Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
December 18, 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.
- Georgia Blair gave the invocation.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the agenda. Judge Scott Vowell seconded the motion, which passed.
- Georgia Blair moved the approval of the consent agenda. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which passed.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- Terry was not present at the meeting. Instead, Angela Fisher Hall updated the Library Board.
- Georgia Blair stated that the crack in the wall at the North Avondale Library has grown. Angela Fisher Hall responded that soil testing has been completed at the North Avondale Library and MBA Engineers, Inc. is currently working on details to resolve the issue as well as cost estimates.
- Judge Scott Vowell requested an updated estimate to replace the escalators at the Central Library. Angela Fisher Hall responded that the estimated cost about two years ago was $360,000.
- The Personnel Committee met on Monday, December 8, 2014 to complete the evaluation of the Associate Director, Angela Fisher Hall. They also suggested an addition of email address space and nepotism clause to the Library's job application.
- Georgia Blair moved to include a space for job applicants to list their email address as well as a nepotism clause to the Library's job application. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which passed.
Policy, Procedures, and By-Laws
- The Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee met on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 to discuss proposed language for a BPL Staff Identification Badge Policy.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to accept the BPL Identification Policy. (attached) Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed.
- Regina Ammon stated that she is extremely opposed to the BPL Identification Policy.
Long Range Planning Committee
- The Long Range Planning Committee met on Tuesday, December 9, 2014.
- Patty A. Pilkerton moved to approve the Arlington Historic House as the venue for the upcoming Library Board retreat. Judge Scott Vowell seconded the motion, which passed.
Judge Scott Vowell moved to accept Dr. Nancy Pack, State Librarian, and Melva Tate, Tate & Associates, LLC., as speakers for the morning session at the Library Board retreat. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion, which passed.
- Judge Scott Vowell moved to approve the attendance list for the Library Board retreat. Patty A. Pilkerton seconded the motion, which passed.
Executive Search Committee
- The Library Director job is now open and the deadline for applications is Wednesday, December 31, 2014.
- Applications of all qualified applicants will be presented to the full Library Board.
- Patty A. Pilkerton requested a listing of places the Library Director job has been advertised. President Gwendolyn R. Amamoo stated that she would provide the information via email.
Interim Director's Report
Overview of Activities for this Period
- On Saturday, November 22, I attended a conference at the Penn Center on St. Helena Island (SC). The conference marked the 150th anniversary of the Penn Center and focused on civil rights. I had the opportunity to meet several history makers and shared information about our special collections at the Birmingham Public Library with them.
- At the Jefferson County Public Library Association (JCPLA) holiday luncheon on Tuesday, December 2, a number of library supporters were recognized for their contributions to our libraries. BPL libraries recognized several individuals and groups. A copy of the program is attached in your packet. Thanks to the efforts of our Webmaster Melinda Shelton, lots of photos are available on our website.
- BPL staff will participate in a holiday event at Railroad Park on this Saturday, December 13 from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. This event is organized by Railroad Park and the Mayor’s Office. Please make plans to stop by if you can.
- Several branch locations are hosting special family programs during the month of December. A schedule has been created by our Public Relations Department and copies were distributed at last month’s board meeting. I hope you have an opportunity to visit one of our locations during this time.
- Our Pratt City Branch Library welcomed supporters “Home for the Holidays.” More information is included in the PR Report. Since I could not attend, Melinda Shelton helped me to record a special video for the occasion.
- Our annual Local Authors Expo is fast approaching. Registration began on Wednesday, December 10 and we already have 26 signed up. Our goal is 100 authors for this event on Saturday, February 7, 2015.
- The installation of the first phase of the Ecoscape project has been completed at our Springville Road Regional Library. Additional walking paths are planned and we are working with other City departments to make this happen. The Development Report has additional information.
- Jim Murray, Head of Business Science Technology and Social Science Department (Central), has completed a Business Research class at UAB. He received a certificate of completion at a recent reception.
- I had the opportunity to welcome the 2015 Leadership Birmingham Class to the library on Thursday, December 11. We provided library cards to the members who did not currently have cards—they were very excited and appreciative.
- A Computer Commons area has been set up in our Youth Department at the Central Library. This was designed as a way to give our younger patrons access to computers without them having to be with the adults on Third Floor. The last addition to this area will be a sign-in station and screen.
- On Tuesday, December 16, I will join our coordinators, directors of development and public relations for a tour of EBSCO’s headquarters building.
- I visited the following libraries during this period: Eastwood and Springville Road. Before we have our Board meeting on Thursday, December 18, I plan to visit all of our libraries and share special holiday treats with everyone!
Update of Library Services
- During the month of November, our Catalog staff created 3,427 new bib records and 1,686 new records for the other JCLC libraries. Catalog also processed 4,388 new items. On the Acquisitions side, the staff placed orders for 2,456 new items and received 3,594 new items. We have been given permission from City Hall to fill the Librarian I position in the Catalog Department. This position will be responsible for cataloging items for our special collections.
- We had a break-in this morning (Friday, December 12) at our Eastwood Branch Library. No other stores in the strip appeared to have been burglarized. According to our contract, we will have to cover the cost for the glass replacement.
- CMH Architects, Inc. have been approved to lead the renovation project for the Wylam Branch Library. The City Council approved a contract of $110,000 for this which will include a topographic survey, asbestos abatement and geotechnical consulting. Terry Oglesby will set up a schedule for our staff to meet and discuss the project.
- Heat has been restored to the Central Library, as well as the Southside Branch. Things are working well at the North Birmingham Regional Library as well. We are working at the Central Library to stay on top of needed adjustments to the sytem—now it may be too warm in some places. With the size of our buildings—especially the East Building with its open floor plan—it is a challenge to balance the air flow as needed.
- I attended the Crestwood South Neighborhood meeting on Monday, November 24 to gather input regarding the Eastwood Branch Library. The audience gave great feedback and thanked me for coming out to share information with them. A more detailed report is included with the Long Range Planning Committee Report.
Accomplishment of Objectives Set Forth in Strategic Plan
- In preparation for the Board Retreat on Saturday, January 10, 2015, our staff will review the Strategic Plan and identify items that are in process and need to be addressed, as well as identify who will be responsible for completing the task.
- I have made contact with two speakers who were identified by the Long Range Planning Committee to facilitate sessions at the retreat. Both are available for the date in question if we receive full board approval to move forward. I will have an update at the Board meeting.
Financial Report and Grants
- All of our financial reports are included in your board packet. Once you review them, please let me know if you have questions.
- The library, through our Foundation, received an anonymous donation of $15,000 with unrestricted use. Additional information will be provided in the Development Report.
Where I Need Your Assistance
- At the end of each year, we work on an end of year mailing where we encourage contributions to the Birmingham Public Library Foundation—all money contributed will benefit BPL and our programs. Additionally, this year, we have created a holiday card and will have 5 cards (and envelopes) for each of you. I ask that you address the cards to friends, family and other associates who support you and your work with BPL. Stamps will be provided as well. Cards have already been sent to the Mayor, City Council, Jefferson County Commissioners and State Senators and Representatives whose districts cover our libraries.
What I Am Reading or Listening To This Month
- This month, I am reading the novel titled “Brown Girl Dreaming.” The young adult novel is written in verse by Jacqueline Woodson and is a National Book Award Winner.
- Angela Fisher Hall gave an update on the Eastwood Property. We have not received an update yet from Sears, who currently rents the space at 7500 Crestwood Boulevard.
- Library Board members asked Angela Fisher Hall to check on other properties including the old Red Lobster, Hooter's, Wendy's, and Ryan's Restaurant locations.
- Angela Fisher Hall distributed a list of repairs and asked for a vote to approve the list at the January 22, 2015 Board meeting. Once the list is approved, it will be passed on to Public Works.
- Olivia Alison updated the Board on the status of grants that were applied for on behalf of the Library.
- Dora Sims suggested that the Library Board purchase copies of the Birmingham Bites Cookbook to help promote it. The funds would come from the Trustee Board Fund. Angela Fisher Hall noted that ten copies have already been purchased for BPL libraries.
- Judge Vowell moved to hold the Library Board annual meeting on Thursday, February 26, 20015 allow Katrina Watson to vote by proxy. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed.
- Dr. Regina Ammon stated that the Friends Bookstore is selling out of copies of the Birmingham Best Bites Cookbook.
- Georgia Blair stated that she visited the Pratt City Library program and it was wonderful.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch stated that the Computer Commons in the Youth Department was very nice.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo attended the City of Birmingham tree lighting, the Birmingham Best Bites Cookbook signing, and also the Pratt City Library program.
Angela Fisher Hall, Interim Director