Birmingham Public Library Board Meeting
July 26, 2012
Central Library Boardroom
Meeting Called By
Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, President; Gwendolyn Amamoo, Vice-President; Samuel Rumore, Parliamentarian; Nell Allen, Georgia Blair Dora Sims, Judge Vowell, Katrina Watson, Dr. Witherspoon
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch.
- Opalisa Jones, staff member in the Archives Department, gave the invocation. Georgia Blair presented Ms. Jones with a certificate of appreciation.
- The agenda was approved.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the consent agenda. Samuel Rumore seconded the motion, which carried.
- Nell Allen moved for the Library Board to enter into executive session. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which carried.
- Mr. Ross Lowe, Library patron, stated that he would like for the Library Board to investigate the Library's policies of checking patrons bags that are brought into the Library.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo read thank you cards from Marie Nash and Saundra Ross of North Avondale Library.
Finance and Budget Update
- At this time I have no more information regarding the FY2013 budget. I have been told that there is increased funding for library materials and for personnel in both the mayor’s version and the council version of the budget. As soon as we have any further information, I will update the board.
Update of Library and Director Activities
- June has been filled with our work with BIG Communications on the campaign, Birmingham Public Library: Champions for Learning. This has been a very enjoyable process. We have been very impressed with the staff at BIG. They are very creative and have come up with slogans and words we believe will help us talk about the library for a long time. They are helping with the logo roll out and obtaining free and reduced media coverage for the whole process. Training on the PR campaign for the Library Board, the Foundation Board, and the Friends board is scheduled on July 26 to follow the monthly board meeting in the Arrington Auditorium. Staff who have not been able to attend the previous training sessions are invited to attend this session also.
Plans for the BPL young professionals' board are on schedule. Forms for nomination and applications are available at http://www.bplonline.org/yp/. A press release is forthcoming and ads for recruitment and getting the word out have been ordered or are in the process. Everyone is very excited about this and looking forward to working with this group. A social for interested applicants will be held at the Central Library on September 20.
- The Foundation continues its recruitment of new members and welcomed Sol Kimerling, a longtime friend of BPL and avid researcher in the Archives, to the board at their meeting on July 11. Katrina Watson is attending these meetings as a liaison from the Library Board and advisor for the young professional group. BIG Communications made a presentation to this board at the July 11 meeting.
- The Pratt City Branch rebuilding project is proceeding according to schedule. Bids have been opened but we have not been notified of any award at this time. We attended the meeting of the Greater Pratt City Improvement Cooperative with the architects to present plans for the restoration of the Pratt City Branch. These plans were well received at least in part because the community could see clearly that we had used their list of requests in our plans.
- The North Birmingham project is underway and progressing nicely. All staff are working at other locations for the duration. Central visitors are very much enjoying the animals that usually reside at North Birmingham and are presently housed in the Youth Department. Staff is enjoying having them here also.
- Summer reading programs are slowing down and much fun has been had at all BPL locations for all ages this summer. I plan to have a full report for you at the August meeting.
- BPL staff are working with the Mayor's Office on plans for celebrating 2013, the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham. BPL staff has scheduled a number of special programs to be presented at our libraries throughout the year.
Donations and Funds Received
- $5,000 from the Alabama Power Foundation for summer reading programs. (I mentioned this last month but as part of the update on the summer reading programs and I thought it worth putting here so we would not lose sight of it.)
- Opening Reception and lecture for Both Sides of the Lens Exhibit—July 24, 6:30, Arrington Auditorium. Special heritage food tasting will be available following at the reception. Staff will provide family dishes for tasting. Tickets to the tasting will be distributed to attendees at the lecture by Psyche Williams-Forson, PhD, Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Williams-Forson is an expert on African-American material culture.
- Logo Launch Activities—The library is scheduled for the mayor's report at the city council meeting on July 31. We will show them the logo and present them with t-shirts. On August 1 all branches of BPL will be presenting our new logo to the public. We will have cakes at each location, a limited number of souvenir book bags, all staff dressed in logo t-shirts, and will begin the morning with Jeh Jeh Pruitt of Fox 6 to talk about the new logo and our campaign. We invited the mayor to take part in the festivities but do not know for sure if he will be here. Hope board members will be able to attend. The official celebration will begin at 9:00 AM. We also invited Vonetta Flowers to be with us but she will be traveling on those two days.
- Annual School Supplies Giveaway, sponsored by The Rotaract Club of Birmingham, will be held at Avondale, Southside, and Wylam branches on Saturday, August 18 from 9-12. (FYI Katrina Watson is a member of this group.)
- Bards and Brews at Avondale Branch Library on August 3. Sign up is at 6:30 PM, musical entertainment from 6:30 to 7:00, and performances from 7:00 to 9:00.
- Put the week of September 10 on your calendar for our second annual Eat Drink Read Write series of programs. We will be celebrating food and writing about food. As soon as the lineup is finalized I will send you the details.
- Showings of "The Barber of Birmingham" at various BPL locations in September will begin our celebration of 2013's Fiftieth Anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham. I will send details of the schedule to you later.
Exhibits in Central's Gallery and Beyond
- Both Sides of the Lens: Photographs by the Shackelford Family, Fayette County, Alabama (1910-1935) will feature 40 photographs from BPL's collection of early 20th century glass plate negatives taken by a family of African-American photographers who lived in Covin, Alabama.
- BPL's Common Bonds has been hung at the Five Points West Branch. This is an exhibit curated by our staff a few years ago that uses snapshots taken in Birmingham from 1900 to 1950 to showcase family activities and themes of everyday experiences of people living in Birmingham from all classes and races.
- The Watercolor Society of Alabama will mount their annual exhibit from September 7 through October 31.
- The Birmingham Historical Society's annual exhibit will be mounted from November 1 through December 31. I do not have the exact name of the exhibit but it will showcase the scrapbooks and life of Arthur Shores.
- 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/
- Samuel Rumore has been asked to join the University of Alabama Library's Library School Alumni Association.
- Judge Vowell stated that the Eudora Welty exhibit was wonderful. Judge Vowell met a woman from Florida also visiting the exhibit that stated that every time she passes through Birmingham, she makes a point to visit the Library.
- Katrina Watson stated that she was excited about the energy surrounding the new logo rollout.
- Nell Allen stated that the Summer Reading packet was superior.
- Georgia Blair attended the Both Sides of the Lens program and stated that it was wonderful. Mrs. Blair also shared that Dr. Witherspoon was inducted into the Birmingham Chapter of The Links.
Dora Sims distributed her ALA Annual report (attached). Mrs. Sims attended the Intellectual Freedom workshop which encouraged all Libraries to adopt clear policies and procedures and make those policies clear to staff and accessible to all.
- Carolyn Johnson stated that the Mayor's office supports the Library.
- Gwendolyn Welch thanked Peggy Polk, Nicole King, the Mayor, and the City Council.
- Renee Blalock, Secretary