Library Board

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Fargo Public Library Board - August 18, 2020 Minutes

Regular Meeting: Tuesday, August 18, 2020 Minutes

Board Members Present: Mary Batcheller, Rachael Steenholdt, Carrie Peterson, Whitney Oxendahl, Carlos Hawley Jr., Scott Beaulier, Kristen Schipper
Board Members Absent:
Staff: Tim Dirks, Sunny Branick, Lori West
Others Present:

President Mary Batcheller called the meeting to order at 4 p.m., and a quorum was declared. This meeting was attended both in person and virtually.

Order of Agenda
A motion was made by Rachael Steenholdt to approve the Order of the Agenda. Kristen Schipper seconded the motion; motion carried.

Minutes of July 21, 2020 Regular Meeting
Carlos Hawley Jr. made a motion to approve the minutes of the July 21, 2020 meeting. Rachael Steenholdt seconded the motion; motion carried.

Staff Report
Sunny Branick presented a few highlights of staff updates and events.

Staff updates and Staff development activities:
• Page positions update
• Pizza August 13th for staff from Staff Development Team and Staff Events Committee for being open one month. Thank you, Friends!

All in-person programs have been suspended indefinitely. For a full list of all upcoming FPL activities visit
Upcoming Events & Programs (a partial and incomplete list):

• StoryWalk® Get outside this Fall and enjoy a stroll through the plaza between the Downtown Fargo Public Library and the Fargo Civic Center, while reading "Tap The Magic Tree” an interactive picture book by Christie Matheson. The story will be spread out on signs to encourage literacy skills, movement, and enjoying the outdoors with family. *Please note that the StoryWalk® will remain in the Plaza through the end of October weather permitting.
• “The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. Storywalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson. All usage of the Storywalk® mark must comply with these guidelines, and must be limited to use in connection with educational, noncommercial projects consistent with the StoryWalk® Project mission to promote literacy.”
• Sept. 5 - Escape the Library: Online Escape Rooms. Are you frightfully clever? Is there no riddle that can stump you? Is there no safe you can’t crack? Well, we have a challenge for you! Join us for Escape the Library! Online, in September and November. This program is modeled after the popular Escape Room concept, and will be for children ages 6-12. Pre-register for this program to test your wits. Pre-registration will be open 2 weeks prior to each session. Please note: you will be sent the Escape Room via an email link so you must have a working email address to participate in this online program.

• Starting in September – Crafts to Go for Teens. Area teens will be able to pick up a special craft to make at home September – December. Each month will have a themed crafts just for teens. Open for teens age 11-18. Pre-registration is required. Register online or contact Bree at 701.476.5978 for more info.

• Aug. 18 to Aug. 20 – Pairs Well With. Meet us on our Facebook events page and tell us what you plan to drink – whether martini, sparkling water, or local brew, and we’ll pair it to a book with a complimentary feel. This online Silent Reading Party-type event is happening Aug. 18 through Aug. 20 online. For better results, let us know a book you recently enjoyed, and whether you’d prefer an ebook on one of our apps, or a print book you can check-out or request at request at the library.
Or, if you already have a book, we’ll pair it with a beverage. Then, when you settle in to read, feel free to share a pic of your sip and flip pairing on the event page. Think of it as a virtual Silent Reading Party, until we’re able to hold an in-person event.
• Aug. 20 – Stay-At-home Book Party. A monthly informal virtual book chat on the library's Facebook page that encourages participants to share what they have been reading and an opportunity for our librarians to suggest other titles or related films. These events has been quite popular and have garnered a lot of engagement with our patrons.
• Sept. thru Oct. – Northern Focus Photography Project exhibit. All of the submissions for the Northern Focus Photography Contest will be on display at the downtown Main Library in the outer entryway gallery during the months of September and October. It should be noted that the Friends of the Fargo Public Library provided support for both the Northern Narratives writing project and the Northern Focus Photography project.
• Sept. 24 – 1 Book, 1 Community Virtual Author Visit with J. Ryan Stradal. As part of the 2020 1 Book, 1 Community event series, we will premiere an online presentation by author J. Ryan Stradal, writer of this year's title pick "The Lager Queen of Minnesota" on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. More details to come on this special virtual event. Additional information about this year's community reading project including partners, sponsors and more 1 Book, 1 Community related events are at
• Special thanks to the sponsors of this year's community reading project: the Friends of the Fargo Public Library (major sponsor), the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund, Concordia College Cultural Events, the Friends of the West Fargo Public Library, the Friends of the Moorhead Public Library, and Moorhead Community Education.

• Dial-a-Story. Ever wish you could have a story, a poem, or even a Shakepearean monologue read to you at any time, day or night? YOU CAN! Call the Fargo Public Library’s Dial-A-Story line at 701.298.6927 anytime to listen to a short story, poem, or Shakespearean monologue. New recordings are available every Monday. Selections recorded by Library Outreach Staff and are 3 to 5 minutes long. Dial-A-Story can be accessed from any phone.

Director’s Report
Director Tim Dirks referred the Board to his written report in the Board Packet. He highlighted the Presentation of the Mayor’s 2021 Budget. $30,000 for the self-checkout replacements was approved as was an additional $15,000 for books and materials. There was a decrease of $10,000 for processing of materials and a decrease of $17,000 for part-time benefitted staff. There will not be a cost of living adjustment for City employees in 2021.

Unfinished Business
No unfinished business.

New Business
Overdue Fines
Director Tim Dirks referred to the report of users by zip code in the Board Packet, which included the number of blocked users due to fines.

After discussion, a motion was made by Rachael Steenholdt to charge Tim to work with the Library’s admin team to work up a draft circulation policy without overdue fines but maintain lost and damage fees and identify non-financial incentives for the return of items. Carlos Hawley Jr. seconded the motion; motion carried.

Circulation Policy Draft
Director Tim Dirks referred to the Circulation Policy Draft in the Board Packet noting the changes in red. The addition of Day Use Items will accommodate the bike locks that the library plans to circulate to the public. The Damaged Items section has the itemized fee schedule removed.

After discussion, a motion was made by Rachael Steenholdt to approve the Circulation Policy Draft with the additional change to $125.00 for the monetary threshold to refer delinquent patrons to a collection agency. Kristen Schipper seconded the motion; motion carried.

Statistical Reports
The Library had 42,519 registered patrons, including 428 new registrations for the month of July. The Library reopened to the public on Monday, July 13. Program attendance was 2,015 for virtual and passive programming. Circulation was down 47.52% compared to July of the previous year. Digital content was up 29.58% compared to July of the previous year. Overall circulation year to date is 382,302.

The year is 58% lapsed while the budget is 52.98% expended. There was $445.00 of incoming donations. Revenue is at $10,771.85 year to date.

Friends of the Library Report
No Friends report.

Public Comment
No public comment.

Next Board Meeting
The next regular Board Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 15, 2020 at 4 p.m.

The meeting adjourned at 4:54 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lori West