MAY 27, 2009

The Hennepin County Library Board met Wed., May 27, 2009 at Ridgedale Library.

Present: John Gibbs, Holly Guncheon, Roger Hale, Patricia Izek, Jill Joseph, Claudia Kelly, Kathleen Lamb, John Pacheco, David Pratt, Cynthia Steinke and Therese VanBlarcom
Hennepin County Staff: Martin Alpert, Bill Berg, Juli Bratvold, Tonya DePriest, Judith Friedrich, Judy Hollander, Lois Lenroot-Ernt, Michael McConnell, County Staff: Jodi Monson, Dave Nuckols, Nancy Palmer, Allen Rezac, Char Sohlberg, Marilyn Turner, and Ardis Wiley
Public: Margaret Gillespie

President Patricia Izek called the Hennepin County Library Board meeting of May 27, 2009 to order at 5:02 p.m. and welcomed attendees.

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

Cynthia Steinke made a motion to approve the minutes of the April 22, 2009 Library Board meeting and accept donations, which was seconded by Claudia Kelly. Motion passed.

No pubic comment

  • Commendation for Coordinating Librarian Margaret Gillespie
    President Izek welcomed Margaret Gillespie. Ms. Gillespie was recognized for her years of service by the Library Board with the following commendation: "Presented to Margaret Gillespie in recognition of your outstanding leadership, flexibility and dedication to serving the public. Your commitment has left an indelible mark and your contributions to so many in so many different ways will truly be missed. The Hennepin County Library Board wishes you all the best as you retire from Hennepin County Library and pursue exciting new endeavors. Thank you and congratulations." In her remarks that followed, Ms. Gillespie thanked the Library Board and others for their support.
  • Overview of Hennepin County Property Services Department, Director Judy Hollander
    President Izek introduced and welcomed Property Services Director Judy Hollander. Ms. Hollander provided an overview of divisions and functions prior to and after library consolidation. She explained the level of experience staff has with a wide range of facilities; their commitment to facilities preservation; and recognized leadership in the area of energy conservation/management and sustainability (ensuring systems are working properly and together in order to optimize energy usage). Discussion followed with an overview of the processes put into place to integrate 41 libraries into a new Property Services Library Unit that addressed staffing, facilities and security issues resulting in streamlined services and increased efficiency.

    In relation to the emerging issue of security challenges in libraries, Ms. Hollander explained the importance of consistency throughout the system. Working closely with the library, a commitment was made to provide positive, safe and welcoming environments in all facilities. Many security officers are Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certified and all have radios and are prepared to deal with individuals who choose not to follow established rules. Officers are trained to manage situations without physical force and know when to call law enforcement. There are full-time security officers in some facilities and a roving security car that responds to libraries as needed. Security Supervisor J.R. Hunter is most effective with library security issues.

    When asked about future challenges the Library Board should be aware of, Ms. Hollander noted buildings are more technologically sophisticated which impacts the cost (such as raised floors, geothermal heating, etc.). Employee training continues to keep staff current. Costs related to building and remodeling continue to rise. The County Board has directed Property Services to find ways to bring building costs down and a variety of approaches are being explored to meet this challenge. She mentioned building challenges to simply maintain facilities, the acceleration of some projects due to the need to conserve energy, and new projects that may be postponed. The list of items to be addressed at Central Library is narrowing, a report on outstanding items along with new issues is being developed and when completed it will be shared with the Library Board. The parking garage is under contract with a vendor, the contract is under review and change recommendations are expected.
  • President Izek noted the April 22, 2009 Board meeting included the feasibility study report for the Board's information. No formal action is needed; the Board will be informed if action is required by the County.
  • Claudia Kelly and John Pacheco were approved to attend the ALA Conference in Chicago and a third member may be added. Members are to respond to Char Sohlberg regarding their use of Board travel funds before June 1, 2009.
  • Vice President VanBlarcom noted the Library Board public web page will be refreshed with new photos and Communications Manager Jodi Monson will contact the Board to conduct a quick "twitter-like" interview, responses to one of three questions should be limited to one or two sentences:
    • I'm passionate about Hennepin County Libraries because…
    • I love libraries because…
    • Hennepin County Library means…to me.
  • Mr. Hale represented HCL at a Leadership Training conference for Library employees in Central Minnesota in April. The panel included representatives from the State of MN, U of M, president-elect of MLA, and the Great River Regional Library Director.
Nominating Committee Chair John Gibbs
  • Presented a report on the slate of officers. Mr. Gibbs made a motion as a committee recommendation that we elect as president of the Hennepin County Library Board for the next year, Therese VanBlarcom; seconded by Ms. Steinke. Motion passed. Mr. Gibbs made a motion as a committee recommendation that we elect as vice president of the Hennepin County Library Board for the next year, Claudia Kelly; seconded by Ms. Steinke; Motion passed. Mr. Gibbs made a motion as a committee recommendation that we elect as secretary of the Hennepin County Library Board for the next year, John Pacheco; seconded by Ms. Steinke. Motion passed.
  • The Nominating Committee also suggested the full board and next president include the chair of the Budget & Finance Committee on the Executive Committee, expanding the membership by one. This request is due to the amount of integration between budgetary issues and other business that comes before the Executive Committee.
  • Mr. Gibbs thanked Ms. Izek on behalf of the Nominating Committee for her phenomenal service as president.
Executive Committee Chair Patricia Izek
  • Announced Therese VanBlarcom was recently appointed and agreed to serve as a member of the Program/Policy Committee.
Budget & Finance Committee Chair Jill Joseph
  • Reported on the May 7 meeting and expressed her support for expanding Executive Committee membership. The capital budget process was examined. The Framework for the Future update will include 41 libraries. At their meeting scheduled June 11, the group will look at how Capital Budget priorities are set along with examining the operating budget process. Ms. Steinke asked for clarification on the April 16 Committee meeting summary in relation to Foundation donations which was provided by Operations Division Manager Nancy Palmer.
Program and Policy Committee Chair Cynthia Steinke
  • Reported on the May 22 meeting and asked if there were questions from the Board on either of the two draft policies before them: Customer Use of Libraries; and Lending Policy. Ms. Steinke provided a summary of the process for establishing new or revising Board policies: a) the committee will merge existing policies into a new consolidated HCL policy; b) the draft policy along with a discussion document that highlights differences will be distributed in the Board e-mail packet to all Board members; c) the committee chair will report to Board for discussion at a monthly meeting; d) following that discussion, the policy will appear as a consent item on the next monthly meeting agenda for action. Board members may contact any member of the Program/Policy Committee if they have questions about a draft policy. Discussion followed. Communications Manager Jodi Monson provided information on the use of "customer." Clarification on the MN Data Practices Act was requested along with the role and responsibility of the Library Director in establishing and publishing specific lending rules. Discussion followed. Members expressed support for the policy review/action process established by the committee.
  • Ms. Lamb attended the Rare Book Sale sponsored by the Library Foundation and encouraged all Board members to attend a sale in the future. Mr. Pratt indicated the Foundation exceeded their fundraising goal set for the sale.
  • President Izek attended the employee Years of Service Brunch in May that recognized staff (and included the first 40 year honoree).
  • Ms. Lamb thanked President Izek for her service; noting she did a splendid job and was welcoming to new members.
  • Ms. Guncheon requested a circulation statistics update at the June meeting.
No unfinished business.

No new business.

Library Services Coordinating Librarian Ardis Wiley for Lois Langer Thompson
  • Ms. Thompson was not in attendance due to a speaking engagement at the Rhode Island Library Association's Annual Conference.
  • In response to a question asked at the April 22 Board meeting, demographics are examined and updated in preparation for every capital project. Lease contracts are also regularly reviewed.
  • Other Director activities: Ms. Thompson introduced Richard Russo twice at the Library Foundation Pen Pals series. She also was invited to introduce comedian Paula Poundstone (who serves as the national spokesperson for Friends of the Library) at the Guthrie Theatre.
  • If you are interested, space is available for Board members to attend an upcoming Friends Support Community Conversation in June. Please contact Char Sohlberg.
Patricia Izek noted the Board elected a wonderful slate of officers and added it was a great year for her personally as she enjoyed being the Library Board President.

There being no further business, Jill Joseph made a motion to adjourn the Library Board meeting of May 27, 2009 at 6:24 p.m. which was seconded by Cynthia Steinke. The motion passed. The next meeting is scheduled June 24, 2009 at Ridgedale Library.


John Pacheco, Secretary