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					Library Consolidation Frequently Asked Questions: November 2007

Governance 1. What is the governance structure for the consolidated Hennepin County Library system? The consolidated library system will be a department of Hennepin County under the direction of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners and Library Director Amy Ryan. 2. What role will the Library Board play? An expanded 11-member Hennepin County Library Board will be appointed by the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners. The Library Board will include representation from throughout Hennepin County. The Library Board recommends the library’s proposed operating and capital budgets each year. It reviews long-range plans and develops policies for the operation and administration of the library system and the development of the library’s collection. 3. When will the new Library Board members be appointed? More than 80 Hennepin County residents applied for the two current openings and four new seats on the Library Board. Three of the initial appointments will be residents of the city of Minneapolis. The selection process is underway with the appointments planned to coincide with the anticipated merger effective date of January 1, 2008. 4. Where will the headquarters be? The headquarters are at Ridgedale Library in Minnetonka. 5. What will the consolidated library system be called? The consolidated system will be called the Hennepin County Library. Each of the 41 individual libraries within the system will retain its current name. Finance and Budget 6. How is this merger being paid for? City and county residents have paid and will pay the same amount per capita for their libraries. Library consolidation will not significantly shift this structure, and we remain committed to fair and equitable financing to support libraries countywide. The city of Minneapolis will initially contribute the current library share of ongoing Local Government Aid ($6.8 million) plus an additional $1.0 million to cover the projected 2008 operating deficit of the Minneapolis Public Library. This annual contribution will phase out over 10 years. In addition, the city will contribute to the cost of reopening three closed libraries for three years. 7. How will the 2008 library budget be allocated? In 2008, there will be two budgets for the consolidated library system. One budget will manage expenditures at Minneapolis library locations and the other will manage expenditures for the suburban locations. A single budget for the consolidated library system will be developed for 2009.

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Library Consolidation Frequently Asked Questions: November 2007 8. Does MPL have trust funds? Yes. MPL has approximately $5 million in trust funds, most of which is dedicated to specific functions or collections and which will be honored; trust funds are not uncommon to nonprofits and libraries. Service hours 9. Will the three closed Minneapolis Public Libraries reopen? Yes. Roosevelt, Southwest and Webber Park libraries are scheduled to reopen on the legal date of the merger; they will be open 24 hours a week: Tuesday and Thursday, noon to 8 pm and Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. 10. Will MPL hours change? Yes, by reopening Roosevelt, Southeast and Webber Park libraries, total hours at Minneapolis libraries will expand by 72 hours per week (24 per library). Hours at other locations are not scheduled to change at this time. 11. Will there be one place that all of the libraries’ hours and locations are listed? Yes, we will have a new hours/locations brochure and information on websites on the first day of the merger. 12. Will my library remain open? I am afraid more libraries will close. All libraries are scheduled to remain open. 13. Will the hours be consistent among the libraries? As is now the case, hours vary among libraries and systems and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Technology 14. Which website will be used? Two public websites will be maintained during the interim phase. Web links guiding customers from one site to the other will be made—allowing customers to take full advantage of both websites. 15. Will there be one library website? There will be one website when the two library systems are more fully consolidated. For now, customers can link back and forth between the two sites. 16. How long before computer functions will meld? This is a major undertaking requiring significant planning and resources. The exact timeframe is not known but is expected to take several years 17. What computer systems are available at MPL? Are they now tied in with Hennepin County Library? The computers are not linked, thus ―my account‖ features remain separate. 18. How will computer sign-up be handled? Computer sign-up policies and procedures won’t change at either library for the near future. 19. Will phone numbers change? Not immediately. Customers should continue to call the respective HCL and MPL phone numbers.

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Library Consolidation Frequently Asked Questions: November 2007

Collection 20. Will the collection development and management policies change? Yes. We have set the goal of having a unified collection development policy by December 2008. As the guiding principles of the consolidation state, ―The complementary strengths of the Hennepin County Library and Minneapolis Public Library, and their respective contributions to library resources and services throughout Minnesota, will be preserved by improving access to combined collections, services and electronic resources.‖ The expanded Library Board will play an integral role in developing and adopting a single collection development policy. 21. With the merger, will there be less money for collections? In 2008, two collection budgets – one for Minneapolis libraries and the other for suburban locations – will be used. The 2008 collection budgets are expected to be the same as in 2007 with modest increases possible. 22. Will the library catalogs remain separate? Yes, the catalogs will remain separate until the libraries fully integrate all their systems. 23. When will the catalogs be merged so that I know I am searching both library systems? The catalogs will be merged when we have fully integrated the technology systems of both libraries. You can access the catalogs through the respective websites for Hennepin County suburban libraries and Minneapolis libraries. 24. Will HCL stay with Dewey and MPL with Library of Congress? Pre-merger teams are continuing to examine this issue. No changes will be made in the short term. Circulation Activities 25. Will I need a new library card? No. You will continue to use your current library card. 26. When can I get a Hennepin County/Minneapolis Public library card? Please continue to use your current card. 27. Will the loan periods remain the same? Yes, for now, the loan periods will remain the same for each library system. 28. Will I be able to pay a fine at any of the libraries? Yes, if you pay the fine online. Fines paid with cash or check must be made at a library that uses the computer catalog from which the material was checked out. Fine payment will be fully interchangeable when the library computer systems are integrated. 29. Will the fine rates change? There are differences between the two systems. For now, the existing fine and fee schedules will remain unchanged in each system. They will be reexamined in 2008.

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Library Consolidation Frequently Asked Questions: November 2007 30. Will I be able to pick up a book at a HCL/MPL library? Yes, through interlibrary loan. 31. If I request a book from a HCL/MPL library, will it arrive sooner after the merger than it arrives currently? The timelines will remain the same for the time being. Information Services 32. Will the wait for popular current books be even longer than it is now? We do not anticipate a change as a result of the merger. Our long-term goal is streamlined service for all Hennepin County residents. 33. When can I reserve a book from MPL/HCL’s collection without it having to go through Interlibrary Loan? Not until the consolidation is complete and we have fully integrated the two computer systems. 34. Are holds free? Yes, holds are free. 35. Will we still have access to the same databases? Yes. 36. How will meeting room reservations be handled with both MPL and HCL? Online? Or the same as before? No change is anticipated for the immediate future. Programming 37. Is this going to affect (decrease) what is offered at the library? (Programs, events, etc.) No, if anything programming will be improved as both systems collaborate on top-notch programs for customers as we develop signature joint programming options for youth and adult programs across the county. Staffing 38. Will staff lose their jobs? No employees will lose jobs in the consolidation. 39. How will pay differences and negotiations between HCL and the union representing MPL be resolved? MPL completed impact bargaining negotiations with its five unions and met the Legislative requirement to gain approval from unions representing at least 80 percent of Minneapolis library employees at the time of consolidation. 40. How are Minneapolis Public Library employees being compensated for the salary/hour imbalance? We have brought together a workforce of close to 1,000 people and about 40 employees will see a pay cut, but we have worked hard to make up the difference through a lump sum payment. In addition, we have worked closely with the unions throughout this process to negotiate the best terms for their members. Treating employees fairly throughout this process has been a top priority.

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Library Consolidation Frequently Asked Questions: November 2007 General 42. What advantages will this merger bring to HCL customers? We anticipate streamlined service, easier access to the entire collection, joint and expanded programming in the near future, information about all library programs and services reaching more customers and other benefits, not to mention three libraries reopening. 43. Is this merger just helping MPL? This consolidation will create the premier library system in the state, benefiting customers throughout Hennepin County. We anticipate streamlined services, easier access to collections of both systems, information about programs and services and other benefits. 44. When will the merger occur? The target date for the legal merger is Jan. 1, 2008, but it could be later in 2008. An interim phase will take place wherein we integrate systems and policies. Full consolidation – one card, one website, one set of fees and fines, one set of borrowing privileges – will take place after the interim phase. 45. How will volunteers be used? Volunteers already benefit both library systems and will continue to do so in the future.

Link to Benefits FAQ on Hennepin County website: http://wwwa.co.hennepin.mn.us/portal/site/HCInternet/menuitem.3f94db53 874f9b6f68ce1e10b1466498/?vgnextoid=18817314d65b3110VgnVCM10 00000f094689RCRD

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