2011 Directors Forums Results

The Spring 2011 Directors Forums were a success again this year in providing useful information to small library directors and other administrative staff. In case you were unable to attend the forums or if your support staff wanted to get in on the action, we have posted some of the topics that were discussed below, along with some helpful links. Please shoot me an email at jfording81@gmail.com or leave a comment if you have any questions or additions.

Legislative Issues

The additional cuts this year, as well as all of the new legislation and discussion in Columbus have brought concerns to libraries across Ohio. Here are some links and information provided by the Ohio Library Council that may help to clarify these issues.

On June 23, 2011, Linda Murray, OLC Director of Government and Legal Services produced a web cast on the updates and actions and initiatives of Gov. Kasich and the 129th General Assembly. It discusses in full the legislative issues that will be affecting libraries in the next year. It includes information on Senate Bill 5, OPERS, the biennium budget, retirement legislation and pensions, and Senate Bill 120. To hear the web cast, click on the link below.

Legislation Webcast

Also, here are some news items regarding legislation from the OLC website.

6/15/11 Task Force Releases Report on Local Government Reform and Collaboration

6/15/11 County Prosecutor Bill Passed
Senate Bill 120 has unanimously passed both chambers of the Ohio General Assembly. This legislation makes it clear that county prosecutors may represent taxpayer-funded, public libraries. Senator Bill Beagle ( R-Tipp City ), former Tipp City Public Library Trustee, introduced the bill on behalf of the OLC in response to a federal court ruling which made it unclear if the long-standing practice of county prosecutors representing public libraries in legal matters could continue. The bill allows libraries to continue receiving legal services from their county prosecutors with no extra cost to the libraries or taxpayers. SB 120 awaits Governor Kasich’s signature. The bill will become a law 90 days after it is signed by the Governor.

Also some additional links….

 Current legislation that affects public libraries

 OPERS updates Ohio Public Employees Retirement System

From the forums and the legislation at hand, it was determined that we should expect to see the 5% decrease in funds in our August checks. It was recommended to budget for an additional 1.5% less for OPLIN just to be safe.

Performance Evaluations

Performance Evaluations are always a chore, especially for smaller libraries where pay increases are usually the same across the board.  Problems mentioned included troubles having staff come up with goals and objectives–directors ended up making them and little money was available for merit based pay increases. Some directors discussed how they could possibly use their perfomance evaluations for pay increases that are merit based rather than a percentage that is given to all staff.  *Not all libraries will find this applicable in their small libraries* 

Here is the scenario:  Pay increases were determined by performance.  So normally one would do a 3% increase for all staff or you could do a larger percentage (but with the same amount of money used as across the board) and only those meeting the requirements would get a raise and some would not get any.  This seems unfair, but the staff would be expected to map up the requirements and values that would be the perfmorance basis of these raises.  They would make these a year in advance to know what was expected and they most perform certain duties (different for different departments and job titles).  They would come up with required performances and those that were exceeding the job description.  They would also make their own performance evaluations and logs to be compared with the directors.  *Again this is a suggestion—please weigh in on the comment section    And if money is tight, perhaps those staff exceeding expectation can be rewarded in different ways (vacation/comp time, some other benefit, etc.)

Human Resources Handbook

Robin Wood, director of the Amherst Public Library has made a Human Resources Handbook that is geared for small libraries.  It  has checklists, policies, and other documentation *sample forms” to help libraries and directors with their HR issues.  Some of the information found in the book includes new hires, orientations, employment posters, terminations, employee deaths, disciplinary actions, open position announcements, etc.)  It is currently being edited by OLC’s Human Resources Action Council, but should be out soon and available for OLC member libraries.  Other handbooks available by OLC are the “Administration & Advocacy Handbook” and the “Trustees Manual”.

Open Source ILS (Integrated Libray System)

A few directors brought up other ways to save money, which included using open source software for circulation, cataloging, and ILL.  One such option, is the Evergreen Open Source Integrated Library Systems, which is used nationwide, especially in libraries in Indiana–though none in Ohio as of yet.  Look at the link above for more information and to see if it might be a good fit for your library.

Levies & Fundraising

Of course, library levies and fundraising measures are constantly on our minds and were certainly present in discussions.  For more information on being creative on these issues check out our previous posts on this blog about initiating a library levy and for fundraising ideas look at the LSTA grant post.


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