Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
May 22, 2014
Inglenook K-8 School
Meeting Called By
Gwendolyn R. Amamoo, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Gwendolyn R. Amamoo, President; Georgia Morgan Blair, Vice-President; Dr. Monique Gardner-Witherspoon; Patty A. Pilkerton, Kimberly Richardson, Samuel Rumore, Dora Sims, Judge Scott Vowell, Katrina Watson, Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by President Gwendolyn R. Amamoo.
- Sam Rumore gave the invocation.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the agenda. Katrina Watson seconded the motion, which passed.
- Judge Vowell moved the approval of the consent agenda with corrections. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed.
Nicole King, City Attorney
- The Trustee Policy Manual revisions have been made and distributed. The Disciplinary Action was omitted from the Personnel Policy Manual and the changes will be adopted before the June Board meeting.
Advocacy, Fundraising, and Development Committee
The Advocacy, Fundraising, and Development Committee met on Monday, May 19, 2014. (attachment)
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- Although the Inglenook renovations are complete, the Library is still waiting on a certificate of occupancy and elevator lift for the final inspection.
- Plans are in the works to repair the leaking roof on the Central Library crosswalk.
- BPL maintenance and Public Works are coordinating on maintenance issues at Central, Springville Road, West End, Powderly, and Five Points West Libraries.
Finance and Budget Update
- Finance reports for April are in your packet. Please, let me know if you have any questions.
- The mayor has made his budget proposal to the Council and it is much the same as was forecast in March. I plan to have a detailed report on this at the board meeting.
HVAC Problems at Central and Branches
- As we have reported by email, the air conditioning (AC) has been restored to the Linn Henley (LH) building. The behind the scenes staff including Acquisitions and Catalog have been moved to LH. The East Building is open from 8-12 each day. All staff members who needed to be relocated to other libraries have been placed temporarily around the system. We are very hopeful that the repairs will be made earlier rather than later. We are about midway in the time needed for the manufacture of parts for the repair which is estimated to come at the end of May to the middle of June.
- Also, of note this month is the excellent work done by Jared Millet, Coordinator for Collection Management and Karyn Davis, Coordinator for Central Public Services in working with Angela and me in planning, directing, and coordinating the changes necessary due to the lack of AC at the Central Library and the onset of warm weather. They have performed with excellence beyond the call of duty. They did all that was necessary to ensure that library service, though limited, continued and that staff needs are accommodated. They have supported Administration and staff by moving furniture, computers, and equipment, manning public service areas as needed, and providing morale boosting service to the staff. They are invaluable members of the team.
- We continue to experience AC problems in several branches, also. The Public Works staff as well as our own maintenance staff have been working to restore AC where possible and to plan for repairs wherever needed. Branches that are or were involved are North Birmingham, Springville Road, West End, Powderly, Southside, and Avondale.
Update of Library and Director Activities
- I very much appreciate the many expressions of sympathy from the staff and the board since my husband died in April.
- The kickoff for the annual summer reading program for all ages was on May 12. Programs and activities will begin in June and last through most of July. Janine Langston has prepared packets of our promotional materials to give to you at the board meeting at Inglenook School. I want to especially commend Janine and Sandi Lee for leading the organization and planning of all the programs at all the branches that culminates in many fun activities for all ages at all BPL locations. Because of their skills, experience, and hard work we present a truly fine program for kids and people for all ages far beyond what our finances would otherwise allow. I also commend them and the rest of the library staff that ensures that hundreds of children in day care and day camps are enabled to participate in this important learning activity. Reading in the summer is proven to prevent the “summer slide” which is the loss of learning that occurs over the summer months for many children who have no enrichment or educational activities while school is not in session.
- We have hired a director of development. Olivia Alison an experienced and successful fund raiser in a number of different settings will begin her work here at BPL on June 2. We are still missing three key positions: head of Southern History, head of Eastwood Branch, and one of our maintenance workers. The library staff as usual is filing in wherever necessary by going the extra mile.
- Staff and the residents in the neighborhood are looking forward to the opening of the transformed Inglenook Branch Library. It is a really attractive but practical renovation. I appreciate that Mrs. Ammamoo rescheduled the program so that I could both attend that event and the graduation of my granddaughter from 8th grade later that morning.
- The Central Library renovation planning continues to go well. We are looking forward to seeing some nearly final plans on May 27 and 28 when Alex Lamis and Sara Rubenstein return to Birmingham. There will be a joint meeting of the Foundation Board and the Library Board at 8:30 on May 28. I hope that all trustees will be able to attend. This and our other meetings will take place at the Civil Rights Institute since our air conditioning most likely will not be repaired by that time.
- Declaring Birmingham’s Right to Libraries—BPL gathered about 4500 signatures for the Declaration of the Right to Libraries. Copies of the signatures were mailed to ALA for use at National Library Legislative Day.
- We are excited about receiving the John Cotton Dana Award for the Worldwide Reading of the Letter From the Birmingham Jail. We will receive this award at ALA Annual in Las Vegas in late June. I am very grateful to Jim Baggett and Melinda Shelton who organized and spearheaded this project.
- Dafina Cooper Ward (former Friends Board member) with AIDS Alabama is helping to organize an Alabama connection to a national reading or For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange which is scheduled for Monday, June 16. The national reading is being organized by Project 1 Voice out of New York. Angela Hall and I will participate in the local reading on June 16 at the Alabama School of Fine Arts.
- Bards and Brews is scheduled for June 6 and will be at the Bessemer Public Library. Music starts at 6:30 with the poetry at 7:00.
Signup for Summer Reading Programs for all ages began May 12 and programs will begin in June. A packet of promotional materials will be provided for board members. We hope that all trustees will register and participate in the Literary Elements adult program. Registration for all ages is available at: http://www.bplonline.org/SummerReading.aspx
- 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/
- Sam Rumore moved to approve travel for only Gwendolyn Amamoo to the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Patty A. Pilkerton seconded the motion, which failed with a 2-8 vote. (Gwendolyn Amamoo/Georgia Blair/Dr. Monique Gardner-Witherpsoon/Kimberly Richardson/Dora Sims/Judge Vowell/Katrina Watson/Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch voted "NO")
- Judge Vowell moved to approve travel for Dora Sims and Gwendolyn Amamoo to the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada and also to reimburse Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch for travel expenses to the American Library Association's Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed with a 8-2 vote. (Sam Rumore/Patty A. Pilkerton voted "NO")
- The Personnel Committee will meet within the next two weeks to revamp the Director's evaluation form.
- The Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee will meet on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. to discuss the revisions to the Personnel and Trustee Policy Manuals.
- Angela Hall distributed budget materials and stated that at this point, the Library is receiving $246,000 less than last year.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to adjust the hours at the Eastwood Library to eliminate Sunday services effective July 1, 2014. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch also requested that current Associate Director, Angela Hall, prepare a report on the rightsizing of all Birmingham Public Libraries to be presented at the September 25, 2014 Library Board meeting.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo appointed a Library Board Director Search Committee which will work closely with Administration in the search for a new Library Director. Those people are Gwendolyn Amamoo, Library Board President; Jim White, Foundation Board President; Georgia Blair, Library Board Vice-President; Sam Rumore, Library Board Trustee; Kimberly Richardson, Library Board Trustee; and Peggy Polk, City Personnel Director, as an advisory member.
- Patty A. Pilkerton enjoyed the opening of the Inglenook Library.
- Sam Rumore visited Tallahassee, Florida and presented a story on why Tallahassee was chosen as the capitol of Florida.
- Katrina Watson attended Bards and Brews in May at the Botanical Gardens.
- Georgia Blair has visited Smithfield, Powderly, North Avondale, Avondale, and Central Libraries and stated that if the air conditioning continues to be problematic in several libraries, the Library Board should think about meeting with Mayor Bell to discuss the issue.
- Dora Sims congratulated the Library on receiving the John Cotton Dana Award and also stated that she is very excited about the renovation at the Inglenook Library. Mrs. Sims attended the April 26, 2014 event at the Pratt City Library commemorating the third anniversary o the April 2011 tornadoes and also thanked the Library Board for their support.
- Kimberly Richardson enjoyed the opening of the Inglenook Library and expressed appreciation for the Churches in the Inglenook Neighborhood working together with a local mission to paint houses in the area. Mrs. Richardson thanked Chanda Temple, Public Relations Department Head, for her media relations work.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch enjoyed the opening of the Inglenook Library, commended Chanda Temple, Public Relations Department Head, for her media relations work, congratulated Kimberly Richardson on her grant writing workshop, and also stated that she attended the Living the Dream 2014 series and that Eunice Elliott was wonderful.
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary