HENNEPIN COUNTY LIBRARY BOARD MEETING
OF MARCH 26, 2003
The Hennepin County Library Board met on Wednesday, March 26, 2003, at the Ridgedale Area Library.
Present: John Gibbs, Gerda Haas, Dawn Harris, Patricia Izek, David Pratt, and Cynthia Steinke.
Library Staff Attending: C.Brown, D.Cramer, K.Kimerer, J.Leick, J.Morgan, N.Perron, E.Feinberg, S.Louis, M. Ranum, T. Hanus, C. Fischer, M. Gillespie, M. Turner, J. Friedrich, R. Kemp, M. Schuster, C.Ahrens, & B.Berg.
Guests: Richard Waritz II; Alanna Tyler (County Admin.).
Call to Order/Welcome/Public Comment
The meeting was called to order by President David Pratt with a call for any special library guests in addition to Mark Ranum as program presenter.
Public Comment: Mr. Nicholas Waritz II, St. Louis Park, expressed his concern about the 50-item reserve limit policy recently implemented.
Diversity Action Plan - Mark Ranum: The Action Plan, Training Schedule, and Diversity Connection materials were mailed to the Library Board. Mark Ranum reviewed the history of the Diversity Steering Committee and development of the HCL Diversity activities. Presentation included: review of Diversity Connection (staff website ), Welcome banners in the libraries, library programs, outreach activities, access to materials, collection, and staff diversity.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion was made to approve the minutes of the February 26, 2003, meeting by G. Haas, seconded by C. Steinke; motion passed.
Policy Committee: Julia Morgan reviewed the recommended changes to the Friends Policy, basically shortened and more emphasis on goal of the Friends. Cynthia Steinke moved approval of the recommended policy, Patricia Izek seconded, and motion passed.
2003 Budget: C. Brown called on David Cramer for an update. D. Cramer attended a 3/13/03 County Board retreat and this was the first time the Commissioners heard of the actual impact of state budget cuts on departments. County is looking at saving $94 million through 2005. Charles reported that unless there are unforeseen changes in the library budget, the public will not see any service changes at this time.
The County Board has scheduled a special meeting April 1 to approve retirement/resignation incentives, a layoff policy, and other budget items. No instructions for preparation of 2004 budget yet.
Maple Grove Library Update: C. Brown gave a status report of the project with input from Janet Leick and Margaret Gillespie. Planning process is delayed due to the amount of city-donated land available. Capital Budget Task Force schedule may slip Maple Grove bonds one year. Library and County will continue to work with the city on this project.
The Library Board continued a discussion begun at the January Library Board meeting. John Gibbs expressed his concerns: bonding for buildings is not difficult, but the ongoing operating costs are dramatic; additional incremental operation budget costs for Maple Grove -- currently $887,000/year, will increase to $1.45 million/year with an expanded Maple Grove building; concern that an expanded MG library building is beyond HCL operating budget capability; this is an opportunity now to be very cautious and not build a huge operating & service quality problem for the future. Question was raised: given the sense of economic reality, is there any wisdom to spend money at all advancing the Maple Grove project. J. Gibbs expressed concern that perhaps the Board should have looked a little harder at some of the other projects that are now underway, but doesn't feel that those are as acute as what Maple Grove may present due to the current budget climate. D. Pratt did bring up the point that Minneapolis Public Library may want to begin discussion of merger of the two systems, which could present a different set of challenges.
Information needed/requested for Library Board's continued discussion at April 23 meeting: Maple Grove demographics, population of use of the library, why increase size of library from 15,000 to 40,000 square feet, history of project development, would smaller libraries need to close in the future to stretch operating budget, current operating budget vs. projected budget, impact of Brookdale opening on Maple Grove use, capacity of neighboring libraries in the area, impact of Eden Prairie and Brookdale expansions on system budget, why larger libraries vs. smaller community libraries, impact of possible MPL branch closings, choices/options concerning Maple Grove library (not proceeding, diverting services/patrons to other surrounding libraries, modifying current services), what are the implications of moving ahead on the entire system and the operating budget, and lifestyle of Maple Grove residents (auto commuters, buses, walk; what could be done at other libraries commuters are passing on their way to Maple Grove). P. Izek plans to make a visit to the Maple Grove Library before the April meeting and asked about possible alternatives to expanding Maple Grove Library. J. Gibbs expressed concern that continued expansion and demands on the operating budget will spread throughout the system and the County will not only have dissatisfied library patrons in Maple Grove, but in all other communities as library services system-wide are reduced and suffer. Need to let the operating budget impacts play a much bigger role in the planning process for Maple Grove, which may lead to the identification of other ways to service the Maple Grove community and the overall suburban community. Request was made for Library Board instruction on the Capital vs. Operating budgets, sources of revenue, at the April 23 meeting.
J. Gibbs proposed that Library Board urge the County Board to indefinitely postpone any further activity on the development of the Maple Grove Library expansion; there are currently no operating costs committed to this project. Following additional Board discussion, this topic will be continued at the April 23 Library Board meeting, staff to supply the above listed information to Library Board prior to the meeting.
Wayzata Art Project: David Pratt introduced Trudy Hanus, Wayzata Librarian, to present the art proposals for Library Board approval. Two locations for art in the building, review of the pieces for each location. Motion by Patricia Izek to approve the proposals, seconded by Cynthia Steinke, motion passed.
Charles Brown reported on the Penn Lake opening dates: April 25 for the community preview breakfast and April 26 for the public event; Wayzata opening: May 1 evening for a preview, and May 3 for the public opening. Eden Prairie construction update which may be delayed a few months; hoping to still open in 2003.
D.Pratt: Reported at the recent Library Foundation Board meeting, they are looking at possibility of establishing library funding for discretionary use; Karla Kimerer clarified that this is being discussed, but no decisions have been made as yet.
Dawn Harris: She is serving on the Brookdale Art Committee and will have a report at the April meeting.
Motion to accept the following gifts was made by G. Haas, seconded by D. Pratt and passed.
Motion to adjourn was made by C. Steinke and seconded by P. Izek; meeting was adjourned.
Dawn Harris, Secretary