Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
September 25, 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 President Gwendolyn R. Amamoo.
- Judge Scott Vowell gave the invocation.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the agenda. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion, which passed.
- Dora Sims moved the approval of the consent agenda with corrections to the August 28, 2014 Board minutes and removal of the 2015 proposed Holiday schedule for discussion. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed.
- 2015 Holiday Schedule - Georgia Blair moved to add the Easter Saturday, April 4, 2015, as a staff holiday (no one scheduled, no one paid) to the Holiday Schedule. Samuel Rumore seconded the motion, which passed.
Stephanie Perry Moore, Author
- Janine Langston, Coordinator, introduced visiting Young Adult/Adult Novelist Stephanie Perry Moore. Stephanie Perry Moore has written over eighty books for youth and adults.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- The Titusville and North Avondale libraries are currently having their soil tested and foundations and a report will be issued in the coming days.
- The waterproofing project for the crosswalk at the Central Library is currently ongoing. A separate purchase order will be issued for the roof repair work on the crosswalk.
- The City is currently working with Billy Conner, Maintenance Department Head, on quotes for the exterior woodwork repairs at the Ensley Library.
Nicole King, City Attorney
- The Library won the lawsuit that a patron filed that slipped and fell outside of the Southside Library. Teresa Ceravolo, Southside Branch Head, did an excellent job during the court proceedings.
Personnel Committee Report
The Personnel Committee met on Monday, August 25, 2014. The minutes are attached.
The Finance Committee met on Monday, September 8, 2014. The minutes are attached.
- Judge Scott Vowell moved to adopt the updated Tutwiler Fund Investment Policy Statement. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed.
Executive Search Committee
- The Executive Search Committee is moving forward with plans for the Library Director search. A survey has been sent to Library employees to gather information pertaining to the search.
Interim Director's Report
- I am thoroughly enjoying my current responsibilities as Interim Director. Things are moving quickly; however, I have been able to keep up. With assistance from our coordinators in supervising maintenance, building services and security, the load has been lighter. Everyone is stepping in and helping out.
- On Sunday, August 31, I spoke to a group of "grassroots" community members at the United Fellowship Breakfast Forum. I used our Advocacy Plan as an outline to update the group on a variety of things taking place in our libraries. The talk was well received and garnered a great deal of feedback/interaction.
- BPL staff is working extremely hard to finalize plans for this year's Eat Drink Read Write (EDRW) Festival. With over 20 sponsors for the event, we feel this will be the best one yet. Other City Departments are helping with various components.
- A regular visitor to our Avondale Regional Library made a generous donation of $5 to that library as part of a Girl Scout program. She asked that we use the money "to help teach babies to read." The donor was recently featured in our weekly e-newsletter.
On Friday, September 12, the architects and representatives from Brasfield & Gorrie met with members of our Foundation's Strategy Team to review the costs associated with our Central Library Renovation Project. We still have some information to collect regarding the technology that will be used in the project.
- Things are moving along as we fill the many positions that were vacant at the beginning of this month. We are working on a new list of vacancies that will need to go through the approval process. I hope to be prepared to share that list either today or on Monday with the City's HR director and deputy finance director.
- A contractor is working on projects at our Titusville and North Avondale libraries to determine the cause of cracks that are damaging interior and exterior surfaces. Just this past week, we discovered cracks at our Powderly Branch library and have spoken with Terry Oglesby regarding the next steps to understanding the cause of this problem.
- Public Works has resolved the A/C issues at our Avondale Regional Library and are working to repair the chiller at our Springville Road Regional Library. That work is currently underway. The VAV boxes have been installed at our North Birmingham Regional Library and we should be ready when the cold weather hits.
- Before we actually meet on September 25, I plan to have visited libraries in our Western Region and the North Avondale Branch where we have recently had new flooring installed.
Update of Library Services
- The move towards digitizing parts of our special collection is very important as we look to the future of library service and as we consider the renovation of our Central Library. A new grant will help us to cover some costs to digitize high demand and rare items. We will look for additional ways to get larger parts of the collection digitized.
- As we move through this transitional period, I have made adjustments with several meeting schedules. One specific change is the meeting schedule for our Administrative Council (ADCOU). We are now meeting on the Tuesdays after payday. This is giving the team some relief and the opportunity to work on other projects.
- I have given our PR director approval to look for an intern or college student interested graphic design and receiving college credit to work in our PR Department. Other departments and branch locations are taking advantage of work-study students from UAB to assist in a variety of areas.
- Supervisors throughout the system are completing evaluations and making certain that potential merit raise employees have current evaluations on file.
- A recommendation has been made by our director of development to consider special ID badges with names and positions on key staff working on big programs like the upcoming Eat Drink Read Write. In the past, we ordered name badges for Trustees. In the future, I would like to recommend adding names to our staff ID badges in general. I will work with staff on a recommendation for the policy committee’s consideration.
The NorthStar Youth Ministries, in conjunction with Samford University, is offering free after school tutoring for students every Tuesday and Wednesday at our Smithfield Library. This program will run from September 16 through November 19.
- Work is underway this week at both the North Avondale and Titusville libraries to conduct geo-tech surveys to determine what is causing the cracks in the walls and foundations at these locations. The approximate cost for the work at both locations is just over $5200 for each. It will take about one month after the surveys are completed for us to receive final reports on the cause of the problems. Additional funding will be needed to address and remedy the problems.
- Cracks have been detected in the walls at our Powderly Branch Library and Billy Conner has spoken with Terry Oglesby about the next steps.
- All of the parts necessary to make repairs at the Springville Road Regional Branch Library have been received and work is underway this week to make the repairs. This will not be a complete replacement of the chiller but instead repairs will be made to the unit. The estimated cost of the parts for this repair is approximately $12,000.
- Flooring is being replaced at several locations throughout the system including the Circulation Desk at the Central Library. The vinyl flooring was worn in several places and has caused tripping incidents for staff. The other locations include Avondale and North Avondale (work was completed at this location this week and the floor will be sealed on Friday (September 19) evening.
- All AC repairs have been made at the Avondale Regional Branch Library.
- We have had an outbreak of "light mold" in our Archives and Southern History Departments. The City's OSHA representative has worked with us over the past few years on how to clean this up and on a monthly basis, Rod Zeigler and Billy Conner clean the air handler and vents in the areas. We are constantly monitoring the area.
Accomplishment of Objectives Set Forth in Strategic Plan
- I used our Advocacy Plan to outline a talk given on August 31 to the Sunday Morning United Breakfast Forum members. I received many questions afterwards and audience members all spoke up about how they use the library and what the library means in their communities. It was a very positive presentation.
- An update on our Strategic Plan will be one possible item on the agenda for board retreat. As I work with the chair of our Long Range Planning Committee, we will look at the addition of this item to the discussion.
Financial Report and Grants
- The check register will be sent to you by email on Monday, September 22.
- Included in your packet this month is my projected spending for State Aid. A draft of this plan was shared during the Finance Committee meeting on September 8. On next month, I will return to sharing the regular Library Fund report with you. I want to make certain that all of the information we share is correct especially regarding our current grants. If you have any questions about the other financial reports included in your packet, please let me know.
- We recently submitted grants to the Bruno and Goodrich Foundations ($14,500 each) for after school programming; to Regions Bank ($13,000) for adult programming; and to CHIA ($25,000) for ecoscapes project at Springville Road and West End. Our development team is hard at work on a proposal for $38,000 to the UAB Benevolent fund for a digital media lab and "makerspace"w project.
- BPL recently received notification of an award of $11,185 from the Alabama Public Library Service through the Library Services Technology Act (LSTA) to digitize high demand and rare items in our Archives Department.
- Our Foundation has identified funding to possibly engage the services of Power 10 to assist with fundraising activities for the Central Library Renovation Project. A resolution will be put on the table at the next Foundation meeting regarding this effort.
- The architects working on our Central Library Renovation Project have completed the terms of their contract with the City of Birmingham for the design phase of our project. The recent meeting with them (which took place on September 12) which includes their work to locate a technical expect to work on the project and further work on final cost adjustments will cost approximately $9,000. We have the funding to cover this. Looking down the road as they do additional work for the library, I've asked them to create a proposal that we can consider to have them on retainer over the next year.
Where I Need Your Assistance
- Please make plans to come out and support our Eat Drink Read Write Festival scheduled for Friday, October 3 through Friday, October 10. An updated listing of the program schedule will be shared at our board meeting. So many staff members and partners have worked very hard to make this festival a success. It really makes a difference when we look out into the audience and see our board members.
- Remember that Olivia Alison is looking forward to meeting with each of you individually. If she has not already scheduled a meeting with you, you can expect a call from her very soon.
What I Am Reading or Listening To This Month
In preparation for the visit by our Young Adult author Stephanie Perry Moore, I have read three books by the author and am finishing up a fourth. The titles include Learning to Love, True Friends, Prayed Up and Going The Distance. Each title represents the best in Christian fiction for young people. The stories are about overcoming odds, faith and making wise decisions. Each book ends with discussion questions. The style of writing is very similar to Birmingham author Chandra Sparks Taylor and her book The Promise.
In preparation for the City's Human Rights Week in October, and the visit by the Dalai Lama, I will read The Giver by Lois Lowry.
* Patty A. Pilkerton requested a list of all publications that the Library Director job posting will be advertised in.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch requested a copy of the energy audit that was conducted by Alabama Power and Angela Hall shared an unofficial copy showing energy usage. She indicated the figures were part of a larger report that the architects will use to determine energy efficiency needs and other cost saving measures.
- Angela Hall distributed a schedule for the 2014 Eat, Drink, Read, Write festivities.
- Katrina Watson stated that she was expecting a baby boy in February 2015.
- Samuel Rumore visited the small town of Winchester, Virginia and the Handley Regional Library that was constructed over 100 years ago.
- Dora Sims attended the Empowerment Week reception at the Boutwell Auditorium, the Stephanie Perry Moore presentation at the North Avondale Library, and also visited the Ensley Library. Mrs. Sims also visited the library on snapshot day.
- Kimberly Richardson commended staff on all the activities going on at the library and stated that her daughter, Imani, selected to participant in a leadership program through the Altamont School, in which she will report on developing a tutoring program at a branch library. She will contact Angela Hall or Olivia Alison soon.
- Georgia Blair visited the Powderly, North Birmingham , North Avondale, and Smithfield libraries during the month of September and also stated that the "Sistah Strut" walk/run will be held on Saturday, September 27, 2014.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch commended the library and the Birmingham City School system for their partnership, stated that she attended civil rights authors Nick Patterson and Chervis Isom's panel discussion, commended North Avondale, Smithfield, and Wylam on their increase in circulation for the month of August, and congratulated Lyord and Katrina Watson on their pregnancy.
- Tyrone Silmon, Mayor's office representative, stated that the Library Board is doing an amazing job.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo thanked the Library Board for 100% attendance, welcomed visitors to the meeting, thanked Angela Fisher Hall for her work, stated that she was very excited about the upcoming Eat, Drink, Read, Write program, and thanked Chanda Temple, Public Relations Department Head, for bringing a face to the Library.
Angela Fisher Hall, Interim Director