Director Selection Process Committee meeting summary - June 5, 2019

The public is welcome at all library board meetings

The Library Board Director Selection Process Committee met Wednesday, June 5, Augsburg Park Library, meeting room.


Committee members: Chair Katherine Blauvelt, Chris Damsgard, Jonathan Gaw, Sheila Letscher, Margy Ligon, and Samuel Nelson.

Staff: Interim Director Janet Mills, Kristin Harley, and Deborah Johnson.

Welcome and Call to Order

Chair Blauvelt called the meeting to order at 6:36 p.m. and welcomed attendees.

Approval of agenda and meeting summary

Sheila Letscher made a motion to approve the agenda; seconded by Jonathan Gaw. Motion passed.

Margy Ligon made a motion to approve the May 2, 2019 meeting summary; seconded by Jonathan Gaw. Motion passed.

Director Selection Process Committee Meeting Scheduling

Chair Blauvelt asked for a summary of the law passed and signed by the Governor. Deborah Johnson, Library Human Resources Manager, informed the Committee that new language had been added as an amendment to the existing statute. The Library Director statutory requirements now include education and experience are required for the position, and a preference would be given to those with library experience. The bill will go into effect on August 1, 2019. An MLIS degree is no longer mandated by the state for this position. Gaw noted Hennepin County is still able to require more of candidates, including a MLIS degree. Hennepin County Administration will be meeting in June to discuss the process of searching for Library Director candidates, to be shared with the Library Board once available. Hennepin County could begin recruitment immediately, but cannot hire until after August 1, 2019, when the law takes effect.

Pending Hennepin County Administration’s timing and action plan for the Library Director search, the committee discussed ways the Library Board could participate in the selection process. The committee stressed the need for transparency surrounding the process. Letscher and Blauvelt support using a national recruiting company to help find candidates that may not be currently job searching or located in Minnesota. Damsgard urged promotion from within, and for the Library to use succession planning as well as work to develop and grow current staff.

Chair Blauvelt suggested the Committee use future agendas to revisit the criteria determined last fall, discuss what engagement and transparency should like, hold a community engagement event, and post updated criteria for feedback.

Interim Director Mills reminded the Committee the Library Board does not currently have Clerk, and to consider how they may manage feedback as a part of their process.

The Committee selected Tuesday, August 13, and Wednesday, September 18, as tentative dates for future meetings, locations to be determined by availability and announced by staff with a preference to be given to locations the Board has not visited recently and are accessible by a diverse range of transit.

Next meeting

The next meeting of the Library Board Director Selection Process Committee will be held Wednesday, September 18, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., location to be announced.


Margy Ligon made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:00 p.m.; seconded by Sheila Letscher. Motion passed.