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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: June 24, 2014

Call to Order: President Brissett called the meeting of the Duluth Public Library Board to order at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at the West Duluth Branch Library. New board member Sandy Scheiber was welcomed and introductions were made. The agenda was reviewed, and news clippings about the library were passed around for board members to review during the meeting.

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

Also Present: Carla Powers, Emily Larson (arrived at 5:00)

Absent: Frank Jewell

Minutes: Bogue noted that she did not second the approval of the April minutes, as she was not in attendance for that meeting. On a motion by D’Allaird, the library board minutes of the regular meeting of May 27 were approved as corrected. 


Duluth Library Foundation – D’Allaird
Preparations continue for Libations & Learning at the Library.  A joint meeting of the Friends, foundation and library boards is scheduled for September. This will be coordinated with the new Friends board leadership.

Arrowhead Library System  – Brissett
The 50th anniversary of ALS is coming up in a couple of years. A group is being formed to plan a celebration. Trials continue for the bookmobile, and ALS is looking into the possibility of buying a new one.

Manager’s Report – Powers
The Friends’ book sale was successful, raising over $23,000. Brissett mentioned a small problem with the members-only sale on Tuesday. A few people did not realize that they needed to be Friends members to shop that day and were upset when told they needed to go to another table and pay $15 for a membership. Suggestions to alleviate this problem next year included better signage, volunteers greeting at the door of each room for the members-only sale, and allowing cashiers to take money for memberships. Fine amnesty was discussed. Bogue suggested having a fine amnesty program approved each year for the budget cycle, but running the program at different times in order to keep it from becoming too predictable. There was discussion about the library security task force being formed. The building design makes it a particular challenge to deal with behavior problems. Katz mentioned that the Michigan Street lobby does not feel safe and suggested that an information desk be set up in that area. The empty space that used to house government documents is another area of concern.  There was a suggestion that the training provided to the Clean & Safe Team might be helpful for library staff. Powers provided some background on the foundation’s efforts to secure grants to improve the teen space at the Main Library.

Lake Superior Libraries Symposium
D’Allaird, Katz and Powers all attended this event on June 6 and provided brief reports. D’Allaird highlighted a session for trustees on the history of public libraries in Minnesota. Mark Ranum, the presenter, noted that the problem of equitable funding for library use by people who live outside of the taxing jurisdiction is widespread. Ranum believes that tackling this problem needs to be done at a legislative level. 

Old Business:    

Main library needs assessment - Powers provided an update. Requests for proposal from three architectural firms are due tomorrow, and the facilities planning team will be scoring them. Interviews with two of the three firms will take place July 1, and an interview with the third firm will be scheduled for the week of July 7. The plan is to have a contract ready for approval by the city council on July 21. Details are being worked out for a contract with Whitney Crettol for facilitation.

Collection development policy and process for challenging material - Board members discussed the wording on the question about how much of the material the patron finished. Bogue suggested giving options of “all,” “some,” and “a little.” Powers suggested the following question read: “If less than all, which parts did you finish?” On a motion by Bogue, seconded by Spooner, the form was approved as amended. D’Allaird will update the document and send it to Powers for inclusion on library’s website and to have it available at public desks.

New Business:

Library’s non-book collections - Spooner gave background on this topic, which came up because of a potential building project. Spooner met with David Ouse about exhibitions at the library. Art collections are not a major priority, but the library does own some art. Climate-controlled space for preservation and/or exhibit space for artwork, if needed, should be included in the facility planning process. Bogue noted that some libraries are installing 3D printers for patron use. A non-book collection policy may need to include a policy on how software and equipment can be used. Powers said she will work with staff to decide whether an exhibit policy is needed, draft one if necessary, and bring it to the board for approval.

Planning for library’s 125th anniversary - 2015 will mark the 125th anniversary of the library, and staff is beginning to talk about what type of celebration should be done. Katz asked about involving the new owners of the old Carnegie library. Bogue suggested having as many events at branches as downtown, and celebrating all of the places where there used to be a branch library. There could be a tour of old library sites. Patra Sevastiades from the foundation has suggested basing the program on the virtues that Andrew Carnegie saw in libraries. D’Allaird suggested tying the history of libraries with the history of Duluth, with the theme that libraries are essential to the community and have changed as community has changed. Powers suggested collecting stories about the library from people in the community.

Review of chapter 3 of “From Awareness to Funding” - Bogue noted that the big takeaway from this chapter was that public officials are already supporters of libraries philosophically, but they often are not willing to fund the library. It is important to make funding the library part of the officials’ own goals.




Adjournment:  The meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m. and was followed by a tour of the West Duluth Branch Library. The next meeting will take place on Tuesday, August 26, 2014.

Page Last Modified: 9/6/2014
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