Author Archive

Future Planning Update

July 9th, 2010 Comments off

Click here info on the future of Library Systems:

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Due to Reduced Funding

October 12th, 2009 Comments off

We have been working very hard to look at all expenditures as we incorporate the 16.5% reduction in funding here at the System.  The reduction could have been much worse: the General Assembly actually cut the grant amount by 50% (see PA 096-0042, Article 20, Section 25), it is only by the Secretary of State using the federal LSTA money that the reduction was decreased to 16.5% for Library Systems, 16% for public libraries, and 3% for school libraries per capita grant programs.  Due to the reduced funding, several things have happened internally at the System that you might be interested to know.

I am fairly sure you are already aware that there were/are no raises for any LCLS staff this fiscal year.  I have evaluated what our staffing needs will be as Bonnie Kilmurray (Executive Assistant) retires and SarahFae Stuehlmeyer (Accountant) leaves when her baby arrives.  I weighed the pros and cons about the possibility of outsourcing many of the duties these two positions currently perform.  While there would be some cost savings, the control and flexibility we would lose with outsourcing these duties far exceeds the value of any direct dollars saved. Additionally, any costs savings would only be because of decreased hours devoted to LCLS needs.  Instead, we will be modifying these positions, evaluating other positions, and making adjustments that will result in a net savings in our personnel lines.  Also in personnel lines we reduced the average number of hours budgeted in some part time positions.

We have been reviewing all of our contracts with service providers.  We entirely cut our contract with SIUE for an intern (so, sorry that there will be fewer surveys, but we’ll identify ways to continue to gather member input).  We reduced our cleaning contract from five days a week to two days a week.  We have a new security alarm system and thus a new monitoring contract that has resulted in lower monthly monitoring rates. We will no longer have a postage machine and instead will use actual stamps.  We are working on reducing the number of telephone lines coming into the building as well as new long distance service.  We entirely cut the 1-800 telephone number, there were only a few monthly calls on it and the monthly rates did not warrant keeping it. (If you used the 800 number in the past, please dial 618-656-3216 to reach us from now on.)

Speaking of phones, I negotiated an addendum to our current phone system contract; we will continue to have a phone system however we will be returning many value added features.  If our phone system provider would not have been able to make such a deal with us we would have had to drastically change how we received phone calls.  We were looking at purchasing an answering machine on a wireless handset phone for the main line and cell phones with direct dialing numbers for all positions – this would have required both members and staff to make major adjustments in order to talk to each other.  I am very pleased to have come to an agreement that allows us to retain enough features that members should not experience any real changes.

We will not be purchasing any replacement laptops this fiscal year (only if absolutely necessary).  Nor will we purchase any new vehicles; however we will need to look at this in the near future as we have not purchased a new van since 2005.  We reduced our materials budget by one-third.  We will be “returning” the capability to follow fixed assets in our financial software and will use excel instead.  We will pay bills online as much as possible through a new program available with our main banking account; this will result in appreciable savings in postage.

We have cut all out of state travel for both the staff and board.  I hope that this can be re-instituted at some point, but for now we will only be traveling within the state.  We will no longer have a water cooler, tea or coffee.

While we have looked at our expenses with a critical eye, we have also looked at our ability to generate revenue.  Most classes and events will now have a charge associated with them (all except GateNet classes since those are “prepaid” by those member libraries that participate in GateNet and the classes that are required as part of our Area & Per Capita grant award).  We will also receive some staff reimbursement from the WebJunction Illinois grant we administer for the state.  Finally, we are also seeing an upswing in the rental of our meeting rooms and training labs by other organizations; if you know someone looking for a place to hold training please think of suggesting us to them.

These are a few of the things we have been working on recently.  For the most part we have been looking internally in order to mitigate the possible impact on member libraries.  We remain committed to providing the best possible service to our member libraries within the constraints of our financial reality.

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September Board Meeting

September 16th, 2009 Comments off

The LCLS Board of Directors met Tuesday, September 15th at 6:00 pm.  Board members present included: President Elaine Steingrubey, Secretary Linda McDonnell, and members Ron Coleman, Beth Hauser, Susan Mendelsohn, Matt Paris, and Joyce Reid.  Ron Coleman was welcomed as a returning board member and administered the Oath of Office.  Other than myself, also in attendance were LCLS staff Bonnie Kilmurray, Judy Rake, SarahFae Stuehlmeyer, Juliette Douglas, Kevin Bednar, and Leslie Bednar.  The Agenda was amended to include “Recognition of System Staff” under the President’s Report. (Agenda/Packet)

Under the President’s Report:

President Steingrubey noted the Board’s appreciation for Bonnie Kilmurray and her 40 years of coordinating the Board.  The Board passed a motion to applaud Bonnie in recognition and appreciation for her dedication and care for the board, staff, and members. A certificate was signed and will be formally presented to Bonnie at the Celebratory event on October 15th (2-4).

Director Reid reviewed 75ILCS 10/4 – 10/5.

Under the Vice-President’s report:

No report.

The following items were discussed under the Executive Director’s Report:

Board Relations

The FY09 Audit was presented by Kevin Tepen of C.J. Schlosser & Company, LLC and accepted by the Board.

The FY09 Annual Report was reviewed and approved.

The revised FY10 Area & Per Capita grant application components requested by the Illinois State Library were reviewed and approved.

Personnel Development

Kevin Becker reported on the Staff Development Day.  All staff who were in attendance that day received four hours of CPR/AED training and certificates from the Edwardsville Fire Department.  Staff also discussed the new Performance Management Process documents.

Juliette Douglas reviewed the Performance Management Process about to commence.  The new document being developed will have three distinct parts: 1) to review past performance, 2) to set goals for the future, and 3) to identify areas for professional growth.  The entire process will be completed by the end of the calendar year.  However, the instrument is meant to be adjusted each time it is used.

Community and Organizational Involvement

Illinois State Library Standards for Multitype Library Systems: it is important for people to make comments on the draft standards as they are published.  The most recent standards to be posted are: Technology, Cooperation & Collaboration, and Research & Development.

The Illinois Library System Directors Organization (ILSDO) met in Mt Vernon September 9 and 10.  Much of the discussion centered on the reduction in funding and the future of systems.  ILSDO will be launching a campaign to bring the issue of library funding to the lap of legislators.  This campaign is being designed to begin October 9 and continue through October 16.  The goal of the campaign is to make the point that people are using Illinois libraries at record levels and that cuts to library and system funding will result in grievous harm to the residents of Illinois; all we are asking for is that statutory levels of funding be restored.  At the same time, ILSDO is discussing the future of regional library systems.

Illinois State Library advisory Committee (ISLAC) met on August 13th at the State Library.  Again, much discussion revolved around the reduction in funding.  The State Library decided to not apply for broadband stimulus funding at this time; they expect to apply in round two.  The Illinois Center for the Book is no longer a separate organization and is now a part of Library Development; this will help in the pursuit of grant funding.  ILEADU is a big grant the State Library received from the Institute of Museum and Library Service to focus on technology leadership in Illinois.  Information about and the application to participate in ILEADU is available on WebJunction Illinois.  A new $50,000,000 public library construction program has passed the General Assembly; the State Library will be putting the rules together.  Secretary of State Jesse White spoke to ISLAC to show his appreciation for libraries and what we do; he is strongly encouraging the library community to speak to legislators to let them know the impact of the funding reductions and to call for the restoration of those funds.

Membership Relations

Leslie Bednar gave a GateNet Report and demonstrated enhancements staff have made to the online catalog that patrons use.  Two enhancements include links to so that patrons can locate their library and to the membership page of the LCLS Web site so that patrons can call their library when they have a question.

The Librarians Advisory Council met on September 3rd.  The main discussion was on the System’s funding reduction.  LAC reviewed the revised FY10 Plan of Service and recommended it be presented to the Board for adoption.  LAC supported LCLS transferring back $50,000 that had been transferred to GateNet in June 2005.  The LAC Bylaws revision timetable includes a current comment time period on the proposed changes, a review by LAC of the comments, any changes made, then an electronic ballot for the vote all to occur before the November 5th LAC meeting.

One member status change was accepted by the Board: the Venice School District requested withdrawal of membership at this time – this withdrawal will be effective April 1, 2010 as per 75ILCS 10/14. Venice SD understands that it may request reinstatement at any future time.  A brief discussion on conversations with a person interested in the Washington Park Public Library (currently a suspended LCLS member due to lack of hours, staff, board) status occurred.

Administrative/Fiscal Topics

The Board endorsed the transfer of $50,000 back to LCLS from GateNet reserves; the original transfer had been made to 1) restore a working capital fund, 2) cover GateNet capital expenses with the example of replacing the air conditioner in the server room, and 3) assist LCLS members with the costs of becoming GateNet members.  Since that transfer was made, GateNet has had no new capital expenses, LCLS monies covered the full expense of both a new air conditioner and a new generator, and new GateNet members have either received a grant to become a GateNet member or have covered those costs themselves. GateNet reserves have never been below $100,000 according to official audits.  With the FY09 audit, GateNet currently has more than $263,000 in reserves.  With the 16.5 % reduction in funding, LCLS is losing more than $178,000 annually.  Combined with the reductions LCLS experienced in 2001 and 2004, LCLS revenue is now $378,000 less than it was in 2000.

Other ideas we are researching include the pros and cons of outsourcing accounting, charging a minimum of $10.00 for all events except GateNet and core classes, no longer having a water cooler, no longer providing coffee and tea for staff.  I have also notified CTS – where we lease our telephone system that due to a reduction in funding I am invoking the non-appropriation of funds clause to dissolve our contract; as a result we will no longer have a phone system per se, instead we will have an answering machine on the main line and cell phones for each position with direct telephone numbers to staff.  This means we will not be able to transfer calls, but will instead have to call people back as they need assistance from various staff members.

Alternate Revenue Streams will be pursued for the project.  Charm is pursuing the Washington University Skandalaris Center’s Youthbridge Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Competition to see if our project is eligible.


Nothing was reported in this section.

Illinois State Library Liaison – Pat Norris

Pat clarified information regarding the $50,000,000 public library construction grant program.  It is modeled off a similar construction grant program administered by the Illinois State Board of Education for schools.  This is a bond program and until bonds are actually sold there will be no grants.  The earliest grants could possibly be considered is 2011.  The State Library will put the rules for this program together.

Pat also encouraged teams to apply for the ILEAD U program as well as individuals to be mentors.

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Revision of Librarian's Advisory Council (LAC) Bylaws

September 15th, 2009 Comments off

The Librarian’s Advisory Council has reviewed its Bylaws and recommends the attached changes. At this time, LAC is asking LCLS members for their comments on these revisions for consideration at the October 1st LAC meeting. Comment deadline is September 28.

Please review the attached pdf outlining proposed changes and make comments below.  If you prefer, comments may be sent to or

LAC will review comments at the October 1st meeting, make appropriate revisions, and approve the final draft for LCLS membership vote.  An electronic ballot will be available for voting mid-October.

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July Board Meeting

July 28th, 2009 Comments off

The LCLS Board of Directors met Tuesday, July 21st at 6:00 pm.  Board members present included: President Elaine Steingrubey, Secretary Linda McDonnell, Treasurer JoAnn Nabe, and members Beth Hauser, Susan Mendelsohn, Matt Paris, and Joyce Reid.  Beth Hauser and Susan Mendelsohn were welcomed as new board members and administered the Oath of Office.  Other than myself, also in attendance were LCLS staff Amanda McKay, Bonnie Kilmurray, Charm Ruhnke, Judy Rake, Juliette Douglas, Kevin Bednar, and Leslie Bednar.  (Agenda)

Under the President’s Report:

The Board Secretary was charged with calling board members who are absent from a board meeting to provide an update.

Board buddies: Linda McDonnell with Beth Hauser and JoAnn Nabe with Susan Mendelsohn.

ALA conference – Chicago: as no reimbursement is being requested, there will be no reimbursement for attendance.

ILA conference (October 6 – 8): Elaine Steingrubey will represent LCLS and receive 2/3 reimbursement, Linda McDonnell will represent Six Mile Regional Library District, Matt Paris will represent SIUE.

Under the Vice-President’s report:

Linda McDonnell reported on her recent attendance at the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

Under the Executive Director’s Report:

Board Relations

With a new state budget being passed, I looked through the bills that are now public acts (SB 1216 = PA 096-0042 and HB 2206 = PA 096-0046).  These two bills/acts are important because they outline the Secretary of State’s budget – where library funding is found.  If I read these correctly…

Everything is still in the Secretary of State’s (SOS) budget that had originally been requested under Live & Learn (and other revenues except GRF) funds – plus an additional $1,184,200 that was not in the original budget and is NOT for libraries.  It is important to understand that Live & Learn funds are from revenues that the state generates – things like license renewal fees.  The changes that I found in Live & Learn funds (HB 2206) are:

  • +$1,000,000 section 125 – promote public awareness of the dangers of security fraud;
  • +$190,000 section 160 – administering the responsibilities of the SOS Department of Police; and
  • -$5,800 section 175 – implementing identification security and theft prevention measures

The General Revenue Fund (GRF = SB1216) is supported by income taxes and is where the problem lies.  Overall the GRF is $23,023,800 less than originally requested in the Secretary of State’s budget.  And, according to Section 25, of the $23 million already mentioned, it looks like it is $11,742,700 less in awards and grants (where library funding sits) than had originally been requested.  If this is true, then there is an overall 43% decrease in the lines for grants (page 11-10 of the original budget request).

All that being said, we still don’t know how the SOS will divide the decrease.  That is what we are waiting to learn.  In a few weeks we hope to know what the exact impact will be on LCLS funding.

Here are links to the documents I used to arrive at these conclusions: (11-8 through 11-13 is SOS budget request)

To deal with the anticipated funding reduction from Illinois’ General Revenue Fund, my proposed strategy is to basically spend more of our reserves.  The board approved our spending reserves as part of the regular end of year consent agenda in June – that is something that has been approved for years.  We currently have $616,000.00 available to us in reserve.  Three reasons to be cautious about spending reserves are that 1) we already have a deficit budget that incorporates spending reserves annually ($121,690 was approved in the FY10 budget), 2) eventually we will run out of reserves and will have no fallback, and 3) Because of the timing of the receipt of funding we periodically use reserves for working capital.  I have been working very hard at decreasing the amount we spend in reserves each year, so having to consciously spend more reserves is difficult.

We have already eliminated raises (except those required by law for minimum wage) and the intern position.  We have cut our cleaning service from 5 days a week to 2 days a week.  We have cut back on our electrician (basically lighting) from every month to every other month and have new strategies using less expensive replacement bulbs.  In the 2008-2009 fiscal year that just ended we installed a new alarm system which will result in lower monthly costs.  We are looking to reduce the frequency of elevator maintenance while staying compliant and safe.  Only with a reduction in funding can we get out of our telephone contract; when we are notified of our decrease in funding we will drop the telephone system we currently have and go to all cell phones and publish the new staff numbers (cell phones will cost less because of a state contract).  All of these things combined will result in a decrease of at least $60,000 in spending.  My plan is for there to be NO staff cuts.  We are as lean as we can possibly be and continue to provide even a minimal level of service.

Then, LCLS will take the next year (or appropriate time period) to plan with the membership on service priorities.  We will actively engage members to develop and determine what priorities to pursue into the future.

LCLS will also research selling land or developing on our open lot.  We will research any and all options available to us.  I’m sure there are more than we have thought of up to this point.

Our current Area & Per Capita funding amount is $1,082,923.00, which happens to annually be $200,000 less than we received from FY1991 through FY2000.  If LCLS receives the following percentage reductions, below is what we expect the impact to be:
05% = 54,146
10% = 108,292 – $60,000 (savings explained above) = $48,292 more spent from reserves
15% = 162,438 – 60,000 = $102,438 more spent from reserves
20% = 216,584 – 60,000 = $156,584 more spent from reserves
25% = 270,730 – 60,000 = $210,730 more spent from reserves
30% = 324,876 – 60,000 = $264,876 more spent from reserves
35% = 379,022 – 60,000 = 319,022 more spent from reserves
40% = 433,168 – 60,000 = 373,168 more spent from reserves
45% = 487,314 – 60,000 = 427,314 more spent from reserves
50% = 541,461 – 60,000 = 481,461 more spent from reserves

I want us to go forward with a realistic view so that we can work smart, increase efficiency, and better our financial outlook.

75 ILCS Act 10, Illinois Library System Act is the law under which Library Systems were created and continue to operate; it outlines the legal requirements, authority, and accountability of Library System Boards.  I reviewed 10/1 through 10/3 with the Board.  Joyce Reid will review 10/4 through 10/5 at the September Board meeting.

We have not yet received a date for our Illinois State Library Area & Per Capita Grant Application presentation.

The Board approved the new Professional Development/CE Policy and rescinded the Operational Plan – Continuous Learning and Workforce Development.

Personnel Development

As a participant in the Madison County Employment & Training Youth @ Work program (a federally funded program that pays young people ages 16 -24 to work in local organizations in order to gain practical work experience) we have two new employees.  Christina Douglas and Jasmine Lumpkins are assisting with receptionist duties, circulation duties (including sorting), and other duties.  We are thrilled to welcome Christina and Jasmine to LCLS!

Juliette Douglas reported on the Safety Committee as well as the process we are following to update staff evaluations/appraisals.

Community and Organizational Involvement

Illinois State Library Standards & Rules Committee: it is important for people to make comments on the draft standards as they are published on WebJunction Illinois; minutes from these meetings at available on the State Library’s Web site.  Effective July 2009, a separate blog has been set up for reviewing and commenting on the documents developed by the Library System Standards Committee.  All comments should be added on the Library System Standards blog, now instead of on WebJunction Illinois.  The most recent draft standard is Administrative/Leadership.

The Illinois Library System Directors Organization (ILSDO) met at LCSL June 30 and July 1.  Terry Stark, National City Bank Vice President Wholesale Banking Public Funds shared information on an opportunity called Energy Efficiency Financing Programming.  National City will help finance upgrades to an organization’s facility regarding energy efficiency with the intent of the cost of the loan being equal to or less than the monthly savings realized by the upgrades.  Mr. Stark will make this same presentation at an ILA annual conference session sponsored by ILSDO.

The 2010 ILSDO plan is SERV – Sustainable Services, Environment, Resources, and Value.  The plan will incorporate legislative issues, such as the unserved and funding issues for libraries; leadership; membership criteria; system standards; sustainable System funding; and going green.

Michael Piper has been announced as the new Prairie Area Library System (PALS) Executive Director.  He starts September 1st.

I thanked the board for their continuing support of my attendance at ALA conferences.  This most recent annual conference was the last I was obligated to attend as the Illinois Library Association (ILA) Chapter Councilor.  I intend for other staff to attend national conferences in the near future, as long as funds allow.  It is important for System staff to attend conferences to bring back to the membership new ideas, speakers, and issues impacting libraries.  ALA Council actions will be available on the ALA Web site in the upcoming months.

Charm Ruhnke updated the board on the WebJunction Illinois grant project. We have been instructed to delay hiring a WebJunction Illinois assistant until the State Library can once again sign contracts.

Membership Relations

Cahokia School District will be pulling all but its high school out of GateNet membership.

The Librarians’ Advisory Council (LAC) met on July 2nd.  Proposed LAC Bylaws changes were reviewed and will be sent to the LCLS membership in September for comment.

The ILSDO membership criteria committee has been meeting electronically.  Charm Ruhnke is the LCLS representative on this group.  The intent is to develop basic membership criteria that will be standardized across the state.

Administrative/Fiscal Topics

Leslie Bednar and Juliette Douglas shared the findings of the Taylor Community Consulting project to develop an alternate formula for GateNet fees.

Two items were declared fully depreciated, surplus, and available for sale: Dell Poweredge 2550 and Merlin-Gerin EPS 2000 UPS.


Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) is offering an Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Library Information Specialist endorsement or a masters degree in instructional technology from the school of education.

LCLS received 60 more Ameren Watt Readers to distribute.  All LCLS public and academic libraries will soon have a device.  Some schools also have the device.

LCLS will send a small memorial donation to two member libraries whose names were drawn from a box.  Auburn Public Library will receive a donation in memory of Alphonse Trezza, former Illinois State Library Director.  Louis Latzer Memorial Public Library will receive a donation in memory of Robert Bullen.  Both gentlemen were instrumental in the development and growth of Illinois libraries and library systems.

Illinois State Library Liaison – Pat Norris

No report.

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June Annual Meeting & Board Meeting

June 17th, 2009 Comments off

The LCLS Annual Meeting was held at 4:45 pm.  At the LCLS Annual Meeting, LCLS 16 staff members were honored for their years of service:

5 years of service – received an LCLS logo key chain

  • Brook Weber, Circulation Page 5.3 years
  • Janice Bieneman, Courier Driver 5.4 years
  • Sam Cline, Courier Driver 5.5 years
  • Leslie Bednar, GateNet Manger 7 years
  • Tina Hubert, Executive Director 7.6 years
  • Orlanda Dickey, Courier Driver 8.1 years
  • Edie Elliott, Cataloging Assistant 8.4 years
  • Judy Rake, Youth & Advocacy Consultant 8.4 years

10 years of service – received a Cross pen, plus the key chain

  • John Johnson, Courier Driver 10.9 years

15 years of service – received a Book Clock, plus the Cross pen and the key chain

  • Jim Early, Courier Driver 15.4 years
  • Donna Vesper, LLSAP Support Specialist 18.8 years
  • Bruce Gates, Support Technician 19.2 years
  • Sarah Heuertz, Cataloger 19.2 years

20 + years of service – received an inscribed brick in new LCLS Patio, plus the Book Clock, the Cross pen, and the key chain

  • Charm Ruhnke, Consultant Manger 23.2 years
  • Sherry Highley, Circulation Services Supervisor 30 years
  • Bonnie Kilmurray, Executive Assistant 39.9 years

Please join us in congratulating and celebrating LCLS staff!

Key Chain = 5 years, Cross Pen = 10 years, Book Clock = 15 years, Brick (for new LCLS patio) = 20+ years

Key Chain = 5 years, Cross Pen = 10 years, Book Clock = 15 years, Brick (for new LCLS patio) = 20+ years

The LCLS Board of Directors met Tuesday, June 16th at 6:00 pm.  Board members present included: President Elaine Steingrubey, Vice President Pat Wandling, Secretary Joyce Reid, and members Linda McDonnell, Norman Schiller, and Ron Coleman.  Also in attendance were LCLS staff Bonnie Kilmurray, Judy Rake, Amanda McKay, Leslie Bednar, Kevin Becker, and myself.   Mary Jo Akeman, Six Mile Regional Library District trustee attended as well.  (Agenda)

Under the President’s Report, the Board discussed:

A special resolution was read and approved by the Board in recognition of Norm Schiller’s 6 years of service on the Lewis & Clark Library System Board.  A copy of the resolution will be sent to the Mississippi Valley Public Library District Board, where Norm is a trustee.
The Board approved the following slate for FY2010 LCLS Board Officers:

  1. President – Elaine Steingrubey (2nd term)
  2. Vice President – Pat Wandling (2nd term)
  3. Secretary – Linda McDonnell (1st term)
  4. Treasurer – JoAnn Nabe (1st term)

The following items were discussed under the Executive Director’s Report:

Board Relations

“Library” Bills status – the following bills have all passed both the House and the Senate.  The Governor has 60 days from the receipt of the bills to do one of three things: to ignore them, sign them, or veto them.

  • HB49: Illinois State Library and Academic Library Collection Management;
  • HB146: County Law Library Fee;
  • HB211: Libraries in Name Only;
  • HB242 Tax Cap Increases for Debt Levies; and
  • HB793: Illinois Library System Physical Quorum for Meetings

75 ILCS Act 10, Illinois Library System Act is the law under which Library Systems were created and continue to operate; it outlines the legal requirements, authority, and accountability of Library System Boards.  With the increased emphasis on legal responsibilities in state government it is important that the LCLS Board of Directors remain current and aware of their legal requirements.   A chart of the sections of the Act was shared with the Board along with a proposed timetable for discussion of specific sections.  I will begin in July discussing Sections 75 ILCS 10/1 – 75 ILCS 10/3.  Board members will sign up to lead the discussion on other sections at future Board meetings.

Personnel Development

Staff evaluations timeframe was briefly discussed.  We expect that staff evaluations will be completed by the end of November.  More will be discussed at the July Board meeting.

Amanda McKay briefly shared the purpose of the What’s My Role in this Meeting training that was held for staff.  This program will be scheduled for presentation for members in the fall.

Additional staffing opportunities

  • SIUE intern – at this time we will not be contracting for an intern due to the instability of the State’s budget.
  • Madison County Employment & Training Youth @ Work program – this is a federally funded program that pays young people ages 16 -24 to work in local organizations in order to gain practical work experience.  We will contract with MCET for 2 young people to perform reception/circulation duties for additional support.

Community and Organizational Involvement

The ISL Scholarship Review committee met.  We interviewed 43 people for 15 scholarships.  The State Library will be contacting awardees and an announcement will be made in August.

I attended the Illinois Leadership Conference in Champaign recently.  It was a very good experience and as a result I signed up to be on the conference committee for 2010.  I attended two sessions from the community development track.

  • The first session, Capacity Building for Local Officials, was presented by Thomas Jacob and Herb Klein, attorneys.  They discussed how some communities survive better than others during economic downturns.  Their examples centered around Utica which suffered from a devastating tornado a few years ago and Heyworth a bedroom community for Bloomington.
  • The second session, Survival Strategies from the Front Lines was presented by a panel: Scott Thompson, Mayor, Rushville; Al Luchetti, U of I Extension Small Business Development Center; Dane Bragg, City Administrator, Galesburg; and Reed Wilson, Economic Development Director, Ottawa.  Some of the seminal strategies they discussed included: creating and maintaining good relations with citizens, other government organizations, and civic groups; know your finances and communicate that knowledge with everyone; operate your financial responsibilities as if you were running your own business; know where there is help; first do no harm; focus on doing things that may have been overlooked during good times.  Additionally, the Mayor of Rushville also mentioned that one area of continuing concern for them is where to find the financial means to update their public library (I sent an email to Lee Logan at the Alliance Library System to contact Mr. Thompson).

Membership Relations

Leslie Bednar gave a short GateNet report that Roodhouse Public Library is the 59th library agency to come online with GateNet and we have already started seeing the results of Roodhouse patrons being able to request items in the database!

Kevin Becker reviewed the new Web site.  While we currently continue to clean up items from the old Web site that were moved over, we are also focusing on future enhancements.  One thing we want to do is make sure there is a section for the LCLS Board members to always be able to reference important Board related documents, including laws, bylaws, etc.

We have received a first contact from a woman named Carla regarding the Washington Park Public Library and membership with LCLS.  Cham has sent Carla information that we will need to receive and will be following up to assist in this process.  It is our sincere hope that Washington Park residents may once again benefit from library services.

Judy Rake talked about conversations she has had with the Venice School District.  A few years ago, the Venice School District dissolved the high school; they now only have an elementary school.  They do not currently have a school library that is open at least ½ the time that school is in session, nor do they have any library staff.  We are sending a letter to the Superintendent and Principal requesting they ask to be withdrawn from membership.

The Project Participation Survey was answered by 41 members, representing all types of libraries.  Preliminary results show that public libraries would like to participate in projects that are staff related (training), followed by projects that deliver programs and then projects having to do with technology.  School libraries ranked technology projects highest and program related projects second highest.  The highest commitment response was depends on the project.  For technology knowledge/experience, the majority of responses indicated members staffs have basic knowledge/experience.

Kevin Becker provided an overview of an offering available for LCLS public library members from Overdrive for e-materials.  Anne Hughes, Glen Carbon Centennial Library and Susan Carr, Edwardsville Public Library have been leading this effort.

Administration/Fiscal Topics

State of Illinois budget implications are causing us to be prudent and extra conservative.  There will be no staff raises.  We will met our legal requirement and make minimum wage adjustments to keep all salaries at least at minimum wage.  A budget briefing from the Governor’s office can be heard online (accompanying documents can be found online as well).

WebJunction Illinois grant position has been announced.  We anticipate having someone in this grant funded position early in July.


A review of the FY2009 Annual Plan of Service will occur in July.  Staff are addressing the tasks and targets we had identified for focus this fiscal year.

Staff Development Day will be held on a Wednesday in August (the date is yet to be announced).  Staff Association is working out program details.


StarNet (located at the St Clair Regional Office of Education) is once again contracting with LCLS for once a week delivery, year round.

We have a specific process we will follow when items are for sale.  Items are:

  1. Declared surplus by the Board
  2. Priced using e-bay, or other comparable service
  3. Available for staff purchase by a deadline
  4. Available for member purchase by a deadline
  5. Available for general purchase on Craig’s list or comparable service
  6. Discarded

Prairie Area Library System has announced Michael Piper as their new Executive Director effective September 1, 2009.  Mr. Piper currently is  the Executive Director of the Indiana Cooperative Library Services Authority (INCOLSA).

The GateNet Advisory Board asked for a System viewpoint on how local request fits into the big picture of resource sharing.  The Board reaffirmed the current LCLS Interlibrary Loan Policy, which states “The System recognizes the autonomy of the local library to decide whether to lend a specific item.  However, interlibrary loan is based on the mutual sharing between libraries.”  Several additional documents were referenced during this discussion: ILLINET Interlibrary Loan Code; LCLS Resource Sharing Policy; GateNet User’s Forum Meeting notes, January 18, 2006; GateNet Standards for Circulation Policy; and GateNet Bylaws & Memorandum of Understanding.

Illinois State Library Liaison – Pat Norris

No report.


Norm Schiller announced he was recently elected President, Mississippi Valley Public Library District.

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May Board Meeting

May 20th, 2009 Comments off

Disclaimer: We are currently transitioning the LCLS Web site from one platform to another; links in this post to any other document(s) on the LCLS Web site will be provided after June 1st.

The LCLS Board of Directors met Tuesday, May 20th at 6:00 pm.  Board members present included: President Elaine Steingrubey, Vice President Pat Wandling, Secretary Joyce Reid, and members JoAnn Nabe, Linda McDonnell, and Ron Coleman.  Also in attendance was Pat Norris, our consultant liaison from the Illinois State Library; LCLS staff attending included Bonnie Kilmurray, Charm Ruhnke, Juliette Douglas, Kevin Becker, Leslie Bednar, and myself.  Susan Mendelsohn, Glen Carbon Centennial Library trustee attended as well; Susan will join the LCLS Board as a Director at the July Board meeting.

LCLS Board President’s Report

  • Illinois Library Day (April 23, 2009) in Springfield review
  • The Illinois Library System Presidents & Directors meeting at the Illinois State Library (April 29, 2009) review

President Elaine Steingrubey noted and congratulated the newly elected LCLS Board Directors, whose terms will begin in July  (the July Board Meeting is scheduled for July 21st). With 71 LCLS members voting, the results are:

  • Beth Hauser, Bethalto Public Library District, public library trustee over 15,000 population – 1st term
  • Ron Coleman, Louis Latzer Memorial Public Library (Highland), public library trustee at large – 2nd term
  • Susan Mendelsohn, Glen Carbon Centennial Library, public library trustee under 15,000 population – 1st term

The nominating committee recommended the following slate for FY2010 LCLS Board Officers:

  • President – Elaine Steingrubey (2nd term)
  • Vice President – Pat Wandling (2nd term)
  • Secretary – Linda McDonnell (1st term)
  • Treasurer – JoAnn Nabe (1st term)

Voting will occur at the June 16th Board meeting.

Executive Director’s Report

Board Relations

  • Orientation for new Board members is scheduled for June 16th, 3:30 – 4:30.  As many Board members who are available will attend the orientation.  Also discussed was the idea of having a short orientation topic at each board meeting in the future.
  • The Resource Sharing Draft that has been published by the State Library’s Standards & Rules Revision committee was discussed.  All interested parties are strongly encouraged to comment on draft documents.  You may comment here, here, or here.
  • 75 ILCS Act 10, Illinois Library System Act is the law under which Library Systems were created and continue to operate; it outlines the legal requirements, authority, and responsibilities of Library System Boards.  With the increased emphasis on legal accountability in state government it is important that the LCLS Board of Directors remain current and aware of their legal requirements.  At the June Board meeting a chart of the Act along with corresponding Administrative Rules will be available for individual Board members to choose to lead discussion in the future.  Discussion of specific sections will begin with the July Board meeting.

Personnel Development

  • A chart of LCLS staff in chronological order according to longevity was shared with the Board.  The June Annual meeting (June 16th, 4:45 – 5:45) will celebrate staff who have been with the System for 5, 10, 15, and 20+ years.  Bonnie Kilmurray, LCLS Executive Assistant, received a round of applause for her almost 39 years with LCLS!
  • Two changes in staff assignments were discussed.  Because of the shift in requests from members from a need for reference consulting to a need for Web services, managers looked at staff strengths to shift responsibilities.  LCLS no longer will have a part time Information Resource Consultant, instead we will have a half time Web Support Specialist.  Sarah Heuretz is now ½ GateNet Cataloger and ½ CMC Cataloger.  Nick Bennyhoff is now ½ CMC Cataloger and ½ Web Support Specialist.

Community and Organizational Involvement

  • The ISL Scholarship Review committee will meet next week in Chicago, and June 9 in Springfield
  • Illinois Library Systems Directors Organization (ILSDO) – met May 5-6 at NSLS; one topic of conversation centered on a request from Anne Craig asking if Systems are interested in leading an effort for statewide membership standards.  ILSDO has charged Amanda McKay with leading a statewide committee to work on this topic.
  • The Delivery Best Practices video recording was reviewed.  This video was an ILSDO cooperative project with LCLS and RPLS leading the production.  The video is available via the various Systems Web sites as well as WebJunction Illinois.  The production of the video was supported by a grant from the Illinois State Library.
  • Illinois Library Association (ILA) News – House Bill (HB) 793 amending the Open Meetings Act was recently passed by the Illinois Senate by a vote of 50 to 0.  The bill will now be sent back to the House to concur in the Senate amendment.  They should act on this within the next two weeks.  For further information on the bill, please go to:  The bill permits a public body with statewide jurisdiction or that is an Illinois library system with jurisdiction over more than 4,500 square miles to include members participating in a video conference at specified locations when determining the physical presence of a quorum at an open meeting (now, a public body with statewide jurisdiction may include members participating in a video conference at specified locations when determining the physical presence of a quorum at an open meeting).  Provides that the requirement that members of a public body with less than statewide jurisdiction be physically present at a closed meeting does not include public bodies that are Illinois library systems with jurisdiction over more than 4,500 square miles.  Effective immediately (upon passing).

Membership Relations

  • Kevin Becker previewed the new LCLS Web site; the new site looks very similar to the current site.  However, the new Web site is built on open source Word Press software and will allow more flexibility in staff initiated changes than the current Web site.  We are very excited for this change as it also allows GateNet information to be available in a password protected area.
  • Charm Ruhnke discussed the Potential Project Participants survey.  This survey was created to provide us with a list of members interested in participating in future projects without our feeling like we are missing members when replying to others (such as other members, the State Library, other organizations) looking for project partners.  The survey closes on Friday, May 22nd, so far 52 members have responded.  The full results will be shared with the Board at the June meeting.
  • I gave the Board a listing of the Librarian’s Advisory Council (LAC) members.  We discussed LAC’s work to revise their bylaws.  There are two main issues to be addressed: the need for more frequent meetings to facilitate Board decision-making and the need to ensure broad member representation.  LAC will discuss a bylaws revision document to be available to members for comment when elementary and secondary schools are in session this fall.  After the comment time period, LAC will prepare a final document for a membership vote this fall.

Administration/Fiscal Topics

  • The Illinois State Library has awarded LCLS with a FY2010 WebJunction Illinois grant ($298,915.00).  Included in the grant is a new position: WebJunction Illinois Technician, the position will be a grant funded position, if the grant goes away, so does the position; LCLS will not be absorbing this position into the Area & Per Capita grant funding.  Since the award has been announced, we will get a job description in place so that interviews may occur and that a person may be hired to begin as close to July 1st as possible.
  • LCLS submitted an LSTA grant application for $27,481.00 (CE2Me).  This grant, if funded, will allow us to put together a “portable classroom” to assist our delivery of training to members at their facilities.
  • At the recent ILSDO meeting there was discussion regarding the subsidy amounts for LLSAP members who will experience a more than $150.00 raise in their OCLC bills in the upcoming fiscal year.  I reported that LCLS had sent checks directly to GateNet members to use for their bills once they arrive.  I further reported that some GateNet members are holding their checks because they are questioning the necessity of their continued membership in OCLC.  Anne Craig, ISL Director, reported that LLSAP members must be members of OCLC and that she would send documentation to ISLDO regarding that.  I shared a memo dated January 6, 2003, from then ISL Director Jean Wilkins that speaks to that requirement.  We will be sharing this information with the GateNet membership, and especially those GateNet members questioning their membership in OCLC.


  • The Board approved the FY2009-2010 Annual Plan of Service
  • The Board approved the FY2009-2010 Area & Per Capita Grant application for System funding.  There was a short discussion on the new application requirement for a chart of fees.  “As required in Title 23, section 3030.65 of the Administrative Code: “The plan shall include a list of all available services for which a fee is proposed, and shall include an explanation and justification for the fee.  No new fees or fee charges shall be implemented until after the operational plan is approved by the State Librarian.”


  • Starting with the July Board packet, future consultants’ reports will be combined.  We are a team and all our efforts are as a team.  Additionally, we all report under the same Goals and Strategies.  Therefore there will be one document that combines our work and instead of repeating the Goals and Strategies under each person’s name, we will combine the reports to read as one.
  • Juliette Douglas reported on enhancements we have made in our property and liability insurances that increases LCLS coverage in all manners of possible events while decreasing our budgeted costs by $6,000 annually.
  • Recently the GateNet Manger has received several informal complaints that are of the nature of one GateNet Member Library Director complaining about another GateNet Member Library Director regarding GateNet specific issues.  Because GateNet members are increasingly asking how to formalize a complaint against each other, Leslie Bednar, Charm Ruhnke, and I discussed a process that is being presented to the GateNet Advisory Board.  Basically, we discussed what happens when a member of the general public complains to LCLS about a member library and how we listen to the complaint and gently direct that complainant to the library since we have no governing authority over any of our member libraries.  The process being presented codifies what already is in practice.  We will also use this same procedure for non-GateNet issues.  The Board supported the process as outlined.

Illinois State Library Liaison – Pat Norris

Pat Norris discussed two new tools sponsored by the State Library

Pat also announced the LCLS member participants in upcoming institutes:

Small Public Library Management Institute occurs the first week in June

  • Vera Beckwith, East St Louis Public Library
  • Janet Howard, Carlinville Public Library
  • Peggy Pick, Maryville Community Library District

Institute for School and Public Libraries occurs the second week in June

  • Allison Donnelly, Mississippi Valley Public Library District
  • Julie Kirkland, High Mount School District
  • Debbie Nicholas, Staunton School District

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April Board Meeting

April 22nd, 2009 Comments off

The LCLS Board of Directors met Tuesday, April 21st at 6:00 pm. Board members present included: President Elaine Steingrubey, Vice President Pat Wandling, Secretary Joyce Reid, Treasurer Norm Schiller, and members JoAnn Nabe, Linda McDonnell, and Matt Paris. Also in attendance was Pat Norris, our consultant liaison from the Illinois State Library; as well as LCLS staff Amanda McKay, Bonnie Kilmurray, Charm Ruhnke, Judy Rake, Juliette Douglas, Leslie Bednar, and myself. (Agenda)

The Board discussed several topics under the President’s Report:

  • System Directors Memo from the Illinois State Library regarding Library System Membership Criteria
  • Agenda for the Illinois Library System Presidents & Directors upcoming meeting at the Illinois State Library (April 29, 2009)
  • So far there have been 50 responses to the LCLS Board election ballot

Under the Vice President’s Report it was mentioned that two Board members had received birthday greetings from National City Bank, Edwardsville Branch.

The following items were discussed under the Executive Director’s Report:

Board Relations

  • A map of Legislative districts in the LCLS service area.
  • Judy Rake discussed Illinois Library Day (April 23) and items to be included in Legislator’s packets.
  • The LCLS Annual Meeting occurs immediately prior to the June Board meeting on June 16th from about 4:45 – 5:45, Amanda McKay is coordinating this meeting. We hope that just before the annual meeting we can hold a Board member orientation for new Board members, from approximately 3:30 – 4:30.

Personnel Development

  • New staff orientation was held for Randy Thompson, Courier Driver, and Vince Andrzejewski, Cataloging Maintenance Center cataloging assistant.
  • As a result of the Project Management training staff received, we instituted “Hi 5” – a daily 5 minute meeting we hold at 8:45 each morning to share what is happening in the building for the day, who is here and who is not, and what topics staff plan to work on throughout the day. We have found these meetings to be quite constructive and helpful.

Community and Organizational Involvement

There was really not much to report other than upcoming meeting dates:

  • Standards & Rules – Friday, April 24
  • ISL Scholarship Review – May 26-28 in Chicago, and June 9 in Springfield
  • ILSDO – May 5-6 at NSLS
  • ILA Board Meeting – Thursday, April 23 (afternoon) & Friday, April 24 (very early morning)
  • I also mentioned that I will be leaving the Standards & Rules committee meeting early in order to drive to the O’Fallon Public Library to participate in a kick-off event regarding the Watt Readers in Illinois libraries. Ameren has made arrangements for this event. Governor Quinn is expected to speak as well as Ameren Illinois Utilities President Scott Cisel, Molly Scanlan O’Fallon Public Library Director and myself (2 minutes to talk about this is what libraries and Systems do).

Membership Relations

  • Value statements were emailed to every LCLS member library director, individualized to their library. These statements reflected only some of the services provided as a result of the Area & Per Capita grant the System receives from the Illinois State Library each year – this grant is the System’s main funding source. There is also a value statement on the LCLS Web site compiling the information regarding all 133 LCLS member libraries.
  • We viewed the short National Library Workers Day Animoto video recording produced by Lincoln Trail Libraries System on behalf of all regional multi-type library systems to thank staff in all member libraries for the work they do everyday. This was sent via email to all LCLS member staffs for whom we have email addresses, it also was on the LCLS Web site.

Administration/Fiscal Topics

  • The Board approved the FY2009-2010 Budget.
  • A sample of a letter sent to approximately 70 local non-library organizations marketing the availability of LCLS meeting rooms for rent was distributed as well as the Meeting Rooms brochure.
  • I will be attending an ALA preconference After the Grant Runs Out about funding grant projects after the initial grant funding is gone. We hope this will be useful in sustaining into the future
  • Because the System recently purchased a new photocopier/printer/fax machine (one machine that can do it all), the Board declared the old photocopier and fax machine as fully depreciated and surplus. We expect to offer these pieces of equipment for sale.


  • The Board had the first reading of a FY2010 Annual Plan of Service. We are required to submit an Annual Plan of Service to the State Library each year in our Area & Per Capita Grant application. This plan outlines the specific items we expect to work on over the fiscal year.
  • There was also brief discussion regarding the Area & Per Capita Grant application process. This year the application is due to the State Library by May 29th. The Board acknowledges the application as it has already approved the individual components in it.


  • LCLS received a $4,000 donation from National City Bank to install power doors for the disabled.
  • Our intern, Mercy Dena, will be graduating from the SIUE Public Administration and Policy Analysis program on May 9th. Her last day at the System will be May 8th. We will certainly miss her. Mercy has been instrumental in a myriad of duties over the past year, including set up and analysis of surveys, the member orientation video, setting up centralized member files, the production of a delivery video recording for use statewide, and many others. Mercy has been accepted into SLU’s Doctoral program, so we hope to see her from time to time before she returns to Kenya. We hope to have a new intern by the fall.
  • Some upcoming events that staff will be attending include: Disney Keys to Excellence on May 19th at SIUE (sponsored by the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce), Smart Women Smart Money on May 14th at Gateway Convention Center in Collinsville (sponsored by Alexi Giannoulias, Illinois State Treasurer), and the 11th annual Illinois Leadership Conference on June 10th in Champaign (sponsored by University of Illinois Extension).

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May I Refer You To…

April 3rd, 2009 Comments off

I occasionally receive requests from people working in LCLS member libraries to be a reference for them when they apply for a job in another member library. In my former position as an LCLS consultant this was not an issue. However, as the System Director doing so could be considered improper or even a conflict of interest and for that reason I never make recommendations or act as a reference for a position in an LCLS member library.

Why might this be considered improper? Because the System Director takes on certain professional responsibilities that then obligate her to remain objective on matters of importance to member libraries. The System Director has, in some regards, a duty of loyalty to member library organizations; as such she should not represent both the member library and potential library staff because it creates a situation that has the ability to undermine impartiality. Additionally it could be perceived that the System Director is applying political pressure to a member library. And finally, sometimes more than one person requests a recommendation/reference for the same job.

The System Director is expected to avoid situations in which personal interests might be gained at the expense of LCLS or its members. Some might say that if the System Director recommends a person for a particular position in a member library that the person might then feel obligated to the System Director. Such obligation could be perceived as a benefit not readily available to other persons on similar terms. While there might not actually be a true conflict of interest, the perception that there might be is enough.

Some resources that may be helpful in considering this topic are:

The W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics

Special Libraries Association Conflict of Interest Policy

Potsdam Public Library Conflict of Interest Policy

Westchester Library System Code of Ethics and Conflict of Interest Policy

Southern Tier Library System Conflict of Interest Policy

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March Board Meeting

March 18th, 2009 Comments off

The LCLS Board of Directors met Tuesday, March 17th at 6:00 pm. All Board members were in attendance as well as Pat Norris, our consultant liaison from the State Library, and several LCLS staff members.  (Agenda)

The Board officially adopted the revisions to the Bylaws. It was noted that there are nominations for the public library trustee representing a population under 15,000 seat and the at large public library trustee seat. Nominations are still needed for the public library trustee representing a population over 15,000. Nomination information can be found on the LCLS Web site.

The following items were discussed under the Executive Director’s Report:

Legislative changes

  • District 51 – Representative Kyle McCarter replaces Frank Watson
  • District 98 – Representative Betsy Hannig replaces Gary Hannig
  • District 107 – Representative John D. Cavaletto replaces Kurt Granberg
  • District 114 – Representative Eddie Lee Jackson, Sr. replaces Wyvetter Younge

Legislative Updates

  • Look at CapWiz for Illinois Legislation and Illinois Library Association position
  • HB 793 is specific to Regional Library Systems with geographic areas of more than 4,500 square miles and is in regards to the Open Meetings Act and the ability to have an electronic quorum

Personnel Development – no report

Community & Organizational Involvement

  • Illinois State Library Standards & Rules Committee: it is important for people to make comments on the draft standards as they are published on WebJunction Illinois; minutes from these meetings at available on the State Library’s Web site
  • Illinois State Library Advisory Council: met on March 12th.  Some of the topics discussed included: an Electronic Documents of Illinois (EDI) audit the ISL received; a budget presentation from Tom Jones, Deputy Director of the Secretary of State’s Budget Office; the OCLC Network Services Transition.
  • Illinois Library System Directors Organization: met on March 11 at Alliance Library System.  Among other topics, these were discussed: through an averaging of delivery expenditures at the nine regional multi-type Library Systems, the cost of an item to be delivered from point A to point B is approximately .23¢; ILSDO will offer two programs at the upcoming Illinois Library Association Conference – Emily Sheketoff from the ALA Washington Office and a program on Green Initiatives; Natalie Hemmer from Ameren spoke with the directors from Shawnee, Lewis & Clark, Lincoln Trail, Rolling Prairie, Alliance, and Prairie Area Library Systems about a partnership to place watt “readers” in libraries for circulation to the general public (LCLS will provide the original cataloging via the Cataloging Maintenance Center).
  • Illinois Library Association: offering President Barack Obama license plates to Illinois drivers.  Costing $50.00 a pair, these plates can be placed on Illinois vehicles through April 17th.  $35.00 of the proceeds goes to ILA for reading programs such as the summer IREAD program.
  • I am honored to accept an invitation from the Illinois State Library to serve on the ISL Training Grant Review Committee.  This grant offering awards $7,500 scholarships for Illinois students to attend library school.  Both Leslie Bednar and I were fortunate to have received this scholarship for our own MLS degrees.  I encourage anyone interested in pursuing a library degree to apply for this opportunity.  Applications are due May 1st each year.

Membership Relations

  • The Hayner Public Library District will hold a Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting for the Alton Square Mall facility on Saturday, March 21, at 12:00 noon.  Following the Ribbon Cutting, there will be a performance at 1:00 pm by the Jesse White Tumblers in the  JC Penney Court of the Mall. (as an aside I visited the new facility today – March 18th.  It is just beautiful and is full of many patron-friendly features.  I would encourage everyone who can to attend the Grand Opening or to stop by and see the new facility anytime after March 21st.)
  • Checks were sent with the current check run to those GateNet libraries that will experience a more than $150 increase in their FY10 OCLC charges.  These subsidy checks were made possible by a grant from the State Library.

Administration/Fiscal Topics

  • The Board had the first reading of the proposed FY2010 System budget; the second reading will be at the April Board meeting on April 21.
  • National City Bank donation: we have been informed that the System will receive a donation to allow us to install push buttons for the front doors to make the System completely handicapped accessible.
  • Washington University Taylor Community Consulting Project: the System has been chosen to have a team of MBA students review the current GateNet fee formula structure and to make recommendations for the GateNet Users Group to consider.  The first meeting will be held on Friday, March 20th at 1:00 pm at LCLS.
  • Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund: Juliette Douglas and I attended the February 27th IMRF Board meeting in Oak Brook.  It did impress the IMRF Board that we traveled all that way to make comments on the IMRF staff recommendations for % caps and actuarial timeframes.  The IMRF Board voted to accept the staff recommendations, which will have a better impact on the LCLS budget than possible alternatives.  A thank you letter is being sent to IMRF signed by Elaine Steingrubey (LCLS Board President) and myself.


  • The Board approved a revised LCLS Long Range Plan 2010 – 2013.  It will soon be loaded on the LCLS Web site in the About Us section.
  • The Librarians Advisory Council has added an April 2nd date to review a new Technology Development Plan and an Annual Plan of Service for recommendation to the Board at their April meeting.

Miscellaneous – Amanda McKay is working on a way for LCLS to commemorate National Library Workers Day on April 14th.

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Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Talks About the Kindle 2 on Nightline

March 11th, 2009 Comments off

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos was on ABC’s Nightline Wednesday, March 10, talking about Amazon and Kindle 2.  Cynthia McFadden interviewed Bezos at the New York Public Library.

Into The Amazon:

It was actually an interesting interview.  At one point McFadden does ask Bezos, “Are books obsolete?” 

What do you think?

Categories: Technology Tags: ,

2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting – Illinois Chapter Councilor Report

February 6th, 2009 Comments off

Sunday, January 25, 2009

9:00 am – Information Session

Candidates for President Elect:

  • Kenton Oliver, Executive Director, Stark County Dist Library, Ohio
  • Roberta Stevens, Outreach Projects & Partnerships Officer, LC, Washington DC

Illinois Candidates for Councilor at Large:

  • Nanette Donohue, Tech Services Manager, Champaign PL
  • Tracie Hall, Principal Consultant, The GoodSeed Group, Chicago
  • Gail Tobin, Branch Coordinator, Hanover Park Branch, Schaumburg TDL
  • Patricia Hogan, Director, Poplar Creek Library, Streamwood
  • Nann Blaine Hilyard, Director, Zion-Benton PL
  • Al Kagen, U of I African Studies Library, U of I

Voting occurs March 17 – April 24 – completely online (although print ballots are available by request if no Internet access or disability).  Election results will be announced May 1st.

We previewed a cool video on “Being a Councilor.”  This will be on both You Tube and the ALA Web site.

10:00 am – APA Information Session

LSSCP (Library Support Staff Certification Program) – Nancy Bolt reported that it will be taken to ALA- APA Ex Board at the upcoming annual conference.  Expect to begin accepting candidates January 2, 2010.

10:45 am – Council I

Keith M. Fiels – oral report on council transparency.  Governance office currently in process of working with several folks to attempt to develop a master matrix with the costs associated with increased access and electronic participation.  1st draft expected to be ready to discuss with BARC in May in order to be shared with council at the Annual meeting.  Looking at ways to make records of proceedings more widely available.

Monday, January 26, 2009

10:15 am – APA Council

The APA is being restructured to be more integrated in ALA budgetarily.

Standing Committee on the Salaries & Status of Library Workers

  • Fair Pay Act
  • Paycheck Fairness Act

When at annual in Chicago, 2 resolutions will come forward: 1) overtime pay, and 2) outsourcing.

Also at annual, a popular program that was presented in Anaheim will be presented again: Toot Your Horn: Image Building with Donna Cardillo.

1:30 pm – Chapter Relations Committee II

ALA representatives would like to appear at Chapter conferences to hold an ALA forum to assist in formulating “the foci of the next ALA strategic plan.”  I have emailed Dan and Sharon Wiseman, conference co-chairs requesting they respond to Michael Dowling (ALA Chapter Relations) regarding this request.

Aside: Nann Blaine Hilyard suggested that ILSDO put together some type of practical resource for libraries to respond to the Consumer Protection Safety Act.  Emily Sheketoff from the Washington Office suggests not to do anything (other than call those folks in DC – both the acting chair and Tom Moore) regarding books – she strongly expects that library books will be exempted from the Act.  The Act impacts anybody with any product (owned or produced) created for a child under 12.  (see below for a further development on this topic)

April 14th is National Library Workers Day.

The Stimulus – America Recovery Reinvestment Act – is $79 Billion total.  Of that amount, approximately $30 billion will be available to be spent at the discretion of Governors.  Need to lobby for $ coming to the state – probably need to contact Lt Gov Pat Quinn to get him on board now.  Look at what happened in Milwaukee where the mayor kept the public library in $ with police & fire when every other department received a 20% cut.  Mayor stated that the public library is the safety net for the community.

FY2009 Fed budget ready to be passed any day now.  More for LSTA & school improvement.  Obama is interested in the SKILLS Act.

E-government becoming more important.  Public & community college libraries will be called upon for this effort.  Wash Office is producing a tool kit to support the libraries.  Looking for local governments to partner with local libraries.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

9:15 am – Council II

Pat Hogan, Poplar Creek, Streamwood Illinois was elected to the Executive Board.

Major discussion (both council 2 & 3) revolved around electronic member participation; see more at:

Pat Hogan asked if I would initiate a memorial resolution about Jane Shaw for Annual conference.  I agreed to do so.

1:30 Chapter Forum

Chapter councilors are interested in a hosted event/reception in Chicago at annual, open to all councilors not only chapter councilors.  Money collected above what is needed to cover the costs of the event will be donated to the ALA-APA.  Tina will follow up with ILA Chicago office staff to see what kind of venues might be available, and what arrangements might be able to be made.

Discussion revolved around communications – especially when new chapter councilors come on board.  Several documents regarding chapter councilors were handed out.  I will share these with the new chapter councilor when that person has been elected.

6:00 Chapter Councilors Reception – Denver Public Library

The Denver Chapter Councilor made arrangements for a small catered event for chapter councilors.  Councilors paid $25.00 to cover food costs as well as a donation to the Spectrum Scholarship fund.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

8:00 am – Council III

Mention was made that lead and books is being put on hold by the commission while they investigate the issue.  There is no action required of libraries at this time.

All council related information can and, if not already there, will be able to be accessed at

Additional interesting information:

Freedom to Read Foundation will have a 40th anniversary celebration on Sunday July 12 in the Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago see for more information.

Talking Library Value to local government and schools:

Categories: Advocacy Tags: , , ,

Management Musings

December 11th, 2008 Comments off

I’m always looking for additional ways to enhance my colleagues and my own management skills and tools. When I read about a Developing Great Managers conference, I was intrigued to find out more.

First, though, I’d like to share how I actually discovered that there is such a thing as a management conference. As an American Library Association member, I’m on a few electronic lists of various topics. One of my favorite lists is clenert (continuing library education network and round table). Mary Ross, a CLENERT board member and former manager of staff development at the Seattle Public Library, sent a message to the clernert list about a Webinar on Learning for Learning Professionals. In that message was information about ASTD’s Employee Learning Week (ASTD = American Society for Training & Development). So, I went to the ASTD web site to learn more. While there, I came across several interesting items, but the one that really drew my attention was under Upcoming Events (Developing Great Managers Conference). Once at the Web page for the conference, I decided to view the conference agenda and from there discovered the conference facilitator’s and the two guest speakers’ Web sites. And finally, I felt compelled to share this journey with you so that you could decide if this information is useful to your situation.

Lisa Haneberg is the conference facilitator, she is the author of several management titles, and she has a management blog called Management Craft.

Terry Starbucker has been in the business world for more than 25 years in various leadership positions. He is constantly learning about leadership and is willing to share his ideas, experiences, and knowledge. His Website is pretty interesting.

David Zinger shares himself at Employee Engagement Zingers. He is a leading expert on both employee engagement and strength based leadership. His approach mixes current research with practical approaches in order to achieve results.

While I did not attend the Developing Great Managers conference, I feel that I benefited from it nonetheless. Having discovered the people and their Web sites outlined above, I have new tools to assist me in my continuing quest to be the best that I can be and to help those around me be the best that they can be as well.

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Hello world!

November 26th, 2008 Comments off

Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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