Library Board minutes - October 10, 2018

The public is welcome at all library board meetings

The Library Board met Wednesday, October 10, 2018, Ridgedale Library, Meeting Room 172.


Library Board members: Katherine Blauvelt, Jonathan Gaw, Rahfat Hussain, Sheila Letscher, Samuel Neisen, and Erin Vrieze Daniels

Staff: Commissioner Callison, County Administrator David Hough, Chief Human Resources Officer Michael Rossman, Library Director Lois Langer Thompson, Interim Library Director Janet Mills, Shannon Adkins, Sherry Anderson, Kari Boe-Schmidtz, Carrie Brunsberg, Leslie Chaudhry, Shannon Crary, Mary Dubbs, Bernie Farrell, Lindsey Fenner, Johannah Genett, Karen Hartmann, Deborah Johnson, Kathy Megarry, Molly McGilp, Laura Miller, Gail Mueller-Schultz, Sharon Noble, Kristi Pearson (FHCL), Joanna Redman, Tracy Thompson, Ali Turner, and Ann Woodson-Hicks.

Public: None

Welcome and Call to Order

President Blauvelt called the meeting to order at 5:02 p.m. and welcomed attendees.

Approval of Agenda

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

Public Comment


Library Director Appointment and Selection Process

County Board Chair Janis Callison, County Administrator David Hough, Chief Human Resources Officer Michael Rossman, and Talent Acquisition Manager Kari Boe-Schmidtz reviewed the following draft documents with the board:

  1. Library Director Selection Process
  2. Director – Hennepin County Library Job Posting
  3. Library Director Opening online brochure
  4. Recruitment Sourcing Plan

Commissioner Callison shared that the task to replace Director Lois Langer Thompson is a sad and exciting time as we reaffirm what we want our Library to be. She acknowledged Janet Mills for stepping up as Interim Director and thanked Ms. Mills for her willingness to serve. Commissioner Callison encouraged Board members to view this as an opportunity to engage with each other in ways in which we have not before. She explained that the Library Director appointment is unique due to statutory requirements, and that Hennepin County staff have put a lot of thought into the selection process and look forward to working with the Library Board.

Mr. Hough outlined the Library Director Selection process, anticipating a six month process from date of job posting. He shared that Ms. Mills, as Interim Director, will help continue with consistency, especially around the budget. He explained the process is similar to what the County does for other high level positions, but that it is unique in that Minnesota legislature created an opportunity for the Library Board to participate and make a recommendation to the Administrator. Throughout the process outlined there will be opportunities for the Library Board to provide perspective and input.

Mr. Hough and Mr. Rossman stated they are committed to keeping the process moving, but the timeline will largely be dictated by the number and quality of applicants. The upcoming holiday season and number of applications received that meet minimum qualifications may impact the timing of the Library Director selection process.

Ms. Boe-Schmidtz advised the job posting was developed in consultation with Library Interim Human Resources Business Partner Deborah Johnson, as well as staffing specialists, and Hennepin County recruiters. A standard job description format will be used, with the addition of a link to an online brochure to provide further information and resources on our premier library system, as well as the County and region as a whole.

Mr. Rossman informed the Board that the County plans to use their in house recruitment team who are well experienced in the best practices of attracting top talent to our job postings and region.

Vice President Vrieze Daniels encouraged the recruitment team to evaluate the job posting draft for opportunities to incorporate the word community as it is a big part of the Library mission.

Mr. Hough thanked the Library Board for their feedback and questions. Mr. Hough shared it had been a pleasure and an honor working with Lois Langer Thompson, he is very proud of our Library system, what has been accomplished in Ms. Thompson’s tenure, and feels Ms. Thompson has left us in a very solid position as we conduct our search.

Commissioner Callison said the County Board may hold on making appointments of new Library Board members during the Director selection process and that further information will be provided.

President Blauvelt thanked the presenters for being forthright on the upcoming selection process and making space for Library Board input. She acknowledges we have a passionate Library Board that seeks to support the County in finding the next Library leader.

Director Selection Process Sub-committee Appointment

As stated in the Hennepin County Library Board bylaws:

The Library Director shall be appointed and removed by the County Administrator, with approval by the County Board, pursuant to Minnesota Statutes Sections 383B.241 and 383B.102. Prior to the appointment or removal of the Library Director, the Library Board shall make recommendations to the County Administrator. The Library Director shall be the Chief Administrative Officer of the Library System.

President Blauvelt recommended appointing a Director Selection Process Sub-committee to ensure the Library Board fulfills its responsibility under the state statues while being mindful of the County’s timing and action plan for appointment.

The Board determined the scope of this committee will be to shape the board’s role in the process of selecting the next library director under statutory guidelines through: nominating two committee members to participate in the Hennepin County application screening group as representatives for the Library Board; prepare the selected members to best represent the Library, Library Board, and community, while participating in the application screening group; and to determine the Library Board engagement and interview process upon announcement of position finalists.

President Blauvelt appointed the following members to the Director Selection Process Committee: Katherine Blauvelt, Tim Dolan, Jonathan Gaw, Sheila Letscher, Margy Ligon, Sam Neisen, and Erin Vrieze Daniels. Committee meetings will be open to the public, meeting date and location to be announced.

Erin Vrieze Daniels made a motion to approve the appointments; seconded by Jonathan Gaw. Motion passed.

Director’s Report

Director Thompson thanked the Library Board and wished them the best in the process of selecting a new director. She expressed support in the appointment of Janet Mills as Interim Library Director and appreciation for the Board’s support in the transition.

Janet Mills conveyed gratitude at the opportunity to be able to serve as Interim Library Director and acknowledged the great responsibility the position holds. Ms. Mills reinforced that her role as Interim Library Director and Library Services Division Manager will be to oversee the day to day operations of the Library, in addition to serving as the main point of contact for the Library with the Library Board, County Board, and County Administration. Ms. Mills looks forward to working closely with the Library Board.

Next meeting

The next meeting of the Library Board will be held Wednesday, November 28, 5:00 p.m., Ridgedale Library, Robert H. Rohlf meeting room.


Erin Vrieze Daniels made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:58 p.m.; seconded by Jonathan Gaw. Motion passed.