Management Council notes – June 29, 2017

Management Council notes

June 29, 2017

2:00 – 4:00 PM

Marvin Auditorium 101C

Present: Cindy Hohl, David King, Diana Friend, Greg Gaul Gina Millsap, Ivan Johnson, John Kugler, LeAnn Brungardt, Mary Campbell, Marie Pyko, Paul Brennan, Rob Banks, Ruth Rodden, Scarlett Fisher-Herreman, Sandy Hestand, Stephen Lusk, Sheryl Weller, Thad Hartman, Ted Yungclas

Meeting Purpose: Final review of 2018 Budget; Discussion of long view of the Facilities Master Plan

Expected Products: Finalize 2018 budget for MC; Discussion of overarching plan of Facilities Master Plan

Greg Gaul called the June 29, 2017 meeting of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library Management Council to order at 2:04 PM in the Marvin Auditorium room 101C. He reviewed the meeting purpose and provided an overview of the agenda. Minutes from the June 1, 2017 meeting were reviewed and accepted as submitted.

Management Council did not meet June 8, 15 or 22.

Facilities Master Plan overview – the long view

Thad Hartman distributed a handout detailing the Tentative Timeline for the Facilities Master Plan. (See below). Thad reviewed what has been done, what is being done and what will happen in the future as the group revisited the overall timeline. The group discussed larger questions and recommended staff members to create future planning teams.

Tentative Timeline


  • Completion of Entry Plaza Project
  • New Collaborative Workspaces
    • Collaborative Spaces Team (Stephanie)
  • New Café Pass Through
    • Service Model 2.0 Team (Marie)
  • Periodicals move to North Reading Room
    • North Reading Room Team (Paul)
  • Demolition of 1001 Garfield and creation of parking lot
  • Beginning of Claire’s Corner (Café Courtyard)


  • Completion of Claire’s Corner (Café Courtyard)
  • New Circulation Plaza
    • Circulation Plaza Team (Stephanie)
  • New Learning Lab
  • New furniture and layout of Living Room
  • New furniture and layout of public computers in Kids Library


  • Improved Gallery spaces
    • Gallery Team (Stephanie)


  • New Public Services and Technical Services staff spaces


  • New public spaces on second floor including collaborative workspace and make-it lab


  • Expansion of The Edge and Lingo Story Room

Timeline Gaps

  • When exactly will we move periodicals into North Reading Room?
  • What will happen to current periodicals room during the time after the periodicals are moved and construction begins on new Learning Lab? How long will this last?
  • What will happen to current Computer Training Center after the creation of the new Learning Lab but before the expansion of the Teen Room? How long will this last? Is expansion of The Edge the permanent plan for that space?


  • What experiences do we want customers to have in each space?
  • What is the feel and character of each space?
  • What will we highlight in each space?
  • What teams do we need to work on the specifics of the remaining spaces?
  • What major aspects are not covered?
  • Computers?
  • Carpet?
  • Bathrooms?


  • Learning Lab Team members will be: Cindy Hohl, Diana Friend, Shari Schawo, Kate Hughes, David King, Christina Callison, Amber Bonnett, Becca Paquette, Andrea Blair, Stephen Ferrell and Emily Hopkins. Thad, Marie Pyko and Stephanie Hall will serve as consultants.
  • The Service Model Team should be involved with programming space plans.
  • Bring in outside expert that can assist us with focusing on customers/library users and help us broaden our perspective regarding what the user needs.

Larger questions and additional discussion

  • What does implementation of the Learning Lab look like in regards to the Community Impact Goals for programming? Could it be a class? Could it be self-help? What types of technology will be required? What kind? What kind of learning can take place in the space?
  • Plan for the space to be our learning laboratory.
  • Get planning completed so space and implementation can take place.
  • Keep the learning lab space as flexible
  • The Make it lab – should we do something sooner with that idea?
  • Additional education – explaining what this is all about.
  • We plan to “up our game” with visual merchandizing
  • Carpet – have a replacement plan for installation and have incorporated into the overall Facilities Master Plan to coordinate with projects.

Second – 2018 Budget – final review

Sheryl Weller explained complications and differences with 2018 budget. She reviewed data and the details of final budget. The packet for the second Board Budget Work Session will be available on the Library Website tomorrow. There was discussion regarding future of health care benefits.

 Management Council – 6/29/17

2018 Proposed Final Budget Information by Sheryl Weller

  • The valuations increased and provided $268,600 additional ad valorem tax funding at a flat mill levy. The statutory computation would have allowed an additional $87,900 without the Board required to pass a resolution and publish their vote, but it would cause the mill levy to increase by 9.836. With the projects and other issues in this budget, raising the mill levy isn’t a good strategy.
  • Other taxes increased by about $48,000.
  • It was decided to reduce overdue fines by another $15,000 starting in 2017 for the decision to no longer charge fines on children’s library materials. Fees for debt collection with Unique were also further reduced (actuals decreased by about 31% or $10,600 from the prior year probably related to auto-renewals).
  • The contract with Shawnee County Parks and Recreation for computer support services in the community centers ends on November 2017. The County may elect to renew it for an additional 2 years. To be conservative, no reimbursement revenues for ½ the costs of a computer technician were budgeted starting with December 2017.
  • State Aid is projected to be reduced another 5%. The budgeted amounts are usually $5,000 higher in the event that more revenues would be received. This prevents us from having to amend the budget since it all has to be spent in the year received. The funding has been applied to the FMP projects.
  • Conferences are nearly all funded. In order to have a flat starting budget and only have $37,500 for PLA added, one person who requested two conferences will be asked to choose one and the pool of undesignated staff to KLA is reduced to 2.
  • Budget requests can be funded including: (1) an additional $50,000 for library materials; (2) signage for LOTY and letters for Café, Booktique and Gallery, and soffit banners; (3) all Digital Services requests including the MusuemPlus upgrade; (4) public chair replacements cycle at $50,000; (5), TSCPL portion of Smartlockers at $30,000; (6) TSCPL portion of replacement Adventuremobile at $50,000; and (7) an art purchase of up to $5,000.
  • Consulting is budgeted to include HR benefits/plan bids, CDL testing, completion of the compensation study, recruiter for COO, art appraisals, digitization/preservation continuation and a $10,000 placeholder for needs not presently known. Most of this was made possible by savings from ADP to Paycom, elimination of one-time services such as branding, moving architectural fees to Special Projects line item and re-bid of the audit. The new brand marketing campaign is funded.
  • The base budget retains funding for replacement Café equipment and replacement security equipment and $5,000 general Library needs.
  • All support requests in the Digital Services are funded including 100 PC replacements, 13 Mac replacements, copier controllers to talk to Comprise, another 3D printer and acoustic paneling for the Make-It Lab, a Polaris phone server for notifications by phone (proven to be cost effective), and additional monitors for Youth Services.
  • The unspent FMP money of $1,050,000 from 2017 due to re-prioritization of the projects has been carried forward and re-appropriated in 2018. This is the only way, except for State Aid, that FMP projects were budgeted from operating fund. Unless something changes and reduces future expenditures elsewhere, there is no base General Fund for the FMP.
  • Last year, a one-time opportunity/strategy was approved to spend down the cash in the Employee Benefit Fund due to prior years’ unexpected BCBS refunds and the decision to not pursue a self-insured plan. This provided funding for the FMP. Now, the mill levy must return to providing revenues for the Employee Benefit Fund expenditures.
  • This is complicated by the unexpected and unbudgeted health and dental insurance premium increases (5% budgeted; 25.6%/28% health and 17% dental increases). No one was expecting these kind of increases, especially when the plans were just bid the plan year before. This also include a 3% management exception from BCBS or the rates would have increased 28.6% and 31%. A $60,000 additional expenditure adjustment was made to the 2017 estimate and $50,000 budgeted in 2017 for a possible wellness initiative had to be applied to the premium cost as well.
  • Now for the bad news. Gina, Stephen and I met with BCBS on June 19 and usage is still high. The representative advised that the cost increase would be significant and suggested budgeting 25%-30%. Delta Dental confirmed to expect a 9% increase. The health savings contributions by TSCPL will stay the same for 2018. Once final renewal numbers are available after August, some plan changes are possible, but none were budgeted. This could be increased deductibles, a change in the employee/employer premium share, etc. The $40 spouse surcharge to the employee will continue.
  • The same proportionate share of these higher premiums to be paid by the employer is funded in 2018. This ranges from 78% to 89%. However, to do so, two vacant positions cannot be funded: Imparato’s vacant Librarian and the half-time Public Services Specialist remaining from Horan’s retirement (1/2 was already filled). This could impact the progression of organizational changes related to implementation of the Community Impact Goals.
  • Shrinkage also had to be increased from 1.5% of main staff salaries to 1.85%. This concept is designed to anticipate turnover savings from positions being open and hiring staff at lower levels and capture that savings for distribution to other line items at the time of budget preparation. The executive team replacements likely will help meet this if hired at lower salaries. Otherwise, vacant positions will need to be held open a little longer.
  • It seems logical that funding for increased costs of employee benefits should be sourced at least in part from funding reductions in base salary costs.
  • New KPERS WAR (working after retirement) take effect 1/1/18.

The Opioid Epidemic

Rob Banks forwarded an article The opioid epidemic is so bad that librarians are learning how to treat overdoses . Rob reported that he had already discussed with Greg and police officers how this trend was affecting Topeka. They reported that at this time, police and our security is seeing much more marijuana and alcohol abuse than use of opioids. There was discussion regarding the value and liability training staff in the use/implementation of Narcan. Consensus was that training was not in the library’s best interests especially with excellent health services provided at the hospitals just across the street. We need to have protocols in place where staff can recognize what is happening so they can refer a patient to the correct place – call security, police, ambulance, etc. We need to be observant. Rob will write a memo to staff and post it on the staff web pages. He will also initiate a conversation regarding this issue with Stormont Vail.


  • Diana Friend asked members of Management Council to sign cards prepared for Susan Marchant (50th wedding anniversary), Nancy Watkins (get well), and the Nashville Public Library (Library of the Year).
  • Cindy Hohl gave a brief description of her experience at ALA. She also promoted Blockbuster Wednesday activities and events and saluted student volunteers.
  • David King expressed pleasure with having a fully staffed department.
  • Rob Banks shared information he learned at ALA relating to re-charging devices. He is following up with that.
  • Rob provided information about the Shawnee County Summer Food Program Coalition Spike Event that will take place tomorrow in David J’s.
  • Rob reported that gun law changes take effect on July 1. He will send a reminder to staff.
  • Greg Gaul reminded everyone that when they are serving as MIC they should check up on individuals that we have been having trouble with.
  • Gina Millsap reported that Brewster Kahl, Founder and Digital Librarian, Internet Archive is applying for a $100 million dollar grant that would allow for digitization.
  • LeAnn Brungardt reported that we are at the mid point of the summer program as of July 1. She will have reading numbers then. We are still experiencing huge audiences at summer program events.
  • Mary Campbell reported that she is putting together a list of nonprofit organizations who could benefit from donated books and to invite them the Monday morning after the Book Sale.  If anyone knows of contact people or organizations, please let her know.
  • Scarlett Fisher-Herreman reported on the Children’s Palace. They will be ready to open in about a month. She met with their staff and did some training.
  • Stephen Lusk provided an update on the Human Resources Director search. There are three candidates who will interview next week Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The final schedule is forthcoming. Thad and Ruth will serve as facilitators for MC interview meetings. There will be a feedback form for everyone to complete. Resumes and other pertinent materials will be sent out the afternoon before the candidate interview the next day.

Topics and projects for upcoming meetings

  • Services offered by the Library: Facilitation – Librarian / Management Team
  • Human Resources Training – Stephen Lusk and Felicia Hillebert
  • What community data and initiatives do we need to consider and perhaps participate in as we develop the work plans for advancing our Community Impact Goals – Thad
  • New Data Source – Thad Hartman
  • Invite Library Attorney Chuck Engel – review of Kansas Law
  • Organizational Excellence
  • Branding update/report

Meeting adjourned

There was no further business for the Management Council and the meeting ended at 3:42PM.

Next meeting

Thursday, July 13, 2017

2:00-4:00 PM Marvin Auditorium 101C

 Stephanie Hall – facilitator

6 thoughts on “Management Council notes – June 29, 2017

  1. Kimberly Sain on said:

    In the plans for 2018 above, you note there will be new furniture and layout of computers in the Kids Library. Several youth not old enough to use the Teen Room are regularly (daily) spending hours gaming in Media. They seem to prefer the set-up there so they can see their friends’ computer screens and easily interact with each other. Their voices always escalate and they become loud when they get excited while playing these games, and other customers frequently complain. Has the Library had recent conversations about the future of gaming and how we can better accommodate the preteens who want to game in this manner? The present computer configuration in Media does not appear to create a welcoming environment for all customers, which also relates to our Customer Service Policy. I read the Teen Room may expand; is anything planned to better serve the preteen gamers?

    • Marie Pyko on said:

      Kim, thanks for your comments. Those are definitely some of the situations we are taking into consideration as we discussed adding more computers to the Kids Library. Due to the fact that the Kids Library is part of the “old library” the floor needs to be trenched to add more electrical and data outlets. Our plan is to review the layout of the current computers in the Kids space and add more so that we can provide the access and space to kids who want to use a computer in their space. I have had several Public Service staff take counts of our after school usage in the Media room to help to also inform our decisions. I welcome ideas as we begin that process of determine how kids use computers.

  2. Deborah Bryan on said:

    I have been going through the Adult Literacy Through Libraries course and one of their suggestions is to have computer stations that allow two people to work at a computer. Adults with literacy issues or who are not confident using technology often need a helper sitting by their side as they use the computers. The recommendation of this course from ALA and Proliteracy is to have spaces where two people can use a computer sitting side by side, preferably with some privacy and where they can converse quietly. An excellent suggestion to keep in mind as we reconfigure our spaces!

    • Deborah Bryan on said:

      Another learning lab suggestion, this time thinking of English as a second language learners: have stations where adults can use headsets with microphones so that they can use language learning programs (like Mango) to practice English.