Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
February 24, 2011
Meeting Called By
Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, President; Dora Sims, Vice-President, Nell Allen, Gwendolyn R. Amamoo, Georgia Morgan Blair, Reverend Anthony Johnson, Judge Shanta' Owens, Patricia Rumore, Samuel Rumore, Judge Scott Vowell
Call To Order
- Meeting was called to order by Mrs. Welch.
- The invocation was given by Karen Clark from Titusville Library. Reverend Johnson presented Ms. Clark with a certificate of recognition.
- Mrs. Blair moved the approval of the agenda. Mrs. Amamoo seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Mrs. Blair moved the approval of the consent agenda with the following correction:
- Nell Allen did attend the January 27, 2011 board meeting.
- Judge Owens seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Public Relations Committee
- The Public Relations Committee met on Thursday, February 17, 2011.
- The committee reviewed a draft of the public relations policy and noted three grammatical changes. The board will review the policy and vote on it at the March 24, 2011 board meeting.
- The committee discussed changes to the BPL logo. It was decided that administration would research marketing firms that could design a new logo and report back to the PR Committee.
- The Personnel Committee met on Thursday, February 3, 2011.
- Mrs. Allen moved the approval of the BPL hiring procedures. Mrs. Blair seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Ms. Blalock stated that is was not acceptable to require job applicants to attach their own police background check to their application according to our city attorney. Ms. Blalock will contact Chief A.C. Roper in order to find out if the police department will be willing to conduct background checks on applicants who work in children's areas throughout the library. Ms. Blalock will also report back on the Child Protection Act.
- Mrs. Allen moved the approval of the Personnel Committee minutes. Ms. Blair seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Friends Advocacy Committee
- The Friends Advocacy Committee met on Friday, February 4, 2011.
- The "thank you" reception will be held on Thursday, March 31, 2011.
- Mrs. Sims moved the approval of the Friends Advocacy minutes. Judge Vowell seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- The Friends will host a book sale on Friday and Saturday, June 3-4, 2011. If any board member has items to donate, such as books, CDs, etc., please let Ms. Rumore know.
- The Friends will be holding a membership drive in April 2011 in which membership prices will be 1/2 off. Ms. Rumore requested that board members submit names and addresses of any person that may be interested in joining the Friends.
- Mrs. Welch made the 2011 committee assignments. (attached)
Buildings, Facilities and Projects Update
- For details, see Ms. Hall's Buildings Report.
- Many HVAC problems continue. All have been reported to the City but have not been resolved. Details are in the Buildings Report.
Finance and Budget Update
- A copy of the Library Fund Budget and a copy of the City Budget Report for February 2011 are provided in the board packet. Please let me know if you have any questions.
- There are reports on the two funds held for BPL by the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. Both show improvement and indicate that the recovery in the stock market is benefiting our funds. The BPL-Hibbert M. Weathers, Jr. Fund ended the year at $101,550.36 and the BPL Healthworkers Fund at $68,746.08.
Personnel Procedures Changes Update
- Library hiring procedures have been revised with changes proposed by the Board Personnel Committee and will be voted on at today's meeting.
- The Board Personnel Committee is in the process of approving job descriptions for the hiring of the Volunteer Retirement Incentive Program (VRIP) positions once the City gives us the go ahead. Peggy Polk is currently reviewing the job descriptions.
- I have resubmitted information regarding the reclassification of the Neighborhood Branch Head position to the Mayor, the Mayor's Chief of Operations and Chief of Staff. I have not yet had a response.
- I completed Angela Hall's annual evaluation. Not surprisingly she received very high marks. Her performance has truly been excellent in every way. I am very lucky to have a person of such outstanding abilities and personal qualities as my associate director. We have grown into a very effective team especially since the retirements of December 3.
Life Without our 25 Retirees
- We have not yet been given permission to fill positions vacated by the VRIP but I did meet with the mayor and his chiefs of staff and operations on Monday, February 14. I presented the library's plan for filling positions vacated, including the costs of filled positions and savings of deleted positions. The meeting was very positive, but I was not informed when they will finalize their plan and give us permission to fill the positions. I will inform the board of any news on this issue. They also asked about our acquisitions funding and what we need. It was a good opportunity to talk about the issues inherent in library acquisitions that make it difficult to work with reduced funding. For example, we have just added downloadable ebooks but there is not slackening of our demand for print materials. This has been true over the years with video, audio CDs, downloadable audio books, and it is coming with downloadable music. They seemed receptive to the library's need for increased acquisitions funding. I also explained the difference in library supply funds which must go for such items as bar codes, plastic book jackets, and other items specific to libraries that they may not have been aware that we need. I asked for an increase in the office supply line item for this reason.
- As part of our consolidation and reorganization of services, the Inter Library Loan process has moved to Collection Development. Staff there is now processing all ILL requests. This change is transparent to the public with no interruption in service.
- Angela Hall and I are working on a better way to report security issues and incidents to the board. We plan to have a more consolidated report next month. We believe that we can do a better job of giving you a picture of overall security activities in a much more compact format. This month you will receive the incident reports as usual.
- Labels denoting African American authors have been ordered. They will be distributed to all branches. Branch staff will be responsible for putting them on their holdings by African American authors.
We plan to have the Computer Commons open by February 21. The area has been wired and configured for optimal use. We were disappointed that our WiFi plan did not work. However, public WiFi service will be upgraded using this grant at Central and the four regional branches. We are in the process of writing a grant for next year to upgrade the public WiFi at all locations.
- I do not remember informing the board that we are the beneficiaries of the Holy Family Christo Rey program. A donor made a gift to that school so that the library would have students working here at the library. This is a wonderful program that provides a college preparatory education at no cost to disadvantaged youth by partnering with corporate sponsors who provide funding and one full time job that is performed by four students. Our students work in the Collection Management Division. This has worked out very well and we have been very pleased with our student workers. We have heard through the grapevine that they are also pleased with us and their work here.
- The library has had very good responses to the many Black History Month programs and events presented across the library system. Not only have we presented many special programs for all ages, but all regular programs such as story times have had a Black history theme.
- The work of the task force updating the BPL Staff Manual is progressing well. We hope to be able to present a draft for approval of the board soon.
- BPL's African American Book List is available for you today. Let us know if you need more copies.
Gifts and Grants Received
- Alabama Power Foundation has contributed $2500 for BPL's after school programming for children. We were told that the committee was very impressed with the programs BPL offers to Birmingham school children and “wish they could have given more.” Kudos to our youth team!
- Representative John Rogers has given the West End Branch $3000. Half is to be used to purchase library materials and half is to be used for programs in the library.
- We have been notified that we will receive a grant from the Junior League of Greater Birmingham of $3440 for our Family Place Library program. This grant will allow us to expand and offer 1,2,3 Play With Me programs at the Central Library. Also included in the grant is 16 volunteers from the League.
- Funding for two branches was given by Councilor Royal and Councilor Hoyt recently. $800 was for Pratt City's annual Christmas program and $800 to Five Points West for library materials.
- Neighborhood allocations--$150 from Wylam Neighborhood Association (NA) for the purchase of a color printer, label maker, and other office supplies for the Wylam Branch; $250 from the East Lake NA to the East Lake Branch for the purchase of books; $500 from the Echo Highlands NA for the purchase of library materials for Springville Road Branch.
- The “Donate Now” button on our website is extremely easy to use. 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.
Current and Upcoming Events
In a partnership with the Birmingham Metro NAACP and others, the library is participating in “Black History 2011 Salutes the Life and Legacy of Malachi Wilkerson, 1884-1935.” Malachi Wilkerson was head of the manual training department, directed the choir at Industrial High for many years, and was regarded as one of the finest educators in Birmingham. A Web site with more information can be found at the following address: http://www.bplonline.org/resources/Digital_Project/Malachi_Wilkerson.asp
- Bards and Brews will be on March 4 at the Central Library at 6:30. (Attendees must be 18 or over and IDs will be checked.) This program is supported by a $1000 grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.
- Federal tax forms are available at all BPL locations.
Please help spread the word: SaveFirst, a free tax help program that is sponsored by Impact Alabama, will operate out of Woodlawn, Smithfield, and West End branches from January 17 through the week of March 5.
- February 21—April 8 Darkness Into Life, a series of photographs of Holocaust survivors by photographer Becky Seitel and artist Mitzi J. Levin.
- April 11—May 27 Ashley Bryan in partnership with UAB.
The library catalog, including patron account services, is now available on your mobile phone. We are very excited about this. To access it go to http://m.vulcan.bham.lib.al.us/ from your phone. You can also download an icon so you can go directly to it with out putting in the URL. Try it and let us know what you think.
- Dial a Story - Call 226-3650 to listen to a great story over the phone!
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.
Budget Request Fiscal Year 2012
- Ms. Blalock distributed and reviewed the Fiscal Year 2012 budget request that will be submitted to the Mayor's office. (attached)
- Ms. Blair moved the approval of the Fiscal Year 2012 Budget request with the following change:
- request restoration of the full amount of the 2011 library materials budget
- Judge Vowell seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Mrs. Amamoo suggested that the library hold a BPL logo creation contest among employees. Mrs. Amamoo also thanked Ms. Blalock and Ms. Hall for their hard work.
- Samuel Rumore distributed a 1965 bond issue information sheet found in the collection of attorney Nina Miglianico.
- Ms. Allen stated that she enjoyed Barbara Sirmans Brown Bag Lunch program and thanked library staff for holding many children and youth activities. Mrs. Allen also stated that she has completed three ALTAFF training sessions and that during those sessions, she learned that the library board should only set policy and then let administration do its job.
Ms. Sims attended the Dr. Ethel Hall and Barbara Sirmans Brown Bag Lunch programs. Mrs. Sims also stated that she enjoyed The Help book discussion.
- Reverend Johnson thanked Titusville Library for hosting the Board meeting.
- Mrs. Welch completed the ALTAFF Trustee Training Academy and stated that she enjoyed "The Help" book discussion.
- Mrs. Welch also thanked Titusville for hosting the board meeting.
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary