Director Selection Process Committee meeting - January 9, 2019

The public is welcome at all library board meetings

The Library Board Director Selection Process Committee met Wednesday, January 9, 2019, Ridgedale Library, Ladyslipper meeting room.


Committee members: Chair Katherine Blauvelt, Tim Dolan, Jonathan Gaw, Sheila Letscher, Margy Ligon, and Erin Vrieze Daniels

Staff: Interim Library Director Janet Mills, Shannon Adkins, Carrie Brunsberg, Mary Dubbs, Johannah Genett, Deborah Johnson, Amber Lee, Tracy Thompson, Ali Turner, Peggy Woodling, and Ann Woodson-Hicks.

Public: Molly Sullivan, Minneapolis

Welcome and Call to Order

Chair Blauvelt called the meeting to order at 5:31 p.m. and welcomed attendees.

Approval of agenda and meeting summary

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

Jonathan Gaw made a motion to approve the October 23, 2018, meeting summary; seconded by Margy Ligon. Motion passed.

Public Comment


Director Search and Timeline Update, Deborah Johnson, Library Human Resources Manager

Deborah Johnson, Library Human Resources Manager, provided an update on the Library Director search so far and reviewed updates to the overall timeline. 16 applicants were requested to answer supplemental questions based on the committee’s identified key leadership components across system, vision and relationship building.

The screening committee will meet in January or early February and narrow the pool to five or six candidates to be interviewed by a panel in February or March. The top three candidates will then be moved through the Library Board’s engagement opportunity.

Engagement Process Models

2009 Library Director Search Overview, Interim Director Janet Mills

  • In 2009, the Library Board held a three-hour board meeting that included two one-hour interviews with each of the two finalists. Finalists were asked the same eight questions provided by Human Resources. Following the interviews, the board held a brief recess followed by a public discussion, request for motion, and public vote.
    • Prior to meeting with the Library Board, the final four finalists participated in County Administration interviews, a library senior management interview, a staff forum, and tours.

Peer & Other Library System Processes, Interim Director Janet Mills

  • Systems that used a private consultant were less open with their process.
  • Most systems used a combination of methods.
  • Example Methods:
    • Early engagement / pre-opportunity event to gather input and ideas from public and staff about what would make an ideal candidate.
    • Library tours.
    • Public meet and greet with public and staff to circulate and talk informally with finalists.
    • Structured forums for finalists to share experiences and hopes/goals for the position staff and public could attend and hear responses.
    • Social Media opportunities through live streams, etc.

Non-library System Public Processes, Chair Blauvelt

  • Minneapolis Park Board hired a local search firm for their superintendent search. As part of their process they; created a standalone website, which included public engagement opportunities; held over 20 public listening sessions and forums; Facebook live streamed the interviews, and used social media throughout
  • Erin Vrieze Daniels shared the city of Richfield’s City Manager process included a meet and greet that included a way for the public to provide feedback after.

Discussion – 2019 HCL Staff and Public Engagement

Chair Blauvelt reminded the committee their end goal is to provide a recommendation to the County on the next Library Director that is representative of the community.

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.

The committee recommends holding a public listening engagement session 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.

Director Selection Process Committee Timeline

The Committee will recommend to the Library Board in January to:

  • Reschedule the February 27 Executive Committee Meeting.
  • Hold a full Library Board meeting on February 27 to engage in a public listening session.
  • 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.

Sheila Letscher made a motion approve the recommended timeline for future Library Board meetings; seconded by Erin Vrieze Daniels. Motion approved.

Next meeting

The next meeting of the Library Board Director Selection Process Committee is Wednesday, February 6, 5:30 p.m., Ridgedale Library, Robert H. Rohlf meeting room.


Sheila Letscher made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:06 p.m.; seconded by Erin Vrieze Daniels. Motion passed.