January 25, 2022, 9:00 a.m.
- Approval of minutes for the November 16, 2021 meeting (action required)
- Election of Officers (action required)
- Schedule of Requisitions, Contracts and Licenses (info only)
- Policy Recommendation: Library Use Guidelines (action required)
- Policy Recommendation: Appeals Process (action required)
- Policy Recommendation: Circulation (action required)
- Programming Update (info only)
- CPL Capital Projects and Facilities Report (info only)
- Commissioner’s Report (info only)
- COVID-19 Mitigation Update
- Narcan Initiative @ CPL
- Sunday Hours Update
- Osterman Award and Civic Leadership Academy
- Obama Branch Update
- Library Study
- Annual Report Process
- Departures and Retirements
- Chicago Public Library Foundation Report (info only)
- Other Business
- Public Comment
Next Board meeting: May 17, 2022, 9:00 a.m. / Virtual Meeting
Open Session Minutes
Board Members in Attendance
Physically Present: None
Present by Means of Video or Audio Conference: Linda Johnson Rice, Christopher Valenti, Lynn Lockwood, Jodi Block, Barbara Bowman, Michelle Boone
Absent: Dominique Jordan Turner, Ivy Walker, Sandra Delgado
Approval of minutes for the November 16, 2021 Board of Directors meeting (action required)
The Board voted (6-0) to approve the minutes for the November 16, 2021 Board of Directors meeting.
Election of Officers (action required)
Directors Jodi Block and Lynn Lockwood were selected to serve on the nominating committee for the 2022 Election of Officers for the CPL Board of Directors. Directors are appointed for a one year term.
Jodi Block represented the nominating committee and proposed the following slate for 2022:
- Linda Johnson Rice, President
- Christopher P. Valenti, Vice President
- Lynn Lockwood, Secretary
As there were no objections to the proposed slate, the board voted (6-0) to approve the 2022 Officers for the CPL Board of Directors.
Schedule of Requisitions, Contracts and Licenses (info only)
Teri Campbell, CPL’s Deputy Commissioner of Administration and Finance, presented the quarterly report on contracts and purchases made for magazines, books, databases, periodicals and articles of educational and instructional nature. For this quarter (November 1 – December 31, 2021) 1,628 invoices totaling $2,272,094.72 were paid to various vendors.
Policy Recommendation: Library Use Guidelines (action required)
Deputy Commissioner Clemons presented a policy recommendation to revise CPL’s Library Use Guidelines. CPL strives to provide a welcoming a safe environment for all patrons, and the guidelines that govern the library’s use should also reflect that. We recommend clarifying and revising language used in the current policy to conform to the City’s policy, and remove barrier language that will provide clarity and consistency.
The Board voted (6-0) to this policy recommendation. CPL’s Library Use Guidelines will be evaluated, edited and rewritten for clarity to ensure a welcoming experience for all patrons.
Policy Recommendation: Appeals Process (action required)
Deputy Commissioner Clemons also presented a recommendation to revise CPL’s Appeals Process. The current policy regarding appeals does not have a defined suspension plan or standardized way for patrons who have been suspended to appeal. CPL recommends implementing a clearly defined suspension policy and written appeals process to ensure that guidelines are being consistently and equitably enforced. This will allow patrons who believe that they were suspended in error a clear way to appeal.
The appeals process will be broken down into 3 levels:
- Level 1 (General Disturbances) – patrons are asked to change their behavior in the moment; asked to leave for the day with the option to return the next day; or suspended up to 1 week
- Level 2 (Disruptive or Harassing Behavior) – starts with a 1 week suspension
- Level 3 (Major Offenses) – resolve with notifying police or potential court action and 30 day suspension
The Board voted (6-0) regarding the Library’s Appeals Process, implementing a clearly defined suspension policy and written appeals process.
Policy Recommendation: Circulation (action required)
Commissioner Brown presented a recommendation to revise CPL’s Circulation policy. The current circulation policy states that “each cardholder can have up to 8 holds pending at any one time; not including hold requests that are in transit or ready for pickup. Patrons placing holds on downloadable media will also be limited to five holds.”
The Library recommends revising the circulation policy to reflect the following:
“Each cardholder can have up to 12 holds pending at any one time; not including hold requests that are in transit or ready for pickup. Patrons placing holds on downloadable materials on Overdrive will be limited to 12 holds. Patrons may check out up to 15 downloadable titles on Overdrive, and up to 8 downloadable titles per month on Hoopla.”
The Board voted (6-0) to adopt the revised circulation policy.
Programming Update (info only)
First Deputy Commissioner Messner provided an overview of CPL’s programming initiatives highlighted below.
- Virtual Teacher in the Library - In addition to resuming in-person Teacher in the Library service at more than 25 CPL locations last fall, Virtual Teacher in the Library service also resumed on January 18th to provide increased access around the city. Virtual Teacher in the Library offers homework help from a licensed teacher as well as help connecting to library resources from CPL librarians. Virtual Teacher in the Library sessions are available from 5-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Parents register their children using CPL’s online events calendar.
- Reach Out and Read at the Library! - In partnership with Reach Out and Read Illinois (RORIL) and as part of a Community Health grant with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, Reach Out and Read at the Library! (ROR@CPL) expands the partnership that Reach Out and Read Illinois and CPL have built over the past 20 years. The overarching goal is to increase at-risk families’ awareness and utilization of library programming by creating personal connections between local librarians and RORIL family health clinics throughout Chicago. The program is currently being offered as a pilot program at 6 CPL locations (Altgeld, Chicago Lawn, Douglass, Toman, and Bezazian) and 5 clinics.
- Operation Warm - For the 6th year running, CPL partnered with Operation Warm to give away winter coats and books to children ages 3 to 13. In total, nearly 1200 coats and books were given to patrons at 6 locations: Altgeld, Back of the Yards, Chicago Lawn, Legler Regional Library, Rogers Park and South Chicago. Families also received information about library cards and library events.
- Best of the Best – CPL’s annual Best of the Best event will be taking place virtually on January 25th and 26th. CPL librarians will present their selections of the most excellent books published for Chicago kids and families in 2021. The audience includes CPS teachers, early learning educators, parents, and CPL staff.
- Radical Fit (RF) - Radical Fit is an ongoing partnership with Sky Cubacub of Rebirth Garments and the Chicago Park District's Queering the Parks. RF offers teens program opportunities and resources to develop skills in craft, making, digital design, e-commerce and DIY while providing a safe space to discuss gender equity & identity, and to dream and create through personal expressions of style. Upcoming programs in 2022 include: gender affirming garments tutorials, e-commerce tutorials, creative notebook kits, Queer Radical Fair #1 on June 5th at Rainbow Beach, Queer Radical Fair #2 on August 28th at Garfield Park Conservatory.
- What's Your Lens - The "What’s Your Lens?" photo challenge was inspired by Gloria Cassens, a Chicago photographer and writer. In Summer 2021, Chicago youth ages 14-24 were challenged to convey their community in a photograph. Photographs submitted to this competition can be viewed on the CPL website at https://www.chipublib.org/news/whats-your-lens-photo-competition-results/
- Chicago Teen Gamers Guild (CTGG) - The Teen Gamer's Guild has been planning 8 programs for February and March at various CPL locations. The events include a scavenger hunt, video game tournament, cosplay workshop, and indie game showcase/playthrough. These lead-up events will help teens grow an audience for the main gaming convention, and gain experience in planning and running programs.
- Snacks in the Stacks - In 2021, CPL's Adult Services continued the pilot year of Snacks in the Stacks with an online cooking show. Each month, a staff member selected a cookbook, made a recipe and filmed their episode in their home kitchen. These episodes have received, to date, over 2000 views on YouTube and 6,000 views on Facebook. They have also resulted in an increase in checkouts and holds for the titles featured during the episodes, and helped to highlight new books in CPL's cookbook collection. We’d like to acknowledge and give a special thanks to our hosts: Pedro Leon, Betty Flores-Ramirez, Sarah Tansley, Layne Arens, Megan Greenback and Peter Hamilton. Due to the success of the series, CPL will continue to offer the series in 2022.
- One Book One Chicago - One Book One Chicago's 2021 season, featuring the theme Neighborhoods: Our City's Bedrock and the book Bedrock Faith by Eric Charles May was another success! While final numbers are still being compiled, estimate data shows over 4,000 people checked out and read the book, over 145 events were hosted, and approximately 30,000 people attended programs.
- Justice Sotomayor – On Wed, February 2nd, CPL welcomes U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor for a virtual event to celebrate the release of her new children's book, Just Help: How to Build a Better World. Sotomayor will appear in conversation with award-winning Chicago author and sociologist of education Dr. Eve L. Ewing. This is the third appearance Justice Sotomayor has made at CPL over the years, and we are fortunate to be able to host this remarkable woman and continue this strong relationship.
- CPL joins with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless – On Tues, February 8th, CPL joins with the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless to host Faces of Homelessness a panel discussion featuring award-winning photographer Jeff Wolin on Wolin’s new book and exhibit, Faces of Homelessness. Panelists will discuss the project, what homelessness looks like in Chicago, how art can help move us towards solutions, and ways to get involved in addressing homelessness. Panelists include: Jeffrey Wolin; Ruth N. Halls, Professor Emeritus of Photography at Indiana University, photographer for Faces of Homelessness; Alderman Matt Martin (47th Ward, City of Chicago); Doug Schenkelberg, Executive Director, Chicago Coalition for the Homeless; Ronald Matthews, Leader with Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, photography subject; and Melodi Serna, Executive Director, American Indian Center, photography subject.
- Black History Month - Chicago Public Library will celebrate the importance of Black Health and Mental Wellness in February. This year we take a look at the benefits of “Self-Care” and focus on balancing our mental and physical health; a healthy mindset must accompany a healthy body and healthy body image. We will also examine the disparities in access to quality healthcare in communities.
- Additionally, CPL’s Children's Services & Family Engagement has partnered with the African American Heritage Committee around Black History Month. The AAHC will create special exhibits at 8 library locations that recognize the history of that branch and community, including: King, Douglass, Hall, Manning, Coleman, Chicago Bee, Whitney Young, Thurgood Marshall. CSFE collaborated on activity sheets, giveaway books and kits in celebration of children and communities throughout Chicago.
CPL Capital Projects and Facilities Report (info only)
Maggie Clemons, Deputy Commissioner of Library Operations and Patron Experience (LOPE) highlighted CPL’s current capital projects.
- Richard J Daley - RMD located in Bridgeport continues to undergo interior renovations; we anticipate opening the branch this Spring. The project is being led by AIS. The renovation project is funded using TIFF funds. Upgrades include a new circulation desk, updated restrooms, tuck-pointing, new lobby and finishes on the floor.
- Obama Presidential Center Branch (OPC) - A visioning session was held last week to discuss programing for the branch and what the OPC branch is going to offer the community.
- 2FM’s CARE Program – Select CPL locations have been undergoing AIS’s (formerly 2FM) CARE program “Clean and Repair Everything” which provides in-depth seasonal and deferred maintenance, carpet replacement or cleaning, paint and a general refresh of the facility on the part of CPL and AIS staff. Projects have required branches to be closed short term for 3 to 4 weeks. CPL completed the last CARE project for 2021 with the West Lawn location. The branch reopened to the public last week.
- CPL’s Executive Team is in the process of finalizing the list of locations that will undergo the CARE program in 2022.
- Invest South/West – An award winning design was announced in the fall for the North and Pulaski corridor. A new North and Pulaski library will be part of that project. CPL has begun working with the architect to figure out the timeline for that buildout.
- King - King was the Central Region winner of the Chicago Works Community Challenge, a $10 mil community investment initiative to fund public works projects in each of Chicago’s seven planning regions, up to $1.5 million for each project. The investment for the King branch will include a safe, engaging early childhood learning and play area.
Commissioner’s Report (info only)
Commissioner Brown presented the Commissioner’s report and highlighted the following:
CPL continues our COVID-19 mitigation strategy of requiring masking, social distancing, and encouraging good hygiene; and also remains in communication with Public Health and the City of Chicago to discuss and address emerging concerns.
- CPL and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) are partnering to make Narcan(naloxone) available in 14 CPL locations. Plans to expand the initiative to 27 locations by end of 2022. This FDA-approved nasal spray is shown to reverse opioid overdoses.
- CPL met the goal of adding Sunday service at every library location, as of December 19th. We would like to acknowledge Deputy Commissioner Clemons and CPL’s HR team for supporting this effort. Hiring at CPL in support of this initiative will be complete in Quarter 1, 2022 to ensure sustainability. Also working with the Department of Assets, Information and Services (AIS) to improve security coverage.
- City of Chicago hosted the Kathy Osterman Award program at the Harold Washington Library Center in December where Mayor Lightfoot recognized City staff for innovation, teamwork, and leadership. CPL’s Deputy Commissioner Maggie Clemons received an award for her leadership during the pandemic; Michelle Carnes, Library Division Chief and Desiree Kettler, Executive Administrative Assistant II were Osterman Award Finalists for their work on COVID-19 response efforts, project leadership, and connecting our public to social services. Deputy Clemons has also been accepted to the University of Chicago’s Civic Leadership Academy.
- CPL kicked-off the Obama Branch Library design process with consultant Margaret Sullivan Studio (MSS) and the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) team in January. Next step will be working with the OPC team on community engagement to inform the design of the user experience.
- Commissioner Brown also shared a study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago on the returns for library capital investments that shows how investments like renovations and new facilities lead to increases in library visitation.
- CPL staff are preparing an annual report to celebrate and document our work this past year, and to act as a messaging tool about the services and impact for the City of Chicago.
- CPL welcomed Erema Jackson as the new Director of Finance on January16th. Ms. Jackson manages CPL’s Acquisition and Finance teams.
- Keri Cascio, formerly CPL Assistant Commissioner of Technology, Content & Innovation has joined the Poetry Foundation as their Director of Technology.
- Jason Driver, CPL’s District 3 Chief, has been named the new Library Director for the Kitsap Regional Library located near Seattle, WA, effective February 1, 2022.
- CPL’s recent retirements include Shirley Brown with 27 years of service and Rosetta Coleman with 25 years of service.
Chicago Public Library Foundation Report (info only)
Brenda Langstraat, President of the Chicago Public Library Foundation, provided the Foundation report on behalf of the staff and Board of the Chicago Public Library Foundation, highlighting the following:
- Contributions in 2021 included over 900 new donors contributing more than $3.7 million to fund lifelong learning opportunities at CPL.
- CPLF’s 2020 Library Foundation Awards broadcast reached more than 6,000 Library lovers worldwide, doubling last year’s viewership.
- To further support of our Teacher in the Library initiative, the Foundation is currently working with their staffing partner to hire more Teachers for additional support to students in high-priority areas and virtually.
- The Foundation has a new and improved website that is fully ADA-compliant and can be accessed at www.cplfoundation.org.
- The Foundation Associate Board will revamp the Read-A-Thon campaign this year. More information will be provided as we get closer to the program launch date.
The Board addressed comments from the public regarding accessibility and providing more access to programs and services to patrons with disabilities.
Next Board Meeting
The next board meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. The meeting will be held virtually.
COVID-19 Mitigation Update
With the COVID-19 Omicron surge, CPL continues our COVID-19 mitigation strategy of requiring masking, social distancing, and encouraging good hygiene. We have temporarily suspended allowing food and drink at all locations to ensure proper mask wearing. CPL continues to coordinate with Public Health and the City of Chicago to discuss and address emerging concerns, and recently provided two weeks (1/3-1/16) of telework for those whose job could be done from home. CPL will be providing two KN95 masks for each CPL employee, and are partnering with Public Health to distribute KN95 masks at regional libraries for the public. Notably, contact tracing is not showing a pattern of workplace spread.
Libraries Joins Chicago Department of Public Health to Save Lives
CPL and the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) are partnering to make Narcan (naloxone)--the FDA-approved nasal spray shown to reverse opioid overdoses--available in 14 CPL locations. Locations were chosen based on EMS run data and overdose rates to help identify the neighborhoods most impacted by the opioid epidemic. This timely initiative comes as Chicago has recorded an all-time high in opioid overdoses in 2020. These 1,303 deaths represent a 52% increase over 2019, and through this City collaboration CPL will join public libraries across the nation in providing access to this life-saving resource. CPL staff will be offered training on how to recognize overdoses, and training on how to safely administer Narcan. There are plans to expand the initiative to 27 locations by end of 2022.
Sunday Hours Update
As shared at the November Board meeting, CPL met the goal of adding Sunday service at every library location, as of December 19. This expansion to 7-day service would be a significant achievement in any year, but especially during a pandemic. CPL staff should be commended for this additional day of access for our City, especially Deputy Commissioner Maggie Clemons and her team for leading this initiative. HR has also been critical in hiring 236 staff in 2021 with 129 for promotional opportunity, and another 107 as external hires. We will be completing our Sunday hiring in quarter one of 2022 to ensure sustainability, and are working with the Department of Assets, Information and Services (AIS) to improve security coverage.
Osterman Award and Civic Leadership Academy
In December the City of Chicago hosted the Kathy Osterman Award program at the Harold Washington Library Center Winter Garden. Mayor Lori Lightfoot recognized City staff for innovation, teamwork, and leadership, including CPL’s own Deputy Commissioner Maggie Clemons, recognized with an award for her leadership. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic the Office of Emergency Management & Communications selected Maggie to facilitate the pandemic response to food insecurity, which resulted in over 245,000 meals delivered to Chicagoans. Maggie also led the safe return to work for our library locations. CPL had two Osterman Award Finalists Desiree Kettler, Executive Administrative Assistant II, and Michelle Carnes, Library Division Chief, for their work on COVID-19 response efforts, project leadership, and connecting our public to social services.
Additionally, Maggie has been accepted to the University of Chicago’s Civic Leadership Academy, developed to create a pathway for talented leaders in creating a thriving Chicago. We’re excited for Maggie, CPL and Chicago.
Obama Branch Update
CPL kicked-off the Obama Branch Library design process with consultant Margaret Sullivan Studio (MSS) and the Obama Presidential Center (OPC) team. MSS held a CPL workshop on 1/19 with CPL leadership, programming staff, and neighboring branch staff. The next step will be working with the OPC team on community engagement to inform the design of the user experience.
Given the Obama Branch Library project, we’ve shared a study on the returns for library capital investments. This study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago shows how investments like renovations and new facilities lead to double-digit increases in library visitation (21%) and for the borrowing of children’s material (21%). These impacts are notable as they persist for ten years after the capital investment.
Annual Report Process
CPL staff are preparing an annual report to celebrate and document our work this past year, and to act as a messaging tool about the services and impact for the City of Chicago. For now we have compiled key performance indicators for 2021.
|Total Wi-Fi sessions||1,766,638||2,434,886|
|Unique Website Views||11,177,117||32,187,157|
|Food Distribution Locations||14||31|
|Meal Box Distribution||21,015||32,806|
New Hires, Departures and Retirements
CPL welcomes Erema Jackson as the new Director of Finance. Erema joined CPL officially on the 16th, and you’ll find her on the north side of the 10th floor of HWLC in Administration where she oversees our Acquisition and Finance teams.
Erema is a finance professional with over 20 years of government experience. She most recently worked in the Office of Budget and Management in several positions managing City revenues and department operating budgets. She has expertise in budgeting and financial reporting which included overseeing over $4 billion in City Corporate revenues. Erema is a CPA and has a BA in accounting from Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD and an MBA from Roosevelt University.
Erema lives on the west side of Chicago and is married with three daughters (13, 10, and 8 years old). She and her family look forward to the possibility of a new Galewood branch! In the meantime, they visit North Austin.
- Keri Cascio, formerly CPL Assistant Commissioner of Technology, Content & Innovation has joined the Poetry Foundation as their Director of Technology. In the three years that Keri was with CPL she was incredibly instrumental in managing system-wide projects like going fine free and establishing an Archives & Special Collections Division.
- Jason Driver, CPL’s District 3 Chief, has been named the new Library Director for the Kitsap Regional Library located near Seattle, WA, effective February 1, 2022. Jason has been a valuable and respected member of CPL; the contributions he has made to this organization, and throughout the field, are obvious to all and greatly honored- it is no surprise that he was recruited through a nationwide search.
- Shirley Brown - Head Library Clerk, North Austin, 27 years of service
- Rosetta Coleman - Librarian IV, King Branch, 25 years of service
Chicago Public Library Foundation Report
Brenda Langstraat, President & CEO of the Chicago Public Library Foundation, provided an update on behalf of the staff and Board of the Chicago Public Library Foundation and highlighted the following:
In 2021, we were proud to welcome more than 900 new donors to the Library Foundation community—a community that contributed more than $3.7 million to fund lifelong learning opportunities for all at Chicago Public Library!
- Our 2020 Library Foundation Awards broadcastreached more than 6,000 Library lovers worldwide, raising important awareness of the Library’s impact and available resources, and doubling last year’s viewership. We are thrilled that our new model is giving so many people access to the inspiring Library stories and our honorees’ incredible achievements.
- Free homework help with Teachers in the Library is in the branches and online! Families can find more information about this donor-funded resource at chipublib.org/news/free-homework-help. We are currently working with our staffing partner to hire more Teachers—all of whom are accredited educators—to work with students in high-priority branches and virtually as well. This beloved program is also being promoted by Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Student Support and Engagement.
- Following a major renovation, we have a new and improved website that is fully ADA-compliant. Visit us at cplfoundation.org to read Chicagoans’ Library stories, explore our impact in the city, and peruse the improved user experience.
- The Chicago Public Library Foundation Associate Board will revamp the successful Read-A-Thon campaign developed and launched in 2021, which encourages readers of all ages to push their reading habits to the limit for six weeks. Last year, Read-A-Thon raised over $90,000 and had over 450