Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
May 23, 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, Samuel Rumore, Dora Sims, Judge Scott Vowell, Parliamentarian; Katrina Watson, Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by President Gwendolyn R. Amamoo.
- The invocation was given by Georgia Blair.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the agenda. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which passed.
- Judge Vowell moved the approval of the consent agenda with the following corrections. Minutes from the Advocacy, Development, and Fundraising Committee meeting were removed from the consent agenda.
- April Board minutes under "Unfinished Business"- The lease for the Eastwood Library will expire in September 2015.
- April Board minutes under "Comments"- Add that Dora Sims attended the NAACP in which persons read excerpts from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter from A Birmingham Jail.
Star of the Month
- Renee Blalock was recognized and presented with a certificate for her Eminent Librarian Award.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch was recognized and presented with a certificate for visiting the most Birmingham Public Library locations in April 2013.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- Bids were taken on the renovation project at the Inglenook Library. The bids were higher than estimated costs. Because of this, the bids are being evaluated.
- There is a problem with the way the Titusville Library's sign was hung. The company that originally hung the sign will come and correct the problem.
- The Pratt City Library rebuilding should be complete by the end of July. The Mayor has placed additional funds in the budget to cover furnishing costs.
- The flooring in the Central Library- Fiction Department in front of the display case is uneven. Funds will be allotted in the renovation budget to cover repairs. Terry Oglesby will take a look at the flooring and report back to the Library Board at the June 20, 2013 Board meeting.
Nicole King, City Attorney
- The Library Board voted to enter into executive session.
Advocacy, Fundraising, and Development Committee
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved the approval of recognizing exiting and past Library Board members with a certificate from the Library Board. Judge Vowell seconded the motion, which carried with a 7-1 Vote. YES-Gwendolyn Amamoo, Georgia Blair, Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, Judge Scott Vowell, Patty A. Pilkerton, Dora Sims, Katrina Watson NO-Samuel Rumore
- Dora Sims moved the approval to continue the Board Fund Program Enriching Lives (P.E.L.) Grant Award and the "I AM BPL" Award with the amendment that the programs will be reviewed at the end of 2013 to decide whether or not to continue for 2014. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which carried.
- The review committee for the Program Enriching Lives (P.E.L.) Grant Award and the "I AM BPL" Award will be Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, Kimberly Richardson, Saundra Ross-Forrest, and Haruyo Miyagawa.
- Dora Sims moved the approval with changes to items 1,2,4,5, and 6 in the Advocacy, Fundraising, and Development Committee minutes. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which carried.
Finance and Budget Update
- After reviewing the financial reports provided in your packet of documents, please let me know if you have questions. I will research any questions and provide answers by email or at the board meeting. I was informed today by the City Budget Office that the FY2014 Mayor's Proposed Budget would be distributed on Friday. (We had thought it would be distributed yesterday, May 14.) As soon as I have a chance to look over the documents, I will send you an update by email.
Update of Library and Director Activities
- The entire staff was saddened by the death of Mary Branch, Librarian in the Arts, Music, Literature and Language Department this month. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
- The highlight of the month for me was receiving the Eminent Librarian Award from the Alabama Library Association. I was especially grateful that Mrs. Sims and Mrs. Blair and a number of BPL staff attended the awards reception. I received a resolution regarding this award from the City Council yesterday. It has been a very gratifying and exciting experience. I also attended legislative day in Montgomery and very much enjoyed talking to legislators and advocating for public libraries.
- We have passed one milestone for our Central renovation planning project. The City Council Finance Committee approved the proposal from RAMSA on May 13. The legal department will produce a contract to go before the council. We hope this will happen at least by May 28.
- We are continuing to seek funding for the Pratt City furnishings package not funded by grants. I sent a formal request to the mayor and Jarvis Patton is working on securing the funds. We are in the process of ordering furniture using the grant funds but cannot order the rest until we have the funding in place. We are hopeful that the $75,000 requested will be in place soon so that we may order the rest of the furnishings. We are ordering the entire furnishings package on the Alabama State Bid List. The substantial completion date for this project has been slated for July 25, about a month behind the original date. The delay is due to the many rain days experienced since the project began.
- Inglenook Branch project bids will be opened on May 16. We are hopeful that this exciting project will be underway soon.
- BPL's talented staff system-wide are busy working on our three summer reading programs: "Dig Into Reading" for children, "Beneath the Surface" for teens, and "Birmingham's Beat" for adults. Registration began on May 13 and is going strong. The decorations for this series always make our libraries look even more attractive and more inviting than usual.
The recent program presented at Central by Jonathan Rieder discussing his book Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Letter from the Birmingham Jail and the Struggle that Changed a Nation with Diane McWhorter was shown on C-SPAN.
- On the social media front, BPL's Twitter account has gained about a thousand new followers since last month and now stands at 6,286. The newest follower is The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in South Africa.
- Eight members of the staff and I met with Chuck Faush for a cherette regarding the library on May 8. It was a great opportunity to talk about what is great about the library (Libraries change lives!), how we serve this community, and what we need to do it better. I think Chuck was impressed with our programs and services.
Edith Major and Stephanie George are working on a series of trainings on customer service which will be presented by Pete Blank of the Jefferson County Personnel Board training department. A PowerPoint with reminders for supervisors regarding our payroll and other daily procedures is also being created. The City is in the process of setting up new payroll and personnel software that should make our process much smoother. It is scheduled to be in place in July for the new fiscal year.
- The Bards and Brews scheduled to take place in the Amphitheater at Avondale Park had to be moved inside the library due to inclement weather. It was also a fund raiser for the library's Poetry Initiative programs and netted $460. We hope to schedule another BB in Avondale Park soon. The staff of the Birmingham Parks and Recreation Department were very helpful and were also disappointed when it had to be moved inside.
- All library staff will be participating in a city employee video of the "Let's Move" routine popularized by Beyonce and Michelle Obama. This is part of the city's push to promote healthful habits with city staff and beyond. The filming will take place in early June. Candice Hardy is heading up our training effort.
- We have had good media coverage this month and the highlight was having Jeh Jeh Pruitt broadcast from Central on Wednesday, May 1. The four segments were mostly focused on summer reading and the bullying forums. The fourth segment featured Tony Smoke, of Alabama Power and a member of our foundation board, who presented us with a giant check for $15,000 in support of our summer reading program. These funds will allow us to make our programs bigger and much better this summer.
SaveFirst a program of Alabama Impact provided free tax help at three of our libraries again this year. The following is a summary of their work: Woodlawn Branch—Prepare and filed 353 returns and secured $615,535 in refunds saving an estimated $105,900 in preparation fees; West End Branch—316 returns, $535,538 in refunds, and an estimated $98,800 saved in preparation fees; and Smithfield Branch—817 returns, $1,146,443 in refunds, and an estimated $245,100 saved in preparation fees. I am very proud that BPL is part of this great project. Alabama Impact is the sponsor of the Brightest Company Trivia Competition.
Gifts, Grants, Awards, and Donations
- The fundraiser at Slice Pizza netted the library $520.
- The Caring Foundation gave $1000 to be applied to the library's fall family programming.
- Alabama Power Foundation gave $15,000 to support the library's Summer Reading Program for all ages.
- 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.
- Bullying forums continue at the following locations:
- Powderly Library - May 16, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
- East Lake Library – May 18, 10:00 a.m.–12 noon
- Central Library (downtown) - May 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
- Smithfield Library, May 23, 10:00 a.m.-12 noon
Summer Reading for all ages!! We have wonderful summer reading programs and are providing you a packet of our printed materials. Information on all programs is available at a special Web site: http://www.bplonline.org/SummerReading.aspx. We hope that you will join us and encourage others you know to participate in these exciting programs and read, read, read!
- BPL staff will be promoting summer reading and all of our other services at the 16th Annual City of Birmingham Park and Recreation Family Fishing Rodeo on June 1, 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM, at East Lake Park.
- Jericho Cotchery , wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Birmingham native, is again our partner with "Score Big with Beneath the Surface," the special part of our reading program which culminates in the Tailgate Party on June 14 and the Skills and Drills Football Clinic on June 15.
- The Jefferson County Library Cooperative will be promoting libraries across the county at the Barons game on June 15. Hope all of you can come out and enjoy the game and support our libraries.
- Bards and Brews will be at North Birmingham on June 7 and it will be open mike
Exhibits in Central's Gallery
- The annual Birmingham Pledge poster contest entries are on display on the First Floor.
"Paintings by Art Bacon" will be on display May 16-June 21. Bacon is a nationally known artist who is from Talladega, AL. For more information go to http:www.artbaconartist.com/
- "Fusion: Sculpture by Jamey Grimes and Charles Clary" will be on display in the 4th Floor Gallery June 24-August 2. The exhibit will consist of pieces made of corrugated plastic and paper. Grimes is an instructor of sculpture at the University of Alabama and Clary is Associate Professor of Foundations at Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
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. Please, let us know if you need copies.
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/
- Samuel Rumore was inducted as the Chairman of the Alabama Lawyers Hall of Fame.
- Dr. Regina Ammon visited the New York Public Library which is gearing up to undergo a capital campaign for renovations. The Friends is creating a new brochure as well as a new Friends packet.
- Dora Sims attended the ALLA Conference in Montgomery, AL and stated that it was very interesting to tour the State House and meet with legislative representatives to let them know the Birmingham Public Library's needs and also congratulated Renee Blalock on her 2013 Eminent Librarian Award. Mrs. Sims also commented on the Smart Investing @ Your Library grant which will provide grant money for 15 libraries (5 in Shelby County, 5 Municipal Libraries, and 5 Birmingham Public Libraries). These grants will help facilitate programs to educate the public regarding personal investing/saving.
- Katrina Watson congratulated Renee Blalock on her 2013 Eminent Librarian Award.
- Georgia Blair attend the "1963 Prom That Never Was" at the Boutwell Auditorium. She also attended ALLA in Montgomery, AL and stated that the Conflict Resolution class was most helpful and well attended.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch attended the 2013 Annual Conference in Chicago, IL 1/2 day poets workshop and the Arthur Bacon exhibit at the Central Library. Mrs. Welch also stated That the ALA 2014 Emerging Leaders deadline is August 2, 2013 and suggested that new Inglenook Librarian, Karnecia Williams could apply. Mrs. Welch commented that the membership book was great, thanked administration for the timeliness of the Board packet, commented that the Springville Road Library's new flooring looks nice, and stated that she saw pictures of Judge Scott Vowell and Chanda Temple in the May edition of the Birmingham Magazine and that these pictures seem to have been taken at Birmingham Public Library locations.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo read the 2013 President's Message.
Renee Blalock, Resolution
- Judge Scott Vowell presented Renee Blalock with a resolution from the Birmingham Public Library Board recognizing her for receiving the 2013 Eminent Librarian Award.
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary