Home > Southern System Planning > Minutes for the 9.14.2010 meeting of the Planning Panel at Shawnee Library System in Carterville, IL.

Minutes for the 9.14.2010 meeting of the Planning Panel at Shawnee Library System in Carterville, IL.

November 4th, 2010

Amended Minutes of the September 14, 2010
Southern System Planning Panel


Carterville Community Center

120 N. Greenbriar Road
Carterville, Illinois


September 14, 2010


LCLS:Ron Coleman, Linda McDonnell, JoAnn Nabe, and Dianne Steele, Elaine Steingrubey (Alt), Harriett Zipfel (Alt)

LTLS: Rochelle Funderburg, Allen Lanham, Nina Pals, Scott Drone- Silver (Alt), Rosanne Reidner

RPLS: Val Green, Richard Helton, Amy Ihnen, Mary Ann Pohl (Alt), Nina Wunderlich

SHLS: Marian Albers, Karen Bounds, Arlene Dueker (Alt), Tom Turner


Anita Trame (Alt), Andrea Witthoft

Other’s Present:

LCLS:Leslie Bednar, Juliette Douglas

LTLS: Jan Ison, Pat Boze

RPLS: Bev Obert, Doris McKay

SHLS: Ellen Popit, Tracy Edwards

ILS: Anne Craig, Greg McCormick

Audience: Esther Curry, Judy Daubs, Randy Domineck, Brenda Funkhouser, Brenda Gilpatrick, Tammy Grah, Judy Groom, Janet Hicks, Denise Karns, Kay Marshall, Gisa Power, Cindy Pulsford, Joan Rhoades, Jane Robertson, Portia Stueve, Laura Trowbridge, Anita Walters, Lacy Wright, and Diane Yeoman

Introductions begin at:

1:16 pm following meetings of the Subcommittees and a tour of the Shawnee Library System.

Agenda Item Discussion and Decisions

Start Up Introductions
Desired Outcomes
Agenda Additions

Ellen Popit facilitated the introductions. There was agreement on the meeting purpose, desired outcomes of committee meetings, and desired outcomes of the planning meeting.

Ellen reviewed the agenda and asked if there were any additions. It was agreed that the opportunity for comments and questions to and from Ann Craig and Greg McCormick would be added to the Agenda after the report on feedback from members.

Review and
Approval of the
minutes from
August 12th meeting

Ronald Coleman moved and Diane Steele seconded the motion to approve the minutes from the August 12, 2010 meeting. The motion carried.

Report on Issues/
Concerns from

JoAnn Nabe indicated that members requested that vendor discounts be available. Other concerns expressed by LCLS members included a request for the same frequency of delivery service; that the panel review research from ILA; begin thinking about a mediator/facilitator and have it in place before it is needed; and LLSAPs keeping the money they have in reserve separate for use only by its members.

Rosanne Reidner reported that LTLS members had concerns regarding maintaining a commitment to multitype libraries and remembering that all types of libraries are essential; what the new membership criteria will be; the actual structure of the new system; how decisions made for the new system will affect finances; how to move material throughout a larger area; remember that not all libraries can pay for services; how meetings would be conducted under the Open Meetings Act; cost of automation system and issues of all libraries on one system; maintain commitment to resource sharing; and can systems survive without a merger.

Valerie Green discussed the concerns of RPLS members which include the need for a neutral facilitator; the need to consider changing boundaries and how boundaries fit the needs of libraries. the need for all planning panels across the state could meet; cost of LLSAPS , cataloging, etc.; need for a timeline; due diligence on the documents and make sure they are shared; not all systems are prepared to move forward; a need to talk to the Northern System’s to see how their merger process if going. It was noted that the last Northern Systems meeting did not go well because of technology issues.

Marian Albers indicated that SHLS members were concerned about for their LLSAP – what the fees would be and how much to budget. Ellen shared that she gives positive weekly reports on the LLSAPs to keep members informed. She further indicated that these reports are appreciated.

The comments posed on Cooperation Today were copied for discussion at the meeting. Clarification was given on when/ whether members had to vote on the merger. It was also discussed when agreements will be made by consensus versus by votes. Motion made by Marion Albers and seconded by Diane Steel that all issues that need a “yah” or “nay” to be considered an official vote, The motion was approved.

State Library
Questions and

Ann Craig was asked to clarify the deadline for having merger complete. Ann indicated that the June 8th memo she sent clearly states that the merger is in the hands of the Systems and their Board of Directors. There is a need to eliminate duplication of services or may find themselves unable to continue. There will be no increase in the next FY and beyond. FY 2012 will be even more difficult. Decisions should be made in light of the economic climate and the increases in costs all systems are facing. This crisis has been exacerbated by the cash flow issues. The priorities expressed by the Secretary of State are resource sharing, LLSAPS, TBBS, and delivery. The FY is a cleaner time to make changes.

The State Library is working on a document that will provide some timelines/milestones by which certain things need to be achieved. It was stated that every System has agreed to discuss merger but no System has actually agreed to merge. The first milestone will be for the boards to vote to merge.

A question was posed as to whether other mergers produced cost savings and if so, how did they do it. The response was that staff is a large part of a service organization’s budget. Merging takes advantage of the efficiency of scale. If all Systems merge, maintain all facilities and all staff – no savings would be realized. Consideration has to be given to overhead costs and duplicate administrative units.

Cumberland Trail and Kaskaskia were disillusionments and not quite the same.

Another question was whether it would be possible at the System Director’s and President’s meeting in October to have a Statewide discussion on an exchange of ideas as to how the merger processes are going. Ann answered that the meeting would not be a statewide meeting, but would be an open meeting and that the merger is on the agenda.

The comment was made as to whether this is a choice of merge or be merged. A lot of time has been and will be spent working on this and there was concern that the State Library might comes back later and indicate that Systems should do something different. The response from the State Library was that this is a very fluid environment and these are extraordinary times. There are very explicit instructions in the law regarding reviewing and redrawing the boundaries for Systems. The law was read. See the law -3321AC 3030.120, Page 163 23IL admin code. If the Systems put themselves out of business, then the Illinois State Library could divide the libraries up (3030.110).

Review Revised
Planning Document

See Version 4 of the Planning Document which has been posted on Basecamp. It includes changing from 1 to 2 alternates; changing the role of the directors from facilitator to coordinator, and having the panel vote on all motions. The motion was moved, seconded and carried.

A motion made by Valerie seconded by Diane Steele to leave the planning documents as standalone documents and to mark the changes (bolded, underlined, or otherwise highlighted).

Timeline of Key

Delivery Committee
Have a plan for delivery – mid December 2010

Legal/Governance Committee
Legal requirements/liabilities (from business mgrs and
Audits) – 10/01/2010
List of assets (from business mgrs and audits) –12/01/2010
Applications to the State Library for the merger – 04/01/2010.
Seek vote or ratification, as needed, of merger to members
– Month of February 2010
Draft document to boards for vote – month of March 2010

Resource Sharing Committee
Gather LLSAP financials, member information, and OCLC Statistics – end of September 2010
Have a recommended plan – end of December 2010

Strategic Planning Committee
Have a survey completed –mid October 2010
Have strategic plan written – 01/01/2010

It was moved by Tom Turner and seconded by Karen Bounds that these timelines as outlined be accepted and put on the planning document with other additions added as needed. The motion carried.

Report on Fiscal
Data Requested at
August 12, 2010

Legal/Governance Committee

It was reported that the committee would look into the idea of intergovernmental agreements. A question was posed as to whether the intergovernmental agreement would be consistent with the vote already taken by each System board on the expectations and roles of each system. It was discussed that the intergovernmental agreement was not mutually exclusive of the agreement. The intergovernmental agreement would indicate the roles and responsibilities of each System during the merger and then would stop when the new entity is in place.
The panel agreed to let the committee do its research and then report back to the panel.

Information needed include each Systems assets by December and liabilities by November. The committee will also look at IMRF, health insurance, and other benefits. Issues to complete due diligence will be identified. The boards will have information in March and the application completed by April 1, 2010.

Some of the requirements for the merger include – an application for the new system; a new board with 5-15 members (with representation from each System and the largest representation being from public libraries); bylaws; and a plan of service. There is not set content for the application.

The membership criteria were discussed. It was mentioned that the proposed new standards were suspended. However the committee will look at the proposed standards and how the public libraries meet them. There was also discussion regarding perhaps the need to grandfather some existing libraries. The new proposed school criteria are somewhat unrealistic given the current economic situation.

The committee will require e-mails and conference calls before the next meeting.

It was also mentioned that while it is not required to have members vote under certain circumstances, our group chose to pole members. The members would only have to ratify the merger if it is decided to change the boundaries. It is currently undecided as to whether there will be a poll or a formal vote.

Resource Sharing Committee

The committee discussed how resource sharing is a core value. They will gather statistics on LLSAP, information on use, member versus non member information, and information on funding.

Pat Bose made a report on the current LLSAP managers who have been meeting. Managers began meeting in April because they do not have enough staff and want to be collaborative. In total there are about 450 libraries with a circulation of about 12 million items. To remain positive, the managers focus on commonalities. The Automation Committee has a draft proposal which was presented to the Resource Sharing Committee. They will have a resource sharing plan by December.

The basic values of the Automation Committee were also discussed. There is a commitment to support resource sharing.

They will look for indepth collections and more libraries to be brought into the group. There is a belief in cooperation and the automation managers want the LLSAPs to stay under a System. However, there is concern that if the LLSAPs form separate nonprofits, they may become closed organizations.

Many members are using full functionality of systems. The LLSAP staff have to walk the line of proving full support of automation, helping libraries become more efficient and yet being affordable and having the appropriate functionality.

It is difficult for existing staff to do new developments because of staff issues. They may eventually share the same platform to help provide new innovative. The aspect of delivery is essential, but there are no solutions for funding. It is a work in progress and it is essential that there is a continuation of building relationship with members.

Library Systems should be looking at what we can create for Southern Illinois and what we can share with the rest of the state. The LLSAPs are looking at all the available systems. And who can support the size of a combined LLSAP.

This group is working together with honesty and good faith. The Automation Committee feels they are very fortunate to have the work this group has done.

Strategic Planning Committee

The Strategic Planning Committee held two meetings. They are working on developing a Strategic Plan and are recommending that library members provide input into the Strategic Plan by participating in a survey. The Committee is working on the content of the survey and is requesting additional input from members of other committees. The survey will be distributed using Survey Monkey.

Thus far, the Committee has agreed that the survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete; will be cross- tabbed based on demographics such as library type and size; will contain both open and closed ended questions; and should include questions designed to meet the needs of other committees.

It was also recommended that the Panel Alternates be used to test the survey.

The goal is to have the survey instrument completed by mid October with the results posed on Cooperation Today.

The Committee needs to have any recommended questions to be included in the survey by Friday, September 24. Another meeting will be held in about 10 days to complete the details of the survey instrument so it can be forwarded to the Alternates for pre-testing. Recommended questions to be added to the survey can be sent using Basecamp or can be mailed directly to Jan Ison and she will forward the suggestions to other Committee members.

Delivery Committee

The Delivery Committee has met twice, one via a conference call and the meeting today. A priority will be providing good delivery for all four Systems. It was recognized that delivery has never been the same from one year to the next.

The committee is convinced that delivery can be provided to members in the very large consolidated geographical area. A pictorial view was displayed which showed all four Systems with hubs in various areas.

It was agreed that a subcommittee with representatives from each system will be established to develop a system that will investigate how to maximize the economies of scale of all four systems considered as a whole. The Committee will also be asking the subcommittee to look at Monday – Friday delivery, recognizing that not all libraries will get five day a week service. There may be a need to also consider alternative delivery methods, as appropriate. The Committee agreed that there is a need to have multiple hubs.

The current delivery encourages local sharing of materials. (catalogable items). Currently there are 32 delivery routes. Sharing may change dramatically throughout the southern systems after the merger. It was agreed that there must be some changes in the methods used for delivery. Other suggestions to explore will include the idea of delivering to communities rather than to buildings.

Other information needed will include an inventory of vehicles – there are at least 25 (some older than others); the identification of heavy/low use libraries; and the identification of any overlaps of boarder libraries. Consideration will also be given to the fact that whenever a library is brought onto an LLSAP, the delivery increases almost overnight.

Public Comment

Elaine Steingrubey asked the ISL how close the Panel is to the milestone that will be included in the ISL documents. The response was that the Panel is where they need to be. It is the Boards who are in control. Goals have been set that helps the Panel meet their target of July 1, 2011. There is a guarantee from the Secretary of State that he is doing everything he can to support libraries. There are challenges everywhere. The Panel is taking all the “right steps” and are “rock solid” in what it is doing. . Ann further reiterated that there is no move underfoot to remove Library Systems from the budget. The Allocations have been made for FY 2011. ILS is moving quite rapidly and undertaken a lot of work. The milestones will be based on the information
already provided in previous correspondence from the State Library. If a library system does not deal with the issues, then the State would have to step in.

Harriett Zipfel recommended that it would not be a good idea to keep the same library board. Instead perhaps there should be one board for the entire system based on different criteria. She strongly urged the Panel to keep resource sharing a high priority and to find a way to serve the unserved in Illinois, over the long term. She shared that in the State of Indiana, anyone can get a library card.

Elaine Steingrubey requested a clearer definition of resource sharing and to identify where we going and how can we get there. She indicated that there was an appreciation for the situation the State Library is in. She further asked for clarification on the small libraries who are not part of the LLSAPs and where they are in the plans. She explained that she uses her Systems for consulting and other services. Where are these services in the plan? Clarification was requested on what constitutes high, low, or medium volumes of delivery and what happens if the majority of members vote no on the merger? Lastly, Ms. Steingrubey asked how is the information obtained from members going to be used.

Responses to some of these questions included the fact that the Delivery Committee was still working on what constitutes high, medium and low volume. It was suggested that small libraries may need to network to share their wealth of information among themselves. It was stated that networking is resource sharing. Another comment was a reminder that the door is open for small libraries to become LLSAP members. Representatives from the Panel indicated that small libraries will not be forgotten in the process.

Gisa Power indicated that she remembered when Systems went from 12 to 9. She felt the boundaries should have been changed. then. At that time, most of libraries went to Alliance. She wanted to confirm her understanding that the four systems talking about mergers include only current members of those Systems She further requested clarification on how libraries can make sure they have a voice in which new System they will become part of.

At this time, we are not talking about disbursing members among different systems. Nor are we talking about four different boards. If we are talking about splitting members with other systems, then the requirements are different.

Currently, the manner in which System boundaries are established do not follow county or other boundaries. This will be addressed in the revised Administrative Rules. There are timelines and rules for changing Systems. If it is done before the merger, there is one process. Libraries can petition to withdrawal and petition to join another System if they are contiguous. If they do this before the merger, it puts the System under different rules.

It was also shared that there is contact information on all Panel participants. If there is information needed or comments to make, any participant can be contacted.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:19 p.m.

PDF version

Comments are closed.