February 2015 - Board Minutes

Owatonna Public Library Board Minutes of February 17, 2015

The Owatonna Public Library (OPL) Board of Trustees held the monthly meeting on Tuesday, February 17, 2015. In attendance were: President Russ Dunn-Foster, Secretary John Pfeifer, Meredith Erickson, Library Director Mary Kay Feltes, and Administrative Assistant Dawn Sorensen. Vice President Don Overlie was present via the web-based technology SKYPE from the Maricopa Public Library in Surprise, Arizona. David Marcoux, Assistant Director RenĂ©e Lowery, and Children’s Librarian Darla Lager were absent. City Administrator Kris Busse and City Councilman Kevin Raney were also present. All members could see and hear one another. All members of the public at the regular meeting location could hear. Required notice was posted, including the fact that some member(s) may participate electronically.

Call to Order:  President Dunn-Foster called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m.

Public Comments:  Busse and Raney asked to present updated information regarding strategic planning for the City of Owatonna according to the meeting agenda.

Reminder of Open Meeting Law:  President Dunn-Foster reminded the board and public of the INFORMATION BRIEF [Minnesota Open Meeting Law] published by the Minnesota House of Representatives (Revised October, 2014, www.house.mn/hrd/, Accessed January 22, 2015).

Children’s Services Report:  Feltes reported that Lager was absent due to an Early Literacy meeting at Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) that she was attending with Nancy Vaillancourt, Branch Manager at Blooming Prairie Branch Library (BPBL). Both women are representing the Owatonna Public Library in this collaboration. Sorensen presented the Children’s Services Report for January 2015 at OPL. Storytime was held nine times during January 2015, with 216 people attending. This total includes the 36 people attending Baby, it’s Cold Outside, the Storytime done in partnership with Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE). Adventure Time, a science program done in partnership with Steele County Extension 4-H, was held on January 7, 2015. The twelve people attending learned about the science of candy. Lager attended Project Community Connect, an annual event in Owatonna that provides services to homeless individuals in the community. She spoke to ninety-five people about the library and gave away children’s books to those with children in their lives.

January 2015 Board Minutes:  President Dunn-Foster presented the unapproved January 2015 board minutes for approval. Erickson made a motion to approve, and Pfeifer seconded. All aye.

Financial Reports:  Feltes presented the financial reports for OPL. Feltes reported that the 2014 budget for the library is still open. Feltes explained the program budgets to the board.

Library Use Report:  Feltes presented the library use report for January 2015. At OPL, 19,745 items were checked out in January 2015. This was a 4.7% decrease as compared to January 2014. At BPBL, 2,077 items were checked out in January 2014. This is a 7.8% decrease for BPBL as compared to January 2014. OPL welcomed 102 new borrowers in January 2014. BPBL welcomed 2 new borrowers in January 2015. At OPL, 16,810 people came through the doors in January 2015. This is a 1.8% increase as compared to January 2014. At BPBL, 1,143 people came through the doors in January 2015. This is a 14.3% increase at BPBL as compared to January 2014. At OPL, 1,682 items were lent to other libraries through the inter-library loan (ILL) system in January 2015. OPL borrowed 1,202 items from other libraries through ILL in January 2015. Items lent and borrowed decreased at OPL as compared to January 2014. At BPBL, 461 items were lent through ILL, and 270 items were borrowed for January 2015. At BPBL, item lent was about the same, and item borrowed decreased slightly as compared to January 2014. Items lent are greater than items borrowed, reflecting that OPL and BPBL own the materials that their patron need.

Library Digital Use Report:  Feltes presented the digital use report for January 2015. OPL remains a leader in eBook and eAudio check outs for the southern Minnesota region. At OPL, 369 patrons downloaded 1,353 eBooks and 246 eAudio items in January 2015. Freegal, the music database for OPL had 110 patrons downloading 1,126 songs in 52 genres in January 2015. Zinio, the magazine database for OPL had 99 digital magazines downloaded in January 2015. IndieFlix, the movie database for OPL had 1 movie downloaded for January 2015.

Upcoming Programs:  Sorensen reported that OPL will be celebrating the 115th anniversary of the library on Sunday, February 22, 2015 from 1:00-5:00 pm with a Community and Patron Celebration Day. Cookies, beverages, and paper supplies have been donated by several local businesses for this event. Nancy Vaillancourt will give a Secrets of the Library tour at 2:00 pm. Sorensen reported that the World Film Series film Love is Strange will show at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm on February 26, 2015. On March 23, 2015 at 7:00 pm, Derek E. Sullivan, former Sports Editor for the Owatonna People’s Press, will present a program on his new young adult novel Biggie. The Steele County Food Shelf (SCFS) and OPL have partnered for March’s Hunger Film Fest. Films addressing the topic of hunger will be shown every Tuesday night beginning at 7:00 pm. Louanne Kaupa, local dietician and Board member of the SCFS will be facilitating these events. 
Homeless Individuals at OPL Feltes discussed the ongoing presence of homeless individuals at OPL. The Owatonna People’s Press recently covered the issue of homeless in the community and identified the library as a refuge. Feltes commented on the outpouring of support from community members and organizations in providing cold weather gear at the library.

Strategic Planning:  Feltes welcomed administration and council participation in library strategic planning. Library strategic plans will align with City of Owatonna strategic plans. The board will continue to address issues surrounding the Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats (SWOT) analysis at the March meeting. Busse reported on the updates to the two-day strategic planning session held in January 2015 for the City of Owatonna. Busse specifically wanted to address concern from the library board over plans for flood mitigation near the library in the capital improvement plan as well as city strategic planning efforts. Busse reported that the City Council will be looking at flood mitigation efforts sooner rather than later according to a proposed capital improvement plan schedule for 2015-2019. Busse suggested that grant opportunities may be available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Busse reported that Kyle Skov, City of Owatonna Engineer/Public Work Director, has recommended performing a study of watershed projects needed to properly address the flood mitigation for the city. Busse also reported that the Information Technology (IT) department currently located at OPL will be moving to City Hall offices on the West Hills campus. Busse reported that the City Council would like a space allocation study performed for OPL so that the library is making the best possible use of its current space. Busse reported that there is money in the capital improvement plan to have the space allocation study done in 2015. President Dunn-Foster asked who would perform this study, and whether this space allocation study is the same as a feasibility study the board had discussed in August 2014. Busse stated that a space allocation study differed from a feasibility study. Erickson was concerned about the extent of public input on the watershed projects before they are decided upon by City Council. Erickson was also concerned about the impact future projects would have on the library structure and location. Erickson stated that the broad range of flood mitigation planning should be for all of downtown. Busse reiterated that the study discussed in regard to flood mitigation would explore the size and scope of flood mitigation projects. Erickson was concerned about costs of smaller projects versus larger projects in flood mitigation, and whether the public would be included in this decision-making process. Erickson was also concerned that planning should be realistically tied to long range library expansion plans, and that the projects be financially manageable. Raney stated that smaller flood mitigation projects are needed before any library long term planning. Busse stated that projects need to meet the needs of the entire city on a reasonable level. Erickson stated that in-house expertise was necessary to consider financial expenses in flood mitigation planning. Pfeifer suggested that the City Council consider working library expansion plans into flood mitigation planning, with suggestions to re-purpose the building according to the needs of the community. Dunn-Foster reported that other parking lots and the avenues surrounding the library flood just as badly as OPL during heavy rains. Feltes agreed. Erickson reiterated that the city should “…preserve this incredible structure of the library.” Erickson continued to state that Owatonna has many amenities such as parks, a library, etc., and this is what brings people to the town to live, work, and stay. Feltes reported that over 26,000 people have library cards in Steele County and they are invested in this library. Raney reported that the flood mitigation study will offer options, then the City Council can rate the options, look at costs, and come up with a solution. Dunn-Foster supported the plans to perform the flood mitigation study in 2015.  Erickson stated that good public policy suggests planning before events happen, and that when plans move forward, the public, and specifically the OPL Board of Trustees should have the opportunity to approach the City Council with their experiences and concerns. Raney stated that the purpose of this study is to mitigate flooding. Feltes thanked Busse and Raney for coming and for listening to the Board’s concerns in flood mitigation plans for the City of Owatonna. Erickson reiterated the importance and significance of the library, stating “…this structure is historical and magnificent…and dear to many hearts.” Erickson continued by requesting that the City Council include the library in infrastructure needs for future planning.

New Business:  Feltes reported that Lager and Vaillancourt would be collaborating with SMIF monthly for the early literacy committee.

Motion to Adjourn:  President Dunn-Foster made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:50 pm.

The next meeting for the OPL Board of Trustees will be held on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 4:30 pm in the Gainey Room.

Respectfully submitted, Dawn Sorensen 2/27/15