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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 25, 2015

Call to Order:  President Rosendahl called the meeting of the Duluth Library Board to order at  4:30 pm on Tuesday, Aug 25, 2015. On a motion by Ramsland, seconded by D’Allaird, the agenda was approved.

Members Present: Matt Rosendahl, Sandy Scheiber, Megan Oswald, Virginia Katz, Betty Ramsland, Dan D’Allaird, Sister Edith Bogue

Also Present: Carla Powers, Elysia Hoium, Karla Culhane, John Ramos

Absent: Frank Jewell

Minutes: On a motion by Katz, seconded by Ramsland, the library board minutes of the regular meeting of June 23, 2015, were approved.



Friends of Duluth Public Library
Written report was reviewed. The book sale brought in $23,000 this year. Sales were slightly down from previous years. Barnes & Noble book fair is getting more restrictive about approaching customers with vouchers. New decals for cars are being given out. Swim Creative has been approached about a branding project for the library. The firm has offered to do some of the work pro bono.  

Duluth Library Foundation
Written report was reviewed. D’Allaird reminded the board of the Libations event, which has received a robust response so far.

Manager’s Report
Written report was reviewed. One Book short list of titles will be released September 1. Project name was changed to reflect the population it serves and be more inclusive.


Old Business:

Library Recognition Awards
The committee has met to review the individual groups’ thoughts as to the validity of the awards and how to approach them. Concerns have been raised about funds and who would “own” the award. This board thinks the exploration of this idea should continue.

Facility Planning
There has been discussion at the city level about facility planning/strategic planning. Our strategic plan ends in December 2015. Current plan focused on services, which should be the drivers of facility planning. Carla hopes to meet with Whitney Crettol, who facilitated the current strategic plan, between now and December. Library Strategies is another option as they did the staffing study for DPL. The option of a mid-priced renovation, to include repairing/replacing current systems, upgrading restrooms and modifying floor plan to provide better services moving forward, has not been fully explored. The administration will decide if it wants this option studied. Katz expressed concern over a possible perception that much of the work is being redone. With the condition of the HVAC system, doing nothing has a cost. She said that getting public input only on Mayor Ness’s questions may lead to a public discussion of whether people love or hate the current building. Katz requested time at the next meeting to discuss this further and decide how to interweave all of these concerns/questions and get public feedback. Katz also suggested sharing unbiased information with the mayoral candidates.  


New Business:

2016 Budget
2016 proposed operating budget was reviewed. Heating and cooling are not a part of the library’s budget as they are paid for by another division within the city.

Library Fee Schedule
Library fines and fees are part of the city’s fee schedule each year. Carla is recommending most fees stay flat rather than being adjusted for inflation, which results in odd amounts that make cash handling difficult. There was a mistake in the spreadsheet, and the deposit card fee should be $50.00 rather than $5.00. The board discussed adjusting the maximum amount to help deter bad behavior but did not recommend making any changes at this time. Katz moved to accept the fee schedule as amended. D’Allaird seconded. Motion passed.

Library Internet Policy and Filtering
Carla recently contacted the city attorney’s office to get clarification on the library’s responsibilities under the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). CIPA states that the library must turn off the filter for adults who request it, and use of a filter cannot block constitutionally protected speech. Once the board approves the policy, a public hearing at a library board meeting must be scheduled. Since the filter was turned on in April, websites have been blocked three times. One involved the seed library and was a mistake, one was a book published by Playboy, and the third was a Craigslist personal ad. When a site is blocked, the IT staff looks at the site to determine whether it is inappropriate. Pornography and solicitation are considered “adult content,” which is one of the categories set up to be blocked. Various options for unblocking sites and disabling the filter were discussed. There was consensus that library staff should be given a password to override the filter when an adult patron requests it. If a website seems to be blocked in error, the patron will be asked if he or she is comfortable telling library staff about the site so the filter can be adjusted if needed. The public WiFi connection will be filtered at all times. Ramsland moved to accept the amended library internet policy and Katz seconded. Motion passed.

Appropriate Library Behavior Policy
A patron complained about the noise of storytime at the Mount Royal Branch, which prompted Carla to review the behavior policy. If we no longer expect the library to be quiet, the policy should be changed to reflect that. Possible alternatives are using the phrase “contribute to a quiet atmosphere” or owning that certain times and events will be louder than others. Ramsland asked about the first bullet point (“Respect yourself and others”) and questioned how this can be enforced. She asked if the policy could include a ban on guns, but it is illegal under state law to ban guns in a public place. Tabled until September.

Recruiting New Board Member
We need a new member now and one in March when D’Allaird’s term ends. Form is available online, and the person must be a Duluth resident. The appointment is made by the mayor.



Meeting adjourned at 6:17 pm.



Page Last Modified: 9/28/2015
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