Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
November 17, 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 Scott Vowell
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by Vice-President Dora Sims.
- Judge Scott Vowell moved the approval of the agenda. Nell Allen seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the consent agenda with the following changes to the October 27, 2011 minutes listed below. Nell Allen seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Nell Allen attended Staff Day 2011 and Dora Sims did not.
- Seven (7) voted in favor (Mrs. Welch, Mrs. Sims, Mrs. Blair, Reverend Johnson, Mrs. Allen, Mrs. Amamoo, Judge Vowell) of the Probationary Period and Disciplinary document.
- Patricia Rumore should be listed as an advisory member.
- The Young Professionals Adhoc Committee report should be informational only.
- The Board approved "winter hours" for the neighborhood libraries beginning the first Monday in November and ending the first Monday in March--dates which coincide closely with the observation of standard time. Neighborhood libraries are: Ensley, Inglenook, North Avondale, Powderly, Woodlawn and Wylam.
- The invocation was given by Angela Hall.
- The 2011 Staff Day Committee and the Reflections were recognized for their participation in Staff Day. Each member was presented with a certificate of recognition.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect's Office
- North Birmingham's reroofing and HVAC projects will be up for bids at the first of 2012.
- Craig Hoskins has submitted a proposal for renovations at Inglenook. A contract is being prepared for review by the City Council.
- A walk through was completed at East Lake. There are still roof leak problems.
- The City Architect's office has hired two new architects which means response time to problems will be faster.
- FEMA and the City's insurance company have plans to rebuild Pratt City. Selected demolition has been completed.
- The drafted Grievance Policy and Procedures document was presented to the Board. Georgia Blair moved approval of the document to be implemented mid-January, after staff training. Reverend Johnson seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Gwendolyn Welch met with Jarvis Patton on November 8, 2011. The discussion document is attached.
- Gwendolyn Welch was contacted by Six Branding and Design who is interested in working for the Library pro bono in order to help create a logo. Their purpose is the give back to the community. Six Branding and Design will work with Lisa Mitchell Smith in development of the logo.
Finance and Budget Update
- Let me know if you have any questions regarding the budget reports. I have been informed by the City Finance Director that the auditors should be calling us to begin the audit the week of November 14.
- The City has asked FEMA for an extension on planning the reconstruction of the Pratt City Branch for 12 months for planning and design development. I have been informed that when this extension is approved by FEMA, the temporary branch plan will be put in operation and will be up and running in a matter of weeks. I will let you know as soon as I have more information.
- I have completed individual meetings with all branch and department heads to discuss their plans and ideas regarding BPL and the strategic plan. I am in the process of organizing and summarizing the comments made by all that I talked to. I plan to continue this by meeting individually with all full time staff beginning in December. It's a big project and because it is so time consuming I will give myself a longer time frame to accomplish it.
- I met with the Birmingham Public Library Foundation Board on November fourth. We determined a list of five potential new directors to recruit. If all say yes we will be at the number allowed in the Foundation's by-laws. I will report to you as soon as this process is complete. The Foundation Board is also working on plans for its fund-raising activities.
- I have made progress 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.
- The enewsletter has been distributed for the past few Fridays. I hope that all of you are receiving it. Please, let us know if you have suggestions for inclusion. We especially want to highlight library resources and services. 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.
- Staff is working with a small marketing and graphics firm who contacted us and want to provide a new logo for BPL free of charge. They are making this offer in order to build their portfolio so they can build their business. We sent them the same request for proposal that was sent to other local firms when we began plans to replace our logo.
- Administration is working to reorganize staff to replace part time staff lost to layoffs by the Jefferson County Library Cooperative (JCLC). The Jefferson County Commission zeroed out the JCLC in their budget this year and it is very difficult to make the cuts necessary. The JCLC is very cost effective and the cost sharing among the municipal library members makes possible the high level of service in this county. These member libraries pay quarterly fees based on usage which are far lower than each would pay alone for the catalog and integrated computer system, Internet service, and support of our computer system. In addition the Cooperative receives a portion of the State Aid payments approved by the Legislature every year. These two sources are not adequate to provide the services at the level of past years and JCLC is considering a number of ways to increase revenues once all possible cuts are made. I will give you a full report when the final plans are made.
- We are continuing to focus training on ebooks and social software. The L2 Crew is presenting a series of programs on social networking software such as Facebook for staff over the next few weeks. We are also presenting a workshop to improve job interviewing and application skills and knowledge for BPL staff. This workshop will be presented twice.
- Please be sure to attend one of the Birmingham Comprehensive Plan public meetings and talk about the importance of public libraries in our community. The meetings will be as follows:
- Monday, 11/14 5:30-7:30 Jackson-Olin High School
- Tuesday, 11/15 5:30-7:30 Huffman Academy
- Thursday, 11/17 5:30-7:30 Wenonah High School
- Monday, 11/28 5:30-7:30 Carver High School
- Tuesday, 11/29 5:30-7:30 Glen Iris Elementary School
- Thursday, 12/1 5:30-7:30 Cahaba Pumping Station Museum/Birmingham Water Works Board
- Jim Baggett and Kelsey Bates of the BPL Archives made presentations at the 22nd Annual SLIS Alumni Day in Tuscaloosa recently. Maya Jones, the head of the West End Branch, is the incoming president of the Library School Association. This is the alumni group for the library school at the University of Alabama.
Gifts and Grants Received
- We have kicked off the part of our donation campaign aimed at kids asking that they give $1.25 in honor of the library's birthday. Each child who donates will receive a sticker and a colorful receipt and will have their name placed on the gift boxes at each library. The aim of this part of our campaign is to give children an opportunity to learn about supporting their library and so they can be a part of our success.
- Be sure to write BPL a check or go to our Web page and click on the "Donate Now" button and make a contribution. Also, ask your friends and family to make a donation. 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.
Current and Upcoming Events
- All locations of BPL will be closed on November 24, 25, 26, and 27th for Thanksgiving.
- Interesting fact about BPL—I checked Birmingham365 today and counted 52 programs, classes, open houses, performances, etc. offered by the libraries of the BPL from November 14 through December 14! I never cease to be amazed at the number and excellence of the programs the library staff produces.
Ongoing partnership—The downtown library will host Birmingham Public Schools social studies teachers again this year as part of their Teaching American History Grant. We have been a partner in this grant since 2005. Our contribution includes a Web site called Teacher's Pet which highlights the historical timelines that the students study with a particularly local point of view as well as hosting day long seminars and other events at the library. In recent years Teacher's Pet has, in part, been superseded by the Digital Collections of the Birmingham Public Library. This year BPL will provide a day long seminar on November 17 in conjunction with the Birmingham Historical Society's (BHS) exhibit The Birmingham Scene: Seldom-Seen Artwork from the 1930s and 1940s. Included will be a special tour of the exhibit by BHS president Marjorie White.
- 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 December 3, 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.
- Check out the November 10-17 issue of Weld for an article about our project to encourage people to write about their experience of the storm written by Jesse Chambers
- The 2011 Local Authors Expo will take place on December 3 from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM at the Central Library. There are 100 authors signed up to be there.
Exhibits in Central's Gallery
- 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 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/
Additions to Director's Report (Angela Hall)
- Maintenance will be taking a series of accredited training classes that will not only enhance their abilities but also earn continuing education credits.
- The Local Author's Expo will be the first Saturday in December. Angela Hall will report back to the Board on the price of having a photographer take pictures of the kids with Santa at the event.
- BPL will lose five JCLC part-time staff members at the end of November.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo thanked administration for providing professional development classes.
- Nell Allen stated that the Learning Tree Park should be completed in January and also asked that any Board member interested in donating should contact Renee Rotan at the City.
- Judge Vowell stated that the Board, if permissible, should reach out to all Library patrons to let them know they are welcome here.
- Gwendolyn Welch thanked administration as well as maintenance for a job well done. Ingelnook's plants and flowers look beautiful. Look for BPL 2011 Campaign children's donation boxes in the libraries and consider giving a few dollars to a child that has no money so that he/she can feel a part of the campaign. All Board members should donate to the Trustee Fund. Edith Major has done a good job working with the Personnel Committee. Please support your libraries and remember to pray for our children. Mrs. Welch submitted an article to ALTAFF which was published. Saundra Ross is an incoming Board member at the Graduate School of Library Services Association. (Attached)
- Georgia Blair thanked the Board for working on the Grievance Policy. Ms. Blair also thanked administration for their work.
- Reverend Johnson thanked the Board for the timeliness of the meeting.
- Dora Sims thanked Mrs. Welch. Ms. Sims also visited North Avondale after dark and would like to make sure all libraries (especially the branches without security) are well lit. The Freedom to Read renewal is now due. All Board members are asked to contribute $10.00 towards the renewal.
Irene S. Blalock, Director