Library Board meeting minutes - June 24, 2020

The public is welcome at all library board meetings.


Present: Chris Damsgard, Tim Dolan, Jonathan Gaw, Rahfat Hussain, Sheila Letscher, Margy Ligon, Adja Kaba, Labelle Nambangi and Erin Vrieze Daniels

Hennepin County Staff: Commissioner Goettel, Jeannette Lewis and Janet Mills


Call to Order

Chair Erin Vrieze Daniels called the Hennepin County Library Board meeting of June 24, 2020, to order at 5:30 p.m., and welcomed all in attendance.

Approval of Agenda

Motion by: Jonathan Gaw
Seconded by: Labelle Nambangi
Motion passed.

Approval of Consent Items

Motion by: Margy Ligon
Seconded by: Adja Kaba
Motion passed.

Public Comment

Library patron

Director’s Report

Janet Mills gave an update on the libraries pandemic response and reopening strategies. The county board has provided policy direction and support to the libraries, to continue a rapid reopening process of libraries safely. We have expanded curbside services and have started taking book returns on Monday, June 22, 2020. Computer sessions by appointment will be available within the coming weeks. Patrons have expressed their need for printing, and we are developing contactless printing services. Grab & Go services are being developed so we can reopen the buildings while maintaining safe and sustainable services. We now have 10 open libraries, 6 scheduled to open, and 16 remaining with plans to open by the end of July 2020. The County Board voted yesterday to have some libraries remain closed for the remainder of 2020. Arvonne Fraser library has received the 2020 Merit Award by AIA Minneapolis architects, which tells a story of Excellence beyond design.

eBooks Update

Division Manager for Resource Services gave an update on some usage statistics on our e-collections.

President’s Report

Chair Erin Vrieze Daniels discussed communication retention and response strategies, when communicating with members of the public. Director Selection Process committee members are planning to meet at the end of July. The executive committee met on June 3, 2020. The executive committee discussed postponing all policy review until the board can physically come together. The committee wants to make sure we’re able to have community and staff input when reviewing policies.

Budget Update

The Budget committee met on June 18, 2020 and received a budget update from the interim budget & finance director Curt Haats.


The Bylaws and Code of Conduct are up for review. Some discussion took place at past Executive Committee meetings. Some areas mentioned for review are clarification on what is expected of Library Board members.

Committee Reports

Friends of Hennepin County Library

Sheila Letscher attended the last Friends of Hennepin County Library Board of Directors meeting and shared a couple of highlights from the meeting. There was discussion on the work that had been done by FHCL over the last year -- their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion projects as a staff and how to embed those things into their work, FHCL’s fund raising plans for the year, and what to expect around their fundraising goals moving forward.

Budget and Long-Term Planning Committee

The committee met for the first time on February 6, 2020. There was discussion on the future of the committee and a good time to begin the work. The committee agreed the next meeting should be in April once budget Instructions are released by the Hennepin County Office of Budget and Finance. The Budget committee met on June 18, 2020 and received a budget update from the interim budget & finance director Curt Haats.

Unfinished Business

No unfinished business.

New Business

No new business.


There being no further business, Margy O. Ligon made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:35 p.m.; seconded by Jonathan Gaw. Motion passed. The next meeting of the Hennepin County Library Board will be held at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, September 23, 2020, virtually via Microsoft Teams.