OF OCTOBER 17, 2007

The Hennepin County Library Board met Wednesday, October 17, 2007 at the Ridgedale Library.

Present: John Gibbs, David Pratt, Claudia Kelly, Holly Guncheon, Cynthia Steinke and Therese VanBlarcom
Library Staff: Amy Ryan, Lois Langer Thompson, Judith Friedrich, Nancy Palmer, Sharon Charles, Margaret Gillespie, Bill Berg and Charlene Sohlberg
Guest: Susan Segal, Hennepin County Attorney's Office

John Gibbs, President called the Hennepin County Library Board Meeting of Oct. 17, 2007 to order at 5 p.m. and welcomed all attendees.

Therese VanBlarcom made a motion to approve the agenda which was seconded by Claudia Kelly. Motion was approved.

Claudia Kelly made a motion to approve the minutes of the Sept. 26, 2007 Library Board meeting which was seconded by Holly Guncheon. Motion was approved.

No public comment.

Therese VanBlarcom: Will attend the ttyl@HCL open house at Brookdale Library Oct. 23, 4-6 p.m.
Cynthia Steinke: Reported she lost her library card for the first time in 20 years.
David Pratt: In 2007 the Library Foundation raised over $47,000 from 254 donors for the collection enhancement initiative; eighteen Friends groups contributed over $31,000 with individuals and organizations donating over $16,000.

Pre-merger transactional documents, Susan Segal, Hennepin County Attorney's Office
  • An overview of the transactional documents was provided and remaining issues are close to being resolved. Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Library staff have done an amazing job. When completed, there will be three agreements; one which will transfer all of the real property that includes buildings and land; the second will transfer personal property, which includes collections, computers, records, etc., to the County; and the third is the finance agreement that will provide for the City bond revenue and other financial contributions to the consolidated library system and distribution of liability for pre and post-consolidation claims between the City and the County.
  • Additional background was provided about the enabling legislation, which dictates the major terms of the consolidation. One of the provisions of the legislation related to the reopening of the three "shuttered" Minneapolis libraries. The City was responsible for establishing and funding the hours of operation for the three libraries for the first three years after they were reopened with declining contributions over the next five years. The City has decided to fund operating hours at the shuttered libraries for a total of 68 hours per week, the level they were at prior to closure. The Minneapolis Public Library is in the process of readying the buildings for reopening.
  • The Minneapolis Public Library Board which is its own legal entity will be dissolved upon the consolidation. The Hennepin County Library Board will expand from seven to eleven members and the County Board will continue to appoint all members; with three of the four new board members (for the initial term) residing within the City of Minneapolis and appointed in consultation with the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor.
  • It is discretionary whether the County will proceed with building a Planetarium by Jan. 1, 2011. In the event this is not built, a $22 million grant earmarked by the Minnesota legislature for this project will no longer be available.
  • Next steps are to finalize the agreement and the schedule. A public hearing before the City of Minneapolis and Minneapolis Public Library Board is scheduled Nov. 7 and Hennepin County Library will submit a resolution for approval by the County Board to schedule a public hearing on Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. at Eden Prairie Library.
  • In order to consolidate the Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Library, the Minneapolis Public Library Board, City Council and Mayor, and the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners need to approve all transactional documents. Because the merger legislation is a special law, each of these three governmental units, the Minneapolis Public Library Board, the City and the County must approve it by filing certificates of local approval. The consolidation will be effective the first day after all of the agreements are signed and all of the certificates of local approval have been filed.
  • Review of Library Board Bylaws. Changes required for the consolidation are in article one, section one, paragraph one, that refer to the Board consisting of seven members (changes to eleven). Revisions are also needed to stagger Board member terms. The process to amend these issues should be at the first board meeting, post consolidation and one of the first acts will be to approve the amendments. Amy Ryan suggested the Board explore working with a consultant on preliminary governance structure and appointing a subcommittee to work with the consultant to develop a presentation for the expanded Library Board. John Gibbs appointed Therese VanBlarcom to Chair the subcommittee that includes David Pratt, Cynthia Steinke and Char Sohlberg.
DIRECTOR'S REPORT - Amy Ryan, Director
Amy introduced the new Operations Division Manager, Nancy Palmer.
Pre-merger review:
  • The application process for Library Board members opened Sept. 24 and closes Oct. 25, 2007. Dates for applicant interviews with the County Board will be announced.
  • The transactional documents for the merger may be presented to the County Commissioners at their mid-December Board meeting. County labor negotiations are actively underway and may be approved by then, along with the approval of 2008 Hennepin County Budget.
Post-merger Library Board governance discussion:
  • Sharon Charles, Resource Services Division Manager updated the Board regarding Information Technology issues.
  • The Minneapolis Public Library logo will be replaced with the existing Hennepin County Library logo until an expanded board develops a new mission/vision and identity logo.
  • An organizational chart for the top layer reporting structure will be developed; working with the Library Board and administrative staff, a new organization structure will also be developed.
  • On day one, Hennepin County Library's policies will be in effect. Business will be conducted as it is now, without abrupt changes. The Library Board will identify which policies need attention first, such as collection management and information services.
  • Library Board members discussed several ways to communicate excitement about the consolidation, engage partners and stakeholders, and recognized the need to build on the combined strengths of both Hennepin County and Minneapolis Public libraries as we move forward to achieve our goal as the premier library system in the country. Further discussion and next steps will be identified at the November Library Board meeting.

Priority Ideas for Development and Implementation in 2008
The 2008 priorities were presented to the Library Board. Ms. Steinke moved approval of the list of 2008 Priorities which was seconded by Ms. Guncheon. Motion was approved.

Board members were reminded the Library budget hearing is scheduled on Oct. 29, 1 p.m., Government Center, A-24 County Board Room.

Mr. Gibbs acknowledged the list of non-monetary donations and thanked the contributors on behalf of the Library Board. Ms. VanBlarcom moved to accept the donations, seconded by Ms. Kelly. Motion was approved.

There being no further business, the Library Board Meeting of Oct. 17, 2007, adjourned at 6:30 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled Wed., Nov. 28, 2007, 5 p.m. at Southdale Library, 7001 York Avenue South, Edina, MN 55435.


Holly Guncheon, Secretary