Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
December 8, 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, Samuel Rumore, 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.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch amended the agenda to include a report on the I Love My Librarian! Award to be received by Saundra Ross.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the consent agenda. Reverend Johnson seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Grace Slaughter gave the invocation. Georgia Blair presented Ms. Slaughter with a certificate of appreciation.
I Love My Librarian! Award
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch nominated Saundra Ross, Branch Head at North Avondale Library, for the I Love My Librarian! Award. Ms. Ross was chosen as one of ten winners, out of 1700 applicants, and will be presented an award in New York on Thursday, December 8, 2011.
- Jim White and David Herring, members of the Birmingham Public Library Board Foundation Board made a presentation regarding the Foundation's support in the upcoming City's bond issue. The Library Board prepared a resolution supporting the bond issue including the support of the Library Foundation.
- Nell Allen moved the approval of the resolution. Samuel Rumore seconded the motion, which carried unanimously.
- Nicole King, Assistant City Attorney, updated the Library Board on Alabama's new immigration law. Ms. King stated that the Library should conduct business as usual.
Finance and Budget Update
- Let me know if you have any questions regarding the budget reports. The auditor came the week of Thanksgiving and was given all requested documents and information he needs to perform the audit. We expect him to return with a draft soon.
- I met with the Birmingham Public Library Foundation Board on November 30. Two new members approved were Dr. Liesel French and John Coleman III. Dr. French is a pediatrician and has been involved in the Friends and Mr. Coleman is a lawyer who is retired from Bradley Arant Boult, LLC. The Foundation has three additional public seats to fill and the process is recruiting members. Today, David Herring and Jim White will discuss the Central Library renovation project and getting it in the upcoming bond proposal being worked on by the mayor presently. There is a resolution supporting this proposal on today’s library board agenda.
- I attended one of the Birmingham Comprehensive Plan public meetings at Glen Iris School on Tuesday, November 29. They distributed a draft of a plan. I was very pleased to note that under Birmingham’s assets they listed libraries. The next round of public meetings will be in January and will be concerned with broad topics such as transportation. The round just finished was geographically based.
- Melinda Shelton and I attended a conference in Los Angeles on building a National Digital Public Library. It was extremely interesting and stimulating. Many large libraries and library leaders were there. We felt good that we were included. Our LSTA funded project to digitize all issues of the Birmingham World during the years of the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham has begun and we are in the process of packing up the paper copies and shipping them to the company that will digitize them. These papers will be of great interest to researchers as well as the general public and genealogists.
- Staff is 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.
Gifts and Grants Received
- Our donation campaign continues. We have received many donations but are not at the level of donations we had last year. The kids' campaign has been joined by a number of adults who are also giving $1.25.
- 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 December 15 for inventory.
- All locations of BPL will be closed on December 23, 24, 25, and 26 for Christmas.
- All locations of BPL will be closed January 1 and 2, 2012 for New Year's Day.
There will be a number of special holiday presentations at many BPL locations. You can find all of them on the library's Web site at http://www.bplonline.org/calendar/.
- The Art of Science series of after school programs have been extremely well received. 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 January 7, 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.
- We are working to confirm a special program on December 29 as a final celebration of the Birmingham Historical Society exhibit. A gospel quartet, The Pillars, have been invited to perform in the atrium and Marjorie White will be on hand to give tours of the exhibit. Mrs. White and Haruyo Miyagawa ran into George Stewart, the leader of an organization designed to promote quartets, when promoting the exhibit on TV last month and he asked that we invite a group to come and perform to help highlight the exhibit.
Exhibits in Central's Gallery
- November 1—December 31 Birmingham Historical Society Exhibition: The Birmingham Scene
- 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/
- The bookstore is now offering coffee and baked goods for purchase.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo thanked administration for their work, Mrs. Welch for nominating Saundra Ross for the I Love My Librarian! Award, and congratulated Jennifer Neely on her Fashion Ambush newspaper article.
- Nell Allen thanked all Board members who donated to the Learning Tree Park.
- Judge Scott Vowell stated that he was impressed with the deliberative process of the Board in the passing of the bond issue resolution.
- Samuel Rumore stated that he nominated Nina Miglianico for the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame and she will be inducted next year as the sole honoree.
Katrina Watson enjoyed the Local Author's Expo and also commented on a great first year on the Library Board. Mrs. Watson invited the Board members to attend the Birmingham Change Fund's program on December 16, 2011 at noon at which the organization will donate $12,000 to the McWane Science Center.
- Reverend Johnson thanked Mrs. Welch as well as the Board for their work.
- Dora Sims thanked the Friends organization for supporting the Local Author's Expo, administration for their work, and also Mrs. Welch for nominating Saundra Ross for the I Love My Librarian! Award.
- Georgia Blair thanked the computer staff for helping patrons with job placement. Ms. Blair also congratulated Saundra Ross.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch attended a Comprehensive Public Plan meeting at Huffman Academy and stated that we should always make sure that libraries are on the agenda. Mrs. Welch congratulated Rod Zeigler and Billy Conner for attending the continuing education supervisor training classes. The Library should send Hope Cooper a thank you letter for the chairs and poinsettia donations. She sent to Jarvis Patton an email commending the City Public Works staff that did a professional job installing the lights at North Avondale. Wylam Library is now on Facebook. Mrs. Welch stated that she is looking forward to Trustee Fund incentives for staff and asked that Samuel Rumore research the Allie Beth Martin (ALA) Award and whether not Jim Baggett could be a potential nominee. She also checked with the Ethics Commission on whether or not it was acceptable to give small gifts to Library employees and the Commission stated that this practice was o.k. SIX Branding and Design Company is still working on development of the BPL logo and will be ready to present their work in the near future.
- Angela Hall stated that Santa Claus picture pricing was out of our reach this year and administration will keep working on getting better pricing and hopefully the Library will be able to offer this service to the kids next year.
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary