MINUTES OF
HENNEPIN COUNTY LIBRARY BOARD MEETING
OF FEBRUARY 28, 2007


The Hennepin County Library Board met Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2007 at the Brookdale Library.

Present: John Gibbs, David Pratt, Cynthia Steinke, Therese VanBlarcom, Holly Guncheon and Patricia Izek.
Library Staff: Amy Ryan, Sharon Charles, Judy Hohmann, Janet Leick, Elizabeth Feinberg, Judith Friedrich, Jackie Gillespie, Margie Schuster, Lynn Stetler, Bill Berg, Roberta Kemp and Char Sohlberg
Public: Ann Pfeiffer, Diane Sannes, Earl Simons and Mike Johnson

CALL TO ORDER
John Gibbs, President called the Hennepin County Library Board Meeting of Feb. 28, 2007 to order at 5 p.m. and welcomed all attendees.

APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mr. Gibbs suggested changing the order of the agenda moving old business before new business. Holly Guncheon moved, Cynthia Steinke seconded the motion which was approved.

MINUTES
Therese VanBlarcom moved approval of the minutes of the Jan. 24, 2007 Library Board Minutes, Ms. Steinke seconded the motion which was approved.

PUBLIC COMMENT
Mr. Gibbs invited members of the public to provide comments to the Library Board. No public comments were made. Mr. Gibbs noted that an opportunity for public comments on the Library Board Policy on Internet Use and the Committee on the Future of Libraries in Hennepin County's recommendation to consolidate the Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Library would be available later in the agenda.

BOARD MEMBER REPORTS
Cynthia Steinke: Reported on the Senior Advisory Group lead by Margaret Gillespie, Partnerships & Communications. As part of the 55+ Age Well, Live Smart initiative, programs, community partnerships and other services are planned with goals to network with existing entities, work cooperatively together and find new ways to publicize programs and services. Ms. Steinke suggested scheduling Ms. Gillespie to report on the initiative at a future Library Board meeting.
Therese VanBlarcom: Thank-you to Mr. Gibbs and Amy Ryan, Library Director, for their excellent representation of Hennepin County Library and the Library Board at meetings of the Committee of the Future of Libraries in Hennepin County. Difficult issues were addressed and they made suggestions and brought ideas to the table cordially and collaboratively. The work of the staff was also recognized. Ms. Steinke also commended Ms. Ryan for the complete and readily available information on the public web page and acknowledged John Gunyou's leadership as the Committee chair.
David Pratt: Attended one of four staff information sessions on the possible consolidation of the two library systems and heard thoughtful questions and answers from the Hennepin County Library staff and Ms. Ryan.

OLD BUSINESS
Report from By-Law Subcommittee - Therese VanBlarcom and Patricia Izek
The committee queried Library Board colleagues about specific issues:
  • Subcommittee procedures state the President of the Board designates the chair
  • The statement, "no committee shall consist of less than three members"
  • The President of the Board should be an ex-officio member and shall have a full vote upon such matters (concern about quorum and compliance with the open meeting law)
  • Consider change to the review schedule of the By-laws from three to five years
Library Board members were invited to contact Ms. VanBlarcom or Ms. Izek with their suggestions. The issues will be addressed at the March 28, 2007 Library Board meeting.

Library Board Policy LB-12, Internet Use Policy and Library Board Resolution - Janet Leick, Operations Division Manager
Ms. Leick provided background on the Positive Environments 2007 Action Plan and the change to the existing Internet Use Policy to filter out pornography on all Hennepin County Library computers. The proposal to revise the existing policy was introduced and discussed at the Jan. 24, 2007 Library Board meeting. Ms. Leick stated that the Internet Use Policy, adopted in 2006, would be revised to read, "Workstations are equipped with software that filters out pornography" so as to include all workstations, not just workstations designated for use by children 17 and younger. Mr. Gibbs invited public comment. No public comments were made. Mr. Gibbs indicated he had received a letter opposing the change to the policy from Glenn Peterson and he also stated he received two telephone calls from customers at home who were in support of the change. A motion to approve the change in Library Board Policy 12, Internet Public Use Policy was made by Ms. Steinke and seconded by Ms. VanBlarcom. The item was then opened for further discussion by members of the Library Board. Following the discussion the motion passed.

Committee on the Future of Libraries in Hennepin County - John Gunyou, Committee Chair
Mr. Gunyou provided a detailed account of the Committee's processes to date and the next steps. On Feb. 15, 2007 the Committee adopted the Guiding Principles and a resolution to recommend the consolidation of the Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Library systems into a united library system. The Hennepin County Library Board is asked to review and approve a resolution of support. The next steps are complex and multi-layered with the adoption of the Guiding Principles and a recommendation to consolidate according to the Guiding Principles by three governing boards: the City of Minneapolis and Mayor, the Minneapolis Public Library Board, and the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners. If all three governing boards approve, the Minnesota Legislature must enact legislation to allow for the consolidation. There are many details to be addressed with a targeted Jan. 2009 deadline, contingent on approvals.
  • Mr. Gibbs provided additional information on the expanded Hennepin County Library Board (it would increase from seven to ten members). Committee members positively endorsed the existing model with staggered terms.
  • The public was invited to comment on the consolidation. Ann Pfeiffer, Minneapolis resident, expressed her interest in the merger because her library is one of the three Minneapolis libraries that are closed. Residents will follow this carefully and provide input. There were no further public comments.
  • Discussion by Library Board members included a variety of comments on financial issues, employee issues, long term efficiencies, and responsibilities of the City of Minneapolis to decide about reopening the three shuttered libraries.
  • A press release was distributed by Ms. Ryan that announced a special County Board meeting on March 13, 2007 at 1:30 p.m. She added the Minneapolis Public Library's Advisory Committee, at their meeting on Feb. 27, 2007, recommended consolidation into a single united system consistent with the Guiding Principles as outlined by the Committee on the Future of Libraries in Hennepin County.
A motion to adopt the following resolution on the Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Library consolidation was made by Ms. Steinke, seconded by Ms. VanBlarcom and adopted by the Hennepin County Library Board on Feb. 28, 2007:
    WHEREAS, the Committee on the Future of Libraries in Hennepin County was created to study governance and funding issues of the two library systems which currently serve residents throughout the county, and to recommend solutions; and
    WHEREAS, the Committee has recommended to the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners, the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor, and the Minneapolis Public Library Board that the Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Library should be consolidated into a united library system according to the attached Guiding Principles for the Consolidation of Library Services in Hennepin County;
    NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Hennepin County Library Board supports continuing the process of moving toward the consolidation of the Hennepin County Library and the Minneapolis Public Library into a united library system according to the recommended Guiding Principles, and will work cooperatively with the other parties to develop and adopt mutually beneficial implementation plans.
REMINDER
The Library Board will host an Information Session inviting public comment on the recommendation to consolidate the Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Library at the Eden Prairie Library from 5-6:30 p.m. on Wed., March 7, 2007.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT - J. Gibbs
Thank you to the Friends of the Brookdale Library and Diane Sannes for providing refreshments this afternoon and for their ongoing support.

ACCEPTANCE OF DONATIONS
Ms. Izek moved to accept the donations, seconded by Ms. Steinke, approved by the Board (six yeas, J. Lunde absent).
    $  118.00
        287.00
     $ 405.00
    Rockford Road
    Wayzata
    TOTAL DONATIONS
There being no further business, the Library Board Meeting of Feb. 28, 2007, was declared adjourned at 6:55 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Wed., March 28, 2007, 5:00 p.m., at the Ridgedale Library, 12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55305.

 

_______________________________________
Holly Guncheon, Secretary  

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