Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
January 28, 2010
Central Library Boardroom
Meeting Called By
Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, President; Judge Shanta' Craig Owens, Vice-President; Bryding Adams, Thomas Adams, Nell Allen, Gwendolyn R. Amamoo, Georgia Morgan Blair, Reverend Anthony Johnson, Samuel Rumore, Dora Sims
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by President Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch.
- Gwendolyn 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 Cassandra Scott, a storyteller at the North Avondale Library. Dora Sims presented Cassandra with a certificate of recognition.
Approval of Agenda
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the agenda. Dora Sims seconded the motion, with an amendment to include the Midwinter Report under Committee Reports, which carried unanimously.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect's Office
- Powderly and East Lake renovations are progressing. The weather and soil conditions have been issues at East Lake Library. Both renovations should be completed by April 2010.
- Termite damage was found at the East Lake Library. Hope Cooper is working with Public Works to have the damage investigated.
- The ADA renovations are almost complete. Southside's parking lot will be completed within the next 90 days.
- The Smithfield Library roofing should be ready for bidding next week. The repair work on the entry at Smithfield Library has been completed.
Lorraine Walker and Felita Hawkins presented the 2010 African American Booklist. Bryding Adams presented Lorraine Walker a certificate of recognition. Georgia Blair presented Felita Hawkins with a certificate of recognition.
- Hope Cooper was recognized for her dedication as a BPL employee. She has developed great working relationships with the City of Birmingham and is an asset to BPL. Sam Rumore presented Hope with a certificate of recognition.
Approval of Consent Agenda
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the consent agenda. Bryding Adams seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Finance Committee Report
Thomas Adams, chair of the Finance Committee, reported that the committee met with the auditors from Banks, Finley, & White. The auditors assured the committee that the library business office has effective controls in place. The library should receive the final audit and management letter within the next week. The minutes are attached.
- Tom Adams moved the approval of the Finance Committee minutes. Sam Rumore seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Policies, Procedures, and By Laws Committee Report
- Samuel Rumore, chair of the Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee made a report. The minutes of this committee were reviewed and are attached.
- Sam Rumore moved the approval of the Policies Committee minutes. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Dora Sims, Gwendolyn Amamoo, Georgia Blair, and Gwendolyn Welch attended the 2010 ALA Midwinter Conference and reported on the meetings they attended.
Finance and Budget Update
- The audit for the library is complete. The Finance Committee will issue its report today regarding a meeting with the auditors on January 22.
- Staff has developed an online requisitions system which will also serve as a database of all items ordered by the Business Office. Thanks to Caleb West who wrote the software and created this system. This information will allow staff to monitor expenditures much more closely in the future. Staff will be able to see exactly how much is being ordered by each unit and will be able to better allocate resources.
Staff Day---$8088.39 (Includes $2000 gift from the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library) Breakdown: Harbert Center--$4801; Speaker--$1940; Staff Gifts (mugs)--$918.99; Incidentals and decorations--$427.74.
- Ghoul’s Ball 2009--$644.87
- Local Authors Expo--$2317.82 (Includes $1500 gift from the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library.) Breakdown: Rental--$1487.90; Refreshments and lunch for 168 authors--$829.92.
- An armed robbery of staff occurred at the North Avondale Branch on December 23. The police report and the security guard’s report are in the board packet today. The usual measures were taken after this incident. After speaking with the staff involved and making certain they were physically unharmed, staff accepted a temporary transfer. We spoke with the precinct captain and requested a regular drive by at closing, sent an armed security officer to the branch, and in this case, closed the branch an hour early. This week the staff opted to reinstitute regular hours and have returned to their posts. The staff was also offered and accepted counseling. The idea of closing smaller and isolated branches an hour earlier in the darkest months has been referred to the Security Committee and the neighborhood branch heads for consideration. Pam Lyons contacted Captain Moody Duff, our contact for the Community Partners Program, to ask him to remind the police to go by the branch more frequently. The branch manager reports that the police have been stopping by more frequently.
Board Travel and Conference Registration
- As a result of travel and registration difficulties for the Midwinter Conference, the director’s secretary is working on a form to be completed by each board member before travel and registration in the future. Jennifer Neely is consulting with Janice Granger, who formerly handled travel arrangements for the board for many years.
After School LSTA Grant
Janine Langston and staff are now presenting programs with funding from a grant for FY2010. As planned in the proposal, Wii equipment and craft supplies have been purchased. Additional programs are in the process of being planned and presented in various libraries, including a program designed to entertain and inform children entitled The History of Black Economic Empowerment. She is also working with Chandra Sparks Taylor on a writing project which will result in a booklet for the 2010 Summer Reading Program.
Season’s Readings and Santa Visits
- Santa Claus visited five libraries in December, including Central and the four regional branches. The attendance reported was 1,307. Approximately 1000 children had their pictures taken with Santa. As usual, it was an enormously popular event.
Season’s Readings was distributed throughout the holiday season. This year’s edition was exceptionally well done. The Season's Readings committee is to be commended, especially Ellen Lawrence, who organized the project, and Lisa Waugh, who created the graphic design.
- The director formed a committee to write a procedures manual for volunteer recruitment, opportunities, training, and management. Staff will organize and implement the library’s volunteer program. The manual will include job descriptions in addition to forms for gathering contact information for each volunteer.
More Programs and Activities at BPL
Be sure to check the BPL Blog at http://bplolinenews.blogspot.com/ to keep up with all library activities. You can subscribe and have any updates sent to your email.
Presentations and Other Director Activities
- The director became a member of the Optimist Club at the invitation and sponsorship of Dr. Paul Amamoo.
- The director attended the PLA Board meeting at Midwinter in Boston. She also represents PLA on the ALA Chapter Relations Committee and the ALA Advocacy Coordinating Group.
- The director attended “Strengthening the Public Library as an Essential Part of Urban Life” in Nashville in early December.
- The director attended a meeting with the head of the Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships of the U.S. Department of Education. This was a fact finding meeting held with education leaders in the Birmingham area. Similar meetings were held across the United States. The highlight of the meeting occurred when Kate Nielsen of the Community Foundation stated that the public library is the best resource for education in this area.
Awards and Gifts
- Friends of the Birmingham Public Library made gifts of $1500 in support of the Local Authors Expo and $2000 in support of Staff Day. (These grants were made earlier but have not been reported.)
- The Huisking Foundation donated $1000 in support of the programs of Literacy and Outreach Division.
$500 in memory of George McCoy to the North Birmingham branch by Mrs. Georgia O'Neal.
- The Literacy Outreach Division received a Literacy Providers grant of $800 from the Literacy Council. The grant was awarded to a BPL staff proposal.
- Alabama Bound received a grant of $2500 from the Alabama State Council of the Arts.
- The library received a grant of $1000 from the Charitable Trust under the Will of the Emanual A. Adler Trust. The library receives funds from this trust sporadically. The trust also benefits several other local charities and institutions.
- The Links, Incorporated, Magic City Chapter has chosen the library as a partner for 2010. This partnership will provide the library with volunteers, professional support, and some financial support.
- $5000 for BPL@Night was donated by the Alabama Power Foundation in response to a staff submitted proposal.
- Springville Road branch was awarded $1000 by Sam's Club in December
- $500 was donated to the fiction department in honor of David Blake, the department head by Mary and William Blake (no family affiliation).
Current and Upcoming Events
The 2010 African American Booklist is in your packet. We many copies, so please take some to your friends and co-workers. The staff is very excited about this issue as there are numerous wonderful titles included. This is the third year we have done this as our most significant Black History Month project. We are on the calendar for the Mayor’s Report at City Council next Tuesday. You are welcome join us. We are usually early in the program, but will not be listed separately on the agenda.
- “A Walk Through the Calendar Year: Southeastern Native Plants” which features drawings by artist Linda Fraser remain on display in the Library Gallery until February 10.
- “Alabama Illustrated: Engravings from 19th Century Newspapers” will be in the Library Gallery from February 13 through March 31. This is an exhibit curated by Jim Baggett and Kelsey Bates using documents housed in the library’s Archives Department. The exhibit has been traveling around Alabama for several months and has garnered very good reviews.
The Big Read kicks off in February. This is the first state-wide Big Read. Activities and programs in both Birmingham and Jefferson County are planned. The current edition of The Reader gives the full schedule of events at BPL and other libraries in the county.
The Special Read-It-Forward showcasingThe Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank, continues. Each board member has received a copy to read and pass it forward. Books are being distributed through the library, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and Birmingham Jewish Federation. Save the date of April 11. On that day a memorial including a plaque and a chestnut tree like the one Anne Frank could see from her window, will be dedicated to Anne Frank in Kelly Ingram Park. More details to follow.
Word Up! 2010 A Student Poetry Slam will take place on Sunday, February 28 at 3:00 PM in the Arrington Auditorium. (Staff collaborates with local schools to produce this county-wide competition.
- The director also distributed an overview of the Birmingham Public Library to the new mayor, William A. Bell, Sr.
- Nell Allen thanked the board members for turning in director evaluation forms and stated that the Personnel Committee will meet on Friday, January 29 at 11:30 a.m.
- Gwendolyn Welch moved the February board meeting from the 25th to the 18th. She also discussed adjusting smaller library hours based on the daylight-saving time schedule. Schedules will "fall back" to 8 am - 5 pm and spring forward to "9 am - 6 pm," thereby providing a full work schedule.
- Sam Rumore shared a proposed bill that would authorize governing bodies to increase members of public library boards. The director stated that this bill would not affect the Birmingham Public Library.
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary Birmingham Public Library