Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
May 28, 2009
Central Library Boardroom
Meeting Called By
Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, President; Nell Allen, Vice-President
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by President Gwendolyn B. Welch.
- Mrs. Welch stated that the mission of the Birmingham Public Library system is to provide the highest quality library service to our citizens for lifelong learning, cultural enrichment, and enjoyment.
- Mr. Sam Granger, Five Points West Regional Library staff member, gave the Invocation.
- Mrs. Sims presented Mr. Sam Granger with a certificate of appreciation for his service to the library.
- A motion was made by Mrs. Allen and seconded by Mrs. Fincher to approve the agenda.
- A motion was made by Mrs. Fincher and seconded by Ms. Adams to approve the minutes.
- A motion was made by Mrs. Allen and seconded by Mrs. Fincher to approve the consent agenda.
- Certificates of appreciation were awarded to maintenance and library staff volunteers for their assistance in tearing down walls of the ADT Building. The Powderly branch has a location to store its materials during the branch's renovation.
- Janine Langston gave a presentation on the 2009 Summer Reading program, which extends from June through July. Thanks to a partnership between the Cotchery Foundation and BPL, participants in the Summer Reading program will be treated to a day of football skills training and bowling.
Public Relations Committee
- The Public Relations Committee met on May 19, 2009. Minutes of this meeting are attached.
- Judge Owens moved that the board accept the following Public Relations Committee recommendations:
- As regards the Channel 4 broadcast of library activities, the committee recommends that the library include promotions of teen and senior citizen patrons, and the Wii gaming system.
- The committee recommends that the library should encourage the City Council, the Chamber of Commerce, and other organizations to be involved with the Adult Summer Reading program.
- The committee recommends that the library update its website to include a board member directory with short bios and email addresses.
- Mrs. Allen seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Friends Advocacy Committee
- The Friends Advocacy Committee met on April 29, 2009. Minutes of this meeting are attached.
- Mrs. Sims moved that the board accept the following Friends/Advocacy Committee recommendations:
- All trustees, branch, and department heads should consider joining the Friends as paying members. This would provide a unified show of support of the library by administrative staff and trustees.
- All trustees should consider making an annual monetary donation to be deposited in a "sinking fund" for use in times of need. This would provide an additional show of support to library stakeholders and patrons.
- The library should host a library appreciation event for stakeholders and patrons.
- Reverend Johnson seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- The Personnel Committee met on May 20, 2009. Minutes of this meeting are attached.
- Mrs. Allen moved that the board accept the following Personnel Committee recommendations:
- The Personnel Committee as a whole take part in both long and short range priorities for the library.
- That the Finance Committee convene to discuss the budget and policies and procedures of monetary accountability.
- Mrs. Allen also read a summation of the Birmingham Public Library director's search to name Irene S. Blalock as the Director of BPL (attached).
- Ms. Adams seconded the motion to name Irene S. Blalock as the new Director of BPL effective June 18, 2009, which carried unanimously.
- Mr. Adams stated that the Finance Committee is in the process of completing an accounting procedural manual and will meet sometime next month.
Interim Director's Report
Powderly and East Lake Branch Update
- The Powderly Branch closed to the public at 6 p.m. on May 22, 2009. Staff from other libraries in the system volunteered to help Powderly staff pack for the move to the ADT Building on May 28 and May 29. Keys to the Powderly branch will be turned over to the City/Metro D Construction Company on June 1, 2009. The project is slated to be completed in 180 days.
- The East Lake branch renovation project was approved by the City Council. Once Powderly is moved into the ADT building, preliminary work will begin on the East Lake move. The first order of business is to clear the second floor of any remaining materials from the Police Credit Union and the General Credit Union. Asbestos abatement will then begin on second floor. The East Lake project is also projected to take 180 days.
- The branch managers of Powderly and East Lake have met with Margaret Jones to select furnishings for recommendation to the Long Range Planning Committee of the library board.
ADT Building Update
- The first floor of the ADT building is ready to store materials from Powderly and East Lake. The Department of Public Works has yet to complete preparations on the second floor to ensure that it meets environmental standards to store Archives material.
Elevator Repair Update
- Schindler has notified us that as soon as ordered parts arrive, work will begin. The cost is projected to be approximately $200,000.
ADA Accessibility Upgrades For Linn-Henley And Southside Library
- Coston General Contractors has been hired by the City to address the ADA issues with the slope on the crosswalk into Linn-Henley, access to the stage in the auditorium, hand dryers, and door stops at Southside Library. Work will be scheduled in Linn-Henley during the weekend of City Stages (June 19-21) while Central is closed.
FY2010 Budget Report
- Fund 511.022 Buildings and Facilities, was requested to be funded at the 2008/09 level in the amount of $104,377.78, as well as fund 511.004 Buildings Electrical $10,381.01. However, both of these line items were zeroed out on the library's budget and these items have been transferred to the Department of Public Works under the supervision of Charles Yates. The Mayor has mandated line items from all city facilities be placed in one account. Mr. Yates is now responsible for approximately 500 city buildings, including police and fire with man power available 24/7.
- FY2010 budget was funded at FY2008 amounts.
Terry Burney in the Mayor's Office and Barbara McGrue said that budget transfers could be made following the City Council's approval of the overall budget.
- April Odom requested that she be copied on all requests made to the Office of the Mayor, including budget requests or changes.
- Mrs. Fincher stated that Wylam residents were promised a new space for their library. Mrs. Lyons stated that the project would have to be put on hold due to insufficient funds unless Councilor Roderick Royal presented the issue to the Mayor to have the project placed in the budget.
Councilor Roderick Royal Visit/Press Conference
- Councilor Royal visited the Southern History Department, Rare Book, and Agee Room. He was made aware of the "one of a kind" treasures the library owns and the need for appropriate climatic controls to preserve items that are several centuries old including the map collection.
- He also visited the archives department and saw evidence of the leaks and learned that irreplaceable library materials in particular those that should not be located near pipes. He saw there is no space remaining to receive any other collections and off site storage is an immediate need.
- Councilor Royal used the atrium of the library as the venue for the Press Conference making Birmingham citizens aware of the availability of discount pharmacy cards.
Community Partnership with Birmingham Police Department
- Chief Roper, a representative from MAX Transit, and Mrs. Lyons held a press conference on May 15 to announce the partnership. Decals will be made available and posted at every BPL location. Captain Moody Duff continues to work on the ability of BPL security staff to issue citations in the library's parking lot.
Digital Television Conversion
- Karen Daniels of Delta 21 Resources plans to demonstrate to the public how to connect televisions to prepare for the digital switch effective June 12.
Awards And Donations
- Gifts and Grants to BPL
- Representative Mary Moore donated $3,000 to Slossfield Library for computer programs and material to teach basic computer skills.
- Mrs. Bryding Adams donated books in memory of Pastor Frederick S. Weiser.
TOTAL: $ 3,000 to BPL
- Gifts and Grants to the BPL Foundation
- David Herring donated $ 200 in memory of Councilor Miriam Denise Witherspoon and Mr. Joseph Wayne Thomason
- David Herring donated $100 to the BPL Foundation in memory of Mrs. Mattie Smith.
TOTAL: $300 to BPL Foundation
- Mrs. Sims asked if the board could receive documentation explaining how monetary donations were spent at Pratt City, Five Points West, and East Ensley.
- Judge Owens asked if the problems at the Pratt City Library had been addressed and if the Smithfield Estates Neighborhood Association President, Ms. Ellen H. Spencer, had been updated on the costs of laptops.
- Mrs. Lyons stated that the leaks at Pratt City have been addressed and that the Smithfield Neighborhood Association President was notified that because of certain software standards for public use computers, the laptops will be more expensive than a laptop purchased for individual use.
- Mrs. Sims stated that the board has applied for membership in the Freedom to Read Foundation. Requests have been made regarding the removal of the business manager's name from the Freedom to Read Foundation newsletters and replacing it with the names of the library board members.
- Mrs. Welch stated that she wanted administration to work with the Personnel Committee in planning a reception to honor the interim library director and new library director.
- Mrs. Welch stated that she wishes to receive emails related only to library business.
- Mrs. Welch asked that all board members attending the ALA conference look at ways to reduce expenses.
- Ms. Adams congratulated BPL staff on increased circulation. She also thanked the board and administration for their work on the director search.
- Mrs. Allen commended Mrs. Lyons, administration, and Phil Teague for the work that the library does.
- Mrs. Allen also stated that Barbara White and Fred Fullerton did an amazing job assisting with the director search.
- Mrs. Sims thanked Mr. Rumore, Mrs. Allen, Mrs. Lyons, the staff, and entire library board.
- Mr. Rumore made comments about happenings in his life in the past six months that have prevented him from attending several board meetings. He also congratulated Renee Blalock on the library director position.
- Mr. Rumore recognized Mr. Jimmie Williams for his hard work and dedication to the library board.
- Mrs. Fincher moved that the board recognize Mrs. Lyons for serving as interim director with a plaque placed with other library directors in the Linn-Henley building. Mrs. Adams seconded the motion which carried unanimously.
- Mrs. Fincher stated that Mrs. Welch had an article published in the ALTA newsletter and should be acknowledged.
- Mrs. Fincher thanked Mr. Rumore and Mrs. Allen for their work in the director search.
- Ms. Blalock thanked everyone for their vote of confidence in naming her director and is looking forward to working with everyone and making the library greater.
- Mrs. Welch thanked the board and stated that no one knew who she was going to vote for in the director search.
- Mrs. Welch also stated that she tries to be fair and appoint everyone on the committees that they would like to serve.
- Mrs. Welch asked the board who would like to get email copies of their board packets. Mrs. Allen, Mrs. Fincher, Mr. Rumore, and Mrs. Sims will continue to get paper copies. Everyone else will receive electronic copies.
- Mrs. Welch congratulated Ms. Blalock.
The June 18, 2009 Board meeting will be held at Glen Iris Elementary School Library (1115 - 11th Street, South)
Meeting Adjourned at approx. 10:30 a.m. with the next scheduled meeting on June 18, 2009.
Pamela O. Lyons, Interim Director