Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
April 18, 2013
Central Library Boardroom
Meeting Called By
Gwendolyn R. Amamoo, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Gwendolyn R. Amamoo, President; Georgia Morgan Blair, Vice-President; Patty A. Pilkerton, Kimberly Richardson, Samuel Rumore, Dora Sims,Katrina Watson, Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, Dr. Monique Gardner-Witherspoon
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by President Gwendolyn R. Amamoo.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch gave the invocation.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the agenda which the addition of the 2013 Freedom to Read Board election under new business. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion, which passed.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the consent agenda, removing the financial report and March minutes. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which passed.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the March 28, 2013 minutes with the corrections noted below. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which passed.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch stated that Bettina Boateng should be listed as a visitor under "others present". Under Georgia Blair's comments, "concerned" should be corrected. Under "approvals", it should read "corrections" instead of "changes". Under "audit report", the Library Board voted unanimously to approve the audit report.
- Georgia Blair abstained from voting for the approval of the March Director's report. Under "comments", Georgia Blair also visited the Titusville Library and stated that she was concerned for security at all of the Library branches.
- Kimberly Richardson noted that her Grants Professional Association (certification for grants writers) meeting was held at the Avondale Library on Wednesday, April 17, 2013.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved the approval of the February financial report with the corrections noted below. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which passed.
- The JCLC expenses should be detailed.
- The Local Author's Expo should be listed as in partnership with the Friends and the Birmingham Public Library.
- Dora Sims moved the approval of the March financial report. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed. Danny Dorroh will check into volunteer Mary Warden receiving two checks, one for $500.00 and an additional check for $75.00.
- The Birmingham Public Library Trivia Team was recognized for winning the Birmingham's Brightest Trivia Competition.
Star of the Month
- Georgia Blair was recognized for service as well as most libraries visited during the month.
- Sam Rumore was recognized for service as well as being the only Library Board member on BPL's trivia team.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- The City received an estimate on replacing the escalators at the Central Library. The Long Range Planning Committee met and voted to wait on purchasing the escalators until the plan for Central Library renovations is completed by the architects later this year.
- There have been a few delays in the construction of the Pratt City Library due to weather. Progress is being made and the building should be complete by mid July.
- There have been several service calls regarding the HVAC at the North Birmingham Library. The existing system is in need of repairs and Public Works and the architects are working on it.
- The City has received the drawings for the Inglenook renovation project. The project will go out for bid in early May.
Nicole King, Legal
- The Library Board entered executive session.
- Programs from the Friends luncheon were distributed.
The Read It Forward book Christopher Paul Curtis' The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 was distributed.
- The Library will be writing a grant and asking for money to go towards Pratt City furnishings. Administration will also check into funds from the City's disaster fund to help furnish Pratt City.
- The Library held an Emotional Intelligence Workshop on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 and all full time employees attended.
Finance and Budget Update
- After reviewing the financial information provided in your report, please let me know if you have questions.
Update of Library and Director Activities
- Our trivia team headed by Tobin Cataldo did it again!! We had a very exciting evening this week when our team repeated their excellent winning performance of 2012. We are so excited and proud of them.
- Here is the complete roster of the team for your information: Richard Grooms (Fiction) Jaclyn Hogan (Southside) Jared Millet (Acquisitions) Mary Beth Newbill (Southern History) Jim Pate (Southern History -- Retiree) Sam Rumore (Library Board)
- The alternates : Lynn Carpenter (Five Points West) Barry Crane (Springville Road) Danny Dorroh (Business Office) Cedric Evans (Eastwood)
- The helpers : Kelsey Bates (Administration) Jim Murray (BST / Social Sciences) Jennifer Neely (Administration) Ben Petersen (Southern History) And in the cheering squad were Mrs. Amamoo, Angela, and me.
On the same night we presented a very well attended program with Diane McWhorter, whose Pulitzer prize winning book has been reissued in an updated edition. Jonathan Rieder discussed his book Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from the Birmingham Jail and the Struggle that Changed a Nation. This lecture and discussion was filmed by C-SPAN for later broadcast. We will let you know the dates.
On Monday, April 8, 2013, we presented a very special program that resulted from a contact I made on my trip to Israel. Michael Stolowitzky, the subject of the book, Gertruda's Oath by the Israeli author Ram Oren, visited Birmingham. This book tells the story of how Michael, a young child during WWII, was saved from the Nazis by his Catholic governess Gertruda Babilinskah and brought to Palestine in 1948. He was here to tell his story for Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday and then to present to the students who participate in the Israel-Birmingham ePal program that is cosponsored by the Birmingham Jewish Federation and the Birmingham Sister City Commission. The schools present were Phillips Academy, Ossie Ware Mitchell, Childersburg Middle school, and the N. I. Miles Jewish Day School. Sandi Lee arranged for Jim Baggett to make a presentation and for the students to tour the Southern History Department in addition to the presentation by Michael. The kids also mixed it up and enjoyed meeting each other. Heretofore they only knew each other online. The ePal program involves schools in Israel and their online teacher is Smadar Goldstein who lives in Jerusalem and was my host for one of the nights of my trip. It was a great day for all. (I have a printout of a power point that the Ossie Ware Mitchell teacher made with pictures of the day.)
- On the social media front, it is my pleasure to announce that BPL's Twitter account is now followed by 5,650 people. Hunter Murphy, who tweets for us, has done an excellent job and I highly recommend following @bpl if you also Tweet.
- We are seeking funding for the Pratt City furnishings package. I spoke to Jarvis Patton about it and he was encouraging. I am preparing a request to go to the mayor. We have also written a proposal to the Bruno Foundation for more funding which they encouraged. Margaret Jones is preparing a detailed package for us to use.
- I am constantly amazed by our wonderful staff and I have to make a particular shout out for Angela Hall who has stepped in magnificently to write press releases, arrange media contacts, and schedule media appearances while the city is using our PR Director, Chanda Temple. I hope that we will not be without a PR director for much longer.
- We presented a special training opportunity on April 10—149 of our full time employees attended an excellent presentation entitled “Effectively Working with Others Using Emotional Intelligence.” The presenter was Linda Mechem from National Seminars Training. Edith Major attended this training last year and was very impressed with it and how useful this training would be for our staff. I heard nothing but praise from our staff about the training and its usefulness, especially for performing public service in the library. The cost was $13.43 per person.
- Word Up! was well attended on Sunday, April 7. We had a count of approximately 120 people. Eboni Wallace was crowned the winner once again. She is a student at Tarrant High School.
The Voices from the Storm anthology, the collection of writings on the effects of the tornadoes in April 2011 and January 2012, has been printed. There will be a reception honoring the contributors on April 30 at 6:00 PM in the Arrington Auditorium.
Gifts, Grants, Awards, and Donations
- The fund raiser at Slice Pizza was a success. We do not have an exact amount, yet, but were told that we will receive about $500 which will go on the Flow Tactics project we are promoting on our Wishlist. We received one donation of $200 from Harold B. Blach.
Our mini-campaign to fund Flow Tactics, our youth poetry program is in full swing. We are using WishList, our social media crowdsourcing fund raising web service. This campaign launched on March 1 and will run through May 5, and our goal is to raise $7,000. To make a donation, go to: http://www.librarywishlist.com/wl/WishList_Listings_Wish.cfm?x=1375
- The BPL Foundation is continuing to raise funds to pay for new Early Literacy Computers at all BPL locations. So far we have received $500 from Regions Bank for the Early Literacy Stations and we have received *verbal* pledges in the amount of $12,400 from various individuals. Kelsey Bates is meeting with prospective donors suggested by members of the Foundation Board. If any of you know of people who you think would like to contribute to this project, please let Kelsey know. Her phone number is 226-3613.
- Annual Volunteer Luncheon at Five Points West Branch at noon on April 17. Our volunteer program has grown by leaps and bounds. This event is hosted by the Friends of BPL.
- Bards and Brews will be at the Avondale Park Amphitheater in May. The festivities on May 3 start at 6:30 p.m. with live music, and poetry performances starting at 7:00. The Birmingham Parks and Recreation staff have been very helpful in this venture.
Many events commemorating the Civil Rights Movement activities in Birmingham in 1963 will take place across the library system. I am providing you with the brochure we produced with these events listed. A new edition with events for April and May will be published and distributed next month. Also see http://www.bplonline.org/programs/1963/default.aspx for information about these events and the library's resources and information about 1963: The Year of Birmingham. You will receive a copy of the Read-It-Forward title The Watsons Go to Birmingham, by Christopher Paul Curtis. This project will continue through May.
Exhibits in Central's Gallery
Afri-Spiritus Sembler: Diasporic Art Work by Mero'e REi, April 2-May 10, More information on this art may be found at http://meroerei.fineartstudioonline.com/
- The annual Birmingham Pledge poster contest entries will be displayed on the First Floor in April and May. Winners TBD.
Paintings by Art Bacon, May 13-June 21, Bacon is a nationally known artist who is from Talladega, AL. For more information go to http:www.artbaconartist.com/
If you would like to support the restoration of Miss Iwate, our Japanese Friendship Doll by making a donation, go to http://www.bplonline.org/programs/Iwate.aspx.
- Dial a Story—Call (205) 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/
- Mrs. Welch moved that the Library Board accept the information from attorney Nicole King that the Director and Associate Director only use their leased cars for business related activities. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which passed with a 4-3 vote. (Yes- Gwendolyn Amamoo, Georgia Blair, Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, Dora Sims) (NO- Samuel Rumore, Patty Pilkerton, Katrina Watson) (ABSTAINED- Dr. Monique Gardner-Witherspoon, Kimberly Richardson)
- The Eastwood Lease expires in September of 2016 and the building owner has decided not to have the library move to the vacant space next door to where it is currently located.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch stated that the 2012 Annual report should have the Library Board members listed and should be put online.
- Dora Sims moved to accept the following six candidates for the 2013 Freedom to Read Board election (John Chrastka, Kent Oliver, Eva Poole, Herbert Krug, Doug Archer and Robert Doyle. Patty Pilkerton seconded the motion, which passed.
- Mrs. Amamoo tabled the new President's message until the May 23, 2013 Board meeting.
Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch congratulated Dr. Monique Gardner-Witherspoon on the Girls, Inc. Chili Cookoff and Kimberly Richardson for her book,The Official Federal Grants Prep Guide: 10 Tips to Position Your Organization for Success and recommended that the library purchase more than one copy. Mrs. Welch also attended a workshop on "How to Engage Staff" presented by Pete Blank and presented Renee Blalock with his book. Mrs. Welch asked that administration send out Board packets earlier so that there is time to read important documents. Mrs. Welch has visited Central, North Avondale, Eastwood, East Lake, Woodlawn, Springville Road, and Inglenook Libraries. Mrs. Welch attended the SBN Source Meeting hosted by the Birmingham Public Library - Commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King's letter from the Bham Jail and also congratulated Chanda Temple on being named a Groundbreaker 2013.
- Georgia Blair attended the gallery opening of the Afri-Spiritus Sembler: Diasporic Art Work The Paintings of Mero'e Rei, which was poorly attended. He has changed his name and it is very possible that people just do not recognize his name. Mrs. Blair has visited North Avondale, Central, and Powderly Libraries and congratulated Kimberly Richardson on being elected as the President of the Grant Professionals Association.
- Samuel Rumore stated that he participated in Impact Alabama's Birmingham's Brightest Company Trivia Competition as a team member of the Birmingham Public Library.
- Dora Sims attended the SBN Source Meeting hosted by the Birmingham Public Library - Commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King's letter from the Birmingham Jail and also attended the reading of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from the Birmingham Jail" reading at noon at the Central Library. Mrs. Sims also attended the Friends Volunteer luncheon.
- Kimberly Richardson attended a chapter meeting at the Avondale Library and complimented Claudette Camp. Mrs. Richardson also attended the Young Professionals mixer at The Wine Loft.
- Patty Pilkerton invited Board members to the Alabama Book Festival in Montgomery on Saturday, April 20, 2013 and also to attend the 16th Annual Alabama Writers Symposium April 25-27, 2013 in Monroeville, Alabama.
- Katrina Watson congratulated BPL's trivia team and the reading of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail". Mrs. Watson also requested that any Board member that knows a female vocalist aged 11 to 22, please contact her by email or phone.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo thanked Renee Blalock and Angela Hall for their hard work and congratulated Samuel Rumore for being a part of BPL's winning trivia team. Mrs. Amamoo acknowledged Chanda Temple as one of the 2013 Sheroes by the Birmingham Times and also informed the Library Board of the activation of the online trustee academy classes and suggested that all board members review. Mrs. Amamoo also acknowledged the presence of the Young Professionals Board President, James Sullivan.
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary