Public Library Board approved changes to its personnel policy on emergency
closures at its Thursday meeting.
WPL Director Lisa
Stamm said she was inclined to look over the emergency closure policy for
personnel after she made the call to close Library facilities when Duneland
experienced record-breaking cold air temperatures and wind chill. Stamm
ordered the facilities to close during a National Weather Service wind chill
warning--all buildings closed early Jan. 29, were closed all day Jan. 30,
and reopened, as they were able, late the next morning.
Stamm said the
closure prompted questions about whether or not part-time staff would be
paid for scheduled hours they missed, which is an issue that’s been handled
differently by two past WPL directors in the last few years.
Stamm said her
policy is not compensating part-time employees for shifts that did not exist
due to a closure. While she was at it, Stamm added language to the new
policy clarifying how employees can use vacation or sick days in the case of
emergency closures and under what circumstances employees may be reassigned
for a shift at another location. She proposed the new policy stand alone
rather than being a section in the employee manual.
Stamm told the
Board, “The new policy I’ve written falls in line with best fiduciary and
personnel practices of public libraries.”
Michelle Corazzo suggested the policy include precise language about who
decides on an impromptu closure if the Director is out of the office.
Corazzo said confusion arose once in the past during a power outage when the
then director couldn’t be reached.
Since WPL doesn’t
have an assistant library director, Stamm added that the director’s
administrative assistant should make the call if the director is not
available. If that person is also unavailable, the Thomas Branch manager
makes the call.
In other personnel
business, Stamm reported that 11 employees who needed state library
certifications were certified after the Friends of the Library covered the
total cost of $550. The certifications cost $50 a person and are valid for
In the process of
funding certifications, Stamm discovered WPL does not have a fund for
unrestricted donations. Stamm reported there are donation funds earmarked
for specific programs, like the Bits & Bytes computer classes, but none for
random expenses like the certifications. Since funding for the Bits & Bytes
program is now covered by a different fund, Stamm proposed changing the
label of the Bits & Bytes fund to “unrestricted gift.”
accounting software provider advised Stamm that changing the name of a fund
requires leaving a paper trail, so for a period of one year, the fund will
be labeled “unrestricted gift” and carry its former label in parentheses.
The fund label can change fully after that.
Stamm reported that
the Hageman Branch had to remain closed on Jan. 31 due to frozen pipes. It
turns out the issue was more than extreme cold: old insulation in Hageman’s
attic isn’t working as it used to and needs to be replaced. Maintenance
staff are looking into pricing.
The Friends of the
Library will host a Technology Fire Sale on March 30 where Stamm says
out-of-use Library tech equipment will be “priced to move.” Most of the
items are still operational. The Board approved a resolution to release the
items for sale.
Stamm reported the
Library had 26,214 visitors in January, and WPL presented 84 programs that
had a total of 1,421 attendees. 241 people used Library meeting rooms.