Library Board

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Fargo Public Library Board – January 17, 2017 Minutes

Regular Meeting: Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Present: Helen Levitt, Mary Dickson, Rachael Steenholdt, Herb Snyder, Howard Barlow, Carlos Hawley, Jr., Gary Groberg
Staff Present: Tim Dirks, Lauren Johnson, Ben Daeuber, Ginny Mueller

The meeting was called to order by Board Chair, Helen Levitt, and a quorum was declared.

Order of Agenda: A motion was made by Mary Dickson to accept the Order of the Agenda. Herb Snyder seconded the motion; the motion carried.

Minutes of the December 20, 2016 Regular Meeting: Herb Snyder moved to approve the minutes of the December 20, 2016 meeting. Gary Groberg seconded the motion; motion carried.

Staff Report: Lauren Johnson presented the staff report as follows:
Staff updates and Staff development activities:
• Christina Kind is the new full-time LAI in Tech Services. The library is in the process of interviewing to fill her previous position of part-time LAI in Tech Services.
• Several library staff members attended a De-escalation presentation on Jan. 10, which was put on by the City of Fargo. At the presentation, attendees reviewed de-escalation skills, such as empathy and personal safety.
Upcoming events (a partial list):
• The Winter Read-A-Thon is up and running! The program runs from January 3 through February 26. Events and activities are planned for kids, teens and adults.
• The first-ever Winter Writing Contest for Teens & Adults is now open. Submissions in various categories are being accepted from January 3 – Feb. 26. More Information is available on the library’s website.
• Author and longtime Forum Sports Reporter Jeff Kolpack will visit the library Tuesday, Jan. 17, to discuss his book Horns Up: Inside the Greatest College Football Dynasty.
• Join the Concordia College Chinese Club at the Main library for a Chinese New Year’s celebration on Jan. 21st at 11am at the Main library. There will be a storytime with books read in English and Chinese, a Chinese New Year’s craft, and also some festive activities for children of all ages. There’s no pre-registration required.
• Photographer Ethan Smith will give an artist talk on Tuesday, Jan, 24, starting at 7 p.m. at the Main Library. He will discuss his photos of the Fergus Falls State Hospital and his book, Castle on the Hill. Also, Smith’s photographs from this project are on display during the month of January in the concourse gallery at the Main Library.
• A Kindergarten Success Storytime series will begin on Jan. 28th- At these storytimes library staff will share tips for easy strategies you can use to instill a love of reading in your child and help get them ready to learn. These are parent/child storytimes geared for your child’s success therefore we ask one adult per child. This program series will be held at the Main Library and is most appropriate for children ages 3—5. No pre-registration is required.
• A winter concert with musician Amanda Standalone is set for Sunday, Jan. 29, at 2 p.m. at the Dr. James Carlson Library.
Notable Past events & programs (a partial list):
Adult Programming:
• The search for the 2017 One Book, One Community title continues. Residents are asked to suggest a title for next year’s project. There are two ways to do this: Visit the 1 Book, 1Community website at and make a suggestion, or visit any of the partner libraries and fill out a paper ballot
• Beginner Yoga sessions continue to be popular and several more sessions are on the schedule for Thursday in January (19, & 26) and February (2, 9, 16, and 23) at the Dr. James Carlson Library. About 10 to 12 people attend each session.
Children’s Programming:
• The 8th annual LEGO Design Contest brought in impressive crowds on Dec. 29th at the Main library. We had 220 people who stopped by with their LEGO creations. All entries received a participation ribbon and certificate, and the top entry in each age group won a gift certificate.
• The Noon Year’s Eve program on Dec. 31st also brought in 150 enthusiastic children who celebrated the New Year at a decent hour with crafts, and dancing under the stars.
Chair Helen Levitt asked that Lauren convey to the library staff the Board’s admiration for the creativity and skills displayed with all of the programming.

Director’s Report: Tim Dirks directed the board to the report included in the packet. As noted, on January 5th Dirks met with the City Attorney regarding the updated Purchase Policy, which went into effect January 1st. City Departments now must obtain 3 quotes when purchasing items that total between $10,000 and $25,000. Anything over $25,000 requires an RFP or documentation for a Sole Source Procurement. We purchase well over $25,000 on our library materials and are working on RFP and Sole Source documentation.

Statistical Reports:
December Usage
The number of registered patrons is just over 40,000. Attendance at the libraries is up slightly when comparing year-to-date to 2015. Carlson has had a significant increase in attendance. Program attendance is down by 2% and volunteer hours are strong.
Total circulation is down over 1.5% compared with last year, which we attribute to the disruption caused by construction near both the Main and Northport Libraries. Also, we have changed the way we count DVD circulations. Prior to this year, DVDs that were part of a series were checked out as one circulation for one DVD (case). Now, the whole series (or a television season) is one circulation. Music CDs have declined in circulation. We will maintain that format, but streaming music content has made a difference in our circulation.
E-content is definitely up and we are adding more product and an additional platform.

December Financials
We have received end-of-year donations totaling $1060, both for unrestricted and restricted use. Expenses have been for Outreach supplies, Crafternoons and Staff Development.
Spreadsheets detailing the 2016 Total Expenses were distributed, showing the library being below budget by $106,524. Director Tim Dirks pointed out that the 13th period of 2016 is not included in this report, and from experience we anticipate that about 75% of the remaining budget will be spent. Funds not expended will be returned to the general fund.
Our revenue is approximately $8,500 lower than our projections.
When asked, Director Dirks explains that the Mayor’s Initial 2017 Budget was presented in September 2016. It was approved by the City Commission in October. Work will begin on the 2018 budget in July 2017.

Friends of the Library Report: Friends President Bob Jansen was unavailable; there was no report from the Friends.

Old Business: There was no old business.

New Business: Director Tim Dirks introduced Ben Daeuber, Electronic Resources Librarian, who gave a demonstration on Hoopla. It is a new platform that the Fargo Public Library will use to provide e-content to our patrons. The difference between Hoopla and our present e-content platform is that instead of paying a fee and purchasing titles, we are billed for each time a product is checked out. All material offered by Hoopla is available all the time, there are no hold lists. It provides comics, movies and audiobooks through its vendor, Midwest Tape. We are restricting use of Hoopla to City of Fargo residents. Prices are $.40 to $4.99 per checkout, with $1.99 being the average. We have budgeted $30,000 for the Hoopla platform for 2017. Hoopla does not replace our other e-content platforms, but offers more media and provides better availability. Chair Helen Levitt thanked Ben for the information and demonstration.

Public Comment: There was no public comment.

Next Board Meeting: The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. in the Commission Room.

The meeting adjourned at 4:25 PM.