DULUTH PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD
Minutes of Meeting: March 24, 2009
President Andrew Slade called the meeting of the Duluth Public
Library Board to order at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2009,
and reviewed the agenda.
Present: J. Brissett, D. D'Allaird, D. Casperson, V. Katz,
P. Markert, A. Slade, P. Spooner, M. Watson, J. Sheriff, R. Zurn
Excused: L. Benson Johnson,
Approval of Minutes
The Library Board minutes of the February 24, 2009, meeting were
approved as distributed.
- Director's Report, Library news from February 2009
- Information for Mark Winson from DPL (see briefing)
- Personnel Status and Staffing Plan 2009 (see briefing)
- 2009 Library Staffing Proposal - Rationale (see briefing)
- Article: Stuff We Like: A Reader's Paradise, Right Here in
Duluth (DNT, 2-26-09)
- Brochure: Population: 485 (One Book, One Community)
- Handout re regional library system structure and funding
- BookPage (April 2009)
- Article: "Birkerts' Library for Duluth" from Architectural
Record, November 1980
Communications were reviewed and discussed.
A. Friends of the Duluth Public Library - P. Markert
Mystery in the Stacks will take place on Friday, April 24, 2009,
in the Library Green Room. Author William Kent Krueger is the
speaker. The Friends Board created a long list of ideas for raising
additional funds for the Library. Friends Board members are being
asked to rate these ideas.
B. Directors' Report - J. Sheriff, R. Zurn
- Manager, Library Services update: Two very qualified
candidates were interviewed on Monday, March 23. Members of the
interview panel were Virginia Katz, David Ouse, Lisa Potswald
and Judy Sheriff. Renee Zurn and Nancy Eaton provided library
tours to the candidates. Each candidate was given a folder of
information about the library. Lisa Potswald will check references,
and the panel's recommendation will be sent to Mark Winson for
final decision, salary review and conditional offer.
- Information provided to Mark Winson, incoming CAO:
At the request of Lisa Potswald, each department prepared a document
itemizing front burner (6 month timeframe) issues. That document
is in your packet.
- Staffing Plan 2009: As was reported in the news, the
City and the Union reached an agreement about how zoo layoffs
and previous layoffs of City employees were to be handled related
to rehiring. The employees in these groups are currently being
offered selected jobs. (None of the positions are at the Library,
but because Maintenance workers are being hired, we may see additional
help for things like carpet cleaning and window washing.) The
City also asked for a proposed 2009 Library staffing plan. Two
documents included in your packet provide a chart and our rationale.
Unfortunately, the City is not able financially to move forward
with filling these vacancies. This means that people laid off
at the Library are being offered other positions, which they
may or may not accept.
- New and reappointed Library Board members: The City's
committee on boards and commissions met to review applications
and make recommendations to the Mayor. Slade is being reappointed
for another five-year term. Replacing Casperson will be Sister
Edith Bogue. Both appointments were approved by the City Council
on March 23. According to her webpage, Bogue is a sociologist
teaching at the College of St. Scholastica who made a mid-life
career change and took vows in January 2006. She blogs regularly
- Unique Management: We are going ahead with a 90-day
trial of the services offered from this collection agency. A
start date has not yet been set. We faxed a signed contract on
Friday, March 13th, so that we'd qualify for a 15% discount on
their collection fee during the trial period. Zurn and Sheriff
discussed with the Board the pros and cons of advance publicity.
They will take the Board's recommendation to the Librarian IIIs
for discussion and to Administration for a decision.
- Wireless access: We now have wireless Internet access
at the Main Library. Installation was completed on March 20th.
We will announce this new service during National Library Week,
April 12-18th. This will give us time to troubleshoot the installation
and revise written policies. Staff will bring in their own laptops
with wireless access and test out the system. If the public asks,
they can use the service, but we will tell them we are still
- Gates grant: All three Duluth Public Library locations
qualify for the Gates 2008/2009 Opportunity Online Hardware Grant
Program. We qualify for 17 computers for the Main Library, 8
computers for the West Duluth Branch and 14 computers for the
Mount Royal Branch (based on the formulas that Gates uses). We
have two issues to address before we send in our acceptance by
the April 10th deadline. We need to match a percentage of the
funds given through this grant. The first phase, with a 25% matching
requirement, ends in March 2010. We'd have to spend $13,000 on
computers for all three locations by that date. The second phase
ends March 2011 and requires a 50% match at all three locations
or $24,700 to be spent on computers. The second issue concerns
the number of computers listed for the Mount Royal Branch library
and the space we have available for computers at this location.
We don't have room for the 14 computers identified as needed
in the grant. We may have room for 10-12 computers if we rearrange
lots of things. If we can prove that we don't have room, we should
be able to get the number of computers for that location reduced.
- Charging non-Duluth residents for Library cards: You
previously received an email about this issue, in response to
an article published in the Duluth News Tribune on March 13,
2009. Customers have commented both positively and negatively.
- Library collection statistics: At the last Board
meeting, we were asked how many volumes the Library (3 sites)
owns. Here are the numbers from the 2008 annual report:
- Print format - 419,310
Audio format - 20,787
Video format - 16,168
Multi format - 956
Other (microfilm, etc.) - 167,797
Total -- 625,018
- Magazine subscriptions - 574
Electronic books available regionally - 367
Electronic books available statewide - 15,187
Downloadable audiobooks available regionally - 2,182
- Summer library hours: As usual, the Library will
be closed on Saturdays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor
Day weekend. During these weeks (May 18 through September 4),
the Main Library will open at noon instead of 1:00 p.m. Because
summer is their quietest time, Reference staff will help cover
checkin in Circulation. Summer is the busiest time of year for
other work areas.
Casperson was thanked for his many years of service to the
Library Board. A small gift was presented.
Election of officers: By unanimous ballot, Andrew Slade was re-elected
President, and Dan D'Allaird was re-elected Vice-President.
Library artwork collection: Spooner reported that he met with
David Ouse to discuss the development of a policy. The Library
has 4 or 5 paintings, WPA prints, World War I and II posters,
framed photographs, and some other visual materials.
Invitation to incoming Library Manager: The Board expressed
interest in inviting her to the April meeting. It's understood
that this will be before her official start date and that she
is under no obligation to attend.
Using email for sending pre-meeting information: Members reported
that receiving these documents by email worked well. Please report
any problems encountered.
The meeting adjourned at 5:32 p.m.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, April 28, 2009, at 4:30
p.m. in the Library's Conference Room.