Library Board meeting minutes - September 23, 2020

The public is welcome at all library board meetings.

The Hennepin County Library Board met on Wednesday, September 23, 2020, virtually via Microsoft Teams.


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

Hennepin County Staff: Chad Helton, Jeannette Lewis and Janet Mills


Call to Order

Chair Erin Vrieze Daniels called the Hennepin County Library Board meeting of September 23, 2020 to order at 5:30 p.m. and welcomed all in attendance.

Approval of Agenda

Motion: Sheila Letscher
Seconded: Adja Kaba
Motion passed.

Approval of Consent Items

Motion: Adja Kaba
Seconded: Labelle Nambangi
Motion passed.

Public Comment

No public comment.

Director’s Report

Chad Helton became HCL Director on Monday, August 24, 2020. Chad briefly talked about his onboarding progress and his first few weeks with HCL. Currently 31 libraries providing limited in-person services, 29 grab-n-go locations, and 2 libraries providing appointments only computer services. Some library service hours have been increased to include evenings and weekends. A face mask or face shield is required in all libraries. Staff are being trained on using the Racial Equity Impact Tool to help assist in decision making. Chad gave a construction update on East Lake and North Regional.

Budget Presentation

Interim Budget and Finance Manager Curt Haats gave a brief update on the Hennepin County Library 2021 Requested Operating Budget. The HCL budget presentation to the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners will be held on November 2, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. CST.

Committee Reports

Friends of Hennepin County Library

Sheila Letscher gave an update on the work of Friends of Hennepin County Library. Friends have continued to raise funds in support of the Hennepin County Library despite the pandemic. FHCL has met its financial promises to support HCL and expects to meet its funding promises for 2021.

Budget and Long-Term Planning Committee

Rahfat Hussain gave a brief update on plans of the Budget & Long-Term Planning Committee.

Presidents Report

Erin Vrieze Daniels and Timothy Dolan have been reappointed to the Hennepin County Library Board. Library Board appointments to fill the currently vacant seats are expected to happen at the next County Board meeting. At the next Executive Committee meeting in October, board members plan to begin a discussion on the Library’s Strategic Plan.

Unfinished Business

The Library Board reviewed and discussed the Bylaws and Code of Conduct policy. The Board plans to vote on the Bylaws and Code of Conduct policy at the next full Library Board meeting on November 18, 2020.

New Business

The Library Board discussed the “Safer Libraries for All Statement of Values” letter.


There being no further business, Erin Vrieze Daniels made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 6:53 p.m.; seconded by Adja Kaba. Motion passed. The next meeting of the Hennepin County Library Board will be held at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, November 18, 2020, virtually via Microsoft Teams.