Library Board

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Fargo Public Library Board – June 20, 2017 Minutes

Regular Meeting: Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Present: Helen Levitt, Carlos Hawley Jr., Rachael Steenholdt, Howard Barlow, Mary Dickson, John Strand
Absent: Gary Groberg, Herb Snyder
Staff Present: Tim Dirks, Lauren Johnson, Betsy Dauer, Pam Strait

Chair, Helen Levitt called the meeting to order at 4:05 p.m., and a quorum was declared.

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

Minutes of May 16, 2017 Regular Meeting: Carlos Hawley Jr. moved to approve the minutes of the May 16, 2017 meeting. Howard Barlow seconded the motion; motion carried.

Staff Report:
Lauren Johnson reported on the upcoming events and projects:
Staff updates and Staff development activities:
• The library recently hired Ontik Hoque as the new part-time Technology Assistant at the Main library. Ontik has worked with us before and we are very happy to have him back.
• The library is currently accepting applications for a part-time Library Associate I at the branches.

Upcoming events (a partial and incomplete list):
• The Upcoming weeks for the Children’s Summer Reading program are Stone by Stone, All Aboard the Friend-ship and Made by Hand By You. There will be events nearly every weekday, so be sure to check them out. Some special presenters that will be at the library during the next month include the Gooseberry Park Players on June 26th, Hip Hop Dance with Mackenzie Koeing from the Red River Dance Company on June 28th, Computer Coding for Kids with Dave Kanenwisher on July 6th, Builder’s Workshops with members of the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters on July 10 and 11, and basket weaving with Chelsea Thornton from the Make Room on July 15th.
• An author visit with Newzad Brifki, writer of My Journey to America: A Kurdish American Story, is set for Wednesday, June 28, at the Main Library.
• A series of ‘Brew Your Own’ classes are coming up in July as part of the summer reading program offerings. Three classes are planned: Kombucha – July 17, Cold Brew Coffee – July 24, and Tisanes (herbal tea) – July 31.

Notable Past events & programs (again, a partial list):
Adult Programming:
• A Citizen Science event featuring the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project was presented by Andrea Wakely, an Interpretive Naturalist from the Buffalo River State Park was held June 10.
• MS. Simplicity (aka Melissa Schmalenberger) taught a class titled ‘Tackle Your Clutter hot Spots’ to forty (40) enthusiastic people on June 12.

Children’s Programming:
• We held a LEGO Block Party SRP Kick-off was held at all 3 library locations. We had a great turn out for our first event of the summer. 250 people come to Main, 250 people come to Carlson and 120 people come to Northport.
• The Fargo History Hunt has been very popular this month. Participating business have been reporting on many people and especially families stopping by to pick up puzzle pieces.

Chair, Helen Levitt stated the programs the library puts on reflects the staff’s creativity. She thanked Lauren for reporting on recent events and thanked all library staff for serving the needs of the citizens no matter which location they are at.

Director’s Report: Director, Tim Dirks referred the Board to his written report in the Board Packet. Director Dirks discussed a meeting he attended May 18th and 19th, 2017 in Williston, ND with the North Dakota Library Coordinating Council. There were no questions about the Directors Report.

Statistical Reports:
May Usage
The library had 630 new patrons last month with a total of just under 40,000 patrons. Attendance are down four percent year to date, yet program attendance is up 140 percent year-to-date. Internet sign-ups and web page hits are both down year-to-date. The website changes and a small Wi-Fi issue might explain part of the decrease in web usage. Circulation is down just slightly both in comparison of May of 2016 and year-to-date. Print circulation has gone down while nonprint circulation has increased 2.33 percent from May 2016. This change supports the decision to add electronic media such as Hoopla which is trending well with over 800 uses since going live in April 2017.

May Financials
The library had a significant amount of restricted donations from the friends as well as a $1,400 anonymous donation for equipment at Northport and a $200 from the FM Heritage Society. A $300 unrestricted donation was received from the Woman’s Club of Fargo. Prior Friends donations were used in May for both children’s and adult’s programming. The year is 42 percent lapsed and 40.30 percent of the budget is expended. Director Dirks stated that he met with the City about strategic planning and if approved he is prepared to move forward with it as soon as possible. Revenue is down almost $5,000 compared to May 2016. Director Dirks stated that the City understands that the library is not a revenue generating department. The DVD combination and extended renewals are decreasing the amount of fines brought in however the public is getting a better customer service because of it.

Friends of the Library Report: The Friends of the Fargo Public Library were not present at this meeting.

New Business:
Overview of Outreach Services
The Outreach Department serves 21 individual sites. The Department is staffed by one full time employee, Pam Strait, and one part time employee, Kirstie Carlson, along with many volunteers. Since Pam started in Outreach the number of sites served has almost doubled with no change in staff to accommodate the growth. Pam thanked the Friends for the book trucks and totes they donated as those make Outreach substantially more efficient. Pam explained how Outreach services work overall and on a day to day basis. Mary Dickson asked how often Outreach goes out to sites, how many people go to sites, and if Outreach patrons can request specific items. Pam explained that contact with each site depends on their individual needs. Most are once or twice per month. Staff and Volunteers go out to sites usually by themselves. Volunteers work in teams mostly so they can coordinate scheduling. Outreach patrons can put specific items on hold just like any other patron can. Pam explained that Outreach usually knows what to bring to each site as they have worked with these patrons and can personalize based on those relationships. Director Dirks stated that Pam’s job is literally never done as sites and volunteers are ever changing. He stated this is why he requested an additional full time position for Outreach.

Chair, Helen Levitt thanked Pam for coming in and speaking to the Board.

Public Comment: There was no public comment.

Next Board Meeting: The next regular and annual Board Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 18th, 2017, at 4:00 PM in the City Commission Room. Director Dirks noted that we will have two new Board Members at that meeting.

The meeting adjourned at 4:40 PM.