Library Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes – January 10, 2024

International Falls Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes

January 10th, 2024

Present: Diane Adams – Library Director, Mona Johnson, William Frank, Heather Weaver, Maggie Horning, Paul Nevanen and guest Amber Hemstad.

Meeting was called to order at 4:25 pm by Nevanen.


Minutes – Johnson moved and Horning seconded to approve the December 2023 minutes. All approved.


Bills – Frank moved and Weaver seconded to approve the January 2024 bills. All approved.


Director’s Report – We ended 2023 1% below 2022 numbers for physical items but 2% above 2022 when we include digital checkouts. Program attendance was all over the map last year. We had some success in a return to physical programming as opposed to takeout or digital programming, but nothing like we used to see. We also created 35 more cards, a 9% increase over 2022.


Old Business: January will bring a return to regular programming with storytime on Thursday mornings at 10:30 (it was suggested that the library consider Saturday storytimes) and class visits (I go to Headstart, St. Thomas students come to the library) alternating Tuesday mornings with the crafting group which had 6 in attendance on January 2. Icebox days is running from January 19 – 28 and we are working with 3rd Street businesses to post the Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats in windows for a story stroll downtown. We are also offering a Wee Little Library scavenger hunt. Any family that can find all eight of the wee libraries can get Chamber dollars. I will give them to the Headstart teachers when I visit on January 9th and ask them to give the information to their families. Anyone can stop in the library between the 19th – 28th and pick up a form to fill out and return to the library for Chamber Dollars.

We are working with the schools again on a Winter Reading challenge. Ten elementary classes are being challenged to read for at least 60 of 70 days, finishers will get a prize. Five 6th – 8th grade classes are being challenged to be the class that reads the most over the first 60 days of the year. The class that wins will get a pizza party. We have a few reading logs available in the library if additional people want to read (we’ve had a couple of parents pick up the logs for children not participating through school and they want all their kids to do it).

I put together a 2024 reading challenge that is getting a bit of a buzz. Read/listen to 26 books in 2024 that each relate somehow to a different letter of the alphabet. All ages can participate and finishers will get Chamber dollars.


New Business: The director didn’t realize that Nevanen officially completed his third three-year term in December so the board will need a new board member. Board agreed to have the director email Molly Pavleck, Sasha Moss, Laura Zika and Michelle Misner and see if one of them is interested and available to serve on the board and complete the application.


Amber Hemstad, the new Friends of the Library president talked about next steps for the group and looked for suggestions of activities to support. Her focus will be on promoting the library. Next Friends of the Library book sale is Wednesday, February 7th from 5 – 7 pm.


What are you reading? – Will is reading Napoleon: a life by Andrew Roberts and for laughs is adding some George Carlin while Paul is reading Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley and borrowed the debut work of Bruce Borgos The Bitter Past. Amber shared she just borrowed The First Ladies by Marie Benedict, Heather is reading Rembrandt is in the Wind: learning to love art through the eyes of faith by Russ Ramsey, Maggie is reading The Country of the Blind by Andrew Leland, Mona is reading When Evil Finds Us by Linda White and Diane is trying to tackle Imagine: how creativity works by Jonah Lehrer.


The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 14th, 4:30 pm


Meeting adjourned at 5:10 pm.

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