Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
October 24, 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, Judge Scott Vowell, Katrina Watson, Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch, Dr. Monique Gardner-Witherspoon
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by President Gwendolyn R. Amamoo.
- Georgia Blair 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. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed.
Star of the Month
- Judge Vowell was recognized as a "Star of the Month" for his service to the Library and Library Board. He was presented with a certificate of appreciation.
- Stephanie George was recognized as a "Star of the Month" for her dedication to and hard work for the Library. She was presented with a certificate of appreciation.
- Georgia Blair prepared a certificate of appreciation for "Star of the Month" for Renee Kemp-Rotan for her love and service to the Library.
- Rod Zeigler, Building Services Department Head gave a brief presentation on a program that he is participating in called Impact (Manager's Preparing to Accomplish Change). This is a nine month course in which Rod will have the opportunity to communicate and shares ideas and advice to other managers throughout Jefferson County.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- City Council has approved the contract for the renovation of the Central Library.
- The Inglenook Branch Library renovations are going very well.
- There have been some delays in the reconstruction of the Pratt City Library Branch; However, the completion date is nearing.
Nicole King, City Attorney
- Georgia Blair moved the approval for the Library Board to enter into executive session to discuss pending litigation and personnel issues. Katrina Watson seconded the motion, which passed.
Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee
- The Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee met on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 to review the Personnel Policy Manual.
- The Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee will meet on Monday, October 28, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. to review the Trustee Policy Manual.
Long Range Planning Committee
- The Long Range Planning Committee met on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 to discuss the possible closing of either the Ensley or East Ensley branch locations.
- Katrina Watson moved the approval of the Ensley Neighborhood resolution . Patty A. Pilkerton seconded the motion, which passed with a 9-1 vote. (Kimberly Richardson abstained)
Finance and Budget Update
- The budget was passed by the council. In the end we netted about $10,000 over the last fiscal year. We were cut in several areas in order to fund the 1% across the city salary raise. So, we have a little more in our library materials for the coming year but not as much as we had hoped. Therefore, the monthly budget report for September is the FY2014 budget passed by the council. It is included in your packet along with the Library Fund report and the other monthly financial reports. Merit raises were approved along with the budget and will be retroactive to July 1. The 1% across the board raise will be implemented on November 30 and will not be retroactive.
Item for Board Approval
- We are recommending that the library system close early on December 23rd in addition to being closed December 24th and 25th for the Christmas holiday and December 31st (New Year's Eve). Normally the library would close at 8:00 p.m. and we are asking that the library close at 6:00 pm those nights.
Update of Library and Director Activities
- The contract for planning the renovation of the Central Library Complex has been signed by all architects and is scheduled to be on the council agenda on Tuesday, October 22. I believe that we will be underway soon on this project. I will keep you informed.
The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963 author Christopher Paul Curtis spoke and signed books at the Central Library on October 8. We had a crowd of about 100 who enjoyed Mr. Curtis very much. He is a terrific speaker and is excellent with young people. He came to the library courtesy of Alabama Public Television.
- Staff Development Day held on October 17 was a huge success. We were at the Art Museum in the morning and then we came over to Central for lunch and breakout programs in the afternoon. We have packets for all board members who were not able to come and/or stay to the end of the day. As usual, staff brought nonperishable food items and unwrapped new toys for the Division of Youth Services (DYS) annual holiday drives. BPL staff members are very generous and we are usually at the top of DYS's list of donors.
- We distributed the BPL Personnel Policy Manual to all staff who attended. Copies will go out to any staff members who were not able to attend ASAP. Everyone understands that the policy manual is now in effect for all staff. Nicole King has approved the draft outline for the Orientation Manual and we are working on it now.
- The county wide integrated library computer software has been updated to a new platform called Sierra. This software was purchased using the State Aid bonus received by county libraries in FY2012. We received a bonus this year and it will be used to purchase equipment for BPL such as self-checkout machines for the Central Library (they will replace outdated and worn-out machines) and some other needs such as replacement of malfunctioning bar code scanners and receipt printers.
- Food for Fines, 2013 was a success and Items collected at all of our libraries have been sent to local food banks including the Unites Way and local churches.
- The America's Music grant funded series is winding up this weekend. We have had enthusiastic audiences at the video showings and performances across the BPL system.
- Fall sessions of the 1,2,3, Play With Me program are finishing up at Avondale and Five Points West and beginning at Springvile Road, North Birmingham and Central. A flier describing this program will be included in your packet at the board meeting.
- In early 2012, I joined Lawrence Pijeaux from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in sending a letter of invitation recommending that the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) hold their November 2013 meeting in Birmingham. They took us up on the offer and will meet here at the library on Friday, November 15. This will be the site (Arrington Auditorium) for both their public and executive meetings--they usually meet in Washington, D.C. We will prepare a short presentation for them that morning, and would like to have remarks from the board leadership for both organizations. Please mark your calendars for this important and historic event. I've attached our original letter of invitation. Start time will be around 8:30 AM.
- Angela Hall has been appointed to the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Council for Alabama. She will serve until September 30, 2016. This is the group that accepts and reviews all grant proposals for LSTA funding in Alabama which are administered by the Alabama Public Library Service.
Gifts, Grants, Awards, and Donations
- BPL was awarded $4,900 from the Alabama State Council on the Arts (ASCA) for our Teen Poetry Initiatives.
- The BPL Foundation's first annual funding campaign will be launched before the end of the month. We will be using a mailer designed by BIG Communications that we hope will communicate our case for funding clearly and will be very successful in garnering contributions. All proceeds of this campaign will go toward library acquisitions and collections.
- As reported in the board meeting last month, BPL was awarded $75,000 in an end-of-year LSTA grant. We have spent all the money as required by the end of September but the check was caught up in the Federal government shutdown. Hopefully we will receive it soon.
- FYI Kelsey Bates, director of development, recently presented three webinars for IMLS on aspects of fundraising which were attended by hundreds of people internationally. The library will receive $2000 in payment for Kelsey's time and presentation.
- The November 1 Bards and Brews will be at Good People Brewing Company, 114 14th St S. It will be an Open Mic event.
- Youth author Jan Brett will be at the Central Library on November 19. With over thirty seven million books in print, she is one of the nation's foremost author illustrators of children's books. This will be part of her national bus tour. See picture of the bus below. We are expecting huge crowds.
- November is National Adoption Month and BPL will host an exhibit by Heart Gallery Alabama (HGA) which is a state wide non-profit agency whose mission is to help find forever families for Alabama's foster children. They recruit professional photographers to volunteer to take the children's portraits, and then take these professional grade photographs around the state to museums, malls, galleries, libraries, and other locations in order to increase awareness of the need for foster and adoptive families in the state of Alabama. This is the first time BPL has hosted this group. This exhibit will be on the First Floor at Central October 31-November 27.
Smart Investing, the finance education series which will be called Making Cents locally, will continue through May of 2014. A full calendar of events may be found at http://making-cents.org/. This grant funded project is designed to educate the public on personal finance topics and is a collaboration between libraries in Jefferson County and libraries in Shelby County. The full schedule is also 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.
- Watercolor Society of Alabama Annual Juried Exhibit, September 23- October 31.
- "Birmingham 2013: Remembering the Movement That Changed the World," An exhibition curated by Dr. William Colvin, November 4 - December 27, Opening Reception Saturday, November 9, 3:00 - 5:00 PM Beginning in the mid-1950s and through the early 1970s, the visibility of African Americans, women and other disadvantaged citizens in the news media sensitized viewers and readers to the difficulties of survival in southern and northern, urban and rural, and distant and local communities. This exhibition portrays this American experience.
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/
- Dr. Monique Gardner-Witherspoon expressed her regret for missing the Library's 2013 Staff Day event.
- Dora Sims thanked the Library Board and administration for their work. Mrs. Sims also mentioned that last month it was discussed that her husband, Ira Sims, picture was displayed at the Birmingham Museum of Art. The Museum invited Mrs. Sims to be part of "Art Speaks" and talk about the history of Birmingham.
- Sam Rumore attended a convention in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and visited the Oklahoma City Library. Mr. Rumore was very impressed with their magazine and expressed interest in hosting a "customer appreciation month". Mr. Rumore also visited the 13th Presidential Library.
- Georgia Blair attended the Library's 2013 Staff Day event and commended the Library staff on their hard work. Mrs. Blair also attended the swearing in of the Birmingham City School Board members and the Inaugural Gala of the Mayor, City Council, and Birmingham Public Library School Board.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch attended the Library's 2013 Staff Day event and stated that it was excellent and also commended the Staff Day Committee for their hard work. Mrs. Welch visited the Ensley, East Ensley, West End, Titusville, and Smithfield Library branches.
- Katrina Watson stated that the Library's 2013 Staff Day event was great and commended the staff for their hard work. Mrs. Watson is also excited for the leadership of the Library's administration. Mrs. Watson has visited libraries in three state capitols and also thanked the Library for support in her husband's, Lyord Watson, run for the Birmingham City School Board.
- Patty A. Pilkerton expressed regret in missing the Library's 2013 Staff Day event. Ms. Pilkerton attended the 2013 Humanities Luncheon and was pleased to see Birmingham Public Library staff in attendance.
- Kimberly Richardson commended the staff for the hard work in planning the Library's 2013 Staff Day event and is also encouraged by all of the partnerships the Library has. Ms. Richardson stated that the Digital Book Mobile was a great success.
- Dr. Regina Ammon stated that the Friends new logo and new website has been developed and will be launched soon.
Gwendolyn Amamoo attended the read for The Watson's Go to Birmingham and thanked Dr. Craig Witherspoon for partnering with the Library for this event. Mrs. Amamoo also attended the Library's 2013 Staff Day event, thanked Rod Zeigler and Angela Hall, and stated that a resolution to former City Council President Roderick Royal was presented.
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary