Library Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes – October 11, 2023

International Falls Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes

October 11th, 2023

Present: Diane Adams – Library Director, Paul Nevanen, Mona Johnson, MaryJo Winkel, William Frank, Maggie Horning and Dick Peterson.

Meeting was called to order at 4:26 pm by Nevanen.


Minutes – Johnson moved and Peterson seconded to approve the September 2023 minutes. All approved.


Financial Report – Peterson moved and Frank seconded to approve October 2023 bills. All approved.


Director’s Report – September physical circulation was a disappointing 9% below September 2022. That puts us 1% below 2022 year-to-date. However, if we can average 3904 total circulation (physical and digital) we will end the year at more than 2022. So everyone is invited to check out a few more items in the remaining months of the year. Storytime attendance has been lower than last year. I think more kids are in preschool and daycare, but that is only based on anecdotal evidence including talking to more moms who are working.

The Finnish Star take and makes were very popular, we handed out the 25 we received from ALS, photocopied the directions and handed out about 10 more with just directions. This month we have acrylic painting kits and they too are proving popular. We are also handing out solar eclipse glasses (and Libratory kits with glasses and a variety of other space activities for families) this month.

I attended the fall meeting of the Arrowhead Library System youth services employees. It was my first in-person meeting since Fall 2019 and there were lots of new faces. We had a summer reading idea meeting last winter, but they had to do the alternative weather date and I couldn’t make it. Most of the day was spent sharing ideas, troubleshooting (or at least discussing) issues like the decline in youth participation.

Board members are all invited to attend dementia friendly worksite training held by Koochiching Aging Options on Friday, November 3rd at 9am. Please let me know if you would like to attend.


Old Business: The quilt guild will display in November and December. I am looking for artists for 2024. I need to still reach out to Falls high school art teacher, Littlefork and community college art teachers and see if they have material that could be displayed. Storytime continues on Thursday mornings at 10:30, we will provide monthly Libratory (STEAM) bags with takeout activities for elementary students. The October take out craft for adults is an acrylic painting set. November takeout craft is a handwoven bookmark and December will be handmade toys to create. We have graphic memoirist Lynn Von Sien coming on Monday, October 23 at 6:30 pm to talk about her work and creating graphic memoirs. I’ll plan on doing a games day the third Saturday in November and we’ll do a Halloween mini beanie baby scavenger hunt on October 31.


Building Updates – I guess the step concrete has been coated with a sealant. I am being told work is coming. In fact, as I write this, there is hammering and pounding happening outside on the stairs. The shed is very close to completion, it will do fine over the winter as what is left is painting trim and installing shelving. I may still get to shelving, but have been focused on getting skis ordered.


The annual action plan quarterly review (a month late) showed that progress is being made on completing a variety of tasks. Bi-weekly visits to Headstart have begun again for the first time since spring of 2020. We need to work on contacts and collaboration with the school and teachers. Weeding of the junior room collections is happening – picture books had a quick pass through as we were completely out of room. We are looking for ways to get out into the community with the reminder that we are still here and have lots to offer. We will work on something for January with an emphasis on locals. It was suggested that maybe we provide RLMC, Essentia and the county health dept with coupons for a free book if people stop into the library.


We also continue to look at providing either some kind of monthly or annual reading challenge to encourage adults to get back to or start reading again and show community children that reading isn’t just a school activity.


The director is also looking at trying to implement some kind of community DROP (drop everything and read) program on April 12, 2024 which is Beverly Cleary’s birthday.


2024 budget – no update since our 20% cuts to non-personnel expenses request.


New Business: none



Next Friends of the Library book sale is Tuesday, November 7th from 4 pm – 6 pm.


What are you reading? –

What are you reading? – Paul is reading The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles, MaryJo finished The Wager by David Grann while Will is reading And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie and starting to read the Harry Potter series aloud with his wife. Dick is reading Traitor’s Gate by Jeffrey Archer and The Collector by Daniel Silva and recommends Coffee with Hitler by Charles Spicer, Mona just picked up The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick while Diane is reading City Under One Roof by Iris Yamashita and Maggie recommends Underground by Megan Marsnik about the 1915 strike and The First Ladies by Marie Benedict.


The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 8th, 4:30 pm


Meeting adjourned at 5:05 pm.

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