Library Board

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Fargo Public Library Board – September 19, 2017 Minutes

Regular Meeting: Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Board Members Present: Rachael Steenholdt, Helen Levitt, Howard Barlow, Mary Dickson, Scott Beaulier, Jan Ulferts Stewart
Board Members Absent: Carlos Hawley Jr.
Staff: Tim Dirks, Lauren Johnson, Betsy Dauer
Others Present: Bob Jansen

President, Rachael Steenholdt called the meeting to order at 4:00 PM, and a quorum was declared.

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

Minutes of August 15, 2017 Regular Meeting: Helen Levitt moved to approve the minutes of the August 15, 2017 meeting. Howard Barlow seconded the motion; motion carried.

Introductions were made to the new board member, Scott Beaulier as this was his first meeting.

Staff Report:
Staff updates and Staff development activities:
• The Main Library has hired two Library Pages. Tammy Dixon and Alexandra Howatt began training last week and we are excited to have them at the Main Library. The Main Library has also hired a Library Associate I, named Logan DeBlieck who will begin work at the library soon.
• Children’s Coordinator Amber Emery did a presentation at Mayville State University for a Children’s Literature class on Sept. 8th. The presentation focused on her experience on the Newbury Award committee.
• The Main Library now has another member of the Homeless Outreach with drop in hours, Whitney Fear from Homeless Health Services will be available at the Main Library on Wednesday afternoons from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm to assist patrons in need.
Upcoming events (a partial and incomplete list):
• On Saturday, Sept. 23, at 2 p.m. the Oz Brothers (played by Judy Garland Festival veterans Jeff Kortman and Tom Hendricks) will take kids through the story of the Wizard of Oz at the Main Library. This event is open to all ages, but is most appropriate for kids 5 and older. No pre-registration is required.
• The Teen department will be starting fall programming in September with a library escape room event at the Carlson library on Sept. 25th. There will be 3 sessions and they are filling up fast!
• Crafternoons at Carlson begins on Sept. 25th. This is an open house craft program, where children up to age 12 can stop by the Carlson library between 3-4:30pm to do a craft. Thank you to the Friends for donating $600 to this program for supplies. We hope this season is as popular as past seasons.
• On Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m., Gasper's School of Dance will be coming to the Main Library to tell some fun dancing stories and teach a mini-ballet class. This event is for kids ages 3 to 12, No pre-registration is required.
• uCodeGirl Jr. Edition invites creators, storytellers, adventurers, and artists to use their imagination to construct a tale with twists and turns. Choose Your Own Adventure: Storytelling with Code program is an exciting opportunity for curious minds to write a digital story using code. Join us at the Main Library on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 6:30 p.m. or at the Dr. James Carlson Library on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 10 a.m. This event is open to kids in grades 4 – 6. Space is limited so pre-registration is required.
• We’ll be hosting an all new edition of Great Science for Teens led by Dr. Graeme Wyllie of Concordia College with fun science experiments made just for teens on Thursday, October 5 at 6 p.m. at the Dr. James Carlson Library. Open to teens in grades 6-12. Pre-registration is required.
• We have two upcoming author visits. The first is on Oct. 10: Minnesota author Nora McInerny will visit the Main Library. Her 2017 memoir, It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too), talks about her husband, Aaron, and his cancer, her life before Aaron (moving to NYC in her twenties, stalking ex-boyfriends on social media), and after Aaron (chapter titles like “Cool Widow Kind of Wants to Kiss Someone”). And on Oct. 18: Regional author Maureen Anderson will visit the Main Library to share her book The Willpower Workaround.
• Tiny Concerts at Carlson Library begins again this fall, residents are invited to join us at the Dr. James Carlson Library for more intimate listening room experiences featuring the talents of solo artists and duos from the Fargo-Moorhead area. The library is hosting four concerts in this fall series, and performers will play free, one-hour acoustic concerts suitable for all ages. The following groups and artists are set to perform at the Dr. James Carlson Library this fall: Sunday, October 15 – Pat Lenertz (Jam Rock) performs at 2 p.m. and Sunday, November 19 – Jessica Vines and Conor Lee (Jazz) performs at 2 p.m.
• The Fargo Public Library will again host a series of free concerts on Sunday afternoons during October for Jazz into Fall series. Come to the Main Library’s community room at 2 p.m. on Sundays in October to hear both familiar standards and new compositions. Groups scheduled to perform are: October 1: Mary Marshall Trio, October 8: Dave Ferreira Trio, October 15: Kathie Brekke & 42nd Street, and on October 22: The Jazz Committee, featuring Race Hoglund
Notable Past events & programs (again, a partial list):
Adult Programming:
• The China culture event was Sunday, Sept. 17, at the Main library. 50 people attended this event. This event was in partnership with Cultural Diversity Resources and was part of the Welcoming Week FM series of events, and was also part of the One Book, One Community series of events.
• The World in Fargo-Moorhead Diversity photography exhibit is up in the Main Library’s outer gallery. A gallery talk was held on Sunday, Sept. 17, featuring some of the photographers and the Approximately 50 people attended this event. The talk shared the history of the project, introduced photographers and storytellers, and invited further participation in this extraordinary project.
Children’s Programming:
• The Solar Eclipse program on Aug. 21st at the Carlson library was a huge success. We had 630 people turn up to view the eclipse! There was a storytime and crafts for kids, and the library provided a limited amount of safety glasses. This was the most heavily attended library program in memory, so we want to give a big thank you to Cindy Mason from the Children’s Department who organized this program.
• The library had a booth at the Red River Valley Farmer’s Market on Sept. 9th. Children’s staff did a storytime on the stage and also had a craft for kids. People could also check out books and sign up for library cards at the market. We had about 100 people attend the storytime and stop by the library booth.

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

Director’s Report: Director, Dirks referred the Board to his written report in the Board Packet.

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

Statistical Reports:
July Usage
The library had just under 40,000 registered patrons for the month of August. Attendance was up 4% from August 2016 though down 3% year to date. Program attendance was up 68% from August 2016 and 32% year to date. This increase in program attendance was largely due to the Eclipse program offered at Carlson during the Solar Eclipse on August 21st, 2017. Volunteer hours are down 17% from August 2016. Internet sign up numbers continued to decrease though it is not an accurate representation as the statistical analysis through the City of Fargo is not set up the same as it previously had been. Print circulation is down 2.27% year to date while nonprint circulation is up 1.21%. Total circulation was at 90,607 which is the highest circulating August since opening the new Main library.

July Financials
Incoming donations totaled $1,070 and expenditures of donations totaled $588. The year is 67% lapsed while the budget is 64.46% expended. Revenue continues to be down from anticipated revenue.
President, Rachael Steenholdt opened the floor for comments. No comments.

Friends of the Library Report: Bob Jansen was present and gave a report. National Friends of Libraries Week is coming up October 18th – 24th. There will be a hallway sale rather than a big book sale. The Friends book store is open the same hours as the library and is staffed by volunteers. Income is generated from the sale of used books that have been donated. In recent months the Friends have donated money for the One Book, One Community project, Crafternoons, teen shelving, and ID assistance for the homeless so they can obtain a library card. Bob Jansen stated he is eager to hear what the library can do with the Friends money.

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

Old Business: Director Dirks spoke about the previous strategic plan. He stated that after the Main library opened it was necessary to re-engage with the community which was made possible by completing the strategic plan. A recap of goals 1-4 derived from the plan are:
1. Goal 1 Marketing: Create and promote a public image of the library as a vital, customer friendly and essential source of information, recreational reading, life-long learning, cultural enrichment and civic involvement.
2. Goal 2 Library Resources: Provide a dynamic, current collection of print and electronic resources designed to meet the needs of the community.
3. Goal 3 Technology: Implement technology strategies that increase efficiency, services, and responsiveness to the community.
4. Goal 4 Partnerships: Strengthen existing partnerships and develop new collaborations with educational organizations, non-profit agencies, community organizations, businesses and individuals.
Director Dirks explained the sub-parts of the goals and what has been done to meet the goals.
Goals 5-8 will be reviewed at the next meeting.

President, Rachael Steenholdt opened the floor for comments. Helen Levitt commented that when Carlson (Southpointe) opened they literally ran out of books. She stated “the writing was on the wall that we needed a road map of where to go with the library”. It was clear the strategic plan had to be attainable and measurable. As seen in Director Dirks recap, almost all of the goals have been achieved with help from the City of Fargo as well as library staff. Levitt summed up the need for a new strategic plan “as Fargo grows and becomes more diverse it is clear that we need to do strategic planning again”.

New Business: Strategic planning is in motion. The survey began on September 18th. Three focus groups are scheduled at Main for September 27th from 7:30am-9:30pm, 2pm-4pm and 6pm-8pm. Workshops are scheduled, two each day, on September 26th at Northport from 1pm-4pm and 5pm-8pm, October 17th at Main from 1pm-4pm and 5pm-8pm, and October 18th at Main from 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm. The board was asked to help get people in the seats. The board and their friends and family were invited to participate as well. The timing of this round of strategic planning, due to the funds being approved late in the year, needed to be after school started but before the holidays. An email will go out to City of Fargo staff requesting that they participate in the online survey. Director Dirks stated he will update the Board of the progress at the monthly board meetings.

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

Public Comment: There was no public comment.

Next Board Meeting: The next regular Board Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 17, 2017, at 4:00 PM in the Fargo City Commission Room.

The meeting adjourned at 5:15 PM.