Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
May 26, 2011
Central Library Boardroom
Meeting Called By
Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, President; Nell Allen, Gwendolyn Amamoo, Georgia Morgan Blair, Reverend Anthony Johnson, Samuel Rumore, Judge Scott Vowell
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by President Gwendolyn B. Welch.
- Chris Roddy from East Ensley Library gave the invocation. Anthony Johsnon presented Mr. Roddy with a certificate of recognition.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the March Board minutes. Nell Allen seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the consent agenda. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee
- Samuel Rumore moved the approval of the Hiring Procedures. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- A Personnel Committee meeting was held on May 11, 2011. The Library Assistant I and Library Assistant II positions were reviewed and edited.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval for administration to post the job descriptions for the Library Assistant I and Library Assistant II positions as well as any other vacancies after the additions/corrections are made. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Georiga Blair moved the approval of the Personnel Committee minutes.
- Nell Allen asked to see copies of updated job descriptions before they are posted for the public.
Buildings, Facilities and Projects Update
- As I am sure you know, the Pratt City Branch was severely damaged on April 27. Staff, mainly Angela Hall and Billy Conner, have spent a great deal of time on this, which has become a huge project. We have complied with all insurance adjuster and sub contractor requests for information, tours, and submissions. With the help of BPL staff and volunteers including staff from Trussville Public Library and the Alabama Public Library Service, Commissioner George Bowman, and workers from the community, we were able to clear out all salvageable books, DVDs, audio material, equipment and furnishings in record time. There was slight damage to the Five Points West Branch which was also assessed by the insurance company. The sculpture was knocked over by the wind but was not severely damaged and the awning over the front was slightly damaged.
- The North Birmingham roofing and HVAC replacement project is beginning to move forward. The architect, Charles Williams, has presented a proposal to the City to do the design work for the whole project. We had a contract with him to do the roof work only and that contract has been voided. All of the work will be included in the larger project and will be managed by the City Architect's office once it is approved and signed. We expect it to take about three months to do the specifications and bid process. I will keep you up to date on all progress.
- Library staff met with City staff to assess the situation at the Inglenook branch recently. This meeting was on Wednesday morning, April 27, so there has not yet been follow-up. (Repairs at Inglenook and Central will be covered along with North Birmingham in the bond funds approved by the City Council.)
- Details of continuing HVAC problems are in the Buildings Report. The city's Public Works staff has done a good job of helping us deal with these problems in the face of the monumental job they are faced with due to the storm on April 27.
Pratt City Branch Plans
- Mayor Bell has announced publicly that the city plans to not only rebuild this branch, but to include a community storm shelter underneath it that is the same size as the footprint of the library building. The plan also includes a relocation of the branch to the old commercial area of Pratt City. There are no other details at this time.
- We have determined that the best way to provide library service to the citizens of the Pratt City area is to use the East Ensley Branch which is closest to the damaged branch. We will relocate most of the Pratt City Branch staff there beginning on June 1 and the branch will be open from 9 to 6 Monday through Saturday which is the same hours formerly provided at the Pratt City Branch. This branch was made part time in last year's budget cuts and has been open only 2:30 to 6:00 Monday through Friday. The branch head, Deborah Blackmon, is pleased with this plan.
BPL's Response to the Storms
In our classic role as information providers, library staff set up and has continuously added to and improved a special Web site both for victims of the storms and those who want to help. It is called “Resources for Tornado Victims and Those Who Want to Help” and is on the BPL Blog. The address of the page is http://bplolinenews.blogspot.com/2011/04/resources-for-tornado-victims-and-ways.html. There is also a link on the bplonline.org home page.
- We are also offering faxes to FEMA at no charge and are following a lenient procedure for books and other library materials lost in the storm. Many people in the first days came into the library to charge cell phones and other electronics and use our computers to find information and support services.
- Library staff have gathered needed items, volunteered, and have also contributed financially to relief agencies and to the fund set up by the City of Birmingham to benefit employees who suffered damage and loss in the storms. Edith Major is representing the library on the city committee that is drawing up guidelines for this fund. If any board members wish to contribute they may write a check to City of Birmingham Benevolent Fund and we will forward it to the appropriate office.
Finance and Budget Update
- A copy of the Library Fund Budget and a copy of the City Budget Report for April 2011 will be provided in the board packet either by email or at the board meeting. (I have experienced a hard drive crash on my computer and it also caused temporary problems for my financial report production ability.)
- The City cut $1,077,000 from the library's FY2011 budget in April. The cut is from the mid year review and reflects the savings realized from the VRIP and the library's 25 retirees. The library also received $5000 as part of the midyear nonprofit budget amendments. This is for library materials.
- The FY2012 Mayor's Budget has been released. I will present a report at this meeting. The library did not receive the increase in library materials we asked for and none of the personnel requests were honored. In fact, the city deleted several part time positions that happened to be vacant on the day that they ran the report.
- The funds donated in our Campaign 2010 have been budgeted and are being spent to order popular items for all locations. Some of these funds were designated for a specific branch and are budgeted for that particular branch's collection expenditures.
Personnel Procedures Changes Update
- In the process of advertising and hiring for the 12 VRIP retirees we noticed a couple of changes that needed to be made in the library's Hiring Procedures and presented them to the Policy Committee last month. Because our meeting was canceled last month these changes will be presented by Sam Rumore, chair of the Policy Committee, at this board meeting for approval of the whole board.
- We have made appointments for ten of the open positions after Mrs. Blair and Mrs. Welch, or Mrs. Sims in her absence, had approved the selections. Personnel action approvals are included on the agenda for this meeting. Interviews for the public relations head and the coordinator for information technology will take place over the next two weeks. We are very pleased so far with the caliber and number of applicants for these positions.
- I attended National Library Legislative Day (NLLD) in Washington May 9 and 10. I represented both the Public Library Association Board in meetings with Congressional committee staff and IMLS and accompanied Alabama state librarian Rebecca Mitchell on visits with our state's delegation. We received a good hearing as we presented the needs of public libraries' need for Federal funding. This will be a very tough year for us. IMLS has already been cut for FY2011 and the hope is to keep funding at the level of FY2011 for FY2012. We also lobbied for H.R.1616 which would amend the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to include public libraries as "One-Stop" partners, eligible for resources to help the public with resume development, job bank web searches, literacy services, and workshops on career information. In your packet is a copy of the general information sheet provided to all who participated in NLLD 2011.
- We have agreed to produce programming and displays in the month of June about baseball in Birmingham. The mayor is hosting Willie Mays on May 31 and we will join him in promoting baseball in Birmingham throughout the month through displays of baseball books and having a "read it forward" using an authorized biography of Willie Mays. I will update you on the full details as they are developed.
- We are in the process of updating the library's disaster procedures manual. APLS held a work-shop last month that Angela Hall attended. We received a template for this process which will make it very easy to do the update. In this recent disaster we have learned how important it is to have good insurance. Staff has performed very well in response to the storm damage.
- The staff in Southern History is teaching a series of advanced genealogy classes that have been very well received.
Gifts and Grants Received
- Howard Bayliss $100
- Oakwood Place Neighborhood Association and West End Neighborhood Association, $1000 to West End
Branch for summer and other programs
- North Avondale Neighborhood Association, $500 to North Avondale Branch for programming.
- Alabama Power donated ten iPads "to be used for teaching library users and children about technology and the expanding world of electronic books among other educational projects."
- 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
- Mayor Bell has established a Benevolent Fund to benefit City of Birmingham employees affected by the storm. There are approximately 82 people affected including ten library employees. If you wish to contribute you may make the check out to City of Birmingham Benevolent Fund and give it to us. We will make sure all donations are placed in the right hands. There will be an application process that is being determined by a committee. Edith Major is representing the library on this committee.
- Summer reading for kids, teens, and adults kicks off on June 1. I urge all of you to participate--lots of fun is planned for all. We will make a presentation about the summer reading programs at the May 24th Birmingham School Board meeting at Avondale School.
- The Friends Big Book Sale will take place on Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4. There will be a members only opening on Thursday, June 2 at 6:30. People will be allowed to join the Friends that night. There will be a silent auction of special items such as complete sets of encyclopedias not over three years old and rare or valuable items.
- Bards and Brews will be on June 3 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.
- The Cotchery Foundation reading program will culminate in a Tailgate Party in the Atrium at Central on June 17 and a Skills and Drills Football Camp on June 18 at Legion Field.
- Exhibits in Central's Gallery: April 11—May 27 Ashley Bryan in partnership with UAB. The gallery will be closed for painting in June
- We would love for trustees to write reviews for Season's Readings 2011 and it's never too soon to do so. Let me know if you have a book you wish to review and wish to go ahead and write it.
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 Friends
- Regina Ammons attended the Board meeting in Patricia Rumore's place.
- Friends has been working very hard on their membership drive and is now close to 300 members.
- Friends is beginning to help with some of the expenses that are incurred during BPL @ Night and other meetings.
- The Friends book sale will be held on June 3-4, 2011. There will be a preview sale on Thursday night, June 2, 2011 for Friends members only. There will be an opportunity to join the Friends at the door.
- The book store is closed for renovations.
- There will be a retail area coming soon to the book store.
- Anthony Johnson stated that there will be a Jefferson County First Responders Awards Ceremony and Celebration at the downtown library on Wednesday, June 29, 2011 from 5:30p.m. - 9:00p.m.
- Samuel Rumore is the curator of Attorney Nina Miglianico's papers. He passed around several items of interest relating to the library.
- Georgia Blair completed ethics training and has submitted her certificate of completion to administration. She also thanked the Personnel Committee for all of their hard work in reviewing the job descriptions.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo thanked Renee Blalock and Angela Hall for their hard work. Mrs. Amamoo also stated that she was looking forward to the book sale. Ms. Amamoo also stated that all staff should maintain the good name and integrity of Board members.
- Nell Allen asked the Board to contribute to the Learning Tree Park in order to be recognized on the plaque that will be placed at the park. Donations should be submitted to Terry Burney within two weeks. Please let Mrs. Allen know that you contributed. Mrs. Allen also submitted $100.00 for BPL materials.
- Gwendolyn Welch thanked the Board, Renee Blalock, Angela Hall, and the Friends for their hard work.
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary