Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
June 25, 2014
Meeting Called By
Gwendolyn R. Amamoo, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Gwendolyn R. Amamoo, President; 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.
- Katrina Watson gave the invocation.
- Dora Sims moved the approval of the agenda. Judge Vowell seconded the motion, which passed.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved the approval of the consent agenda. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which passed.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- The roof replacement at Southside Library will go out for bids on Thursday, June 26, 2014.
- The repairs at the Titusville and North Avondale Libraries are still waiting approval at the City Law Department.
- Andre Bittas, City Architect, is currently requesting fee proposals for the renovation project at the Wylam Library.
- The waterproofing repairs at the Central Library are underway. The final presentation of the renovation project for the Central Library will be in July.
- The North Birmingham Library air conditioning project is almost ready to begin. The materials have been ordered.
- The Smithfield Library's entry way will be repaired as part of the bond fund project.
Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee
The Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee met on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall. (minutes attached)
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to accept the amended casual days policies as well as revisions to the Trustee Policy. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which passed.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch thanked City Attorney Nicole King for her work on the Personnel and Trustee Policies.
The Personnel Committee met on Wednesday, June 4, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. at the Smithfield Library.(minutes attached)
- The Director evaluation was revised.
- Georgia Blair will speak with City Personnel Director, Peggy Polk, regarding whether or not the Director being evaluated will be allowed to view individual comments from each Board member.
Kimberly Richardson recommended that the Personnel Committee contact BoardSource as well as other library systems to get clarification on Director evaluation procedures.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch asked that City Attorney Nicole King review the Director evaluation process and report back to the Board.
- Katrina Watson asked whether or not that it is necessary to evaluate Director Renee Blalock for a final time due to the fact that Ms. Blalock is retiring August 1,2014.
Finance and Budget Update
- Finance reports for April are in your packet. Please, let me know if you have any questions.
- The Council approved the FY2015 Budget but we have not yet received the details so I am not sure exactly what the library budget is.
HVAC Problems at Central and Branches
- We are cool at Central!! We open with our regular schedule and staff back where they belong Saturday, June 21—the first official day of summer although it has not felt like spring lately. I very much appreciate the support of the library staff in this very difficult time. It has not been fun but they have been cheerful and helpful through it all.
- 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. Details of these and other facility issues can be found in the Buildings Report.
Update of Library and Director Activities
- I received a proclamation from the city on the occasion of my retirement at City Council on Tuesday, June 17. A couple of the councilors had very positive remarks about the library. My favorite was that the library is the best run service supported by the city and we are successful due to consistently excellent customer service across the library system.
- We have been busy working with our architects on finalizing the plans for the transformation of the Central Library. We have met with the mayor, officials at UAB, and Bayer Properties to introduce the plans and seek feedback. The architects will be back in Birmingham for a final presentation on July 9. Please, pencil in a meeting either Tuesday afternoon late or Wednesday, the 9th early to see the final plans. Everyone was very pleased with the plan when we met on June 18th with the Steering Committee, the Foundation Board, and the Library Board. The architects did a very good job responding to concerns voiced by some at the previous meetings on May 28. It is a very beautiful, practical and exciting plan. We are very lucky to have such good architects both from RAMSA and Hoskins Architecture.
- We are working with a group named Bank on Birmingham whose goal is to enable more Birmingham citizens to use conventional banking services rather than payday loan and check cashing businesses for their financial needs. Beginning in August, we will be cosponsoring workshops and classes presenting good information on personal finance and banking at some of our branches. I will report more definitely on this project as we move forward on it.
- Inglenook Branch is open and running smoothly. Staff reports that they are much busier since the renovation.
- Program wise we are all summer reading all the time everywhere until the end of July.
- 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. Just had to say it again!
- The staged reading of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange sponsored by AIDS Alabama took place on June 16 at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. Angela Hall and I participated. It was my first theatrical experience and I enjoyed it very much. Our production was very well received by a large and enthusiastic audience. It was a wonderful experience to work with this group of professional and amateur readers.
- Bards and Brews is scheduled for July 11 and will be at North Birmingham Library. Music starts at 6:30 with the poetry at 7:00.
Signup for Summer Reading Programs for all ages continues and programs will begin in June. Registration for all ages is available at: http://www.bplonline.org/SummerReading.aspx
== Reminders ==
- 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.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch requested a detailed report on rightsizing of the Birmingham Public Libraries to be presented at the September 25, 2014 Board meeting.
- Kimberly Richardson suggested that Administration take a poll to determine which Board members would like their packets hand delivered and which would like theirs either emailed or mailed to them. Ms. Richardson also suggested a drop box be placed at the Library for correspondence between the Board members and Administration.
- Dora Sims stated that there is water spilling and leaking at the entrance to the North Avondale Library and stated that a canopy may help. Angela Hall responded that the gutters were recently replaced and this should help the situation.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo stated that Dr. Monique Gardner-Witherspoon received a new job at Sanford University.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch thanked Gwendolyn Amamoo, Renee Blalock, and Lisa Smith for their work and also stated that she was looking forward to attending the ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mrs. Welch also suggested that library staff take a training class on how to deal with difficult people.
- Dora Sims thanked the North Avondale Library for hosting the Advocacy, Fundraising, and Development Committee meeting on Monday, May 19, 2014, and also thanked Renee Blalock, Angela Hall, and the Library Board for their work. Mrs. Sims also thanked Chanda Temple, Public Relations Department Head, for her work on the Board packet monthly report.
- Samuel Rumore just returned from a trip to the French speaking Maritime Provinces of Canada and he also visited Boston, Massachusetts.
- Kimberly Richardson stated that she was glad to see that the air conditioning was working at the Central Library.
- Katrina Watson stated that she was happy to see so many children participating in the Summer Reading program.
- Judge Vowell stated that he would like to visit more library branches and suggested that the Board hold monthly meetings at different branch libraries.
- Dr. Regina Ammon stated that the bookstore is now open but will remain closed on Sundays.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo thanked Library staff and Administration for enduring the air conditioning problem at several of the libraries. Mrs. Amamoo thanked Smithfield Library for hosting this month's Board meeting and stated that she has just returned from Africa where books were delivered to villages, among other things. The Board meeting visitors were welcomed by Mrs. Amamoo.
Irene S. Blalock, Secretary