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Duluth Public Library
520 W. Superior St.
Duluth, MN 55802

A tax-supported service
of the City of Duluth

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Library Board Meeting Minutes: August 26, 2014

Call to Order:  President Brissett called the meeting of the Duluth Public Library Board to order at 4:35 p.m. on Tuesday, August 26, 2014.  On a motion by D’Allaird, seconded by Katz, the agenda was approved.

Members Present: Sister Edith Bogue, Jane Brissett, Dan D’Allaird, Frank Jewell (arrived at 4:55), Virginia Katz, Megan Oswald, Sandy Scheiber, Peter Spooner

Also Present: Emily Larson, Carla Powers

Absent: Printha Markert


Minutes:    On a motion by Katz, seconded by D’Allaird, the library board minutes of the regular meeting of June 24 were approved as drafted. 



Friends of the Duluth Public Library – Powers
The written report was reviewed. Powers highlighted the upcoming workshop by the Minnesota Association of Library Friends, which will take place at DPL on Saturday, Sept. 6.

Duluth Library Foundation – D’Allaird
D’Allaird highlighted the joint meeting planned for September 23 at 5:45 p.m. It is planned as an opportunity for the members of the library’s supporting organizations to meet each other and get a sense of what the other boards are up to. The Friends and foundation will chip in to purchase a few snacks. D’Allaird provided more information about speakers for Learning & Libations at the Library, which is scheduled for November 8. 

Arrowhead Library System – Brissett
Brissett shared list of upcoming Legacy programs being planned. ALS is offering homework help online that includes one-on-one assistance for students.  The ALS board recently approved a $1500 grant to help support DPL’s facility alternatives study. There was discussion of library museum passes, which are funded by the Legacy Amendment, being offered for sale on Craigslist.

Legislative Summary – Brissett
The written report was shared with board members.

Manager’s Report – Powers
Bogue suggested sharing information about the kickoff of One Book, One Community on Twitter, where others have an opportunity to retweet it.


Old Business:    

Main library needs assessment
D’Allaird asked about the staffing study. Powers explained that the reason for conducting the study is to plan for staffing needs in a new or reconfigured building, and also to ensure that staffing resources are aligned with the library’s needs and priorities. The intent is not to cut staff, but to free up staff from lower priority tasks into higher priority work. 


New Business:

2015 budget
Board members offered to contact city council in advance of budget presentations. Bogue suggested that the most effective approach would be to highlight how library programs and services help the city meet its needs (for example, assisting people in finding jobs, helping children learn to read, etc.). The message should be that full funding for the library helps the city meet its goals. Brissett agreed to send a letter to council a week before library’s budget presentation. Powers will let board members know once a date has been set. 

Smoking policy at Main Library
There was discussion about whether to ban smoking on the block as a means of reducing behavior problems occurring outside. Katz mentioned that she has noticed people on the smoking bench spitting, swearing, and creating an atmosphere in which patrons may feel unsafe. Bogue noted that such a rule would be difficult to enforce. Jewell suggested training for staff and volunteers to help them feel more comfortable greeting people and offering assistance, much like the Clean & Safe Team does. Spooner noted that the location of the smoking area is a design question for the facility study project team to figure out. D’Allaird suggested moving the smoking area away from the entrance. Consensus was that this is less of a smoking issue and more of a behavior issue, and the library should explore all other options first, considering a smoking ban only as a last resort.

Board secretary
Brissett suggested that taking minutes should be a responsibility of a board member rather than the library manager. She proposed making it the vice president’s duty. This would require a change in bylaws. Brissett suggested wording the bylaws to read that the vice president shall also perform the duties of secretary, and will delegate these duties if the vice president needs to run the meeting in the president’s absence. Bogue noted that it is unusual that the order of business for meetings is specified in the bylaws. Brissett will make some revisions to be voted on at the next meeting. 


News clippings were passed around. 

Dates for upcoming events were reviewed.

  • One Book, One Community launch party: Thursday, Sept. 4 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Unveiling of the new teen space: Monday, Sept. 8 at 3:30 p.m.
  • Learning & Libations at the Library: Saturday, Nov. 8


Adjournment:  The meeting adjourned at 5:53 p.m. The next meeting will take place on Tuesday, September 23, 2014.

Page Last Modified: 9/30/2014
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