MARCH 17, 2010

The Hennepin County Library Board met Wed., March 17, 2010 at Ridgedale Library.

Present: Brandi Brown, Caitlin Cahill, Holly Guncheon, Sandy Johnson, Claudia Kelly, Kathleen Lamb, John Pacheco, Gary Thaden and Therese VanBlarcom
Hennepin County Staff: Bill Berg, Judith Friedrich, Connie Hill, Teresa Jepma, Kelli Koob, Lois Lenroot-Ernt, Jodi Monson, Gail Mueller Schultz, Nancy Palmer, Char Sohlberg and Lois Langer Thompson
Public: Stu Wilson

President Therese VanBlarcom called the Hennepin County Library Board meeting of March 17, 2010 to order at 5:03 p.m., and welcomed attendees. Claudia Kelly was congratulated on her reappointment and two new board members, Caitlin Cahill and Gary Thaden were welcomed and asked to introduce themselves. Ms. Cahill shared her business experience, interest in technology and familiarity with Hennepin County libraries. Mr. Thaden noted he was a Minneapolis Public Library Board member from 2006-07; is currently involved with the Walker Library Community Advisory Committee; and has a wide spectrum of interests that range from 19th Century mystery fiction to the FCCs national broadband plan.

John Pacheco made a motion to approve the agenda which was seconded by Sandy Johnson. Motion passed.

Sandy Johnson amended the draft Feb. 24, 2010 meeting minutes to reflect Brookdale Library as the meeting location. Sandy Johnson made a motion to approve the consent agenda as amended which was seconded by John Pacheco. Motion passed.

No public comment.

Nominating Committee Appointments
President VanBlarcom named the Nominating Committee: Chair John Gibbs, Claudia Kelly, Kathleen Lamb and Sandy Johnson; committee will meet and present a slate of officers to the board at their Annual Meeting, April 28, 2010 at Minneapolis Central Library.

Community connections
  • Library Director Lois Langer Thompson reported on the Plymouth Library grand opening event. Over 10,000 items were checked out opening day. 255 new library cards were registered opening weekend. Board members who attended commented on the success of the event, the spectacular interior and exterior of the building and learning opportunities for future grand openings.
  • Library Foundation update: Pen Pals author Sarah Vowell was sold out. The Library Foundation Executive Committee is nearing completion on the development of a mission and vision.
  • Library Legacy Funding was used for the Census display at the Government Center; reminder to fill out your census form.
  • County Board of Commissioners Retreat began March 16. Each department was asked to explore budget decisions including ideas for services/processes to stop doing. The Library was asked to present first and the process continued to evolve with additional information to be presented mid-April. Highlights of the presentation included increased open hours; increased services including online; all with a smaller budget and less staff. Ballpark and Legacy funding helped along with innovative and creative thinking as the 2010 budget is actually less this year than it was in 2008. We are however, now at the point where difficult decisions need to be made about what we might stop doing to meet 2011 budget requirements.
  • Capital projects update: the request for artists for Plymouth Library public art is on the public website. Maple Grove Library is nearing completion with a grand opening date either late May or early June. The current Maple Grove Library will close approximately five weeks prior to the opening. Nokomis Library demolition will start and at Northeast Library interior work is beginning. Nokomis and Northeast libraries' projects are moving along quickly and both may open earlier than expected. There is no new information about the Walker Library or additional news from the Advisory Committee to report. Site review is underway for Brooklyn Park and Excelsior libraries. No additional information on New North Webber Park Library.
  • Two facility modifications are going on at St. Louis Park (preparations underway to open up meeting rooms for more seamless space); and Osseo Library changes will be made to the customer service desk. Discussion followed with Kathleen Lamb asking for more information on the Walker Library building process, the role of the Community Advisory Committee: what they are doing and the status of their work at the April 28, 2010 Library Board meeting. As requested at the Feb. 24, 2010 Library Board meeting, a link to the Walker Community Advisory Committee's website which contains the advisory committee's mission statement was provided to Library Board members.
  • As a follow up to Ms. Kelly from the Feb. 24, 2010 meeting regarding collection statistics i.e., the number of new items that move out of technical services with holds already placed and the overall percentage of items owned on reserve are not tracked at this time however, statistics on the collection are a high priority after the Horizon system upgrade expected to occur later this spring.
  • Employee Blending Culture sessions are underway and to date, time has been spent on technical issues to consolidate HCL and we are committed to addressing the important "people portion" of the library merger.
  • Naming Convention Minneapolis Central Library: To more closely align with the agreed-upon use of the name, as stated in the Guiding Principles developed by the Committee on the Future of Libraries in Hennepin County and public feedback, the official and branded name will be Hennepin County Library-Minneapolis Central. This name will be used in all marketing and communications for this central library resource, including all printed pieces and on the website. Discussion followed and Communications Manager Jodi Monson explained branding-wise, the use of the name was an effort to clarify that we are central to Hennepin County. Mr. Pacheco asked what the Library Board's role is in determining the outcome of the naming of Minneapolis Central Library. Ms. Monson explained the naming convention and branding was shared and adopted Feb. 2009.

    Changes will be made to marketing pieces as the normal revision process proceeds to be wise stewards of limited resources. Currently the permanent signage will remain as is because of the cost. Mr. Pachecho asked if the Library Board would have an opportunity to vote on changing the permanent signage. President VanBlarcom indicated the Library Board's role includes a more general budget perspective and the County Board votes/approves the capital and operating budgets. The Library Board's role would be to recommend a budget but would also be a wise steward of finances -- permanent signage is different from door plackets or posters; this may come out of discussion from Library or County Administration to utilize the financial resources we have to make that happen. Ms. VanBlarcom reviewed the issue was brought forward as part of the public comment to the Board Jan. 13., Library Director Thompson reported back to the Board on Feb. 24 that work was underway to address the concern with Commissioner McLaughlin's office to fulfill the guiding principles, and the decision was communicated today. Ms. Lamb added she thought the issue had been resolved with respect to the name of Central Library. She noted there was a mistake made by just calling it Central, it was revisited and corrected and so going forward it is going to be the name which was agreed to in the guiding principles; the issue has been taken care of.

    With respect to changing signage, Ms. Lamb stated this Library Board typically doesn't get involved in that level of decision but does have a role in the budget, so if the Library Board feels strongly about wanting to spend money to change signage, when the budget request is made and reviewed, the Library Board should make their wishes known. In her opinion, additional information is not necessary on this issue and the Board can exercise their role in the signage if it chooses to but as far as the name itself goes, that that has been resolved. Library Director Lois Thompson indicated the capital budget submitted last year and approved included exterior signage for libraries located in Minneapolis. As submitted, the naming convention of Hennepin County Library-Nokomis, Northeast, East Lake, Hosmer, etc. will be used. The naming convention, which was actually distributed a year ago, was an acknowledgment of the need to standardize what is used at all Hennepin County Libraries including suburban locations. Mr. Thaden noted it is unlikely the public would refer to a building as Hennepin County Library-Eden Prairie. Ms. Thompson agreed and acknowledged typical branding and marketing that includes a logo does not require the use of all elements. Mr. Pacheco added he was not interested in changing something for the sake of change and acknowledged the budget situation. He suggested a response be sent to Ms. Wallace (who spoke to the Board at the January meeting) explaining the decision and Ms. Lamb agreed.
Local Friends Groups, Executive Director of The Library Foundation of Hennepin County Stu Wilson Background on merger of the Library Foundation, Minneapolis Friends and local Friends groups along with the expansion to include local groups for libraries in Minneapolis was provided. Coordination has been a six-month transition from a two-way relationship between HCL and the Foundation to a new three-way relationship that includes Friends groups that will continue to bond with their local libraries with a staff liaison being maintained in each library. Libraries will continue to identify needs in asking for private support and he stressed the importance of this involvement. The Foundation has launched an extensive section of their website for the Friends and they are also including more Friends newsletters, or e-news. There have been three major transition activities:
  • Creating local Friends groups in Minneapolis. Currently, six libraries are in the process of having Friends groups: East Lake, Linden Hills, Sumner, Walker, Washburn, and Webber Park; most should be functional by summer and then we will move into another phase of looking into another group of libraries. Two obvious locations are Northeast and Nokomis because they will reopen. The initial goal was to have 10 functioning groups in Minneapolis by the end of the year.
  • Communicating with local Friends groups and library staff liaisons to make the transition inclusive along with providing more support for financial management.
  • Established an ad-hoc transition committee (recognizing it has no authority) which we hope will sunset in May; the committee consists of Foundation Board and staff, lead library staff Friends liaisons and representatives from Friends groups to review a short list of critical transition issues which may result in recommendations to the Foundation Board, perhaps Library Board, and some Friends groups. Issues being addressed are recommended legal and financial structure for new groups and recognition that there are three different Friends models currently in place; statements of roles and responsibilities; and providing standing representation from the Friends groups within the Foundation structure.
Mr. Wilson acknowledged there is great potential for all the private support organizations to be working together and helping one another support Hennepin County Library. Discussion followed on the existing Friends groups structures and connections with other Friends groups; Library Board role in providing direction regarding funding and the establishment of a formal process to identify a communicate priorities for funding to the Foundation, ideally in November of the preceding year; and "big picture" support needed from the Foundation in the future which will tie in with their strategic planning currently underway. Mr. Wilson also recognized emerging issues such as book sales and book stores in libraries, use of budgets locally along with differences in neighborhood support. The Library Board thanked Mr. Wilson for his report, and fine leadership in support of Hennepin County Libraries.

Memorial for David W. Pratt

Ms. Lamb informed her board colleagues of an opportunity to contribute toward a memorial on behalf of the Library Board and suggested a book be purchased with a bookplate noting it was purchased in memory of David Pratt. Mr. Pratt's love for Audubon prints was noted and the suggestion will be addressed through the Library Foundation.
Library Board Retreat
Ms. Brown asked if a date had been set for the retreat. It has been difficult to coordinate a speaker, dates and locations which have required some plan adjustment to make it workable for as many people as possible. But staff work is underway and will continue.
Mentors Appointed to New Members
Claudia Kelly will serve as a mentor to Caitlin Cahill; Kathleen Lamb will mentor Gary Thaden.

  • Program/Policy future meeting dates to be determined pending committee appointments.
  • Budget & Finance next meeting Mon. April 5, 4:30 p.m. at Brookdale Library, Meeting Room C.
  • Executive Chair Therese VanBlarcom reported on March 8 meeting where the HCL Strategic Plan was addressed with Organizational Consultant Carolyn Bacon along with a work plan for the Library Board that will identify roles and duties as they relate to the Board's responsibilities and the work of the library. Library Board committee structure and appointees were also discussed for review by the full Board at a later date. The next Executive Committee meeting is Mon., May 10, 4:30 p.m., Ridgedale Library, Robert H. Rohlf meeting room.

    Ms. Lamb noted the Athenaeum Committee will have to be reconstructed due to reduced membership. Ms. VanBlarcom acknowledged this was part of the committee structure conversation at the Executive Committee meeting and would be addressed. Ms. Thompson added staff is still working on finalizing documents with Athenaeum board members.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS No unfinished business.

NEW BUSINESS No new business.

There being no further business, Ms. Lamb made a motion to adjourn the Library Board meeting at 6:09 p.m. which was seconded by Ms. Johnson. The motion passed. The next Library Board meeting is April 28, 2010, Central Library, Doty Board Room at 5 p.m.


                            John Pacheco, Secretary