Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
March 24, 2011
Central Library Boardroom
Meeting Called By
Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, President; Dora Sims, Vice-President, Georgia Morgan Blair, Reverend Anthony Johnson, Judge Owens, Patricia Rumore,Samuel Rumore, Katrina Watson
Call To Order
- Meeting was called to order by President Gwendolyn B. Welch.
- The invocation was given by Candice Hardy from Administration. Nell Allen presented Ms. Hardy with a certificate of appreciation.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the agenda. Renee Blalock added Personnel Committee report to the agenda. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Public Relations Committee
- Judge Owens moved the approval of the Public Relations Policy. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Judge Owens stated that administration submitted logo proposals from four companies. Judge Owens will review the proposals and report back to the Public Relations Committee.
- The Personnel Committee met on Wednesday, March 23, 2011.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the minutes. Anthony Johnson seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Friends Advocacy Committee
- The thank you reception will be held on Thursday, March 31 from 4pm-6pm in the Board Room.
- Sam Rumore shared information about the Alabama Preservation Network. He wants the Birmingham Public Library to serve as the first public library to preserve digital collections.
Buildings, Facilities and Projects Update
- I have spoken to Andre Bittas regarding the North Birmingham Project. We are in the process of scheduling a meeting to make plans to begin this project ASAP.
- For details, see Angela Hall's Buildings Report.
- Details of continuing HVAC problems 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 March 2011 were sent by email and are provided in the board packet. Please, let me know if you have any questions.
- We submitted the library's budget request with the changes directed in last month's board meeting. We also met with the City Finance Department staff to answer questions regarding the library's budget request. The meeting went well with few questions regarding our requests.
Personnel Procedures Changes Update
- The City has given us permission to fill twelve positions vacated in the Volunteer Retirement Incentive Program (VRIP). The positions are: Accounting Assistant II (Business Office); Assistant Building Superintendent; Communications/Public Relations Head, Coordinator of Information Technology (IT) Services, Regional Branch Department Librarian II; Library Assistant III (Avondale Youth Department, Central Circulation; Five Points West Youth Department, Springville Road Adult Department); Library Courier/Van Driver; PC Network Technician; and Personnel Assistant (Administration). The Board Personnel Committee is in the process of approving job descriptions for these positions and is meeting on March 23, 2011. As soon as the descriptions are approved we will post them as outlined in the Hiring Procedures. We are very excited at the prospect of restoring some of our staff lost in the VRIP last year.
- I have investigated background checks and have a recommendation. Most of the larger public libraries in Jefferson County perform background checks and use various methods. I am recommending that BPL begin this process as part of hiring these twelve positions.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Changes and Improvements
- The move of ILL to the Collection Management area has been a success. The process has been streamlined and changed in ways that favor the user but do not make more work for the staff. You have seen a couple of complaints regarding ILL in the board packet this month. All issues in these complaints have been both resolved for the person complaining but also for all users so they will not recur. BPL handles all ILL requests for the libraries in Jefferson County and staff at all locations have been informed and trained in these changes. We expect the process to be much smoother in the future.
We have provided a new security report for your information. The report gives a summary of all incidents from the small to the larger, more serious ones. You will have noticed a large number at the Southside Branch. In order to resolve these and improve services at that branch, Mike Lee, our head of security or one of his guards will go out and assist the staff in the mornings until things are under better control. Additionally, I wrote to Captain Jamal McCaskey of the South Precinct and requested that police officers visit the branch frequently to provide a calming presence. Captain McCaskey wrote me back immediately and agreed that he would instruct officers to regularly visit the library.
- Labels denoting African American authors have been provided to all branches. Branch staff will be responsible for putting them on their holdings by African American authors.
The Computer Commons has been open a little over a month and is a true success. It has accomplished our goal of making the library more convenient for everyone—computer users, readers, researchers, etc. Staff is very pleased with this new arrangement. If you walk through the library you will notice several other improvements. For example, the newspapers and current periodicals are by the elevators and windows in Social Sciences making for an attractive and convenient reading area. The staff manning the Computer Commons and the Regional Library Computer Center (RLCC) in Linn Henley report satisfaction with the new area. We have had a few bad behavior incidents but they are no more than we have normally experienced in the past. As a matter of fact, it is easier for security to monitor the consolidated area than several computer service areas dispersed throughout the library. The counter in Fiction formerly housing public PCs is free for laptop use and the staff in that department reports that a good many patrons have taken advantage of this recently freed space. We are all very pleased with the changes made so far. A bonus of this project is that we were able to use the public PCs from the East Building to replace all older PCs in the RLCC. The next phase will be to upgrade the wireless (WiFi) service at the four regional branches.
- Angela Hall and Edith Major have formed a planning committee for the 2011 Staff Day. Boutwell Auditorium has been booked for October 20. I will keep you abreast of further plans.
- 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.
Gifts and Grants Received
- Smithfield Estates NA allocated $3,000 to the Pratt City Branch to assist with repairs of leaks.
- South Pratt NA allocated $3,000 to the Pratt City Branch to assist with repairs of leaks.
- East Birmingham Community allocated $1,000 to the North Avondale Branch to provide for staff training programs and other workshops for the patrons of the community.
- The “Donate Now” button on our Web page 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
- Bards and Brews will be on April 1 at the Central Library at 6:30. (Attendees must be 18 or over and IDs will be checked.) This program is supported by a $1,000 grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts.
- Federal tax forms are available at all BPL locations.
- 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 without 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.
President of the Friends
- Friends memberships are increasing. Pat Rumore encouraged Board members to give gift memberships to people they know.
- Pat Rumore's letter to the editor was published on March 16, 2011 in the Birmingham News.
- The Friends book sale will be held on June 3-4, 2011. A preview sale for Friends members will be held on June 2, 2011. Mrs. Rumore encouraged Board members to donate any old books, DVDs, etc.
- Dora Sims thanked the Board, Gwendolyn Welch, Renee Blalock, and Angela Hall for their support.
- Georgia Blair was honored at her church as an ultra senior. Mrs. Blair congratulated Dora Sims and Gwendolyn Welch on their office candidacies for ALTAFF and she also congratulated Judge Owens on her speaking engagement at Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
- Sam Rumore enjoyed the Fox 6 morning show with Jeh Jeh Pruitt in the Southern History Department. Mr. Rumore also found an article from the August 16, 1971 Birmingham newspaper featuring Library Director, Richardena Ramsey and manager of special collections, Ronald Countryman in which they discussed the beginning of a rare book collection and the library's first talking books, which were actually books for the blind.
- Nell Allen stated that the Learning Tree Park is still a work in progress and encouraged Board members to solicit donations. Those donations should be sent to Terry Burney at the City.
- Judge Owens enjoyed reading about Marti Ball, the branch manager at Inglenook, in "Just a Chat."
- Gwendolyn Welch completed a Webinar on March 16, 2011 which focused on the review of the budgetary process. Anyone attending ALA should submit travel forms to Jennifer Neely as soon as possible. Mrs. Welch thanked Angela Hall for her buildings update report and Teresa Ceravolo, branch manager at Southside, for the manner in which she handles teenagers in her library.
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary