totaled 608,390 this year -- down by about 5% from last year, due in part to a 7% decrease in checkouts by patrons from other library districts, fee-based online resources such as Netflix and Amazon, and likely due in part to the high cost of gasoline.
  • 2,101 patrons registered for library cards this year, bringing the total number of active cardholders to about 22,000.
  • At 22.3 checkouts per resident, the library ranked 16th best in circulation per capita among the 41 public libraries in the North Suburban Library System. The average for these libraries was 20 checkouts per capita. The national average is 10.5 checkouts per capita.
  • The library ranked 10th and 11th best out of the 41 libraries for operating cost per checkout and payroll cost per checkout, respectively, at $4.44 and $2.26 per checkout. The highest NSLS library costs in the survey were $13.05 and $6.31 per checkout, respectively.
  • Total reference and information transactions (270,899) were up by one percent.  Questions in Children's Services (42,863) were up by 3.4 percent.
  • The library hosted a total of 681 instructional or entertainment programs, with a total attendance of 21,709, averaging 32 attendees per program.  Reading club registrations totaled 2,551.
  • Library website ( usage reached an all-time high, with a record 322,010 online visits and 244,650 logins to the library catalog system.
  • There were 32,719 online visits to the library-sponsored Wauconda Area Community Website (
  • Online renewals of materials done by patrons themselves this year hit an all-time high of 48,196
  • The self-service checkout station was used 9,399 times, for a total of 29,194 checkouts
  • A record 2,797 audiobooks were checked out via downloading from MyMediaMall

Administration, Budget and Finance

  • Successfully implemented a spending plan that has resulted in a cash reserve of $496,511 (not including the unexpended funds from the current fiscal year) to provide funding for future repairs and improvements to the building and grounds and for technology improvements.
  • The average salary or wage increase for FY2011/2012 was 1.9 percent, as budgeted.
  • The projected total cost of payroll and benefits for FY1112 will be about $150,000 under budget, and about $62,000 below the previous year’s actual total. This was done by eliminating four full-time positions – three of which were through attrition. A fifth full-time position will be eliminated when Barbara Gruenwald retires June 30, 2012.
  • Applied for and awarded Illinois Per Capita Grant ($27,941). This is $2,303 or 8.6% more than awarded last year, because of the 2010 Census figures that demonstrated a population increase of 1,303 residents in this library district.
  • Secured $10,000 in developer fees from the Village of Volo.
  • Applied for and awarded 40% erate discount to date ($6,000) in FY2011/2012. Application for 50% erate discount for FY2012/2013 was submitted, incorporating planned switchover to new telephone and internet service vendors (CallOne and Comcast).
  • Administered the budgeting and levy ordinance processes resulting in a 3.55 percent increase in tax revenue for FY2011/2012, and 2.6 percent for FY2012/2013, keeping the library tax increase lower than ever before while enabling necessary improvements and maintenance of an adequate reserve fund.
  • Negotiated the donation of $1300 from the United Partnership to cover half the cost of the library’s online subscription to Mango Languages.
  • Submitted my final report to the grant administrator at the American Library Association – the final requirement for the $5000 grant.
  • Administered the adoption of a new Special Reserve Fund Ordinance and the transfer of unexpended funds ($250,000) from FY2010/2011 into this fund to pay for several large projects in FY2011/2012 if necessary.
  • Annual audit passed with no recommendations of procedural changes.
  • A surprise IMRF audit generally showed no problems on the library’s part, but required a detailed 10-year report of the library’s use of IMRF and Social Security funds and required the library to ask Lake County to separate IMRF funds from Social Security funds during the billing and reporting process. This was accomplished.
  • Received a $5000 donation from the Liebman Trust.
  • Received a $2311 refund from NSLS for the library’s earlier “donation” towards retaining the interlibrary delivery van service.
  • Received $3663 in donations from the Friends of the Library.
  • Requested and received approval for funding from the Friends of the Library for a delivery van and a self-checkout station in Children’s Services during FY2012/2013.  The total Friends commitment for FY2012/2013 is $40,000 - $50,000, $37,000 of which they already have in their savings account, thanks in large part to book sales and the Bunny Hop running event.

Public Relations

  • The Friends of the Library continue to thrive and grow, with the purchase of a delivery van and a self-checkout station in the Children’s area as the primary goals. The Friends are now allowed to use the graphic arts room as their new space for organizing book sales.  The library facilitated additional improvements to Friends web pages, including a new blog. The library also provided the bulk of the promotion of the Wauconda Bunny Hop, and worked closely with the organizers of this event to ensure that all the necessary to minimize risk to the library and to maximize the safety of the participants.
  • An annual report was posted on the library website, highlighting library finances and operations for FY2010/2011.
  • The library director participated in the American Library Association’s “cohort group” as one of the few two-time winners of the American Dream Starts @ Your Library grant.
  • The library director served as a panel speaker at the Public Library Association’s national conference (PLA 2012), telling an audience of 200 library managers and trustees about the success of our Friends’ re-organization.
  • United Partnership for a Better community -- the library director served on the Cultural Diversity and Community Calendar Committees of the United Partnership.  Library administered the Partnership’s website, including frequent updating of the home page and the online Senior Resource Guide.
  • Updated the 2-page article for the Wauconda Area Community Guide published and distributed by the Wauconda Chamber of Commerce.
  • The library was well represented at the Wauconda Chamber of Commerce’s Expo 2012 held at Wauconda High School, including the participation of the Friends of the Library for the first time.

Library Facility and Grounds

  • Exterior power-washing and painting – Hired construction manager firm (Featherstone, Inc.) and worked with them to administer the bid process and hiring of DES Painters at $17,000 below the next highest bid.
  • Interior stairway – Replacement of carpeting with attractive, more durable SafeTCork hard rubber/cork treads and tile at the lowest cost of three proposals
  • Parking sealcoating and striping – hired Swenson Sealcoat to replace Performance Paving for better service and better results at no additional cost
  • Parking lot lighting upgrade – investigated various solutions, requested proposals, and determined best solution, retrofitting the all metal halite bulbs with innovative new LED lights that will consume one third the energy of the old bulbs, paying for themselves within two or three years.  Applied for DCEO Clean Energy rebates.
  • Children’s Services and staff work area lighting upgrade – investigated various solutions, requested proposals, and determined best solution, including replacement of all T12 ballasts and bulbs with much more energy-efficient T8's. Applied for DCEO Clean Energy rebates
  • Removal of five dead pine trees from the grove in front of the library, and planting of four new trees
  • Addition of 5 double electrical outlets in the Quiet Study Room - 3 in the floor and 2 in the wall
  • Concrete repairs near the front entrance
  • Conversion of Graphic Arts Room to Friends Room
  • Addition of 30-amp electrical outlet to computer server room
  • Parking lot signage – “handicapped” and "stop for pedestrians" signs

Library Automation and Technical Services

  • Applied for and received Illinois State Library certification of a new 3-year Technology Plan (2011-2013), as required in order to obtain the $6,000 federally funded erate discount.
  • Successfully completed all phases of migrating the library’s integrated library system (ILS) from Dynix “Classic” to Polaris, including contract negation from original discounted price of $92,374 down to $81,518 – a savings of $10,856 for the library for the best ILS available.
  • Negotiated and administered the upgrading of the library’s operating system from Windows XP to Windows 7, including the final phase of replacing all of the library’s 21 outdated PCs that would not have been capable of running on Windows 7.
  • Upgraded Microsoft Office from Office 2003 to Office 2010 for all library computers.
  • Added Wowbrary enews service that automatically showcases the library's newest books, DVDs, and CDs each week, including those on order, while also enhancing the main search page of the online catalog.
  • Purchased and configured 3 Nook Simple Touch ebook readers for 2-week checkout and 3 iPads for in-house checkout (funded by the Friends), as well as 3 additional iPads for staff use.
  • Started the process of purchasing two new self-checkout stations – one in Children’s Services, and one near the Circulation Desk. Presented the concept to the Friends and received their advance approval of a $7,500 donation to the library for purchasing the self-checkout station in Children’s Services.
  • Worked with Head of Adult Services to make additions and improvements to the library website, and greatly enhanced the library’s online social networking presence (Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Flickr, etc.)