Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
February 18, 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, Samuel A. Rumore, Dora Sims
Board Members Not Present
Trustees: Reverend Anthony A. Johnson
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 Georgia Morgan Blair.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect's Office
- Progress is being made on the renovations at Powderly Library and should be completed by the middle of March.
- Progress is being made on the renovations at East Lake Library, despite problems with the soil conditions.
- The drawings have been completed for the roof replacement at Smithfield Library.
Approval of Agenda
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the agenda. Bryding Adams seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Byron Williams, an employee since 2004, works at the Eastwood Mall Library. Byron, a good spirited, flexible employee works well with children.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo presented Byron Williams with a certificate of recognition from the board.
Approval of Consent Agenda
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the consent agenda with amendments to the personnel and travel expense reports.
- Georgia Blair stated that she wanted her travel expenses reconciled with the library report.
- Georgia Blair asked whether or not the library conducts exit interviews. Renee Blalock stated that library does not do so unless requested.
- The board asked administration to put in place a process for conducting exit interviews for full-time BPL staff who have worked at least five years.
- Gwendolyn Welch asked whether or not April Spence was part time. Renee Blalock stated that April Spence was a part-time employee who then accepted a full-time position. The full-time position is at a lower level than her part-time position. April was given the standard 5% raise. The personnel report will be corrected to reflect this.
- Gwendolyn Welch inquired about the raise given to part-time employees who become full-time employees at the same level. Renee Blalock state that a standard 5% raise is given.
Personnel Committee Report
- Nell Allen distributed and reviewed the minutes of the Personnel Committee meeting held on January 29, 2010.
- Dora Sims, Personnel Committee member, stated that the committee agreed that all evaluation comments should be shared with all board members to ensure openness and understanding.
- Tom Adams agreed that all comments should be shared.
- Georgia Blair cautioned the board on transparency when dealing with evaluations.
- The director reviewed each board member's evaluation/comments and distributed her response to each. The director also distributed a general response to her evaluation.
- Administration will distribute evaluation comments on the director to all board members.
- Gwendolyn Welch thanked all trustees for participating in the director's evaluation. In the past, the director was evaluated by the Personnel Committee.
- Board members should submit additional evaluation questions for the yearly evaluation.
Long Range Planning Committee Report
- Georgia Blair distributed and reviewed the minutes from the Long Range Planning Committee meeting held on February 4, 2010.
- The director has initiated communications with Robert A. M. Stern Architects, LLP of New York, in regards to a proposal for providing a plan for renovation at the Central Library complex. Stern Architects are highly experienced with library projects. The director has begun the search for a company to assist with a strategic plan.
Buildings, Facilities, and Projects Update
- BPL has received complaints from members of the Pratt City community about the persistent leaks at that branch. Requests for funding have been forwarded to the appropriate staff with the City. The mayor's office has been apprised of the complaints and the vital need for this situation to be corrected. See also Hope Cooper’s February Buildings Report.
Finance and Budget Update
- The board was given a final copy of the audit for FY2009 today.
- Attached is the monthly budget report for January 2010.
- The mayor’s office has announced that the budget process will be different this year. Each department and agency will be asked to submit a request of what they feel they truly need. That said, they also stated that it should be realistic and that BPL may be instructed to cut spending, but will be allowed to cut where deemed appropriate. The director will inform the board as soon as documents are received for the request. The director has asked the coordinators to submit essential needs they have for more funding.
- The Security Manual has been submitted to the coordinators for their comments and suggestions. The director distributed the table of contents to the board to see the direction and basic outline of the manual. Jennifer Neely is working on getting the whole manual in electronic format so that it can be put on the intranet. The committee wants to get comments from branch and department heads and their staff before finalizing the manual. (Once the electronic copy is available it will be sent to all the trustees, for comments and suggestions, before the final draft is submitted to the city attorney and the BPL Board for approval).
Board Travel and Conference Registration
- The draft of the travel and registration form for board members was sent to all trustees for comment. Staff is in the process of reviewing these. It will be sent to the board once completed.
African American Booklist
- The city print shop has repaired its printer and will reprint the "African American Booklist" with corrected colors, and board members, and officers. Board members will receive corrected copies.
- The Volunteer Program Committee continues its work on a procedures manual for volunteer recruitment, opportunities, training, and management. Staff will organize and implement the volunteer program. The manual will include job descriptions and forms for contact and other pertinent information for each volunteer.
Gifts and Grants Received
- $1000 from Rep. John Rogers, Jr. to the West End Library with no specific designations. Maya Jones, branch head, plans to use the funds for summer reading and other programs for children.
- $500 from Regions Bank to be used for the 2010 WORD UP! poetry slam.
Current and Upcoming Events
Be sure to check the BPL Blog at http://bplolinenews.blogspot.com to keep up with all the activities going on at this library. You can subscribe and have any updates sent to your email if you have not already done so.
- “Alabama Illustrated: Engravings from 19th Century Newspapers” has been hung 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. Several interesting programs will be presented during this exhibit.
- The Big Read kicked off on February 16. Check "The Reader" for events and programs.
- "Alabama Bound" will be on March 20 and will showcase "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and author Mark Twain.
- Save the date of April 11. On that day, in Kelly Ingram Park, a memorial, including a plaque and a Horse Chestnut tree like the one Ann Frank could see from her hiding place window, will be dedicated to her and all victims of intolerance and discrimination. More details to come.
- Word Up! 2010 A Student Poetry Slam which is part of the Big Read/Alabama Reads program will be held on Sunday February 28 at 3:00 PM in the Arrington Auditorium. (Staff collaborates with local schools to produce this county wide competition.)
- Nell Allen thanked Debbie Dahlin for providing a means for her to read the Collection Management Manual.
- Samuel Rumore inquired about the status of the vacancy of the library board member seat. Gwendolyn Welch stated that Councilor Roderick Royal is aware of the vacancy.
- Gwendolyn Welch congratulated administration for their first ever presentation made to the Birmingham Board of Education.
- Gwendolyn Welch also stated that she would like some of the historic materials at the Board of Education to be moved the Library.
- Gwendolyn Welch requested that board members read articles in the "Birmingham News" featuring BPL.
- "Alabama Bound" is Saturday, March 20, 2010.
- Claudette Camp from Avondale Library is having emergency surgery. Please remember her and her family in your prayers.
Submitted By Irene S. Blalock, Secretary Birmingham Public Library