December 2013 - Board Minutes

Owatonna Public Library Board Minutes of December 17, 2013

The Owatonna Public Library (OPL) Board convened their monthly meeting on Tuesday, December 17, 2013, in the Gainey Room at the Owatonna Public Library. The meeting was called to order at 4:31 pm by President Russ Dunn-Foster. Also attending were Angela Sager, Don Overlie, Library Director Mary Kay Feltes, Assistant Director Renée P. Lowery, and Darla Lager, Librarian. Eric Mattison and John Pfeifer were absent.

Dunn-Foster asked if there were changes to the agenda. Feltes recommended the presentation of the Children’s Services report be moved to the top of the agenda. All agreed.

Lager discussed November activities in Children’s Services. Highlights of the month include nine storytimes offered, attended by a total of 265 children and adults. Thursday, November 21, was a “Bedtime & Blankets” Family Fun Night in partnership with Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), attended by 62 people. Lager visited ECFE four times this month to speak to the “Parents of 2s” classes. She spoke to a total of 31 parents about the importance of reading to their 2 year-olds. The Children’s Services program area was also heavily used throughout the month as a replacement for the Gainey Room which was under construction throughout November. Thanks to Children’s Services staff for their flexibility and assistance during this time.

Overlie presented a motion to approve the November 2013 board minutes, and Sager seconded. All aye.

Feltes presented the Financial Report for November 2013. Board members reviewed expenditures by program area for OPL.

Feltes then presented usage reports for both OPL and Blooming Prairie Branch Library (BPBL). At OPL, 21,403 items were checked out, a decrease of 8% as compared to November 2012. At BPBL, 2,439 were checked out, a decrease of 10% as compared to November 2012. OPL registered 109 new borrowers, and BPBL registered 4 new borrowers for the month of November 2013. Interlibrary-loans (ILLs) for November 2013 had an increase in items lent out to other libraries from both OPL and BPBL compared to November 2012. There was a slight decrease in items borrowed in to both locations for November 2012 compared to November 2012.

At OPL, 19,101 people came through the door in November, 2013, an increase of 9.9% as compared to November, 2012. At BPBL, 1,149 people came in the library, an decrease of 1.5% as compared to November, 2012.

Lowery reported that OPL continues to lead the SE Minnesota region in eBook checkouts. In December 273 customers downloaded 965 eBooks and 105 eAudiobooks. This is an average of 32 eBooks and 4 eAudio per day in December 2013, an increase over December 2012’s 27 eBooks and 2 eAudio per day. 128 patrons downloaded 742 songs in 38 genres using Freegal, the downloadable music service. 215 digital magazine titles were downloaded via Zinio in December, and 12 movies were streamed via IndieFlix.

Old Business

Grant Projects: Feltes has begun working on the report for the Blue Cross/Blue Shield grant. Most of the grant funds have been spent on the Bremer grant and most of the work completed.

Budget 2014: Feltes reported that carpeting the remainder of the second floor of the library is included in the 2014 Capital Improvement Plan. $16,000 was budgeted, but not spent in full-time wages when the library Administrative Assistant position was reduced. The funds were to be spent in 2013 on self-check circulation units and technical furniture. Owatonna Public Utilities (OPU) provided a rebate of $4,000 on a building HVAC project.

Succession Planning: City Administrator Kris Busse has asked Department Heads to select core competencies for their position, using a model borrowed from OPU. Feltes has expanded on this using professional librarian competencies obtained from the American Library Association. Additional competencies: Community relations, organizational leadership and ethics and values.

New Business

Personnel: The Desk Assistant position was recently reviewed using the comparable worth process, and current part-time Desk Assistants will be receiving an increase and back-pay. Two part-time Desk Assistant positions have been posted for hire.

Grand Opening: Feltes is planning a Grand Opening to welcome the community on February 22, which is also OPL’s 114th anniversary.  Improvements to the Reading Room, Teen Room, and Gainey Room made possible through the Bremer Foundation grant will be highlighted.

Volunteer Study: Jane Voxland recently completed a study for OPL on “Elements of Successful Library Volunteer Programs.” During the course of the study, Voxland visited volunteer programs at Rochester Public Library, Carver County Library, and the Owatonna Hospital. Key findings: A successful volunteer program has an organized structure specific to the library and a paid staff member running the program. Volunteers apply for specific positions and are interviewed and trained for these positions. “Volunteers can be critical to supporting an organization when budgets are tight, but they do not replace paid employees.”

The meeting adjourned at 5:32 p.m. Overlie presented a motion, and Sager seconded. All aye. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 21, 2014, at 4:30 p.m. in the Gainey Room.

Respectfully submitted,
Renée P. Lowery