OF MAY 16, 2007

The Hennepin County Library Board met Wednesday, May 16, 2007 at the Ridgedale Library.

Present: John Gibbs, David Pratt, Therese VanBlarcom, Holly Guncheon, and Claudia Kelly
Library Staff: Michael McConnell, Lois Langer Thompson, Sharon Charles, Judy Hohmann, Amy Ryan, Jane Johnson, Carla Biermaier, Bill Berg, and Char Sohlberg
Public: Susan Segal, Len Lansman, Jackie Higgins, Earl Simons, and Diane Sannes.

John Gibbs, President called the Hennepin County Library Board Meeting of May 18, 2007 to order at 5:00 p.m. and welcomed all attendees.

David Pratt moved approval of the agenda, which was seconded by Holly Guncheon. Agenda was approved.

Therese VanBlarcom moved approval of the minutes of the April 25, 2007 Library Board meeting, Ms. Guncheon seconded the motion which was approved.

Diane Sannes resident of Brooklyn Center, requested assistance from the Library Board to begin a collaboration between Hennepin County Library and Medtronic. She described the Time-N-Talent program which supports employees' volunteer involvement by providing financial support to nonprofit organizations. Holly Guncheon recommended the information about the program be shared with the Library Foundation of Hennepin County (because they have 501(c)3 status) for further investigation and response to Ms. Sannes.

Holly Guncheon: has been following updates on the library merger.
Therese VanBlarcom: has also been following merger updates and acknowledged her interest and appreciation for the work being done as the merger progresses. Ms. VanBlarcom also plans to attend the American Library Association conference in June.
David Pratt: was interested in the Plymouth Library project and the impact recent decisions made by the City of Plymouth might have. Amy Ryan will forward information to Library Board members and the Plymouth schematic design will be included in the program report at the June 20, 2007 Library Board meeting at the Edina Library.
Claudia Kelly: attended the library staff Years of Service brunch and expressed her appreciation for long-term, committed employees.
John Gibbs: attended the National Association of Counties Award ceremony in Washington D.C. and has also followed the merger updates closely.

  • Library Board Recognition - John Gibbs
    The Library Board recognized the collaborative efforts of the Brooklyn Center Lions Club represented by Earl Simons, Jackie Higgins and Len Lansman and the Friends of the Brookdale Library, represented by Diane Sannes for their commitment and many contributions to Hennepin County Library customers and staff. Mr. Simons described the collaboration between the two groups that provided hundreds of used library books for elementary aged school children.
  • 21st Century Libraries - Michael McConnell
    Review of the current state of public libraries, flourishing both in traditional ways and with the rapidly expanding Internet. Considered economic boosters in building communities, libraries contribute as active, economic development agents that address a number of urban issues. Hennepin County Library will retain its leadership role moving libraries into the 21st century to successfully serve customers whose expectations continue to change. Collections also change to include new formats and databases along with traditional resources, books and magazines. Mr. McConnell responded to questions from the Library Board.
DIRECTOR'S REPORT - Amy Ryan, Director
  • Ms. Ryan introduced and welcomed Susan Segal, Senior Assistant Hennepin County Attorney in the Civil Division who provides legal representation for the library. Library Board members thanked her for her quick response to questions about the Library Board Bylaws. The Library looks forward to working with Ms. Segal.
  • A report on the NACo Award presentation in Washington D.C. was provided. Representative Keith Ellison attended along with Representative Ramstad's Aide. John Gibbs and Amy Ryan met with Senator Klobuchar in her office after the awards breakfast.
  • Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Library proposed merger update included a report on labor negotiations that resulted in an agreement between Minneapolis Public Library and the City of Minneapolis to be voted on by AFSCME. If approved, the bill to enable the merger will progress to the final Senate committee and on to the House and Senate on Friday before they adjourn. Funding to support the merger is in a separate omnibus K-12 bill. Discussion followed. If the enabling legislation is passed the Library Board, County Administration and Hennepin County Board will work with the Library to establish a timetable. Amy Ryan and Kit Hadley will identify priorities for pre-merger planning.
Hennepin County Library Proposed 2008 Operating Budget Request - Amy Ryan, Director
An overview was provided. The mission, vision and core principles are considered along with the Balanced Scorecard that is enforced by Hennepin County. As a department of Hennepin County all departments follow the same instructions. Instructions allow a 2.5% increase over the approved 2007 property tax amount (or $41.8 million in 2008). In addition all departments are required to submit a budget that reflects a 3% reduction. Discussion followed regarding how to balance the budget acknowledging cost increases, possible reductions and the impact ball park revenue may have in the process. The Library Board will review and discuss the proposed 2008 Operating Budget request further at their June 20, 2007 meeting.

Therese VanBlarcom provided an update. At the board meeting in April, she asked members for suggestions and comments about the existing Bylaws. Mr. Pratt provided some information and also asked about the County Board appointment process by geographic location. Ms. Van Blarcom will meet with Susan Segal and bring this item back to the Library Board at their June 20, 2007 meeting for conclusion.

Claudia Kelly moved to accept the donations, seconded by Ms. VanBlarcom. Motion was approved.

There being no further business, the Library Board Meeting of May 16, 2007, was declared adjourned at 6:18 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Wed., June 20, 2007, 5 p.m., at the Edina Library at 5820 Grandview Square, Edina, MN 55436.


Holly Guncheon, Secretary