DULUTH PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD
Minutes of Meeting: 11/25/08
President Andrew Slade called the meeting of the Duluth Public
Library Board to order at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, November 25, 2008.
Present: L. Benson Johnson, J. Brissett, D. Casperson, D. D'Allaird,
V. Katz, P. Markert, A. Slade, P. Spooner, M. Watson, J. Sheriff
Excused: R. Zurn
Approval of Minutes from Library Board meeting
The Library Board minutes of the October 28, 2008, meeting were
approved as distributed.
- Revised Library Board roster
- Director's Report, Library news from September and October
[Board expressed appreciation]
- Proposed Bylaws revisions for Duluth Library Board
- City organization chart (partial) [General discussion]
- Gates grant information
- Library closings bookmark
- SAM signup handout
A. Friends of the Duluth Public Library - P. Markert
Friends are collaborating with UMD and others on the Northeast
Minnesota Book Awards (NEMBA), including $540 in financial support.
Friends also co-sponsored a Duluth poet laureate event on November
1 and will support an upcoming exhibit, "Lewis and Clark
and the Indian Country: The Native American Perspective,"
at UMD. They are advertising for a new board member with proficiency
in public relations.
B. Directors' Report - J. Sheriff, R. Zurn
- Manager, Library Services: The City is proceeding
with filling this position. Board comments were sent to Human
Resources, along with questions about the next steps in the application,
testing and hiring process. Application process is being designed,
with advertising expected to occur in early December.
- New City Ordinance about terms of boards and commissions:
Slade and Sheriff met on Thursday, November 6 to review changes
in the Board's bylaws necessitated by this ordinance. Some other
small revisions are also proposed. A draft of possible changes
is included in your packet.
- Impact of 32-hour week contract provision: Due to
shortfalls, City Administration reluctantly found it necessary
to impose reduced workweeks for basic unit employees. For the
Library, this means that four closed days (November 10 and 17,
December 26 and 31) are necessary. These days were set by Administration
and apply citywide. Library employees will work no more than
32 hours per week during those four weeks, rather than their
regular 37.5. Employees are allowed to use vacation time to make
up hours in each of the four weeks because reducing vacation
accruals also saves the City money. Minimal crews worked 11/10
and 11/17 to empty book drops and do checkin. A similar plan
is in place for the December dates. Closing 12/26, combined with
our normal Christmas closings, necessitated also closing the
Library on Saturday, December 27.
- Board report format: Zurn and Sheriff, with the assistance
of Nancy Eaton and other staff, have revived the practice of
distributing a broader monthly Director's Report that includes
all the news of the Library - personnel, training, programs,
etc. This report is in your packet.
- SAM: Installation and training took place November
4-6, with the system going live at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, November
- Department of Community Resources: The new City department
that was previously referred to as the Department of Public Life
has been renamed. Your packet includes two pages from the City's
seven page organizational chart.
- E-rate discounts: Zurn and Sheriff discussed the potential
of an application for e-rate discounts with Karla Culhane, head
of City MIS, and the City's telecommunications consultant. According
to the state library, if Duluth received discounts to cover the
City's T-1 lines, a 4-year technology plan would have to be submitted
and accepted. Also, the Library would be required by Federal
law to filter internet access. No application will be made for
discounts on the T-1 lines at this time. The City may proceed
with an application to cover phone lines only.
- Gates hardware grants: The Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation is beginning another round of applications for computer
hardware. The Library will participate in this process. An information
sheet is included in your packet.
- Strategic planning: The City will be doing strategic
planning in 2009. In addition, the Arrowhead Library System has
hired a consultant to help the system and each ALS library with
strategic planning. Duluth's process will begin in May 2010,
with a report in December 2010.
Bylaws revision: Proposed changes were discussed. Discussion will
be reflected in revision to be sent to Board at least 10 days
before next meeting. Vote will take place on January 27, 2009.
Coffee shop: Board discussed startup costs, economic issues,
pluses and minuses of public/private collaboration, space considerations,
and other factors. There was hesitancy to pursue, especially at
the time. If pursued, a small cart seems to be only viable option
at this time. Casperson raised question about what impact light
rail might have on coffee shops near the library if Depot is remodeled
related to such services.
Watson asked if Board has ever sent thank you letters to staff
who retire. Board has not but agreed to do it in future. Watson
volunteered to send card on Board's behalf to 2008 retiree Karen
Casperson reported that potential Duluth federally-funded stimulus
projects were discussed on a radio program, and he asked for information.
Explanation: A project list is in development stage to be submitted
to the United States Conference of Mayors for promotion purposes.
Preliminary list includes a library "winter garden,"
the design of which would enclose the Plaza area. The list is
not final. Zurn requested that the renovation/replacement of the
library's heating and cooling system be placed on the list. The
Board supports this recommendation. There will be an update at
the January Board meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 5:45 p.m.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, January 27 at 4:30 p.m.
in the Library's Conference Room.