President Andrew Slade called the meeting of the Duluth Public Library Board to order at 4:34 p.m. on Tuesday, September 23, 2008.
Present: L. Benson Johnson, D. Casperson, D. D'Allaird, V.
Katz, P. Markert, A. Slade, J. Sheriff, R. Zurn.
Excused: M. Watson
Approval of Minutes from Library Board meeting
The Library Board minutes of the August 26, 2008, meeting were approved as distributed.
A. Friends of the Duluth Public Library
At their September meeting the Friends announced that they had raised around $30,000 from their annual sale: $25,750 from the actual sale and $1,560 (to date) from the Silent Auction. The Friends Board voted to give $25,000 to the Library. They will receive proposals from the Library at their October meeting.
B. Director's Report
Revised Hours: The Library had four positions restored from layoffs to allow us to open our branch libraries a two days a week. Therefore, the branch hours currently are:
Monday 1:00-8:30 Mount Royal Branch Library is open
Tuesday 10:00-5:30 West Duluth Branch Library is open
Wednesday 10:00-5:30 Mount Royal Branch Library is open
Thursday 1:00-8:30 West Duluth Branch Library is open
Use of shelver volunteers at library: Library volunteer coordinator Roseann Agriesti and Zurn are moving forward with this process. Discussed under Old Business.
City exploring working with UMD Kirby Leadership Institute: The City of Duluth is looking into working with the UMD Kirby Leadership Institute to help match the resources of UMD with volunteer opportunities in the City.
Fine increase: On September 15, 2008, the Library increased the fines we charge on adult materials from $.25 to $.30 per item per day. This increase affects all adult books, audio-books, music and magazines. The maximum per item stayed the same.
New databases: The Library has added two exciting new electronic
Learning Express Library: This database contains study guides for many tests, including GED, ACT, SAT, GMAT, LSAT, and TOEFL, as well as elementary and middle school skills improvement exercises. There are also job study tests including those for Police Office, Nursing, and Firefighter as well as resume writing and interview tips.
TumbleBooks: TumbleBooks takes existing picture books and adds animation, sound, music and narration to produce electronic picture books that kids can read or have read to them. Stories are available in English, Spanish, French and Chinese. There are also book-related puzzles and games and growing collections of chapter books, classic children's books and children's audiobooks.
Retirement of Karen Richgruber: Staff member Karen Richgruber will be retiring from the Library after 23 years of service. Her last day will be Tuesday, September 30th. Karen spent many years working in the Youth Services Department and gradually moved into Community Services. Besides her Community Services work, Karen has been working in Adult Services ordering movies for the past year.
SAM: At long last, we are moving forward with the Smart Access Management (SAM) software system from Comprise Technologies that will handle the public's reservations for Internet computers. This software authenticates against our patron database and allows our patrons to register without staff aid. A staff committee is working with MIS to finalize arrangements. A team from Comprise is expected to be in Duluth for four days in early November to do final setup and staff training.
New Board members: A resolution appeared on the September 22,
2008, City Council agenda reappointing Liz Benson Johnson to another
term and appointing Jane Brissett and Peter Spooner as new members
of the Library Board. Spooner and Brissett have been contacted
and will attend their first Board meeting in October. Sheriff
mailed a copy of the by-laws and the contents of this month's
Board packet to them.
Hiring of Library Director: Zurn and Sheriff met with Lisa Potswald (CAO) on Monday, September 22. Sheriff asked about the timing of hiring a library director/manager and how the Library Board would be involved. Potswald mentioned that there should be a draft of the job description by mid-November and that it will be made available to the Board for general comments. She expects that the job will be posted in January 2009. She is considering a three-person team to interview all the candidates: herself, one of the co-directors, and one Board member. It's important that the Board remember that the City is currently working under a variety of Civil Service rules that control procedures and job description wording.
New City ordinance affecting Board terms: The City wants to standardize the terms for members of all City Boards and Commissions. The ordinance had its first reading at the Council meeting on September 22. We will have an update at the next Board meeting. If passed, it appears that all terms would expire on March 31.
Use of volunteers at Library: The Library is moving forward with accepting volunteers to shelve materials. About 55 applications have been turned in. Approximately 10 will not be viable due to insufficient hours available or inadequate screening test results. Six experienced people (former library staff) are completing paperwork and will begin ASAP. Agriesti and Zurn will be meeting this Thursday to prepare a physical screening test for the applicants. If prospective volunteers pass this test and are still interested, a background check will be run before they start at the Library. Discussion of ways to minimize administrative time for the staff included using the trust funds to hire a volunteer coordinator and using students from the media programs at UWS and CSS. Other volunteer opportunities (such as self-checkout assistant, Storytime assistant, home library service) are under discussion and will be examined once shelver volunteers are in place.
Trust Funds: The email from Mayor Ness (8/29/08) in response to the Board's questions about the use of Library trust funds was discussed. The members read the email to mean the money should not be used for short-term solutions such as staff but for long-term solutions that might generate revenue, such as a coffee shop in the library. Benson Johnson has been researching coffee shops in libraries as UMD is considering adding one. She will forward this information to Sheriff and Zurn.
SAM: The Board discussed briefly how this software will work.
Benson Johnson asked if members had seen information about the Minnesota Library Association annual conference. Sheriff will email the website to board members.
The meeting adjourned at 5:40 p.m.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, October 28, 2008 at 4:30