APRIL 22, 2009

The Hennepin County Library Board met Wed., April. 22, 2009 at Central Library.

Present: John Gibbs, Holly Guncheon, Roger Hale, Patricia Izek, Jill Joseph, Kathleen Lamb, John Pacheco, David Pratt, Cynthia Steinke and Therese VanBlarcom
Hennepin County Staff: Brett Bauer, Bill Berg, Jerry Blue, Commissioner Callison, Tonya DePriest, Judith Friedrich, Prashant Kharkar, Kelli Koob, Lois Lenroot-Ernt, Michael McConnell, Jodi Monson, Dave Nuckols, Nancy Palmer, Char Sohlberg, Lois Langer Thompson, Ardis Wiley
Public: Rev. Diane Bland, Lynn DeVore, Adam Olson, Mark Wentzell, Stu Wilson

President Patricia Izek called the Hennepin County Library Board meeting of April 22, 2009 to order at 5:02 p.m. and welcomed attendees.

Cynthia Steinke made a motion to approve the agenda which was seconded by Jill Joseph. Motion passed.

Therese VanBlarcom made a motion to approve the minutes of the Feb. 25, 2009 and March 25, 2009 Library Board meetings and accept donations, which was seconded by Roger Hale. Motion passed.

Rev. Diane Bland expressed her appreciation for the wonderful Big Read program at North Regional Library, spoke of an opportunity to participate in a boys program with Congressman Keith Ellison, and recognized security enhancements are working well.

President Izek welcomed Commissioner Callison who represents District 6 of Hennepin County which includes Edina and Excelsior.
  • Review of Excelsior and Southdale Feasibility Studies: Prashant Kharkar, Sr. Division Manager, Planning & Project Development, Hennepin County Property Services
    Mr. Kharkar highlighted outcomes from the Excelsior Feasibility Study. He provided background on dialogue with the Mayor, City Council representatives, and City Manager; reviewed the existing building and options. The feasibility study resulted in a recommendation for the County to build a new stand-alone 7,200 s.f. Library with adjacent parking; preliminary cost estimates are $4-5 million with an 18-month construction timeline. This recommendation is subject to County Board approval. Library Board discussion on the Excelsior Library recommendation followed the presentation.

    Mr. Kharkar also provided background on the Southdale Library/Regional Center. The feasibility study reviewed all Southdale functions (Library, Service Center and Courts and included heating and cooling systems, building and safety codes, infrastructure for technology, etc.) which resulted in the recognition that the systems in place are outdated and inefficient. The entrance to the building is of primary concern because it is difficult to find and the multi-floor building is inconvenient. An improved entrance, Library services on one level, and a responsive solution to concerns expressed by the City of Edina (who have requested a greener environment) are priorities. After reviewing the options, the team conducting the Southdale Feasibility Study found the recommendations were too expensive; staff may be asked to revisit a more realistic Southdale Library only option (not the full Regional Center) that may result in a larger-scale "bridge project" that provides solutions to some, but not all of the needs identified and allows the current building to operate with significant improvements for approximately 10 years with a more in-depth study to be conducted at a later date. Library Board discussion on the Southdale Library recommendation followed the presentation.
  • President Izek reported on the role of committees and Board members, a question that was referred to the Executive Committee from the Program/Policy Committee. The Executive Committee endorsed the following rule of procedure: comments and questions from non-committee Board members attending committee meetings are welcome. Draft policies, reviewed by library administrative staff prior to distribution in Library Board Meeting e-mail packets should be reviewed prior to Library Board meetings. It is the responsibility of non-committee Board members to address questions about policies with the Committee chair (Ms. Steinke) or other committee members (Ms. Guncheon, Ms. Kelly, Mr. Pratt) in advance of the Board meeting where action is to be taken.
  • Library Board members interested in attending the American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago, Illinois July 9-15, 2009 were asked to contact President Izek. Early bird registration is due May 22, 2009.
  • The Nominating Committee will meet to determine the slate of officers to be voted upon at the May 27, 2009 Library Board meeting.
  • Program/Policy Committee Chair Cynthia Steinke reported on the March 13 and April 15 meetings. Four policies are under review: Customer Use of Libraries, Lending, Meeting Room/Facility Use, and Internet Public Use. The goal of the committee is to review all existing policies and remove any operational procedures from them.
  • Budget & Finance Committee Chair Jill Joseph reported on the April 16 meeting where proposed reductions to the 2009 Operating Budget were reviewed; next meeting will be early May for an overview of the 2010-2014 Capital Budget process.
  • At the Executive Committee meeting April 13, 2009, County Administrator Richard Johnson discussed his 2009 Capital Budget recommendations to the County Board. Lois Langer Thompson provided an overview and announced the County Board would be briefed on recommendations Thurs., April 23 at 10:30 a.m. No changes were communicated in relation to the projects underway at Plymouth or Maple Grove libraries. Budget increases for Northeast and Nokomis libraries will be recommended. The Brooklyn Park Library project may be delayed, cost estimates for new Webber Park and Walker libraries may be reduced, and facility preservation budgets may increase due to stimulus dollars (and if approved, may include technology improvements, facility modifications, and security). The Southeast Library project originally slated for renovation may be replaced rather than renovated, which could delay the timeline.
No unfinished business.

No new business.

Lois Langer Thompson:
  • Presented a brief overview of the status of the 2009 Operating Budget
  • Reviewed the Foundation/Friends Resolution approved by the Library Board Aug. 27, 2008, item #2 "Library Support: A Conversation" meetings have been scheduled in each Commissioners' district and Library Board members will be contacted to sign up to attend at least one session
  • Reminded the Board of an event at Pond School in Bloomington on May 11, 2009 to celebrate the publication of Family School students' writing and the partnership between Hennepin County Library and the Bloomington and Richfield Public Schools Community Education Family Center Early Childhood programs (a project funded by gifts and grants to the Library Foundation of Hennepin County).
  • Announced she was invited to speak at the Rhode Island Library Association Annual Conference the end of May so will not attend the next meeting. Library Services Manager Ardis Wiley will attend in her place.
  • Invited Property Services Director Judy Hollander to present the program report at the May 27, 2009 Library Board meeting to provide an overview of the responsibilities and relationship between Property Services and the Library
  • Explained changes underway to the Framework for the Future Capital Plan Discussion Document including format changes that have resulted in a more active, flexible document that allows changes to be incorporated as they occur
There being no further business, Cynthia Steinke made a motion to adjourn the Library Board meeting of April 22, 2009 at 6:33 p.m. which was seconded by Jill Joseph. The motion passed. The next meeting is scheduled May 27, 2009 at Ridgedale Library.


John Pacheco, Secretary