DULUTH PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD
Minutes of Meeting: August 25, 2009
President Andrew Slade called the meeting of the Duluth Public
Library Board to order at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 25, 2009,
and reviewed the agenda.
Present: J. Brissett, L. Benson Johnson, V. Katz, P. Markert,
A. Slade, P. Spooner, M. Watson, C. Powers,
Excused: E. Bogue, D. D'Alliard
Approval of Minutes
The Library Board minutes of the June 23, 2009, meeting were approved
with a slight amendment. The book club referred to under New
Business does not meet at Mt. Royal.
- Manager's Report: Library News from July/August 2009
- BookPage for August and September 2009
- Handout: "Get Ready for School" bookmarks
Communications were reviewed and discussed. Powers read an
email from Judy Sheriff, explaining that the bookmarks were placed
inside "Ready, Set, Learn" backpacks to be distributed
to children at kindergarten screening. Powers also read a letter
of commendation for Roseann Agriesti that was sent by a volunteer
who appreciated Roseann's efforts to help workers at the book
sale feel appreciated.
A. Friends of the Duluth Public Library - Markert
The annual book sale brought in more than $28,000 this year. Silent
auction items have not yet been included in the total. Markert
explained that the Green Room was set up differently this year
in order to improve the display of books. Almost everything had
been sold by noon on Friday, which is an improvement over past
B. Arrowhead Library System - Brissett
Brissett reported that she was unable to attend the August ALS
board meeting due to a family emergency. She plans to be at the
C. Manager's Report - Powers
The Manager's Report, which was distributed with board packets,
was reviewed, and the Board Briefing was discussed.
Slade left the meeting at 4:20.
D. Board Briefing - Powers
- Y.E.S. Duluth Summer Youth Workers: Now that the summer
is winding down, our partnership with the Y.E.S. Duluth program
has come to an end. Some of the young workers who came to the
library through this program were, unfortunately, not the best
fit. However, we did have one person in particular who did an
outstanding job with every task we assigned her. In general I'd
say that participating in this program was a valuable learning
experience for the library and the workforce development division,
as well as for the workers themselves.
- Unique Management Services: We have decided to continue with
this service at the end of our 90-day trial. It has resulted
in an increase in the amount of fine money being collected, and
we do not feel that it has caused problems with customer service.
We will continue to monitor the collection rate as we move forward,
to ensure that this service remains cost effective.
- Gates Foundation Donation: It is now official that our library
will receive a total of 50 public access computers from the Gates
Foundation over the next two years. The Main Library will receive
28, Mt. Royal will receive 14, and West Duluth will receive 8.
Library and MIS staff will be getting together soon to figure
out details such as the purchasing process, where to locate all
of the computers, what software to load on them, etc. The Friends
of the Library and the Library Foundation are beginning a collaborative
effort to raise $48,000 for the required local match.
- Computer System Update/New Servers: We are in the process
of ordering two new servers for the library, in order to make
it possible to load the latest Polaris release. We need to upgrade
to release 3.5 by the end of the year (we are currently on 3.2)
in order to fix a bug in the online catalog before January 1,
2010. Dave Lull is working with MIS to coordinate the purchase
of the servers and the software update.
- Frontline Staff Working Group: As we work at restoring library
hours and finding the most efficient way of providing service
in challenging budget times, I've decided to bring together a
small group of staff members who spend a lot of their working
hours at the public desks. I asked each member of the library's
management staff to recommend one person from his or her division.
The group will include representation from Reference, Popular
Library, Youth Services, Circulation and Technical Services.
My intent is to have this group do some brainstorming and make
recommendations to the management staff, the library board and/or
the city administration for how we can improve our operations.
- Community Resources Department: The Community Resources
Department, of which the library is a division, has gotten together
a few times over the past couple of months. This department
also includes Parks & Rec, Planning, Community Development,
Workforce Development, and Business Resources. The division
managers and the Chief Administrative Officer have met to discuss
forming a common mission statement, developing an identity as
a department, and working together to increase our visibility
within the community. Although our divisions are different from
one another in many ways, I think we are finding that we have
more in common than we expected.
Update on 2010 Budget: Powers made a brief, high-level
budget presentation to the City Council on August 17. The library's
budget initiatives include hiring 14 13-hour-per-week shelvers,
filling budgeted unfilled positions, and increasing the materials
budget by three percent. However, the city administration is carefully
balancing priorities as it attempts to reconcile a $6 million
budget gap. So far there has been no official word on the status
of the library's budget.
Selection of representative to attend Gates Foundation
workshop: Johnson was selected to attend the "Turning
the Page" workshop on October 6 and 7. Also attending will
be Powers and Friends of the Library President Adele Krusz.
Combined Library Board/Foundation/Friends meeting:
Powers reported on a luncheon meeting with Slade, Krusz, and Dean
Casperson from the Library Foundation. The four got together to
discuss the roles of each of the organizations and how the groups
can work together for the benefit of the library. One idea that
emerged is having the Friends and the Foundation collaborate on
raising matching funds for the Gates Foundation grant. Another
idea is to arrange an evening meeting of all three groups. There
was discussion over who should be invited to the meeting and whether
or not there should be a speaker. The consensus was no speaker
is necessary, but the meeting should provide information about
the roles of each organization and identify some common goals
for the group. Powers will relay this information to Slade.
The meeting adjourned at 5:20 p.m.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, September 22, 2009, at 4:30
p.m. in the Library's Conference Room.