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Annual Report - Fiscal Year 2011 / 2012

The following report covers the time period of July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012.

Library Usage | Administration, Budget and Finance
Public Relations and Community Outreach
Library Facility and Grounds | Library Automation
Adult Services | Children's Services

Library Usage Highlights

  • Library patrons visited the library this year 253,846 times, averaging 21,154 visits per month, 4,882 per week, and 695 per day.
  • There are a total of 145,431 items in the library's collection -- a net increase of 2,675 items since last year.
  • Checkouts of library materials totaled 608,390 this year -- down by about 5% from last year, due in part to a 7% decrease in checkouts by patrons from other library districts, fee-based online resources such as Netflix and Amazon, and likely due in part to the high price of gasoline.
  • 2,101 patrons registered for library cards this year, bringing the total number of active cardholders to about 22,000.
  • At 22.3 checkouts per resident, the library ranked 16th best in circulation per capita among the 41 public libraries in the North Suburban Library System. The average for these libraries was 20 checkouts per capita. The national average is 10.5 checkouts per capita.
  • The library ranked 10th and 11th best out of the 41 libraries for operating cost per checkout and payroll cost per checkout, respectively, at $4.44 and $2.26 per checkout. The highest NSLS library costs in the survey were $13.05 and $6.31 per checkout, respectively.
  • Total reference and information transactions (270,899) were up by one percent.  Questions in Children's Services (42,863) were up by 3.4 percent.
  • The library hosted a total of 727 instructional or entertainment programs, with a total attendance of 26,097, averaging 36 attendees per programand up 20% over last year.  Reading club registrations totaled 2,761, up 8.2% over last year.
  • Library website ( usage reached an all-time high, with a record 369,421 online visits and 275,473 logins to the library catalog system
  • There were 29,241 online visits to the library-sponsored Wauconda Area Community Website (
  • Online renewals of materials done by patrons themselves this year hit an all-time high of 41,819
  • The self-service checkout station was used for 21,490 checkouts
  • A record 4,929 audiobooks were checked out via downloading from MyMediaMall

Administration, Budget and Finance

  • Successfully implemented a spending plan that has resulted in a cash reserve of $496,511 (not including the unexpended funds from the current fiscal year) to provide funding for future repairs and improvements to the building and grounds and for technology improvements.

  • The average salary or wage increase for FY2011/2012 was 1.9 percent, as budgeted.

  • The projected total cost of payroll and benefits for FY1112 will be about $150,000 under budget, and about $62,000 below the previous year’s actual total.  This was done by eliminating four full-time positions – three of which were through attrition. 

  • Applied for and awarded Illinois Per Capita Grant ($27,941).)   This is $2,303 or 8.6% more than awarded last year, because of the 2010 Census figures that demonstrated a population increase of 1,303 residents in this library district. 

  • Secured $10,000 in developer fees from the Village of Volo.

  • Applied for and awarded 40% erate discount to date ($6,000) in FY2011/2012.  Application for 50% erate discount for FY2012/2013 was submitted (and has since been awarded), incorporating planned switchover to new telephone and internet service vendors (CallOne and Comcast).

  • Administered the budgeting and levy ordinance processes resulting in a 3.55 percent increase in tax revenue for FY2011/2012, and 2.6 percent for FY2012/2013, keeping the library tax rate increase lower than ever before while enabling necessary improvements and maintenance of an adequate reserve fund.

  • Negotiated the donation of $1300 from the United Partnership to cover half the cost of the library’s online subscription to Mango Languages.

  • Submitted final report to the grant administrator at the American Library Association – the final requirement for the $5000 grant.

  • Administered the adoption of a new Special Reserve Fund Ordinance and the transfer of unexpended funds ($250,000) from FY2010/2011 into this fund to pay for several large projects in FY2011/2012 if necessary or for future designated purposes.

  • Annual audit passed with no recommendations of procedural changes.

  • A surprise IMRF audit generally showed no problems on the library’s part, but required a detailed 10-year report of the library’s use of IMRF and Social Security funds and required the library to ask Lake County to separate IMRF funds from Social Security funds during the billing and reporting process. This was accomplished.

  • Received a $5000 donation from the Liebman Trust.

  • Received a $2311 refund from NSLS for the library’s earlier “donation” towards retaining the interlibrary delivery van service.

  • Received $3663 in donations from the Friends of the Library. .

  • Requested and received approval for funding from the Friends of the Library for a delivery van and a self-checkout station in Children’s Services during FY2012/2013.  The total Friends commitment for FY2012/2013 is $40,000 - $50,000, $37,000 of which they already have in their savings account, thanks in large part to book sales and the Bunny Hop running event.

Public Relations

  • The Friends of the Library continue to thrive and grow, with the purchase of a delivery van and a self-checkout station in the Children’s area as the primary goals. The Friends are now allowed to use the graphic arts room as their new space for organizing book sales.  The library facilitated additional improvements to Friends web pages, including a new blog. The library also provided the bulk of the promotion of the Wauconda Bunny Hop, and worked closely with the organizers of this event to ensure that all the necessary to minimize risk to the library and to maximize the safety of the participants.

  • An annual report was posted on the library website, highlighting library finances and operations for FY2010/2011.  

  • The library director participated in the American Library Association’s “cohort group” as one of the few two-time winners of the American Dream Starts @ Your Library grant.

  • The library director served as a panel speaker at the Public Library Association’s national conference (PLA 2012), telling an audience of 200 library managers and trustees about the success of our Friends of the Library re-organization

  • United Partnership for a Better community -- the library director served on the Cultural Diversity and Community Calendar Committees of the United Partnership.  Library administered the Partnership’s website, including frequent updating of the home page and the online Senior Resource Guide.

  • Updated the 2-page article for the Wauconda Area Community Guide published and distributed by the Wauconda Chamber of Commerce.

  • The library was well represented at the Wauconda Chamber of Commerce’s Expo 2012 held at Wauconda High School, including the participation of the Friends of the Library for the first time.

Library Facility and Grounds

  • Exterior power-washing and painting – Hired construction manager firm (Featherstone, Inc.) and worked with them to administer the bid process and hiring of DES Painters at $17,000 below the next highest bid. 

  • Interior stairway – Replacement of carpeting with attractive, more durable SafeTCork hard rubber/cork treads and tile at the lowest cost of three proposals

  • The library's parking lot was sealcoated and striped.

  • Parking lot lighting upgrade – investigated various solutions, requested proposals, and determined best solution, retrofitting the all metal halite bulbs with innovative new LED lights that will consume one third the energy of the old bulbs, paying for themselves within two or three years.  Applied for DCEO Clean Energy rebates.

  • Children’s Services and staff work area lighting upgrade – investigated various solutions, requested proposals, and determined best solution, including replacement of all T12 ballasts and bulbs with much more energy-efficient T8's. Applied for DCEO Clean Energy rebates

  • Removal of five dead pine trees from the grove in front of the library, and planting of four new trees

  • Addition of 5 double electrical outlets in the Quiet Study Room - 3 in the floor and 2 in the wall

  • Concrete repairs near the front entrance

  • Conversion of Graphic Arts Room to Friends Room

  • Addition of 30-amp electrical outlet to computer server room

  • Parking lot signage – “handicapped” and "stop for pedestrians" signs

Library Automation and Technical Services

  • Received Illinois State Library certification of a new 3-year Technology Plan (2011-2013), as required in order to obtain the $6,000 federally funded erate discount.

  • Successfully completed all phases of migrating the library’s integrated library system (ILS) from Dynix “Classic” to Polaris, including a negotiated special contract discount of $10,856 for the best ILS available.

  • Negotiated and administered the upgrading of the library’s operating system from Windows XP to Windows 7, including the final phase of replacing all of the library’s 21 outdated PCs that would not have been capable of running on Windows 7.

  • Upgraded Microsoft Office from Office 2003 to Office 2010 for all library computers.

  • Added Wowbrary enews service that automatically showcases the library's newest books, DVDs, and CDs each week, including those on order, while also enhancing the main search page of the online catalog.

  • Purchased and configured 3 Nook Simple Touch ebook readers for 2-week checkout and 3 iPads for in-house checkout (funded by the Friends), as well as 3 additional iPads for staff use.

  • Started the process of purchasing two new self-checkout stations – one in Children’s Services, and one near the Circulation Desk.  Presented the concept to the Friends and received their advance approval of a $7,500 donation to the library for purchasing the self-checkout station in Children’s Services.

  • Made many additions and improvements to the library website, and greatly enhanced the library’s online social networking presence (Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, Flickr, etc.)

Adult Services Department

Reference and Research

The Adult Services Department answered:



Annual % Increase/Decrease

Telephone Questions



In-Person Questions



Email Questions





















Total Questions



Tutor Room



Three new online databases were added: Chilton Library, Legal Forms and Price It! Antiques.

Collection Development

  • Ebook circulation through MyMediaMall exploded with a 76% increase from last year.

  • All collections were analyzed.  Unused materials were withdrawn, worn out copies were replaced and collection gaps were filled.  The majority of the reference collection is moving to the circulating collection. 

  • 66 thematic book displays were created throughout the year.

  • The library started a small collection of titles in Russian.

Programs and Services 

Programming played an important role in bringing the community to the library.  Adult attendance increased 27.8% from last year.  Young adult programming attendance increased 67% from last year.

228 programs were offered for adults.  107 programs were offered for teens.  Various programs included computer classes in both English and Spanish, author events, book club discussions, feature films, informational and instructional programs, and music programs.

Additional program highlights include:

  • Author events for adults:
    • Wife 22 author Melanie Gideon
    • What’s Your Problem author Jon Yates
    • Under Their Thumb: How a Nice Guy from Brooklyn Got Mixed Up with the Rolling Stones author Bill German
    • Mystery author Nancy Atherton
    • Chick lit authors Rachel Bertsche, Tasha Alexander, and Lauren Willig
    • Web chat with Jim Minick non-fiction author of The Blueberry Years
    • Cabin Fever author Tom Montgomery-Fate
    • Local authors, Kathy Catrambone and Marianne Folise discussed their book, Wauconda.
  • Author events for teens:
    • Laurie Halse Anderson
    • Michael Grant
    • Laini Taylor
    • Paul Griffin
    • Dave Cullen author of Columbine
  • Regular Tai Chi and jewelry classes.
  • Teen guitar classes and Project Create art club.
  • Several cooking and healthy eating programs were presented, such as Scrumptious Savory & Sweet Summer Dishes, The Lore and Lure of Spices, screening and discussion of Forks Over Knives, teen pizza taste-off, Know Your Farmer – Know Your Food, Springtime Cleaning with Herbs, and Creative Gifts from the Kitchen.

School Outreach

The library and school district continued to partner on several programs throughout the year and build on this relationship by adding new opportunities like the 8th grade Social Studies Fair.  Collaborations include:

  • Author events mentioned above
  • District 118 Art Show and awards
  • 8th grade Social Studies Fair
  • Wauconda High School book discussions of The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
  • Class visits and tours throughout the school year
  • Staff gave presentations at the end of the school year to Wauconda Middle School, Matthews Middle School and Wauconda High school students to promote the summer reading club and programs.

Community Outreach

The library had great opportunities this year to work with various community groups in promoting its services.

  • Senior New Year’s Party at the Wauconda Park District
  • Wauconda Chamber of Commerce Business Expo
  • Summer Concert Series with the Wauconda Park District
  • Wauconda Township Historical Society Ice Cream Social and Open House
  • Friends of the Library
  • Wauconda Bunny Hop
  • Community Shredding Event
  • AARP tax assistance
  • Money-Smart Week
  • Homebound deliveries
  • NISRA After-Hours Movie Events
  • Maintenance of the community website


  • The library’s website was maintained and updated as needed.
  • Eleven issues of the eNews were created and distributed.
  • Ipods and Nooks were updated and added to the collection.  User guides were also created.


Children's Services Department

  • Two hundred and ninety-eight book and audiovisual resources displays were created and fifty-nine bibliographies were developed, facilitating access to popular and prominent elements of the Children’s collections.

  • The Children’s staff developed and presented over 350 programs for children. Some highlights include: Fun With Max and Ruby, Captain Underpants Party, Mad For Madeline, Gingerbread Time, Lego Club, Tutu Terrific Ballet Day, Donut Dash, Day With Thomas, 39 Clues Party, Bad Kitty Olympics, I Will Survive Dance Class, Movies, Drop-in Crafts, My Grandparents and Me Bingo Night, Happy Birthday, Scaredy Squirrel, Loteria, and family evening storytimes presented in Spanish.

  • The Children’s department offered many reading clubs, multi-generational book discussion groups, and literature-based programs over the course of the year and over 2,300 patrons signed up to participate.  The Friends of the Library generously supported both the Winter Reading Club and Summer Reading Club by purchasing paperback books for children who achieved their reading club goals.  The Friends also paid for Great America passes which were used for grand prize drawings at the end of the Winter Reading Club.

  • The Children’s department hosted various annual, traditional events (such as the Teddy Bear Picnic, the Preschool Halloween Party, and the Polar Bear Picnic) as well as a wide variety of entertainment for families which included the Barry North, Yo-Yo Man, Magic Show, Snakes, Spiders & Stories, Frog Lady, Flying Fool, Roz Puppets, Dr. Gadget’s Robot Show, Magic Mike’s AbraKIDazzle, and Circus Boy.

  • To serve the early literacy needs of very young children, 140 sessions of preschool storytime and lapsit storytime were presented. Over 3,100 children and their caregivers attended.

  • The Children’s staff provided outreach services to the Wauconda Area community by conducting library tours for visiting Cub Scouts and Daisy Scouts and by participating in the Annual Village Holiday Walk in December and the Business Expo in February.

  • A Preschool Expo was held in the Lincoln Room in January, providing parents with an opportunity to visit and talk with directors, teachers, and child-care providers from preschools and daycares serving Wauconda and surrounding area communities.

  • Sixty-five classes of preschoolers and elementary school students (approximately 1,700 children) visited the library, toured the facility, and enjoyed literature-based presentations and booktalks.  Additionally, the Children’s librarians visited fifteen classes of preschoolers, conducting outreach storytimes for over 435 children.

  • In order to promote the library’s resources and services, the Children’s staff published monthly student newsletters (in English and Spanish) which were delivered to over 2,500 children attending the district’s public and private elementary and middle schools.  The Children’s staff also filled approximately twenty Teacher Book Bag requests, attended the Battle of the Books tournament at Wauconda High School, and participated in the Family Literacy Night at Robert Crown School.

  • To encourage use of the library’s technology, the Children’s librarians hosted the Wii Gamers Club and offered several online activities such as Dig In, Mango Time, and Mission Polaris to help children develop skill in using the library’s new catalog and web resources.

Last Year's Annual Report (2010 / 2011)