Library Board

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Fargo Public Library Board – August 15, 2017 Minutes

Regular Meeting: Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Board Members Present: Rachael Steenholdt, Helen Levitt, Howard Barlow, Mary Dickson
Board Members Absent: Scott Beaulier, Jan Ulferts Stewart, Carlos Hawley Jr.
Staff: Tim Dirks, Lauren Johnson, Betsy Dauer
Others Present: John Strand

Chair, Rachael Steenholdt called the meeting to order just after 4:00 PM, and a quorum was declared.

Order of Agenda: A motion was made by Mary Dickson to approve the Order of the Agenda. Helen Levitt seconded the motion; motion carried.

Minutes of July 18, 2017 Regular Meeting: Helen Levitt moved to approve the minutes of the July 18, 2017 meeting. Mary Dickson seconded the motion; motion carried.

Staff Report:
Staff updates and Staff development activities:
• Children’s Coordinator, Amber Emery and I (Lauren Johnson) attended a two day conference on after school programming on August 1st and 2nd. The SEEC conference included sessions on after school programming and child development. We also attended a Library Summit on August 15th.
• Library Department heads from Collection Development, Jason DeShaw, Technical Services, Ben Daeuber, and Circulation, Cheryl Lackman attended a Koha conference in Coeur D’Lane, Idaho, August 8th-August 12th.
• ILL Specialists Lynn Bendickson and Drea Cook attended an Interlibrary Loan conference in Portland, Oregon August 8th-August 12th.
• The Staff development team brought in a speaker from the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center to talk to library staff about child abuse in July. The presentation focused on recognizing child abuse and how to report it.
• Shannon Hokstad, a Library Associate I at the Main library, had her last working at the library on August 4th. Shannon had worked at the library for 7 years. We are really going to miss her. The library is currently reviewing applications for a Library Associate I at the Main library.
• Circulation is also setting up interviews for two Library Page positions at the Main library.

Upcoming events (a partial and incomplete list):
• The library will be hosting some events for the eclipse next week. On Monday, August 21st there will be a viewing party at 10am including a storytime and craft at the Carlson library. Safe viewing glasses will be provided, while supplies last. This program is open to all ages and no pre-registration is required.
• The library is going outside the library walls for a ‘Books on Tap’ event at the Front Street Taproom on Aug. 24, from 5 to 10 p.m. This is an event for adults, ages 21+. Storytime for Adults will be at 8 p.m.

Notable Past events & programs (again, a partial list):
Adult Programming:
• Adult SRP stats: Reading logs turned in by branch - MAIN: 165; CARLSON: 165; NORTHPORT: 76. Total reading logs turned in: 406 (last year the total was 401). There were 3 winners for the Grand Prize, who received a copy of the 2017 1B1C book Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, a $20 gift card to Barnes & Noble, and a tasseled bookmark.
Teen Programming:
• We had a pretty good run for teen SRP this year! 134 logs turned in with a total of 176 teens participating in 16 programs held library wide in June and July. Teens who completed their book logs got a free book and were entered in a drawing to win a Barnes and Noble gift card.
Children’s Programming:
• Children’s SRP Registration numbers are down this year (we are unsure as to why that is): 1623 (2063 in 2016). Completion numbers are down as well (these are the number of how many books were given out): 426 readers (526 in 2016) 115 pre-readers (145 in 2016). Hours read and activities completed are down: 17,040 hours read (21,590 in 2016) 5650 activities completed (6450 in 2016). Children who completed the 40 hour book and also completed the Reader’s Challenge will get their picture in the newspaper on Saturday, August 26th. Although registration for the program was down, attendance at summer programs was up with 5293 attending (4049 in 2016).
• We had 224 people enter the History Hunt Grand Prize drawing, so at least that many people took part. We know from comments on the Fargo History Hunt and SRP surveys that some didn’t get a chance to complete the whole thing, so there were definitely more that did do at least some of it. We had a LOT of positive feedback so we do plan on doing it again next summer with 12 new buildings…we consider our inaugural year a success! And we would like to extend a HUGE thank you to the 12 businesses and organizations that allowed us to use their buildings!
• And lastly, a big Thank you to the Friends for supporting the Crafternoons at Carlson program. The Friends recently approved $600 for materials for this program series. It is because of their generous support that we are able to continue to provide this program for the community. Crafternoons at Carlson will start September 25th.
Chair, Rachael Steenholdt opened the floor for comments.
Helen Levitt gave her support to the staff for all of the hard work that is done that is extra during SRP in addition to what is done on an everyday basis. Director Dirks mentioned that the library is a very busy place in the summer as circulation is at its busiest in the summer as well as all of the additional work put into SRP. Howard Barlow stated the library staff do a great job.

Director’s Report: Prior to the Director’s Report, Director Dirks mentioned that board member Jan Ulferts Stewart had requested information on the previous strategic plan that the library had done. Director Dirks looked to the board for direction on what information they would like. Helen Levitt suggested a “wrap up” of the previous plan. Director Dirks gave examples of goals that were reached because of the knowledge gained from the previous strategic plan. Helen Levitt stated those examples were like a snapshot of what the board would like to see. She then suggested a presentation for the board. Director Dirks stated he would put the presentation together and forward it to Chair, Rachael Steenholdt for review. Helen Levitt suggested that John Strand would likely appreciate the presentation as well as he is on the City Commission and would be able to see that the money was well spent on the previous plan. John Strand agreed. He suggested that Director Dirks present on a monthly basis of the progress of the new plan as well as the new goals. Director Dirks stated as done with the previous plan he uses the plan regularly to justify hiring/planning decisions.

Director, Dirks referred the Board to his written report in the Board Packet.

No comments arose from the Director’s report.

Statistical Reports
July Usage: The library had just under 40,000 registered patrons for the month of July. Attendance was down 3% from July 2016 as well as 3% year to date however program attendance was up 2% from July 2016 and 29% year to date. The volunteer hours from July 2016 are not generally reflective of the library’s volunteer hours. There was one volunteer that put in an abundant amount of hours in July 2016. Web page hits are not accurately reflective as the new website analytics are not yet set up as they were with the old website. Once City IT gets the reports up to date that number should accurately reflect the web page hits. Print circulation is down 0.86% year to date while nonprint circulation is down 0.34%.

July Financials: Incoming donations totaled $293 and expenditures of donations totaled $1,389. Money that had been donated previously to the endowment fund but not yet sent was sent to the FM Area Foundation. The year is 58% lapsed while the budget is 56.96% expended. Revenue continues to be down from anticipated revenue.

Friends of the Library Report: The Friends of the Fargo Public Library were not present at this meeting. The board gave their appreciation to the Friends for all they do for the Library.

Old Business: Director Dirks spoke with the City of Fargo attorney regarding the process of changing bylaws as well as the wording of Article 2, Section 2 and Article 7, Section 1. It was agreed that procedurally the library needs to publicly post the proposed changes. The proposed change was made public on the library website one week prior to this meeting. The board reviewed the proposed changes. Howard Barlow made a motion to approve the proposed changes to the bylaws. Mary Dickson seconded the motion; motion carried.

New Business: Director Dirks stated the Strategic Planning Steering Committee (referred to hereafter as “committee”) received RFP’s from Nancy Bolt & Associates (NB&A) and Maverick & Boutique (M&B). The committee unanimously agreed to interview both firms. After the interviews the committee had an in depth conversation about which firm would be the best fit for the library. The committee recommended to the board M&B as the consultant for the upcoming strategic plan. Chair, Rachael Steenholdt stated she is also on the committee and gave her full support in recommending M&B. The deciding factor in the decision was that while both firms would undoubtedly give good results, M&B offered new and exciting options as well as bringing the community in and making them a major part of the process. Director Dirks noted that if approved he would like to get the recommendation on the next agenda for the City of Fargo commission.
Helen Levitt made a motion to approve the committee’s recommendation of M&B. Mary Dickson seconded the motion; motion carried.

Public Comment: There was no public comment however John Strand noted that the meeting in the Fargo City Commission Chambers that meets before the library board meeting will potentially moving up their time as to not run over into the library board’s time slot.

Next Board Meeting: The next regular Board Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 19, 2017, at 4:00 PM in the Fargo City Commission Room.

The meeting adjourned at 4:58 PM.