JANUARY 13, 2010

The Hennepin County Library Board met Wed., Jan. 13, 2010 at Central Library.

Present: John Gibbs, Holly Guncheon, Jill Joseph, Claudia Kelly, Kathleen Lamb, John Pacheco and Therese VanBlarcom
Hennepin County Staff: Bill Berg, Sharon Charles, Tonya DePriest, Judith Friedrich, Teresa Jepma, Kelli Koob, Heather Lawton, Lois Lenroot-Ernt, Jodi Monson, Gail Mueller Schultz, Jennifer Nelson, Nancy Palmer, Chuck Salter, Char Sohlberg, Lois Langer Thompson and Betsy Williams
Public:Amadu Bah, Peggy Crandall, Adam Olson, Julia Wallace and Stu Wilson

President Therese VanBlarcom called the Hennepin County Library Board meeting of Jan. 13, 2010 to order at 5:06 p.m., and welcomed attendees.

Claudia Kelly made a motion to approve the agenda which was seconded by Jill Joseph. Motion passed.

Claudia Kelly made a motion to approve the consent agenda which was seconded by Jill Joseph. Motion passed.

Minneapolis resident Julia Wallace expressed her appreciation for opening Central Library on Mondays and thanked the Library Board, the Minnesota Twins and everyone who made it possible because the library is so important to everyone. She also expressed concern about the naming of Central Library and suggested the addition of new hours would be a good time to adopt the name "Minneapolis Central Library."

Hennepin County Attorney Chuck Salter summarized the open meeting law and its purpose to allow everyone in the public to see completely and fully what goes on in any public meeting. Under the Library Board Bylaws, a quorum is majority. He also clarified the use of videoconferencing; the law specifies every member has to be able to not only hear but see other members, the general public has to be able to do the same and one member has to be in the building where the meeting is regularly scheduled. Others can be in different locations but the general public has to be able to go to all of the locations and see and hear all participants. Violation of open meeting laws can involve financial penalties. At President VanBlarcom's request, Mr. Salter agreed to provide the information on open meetings to the Library Board for members unable to attend the meeting. Discussion followed.

Senior Librarian Heather Lawton provided an overview of Hennepin County Library's (HCL) special collections, the public website and explained what makes a collection "special." Special Collections is comprised of 10 separate collections (four belong to the Minneapolis Athenaeum; five to HCL; and one is a shared collection between those two institutions). Customers are a diverse group with a wide range of interests: students of all ages, professors who design curriculum around a specific collection, media outlets, and individuals searching for links to the past. The opportunity to facilitate broader access to the material through digitization of the collection continues in collaboration with other entities. HCL is a contributor to OCLC Worldcat which increases visibility and access to the material. In addition to visibility and access staff focus on maintenance and preservation to ensure future availability. Discussion followed and the board expressed their appreciation for Ms. Lawton's work.

  • Ms. VanBlarcom attended The Library Foundation of Hennepin County orientation presented by Stu Wilson.
Community connections:
  • Revised Library Foundation Board Bylaws were adopted Dec. 2009. The President of the Library or his/her designee and Library Director serve as ex-officios. President VanBlarcom accepted the assignment.
  • The question posed by the library to the Hennepin University Partnership (HUP) relates to the growing senior population. Research is being conducted to determine what is expected to occur as people either age in place or make a decision to move. The research is expected to assist in determining what role the library can play in keeping people active and engaged in their communities and identify possible resources they may need.
  • Ms. Thompson reported author Azar Nafisi drew one of the largest December Pen Pals audiences. It was a great program provided by a fascinating author. Ms. Thompson highly recommended board members take advantage of future opportunities to see Ms. Nafisi.
  • Central Library will be the location for a Census kick-off Jan. 14. County Board Chair Commissioner Opat, City Council President Barbara Johnson and Ms. Thompson will speak at the event.
Capital projects:
  • Ms. Thompson provided updates on HCL capital projects. Plymouth and Maple Grove libraries are on schedule to open spring and summer 2010; Nokomis and Northeast libraries are on schedule and moving forward; Property Services Dept. is taking the lead on security and lighting; Roosevelt Library will begin this year with the New North/Webber Park Library on hold--property acquisition is the next step; Walker Library's community involvement continues and meeting minutes are on the website at http://www.hclib.org/cac/; Excelsior Library was approved in the 2010-2014 Capital Improvement Plan, the next step is to confirm the project size and acquire property; Brooklyn Park Library is moving forward on a work plan and site acquisition; library technology improvements are planned for 2011; and the Southeast Library will be addressed 2011. Discussion followed.
2010 budget:
  • Final reports on the 2009 Operating budget are pending but the Library exceeded the required budget reductions. 2010 is underway with a conservative operating budget and we are committed to come in under again in 2010. Some hiring is expected for Plymouth and Maple Grove libraries and plans are in place in the event of a possible mid-year reduction.
  • The Collection Development Policy will be addressed by the Program/Policy Committee; all board members will be kept informed.
  • Thanks to The Library Foundation and Friends who provided $135,000 at the end of 2009 to purchase requests that included standard titles that needed replacing. Nearly 1,500 titles were ordered and customers will begin to see refreshed collections.
  • Kathleen Lamb suggested a presentation at the February meeting on how collection size is determined for new libraries as well as current libraries; she mentioned comments received from community members about fewer books on shelves and worn material. The information will be provided along with the impact of electronic resources and "floating" collections at a future meeting. Ms. Thompson noted there are fewer books on shelves because circulation which results in less collection available to browse.
  • Feedback from others on opening Central Library Mondays is overwhelmingly positive. An expanded hours event is scheduled Mon., Feb. 8, 9:30 a.m. in the Atrium at Central Library with door opening at 10 a.m.
  • A Legacy funds update will be provided at the February or March board meeting.
  • Ms. Thompson reported on library visits made in December.
  • New information on strategic planning was shared that involves members of Capstone (University of St. Thomas executive MBA program) in the process. Peggy Crandall and Amadu Bah introduced themselves; a more in-depth report on the plan will be provided to the Executive Committee in February.
  • President VanBlarcom reminded attendees that requests for board attendance and/or participation from the community go through Char Sohlberg in the Director's Office; members should provide Ms. Sohlberg's contact information for scheduling.
  • A suggestion from a Minneapolis resident for the Library to partner with Best Buy to do a "Kindle experiment" was shared.
  • Ms. Lamb will follow-up with Ms. Thompson to address Ms. Wallace's concern about the naming of Central Library. She also requested an update on the Athenaeum. Ms. Thompson reported an operating agreement was approved by both parties and a final sign-off on the lease agreement is expected pending review of the final version.
  • Ms. Joseph added her thanks for the excellent work done by The Library Foundation and concurred with comments made earlier about the Azar Nafisi Pen Pal lecture.
  • Ms. Kelly requested copies of a Trustee Handbook as featured in a recent ALTA newsletter, be ordered for new board members.
Budget & Finance - Chair Joseph reported on Dec. 7 meeting that included 2010 budget amendments. Next meeting is Feb. 8, 3:30 p.m. at Ridgedale Library, RHR Mtg. Rm. Future meeting topics include State of MN impact on budgets, capital plan priorities.
Progam/Policy - met Nov. 6; next meeting is Jan. 29, 1 p.m. at East Lake Library. Work will begin on Collection Development Policy.
Executive - Chair VanBlarcom reported on the Jan. 4 meeting that included committee structure, frequency of meetings, strategic planning and the future of libraries. Next meeting is Feb. 8, 4:30 p.m. at HCL Admin Office, Director's Conference Room. Discussion followed on Ms. Lamb's question regarding possible support from MELSA for bringing in experts in the field; conversations by the MELSA Advisory Board are currently underway.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS No unfinished business.

NEW BUSINESS No new business.

There being no further business, Kathleen Lamb made a motion to adjourn the Library Board meeting at 6:14 p.m. which was seconded by Jill Joseph. The motion passed. The next Library Board meeting is Feb. 24, 2010, Brookdale Library at 5 p.m.


John Pacheco, Secretary