Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
July 25, 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.
- Katrina Watson gave the invocation.
- 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 consent agenda with the change below. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which passed.
- Dora Sims was recognized as the Star of the Month for the month of June for her commitment to the Library Board and the Library.
Star of the Month
- Edith Major and Danny Dorroh were recognized for their hard work at the Library and both were presented with certificates from the Library Board.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- The Pratt City Library rebuilding work is progressing. There has been a lull because of the recent rain.
- The Inglenook Library renovation project is progressing. The contract for the work is now in the Mayor's office.
Nicole King, City Attorney
- The City Law Department is currently reviewing any changes to the Personnel Policy Manual.
- Attorney Nicole King recommended that that Library Board enter into executive session to discuss pending litigation. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to approve the recommendations made by Attorney Nicole King. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed. (Judge Vowell did participate in the executive session)
- The Library Director was recently evaluated and a performance improvement plan was created. The Library Director has signed the document and is now a part of the Director's personnel file.
Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee
Georgia Blair moved the accept the Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee minutes as information (attached). Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion, which passed.
Finance and Budget Update
- The City Council has not approved a FY2014 Budget at this time. I believe that the library will be funded at the same level as last year for Library Materials and I will let you know as soon as the budget is passed and I know what the actual budget will be. We are able to make purchases and payments because the Budget Office has entered the same amounts that were in the FY2013 budget. They will be changed to the new budget when it is passed. The June budget report attached is the end of the year budget for our city funds but the amounts may change before the year is actually closed.
Buildings and Facilities
- We continue to struggle with various HVAC issues across the system. See the Buildings Report for the month for details of this and other projects.
Update of Library and Director Activities
- The contract with RAMSA for the Central Library renovation planning project is being re-written by the city’s Legal Department. Apparently the task was originally done incorrectly and had to be redone according to the City’s normal architectural contracts. Hopefully it will be completed soon.
- We are still waiting for the City Budget to pass so we can order the second half of the furnishings for Pratt City. The substantial completion date for this project has been changed to August 28, about two months behind the original completion date.
- Inglenook Branch will close on August 2 for its renovation project. There will be a ground breaking that day which is being coordinated by the Mayor’s Office. I will let you know details when I know them. We are making our arrangements to provide the community with limited library services at the Inglenook Recreation Center during the construction.
- BPL’s system-wide, all ages summer reading programs are winding down: “Dig into Reading” for children, “Beneath the Surface” for teens, and “Birmingham’s Beat” for adults. It’s not too late to register for the adult program if you have not already done so! The annual Tailgate Party and Cotchery Skills and Drills Camp was a big success.
- We have attended training sessions to learn how to use the City’s new HR system. They are going paperless. Fortunately for the library we have been doing all that is required online and have not depended only on the paper timesheets so we do not have to form new habits and are very pleased for the paper—“blue timesheets”—to go away. We are very hopeful that the time gained with the new system will allow Edith Major and her assistant, Stephanie George to devote more time to developing plans for staff development and learning.
- All locations of BPL will be hosting programs for the Birmingham Education Foundation Parents University during the upcoming school year. I will give you more information once the dates and programs are set.
- Bards and Brews was a huge success at Hoover Public Library on Friday, July 12. More than 158 people attended.
- I appeared on Channel 13, Sunday, July 7 with James Sullivan, president of the BPL Young Professionals to promote summer reading and their "I Like Big Books" event at Avondale Brewery on July 25. It will be a fun event and I hope that many of the library board members can attend. See below for details.
- The partnership with A. G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club, Inc., Alabama Power, and BIG Communications has been a success. The children involved attended one of two workshops at BPL Central and Smithfield Branch featuring presentations by local Black entrepreneurs and business people. The young people also had the opportunity to enter an essay contest to win a laptop computer. The essay was to describe a business or entrepreneurial idea. Two laptop computers will be awarded to the winning essays on July 19 at the Smithfield Branch. (It is not a public event.)
Gifts, Grants, Awards, and Donations
- No significant gifts, etc. since the last board meeting.
"I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie", Avondale Brewery, Thursday, July 25 5:30 to 8:30. Tickets available online at http://www.eventbrite.com/event/6677589851/es2/?rank=1 for $20 and $25 at the door.
- Almost every BPL employee is registered for the customer service learning opportunity (organized by Edith Major and Stephanie George) which will be presented by Pete Blank of the Jefferson County Personnel Board Training department, on July 23rd, 24th, 30th, and 31st. We are working with Mr. Blank and his staff to organize this type of development on a regular schedule.
- Bards and Brews will be at the Avondale Library on August 2, music at 6:30 and poetry performances at 7 PM.
- We will have preliminary program booklets for the American Association for State and Local History Conference which will be here in Birmingham September 18-21 for all board members. Preregistration ends on August 16. Let Stephanie know if you are interested. There is a cost for the whole conference and a daily rate outlined in the booklet. Angela Hall is serving as the chair of the Local Arrangements Committee.
Programs surrounding the Cities for Life diabetes education grant funded project will take place at many of our locations during August and September. The full schedule is on http://www.birmingham365.org
- The Annual School Supply Giveaway by Rotaract will be on August 10 at Wylam, Avondale, and East Lake Branches. Katrina Watson, a member of Rotaract, is our contact for this event.
Smart Investing programs will begin in August and continue through May of 2014. This grant funded project is designed to educate the public on personal finance topics and is a cooperative venture between libraries in Jefferson County and Shelby County. The full schedule will be available on http://www.birmingham365.org.
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.
- “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.
- Paintings by students of Professor Sky Shineman, Art Department, University of Alabama, August 12—September 20.(Annual painting of the gallery will take place between August 3 and August 11.)
- 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 discussion of Board travel was addressed and Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch addressed her concerns regarding Board travel.
- The Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee will address all policies including the Library Board travel policy.
- Dr. Regina Ammon stated that she believed that the Library's travel funds should be spent on librarians and commended the Library on programs. Dr. Ammon also stated that the Library was in need of a Public Relations representative for the Library.
Georgia Blair submitted her Certificate of Appreciation as a United for Libraries representative, on the ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee 2012-2013 (attached). Mrs. Blair commended Dora Sims and Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch for their presentations at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference and also stated that the Nuts and Bolts session was excellent.
- Kimberly Richardson recognized the Library staff for the tour of the Archives Department and stated that she was impressed with their work and also commented on Carrie Cleverdon and Jim Murray's workshop on "Introduction to Finding Funders" presented by the Foundation Center. The workshop was well attended.
Dora Sims attended ALA Annual 2013 and gave a full report (attached). Dora Sims was selected as a co-chair of the ALA's United for Libraries Annual Program Committee for which she received a Certificate of Appreciation and also received a Certificate of Appreciation from the United for Libraries Freedom to Read Foundation (certificates attached). Dora Sims has also completed the Trustee Academy.
- Samuel Rumore attended the Alabama State Bar Convention and had the privilege of being seated next to Attorney Fred David Gray and recommended that the Library obtain copies of Attorney Gray's memoir, "Bus Ride to Justice".
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch stated that the Library should look into a "cleaning station" for the homeless that come to the Library. Mrs. Welch nominated Saundra Ross-Forest for the 2011 "I Love My Librarian" Award and Mrs. Ross-Forest was among the winners which won $5,000 out of 1600 applicants. The nomination process has reopened and the deadline for submissions is September 26, 2013. You may submit nominations for public or academic librarians. Also, the deadline for registration for the Community Summit "Emerging Leaders", which will be held on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. is sometime in August. Mrs. Welch submitted an article to the "The Voice", which is the United for Libraries newsletter. The article concentrates on how to get your programs noticed. Mrs. Welch also thanked Attorney Nicole King for working with the Library on the Personnel Policy Committee.
- Patty A. Pilkerton stated that she was talking with a Library staff member and noticed how excited this employee was about the 2013 and 2014 Summer Reading programs. Ms. Pilkerton praised the staff.
- Katrina Watson has recently had an opportunity to interact with teens at the Woodlawn's YMCA and these teens were excited to learn that the Library offers more than just books and also employment to teens.
- Angela Hall stated that both she and Renee Blalock have been in conversation with the Committee to Protect the Homeless which is a round table of REV Birmingham. They are working on a website which will connect the homeless to resources and services.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo congratulated Dora Sims for running for the President of the United for Libraries. Mrs. Amamoo congratulated Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch and Georgia Blair for their leadership in the United for Libraries and the American Library Association. Mrs. Amamoo has visited many library branches and commended the Library staff for their hard work and also welcomed the Library Board meeting visitors.
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary