FY2016/2017 Annual Report

Administration, Budget and Finance

  • Successfully completed the outsourcing of most of the technical services and materials selection functions of the library. This, in conjunction with savings related to the retiring of five employees, freed up about $414,000 annually to use more effectively. 
  • The current fiscal year is projected to close out with a cash balance at least $200,000 higher than budgeted, due in large part to staffing improvements
  • While the average FY2016/2017 merit increase for each employee was set at 3 percent, there were many promotions, resulting in an average wage increase of 10.48 percent.  It is projected that staffing costs will close out this fiscal year at least $100,000 under the current payroll budget and $200,000 under the payroll budget for the prior year.
  • Administered the budgeting and levy ordinance processes resulting in a 1.9 percent increase in tax revenue for FY2017/18, enabling necessary improvements and further restoration of the post-renovation reserve fund.
  • Applied for and was awarded $21,002 for FY2016/2017 Per Capita Grant. 
  • Secured or promised more than $10,000 in developer fees from the Villages of Island Lake and Volo.
  • Awarded erate discounts adding up to more than $4,500 for Comcast services and a new firewall server.
  • Negotiated a $3,000 discount on the annual pricing for Leap, the Polaris enhancement that enables remote and tablet access to the Polaris staff client.
  • Annual audit for FY2015/2016 passed without any issues and with no listed recommendations for procedural changes. 

Personnel and Staff Relations

  • Completed the organizational restructuring of the library to accommodate the “whole library” approach that has greatly improved communication and cooperation among all staff, enabled us to take better advantage of each staff member’s strengths, consequently improving job enrichment for all staff and providing library services to the community.
  • Established a new culture of staff training that is exemplary in its rigor and its methodology, covering all topics that apply to the various tasks each staff member performs. This new emphasis on training has greatly improved morale, communication, and cooperation among all staff.
  • Facilitated retirements and resignations that have freed up money needed for other purposes, as well as providing a cushion for a likely tax freeze a substantial increase in the minimum wage.   In the coming fiscal year, the minimum wage of the lowest level position will be $11 (pending board approval), to be increased to $12.50 after the employee successfully completes customer service training.  This minimum wage this past year has been $10.
  • Noteworthy new positions added this past year, as of April, 2017:
    • Assistant Library Director
    • Public Services Coordinator
    • Collection Coordinator
    • Program Coordinator
    • Education Coordinator
    • Marketing Coordinator
    • Two Technology Coordinators
  • Conducted three all-staff meetings, including a Staff Institute Day (Nov., 2016).

Public Relations

  • Hired a Marketing Coordinator whose first mission was to improve the library’s FaceBook presence as a means of promoting library programs and services to a wider audience.
  • Successfully led an initiative to improve the library’s online presence through increased, more effective use of social networking and improvements to the library’s website and Polaris. 
  • The library hosted a Rotary Club meeting at the library in January, conducting a library tour for the group.
  • The library has been involved in the revitalization of the United Partnership for a Better Community that now meets monthly at the Fire Department.
  • The library initiated the library’s new 3D Printing and Tech2Go services, implemented by our new Technology Coordinators and demonstrated to the board.
  • A bench donation plaque in memory of Joanne Miller was installed on the wall nearest the bench at the top of the stairs leading up to the front entrance.

Library Facility and Grounds

  • Exterior painting of the facility and the construction/painting of an attractive, durable garbage corral at low cost.
  • Initiated and managed Phase I revisions to Kid City that help ensure that noisy play is concentrated in or near the preschool play area, leaving a space at the other side of Kid City that is more conducive to reading and study.  Phase II planning is in process.  This phase will focus on promotion of library materials through more strategic placement and furnishings.
  • Made some important changes to the New Book, Blu-ray, and Young Adult shelving upstairs in order to improve browsing of these collections
  • Added three new benches in front of the library with board and architects’ approval
  • Established a routine for periodic painting of the airplane in Kid City at low cost.
  • Worked with Village of Volo to relocate the book return at their Village Hall parking lot.
  • Eliminated and/or replace dead trees with attractive new ones.

Library Automation and Technical Services

  • 2017 is the year that the library’s use of technology truly became state-of-the-art.
  • Completed all technology projects related to the outsourcing of most of the technical services function of the library to Baker $ Taylor’s Customized Library Services (CLS). This has greatly increased the efficiency of library operations and freed up money and staff time for other purposes. 
  • A Polaris upgrade from Version 4.2 to 5.1 was completed with minimal down time in June, 2016.  This upgrade enabled the library to utilize the most current Acquisitions Module of Polaris, which was a pre-requisite in the setup of Baker & Taylor’s CLS system.  A Polaris trainer was on site for two days to train and assist in the setup of this module.
  • The addition of CollectionHQ and ESP have greatly enhanced the library’s collection management function, enabling staff to order and weed more effectively and efficiently. These new tools and procedures have helped to enable staff to reverse some negative circulation trends.
  • Procured a Firewall Server through the erate discount system that required going out for bid.  This process saved the library about $5,700, including the competitive pricing and the discount.  The server was installed in September, 2016.
  • Installation of a new File Server was completed in early April, 2017.
  • Installation of a new Virtual Server is near completion.
  • All self-checkout stations now accommodate credit chip cards, as required by law.
  • The classroom iMacs are now networked with the Print Center, enabling users to utilize the Print Center just as they would outside the classroom, paying the same fees for printing.
  • Completely overhauled the management of technology at the library, eliminating the job of Technology Supervisor and establishing two Technology Coordinator positions that work in tandem with Computer View staff, making better use of all technology and the tech-related expertise needed to operate and maintain it.
  • Another Polaris upgrade (from 5.1 to 5.2), migration from the original server to the new Virtual Server, and the addition of Leap are all in process, are in process and expected to be completed by early May.
  • Added two 3D printers, electronic cutting machine, and prepared to launch Tech2Go, as demonstrated at the April board meeting.
  • Shifted 3M Cloud ebook collection to a standalone OverDrive collection in order to cut down on the number of different platforms required to access econtent.