Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
February 26, 2009
Central Library Boardroom
Meeting Called By
Gwendolyn B. Welch, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Gwendolyn B. Welch, President; Nell Allen, Vice-President, Lillie M. H. Fincher, Bryding Adams, Dora U. Sims, Jimmie S. Williams, Gwendolyn R. Amamoo, Reverend Anthony Johnson, Samuel A. Rumore
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by President Gwendolyn B. Welch.
- Mrs. Welch noted that the mission of the Birmingham Public Library is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for lifelong learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment.
- The invocation given by Karen Clark, a BPL staff member at the Titusville Library.
- Mrs. Sims presented Ms. Clark with a certificate of appreciation for her service to the Library.
- A motion was made by Mrs. Allen and seconded by Mrs. Sims to approve the agenda.
- A motion was made by Mrs. Fincher and seconded by Mrs. Amamoo to approve the minutes.
- A motion was made by Mrs. Sims and seconded by Mr. Johnson to approve the consent agenda.
The 2009 African American Booklist was compiled by a booklist committee of library staff. Debbie Dahlin (Collection Management Coordinator), Felita Hawkins (Branch Head at East Lake Library), and Lorraine Walker (Five Points West Reference Librarian) gave a brief presentation.
This is the second year compiling the African American Booklist. Ms. Hawkins is in charge of the children's and teens titles, and Ms. Walker is in charge of the adult titles.
- The children's and teens committee is comprised of the BPL Youth Services as well as volunteers. No book titles are submitted for the booklist unless BPL has the particular book in house and only current material is accepted.
- The adult title committee is made up of employees from the branches and the Central Library. Wonderful compliments have been received on the booklist.
Ms. Welch thanked the committees, as well as administration, for compiling the 2009 African American Booklist. The booklist was sent to local schools, businesses, and senior citizen homes.
- Mrs. Allen asked how the younger readers are able to identify books suitable to their ages. Ms. Dahlin answered that it is up to the parents to choose from the book titles.
- Mr. Rumore is taking a course on Adult Services and requested extra copies of the booklist.
- Mrs. Amamoo stated that she is proud of the booklist and has received compliments.
Library Director Search
- Mrs. Allen moved to go into executive session and Reverend Johnson seconded.
- Mrs. Allen moved that the Library Director position be reopened for thirty days and Mrs. Fincher seconded. A vote was taken and approved 6-3 (YES- Gwendolyn Welch, Lillie Fincher, Nell Allen, Gwendolyn Amamoo, Dora Sims, Reverend Johnson); (NO- Bryding Adams, Jimmie Williams, Samuel Rumore).
Mrs. Allen moved to advertise the director position in the Birmingham Times, Birmingham News, city website, library website, and the 99 neighborhood associations via the weekly packet. Mrs. Fincher seconded. A vote was taken and approved 6-3 (YES- Gwendolyn Welch, Lillie Fincher, Nell Allen, Gwendolyn Amamoo, Dora Sims, Reverend Johnson- NO- Bryding Adams, Jimmie Williams, Samuel Rumore).
- Mrs. Welch thanked the City attorney, Mr. Fullerton, for his help.
- Mr. Bobby Horne, President of the North Avondale Neighborhood Association, introduced himself. He stated that there will be a new school built in the North Avondale neighborhood and will house between 1,000 and 1,200 students. He stated that the board's consideration is needed to open a new North Avondale Branch or expand the existing one. Mr. Horne stated that a larger library is necessary to serve the children coming to the new school. The North Avondale Neighborhood Association will provide any additional information that the board may need.
Finance Committee Report
- Mrs. Allen stated that the Finance Committee met with the auditor on Tuesday, February 24, 2009. The auditor was asked to give an overview of the audit. The board received recommendations from the auditor.
- The library should prepare a budget to govern the library fund. This budget should have board approval before implementation.
- Two monthly budget reports should be presented to the board.
- Miscellaneous items should be specific.
- Fines, fees, gifts, other entries should be listed as separate entities.
- Books and audio visuals should be listed as separate entities.
- Set policies for disbursement from BPL fund.
- Expenditures over $2500 must be signed by a designated BPL Board member. The designee and staff should only sign checks after examining the requisitions. At least two board members should be designated to sign BPL checks when needed.
- Mrs. Adams stated that the Finance Committee requires documentation of signing procedures and withdrawal of money from specific accounts. The committee is not questioning operations.
- The board members should be required to sign an annual conflict of interest statement.
- Mrs. Allen moved that the Finance Committee meeting minutes be approved and it was seconded by Mrs. Adams.
2009 Board Committee Assignments (Attached)
- Mrs. Welch approved committee assignments for 2009. She also stated that the committee chairperson has the discretion to schedule meetings based on need. She recommended, however, that each committee meet at least once a quarter.
- We, as a Board, are not apprised as to what is going on and what our responsibilities are. When meetings are held, a report should be made to the board. The committee may recommend policy revisions or new policies for the consideration of the director and the full board. If there is anyone that does not want to serve as Chair, please let Mrs. Welch know.
- Mrs. Allen stated that she would like to be on the Policies Committee.
- Mrs. Welch stated that she is not going to change the committee assignments, but any board member is welcome to attend any committee meeting.
Midwinter Conference Reports
- Mrs. Welch and Mrs. Sims shared Mid-Winter Conference highlights. When Mrs. Welch was in Denver she spoke with Ms. Blalock and Grace Slaughter. Grace Slaughter, from Springville Road, teaches crocheting and welcomes any interested board members.
- Mrs. Sims enjoyed the Mid-Winter Conference and attended the Committee for Leadership in an effort to pull trustees (ALTA) and friends (FOLUSA) together. Mrs. Sims will see that other library staff members are aware of what Trustees and Friends are doing.
- Mrs. Allen has been visiting different branches to see what types of early reading books are available and how accessible they are. She also visited East Ensley and loved their collection of books and stated that the library was clean and the staff was great.
East Lake And Powderly Renovations
- Mr. Terry Ogelsby reported on the progress of the Powderly and East Lake branches. They have recently taken bids on all of the projects. In regards to Powderly and East Lake, there were seven to eight bids on each project and both came in within BPL's budget. The low bidder on both projects is Metro D Construction. The base bid on East Lake Library was around $903,000. The total with alternative work was around $1,005,000. The base bid on Powderly Library was $634, 000. The total with alternative work was around $836,000.
- Mrs. Adams asked if there was any way to check out Metro D because of the fact that we have had problems with contractors in the past.
- Mr. Ogelsby stated that Metro's licenses, insurance, and bonds are currently being reviewed.
Interim Director's Report
- Mrs. Pride B. Forney issued a life insurance policy with BPL being the beneficiary so we will receive $100,000 designated for the Southern History Department.
- There are some safety concerns regarding our elevators. We have received a quote for repair in the amount of $200,000. We have been in contact with Andre Bittas at the City and he has passed on our request to the Mayor's office. We are in danger of our elevators being shut down if the repairs are not addressed by July 1, 2009.
- Birmingham was selected as the host city for the National Conference of African American Librarians on August 4-8, 2010. Janice Granger and Pam Lyons will be co-chairing the Local Arrangements Committee. Board members are invited to join the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. The fee is $45.00.
- We received $2,270 in donations in January. In memory of Mrs. Pride B. Forney, we have received $1,520. In memory of Mrs. Norma Blount, we have received $100. The Cathedral Church of the Advent donated $50. The North Birmingham Crochet Club donated $100. The North Avondale Neighborhood Association donated $500 to the North Avondale Library.
The Alabama Bench and Bar Historical Society asked BPL to partner with them. Please consider attending an event on April 17th at The Club. The speaker is Sheryll Cashin from Huntsville, AL. She is a law professor from Georgetown University. She is the author of The Agitator's Daughter, a memoir of four generations of one extraordinary African American family.
- Alabama Bound materials are available for distribution throughout the communities.
- Mrs. Sims stated that the Freedom to Read Foundation is planning a big celebration at the ALA Annual conference and is asking that the board join the Foundation. The cost is $100. It was decided that each board member donate $10 towards the membership.
- Reverend Johnson emailed Mrs. Welch concerning his absences from board meetings. He was referred to the by-laws which state that after a third absence from a regularly scheduled board meeting, the president should notify the board member of such absences. If a member is absent for four regularly scheduled board meetings, the board can recommend to the City Council that such member be replaced. This does not include committee meetings. Regularly scheduled board meetings shall be held on the fourth Thursday of each month in the Board Room of the Central Library or other place or time as specified.
- Mrs. Welch stated that Councilor Royal wants to make sure that every board member knows that the library board is a service board and when one signs up for these positions, one should attend and provide a service. If for some reason one cannot provide the service, Councilor Royal wants to know.
- Mrs. Fincher asked about Hope Cooper's building report regarding Slossfield's renovations and West End's glass problems. Mrs. Lyons stated that Slossfield is on hold until we find out what the school board is going to do. West End has had problems with the glass. It is up to the city to investigate and resolve these problems. Mrs. Lyons also stated that we are working on the security lighting at Woodlawn.
- Mrs. Fincher asked when was the fire alarm system at Central and Linn Henley grandfathered in and will we meet the July 2009 deadline for repairs to the elevators at Central and Linn Henley?
- Mrs. Lyons stated that she was not sure how long ago the fire alarm system at Central and Linn Henley was grandfathered in and that yes, we would have to meet the elevator repair deadline of July 2009 at Central and Linn Henley.
- Mrs. Welch stated that we should only include facts in the building report.
- Mrs. Amamoo asked about the memberships to the Alabama Bench and Bar Historical Society and the BCALA. Mrs. Lyons stated that the Alabama Bench membership was personal and the membership to the BCALA would include the board as a whole. As part of the membership of 2010, the board will become Members of the BCALA.
- Mrs. Welch stated that ALA is considering shortening the length of the Annual Conference.
- Mrs. Allen stated that the Five Points West Library welcome mat needs to be replaced and the black spots on the concrete need to be removed.
- Mrs. Sims is concerned that at the Central Library, there are patrons cutting through the entrance without being noticed and the gap needed to be closed in.
- Mrs. Sims stated that administration is a great team. Mrs. Sirmans is going to work with BPL to develop Friends at the branches.
- Mrs. Welch would like to thank Chanda Temple Guster for writing the Claudette Colvin article. Mrs. Guster stated that if we had any information that we would like published, to email the information to Mrs. Welch and Mrs. Guster would get it to the person in charge of covering, during their absence.
Mrs. Amamoo thanked the City Council for appointing her to the Library Board for her first term. She also thanked Roderick Mack of Mack & Associates for the African display in the Central Library.
- Mrs. Allen thanked Jennifer Neely for working with her on the Finance Committee meeting Agenda and Minutes. She also thanked Mrs. Lyons and Mrs. Blalock.
- Mrs. Welch stated that Pam keeps her abreast of everything via email.
Pamela O. Lyons, Interim Director