MARCH 25, 2009

The Hennepin County Library Board met Wed., Mar. 25, 2009 at Ridgedale Library.

Present: John Gibbs, Roger Hale, Patricia Izek, David Pratt and Kathleen Lamb
Hennepin County Staff: Bill Berg, Juli Bratvold, Tonya DePriest, Judith Friedrich, Margaret Gillespie, Patrick Jones, Lois Langer Thompson, County Lois Lenroot-Ernt, Lin Maki, Dan Marcou, Michael McConnell, Jodi Monson, Alan Rezac, Margie Schuster, Maggie Snow, Char Sohlberg, Marilyn Turner, Emily Watts, Betsy Williams, Gretchen Wronka, Rev. Diane Bland
Public: Linda Furs, Cheryl Gibbons, Maria Saulsbury, Julie Schaefer, Maura Steblay, Lucie Taylor, Stu Wilson

President Patricia Izek called the Hennepin County Library Board meeting of March 25, 2009 to order at 5:03 p.m. and welcomed attendees. She acknowledged no official action would be taken at the meeting due to the lack of a quorum.

Agenda was not addressed.

The minutes of the Feb. 25, 2009 Library Board meeting and acceptance of donations were not addressed.

President Izek acknowledged the commitment and contributions made by Friends of the Library Groups in 2008 and introduced Library Friends Coordinator Margie Schuster. Ms. Schuster summarized the donations that totaled approximately $150,000. 2008 Friends Council Co-Chair Lucie Taylor addressed the Board.

No public comment.

  • Recognition - Corrections Librarian Dan Marcou was introduced by Director Lois Langer Thompson. Mr. Marcou was recognized as a Library Journal 2009 Movers & Shakers honoree for his creative efforts that are, "shaping the future of libraries." He is currently promoting "Freedom Ticket" a program that offers information and links to library resources, programs, and reentry tools to help people released from correctional facilities rejoin the community with greater success. Mr. Marcou addressed the Board recognizing the support of colleagues in the Outreach Dept.: Patrick Jones, Lin Maki, and Renee Hasse.
  • Capital Projects - Capital Projects Manager Lois Lenroot-Ernt
    Ms. Lenroot-Ernt spoke of the work underway to update the 2006 Framework for the Future Capital Plan Discussion. The updated version includes 41 libraries, with recommendations from Library Services tours and facility assessments by Property Services staff. An update on the status of projects was also presented.
    New Libraries: Plymouth Library construction is underway. Furniture, furnishings and equipment (FFE) meetings with architects and Property services are being held. The projected opening date at this time is spring 2010. Maple Grove Library is on a similar track with a projected opening date of early summer 2010. The new North Library will replace the current Webber Park Library. Architects have developed a preliminary design and discussion is underway about the placement of the new building which is expected to face Victory Memorial Parkway.
    Major Renovations: A successful, well-attended community open house at Nokomis Library was held March 12 with Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, members of the Nokomis Library Advisory Team, Library Board, and City Council Representative Sandy Colvin Roy. The County Board approved the Nokomis Library schematic design March 31 and construction should begin this fall. Architects for the Northeast Library are currently working on the schematic design and plan to present it to the County Board in June.
    Facility Modifications: St. Louis Park Library will see an increase in quieter study and gathering space when the wall between the meeting room and the children's area is replaced with glass doors. The storage area will also be reconfigured. The Champlin Library will undergo similar modifications. The need to maximize floor space at Champlin and Minnetonka Libraries will be achieved by combining the circulation and information desks into one customer service point. At Osseo Library the information desk will be replaced with a desk that improves ergonomics and is an appropriate size for the building.
    Pre-Design: Walker and Brooklyn Park libraries are in pre-design and site selection. The Southdale and Excelsior libraries feasibility studies are complete and being reviewed by staff. County Administrator Richard Johnson recommended the County Board defer projects at Southdale, Excelsior and Brooklyn Park libraries. His recommendation is under review by the Board. Discussion followed.
President Izek reported on library visits. She noted Long Lake Library was busy even though road construction makes access difficult. Mr. Gibbs attended the Nokomis Library Open House and noted all attendees are enthusiastic about what is planned for that library.

Ms. Izek summarized the Executive Committee meeting held March 2, 2009.

No unfinished business.

No new business.

Lois Langer Thompson reported on several topics:
  • Capital Budget - work is underway to develop the 2010-2014 Capital Budget request.
  • MELSA Libraries - Library Directors have also been asked to cut 5-10% of their operating budgets. Ideas being considered are: library closures, hours reductions and reduced dollars for collection. She noted reductions in other MELSA systems will impact neighboring library systems.
  • Library-related Federal Stimulus Package items proposed: 1) Support for green libraries (Property Services); 2) the use of Americorp volunteers to assist with Internet and other technology training; and 3) a program to hire older Americans for part-time positions.
  • The Planetarium Society hired a director effective mid-April and negotiations are underway for this individual to rent office space at Central Library.
  • Awards - Hennepin County was delighted to learn Central Library won an American Institute of Architects award; Central Library is one of eight winners in 2009 and is considered one of the "finest examples of library design by architects licensed in the U.S." Library Journal awarded Hennepin County Library a Five-Star rating based on customer use (checkouts, visits to the library, internet use, and program attendance).
  • Library Board Appointments - the County Board of Commissioners decided to layover appointments for the two open positions.
  • Speaking engagement - Ms. Thompson was invited to speak at the St. Louis Park Rotary Club. Rotarians expressed their interest and appreciation for news on the merger and many wanted to know about the impact the economic downturn may have on Hennepin County Library services.
The meeting was adjourned by President Izek at 6:30 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled April 22, 2009 at Central Library - Doty Board Room.


John Pacheco, Secretary