Library Board

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Fargo Public Library Board - January 21, 2020 Minutes

Regular Meeting: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 Minutes

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

Vice President Mary Batcheller called the meeting to order at 4:03 PM, and a quorum was declared.

Order of Agenda
A motion was made by Carlos Hawley Jr. to approve the Order of the Agenda. Scott Beaulier seconded the motion; motion carried.

Minutes of December 17, 2019 Regular Meeting
Carrie Peterson made a motion to approve the minutes of the December 17, 2019 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 – interviews are being scheduled for the full-time Library Associate II vacancy.
• FPL’s website has a new program registration system; customers can now be on a wait list for library programs when registration is full.

For a full list of all upcoming FPL activity visit
Upcoming Events & Programs (a partial and incomplete list):
• Little Squirt Science Preschoolers ages 3-5 can learn about their world each month through science activities. Sessions take place during the final Friday and Saturday of each month.
• Feburary 1 – Main Library at 10 a.m. Winter Wonderland Workshop. Nature of the North and the Fargo Public Library have put together a workshop to share camping ideas and teach winter survival skills. This event is most appropriate for families with children ages 5 and up.
• Teen Time. A new weekly event started on January 14 for teens and tweens ages 10-18. Every Tuesday from 3:30-5 p.m. there will be a new activity or project to work on focusing on STEM activities, arts & crafts, book-related projects, or just plain fun activities. Snacks will be provided and no registration is required.
• January 24 – Dr. James Carlson Library at 11 a.m. Nerf Night at the Library. It is time to beat cabin fever and test your nerf skills. For ages 10-15; all materials provided. Pre-registration required.
• January 30 – Dr. James Carlson Library at 4 and 6:30 p.m. Y.A. Giant Games. Come play your favorite games such as Jenga and Connect 4 in giant style. Pre- registration required.
• FPL is hosting a number of craft programs and an online genealogy class, but registrations are already full. With the new system, however, if there are cancellations we can now let customers on the waitlist know that they will be able to participate.
• February 13 – Main Library at 6:30 p.m. Galentine’s Day Celebration. Open to guys and gals, we will be celebrating friendship, Parks And Rec style. No registration required; open to teens and adults

Director’s Report
Director Tim Dirks referred the Board to his written report in the Board Packet. The Innovations team is working on a series of staff focus groups. With that information, there will be work on a survey tool for the public.

Unfinished Business
No unfinished business.

New Business
Homeless Outreach Specialist Services Overview
Tim Dirks introduced Jillian Gould from the Gladys Ray Shelter who has an outreach office within the Main Library. He gave a history of the position and how together we strive to find structures that will assist at-risk populations and help with harm reduction. Jillian Gould informed the board that the majority of her time is spent meeting with individual clients and helping them connect with agencies and available services. She also supervises the mobile outreach vehicle that responds to people in crisis. She informed the board that there is a path to restoration of library access for individuals who have been trespassed. Tim Dirks highlighted the Friends donation to support Jillian’s assistance with getting individuals their correct and updated forms of identification. Questions from the board covered homeless juveniles, staff training, and coordination with the Fargo Police Department. Mary Batcheller said that the library does and amazing job of pulling people together to address issues.

Harry Potter Exhibit and Programming
Lori West reported on the upcoming touring exhibit “Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine in Harry Potter’s World.” The Fargo Public Library is hosting the exhibit, created by the National Library of Medicine, in conjunction with the Harley E. French Library of the Health Science at the University of North Dakota. The exhibit will be on display from February 8 through March 21. The programs will coordinate with the themes from the panels of the exhibit. For example, the panel on herbology will be highlighted in a program on houseplants.

Statistical Reports
The library had 36,790 registered patrons for the month of December. Total attendance for 2019 was down slightly, but program attendance increased by 21 per cent. Total circulation increased by almost two per cent with a total of 1,047,165, which again broke previous records. Print circulation stayed strong with an increase of one and a half per cent for the year; digital circulation continues to build with an increase of over 18 percent from 2018.
At year end, the budget shows that just under 94% of the allocation has been expended. Tim Dirks explained that with City Finance procedures there will be a “period 13” to account for final expenditures. He expects that the unspent allocation will be approximately $23,000 out of a $4.6 million budget. The library received a $1,000 unrestricted gift in December. The Friends fund the Staff Development events such as the annual holiday brunch. The library generated $55,467 in revenue for the year.

Friends of the Library Report
Mary Beth Hegstad gave a Friends report. She said that the Friends could definitely use active volunteers to assist with staff the Friends Book Store at the Main Library. Rachel Rawley is the contact. She invited board member to look at the new changes in the book store space. Donations are always welcome and there are membership forms to join the Friends at all library locations.

Public Comment
No public comment.

Next Board Meeting
The next regular Board Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 4:00 PM.

The meeting adjourned at 4:44 PM.