Chicago Public Library Staffing Audit

Source: City of Chicago, Office of Inspector General (OIG), May 2018

From the press release:
The City of Chicago Office of Inspector General (OIG) has completed an audit evaluating the design and implementation of the Chicago Public Library’s (CPL) staffing plan, which allocates positions among CPL’s 80 library locations. The objectives of the audit were to determine whether CPL’s staffing plan followed industry guidance and was an effective and efficient tool for allocating human resources among CPL libraries.

While CPL’s staffing plan improves upon its previous uniform staffing approach, OIG determined that due to deficiencies in its design and implementation, the plan is not sufficient to align library branch staffing with community needs.

Referring to staffing industry guidance from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the American Library Association (ALA), OIG identified several flaws in the design of CPL’s staffing plan. We also found deficiencies in how CPL implemented the plan, such as not collecting and using all relevant data, and not consistently assigning staff to libraries at the prescribed levels.

These flaws in the design and implementation of CPL’s staffing plan may contribute to inefficient use of CPL’s human resources. Some staff reported performing tasks that fell outside their job descriptions and for which they were overqualified. For example, Clerks and Librarians reported regularly engaging in sorting and shelving, tasks normally done by Library Pages. In another instance, a Clerk at a library serving a largely Hispanic community told OIG that her status as the only bilingual staff member made it a practical necessity for her to perform tasks outside her job description on a regular basis. One branch manager told us that “many positions perform many roles,” which in some cases results in personnel spending time on activities that could be done more cost-effectively by employees holding other titles….

Related:
IG audit says Chicago library staffing ‘not aligned with community needs’
Source: Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, May 2, 2018