Library Board Meeting Minutes

March 1, 2016


Harmony called the meeting of the Underwood Public Library Board of Trustees to order at 5:40 pm.


Present were: Sara Jacobson, Patricia Aldinger, Charles Finneman and Library Director Harmony Higbie.


Pat moved to approve the minutes of the October 2015 meeting. Motion seconded by Sara. Motion passed.


Harmony informed the Library Board members of the latest financial statement. The library exceeded its revenue for the year by $177.56. Harmony checked with the city auditor to see if a deficit spending memo was needed from the board. Diane Schell reported that this was not necessary since we did not receive 100% of the revenue that the budget called for.


Old business-

Charles Finneman was welcomed to the board. He is filling the first term of Stephanie Traphagan who moved away from the community.


The board reviewed the first draft of the strategic plan for the Underwood Public Library. Few changes were made apart from some terminology changes. The board did discuss whether an emergency plan was necessary for the library to have. The board decided to consider the need until next meeting. In the meantime, Harmony would edit the plan and send it to the library’s Library Development Specialist at the N.D. State Library for review.


Harmony reported on some past events that the library held. A teen Hunger Games Movie Trivia Night had somewhat small attendance, but participants had a great time. The Christmas Carol Play presented by the Traveling Lantern Theatre Company was a great success. 51 people of all ages attended play at 4:30 on a Tuesday. Story times have had strong attendance. Two of the local day cares have been instrumental in getting kids to story time. Lego Night also had great attendance. The children and parents especially loved the Lego mini-figure zip line the librarians set up.


In upcoming events, Harmony reported that the library has been granted three book discussions to be led by North Dakota college professors. The Northern Plains Heritage Foundation and the NDSU Center for Heritage Renewal are funding the project and setting up the speakers. Harmony presented a request from the ladies Bible Study group from Augustana Lutheran Church. The women would like to use the library’s movie license to show the film “War Room” which advocates for Christianity and prayer. They would like to make the film a public viewing. The group was not interested in presenting a gospel presentation or an invitation to church. The board was comfortable with those parameters and voted to host the film.


Personnel Update: the library has begun to run into some staffing issues due to staff illness. In particular one staff member is scheduled for a vacation in June while the other has a family member scheduled for surgery. Harmony proposed hiring and training a back-up person who can fill in for the current staff members. Charles suggested Harmony contact the school librarian since the school is in our consortium. Harmony agreed to reach out to the school librarian.



New business-


The Summer Reading Program for the year is: “On your mark, get set,..READ”! The theme focuses on sports and healthy lifestyle. Harmony has scheduled the kick-off party for Friday, May 20th at Pool Side Park (weather permitting). The 4-H extension service is going to lead the kids in making a healthy snack and the Northern Expressions Arts Council has been contacted about running a station (possibly dance or improvisational acting).


The library is in need of purchasing new cards. Harmony showed the board two options. A less expensive price for 250 cards (higher cost per card) or a more expensive price tag for 500 cards (lower price per card). Charles moved that the library purchase the 250 cards. Motion was seconded by Sara. The motion passed.


The library is applying to the Underwood Beautification Day Committee to have the interior of library painted using Beautification Day Funds. The Committee has never funded an interior project before, but the city’s economic developer is optimistic that the project will get funded since it is a community space.


Both item circulation and library attendance numbers are up for the first time in the last four years. 503 more items were checked out from the Underwood Library than the previous year. The library staff interacted with 313 more people this year than the previous.


Statistics pertaining to the library’s website performance were also shared. The website is encountering increased traffic.



Sara motioned to adjourn. Charles seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 6:50PM


October 29, 2015


Harmony called the meeting of the Underwood Public Library Board of Trustees to order at 4:10 pm.


Present were: Sara Jacobson, Stephanie Traphagan, Patricia Aldinger, Cynthia Carrillo and Library Director Harmony Higbie.


Pat moved to approve the minutes of the June 2015 meeting. Motion seconded by Stephanie. Motion passed.


Harmony informed the Library Board members of the latest financial statement. The library currently has over $2,500.00 in income that is available to be spent for the year. The library has purchased some red-along books with cds and leveled readers. Harmony is considering purchasing a smaller table for the children’s section. Board members encouraged her to reach out to the community see if there is a suitable table available.


Old business-

Harmony reported that new mini-blinds have been purchased and installed in the library and council room. The library paid for the blinds in the library.


The city hall staff all need to be re-certified in CPR and AED. Harmony has not yet found someone to do that training. Sara suggested Harmony contact Barb Moe from Washburn.


The library reviewed the Mission and vision statement of the library. Sara moved to strike the phrase “The Underwood Public Library and staff” from #4. The motion was seconded by Pat. Motion passed unanimously.

The group reviewed the SWOT list from the previous meeting and developed overarching goals for the strategic plan. The goals identified by the group included 1) Improved services for the public, 2) Keeping current with technology to assist patrons, 3) Become a resource to the community in times of trouble, 4) Review and develop schedules to facilitate State Standards. Harmony will develop the wording for the goals and present them at the next meeting.


Imagination Library registrations for the Underwood school district is up to 39 kids. 10 kids have aged out of the program. The McLean-Mercer Regional Library is considering funding $20 of the $25/year cost per child. North American Coal has committed to funding an additional $250.00/year for another 3 years.


New business-


There have been several events over the past couple months. Coloring Book Night was not widely attended, but the children and adults that did attend enjoyed it. The kids especially enjoyed the coloring pages that were animated using the library’s iPad. A monthly story time has been revived with the addition of several new families in Underwood. There has been wonderful attendance at the events. The ND State Library brought three staff members out to scan photos into the Digital Horizons Database (ND & MN history). Only three individuals brought photos and documents, but they kept the staff members busy for most of the allotted 3.5 hours. The library, in conjunction with the Northern Expressions Arts Council, showed the movie Carrie (1979) as part of the Go Loco for Local Chili Cook-off. The hope was to get many of the 17-30 year-old crowd to attend. Only junior high students and their parents attended. Although there were no complaints, the movie really was not appropriate for that audience. Harmony will be sure to preview movies before they are shown.


There are two upcoming events. November 13th, the library will be hosting a Hunger Games Movie Trivia and Nerf Shooting Gallery. Harmony had hoped to partner with the Washburn 4-H archery club for the event, but was unable to get support from the club leader. A two-person show of “A Christmas Carol” is being sponsored by the Underwood Library and arts council. Charity Balyeat will also read her newest novel and do a book signing during the event.


A women’s Bible study has been using the library for a meeting place on Mondays during closed hours. The group has a member with a disability and needs an ADA compliant space in order to attend. The library is the only open space when the City Council is meeting on Mondays. The city wants to know if the library would like to charge for use of the library. The board decided they would not charge since the library has never charged to use the space when other groups needed it due to the council room being booked.


Library Assistant Myra Rasmusson has been undergoing treatment for her illness. Harmony has been working the extra hours, but has had to close the library occasionally. The community has been very understanding and there have been no complaints.


After the community has endured several wind storms this summer/fall, Harmony would like to develop a disaster plan as part of the library’s strategic plan. She would like to have increased hours in times of community need and see how the library can fit into the city’s emergency plan.

Stephanie announced that she would be moving out of the community and would have to resign her position on the board.


Stephanie motioned to adjourn. Cynthia seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 5:05PM

Respectfully submitted by,

Harmony Higbie

Library Director


November 20, 2014


Harmony called the meeting of the Underwood Public Library Board of Trustees to order at 4:10 pm.


Present were: Sara Jacobson, Mic Johnson, Stephanie Traphagan, Patricia Aldinger and Library Director Harmony Higbie.


Mic moved to approve the minutes of the June 2014 meeting. Motion seconded by Pat. Motion passed.


Harmony informed the Library Board members of the latest financial statement. The library is currently $1,963.56 over budget, largely due to the carpeting and redecorating project. The library has $4,245.99 in savings and an additional $10,000.00 in a cd. Diane has advised Harmony that the board may want to do some additional deficit spending in order to prevent the savings to get too large. Mic praised the hard work of staff members Myra and Harmony during the carpeting project. He motioned to give Harmony a financial bonus of $1,200.00 for her 7 years of service and Myra $1,000.00 for her almost 5 years of service. The motion was seconded by Sara. The motion passed unanimously.


Pat motioned that the board draft an approval of up to $5,000.00 in deficit spending for the 2014 fiscal year. Mic seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.


Harmony reported that the carpeting project went pretty smoothly and TJ Flooring in Turtle Lake was great to work with.

The Summer Reading Program activities were attended by 180 children and parents. Staff training for the 2015 Summer Reading Program will take place this winter, sponsored by the ND State Library.


Harmony asked the group for ideas for spending the $3,000.00 in branch services money that will be available from the McLean-Mercer Regional Library in 2015. The group suggested paying for new blinds in the library, if the city will not cover the cost. Harmony will follow up with city auditor Diane Schell regarding the city’s plan for new blinds. The board would like to spend $1,000.00 to update the Junior Nonfiction section. The list concluded with the desire to purchase a rug for the high traffic area in the children’s section of the library.


Harmony reported that the Underwood Adult Book Club has decided to stop meeting in the winter, but add Summer meeting time. There has been great interest and participation by snowbirds in the last two years. The group will meet from April to November.


The library staff is planning to bring story and craft times to the local daycares this winter. They will visit 1 daycare per month from December to March.


The library will be partnering with the Underwood Preschool to plan a Preschool Prom on Valentine’s Day. Kids age birth to 5 years will be invited to attend the library for some Valentine’s Day stories and dance party. Kids will be invited to dress up and they will have their pictures taken by staff members. Volunteers will be needed for this event. The time will be worked out with the preschool teacher so that her students can attend.


The ND State Library is offering Little Bits Kits for libraries to borrow for programing. The Underwood Public Library has signed up to have the kits for 6 weeks, beginning January 5th. The kit teaches kids (ages 9 and up) basic circuitry and electronics principals. It also supports STEM (Science, Technology, Electronics and Math) education. Harmony will recruit a 3rd grader to test out the products before deciding how to put together programing for the kit. Sara suggested incorporating it into a Lego Night.


The meeting was adjourned at 4:50PM

Respectfully submitted by,


Harmony Higbie

Library Director


June 10, 2014


Harmony called the meeting of the Underwood Public Library Board of Trustees to order at 4:10 pm.


Present were: Sara Jacobson, Mic Johnson, Ruth McKelvey, Patricia Aldinger and Library Director Harmony Higbie.


Mic moved to approve the minutes of the February 2014 meeting. Motion seconded by Ruth. Motion passed.


Harmony reported that the ND State Library standards have been altered in response to the feedback received from library staff and trustees. The library will should easily be able to meet the requirements. The standards will take effect July 2017.


The Friends of the Underwood Public Library has decided to disband and donate the money in the account to the library. The former members request that the funds be used to cover costs of the summer reading program and carpet project.

The carpeting project is ready to move forward now that funding has been secured from the McLean-Mercer Regional Library and the Friends group. Mic estimates that the project will cost approximately $5,000.00. Harmony will get quotes for carpet from Wagon Wheel in Washburn and Carpet Garage in Bismarck. Harmony and Myra will recruit helpers to assist in moving books. Diane Schell has given the library permission to move books and furniture to the council room.


The Summer Reading Program has just started. The Kick-off concert and events had about 60 attendees. Laura Blotske donated her time to take “Geek pictures” for the “Geek the Library Program” during the event. Story and experiment time will start July 8th. Sara will help during the first week. The library will celebrate Batman’s 75th birthday on Friday, Jul 26th during library hours. Pat will help with the event.


Ruth’s term in expiring in July. Replacement board member suggestions included: Judy Schauer and Danielle Levey.


The meeting was adjourned at 5:15PM

Respectfully submitted by,


Harmony Higbie

Library Director