The Special Meeting of the Eisenhower Public Library District Board of Trustees November 6, 2021
CALL TO ORDER
President Braun called the meeting to order at 10:00 A.M.
Present: Braun, Ringelstein, Magnelli, Parent, Magnuson, Krebs.
Also Present: Wittmann, Bacarella, Tomzik, Stam, Lewis, McPhillips, Sciaccotta, V. Bitters, M. Bitters, Clark, Rightnowar, Blubaugh (11:40 A.M.)
Declaration by the Board President that a fully in-person meeting is not Practical or Prudent because of COVID.
RECOGNITION OF VISITORS
There were no visitors present.
There were no comments from the public.
Trustee Magnuson was the moderator. She discussed how the Board and management team started the planning back in 2019. She went over the following:
I. Current Status of Strategic Plan—
The Board and management team discussed the difference between a strategic plan and an action plan.
A. Strategic Plan vs Action Plan
Strategic Plan —
Trustee Magnuson discussed that a strategic plan is a long-range plan. It is a guideline for what we will do with the action plan and it is subject to change.
Action Plan —
Trustee Magnuson discussed that an action plan is a very specific plan. It is something that is done each year. There are things that do take more than a year to accomplish but the focus would run for one year.
B. Where the Board left off
The Board discussed where they left off since the last Strategic Planning meeting.
They developed a Mission, which entailed why we are here and what we are here to do. We help you, we connect our community, and we strive to inspire all. The vision statement was never finished.
The “to do list” will be to complete the vision statement and explain the mission statement.
II. Impact of COVID —
A. The Library’s response to COVID —
The group discussed the Library’s response to COVID. They discussed the new services, which included curbside service, home delivery and pick up. The library started doing virtual programming. The management team advised that programming with Zoom was one of the best things. Technology, which included hot spots, were circulated to patrons. The Wi-Fi was expanded. A plan was developed for staff to work from home and for staff to help service patrons from home. A team rotation was developed for safety. Spaces were redesigned. We increased the amount of digital materials. A template has been created that we could use moving forward.
B. Strategic Action Plan —
The group discussed their strategic action plan and the things they we wanted to leverage moving forward. They discussed being flexible and responsive and Julie Stam mentioned that we are more flexible than we ever thought we could be. Director Wittmann advised she wants to leverage the trust staff and patrons have in us. Peggy Tomzik pointed out that anything on the list that we could leverage is what taxpayers are getting. They are getting a return on their investment. Director Wittmann advised that staff has had a lot of trauma; she would have liked to have a more robust mental health services available.
III. Patron Base —
A. U.S. Census for Harwood Heights and Norridge
The group reviewed the most recent U.S. census for Harwood Heights and Norridge and they highlighted the following, which included the percentage of people without health insurance, and poverty went up in both villages. The percentage of foreign born is at 40%. The households without internet and broadband is high. About a quarter of the population is college educated and maybe 10% of 25+ year olds are without a high school education. The Asian and Hispanic population is growing. There is a large percentage white population, which included Middle Eastern people. There is a large senior population. Sixty-five and older population has increased, over 42%. They assumed some of the numbers could be higher due to the hesitancy of the population filling out the census. The group discussed District 80’s population. Out of 1000 students 72.4% are white, 18.45% are Hispanic, 0.3% are African American, 0.1% are American Indian, 1.3% are two or more races, 7.6% are Asian, 21% are English language learners, and 35% are low income.
B. What the Demographics mean for the Library?
The group discussed what the demographics mean for the library. They put together the following, which included families with small children who cannot get out, a pregnant mother on bed rest, or the senior who does not drive anymore. In those cases, home delivery becomes a fabulous service. Collection development was driven by this. Our demographics are an important part of what we do. We have a good Polish collection but we probably need more Arab and Hispanic materials in our collection. They discussed the groups not quantified by the census. Those groups included people in the LGBTQIA+ community, patrons with mental health issues, people experiencing homelessness, and formerly incarcerated patrons. The group discussed that since they do not know what this population is of those groups they do not want them lost in the shuffle. The group discussed how society today is structured to marginalize people with low-tech abilities at any age. Libraries are the only institution that help people of all ages with limited tech experience or resources. Libraries provide resources and technical help and people with no tech access.
The Board took a break at 11:20 A.M. The meeting resumed at 11:40 P.M.
IV. Structure of Plan —
A. Who and How to get feedback?
The group discussed who and how to get feedback and direction from outside groups. They discussed whose input was needed and how they should get that input.
They put together the following list which included patrons, and non- library users, other libraries, schools, social services, staff, businesses, community leaders like school leaders and government, lawyers, human resource managers, the senior assistance center, The Salvation Army, and houses of worship.
B. How to Get Outside Information in?
The group discussed ways in which they could capture the people: (How to get outside information in?) They created the following list, which included a virtual town hall, focus groups with different subsets: community leaders, etc. They could create a one-question survey on website that has to be acknowledged before moving on. It could be changed out each week or month. They could have Social media driven surveys. Survey questions with material checkout to return with book. A Postcard survey in the newsletter. They could send something in the tax bill or water bill. They could knock on doors or send out robo calls. They could create a survey for the schools to distribute to the children. They could put something in Church newsletters and they could reach out to the Senior Centers. To capture non-library users they could rent a kiosk at the HIP. They could create different language surveys. They could put together community advisory groups or groups with a purpose could check something like a slack channel or email. Students studying Library sciences could do surveys.
Old Strategic Plan Principals
The Board briefly discussed the old Strategic Plan Principals.
A. Intentional Communication
The group went over the intentional communication which included focus groups, newsletter, surveys, social media, language, email, word of mouth, one on one communication, personal interaction, employee handbook, policy manual, virtual item renewal, automatic renewals, and branding.
They discussed programming and service which included collections, programs, face to face services, passive programming, technology, distribution and delivery, how to interact with patrons, training for staff, training opportunities, navigating obstacles, and people without library cards.
C. Service and Stewardship
They discussed service and stewardship which included monetary budget, resources and assets, physical space, and building maintenance.
They discussed different technology used which included databases, training, website, social media, Technology Clerks, exploring new technology, tech needs, workshop, and equipment like computers and hot spots.
Stop, Start, and Continue
The group discussed what they are doing and the things they can stop doing. They created a list of things they have already stopped which included the indoor book drop and the chat reference. They discussed stopping the physical newspapers. This is something they would like to do but in the end people really like them and they will not stop it. They will stop purchasing outdated obsolete technology and they will eventually stop purchasing video games.
The group created a list of things they want to continue which included the outdoor book drop, quarantining and inspecting materials, and home delivery.
The group created a list of things they would like to start which included automatic renewals, economical streaming, the installation of library lockers, a drive through window, a kiosk for library materials, and drone delivery. They discussed having community wide internet access but they would need to collaborate with the village. They discussed the potential for installing a solar roof and permeable pavers in the parking lot.
Wish List —
The group discussed their wish list, which included a more robust emotional and/or mental health support, someone on staff who is experienced in social work to help people, someone who is experienced in technical support to help fill social service gaps, and digital reading collection in Arabic and other languages.
Parking Lot List —
The group discussed their Parking Lot list, which included technical support for community use, database of community help/service resources, and ways to attract diverse staff.
V. Planned Contents —
The group will continue to discuss this at future Board meetings.
VI. Next Steps —
The group discussed their next steps. They will type up the flip charts and distribute. They will continue to discuss the strategic plan at the monthly Board meetings. They will finish the vision statement and they will create an action plan.
Trustee Magnuson moved, seconded by Trustee Ringelstein, THAT THE MEETING BE ADJOURNED. A Roll Call Vote on the Motion was taken and the results were as follows: AYES Magnuson, Magnelli, Ringelstein, Parent, Krebs, Braun. NAYS None. ABSENT Ross. The motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 1:00 P.M.