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Director's Report November 2014

Director’s Report
November 2014

1.    Roof Project

By the time of the Board meeting the balance of the roof work should be completed.  The metal capping that comprises the perimeter of the library will have been replaced.  All of the loose bricks that affected the capping will have been pointed.  And the drain from the roof will have been installed successfully.  The drain was necessitated because water collected on the roof from rain storms.  The new roof drain required work by both the roofer and a plumber. 

It was a major project.  Kudos are extended to Shibu Abraham, Finance and Facility Manager, for his management of the project—from beginning to end.  Contrary to prior concerns the library never closed during the duration of the project. 

2.    Long Range Plan

The Planning Committee for the Long Range Study will meet very soon (probably the week of the Board Meeting).  All 9 members of the committee have been appointed.  Three members will be library trustees; three members will be library staff, and three library users to represent the views and interests of the library patrons. The first meeting of the committee will be held soon.

3.    Staff Association Contract Negotiation

The Board Committee will meet with the Library Staff Association leadership to negotiate a new agreement.  The current contract expires June 30, 2015.  Representing the Board and management are Victor Berger, President, Joseph Reiter, Vice-President, Ralph Sabatini, Trustee, and Mitch Freedman, New City Library Director.  Shibu Abraham will serve as a staff resource person for the Board/Management team.  Nancy Moskowitz, President, of the New City Library Staff Association, will lead the union team.  Negotiations will begin soon.

4.    Friends of the New City Library

The second meeting of the New City Library Friends was held Monday, November 17, 2014.  The first meeting had an excellent turnout, as did the second.  Thanks to the energy provided by Robert Knight, long-time supporter of the New City Library, and Board Liaison George Jacobson, the Friends got off to a great start. There was a wonderful assemblage of library users and library staff.  We fervently hope that the Friends will keep up the momentum and that good works will follow.

5.    Veronica Reynolds

It is a pleasure to report that Veronica Reynolds gave birth to Xavier James Reynolds, October 26, 2014.  He weighed in at 8 pounds, 11 ounces, and was 21 inches.  Our congratulations are extended to Veronica and Matt Reynolds on the birth of their son.  Veronica is on maternity leave for three months.  We are thrilled for her, but we do miss her outstanding contributions to community relations.  We also are grateful that she will be coming back.

Note should be taken of the fine job being done by Karen Vetrano, the Acting Coordinator of Community Relations and her colleague Lori Salotto.

6.    Brian Clay Jennings

Brian is to be congratulated on getting a second grant for the New City Library.  The library received $2,000 toward the $3,000 total cost of the “Cube” oral history project.  A giant cube was brought to the library meeting room.  Interviews were conducted in the cube by Eileen McAdam, Director of the Sound and Story Project of the Hudson Valley. In addition to the $2,000 grant, Brian was notified by RCLS that New City Library will receive an Outreach grant of $1,000 to support the acquisition of equipment and training of interviewers to record the stories and create programs based on interviews of senior citizens in Rockland County.  The Program will be called Share, Listen, Learn: Stories of Rockland County.

The Cube at the New City Library

Brian has engaged several high school honor students to transcribe the Cube recordings as part of their community service requirement.   Eleven of the thirteen original recordings have been transcribed due largely to 34 volunteer hours contributed by students Anton Repinikov and Norma Singh.  In addition Lori Salotto of Community Relations, Reference Librarian Andrew Nico and Brian Jennings have produced short audio excerpts from the full audio interviews and posted them on the library web site.  You can now follow the progress of this project on a new segment of the web site listed under Local History: http://newcitylibrary.org/oralhistory.

7.    Library Card Renewal Procedure

The present procedure permits people to use their cards indefinitely without updating them and having to reaffirm that their contact information (name and address, particularly) is correct.  After considerable thought and discussion by the Heads of the Circulation Department, Adult Services Department, a reference librarian, and the library director, Gail Seidenfrau (circulation head) prepared the attached revision to the procedure for updating New City Library patron cards.

Quoting from Ms. Seidenfrau’s memo:

Basically, updating is needed for the following reasons:
1.    To verify card users are still living in our service area
2.    To update telephone and email information
3.    To stop users who moved out of our service area from using eligible services limited to our patrons and to insure our residents have priority on new material.
4.    To prevent users with blocked cards, or cards that reached established reserve or borrowing limits, from using their adult children’s cards.  These children no longer reside at the family address.  People who regularly use these cards have an unfair advantage over those residents who use one card.
N.B. When the library switched to Symphony software updating of library cards was discontinued.  In December, 2014 it will be 3 years since patron memberships were verified.  We strongly urge the Board to approve the recommended change in procedure which will enable the library to verify the patron’s address information every three years.  The patron will be required to come to the library once every three years to renew their card privileges at the New City Library.
Please see Gail’s memo—appended to this report—for a comprehensive discussion of the issue.
    The Board’s approval of this change in procedure is recommended.

8.    Personnel Matters

The Board’s approval is requested for the reclassification of a staff member.

The Board’s approval is requested for filling the vacant part-time custodian position.  Shibu Abraham, the Finance & Facility Manager, and the Director, recommend that the number of hours scheduled for the part-time custodian be 20 hours per week, a reduction by five hours from the prior incumbent’s 25 hours.  (The number of hours was under discussion at the time this report was being written.) Daytime coverage is essential; such coverage will be seriously impaired without a second custodian.

9.    List of Meetings and Visits

Oct 2:  1st Meeting w/ New City Friends Group,
Director’s Film Series: Hackers

Oct  6:  Trustee Candidates Interview;
Personnel & Finance Committee

Oct  9:  Director’s Film Series: Purlie Victorious

Oct  10:  Admin Meeting

Oct  13:  Nomination Committee Meeting,
Policy & Planning Committee Meeting

Oct 14: Personnel & Finance Committee

Oct  16: Director’s Film: The Upside of Anger,
Meeting with Karen Vetrano, Community Relations
Board Meeting

Oct  17:  October Feast

Oct  21:  Meeting w/ Marianne Silver, Head of Adult Services

Oct  23:  Meeting w/ Gail Seidenfrau, Head of Circulation;
Susan Telesca, Tech  Services Supervisor;
Tony Castaldo, former IT Manager, RCLS
Director’s Film: The Contender

Oct  24:  Admin Meeting

Oct  30:  Director’s Film: Katyn
Legal Affairs Committee Meeting

Mitch Freedman, Director
New City Library
November 12, 2014

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Appendix

Proposal:  Resume the Procedure of Updating New City Member Library Cards
Background:  Prior to using the current Symphony ILS, this library, and all RCLS libraries had their patron cards set to expire, at first it was every year, then changed to every two years.  Initially patrons were held to a high standard of proof, but over the years the standard of proof was eased to shorten the process and to lessen patron complaints.    Years ago patrons had to show a picture ID such as DL with the street address in our service area.  More recently libraries were accepting verbal verification, which wasn’t as reliable.   Cards could be renewed at any member library.   Accounts did not have to be in good standing to be renewed.
Basically, updating is needed for 3 reasons:
5.    Verify card users are still living in our service area
6.    Update telephone and email information
7.    Stop users who moved out of our service area from using eligible services limited to our patrons and to insure our residents have priority on new material.
8.    To prevent users with blocked cards, or cards that reached established reserve or borrowing limits, from using their adult children’s cards.  These children no longer reside at the family address.  People who regularly use these cards have an unfair advantage over those residents who use one card.
When we switched to Symphony software updating was discontinued.  In December, 2014 it will be 3 years since patron memberships were verified. 

Proposed:  Reinstitute Updating to take place every 3 years

Process of Verification – Possible standards
1.     Patron could only update their own card – an adult could only update the card issued to him/her, exceptions would be for those not able to come to the library in person due to disabilities
2.    If possible updating should be limited to adult members
3.    We require our patrons to update at this library
4.    Patrons show 2 forms of ID;   (examples of acceptable ID)

Excerpted from the ANSER Manual:
ANSER Policy: Acceptable forms of personal identification for a library card conferring Direct Access privileges:
 
Current New York State driver’s license, or current photo-identification card issued by NYS Dept. of Motor Vehicles, or other current photo-identification card that contains the individual’s name and current home address, or other current photo-identification card that contains the individual’s name and a recent piece of mail (such as a utility or telephone bill) that shows the individual’s name and current home address. (A college dormitory is not considered a resident home address.)

Currently there are about 5 libraries in RCLS that set cards to expire, usually every 2 years.  Finkelstein is one of the Rockland libraries to do so.  The system administrator can set the expiration for 3 years or any amount of time we choose.  He would stagger the expiration dates so not all cards expire in the same month.

Gail Seidenfrau, Head of the Circulation Department
October 27, 2014

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