BOARD OF TRUSTEES
PIERCE COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM
REGULAR MEETING, DECEMBER 14, 2011
CALL TO ORDER
Vice-Chair Stephen Albers called to order the regular meeting of the Pierce County Rural Library District
Board of Trustees on December 14, 2011, 3:34 pm. Board members present were Robert Allen and
Allen Rose. Linda Ishem arrived later. J.J. McCament was excused.
Betsy P. Elgar: Ms. Elgar introduced herself as an advocate, businesswoman and former caregiver.
She has been gathering information about library services and budget reductions. She stated that
government budget reductions are negatively impacting women and children, and is particularly
concerned about reductions to insurance coverage for low-income residents. She mentioned that she
had advocated for the expansion of the Lakewood Library and instead the library system expanded the
University Place Library. She also stated that she had filed a complaint about staff at the Gig Harbor
Library due to an issue with faxing material to her parents. She also objects to foreign-owned banks in
Gig Harbor. She said she believed that one of the members of the Board lived in Gig Harbor and works
for the bank and so Pierce County Library is supporting those foreign banks.
1. Minutes of the November 9, 2011 Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees
2. November 2011 Payroll, Benefits and Vouchers in the total amount of $3,880,028.97
a. Payroll Warrants, 3241 - 3278, dated 11/01/11 – 11/30/11 in the amount of $19,434.74
b. Payroll Disbursement Voucher dated 11/07/11 in the amount of $528,121.51
c. Payroll Disbursement Voucher dated 11/21/11 in the amount of $530,389.24
d. Account Payable, dated 11/21/11 in the amount of $4,200.00
e. Accounts Payable Warrants, 616112 - 61683 dated 11/01/11 – 11/30/11 in the amount of
3. Resolution 2011-18, To Cancel Warrants Which Have Remained Unprocessed for Over One
Mr. Allen moved for approval of the consent agenda. Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it was passed.
BOARD MEMBER REPORT
Allen Rose: Mr. Rose reported that Grand Opening ceremony at the new Fife Library was fabulous,
noting that it is a beautiful facility. Mr. Albers also attended and was pleased by the positive media
response to the branch and the event.
Sally Porter Smith reported that in the nine days the branch has been open, 5,499 items have been
checked out. 65% of those items were handled directly by customers doing self check-out. 332 new
library cards have been issued. Mr. Albers asked if the bookstore model was working as planned. Ms.
Porter Smith reported that it appeared to be working well, but staff would continue to monitor and
evaluate. Mr. Albers said that at a later time he would be interested in learning how the Fife collection
integrates with the full collection in the system.
Minutes of December 14, 2011 Regular Meeting Page 1
1. Lakewood Towne Center: Ms. Parikh brought the Board up to date on the planning project. She
had signed the agreement with the City of Lakewood for the Library’s participation in master planning
services for the Lakewood Towne Center. She believes it will be a fruitful partnership with the City of
Lakewood to address library needs for the community.
2. Communications with Bookmobile Customers: As requested by the Board during its November
meeting, customers impacted by the elimination of bookmobile stops were sent a letter detailing the
availability of library services in each area. The letters contained information on PCLS library branches,
neighboring library districts where free services are available through a reciprocal use agreement and
downloadable materials. In addition, customers were invited to attend an open house at the library
branch closest to their location. The customers will have the opportunity to meet branch staff and be
introduced to the resources available at the branch. Mary Getchell and Sally Porter Smith continue to
travel to bookmobile stops to answer questions from customers.
3. Public Opinion Survey: Ms. Parikh reported that the library’s Executive Team is finalizing questions
to ask communities regarding what services they want and need, so that PCLS can determine what the
community values most and define the Library’s product. The public opinion research will be done
through a mailing, online surveys and focus groups. The project will launch on January 4, 2012 and data
information should be compiled by January 20th. Focus groups will be held in March 2012.
4. Population Figures: The Board was given a revised 2012 population estimate of 543,646 for Pierce
County Library service area. Residents in the King County Library System service areas of Auburn and
Pacific were removed from the previous projection.
5. E-Reader Comparison Chart: Mr. Albers reported that Ms. McCament had commented how
pleased she was with the e-reader comparison information available on the library’s website. He stated
that his wife is very excited about it as well. Georgia Lomax noted the information was designed so that
that people interested in purchasing an e-reader for a holiday gift would be more informed about models
and options available.
6. 2012 Marketing and Community Relations Plan: Mr. Albers asked that a primary communication
goal be added to the plan reflecting the Library’s intent to be good stewards of taxpayer money. Mary
Getchell will revise the plan to include this goal.
PUBLIC HEARING: 2012 DRAFT BUDGET
Mr. Rose moved that in accordance with RCW 85.44.120, the public hearing be opened for
consideration of collection in property tax revenues, regarding 2011 property tax levies for collection in
2012. Mr. Allen seconded the motion and it passed.
Vice-Chair Albers then asked if there was anyone else in the audience who wished to comment on the
There were no public comments.
Mr. Allen moved to close the public hearing on the 2012 budget of estimated revenue and expenditures.
Ms. Ishem seconded the motion and it passed.
Minutes of December 14, 2011 Regular Meeting Page 2
1. 2012 Budget:
a. Resolution 2011-14, To Transfer a Portion of the Fund Balance of the General Fund to the Capital
Improvement Fund: Mr. Allen moved for approval of Resolution 2011-14 to transfer a portion of the fund
balance of the general fund to the capital improvement fund. Ms. Ishem seconded the motion and it
Mr. Jo reviewed revisions to the draft 2012 narrative budget. Regarding revenue, the budget reflects the
decision to eliminate fees for lost library cards, which had been projected to provide $5,000 in revenue.
However, the additional revenue received from the use of purchasing costs is projected to add $5,000 in
revenue. Projections for the Washington State retirement system indicate that the Library’s contributions
to employee retirement fund will decrease in 2012 and 2013.
Revenue projections for 2013 now indicate that revenue will decrease by approximately $2.6 million.
This number has fluctuated from $3 million to the $2.6 million, so the Library will take the conservation
approach and plan for a $3 million reduction in 2013. It is important to send a consistent message to the
public, so the Library is using the statement that revenue projections indicate an estimated decrease of
$2.6 to $3 million in 2013. Ms. Ishem suggested that the message be shared broadly so that different
audiences don’t get different messages.
Mr. Allen asked that the budget show a cash reserve estimate for 2010 and 2011.
Mr. Jo reported that there had been a change in the capital fund estimate to reflect that the collection
services workflow efficiencies project will be delayed until 2013. He noted that the 2011 capital projects
fund appear under spent due to delay of payments for the expansion space at the University Place
library. PCLS does not yet have ownership of the branch. He also noted that a contingency fund of
$75,000 was included in the capital budget. The capital budget was down to $180,000. By adding the
cash and moving two projects out further, more cash will be available in 2012. By 2014, the balance will
be drawn down considerably.
Mr. Allen noted that in the interest of clarity for the public, the cash use should be reflected in the chart,
to indicate how December 31st figure was calculated. As it stands, the 2014 and 2015 figures don’t look
like a shortfall without knowing how those figures were derived.
b. Resolution 2011-15, To Adopt the 2012 General Fund Balance: Mr. Allen moved for adoption of
Resolution 2011-15, a resolution of the Board of Trustees to adopt the 2012 General Fund budget for the
Pierce County Rural Library District in the amount of $26,869,885. Mr. Rose seconded the motion and it
c. Resolution 2011-16, To Adopt the 2012 Capital Improvement Fund Budget: Mr. Allen moved for
adoption of Resolution 2011-16, a resolution of the Board of Trustees to adopt the 2012 Capital
Improvement Fund budget for the Pierce County Library District in the amount of $1,995,700. Mr. Rose
seconded the motion and it was passed.
Ms. Ishem commented that the narrative budget was a very aesthetically pleasing and accessible
document for the public. Mr. Allen noted that he appreciated that it was put together with an eye to
telling public what the library does with their money.
2. Operational Efficiencies Report: Georgia Lomax gave a presentation on operational efficiencies
undertaken for the last three years. A memo had been sent to the Board, but the presentation detailed
specific statistics and additional examples.
Data related to “Checkout Transaction Types” show that the successful effort toward creating a customer
self-sufficiency service model is reflected in the Express Check-Out data. Check-outs handled by staff
Minutes of December 14, 2011 Regular Meeting Page 3
are equivalent to 1990 figures even though circulation has almost doubled since that time. There is a
significant increase in use of downloadable materials as well with 235,000 items downloaded from
January – November, 2011.
The implementation of an online E-Pay option for customers to pay their fines and fees has increased the
amount of fines and fees collected. In 2010, card swipes were added to self checkout machines and it
has significantly increased usage. Ms. Lomax estimated that approximately 2,146 hours of staff time
have been saved in 2010 due to self-service E-Pay.
A change in service delivery from the bookmobile to a van was made to serve ESL (English as a Second
Language) students. The bookmobile was a more expensive vehicle to use and required two staff
members. The service provided through the van reduced the number of trips and doubled the amount of
service use by the students.
The antiquated system-wide telephone system was replaced in 2011, significantly reducing the number
of phone calls handled by both branch staff and the PAC receptionist. In October 2010 the PAC
receptionist average 168 calls a day, of which 88 were calls that were just transferred to a person. In
November 2011, there were only 9 calls a day, 4 of which had to be transferred to a known staff person.
Through the use of P-Cards for routine purchases, the library receives a 1% rebate on purchases. Use
of the P-Card has reduced staff time in Finance and generates revenue.
Ms. Lomax noted that the examples cited were only samples of the effort to find and implement time and
money efficiencies. She is working on a publication to inform the public on how the library is managing
it’s reduced funding while improving its services.
3. University Place Status: Lorie Erickson, Facilities Director, reported that the final Certificate of
Occupancy has been received. The exterior elevator was inspected and given a 30-day approval. The
city wishes to turn off the interior elevator when the building is closed to ensure there is no access to the
garage at night. HVAC and a lighting issue continues, but should be completed shortly.
Ms. Parikh reported that as so many construction items have been completed, the ‘watch our progress’
poster has been removed from the library. She also noted that the city’s Welcome Desk in the atrium is
staffed intermittently and the atrium restrooms are open when the desk is staffed.
Work continues on the property closing process. The city and library attorneys are currently working on
easement language. There was $43,000 in architectural fees owed to the library by the city and $22,000
has been received. The city may contest the remaining monies owed.
The University Place Police quarters have opened on the second floor of the Civic Building. In February,
a coffee shop/café will open in the retail space adjourning the atrium. Housing construction on the parcel
adjacent to the Civic Building will begin in February.
4. Fife Project Update:
Project Update: Ms. Erickson reported that she will be meeting with the contractors to review punchlist
items. The most pressing issue is that the wrong front door hardware was installed, making it difficult to
keep the door closed. New hardware is being shipped. Ms. Parikh reported that the city has agreed to
reimburse the library system for sewer repair and storm drain expenses in connection with the
construction of the bike path.
Grand Opening: Ms. Parikh noted that the opening day report referred to 143 new library cards issued,
but in further review, 188 cards were issued. The Grand Opening celebration was very successful and
the new Fife Branch has been very well received by the community.
Minutes of December 14, 2011 Regular Meeting Page 4
5. 2012 Insurance Renewal: Clifford Jo, Finance Director, reported that at the November Board
meeting, the Board had approved renewing the library’s insurance policy at a maximum cost of
$180,000. (The actual cost came in at $156,000). However, the library’s attorney has recommended
that the umbrella policy be raised. Mr. Jo concurs with that recommendation and suggested it be
increased to $45 million. Adding the extended umbrella policy will increase the cost to approximately
$201,281. Mr. Jo asked for approval to renew the library’s insurance policy, with an expansion of the
umbrella policy, at a cost not to exceed $204,000.
Mr. Rose moved to increase the November 16, 2011 Board-approved insurance renewal policies cost of
not to exceed $180,000 to a cost not to exceed $204,000, for the purpose of increasing the Library’s
umbrella insurance policy.
1. Pierce County Library Foundation Annual Report: Lynne Hoffman, Development Officer,
appeared before the Board and introduced Michael Gordon, President, Pierce County Library Foundation
and Cyndi Anderson, new Development Associate. Mr. Gordon stated that he was excited to be part of
the Foundation Board and the things he’s learned about library services. He related that while traveling
to Portland on Thanksgiving Day, his daughter downloaded “Alice in Wonderful” from the library and they
listened to the book in the car.
He stated his belief that the Foundation’s role is to “mind the gap” between what the Library wants to do
and what it can do. And further, to be the Library’s face in communicating to the community “how we do
it and how we do it in partnership with the community.”
Ms. Anderson stated that she is also excited to be working with the library. She is a life-long resident of
the Puyallup area and worked in development at Multi-Care for 18 years. She is ‘all about community
service.” She wants to grow the donor base, know what’s happening in the Library and make those
things meaningful to donors.
The Board had been sent the Foundation’s annual development report, but Ms. Hoffman pointed out
specific accomplishments. For the fourth consecutive year, the Foundation has raised more money than
the year before and this year, made its largest money distribution to the library. The Foundation is
focused on looking at sure and new strategies and growing the base of annual giving donors. The
Foundation is also reviewing “Leadership Donors”, those who have annually given $1,000 or more.
Another accomplishment was the Lakewood Library drive that allowed for creation of an early learning
area in the library. Corporate gifts were received for the summer reading program and for the fourth
year, Key Bank was the major corporate sponsor for Pierce County READS. She also spoke to the
importance of Foundation members as ambassadors in their communities, talking about library projects
Ms. Parikh stated that she was very impressed at the level of energy and enthusiasm she witnessed
during the recent Foundation retreat.
Mr. Gordon noted that the work that had gone into the Development Plan was tremendous. It will assist
the Foundation in seeing and minding the gaps. The plan is constantly developing and changing. He
also reported that there are seven new Board members who are bringing new ideas and thoughts. He
encouraged Board members to suggest the names of potential new members or donors, and to share
that information with Ms. Hoffman. He concurred with Ms. Parikh that the energy at the retreat was
amazing. It laid a foundation for the Foundation Board to be successful and reach out more to the
community. Some of the long-time Board members feel as if they have now found their ‘fit’ in the
Minutes of December 14, 2011 Regular Meeting Page 5
foundation. Board members are calling donors to just say “thank you” and really enjoying the
Mr. Gordon also mentioned that an author has been selected for the 2012 Pierce County READS and a
special author event will be held in April. He invited the Trustees to attend the special author reception,
noting the Foundation had established an amount of $250 for the event. It will also be a great
opportunity to introduce new people to giving to the library and recognize a significant gift or future gift by
On behalf of the Board, Mr. Albers thanked Mr. Gordon for his presentation and extended thanks to the
Foundation for its hard work in support of the Library and community.
2. Staff Web: Ms. Parikh first stated that the Library was sad to lose Michele Leininger, Information
Experience Director, who is leaving to work on her Ph.D. She noted that Ms. Leininger made a
significant contribution to the Library.
Ms. Leininger stated that what had first attracted her to Pierce County Library System was the
opportunity to help the library become a learning organization. One of the goals of the redesign of the
Staff Web is to assist in that work. Good communication is the foundation of everything and the larger
the organization, the more communication difficulties there are, particularly due to so many branch
geographic locations. The Staff Web will be organized by the work people do rather than by a job
classification. There will be collaborative space where information can be shared regardless of
geographic location. She noted that the intent is that it will also be a great efficiency and provide cost
savings by reducing the need for travel and in-person meetings.
Working with the vendor, SiteCrafting, collaborative and sharing tools are being developed. For
instance, the operational branch procedures can be analyzed and revised in a collaborative fashion with
the people actually using those procedures and guidelines.
In response to a question regarding the cost of the Staff Web redesign, Mr. Jo responded that the initial
cost is $49,000. Because it is an innovative method of developing a web site, there may be additional
costs. The funding is allocated from 2011 funds. Some funds from the 2011 mid-year savings were set
aside for this project. The public website is also being improved.
3. Board Policy for Third Party Insurance Requirements: Mr. Jo reported that library contractors are
required to carry third party insurance, with the Library named as the additional insured. The library’s
insurance broker recommended that the Library establish a formal policy related to third-party insurance
requirements and set the limit at $5 million. He noted that the Library’s attorney is also working on new
indemnification language to be included in contracts.
Mr. Albers expressed concern by both himself and Ms. McCament that the $5 million limit seemed high
for consultants or small businesses. Mr. Jo assured Mr. Albers that the administrative procedure allows,
in specific instances, either himself or Ms. Parikh to lower the limit to $1 million as deemed necessary.
Mr. Rose asked if standard Library contracts contain a “Duty to Defend” clause. Ms. Parikh said she
would speak with the Library’s attorney about the clause. Mr. Allen asked that the last sentence of the
policy paragraph be slightly revised and Mr. Jo agreed and took note of his language suggestion.
Ms. Parikh stated that as this is an administrative procedure, normally the Board does not need to
approve. However, she wished them to be fully informed and agree on this issue.
Mr. Rose moved for approval of the Administrative Procedure, “Third Party Insurance Requirements”.
Ms. Ishem seconded the motion and it passed.
Minutes of December 14, 2011 Regular Meeting Page 6
4. Resolution 2011-17, To Set 2012 Wages for Non-Represented Staff: Ms. Parikh presented a
resolution to set 2012 wage and benefit rates for certain non-represented staff. She noted that only the
positions of Branch Manager, Executive Assistant, Human Resources Generalist and Senior
Administrative Assistant were included in the resolution. Executive management staff and department
heads will not receive a wage increase in 2012.
Mr. Rose moved for approval of Resolution 2011-17 to set 2012 wages and benefits for non-represented
staff. Ms. Ishem seconded the motion and it passed.
5. 2012 Election of Board Officers: Mr. Albers was nominated as Chair and Ms. Ishem as Vice-Chair
of the Board of Trustees in 2012 and the nomination was accepted by acclaim.
At 5:31 pm, Mr. Rose moved to enter into executive session as per RCW 42.30.110 for 20 minutes to
discuss personnel issues. Ms. Ishem seconded the motion and it passed. The session was reopened to
the public at 5:55 pm.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS CONTINUED
6. Authorize Agreement with Executive Director: Mr. Allen moved to authorize Trustee Stephen
Albers to implement a 2012 Agreement with Neel Parikh, Executive Director. Ms. Ishem seconded the
motion and it passed.
There were no announcements
The meeting was adjourned at 5:57 pm on motion by Mr. Rose, seconded by Ms. Ishem.
Neel Parikh, Secretary Stephen Albers, Vice-Chair
Minutes of December 14, 2011 Regular Meeting Page 7