Library Board of Trustee Meeting Minutes – December 13, 2023

International Falls Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes

December 13th, 2023

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

Meeting was called to order at 4:30 pm by Peterson.


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


Bills – Winkel moved and Weaver seconded to approve December 2023 bills. All approved.


Director’s Report – November circulation was slightly higher than 2022, we are still 1% below year-to-date for physical items, but with digital items included are 1% above 2022 to date. Storytime continues to be up and down, had over 20 in attendance including two new families a week ago and then barely had 10 this week.

Skis are processed and ready to loan once we get snow. Polar Polers are excited as well and will help spread the word. They applied an initial coat of wax on the waxless skis as they said it will help them work better initially. I am still hopeful the ‘learn to…’ kits can be ordered before the end of the year. Olivia is hoping to do color changing playdough as the January libratory kit, so we’ll need to order some supplies for that so should be doable.

Haven’t heard any word on 2024 programming from ALS. I met with the new legacy coordinator, Leah Ryan on December 1 and heard her ideas, she got to see our space and what we can provide. She is hoping to work with the tribes and provide some culturally appropriate native programming. We will be doing a variety of things for Icebox Days. (meeting with Shannon Arnold on Friday afternoon about options and what they would like to include).

I have been working with the coordinator of a program called Think Small, based in Minneapolis, that works on educating parents and daycare providers about the importance of early childhood play and education. She has provided me with the NE Minnesota coordinators of Child Care Aware Wayfinder Navigators, who provide education to daycare providers. I am hoping to be able to talk to area daycare providers about what we offer, what their needs are and the importance of communication with young children in optimizing brain development.

CareerForce had a difficult time staffing the library regularly in November and has figured out a way to have drop-in hours at Ballan’s iSpace so they will no longer have regular hours here. I am hoping that we can figure out a way to maybe have them here monthly for a couple of hours.


Old Business: The final Storytime of 2023 is Thursday morning December 14th. We provide monthly Libratory (STEAM) bags with takeout activities for elementary students. December takeout craft is handmade toys to create.


Building Updates – Steps are basically done. Scaffolding was removed this week. They will need to come in and acid wash the steps in the spring once the weather has warmed. Landscaping will still need to be done in 2024.


No additional word on the 2024 budget after being asked to cut 20% from non-personnel budget in September.


New Business: Darrell Schmidt made a $25 donation in memory of Charles Carlson, Onida Kocinski’s father. Move by Weaver with second by Horning to accept the donation. All approved.


The director presented the proposed pay rates for staff in 2024. These rates were talked about during the budget discussion in July and have personnel department approval and are in line with the pay equity study that was completed this year. Frank moved to accept the proposed staff pay rates for 2024 and Johnson seconded. All approved. Nevanen will sign letter to the city administrator regarding 2024 pay rates for staff when he returns.


Next Friends of the Library book sale is Monday, January 8th from 4 pm – 6 pm.


What are you reading? – Maggie just picked up The Personal Librarian and The First Ladies by Marie Benedict, while Dick continues to alternate between fiction and non-fiction with The Soldier’s Truth by David Chrisinger about WWII journalist Ernie Pyle and he just picked up The River We Remember by William Kent Krueger. Will has been reading the NYT a lot and struggling to find time to read Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with his wife while Heather continues to read The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. Mona just picked up No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by David McCall Smith and MaryJo finished America the Beautiful? By Blythe Roberson and wasn’t sure if she recommended it or not. Diane finished Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir and was reading the very long Winterlight by Kristen Brittain part of the Green Rider series.


The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 10th, 4:30 pm


Meeting adjourned at 5:00 pm.

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