Blue Earth Community Library

Library Board Minutes

January 12, 2016 - 4:35 pm


Members present: John Huisman, Wilma Bittinger, Cindy Lyon, Ruth McNerney, Director Eva Gaydon and City Administrator Tim Ibisch.


Meeting called to order at 4:35 by President John H.


Minutes:  November 2015 minutes were reviewed and approved.

Bills:  November/December 2015 expense report reviewed and approved

Director’s Report:


1)   Eva's January Director's report included an update on the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program which will launch in 2016.  Brochures were displayed and the book bags for the program were ordered with a $250 Thrivent grant through the Blue Earth Community Library FOL.  Books from Scholastic have been ordered from donations.

2)  BEA Reads kicks off this spring with the book The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien/ 

3)   Eva is teaching an eBook/reader and self-publishing class again this year through BEA Community ED.  Enjoy Your E-Reader is Wednesday, January 20th at 6:30 pm and Self-Publishing--How To! is Wednesday April 13th at 6:30

4)   In February, the library will virtualize the patron computers.  This allows installation and updates to be performed from one computer and "pushed" to the patron computers. 

5)   Oct./Nov./Dec. 2015 Stats:










Users added




Items Added




Items cataloged at TDS




Overdrive Checkouts




Zinio checkouts





6)  Friends of the Library:

      The Friends of the Library are planning a Valentines Day Tea on Saturday, February 13th, 2016 from 10 am to 12 noon. 

7)   Teen Advisory Board (T.A.B.)

      November-Discussion of activities T.A.B. can do as a group for the library.  Homework help,

      Played Board Game.

      December-Made gingerbread houses and sock snowmen, voted on the TDS list for Battle of the Books submitted to Eva.  Discussed Summer Reading Program theme ideas, made plan for cooking class.

8)   Rotation Delivery:  Frost has a new volunteer and is open throughout the winter.  Bricelyn received a new computer

9)   Traverse Des Sioux:  The newly hired Automation Coordinator resigned from TDS.  The Head Cataloger at TDS resigned from TDS.  There have been many questions raised at the directors meetings how staff changes will affect ongoing issues with the automation system and the back log in cataloging. 



Old Business:

1)   Eva, Tim and the staff continue to work on staffing issues.  There was some mention of staff being uneasy working at night alone and the consideration of installing a panic button was discussed.  Eva obtained an estimate from Bevcomm to install a panic button but the board felt it was very expensive considering the value ($974.00 to install plus $20.00/month).  Eva noted that there are several telephones within easy reach of the staff and she will inform them of the most effective way to make a 911 call should they feel endangered. 

   Tim also sent a memo to the staff regarding rising staff hours as well as some complaints about changes to the number of hours each staff member is expected to work.  Tim noted that staffing hours can be changed as budget and usage of the library require and no one was guaranteed a certain number of hours.  He also stated that the city and the library director "reserve the right to alter staff hours as necessary to provide full and complete staff coverage."  The staff was also reminded that when issues arise, they should be dealt with at the lowest supervisory level possible -- first between conflicting staff, then the Library Director, followed if necessary by the City Administrator who then may or may not chose to take it to the Library Board and/or City Council.


New Business:

1)   Officers for the library board were nominated and elected on a voice vote.  Officers for the 2016 year will be Chairperson: John Huisman, Vice-Chairperson: Cindy Lyon, Secretary: Wilma Bittinger

2)   It was noted that the board again needs to add new members to its roster. 

3)   Eva shared the survey she had the staff take regarding number of patrons using the library at various times of day and week. The board agreed that the numbers did not warrant any change in hours the library is open.  Eva also shared the result of her poll of several MN libraries of similar size to Blue Earth regarding budget and hours. 

4)   The board reviewed some of the options the Friends of the Library are considering for remodeling the Community Room to increase its usefulness.  Board members were invited to take a copy of the floor plan home and add their ideas to the lay-out. 


Motion to adjourn at 5:15.  Next meeting will  be March 14, 2016


Respectfully submitted



Wilma Bittinger, Secretary