International Falls Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes, July 14, 2021

Present: Diane Adams – Library Director, Dick Peterson, Heather Weaver, MaryJo Winkel, Paul Nevanen, Ashley Kostiuk, Mona Johnson and Darcy Sullivan.

Peterson called the meeting to order at 4:28 pm.

Motion by Nevanen, second by Winkel to approve the June minutes. All approved.

Motion by Nevanen, second by Kostiuk to approve the July bills. All approved.

Director’s Report – June checkouts were 40% more than May and 17% more than last year. We currently sit at 13% more than last year. We are definitely seeing people we haven’t seen since 2019. But overall, very few children. I know that we have fewer children in town, but there are lots of school age children not using the building.

Storytime attendance has been wonderful. Summer reading participation has been dismal. I think some people are reading, but they don’t want to seem to keep track of even the nominal amount we ask for to get prizes. I do think we’ve lost any of the marginal young readers over the past 18 months. Their families were only nominally onboard and it has just been too much.

Job posting has gone out and will be open until July 22. We have already received 3 applications. There is at least one applicant I would definitely not mind hiring. Interviews will be scheduled for the week of July 26th.

I have begun 2022 budget preparation and will have a proposed budget at the July board meeting. I have already heard from City Hall and will be meeting with council budget committee on July 26 to go over the details.

Wall mural is almost complete. There is one final book to add a ‘title’ to and are planning on it being 2011 – “The Library Centennial.” I think that by the meeting next week it will be complete. We are very happy with the mural and the way it makes the hallway look.

Old Business – upcoming programs – summer – programming primarily outside, weekly take home STEAM for elementary, monthly craft for teens and adults, storytime and big play for early elementary and younger, weekly family fun before concerts in the park.

Fireplace insert – out to bid

Legal Aid Kiosk – set up and working, beginning to get word out, it is available to use

Wall Mural – still some finishing touchup work

New Business –

Presented proposed 2022 budget, close to $30,000 less. Recommended we increase staff wages some more before submitting to city council.

ARPA – The American Rescue Plan has money included for libraries. ALS will be receiving some from the state and they will be distributing to libraries. We will be eligible for just over $5,000. Will need to be spent quickly, by the end of September. (have since heard they had the date wrong and we have until September of 2022).

What are you reading? Paul is reading The Abstainer by Ian McGuire while Dick is up to #6 When Darkness Falls series by James Grippando and Ashley is having lots of fun reading Percy Jackon and and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Heather has been reading classic authors with They Did It with Mirrors by Agatha Christie and Keeper of the Bees by Gene Stratton Porter. MaryJo read the historical novel Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis, while Mona read the thriller The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave, Darcy is enjoying Leave Only Footprints: my Acadia to Zion journey through every national park by Conor Knighton and Diane is balancing reading with The Cat I Never Named by Amra Sabic-El-Rayess about the Yugoslav war and The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant a fun youth fantasy.

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 11th, 2021 at 4:30 pm.

Meeting ended at 5:05 pm.

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