FROM THE DIRECTOR
COMMENTS, CLARIFICATIONS and FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
After more than twenty years working at the Manhattan-Elwood Public Library, networking with fellow Directors and attending numerous workshops, I have learned that most of our patrons do not realize what is involved in the actual running of a library. As in most fields, hands on experience, makes a world of difference and the library is no different.
I am providing this information to clarify some of the misconceptions about how we operate and as a result, my hope is that it will also address some frequently asked questions.
This data will be posted to our website incrementally to allow time for you to read the information and for me to respond to questions that you may have about the material presented. Please address your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Libraries in the State of Illinois are governed by Illinois Library Laws and Rules under the auspices of the Illinois State Library. In addition, they are required by State Law to either meet or show progress toward meeting the Illinois Library Core Standards.
Recommended staffing levels, reader seating, book collection levels and shelf space are examples of some of these standards as detailed in the latest edition of Standards for Illinois Public Libraries 2.0 and explained as follows:
Recommended Staffing Levels
For a population of 10,000 to 14,999 the recommended number of full-time equivalent (fte) staff is 13. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population of the Library District is 13,166. We have a total of 21 employees, 6 of which are full-time with the remaining 15 working anywhere from 8 to 30 hours per week for a total of 289 part-time hours per week or 7.2 full-time equivalents. Including the full-time staff, the total staffing level equals the recommendation by the State Library of 13 fte. In addition, according to the latest data from the PrairieCat consortia, our circulation statistics are higher than the following neighboring libraries: Bradley, Fossil Ridge, Kankakee, Manteno, Peotone and Wilmington. As an aside, all of these buildings are considerably larger than ours with the exception of Wilmington which is about the same size.
Look for an explanation of what the staff positions are and what duties are performed by the individual staff in the next installment.