EPL presents $9.5 million revenue budget for 2020


Jacob Fulton/The Daily Northwestern

Evanston Public Library’s Board of Trustees. The board discussed 2020 budget plans at their Wednesday meeting.

Jacob Fulton, Reporter

The Evanston Public Library Board of Trustees passed multiple motions at its meeting Wednesday related to the 2020 fiscal year. The board also laid out plans for the new Robert Crown Center branch.

Assistant library director Teri Campbell presented the revenue budget for next year, planned at approximately $9.5 million, as well as an expenditure budget for under $9.5 million. The board approved both. Campbell said that EPL’s 2019 finances indicated that the 2020 fiscal year would run smoothly.

“With regard to our finances, we are in a wonderful place — revenue is far exceeding expenditures, thanks to the hard work of our development committee and the generosity of this community,” Campbell said. “We fully expect to reach all of our revenue targets this year.”

Board president Shawn Iles said that as of now, the board has received 95 percent of its targeted funding and only spent 88 percent of their planned amount, which means EPL will likely end the year with a surplus.

One of EPL’s biggest priorities in the new year will be opening the Robert Crown branch. John Devaney, the library’s projects manager, said that as of the meeting, the center was still on track for a soft opening in the end of January.

In preparation for the opening of the branch, Campbell said EPL is interviewing potential staff members for the Robert Crown Center and other locations.

“We’re trying to staff up at our branches, as well as Robert Crown,” Campbell said. “We’ve got lots of interviews underway, so we should be introducing lots of new staff soon.”

The board also unanimously passed two motions relating to EPL’s 2020 calendar. It agreed to meet 13 times throughout 2020, including a special budget meeting on Sept. 2; they will have one meeting on the third Wednesday of every month and an additional special budget meeting on Sept. 2. The board also decided that the library will be closed for 13 days — 11 holidays, as well as two staff development days in April and October. EPL will also close at 4 p.m. on May 7 for a donor recognition event.

As the library looks at logistics for next year, the board also intends to shift their programming to reach more members of the community. Iles said the board plans to re-evaluate the impact they have in Evanston.

“Going into 2020, from top to bottom we’re really examining what we do through an equity, diversity and inclusion lens,” Iles said. “Our focus going into the new year is to improve inclusion and how to reduce barriers to service.”

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