Library Board

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Fargo Public Library Board - February 18, 2020 Minutes

Regular Meeting: Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Board Members Present: Rachael Steenholdt, Mary Batcheller, Carlos Hawley Jr., Whitney Oxendahl, Jan Ulferts Stewart
Board Members Absent: Carrie Peterson, Scott Beaulier
Staff: Tim Dirks, Beth Postema, Sunny Branick, Pam Strait
Others Present:

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 Carlos Hawley Jr. to approve the Order of the Agenda. Jan Ulferts Stewart seconded the motion; motion carried.

Minutes of January 21, 2020 Regular Meeting
Jan Ulferts Stewart made a motion to approve the minutes of the January 21, 2020 meeting. Carlos Hawley Jr. seconded the motion; motion carried.

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

Staff updates and Staff development activities:
• Hiring update – Allison Stahr has been promoted to the position of Library Associate II at Main; review of applications to fill her now-vacant page position has begun.
• Staff enjoyed the annual soup week from February 10-14. Thanks to the Friends for their support of staff development funds that supplied a variety of breads to accompany the soups.

For a full list of all upcoming FPL activity, visit
Upcoming Events & Programs (a partial and incomplete list):
Multigenerational Events
• Harry Potter’s World Exhibit and Event Series. The Fargo Public Library is hosting the traveling exhibit Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine in Harry Potter’s World, which is provided by the History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine. The exhibit will be at the Main Library through March 21.
• February 22 – Main Library at 7 p.m. Herbology: Crafting Never-die Plants for the Home. Library staff will show attendees how to create realistic looking paper plants for long-lasting décor.
Children’s Events
• February 22 – Main Library at 11 a.m. Harry Potter Escape Rooms for Kids. Patterned on the popular escape room, these sessions are developed for multiple age levels. Pre-registration is required.
• March 3 – Main Library at 3 p.m. Hip Hop! Libraries Bop! Storytime and Dance. In partnership with the FM Ballet and Gasper’s School of Dance, the Fargo Public Library is hosting three new sessions for children ages 3 and up.
• March 7 – Main Library at 10 a.m. Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss. The Fargo Public Library, along with the Valley Reading Council, invites all ages to enjoy a storytime featuring the Lorax. No pre-registration required.
• March 7 – Main library at 3 p.m. Magical Creature Crafts. In conjunction with the Harry Potter exhibit, children ages 6-12 are invited to spend the afternoon making a variety of magical creature crafts with the assistance of Professor Hagrid. Registration is required.

• Harry Potter Winged Key Mobile This Potter-inspired craft program is for teens ages 11-18. Pre-registration is required.
• March 9 –Main Library at 4 p.m.
• March 12 – Northport Library at 4 p.m.

• Feb. 22 – Dr. James Carlson Library at 2 p.m. Writing Workshop with Larry Woiwode. This event is part of the Northern Narratives project and is open to teens and adults. Pre-registration is required.
• Feb. 25 – Main Library at 7 p.m. Herbology: Growing Easy Houseplants of the Muggle World. Open to adults; pre-registration is required.
• March 14 – Northport Library at 1 p.m. Writing Workshop with Marcie Rendon. In conjunction with the Northern Narratives project, this writing workshop is open to teens and adults. Pre-registration is required.
• March 15 – Main Library at 2 p.m. Author visit with Marcie Rendon. Rendon is the author of Murder on the Red River and Girl Gone Missing and is an enrolled member of the White Earth Anishinabe.

Director’s Report
Director Tim Dirks referred the Board to his written report in the Board Packet. He highlighted the quarterly meetings, being part of the Chamber Business Development meeting, and participating in the North Dakota Library Coordinating Council. He is continuing to work on corporate sponsorship for the One Book, One Community author visit.

Unfinished Business
No unfinished business.

New Business
Library Board Orientation Committee Update
Tim Dirks reported that the committee is making use of other public library documents, including informational materials from the Public Library Association and the State Library of North Dakota. Rachael Steenholdt stated that she felt the session was very productive. The next meeting will take place on February 25, from 4-5 p.m.

Overview of Outreach Services and Volunteers
Pam Strait presented an overview of the Outreach and Volunteer Services department of the library. She and her staff, along with several volunteers, provide library service to those physically unable to get to any library location. The department currently makes regular visits to 22 congregate senior or handicapped living facilities as well as individual homes.
In 2019, the Outreach department started programming at the sites; one program is offered per quarter and rotates among the sites. In the first year of outreach programming, attendance was over 1,000 at these events. She also reported that the department is looking at establishing a large print book club, which would meet every other month.
After her colleagues Kirstie Carlson and Claire Kuhlman attended the national conference for library outreach services, they are getting ready to establish a books by mail program within the City of Fargo. This service will be similar to that offered by the State Library for rural areas and will make use of the free postage for the blind and physically handicapped.
Pam thanked the Friends of the Fargo Public Library for supporting the purchase of multiple types of magnifiers which allows the population her department serves to keep reading as long as possible. She also stated that there is a consistent need for individuals to commit to being outreach volunteers.

Statistical Reports
Library circulation was down a just over 2% in comparison with January 2019. Attendance was also down, but program attendance saw an increase. With the migration to Koha, the card registration figure is much more accurate regarding active users; the number currently stands at 36,701. Carlos Hawley Jr. requested that a larger picture of statistical trends be available, perhaps a look back over multiple years. Tim Dirks replied that this request could be easily fulfilled.

Given that the financial year has just begun, expenditures at this point are in line with what would be expected. The Friends have continued their support of providing the Bookpage newsletter free to library customers and have again funded the supplies needed for the Crafternoons programming.

Friends of the Library Report
There was no formal report. Rachael Steenholdt made note of the number of times in the meeting that the Friends were mentioned for their support of the Fargo Public Library and its services during this meeting.

Public Comment
No public comment.

Next Board Meeting
The next regular Board Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 4:00 PM.

The meeting adjourned at 4:34 PM.