Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
July 28, 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, Gwendolyn R. Amamoo, Georgia Morgan Blair, Reverend Anthony Johnson, Judge Shanta' 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 April Spence. Patricia Rumore presented Ms. Spence with a certificate of recognition.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the agenda. Reverend Johnson seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Introduction of New Staff Members
- Charla Draper was introduced as the new Public Relations Department Head.
- Phillip Willingham was introduced as the new IT Coordinator.
Senator Linda Coleman
- Senator Linda Coleman was invited to the Board meeting to accept thanks for her donations to the Pratt City, Inglenook, East Ensley, Springville Road, North Birmingham, and East Lake libraries. Senator Coleman's donation totaled $8,700.00.
- A Finance Committee meeting was held on Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.
- Nell Allen made comparisons to the Fiscal Year 2011 and Fiscal Year 2012 budgets and added that the Regions Tutwiler account has grown from $20,000.00 to $412,227.76 since opening on Nov. 8, 1926.
- Nell Allen moved the approval of the Finance Committee minutes. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Public Relations Committee
- A Public Relations Committee Meeting was held on Monday, July 25, 2011 at 11:30 a.m.
- Dora Sims stated that we have received four proposals from companies that would like to develop the new BPL logo. The Committee shared ideas for planning a townhall meeting in order to report back to the community on the strategic plan and is also looking at a ways to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Library.
- Dora Sims moved the approval of the Public Relations minutes. Georgia Blair moved the approval, which carried unanimously.
Finance and Budget Update
- You are receiving a copy of budget reports for the end of Fiscal Year 2011 and the beginning of Fiscal Year 2012 in your packets. The FY2011 report is not final and the numbers may change. The audit of the library funds usually comes in the fall after the auditors complete their work on the City's funds. I will keep you posted on this.
- A copy of the Library Fund Budget for June 30 the end FY2011 is also provided in the Board packet. These numbers may also change after the closing of the books.
The City adopted a basically flat library budget for FY2012. However, for the first time our budget includes funds to match the LSTA grant that we requested for the coming year. They have provided $18,315 for this purpose. This grant will provide updated WiFi equipment at all branches who did not receive it in the current grant cycle and will set up computer commons at the Five Points West Branch.
- We continue to have more hirings than normal as a result of hiring the 12 VRIP vacancies. We are enjoying getting to know the new people and working with employees in new capacities.
- I have visited all branches at least once since the last Board meeting. It is always fun and interesting to do this and as usual I was very pleased by what a good job our staff does in making their libraries attractive, clean, and inviting for all ages. Everywhere I went, I saw great decorations for summer reading, other interesting displays, people reading and working on computers, and generally good things going on. I was confirmed in this impression by comments in a meeting with Majella Hamilton and Tim Gambrel of the City’s Planning Office. Mr. Gambrel remarked that he had visited half of our branches to deliver the Comprehensive Plan Data Books and was very impressed at all the activity going on in our branches and how attractive it all looked. It's always nice to hear this from an outsider.
- We hosted our first New Fiscal Year Kickoff on July 6 to celebrate both the beginning of our new budget and all of our new and/or transferred or promoted employees. We served donuts, fruit, and coffee and introduced new employees and recognized all that have changed positions.
- BPL will be working with City staff and consultants on the Comprehensive Plan Project. We are making available paper copies of the data gathered by the City's Planning Department and will host public meetings. The library will be providing other information as the project continues over the next 18 months. I will keep you updated on this process and the Library's role.
The Central Library hosted a "Hats Off" to Jefferson County's First Responders Awards Ceremony & Celebration on June 29 which was sponsored by Rev. Anthony Johnson's Leadership Jefferson County. It was a success with dozens of the first responders in attendance. All were very excited and pleased to receive these awards.
Gifts and Grants Received
- Senator Linda Coleman has given funds to several of our branches. The amounts are as follows:
- East Ensley/Pratt City--$2,000
- North Birmingham--$1,611
- East Lake--$1,200
- Springville Road--$1,500
- $1000 from the Huisking Foundation for the Donation Fund for Library Materials.
- The Friends of the Birmingham Public Library gave $15,000 from the proceeds of the recent book sale to the Library for library materials.
- 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
- Summer reading for kids, teens, and adults is winding down. The last events will be pool parties for teens at several YMCAs in the city.
- September will bring a series of programs centered on food and writing about it. This is called Eat Drink Read Write and is cosponsored by several local groups including Slow Food, DISCO (a group that works with kids on writing skills), the Foodie Book Club, and BPL. The programs will take place mostly at the library from September 13-17.
- Bards and Brews will be on August 5 at the Central Library at 6:30 PM. (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.
- Structured Interview training will be held on August 18 from 9:00 AM--3:00 PM. Any Board member who has not attended this training and wishes to is welcome to attend. Please, let Jennifer know if you want to attend.
Exhibits in Central's Gallery
- July 23—September 9 Awareness of the Intangibles (Cynthia Jones, Acrylic Paintings)
- We would love for trustees to write reviews for Season's Readings 2011 and it's never too soon to do so. You should have received instructions from Carrie Cleverdon the staff member who is managing this project. Please, get your reviews in by September 1.
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 Amamoo stated that she needs to call a meeting of the Fundraising Committee and she will contact Jennifer Neely to set things up.
- Georgia Blair stated that the Personnel Committee will reconvene at a later date to recalculate the Director's Evaluation scores.
- Patricia Rumore stated that she would like the findings from the City documented in the minutes.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch thanked Anthony Johnson for the First Responders Reception, Lisa Mitchell for producing the "Leadership In Action" flier, Renee Blalock for allowing Edith Major to attend a budget meeting, and Jennifer Neely and Administration for their help with the after hours Personnel Committee meeting. Mrs. Welch also asked that each Board member visit the branch libraries and encouraged everyone to utilize "Dial-a-Story".
Nell Allen thanked everyone that attended the Finance Committee meeting. Mrs. Allen submitted her ALA Conference notes. (Attachment)
- Georgia Blair stated that Mrs. Welch had the best presentation at the ALTAFF Leaders' Orientation Program.
- Anthony Johnson stated that the Library should form a junior Board which would consist of young professionals.
- Samuel Rumore stated that he and Patricia Rumore were guest lecturers for an online course.
- Angela Hall stated that staff have received budget information and are in the process of making selections.
Dora Sims thanked administration and stated that she was looking forward to the plans that the Public Relations Committee is making. Mrs. Sims also submitted her ALA Conference notes. (Attachment)
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary