Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
March 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
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 was given by Mr. Samuel Finch, a BPL staff member at the Southside Library. Mrs. Amamoo presented Mr. Finch with a certificate of appreciation for his service to the library.
- Approval of the agenda was moved by Mrs. Allen and seconded by Mrs. Sims.
- Approval of the minutes was moved by Reverend Johnson and seconded by Mrs. Amamoo.
- Approval of the consent agenda was moved by Mr. Williams and seconded by Mrs. Amamoo.
- Alabama Bound is coming up on Saturday, March 28, 2009 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This will be the 10th anniversary of Alabama Bound.
- Linda Wilson stated that we are ready to go with Alabama Bound and everyone is very excited. We are excited to have Sonia Sanchez attending. Some of the authors selected to participate in Alabama Bound are nationally known. Local authors are showcased as well.
Maya Jones stated that the library expects participation from five writing groups this year. These groups help local authors with publishing and finding agents. Alabama Bound will have a spot on NBCs Bettina Boateng on her morning show, Saturday, March 28, 2009.
Interim Director's Report
- The contract for the construction of Powderly was approved by the Birmingham city Council on Tuesday, March 24th. Metro D Construction Company received the contract. East Lake is on the agenda for Tuesday, March 31st.
A water valve burst in the basement of Archives and damaged a number of boxes. Some files of Mayor Seibel and the Chamber of Commerce were damaged. We are trying to procure the ADT building for storage. The ADT building is on a year to year lease with a 60 day notice if someone wants to purchase the building. The second floor of the building has been designated for the library. This will be confirmed and BPL will have access to the building for storage.
Chief Roper attended the last department city heads meeting. Ms. Lyons spoke of establishing the branch libraries as police substations. Mr. Roper stated that he liked the idea. Mrs. Lyons met with Deputy Chief Fisher and Captain Moody Duff. The branches would not be listed as substations but would be listed as welcome centers or something similar. Signage will be created to post outside of participating branches. The welcoming sites will offer photo-copying, computers, and refreshments to Birmingham police officers. The Birmingham police may also hold training classes and meetings in branch conference rooms. Mike Lee asked about training library security to write citations for those who park illegally on the library's parking lot. Captain Duff will research the matter.
On Tuesday, March 31st, the city Council will have the elevator safety and ADA repairs on their agenda.
The BPL Foundation received the beneficiary check from Pride B. Forney in the amount of $100,405.48. Mr. Jim White and Mr. David Herring are aware of the check being received.
We are working on organizing financial procedures used by the Library. The auditor's recommendations will be used in formulating a procedures manual. The document will be given to Mr. Adams.
Seventeen applications have been submitted for the Library Director position. The deadline is Sunday, April 5.
The library will be recognized at the Alabama Library Association Conference this year at the Public Library Division Breakfast as a Blue Ribbon Library in 2001.
BPL received $9,857.95 in donations. $505 was donated in memory of Pride B. Forney for a total of $10,362.95.
Chief Roper attended the last city department heads meeting.
Ms. Adams asked about the need for additional money within the budget. Mrs. Lyons stated that when we need funds, we petition to the city and try to find another line item from the budget from which we can transfer into the needed fund.
Mrs. Allen asked if we had a 10% reduction in the amount of money that comes from the city.
Mrs. Lyons stated that there was at least a 10% reduction in city funds.
Mr. Adams stated that the mid-year budget adjustment from the city has a "change" column that is marked. The major change is in personnel, which is moving the security personnel off of the library's payroll and onto the city payroll.
Ms. Adams expressed concern with the year to year ADT lease and 60 day notice. She stated that this issue is important and it worries her that we move the materials in the building and then have to remove them if the space is purchased. She recommended that the board take the archive problem to the Long Range Planning Committee to look at possible renovating the library or coming up with another solution to the archive storage problem. This issue should be a number one priority for the board.
The motion to submit the archives problem and plans to renovate the Central Library to the Long Range Planning Committee was moved by Ms. Adams and seconded by Mrs. Allen.
Mrs. Lyons stated that Jim Baggett is researching other storage areas off site.
Mrs. Allen asked whether or not we have gotten all of the archives materials out of harm's way.
Mrs. Lyons stated that there is location to remove materials to at this time. The water valve has been repaired, but the boxes are still there
Reverend Johnson asked what would be the payoff for having police officers stop by the branches. Mrs. Lyons stated that hopefully this will ward off potential mischief makers. Reverend Johnson stated that he does not think that we need police coming into the libraries. Crime is going to happen and we cannot prevent it. Police presence will ruin the tranquility of the library. If we need to hire more security guards, we can do that.
Judge Owens thinks that the police presence is a good idea.
Mrs. Sims agrees that it is a good idea to have police welcoming stations.
Ms. Adams agrees with both sides. She thinks that we do not need police everywhere within the library, but at the same time thinks that some police presence is needed.
Mrs. Allen stated that having the police presence is a good idea, but that parameters are necessary.
Mrs. Welch stated that the children who attend Birmingham Public schools are the same children that come to our libraries.
Mrs. Allen wants to see a copy of the special funds budget. She stated that at the end of the year we had a half a million dollars in miscellaneous and one source says it was for paying heat, while another source gives six or seven different sources for miscellaneous. This board is not aware of these expenditures and requests that this be addressed.
Mr. Adams stated that the auditor's recommendations will be addressed at the Finance Committee Meeting. Before a meeting is held, he will be collecting input from the library staff. A Finance Committee Meeting will be held in the next two to three weeks.
Mrs. Sims asked the staff to check on the money that the neighborhood association allocated to Five Points West for repairs.
Mrs. Amamoo asked when the neighborhood donates money, is that money specific for that particular branch.
Mrs. Lyons stated that the donation is specific to the branch and the designated project.
Mrs. Amamoo asked if we have someone that attends the City Council meetings regularly.
Mrs. Lyons stated that we only send a representative when we have an item on the agenda.
Reverend Johnson stated that police presence at the branches is a bad idea.
Ms. Adams stated that we needed to somehow make the police presence light, if possible.
Mrs. Sims stated that it is good to have police visibility at the library.
Mrs. Amamoo would like more information about the awards ceremony on April 10th. Mrs. Lyons stated that you must register for the conference in order to attend the awards breakfast. Mrs. Amamoo stated that our library is a beacon of hope for the City of Birmingham.
Mrs. Allen stated that the policemen should know their parameters when visiting the library. Mrs. Allen also stated that Avondale Library is a very good library. The staff is so friendly and the books are great. She asked what position Billy Connor holds. Mrs. Lyons stated that he is the maintenance supervisor.
Mrs. Welch stated that Mr. Rumore's mother-in-law passed away. A letter was sent on behalf of the board.
Mrs. Welch thanked everyone who made donations to the ALA Midwinter conference. She asked that the Long Range Planning Committee schedule a meeting as soon as possible. Mrs. Welch thanked Mrs. Lyons and Ms. Blalock for posting the BCS survey on the Birmingham Public Library's website. Mrs. Welch requested the use of two parking spaces while state school officials met at the Birmingham Board of Education. Mrs. Welch visited the Southside Library and the staff was awesome.
Mrs. Welch requested that we invite Danny Dorroh to attend the board meetings to answer financial questions.
Mrs. Sims reminded the board members to contribute $10 to support the Freedom to Read Foundation.
Mrs. Welch stated that having the police visit the library branches is a good sign to show the community that we are working together. She suggested that each board member visit each library branch.
Meeting Adjourned at approx. 10:00 a.m. with the next scheduled meeting on April 23, 2009.
Pamela O. Lyons, Interim Director