Library Board meeting minutes - September 25, 2019

The public is welcome at all library board meetings

The Hennepin County Library Board met Wednesday, September 25, 2019, Plymouth Library, Meeting Room.


Present: Katherine Blauvelt, Chris Damsgard, Tim Dolan, Jonathan Gaw, Rahfat Hussain, Sheila Letscher, Margy Ligon, Samuel Nelson, LaBelle Nambangi, and Erin Vrieze Daniels

Hennepin County Staff and Elected Officials: Commissioner Jeff R. Johnson, Michael Ohama(Debbie Goettel), Jeannette Lewis, Janet Mills, Shannon Adkins, Joyce Cobb, Joanna Redman, Carrie Brunsberg, Laurie Simenson, Laurie Schuelein, Linnea Fonnest, Gail Mueller Schultz

Public: Kristi Pearson, Jane Shanard

Call to Order

President Katherine Blauvelt called the Hennepin County Library Board meeting of September 25, 2019, to order at 5:02 p.m., and welcomed all in attendance

Approval of Agenda

Margy Ligon made a motion to approve the agenda; seconded by Chris Damsgard. Motion passed.

Consent Items

Chris Damsgard made a motion to approve the consent items; seconded by Jonathan Gaw. Motion passed. President Katherine Blauvelt thanks HCL Friends - Plymouth for their donation.

Public Comment


County Commissioner Update

Commissioner Jeff Johnson, 7th District

President Blauvelt welcomes and thanks Commissioner Johnson for his many years of public service to Hennepin County. Commissioner Johnson thanks the Library Board for the invitation, and is happy to be in attendance of the Library Board meeting - he provided an update on the Board’s annual budget process: The Board of Commissioners’ first budget meeting is September 26th. The maximum levy was passed September 24th, setting property taxes at proposed 4.75% increase. After the initial Budget meeting there will be ongoing weekly meetings discussing different lines of business including the Library. The Board will vote on the budget in early December, and starts all over again next January. Commissioner Johnson thanks the Library Board and all of Hennepin County libraries for their work in supporting our communities.

Commissioner Johnson opened the dialogue, with room for questions. Dialogue followed, regarding the value that libraries contribute to supporting people in need, and how the library budget fits into the larger services. Commissioner Johnson noted the high degree of support among Board of Commissioner members in regards to Library funding, and the importance of a safety net for the most vulnerable citizens along with measurement and analysis on what is working.

President Blauvelt thanked the commissioner for attending and offered an invitation to the Commissioner to return.

Staff Presentation

Plymouth Library – Linnea Fonnest, Youth Services Librarian

Linnea shared information on the work the Plymouth Library is doing to stay in contact with the community. Most of the library’s community engagement opportunities come about as a result of working with a non-profit social services organization Inner Faith Outreach located in Plymouth, and the school district’s and family services collaborative called Partners for Healthy Kids. The newest collaboration is a series of three free programs at the library for caregivers and preschoolers.

They have made great efforts to engage and connect with the children and families of the community of all ages, backgrounds, income, and also a wide variety of cultures and languages, as the community has become more diverse. The library encourages all to come here and learn about their neighbors, and break down those perceived barriers opening up the community to everyone. Library board members thanked Ms. Fonnest for her work and service to the community.

President’s Report

Announcements - President Katherine Blauvelt

  1. Vacancies are posted for the Library Board – 5 people are up, 4 people are eligible for reappointment (Margy Ligon, Tim Dolan, Katherine Blauvelt and Erin Vrieze Daniels). Follow the same application process as before.
  2. Welcome to new Library Clerk Jeannette Lewis.
  3. Thanks to Michael Ohama who is here on the behalf of Commissioner Debbie Goettel.

Budget and Long Term Planning*

Board members reviewed a draft proposal. A Chair and committee members will be elected at the first Budget and Long Term Planning committee meeting. The purpose of the committee is to provide a more evergreen space to discuss planning around the budget and capital plan and to track other funding resources, the board discussed the scope of work.

Katherine Blauvelt made motion to appoint ad hoc Budget and Long Term Planning Committee.
Motion by: Jonathan Gaw
Seconded by: Erin Vrieze Daniels
Motion passed.

2020 Meeting schedule and locations*

Katherine Blauvelt states an Executive Committee meeting has been added to the calendar from the previous draft shared. Several board members noted the goal to hold meetings in different areas of the county, to increase accessibility for patrons and learning for the board members, but this is contingent on library hours and location availability.

Katherine Blauvelt made motion to approve the 2020 meeting dates and locations.
Motion by: Erin Vrieze Daniels
Seconded by: Christopher Damsgard
Motion passed.

Library Board Dialogue


Interim Director Mill provided context regarding the recent decision made by the McMillian Publishers to put an embargo on eBooks for library sales. Johannah Genett gave background information on eBooks and eAudio pricing models.

Katherine Blauvelt made a motion to take 5 min recess so that background materials could be gathered.
Motion by: Sheila Letscher
Seconded by: Jonathan Gaw
Motion passed.

Board meeting reconvened at 6:37 p.m.

Dialogue discussing resolution for eBooks.

Samuel Nielsen states a motion to table discussion and move to next agenda item.

Library Board Policies

2019 Policy Review

Policy Name 1: Lending Policy –moved policy to second read on Nov. 20. 2019

Policy Name 2: Policy Review - moved policy to second read on Nov. 20. 2019

Katherine Blauvelt states motion to move Lending Policy and Policy Review to 2nd read on 11/20/19
Motion by: Jonathan Gaw
Seconded by: Samuel Nielsen
Motion passed.

Second Read, Johanna Genett

Policy Name 1: Collection Development – Dialogue
*Katherine Blauvelt moved to have Collection Development policy stay at 2nd read.

Policy Name 2: Freedom to Read – Dialogue.
*Katherine Blauvelt moved to have Freedom to Read policy stay at 2nd read.

Policy Name 3: Freedom to View – Dialogue.
*Katherine Blauvelt moved to have Freedom to View policy stay at 2nd read.

Katherine Blauvelt states a motion to move all policies to consent agenda on Nov. 20. 2019.
Motion by: Katherine Blauvelt
Seconded by: Jonathan Gaw
Motion passed.

Director’s Report

Library, Community and County Updates

Interim Director Mills moved Directors Report to next Board meeting on Nov. 20. 2019

Committee Reports

Friends of Hennepin County Library – Erin Vrieze Daniels

Friends of HCL is continuing its hard work, and yielding many successes. Their Strategic Plan has been approved by their board.

Executive Committee – Katherine Blauvelt

Please review minutes for updates.

Director Selection Process Committee – Katherine Blauvelt

Hennepin County Sourcing Plan handout is available for review. Next DSP Committee meeting is October 16. 2019

Unfinished Business

eBooks Resolution

Final resolution determined by Library board - WHEREAS, the publishers have recently announced new policies for eBooks and e-Audiobooks that severely limits public libraries' ability to purchase, or delays the purchase of digital copies of materials and information; and

WHEREAS, these limitations make it difficult for libraries to fulfill their central mission of ensuring access to information for all, regardless of socioeconomic status and physical ability.

BE IT RESOLVED on this day September 25, 2019, that we, the Hennepin County Library Board call upon publishers, to postpone these recently announced policies and engage in a meaningful and direct dialogue with libraries, and other relevant stakeholders for the purpose of creating new policies that ensure equitable access to all Minnesotans, while recognizing the importance of a healthy publishing community.

Erin Vrieze Daniels moved the eBooks resolution as stated.
Motion by: Erin Vrieze Daniels
Seconded by: Margy O. Ligon
Motion passed.

New Business

No new business.


There being no further business, Katherine Blauvelt made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:27 p.m.; seconded by Margy O. Ligon. Motion passed. The next meeting of the Hennepin County Library Board will be held at 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 20, Walker Library, Bde Maka Ska Room, 2880 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408.