Cleveland Heights – University Heights Public Library Board of Trustees meeting highlights 5-18-2020
MAY 18, 2020
- Library patrons to wear face coverings
- Procedures with infectious individuals
- Reductions in general fund appropriations
- Staff reductions
- Public service report
- Summer reading program
Present were President James Roosa, Vice President Dana Fluellen, Patti Carlyle, Gabe Crenshaw, Annette Iwamoto and Vikas Turakhia. Max Gerboc was absent.
Library patrons to wear face coverings
The board approved amendments to the library’s Service and Administration Policy to require patrons to wear a mask/face covering as long as there is a public health emergency. If a patron objects to doing so for health, disability, or religious reasons, then a reasonable accommodation will be made, including services outside of the library building. Any behavior that is deemed as threatening others with exposure to the coronavirus will result in eviction from the library, and could be subject to charges under Ohio Law.
Procedures with infectious individuals
The board approved amendments to the library’s Service and Administration Policy as follows:
“If a potentially infectious individual is identified, staff is advised to request that the person move into our designated isolation area, don a mask if not already wearing one, and remain there until they can be removed from the library. Emergency Medical Services will be called. Staff will not enter the area. Following their exit, the area will be cleaned and sanitized.
Staff will be notified.”
Reductions in general fund appropriations
Due to the pandemic, the library expects a 20 percent decrease in the Public Library Fund from the State of Ohio, which could amount to a revenue loss of $550,000, and a 20 percent decrease in property tax collections, which could amount to $1,580,000. In order to meet this revenue decrease, the board approved a reduction in the 2020 general fund appropriation in the amount of $858,000.
The library has offered voluntary furloughs and a voluntary exit plan, and placed 2020 staff raises on hold. The director stated that in addition to the general fund cuts just approved, further salary cuts will be needed. The board approved staff furloughs due to reduced work and budget cuts, and the implementation of the Shared Work Ohio Plan, which reduces the number of hours worked by its employees in lieu of laying off non-furloughed staff. The board cut the salaries of managers and the fiscal officer by 10 percent, and the director´s salary by 14 percent. The salary of the facilities manager, who has been working full time throughout the entire library closure, was not cut.
Public service report
During the library closure in April, staff have provided a number of services, including (but not limited to) the launch of an email reference service in all four branches, check in calls to regular customers, virtual knitting programs, virtual yoga series, virtual story times, Facebook live “Appy Hour” for technology needs, and creation of COVID-19 resource guides.
Summer reading program
Summer reading will be offered virtually using new software for children and adults.
The director commented on how important it was for the library to provide a summer reading program in 2020 due to school closures and pandemic shutdowns. “Spark Your Creativity: Summer Reading 2020” will be provided through a virtual platform called Beanstack. Beanstack provides participants a fun, engaging platform to log reading and complete activities.
The next meeting will be held at the Lee Road Branch Library on Monday, June 15 at 6:30 p.m. During the library closure, board meetings are live streamed for the public on YouTube and posted the next day on the library’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/heightslibrary/
LWV Observer: Elizabeth M. Tracy.