Library Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes – July 12, 2023

International Falls Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes

July 12th, 2023

Present: Diane Adams – Library Director, Dick Peterson, Mona Johnson, William Frank, and Heather Weaver

Meeting was called to order at 4:32 pm by Peterson.

Minutes – Johnson moved and Frank seconded to approve the June 2023 minutes. All approved.

Financial Report – Frank moved and Weaver seconded to approve July 2023 bills. All approved.

Director’s Report – June circulation was disappointing. We were busy, we checked out to 129 more people over 4 fewer days in May, but almost exactly the same number of people as we checked out to in June 2022. Circulation was up 23% over May 2023, but down 4% compared to June 2022. And digital checkouts were less in June than in May. We are currently sitting at 2% lower circulation than to date in 2022. Program attendance has been fairly steady with 15 – 20 at libratory, 25 – 35 at storytime and 30 – 40 at Big Play. Special programming has been okay, I thought we might see a big uptick as we haven’t had outside performers since summer 2019, except outside. But we’ve had 15-30 at the performances so far.

Molly will be heading to graduate school in August. I am planning to post for a Library Associate – Circulation and youth services position on August 1 (as soon as I get back from vacation). We’ll leave it open until Friday, August 11th, plan on doing interviews late the next week and hope to have someone on board by early September. I would also like to post for a new substitute with the potential for them to get two Saturday’s a month at least for the fall. Lila Wood wants to stay on and pick up hours once swim season is done in November.

I will have a proposed budget for 2024 at the meeting. I have put in significant pay raises. We are considerably behind other departments and I put out a request to other library directors in the area and we are also behind most of them. So I will be working on creating a budget that increases the amount spent on personnel, but in today’s world I believe that personnel is our strength. The help we are providing is help that isn’t available elsewhere and we need to pay as such.

Old Business: Summer Reading is in full swing. Attendance is all over the map, up some days, down others. We have registered more for summer reading prize books than last summer. Puppet take home kits are going out, finally got a date for puppet exhibition with puppeteer on Tuesday, August 8th at 3:30 pm.

Building Updates – no progress on steps or doors. CareerForce would like to list the library as their physical address. Board agreed after discussion about the library being their location with only 9 hours of presence. Director will notify Ashley Hackenmueller (local supervisor of CareerForce) about decision. Board selected shed for purchase, city will pour concrete slab for shed. Still working on finding someone to build, will reach out to boy scouts.

New Business: Kostiuk is stepping down as board president due to health, but would like to stay on board at this time. Director will ask Nevanen (vice-president) if he is willing to serve as president for remainder of year.

2024 Budget – presented first draft of budget to board, haven’t heard from city yet about timeline for budget process. Includes significant pay raises for staff, so 10% increase in request.

Donations: Johnson moved and Weaver seconded to accept the $50 donation from Tucky Dill in memory of Jean Hilfer. All approved.

Next Friends of the Library book sale will be Monday, August 7th from 4 – 6 pm.

What are you reading? – Dick is reading The Wager: a tale of shipwreck, mutiny and murder by David Grann and reports it as very engaging, author also wrote The Lost City of Z. Will continues to read The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien and is learning more about Voyageurs National Park by reading Mike Williams book Kettle Falls, Heather is reading Glass Walls: shattered, scaled and sustained by Judy Lutz, a childhood acquaintance of hers, Mona is ready for fun with Pineapple Grenade by Tim Dorsey and Diane is reading the very powerful sequel Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley about The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 and how museums continue to find ways to keep artifacts and not return them.

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, August 9th, 4:30 pm

Meeting adjourned at 5:25 pm.

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