Board of Directors Meeting Minutes – December 18, 2017


December 19, 2017, 9:00 a.m.
Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State Street
Lower Level, Multi-Purpose Room

  1. Approval of minutes for the November 21, 2017 meeting (action required)
  2. CPL Capital Projects and Facilities Report (info only)
    • Special Report: West Loop Branch
  3. Commissioner’s Report (info only)
    • 2017 Key Accomplishments:
      • Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge increased participation and engagement
      • Homework Help
      • YOUmedia attendance increases
      • Learning Circles recognized
      • CyberNavigators
      • CPL is first public library to have HistoryMakers
      • Chicago Innovation Summit at HWLC
      • Solar eclipse viewing glasses
      • Largest convener of “On the Table” discussions
      • Notable main stage events
    • Michael Baker retires after 43 years of service at CPL
  4. Other Business
  5. Public Comment

Next Board meeting: January 16, 2018, 9:00 a.m.
Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State Street
Lower Level, Multi-Purpose Room


Open Session Minutes

Physically Present: Linda Johnson Rice, Christopher Valenti, Lynn Lockwood, Dominique Jordan Turner, Patricia Gaytan Perez, Barbara Bowman, Jodi Block, Denise Gardner

Present by Means of Video or Audio Conference: None

Absent: None

Approval of minutes (action required)

The Board approved (8-0) the minutes of the November 21, 2017 meeting.

CPL Capital Projects and Facilities Report (info only)

CPL capital projects are as follows:

  • Austin – exterior and interior upgrades are near completion, branch reopens February 5th
  • Blackstone - phase II of interior work is underway; exterior improvements are complete
  • North Austin – exterior work is complete; interior upgrades began 12/18
  • Woodson – construction is substantially complete; staff returned to the branch 12/4 to prepare for branch opening in February
  • Kelly – exterior work is complete; interior upgrades are in progress
  • Sulzer – phase III began 12/18
  • Chicago Bee – construction will begin in late January
  • CHA/CPL Partnerships - design development and construction documents are in progress for Altgeld, Independence, Northtown and Roosevelt branches
  • Whitney Young - branch closed to the public 9/6; groundbreaking and construction began in October

Special Report

A representative from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) provided an overview of the West Loop branch. This is a new branch that will be located at 118 N. Aberdeen St. to serve the near west side’s rapidly increasing residential community. The two-story, 16,500 square-foot property will be rehabilitated for library use by owner Sterling Bay and SOM as the design architect. The branch is still in the planning phase with construction to begin in 2Q 2018 and expected completion 4Q 2018.

Commissioner’s Report (info only)

Commissioner Bannon highlighted several key programs that the Library offered in 2017, including: an increase in participation in the Rahm’s Reader’s Summer Learning Challenge and YOUmedia workshops; CPL’s free homework help and the Teacher in the Library (TIL) programs; Learning Circles program which has expanded to over 40 libraries internationally; patrons that have found employment via assistance through CPL’s Cybernavigator program; the addition of the HistoryMakers digital archive collection; and notable main stage events with Barbara Kingsolver, David Simas, Valerie Jarrett, Gwendolyn Brooks and Mavis Staples.

Commissioner Bannon also presented Michael Baker, South District Chief at CPL with a gold library card and acknowledged his accomplishments with CPL over the past 43 years. CPL and the City of Chicago thanks him for his service to the City, he will retire on December 31st.

Other Business


Public Comment

The Board addressed comments from the audience regarding accessibility and regulating noise levels at the Chinatown branch.

Next Board Meeting

The next board meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. at the Harold Washington Library Center located at 400 S. State Street.


Commissioner’s Report

2017 Key Accomplishments

In addition to the thousands of programs offered each month in 2017 throughout libraries, and the advancement in capital, access to computers and collections, we wanted to summarize a few of CPL’s major programs.

As with prior years, CPL will produce a full year-end annual report in collaboration with CPLF which will include all the key data from our broad range of programs, but here’s a quick snapshot…

  • Participation and engagement in the award-winning Rahm’s Readers Summer Learning Challenge were both at an all-time high, with more than 105,000 children reading a total of 90 million minutes this summer.
  • CPL offers the largest, most comprehensive free homework help program in the country and provides in-person Teacher in the library assistance at branches throughout the city. There were 75,027 Teacher in the Library sessions, 424 homework helper session and 5,818 Brainfuse sessions in 2017.
  • More than 11,700 teens participated in YOUmedia workshops through October 2017, representing a 28% increase over the same period the previous year. General attendance at YOUmedia during the same period increased by 4% to over 39,872 teens for the same 10-month period.
  • Learning Circles, piloted by CPL and Peer to Peer University in 2015, have since been replicated in more than 40 libraries internationally. Learning Circles won Leader in Digital Inclusion Best Practices from the Digital Inclusion Leadership Awards in May.
  • From January to November 2017, 889 patrons have self-reported finding a job with the help of their CyberNavigator. This is on par with our 2016 self-reported jobs.
  • CPL continued to build community through cultural programming and resources with the addition of the HistoryMakers digital archive to CPL’s collection, providing public access to the largest African-American video oral history archive in the world. CPL is the first public library system to offer this resource to patrons for free.
  • CPL partnered with Chicago Innovation to co-host the annual Chicago Innovation Summit, engaging over 500 Chicagoans and providing the first free, public program and expo.
  • Building on existing “Scopes in the City” programming, CPL partnered with Adler to distribute safe solar eclipse viewing glasses at all 80 CPL locations. Approximately 15,000 sets were distributed throughout the city, with many branches running out on the first day of distribution.
  • Chicago Public Library was the largest convener of “On The Table” discussions hosted in partnership with Chicago Community Trust. Conversations with the community were held in branches citywide with nearly 700 participants.
  • Notable main stage events:
    o Barbara Kingsolver for OBOC
    o David Simas for Cindy Pritzker Lecture
    o Valerie Jarrett for Harold Washington Lecture
    o Gwendolyn Books partnership with the Poetry Foundation
    o Mavis Staples and Greg Kot for OBOC

Michael Baker is retiring!

It is with hearty congratulations that we wish South District Chief Michael Baker best wishes on his retirement December 31st after 43 years with the Chicago Public Library.

Mr. Baker began his career with CPL at the Whitney Young Branch in 1974 after receiving his MLS at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In the ensuing years he was branch manager at Pullman, King and the Southeast branches, and in 1979, he was appointed Coordinator of Systemwide Circulation at the Central Library and served as Operations Manager for Computer Services. After that, Michael spent five years as Staff Assistant for the Deputy Commissioner and in 1987, and then moved to Neighborhood Services as District Chief; first in the Southeast District and then in the Central District. In 2004, Michael was appointed Director of Woodson Regional Library, a position he held until 2013, when he was appointed to again lead our South District.
Michael's impact at CPL can be felt in the many staff members he has coached and mentored - from Library Pages, to Branch Managers and administrative staff. He will be missed but we know he will enjoy time with his son Michael, cheering for teams during March Madness and walking his dog around the neighborhood.

Congratulations Michael and we all wish you well in your next chapter!