Library Board

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Fargo Public Library Board - December 15, 2020 Minutes

Regular Meeting: Tuesday, December 15, 2020 Minutes

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

President Mary Batcheller called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m. and a quorum was declared. Whitney Oxendahl joined at 4:07 p.m. This meeting was attended virtually.

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

Minutes of November 17, 2020 Regular Meeting
Rachael Steenholdt made a motion to approve the minutes of the November 17, 2020 meeting. Scott Beaulier seconded the motion; motion carried.

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

Staff updates and Staff development activities:
• LAI Position: The position is in the hiring process currently.

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):
• Baby Rhyme Time Online. Babies ages birth to 18 months are invited to join us in a GoTo Meeting for baby storytimes. Share songs, fingerplays, short books, rhythms, and rhymes with your baby while introducing them to books and the library! Pre-registration is required and will open Oct. 1. Please note: this program will be conducted online. Participants will receive an email with information on how to log into the session, so it is necessary to provide an email address when registering.
-Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m.
-Dec. 17 at 10 a.m.
• Dec. 20 – Online at 6:30 pm. Virtual Trivia for Kids! Star Wars Edition. Join us online on December 20th for virtual Star Wars themed trivia for children ages 6-12. Groups and individuals are welcome and pre-registration is required. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 teams! Please note: you will be sent the trivia platform via an email link so you must have a working email address to participate in this online program.
• Dec. 29 – Online at 2:00 p.m. Virtual Going Places Book Club: Winterhouse. Join us as Going Places Book Club wraps up 2020 with Winterhouse by Ben Guterson and a virtual author visit! Book Club is geared towards kids in grades 3 to 7. Participants may pick up the book at the Children’s desk, or as an eAudiobook through the Overdrive or Hoopla apps. Activity packets will be available to pick-up on December 19. Pre-registration is required. Participants will receive an email with information on how to log in to the session, so it is necessary to provide an email address when registering for this online session.
• Jan. 2 – Online at 2:00 p.m. Escape the Library: Online! 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 January and March. 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 for the Jan. 2 events is open now. Pre-registration for the March 6 events begins Feb. 4. 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. For more information on this or any other library program, please call Children’s Services at 701.241.1495 or send Children's Services an email.

• Jan. 19 – Online at 4:00 p.m. Virtual Escape Room for Teens. Join us for a virtual version of our popular Escape the Library for Teens program! This program is very similar to an in-person Escape Room, but completely online. Open to teens in grades 6-12. Pre-registration is required. Registration will 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. Register online or contact Bree at 701.476.5978 for more info.

• Dec. 9-18 – Holiday Cookbook Club: Cookies! The Holidays are approaching! We want to know what your favorite cookie recipes are, and challenge you to try a new recipe or two. We’ll share our cookie adventures online with each other through photos, recipes, reviews, and baking experiences from Wednesday, Dec. 9, through Friday, Dec. 18, during regular library hours. Pre-registration is required. Once registered, you will receive a link to Discord or other chat room to share your recipe experiences and pics. For inspiration, we encourage you to check-out one of our holiday cookie cookbooks (also available as ebooks through Hoopla or Overdrive). Contact Sarah N. at [701.241.8295]9tel:7012418295 "701.241.8295") for details.
Related resources:
-Betty Crocker Christmas Cookies (available as an eBook on Hoopla)
-The Holiday Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer (available in print and as an eBook on Overdrive)
-Holiday Cookies: Showstopping Recipes to Sweeten the Season by Elisabet der Nederlanden (available in print)

• Nov. 15 – Inktober Gallery Showcase at the Main Library. The submission period closed on Nov. 9. Patrons can view the submissions in the concourse when they come to pick up their holds, crafts, documents, and other materials through the end of December. Due to our move to Curbside Pick-up, all submissions were featured on our Facebook and Instagram pages for the public to view.
• Book Clubs. Registration is required. Everyone who registers will receive an email the day before book club regarding virtual meeting details.
-Jan. 11 – Virtual Tea Time Book. The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
-Jan. 20 – Virtual Classics Book Club. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
-Jan. 26 – History Book Club. Nuclear Country by Catherine McNicol Stock

• Reference & Children’s
• May We Suggest. Not sure what to read next? Have your favorite authors not published anything recently? Let our book experts – your Fargo Public Librarians – help you find your next book to check out. The library's May We Suggest is a personalized book suggestion service available to readers. You can fill out the form online or in person when you come to pick up your holds, or call in and talk to one of our Reference Librarians at the Main or Dr. James Carlson Libraries.
• What’s Next? Kids’ Personalized Book Recommendations. Children’s has recently added a service to help kids (and parents and teachers) find the next book or author for a young person to read. Whether they need reading suggestions or materials for an assignment, the Children’s Librarians can help. This service is available to kids, parents/caregivers, grandparents and teachers. You can fill out the form online or in person when you come to pick up your holds, or call in and talk to one of our Librarians at the Children’s Desk.

• The Outreach Dial-A-Story Service Adds Children’s Stories, Jokes, and Other Fun Children’s Materials
If you’ve ever wished you could listen to a story, a poem, or even a joke at any time, day or
night, now you can! Call the Library’s Dial-A-Story phone line at 701-298-6927 anytime and choose the children’s option; new recordings are available every Monday beginning Jan. 11. Selections are recorded by Children’s Library staff and are up to 5 minutes in length. Dial-A-Story recordings can be accessed by any phone.

Director’s Report
Director Tim Dirks referred the Board to his written report in the Board Packet.
President Mary Batcheller noted the directors review committee will meet in January 2021 as the previous meeting was cancelled due to unavailability due to the pandemic.

Unfinished Business
No unfinished business.

New Business
Curbside Service Overview
Branch Services Manager Lori West presented an update on curbside services. Director Tim Dirks offered a round of applause to Lori for her help on getting curbside implemented.

The library closed in March due to the covid pandemic. The first round of curbside started in May. We were inundated with phone calls but were able to work through with staff from both reference and circulation working on curbside. Tables were set up outside for patrons to pick up their curbside pickup. The branches had tables inside the lobbies for pickup. Programming was busy with virtual and pick up crafts.

The second round of curbside started November 16. Tables are located inside at all locations due to weather. Module was added to Koha specifically for curbside services. This module is working well. Patrons can go online to their account to place items on hold and schedule a time to pick up their holds once they are available.

Services have been added to make distance programming possible. Patrons can register for a library card online or call to get registered. Virtual events, craft pickup and storytime pickup are all examples of new services offered during the pandemic.

Director Tim Dirks added that December is generally a slower month for circulation though curbside is averaging 800 – 1,000 items per week.

President Mary Batcheller thanked all library staff for the great work. Questions were asked by Board Members and answered by Director Tim Dirks.

Statistical Reports
The Library had 36,628 registered patrons for the month of November. Attendance was 1,405, which includes virtual and passive programming. Circulation was down 30.79% compared to November of the previous year. Overall circulation year to date is 647,064.

There was $295 of incoming donations. There was $608 expenditures of donations. The year is 92% lapsed while the budget is 83.74% expended. Revenue is at $16,519.56 year to date.

Friends of the Library Report
No Friends report. Director Tim Dirks noted that the Friends are working on a stand-alone website.

Public Comment
No public comment.

Next Board Meeting
The next regular Board Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 19, 2020 at 4 p.m.

The meeting adjourned at 4:33 p.m.