Fargo Public Library Board – March 21, 2017 Minutes
Regular Meeting: Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Present: Helen Levitt, Rachael Steenholdt, Carlos Hawley, Jr., Gary Groberg, Howard Barlow, Mary Dickson, Herb Snyder
Other: John Strand
Staff Present: Tim Dirks, Lauren Johnson, Beth Postema
Board Chair, Helen Levitt, called the meeting to order at 4:07 p.m. and declared a quorum.
Order of Agenda: A motion was made by Howard Barlow to accept the Order of the Agenda. Herb Snyder seconded the motion; the motion carried.
Minutes of the Feburary 21, 2017 Regular Meeting. Rachael Steenholdt moved to approve the minutes of the February 21, 2017 meeting. Herb Snyder seconded the motion; motion carried.
Lauren Johnson presented the staff report as follows:
Staff updates and Staff development activities:
• Two Library Pages, Lizzie DeCock and Mason Krebsbach, have put in their notice. We are currently in the process of hiring four Library Page positions.
• The Staff Development team brought in Officer Jessica White on Feb. 24th for a presentation on serving LGBT patrons at the library. Officer White presented an informative PowerPoint on some of the history of the LGBT community, along with a strong message of tolerance and equality.
• Ginny Mueller’s last day is on Friday, March 24th, and her retirement party will be immediately following the end of her work day.
• Children’s staff from the library will be participating in Diversity Day on Mar. 24th at Ed Clapp Elementary School. Along with various other groups and volunteers, the Children’s Department will be presenting a storytime focusing on diversity for the students of the school.
• Kids ages 5-12 are invited to join us at the Main Library for a Peeps® diorama-making event. Children are asked to bring a shoe or boot box and some theme ideas. We’ll have all sorts of craft supplies and Peeps® available to create the diorama. Participants are welcome to enter their creations in the Peeps® Diorama Contest taking place the following week.
• Prairie Visions Photography Exhibit will be in the entryway gallery at the Main Library from April 15 – May 15. This exhibit features images by Minneapolis-based photography artist John Morris from his book Prairie Visions. The book and images were inspired by the writings of Pulitzer Prize winning author Hamlin Garland, best known for his written descriptions of Midwestern farmlands.
Notable Past events & programs (again, a partial list):
• A Colors and Culture of Syria program with presenter Marian Kadrie was held Sunday, March 5, at the Main Library. This event was in partnership with Cultural Diversity Resources. We had 80 people attend this interesting presentation.
• We hosted the first of three tiny concerts, titled ‘Sunday Unplugged’ on Sunday, March 5, at the Carlson Library. The first event featured the group, The Jenny Coins, and was enthusiastically received by the 20 people attending. This series is designed to be an intimate listening room experience featuring the talents of solo artists and duos from the Fargo-Moorhead area
• In March, the library planned two concerts at the downtown Main Library featuring bands from the Fargo-Moorhead area. The first concert was Sunday, March 19, and featured a performance by The Cropdusters. The second concert will be Sunday, March 26, at 2 p.m. and will feature the group Friends and Neighbors. Suitable for all ages, these concerts are free and open to the public.
• Seusstastic Day on Mar. 4th was once again very popular. The library worked the Valley Reading Council and had 200 people show up for a storytime, craft, and activity filled program.Chair
Helen Levitt complimented the staff on their work and stated that without the staff, we have no library.
Director’s Report: Director Dirks referred the board to his report included in the packet. He updated the board on the hiring process; Elizabeth (Betsy) Dauer will start as Principal Office Associate on April 10. The City has a new purchasing policy that brings departmental purchases in line with new federal regulations. He and several departments heads are working on documenting our compliance.
There are over 500 new borrowers in the last month. Program attendance is strong, although volunteer hours and internet registrations are down slightly.
Total circulation is down 3% from February of last year and down 1% year-to-date. Director Dirks stated that we are still feeling the impact of DVD series consolidations. Numbers are lower, but customers are very pleased.
The library has received a restricted gift of $500 from the Rotary and $1,600 in total gifts from the Friends to support various aspects of the summer reading program. Director Dirks outlined that currently unrestricted donations are carried forward in the donations account. He suggested to the board that the might want to consider directing some of these undesignated funds to the endowment at year-end. The board discussed the timing and merits of such a movement of funds.
The 2017 budget, year-to-date expenses and revenue were presented. The spending of the budget is on track for this point in the fiscal year. Director Dirks also reported that the City is starting the budgeting process one month earlier this year; the board will receive a draft FY2018 budget at the May meeting.
Friends of the Library Report: There was no representative from the Friends present. Chair Helen Levitt expressed her thanks for the support of the Summer Reading Program.
Library Strategic Planning
Director Tim Dirks brought the question to the board regarding how they would like to participate in the strategic planning process and who would like to be a member of the strategic planning team. This round of planning will focus on new residents and the demographic changes taking place in Fargo since the last strategic plan. We will also be looking at facilities as we are at the ten-year point for our branches. Chair Helen Levitt said that when reflecting on participating on the planning team last time, it was an incredibly valuable experience. Rachel Steenholdt stated that she was very interested in directly participating. Herb Snyder said that board involvement is integral to the process. Director Dirks outlined the schedule for the process and the expected time commitment. Carlos Hawley also volunteered to be part of the planning team.
Director Dirks also referred the board members to the request for proposals for a planning consultant included in their packets.
Public Comment. There was no public comment.
Next Board Meeting: The next regular board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, 18, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. in the Commission Room.
The meeting adjourned at 4:37 PM.