OF JULY 25, 2007

The Hennepin County Library Board met Wednesday, July 25, 2007 at the Ridgedale Library.

Present: John Gibbs, David Pratt, Patricia Izek, Cynthia Steinke, Claudia Kelly, Holly Guncheon and Therese VanBlarcom
Library Staff: Amy Ryan, Lois Langer Thompson, Judy Hohmann, Mary Kramer, Ardis Wiley, Juli Bratvold, Sue Tracy, Erin McCarty, Joe Schmitz, Deb Achor, Ali Turner, Judith Friedrich, Bill Berg and Charlene Sohlberg
Public: Jay Tracy

John Gibbs, President called the Hennepin County Library Board Meeting of July 25, 2007 to order at 5:00 p.m. and welcomed all attendees.

Holly Guncheon moved approval of the agenda, Cynthia Steinke seconded. Motion was approved.

Ms. Steinke moved approval of the minutes of the June 20, 2007 Library Board meeting, Therese VanBlarcom seconded. Motion was approved.

No public comment.

Library Board Recognition. Judy Hohmann, Manager of Partnerships & Communications introduced Sue Tracy, Associate Librarian Children's Readmobile and recent winner of the Parents in Community Action Head Start 2007 Community Service Award. Library Board members congratulated Ms. Tracy and thanked her for her contributions. Ms. Tracy acknowledged her enthusiasm for services provided by Hennepin County Library and her appreciation for the Library Board's recognition.

Summer Reading Program. Ali Turner, senior Youth Services librarian, Eden Prairie, provided an overview of the successful 2007 summer reading programs "Read to Win" and "Best Book Ever." Ms. Turner highlighted how summer reading contributes to school success by providing the resources to enrich out-of-school time to help maintain reading skills as students enter new grades in the fall.

DIRECTOR'S REPORT - Amy Ryan, Director
  • 2008 Operating Budget request. Next steps in the Library's budget process with County Administration and the Office of Budget & Finance were outlined. After all County Departments have been reviewed, County Administration presents a recommendation to the County Board of Commissioners in September or October. The final Operating Budget is approved by the County Board in December. The 2008 Hennepin County Library budget request does not include Minneapolis Public Library. If the merger is approved and in effect January 1, 2008, the two financial systems will be combined over the course of 2008. Ms. Ryan will continue to provide updates at future Library Board meetings.

  • Pre-merger review. Ms. Ryan reviewed the pre-merger fact sheet. As directed by County Board resolution, the necessary steps are being taken to assess and transfer real and personal property along with reviewing financial obligations. The cost this year ($650,000) is being shared equally between Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis/Minneapolis Public Library. Information obtained and any additional decisions will be brought back to the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners for further discussion and approval. Discussions about a Minnesota Planetarium are also proceeding. Ms. Ryan explained the structure of pre-merger committees and teams that include a County Steering Committee that is coordinating the connections among several departments and a Library Steering Committee that is identifying the legal requirements to merge by January 1, 2008. Staff from the Administrative Councils of Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Library have met with library teams to identify what is needed between now and the end of the year. They are also looking forward, focusing on a new mission, vision and key results. Their recommendations are expected to drive many of the decisions about services, organization and the general philosophy of a consolidated system. Discussion and questions from the Library Board followed. Further updates will be provided at each Library Board meeting.

  • Planetarium update. An excerpt from the legislation passed approving a $22 million grant for the City of Minneapolis to add a new Minnesota Planetarium and space discovery center in conjunction with the Minneapolis Public Library was read and additional background was provided. With the merger, this money would go to Hennepin County. The Minnesota Planetarium Society, a separate entity, would like to build a two-story planetarium with a dome on top of the Central Library in Minneapolis. That capital cost is estimated at $40 million. State funding support recognizes the Planetarium as a statewide resource. Library Board discussion followed. Some of the issues discussed included the feasibility of operation as part of the library, financial issues, how the service relates to the overall mission of Hennepin County, and the opportunities it may provide to partner with others. As requested, a copy of the Minnesota Planetarium Society's business plan will be forwarded to Library Board members for further review.

  • Library Board packet discussion. To reduce the size of the pre-meeting packet mailed to Library Board members, future packets will contain the agenda, minutes from the previous meeting, a list of non-monetary gifts, Library Board per diem form, and monthly statistics. Handouts and flyers will be available at each Library Board meeting.
The upcoming program discussion was tabled until the August 22, 2007 Library Board meeting.

Mr. Gibbs acknowledged a revised list of non-monetary donations with thanks to the contributors from the Library Board. Mr. Pratt moved to accept the donations, seconded by Ms. Izek. Motion was approved.

Patricia Izek: visited five libraries recently Rogers, Maple Grove, Wayzata, Plymouth and Ridgedale and acknowledged the many customers who are using our libraries.
Cynthia Steinke: requested the addresses of all Minneapolis Public Libraries be sent to the Library Board.

There being no further business, the Library Board Meeting of July 25, 2007, was declared adjourned at 6:40 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for Wed., August 22, 2007, 5 p.m. at the Plymouth Library, 15700 36th Avenue North, Plymouth, MN 55446.


Holly Guncheon, Secretary