Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
July 22, 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,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.
- The invocation was given by Deborah Drake Blackmon from the Pratt City Library. Tom Adams presented her with a certificate of appreciation.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the agenda. Nell Allen and Dora Sims amended the agenda to include ALA Conference reports. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the consent agenda. Judge Owens seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Lauren Beavin expressed appreciation to sit in on the board meeting as a graduate student. She also thanked the board for an outstanding board meeting.
George McCall expressed concern for the East Ensley Library and thanked the board for not closing it.
- John Meehan urged the board to keep East Ensley Library open full time, while expressing appreciation for keeping it open part time.
- Laura Wainright from Regions Bank gave a report on BPL's Tutwiler account.
- Tom Adams moved the approval to change the Tutwiler account mid cap mutual fund from the Pioneer Mid Cap to the Goldman Sachs Mid Cap with a change in the large cap growth from the Pioneer Large Cap Growth to the American Century Large Cap Growth. This would include rebalancing the account to its target of 55% equities and 45% fixed income. Bryding Adams seconded the motion, which carried with a vote of 9-1 (Nell Allen opposed).
ALA Annual Conference
- Nell Allen and Dora Sims submitted written reports on their trip to the ALA Annual Conference.
- A Personnel Committee meeting was held on July 14, 2010 to tally the results of the director's evaluation.
- Georgia Blair read a summary of the tallied results aloud and will schedule a meeting with Renee Blalock to discuss the results of the evaluation.
- Georgia Blair moved that the minutes from the Personnel Committee be accepted by the board. Gwendolyn Amamoo seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Finance and Budget Update
- A report will be distributed that shows the library’s budget from the City for April before the FY2010 reductions, the June 30 FY2010 budget with the reductions, and the beginning FY2011 budget with further reductions. Amounts of reduction and percentages are shown at the bottom of the report. The Mayor’s Office has not yet given us specific instructions regarding the need for further reductions. The City is in a hiring freeze until further notice.
- Slossfield Branch will close on July 30. The staff has been assigned to other locations. Bettie Pruitt, the branch manager, will go to North Birmingham, Paul Cockrell, the assistant will go to the Southside Branch, Bertha Waller, the building service worker will go to Smithfield Branch, Natalya Payne, the page, will go to West End, and Kelvin Tatum, the security officer, will come downtown temporarily. He will be reassigned to a branch at a later time.
- Inglenook and East Ensley staff will go to other locations in the morning and will report to these branches in time to open at 2:30 as approved by the City Council. The part time staff will not be affected. Chris Roddy, branch head at East Ensley, will work in the Central Collection Management Division and his assistant, Cynthia will go to Ensley Branch. Marti Ball, Inglenook branch head, will work at Springville Road and her assistant, Michael Fagin, will work a the Avondale Branch.
- The director will inform the board of any further changes as they occur.
Buildings, Facilities and Projects Update
- East Lake Project—We have been informed that we should receive this building on or around September 12. This is contingent on receipt and successful installation of the HVAC system and completion of the interior finishes. No delays are foreseen at this time. If this schedule is correct, we will schedule the opening for mid-October.
- Powderly Project—The opening is scheduled for August 26 at 12 p.m. The installation of shelving and the new furnishings has begun.
- The first meeting of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee was held on Wednesday, July 14. The timeline for fact gathering was determined and tentative dates for the retreat were proposed. A site for the retreat will be determined soon and everyone will be informed. Georgia Morgan Blair, chair of the Long Range Planning Committee, represents the board on this committee. Clarus will be conducting interviews over the next few weeks; on September 1 they will conduct a “community café” at the BPL Joint Branch and Department Heads Meeting in order to train BPL’s staff to conduct these conversations with community members and patrons at each location. Clarus will also conduct an in depth written survey of 20 BPL employees and then a shorter online survey of all BPL staff. Among the interviewees will be Mayor Bell, Council President Royal, all board members, Jim White, David Herring, Pat Rumore, and all three members of the library administration.
- Regional branch responsibilities will be reorganized due to the closing of Slossfield. Powderly Branch will be in the Western Region under Ginger Guthrie’s leadership and the Ensley Branch will move to the Northern Region under Marguerite Scott’s leadership.
- Renee Blalock attended the City Department Heads and City Council meetings. At the July 13 meeting, the Council voted to declare the NCAAL a public purpose and will make a donation to go toward the welcome reception and other needs associated with our support of this conference.
ALA Annual Conference
- Five staff members attended this conference in Washington DC in June. BPL staff and board members along with others from our state participated in Advocacy Day on the Hill with a rally and visits to Alabama congressmen. Renee Blalock participated in a question and answer session at the ALA Membership Pavilion. She answered questions regarding advocacy from ALA attendees, who also heard from Ron Carlee, a former county manager and an Executive in Residence, International City/County Management Association. He gave advice on building relationships with library funding decision makers, especially governmental.
- This was Renee Blalock's last meeting as a member of the Public Library Association Board of Directors. Serving on this board has been a true learning experience for her. She has been asked to serve on the PLA Nominating Committee and will continue representing PLA on the ALA Advocacy Coordinating Group.
- Take a look at BPLonline.org. We now have a “Support your Library” button that takes visitors to a really easy way to contribute money to the library. We plan to publicize this method and others to our users so that we can raise some funds to supplement the library materials acquisitions budget that has been severely cut.
Gifts and Grants Received (June and July)
- Arlington Neighborhood Association donated $1,000 to the West End Branch.
- Sandusky Neighborhood Association donated $3,000 towards the cost of repair to the roof at Pratt City Branch.
- Central City Neighborhood Association donated $700 for a new television for the Youth Department at Central Library.
- Christina Tabereaux donated $100 to BPL.
- Shannon Snead donated $150 to the Five Points West Branch in honor of Mrs. Shirley Black Lee
Mr. & Mrs. William K. Blake, Jr. donated $500 to BPL Fiction department (No kin to David Blake, the department head.)
- Hanna Steel Corporation donated $300 to the Wylam Branch
- Peggy Maxwell donated $100 to the Southside Branch
- Dolores Hydock donated $500 to Central Public Services Division
Current and Upcoming Events
- Member Day, 2010 will take place at the Birmingham Public Library at all locations on Saturday, July 24. This annual event allows all members of any local cultural organization to visit others with no admission charge. Visit five or more and your postcard will be entered in a drawing for a prize worth $1800. There will be two performances at Central Library. The Birmingham Art Museum will provide art activities in the morning from 10-12 and the Embellishments Handbell Ensemble will perform from 3:30 to 4:15. Cards with the schedule are provided today or can be picked up at any BPL location and the other museums and institutions participating.
- Staff continues to set up a promotional booth at the Wednesday Downtown Farmers Market. We have reached many people with information about events and services at the library.
- Summer Reading is coming to a close at all locations. There will be swimming parties for the teen participants at three area YMCA locations.
- Thursday, July 22 has arrived and the exhibition and event sponsored by the Alabama Psychological Association (APA) “Heads Up Alabama! Psychology Promotes Healthy Living,” will open and showcase the critical role played by psychological components in overall health and wellness. Three foot tall fiber glass heads mounted on pedestals and decorated by artists chosen by a jury in May will be placed throughout the library. The library is the first venue for this exhibit.
- It’s almost here! Hope you can join us for at least some of the events for the National Conference of African American Librarians which will take place here in Birmingham from August 4-8. Pam Lyons, Janice Granger, and their committee have done an outstanding job planning for this event. All board members are invited to a welcome reception on August 6. This event will be from 6:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. A major sponsor for the reception is the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library. The programs and workshops planned for this conference are outstanding. Many members of the BPL staff will be presenting.
- Council President Roderick Royal will hold his annual school supply give-away program at Pratt City, Wylam, and North Birmingham Branches on Saturday August 7 from 8-11 a.m.
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.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo requested that administration distribute packets of the Department of Homeland Security Art Project in libraries.
- Dora Sims expressed her concern for the future of libraries with Alabama Representative Bobby Bright.
- Samuel Rumore will receive an MLS from the University of Alabama and will be unable to attend the NCAAL Conference.
Georgia Blair congratulated Nell Allen on her editorial letter published in The Birmingham News on July 17, 2010 regarding the closure of Tuscaloosa Avenue.
- She also thanked the board for their cooperation with the Personnel Committee.
- Gwendolyn Welch encouraged trustees to visit all the libraries and congratulate the staff on their great work.
- She attended the City Council meeting on the budget and gave the council members a thank you note for their support from the board.
- She encouraged trustees to write elected officials expressing the importance of libraries.
- She stated that the board must continue to advocate for funding for the Birmingham Public Library.
- She encouraged the East Ensley Neighborhood representatives to advocate for libraries.
Meeting adjourned at 10:00 a.m.
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary