November 2012 - Board Minutes

Owatonna Public Library Board Minutes of November 20, 2012

The Owatonna Public Library (OPL) Board of Trustees convened their monthly meeting on Tuesday, November 20, 2012, at the Owatonna Public Library. The meeting was called to order at 4:30 p.m. by President Jill Holmes. Also attending were Russ Dunn-Foster, Angela Sager, Don Overlie, Library Director Mary Kay Feltes, Assistant Director Renée P. Lowery, and Jenne Herbst. Eric Mattison was absent.

Overlie made a motion to approve the minutes of October 9, 2012, as presented. Dunn-Foster seconded the motion. All members voting aye, and the minutes were approved as presented.

Feltes reviewed October Financial reports. Overlie noted a discrepancy on sick leave and there were questions from the council. Feltes noted the discrepancy as well and will contact Rhonda Moen, City of Owatonna Finance Director, to ask for clarification or correction.

Lowery presented the October Children’s Services report compiled by Darla Lager, Children’s Services Librarian. One of the highlights during the month was Read for the Record, presented in partnership with the Pearson Foundation. This event was held Thursday, October 4th, and had 98 people in attendance. They read the children’s book Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad. Mayor Kuntz celebrated this day at OPL by publicly declaring October 4th as Read for the Record Day in Owatonna. Everyone also enjoyed a visit from the Bug Guy provided by Pearson. A total of 14 storytimes were held during the month of October, which included the Read for the Record, and over 634 people attended these story times. On October 25th, a Pumpkin Party was held and 135 people were in attendance. During the month of October, Lager also visited Headstart, Migrant Headstart, and Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) where she read stories to approximately 100 children and teachers.

Board reviewed library use for October. Over 20,000 people used OPL in October, a 13% increase when compared to October 2011. Blooming Prairie Branch Library (BPBL) counted slightly over 1500 visitors, a slight increase when compared to October 2011. Dunn-Foster noted the Washington School evacuation drill (600 students and staff) during October. At OPL in October, 177 new borrowers were registered-an increase of 23% over the same time last year and BPBL had 23 new borrowers registered. OPL had 24,440 checkouts, which was up slightly from the time last year. BPBL checked out 2700 items, a slight decrease from last year. In regards to inter-library loans (books and other materials lent or borrowed from other libraries), both OPL and BPBL continue to lend considerably more items to other libraries within the region than they borrow from other libraries.

Electronic media is another measure of library use and October saw an increase from the previous month. Lowery reported in October, 197 customers downloaded 1,274 songs in 51 genres using Freegal, the downloadable music service. In October, 246 patrons downloaded 841 electronic books (e-books) and 67 electronic audiobooks (e-audio). OneClickdigital service had 19 e-audio downloads.

Old Business:

Minnesota Children’s Museum Grant

Feltes noted 3 community focus groups were formed and held. The focus groups were comprised of people from the community and various business and community leaders. No library staff members were part of the focus groups. The focus groups were held off-site at Roosevelt School. Feltes briefly discussed the findings of the groups. Some of the findings were: Emphasize ethnic diversity of our community, hand-on stimulating activities, ensure the Smart Play Spot was practical, durable, safe, and that activities were rotated regularly. She also discussed staffing and guidelines for use for both children and the parents/caregivers. The project is currently in the design stage.

Blue Cross/Blue Shield Foundation of MN Grant “Healthy Info @Your Library”

Feltes stated she is meeting with community partner, including Community Education and Steele County Public Health, and together the partners will arrange speakers and activities, etc. There will be no required registration for any of the various events. Holmes requested a headcount or other evaluation to ascertain as to whether or not the community is being reached. Feltes informed the board that BC/BS of MN Foundation has specific evaluation requirements. Attendance is one area that can be measured, but other evaluative actions will be employed. For example, a questionnaire would likely be given before and after events so subsequent activities could be tailored to suit the communities’ needs.  Feltes stated she is meeting with community partners, including Community Education and Steele County Public Health, and together the partners will arrange speakers and activities, etc. There will be no required registration for any of the various events. Holmes requested a headcount or other evaluation to ascertain as to whether or not the community is being reached. Feltes informed the board that BC/BS of MN Foundation has specific evaluation requirements. Attendance is one area that can be measured, but other evaluative actions will be employed. For example, a questionnaire would likely be given before and after events so subsequent activities could be tailored to suit the communities’ needs. Feltes reminded the board that “Healthy Info @ Your Library” is a program intended to benefit Steele County, with emphasis on the cities of Blooming Prairie and Owatonna.

Parking

The Board discussed the effectiveness/availability of parking during the General Election. During discussion it was noted that during most of the day the parking lot and nearby spaces were full, and at various times during the day there were lines out the door of the polling area of people waiting to vote.

Succession Planning

Feltes had items to discuss for Succession Planning.

New Business:

Change to Position-Administrative Assistant-Library

Feltes informed the Board that the position would be reduced from forty hours per week to twenty hours per week. A discussion followed and all present Board members expressed great concern about the reduction and how it would affect the community when it comes to level of service. Former Administrative Assistant-Library Gail Plathe, also assisted the circulation desk on nights and weekends. Feltes stated circulation desk duties remain part of the job description. Holmes also noted with Plathe’s absence there isn’t a notary public on staff.

Otto Bremer Foundation Grant

OPL was awarded a two hundred fifty thousand dollar ($250,000) grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation. Overlie made a motion to accept the grant with Sager seconding the motion. All members present voting aye, the motion was passed to accept the grant. Discussion followed. Holmes recommended taking one month to plan. Board members discussed ensuring the grant money is used as outline in the grant application and that the money does not replace current or future operating costs.

Competative Grant from MN Department of Education

Other

Library staff member, Patty Nichols, has returned to work on a limited basis as she fully heals from injuries sustained after being hit by a car while she was riding her bike.

The next OPL Board Meeting will be held December 18, 2012.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:30pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Jenne Herbst