Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
September 23, 2010
Central Library Boardroom
Meeting Called By
Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: 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. Welch.
- The invocation was given by Claudette Camp from Avondale Library. She has been employed by BPL since 1982. Mrs. Welch and Mr. Rumore thanked her for her service.
- Ms. Blalock added reports by Terry Oglesby, City Architect, and Margaret Jones, from Margaret Jones Interiors, to the agenda.
- Mrs. Sims added a Friends Committee report to the agenda.
- Mrs. Blair moved the approval of the agenda. Mr. Rumore seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- Powderly Library renovations have been completed. There is still a problem with the HVAC system, which will soon be resolved.
- East Lake renovations will soon be completed. BPL staff will visit on Monday, September 27 for a brief walk through.
- The roof at Smithfield Library is complete.
- The roof at Titusville Library will be completed within a week.
- ADA work at Southside Library has been completed. There were also some drainage problems, which have since been repaired.
- The Avondale Park renovation project has opened for bids.
Mike Lee--Birmingham Public Library Security
- Mike Lee has been employed with BPL as the head of security since 2002.
- He related the number of incident reports and the specific offenses for the month of August.
- He stated that there are five full time security guards and two security stations at the Central Library. Each branch has a security guard who works from 3 p.m. until closing.
Margaret Jones, Margaret Jones Interiors
- Margaret Jones presented the carpet, paint, and tile choices for the Titusville Library. The board approved selections made by branch staff.
- Mrs. Sims stated that Patron Appreciation Day for the library will be celebrated on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 during the National Friends of Library Week from 11:00-2:00 at each branch. Cake (paid for by the Friends and Board Fund) will be served.
- Mrs. Sims asked that all board members contribute to the Board Fund which will help fund Patron Appreciation Day and the appreciation luncheon for the Mayor and City Council.
- The Friends annual meeting will be held on Sunday, October 17, 2010. Kathryn Windham will be the featured speaker.
Director's Report (as presented to the board)
Buildings, Facilities, and Projects Update
- East Lake Library is scheduled to reopen on October 28. The opening will take place at noon following the board meeting, similar to the Powderly opening.
- The City is in the process of leasing the Slossfield building to the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity (JCCEO) for six months.
Finance and Budget Update
- A copy of the Library Fund Budget and a copy of the July City Budget Report were provided in the board packet sent out last week. Please, let me know if you have any questions.
- The library presently has a number of vacant positions. I have sent a request to the Mayor’s Office that we be allowed to advertise and fill these positions immediately.
The annual audit of the library has begun. The auditor, Lindy Eichelberger of Hullett, Kellum & McKinney, P.C., expects to be able to present the audit to the board at the November meeting at the latest.
City Retirement Incentive Plan
- Thirty one library employees have completed applications for the City of Birmingham’s retirement incentive plan. I have attached a spreadsheet listing the applicants and their location. The application can be rescinded through October 29. Some of those listed have not made a final determination of whether they will accept the incentive plan or stay in their position. All want to see the actual amounts of the incentives and their regular retirement income. The City Personnel Office is holding small meetings for all of the applicants. Administration and the coordinators are working on plans to reorganize where necessary. I am certain that the City will not allow immediate filling of all these positions so we will try to anticipate our needs. The City will undoubtedly delete some of these positions. This is both a challenge and an opportunity to reorganize the library and sustain all our excellent services at the current level with a reduced staff. I will keep the board informed of this process as it develops.
Meeting with Pratt City Community
- I attended the Pratt City Community meeting on August 31 to discuss the concerns raised at the August library board meeting. It was a very cordial meeting and they made me feel most welcome. I gave a detailed report of library expenditures for Pratt City Branch, especially the roof replacement project and interior upgrades. I also reported on our receipt of neighborhood funding for repairing the connection of the roof with the other parts of the building which has caused a great deal of concern to the community. We reviewed the neighborhoods which have allocated funds for this project and discovered that the library has received only one of these allocations--Sandusky. They all agreed to check with the Community Development staff at the City to ensure that the other grants which have been approved will be sent to the Library. Library staff has begun planning for these repairs to be made as soon as the funding is in place. We did discover one neighborhood grant which had not been spent and I have taken care of that.
- We also discussed the library’s ability to distribute supplies to the public. I explained the inadequate funding from the City and all the items such, as bar codes and other library specific supplies, which we must purchase. I explained that we will be continuing to have scratch paper and golf pencils for the public. In addition they will be allowed to use staplers, scissors, and hole punches, but they must be used at the service desk to avoid loss.
Strategic Plan/Central Architectural Planning
- Clarus has completed interviews including Mayor Bell and Council President Royal. Lengthy surveys by 22 BPL staff members have been completed. Library staff, which has been trained by Clarus, are in the process of scheduling “community conversations.” Conversations will be held throughout the library system and will gather data from a broad range of citizens. You will receive a schedule of these as soon as it is done. A brief online survey will go out to all staff very soon.
- Alex Lamis and Deirdre Cerminaro of Stern Architecture are now working on a final report which they are basing on the information they have gathered from library board, the foundation, and staff from observation on site visits. They expect to present this later this fall.
- Attached you will find a corrected copy of the Monthly Statistical Report.
- Neighborhood branches, including Wylam, Ensley, North Avondale, Woodlawn, and Powderly, will close at 5:00 p.m. from November 22 though January 7. East Ensley and Inglenook will be open from 1:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. instead of 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. during this period.
Gifts and Grants Received
(August 26-September 22)
- The donation campaign, BPL Campaign 2010, has been very successful. We have received very favorable media support and this has helped tremendously. As of Tuesday, September 21, $8,925 has been received. The “Donate Now” button on our Web page is extremely easy to use. Some people have taken this opportunity to write very positive notes accompanying their checks. We would like for all board members to make a donation to this drive. The amount is not important but having all board members support the campaign is.
- The library has four students from the Holy Family Cristo Rey High School this year. Each student works one day a week and they take turns working the fifth day sharing one job during the school year. They are working in the Collection Management Division. They are excellent workers, and we are all very much enjoying having them. The funding for this job was donated to the Cristo Rey Program specifically to fund a job in the library.
- Other donations: Trinity United Methodist Church donated $1,000 to North Birmingham to be used for Art to Go workshops, Dr. Lawrence Rosen (former library board president) made a $300 donation, and Representative Merika Coleman made a $5,000 donation to the Powderly, West End, Ensley, and Central libraries.
Current and Upcoming Events
- Food for Fines will continue at all locations until the end of September.
- Poetry Slam Workshops leading up to Word Up! 2011 will be held on October 2, November 6, December 4, and January 8. These workshops will be conducted by DISCO, a nonprofit writing program for young people and Real Life Poets, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to mentor young adults by encouraging good communication and oratorical skills using spoken word poetry.
Bards & Brews: Poetry Slam/Beer Tasting, October 1, Central Library at 6:30. (Attendees must be 18 or over and IDs will be checked.)
- National Friends of Libraries Week, October 17-23.
- Annual Friends Meeting, October 17 at 3:00 p.m., Arrington Auditorium. Kathryn Tucker Windham, noted Alabama storyteller, will speak. There will be a brief business meeting.
- Patron Appreciation Day on October 20. Cake and welcome for all patrons throughout the system.
- The Friends of the Birmingham Public Library present BPL@Night, October 21.
- The Digital Bookmobile sponsored by Overdrive, our vendor for audio and ebook download-able books, will be parked in front of BPL on Wednesday, October 20 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. They will be demonstrating the latest in downloadable audio books and ebooks for staff and the public.
- Staff Day is scheduled for October 21. Sandra Nelson will reprise her very interesting and popular talk at the Public Library Association National Conference in March entitled “Reimagine, Reinvent, Reallocate: Our New Reality.” The Friends of the Birmingham Public Library have agreed to contribute $2000 to make this event possible and have added $600 to that so that we can have an appreciation breakfast in honor of all the work done for the Black Caucus, the Powderly opening, and preparation for the East Lake opening to come. Staff day will be held in the Boutwell Auditorium. Continental breakfast and registration from 7:30-8:30 a.m. The Program will run from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Box lunches to go for all when the program ends.
- BOO Ball at the Central Library on October 30, 2010. BPL has been selected to be the recipient of funds raised by the annual BOO Ball. Proceeds will go into the library’s donation fund for books, DVDs, audio books, and music.
Be sure to check the BPL Blog at http://bplolinenews.blogspot.com/ to keep up with all the activities going on at the library. You can subscribe and have any updates sent to your email if you have not already done so.
- Mr. Rumore stated that he and Patricia Rumore will be taking their annual trip to Notre Dame and visiting the Gerald Ford Library while there.
- Mrs. Blair thanked administration for its work on the Black Caucus events and stated that she enjoyed making her presentation at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church as a part of the conference.
- Mrs. Sims stated that the Friends donated $500.00 to help with the completion of the Learning Tree Park. The Friends will be acknowledged in the plaque that will be in the Learning Tree Park.
- Reverend Johnson thanked Mrs. Welch and Ms. Blalock for helping BPL handle the stresses of the financial burden of the library as well as the lawsuit.
- Ms. Amamoo thanked BPL staff for their support when she held an event at the Arrington Auditorium. Mrs. Amamoo also stated that the Ghana Committee donated artwork to the Powderly Library.
- Mrs. Allen stated that because of a grant for $245,000.00, the Learning Tree Park will finally be completed. Mrs. Allen also thanked Renee Rotan for her dedication and hard work in contributing to the completion of the park and requested that board members consider making a donation to the park.
- Ms. Adams stated that there will be a groundbreaking ceremony for the new theater at the School of Fine Arts on September 23, 2010 at 1:30 p.m.
- Ms. Welch thanked Karen Clark, Titusville Library, for her positive postings on social networking sites; Saundra Ross and Marie Nash of North Avondale Library for their partnership with Gibson K-5 School, winners of the summer reading award, and Renee Kemp Rotan for her dedication to making Birmingham a better city in which to live. She asked staff to request scrap paper from the print shop for use at libraries.
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary