AUGUST 10, 2009

The Hennepin County Library Board met Mon., August 10, 2009 at Central Library.

Present: Sandy Johnson, Jill Joseph, Claudia Kelly, Kathleen Lamb, John Pacheco, David Pratt, Cynthia Steinke, and Therese VanBlarcom
Hennepin County Staff: Bill Berg, Sharon Charles, Kelli Koob, Lois Lenroot-Ernt, Michael McConnell, Jodi Monson, Nancy Palmer, Allen Rezac, Lois Langer Thompson, Ardis Wiley and Marilyn Zastrow
Public: Stu Wilson

President Therese VanBlarcom called the Hennepin County Library Board meeting of August 10, 2009 to order at 5:05 p.m. and welcomed attendees.

Jill Joseph made a motion to approve the agenda which was seconded by Claudia Kelly. Motion passed.

Cynthia Steinke made a motion to approve the consent agenda which was seconded by Ms. Johnson. Motion passed.

No public comment.

Capital Plan Priorities, Capital Projects Manager Lois Lenroot-Ernt
  • Lois Lenroot-Ernt summarized capital projects in progress. Other developments include recommissioning projects for efficiencies at eight libraries and building lighting efficiencies upgrades at eleven libraries. Customers are notified that a library is closing for renovation by surveying which alternate libraries they may frequent, catalog notices, web information, local newspapers, neighborhood organizations and city council newsletters. Discussion followed.
  • Ms. Thompson reviewed the Hennepin County Library Capital Plan and summarized requirements and challenges that included changes in the economy and the impact of the capital budget on the operating budget due to opening new libraries in Maple Grove and Plymouth in 2010. With direction from the County Board to reduce the capital budget, the Library's capital plan allows flexibility to adapt as changes occur. Discussion followed and enhancements were suggested.
2010 Operating Budget Strategy, Director Lois Langer Thompson
  • Ms. Thompson explained the 2010 operating budget request strategy. The Library presented its 2010 budget request to County Administration August 3. Additional reductions in personal services were requested. Direction was given to base the budget request on service priorities and an additional $750,000 reduction was suggested which brings the cumulative reduction for 2010 to approximately $3.9 million. Discussion followed.
  • The Library is working with Ballpark funding for additional hours open next year; potentially opening Central Library Mondays and off-setting expanded hours for new Plymouth and Maple Grove Libraries. The Library Foundation is interested in fundraising efforts to support the collection. Foundation Executive Director Stu Wilson noted fundraising overall is up mid-year.
  • A strategic planning process is the next step to ensure the budget supports all five priorities: early literacy, out of school time, jobs & small business, 55+, and lifelong learning. Library staffing and services will continue to be scrutinized. Services available elsewhere and efficiency in providing services will be examined to eliminate duplication and adopt best practices. Information on strategic plan development will be provided.
  • As requested by John Gibbs, Ms. VanBlarcom shared a suggestion from a merger document, regarding the operating system for 21st Century service within the Framework for the Future. She asked how this impacts the Library when the property tax base has not increased and implementation costs have. Ms. Lamb asked that the merger document be provided to the board before the next meeting for further discussion. The next meeting will be more action/decision making oriented.
  • Ms. VanBlarcom asked two experienced Library Board members to contact her to volunteer to mentor the two new appointees.
  • The Aug. 11 County Board meeting agenda includes: 2009 National Association of Counties (NACo) Achievement Awards presentation and Hennepin County Library and Taxpayer Services will be recognized for, "A Library's Response to the Economy," which highlighted jobs & small business resources, Freedom Ticket, and collaborative foreclosure workshops; Planetarium lease at Central Library; removal of New North Library from the eminent domain list; and a Library Board appointment to fulfill Mr. Hale's term.
No committee reports.

No unfinished business.

No new business.

  • Ms. Lamb suggested the good news on capital projects be shared as a story for local newspapers.
  • Mr. Pratt suggested a flyer be available at libraries regarding recommissioning. He also asked if an estimated time to wait for a book you reserve could be posted on the website.
  • Ms. Kelly suggested posting recommendations for other books on the website if the book you are requesting is not available.
  • Mr. Pacheco suggested a fundraising idea: Could HCL publicize the cost of a bestseller book on the website with an option for the customer to click on it to donate the amount to the collection and have it charged to your credit card?
Suggestions will be forwarded to the appropriate Library Division Managers or other Administrative staff and an update will be provided.

There being no further business, Ms. Lamb made a motion to adjourn the Library Board meeting of Aug. 10, 2009 at 6:35 p.m. which was seconded by Ms. Joseph. The motion passed. The next Library Board meeting is Aug. 26, 2009 at Ridgedale Library.


John Pacheco, Secretary