HENNEPIN COUNTY LIBRARY BOARD MEETING
OF January 24, 2001
The Hennepin County Library Board met on Wednesday, January 24, 2001, at the Ridgedale Area Library.
Present: Carol Walsh, President, Jack Cole, John Gibbs, Patricia Izek
Library Staff Attending: C.Brown, S.Charles, D.Cramer, C.DeGraff, J.Leick, J.Morgan, N.Perron, N. J. Fox, & B. Berg
Guests: Hattie Jackson (OBF); Gail See (Foundation); Alanna Tyler (HC Administration), Judy Hollander (HC Director of Property Services)
Welcome & Public Comment
President Walsh called the meeting to order and welcomed all guests.
A motion to approve the minutes of the December 6, 2000, meeting was made by J. Cole and seconded by P. Izek; motion passed.
PROGRAM: Metro Construction Climate - Judy Hollander
Judy has responsibility for planning, design, construction, maintenance and security of many of the County facilities. She reviewed with the group a presentation she gave to the County Board in December on construction market trends, and those issues that apply to the Library's capital program in particular. She said business keeps changing so it is a very dynamic process of how we are looking at the construction climate.
"At the national level, last year was a record setting year again following 1999. The Year 2000 had about a 4% construction growth over 1999."
"At the regional level, there has been a higher level of construction proportionately then probably anywhere else in the country. Along with the good news of there being a lot of construction comes the bad news -- a continued labor shortage, a shortage of materials and skilled laborers. As a result, budgets are increasing, the cost of doing the projects is higher than normal, and the time to finish those projects is longer because there is a longer wait for materials."
"At the local level, there's been a lot of competition among contractors, and so we are not only competing with others - others are competing with us - and we are also competing with ourselves."
"As we look to the future, residential construction is experiencing a drop in activity, and that helps us in that it eases up some of the demands on materials and labor. It's not always interchangeable. At the local level, we are going to see again some competition. We are not expecting that this climate or level of activity will drop for at least two years. The economy may slow up but construction for at least two years will stay pretty high. The commitments are there, the dollars are there, and unless the estimates are really out of whack, we don't think there will be any changes in the existing projects."
"In trying to counter some of the market volatility, we are trying to do a couple of things at the County. With the Brookdale Library, we are taking a hard look at the scope of the project, the level of fit and finish, and we are going to try and bring that project in to as close to our original budget as possible because it looks like the whole project could be as much as $2 million dollars over estimate."
"We also are trying internally to derive better estimates, and it's hard with an economy that is changing so quickly. No projects are being deferred and, at this point, the County Board feels like the projects currently identified are things they want to do and that we plan to move forward with them."
"There also is a big challenge with technology conversions. I think that we are dedicating the resources and are trying hard to meet the needs of the library, in particular, and all of the facilities that we are involved with. We just did a quick count - the library capital program is about 11% of the County's overall five year program; next year we think it will probably be about 20% of the building projects that we are involved in - so the Library is a significant customer ."
Judy noted that in this month's issue of Architectural Minnesota, the architects assigned to the St. Louis Park Library renovation just won an award for a library at the Whittier School in Minneapolis.
Construction Project Updates - Charles Brown
Wayzata Community Library: There is some local opposition to the whole Wayzata building complex and the dollars that are being spent. Some members of the community asked for a decision from the State Auditor. The State Auditor investigated, and it was the determination of that office that the project did not meet the guidelines for TIF funding. December 31 of 1999 was the deadline for being able to use TIF money for projects like libraries. The Auditors decision was that it seemed that the agreement that was reached was not with an actual construction firm, but was with a construction management company. More information will be shared as this issue is worked out.
Eden Prairie Community Library: We are continuing to work with the architectural firm on the Eden Prairie Library project. We have reached an agreement that we will have more time in planning the project; we are now looking at a summer 2002 opening of the new Eden Prairie Library. We have a meeting scheduled this Friday to look at some final exterior drawings of the building.
Edina Community Library: Edina seems to be moving along very well. We had a meeting on Monday, and it now appears that OPUS plans to have the Edina Library project completed by January 2002. Plan to break ground around July.
St. Anthony Community Library: October 31, 2001 is the latest completion date set for St. Anthony Community Library.
2001 BUDGET STATUS - D. CRAMER
D. Cramer distributed the 2001 Operating Budget and a 2001 Operating Budget Summary. Budget is up about 7% over budget from last year. David gave a brief definition of Personal Services, Commodities, Services, Capital Outlay and Other Charges listed on the 2001 Operating Budget Summary page.
If you have questions on 2001 Operating Budget content, please call or e-mail David Cramer.
STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS - C. BROWN
Charles reviewed the process being used for the development of the current Strategic Planning document. This document will provide us with very broad goals or areas where HCL is going and will give us the flexibility on a year by year basis to tweak and revise the approaches we take. We also wanted a document that a person coming on staff, or a member of the Friends group, or new Board member could pick up - find attractive to read and easy to understand and gives them a clear picture of where this organization is going and some of the very broad steps it was taking to get there.
Charles said, we, of course, see an annual or periodic review of our strategic direction by the Library Board as this is one of the roles that the Board performs
STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS 2001-2005 - NANCY PERRON
Nancy distributed the Strategic Directions 2001-2005 draft document. She explained that subsequent to sending out the previous draft to the Board, there were some additional word changes -- but the substance of the plan was not changed. She said, in general, the comments made by the Board members were very favorable. Most of the questions were not about the direction we were taking with the plan or the critical success factors, the strategies and priority action plans - they had to do with some of the more technical things. Some slight changes to Charles introduction were also made.
Nancy said, at M. Jackson's suggestion, we edited the plan for consistency in how we refer to the libraries in the system. In some sections of the plan, we were referring to the libraries as "local" libraries, and in other sections we were using the term "area and community" libraries. They now are all referenced as "area and community" libraries. A few changes were also made by request of Richard Johnson.
Nancy asked the Board to endorse the following:
A motion was made by Carol Walsh to endorse the above requests; seconded by John Gibbs; motion passed.
Nancy also circulated the proposed cover design for the Strategic Plan as it will be published.
UPDATE ON CURRENT STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS THRU 2001 - JULIA MORGAN
If there are any questions on the above, please call or e-mail Julia Morgan.
Library Board Resolutions
C. Walsh presented two Library Board Resolutions - one for Bob Zaragoza, whose term on the Board is ending, and one for Jack Cole who decided not to reapply for another appointment to the Library Board. The Board members who were present expressed their thanks and gratitude to Jack for all his contributions and dedication (Bob Zaragoza was absent from this meeting).
Carol made a motion that the Library Board reimburse Jack Cole in the amount of $500 for expenses incurred at ALA Midwinter. The motion was seconded by Patricia Izek; motion passed.
In response to an inquiry from Board member Jack Cole:
Subjects discussed by Charles during a December 14 meeting with County HR regarding library human relations needs and issues: A discussion was held regarding the job description for librarians which has been revised. Effectively immediately, any future library recruitments will be required to have a Master's Degree in Library Science from an accredited ALA institution. Those staff members, who are in librarian level positions now, and who do not possess an MLS, will be grandfathered in.
C. Walsh asked M. Jackson, D. Pratt and J. Gibbs to offer a slate of candidates for this year for the Library Board. J. Gibbs recommended that C.Walsh be nominated for another year as President; J. Gibbs be nominated as Vice President; and, P. Izek be nominated as the Secretary.
J. Gibbs made the motion to elect that slate of three officers; seconded by J. Cole; motion passed.
CAROL WALSH STATEMENT
C. Walsh said that the president of the Library Board also serves on the Foundation Board. It was agreed that if the President is unable to attend the Foundation meetings, the Vice President will attend to give a five-minute report on Library Board activities that would be of interest to the Foundation.
Motion to accept the gifts made by J. Cole; seconded by P. Izek; motion passed.
Motion to adjourn made by J. Cole; seconded by P. Izek; motion passed.
Patricia Izek, Secretary