July 2012 - Board Minutes

Owatonna Public Library Board Minutes of July 17, 2012

The Owatonna Public Library (OPL) Board of Trustees convened their monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 17, 2012, the Owatonna Public Library (OPL). The meeting was called to order at 4:30 pm by President Jill Holmes. Also attending were Eric Mattison, Don Overlie, Angela Sager, Russ Dunn-Foster, Library Director Mary Kay Feltes, Assistant Director RenĂ©e P. Lowery, and Gail Plathe. 
No meeting was held in August, due to the lack of a quorum. Dunn-Foster made a motion to approve the minutes of June 19, 2012, as presented. Sager seconded the motion. All members present voting aye, the motion passed.
Feltes reviewed the June financial report with Board members. She summarized the five program areas within the budget: administration, circulation, site, information services, and off-site. There have been no unexpected expenditures in the last month. Feltes will deliver the first half distribution to Blooming Prairie City Manager Mike Jones. Steele County provides some funding for Blooming Prairie Branch Library since OPL serves all of Steele County. Feltes noted $24,000 in gift money was spent on databases for public use this year. As yet, no public computers have been replaced. Over $7000 in gift money has been spent on books. 
June was a busy month in Children’s Services. Lowery presented the monthly report compiled by Darla Lager, librarian in charge of Children’s Services. On Kick-Off Day, a line of library customers formed all the way through the parking lot, as people queued up, waiting for the doors to open. The drum line of the Owatonna High School Marching band kicked off Dream Big. Read! with a demonstration and procession throughout the library. Farm animal friends delighted the youngsters and Mr. Billy entertained with music and fun. Board member Overlie was on hand to distribute ice cream. Josie Dunn-Foster and other teen volunteers helped out as needed. Over 2000 people visited the library that day. Other program notes and highlights are included in the attached children’s services report.
Board reviewed library use for the month. Over 23,000 customers used the library in June, an increase over the same month in 2011. There were 2400 visitors to BPBL, which is about the same as last year. Sixteen new borrowers registered at BPBL and 203 at OPL. Check-outs of physical items decreased about 7% at OPL and almost 15% at BPPL when compared to the same month in 2011. More than 26,000 items were checked out at OPL and almost 3,300 at BPPL. OPL continues to lend more books to other regional libraries, than are borrowed from other libraries for OPL library patrons. However, total requests decreased in June. 
Library use includes electronic media which continues to grow in popularity. Lowery reported the online use of some library platforms. OPL leads other regional libraries in numbers of some downloads. In June, 192 customers downloaded 1,135 songs using freegal, the downloadable music service. Two hundred sixty-nine patrons downloaded 939 e-books and 66 e-audios in June using OverDrive, a database which gives library customers access to electronic books. Thirty e-audio books were downloaded using the OneClickdigital service. Lowery plans to promote a different set of electronic resources each month, beginning in September.
Old Business
2013 Budget. Feltes presented the 2013 proposed library budget to City Administrator Kris Busse and Finance Director Rhonda Moen yesterday, July 16th, 2012. As a new budget item, Feltes added $6000 in building repair funds that had been cut in 2011. The building is old and repairs are inevitable. In the off-site program, money was added for mileage to pay for 2-4 monthly trips to BPBL by OPL staff. In capital improvements, money will be assigned to replacement of carpeting and sound system upgrades. New controls for the heating and air conditioning system are included in the 2013 budget. Board members continue to evaluate library usage with a view to expanding the building. The library is a welcoming environment during summer heat spells and continues to be a community gathering place throughout the year. There is a desperate need for quiet space for reading, study, and group meetings. Space to accommodate the changing needs of teens is a priority. Feltes and information technology staff Ryan Brown and James Keltgen have brainstormed technological changes for the room. The current plan involves removing the study carrels from the teen Internet room and replacing them with comfortable seating. Technology users are moving quickly to more mobile technology. To accommodate users, a wall-mounted display monitor and several tablets have been discussed as options. One desktop may be located outside the teen room. In addition, covering one wall with white board or blackboard may work well in a space designed specifically for teens. Keltgen suggested adding a digital camera, editing software and other creative software options for groups working together. User needs will drive the space design. Library board members remain committed to the vision of a library addition in the future.
New Business
Lean Project. Using grant funds, Owatonna Chamber of Commerce contracted with Christy Tryhus of Simply Balanced Coaching to explore streamlining processes in city departments. The idea is to “work smarter, not harder” by eliminating unnecessary steps from processes. The process of ordering books was scrutinized from the point where books were announced by publishers, and identified for ordering, to receiving, processing and placing them on the shelves, ready for library customers. Staff found it helpful to consider every role in the process and whether it could be streamlined. The process was found to be expedient and efficient. Some small changes improved the quality of the process.
Best Buy Teen Technology. Feltes talked about a $6000 grant available from Best Buy for teen technology. She will request the Owatonna Public Library Foundation to apply for the grant, since only 501(c)(3) organizations qualify. The space first needs to be prepared for upgrading. Worn carpet will be removed and replaced, the room will be painted, electrical outlets added. If the grant is awarded, consultants from Best Buy will work with staff, users, and community members to purchase furniture, a television and tablets. Software will be provided free of charge. Upgrading the teen space has been on the library to-do list for several years. 
Polling Place. Assistant City Clerk Jeanette Clawson formally requested use of the library for the Second Ward, First Precinct Polling Place for two elections: the Primary Election on August 14th and the General Election on November 6th. A polling place must be accessible by 6:00 am and for an hour or more following the close of the polls at 8:00 pm. Feltes reported the polling place will be positioned in the program area of Children’s Services, where it is most accessible. Library staff is happy to accommodate election officials and is supportive of community needs in providing a space for the General Election. Darla cancelled story time and will offer an activity for children. Election judges will bring their own signage. Children’s Services is not a stranger to adult programs. Three adult programs were held in the program area in 2011.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:35 pm. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 21 at 4:30 pm at Owatonna Public Library.
Respectfully submitted,  
Gail Plathe