Fargo Public Library Board – May 16, 2017 Minutes
Regular Meeting: Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Present: Helen Levitt, Gary Groberg, Carlos Hawley Jr., Herb Snyder, Rachel Steenholdt, Howard Barlow, Bob Jansen, John Strand
Absent: Mary Dickson
Staff Present: Tim Dirks, Lauren Johnson, Betsy Dauer, Amber Emery
Chair, Helen Levitt called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m., and a quorum was declared.
Order of Agenda: A motion was made by Herb Snyder to approve the Order of the Agenda. Carlos Hawley Jr. seconded the motion; motion carried.
Minutes of March 17, 2015 Regular Meeting: Herb Snyder moved to approve the minutes of the April 18, 2017 meeting. Carlos Hawley Jr. seconded the motion; motion carried.
Lauren Johnson reported on the upcoming events and projects:
Staff updates and Staff development activities:
• Four Library Page positions at the Main library have been filled - Pam Schott, Stephanie Drietz, Anja Martin, and Lindsey Miller are joining the Circulation department. They will hopefully be fully trained by the kick off of Summer Reading Program in June.
• The Library is currently interviewing for the part-time Technology Assistant at the Main library.
• Zach Sollie, who is a Library Associate I, has put in his notice. Zach has worked at the branches for 3 years. His position will be posted soon.
• Jason DeShaw and Jackie Lang from the Tech Services department attended a meeting in Bismarck regarding the creation of a North Dakota digital portal. The ultimate goal of this project would be to get North Dakota libraries participating in the Digital Public Library of America.
Upcoming events (a partial and incomplete list):
• We are in the midst of the library’s 4-part annual spring Gardening Series at the downtown Main Library. Dates, topics and presenters in the series are: Tuesday, May 16 –Herb Gardening with Todd Weinmann, a Cass County Extension Agent, and Tuesday, May 23 –Blossom Barter.
• The Summer Reading Program runs from June 5th-August 5th for Kids, Teens and Adults. We are excited to offer lots of activities, crafts and events centered on the idea of “Build a Better Community & World”. Amber will be speaking about the Children’s Summer Reading program shortly.
• Some SRP marketing and promotions-
o 3 SRP billboards will be up in June around town.
o :30 Public Service Announcements & TV spots will start running on local TV stations in late May.
o The SRP video is on the library’s Facebook page, shared on Twitter and running on the City of Fargo’s video channel. This video was also sent to Fargo Public School librarians and private school librarians to show during May. The video was also sent to Fargo Public School communications office to show on Channel One in middle school and elementary school classrooms.
Notable Past events & programs (again, a partial list):
• In early May, the library hosted a spring book reading event featuring three of the student authors of the recently released book Green Card Youth Voices: Immigration Stories from a Fargo High School; 27 people attended this engaging event.
• The 4-part film series featuring 1970s movies finished up May 7 at the Main Library. An average of 22 people attended each of the screenings.
• The program Life Size Candyland was held on April 29th at 10am and 2pm. We had 180 people attend this events, where kids traveled through the different lands of Candyland picking up candy as they went, and did Candyland themed crafts.
• Crafternoons at Carlson wraps up its Spring season on May 22nd. This program series has brought in over 1100 people in 18 weeks. Crafternoons will return in Sept.
Chair, Helen Levitt stated she gives her thanks to Lauren for presenting the report and to everyone at the library.
Director’s Report: Tim Dirks referred the Board to his written report in the Board Packet. He spoke on the importance of quarterly project meetings with staff. He also noted a meeting he had with Homeless Outreach Specialist, Jillian Gould, and a patron who was able to be put on Limited Access Status rather than not being allowed at the library because of past events. Chair Helen Levitt asked about a specific meeting on the Director’s Report – Chamber of Commerce Eggs N Issues. Tim Dirks described it as a meeting for topics of interest. This past meeting was specifically about ND legislature whys and whatnots.
The library had 542 new patrons last month with a total of just under 40,000 patrons. Attendance are down about five 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 decreased slightly. Circulation is down both in comparison with April of 2016 and year-to-date.
There were no questions from the previous meeting to report back on. Director Dirks referred the Board to the Board Packet report. Donation expenses showed the last of the Crafternoons donation was spent and $167 was spent on pizza for National Library Week. Director Dirks thanked the Friends for their generous donations to support staff development. Herb Synder wanted an explanation of the donation report total expenses. Director Dirks states he would look into it. Director Dirks noted that Main had an expense of $5,280 from Tech Logic that was charged in error that he had finance reverse. Year to date total expenses are at 32.29% and the year is 33% expended.
Friends of the Library Report: Bob Jansen spoke on the Friends book sale that is coming up at Main as well as smaller sales at the branches. The Friends gave $4,000 to support the One Book, One Community event held at Concordia October 24th, 2017. The Friends donated funds for the Summer Reading Program. Additionally the Friends gave funds for short stories to be printed. Friend’s members also helped judge the short stories.
Chair, Helen Levitt thanked Bob Jansen as well as the rest of the Friends for their continued support of the Fargo Public Library noting that the library couldn’t do what it does without the Friends.
2018 Budget Proposal
Director Dirks referred the Board to an email from Kent Costin regarding 2018 budget development guidance. The email gave guidance from the City as to how to plan for 2018’s budget. Director Dirks then referred the Board to the 2018 Budget Proposal. He plans to limit increases while maintaining the core programs and customer service.
Staff requests for 2018 are one fulltime Library Outreach Associate (LAII) (Grade 6) and one fulltime Branch Circulation Library Associate II (Grade 6). Director Dirks explained the Outreach position as necessary to meet the staffing need in Outreach. Additionally there was a study that shows projected population grown of 40% in the age range of 65-74 between 2015 and 2020. The Library needs to be prepared to provide services outside the walls of the Library. The Branch Circulation LAII is needed so Lori West can do more management and less circulation. Herb Snyder asked if the Branch Circulation LAII would replace part time LAI positions. Director Dirks explained that it would not. It would help ensure the Library budget stays on track with staffing needs. Helen Levitt asked Director Dirks to explain the differences between LAI’s and LAII’s. Primarily LAI’s are part time entry level even though a high level work is expected. LAII’s are fulltime and given more responsibilities. The additional position would create flexibility for coverage whereas now we are limited. Commissioner, John Strand suggested a cost savings comparison so the net won’t appear to have as much impact on our budget when the new position is presented. Commissioner Strand told Director Dirks to let him know when the budget meeting is so he can attend and show support for the Library.
General operating amounts proposed are an aggregate net of $32,201. This is due to the CAM charges increasing as well as increases for electronic and print materials for Main as well as the branches based on strategic planning goals. Director Dirks noted the request as being lean but necessary.
There are no capital outlay requested for 2018.
Chair, Helen Levitt thanked Director Dirks for the report. Herb Snyder made a motion to approve the 2018 Budget Proposal. Carlos Hawley Jr. seconded the motion; motion carried.
2017 Children’s Summer Reading Program Overview
Amber Emery presented the video for the Summer Reading Program. Amber gave her thanks to everyone involved in making the video. The Summer Reading Program’s theme is “Build a Better World”. A change from last year is that a prize will be given for every 10 hours of reading. Once 40 hours of reading is completed a book will be given out. There is a pre-reader program for kids 3 and under. There are activities they can do with their parents. For every 10 activities a prize will be given and once 40 activities are done a book will be given. Participants will get their picture in the Forum once 40 hours/activities are reached as well. In the past the pictures have taken up one page in the Forum – this year we expect two full pages.
Chair, Helen Levitt thanked Amber for the presentation as well as everyone involved in the program.
Commissioner Strand excused himself to go to the City’s Employee Recognition Reception. Chair, Helen Levitt thanked Commissioner Strand for attending.
Public Comment: There was no public comment.
Next Board Meeting: Chair Helen Levitt stated that the next regular Board Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 20th 2017, at 4:00 PM in the City Commission Room. Director Dirks noted that will also be Herb Snyder and Gary Grobergs last meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 4:44 PM.