Public Services Committee Meeting: March 8, 2023

Zoom / Conference Call

Members attending: Steve Brantley (Eastern Illinois University), Chad Kahl, co-chair (Illinois State University), Jennifer Lau-Bond (Harper College), Ashley McMullin (DePaul University), Anne Shelley (Illinois State University), Arlie Sims (Columbia College Chicago), Simone Williams (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville), Lesley Wolfgang, co-chair (Saint John's College of Nursing)

Members absent: Katie Maier-O’Shea (North Park University)

CARLI Staff attending: Elizabeth Clarage


  • Public Services Program
    • The committee would like to hold a program on May 4 either 10-11 or 11 – Noon.
    • Committee members will continue to work on the program through email specifically to develop a save the date note for the March newsletter.
    • Leslie will moderate the session.
    • At the beginning of the session, the committee will briefly share responses from the survey.
    • Arlie, Ashley, and Chad will create a word cloud to help determine themes from the survey responses.
    • The committee decided not to have panelists, but to invite those willing to speak to the committee to the program and ask if they would be willing to contribute to the discussion.

Tasks Assigned

  • Minutes taken by Chad Kahl.
  • Members from last meeting were accepted.


  • Member Announcements:
    • Steven Brantley (Eastern Illinois University): The library has a new dean, Brian Keith who will start on July 1.
    • Lesley Wolfgang (Saint John's College of Nursing):  The campus is doing a national search for a new chancellor.
    • Anne Shelley (Illinois State University):  ISU wrapped up three tenure-track searches and has three other searches starting.
  • CARLI Announcements:


  • The committee reviewed the survey results.  Lesley found it easier to look at the spreadsheets.  Eighteen people said that they would willing to speak to the PSC on this topic.
  • Seems as if many libraries started new things rather than eliminating services.  Some found it difficult to sustain.
  • There were many comments about reductions in staffing.  There was a sense that libraries at larger institutions are able to add staff while smaller libraries are not.
  • Noted that four responses noted that their libraries discontinued their physical reference desk.  Of those, Columbia College Chicago and Trinity International University are willing to speak about it.  Could we put out a call to see if there are CARLI libraries that want to talk about discontinuing their physical reference services.  Concerns expressed that might be focusing on the negative, although discontinuing physical reference service may provide opportunities for new services that better serve their patrons.
  • Are there new models or changes—resulting from reduction in staff, change in patron behavior, and/or effects of COVID—that could be highlighted?
  • There were interesting responses to the questions: “Have you made, or do you plan to make, your public services more inclusive and accessible?” and “What programs, services, outreach, etc. are you most looking forward to in your library this year?”  The responses for the former cover a wide range of library services.
  • Discussed the formality of the session.  Perhaps not having panelists, but still contact those willing to speak that could respond to specific questions.  This would distinguish it from last year’s program that was about a very specific topic.  We leaned towards not having panelists.  Discussed identifying themes, contacting the volunteers to speak and have them ready to respond to the prompts.
  • Discussed how to use break out rooms.
  • Discussed the possibility of a shared document where participants could share ideas.
  • Elizabeth noted that an announcement of the session should go out in the next CARLI newsletter which is due by end of March.
  • We discussed dates in April and May.  Tentatively chose 10-11 am or 11 am-12 pm on Thursday, May 4.
  • We discussed have a brief overview of the survey responses to start out the session.
  • Lesley is willing to moderate.
  • Possible themes:
    • Combine #15 and #16
    • Inclusive and accessibility
    • Staffing and impact on services
  • Discussed examining the results for finding themes.  Suggested three to four major themes and highlighting responses for those which will lead to discussion.  Arlie, Ashley, and Chad will work on it.

Next Meeting Dates and Deadlines

The Public Services Committee will next meet on April 12, 2023, at 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Committee Meetings:
April 12, 2022, 10-11 a.m., Minutes: Simone Williams
May 10, 2022, 10-11 a.m., Minutes: Arlie Sims
June 14, 2022, 10-11 a.m., Minutes: to be determined