Fargo Public Library Board – April 18, 2017 Minutes
Regular Meeting: Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Present: Helen Levitt, Gary Groberg, Howard Barlow, Mary Dickson, Rachael Steenholdt, Herb Snyder
Absent: Carlos Hawley, Jr.
Staff Present: Tim Dirks, Lauren Johnson, Beth Postema, Betsy Dauer, Lori K. West
Chair, Helen Levitt called the meeting to order at 4:03 p.m., and a quorum was declared.
Order of Agenda: A motion was made by Herb Snyder to approve the Order of the Agenda. Gary Groberg seconded the motion; motion carried.
Minutes of March 21, 2017 Regular Meeting: Rachael Steenholdt moved to approve the minutes of the March 21, 2017 meeting. Mary Dickson seconded the motion; motion carried.
Lauren Johnson reported on the upcoming events and projects:
Staff updates and Staff development activities:
• The Circulation department has completed interviewing for the 4 Library Page positions, and now is in the process of hiring for those positions.
• Part-time Technology Assistant, Nathan Smith has put in his notice. That position will be open soon for applicants.
• The library had quite a few employees from several departments attend the Communication in the Workplace presentation on March 23 given by Michael Mitchell, the City’s Training Coordinator.
• Hoopla Digital went live on Monday, Apr. 10th. Hoopla is the library’s newest digital option, it offers books, audiobooks, movies, comics and music.
• For National Library week, the Staff Development team put together a library worker’s appreciation lunch on Tuesday, April 11. Thank you to the Friends for their donations to the Staff Development team.
• The Children’s department would also like to thank the Friends for their generosity this year. The Friends gave money to purchase Summer Reading Program books and prizes, a history hunt program, and to bring in magician Jeff Quinn. The Friends’ support for the Summer Reading Program total is $3,770.
Upcoming events (a partial and incomplete list):
• The title for the 2017 One Book, One Community reading project was announced last week during National Library Week. Based on suggestions from the public, the committee has chosen Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford.
• We are featuring a presentation by Daryl Ritchison, Interim Director of the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) this week. His presentation is titled "Voices of the 1930s: when the Soil Blew Away" and will also examine how land use changes made the drought even worse and how we may not be well prepared for the next dry spell.
• Children’s book author and illustrator Derek Anderson will visit the Main Library on Wednesday, April 19, at 6:30 p.m. Anderson will share his creative process at this all-ages event. This program is co-sponsored by The Valley Reading Council.
• At the Bit and Bridle program on April, 22 at 11 a.m. at the Carlson library, we are bringing in local horse experts from 3 Gems Boarding Stables and Horseback Riding Academy to share great stories and bring equipment to show us how things work. Even a horse will make an appearance! All ages are welcome.
• We are in the midst of another 4-part film series with Tony McRae and Matt Olien at the Main Library. This series features 1970s movies. Dates and films in this series are: Sunday, April 23 – American Graffiti (1973, PG), Sunday, April 30 – Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974, PG), and
Sunday, May 7 – Network (1976, R)
• On May 3 at 7 p.m., the Main library will host a spring book reading event featuring some of the student authors of the recently released book Green Card Youth Voices: Immigration Stories from a Fargo High School. A collection of 30 students' immigration stories, this book is designed to generate awareness about the immigration experience and provide young immigrants with a platform to tell their own narratives, in exactly the ways they want them to be heard.
Notable Past events & programs (again, a partial list):
• Tiny concerts are going strong at the Carlson Library branch. The concert series’ second concert was April 2 and featured folk rock musician Tristan Larson. The final spring concert is planned for Sunday, May 7, and will feature musician Kwaician Traylor.
• The first Teen Design a bookmark contest has ended, picking 2 winners in the 13-15 and 16-18 age categories.
Chair Helen Levitt stated that she appreciates everything the FPL staff does and that the library could not carry out these amazing programs without the staff.
Tim Dirks referred the Board to his written report in the Board Packet. He made note of the interview with a reporter from the Forum. Electronic Resources Librarian Ben Daeuber also participated in the interview that discussed the evolving nature of libraries and offering e-content to our customers. The article based on the interview has yet to appear in print.
The library had 551 new patrons last month with a total of just under 40,000 patrons. Attendance are down about two percent year to date, yet program attendance is up significantly year-to-date. Internet sign-ups and web page hits are both down year-to-date.
Year-to-date total circulation has increased just slightly from 2014. Circulation is up both in comparison with March of 2016 and year-to-date.
Director Tim Dirks reported back on the questions the board had regarding rent payments at last month’s meeting. Normally, rent is paid one month in advance, i.e., April rent is paid in March. Because the library cannot pay 2017 expenses in 2016, both January and February rent payments were made in January, which accounts for being in excess of the budgeted amount at this point in the year. He again mentioned the very generous support of the Friends for the library programs including the Summer Reading Program and the Crafternoons series at Carlson. Overall, the library’s spending is just under 25% and is on target for this point in the year. Our revenue for 2017 is also on target.
Friends of the Library Report: There was no report made by the Friends.
Introduction of Betsy Dauer, Principal Office Associate
Director Tim Dirks introduced Betsy Dauer, who has started as the Principal Office Associate. She then briefly summarized her background as an office manager for the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department. Chair Helen Levitt welcomed her to the library and to the board meeting.
Overview of Adult Programming with Lori West, Branch Services Manager
Lori West outlined a number of current adult programs offered by the library, including the following:
• For National Poetry Month, there are poet-trees at each location where customers can offer haikus written on cherry blossom cut-outs to be placed on the trees.
• At Carlson, several yoga instructors were seeking to keep their certifications current. They are now offering free beginner yoga classes that assist them in their certification and have been popular with library customers.
• The library’s annual series of gardening programs will take place in May. Don Kinzler, the Forum’s garden columnist, will be presenting on container gardens, and the annual Blossom Barter will take place.
• The Programming team is currently pinning down adult programs for the summer. During the summer, library customers will be able to learn about early Fargo baseball history, decluttering and minimalist living, and brewing various coffees and teas.
• With Koha, we now have the ability to make library cards and check-out materials away from the library. The library will be represented at Streets Alive, Fargo Pride, and at the Red River Market during the summer.
• The title for the One Book, One Community Read has been announced; this year’s book is Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. This community wide series of programs and discussions is now in its sixth year and again is generously supported by the Friends of the Fargo Public Library.
Tim Dirks commented that the other key person in our programming is Melisa Duncan who does a tremendous job with the promotion of our library events. Unlike other libraries with larger staffs, the Fargo Public Library does not have dedicated staff who work only on adult programming. Our librarians carry out all of this in addition to their other responsibilities.
Public Comment: There was no public comment.
Next Board Meeting: Chair Helen Levitt stated that the next regular Board Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 19, 2015, at 4:00 PM in the City Commission Room. She also made note of the Fargo Public Library Annual Report for 2016, which was included in each of the board members’ packets.
The meeting adjourned at 4:32 PM.