Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
September 24, 2009
Central Library Boardroom
Meeting Called By
Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Gwendolyn B. Welch, President; Nell Allen, Vice-President; E. Bryding Adams; Thomas J. Adams; Gwendolyn Amamoo, Georgia Morgan Blair, Reverend Anthony Johnson, Samuel Rumore, Dora U. Sims;
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch.
- Mrs. Welch stated 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 Ms. Ann Austin. Ms. Austin has been an employee of BPL since 1983, and is currently a Library Assistant III at the North Birmingham Library.
- Mrs. Blair moved approval of the agenda. Ms. Adams seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Mrs. Blair moved approval of August 27, 2009 board minutes. Mrs. Sims seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Ms. Adams moved approval of the consent agenda. Mrs. Sims seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- The board recognized six BPL employees who are a part of the Turning the Page program, a training program geared toward empowering rural and small town librarians. The recognized employees are Felita Hawkins, Sandra Crawley, Maya Jones, Saundra Ross, Opelisa Jones, and Pamela Jessie.
- Mrs. Allen stated that the Personnel Committee reviewed all sixteen applications for the associate director position. All applicants were divided into three groups. Group one consists of the three candidates most qualified for the associate director position. These candidates will be invited to interview with the library board on October 7, 2009.
- Mrs. Allen moved the approval of the minutes of the Personnel Committee. Mrs. Sims seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Mrs. Allen requested that each board member inform her of intentions to attend the associate director interviews.
Buildings, Facilities And Projects Update
- Terry Oglesby, the library’s project manager in the City’s Architecture Division, submitted a written report, which is attached.
- All restrooms in Linn-Henley are open, and all work on the crosswalk is complete.
- An update on roofs and leaks is also attached and will supplement the monthly buildings report from Hope Cooper.
- All transfer requests made by library staff were approved by the budget office.
Birmingham Library Fund Budget
- A preliminary draft of the Library Fund Budget has been completed. Additional tweaking will be needed. In the process of creating the preliminary budget, a number of questions arose, which will be discussed with the business manager and auditor. Additionally, modifications to the audit report will be made so that the categories in both the City Budget and the New World System are consistent.
Nell Allen Honored
- Ms. Blalock attended the dedication of a plaque which honors Mrs. Allen for “16 years of distinguished service to the West End Community and Oakwood Place Neighborhood Association” on September 12. It was a wonderful event, with an impressive outpouring of affection, gratitude, and admiration for Mrs. Allen. The dedication was followed by a program and luncheon at the Harrison Park Recreation Center.
Jefferson County Library Cooperative Update
- The Jefferson County Commission approved a budget this week which includes $500,000 for the JCLC. This will be a lean year, but due to very careful management of the FY2009 budget, the Cooperative will not have to cut services. The Cooperative will raise funds and advocate throughout the community for support in restoring the budget to the previous $1,090,000 received annually from the County Commission. The two other revenue streams are state aid and member fees paid to the Cooperative by member libraries. Online donations may be made at JCLC.org.
- The celebration of the East Building’s 25th Anniversary was a success and enjoyed by everyone, especially the reminiscing by George Stewart, a former director. Of lasting value is the web site dedicated to the anniversary. If you have not done so already, take a look. A link to the site can be located at the bplonline.org home page.
- A meeting of the BPL Foundation was held on September 14. The Foundation adopted a plan for ways to revive and grow the Foundation, and will begin steps to implement it. A copy of the plan is attached. Present at the meeting were Jim White, Gwendolyn Welch, Dora Sims, Renee Blalock, and David Herring. The Foundation board consists of three ex-officio members (the library director, the library board president, and the Friends president) and two public members, Mr. Herring and Mr. White. The by-laws allow ten members on the board. One of the steps planned is for the present board to recruit five more public members. All papers and documents of the Foundation are presently being examined by a lawyer for any necessary updates or changes. The next scheduled meeting is November 30, 2009.
Meeting with Councilor Roderick Royal
- Mrs. Gwendolyn Welch, Mrs. Pam Lyons, and the Director met with Councilor Roderick Royal on Wednesday, September 16 to hear his ideas on spending the $144,000 he allocated to the Library Archives Department. Staff is working on his suggestions and plans to submit a proposal to him at the bimonthly Education Committee meeting on September 24, 2009. The plan will include steps necessary to preserve records and documents stored in the basement area, in addition to upgrades in Archives.
Presentations and other Director Activities
- Ms. Blalock spoke to the Optimist Club on September 10, at the invitation of Dr. Paul Amamoo.
- Ms. Blalock spoke to the University of Alabama School of Library and Information Service Public Libraries distance education class.
- Ms. Blalock has been appointed to serve on the Birmingham Education Foundation Community Relations Committee.
Awards and Gifts
- LSTA Strengthening Communities grant for $20,000, which will be used for after-school programs.
- Alabama State Council on the Arts grant in the amount of $5,000 for BPL@Night.
- Rochelle Sides Renda, BPL coordinator for the Eastern Branch Region has been selected to facilitate a Table Talk at the PLA National Conference in March. It is entitled “Teen Recon 101.”
- The Ensley Neighborhood Association allocated $300 to the Ensley Library for the purchase of a book shelf.
- Gwendolyn Welch donated $50 in honor of Paul and Brenda Amamoo's wedding.
- Mitchell and Hope Cooper donated $100 in memory of Patricia Watson.
- John Klima, author of Willie’s Boys: The 1948 Birmingham Black Barons, the Last Negro League World Series, and the Making of a Baseball Legend, will be featured at BPL@Night on September 29 at the Central Library. (For more information, see “When the Yankees Were Not Ready for Willie Mays” in the September 12th edition of the New York Times.)
- October 18-24 is National Friends of Libraries Week. To celebrate, the Friends have planned a membership drive, which will include a lunchtime celebration with a table set up and Friends volunteering to solicit membership from the public. The lunchtime celebration will take place on October 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the atrium at the Central Library.
- Don’t forget to save the date for Staff Day on October 29. This is a half day event that begins with breakfast and ends at noon. The Friends of the Library are major sponsors for this event. This year’s keynote speaker is Warren Graham an expert in library security. He is also a very good speaker.
The fall selection for JCLC’s Project Read is Dewey: the Small Town Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron. More information will be forthcoming on the programs and other events planned for this community reading project.
- Friends of Birmingham Public Library Annual Meeting will be held on November 12.
- Patron Appreciation Day will be held on November 19, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at all locations. Board members are urged to save the date and attend an event at your favorite library to meet and greet our patrons.
- Impact Alabama has notified us that they will once again provide a free tax preparation service at the Smithfield Branch. This service will run from January 18 through the first week in March.
- Mrs. Welch requested that all board members become familiar with the by-laws.
- Mrs. Welch requested that any emails sent to the administrative secretary be copied to Ms. Blalock.
- Records of attendance will be kept for board meetings.
- The Local Authors Expo and Santa will be at the Birmingham Public Library on December 5, 2009.
- Mrs. Sims asked that all board members please donate to the Friends “sinking fund” and that any board member who is not a Friends member please join.
- Mrs. Sims wrote an article for ALTAFF (www.ala.org/altaff).
- Mrs. Amamoo thanked each board member for their hard work. She also thanked Ms. Blalock for speaking to the Optimist Club.
- Mrs. Allen thanked Ms. Blalock and administration for work done on filling the Associate Director position, and also thanked Mrs. Sims for writing the article for ALTAFF.
- Mrs. Allen asked board members to donate to the Learning Tree Park. She also thanked Ms. Blalock for attending the event honoring her.
- Mrs. Blair stated that she attended the Tears for Triumphant at Smithfield Library and that attendance was excellent. She also stated that an official announcement of Mrs. Fincher’s death appeared in the ALA Magazine.
Mrs. Blair congratulated Judge Owens on being honored by the Omega Chapter of AKA Sorority. Mrs. Blair noted that Mrs. Welch was mentioned in the Birmingham News in a story about haircuts for children.
- Reverend Johnson congratulated Mrs. Allen on her award for 16 years of distinguished service to the West End community and Oakwood Place Neighborhood Association. The NAACP candidate run-off forums will be shown on the Bright House network.
- Mr. Rumore stated that he attended the 25th anniversary Brown Bag Lunch and tour with George Stewart.
Ms. Blalock thanked the board for the manner in which they handled the termination of appeal for Christopher Parson. She also noted that Mrs. Welch received a call from Lucretia Quinn, Director of the Glen Iris Elementary after-school program, regarding the success of collecting can goods for the library. She also stated that she saw George Stewart on Bright House network discussing the building of the Central Library. She requested that a chain of communication be developed, outlining business protocol for employees. She asked board members to forward employee concerns to administration.
Meeting Adjourned at approximately 10:00 a.m. The next scheduled meeting is set for October 22, 2009.
Irene S. Blalock, Director