July 23, 2008

The Hennepin County Library Board met Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at North Regional Library.
Present: John Gibbs, Roger Hale, Jill Joseph, Claudia Kelly, Kathleen Lamb, John Pacheco, David Pratt, Cynthia Steinke and Therese VanBlarcom
Hennepin County Staff: Bill Berg, Jerry J. Blue, Ginger Bush, Sharon Charles, Kari Dziedzic, Barbara Elg, Margaret Gillespie, Richard P. Johnson, Michael McConnell, Nancy Palmer, Allen Rezak, Amy Ryan, Margaret Schuster, Char Sohlberg, Lois Thompson, Ardis Wiley and Gretchen Wronka
Public: Steve Brandt, Boa Lee, Cheryl Luger, Sue Mackert, Rebecca Strauchon and Julia Wallace

Vice President Therese VanBlarcom called the Hennepin County Library Board meeting of July 23, 2008 to order at 5:07 p.m. and welcomed attendees.

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

Children's Readmobile Associate Librarian Susan Tracy addressed the Board regarding programs identified to be eliminated in the 2009 Operating Budget Request: At Home Service and Children's Readmobile. Hennepin County resident and former supervisor of Readmobile Service Rebecca Strauchon also expressed concern regarding the Readmobile.

North Regional Senior Librarian Barb Elg provided a tour of the library prior to the meeting for some Board members. She also welcomed the Board and meeting attendees. Ms. Elg provided North Regional Library highlights including information about a McKnight Foundation grant which has enabled the library to employ a youth worker to provide training along with creative and fun opportunities to gather input from and serve youth. Youth leadership opportunities have direct connections with the community. Other collaborations have encouraged residents to learn how to write resumes, complete job applications online, enhance job readiness and interviewing skills, and some job placement. They have also been involved in the county initiative that addresses foreclosures.

Therese VanBlarcom introduced Kari Dziedzic from Commissioner Mark Stenglein's office.

Jill Joseph made a motion to approve the minutes of the June 25, 2008 Library Board meeting which was seconded by Cynthia Steinke. Motion was approved.

Roger Hale made a motion to accept the donations, seconded by Jill Joseph and the motion passed. Therese VanBlarcom thanked the Minneapolis Friends group for the contribution of a quarter million dollars and commitment to support Hennepin County Library services and programs.

  • David Pratt attended the Wayzata Library Third Annual Picnic on July 16, attended by over 500 people, including 200 children at the Children's Garden. The library recruited many new members for their Friends group. He encouraged Board members to read the Athenaeum minutes received in their packets and to give him feedback.
  • John Pacheco attended the Wayzata Library picnic and noted it was well attended by families. He enjoyed the reading and entertainment.
  • John Gibbs will reconvene the Friends/Foundation Subcommittee as soon as members' schedules allow.
Minneapolis Central Library Parking Ramp: Hennepin County Administrator Richard P. Johnson

Mr. Johnson provided background information on the financial viability of the parking ramp at Minneapolis Central Library. He also provided information about the agreement with Imperial Parking. Alternatives have been identified to shift and reduce costs and these will continue to be explored. Board discussion on the financial arrangements followed.

2009 Operating Budget Request Proposal: Amy Ryan
  • The revised 2009 Operating Budget Request proposal was discussed to get input from the Library Board. The library is in a period of transition consolidating two budgets from the suburban and city libraries and with Property Services Department. The goal is a consolidated budget for 2009.
  • The proposed reduction to the Readmobile Service was identified in an attempt to address the need to reach the most children possible and strengthen the impact the library has in the most efficient way. Board discussion followed and Youth Services & Outreach Coordinator Gretchen Wronka was asked to share a brief history of the Children's Readmobile. Further discussion included a suggestion to explore a reduction in Readmobile Service rather than eliminate it. Prioritizing funds received from the Foundation, grants, and Friends in relation to services on the proposed reduction list was also suggested. In preparing the proposed reduction list, consideration was given to the Framework for the Future priorities along with county instructions for all departments. Library closures or hours reductions were not considered.
  • The add-back list was summarized. Top three priorities are to increase collection funds, restore At Home Services and restore staff. A proposed item on the add-back list builds on the existing workforce, job and career centers at Brookdale and Minneapolis Central libraries with future expansions at Brooklyn Park, Southdale, East Lake and North Regional libraries. Coordinating Librarian Michael McConnell summarized the program as a joint effort between the Library and Hennepin County Workforce Centers to provide access to technology, online resources, programming, staff and collection.
  • The additional hours long-term initiative includes opening Minneapolis Central Library on Mondays.
Cynthia Steinke made a motion to approve the 2009 Operating Budget Request proposal with the prioritized add back list and the Hennepin County Library Job & Career Centers expansion which was seconded by Jill Joseph. Motion was approved.

An orientation session for Library Board officers and past-President is scheduled Aug. 11, 11-12:30 p.m. at Minneapolis Central Library, Doty Board Room. Suggestions from other Board members may be communicated to the officers before the meeting.

There being no further business, Roger Hale made a motion to adjourn the Library Board meeting of July 23, 2008 at 6:48 p.m. which was seconded by Jill Joseph. The motion passed. The next meeting is scheduled Aug. 27, 2008 at Eden Prairie Library, 565 Prairie Center Drive, Eden Prairie.


John Pacheco, Secretary