Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, March 18, 2014


Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 9 a.m.

Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State Street
Multi-Purpose Room, Lower Level
  1. Approval of the minutes of the regular meeting on January 14, 2014 (action required)
  2. CPL Capital Project and Facilities Reports (info. only)
    • Public Building Commission and Chicago Public Library
  3. Commissioner’s Report (info only)
    • Brian Bannon, Commissioner
    • Guest: Andrea Saenz, First Deputy Commissioner
  4. Chicago Public Library Foundation Report
    • Rhona Frazin, Chicago Public Library Foundation President and CEO
  5. Other Business
  6. Questions and comments from the audience
  7. Executive Session: Chinatown Land Acquisition
    • Chinatown Garden Naming (action required)
      • Erin Lavin, Public Building Commission

Next Board meeting:
Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 9:00 a.m.

Harold Washington Library Center
400 S. State Street
Multi-Purpose Room, Lower Level

Open Session Minutes

Board Members in Attendance

Physically Present

  • Linda Johnson Rice
  • Christopher P. Valenti
  • Barbara Bowman
  • Josephine Gomez
  • Jodi Block
  • Denise Gardner

Present by Means of Video or Audio Conference

  • Cristina Benitez


  • Chaka Patterson
  • Lynn Lockwood

Approval of Minutes

President Rice welcomed Denise Gardner to the Board of Directors. Director Gardner was appointed to the Board by Mayor Emanuel on March 5, 2014 to fill the seat previously vacated by Israel Idonije.

The Board voted (8-0) to approve the open session minutes of the January 14, 2014 meeting.

CPL Capital Project and Facilities Reports

Andrea Telli, Assistant Commissioner of Neighborhood Services, gave an update on Library locations that are currently in the design, under construction and in the planning phase. The updates provided include:

  • Albany Park branch - the North exterior wall has been prepared for face brick installation; East wall has been completed.
  • Chinatown branch – design development in process; projected to open Spring 2015 pending land acquisition
  • Whitney Young branch – design and construction are pending project scope and budget confirmation
  • Various branches – façade rehabilitations, new HVAC and fire alarm systems

Greta Bever, Assistant Commissioner for Central Library Services, gave an update on the Automated Materials Handling System currently being designed to assist in expediting the separation and movement of materials between branch locations. The machine is estimated to cost approximately $1.3 million and is expected to be complete by the forth quarter of 2014.

Commissioner’s Report

Report on YOUmedia

Andrea Saenz, 1st Deputy Commissioner, provided information on the YOUmedia program expansion. The YOUmedia program was designed 5 years ago as a space for teens learn a variety of skills using digital equipment and beyond while having fun in the process. The program is currently in 5 locations, with HWLC as the flagship location, and CPL will establish 6 additional YOUmedia sites in 2014 which include Sulzer Regional, Woodson Regional, Back of the Yards, Legler, Albany Park and Hall branch locations. CPL will additionally launch 12 YOUmedia “pop-up sites” over the Summer 2014.

Andrea also announced that CPL:

  • Is creating a new Teen services department
  • Teen Activities for Summer Learning Challenge
  • 100 One Summer Teens Employed at CPL
  • Select colleges will begin recognizing badges earned for completing Library activities to be used in consideration for college applications

Commissioner Bannon reported that he and Andrea Saenz attended the SXSW (South by Southwest) conference in Austin, TX. Andrea presented on increased access to high-quality youth STEM learning, science/tech learning hubs, and Making within Chicago and Brian spoke on building a culture of innovation within government at the conference. Commissioner Bannon also witnessed a conversation earlier in March that included Mayor Emanuel and Chris Hughes (co-founder of Facebook) regarding the Role of Libraries in competitive cities; gave an update on the strategic plan and mentioned that CPL sent out its first ever patron survey to 250,000 customers; CPL is a finalist for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, winners will be announced in April; Elizabeth McChesney, Director of Children and Young Adult Services, was recognized as a winner of the 2014 Mover and Shaker award for her redesign of the Summer Learning program; lastly, Brian participated in the Polar Plunge on March 2nd as a result of children reading over 2 million books last Summer 2013.

Chicago Public Library Foundation Report

Rhona Frazin, President and CEO of the Chicago Public Library Foundation, gave information on two upcoming fund raising events: the Night in the Stacks, an event designed for young professionals, will be hosted by the Foundations Jr. Board will occur April 4th in the HWLC Winter Garden; and the annual Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner will take place October 22, 2014 at the Forum of UIC. Also acknowledged for contributions made to the Foundation were BMO Harris Bank, RR Donnelley and RPM Advertising, MacArthur Foundation, McCormick Foundation, Gates Foundation and Knight Foundation. Additionally, Tom and Sue Pick received special thanks for their increased support with the Teacher in the Library program and the James and Madeleine McMullan Foundation for their gift to support the Summer Learning Challenge. Legacy gifts to the Foundation were also mentioned for Sarah Brennan and Hae OK Ocean Shim.

Other Business


Questions and Comments from the Audience

The Board addressed questions and comments from the audience regarding branch programming selections; how the Library determines the effectiveness of children programs; additional security at regional and branch libraries; nominations for next year’s Illinois Library Association awards; and the criteria used to distribute grant funding for branches; and the importance of social work and mental health in the community.

Executive Session


Chinatown Land Acquisition

The Public Building Commission presented a recommendation to the Board to identify the community room at the new Chinatown branch as the “Chuck Fern & So-Har Quan Community Room.”

The Board voted (8-0) to approve this recommendation.

Next Board Meeting

The next board meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State Street, Lower Level, Multi-Purpose Room.

Commissioner’s Report - March 2014

Special Guest: Andrea Saenz, First Deputy Commissioner

YOUmedia Expansion

We had a great press event at Humboldt Park Branch last week to announce a $2 million grant from MacArthur Foundation and 500K from the City to sustain and expand our YOUmedia program to six new locations:   Albany Park, Back of the Yards, Hall and Legler branches and Sulzer and Woodson Regional Libraries.  These will be in place this summer. Additionally 12 pop-up one day YOUmedia programs will take place at various locations.  All these programs will fall under our new Teen Services Department.

Library presents @ South by Southwest (SXSW) on Chicago Tech & Innovation

As part of the Austin TX SXSW conference, Andrea Sáenz and Brian Bannon spoke about the leading work that has made Chicago Public Library one of the best in the world.

On 3/4 - Andrea Sáenz gave a talk along with Bryan Wunar (Museum of Science and Industry), Dana Ledyard (Girls Who Code), and Dr. Reed Stevens (Northwestern STEM Education) on how they have increased access to high-quality youth STEM learning, science/tech learning hubs, and Making within Chicago.

On 3/9 - I spoke on building a culture of innovation within government.  The panel was alongside Harper Reed (Former Obama 2012 campaign CTO), John Bracken (Knight Foundation) and Laura Ramos (Gannett) and focused on how to create a “startup” and innovative culture that drives breakthrough innovation within large legacy government institutions.

These talks further enhanced Chicago’s presence and were coordinated by the Office of Tourism and World Business Chicago which aims to promote Chicago’s technology, music, and film industries.

Role of Libraries and Competitive Cities

Alberto Ibargüen (CEO John S. and James L. Knight Foundation) moderated a conversation with Mayor Emanuel and Chris Hughes (Co-Founder Facebook / CEO New Republic) 3/12 at the New York Public Library. I was able to attend and record the conversation of the Mayors answers including questions from Alberto and the audience. By all measures, it was a successful event and the Mayor said he would do something similar in Chicago.

Strategic Plan Update

CPL continues to work with the Civic Consulting Alliance on the strategic plan. CCA is conducting stakeholder interviews, holding focus groups with library users and staff, and completing a full program analysis.  Last week they sent out a patron survey to proximally 250,000 library uses to create a baseline for customer services. This is the first such survey that CPL has every conducted and will serve as a starting point for future customer satisfaction surveys.

CPL finalist for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service

The Chicago Public Library has been selected as a finalist for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.  The National Medal for Museum and Library Service is the United States’ highest honor for institutions that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. The National Medal awards are presented annually by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This information is embargoed until March 4.

If selected as a winner, in April, CPL will receive a medal at a ceremony held in Washington, D.C., on May 8, 2014, and be awarded $5,000 in recognition of our community contributions. After the ceremony, StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans, will visit CPL to provide an opportunity for community members to record their stories. These recordings will be preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Polar Plunge

On Sunday March 2nd, Mayor Emanuel, Jimmy Fallon, former Board member Israel Idonije, Mike Kelly, and I did the polar plunge. Last summer the Mayor challenged kids to read 2 million books and if they did, he said we would do the plunge.  They read 2.1 million and he was true to his word. It was a lot of fun and it was a record year for the Special Olympics. They raised 20% more than last year and breaking 1 million dollars in proceeds.

Chicago Public Library Foundation Report to the Board of Directors Chicago Public Library

March 18, 2014

It’s my pleasure to begin our report with a quick briefing on two very exciting upcoming events designed to raise funds and awareness for the Foundation and the Library.

On Friday, April 4, the new Junior Board of the Foundation will host Night in the Stacks, its inaugural fundraising event in the Winter Garden.  This fun and engaging evening will feature literary themed food and beverage, characters from beloved books, hip CPL Librarians, great music and conversation.  It’s designed for young professionals ages 22 to 40 who love their library.  Thanks to underwriting from generous sponsors including BMO Harris Bank, Sidley & Austin, the Chicago Tribune and Printers Row Journal and U.S. Equities Realty, we project to raise a significant amount of money for the Summer Learning Challenge.  There are still a limited number of tickets available at $100 each, and additional sponsorship opportunities, so we hope that you will pass the word  along to young associates, family and friends—or if you are young at heart, like me, stop by yourself.  It will be a great evening. (Pass out reservation cards)

On October 22 we will host together the annual Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner at the Forum of UIC. We have a fantastic line up of Pulitzer Prize and Oscar Winning authors, and this is sure to once again be one of the most talked-about events in the City. The Carl Sandburg Literary Award for Non-Fiction goes to Presidential Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, best-selling author of biographies of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. The Award for Fiction will go to Larry McMurtry, author of Lonesome Dove, Terms of Endearment, The Last Picture Show and the award-winning screen play of Annie Proulx’s Brokeback Mountain. Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent series, which itself will debut as a film in a few weeks, and one of the international rising stars in dystopian fiction will receive the 21st Century Award.

Once again our Sandburg Winners will be presented in conversation with NPR Host Scott Simon, and an acclaimed author with ties to Chicago will be a guest at each table. This years’ event will be co-chaired by Carlette McMullan and produced by Donna LaPietra. Sponsorship agreements and save the date cards will be out soon, so please plan now to be with us for this exciting evening.

Once again we are grateful to our Presenting Sponsor BMO Harris Bank, with a commitment of $100,000 Lead Sponsor at $50,000 Advanced Resources; RPM Advertising is graciously contributing design for all of our materials and RR Donnelley has made a generous gift to cover the cost of printing our invitation, program and collateral materials for the evening. Our fundraising for the event has already reached $300,000—20% of our goal, so hopeful again for a very successful event.

Some highlights on the grants and individual support front:

  • At the end of the year we were extremely pleased to receive a $2 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation to continue and expand YOUmedia for the next three years.
  • Also at the end of the year we received a grant of $150,000 from the McCormick Foundation for an information literacy curriculum for teens and adults at the Library.
  • We are grateful to the Gates Foundation, the Knight Foundation and Library Journal for their support of NEXTLibrary 2014, the innovative Library Learning Conference to be hosted by CPL in June.
  • BMO Harris and Allstate have each pledged $100,000 as co-sponsors of One Book, One Chicago again this year
  • Polk Bros. Foundation has approved a grant of $100,000 to continue their support of CyberNavigators.

We currently have more than a million dollars in grant requests pending with funders.

We are incredibly grateful to Tom and Sue Pick, who have increased their Teacher in the Library Support to five branches, and to our director Carlette McMullan and the James and Madeleine McMullan Foundation for an inspiring gift of $135,000-- $100,000 for the Summer Learning Challenge and $35,000 to adopt a branch and provide funding for a Teacher in the Library and Cybernavigator.  In December, a number of Foundation Directors, Former Directors and friends contributed more than $90,000 to the Foundation in honor of the 90th Birthday of our Founder and Chair Emerita Cindy Prtizker.  The Commissioner and I have been in discussions with Mrs. Pritzker about ways to invest this fund in innovative initiatives for early learners at the Library.

And we are always pleased to report on important Legacy gifts to the Foundation—one of more than $45,000 from the estate of our long time Sandburg Society member Sarah Brennan, who died last year; and another $50,000 from Jaemy Shim Bush and Nina Shim, in memory of their mother Hae OK Ocean Shim.  The family had business and personal ties to the Logan Square Branch Library, and we are tremendously grateful for their remembrance and generosity.