Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
March 20, 2014
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, 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. Patty A. Pilkerton seconded the motion, which passed.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved the approval of the agenda. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- The interior work on the Inglenook Library is almost complete.
- The Pratt City Library complete with the exception of interior signage and a small amount of things that the contractor will need to correct.
- The HVAC system at the Central Library is a top priority. The item will be listed on the City Council's agenda March 25, 2014.
Nicole King, City Attorney
- At recommendation of Nicole King, City Attorney, Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch voted to enter into executive session to discuss pending and possible litigation. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed.
Advocacy, Fundraising, and Development Committee
The Advocacy, Fundraising, and Development Committee met on Monday, February 24, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. The minutes are attached.
- Dora Sims moved the approval of the five recommendations brought forth at the February 24, 2014 Advocacy, Fundraising, and Development Committee meeting. Samuel Rumore seconded the motion, which passed. (Georgia Blair abstained from the vote)
Finance and Budget Update
- Finance reports for February are in your packet. Please, let me know if you have any questions.
Update of Library and Director Activities
- The February 10 opening of Pratt City was a success. The branch has been well received by the public and is being used in all the ways intended. The meeting facilities have been used by Representative Terri Sewell, Councilor Marcus Lundy for public meetings, and by community members as well as for library programs. The study rooms are popular and many patrons, old and new, are using computers, periodicals, and the collection. There are a few problems as there are with all new buildings but they are being worked out and on the whole everyone likes this building and its amenities.
- Chris Hare, the new branch manager at East Ensley Branch, began work and is learning new tasks and the community with enthusiasm. We are now in the process of hiring a new branch manager for East Lake due to the promotion of Felita Hawkins to Coordinator of the Southern Branch Region. Neighborhood branches have returned to regular hours (M, Tu, Th, F 9-12 and 1-6, Wed 1-6).
The Central Library renovation planning is going well. Alex Lamis and Sara Rubenstein made a visit on March 6. We had successful meetings with them, Creig Hoskins, Callan Childs and the project steering committee. They plan another visit in early April and will begin to have some proposals for the plan at that time. The “ideascale” on our Web site has worked well to gather ideas and suggestions from the public. (http://bplrenovation.ideascale.com/ )
- Having the two additional coordinators has helped tremendously in our ability to handle multiple projects and services. This is a wonderful example of the benefits of hiring from within the ranks—all three of our new coordinators have really hit the ground running and are doing an excellent job. Thanks very much to the board for your support in getting the two coordinator positions at Central Library.
- Declaring Birmingham’s Right to Libraries—National Library Week, April 13-19 will be declared the city’s Right to Libraries Week. We will be promoting signatures to the Declaration throughout the city and all the other municipal libraries will also.
- Several BPL staff members represented BPL at the Alabama Library Legislative Day in Montgomery on February 18. The theme for that day was Declaring Alabama’s Right to Libraries.
- The East Building Staff Room on the Fourth Floor continues its makeover. The original chairs have been recovered and returned. The chairs that were in the Staff Room temporarily (and came from Pratt City’s 2010 refurbishing) have been distributed where needed elsewhere in the system.
SaveFirst will again be providing free tax preparation services at Smithfield, Woodlawn, and West End during the 2013 tax season for households earning less than $50,000 a year with one or more children or $20,000 year without children. Please, help spread the word--Clients must call 1-888-99-TAX-AL (1-888-998-2925) for an appointment; no walk-ins will be assisted. SaveFirst is sponsored by Impact Alabama (the group who sponsors the annual trivia contest).
Gifts, Grants, Awards, and Donations
- The Linn Henley Research Library was given the 2014 Significant Building Award by the Alabama Architectural Foundation in February. The award stated, “Anchoring the corner of Linn Park, the interior of this impressive masterpiece strikes a sense of awe to the visitor as its artful murals reach across the ages to engulf one in a senses of historic literature and mythology. A living reminder of the past, the Linn-Henley Library continues its mission of service to our citizens, while occupying a sacred place in the community.”
The annual Holocaust programs continue on Wednesdays at noon with survivor Max Herzel, 83, on March 19. On March 26 the program will feature the screening of the new, 38-minute film “The Path to Nazi Genocide.’’ Using rare footage, the film examines the Nazis’ rise and consolidation of power in Germany. It also explores the Nazis’ ideology, propaganda and persecution of Jews and other victims. These programs are presented in partnership with the Holocaust Education Center (http://www.bhamholocausteducation.org/).
- Two more sessions of 1,2,3 Play With Me begin at Pratt City and Five Points West on March 25. 1-2-3 Play with Me is an exciting interactive playgroup for kids—birth through age 4—and their parents. This fun-filled program includes cool activity centers, an art station, and a whole lot more. Your child will have loads of fun and so will you! If you know a young family that you think would enjoy this program, please let them know about it.
- Bards and Brews is on the road again and will take place on April 4 at the Vestavia Hills Library.
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
- Illuminations in Poured Color: Paintings by Starr Weems, Exhibit will hang until April 11.
- Paintings by Joyce E. Brooks are on display on the first floor of the Central location from now until March 29.
- Sign up for a newsletter of all additions to the library collection from this link on our homepage:
- 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 2015 Budget vote materials are attached.
- The 2014 Committee assignments will remain the same as 2013.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved the approval to excuse Judge Vowell and Samuel Rumore from the February Board meeting as well as Kimberly Richardson from the March 20, 2014 Board meeting. These meetings were held on different dates than originally scheduled. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved the approval to allow Birmingham Public Library staff to wear jeans on Fridays along with any BPL logo t-shirt. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed with a 6-1 vote. (Judge Vowell opposed the vote and Patty A. Pilkerton abstained)
- Georgia Blair- congratulated Avondale, Powderly, and Titusville for the increase in their statistics; saw Renee Blalock on television promoting BPL on February 15, 2014; attended the Unity Breakfast at Wenonah High School on February 21, 2014; visited Avondale and Powderly branches during the month of March; and lastly stated that she was embarrassed on February 18, 2014 when the Jefferson County Progressive Democratic Council meeting was moved to the third floor conference room that was very hot
- Samuel Rumore- finished his research on the last Civil Rights area bombing and an article will be published in the Alabama Heritage Magazine
- Dora Sims- stated that she is excited about the new Pratt City Library; is looking forward to the Inglenook Library re-opening; and that the polls will open on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 for the United for Libraries officer elections
- Katrina Watson- attended an association of fundraising professionals meeting and was delighted to see BPL staff member, Carrie Cleverdon, attending the event
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch- thanked the Birmingham Public Library for the documentary on leadership; stated that Eunis Elliott, from Channel 13, gave an outstanding presentation on "Living the Dream"; Kimberly Richardson and Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch attended the program of congresswomen; she thanked Sandi Lee for attending Springville Road's neighborhood meetings; and lastly raised concerns that the bench at the Pratt City Library needed to be repaired or removed as it could be dangerous
- Dr. Regina Ammon- stated that the Friends Volunteer Luncheon will be held on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 at the Five Points West Library; the public relations group at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has requested 1,000 Friends brochures which will be put into the faculty's mailboxes; on Sunday, April 13, 2014 there will be a silent auction and coloring the Cahaba contest hosted by the Friends, Cahaba River Society, and the University of Alabama at Birmingham; she also submitted an article to the Voices on the recent Friends rebranding; and also that the Art/Literature/Sports department has made origami cranes and are selling them for $15.00 and the proceeds will go to the restoration of Miss Iwate
- Gwendolyn Amamoo- thanked City Attorney, Nicole King; stated that the Pratt City re-opening was fantastic; welcomed City liaison, Tyrone Silman, and retired BPL employee, Hope Cooper; and stated that she has recently become a new grandmonther and asked for prayers for her granddaughter, who arrived six weeks early
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary