Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
July 24, 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; 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 Gwendolyn Amamoo. Retiring Library Director, Renee Blalock, ceremoniously opened and closed the meeting.
- The invocation was given by Renee Blalock.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the agenda. Judge Vowell seconded the motion, which passed.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the consent agenda. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion, which passed.
Presentation, Councilor Sheila Tyson
- Maya Jones presented Councilor Sheila Tyson and Representative John Rogers (which was accepted by Councilor Sheila Tyson) with certificates of recognition on behalf of the West End Library and the Library Board for their dedication and commitment to the West End Library and the community.
- Councilor Sheila Tyson introduced Reverend Charles L. White, Jr., Field Director for the National Action Network. The National Action Network is opening a Freedom Summer National Headquarters building in Birmingham, Alabama. The Ribbon cutting will take place on Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 2013 First Avenue North. All are invited to attend.
Nicole King, City Attorney
Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to approve the following statement, which will be a revision to the Personnel Policy Manual "CASUAL DAYS"- Casual attire consisting of casual pants, jeans, or skirts and a BPL logo shirt (or BPL T-shirt) may be worn on Fridays. Any shoes, with the exception of flip flops, are allowed. Security personnel should dress in standard uniform at all times. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed.
- Attorney King stated that regarding the Library Board's "Membership and Appointments," a Birmingham Public Library Trustee can serve two successive full terms. The ordinance can only be changed by the City Council.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- The VAV boxes at the North Birmingham Library are scheduled to be replaced the week of August 9, 2014.
- The roof replacement contract for the Southside Library is being reviewed by the City's Legal Department.
- Terry Oglesby will meet with contractors on Friday, July 25, 2014 to discuss floor repairs at the Central Library along the first floor hallway from the parking lot.
Advocacy, Fundraising, and Development
The Advocacy, Fundraising, and Development Committee met on Monday, July 21, 2014 at 3:30 p.m. The minutes are attached.
- Dora Sims moved the approval of the following Trustee Board Fund policy: "The Library Board Fund was established in 2009. It is designed as a special allocation of solicited donations, specifically from Library Trustees to establish a fund to be used at the Trustee’s discretion. The funds collected through this effort will first be to support initiatives to assist in boosting staff morale and acknowledging staff and Trustee achievement. Funds may be set aside periodically as the Trustees host social events to update community leaders on library undertakings. Trustees are also encouraged to give annually to other fundraising campaigns to support the library in general." Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion, which passed.
- Dora Sims moved to allow the Advocacy, Fundraising, and Development Committee to investigate the costs of creating posters with Board pictures and placing them at each Library branch location and report back to the Library Board at the August meeting. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion, which passed.
- Dora Sims moved to eliminate the "I Am BPL" and "Programs Enriching Lives" awards and set aside a specific amount (to be voted on by the Library Board as a whole) to contribute to the Library's Staff Day event. Katrina Watson seconded the motion, which passed.
Finance and Budget Update
- Finance reports for June are in your packet. Please, let me know if you have any questions.
- The FY2015 Budget is in place and I have attached a copy of it in your packet for your information. It is basically the same as FY2014. The funds for acquisitions of library materials is very low and makes our process of acquiring materials for BPL a real struggle. Jared Millet, our Collection Management Coordinator and head of Acquisitions does a marvelous job of stretching our resources, spreading them equitably across locations and formats, and keeping our collection marvelously up to date considering the low amount of funding.
HVAC Problems at Branches
- 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 hope everyone is planning to attend the YP’s social on Thursday, July 24 at Rogue Tavern. It’s called "I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie" and will include silent auction, food, and drinks. Tickets are $10. All proceeds will support the library.
- The John Cotton Dana Award Reception in Las Vegas was wonderful. I am so proud of Jim Baggett, Melinda Shelton, and Catherine Oseas for leading the charge and helping us produce this prize winning program, Worldwide Reading of the Letter from the Birmingham Jail. Mrs. Sims, Mrs. Welch, and our president, Mrs. Amamoo attended the reception. Other staff in attendance were Angela Hall and me. David Blake has made a nice window showing off all of our JCD Awards.
- Final Central renovation project plans will be presented to the mayor on July 23. I have arranged for the library board, the foundation board, the Steering Committee, and key staff to see the plans at lunch time on Wednesday, July 23 after the architects present them to the mayor. The plans are very impressive!
- New to us will be participation in Art Crawl. The Central Fourth Floor Gallery will be open from 5-9 on August 7 along with many other galleries downtown.
- Summer reading programs are winding down with many end of summer celebrations occurring across the system. It's been a good summer with high participation for all ages.
- BPL is partnering with Early Light Productions on their documentary about Congressman John Lewis by serving as their fiscal sponsor. This means that we will receive their grant funds from the Alabama Humanities Foundation and then disperse them to Early Light. We will receive 5% of these funds for working with them as fiscal sponsor.
- Pratt City received a Keep Birmingham Beautiful Award this year in the Government Properties category and board member Dora Sims was also honored by the mayor with a special award.
Gifts, Grants, etc. (Since May 1, 2014)
- Alabama Power Company Foundation gave $15,000 to support BPL summer reading programs.
- PCI Gaming Authority gave $5,000 to support Eat Drink Read Write 2014.
- The Cotchery Foundation gave $3800 to support the Tail Gate Party and BPL summer reading programs.
- South Titusville Neighborhood gave $3,000 to purchase chairs for Titusville Branch.
- Huisking Foundation gave $2,000 to purchase library materials.
- Daughters of the American Revolution gave $1000 in support of the Southern History Department.
- The Pete M. Hanna Charitable Foundation (Hanna Steel) gave $1,000 for Wylam Branch summer reading programs.
- Dolores Hydock gave $500 toward the purchase of library materials.
- Bards and Brews is scheduled for August 1 and will be at Avondale Library. Music and Open Mic Night poet registration stars at 6:30.
- "Every Line Tells a Story" by Debra Riffe. Central Library's Fourth Floor Gallery
- 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/
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch raised concerns about the limited parking at the Central Library when the renovation takes place, security presence because of the fact that the building will be new and renovated on the inside, and also whether or not there would be a liability on the part of the Library if the proposed terrace will in fact be a part of Central's renovation. Gwendolyn Amamoo asked Angela Hall to be sure the proper people were made aware of these concerns.
- Katrina Watson stated that the Library should have signage stating that no guns are allowed in the Library. Angela Hall indicated that all Library rules are posted at each entrance at the recommendation of City Attorney, Nicole King.
- Georgia Blair stated that a final evaluation would not be conducted for Renee Blalock and the Board members that had already completed an evaluation will receive it back. Mrs. Blair also shared a policy that stated that employees should be evaluated annually.
- Samuel Rumore stated that he was very excited about the Central Library renovation project and that these are great times for the Library.
- Dr. Witherspoon stated that the Library had accepted two young women from Girls, Inc. to intern in the Archives Department this summer.
- Kimberly Richardson attended the presentation of the final plans of the Central Library renovation project and also plans to attend the Young Professionals event at Rogue's Tavern on Thursday, July 24, 2014. Ms. Richardson thanked retiring Director Renee Blalock for her service.
- Dora Sims stated that she was excited about the Central Library renovation project, thanked retiring Director Renee Blalock for her service, and offered BPL Retiree Virginia Guthrie condolences on the death of her husband.
- Georgia Blair congratulated Dora Sims for receiving the Unsung Hero Award from Keep Birmingham Beautiful on Friday, July 18th for her work in the Bush Hills neighborhood to help "Color Birmingham Beautiful."
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch stated that she saw the Fox 6 News segment featuring Chanda Temple and Jeh Jeh Pruitt to promote the Function at the Junction in Ensley and it was very good. She attended the i-Create workshop by Traci Moore at the North Avondale Library which was hosted by Councilor Parker. She also stated that the United for Libraries Board was recognized at the ALA Annual conference. Mrs. Welch congratulated Renee Blalock on her retirement and welcomed Interim Director, Angela Hall into her new roll at the Library.
- Katrina Watson acknowledged our work with the Holy Family Cristo Rey High School students, congratulated Renee Blalock on her retirement as Director, and stated that she was looking forward to working with newly appointed Interim Director, Angela Hall.
- Patty A. Pilkerton stated that she was excited about the Central Library renovation project, congratulated Renee Blalock on her retirement as Director, and congratulated Angela Hall for being appointed as the Interim Director.
Gwendolyn Amamoo welcomed the visitors to the Library Board meeting, thanked the Library Board for 100% attendance for today's meeting, and thanked Chief Rod Gadson, Billy Conner, and Chanda Temple for their monthly reports to be included in the Board packets. Mrs. Amamoo also stated that the ALA Annual conference was very informative (report attached), congratulated Dr. Witherspoon on her new position with Samford University, and congratulated Renee Blalock on her retirement and welcomed Angela Hall into her new role as Interim Director.
Angela Hall, Interim Director; Secretary