Library Board special meeting minutes - February 13, 2020

The public is welcome at all library board meetings.

The Hennepin County Library Board met Thursday, February 13, 2020, Minneapolis Central Library, Robins, Kaplan, Miller and Ciresi Room Room.


Present: Katherine Blauvelt, Chris Damsgard, Jonathan Gaw, Rahfat Hussain, Sheila Letscher, Margy Ligon, and Erin Vrieze Daniels

Hennepin County Library Staff: Janet Mills, Johannah Genett and Ali Turner

Call to Order

President Katherine Blauvelt called the Hennepin County Library Board special meeting of February 13, 2020, to order at 5:32 p.m., and welcomed all in attendance.

Approval of Agenda

Sheila Letscher made a motion to approve the agenda; seconded by Erin Vrieze Daniels. Motion passed.

Consent Items

Margy Ligon made a motion to approve the minutes from the January 22 meeting; seconded by Erin Vrieze Daniels. Motion passed.

Public Comment


eBooks Update

Sheila Letscher began discussion of the statement from the Urban Libraries Council on equitable public access to eBooks. The statement, which has been signed by numerous mayors and county officials around the country, asks publishers to continue to negotiate with libraries to find a fair, transparent and flexible pricing model for eBooks.

Letscher made a motion to have the board contact mayors and commissioners of Hennepin County to inform them of the statement from the Urban Libraries Council and the issue around eBook pricing models and to ask the mayors to sign the statement. The motion was seconded by Katherine Blauvelt and passed unanimously.

Letscher will work with Janet Mills to draft an email to the mayors and county commissioners to introduce them to the ULC statement.

Director Selection Update

Katherine Blauvelt

A panel consisting of five members of the Library Board will interview two candidates for the Library Director position and offer its input to the county administrator. Once the county administrator has chosen finalist, that person will be interviewed by the full Library Board in a special meeting.

Katherine Blauvelt made a motion to approve a group of five board members to serve on the interview panel. The proposed five board members would be Chris Damsgard, Erin Vrieze Daniels, Rahfat Hussain, Margy Ligon and Sheila Letscher, with Katherine Blauvelt as an alternate. Erin Vrieze Daniels seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

The Library Board discussed themes for questions to be asked of the finalists, including: the role of libraries and librarians in the 21st century; advocacy around library funding; experience working with a large, unionized workforce and metrics for library success.

Unfinished Business

No unfinished business.

New Business

No new business.


There being no further business, Margy Ligon made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:54 p.m.; seconded by Erin Vrieze Daniels. Motion passed.