President Andrew Slade called the meeting of the Duluth Public Library Board to order at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 22, 2009, and reviewed the agenda.
Present: E. Bogue, J. Brissett, L. Benson Johnson, D. D'Alliard,
V. Katz, P. Markert, A. Slade, M. Watson, C. Powers,
Absent: P. Spooner
Approval of Minutes
The Library Board minutes of the August 25, 2009, meeting were approved.
Communications were reviewed and discussed. Powers read a patron letter expressing thanks for reference service provided by Mike Grossman and Roseann Agriesti.
A. Friends of the Duluth Public Library - Markert
The current balance in the Friends' checking account is $38,000, of which $25,000 will be transferred to the library. The library intends to use the money to supplement the materials budget, which is facing a potential cut of $60,000. The Friends have expressed a willingness to help out with matching funds for the Gates Foundation grant if necessary. Also, the Friends will send a thank-you to the Bookworm Garden Club, which is doing a wonderful job of keeping up the gardens off the Plaza.
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 October meeting.
C. Manager's Report - Powers
The Manager's Report, which was distributed with board packets, was reviewed, and the Board Briefing was discussed.
D. Board Briefing - Powers
Update on 2010 Budget: Background in "Budget Update" above was discussed. Board members expressed an interest in contacting the City Council to express support for the library. Powers will let the board know when her budget presentation is scheduled.
Combined Library Board/Foundation/Friends Meeting: Slade is working on scheduling this meeting for Tuesday, December 8 at 4 p.m. Powers will schedule the Green Room for the gathering. There was some discussion about providing nametags and/or refreshments. The consensus was that a speaker is not necessary, but that local elected officials may be invited as participants.
Maintenance of Effort: Powers gave a brief explanation Maintenance of Effort (MOE), which is a state law mandating a minimum level of financial support for public libraries. The penalty for a city not meeting MOE is that its library cannot be a member of a regional library system. The City of Duluth can ask for its 2009 MOE level to be recertified due to its reduction of Local Government Aid. A recertification for 2010 can be requested at the beginning of next year.
Daily Overdue Fines vs. Delinquency Fees: Powers brought up the idea of discontinuing the practice of charging daily overdue fines, and instead charging a fee for items that are long overdue. This would give patrons a break if they are only a few days late, and it also would save staff time spent clearing and ringing up small fines. No studies have been done on the impact to library revenues or potential staff time saved; Powers wanted to get input to see whether the board thinks the idea is worth a closer look. The consensus was that some type of grace period would be worth looking into. One concern expressed is that during a time when the materials budget is being cut, it's important to keep items circulating frequently in order to meet demand.
The meeting adjourned at 5:45 p.m.
The next meeting will be on Tuesday, October 27, 2009, at 4:30 p.m. in the Library's Conference Room.