Library Board

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Fargo Public Library Board - September 15, 2020 Minutes

Regular Meeting: Tuesday, September 15, 2020 Minutes

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

President Mary Batcheller called the meeting to order at 4:02 p.m., and a quorum was not present at the time. The first non-action item was the staff report. This meeting was attended both in person and virtually.

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

Staff updates and Staff development activities:
• Please welcome our new Pages at Main; E.J., Lauren, and Taylor
• LAI update.

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):

• Storytime To Go. This fall storytime is on the run with our Storytime To Go packets. Inside you’ll find everything you need to have storytime success at home. Storytime to Go packets are geared towards young children ages 2 to 5 and include a book for your home library, themed songs and action rhymes, tips on reading to your child, craft ideas, and more! A new Storytime to Go packet will be available for FREE at all Fargo Public Library locations on the following dates (limit one per family, available while supplies last). No registration is required.
Sep. 21 – “Frog on a Log?” by Kes Gray
• Crafts to Go for Kids! It’s time to get crafty again! Crafts To Go for Kids will be available for pickup twice a month. Children up to age 12 are welcome to register online for a craft packet. Then stop by one of the three Fargo Public Libraries locations during the designated weeks to pick up a craft packet to take home. Pre-registration is required and will open two weeks prior to each session. Please note: this a take home project only. The same craft will be available at each location. Limit 1 craft per child, while supplies last.
• Sep. 28 – Grass Head Gremlins
• Baby Rhyme Time Online. Babies ages birth to 18 months and their caregivers are invited to join us online for baby storytimes. Share songs, fingerplays, short books, rhythms, and rhymes with your baby while introducing them to books and the library! One lap per child, please! Pre-registration is required.
Please note: this program will be conducted online via GoToMeeting. 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.
• Sep. 15 at 6:30 p.m.
• Sep. 17 at 10 a.m.
• Sep. 19 – Zoom Meeting at 11 a.m. Mad Science: Virtual Secret Agent Lab. Lookout 007! We are training recruits for the Mad Science Secret Agent Academy! At this virtual training session featuring an instructor from Mad Science of North Boston, kids will learn secret code writing, spy surveillance, detective skills and security systems. Zoom in to our cadet training session and you'll see demonstrations, play interactive games, and learn secret agent skills to practice at home. This session is appropriate for kids in grades 1 to 4. Please note: this program will be conducted via Zoom. 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.

• Crafts to Go for Teens! Area teens are invited pick up a special craft to make at home on the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month from September 28 – December 14. Craft Pick up will be at the Children’s desk at the Main Library, and the Circulation desks at the Northport and Carlson Branches. 1 craft per teen. Due to limited supplies, there is a limit of 6 per family. Open for teens age 11-18. Pre-registration is required. Registration will open 2 weeks before each craft is dispensed. Register online or contact Bree at 701.476.5978 for more info.
• Sep. 28 – Tassel Key Chains
• Oct. 12 – Witch Finger Pens
• Oct. 14 – Online at 6:30 p.m. Teen Virtual Open Mic Night. Teens are invited to participate in a virtual open mic night! Teens can register for a 10-minute spot to highlight their talent. Contact Bree at 701.476.5978 to reserve your time slot or get more information.

• Crafts To Go for Adults! Crafts To Go are the perfect thing when you're feeling crafty! Register online, then stop by one of the 3 Fargo Public Library locations Monday – Friday of the designated week to pick up a craft packet to bring home. Crafts are recommended for adults. Registration is required and opens 2 weeks before each craft. These Crafts To Go for Adults events are part of the 1 Book, 1 Community event series.
• Sept. 28 – Cardboard Label Coasters

• Sep. 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. on the One Book, One Community Facebook page( This video presentation will also be available on the 1B1C website,, the next day.
• Please visit the website for additional information about this year's community reading project including partners, sponsors and more 1B1C related events
• 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.
• Sep. 30 – Online at 6:30 p.m. Midwest Trivia*. It's a virtual trivia event featuring the theme of the Great Midwest. Questions will cover geography, history, and maybe even beer! Pre-registration is required. Register online. Those who register will receive an email with virtual event details.
*The Midwest Trivia event is part of the 1 Book, 1 Community event series.

Service Updates
• Binge Boxes - a new collection item featuring themed DVD boxes for patrons to check out. Each box contains five to six DVDs centered on a theme, such as “Never Travel with Tom Hanks” and “Fractured Fairy Tales,” all gathered into one binge box for hours of movie-watching and entertainment.
Perfect for school breaks, get-togethers with friends, date nights, road trips and more, the boxes can be checked out for one week with up to two renewals, provided there are no holds on the box. A Fargo Public Library card in good standing is required to check out a binge box.
All of the boxes are available at the downtown Main Library. However, library patrons can place holds on the boxes via the library’s catalog and the boxes can be sent to the selected branch library for pickup.
• Mask Tree at Main – We have turned our Mitten Tree into a Mask Tree (temporarily) to help provide masks to the members of our community who need one most. Patrons and community members are asked to keep the tree stocked by donating new, handmade, or very gently used masks of any size. Donated items for the Mask Tree can be dropped off at the Main Library Circulation Desk.

Order of Agenda
Scott Beaulier arrived at 4:03pm and Whitney Oxendahl arrived at 4:05pm. A quorum was declared.

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

Minutes of August 18, 2020 Regular Meeting
Rachael Steenholdt made a motion to approve the minutes of the August 18, 2020 meeting. Carlos Hawley Jr. seconded the motion; motion carried.

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

Unfinished Business
No unfinished business.

New Business
Circulation Policy Draft
Cheryl Lackman, Circulation Services Manager, referred the Board to the Circulation Policy Draft in the Board Packet noting the changes in red. Cheryl Lackman explained the changes were to remove fines though fees and charges for lost/damaged items would still be charged. The Borrow Agreement section was moved up in the document. Loan periods were updated and the section “Format/subject limits per card” was removed. In the Billing section, the date of billing was changed from 50 days overdue to 30 days to promote returning items timely.

The board recommended these changes:
The last bullet point under Borrower Agreement to read “To recognize that the library will refer accounts of fees and charges due over $125.00 to a collection agency.”
The first sentence under Fees and charges to read “The Fargo Public Library does not charge for overdue items.”
The last sentence under Billing be replaced with “The Fargo Public Library will provide a refund if the item is returned within 1 year of payment.”

A motion was made by Rachael Steenholdt to approve the Circulation policy with the draft language with the changes recommended by the Board. Whitney Oxendahl seconded the motion; motion carried.

Inter-Library Loan Policy Draft
Cheryl Lackman, Circulation Services Manager, referred the Board to the Inter-Library Loan Policy Draft in the Board Packet noting the changes in red. The changes removed fines and capitalized “Fargo” in the last paragraph.

A motion was made by Carlos Hawley Jr. to approve the Inter-Library Loan policy with the draft language as written. Rachael Steenholdt seconded the motion; motion carried.

Director Annual Review Subcommittee
Director Tim Dirks explained that the Board Orientation Subcommittee had identified one of the responsibilities of the Board is to evaluate the Library Director annually. The subcommittee wanted to bring this to the whole Board to create an additional subcommittee to create a process of how the review should be completed. The Board Orientation subcommittee and Director Dirks would like to bring in City of Fargo Director of Human Resources and City Administration to work with the Library Director Annual Review subcommittee.

Board members who self-identified as being willing to be on the Library Director Annual Review Subcommittee were Scott Beaulier, Mary Batcheller, and Rachael Steenholdt. Rachael Steenholdt said she would give up her spot willingly if Kristen Schipper or Carrie Peterson would like it. Mary Batcheller stated participation could be fluid if needed.

Carlos Hawley Jr. asked if the subcommittee decisions would be brought back for final approval from the whole Library Board. Director Tim Dirks said he would get clarification on that.

Statistical Reports
The Library had 42,950 registered patrons, including 513 new registrations for the month of August. The Library has been reopened for over a month. Program attendance was 1,145, which includes virtual and passive programming. Circulation was down 29.09% compared to August of the previous year. Overall circulation year to date is 449,411.

The year is 67% lapsed while the budget is 62.20% expended. There was $4,898 of incoming donations. There was $1,674 expenditures of donations. Revenue is at $12,913.95 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, October 20, 2020 at 4 p.m.

The meeting adjourned at 4:54 p.m.