Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
October 27, 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, Samuel Rumore, Parliamentarian; Nell Allen, Gwendolyn R. Amamoo, Georgia Morgan Blair, Reverend Anthony Johnson, Judge Scott Vowell, Katrina Watson
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by President Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the agenda. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Roderick Zeigler, Assistant Building Superintendent, gave the invocation. Georgia Blair presented Mr. Zeigler with a certificate of recognition.
- Lisa Mitchell Smith, Adrian Moultrie, Pam Gordon, Eve Parker, Marie Nash, Farah Ferguson, and Cassandra Scott were all recognized for their service to BPL and presented with certificates of recognition.
- Janita Moultrie and Annie G. Washington from Jones Valley commented on how much they love the Powderly Library and the staff there. Their wish is that Powderly employees not already on the City payroll get transferred to another library or become part of the City's payroll.
Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee
- The Library Board By-Laws were revised to be in line with City Ordinance 11-97.
- Samuel Rumore moved the approval of the proposed By-Laws. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- The Fundraising Committee met on October 4, 2011. Gwendolyn Amamoo reviewed the minutes.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo moved the approval of the minutes for information only. Nell Allen seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
Public Relations Committee
- The Board Directory is currently being printed at the City Print Shop.
- The PR Committee is working on developing a new BPL logo.
- The e-newsletter BPLinks made its debut on Friday, October 21, 2011.
- The revised Probationary Period document was reviewed. Anthony Johnson moved the approval of the document. Gwendolyn Amamoo seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- The Grievance Procedures document was reviewd. Samuel Rumore moved to table the document. Nell Allen seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- The Board reviewed and approved the recommendations of the Personnel Committee. Mrs. Blair moved the action and Katrina Watson seconded the motion, which carried with a vote of 8-1. (Nell Allen opposed.)
Young Professionals Adhoc Committee
- The Young Professionals Adhoc Committee met on Tuesday, October 18 at 7:15 a.m. The Young Professionals questionnaire results were discussed and a starting point for the development of the organization was devised. Katrina Watson submitted the report for information only.
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.
I have spent a good deal of time working with officials from FEMA and the City Planning, Engineering and Permits Department on a temporary library for Pratt City. They will provide us with a temporary modular building approximately 2000 square feet. The building will be placed about a block south of the branch on vacant property adjacent to the gas station owned by the McElroy family. We will be able to use some furniture that was not damaged in the storm. We have also submitted a list of equipment we will need because all of the equipment at the branch was ruined by the storm. Any equipment and furnishing we do not have will be provided by FEMA. I am not sure the time frame on this project and will keep you updated with the plans as soon as I receive information.
I recently served on a sub committee which participated in the American Institute of Architects RUDAT planning project for revitalization of Pratt City. I provided information about the library and how it functions in the community in several meetings including a work session with the RUDAT team during their visit to Birmingham. It was an interesting experience and I am very pleased with the results. I was especially pleased that the plan includes expansion of the library and that it will be part of a new town center for Pratt City. The full plan can be found at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/68669123/AIA-RUDAT-Plan-for-Pratt-City.
- I have continued individual meetings with all branch and department heads to discuss their plans and ideas regarding BPL and the strategic plan. This process has been extremely time consuming but is very positive and enlightening. I plan to continue this by meeting individually with all full time staff over the next few months. It’s a big project and because it is so time consuming I will give myself a longer time frame to accomplish it. One outcome of these meetings will be a better understanding of staff morale and ways to improve it where needed. I have been surprised at how happy the vast majority of these branch and department managers are and am looking forward to “taking the pulse” of the other full time staff. I am seeing some easy ways to make improvements and some that will take a little more work.
- I met with the Birmingham Public Library Foundation Board on October 14 and am very pleased to report that they are actively working to recruit more members to the board and determining an investment plan for the Foundation’s resources. We are putting together biographical information on nominees presently and will meet again soon to narrow the list and plan how best to ask them to serve.
- I am working on a comprehensive funding plan for the library that I will present to the library board for approval later this year. It will include proposed projects and plans for funding them.
- All of you should have received our first e-newsletter, BPLinks, last Friday. We will be sending this out each Friday in the future. It will have news of upcoming events at various library locations and information about our services and resources. For example, the first one promoted the Donation Campaign and the 125th Anniversary, the Ghoul’s Ball, and the City’s Comprehensive Plan process. The resource was live homework help through Homework Alabama and voter registration. We look forward to everyone knowing more about all the wonderful things available at BPL. Staff is being developed to serve as reporters and we are using all that we are already doing such as the blog and Web site to be part of the enewsletter.
- I have attended several board committee meetings and have worked with the Board Personnel Committee and Policy Committee on writing and revising the policy and by-laws changes and additions being proposed at this month’s meeting. The staff and I are working on improvements to the employee handbook.
- I am working with staff in creating a better statistical report each month. We are adding some information to our catalog that will enable us to get better and more detailed reports on exactly what materials are being used.
- I met with the City Architect and Charles Williams regarding the North Birmingham roof and HVAC project. The specifications are complete and will be turned over to the City in the next week or two. The City will issue them in a bid package. The project will take 90 days and will commence after the contractor orders and receives the equipment. The project will begin in late winter or early fall. I will keep you updated on all developments.
- I attended Congresswoman Terri Sewell’s Washington Update on October 17 at the Harbert Center. We have had several contacts with her office recently. I am in the process of requesting individual meetings with all members of the Birmingham City Council. Ms Hall and I are attending all City Council meetings.
- BPL Staff Day at the Crossplex was a real success. Almost all of our 290 staff members were in attendance. Also in attendance were board members (Mrs. Amamoo, Mrs. Welch, Mrs. Blair, Mrs. Allen, and Mr. Rumore), Mrs. Rumore, Friends president, and many volunteers and retirees. Thank you to Mrs. Welch for her presentation representing the Library Board. It is really fun for me to see all the staff in one place having a good time. The speakers were excellent and as usual, our library band, The Reflections, was excellent and had many of us up on our feet. Because of the generosity of the BPL Friends we were able to offer both breakfast and lunch this year.
- We went over how to download ebooks and audios for all librarians and library assistants in regular meetings in August and September. In October more than 60 staff members received hands on training on the downloading of ebooks to several devices. Not only do we offer ebooks for checkout, but we have found that our patrons depend on us to help them learn to use their new devices. Karyn Davis West, head of the Information Circulation Department at Central has conducted the training. The regular Collection Management and Paraprofessional meetings concentrated on the use of social media by the BPL this month. We are encouraging staff to post on the library sites on Facebook and Twitter.
- Senator Linda Coleman conducted ADA training for BPL staff on October 12. All staff is required to receive this training.
- Most locations of the library had displays promoting Banned Book Week.
- BPL continues working with Majella Hamilton, Goody Clancy (the firm that was hired to manage the comprehensive planning process), and City staff on the Comprehensive Plan Project. At present we are distributing fliers about the project and have copies of the data books at some of our libraries. Angela Hall attended the visioning session at the Crossplex last Saturday. I have asked all branch and department heads to attend at least one and to encourage their regular patrons to attend and speak up about including the library system.
Gifts and Grants Received
- Forrest Park/North Avondale Neighborhood Association has donated $1200 to the Avondale Regional Branch.
- 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 will soon launch 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. I will provide an updated report at the board meeting.
- The Patricia S. Blalock Memorial Fund for the BPL Foundation has received $2,235 to date. This fund will be an endowment and will go toward development of young librarians working at the BPL.
Current and Upcoming Events
- Ghoul’s Ball, Central Library, Thursday, October 27 from 6:30-8:30 for ages 11-17.
- All locations of BPL will be closed on November 11 in observance of Veterans Day.
- The Art of Science series of after school programs 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.
- First Saturdays Poetry Workshops for Teens—next one is November 5, 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. Remaining programs will be presented 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.
- The 2011 Local Authors Expo will take place on December 3 from 10:00 AM until 3:00 at the Central Library. There are 100 authors signed up to be there.
- Many of our programs use evaluations to assess and plan future programming. Staff is working on more regular reports both to administration and the board in the coming months.
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.
Sign up for the BPLinks newsletter at http://www.bplonline.org/programs/
- Judge Shanta' Owens submitted her letter of resignation to the Library Board. Judge Owens has moved outside of the Birmingham city limits. Gwendolyn Amamoo stated that the Library Board should send Judge Owens a letter acknowledging her for her service.
- Patricia Rumore, President of the Friends, stated that the Friends recently held their annual meeting as well as opened the retail/gift shop area in the book store. Both went extremely well.
- Samuel Rumore applied to the Encyclopedia of Alabama online to submit Nina Miglianico's paperwork and the application was accepted.
- Nell Allen stated that Staff Day was great.
- Dora Sims thanked Patricia Rumore for her work with the Friends and also thanked the Board and staff for the direction that the library is taking.
- Georgia Blair thanked the Personnel Committee as well as staff for working to produce the Probationary and Grievance Procedures documents.
- Gwendolyn Welch thanked the building service workers as they begin cleaning the library's carpets as a cost saving measure. Mrs. Welch also stated that Staff Day was great, the bookstore looks good, and she also asked that each Board member take the time to subscribe to the ALTAFF list serve.
- Angela Hall reported that members of the Staff Day Planning Committee were very happy to have Board members stay for the entire program. It was a very positive sign of support.
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary