Library Board

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Fargo Public Library Board – October 17, 2017 Minutes

Regular Meeting: Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Board Members Present: Rachael Steenholdt, Helen Levitt, Howard Barlow, Scott Beaulier, Jan Ulferts Stewart
Board Members Absent: Carlos Hawley Jr., Mary Dickson
Staff: Tim Dirks, Jason DeShaw, Jenilee Kanenwisher, Betsy Dauer
Others Present: Bob Jansen, John Strand

President, Rachael Steenholdt called the meeting to order at 4:04 PM, and a quorum was declared.

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

Minutes of September 19, 2017 Regular Meeting:
Director Tim Dirks noted a suggested change on page 4, second paragraph from the bottom. It was stated that “when Carlson opened they literally ran out of books”. Carlson should be changed to Southpointe.
Jan Ulferts Stewart moved to approve the amended minutes of the September 19, 2017 meeting. Scott Beaulier seconded the motion; motion carried. This change will be reflected in the September 19, 2017 minutes.

Staff Report:
Staff updates and Staff development activities:
• The Main Library has hired a new Library Page. Rachel Dura has started training at the library and we are happy to have her working with us.
• The Staff Development Team asked Mike Mitchell from the Human Resources department to stop by the library and do a presentation on workplace communication. This presentation gave information on improving our listening skills, and how to be a better communicator in general.
• The North Dakota Library Association Conference (NDLA) was in Grand Forks on Oct. 4th-Oct.6th. The Fargo Public Library had many staff members from all departments attend this conference. The conference featured sessions and presentations meant to inform and educate local librarians.
Upcoming events (a partial and incomplete list):
• Author Maureen Anderson will be at the Main Library on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. Maureen is the author of the healthy living book The Willpower Workaround, and the host of the nationally syndicated radio talk show Doing What Works.
• On Thursday, October 19 at 2 p.m. at the Dr. James Carlson Library and Friday, October 20 at 2 p.m. at the Main Library, adults and teens are invited to make their own creepy cute witch finger pens for Halloween! This program is for teens ages 11-18. All materials provided and Pre-registration is required.
• On Tuesday, Oct. 24, One Book One Community author Jamie Ford will speak at an invitation only, informal “Tea with the Author” event at the Moorhead Public Library in the afternoon. Later that evening, he will take the stage for an author presentation and book signing at 7 p.m. in the Knutson Center Centrum on the campus of Concordia College. This event is free and open to the public.
• Join Professor Rajani Ganesh-Pillai at the Main Library on Saturday, Oct. 28th for a Diwali celebration. We will have a storytime, a Diwali craft, and festive activities for children ages 3 and older. There is no pre-registration required to attend this event.
• November is Native American Heritage Month and the Fargo Public Library welcomes residents to the first Native American Festival at the library. Children and their families are especially invited to attend a lunch featuring food prepared by the Daughters of the Earth on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 12 p.m. and a family-friendly storytelling event by Anne Dunn and Annie Humphrey at 2:15 p.m. On Sunday, Nov. 5, the library will host Native American artisans with demonstrations and displays of their work. Families are encouraged to attend and no pre-registration is required for any of the events.
Notable Past events & programs (again, a partial list):
Adult Programming:
• The adult craft program Haunted Fairy Houses on Oct. 4th filled up quickly and was well attended with 24 people. At this program adults and teens decorated pumpkins into spooky homes for the fairy folk.
Children’s Programming:
• The Calling All Ballerinas program on Sept. 26th had 78 eager little ballerinas show up for a storytime with real ballerinas from Gasper’s School of Dance. Children also learned some ballet moves after storytime and it was a great time for everyone.

President, Rachael Steenholdt opened the floor for comments. Helen Levitt stated the Library staff continue to be amazing and creative which is reflected in program attendance.

Director’s Report: Director Tim Dirks referred the Board to his written report in the Board Packet. Director Dirks noted the Downtown InFocus meeting attended October 5, 2017 named the Library an anchor to families’ downtown. Jane Darling, Maverick & Boutique Consultant, is in Fargo October 17th and 18th finishing up a series of workshops. October 3, 2017 Director Dirks attended the Friends of the Library Board Meeting. The Friends generously gave over $5,000 for the Strategic Plan incentives and to re-upholster some furniture in the teen room that is over ten years old.

President, Rachael Steenholdt opened the floor for comments. No comments.

Statistical Reports:
The library had just under 40,000 registered patrons for the month of September. Attendance was up 3% from September 2016 though down 2% year to date. Program attendance was up 4% from September 2016 and 29% year to date. Internet signups were up 6% from September 2016 and down 6% year to date. Print circulation is down 0.51% year to date while nonprint circulation is down 3.25%.

Incoming donations totaled $5 and expenditures of donations totaled $255. The year is 75% lapsed while the budget is 74.55% expended. Revenue continues to be down from anticipated revenue. Director Dirks continues to closely watch the budget as the year begins to come to a close.

President, Rachael Steenholdt opened the floor for comments. No comments.

Friends of the Library Report:
Bob Jansen was present and gave a report. The Friends will hold a ½ price book sale October 20, 21, and 22 at the Main Library. This sale will be held in the breezeway rather than in the community room as it has been in the past. The September deposit was just about $1,100 which is about average. $3,384.34 was donated to the Library to re-upholster some furniture in the Teen room at the Main Library and $1,650 for all incentives for the Strategic Plan. Bob Jansen stated the Friends are happy to donate to the Library.

The board and Director Dirks gave their appreciation to the Friends for all they do for the Library.

Old Business:
Strategic Planning Update:
Over 1,600 people have taken the survey so far. The workshops are finishing up October 17th and 18th. The next meetings are November 16th and 17th. Director Dirks invited the board to participate in either or both days if available. Jan Ulferts Stewart asked for clarification as to who approves the new plan. Director Dirks confirmed that the Strategic Planning Steering Committee would bring their recommendation to the board for approval. Jan Ulferts Stewart asked what the timeline of implementing the plan is. Director Dirks stated he would like it complete by the end of the year but would like the board to have enough time with it so if it goes into the New Year that is also realistic.

Director Dirks gave a slideshow presentation recap of goals 5-8 from the previous strategic plan.
5. Goal 5 Customer Focus: Create a customer focused environment in all aspects of library service delivery.
6. Goal 6 Finance: Secure and allocate financial resources in a fiscally responsible manner in support of identified goals.
7. Goal 7 Staff: Maintain a mutually supportive workforce and provide a work environment which fosters continuous improvement, teamwork and creativity.
8. Goal 8 Programming: Provide programming that meets community needs.

Director Dirks explained the sub-parts of the goals and what has been done to meet the goals.

President, Rachael Steenholdt opened the floor for comments. The board thanked Director Dirks for taking the time to create the presentation recapping the previous strategic plan.

New Business:
Collection Development Team Material Challenge Recommendation:
Jason DeShaw, Collection Development/Technical Services Manager, explained that any patron for any reason can contest an item in the Library’s collection. They simply fill out a form and the Collection Development Team researches the item to verify it fits within the collection policy. The patron is then invited back for an open discussion with the team. Jason DeShaw stated the item contested is On Becoming Babywise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. The patron identified themselves as pediatrician and stated believes this book to be dangerous and offered alternative books on the subject. After research the team found over 500 libraries, including surrounding libraries have the item in their collections also catalogued the same way. The recommendation of the Collection Development Team is to keep the item in the collection as it falls within policy and to remove it would be considered censorship. The team researched the suggested alternative items and found some were already in the collection and purchased the items that were not.
Howard Barlow made a motion to accept the Collection Development Team’s recommendation to keep the item, On Becoming Babywise, in the collection. Helen Levitt seconded the motion. President Rachael Steenholdt opened the floor for discussion. Helen Levitt stated she commends the team for their work. Howard Barlow asked if the patron will receive a copy of the decision. Jason DeShaw confirmed the patron will receive a copy of the decision.
Motion carried.

Public Comment: There was no public comment.

Next Board Meeting: The next regular Board Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 21, 2017, at 4:00 PM in the Fargo City Commission Room.

The meeting adjourned at 4:55 PM.