HENNEPIN COUNTY LIBRARY BOARD MEETING
OF JANUARY 23, 2002
The Hennepin County Library Board met on Wednesday, January 23, 2002, at the Ridgedale Area Library.
Present: President Carol Walsh, John Gibbs, Dawn Harris, Patricia Izek, Marilyn Jackson, David Pratt, Cynthia Steinke.
Library Staff Attending: C.Brown, S. Charles, D.Cramer, C. DeGraff, J. Leick, N.Perron, M.Turner, L.Christensen, B.Wagenaar, J.McGovern, S.Louis, G.Peterson, C.Ahrens, & B.Berg.
Guests: Richard Johnson (Deputy County Administrator) and the Foundation Board members Jeff Scherer, Gail See, Katherine Youngblood, Bill Joyce, Barbara McBurney, and Diane Ladenson.
Call to Order/Welcome/Public Comment
The meeting was called to order by President Carol Walsh with welcome to guests and staff, and congratulations to Cindy Ahrens who was named Library Paraprofessional of the Year by Library Journal from nominees from across the country. There is also a second milestone to acknowledge: In December, Hennepin County Library system surpassed 11 million items circulated during the year, refreshments are in celebration of the circulation success! No public comment.
A motion was made to approve the minutes of the December 5, 2001, meeting was made by M. Jackson , seconded by C. Steinke; motion passed.
Policy Committee: P. Izek reported that three policies have been submitted for action today.
1) Holiday Closings Policy: recommendation was made to delete the entire policy because holiday closings are based on Library budget and County declared holidays. C. Brown explained that library holidays are usually based on county government guidelines; about 5 years ago the library received additional funding and was able to open on 4 "minor" holidays, but given the budget situation for 2002 the library returned to following County guidelines except for the Friday after Thanksgiving. Motion to delete the Holiday Closings Policy was made by M. Jackson, seconded by C. Walsh. J. Gibbs raised concern that library is a service enterprise of county government and one of the most constituent affecting services offered by the county, and he would hope that to the extent possible by budget & economics, that the library try to be open as many holidays that patrons are not working; P. Izek also supports this opinion and would hope that perhaps at least one area library could be open on these minor holidays and offer a special program with a family orientation. C. Brown responded that this item was on the library budget addback list, and each holiday would cost approximately $10,000-15,000 per day due to staffing costs. C. Brown noted that as the 2003 budget is developed, there is the opportunity for a more fullsome discussion about this proposal for 2003. M. Jackson did note that Board needs to determine budget priorities, and in the past the main priority has been the collection. C. Walsh asked how MPL handles these minor holidays, and if there is some sharing of information; C. Brown will check on other metro library traditions on the minor holidays. Motion passed.
2) Services to Groups & Individuals With Restricted Library Access: recommendation to modify by deleting last 3 paragraphs and adding to summary paragraphs; P. Izek read revised policy. M. Jackson raised questions on reasons for deleting that groups/sites who receive services are expected to comply with library guidelines specific to the services received, and why delete regularly publicizing the availability of services? She raised the question because so few people know about these services that publicity seems to be an area of need, and previous problems with facility service collections, e.g. nursing homes. C. Brown reported that J. Morgan had a conflict with this meeting, and he is sure she has looked into this issue. C. Steinke noted that this was probably another issue of cleaning the policy and removing the procedural items from a policy statement. C. Steinke had shared the policy with a family member who is handicapped who did raise concern over the statement that groups served through Outreach and individuals served by volunteers are not held responsible for lost or damaged materials; J. Morgan had sent an explanation that groups and individuals serviced by volunteers have no control over the return or their materials. M. Jackson made request to defer this policy until J. Morgan can address the questions raised -- for the Feb. 27 meeting.
3) Meeting Room Policy: P. Izek presented the draft revision; C. Brown noted that this was again an attempt to streamline the policy. Fee schedule discussion/review will be deferred to February or March meeting at J. Morgan's request that other policies may impact the fee schedule. J. Gibbs moved approval of the revised policy, D. Pratt seconded the motion. M. Jackson asked that when looking at fees, she would like look at entire fee structure which is to be attached to the Revenue Policy, including meeting room fees. Motion to approve was passed.
PROGRAM: LIBRARY FOUNDATION OF HENNEPIN COUNTY
C. Brown reported that because of the quality of the presentation, today's program is a replication of the Foundation program that updated the County Commissioners on activities.
Jeff Scherer, Foundation Board President: Five agenda items for this update--art initiative, Pen Pals, programs, Read Team, and Start Smart. Foundation Board voted to approve the hiring of a fundraising consultant to assess viability of a major endowment fund; and has approved a contract with an outside source to run the Pen Pals program.
Art Initiative - Bill Joyce: Update on individual library project successes and the grassroots venture. Foundation acts as a catalyst or "cheerleader" for each project.
Pen Pals - Barbara McBurney: Program is currently in the 5th season. Original purpose was to bring recognition to HCL and the Foundation. Foundation Board has added new goals to the original list. Tickets for the daytime lectures are offered to local high schools at discounted cost. The Foundation Board has approved hiring an independent contractor to manage the program, and hope to have this person in place in February.
Programs - Chris DeGraff: Review of a listing of programs funded by the Library Foundation.
Read Team - Bethany Wagenaar: Report on this collaborative with Robbinsdale, Richfield and Westonka school districts to encourage children's success in learning to read and reading to learn. 1,674 library cards were registered last year through this program; 73% were issued to first time card holders.
startSMART - Linnea Christensen: an early literacy program supported by the Library Foundation, volunteers are trained to do storytimes in the community, book kit is displayed for viewing by Board members.
M. Jackson reminded Foundation Board of the 1996 Survey results regarding the Foundation donation question responses.
D. Pratt reported that he attended the recent Foundation Board meeting with presentations made by grant recipients and the impact of these grants on services, when paragraph reports of these presentations are prepared he requested that they be shared with the Library Board; Pratt also felt that it is great that the Library Foundation Board members are 100% contributors and he encourages 100% participation from the Library Board members also.
New Library website Preview - Marilyn Turner and Glenn Peterson presented a preview of the new library website which will be launched on February 5. Library Board members received an overview of changes to the homepage. Suggestions made for inclusion: statistics, links to bus routes for individual libraries.
Operating Budgets - Charles Brown reported that the state government budget will have a strong impact on Hennepin County. Each department has been asked to identify a potential 3% reduction in property tax support, which means almost $1 million for the library 2002 budget. Deputy County Administrator Richard Johnson responded to some specific Library Board questions regarding the property tax situation and budget reductions.
David Cramer reported that the 2002 budget booklet was mailed to Library Board members; he distributed an overview of the budget. Staff will share the recommended 3% budget reductions with Library Board members.
St. Louis Park Library Art Project Vote - Need a formal vote to be recorded in official minutes (vote was taken electronically to meet deadlines). C. Walsh moved acceptance of the art project submitted by the St. Louis Park Art Project Committee; D. Harris seconded; motion passed.
Staff Development Day Resolution - C. Brown reported that the draft County Board resolution had been shared with Library Board, gave some background on Tim Wise, the keynote speaker, and requests support for submission. Motion of support by J. Gibbs, seconded by C. Steinke; motion passed.
Library Board Training - D. Harris reported that based on her 1 year on the Board she makes a recommendation that the Board participate in a training session for Board development. From the ALTA Newsletter, South Dakota has a training packet that is used as an ongoing tool, and sets aside 10-15 minutes at each meeting as development time. C. Brown will prepare a submission for training for the Library Board, including the South Dakota packet (to be mailed to Board in February). Board member noted the Nov. 14, 2001 MPL Newsletter listing of New Trustee Orientation topics were very interesting. Further discussion at February meeting and possible date scheduled for March.
["New Trustee Orientation: Director Lawson has begun working on orientation for new Library Trustees including a packet of materials which is expected to be completed by the end of November. The goals for the orientation include the following: (1) To educate new Trustees on Library Board policies, bylaws, ethics, responsibilities; (2) To discuss roles and responsibilities of Library Trustees and relationships with library staff, the new Central Library Implementation Committee, and other jurisdictions; (3) To orient new Trustees to the Library's role in relationship to other libraries, MELSA, MnLINK, Metronet, MINITEX, MLA, ULC and ALA; (4) To inform new Trustees about the performance measures, business, service activities, and collections of each Community Library, the Central Library Departments, the Technical Service Departments, Buildings and Security and other support departments; (5) To orient new Trustees to the Library's strategic directions and major projects."]
Charles Brown had nothing to add to his written report; however, asked Cindy Ahrens to give quick update on her activities since receiving word of the LJ award.
Building updates on St. Anthony which has run into a few construction delays, so may be looking at a late March completion and probably not having the grand opening until April. Hopkins has received 19 construction bids, 16 came in under estimated budget; library will close the first Saturday in March and will re-open late 2002.
Carol Walsh: reported that the St. Louis Park preview opening was attended by herself, David and John; and the public grand opening brought in over 1,000 visitors; on that day the library checked out over 1,900 items in a two-hour period. Library Legislative Day activities are scheduled for Feb. 19 & 20, information is in mail packets and trustees are encouraged to participate; C. Brown reported on MELSA concerns about funding which is passed along to HCL. Nominating Committee appointed: Carol Walsh, Cynthia Steinke, and John Gibbs.
Cynthia Steinke: Update on the Eden Prairie Library Art Initiative.
Marilyn Jackson: Hopkins Art Initiative update; ALA Midwinter and ULC meetings, including urban assets strategy group.
Motion to approve the gifts was made by M. Jackson & seconded by C. Steinke; motion passed.
Motion to adjourn made by C. Steinke, and seconded; meeting was adjourned.
Patricia Izek, Secretary