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Santa Rosa Library Advisory Board Regular Meeting

Sonoma County Library
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
7:00 pm
Meeting Held via Zoom

In attendance:  Library Advisory Board Chair Sarah Laggos, LAB Member Thaiane Hensch, LAB member Bruce Hartman LAB Member Cynthia Denenholz, LAB member Noah Harris, Youth Member Lily Amaturo, Youth member Christine Bell, Ex-Officio members:  Northwest Library Branch Manager Lara Mayelian, Rincon Library Branch Manager Bill Coolidge, Central Library and Roseland Community Library Branch Manager Kate Keaton, Friends of the Santa Rosa Libraries President Sarah Swearingen, Public Services Division Manager Lana Adlawan, LAB Library Commissioner Karen Schneider, Library Commission Chair (as of 8/3/20) Deborah Doyle

  1. CALL TO ORDER:  7:00pm
  2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF January 29, 2020
    The minutes were approved.
    Terry Graham attended the meeting as a guest and to learn about how the LAB works.
    Noah Harris, new LAB member, introduced himself and shared his background.
    Sarah Laggos shared that this would be an informal meeting and a chance for LAB members to share an update of the last 137 days and find out ways to help the Library now.
    Reports and updates on library governance, management, programs, services and support group activities as well as City Council matters. All items are for discussion only.

7.1 Youth Members’ Report
Lily reported on the project “Diversify Our Narrative” (website: https://www.diversifyournarrative.com).  The mission of this project is to diversify what high school students in California are reading with an aim to spark discussion.  Over 38,000 signatures of supporters have been collected at this site and there are chapters both locally and nationally.  (When Lily told the LAB about this, she said that there were 35,000 signatures. Many more people have signed the petition since then). Lily’s twin sister, who also attends Sonoma Academy, is leading a chapter in Sonoma County. Lara offered to help the chapter find appropriate books for the project. 

Both Lily and Christine also report that they are doing well and have stayed busy with school work during the Shelter in Place time.

      7.2 Friends of the Santa Rosa Libraries Report
Sarah reported that the Friends Board met in May and will meet again in September via Zoom. The Friends group is looking at the future and how operations will be changing.  For now, the Friends are not accepting donations and would look into     
      quarantining materials as the Library is now doing once donations are accepted. Sarah also shared that the thirty faithful volunteers who had been volunteering weekly prior to the SIP are still quarantining themselves, remaining in contact with each
      other, and staying safe and healthy.

7.3 Library Commissioners Report
Karen Schneider reported that she is attending Commission meetings including the Director evaluation committee meetings. She appreciates the leadership at the library and the work that the staff are doing. She also appreciates the pivoting that the library has been doing as we explore new ways to serve the public. Deborah Doyle introduced herself as the new chair of the Library Commission. She is attending many of the LAB meetings to introduce herself and check in with all.

       7.4 Library Director’s Report
Division Manager Lana Adlawan provided the report since the Director was unable to attend.  Lana reported that the Santa Rosa Libraries provided 5000 Curbside pick-ups in July. And, in our first week of accepting returns, the Library system returned 11,500 items. (Later in the meeting, Lana shared that there are currently 168,000 items checked out.)  Roseland had received a commitment of $150,000 a year for this fiscal year, 2020/2021 from the City of Santa Rosa to go toward the lease at the temporary Roseland site. 
       Also, there will be a City Council meeting on August 3rd to discuss how PG&E fire funds might be used.  We are hoping that some will go toward a permanent Roseland Library.  The Downtown Santa Rosa Draft Plan (https://www.plandowntownsr.com) is now available and the City of Santa Rosa is gathering public comment on this plan. The City hopes to vote on the plan in the Fall and start moving ahead. The Draft Plan has lots of positive mentions of the
       Central Library

Sarah Laggos asked about staff morale and all staff present shared how that was going at the various locations as the Library balances service to the community with safety for the community and staff.

Sarah Swearingen asked how library returns were going and Bill Coolidge reported that there were long lines of people at his branch each Friday. He added that people really want to bring back their materials. And there was a lot of anxiety among his staff about accepting returns.

LAB members also asked about the Strategic Plan. Lana said that the library was planning on moving forward. More community outreach is needed so that the library can get a more diverse view.  Deborah Doyle added that some of our major goals have changed due to our current situation and that the Commission is reviewing goals set earlier in the year to be sure that they remain relevant..  All are aware of the radical changes in our community today. Terry asked how people can participate and Deborah said to watch for information coming out from the library branches and on the library website as well as keeping in touch with commissioners. Karen Schneider said that re-engagement with the community will feel good for all and the LAB has a role as the voice of the community.

7.5 Feedback to Branch Managers’ Reports
LAB members thanked the branches for their reports. Sarah Laggos mentioned her appreciation for the virtual programming and her daughter has been enjoying Betsy’s story times. Bill added that staff was learning how to do things in a whole new way.

Bruce shared his appreciation for the new format of the Branch Managers’ reports. 

      7.6 City Council Liaison Report
There was no report

    Cynthia shared her appreciation for the virtual book club where the title Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad was discussed.  She encouraged the library to increase the number of people attending.
    No items.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 pm

Next meeting: Wednesday, September 30 at 7 pm via Zoom

Wednesday, July 29, 2020
7:00pm - 8:00pm
Time Zone:
Pacific Time - US & Canada (change)
Rincon Valley Library
  :::: Library Advisory Board  

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