Director Selection Process Committee meeting summary - October 23, 2018

The public is welcome at all library board meetings

The Library Board Director Selection Process Committee met Tuesday, October 23, 2018, Ridgedale Library, Meeting Room 172.


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

Staff: Interim Library Director Janet Mills, Shannon Adkins, Johannah Genett, Deborah Johnson, Lois Lenroot-Ernt, Kristi Pearson, Michael Rossman, Tracy Thompson, and Ali Turner

Welcome and Call to Order

President Katherine Blauvelt called the meeting to order at 5:32 p.m. and welcomed attendees.

Approval of agenda and meeting summary

President Blauvelt made a motion to amend the agenda to include the appointment and approval of committee chair.

Margy Ligon made a motion to approve the amended agenda; seconded by Jonathan Gaw. Motion passed.

Public Comment


Application Screening Group

  • Katherine Blauvelt appointed herself as Chair of the Director Selection Process Committee. Sheila Letscher made a motion to approve the appointment; seconded by Jonathan Gaw. Motion passed.
  • Michael Rossman, Hennepin County Chief Human Resources Officer, conducted a review and answered questions regarding the Library Director selection process and timeline, the Hennepin County Library Director job posting, the Hennepin County Library Director job classification, Hennepin County Core Values, Hennepin County Director Competencies and Hennepin County Competency Proficiency Scale.
  • Chair Blauvelt lead a facilitated discussion to determine the key questions and attributes for the Application Screening Group to consider during their review of applications. Interim Director Janet Mills and Mr. Rossman answered questions about desired qualities of a national library leader and ways to assess relevant job experience. Using the Library mission, vision and values as guidance; the committee determined questions would fall under three categories: system, vision and relationship building:
    • System: Does the candidate have a demonstrated understanding and evidence of working in comparable sized systems; including diverse demographics, class, geography, and governance?
    • System: Does the candidate demonstrate breadth of varied experience needed in library management?
    • Vision: Does the candidate demonstrate the ability to articulate a vision; build partnership with staff and key community stakeholders; and effectively communicate the value of library service to residents and other stakeholders?
    • Vision: Does the candidate have a track record of progress in ensuring everyone has the resources to read, graduate, engage, work and learn?
    • Relationship Building: Does the candidate have a proven record of engendering trust across a large system by empowering their team resulting in innovative employee commitment and action?
    • Relationship Building: Does the person demonstrate decision making based on integrity?
  • Interim Director Mills shared peer library system director search examples. Further research will be presented to the committee at the next meeting.
  • Four committee members expressed interest in being appointed to the Application Screening Group. Chair Blauvelt will review those interested and appoint two members at a future meeting.

Future Agenda Setting

  • Chair Blauvelt lead a facilitated discussion to understand collectively the cadence of the committee’s work moving forward, the different steps of the process as a whole, and understanding when the committee is involved and decisions to be made by the Library Board.
  • The Committee requested documentation related to the Library Board’s involvement in the 2008 Director appointment for their next meeting.
  • The Committee requested staff help to prepare Library Board members to highlight their role and the HCL story to candidates.

Director’s Report

  • Library, County, and Community Updates
    • Excelsior Library staff member Dawn Lindgren passed away on Saturday, October 20.
      • A Specialist at Excelsior since 2016, Dawn was a creative, solutions-focused person who saw opportunities to continuously improve service. She made incredible window displays that connected the library with community celebrations and welcomed patrons into the building. Patrons and coworkers alike were drawn to her positive energy. Dawn was always looking to learn, grow and contribute. She will be dearly missed.
    • A visiting patron from Hawaii wrote a letter to the editor of the Star Tribune published on October 22 praising HCL staff, services, programs and early literacy spaces in our libraries.
    • Capital Budget Task Force presentation will be held on Thursday, November 1, at 9:00 a.m. Library administration will be on hand to answer questions related to Library capital projects.


Erin Vrieze Daniels made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:23 p.m.; seconded by Jonathan Gaw. Motion passed.