Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
June 20, 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; Judge Scott Vowell, Parliamentarian; 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.
- Samuel Rumore gave the invocation.
- Fatima Carter and Rikesha Foster from the Young Professionals sat in on the Board meeting.
Star of the Month
- Angela Hall was presented with a certificate of recognition for being an outstanding and hard worker for the library.
- Dora Sims was presented with a certificate of recognition for visiting the most library branches during the month of May.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the agenda. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion, which passed.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved the approval of the May 23, 2013 minutes. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- The Pratt City library branch is over half way complete and should be completed by the first of August.
- The Birmingham City Council approved the renovation plans for the Inglenook library. After a purchase order is given, a pre-construction meeting will be scheduled.
- There are problems with the box that adjusts the air flow at North Birmingham. The engineer is working on a list of replaceable parts and in the meantime, the contractor who did the original work will make manual adjustments.
- There are several roof leaks and flooring problems at the Central library. Public Works has been asked to work on the problems that they can correct.
Nicole King, City Attorney
- The Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee met on Wednesday, June 19, 2013. A draft Personnel Policy was distributed and reviewed. Each Board member is asked to review this policy and send any changes/additions/corrections to Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, committee chair, and Renee Blalock in administration. They will review and compile recommendations to submit to Attorney King.
Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee
- The Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee met on Wednesday, June 19, 2013. The minutes are attached. Please read over the draft Personnel Policy manual and respond with changes/additions/corrections to Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, committee chair, and/or Renee Blalock in administration.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved the approval to amend the By-Laws with the following change:
- add "under its control" to A. Legislative Authority
- add "or in the event the president is unable to serve" to C. Duties and Responsibilities of Officers.
- Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed.
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. Angela Hall and I have attended City Council budget hearings and work sessions to advocate for an increase in the Supplies: Library Materials category of our budget. We both spoke about the library's needs for this funding restoration and provided spreadsheets with more detail. The Mayor's budget cut back this figure from the amount proposed in the budget documents we received in March. We were well received by the Council and have high hopes that we will be budgeted for $850,000 in the FY2014 budget.
Buildings and Facilities
- Summer has come and we are struggling with various HVAC issues across the system. The North Birmingham Branch will require more work to solve the problems that have cropped up since the renovation in 2012. See the Buildings Report for the month for details of this and other projects.
Update of Library and Director Activities
- The contract with RAMSA written by the city's Legal Department for our Central renovation planning project is on the agenda for the City Council called Budget and Finance Committee meeting scheduled for Thursday, June 13, 2013 and if approved will go before the full council on Tuesday June 18 for final approval. We will then be able to begin our work on planning the renovation for the updating and renovation of Central.
- Funding for the Pratt City furnishings package not funded by grants is included in the FY2014 capital budget. The amount is $75,000 which was our requested amount. As soon as the Council approves the FY2014 budget, we can order the remaining 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.
- Inglenook Branch project bids were opened on May 16. As reported last month, they were considerably over the amount projected. The City is in the process of setting up the additional funding for the project.
- BPL's system-wide, all ages summer reading programs are in full swing: "Dig into Reading" for children, "Beneath the Surface" for teens, and "Birmingham's Beat" for adults. Be sure to register for the adult program if you have not already done so! The annual Tailgate Party and Cotchery Skills and Drills Camp will take place this weekend.
Edith Major and Stephanie George have scheduled a series of trainings on customer service which will be presented by Pete Blank of the Jefferson County Personnel Board training department, as well as creating a training PowerPoint with reminders for supervisors regarding our payroll and other daily procedures. 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 presented at the North Birmingham Branch June 7 was a success. This program is enjoyed by many and we have really enjoyed taking it on the road. Join us on July 12 at the Hoover Library.
- Library staff led by Candice Hardy are 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 in the city staff and beyond. The filming will take place next week at the Central Library.
- BPL is partnering with Alabama Power and the A. G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club to present A.G. Gaston American Dream Entrepreneur contest for area young people. Students in grades 5-12 may participate in the contest. To be eligible to win a laptop, students must attend one of two panel discussions taking place Friday, June 14, at the Central Library, and Monday, June 24, at the Smithfield Library. Both panels will take place at noon. Through the contest, partner organizations hope to introduce young people to the late A.G. Gaston, who rose above poverty and discrimination to build a long list of successful Birmingham companies.
- We plan to install bike racks at several BPL locations working with the Commute Smart Program. They will donate the racks to us and the city's Public Works Department will install them. I will update you on this project as it proceeds.
- We recently partnered with the Birmingham to Beijing Project. Begun in 2011 it involves students at Carver High School in learning Chinese and then traveling to China. The current group will spend four weeks traveling in China this summer. We provided books about China for the ten students involved.
- The Learning Tree Park adjacent to the Five Points West Branch was dedicated on Saturday, June 8. This is a beautiful and welcome addition to the library's campus. The neighborhood is very excited to have this amenity and the library looks forward to taking advantage of it for programs, also.
- BPL partnered with the Birmingham Pledge Foundation and the Literacy Council of Central Alabama, by participating in the Freedom Book Swap on June 11. The Friends of the BPL provided books to be given away, also. The basic theme of this event held to coincide with the 50th anniversary of George Wallace's Stand in the Schoolhouse Door, was based on the words of Frederick Douglass, "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free."
- Staff participated in outreach events at the Annual Fishing Rodeo at East Lake Park and at the Pepper Place Farmers Market on June 1.
Gifts, Grants, Awards, and Donations
- The Altamont School gave $600 to the Avondale Branch youth programs. (A group of students from this school comes to the library after school during the school year to tutor.)
- $500.00 was donated by the Forest Park/South Avondale Merchant Association and the Silvertron Cafe to assist with Avondale's Carnival Night on July 16th.
- Brooke H. Coleman gave $1000 in support of the showing of the film "Bully" at the Edge Theater.
- The Friends of BPL gave $1000 in support of BPL's Teen Poetry Initiatives.
- $700 was given by Art Black in support of microform reader repairs.
- $2500 was pledged from St. Andrews Episcopal Church for the processing of their archival records.
- 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.
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!
- 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 Hoover Public Library on Friday, July 12.
Exhibits in Central's Gallery
- "Unseen….Unforgotten: Civil Rights Photographs from the Birmingham News" has been rehung in the First Floor Gallery. It will be up until October 31.
"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 in 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/
- The Foundation met on Wednesday, June 19, 2013. Members of the Foundation Board will present at an upcoming Board meeting regarding the Central library renovation and may also be contacting members of the Library Board to call on potential donors.
- Dr. Witherspoon congratulated Renee Blalock for the Librarian of the Year Award.
- Dora Sims thanked the Board President and the Library Board for recognizing her with a certificate.
- Samuel Rumore completed ALA's Trustee Online Courses.
- Georgia Blair suggested that the library post speed limit signs in Central's parking lot and also commented on persons smoking near the entrance to the library.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch completed ALA's Trustee Online Courses and also completed the supervisory certificate program at the Jefferson County Personnel Board. These courses can also be taken at Jeff State Community College. Mrs. Welch suggested that library managers and administrators complete the Jefferson County Personnel Board Impact Class. Edith Major will distribute information these classes. There will be an internship workshop held at the Smithfield library and Ms. Tate will be the next presenter. Mrs. Welch will attend the Trustee Section of the American Library Association Conference in Chicago, IL and also thanked Renee Blalock and Lisa Smith for creating the Innovative Programs for Your Library handout for distribution at the convention. Mayor Bell spoke at Tuesday's City Council meeting and gave Dora Sims accolades for her commitment to the Learning Tree Park at the Five Points West Library. Mrs. Welch thanked Attorney Nicole King for her professional guidance and assistance.
- Dr. Ammon read an article in the New York Times which stated that Birmingham is "coming back" and she also stated that NPR radio is a good reference for the Birmingham Public Library.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo presented former Library Board president, Ms. Dorothy Porter's family with a resolution on behalf of the Library Board. Mrs. Amamoo congratulated the Library Board for being 100% in attendance. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, July 25, 2013.
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary