January 2014 - Board Minutes

Owatonna Public Library Board Minutes of January 21, 2014

Prior to officially convening the meeting, City Administrator Kris Busse met with OPL Board members to provide information on City business:

Department Directors met with City Council for a two-day retreat January 13-14 to discuss long-term (20-year) and short-term goals. The top three issues that emerged were:

  • Infrastructure to support growth (sewer, telecommunications, etc.)
  • Economic vitality (jobs, diverse tax base, thriving neighborhoods)
  • Quality of life (library, parks, trials)

City Council and Department Directors are working with Mark Fritsch as a strategic planning consultant to tie all of this together with specific goals/actions and will present this at a City Council meeting during the second week of February. It will also be shared at the second joint meeting of the Owatonna City Council, Steele County Board, Owatonna School Board, and Owatonna Public Utilities Commission on March 17. OPL Board President Russ Dunn-Foster praised all involved for this collaborative effort benefiting the residents of Steele County.

At the conclusion of City Administrator Busse’s update, President Dunn-Foster called the OPL Board meeting to order at 4:45 pm. Also attending were John Pfeifer, Eric Mattison, Library Directory Mary Kay Feltes, Assistant Director Renée P. Lowery, and Darla Lager, Librarian. Don Overlie Skyped in from Arizona. Angela Sager was 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.

Children’s Services Report: Lager presented highlights of the month. Nine storytimes were presented, attended by a total of 286 children and adults. Thursday, December 19, was a “Stories by Candlelight” Family Fun Night in partnership with Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), attended by 95 people. December was a month filled with first grade class visits from Medford, St. Mary’s, and the Owatonna Public Schools (Lincoln, McKinley, Washington, and Wilson). Classes usually came in groups of twos or threes for a tour, to listen to Darla read The Polar Express, and to check out books. A total of six schools came, in ten visits, with a total of 512 teachers and children exploring the library. Two groups of 7th grade students from St. Mary’s also visited on December 6 and 9 to learn about the library’s online catalog and databases. Bonnie, Renée, and Darla helped 44 7th-grade students and their teachers. Adventure Club, held in partnership with of University of Minnesota-Extension, made its first appearance post-summer on the first Wednesday of the month at 3:00 pm. Twelve kids learned about clouds and weather on December 11. Darla read stories at the Owatonna Arts Center as part of the “Cocoa with Santa” event on December 14.

December Board minutes: The minutes of December 17, 2013, were approved.

Financial Reports: Feltes presented the Financial Reports for December 2013. Board members reviewed expenditures by program area for OPL. Feltes noted that calendar year 2013 will not be closed until the end of February, 2014.

Library use: Feltes presented reports for both OPL and Blooming Prairie Branch Library (BPBL). At OPL, 18,749 items were checked out, a decrease of 5.5% as compared to December, 2012. At BPBL, 1,964 were checked out, a decrease of 1.6% as compared to December, 2012. OPL registered 166 new borrowers, and BPBL registered 4 new borrowers for the month of December, 2013. Interlibrary-loans (ILLs): At OPL, 1,579 items were lent to customers at other libraries. OPL customers requested 1,070 items from other libraries. At BPBL, 369 items were lent to customers at other libraries. BP customers requested 262 items from other libraries. More items were lent to customers at other libraries than were requested from other libraries. At OPL, numbers of items lent and borrowed were both greater than numbers of items lent and borrowed in December, 2012.

At OPL, 17,942 people came through the door in December, 2013, an increase of 3.3% as compared to December, 2012. At BPBL, 915 people came in the library, an decrease of 2% as compared to December, 2012.

Lowery reported that OPL patrons checked out 996 eBooks and 120 eAudiobooks in December, 2013. This is an average of 32 eBooks and 4 eAudio per day in December 2013, a slight increase over December 2012’s 32 eBooks and 3 eAudio per day. 124 patrons downloaded 710 songs in 33 genres using Freegal, the downloadable music service. 140 digital magazine titles were downloaded via Zinio in December, and 23 movies were streamed via IndieFlix.

SELCO Reports: Pfeifer reported that SELCO plans to roll out Enterprise, the AquaBrowser (public catalog) replacement, in April/May of 2014.

Old Business

Grant Projects: Feltes is writing up final reports for the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation and Otto Bremer Foundation grants.

Budget 2014: No new information reported.

Succession Planning: No new information reported.

New Business

Personnel: The first round of Desk Assistant interviews yielded a smaller field and final interviews will be completed later this week. Two positions are available.

Anniversary celebration and Grand Opening : Saturday, February 22, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Strategic Planning: See City Administrator Busse’s report above.

The meeting adjourned at 5:32 p.m. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, at 4:30 pm in the Gainey Room.

Respectfully submitted,
Renée P. Lowery