Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, March 19, 2013


Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 9:00 a.m.

Harold Washington Library Center
Multi-Purpose Room, Lower Level
400 South State Street
  1. Approval of the minutes of the regular meeting on January 15, 2013 (action required)
  2. Election of Officers (action required) 
    • Nominating Committee
  3. Committee appointments
    • Linda J. Rice, Board President
  4. Commissioner’s report
  5. Report of the Committee on Administration and Finance
    • Bibliocommons, Commissioner Bannon and Paul Keith, Collections
  6. Report of the Committee on Facilities
  7. Chicago Public Library Foundation, Rhona Frazin, CEO
  8. Other Business:
    • Retirements: Philip Moloitis (38 years)
  9. Questions and comments from the audience

The regular meeting of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Public Library convened at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 19, 2013 in the Harold Washington Library Center’s Multi-Purpose Room.

Board Members in Attendance

Physically Present

  • Linda Johnson Rice, President
  • Christopher P. Valenti, Secretary
  • Josephine Gómez
  • Lynn Lockwood

Present by Means of Video or Audio Conference

  • None


  • Cristina Benitez
  • Susan S. Hassan
  • Israel Idonije
  • Julia Zhu

Also in attendance were Commissioner Brian Bannon, 1st Deputy Commissioner Andrea Sáenz, Deputy Commissioner Katie Ludwig, Assistant Commissioners Andrea Telli and Greta Bever and other members of the Library staff.


  • Patty Siebert, Deputy Director, The Chicago Public Library Foundation
  • Rhona Frazin, President & CEO, The Chicago Public Library Foundation
  • Public Building Commission: Erin Lavin Cabonargi, Executive Director; Ed Bark, Project Manager, CPL Client Liaison

Members of the Public

  • Jackson Blue, patron
  • Rev. Doyle Landry, Positive Vision
  • Kathryn Pensack and Don Olsen, Albany Park community residents
  • Neil Wankoff, Galewood-Mont Clare community resident
  • Tavares Williams, PACE representative

Approval of the Minutes

Due to the lack of a quorum the minutes of the Library Board’s regular meeting on January 15, 2013 were not approved.

Election of Officers

Director Lynn Lockwood presented the following proposed slate of officers for the Chicago Public Library Board of Directors for 2013:

  • Linda Johnson Rice, President
  • Christopher P. Valenti, Vice President
  • Cristina Benitez, Secretary

Due to the lack of a quorum, the Election of Officers was tabled until the Board’s April 16, 2013 meeting. 

Committee Appointments

President Rice reported that Director Lockwood has agreed to serve as Chair of the Administration and Finance Committee and Christopher Valenti has agreed to continue to serve as Chair the Facilities Committee.

Commissioner's Report

Commissioner Brian Bannon gave his report (Attachment A).

Paul Keith, Collections, provided a visual report of the Library’s new digital web environment.  This website was launched in 2006 and things have changed since then.  The availability and number of smart phones and tablets and their growing use by the Library’s patrons have created demand for self-service options on the Library’s website, which the Library has not been able to offer until now.  The Library can now provide that level of service through a vendor on a new model of service called Software as a Service, an annual fee based subscription.  The provider will provide a website product for the Library and add new features over the course of the contract.  The Chicago Public Library Foundation, with input from the Chicago Public Library, has made a $1 million investment on a contract with BiblioCommons to provide the service.  The contract will cover implementation and three years of service.

Mr. Keith reported that BiblioCommons is a library technology company based in Toronto, Canada, whose customers include: New York, Brooklyn, Boston public libraries, amongst others, are provided catalog and patron account features only.  However, BiblioCommons will be doing something different for the Chicago Public Library.  The company will build out the entire website and develop new features that patrons may “opt-in” to use that would allow them to personalize the website to their interests and allow them to use the technology that a lot of patrons are now accustomed to using, such as Facebook©, smart phone apps, etc.  This may make the Chicago Public Library a new model for other library systems to look at.

Report of the Administration and Finance Committee

Director Lynn Lockwood reported that there is nothing to present since there was no quorum at today’s Administration and Finance Committee’s meeting.

Report of the Facilities Committee

Director Christopher Valenti reported the status of the following capital improvement projects:

Projects in the construction phase:  4

  •  Humboldt Park Branch: The branch with a new 5,000 square foot addition opened for public service on February 9 and dedicated on March 13.
  • Edgewater Branch: Construction continues on this new 16,533 square foot, two-story branch library, which will replace a former 11,000 square foot building that was constructed in 1973.  The Library anticipates a gold LEED certificate for this project, which is expected to be completed by the spring of 2013.
  • Back of the Yards: This new 8,000 square foot branch will be co-located with a Back of the YardsHigh School at 2111 W. 47th Street.  This project is expected to be completed by August 2013.
  • Albany Park: TIF funds will be used for the construction of this 16,295 square foot, one-story branch library.  Construction is expected to begin May 2013 for opening in the summer of 2014.
  •  Whitney Young: Remediation of the soil began on March 1 and is expected to be completed by the end of September 2013.
  •  Chinatown Branch Library: This proposed new branch is currently in the design-build phase

Director Valenti noted that, as in recent meetings of the Facilities Committee, Theresa Mah of the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community and Kathryn Pensack of the Albany Park community, are present at today’s meeting.

Foundation Report

Patty Siebert, Deputy Director, gave the report of The Chicago Public Library Foundation on behalf of Rhona Frazin (Attachment B).

Other Business

Commissioner Bannon reported that Philip Moloitis retired from the Chicago Public Library after 38 years of dedicated public service on February 28, 2013. The Library thanks him for his many years of service and wishes him a happy and productive retirement.

There was no further business.

Questions and Comments from the Audience

Neil Wankoff, a member of the audience and resident of the Galewood-Mont Clare branch community, addressed the Board.  Mr. Wankoff reported that the community is kicking-off a campaign to gather neighborhood support for a new branch and is planning a Kick-Off party on Monday, April 1 at the branch’s temporary site in the Rutherford-Sayre Park Field house.  The community will be asked to check out as many books as they can to increase the circulation of materials from the Galewood-Mont Clare branch during the month of April in show of support for this effort.

Jackson Blue, another member of the audience, asked how the Library will address the potential increase of school students if the Chicago Public School teachers go on strike and what Dash for Reading Day is.  Commissioner Bannon responded that the Library will welcome the students at all of its locations should the Chicago Public Schools teachers go on strike. The Chicago Public Library is not aware of or involved in Dash for Reading Day and suggested that the program may possibly be something that is offered by the Chicago Public Schools.

Don Olsen, another member of the audience and resident of the Albany Park community, expressed his belief that the temporary services currently being provided to the Albany Park community are insufficient and that the community will continue to push for a temporary library site to serve its needs.  Mr. Olsen reported that Alderman Mell has offered $100,000 for a temporary site.  The community has the support of Alderman Colon and is seeking the support of their efforts by Alderman Patrick O’Connor.

President Rice responded that the Board is aware of the community’s desire for a temporary location.  However, there is no funding for a temporary site.  The Board will continue to take the community’s request in consideration as it moves forward.

There was further discussion regarding the proposed Albany Park branch project and the services that the Library continues to provide while the branch is under construction.

Kathryn Pensack, another member of the audience and a resident of the Albany Park community, asked Commissioner Bannon what his vision is for the future of the Chicago Public Library.  Commissioner Bannon responded that the Library will provide a [full] report of its short and long term priorities at a future Board meeting. Commissioner Bannon added that the Chicago Public Library, and libraries across the country and internationally, are trying to find ways to deepen their its relationships with communities using its bricks and mortar facilities for people to meet and gather in and feel comfortable in using.  The Library would also propose to expand programming, particularly for young people, and out of school learning activities and continue to support traditional library use.  The Library would engage new generations and new audiences where they are in their use of new technology (robotics, 3-D printing, etc.).

Ms. Pensack asked the Library to consider a site situated between two neighborhood high schools in Albany Park as a temporary library site to serve the children of the community until the new branch is opened.

Citing the Library’s current use of student interns for its Teacher in the Library program, Reverend Doyle Landry asked that the Library consider utilizing teacher interns from the field of social work at branch locations that serve a high number of at risk youth.

Tavares Williams, Community Relations Representative for PACE encouraged the Chicago Public Library to contact PACE to address any transportation issues that it may have at any of its locations.

As there was no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 9:49 a.m.

Submitted by Christopher P. Valenti, Secretary 

Attachment A: Commissioner’s Report

March 19, 2013
Chicago Public Library Board of Directors Meeting

Below are the updates for February & March 2013.  There is a special report on the New Interactive Web from Paul Keith. The written report provides an update on key initiatives.

Staffing & Training

  • 2013 Hiring Plan: Our overall hiring plan has been approved and we continue to work with the City’s Budget Office and Department of Human Resources to fill a variety of positions, including for two new libraries.  We’ve completed interviews for the first round of our teen librarians - you can expect to see them in several library branches soon. We have started to post bids for a variety of public service positions and plan to continue this in March & April.


  • One Book, One Chicago: This program has offered selections twice a year for 11 years to great success.  Because the ideas and discussions created by the program are proving too big to be contained in a single month, in 2013 we are expanding this to a year-long program.  We re-launched the program at the Woodson Library with Board Chair Linda Johnson Rice and Mayor Emanuel March 11th.  The program will now choose one book for the year and offer programs, events and discussion around the themes of the book for 12 months, instead of simply 2 months.  This will allow people more entry points and more time to participate in the program - and make it truly One Book, One Chicago for the entire year. Stay tuned for the announcement of the title and some of the great programs being offered not only by CPL but also by our partners this year. The book selection kicking off the series is The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson.
  • Teacher in the Library: Expansion of the TIL program began in March with training 13 pre-education majors who will provide homework assistance in branch libraries across the city.  These students began the week of March 4th and provide homework assistance in some new TIL locations and build capacity in some current TIL sites.  As part of the Mayor's vision to strengthen services to children, this pilot will help us as CYAS launches partnerships with major universities and teaching colleges across the city.  All locations are planed to have this program this fall pending haring the program coordinator.
  • Rahm’s Readers Full STEAM Ahead: We launched the City’s Summer of Learning with the Mayor Tuesday March 12th.  On the same day, Children’s Services hosted 114 librarians who were trained on 3/12/13 on Rahm’s Readers: Full STEAM Ahead, the annual summer learning program which reaches 60,000 children and will launch on June 17, 2013.


  • New Partnership: Northwestern University’s Office of STEM Education has chosen Humboldt Park Branch as their first Chicago location, using their FUSE program to engage middle school students in science and technology through a series of self-paced projects, including  3D design and printing, which offer kids the opportunity to test, design, build and level up in various STEM themed challenges. Funded by the MacArthur Foundation, this program will expand to other CPL locations in the coming weeks and months.
  • How Long Will I Cry: Voices of Youth and Violence Steppenwolf Theater Performances: Performances are underway of Steppenwolf Theatre’s How Long Will I Cry: Voices of Youth Violence initiative in 7 branches and one performance at the Gary Comer Youth Center (total of 8 library sponsored programs).  Every program is at maximum capacity and involves post-production small group work peace circles for teens to come together and talk about solutions for peace.
  • Best of the Best: February 5th the Children and YA Services Department hosted 300 CPS teacher-librarians, CPL children’s librarians and teachers and librarians from suburban Chicago for Best of the Best.  This is a day long program in which the best books from the preceding year to use with children is explored.  The audience was then treated to a digital storytelling program with Coretta Scott King Award winning author and illustrator Shane Evans.

Attachment B: Chicago Public Library Foundation Report

March 19, 2013
Chicago Public Library Board of Directors Meeting

The Chicago Public Library Foundation is pleased to report to the Library Board on private funding activity on behalf of the Chicago Public Library since your last meeting.

To date we have received $235,000 in grant funds in support of the 2013 Summer Learning Program—Full STEAM Ahead/Rahm’s Readers.  That includes grants of $65,000 from the Dr. Scholl Foundation, $60,000 from Kraft Foods, $50,000 from Macy’s Foundation, $35,000 from the Helen M. Harrison Foundation and $25,000 from RR Donnelley.  Proposals for an additional $400,000 are currently pending with 10 additional companies and foundations.  In addition, we will once again be conducting an individual giving campaign to invite all Chicagoans to support children in their summer learning activities at the incredibly cost effective amount of just $10 per child.

The Foundation is most grateful to the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation for its recent approval of a grant of $50,000 for archiving of high priority documents in the Vivian G. Harsh Collection at the Woodson Regional Library.  A number of proposals are now being considered by corporations and foundations for programs ranging from CyberNavigators and Teachers in the Library to Book-A-Mania, Early Literacy, YOUmedia, Workforce Development, Innovation Design and Science Connections.

The Foundation also wants to acknowledge our gratitude to several significant in-kind donors:  Leo Burnett, which is donating 500 hours of creative services to the Library—some of which have already resulted in the dynamic re-branding of One Book, One Chicago; and Allstate, which has place two senior project managers at the Library full time for the next four months as part of their Allstate Fellows program.  The Project Managers are working with staff on several key information technology initiatives.

Finally, watch for an exciting announcement of the honorees for this year’s Sandburg Dinner next week.  The Dinner, which will be held on October 23 at the Forum at UIC will be chaired by Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts and once again produced by Foundation Director Donna LaPietra, President of Kurtis Productions.  Mark your calendars now for another evening to remember.