Library Board minutes - January 23, 2019

The public is welcome at all library board meetings

The Hennepin County Library Board met Wednesday, January 23, 2019, Ridgedale Library, Robert H. Rohlf meeting room.


Present: Katherine Blauvelt, Caitlin Cahill, Chris Damsgard, Tim Dolan, Jonathan Gaw, Rahfat Hussain, Adja K. Kaba, Sheila Letscher, Margaret Ligon, and Erin Vrieze Daniels.

Hennepin County Staff: Interim Director Janet Mills, Shannon Adkins, Carrie Brunsberg, Johannah Genett, Deb Johnson, Amy Luedtke, Gail Mueller Schultz, Michael Ohama, Kristi Pearson, Tracy Thompson, and Ali Turner.

Public: Bob Ernt, and Lois Lenroot-Ernt.

Call to order

President Blauvelt called the Hennepin County Library Board meeting of January 23, 2019, to order at 5:00 p.m., and welcomed all in attendance.

Approval of agenda

Tim Dolan made a motion to approve the agenda; seconded by Margy Ligon. Motion passed.

Consent items

Changes to the November 2018 minutes included changing “Sheila Letscher expressed apprehension” to “Sheila Letscher expressed concern” on the bottom of page two under Director Selection Process Committee. Jonathan Gaw made a motion to approve the amended minutes and consent items; seconded by Tim Dolan. Motion passed.

Public comment


President’s report

Commendations: Lois Lenroot-Ernt

President Blauvelt read the resolutions commending Lois Lenroot-Ernt. A Board Resolution thanking Ms. Lenroot-Ernt for her years of service to the Library Board was moved by President Blauvelt, seconded by Chris Damsgard, and approved by the Board.

Ms. Lenroot-Ernt expressed her gratitude and thanked the board for this recognition.

Director Selection Process Committee Report

The second meeting of the Director Selection Process Committee was held on January 9. The committee determined avenues of engagement should address vision for the library, engage employees and library users, and discover what employees and library users value in a leader. The committee discussed how engagement opportunities would also serve as a way to promote HCL to the candidates through tours and public meet and greet events or a reception.

The committee recommended holding a public listening engagement session as a full Library Board in February to gather input from staff, library users, and the community to better support the Library Board in recommending a Library Director to County Administration.

Jonathan Gaw made a motion to approve the pre-finalist engagement process; seconded by Caitlin Cahill. Motion passed.

2019 Meeting Schedule

Based on upcoming Director Selection Process events, the DSP committee is recommending revising the 2019 Library Board meeting schedule to the following:

  • Reschedule the February 27 Executive Committee meeting to March or April, date TBD.
  • Hold a full Library Board meeting on February 27 to engage in a public listening session, with public comment to begin at 6:00 p.m.
  • Cancel the March 27 Library Board meeting in anticipation of holding a Special Meeting to engage with Library Director finalists in March or April, date TBD.

Erin Vrieze Daniels made a motion to approve the revised 2019 Library Board schedule; seconded by Margy Ligon. Motion passed.

2018 Accomplishments

Library Board members were asked to review the 2018 Library Board accomplishments draft and notify the Library Board Clerk of any corrections or omissions.


President Blauvelt reviewed the process for Library Board members to register and request reimbursement for approved conferences.

Library board policies

2019 Policy Review, Janet Mills

Janet Mills introduced the policy review schedule for 2019, which includes the following policies: Collection Development and Management, Freedom to Read, Freedom to View, Lending, and Policy Review Policy. Interim Director Mills reminded the Board that Library Board policies are meant to provide high-level principals of the values the board would like staff to impart and follow in their more detailed administrative policies. The Board was reminded that the Freedom to Read and Freedom to view policies are adopted as is from other organizations.

Johannah Genett and Gail Mueller Schultz provided an overview of the draft of the Collection Development and Management policy based on the Library Board dialogues held in September and November 2018.

Collection Development and Management - Board members expressed a desire to see: wording showing that we value the library’s strong reference collection and recognize that providing an in depth collection is important; changing special collections approval from the County Board back to the Library Board; and greater clarity around language related to special collections at Minneapolis Central Library and special collections throughout the system.

Mueller Schultz shared how important the policy is to guiding the work of Collection Management staff and thanked the Board for their support.

Director’s report

Library, Community and County Updates

Eden Prairie Library closed for renovation Monday, January 7, and will reopen in fall of 2019. A holds pick up and book return utilizing OpenPlus technology has been made available at 479 Prairie Center Drive, across the parking lot from the Eden Prairie Library.

Library, Facilities, and County Administration are considering sites for the upcoming Southdale Library building project; including a new option to consider space at the Southdale Mall. A recommendation will be provided by County Administration to the County Board in late spring early summer 2019.

North Regional Library building project community engagement meeting was held on January 14 with the landscape and building architects. The next community meeting estimated to be held summer 2019, Library anticipated to close in the fall of 2019. The Library is aware of the interest in continuing library services during the remodel and is engaged with staff on discussions of what that could look like.

Citizen Advisory Board interviews will be in February, there were 40 applicants for the Library Board vacancies.

Library Legislative day will be held February 26; board members interested in participating should reach out to the Library Board clerk.

In recognition of outstanding service to the community, the Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center library team received the “Outstanding Community Service Award" at a year-end gathering of our partner Emerge in December. To learn more about the work of the library team and our impact in the community, read Engaging Youth at the Opportunity Center on the Cedar Riverside Partnership website.

Commissioners Irene Fernando of District 2 and Angela Conley of District 4, were sworn in this month. Angela Conley has been named as Chair to MELSA, Commissioner Debbie Goettel of district 5 was named Libraries Chair.

Committee reports

Friends of Hennepin County Library – Erin Vrieze Daniels

Last board meeting of 2018 was held on December 11; they discussed year-end review, goals, year-end results, balancing budget for next year, investing in internal infrastructure, and future events.

Unfinished business


New business



There being no further business, Adja K. Kaba made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:24 p.m.; seconded by Erin Vrieze Daniels. Motion passed. The next meeting of the Hennepin County Library Board will be held at 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 27, 5:00 p.m., Ridgedale Library, Robert H. Rohlf meeting room, 12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, Minnesota.

- Adja K. Kaba, Secretary