Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
May 20, 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' Owens, Vice-President; Bryding Adams, Nell Allen, Gwendolyn R. Amamoo, Reverend Anthony Johnson, Samuel Rumore, Dora Sims
Board Members Not Attending
Thomas Adams and Georgia Morgan Blair
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 Nell Allen, library board trustee.
- Dora Sims moved approval of the agenda. Gwendolyn Amamoo seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Bobby Horne, president of the North Avondale Neighborhood Association and Edward Maddox, President of North Woodlawn Neighborhood Association, urged the board to keep the North Avondale Library open.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
Construction on the Powderly Library is complete. The contractor is working on punch list. AT&T has not yet run phone lines.
- The City is negotiating costs for a new HVAC system for East Lake Library. Cost to repair roof damage is between $1,000 and $9,000.
- Smithfield roof replacement is on schedule and a preconstruction meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 24, 2010.
- The roofing project for North Birmingham Library is in the design phase.
- Dr. Dannetta K. Thornton Owens presented the Archives Department with the official papers of the Birmingham Semper Fidelis Club, a black women's club started 110 years ago.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo presented Dr. Owens with a certificate of recognition.
- Nell Allen stated that the following changes need to be made to the April 22, 2010 minutes:
- The director's evaluation will remain as is in November. Each board member was asked to request a copy of the evaluation from the secretary. The director should have a yearly evaluation in May 2010.
- Virginia Guthrie's name was spelled incorrectly.
- Bryding Adams moved approval of the consent agenda. Nell Allen seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Renee Blalock, Pam Lyons, Angela Hall, and all coordinators met on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 to discuss the possibility of closing five libraries. Renee Blalock distributed a branch closure proposal which listed Slossfield, North Avondale, East Ensley, Inglenook, and Ensley libraries.
- Nell Allen stated that administration should take a look at the budget and for the time being and not propose any library closings.
- Bryding Adams requested the amount of savings from closing the libraries.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo suggested the closure of Eastwood Library.
- Nell Allen stated that we should not close both Ensley Library and East Ensley Library.
- Dora Sims stated that Ensley neighborhood residents may not have the means to travel to other libraries if both Ensley and East Ensley libraries are closed.
- Anthony Johnson stated that the library board should meet with the Mayor and other City officials to discuss alternatives to closing libraries.
- Samuel Rumore asked whether or not the library would still be responsible for paying rent at Eastwood if that branch were to close. Renee Blalock will research this information and report back to the board.
- Gwendolyn Welch is concerned about the closing of North Avondale because of the schools in the vicinity and the dangers of children crossing busy intersections and railroad tracks to reach other libraries. Gwendolyn Welch stated that the board will table the discussion of library closures until more information can be obtained.
Friends Advocacy Committee Report
- Dora Sims presented a proposal from Roberts Fine Cuisine for the Mayor and City Council appreciation luncheon.
- Nell Allen, Gwendolyn Amamoo, and Bryding Adams suggested postponing the luncheon until a later date.
Samuel Rumore shared the book History of Gadsden Public Library and suggested that the Birmingham Public Library compose a similar book in honor of BPL's 100th anniversary in 2013.
- Renee Blalock stated that the 2010 summer reading kick-off take place in Linn Park on Wednesday, May 26, 2010.
- Nell Allen stated that she was disappointed that administration recommended five libraries to close in the proposal.
- Anthony Johnson stated that the board should schedule a meeting with City officials to discuss the recommendation to close libraries.
- Judge Owens stated the the process used in proposing the closing of libraries was good.
- Dora Sims agreed with Judge Owens that the process was good and also stated that she believed that none of our libraries should close.
- Samuel Rumore stated that Gwendolyn Welch's article was spotlighted in the Voice for the American Library Association. He also stated that his law partner, Ms. Nina Miglionico, donated several items to the BPL Archives before her death.
Gwendolyn Welch thanked Birmingham News reporter Hannah Wolfson for her library advocacy. She also thanked Renee Blalock, Pam Lyons, and Angela Hall and the entire library board for their professionalism in preparing the closing and/or consolidation documents.
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary