Library Board Meeting Minutes

September 25th, 2019

Harmony called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM.

Present were: Cynthia Bjorge, Chuck Finneman, Patty Werre, and Library Director, Harmony Higbie.

Patty motioned to approve the minutes of the last meeting. Chuck  2nd the motion. All in favor, motion carried.

Financial Statement: Harmony updated the board members of the financial statement through September of 2019. There is currently $10,000 on hand, with an additional $15,000 in savings through end of year. A book expenditure will be expected in the next few months, as new releases become available.

Patty motioned to approve financial statements, Chuck 2nd the motion.

Past Events: Astronaut Story time had a great turnout of 16 kids who attended.

Harmony recently requested feedback from parents to determine the best time to attend story time.  Upon receiving the feedback, story time was adjusted. However, the numbers were very low with only Harmony’s children and one other family that attended.

The Mango Languages class was very informative and received a lot of interest, however, again the numbers were low with only 3 individuals who attended the class. There were other events at that time that were taking place in town, Harmony would like to offer the class again in either November or December.

Dot Day had an acceptable turnout, with participation taking place after school.

Upcoming events: Story time will continue in the fall. Additionally, Harmony is looking to offer a class to the community regarding heating assistance.

2020 Census Update: The US Census bureau will be relying on libraries to help fill out census information. There will be 3 days that people can drop in for help filling out census information.

Hiring Committee Report: There were three individuals who were interviewed to replace Myra at the library; Paula Johnson, Shammy Rath, and Heather Phelps. After considering all applicants the committee came to the conclusion that Paula Johnson would be the best fit for the position. While all had equal computer skills, Paula’s schedule was the most accommodating. Myra will continue here position until her replacement begins.

Patty motioned to hire Paula for the position, Chuck 2nd. Harmony will be calling Paula in the morning to formally offer her the position. If she doesn’t accept, it was determined that the position would be advertised again.

VOX Books: Vox books are children’s books with recordings built in to them. Similar to the previous audio books that included a CD to read along with children. The cost is roughly $25 per book. It was decided that these would be revisited when Toni was able to attend a meeting, so we could get her opinion on them.

State Library Grant 3-D Printer Classes: The Hymnus Tree has a 3D printer but does not have the space to teach patrons how to download. Alisha will teach 3 classes at the library. The software for the program is free. Costs include advertising (3-week color ad for paper, plus facebook), 4 micros SD cards (32 GB for $7/each). Harmony would like to ofer 30- $10 gift cards to the Hymnus Tree. Harmony will also mention to Julie Driessen to invite her business class to attend. The library would be expected to evaluate the program, attendance and use. The total cost to the library would be about $100.

Anything else for good of group: The projector screen is beginning to fall apart. Harmony has priced out 2 separate screens, one at $150, the other at $250. The screen is used about once every month to 2 months. A new screen will be used for teaching classes as well as for story time.

Patty motioned to approve the purchase of the $250 projector screen, Chuck 2nd.

In the new year the library board will have to pass a deficit spending budget. It was decided that of the $10,000 donation from last year, Harmony would spend $3,000 this year on new books. It will be split 3 ways towards nonfiction, fiction, and children’s books.

Chuck motioned to approve the spending on said items, Patty 2nd.

Bookcases have arrived and are installed. Nonfiction tabs are also installed to aide in finding books for children.

Another meeting will take place prior to the end of the year to discuss Patron Confidentiality Policy.

Patty motioned to adjourn the meeting, Chuck 2nd. Meeting was adjourned at 6:30PM.

Submitted by Cynthia Bjorge

July 16, 2019

Harmony called the meeting to order at 6:10 PM.

Present were: Cynthia Bjorge, Toni Cottingham, Patty Werre, and Library Director, Harmony Higbie.

Patty motioned to approve the minutes of the last meeting. Toni 2nd the motion. All in favor, motion carried.

Harmony updated the board members of the financial statement through June of 2019. There is currently $16,785.37 on hand, with an additional $10,000 in a CD.  The library recently received a $500 grant from Great River Energy to be used for the summer reading program. A request was recently sent to NODAK for $400, there has not been a response yet.

The Summer Reading Events included decorating telescopes, drawing planets, and a video that showed the trajectory of the Apollo 11. There were 5 adults who attended the adult event, and about 46 kids and parents who have attended the story time events.

Harmony is looking into planning a bath bomb night. She would have an individual who sells them, show the children how to create their own. She’s thinking 5th grade and up, and it will be roughly $10 per person.

Another event would be Astronaut Story time. With this an astronaut would allow read a story to the kids. The kids would have choices as to which story is read to them.

The library has received their Narcan kit. There is a new first aid kit that will be moved to a different location, and the Narcan kit will be in a locked enclosure.

Again, the library has received a grant from GRE for $500, and submitted a request to NODAK for $400.

The county library 2020 budget has taken a big hit. The budget was cut in half. It was reduced to 2 mills, but should increase to 3 mills. There is no longer funding for imagination library. Riverdale had put aside enough funding for 40 kids, but only had 20 that participated. Harmony hopes to do a big push to get more kids involved in the imagination library. Additionally, they have put a cap on the amount allowed per library to $1300 per year for mileage and training. The library should receive $2,000 for branch services. Also, the value of the mill may increase by a small amount.

Harmony requested a budget of around $850 or so for new book shelves. She is looking to order the same shelves that the children’s books are currently on, from Demco. Toni motioned to approve the budget request. Cyndy 2nd it.

Stanton library just bought an outdoor movie kit, and Harmony will be checking into borrowing it. She would like to have a movie event at the park or golf course.

Myra was in the hospital last week. Harmony expressed that Myra may be deciding to quit soon, due to health concerns.

A copy of the North Dakota Library Coordinating Council Standard for Public Libraries was distributed to each of the board members. Within it Harmony had gone through the various goals, it was determined that there were a few areas that would need to be met in order to comply with the developing level. Goal D20 and D21, develop a confidentiality policy and update the current policies are areas that will be worked on. There is a standardized confidentiality agreement that Harmony will utilize to create a policy for the library. She hopes to maintain the developing level.

Toni had made a suggestion to look into an outdoor bingo event, corresponding with various neighboring towns. They could take turns hosting the event, where people stay in their vehicles and honk their horns as they get a bingo. Harmony will share the idea with other local communities to see whether it is something that interests them or not.

The moon rock event only had 3 adults in attendance. All were city employees. Harmony feels that the time of the event played a big role in the turn out.

Angie Nagle approached Harmony about restarting up the ”friends” group.

Patty motioned to adjourn the meeting. Toni 2nd. Meeting was adjourned at 6:40 PM.

Submitted by Cynthia Bjorge

March 19, 2019

Harmony called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM.

Present were: Cynthia Bjorge, Toni Cottingham, Charles Finneman (Chuck), Patty Were, and Library Director, Harmony Higbie.

Patty motioned to approve the minutes of the last meeting. Chuck 2nd the motion. All in favor, motion carried.

Harmony updated the board members on the financial statement through February 28, 2019. The library had previously received a $10,000 donation for books, with that amount there is $24,803.80. There is $14,000 cash on hand and $10,000 in a CD. A total of $15,972.38 has been spent thus far. There was a total of $8200.00 budgeted from the city. They have received $7300.00. There is also $3,000 in a nonfiction grant.

Chuck motioned to approve the budget. Toni 2nd the motion. Motion approved.

There was $4200 in tax revenue from the city. $3200 of that was spent on the paint project. Toni motioned to approve the financial statement. Patty 2nd.

Old Business-

Past events: Story time has been going well. There have been around 7 or more children attending each time. There was also a 3-D pen Teen night, with 7 teens in attendance. The teens were very interested in this, and many returned through out the week to complete their projects.

Upcoming events: The 3rd Tuesday in April will be the last story time for the spring. The 2nd week in April, Barb Moe will do a CPR/1st Aid Class. (Harmony will be reaching out to various businesses to see if there is an interest in attending.) Harmony would like to plan an Insta-pot class, and is reaching out to the state to see if this is something that they can do. She would like to see it involve healthy eating with Insta-pot or something similar. There was an abundance of interest in this class from the patrons.

Narcan Offer: Narcan is offering 2 free doses to have on hand to public libraries. The first dose takes roughly 4 minutes to see if it worked. If needed the 2nd dose would then be administered. Additional dosages cost roughly $200, and expire each year. It is suggested to have this placed in the hall inside a case with an alarm. There is currently first aid inside of the one in the hall, with the alarm disabled. It was suggested to see if the alarm was still functioning, and then purchase a second first aid kit to have available for elementary sports. Harmony will be looking into reinstating the alarm on the current first aid kit, otherwise the cost to replace is around $200. Motion to accept Narcan offer. Patty approved, Chuck 2nd.

Meeting Room Fees: There has not been a response, from the city, for the meeting room fees.

STEM Kit Grant Update: Harmony has not heard whether the library will receive the grant or not as of yet. She was informed that she should receive a response any time after February 28th.

Finished Paint Project: Tom Rupp quoted $1100 plus cost of paint. The quote included 5 gallons white and 2 gallons of color. When purchasing the paint Tom felt that it required 10 gallons of white and 3 gallons of color. He used 6 gallons of white and 1 gallon of color. The city will be using the white gallons of paint to update the gym in city hall. Tom did a great job covering the cracks, but was a little difficult to work with. The cost for paint was $425, bringing the total to $1525.

New Business-

Year End Statistics: Harmony supplied the year end statistics. Notably there was a decrease in attendance of events from the previous year. Harmony felt that was due to eclipse event that had around 200 participants in 2017. Otherwise computer users have decreased, audio-visual has increased, and children’s nonfiction has almost doubled.

Website Upgrade: Harmony mentioned that the free website that the library has, includes ads that may be considered racy. There is an upgraded option for $4 a month to remove ads. She proposed that the library go with the upgraded website. Patty motioned to approve, Toni 2nd.

Summer Reading Program-GRE Grant: The Summer reading program will kick off on May 17th. It will include a number of events, including: egg drop challenge, inflatable planetarium, solar flare in bucket, and reading books about the sun. June 11th will be moon day, with moon rocks present. There will be experiments with varying materials, dropping rocks to create craters. This is from a kit from the state library. June 14th will be the first story time for the summer, with a story about rockets. June 18th is telescope day, working with paper Mache planets. June 26th is constellation and stars day.

Harmony will be reaching out to Tania Eichhorst to see about doing a gummy bear DNA for a possible Teen event. Melissa Harr was another suggestion to possibly create bath bombs. Don Hoff was a suggestion for an adult themed class. He could potentially discuss the space program and share his story. Another option for adult education was a Marie Kondo “space-cleaning out” class. Harmony is also contemplating a space themed book for book club.

Harmony stated that she will be reaching out to GRE to apply for a grant from them, to help cover cost of various items (planetarium, etc.). Patty suggested to increase the asking amount to $1,000.

Additional Information: There is a state library grant that Harmony will be applying for, tat she would like to use to replace the computer and screens. She would also like to replace the staff computer monitor with one that offers a webcam, so that she can participate in video conferences.

Harmony will be having surgery on March 26th. She anticipates being absent for around a week.

Myra has figured out how to enlarge the print on the computer screen, this allows her to see much better. She no longer checks books out to the wrong patron. Additionally, she may be needing knee surgery.

Patty motioned to adjourn the meeting. Toni 2nd. Meeting was adjourned at 6:52 PM.

Submitted by Cynthia Bjorge

October 25, 2018

Harmony called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM.

Present were: Cynthia Bjorge, Toni Cottingham, Patty Werre, and Library Director, Harmony Higbie.

Patty motioned to approve the minutes of the last meeting, Cynthia 2nd the motion. All in favor, motion carried.

Toni Cottingham was welcomed to the board. She was given an overview of the library board responsibilities and financial statements.

The board members were updated on the financial statement through October 25, 2018. The generous donation of $10,000 that was given to the library, has not been used yet. To date the library has $14,600 that it has taken in. There is roughly $4,000 left to use through the end of the year, if needed, not including the $10,000 donation.

Old Business-

The strategic plan was reviewed. Goal 2, objective 3 has yet to be reviewed. Goal 3, objective 1 will be implemented. The staff needs to recertify their CPR and First Aid training. They will offer to the community as well. Harmony will contact Barb Moe to plan an event. Goal 4, objective 2 is currently taking place. A schedule has been created, an this will be an ongoing event. Goal 4, objective 3 needs to be updated. A motion to approve the operative plan by Patty and 2nd by Tony. All in favor, motion carried.

Harmony mentioned that Myra will need some additional technology training.

Past Events-

  • There has been slower attendance for story time. About 5 kids attended the last story time event.
  • Teen music trivia night was a fun event, but also had a small attendance, with 5 kids and 5 adults. Harmony mentioned that the date may have affected the turn out, as many kids were gone at camp.
  • Mark Halvorsen hosted a North Dakota history lecture. It was very informative. There were 14 adults present.
  • Moon night was a great success, with 19 people attending. Harmony was unable to operate the telescope she had borrowed. However, another family had brought theirs and everyone was able to look at the moon and see some great images. They made phases of the moon with oreos. There was a lot of cooperative learning. They were able to make eclipses, and view the topography of the moon with craters.
  • Water Color night sold out, there were 12 spots available. More people have inquired about doing this event. It was a great experience for adult education night.

Upcoming Events-

  • Story time will follow an animal theme. Showcasing animals from various regions, (ocean, arctic, desert, and so on).
  • A teen event has not been completed yet.
  • WRT will do tech training next week on new streaming.

Painting quotes are coming in. Kelly V. has a quote of roughly $500-$600. At the time of this meeting, the quote from Tom R. has not been received. They believe it will take approximately 10 gallons to paint the library. There are 2 spots that have moisture and are removing the texture of the wall, near the window.

It was decided to have the city commission determine the meeting room fees for the library. Any funds received from renting the library space will go directly to the city.

New Business-

Debbie was able to remove spots in the carpet that were concerning. Harmony doesn’t feel that it is necessary to hire a carpet cleaner to come in at this time.

Harmony is interested in obtaining STEM kits to offer to community members for teen night. She will continue to research the various options.

Angie Nagle provided a collection development recommendation to the library for teen interests. She offered many recommendations to update the teen section, all of the recommendations would cost roughly $1600 to purchase. Harmony will be emailing the report that Angie gave her to the board members to look through.

Myra’s health was brought to the attention of the board members. Specifically, Myra has been having some issues with sight that are beginning to affect her work. At this time Myra is considering retiring. Harmony will continue to evaluate the issue and notify the board if it becomes an ongoing concern.

There is a professional engineering organization that is providing funding for libraries to offer STEM kits to their patrons for checkout. Harmony will be pursuing the grant. If approved for grant, she will affix the cost of replacement to each kit.

Patty motioned to adjorn the meeting, Tony 2nd. Meeting adjourned at 6:40 PM.

Submitted by Cynthia Bjorge

July 25, 2018

Harmony called the meeting to order at 6:05 PM.

Present were: Cynthia Bjorge, Charles Finneman (Chuck), Patty Were and Library Director, Harmony Higbie.

Chuck motioned to approve the minutes of the last meeting. Patty 2nd the motion. All in favor, motion carried.

Harmony updated the board members on the financial statement through July 25, 2018. The library had previously received a $10,000 donation for books, with that amount there is $23,505.58. A total of $9,590.00 has been spent thus far. The library will have $4,000 available through the end of the year without counting the $10,000 donation. The library earned around $200 between May and June, mostly from book sales.

Old Business-

Past events: The library hosted a Mozart play which had an attendance of about 20 people. Harmony felt this was not a good turnout. The kids did enjoy the event.  Story times have been packed at the library with around 35 to 40 people each time.

Upcoming events: Teen Music Trivia & Lip Sync Battle will take place tomorrow from 6-7:30 PM for 4th -12th graders. Harmony has also been brainstorming ideas for Fall Story times. She is currently leaning towards a theme which will cover various holidays.

Library Vision 2020 Non-fiction Grant: The library has currently spent all of the money allocated from the grant and received compensation. An extension has been granted to complete the reports that are required. Presently they need to finish cataloging the non-fiction. There are about 2 piles of kid non-fiction left to place on the shelves.

Painting: A bid from Kelly V was received with her estimating a cost of around $700/not including the cost of paint. They are waiting for a quote from Tom R. The goal is to have freshly painted walls in 2019, with around $1000 budgeted to cover the cost.

2019 Budget Request: The city will only be able to provide max mills to forward onto the library.

Adult Ed. Class Ideas: A request from patron Deeann Miller was received to see more adult ed and enrichment classes for individuals who are not able to travel. Harmony sought a local artist to possibly offer a class. Potential classes would be either watercolor for $20/person or acrylic pour for $30/person. A Facebook survey received 9 votes for acrylic pour and 15 for watercolor. Patty suggested asking the Art Council if they would be willing to help with the class to possibly alleviate some of the cost. They are also looking for speakers (professors) to come in and offer informative lectures.

Auto-Renew Option: The new checkout software will be available in a few months. With this patron’s items will automatically be renewed. Unfortunately, this will result in a loss of fees. However, it will be time saving and efficient for the library staff as it will eliminate the reminder calls to patrons whose books are overdue. It was decided that they would opt to have the software auto renew only one time for the items checked out.

Library Board Member Resignation: Christine McEwen had to resign from her board position, due to personal reasons. Therefore, we are looking to fill her position. Suggestions of Rachel, Vanessa M., and Clarissa K. were given; with Harmony hoping for a young mom to fill the role.

Meeting Room Fees: Harmony checked into the Bismarck Public Library’s charges for meeting rooms. The large rooms are rented at $20 for up to 4 hours. The smaller rooms are rented for $10. They also offer study rooms that are free. Reservations can be made in advance. They are considering requiring a cost for non-library hours, and no charge during library hours. Regular users include the book club and bible study group. It was decided that groups that are part of library use will not be charged (ie: book club, story time). Harmony will request information from the city office to help determine the amount to charge for use of the library. She will also develop a rough policy.

Harmony was just contacted by the State Library. They have applied for a federal grant to get faster broadband internet. They did receive this grant, and the library will soon leave WRT and convert to Dakota Carrier Network for internet service. WRT will continue to offer their phone service. The city will be getting their own Wi-Fi. This will save around $15/month. With the new Wi-Fi service, they will have the ability to allow up to 1000 people to access it at a time.


Meeting was adjourned at 6:40 PM.

Submitted by Cynthia Bjorge

To read older minutes, please contact the library 701-442-3441 or