OF FEBRUARY 27, 2008

The Hennepin County Library Board met Wednesday, February 27, 2008 at Ridgedale Library.

Present: John Gibbs, Holly Guncheon, Patricia Izek, Jill Joseph, Claudia Kelly, Kathleen Lamb, John Pacheco, Cynthia Steinke and Therese VanBlarcom
Hennepin County Staff: Will Auld, Bill Berg, Ginger Bush, Dan Carlson, Roberta Castellano, Sharon Charles, David Cramer, Jane Eastwood, Judith Friedrich, Margaret Gillespie, Richard P. Johnson, Michael McConnell, Bob Noyes, Nancy Palmer, Amy Ryan, Margie Schuster, Char Sohlberg, Lynn Stetler, John Sugimura, Lois Thompson, Marilyn Turner, Bruce Wilda, Ardis Wiley, Betsy Williams and Gretchen Wronka
Public: Carolyn Bacon, Rick Bliss, Steve Brandt, Holly Denis, Lynn DeVore, Pam Gagnon, Jane Johnson, Sue Mackert, Glenn Miller and Donna Scudder

Library Board President John Gibbs called the Hennepin County Library Board meeting of February 27, 2008 to order at 5 p.m. and welcomed all attendees.

Holly Guncheon made a motion to approve the agenda which was seconded by Cynthia Steinke. Motion was approved.

Claudia Kelly made a motion to approve the minutes of the January 23, 2008 Library Board meeting which was seconded by Holly Guncheon. Motion was approved.

No public comment.

  • Hennepin County Board Chair Commissioner Randy Johnson
    On behalf of his colleagues, Commissioner Randy Johnson congratulated new members appointed to the Hennepin County Library Board and recognized the first meeting as an important, historic occasion. He provided an overview of the many services Hennepin County is responsible for providing to citizens. This includes the very popular libraries that positively impact a great number of people. Challenges and opportunities are before us as we move forward with a united Hennepin County Library that is greater than the sum of two parts. He also acknowledged the importance of looking beyond today into the future. Regular and longer open hours, along with capital improvements, may result in a greater surge of library use. While resources are not unlimited, Hennepin County has been willing to try to come as close as can reasonably be expected to meet the needs of our libraries. Citizens frequently express support for their libraries. Commissioner Johnson said Hennepin County Library is well run and he expects that to continue under the leadership of the Library Board and Ms. Ryan.
  • Library Board President John Gibbs
    Mr. Gibbs introduced County Administrator Richard Johnson. Mr. Gibbs shared information on the role of the Library Board which is to advise the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners and acknowledged the great support the County provides the Library. He gave an overview of the way Library Board members work together. The Board has developed a culture of policy orientation as opposed to management orientation. There was a spirit of open-mindedness during pre-merger discussions about the benefits of a larger system and the challenges to be faced in serving every neighborhood in Hennepin County. The Board recognized the expanded system would require a new, broader vision and some redefinition. The expanded Board will accomplish this task. As we move forward, the Library Board will continue to rely on all divisions within the library to communicate with them on County-wide issues.
  • Library Board Introductions
    Members of the Library Board shared their experience and interests and new members were welcomed. Roger Hale and David Pratt were unable to attend but will introduce themselves at an upcoming meeting.

Division Director of Library Operations Nancy Palmer introduced Will Auld, Dan Carlson, David Cramer, Bob Noyes, and Bruce Wilda. Their length of service to Hennepin County combined is 147 years (106 years at the Library). Due to reorganization they transferred to Property Services Jan. 1, 2008. David Cramer transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services Feb. 4, 2008. Mr. Gibbs thanked the group for their many contributions. Bob Noyes addressed the Board and expressed his appreciation.

Amy Ryan reported on early library services beginning in 1885 through unprecedented growth in the city of Minneapolis intellectually, culturally, and commercially. In 1922 with a book wagon full of 500 books, $26,000 in taxes on property outside the city, and a circulation of 92,000 books, the Hennepin County Library was launched. She quoted Commissioner Johnson from the last Committee on the Future of Libraries in Hennepin County meeting who said, "If we were going to build a library system today for county residents, this would be the system we would build."
  • Hennepin County Library serves people in buildings, online, and in the community. The consolidated system consists of 41 libraries with a collection of 5 million books, CDs, DVDs, newspapers and magazines (representing 40 languages). There are 880,000 active library card holders who borrowed 15,000,000 books in 2007. Our online services are not only nationally recognized but imitated. Every day over 60,000 visits are made to our homepage.
  • Community outreach programs are thriving. Outreach workers speak a number of languages and there is a very popular homework helper program. The staff consists of 755 FTE which is over a thousand people. Our scope has broadened to include the Athenaeum, a separate entity that has a contractual arrangement with Hennepin County Library. The collection is housed at Minneapolis Central Library. We have active support groups in the Library Foundation of Hennepin County and the Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library, individual Friends groups in libraries, and a strong core of volunteers who commit their time and energy. The Planetarium is also under discussion and is an issue that will be coming to the Library Board.
  • The Library Board is more important than ever and has an essential role as we think about strategic decisions and library policies.

BUSINESS PREVIOUSLY ADDRESSED - Friends/Foundation Committee: Update
John Gibbs reported on the work of the Friends/Foundation Committee. Committee members are: John Gibbs, Holly Guncheon and David Pratt, Hennepin County Library Board; Glenn Miller and Holly Denis, the Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library; Pam Gagnon and Rick Bliss, Library Foundation of Hennepin County; Amy Ryan and Char Sohlberg. The group met three times to look at the Library Foundation of Hennepin County and Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library post consolidation. Committee members embraced the idea of one, strong support group. Two documents from the committee were discussed.
  • Library Board Resolution that underscores the mission of these groups which is to support the programs and services over and above tax provided support for libraries in the county and the idea that a single, unified support entity combines individual talents and strengthens their potential. Resolution action states the Library Board strongly supports and agrees to assist as needed to ensure a smooth transition to consolidate the Library Foundation of Hennepin County and the Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library into one unified support group with an effective date of the consolidation on or before June 30, 2008. John Gibbs made a motion to approve the resolution which was seconded by Holly Guncheon and the motion passed.
  • Blueprint for Guiding Principles for the Consolidation Process was developed as a way to assist the two groups in getting started and was reflective of the committee's ideas. It includes the vision of one unified group that is targeted at enriching programs and services over and above those supported by tax dollars that would otherwise not be possible and builds on the individual group successes, recognizing they have different strengths. The timetable for completion was accelerated after the two groups met. The Library Board's suggestion is that they work together to integrate these groups by mid year with other key issues to be resolved by the end of 2008. Jill Joseph made a motion for the Library Board to endorse the use of the Blueprint of Guiding Principles by the Library Foundation of Hennepin County and the Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library which was seconded by Cynthia Steinke and the motion passed.
Discussion followed related to individual Friends of the Library groups and Amy Ryan explained the difference between the formal 26 groups in the suburban libraries and the less formalized neighborhood groups that support city libraries. Patricia Izek agreed to join the committee to provide leadership when phase two begins which will include individual libraries' Friends groups for long-range planning.

NEW BUSINESS - Mission and Vision: Carolyn Bacon, Bacon and Associates
Amy Ryan introduced Carolyn Bacon, Organizational Consultant who will facilitate the development of a new Mission and Vision for Hennepin County Library that builds on our complementary strengths and shared service commitment. Articles were provided to Board members to be read prior to the March 19 Library Board meeting. A timetable was discussed that includes a three-hour working session for the Library Board. Library Board members agree this is a priority as the Mission and Vision is the framework for other strategic decisions.

United Hennepin County Library Celebration March 18, 2008
This event will be hosted by the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners and is generously sponsored by the Library Foundation and Friends of the Minneapolis Public Library. City officials from Hennepin County, Legislators, U.S. House and Senate, Planetarium and Athenaeum Boards, members of the Foundation and Friends will be included.

Impact of Ballpark Revenue on Library Hours - Deputy Library Director Lois Thompson
Ms. Thompson reviewed a preliminary outline for expanding library hours using ballpark tax revenue. Library Board discussion followed with some support expressed for Sunday hours based on customer comments. Additional Sunday hours may also appeal to families. Estimated cost projections were provided and include personnel, security, technology support, utilities, health care costs, inflation, and cost of living increases over nine years. Further discussions will occur with the County Commissioners, County Administration, Library Board, Library Administration, managers, staff and unions.

Minneapolis Athenaeum
A Library Board committee has been formed to address special challenges and opportunities related to the Minneapolis Athenaeum. Some of the collection characteristics are different and the committee will guide the Library Board through some policy questions. Library Board members who were appointed to serve are David Pratt, Kathleen Lamb, Roger Hale and Cynthia Steinke.

2008 Library Board Meeting Locations
Library Board meeting locations were previously approved through March 19, 2008. Meeting locations April-December 2008 were deferred for expanded Board review. Cynthia Steinke made a motion to approve the 2008 Library Board meeting dates and locations, seconded by Patricia Izek. After Board discussion and an agreement to revisit the start time later in the year if 5 p.m. is a concern, the motion was approved.

Patricia Izek made a motion to accept donations, seconded by Jill Joseph. Motion approved.

There being no further business, the Library Board meeting of February 27, 2008 adjourned at 6:39 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for March 19, 2008 at Minneapolis Central Library Doty Board Room, 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.


Holly Guncheon, Secretary