Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
September 22, 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, Patricia Rumore, Samuel Rumore, Katrina Watson
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by President Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the agenda. Anthony Johnson seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the consent agenda. Anthony Johnson seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Rusell Lee, from Art/Literature/Sports Department, gave the invocation. Katrina Watson presented Mr. Lee with a certificate of recognition.
- Haruyo Miyagawa was presented a certificate of recognition by Dora Sims for her work on the Eat, Drink, Read, Write program as well as her work at the Library.
- Janice Granger was presented a certificate of recognition by Anthony Johnson for her work at the RLCC and Computer Commons area.
- Hugh Hardy, Jr. was presented a certificate of recognition by Georgia Blair for his work in the Computer Commons area.
Finance and Budget Update
- Let me know if you have any questions regarding the budget reports. We have not heard from the auditor. I have asked the City Finance Office when to expect the auditor but have not yet heard from them.
- We have almost worked through all the hirings that are a result of promotions and/or moves of BPL staff as a result of the VRIP last December.
- I have spent a great deal of time away from the library in the past month due to my mother's illness and death on September 7. I appreciate very much the many kind gestures and support of the library board, the staff, and the city.
- I attended the mayor's press conference at the Pratt City Branch on August 23 where he announced that the city would proceed as quickly as possible to rebuild the branch which was heavily damaged in the April 27 tornado. He is in the process of identifying an architect to oversee the project. I also attended a community meeting in Pratt City where I was presented with a list of their wants for the restored branch library. The citizens of that area are very strong in their support of their library.
- I met with City Planning, Engineering, and Permits staff and FEMA staff to plan for a temporary library for Pratt City as requested by Mayor Bell on Friday, September 16, 2011. We will work together to determine feasibility and cost benefit of options for this service.
- Nell Allen stated that there should not be a temporary library facility at Pratt City.
- Anthony Johnson stated that he agrees that there should be a temporary library facility at Pratt City.
- Along with visits to branches, I have planned individual meetings with all branch and department heads. I plan to discuss their plans and ideas regarding BPL and the strategic plan.
- The Art of Science series of after school programs have begun and will continue through the school year. These programs presented by Elinor and Winfield Burks at libraries around the system are funded by the Kresge Arts in Birmingham Grants administered by the Cultural Alliance.
- The 2011 Summer Reading Programs for kids, teens, and adults were very successful this year. Participation increased both for members and attendance at programs and the members read approximately 49,196 books. The adult club in particular took off this summer—336 participants read 1,632 books.
- BPL continues working with City staff and consultants on the Comprehensive Plan Project. At present we are distributing fliers about the project.
Gifts and Grants Received
- We received notification that we will receive funding for our LSTA proposal to digitize the bound volumes of Birmingham's first African American newspaper, the Birmingham World for the period of the Civil Rights Era. I will keep you updated as this project progresses. We are very excited about this. However, we were not funded for our automation grant that would have allowed us to further upgrade wifi and to create a computer commons at the Five Points West Branch. (There is a chance that this project may be funded at least partially later in the fiscal year.)
- We have kicked off a new donation campaign so be sure to go to our Web page and click on the
"Donate Now" button and make an early contribution. The theme is celebrating the library's 125th anniversary. We are also working on a campaign that targets children and asks that they give $1.25 in honor of the library's birthday. The amount you give is not important, but having all board members support the campaign is.
Current and Upcoming Events
- Food for Fines continues through the month of September. This food drive accepts canned and other durable foods in exchange for overdue charges. This program benefits local food banks. Donations are also welcome if you don't owe any money.
- Eat Drink Read Write Festival concluded on Saturday with "At the Table with Robyn O'Brien and Michael Nolan." These programs have been a big success with two of them sold out events. (Even though there was no charge we required reservations in order to determine audience size.) Mrs. Sims and Mrs. Rumore attended the kickoff event on Tuesday which featured an author and samples of wonderful tomato snacks by Chef Frank Stitt and his wife and partner Pardis Stitt. This program was funded by a grant from the Daniel Foundation and the Friends of the Birmingham Public Library. The library received a great deal of positive publicity for this series of events and we recruited several new partners. Plans are underway to make this an annual event.
- EDRW Brown Bag Lunch Programs will continue with Jan Moon, owner of Dreamcakes, a Homewood bakery, and author of Big Book of Cupcakes on Wednesday, September 21 and Growing Fall Vegetables the Organic Way presented by Rachel Reinhart of the Jones Valley Urban Farm on September 28.
- Bards and Brews will be on September 16 as part of the Eat Drink Read Write Festival 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.
- Michael P. White, author and illustrator will present programs for kids September 26 through September 29 at various BPL branches. Mr. White, who is the author of The Library Dragon, will also present a program at school which won this program by having the largest percentage of its students participate in the BPL Summer Reading Club.
- First Saturdays Poetry Workshops for Teens—next one is October 1, 2-4 PM. These workshops are conducted by Real Life Poets, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to mentor young adults, encourage good communication and oratorical skills using spoken word poetry.
- In partnership with the non-profit writing group Real Life Poets (RLP) BPL will be presenting poetry workshops for victims of April's tornadoes. RLP will lead three sessions on October 11 at Springville Road and November 8 at North Birmingham from 6-8 PM. These workshops are open to anyone—we were all affected by the storms in one way or another.
BPL Staff Day will be on October 20 at the Birmingham CrossPlex. All board members are cordially invited to attend. The event will begin with registration at 7:30 AM and the program will be from 8:30 AM to 12:00 noon.
Exhibits in Central's Gallery
- September 12—October 28 Alabama Watercolor Society
- November 1—December 31 Birmingham Historical Society
- 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.
Note: All BPL programs and events are listed on Birmingham365.org (http://birmingham365.org/)
- National Friends of Library Week will be held in mid-October.
- Sunday, October 16, 2011 will be the grand opening of the retail room in the Bookstore.
- Dora Sims reminded Board members to return their creative briefs to Charla Draper or to bring to the next Public Relations Committee meeting.
- Samuel Rumore will be scheduling a Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee meeting so that the By-Laws can be updated.
- Nell Allen stated that she was glad to have the Director back and also that she was concerned about opening a temporary library facility at the Pratt City Branch because it is not needed.
- Katrina Watson stated that she attended the most recent Bards and Brews program and that this program should be left as is as it would not translate into a possible Young Professionals event.
- Anthony Johnson extended condolences to Renee Blalock's, Jean Shank's, and Troy Davis' families.
- Samuel Rumore attended a performance of the Birmingham Symphony at the West End Library. Mr. Rumore stated that the performance was fantastic and was standing room only.
- Dora Sims extended condolences to Renee Blalock's family. Mrs. Sims stated that she enjoyed the Eat, Drink, Read, Write programs and learned many things about food preparation.
- Georgia Blair attended Structured Interview training in August and also visited two more branch libraries.
- Gwendolyn Welch agreed with Nell Allen in regards to opening a temporary library facility in Pratt City.
- Angela Hall reminded the Board that September is Food for Fines month and she also stated that the symphony performance at West End was funded by a grant project that would end in October. Staff members are looking for new grant opportunities to keep such programs going.
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary