Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
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, Dr. Monique Gardner-Witherspoon, Kimberly Richardson, Samuel Rumore, Dora Sims, Judge Scott Vowell, Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch,
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by President Gwendolyn R. Amamoo.
- Judge Vowell gave the invocation.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the agenda. Judge Vowell seconded the motion, which passed.
- The consent agenda was approved.
Star of the Month
- Karnecia Williams, Inglenook Branch Head, was presented a certificate for "Star of the Month" for her dedication and hard work for the Library.
"I Am BPL" and "Programs Enriching Lives" Awards
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch presented a certificate for the "I Am BPL" Award as well as a check for $25.00 to Brandon Smith, employee at the Springville Road Library.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch presented a certificate for the "Programs Enriching Lives" Award to Pamela Jessie, Branch Head at the Woodlawn Library, and $100.00 will be transferred into Woodlawn's account.
- Dr.Witherspoon presented a certificate for the "I Am BPL" Award as well as a check for $25.00 to Stephanie George, Personnel Assistant. Diana Prince, Administration Receptionist, accepted the award on Stephanie George's behalf.
- Samuel Rumore presented a certificate to for the "Programs Enriching Lives" Award to Kelly Laney, employee at the Springville Road Library, and $100.00 will be transferred into Springville Road's account.
Angela Hall presented certificates for the "Program Enriching Lives" Award to Felita Hawkins, Coordinator, and Wanda McGinnis, employee at the East Lake Library, and $100.00 will be transferred into East Lake's account.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- The renovation work at the Inglenook Branch Library is almost complete. The re-opening is planned for Thursday, May 22, 2014.
- Although Pratt City has re-opened, the contractors are finishing up a small list of items.
- Bond Fund Projects approved: 1. water proofing the crosswalk at the Central Library 2. reroofing of the Southside Library 3. North Birmingham VAV boxes to be repaired
Nicole King, City Attorney
- Nicole King, City Attorney, recommended that the Library Board enter into executive session to discuss pending and potential litigation. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to enter into executive session. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed.
- Finance and Budget Update
- Finance reports for March are in your packet. Please, let me know if you have any questions.
- We were instructed by the Mayor’s Office to cut 10% of our spending from April 1 through June 30. However, since our personnel surplus is high this year they took funds from our Salary line in the budget and we do not have to cut from operations.
- We attended our FY2015 Budget meeting with city staff and it went well. We had an opportunity to discuss all of our requests including personnel and the capital funds needed for the Central Library Renovation Project. Terry Burney spoke up and asked why we did not bring them treats like we used to do. So, on Wednesday Angela and I, with the help of Jennifer, put together goodie bags and hand delivered them to all staff that attended this meeting. They seemed very pleased and we took the opportunity to chat with each of them about the library’s budgetary needs and problems. I give Angela full credit for this—She took the initiative and purchased the goodies herself. It was a really good way to speak up for the library’s budget in a very positive way.
HVAC Repairs for Central
- We have been informed that the company who is doing the repairs has placed orders for the coils and have made final measurements and assessments. These parts will take 6 to 8 weeks for delivery so the HVAC will not be repaired until late May to mid-June. We are in the process for placing portable air conditioning units and fans where needed. When the weather heats up we will take further measures such as sending limited numbers of staff to other locations to work, allowing staff to dress appropriately to be cool, etc. I have scheduled a meeting with key staff for Monday morning to discuss strategy for this period. I will keep you posted on this situation.
Update of Library and Director Activities
- We are most excited about winning the John Cotton Dana Award for the Worldwide Reading of the Letter From the Birmingham Jail. All the credit for this very successful program goes to Jim Baggett and Melinda Shelton who, along with much of our staff and readers across the world, made this a meaningful and moving event. The award will be given at a reception at the ALA Conference on June 29. As soon as I receive more details we will announce this to the press.
- Inglenook Branch is coming along and is projected to be finished by the end of April. We will open to the public as soon as all furniture and equipment are in place and will have a formal grand opening later in May.
- The Central Library renovation planning continues to go well. We will have meetings with the architects on Monday, April 21 and Tuesday, April 22nd. We have meetings scheduled with Council President Johnathan Austin and Mayor Bell while they are here.
- 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.
- We went to City Council to receive a proclamation in support of National Library Week and the Declaration for the Right to Libraries on April 1. We will be collecting signatures throughout April and will send them to the American Library Association for them to present to Congress at the National Library Legislative Day in Washington in May. All BPL branches and the receptionist in the Mayor/City Council Office are collecting signatures throughout the month of April.
- The Annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon given by the Friends of BPL was held in the Learning Tree Park next to the Five Points West Branch on April 9. For the first time our lunch was provided by a food truck, Melt, which was delicious. The park is a reality due to the hard work of present and past board members Dora Sims and Nell Allen. It is a real asset to the library. My thanks to Mrs. Sims for attending and to Regina Ammon and the Friends for hosting and funding this event.
Gifts, Grants, Awards, and Donations
- $3000 was given to the West End Branch Library by Representative John Rogers for programs.
- We received a nice gift of $200 toward the restoration of Miss Iwate as a result of her visit with the Birmingham Sister City Commission which met here at the library on March 19.
- Bards and Brews is scheduled for May 2 and will be at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This event will include a special performances by several of our teens who hope to be invited to the International Teen Poetry Spoken Word contest. These kids work with Real Life Poets in a program called Flow Tactics that is funded by a grant the library received from the Alabama State Council on the Arts. Music starts at 6:30 with the poetry at 7:00 and the teens will perform at half time.
- Signup for Summer Reading Programs for all ages begins May 12. There will be three groups: Children, Teens, and Adults. Many exciting programs and events are planned for all. For the first time we will have a special online application that will be available for participants to register, keep up with their reading, and program attendance. It will also make statistical reports easier for library staff.
- 1,2,3 Play With Me continues at Pratt City and Five Points West. 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.
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 May 2.
- Southwest Quilters, June 2 through July 8.
- 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 Freedom to Read Foundation sent a ballot for the Library Board to vote for five Trustees to be elected to the Board of Trustees of the Freedom to Read Foundation. Each Library Board member will choose five persons and submit to Jennifer Neely, who will tally the votes. The five persons with the most votes of the Library Board Trustees will be submitted to the Freedom to Read Foundation on an official ballot sheet before May 1, 2014.
- Judge Vowell moved the approval to hold the May Board meeting on May 22, 2014 at the Inglenook Library at 10:00 a.m. Kimberly Richardson seconded the motion, which passed.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved the approval for the Library Board to purchase water and popsicles for the staff at the Central Library. These funds will be taken from the Trustee Board Fund. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed.
- Renee Blalock submitted her official retirement letter to the Library Board. Renee's last day will be on August 1, 2014. Samuel Rumore moved the approval to name Angela Hall, current Library Associate Director, as the Interim Library Director beginning on Friday, August 1, 2014. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion, which passed with a vote of 8 to 1. (Georgia Blair voted "NO")
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to excuse Judge Vowell and Samuel Rumore from the February 10, 2014 Library Board meeting and Kimberly Richardson and Dr. Monique Gardner-Witherspoon from the March 20, 2014 Library Board meeting. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed.
- Samuel Rumore visited the Museum of Alabama which was wonderful.
- Patty A. Pilkerton congratulated Samuel Rumore on being elected as the Vice President/President-Elect of the University of Alabama Library School Association of Alabama, which is a six year commitment.
- Judge Vowell offered condolences to Renee Blalock and congratulated Angela Hall on being named the Interim Library Director.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch asked Board members to keep Renee Blalock in their prayers. Mrs. Welch participated in World Book Night which was held on Wednesday, April 23, 2014 and she also congratulated Georgia Blair on being recognized by the NAACP on Friday, March 28, 2014. Mrs. Welch attended a Inglenook program which was held at the Woodlawn Library.
Georgia Blair offered condolences to Renee Blalock. Georgia Blair and Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch will speak to a group of women on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at the McWane Science Center.
- Kimberly Richardson offered condolences to Renee Blalock and she also commended the Birmingham Public Library staff and stated that she looks forward to working with Angela Hall as the Interim Library Director.
- Dora Sims offered condolences to Renee Blalock and also stated that Friday, April 25, 2014 is the deadline to vote in the United for Libraries election. Mrs. Sims attended the Friends Volunteer Luncheon and will attend the Pratt City festivities on Saturday, April 26, 2014. Mrs. Sims congratulated her granddaughter on being accepted into Ramsay High School.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo offered condolences to Renee Blalock and Stephanie George. Mrs. Amamoo stated that Chanda Temple, Public Relations Head, attended a luncheon sponsored by Councilman Marcus Lundy and gave a television interview to promote World Book Night. Mrs. Amamoo asked that Chanda Temple, Public Relations Head, submit a Public Relations written report to be included in each month's Library Board packet, stated that she was looking forward to the festivities at the Pratt City Library on Saturday, April 26, 2014, and congratulated the library on winning the John Cotton Dana Award for the third time since 1946.
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary