09.19.19 – SC Meeting Minutes
SYSTEM COUNCIL MINUTES
BERGEN COUNTY COOPERATIVE LIBRARY SYSTEM
Wyckoff Public Library
September 19, 2019
PRESIDING: Kurt Hadeler, Mahwah
NOT PRESENT: Cresskill, East Rutherford, Emerson, Leonia, Roseland, and West Orange
Sign-in sheet is attached to the minutes in the BCCLS office
1. Call to Order
Kurt Hadeler called the meeting to order at 9:59 am. He asked everyone, including guests, to sign in and pick up their name tags. The new reusable magnetic name tags should be returned at the end of the meeting. Attendance is taken from the sign-in sheets; if you have not signed in, your library is not represented at the meeting. The packet also included guidelines about meeting attendance, representation and proxy votes. If the Director or representative leaves the meeting early, the ability to vote is lost. The agendas for System Council and Executive Board now indicate which items require a vote. In an effort to follow parliamentary procedure, he reminded everyone to wait to be recognized before speaking, then to stand and introduce themselves when speaking so the minutes can be accurately recorded. He also welcomed Dave Marino, Waldwick, and trustee representative on the BCCLS Executive Board. Sally Diaz, Norwood, is the other trustee representative on the BCCLS Executive Board, but she was unable to attend the meeting. The Norwood Library has been dealing with a major clean up and restoration after a pipe burst and the library was flooded. Finally, he thanked Laura Leonard for hosting today’s meeting.
2. Minutes of Previous Meeting – June 27, 2019
It was MOVED BY: Gerry McMahon Seconded by: Terrie McColl
to approve the minutes with 2 corrections: consortium not consortia and Mimi Hui not Mimi Hui Hull.
All in favor with 1 abstention (Daragh O’Connor). Motion carried.
3. Public Portion
4. Treasurer’s Report
Stephanie Bellucci’s report was previously shared with the membership. She received a new Quick Books log-in for firstname.lastname@example.org so it did not conflict with her library account and would provide a seamless transition to the next treasurer. She also mentioned that the BCCLS office hired a Business Manager who will be starting on October 28 and then she will arrange a Finance Committee meeting to determine goals going forward. John Trause asked if the Business Manager previously worked within BCCLS. (No.) Margaret Mellett asked for the status of the delivery report and Stephanie Bellucci advised that since delivery was launched a little later than anticipated and additional projections (e.g. Shared Service Agreement) are still being refined, the promised due date was September 30. There were no further questions about her report.
It was MOVED BY: Peter Coyl Seconded by: Chris Doto
to accept the Treasurer’s Report for audit. All in favor. Motion carried.
5. President’s Report
Kurt Hadeler’s report was previously shared with the membership. He highlighted that a consultant reviewed the BCCLS office staff compensation package against other non-profit libraries, library systems and for-profit companies and found it to be competitive. Through an employee satisfaction survey, employees expressed interest in dental and vision coverage, but the Personnel and Finance Committees felt the available commercial plans were not comprehensive and suggested offering employee-funded Flexible Spending Accounts and long-term disability insurance instead. They will be pre-tax and provide tax savings to the employees who enroll. There were no questions about his report.
6. Executive Director’s Report
David Hanson’s report was previously shared with the membership. He also mentioned that the Business Manager will start at the end of October. The Baker & Taylor project is in Phase 2 testing, Mike Grgurev will be distributing the old In-Transit Items list soon. There are 986 items on the list and libraries will be asked to look for them one more time. After December 1, they will be considered lost and withdrawn in bulk from the system. Detailed information will be forthcoming. There were no questions about his report.
7. Election – 2020 Executive Board
Lori Quinn, chair of the Election Committee, thanked Jennifer Breuer, Kurt Hadeler and Mimi Hui for their work on the Executive Board for the last 3 years; their terms are expiring at the end of the year. She then introduced the 5 great candidates running for the 2020 Executive Board and asked them to stand: Amy Babcock-Landry (Livingston), Kathy Cannarozzi (Rochelle Park), Gretchen Kaser (Ho-Ho-Kus), Terrie McColl (New Milford) and Paul Shaver (Montvale). Directors have 1 week to vote (starting today) and they can vote for up to 3 candidates or abstain; as a result, there should be 100% participation.
8. Committee Reports
Quarterly written committee reports were included in the meeting packet. Ellen O’Keefe, co-chair of the Friends & Trustees Committee, reminded everyone that Jane Green is the guest speaker at the Friends Breakfast at Seasons on October 22. Tickets are $45 and the deadline is October 1. She mentioned that there will be a silent auction again as well as a commemorative ad journal and a 50/50 raffle. She thanked everyone for bringing re-gifts and extra baskets. Gift baskets from libraries and Friends Groups are due by October 18; if necessary, they can be brought to Seasons the morning of the breakfast. Kurt Hadeler asked everyone to support the Friends Breakfast by attending the breakfast or donating a gift basket for the silent auction. He asked how many people in the room were BCCLS scholarship recipients and how many had staff that won a BCCLS scholarship; about 80% raised their hands.
9. Old Business
Dave Hanson’s YTD Delivery Report was previously distributed to the membership. There were no further questions about delivery.
b. Strategic Plan – VOTE
The Strategic Plan was previously introduced to the membership at the System Council meeting in June and Chelsea Coleman, chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, again reviewed the goals in great detail. She reminded everyone that this is a draft for directors only and not the public; the public will only see Appendix A. Responses mentioning “consortia” were actual quotes and were not corrected to “consortium”. A discussion followed:
- Margaret Mellett asked why the billing formula is now being reviewed by the 3 members of the Finance Committee when it was previously reviewed by the Billing Task Force. Dave Hanson explained that mandated services, opt-in services and the billing formula work hand-in-hand and were reviewed by the task force under Objective 1.1 and their recommendations would be passed along and incorporated under Objective 1.2
- Judy Heldman asked about the cost of branding, the design and hiring the firm. Chelsea Coleman advised that the cost varies based on the work done and who does it. Dave Hanson explained that if the Strategic Plan passes, the budget would need to be amended; lines could be reallocated or capital funds could be used. This would affect the 2021 budget. The costs for evaluation would be in the 2020 budget and come under the consulting budget line. A minimal amount would be added to this line in 2020. Any significant expenses relating to branding would be included in the 2021 budget and the vote for the 2021 budget will take place in October 2020.
- Kathleen McGrail asked if the Strategic Plan would be an addendum to the budget. Dave Hanson explained that if there would be a significant increase to the consultant line, it would need to be approved by 2/3 of System Council. If approved, the consultant line would be increased and there would not be an addendum.
- Samantha McCoy noted some members were unclear and uncomfortable about the branding objectives and asked if Priorities 2 and 3 could be removed from the Strategic Plan to make it easier for members to approve it. Kurt Hadeler suggested accepting the plan as is and that $5,000 could be added to the consultant line for 2020; it will have minimal impact on libraries as the BCCLS invoices will be going down for all libraries but 1. The consultant’s recommendation would be discussed at System Council in June 2020 and then the budget could be amended accordingly.
- Len LoPinto suggested passing the Strategic Plan as is and then discussing the items 1 by 1.
- Judah Hamer echoed Samantha McCoy’s comments and concerns; he feels that there is no consensus for objectives 2 and 3 and would appreciate another opportunity to focus on this further.
- Terrie McColl, a member of the committee, stated that branding is more than a logo, it defines BCCLS and who we are.
- John Trause pointed out that there were Small Group Meetings to discuss this and demonstrated that we need to think of this as a part of the Strategic Plan, how we see ourselves and how we express ourselves, although there may not have been a consensus.
- Nancy Greene commented that branding of BCCLS libraries, rather than branding of the BCCLS organization, is valuable. It is important that the public understands what the brand represents.
- Kurt Hadeler said the consultant, committee or branding task force or whoever develops the branding needs to find the right balance so that branding does not undermine individual libraries.
- Ann McCarthy, a member of the committee, said branding talks about what BCCLS means to new staff and people outside of Bergen County. Individual libraries can use the branding and be part of the overall brand and structure.
- Amy Babcock-Landry stated that items are in the plan, but there is no mandate to act.
It was MOVED BY: Amy Babcock-Landry Seconded by: Judah Hamer
to call the question and vote on the Strategic Plan. All in favor. Motion carried.
It was MOVED BY: Chelsea Coleman Seconded by: Laura Rifkin
to adopt the Strategic Plan as drafted.
A voice vote followed: All in favor Yes (68), No (2), Abstain (0), Not Present (7). Motion carried.
Kurt Kadeler thanked Chelsea Coleman and the committee for their hard work on the strategic plan in a very short amount of time.
c. BCCLS Staffing Plan
Dave Hanson reported that the new Business Manager will start on October 28. BCCLS office staff will begin their cross training for those taking over new responsibilities. Goals will be set and employee evaluations conducted.
10. New Business
a. Policies & Procedures – Recommended Changes (Unified Loan Policy)
Jennifer Breuer and Amanda Eigen, co-chairs, and Samantha McCoy unofficially and previously introduced the recommended changes at System Council in June: They thanked Mike Grgurev for his help and they thanked the directors who reached out with questions. Some directors said they had already discussed the unified loan policy with their boards and their boards have approved it. Historically boards have set the loan periods and renewals. Some items will be exempt which will allow for flexibility of local control of those items to help libraries to continue to provide excellent customer service. At least 1/3 of patrons’ customer service experience is borrowing at other libraries. Auto renewals will also be included in the motion. The unified loan policy will be voted at System Council on October 17.
A discussion followed:
- Peter Coyl said his trustees are supportive as they see this as a customer service issue and he urged other directors to frame this as a customer service issue not a policy issue.
- Kathleen McGrail advised that her board had no objections to the unified loan policy, but they object to auto renewals. They did not like the 2 pieces linked together.
- Kurt Hadeler replied that his board thought unified loan periods and auto renewals were good customer service initiatives. They also asked about the effect on his fine income; the effect is unknown at this time.
- Laura Rifkin asked if patrons can opt out of auto renewals. No, they cannot. Jennifer Breuer also noted that libraries cannot opt out either.
- Chris Doto asked if the policy could be split: uniform lending and auto renewals. Jennifer Breuer advised that a motion could be made to separate them.
- Judy Heldman asked how to justify uniform loans without uniform fines; is it not tied together? Amanda Eigen and Jennifer Breuer explained that BCCLS is trying to provide equity and equal access to all patrons and libraries. Jennifer Breuer reminded everyone that Small Group Meetings were conducted for all directors in the spring to determine interest for uniform policies. Based on those meetings, uniform loans and auto renewals were the first step and uniform fines would be another step in the process.
- John Trause thought there was a better chance for consensus for uniform loan policies; it would be a little harder to achieve consensus for uniform fines. This will show a uniformity within BCCLS and will speak to our brand.
- Sarah Lester suggested moving forward. Her library is fine free for children/teens now and will be going fine free for adults in January.
- Peter Havel pointed out that neighboring libraries will need to follow those libraries that have gone fine free.
- Jennifer Kelemen said her board supports the uniform loan policy and asked if BCCLS will provide support with bulk changes. There will be live webinars, live screen shots and the Tech Committee will also be available to help.
- Laura Leonard commented that her board is supportive of automatic renewals.
- Cindy Czesak noted that Pals Plus has had uniform loans and has been fine free for years. Uniform fines only work if libraries are not already fine free.
- Samantha McCoy asked to take a straw poll to determine interest in uniform loans and auto renewals. Most directors raised their hands.
- Judy Heldman commented that she came across a letter from Jennifer Breuer in 2014 pressuring her to lower her library’s media fines to $1.00 like other libraries. Jennifer Breuer clarified that she sent the letter in her role as chair of the Policies & Procedures Committee and stated the committee recommendation was that media fines should not exceed $1.00.
- Judy Heldman thought BCCLS was “dumbing down” by going fine free as patrons should take responsibility to renew their materials timely.
- Peter Coyl said point of order, that comment was offensive.
- Samantha McCoy noted that libraries are changing and BCCLS needs to evolve and keep changing with the times.
- Tara Franzetti said it is the libraries’ role and mission to share resources, not to teach people responsibility.
b. Bylaws Committee – Recommended Change
Gerry McMahon, chair, explained that the change to bylaws regarding the election if a candidate for President runs unopposed would become effective in 2021. The vote will take place at System Council in October
c. BCCLS Annual Technology Update
Eric Lozauskas, Director of Information Technology provided the annual technology update: Office Move, Server Room Move, Training and Conference Rooms (available for use by all libraries and committees), New BCCLS Van, Status and Equipment Inventory, Computers (all will have VPro by the end of Summer 2020; tech support can remote into machines even if they cannot start up), Monitors (all will be 22” going forward), Microsoft Office 2019 (the new installation process has become so complicated that Tech Soup now offers to assist customers with the installation for $30, but if libraries purchase the licenses, BCCLS will install it as part of their service contract benefit). Internet Circuits (cost savings for membership with more reliable FIOS connections), Internet Circuits Servers (faster speeds), Upcoming Polaris Upgrade (highlighting new features coming soon), Cisco Umbrella (an update on malware blocked and overall success of product for organization), Cyber Security Insurance, Ongoing Projects (KB replacement, centralized training platform, committee collaboration tools and portal with tools for directors and library staff), Capital Project-Firewalls (replacing firewalls with next gen IPS systems in 2020), Capital Projects – Routers (testing some models at 2 libraries in 2020), Additional Plans (expand Amazon Web Services usage, determine ways to optimize cataloging process and continued collaboration with Baker Taylor on new bib record project). Eric Lozauskas’s presentation is available at https://tinyurl.com/sctech19. He will also e-mail the link to directors.
Joseph Palmer, Web Product and Development Coordinator, provided a preview of myBCCLS, the platform replacement for the Knowledgebase which includes Reading Lists, Resources, Delivery, Current Tips, BCCLS Events and BonD. Libraries and committees will have private/closed groups so they can communicate with each other. There will be an opportunity via private chats for mentors and mentees to find each other. The replacement for the KB will be BIN (BCCLS Information Network) located within the new myBCCLS platform; the format is directed to users and what is applicable to them.
A discussion about myBCCLS followed:
- Chris Doto asked if this will replace the current staff page and if users will be redirected. Yes, the site will be live on January 1 and users will be redirected.
The topic briefly shifted the focus to LEAP:
- Catherine Dodwell asked if directors will be able to change passwords; there was a former staff member who continued to use the generic circ login for LEAP. There will be individual logins so when a staff member leaves, the Google account will be de-activated and the former employee will no longer have access to the staff portal.
- Holly Pizzuta asked about creating additional individual passwords for LEAP. This way the new log in can be deleted rather than the “original master” email when staff leave.
- Kurt Hadeler asked about instituting individual log ins and if it was possible to leverage the APIs from Google to log into LEAP. Not at this time.
The discussed of myBCCLS resumed:
- Monica Smith mentioned that it was possible to log in using a Google mail log in or a user name. If someone left, would support know to delete the user name as well as the Google log in. Joseph Palmer said an accepted domain e-mail address (bccls and the few libraries in the G suite) is required to create a user profile.
- Chris Doto asked about notifications for a chat. There are several options including a bell.
- Margaret Mellett asked if the entire KB will be transferred. Joseph Palmer transferred most of the general BCCLS information and he will train and help committees transfer their own information.
- Stephanie Bellucci asked about notifications for the site and chats. Everyone needs to be logged into myBCCLS and check the notifications. Is it mobile optimized? Yes, everything is designed with a mobile-first attitude.
- Does LibGuides in the budget have anything to do with this? No, Lib Guides is where all the reading lists are created.
- Matthew Latham thanked Joseph Palmer for all of his efforts and advised that the Tech Committee will be working with him to beta test everything.
- Ellen O’Keefe asked when the computer upgrade schedule for 2020 will be posted. It will be posted in a few weeks.
d. 2020 BCCLS Budget
Dave Hanson was pleased to advise that the 2020 budget reflects a reduction from the 2019 budget; this is due, in part, to natural savings (no office move and no delivery launch) and the office move also resulted in significant savings going forward. Office personnel/HR costs have been allocated to the applicate buckets based on the work performed. The new 6700 delivery line includes a 6th route for delivery that is included within the budget. The 6206 consultant line is $5,000, but can be augmented if needed and the strategic plan passes. The budget will be finalized in October; estimates for library bills can be provided in the meantime. It is anticipated that only 1 library will see an increase in the BCCLS bill and the increase is a result of adding computers. This is the end of the 3-year phase-in for the new billing formula.
A discussion followed:
- Kurt Hadeler pointed out that delivery is budgeted at $611,521 which is about $7,900 per library and shows that delivery is sustainable for several years before the cost exceeds the original cost estimate of $9,000. If the Bergen County libraries chose to apply their allocation of $2,400 from the Bergen County grant, net delivery cost will be about $5,500.
- Margaret Mellett asked about the decrease in the personnel expense from 2019 to 2020. When the delivery costs were estimated, to be conservative, it was assumed that all drivers would take full family insurance coverage; that did not happen. She asked about the lines for Delivery – Miscellaneous and Delivery – Contingency. Dave Hanson replied that those lines would cover unforeseen expenses like renting vans and purchasing additional bins that are not itemized. She also asked how many employees were budgeted for delivery under the salary expense. Dave Hanson explained that it covers the Manager, 6 full-time drivers, temporary help and summer sorters to handle the increased summer volume. She asked if sorters would be needed year-round and Dave Hanson replied that for 4 of the 5 days, the drivers are able to forward sort 35-40% of materials on the vans so items do not need to be touched twice. Otherwise materials need to be brought into the warehouse for sorting and then moved back to the vans for delivery.
- Judah Hamer appreciated the attention to this and said that libraries do not want incur a mid-year assessment.
- Len LoPinto asked about the reserve outside of the operating budget. Dave Hanson will check and provide this number. Is there a contingency line for the budget? He also asked why the budget for delivery is $82,000 less than the prior year. Dave Hanson explained that the original estimate for delivery in 2019 assumed full family insurance coverage for all drivers and a 7th route.
- Susan Meeske asked what is the employer contribution for the 403b plan? It is 7.5% of everyone’s salaries. She noted that capital improvement for technology previously came out of the operating budget. She felt that a separate capital improvement account should be established and capital improvements should come out of that account. Dave Hanson replied that creating a separate capital improvement account is in the strategic plan and she asked if the capital improvement funds would come out of the operating budget or reserves. Dave Hanson advised that would be determined, but there are reserves.
- Nancy Greene asked why the budget does not reflect the Bergen County grant money as a pass through. Dave Hanson and Kurt Hadeler explained that the auditor or accountant advised not to include the grant money as a dedicated income line as it is not guaranteed and it is not used in the operating budget for all libraries. The budget includes member-driven fees and expenses.
- Mary Disanza asked about additional delivery costs incurred in bad weather. Dave Hanson said that is allocated in the Delivery-Miscellaneous line.
- John Trause asked if the county grant will be distributed to libraries via checks rather than as credits on their bills. Yes.
- Dave Hanson also reminded everyone that any overage paid toward delivery will be returned to the libraries as credits to their BCCLS’ bills. That will impact libraries’ bills, not the budget.
- Daragh O’Connor asked about the decrease in lines 6281 and 6282 from 2019 to 2020. Dave Hanson explained the decrease was due to the efforts of Eric Lozauskas and Darlene Swistock in renegotiating rates with internet vendors during the past 12 months.
11. Membership Hearing
- Kathleen McGrail said that Upper Saddle River is collecting broken toys to be used in a Frankentoy project for Halloween. She asked that they be brought to System Council on October 17.
- Kathy Cannarozzi advised that Rochelle Park’s re-opening will be delayed until October 5.
12. Next MeetingSystem Council: Thursday, 10/17/19 at 9:30 am – Mahwah
It was MOVED by: Mary Jo Jennings Seconded by: Monica Smith
To adjourn at 1:03 pm. All in favor.