FY2017/2018 Annual Report

Library Usage Highlights

Library patrons visited the library this year 244,124 times, about 2.4 percent more times than in the previous year, averaging 20,340 visits per month, 4,700 per week, and 680 per day.


Blu-ray videos              21,680 up 24%
eContent                           35,482 up 35.2%
Interlibrary Loans             6,283 up 63.1%
Adult Books                  75,363 up 5.4%
Young Adult Books          11,584 up 17%
Kid City Books             152,202 up 13%
Kid City Picture Books     55,404 up 20.4%
Magazines                       3,745 up 18.3%


Adult Program Attendance 7,329 up 4.5%
Kid City Program Attendance 24,517 up 29.2%
Visits to library website 224,247 up 28.3%
Patron logins to catalog 106,378 up 4.2%
Simple Scan Station Pages 160,840 up 64.4%
Online Database Uses 41,395 up 14.9%

Budget and Finance

  • FY2017/2018 closed out with a $222,000 surplus due in part to taxpayers' early payments of 2018 property taxes in order to take advantage of the unlimited federal income tax deducation that will be limited in 2019.
  • Administered the budgeting and levy ordinance processes resulting in a 2.9 percent increase in tax revenue for FY2017/18 thanks in part to new real estate construction, enabling necessary improvements and further restoration of the post-renovation reserve fund.
  • The average wage increase during FY2017/2018 was 3 percent, not including promotions and adjustments.  Payroll and benefits closed out the fiscal year about $60,000 under budget.
  • Applied for and awarded $125,000 Live & Learn Construction Grant to be used to help pay for 2018 construction project.
  • Worked with financial consultant (Ehlers) to draft a financial plan for the 2018 construction project, utilizing a $1.2 million debt certificate, the $125,000 construction grant, and approximately $275,000 from the library’s Special Reserve Fund. 
  • Presented a 12-year budget plan that demonstrates the affordability of the 2018 construction project.
  • Received payment of $21,154.88 for the FY2017/2018 grant, and a separate letter stating that we will receive $34,057.50 for the FY2018/2019 grant. . 
  • Applied for and received  erate discount on phone and internet services, saving about $1500 annually

Personnel and Staff Relations

  • Revised Personnel Policy was approved by the Library Board
  • Continued emphasis on staff training that is exemplary in its rigor and its methodology, covering all topics that apply to the various tasks each staff member performs. Brandon Mundschenk will present at 2018 ILA Conference.
  • New staff web page that serves as an information hub for staff training and other important information resources
  • Noteworthy new positions added:
    • Graphic Artist
    • Education Coordinator
    • AV Selector
    • ILL/Tech Services Assistant
  • Conducted three all-staff meetings, including a Staff Institute Day (Nov. 3, 2017)
  • 52 full- and part-time employees received a total of 994 hours of training, averaging 19 hours per employee

Building and Grounds

  • Administered RFP for Master Plan architects, interviewed four, hired Product Architecture + Design, Inc., who worked with library staff and trustees to produce a master plan for renovating the library grounds and making the approach to the front entrance more user-friendly.  After determining that most of the project is affordable, the architects were hired to design and produce schematics for the construction project.
  • Negotiated contract and hired Featherstone, Inc. to provide estimates for master plan and then as construction manager for the construction project.
  • New more user-friendly Picture Book shelving in Kid City, resulting in significant increase in circulation of that collection
  • Added Maker Space function to classroom
  • More efficient and brighter lighting installed in the Lincoln Room at discounted cost
  • New more accurate people counter installed
  • New pathway uniting the two main staff work areas was added at minimal cost
  • Parking Lot seal-coated and striped (Summer, 2017)
  • Re-arranged magazine collection by category, resulting in significant increase in circulation
  • All 13 defective study tables from 2015 renovation were replaced or repaired at no cost to the library

Library Technology

  • All library computers were upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10
  • Microsoft Office was upgraded from Office Professional Plus 2010 to Office PP 2016
  • Installation of a new virtual server was completed.  Polaris system was moved to this virtual server, eliminating the need to purchase a new separate server for the system now or in the future
  • Added Tech2Go service of lending out various pieces of equipment for patrons to use at home or while on vacation
  • New TVs mounted in prominent locations for digital promotion of library programs and services, utilizing Raspberry Pi technology 
  • Most of the library’s computer systems are now up to date.   A substantial upgrade to Polaris is planned for late May, 2018.  Installation of new switches is planned for 2019. 

Public Relations and Library Services

  • In October 2017, the library conducted a community survey to learn more about your experiences at the Wauconda Area Library and to ask for feedback and suggestions. The library reached out to more than 10,000 Library District residents – both users and nonusers, resulting in an extraordinary response of more than 2,000 completed surveys, including more than 4,600 responses to open-ended questions.  
  • Worked on the Wauconda Area Library Foundation startup, still in process
  • 31 Wauconda High School yearbooks from 1928 to 1977 were made available to the public free of charge, thanks in part to partnering with the Wauconda Township Historical Society
  • Library Director was involved in the revitalization of the United Partnership for a Better Community that now meets monthly at the Fire Department, serving as the group’s Secretary until April, 2018 and providing library promotion and bilingual staff assistance for the 2018 Summer Lunch Program
  • The library created and maintains a new web-based self-serve community calendar for local events
  • The library’s Children’s Book Quilt, facilitated by the Friends of the Library in 1988, was framed and now hangs in Kid City, across the hallway from the Children’s Author quilt, created in 2008.
  • Created a Donors page listing all people and organizations who have made donations to the library, dating back to the donors plaque.
  • Created a tribute page for long-time Library Trustee Terry Stevig

Library Policies and Trustee Administration

  • Revisions or updates and board approval of the following policies:
    • Personnel
    • Technology Use
    • Circulation
    • Meeting Room
  • The library complied with all the requirements specified in the Per Capita Grant applications, resulting in the library board's greater awareness of the topics covered