Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
October 22, 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, Thomas Adams, Gwendolyn R. Amamoo, Georgia Morgan Blair, Reverend Anthony Johnson, Judge Shanta’ Owens, Samuel Rumore, Dora Sims
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by President Gwendolyn B. 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. Shirley Nichols. Ms. Nichols has been an employee of BPL since 1981 and currently works in information/circulation at Central. Reverend Johnson presented Ms. Nichols with a certificate of recognition.
- Mrs. Allen moved approval of the agenda. Mrs. Blair seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Mrs. Blair moved approval of the consent agenda. Mrs. Allen seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Mr. Terry Oglesby, from the City Architect’s office, gave an update on the Powderly and East Lake Branches. There are delays at East Lake due to soil issues. The East Lake renovations should be completed in January. Powderly experienced problems with the water line running into the building. Valves that control the pressure were frozen. To avoid problems with the new plumbing, those valves had to be replaced. The ADA renovations at Central and Linn Henley buildings are almost finished, with the exception of minor touch up work. Exterior work remains to be completed at the Southside Library.
- Mr. Benjamin Petersen, department head in Southern History, continues the tradition of promoting the wonderful collection and services that Southern History offers. Mr. Petersen thanked the board for this recognition. Mr. Rumore asked what the board could do for the library. Mrs. Welch thanked Mr. Peterson for his work in the Southern History Department and noted that he is an outstanding advocate for BPL. Judge Owens presented Mr. Petersen with a certificate of recognition.
- Mrs. Welch invited Dylan Pritchett, renowned storyteller, to the board meeting to share the art of storytelling and to provide information on the upcoming African American Storytellers Conference. Mr. Pritchett praised the BPL staff and children he met during his visit. Mrs. Amamoo expressed interest in the conference.
- Associate director interviews were held on October 7, 2009. The top three candidates were Angela Fisher Hall, Janine Langston, and Sandra Lee. At the conclusion of the three interviews, Ms. Blalock and the interview committee provided a summation of the qualifications of the candidates and their preferences.
- Mrs. Allen moved the approval to hire Angela Fisher Hall as the new associate director at BPL. Mrs. Sims and Mrs. Amamoo seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Ms. Blalock requested that the board not mention the outcome of the associate director decision until Ms. Hall is notified. Administration will notify all candidates of the decision.
- Mrs. Allen thanked Ms. Blalock and the Personnel Committee for the manner in which the associate director search was conducted.
- The Birmingham Library Fund budget is a work in progress.
- Mr. Adams moved the approval of the Birmingham Library Fund budget, and requested regular reports from Ms. Blalock to the board regarding grants and programs. Mrs. Blair and Mr. Rumore seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Mrs. Welch recommended the Internal Controls policy and the Fiscal Management policy. The Finance Committee approved the recommendation of the policies. Mrs. Welch requested that Ms. Blalock send the recommended policies to the legal department for review. The legal department did not find any problems with the policies.
- Mrs. Welch asked whether BPL has reduced the number of credit cards. Danny Dorroh stated that the business office has reduced the number of credit cards.
- Mrs. Allen made a motion to approve that the board president be given authority to approve any BPL expenditure for $2500 or more. This motion failed for lack of a second motion. Ms. Blalock requested that the board postpone reintroducing this motion until after the auditor recommends his ideas for changes and improvements in library financial procedures.
- Ms. Blalock expressed concern about the professional experience of the auditors. Mrs. Welch stated that she has every confidence in Banks, Finley, and White.
- Mrs. Allen stated that library business transactions should be more transparent and that the board does not want to approve checks, just review them.
- Mrs. Welch stated that she and Ms. Blalock have scheduled a work session in December to clarify these concerns. This session will be held during the regularly scheduled board meeting in December.
Policies, Procedures, and By-laws Committee
- Mr. Rumore moved approval for Ms. Blalock to contact Fred Fullerton for information on swearing-in procedures for board members and the library director. Mr. Adams seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Mr. Rumore presented the first reading of the amended Birmingham Public Library by-laws. Mrs. Welch presented the first reading of the Outside Employment and Line and Staff Relations policies. These policies will be voted on at the November meeting.
- The Collection Management department is updating the collection management policy and a summation of the revised policy was distributed.
Friends Advocacy Committee
- October 18-24 is National Friends of Library Week. Mrs. Sims stated that the Mayor Langford issued the Friends a proclamation on Tuesday, October 20, 2009. On Wednesday, October 21st, the Friends served cake and solicited membership. Ten members joined during the event. Mrs. Sims encouraged all board members to join the Friends.
- Ms. Blalock distributed the design and project management proposal from Mr. Charles Williams regarding replacement of the roof and updating the HVAC systems at North Birmingham.
- Mr. Rumore moved approval of the proposal. Mrs. Blair seconded the motion, which carried unanimously. Ms. Blalock was authorized to sign the contract with Mr. Williams.
Buildings, Facilities And Projects Update
- Report from Terry Oglesby, project manager for the Library in the City’s Architecture Division (see above).
- Hope Cooper created a report on BPL’s HVAC needs across the system.
- Staff regularly creates such reports for the City Public Works Department with information for their maintenance planning.
- The City has begun the bidding process for a new roof at the Titusville Branch, which will be funded by the Alabama Education Fund grant.
- The City is in the process of repairing the entry to Smithfield Branch where stone fell from the wall. The new stone is on order and repairs will be done upon arrival. For the present the entry is blocked off. Ms. Blalock has received several calls from the community complaining about this. Ms. Blalock is looking forward to the completion of the repairs.
- The process of ordering furnishings for East Lake and Powderly has begun.
- The City Council passed an ordinance placing the $144,000 from Councilor Royal in the library’s regular budget. Jim Baggett and other staff members partially renovating the service area and the hallway outside of Archives. The Archives staff is also processing records currently located in more hazardous areas of Archives and are transporting them to safe off-site storage.
- The annual audit is being conducted by Banks, Finley, and White underway.
Birmingham Library Fund Budget
- Attached is the monthly budget report for September, 2009.
- State Aid will be prorated at 7.5%. The exact figure will not be known until the first quarterly check is received. At that time the budget will be updated.
Friends Annual Membership Drive
- It’s that time again. In preparation for the Annual Friends Meeting, featuring Priscilla Cooper, BPL staff is mailing reminders to renew and/or join the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library and to attend the meeting on November 12. The latest Friends newsletter is included in the board packets today.
Jefferson County Library Cooperative Update
- The Jefferson County Library Cooperative has launched a fund raising program. Signs and fliers have been posted in all BPL locations asking for donations. Donations may also be made at the homepage: www.jclc.org.
Presentations and Other Director Activities
- Ms. Blalock has been appointed to represent the Public Library Association on two ALA committees: the Chapter Relations Committee and the Advocacy Coordinating Group.
- Ms. Blalock has been asked to serve on a renewed Birmingham City Schools Community Education Advisory Committee.
Awards And Gifts
- Gift of $1000 to Five Points West from Rep. Mary Moore for “general library needs for programs.”
- ACIPCO, sponsored by Randolph Fowler, gave $1000 to North Birmingham to fund Spanish language classes in the library for the public. This is the second time ACIPCO has funded Spanish classes at NB.
- Greater Birmingham Alanon donated copies of From Survival to Recovery to every library in the system.
- The Jefferson County Progressive Democratic Council, Inc. gave $200 to North Birmingham.
- October 18-24 is National Friends of Libraries Week. To celebrate, the Friends plan a membership drive which will include a lunchtime celebration and Friends volunteering to solicit memberships from the public. This will be from 11-2 on October 21 at the Central Library in the Atrium.
- The annual Friends meeting will be on November 12 at 5:30 in the Arrington Auditorium.
- 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 a very good speaker. Please bring nonperishable food items and unwrapped toys. We are again participating in the Division of Youth Services annual collection of these items.
- Don’t forget the “Read-It-Forward” in November. The book for this event is The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank. Partnering with the library in this endeavor are the Birmingham Jewish Federation and the City of Birmingham Parks and Recreation Department.
- The fall selection for JCLC’s Project Read is Dewey: the Small Town Cat Who Touched the World, by Vicki Myron. More information forthcoming on programs and other events planned for this community reading project.
- Celebrate Patron Appreciation Day, November 19, 11-2, at all locations. Board members are urged to save this date and attend the event at your favorite library to meet and greet our patrons.
- Mrs. Welch asked Mrs. Blair to serve, in Mrs. Fincher’s place, on the Nominations Committee with Mrs. Amamoo and Mr. Rumore.
- Mrs. Welch also asked the Policies, Procedures, and By Laws Committee to work on a Board self-evaluation.
- A work session is planned for December 10, 2009, in place of the regular board meeting.
- Mrs. Welch asked Mrs. Amamoo to plan a library board retreat.
- The annual report will be ready in November.
- Mrs. Welch asked board members to let her know of any training suggestions that they may need for the work session.
- Mrs. Welch asked those who plan to attend the mid-winter conference to notify Jennifer and make plans to attend the ALTAFF Presidential reception.
- Mrs. Allen thanked Ms. Blalock for the positive image she conveyed at the City Council meeting. Five Points West is still working on purchasing the reading arbor and completing the park next to the library.
Mrs. Welch commended Reverend Johnson for his work on the Rising Icons. She also thanked administration for placing ASU vs. A&M voting on the BPL website.
- Mr. Rumore encouraged the board to attend Brown Bag lunch programs.
- Mrs. Sims attended the NAACP Awards program and commented that everyone did a wonderful job.
- Judge Owens thanked everyone for keeping her and Berkeley in their thoughts.
Meeting Adjourned at approximately 10:10 a.m. The next scheduled meeting is set for November 19, 2009.
Irene S. Blalock, Director