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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: January 27, 2015

Call to Order: President Brisset called the meeting of the Duluth Library Board to order at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 27, 2015. On a motion by D’Allaird, seconded by Bogue, the agenda was approved. 

Members Present: Jane Brissett, Sandy Scheiber, Virginia Katz, Dan D’Allaird, Peter Spooner, Megan Oswald, Sister Edith Bogue, Matt Rosendahl 

Also Present: City Councilor Joel Sipress, Reader reporter John Ramos, Library Manager Carla Powers 

Absent: Frank Jewell 

Minutes: On a motion by Katz, seconded by D’Allaird, the library board minutes of the regular meetings of October 28, 2014, and November 25, 2014, were approved as amended. 


Friends of Duluth Public Library 
Written report was reviewed. 

Duluth Library Foundation 
Written report was reviewed. D’Allaird’s update will come later due to a rescheduled meeting. 

Arrowhead Library System 
Written report was reviewed. 

Legislative Summary 
Legislative report was from a 30,000-foot view. A few funding items directly impact the library, but little else. 

Manager’s Report 
Written report was reviewed. The bequest from Jerome Clarence Miller, in the amount of $100,000, will have to be approved by the city council before being deposited into the library’s gift fund. 

Old Business: 

Main Library facility plan update 
City Council meeting was held Monday, January 28 and MSR presented to the committee of the whole. Impressions were that the council was impressed with MSR and their report, and will need time to fully process the options. Councilors may still be stuck on the fact that a newer building is already in need of repair. It is important that this new option be designed to last, in both materials and layout of the building to provide flexibility as demands on the library change over time. Recommendation from the citizen committee will be presented on February 9, and the council will have to discuss with city administration. Hopefully there will be more time for council questions at this meeting. 

New Business: 

Potential expansion of Mt Royal Branch
Yarn Harbor is closing at the end of February. Powers has met with the city property & facilities manager and the building owner to discuss lease options, hopefully combining the two leases into one. The building owner has offered to take down the wall that adjoins the two spaces at his expense, potentially expanding the teen and youth center, and adding some flexible meeting space. If funding allows, an automated materials handling system would allow for increased use of the branch without adding more staff. Bogue mentioned it is important to make sure money is spent responsibly and questioned whether it would be a higher priority to add space or open the branch on Saturdays. 

Staffing study 
Carla sent the study in December to the board members. It has been shared with staff and administration. Study purpose was twofold: to examine staffing in light of a remodel, and to provide ideas to cope with an immediate decrease in staffing levels. Carla worked with Jim Filby Williams to put together an action plan that outlines specific goals and designates a staff person to be in charge of each goal. Staff did not think the idea of being a “tourist” spot with coffee, art, etc. is a part of the library’s mission. Board members think it might be a good service to the city that will draw people to the library. Maybe terming it as a city amenity, not a tourist destination, will help change their minds. 

Laptop Lending Policy Update 
The policy was developed when the library first acquired laptops for patron use as a means to control the laptops. Due to responsible use by the patrons, the rules are being loosened up. There are 10 laptops at the main library, and a few others at the branches. The rule about downloading software was brought up as unenforceable. 

Citizen Statement of concern and response 
A patron reported a concern about a book about personality disorders, and the board complimented Carla on her response. 

Seed library letter of support 
Jane wrote a letter of support for the seed library asking for change in the government policy. The board complimented her on her efforts. The letter will be used by any individual/ organization involved with the seed library as they see fit for their lobbying efforts. Motion by Katz, seconded by Bogue, to approve the letter and its distribution. Motion carried unanimously. 


Clippings, Year in Review, and the MSR report were passed around. Bogue reminded us that the online library course starts next week. 

Adjournment: The meeting adjourned at 5:38 pm. The next meeting will take place on Tuesday, Feb 24, 2014.

Page Last Modified: 3/10/2015
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