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.

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.

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

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:
  • The approach we are using - which is more directional than operational.
  • The Critical Success Factors which are: Customer Driven Service, Lifelong Learning, Diversity, System Thinking, and Resources and Relationships.
  • The four strategies: Bricks and Clicks; Service and Systems, New Technologies; Thinking Outside the Box.
  • The five Priority Action Plans - recognizing that focusing on the Priority Action Plans in this document does not mean that ongoing operations are not important - they are. They are not singled because they require no directional change. The five action plans include: Lifelong Learning, Value Added Customer Services, Hennepin eLibrary; Roles and Services, Partnership Building.

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.

  • Staff Development Day: The half-day Staff Development Day will continue in HCL.
  • Training: We have a very effective training program going on with technology, and staff is taking advantage of that.
  • Collection: The collection has changed considerably due to use of electronic resources. We have netLibrary filling in some of our gaps in our nonfiction collection. We also now have access to databases that are funded by the state and MELSA. Even though these resources are not paid for out of our collection budget, we get the full use of those resources.
  • Technology: Originally we said we would have 265 public work stations spread throughout the library system by the end of 2001 and as of today we have 425.
  • eLibrary: We also have an eLibrary that is up and running; it now has staff and we are experimenting with different things on the Web page.
  • Survey: HCL ran a short online survey in October and had several hundred respondents to that survey. We will do more things with the website in trying to integrate the Web into our catalog.
  • Buildings: Updates done by C. Brown.
  • Services: Some of the noteworthy things being done are: Latino services being offered at Oxboro and Augsburg Park Libraries. We have a Latino Outreach person who is half time who is also with the County's Project for Multicultural Service Delivery; Julia is also half time with Multicultural Services Delivery downtown; and, the Library has a staff member who is here on a mobility assignment who is also working on multicultural service in the Library.
  • Reading Programs: We have expanded our reading programs. Mano A' Mano will be starting [a mail-a-book program for Latinos]. We also are working, in conjunction with the Foundation and school districts, on the Read Team and StartSMART.
  • Leadership Council: This group has reorganized, has new members, and a new agenda setting strategy.
  • Stanford Leadership Institute: Staff were sent to the Stanford Leadership Institute [partially funded by the Library and by the Foundation]. Charles said that this will continue and we will continue to send staff.
  • UCS (User Centered Services): This group has started meeting and is under the direction of Janet Leick. Its members include agency cluster heads, collection management staff, IT staff, etc.

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.

  • ALA & ULC: Charles attended sessions at ALA and ULC. Charles and Judith Friedrich attended a day long workshop, focusing on electronic publishing. Charles will share a summary of initial e-book use at HCL with the Board.
  • ALA: There was a good deal of discussion on the Children's Internet Protection Act that was recently passed by Congress that will affect libraries that receive federal funding. The filtering language is still a little unclear. HCL will continue to monitor this.
  • Digital Divide Program: The library is addressing this area.
  • Library Board Applicants: There are approximately 40 applicants. The County Board will conduct interviews at the Ridgedale Library on February 6, 2001.
  • Tom Hennen: Invitations were sent to Board members to attend Tom Hennen's presentation during the February Board meeting.

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.

  • Carol Walsh reported that she attended the ULC event in December in Chicago. She had an opportunity to meet a lot of librarians and supporters of libraries across the country.

  • Patricia Izek reported that she also attended ULC.

  • Jack Cole Reported...
    At a recent Foundation meeting, it was mentioned that the State of Minnesota has decreed that 1% of the construction budget goes for public art -- that 's true in other counties -- but not in Hennepin County. It was also identified that there will be a resolution going to the County Commissioners so that any future and perhaps retroactive allocation of monies could go for public art to any library project exceeding a million dollars.

    The employment of 6/10 of FTE position for grant writer has been achieved. That person will primarily be responsible for writing grants that will underwrite the critical issues, the strategic plan and the issues that the Library Foundation is working on. This person will also be a resource to Library staff in terms of knowledge and ability to write grants.

    Jack attended a meeting last week for the 10th Anniversary of the Children Youth & Families Institute at the University of Minnesota. Gretchen Wronka, HCL Youth Services Librarian and System Collaboration Coordinator, is on the Advisory Committee and spoke at the meeting on behalf of the 45 members on the Advisory Committee

    Gail See, who is the Vice President of LFHC, and Jack will be giving their 'heart and soul' on February 14 to a power point presentation to staff called Perceptions of the Library Foundation. This will be the first of many meetings for all library staff. This venture is part of the marketing plan of the Foundation to work with staff so they can be knowledgeable about its background, the funding, the Pen Pals Program, the programs they underwrite, and the Foundation's mission and values.

    Jack attended ALA Midwinter. He said there is a new 2000 issue of Library Advocacy and that this could be secured from ALA and used for the new Library Board members who are coming on board next month. He said it would be very helpful for them to be exposed to some of this because it speaks to being an advocate for the Library; and every Board member needs to be a strong advocate and be able to speak to the issues of public libraries.

    Jack distributed four articles:
    • The first was an editorial from a Library Journal dated September 15, 2000, talking about trust between trustees and the Library Director (we have that here at HCL).
    • The second is a question and answer article on the Children's Internet Protection Act, which was taken from Cognotes [Cognotes is a daily newspaper that is issued at Midwinter and at the June Library conference].
    • The third piece is from the Washington D.C. Post, dated January 14, 2001 on "Butt Out, Big Brother." This is one person's point of view on Congress "butting" in on the rights of citizens.
    • The fourth piece is an item that can be used as a way of, or part of, the overall ALA campaign for libraries. These are good bites that could be used in signs in the library and throughout our public relations efforts.

    Jack also is on the Minnesota Book Award Advisory Committee and reported that the MN Book Awards will be presented on April 20 at the Fitzgerald Theatre, and will be televised live on Channel 2 - it will be one hour. There will be about 10 categories, focusing on books written by Minnesota authors or published in Minnesota.

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.

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.

  • In 1995, J. Cole wrote a training module for trustees. ALA has not acted upon it until now. ALA has decided to put money into it, get it printed and put in on the Web to sell. Jack will be working with ALA on this. Jack said the materials belong to ALTA, but they hope to market it and sell it across the country. Jack suggested the Board view all or part of the training module when it is completed and the Board agreed to do so.

  • C. Brown will include an overview of HCL's actual spending on the collection over the past five years in the March Ways & Means agenda.

  • A question was asked if anyone will be following up on the proposed plan from the state -- if the state decides to absorb all the cost of education? What effect will that have on property taxes and what are the implications for public libraries?

  • A question was asked if the Library anticipates any changes in our relationship with the County Commissioners now that there is a new Chair. The Library feels the relationship will continue to run smoothly.

  • It was noted that the state legislature has introduced a bill that is supposed to provide approximately $30 million dollars for energy cost support for schools. There is a possibility that libraries might be included It was suggested that someone follow up on this.


Motion to accept the gifts made by J. Cole; seconded by P. Izek; motion passed.
$1988.54 Friends of Edina Library to the Edina Library for children's paperbacks, browsing materials, poster framing for 4 posters in the children's area, and a 2001 membership for the Edina Chamber.
1000.00 Friends of the Edina Library to the Edina Library for five author series honoraria: Marjorie Dorner, Mary Rose O'Reilly, Faith Sullivan, Carol Bly, and Michael O'Rourke.
20.00 Mary Cunningham to the Excelsior Library for a hanging birdfeeder to replace the broken one in the Wildlife Center.
358.27 Friends of the Excelsior Library to the Excelsior Library for 97 juvenile books from Bookmen.
244.65 Friends of the Penn Lake Library to the Penn Lake Library for a wooden booktruck.
657.65 Friends of the Plymouth Library to the Plymouth Library for two tablecloths, aprons for staff, greens for outdoor pots and poinsettias, and holiday storytime.
28.01 Friends of the Wayzata Library to the Wayzata Library for a small Peter Rabbit figurine.
65.00 Friends of the Wayzata Library to the Wayzata Library for 13 weeks subscription to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
181.79 Friends of the Westonka Library to the Westonka Library for a timeclock & vinyl envelops for Internet signup.

Motion to adjourn made by J. Cole; seconded by P. Izek; motion passed.

Patricia Izek, Secretary