Board Meeting Minutes 2014 07


The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees of Elkhart Public Library was called to order by Janice E. Dean, President, at 5:30 p.m.

Members present: Krystal Anderson, Brian Byrn, Renee’ Cocanower, Mary E. Davis, Janice E. Dean, Jennifer Nielsen, and Scott Troeger.
Others present: Deborah L. Stewart, Director; Jane A. Garoutte, Business Manager.
Staff or Guests present: Marsha Eilers, Tina Erwin, Diana Gill, Elizabeth Layman, Gwen Robison, and Marjorie Schaphorst.


Adoption of Consent Agenda.

Renee’ Cocanower moved THAT the Board adopt the Consent Agenda as presented.
Mary E. Davis seconded. Motion: Carried.


Review Elkhart Public Library By-Laws

The By-Laws of the Elkhart Public Library were reviewed by the Board of Trustees, and, hearing no objection or concerns, the By-Laws remain unchanged.

Director Introduction Committee

Janice E. Dean, President, suggested that the Board plan a formal event to welcome Lisa Guedea Carreño to the Library and to introduce her as director to the community. She suggested an open house be held in September, with similar guest list to the one held after the Main renovations. Mary E. Davis agreed to head up the Board planning committee, along with Jennifer Nielsen. Deb Stewart will assign a staff planning committee to assist and invite the Friends of the Elkhart Public Library to participate.


Additional Items to Director’s Notes

Deb Stewart reminded the Board of the Staff picnic Saturday, July 19, at Bonneyville Mill Park in Bristol and invited Board members and their families. She also reported several open time slots for coverage of the Library booth at the Elkhart County Fair next week. Board members interested in either should speak with Marge Schaphorst.

Department Report

Tina Ervin, Head of Circulation, reviewed the process of collecting overdue fines and fees. The Library engages Unique Management Services, Inc., a collection agency working solely with libraries and using a patented “gentle nudge system,” which is a series of letters and phone calls designed to help libraries recover overdue materials and retain patrons. Tina reviewed outstanding fine and fees being reported in Polaris, the balances currently with Unique Management, and presented multiple changes the library might make to encourage patrons to return materials and pay off outstanding fines in a timelier manner.

Tina shared policy changes being discussed by Staff and the likely effect these changes could have on the receivable balance, retaining patrons in good standing, and material recovery. These changes include

  • Lower the maximum patron overdue balance from $10 to $5 or less,
  • Reduce internal timeline for overdue notices before sending accounts to Unique Management,
  • Lower threshold for accounts sent to Collections from $50.

Tina reported that the current Polaris receivable balance contained balances carried forward from pre-Polaris patron records and that Diana Gill with the Director is working on removing these records. Those which had been sent to the collection agency will be removed from Unique as they are removed from the Polaris database. A formal recommendation for changing the fines and fees policy will be forthcoming.


Phase II Renovations

Deborah Stewart indicated that the Elevator project and related General Obligation Bond issue was temporarily on hold. No action was taken.

Strategic Planning / Long Range Planning

Marsha Eilers reported that the Long Range Planning committee have identified four preliminary goals, which were submitted to Donna Fletcher, Strategic Planning consultant.

  • Seek additional funding sources and raise community awareness of the Library
  • Life-long learning
  • Quiet, comfortable seating arrangements
  • Enhanced collection

Marsha and Deb Stewart, Director, reviewed these with Ms. Fletcher, who indicated that some were considered core competencies, not major goals. She suggested splitting life-long learning into two specific goals: Early Literacy and Life-long Learning for post high school patrons. The Consultant will present a Strategic Plan for the Board’s review and adoption after the new Director is in place. No official action was taken on this agenda item.

Elkhart/Goshen Library Consortium

The Director explained that although the agreement to establish a Resource Sharing Consortium and integrated library system (ILS) between the Elkhart Public and Goshen Public Library was approved at the June 17, 2014, meeting, additional copies with original signature were required. Signatures were obtained.

Jury Duty Policy

The jury duty policy was presented. Procedural elements were removed from the original policy. The policy remains essentially unchanged, with the exception of a limit to the number of weeks the library agrees to pay for longer trials.

Jennifer Nielsen moved to accept the Jury Duty Policy as presented.
Bryan Byrn seconded. Discussion followed.

Scott Troeger raised concerns over item C.2., specifically the implications of establishing a limit to the number of weeks the Library would continue to employ with no loss of wages, and the Board agreed that the policy needed more revision. No action was taken.

Dunlap Land Sale

Deborah Stewart reviewed the information received regarding the process and cost involved in selling real estate, and property values in the area. Bill Kuhns at FM Stone had provided, in 2005, an appraisal of the same property, and he told Jane Garoutte that property values have not increased appreciatively. He also estimated the costs of required appraisals and title work could cost around $9,000. The cost to maintain the property is an annual mowing of $300-$350. Both recent inquiries were as to whether or not the Board was interested in selling the property, and neither made offers.

Based on the estimated property value and the costs to sell, Deb Stewart recommended the Board retain the property.

Scott Troeger moved THAT the Library retain the property at Dunlap Branch.
Krystal Anderson seconded Motion: Carried


2015 Budget Priorities

Jane Garoutte presented Income and Budget Comparisons showing preliminary budgets for 2015, based on actual receipts and expenditures from January 2010 through June 30, 2014. Preliminary budget considerations included a 3% salary increase for qualified employees, 11.2% employer contribution to PERF, 10% increase to employee insurance premiums, increases to books and other library materials to maintain percentage of budget necessary to meet Indiana State Library standing. Jane reported Certified Assessed Valuation numbers would likely be received August 1. She explained that the preliminary budget of $6,979,348, was based on 2014 budget increased by the growth quotient of 2.7%.

Deb Stewart asked the Board for feedback regarding areas they would like to see budgeted differently. She reported that she and Jane Garoutte would be attending the Budget Workshop with the DLGF Field representative on Thursday, July 24.

Selection Policy

The Selection Policy was presented. Janice E. Dean made comments regarding the tone and language of the policy and made some suggestions for revision. The policy will be reconsidered after revision by the Selection Committee.

Resolution for Indiana State Library Consortium for Public Library Internet Access and Connectivity Grant

Deb Stewart, Director reviewed our participation in the State Library consortium, the connectivity grant, and how this benefits the Library.

Krystal Anderson moved THAT the resolution to join the Indiana State Library Consortium for Public Library Internet Access for Funding Year July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016, be approved.
Mary E. Davis seconded. Motion: Carried

Questions and Information from Board, Staff, and Guests



The meeting was adjourned by consensus at 6:35 p.m. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees will be on August 19, 2014, at 5:30 p.m. in Meeting Room #1 of the Main Library.


The Board of Trustees met in executive session as provided for by IC 5-14-1.5-6.1(b)(5), Item 6: To receive information about contract negotiations. The executive session adjourned at 7:30 p.m. The Board of Trustees will meet again in executive session on July 29, 2014, at 5:30 p.m. in Meeting Room #1 of the Main Library.

Krystal Anderson, Secretary

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