Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
June 16, 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, Nell Allen, Georgia Morgan Blair, Judge Shanta' Owens, Samuel Rumore, Judge Scott Vowell, Katrina Watson
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by President Gwendolyn B. Welch.
- Sandra Lee gave the invocation. Dora Sims presented Ms. Lee with a certificate of recognition.
- Irene Blalock requested to add a resolution for Isaac Gaston to the consent agenda. Gwendolyn Welch moved the approval of the consent agenda. Nell Allen seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of agenda. Nell Allen seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- The Pratt City Branch was heavily damaged by the April 27, 2011 storm. The City has begun the process to hire a consultant in order to determine whether the building is salvageable or a total loss. A demolition contractor has been hired to conduct selective demolition in order to determine the damage of the structural frame of the building. Davis Architects has been hired to coordinate with the insurance company to observe the selective demolition because they were the original architects to draw plans for the building and will be the company to reconstruct new building drawings if needed.
- The Five Points West branch awning was damaged during the April 27, 2011 storms. A sculpture which is the property of the Museum of Art, was also damaged and will be removed from the property for repairs.
- The process has been started to do clean up, touch up painting, ADA renovations, and HAZMAT assessments at the Inglenook Branch.
North Birmingham will receive a new roof and HVAC system. Charles Williams & Associates will do the work.
- Gwendolyn Welch asked that all Board members review the Ethics online presentation. Also, Board members are asked to be mindful of this when booking meeting rooms and when dealing with library accounts.
Buildings, Facilities and Projects Update
- Terry Oglesby, City Architect will give an update on projects involving rebuilding of the Pratt City Branch, renovations proposed for Inglenook Branch, and the roof and HVAC project at the North Birmingham Branch.
- HVAC problems continue to plague us causing temporary closings. Details of these 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.
- Some Pratt City staff have been assigned to the East Ensley Branch.
- East Ensley is open Monday through Saturday from 9 to 6. They report that people are coming in, signups for summer reading are going well, and their visitors are enjoying the summer programs.
- Pratt City’s books have been cleaned and returned to the library. They are in storage at Central. The furnishings that could be salvaged have been cleaned and are in storage.
Inglenook Branch Hours Change Proposal
- The director recommends that the service hours of the Inglenook Branch be restored to the same as other neighborhood branches in the BPL System. These hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 9-12 and 1-6, Wednesday 1-6. Staffing will remain the same. There will be no additional funds needed.
Finance and Budget Update
- A copy of the Library Fund Budget and a copy of the City Budget Report for May 2011 is provided in the board packet.
- Angela Hall and I attended the Council Budget Hearings on June 2. I also sent each council member a packet of material explaining the library’s request that was not in the Mayor’s Proposed Budget. I sent this information to Chaz Mitchell, the Council’s accountant, along with details of the cost of restoring the additional positions deleted in the process. I have also spoken to council members. The total of the increases requested of the Council for the FY2012 budget is $297,260.
- The Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC) budget is in danger of reductions. The BPL will be affected by cuts in the part time workers who perform their duties in BPL but are paid by the JCLC. The full time workers are not threatened at this time. Angela Hall and I are working on a plan to deal with any personnel losses. The threat of these losses makes it imperative that the part time positions deleted from BPL’s budget be restored. The library depends heavily on part time positions to fill our schedule which allows us to serve the public with our regular schedule.
- We have continued the policy of limited credit cards for staff use to make purchases for the library. Several cards had to be changed when the people who had them retired in December. For example, the Acquisitions Department has a card to use to mail order books from vendors who do not invoice for purchases and must be paid up front by credit card. (The card remained in Debbie Dahlin’s name until a new card in Jared Millett’s name could be obtained.) All purchases made by staff must have a verbal purchase order number obtained from the Business Office before the purchase is made. The number is attached to receipts so they can be matched. All receipts are forwarded to Danny Dorroh, the business manager who matches them to the monthly statement before paying the bill.
Note that on the library fund budget that we continue to pay telecommunications bills (AT&T, AT&T Mobility, and Bright House). This is a normal practice that results from using the E-Rate discount to provide telecom services at a much higher rate than is allowed by the library’s city budget. The funds used to make these payments at the end of the fiscal year come from the funds we receive as a rebate from the Schools and Libraries Division of the Universal Service Fund commonly known as the E-Rate. The rest of these funds are used to lease computers both for the public and staff.
- Staff continues to work through the hiring of the twelve positions from the VRIP and the other positions left vacant when in house candidates are selected. We have worked with the Board Personnel Committee to write good job descriptions and make good selections. I think this process has worked well and we have made some very good hiring decisions. We have hired some from the outside and some BPL employees. I think the fresh perspective of both these groups will be good for the library in both the short and long term.
- 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.
Gifts and Grants Received
- Nell Allen $100
- Smithfield Neighborhood Association has given $1000 to Smithfield Branch for the purchase of a computer.
- We have received the ten iPads donated by Alabama Power and are working on programming for teens using them this summer.
- 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’s Benevolent Fund to benefit City of Birmingham employees affected by the storm has been extended and will accept donations until July 1. This fund will help city employees including library employees who suffered damage and loss in the April 27th storms.
- Summer reading for kids, teens, and adults kicked off on June 1. I urge all of you to participate—lots of fun is planned for all. Angela Hall and Janine Langston made a presentation about the summer reading programs at the May 24th Birmingham School Board meeting at Avondale School.
- The director accepted a plaque recognizing the BPL as a 2011 Community Partner by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Jefferson County Alumnae Chapter on May 24th.
- The Friends Big Book Sale took place on Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4. Members of the Friends Book Sale Committee, Friends Board, and BPL staff did a masterful job and the book sale was a success. They worked tirelessly refreshing book displays, helping patrons carry books to their cars, helping people find books, and generally floating and doing whatever was necessary to keep the sale going. The committee included several BPL retirees who also worked tirelessly for many days on this project. A full report is forthcoming from the Friends. We are very fortunate that we have had such good presidents for the Friends including Dora Sims and now Pat Rumore. The Friends group continues to grow in membership and dedication to the library.
- Bards and Brews will be on July 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.
- 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. All board members are cordially invited to attend.
Exhibits in Central’s Gallery
- Gallery will be closed for painting in June. Our next exhibition is scheduled for July 23—September 9 Awareness of the Intangibles (will showcase acrylic paintings by Cynthia Jones)
- 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.
- Gwendolyn Welch stated that there would be a budget meeting held on Saturday, June18, 2011 at 9 a.m. and encouraged Board members and staff to attend. Stephanie George is the new accounting assistant in the business office and she brought a card and doughnuts to the Board meeting. The City is revising their policies and as soon as that process is completed, the Library will adopt them. Mrs. Welch asked Nell Allen to hold a Finance Committee meeting in the near future and she also welcomed the new Information Technology Coordinator and the Head of Public Relations. Please forward all of your ALA Annual travel documents to Jennifer Neely within a week of your return from the trip. On Saturday, June 25, 2011, ALTAFF with host Running with ALTAFF and Crossing the Finish Line: Leadership in Action, 8am-10am at the J W Marriott, Orleans Room. Mrs. Welch asked that all Board members continue to visit all library branches and to advocate for them.
- Georgia Blair stated that the restrooms at North Birmingham were not clean. Mrs. Blair also stated that she completed the Trustee training online and received a certificate.
- Dora Sims asked that all members donate $100.00 to the Board fund and $10.00 to renew the Freedom to Read Foundation membership. Mrs. Sims was elected to serve on the ALTAFF Board beginning July 1, 2011.
- Judge Scott Vowell inquired whether or not the library thought about charging for specific library services. Renee Blalock stated that administration has, but would like to keep as much as they can free to the public.
- Judge Shanta' Owens congratulated Dora Sims on her ALTAFF election.
- Nell Allen thanked staff for a job well done and also asked that each Board member be able to express their concerns during the meeting without being interrupted.
- Samuel Rumore submitted two documents from Attorney Nina Miglianico's papers.
- Angela Hall stated that Pratt City library employees are getting acclimated to working at the East Ensley Branch and that the Collection Management staff would be hosting a small reception for branch head Christopher Roddy as he prepares to move to another state with his family. Summer Reading is underway and the Library was featured in a morning segment of Fox 6 News on Wednesday, June 15, 2011.
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary