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. 

FY2013/2014 Annual Report

Library Usage Highlights

  • Library patrons visited the library this year 209,812 times, averaging 21,154 visits per month, 4,035 per week, and 576 per day.
  • There are a total of 145,797 items in the library's collection.  The library is weeding some of the Non-Fiction books which have not been checked out for at least 3 years.
  • Circulation of ebooks using MyMediaMall and 3M Cloud Library increased by almost 50% this year, reaching an all time high of 19,571 e-books and e-zines.
  • Checkouts of library materials totaled 569,426 this year -- down by about 5% from last year, due in part to the availability of videos and ebooks through high-speed Internet access, fee-based online resources such as Netflix and Amazon, and possibly because of the high price of gasoline.
  • 2,599 patrons registered for library cards this year, up by 8.7 percent from a year ago.
  • At 22 checkouts per resident, the library ranked 17th best in circulation per capita among the 41 public libraries in the North Suburban Library System. The average for these libraries was 19 checkouts per capita. The national average is 10.3 checkouts per capita.
  • The library ranked 14th and 12th best out of the 41 libraries for operating cost per checkout and payroll cost per checkout, respectively, at $5.27 and $2.41 per checkout. The highest NSLS library costs in the survey were $14.41 and $7.34 per checkout, respectively.
  • Reference and information transactions totaled 242,464 - down by about 7.8 percent from the previous year, largely because program registration was no longer required.
  • The library hosted a total of 954 instructional or entertainment programs, with a total attendance of 32,220, averaging 34 attendees per program and up 6.8% over last year.  
  • There were 275,473 online visits to the library's website and  32,562 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 55,800.
  • The self-service checkout station was used for 21,490 checkouts.
  • A record 4,929 audiobooks were checked out via downloading from MyMediaMall.

Administration, Budget and Finance

  • Successfully implemented a spending plan that left an end-of-year cash balance of $3,050,000, enabling the library to proceed with its plans for a $2,063,000 renovation project in FY2014/2015 with minor impact on its cash reserves.
  • Worked with financial consultant to plan the financing of the renovation project, providing estimated annual budgets through FY2019/2020 and determining that a $1.2 million low interest loan is needed for a $2.06 million project.
  • Submitted 40-page application for and was awarded competitive $125,000 Illinois Live & Learn Construction Grant
  • The average FY2013/2014 salary or wage increase for each employee has been 2.7 percent, as budgeted, while the actual total payroll increased by only 2.2 percent.
  • The total cost of payroll and benefits for FY1314 was about $68,000 under budget, and only about $28,000 (1.5 percent) higher than the previous year’s actual total.
  • Secured $10,450 in developer fees from the Village of Volo.
  • Awarded 50% erate discount ($4,176) in FY2013/14. Also awarded 50% erate discount ($3,085) for FY2014/2015 – lower than the previous year because telephone service was bundled with other Comcast services, resulting in much lower costs for telephone and Internet service.
  • In compliance with the Affordable Care Act regulations, the library director’s family health insurance benefit was eliminated, so that he gets the same individual benefit as the other full-time libary staff.
  • Administered the budgeting and levy ordinance processes resulting in a 1.87 percent increase in tax revenue for FY2014/15, enabling necessary improvements and maintenance of a healthy reserve fund.
  • Annual audit passed with no recommendations for procedural changes.
  • Requested and received $32,750 in funding from the Friends of the Library for the new digital LED sign.
  • Applied for and received $34,058 for FY2013/2014 Per Capita Grant.
  • Applied for and received $2000 from Target Corporation for the 2013 One Book One Community program and $5000 from Best Buy for purchasing two Apple Macs for a new digital lab.
  • Investigated the potential savings for utilizing the fuel depot owned and administered by District 118, and determined this service is not cost-effective in our case because of low volume, and it presented financial risks.
  • After researching area HVAC companies and getting pricing for annual maintenance plans, Murphy & Miller replaced National Heat and Power (NHP) as the library’s HVAC service company.

Public Relations

  • Worked with the Friends of the Library to ensure continued success in their partnership with the library
  • Made 45-minute presentation to District 118 language arts teachers to let them know how important they are to the library as a means of getting teens to use the public library, and emphasized that it is our mission to be of service to the schools and that we encourage all teachers and school librarians to put the public library to good use.
  • Initiated and received a lot of good publicity about the 3M Cloud Library integration and the innovative ways the library has promoted it.Library Director served on a nationwide teleconference panel to discuss our experience and a national 3M user group steering committee.
  • Promoted the library’s 75th Anniversary in numerous ways
  • Created a new webpage titled “Digital History of the Wauconda Area” that describes this new service made possible by Neville Carr’s donation of more than 900 digital photographs from Wauconda’s past, contributed by more than 100 area residents.This service utilizes the social networking features of Google+ to allow viewers to enter information about each photo, such as the names of the people depicted, the year, etc.This new service has been used by more than 4000 online visitors, and some individual photos have been viewed more than 1000 times.
  • The library hosted breakfast meeting for District 118 librarians and media center staff, including David Wilm, the new curriculum director.  This is a great opportunity to reinforce and build upon our collaboration with the schools.
  • The library hosted a “Thank You” pizza party for the Friends of the Library, celebrating their recent successes and their funding of the new digital sign
  • At the school district’s request, Library Director was one of three judges for the Lake County Section 3 Spelling Bee, held this year in the Wauconda High School’s auditorium.
  • Orbis Construction, the plowing company that damaged the Volo book return in late December, finally repaired the book return and installed it at no cost to the library. They did a good job with the repair, purchasing a new return box from the manufacturer.

Library Facility and Grounds

  • Library negotiated contract and hired Product Architecture and Design, Inc., who worked with library staff and trustees to produce a master plan for renovating the library and making it more user-friendly. After determining that the entire project was affordable, the architects were hired to design and produce schematics for the renovating and remodeling project.
  • Library negotiated contract and hired Featherstone, Inc., to provide estimates for master plan and then as construction manager for the renovation and remodeling project. Featherstone had played a major role in the construction of the existing facility and has managed several minor projects here since then.
  • Negotiated contract and hired Steve Larson (Ehlers, Inc.) as financial consultant for the renovation project.
  • Coordinated the selection and purchase of 120 new more comfortable, light, and attractive stacking chairs, based on architects’ recommendations and sampling by staff and trustees
  • Replaced the library’s main sign with a digital LED sign, putting the project out for bid, getting the project fully funded by the Friends, and implementing a system for frequently updating the sign messages.
  • Installed tinting of the foyer and Lincoln Room windows as needed.
  • Hired Swenson Sealcoat, Inc., to sealcoat and stripe the library’s parking lot.
  • Hired Schaefges Concrete to replace and apply sealant 750 square feet of concrete in front of the library that had deteriorated
  • Hired Murphy & Miller - highly recommended by other libraries in the area - to replace one of the original air compressor units at half the cost proposed by the library’s former HVAC service company

Library Automation and Technical Services

  • Integration of 3M Cloud Library into Polaris.  Wauconda Area Library became the first library in Illinois to provide eBooks that can be checked out from within the online catalog. Many other libraries have followed, and the integration of MyMediaMall ebooks is also planned.
  • Software upgrade of Polaris from Version 4.0 to 4.1 was flawless. The new software offers many more options for system administrators and the online catalog has a new more user-friendly look to it. The new catalog Welcome screen is much more attractive and user-friendly, allowing for better promotion of library materials and services.
  • Installation of the 3M automated materials handling system and induction units, streamlining the checking in of library materials while greatly improving accuracy. This project included hiring construction manager Justin Pathmann to put related construction projects out for bid, resulting in making the necessary changes to the foyer as economical as possible.
  • Switched from the outdated AT&T-based telephone services provided by CallOne to the new cable-based cost-effective access provided by Comcast. This resulted in annual pre-erate cost savings of $2000.
  • Added Mosio for Libraries, a service that facilitates the use of text messaging to provide reference services.

Adult Services Department

  • The department maintained the library’s social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Foursquare and Instagram.
  • The library’s digital sign and website were updated daily with programs, events and services.
  • The library continued to maintain the Community website, highlighted events from organizations, clubs and businesses in the library district.
  • 36 issues of the library’s enewsletter were created and distributed to thousands of subscribers.
  • Staff maintained the 3M Cloud Library ebook collection.
  • Staff held 79 one-on-one appointments for technology assistance. Several guides and handouts were created to help patrons navigate device purchases and downloading books and magazines. Classes were taught by staff.
  • A new outreach initiative was begun by offering a special collection of library items to residents in Wauconda Care. The focus is popular fiction, large print, audiobooks and select DVDs. Due to the success there, another special collection was developed for the John Kuester Manor. Collections are now rotated regularly and maintained at both facilities.
  • Staff made 47 homebound deliveries to patrons who were unable to physically come to the library for materials.
  • The library worked with the Wauconda Township and Wauconda Park District to host a senior picnic and senior holiday party.
  • Tax forms and AARP tax assistance was provided in the spring.
  • We worked with the Lake and McHenry County Centers for Independent Living to provide appointments and information booths on the Affordable Care Act.
  • The department hosted 257 adult programs with an attendance of 9,254 people. There were 82 programs for teens with 1,767 people.
  • The annual summer concert series held in conjunction with the Wauconda Park District and Friends of the Library.
  • The first Annual Craft Swap was a big success. Donations filled the Genevieve Lincoln room. Volunteers sorted and organized everything the day before. 162 attended the swap on a Saturday morning in August.
  • Over 700 hundred people enjoyed “A Great Day at the Library” picnic. There were pony rides, face painting, music and games.
  • The second annual One Book, One Community was held in the fall. At the recommendation of District 118, there were several choices for all ages – Rocket Boys for teens and adults, a young adult graphic novel, Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity, and picture books for the younger audiences. Several science, space, and community-based programs were held surrounding the themes of the books, including a telescope viewings of the night sky with the Lake County Astronomical Socieyt, a showing of October Sky, Illinois UFOs, Astronomy for Everyone, After-hours Family Sock Hop and the Race to Space. This was funded in part by a $2,000 Target grant for which staff applied.
  • Staff were part of a committee to hold the first annual Wauconda Historic Walk. Participants started at the library and walked around town to different locations where volunteers were dressed in costume telling stories about the buildings. Staff created the accompanying booklets and hosted author of Wauconda (Images of America), Kathy Catrambone.Staff regularly participated and represented the library at various community events and meetings, including parades, the Wauconda Chamber of Commerce Business Expo, Volo Community Picnic, the Wauconda Farmer’s Market, Wauconda Chamber of Commerce, Wauconda Park District, Wauconda Township, Wauconda Women’s Club, and Main Street Attraction. We hosted the Women in Business luncheon in January, which gave us the opportunity to promote the library and its services to small business owners.
  • Five staff attended the national American Library Association conference in Chicago.
  • Staff created 64 thematic book displays during the year, highlighting different subjects and collections.
  • Two magazines were added – Men’s Journal and Mental Floss.
  • Several reading clubs were held throughout the year, including a summer reading club for teens and adults, the Rebecca Caudill reading club for grades 6-8, and the Abraham Lincoln reading club for grades 9-12.
  • A new service, Book the Next Novel, was started to automatically place people on hold for their favorite bestselling authors, like James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, Carl Hiaasen, Nicholas Sparks, etc.
  • School outreach initiatives continued. The library hosted many student displays, including the District 118 Art Show, 8th Grade Social Studies Fair, and Matthews Middle School 8th Grade Poetry. Staff attended curriculum nights at Wauconda High School, Wauconda Middle School and Matthews Middle School. Staff attended an open house at Frasati Catholic Academy Middle School. We hosted class visits from Wauconda High School. A bookmobile was set up at Matthews Middle School in February. Van deliveries of materials were made throughout the school year to various teachers. Twenty issues of the “Teacher Features” were created and distributed to District 118 to promote library services to teachers.

Children's Services Department

  • 367 book and audiovisual resources displays were created, 43 bibliographies were developed, 93 Surprise Reading Kits were pulled, and nearly 400 Take Home Reader bundles were assembled, facilitating access to popular and prominent elements of the Children’s collections.
  • The Children’s staff developed and presented over 325 programs for children. Some highlights include: Sundae Sunday, It’s For the Birds, 50s Dance Class, Amazing Maze, Button Bracelet Craft, Movies, Learn Spanish @ Your Library, Robot Junk Sculptures, Wizard of Oz Bash, Mr. Potato Head Craft, Pete the Cat Party, Doughnuts For Dad, Super Heroes Extravaganza, Loteria, Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt, Do You Know Mexico, Race Car Rally, Bunny Jam, Pamper Your Pooch, Happy Birthday Eric Carle, Collection Show, Wacky Wednesdays, and Drop-in Crafts.
  • The Children’s department offered many reading clubs, multi-generational book discussion groups, and literature-based programs over the course of the year and over 2,000 patrons signed up to participate. The Friends of the Library generously supported the Children’s Summer Reading Club by purchasing paperback books to reward children who achieved their reading goals all six weeks.
  • The Children’s department hosted several annual, traditional events (such as the Teddy Bear Picnic, the Preschool Halloween Party, and the Polar Bear Picnic) as well as a number of professional entertainment shows for families, namely Let’s Get Batty, RC Juggles, Día del niño, Magic of Gary Kantor, Rope Warrior, Roz Puppets, and the Flying Fool.
  • To serve the early literacy needs of very young children, 132 sessions of Preschool Storytime, Toddlertime, Bounce and Books, Hello Friends, La hora del cuento, and PJ Storytime were presented. More than 3,060 children and their caregivers attended.
  • The Children’s staff provided outreach services to the Wauconda Area community by conducting library tours for visiting Cub Scouts, Tiger Scouts, and Girl Scouts and by participating in the Farmers Market, the Village Holiday Walk, and the Business Expo.
  • A Preschool Art Exhibit was held in April to celebrate the Week of the Young Child. Over 300 pieces of original children’s artwork from nine local child-care centers, preschools, and daycares were displayed in the Children’s department all month long.
  • Ninety-five classes of preschoolers and elementary school students (2,215 children in all) visited the library, toured the facility, and enjoyed literature-based presentations and booktalks. Additionally, the Children’s librarians visited 166 classes of preschoolers and elementary school pupils, conducting outreach storytimes and book-based presentations for over 3,000 children.
  • In order to promote the library’s resources and services, the Children’s staff published monthly student newsletters (in English and Spanish) which were delivered to over 2,500 children attending the district’s public and private elementary schools. The Children’s staff also filled forty Teacher Book Bag requests, and they attended the Battle of the Books tournament and a meeting of the Bilingual Parent Advisory Council at Wauconda High School. Additionally, they participated in the Family Literacy Night at Robert Crown School, the Literacy Night at Wauconda Grade School, and the Curriculum Nights at Cotton Creek School, Robert Crown School, and Wauconda Grade School.