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February 17, 2009 Minutes

Board of Trustees
Fargo Public Library
Minutes of February 17, 2009

Present: Herb Snyder, Suzanne Morrison, Richard Zeck, James Council
Absent:  Gale Chapman, Gregory Heller, Dawn Morgan
Others:  Friends Representative Carol Sawicki, Media
Staff: Tim Dirks, Beth Postema, Greg Gilstrap, Pam Strait, Ginny Mueller     

The meeting was called to order by President, Herb Snyder.

Order of Agenda
Suzanne Morrison moved to approve the order of the agenda; seconded by James Council; motion carried. 

Motion was made by Richard Zeck to approve the minutes of the January 20, 2009 meeting; seconded by Suzanne Morrison; motion carried. 

Staff Report
Greg Gilstrap, Library Staff Representative, reported that billboards announcing the grand opening of the New Main Library will start appearing in March and April. Programs planned for the grand opening include ribbon cutting, Storyteller Cindy Wray Lowe, music performances by local music groups, teen craft programs, teen movie night author events, tech training and more!  There will be a closing celebration for the 408 Roberts Street location (affectionately known as Mini-Main) on Friday, February 27th beginning at 3:00 PM. 
The children’s department has been very busy, having started the spring session of toddler and preschool storytimes.  During the first week of February, the storybook character ‘Corduroy’ came to the library for a special storytime.  Also the children’s department held the annual Hearts and Hugs craft open house with 125 attending.  Read Therapy Dogs are scheduled for monthly visits through May.
Computer classes are still being offered.  Members of the National Foundation of the Blind of North Dakota are presenting a program on Saturday, March 7th  entitled “Braille Readers are Leaders” to introduce people of all ages to Braille and other resources available to those who are visually impaired.

Director’s Report
Tim Dirks reported that his time has been spent working on items for new Main, including construction meetings, grand opening planning meetings, signage issues, etc.  Also, he has been involved in meetings with legislators sponsored by the Cabinet.  Greg Heller negotiated a catering contract with the Green Market for the Major Donors reception, in which the Green Market will provide $500 worth of catering pro bono.  Regarding staffing levels, we are trying to fill the additional page positions prior to our move.  Also, the second round of interviews for the children’s program assistant will begin next week.

Statistical Reports
January Usage

Attendance and volunteer hours were down for the month of January 2009 compared to January 2008, but program attendance, internet signup and web page hits all increased during that time period.  Circulation statistics, including both print and non-print, decreased 4%.  An electronic resources statistics report was distributed showing activity for the last 5 months.  The report highlighted a significant increase in usage in November and December, 2008, and a 6% increase between September 08 and January 09. 

January Financials
The only January activity in the Special Project Funds was interest earned in the amount of $14.  The balance in the fund is $7,382.00.

A new format for the Expense vs. Budget report was presented with the January 2009 figures.  Additional information in the report includes encumbrances for each month, which gives a more accurate picture of the money expended and promised.  The total expenses and encumbrances for the month of January (8.33% of the year) represent 9.86% of the annual budget. 

Funds deposited for fines, meeting room rental and copier fees totaled $6,616.90 in January, 2009.

Friends of the Library Report
There was no quorum at the most recent regular meeting of the Friends.  At the time of their next regular meeting, the Friends are planning on touring new Main.  Three Friends Board Members are working as a committee to determine their needs to conduct book sales, such as computer, cash box, etc. and a schedule for necessary coverage of the Friends room.  Tim Dirks made a request for funds to purchase a storage cart for the laptops recently purchased.  The cart would allow the laptops to be powered up as they are being stored. 

Old Business
New Main Opening Event Committee Update 
Plans are moving along for the April 24th Major Donor reception.  Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of the Library, we have set up the music, cake, flowers and caterer.  On April 25th, ribbon cutting is scheduled for 10:00 AM.  Other events were mentioned earlier.  We have been approached by a downtown business and organization about them sponsoring other downtown activities that week in accordance with the library opening.

Proposal for Coffee Services at New Main
We have received a revised proposal from Dunn Bros. where some of the issues mentioned at a previous meeting (hours of operation and signage) were resolved.  The only item needing further action is the cost of build-out for space for their business.  $10,000 was initially suggested as the cost for the build-out, but upon further discussion with architects it appears the cost will likely be between $15,000 and $20,000. Further discussion will take place.

New Business
Outreach Services Update
Pam Strait, Outreach Coordinator for the Fargo Public Library, gave a presentation on the Outreach Program’s work and the number of people it impacts.  In comparing the program between 2007 and 2008, outreach patrons served increased by 14%, items checked out for outreach purposes increased by 24% and outreach volunteer hours increased by 30%.   As the Baby Boomer population ages, Pam stressed that the Outreach service will be more and more in demand.  It was noted that at this time the program seems to be more elderly focused, where financially strained families and children are another part of our population that can be served.  Discussion on Outreach will be a continued item for next month.

Public Comment
There was no public comment.

Next Board Meeting
The next regular Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 17, 2009, at 4:00 p.m. in the City Commission room. 

The meeting adjourned at 4:48 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Ginny Mueller