June 2012 - Board Minutes

Owatonna Public Library Board Minutes of June 19, 2012

The Owatonna Public Library (OPL) Board of Trustees convened their monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 19, 2012, at the Blooming Prairie Branch Library (BPBL) in Blooming Prairie. The meeting was called to order at 4:30 pm by Vice President Russ Dunn-Foster. Also attending were Eric Mattison, Don Overlie, Angela Sager, Library Director Mary Kay Feltes, Assistant Director Renée P. Lowery, Blooming Prairie Branch Manager Nancy Vaillancourt and Gail Plathe. Jill Holmes was absent.
 
Before the meeting began, Branch Manager Vaillancourt gave a tour of the library. She noted the City of Blooming Prairie assigned funds in the capital budget for new carpeting which will be installed in two stages.
 
Overlie made a motion to approve the minutes of May 15, 2012, as presented. Sager seconded the motion. All members present voting aye, the motion passed.
 
Board members reviewed the May financial report. Feltes briefly 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. 
 
The May Children’s Services report compiled by Darla Lager, was presented by Lowery. May was a busy month. One of the highlights was an exhibition by the Jumpers, Washington Elementary School’s jump rope club. Over 80 people were entertained by this lively group of 42 jump-roping girls and boys. Feltes applied for a grant from Allina Health Systems which would have extended jump roping programs to other elementary schools. The request was not granted. Using library gift funds, OPL will provide dvds and music cds for the Washington School jump rope club. A suggestion was made that the Jumpers travel to other elementary schools to demonstrate the program, which may spark interest and promote a more inclusive representation from area schools. May Children's Services report attached.
 
Board reviewed library use for the month. Over 22,000 customers used the library in May, an increase over the same month in 2011. There was a 2% decrease in people count for Blooming Prairie Branch Library (BPBL.) Over 2000 library patrons used the building. There were 35 new borrowers at BPBL and 154 at OPL in May. Check-outs of physical items decreased about 6% at OPL and increased almost 3% at BPPL when compared to the same month in 2011. More than 19,000 items were checked out at OPL and over 2,300 at BPPL. OPL continues to lend more books to other regional libraries, than are borrowed from other libraries for OPL library users. 
 
Lowery reported the online use of some library platforms. Library use includes electronic media which continues to grow in popularity. OPL leads other regional libraries in numbers of some downloads. In May, 201 customers downloaded 1,167 songs using freegal, the downloadable music service. Two hundred twenty-nine patrons downloaded 823 e-books and 78 e-audios in May using OverDrive, a database which gives library customers access to electronic books. Thirty-six e-audio books were downloaded using the OneClickdigital service. 
 
The e-feature of this month is Mango Languages, a database available on the library website. Lowery reported May use as follows: 1 Chinese (Mandarin), 1 Czech, 3 French, 34 Japanese, 1 Pirate, 24 Spanish, and 3 Tagalog.  Almost 60 languages are available including 15 English as a Second Language programs. On the website, OPL is also featuring a trial version of Little Pim, a language program for children aged 0-6. Library customers can test drive the program on the OPL website. A login and password are provided.
 
Old Business
 
Smart Play Spot Grant. Feltes reviewed some details of the $20,000 Smart Play Spot Grant from Minnesota Children’s Museum with funding from Minnesota Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Staff from the Children’s Museum will help plan and build the play spot, with participation from local residents. Feltes has conferred with the buildings maintenance and repair supervisor about repainting walls and replacing carpet in Children’s Services in anticipation of the new installation. The Smart Play Spot will provide a unique experience for children and their parents to learn and have fun.
 
New Business
 
Edge Initiative:
Nancy Walton, Minnesota State Librarian, asked Feltes to participate as a beta tester for the Edge Initiative. The Edge Initiative is developing benchmarks that define best practices for public access to technology in public libraries. OPL was compared to other “mid-sized” libraries. The benchmarks rated the library’s community value, library’s ability to engage the community and its decision makers, and organizational management. The survey asked whether OPL meets the needs of the community in the areas of education, health and wellness, legal information, and whether staff teaches classes in those areas. The survey asked about community planning, strategic relationships with community partners, hardware replacement plan, and technology expertise. 
 
As a beta tester, Feltes was asked to critique the questions. She suggested some additions:  Does your library offer a mobile app? Do your customers prefer one-on-one assistance over technology classes? Who funds the library public technology program? Do you have sufficient staff and equipment to offer technology classes? Does staff help customers with other personal devices? Lowery and Ryan Brown, City of Owatonna technology coordinator, assisted with the survey questions.
 
2013 Budget:
Department heads were asked to make no increases in next year’s budget. Administrator queried department heads about planned changes in personnel for the next year. The library has only one change expected at this time. 
 
Other:
Feltes and Lowery received a communication from Bruce Pomeranz of Minnesota State Library Services branch of the Minnesota Department of Education regarding the annual Library report to the state. Each public library in Minnesota is required by law to submit this report. They are available for viewing online.
 
Feltes talked about the flooded parking lot at OPL. The lot on the east side of the building is susceptible to flooding during heavy rains. As the parking lots to the southeast of the library fill up and drain onto Broadway Avenue, the water runs downhill, over the curbs and through the driveways into the city lot at the library. During these rain events, announcements are made to library customers telling them to move their cars to higher ground. Past experience has shown water rising high enough to flood vehicles parked in the center of the lot.
 
In closing Mattison, was very complimentary about a Wil Natzel interview he had seen on television. Feltes added that Natzel recently exhibited his art at the Stone Arch Bridge Festival. It’s nice to have our local talent showcased in the metro area. Natzel designed Steel Variations, the outdoor public artworks to the south of the library.  
 
The board thanked Nancy Vaillancourt for her hospitality and for allowing the Owatonna Public Library Board of Trustees to meet at Blooming Prairie Branch Library. 
 
The meeting was adjourned at 5:30 pm. The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 17th at 4:30 pm at Owatonna Public Library.
 
Respectfully submitted,  
Gail Plathe