Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
January 22, 2015
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; 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 Morgan Blair gave the invocation.
- Georgia Morgan Blair moved to approve the agenda. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which passed.
- Georgia Morgan Blair moved to remove the financial report from the consent agenda. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which passed.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to approve the consent agenda. Kimberly Richardson seconded the motion, which passed.
- Georgia Morgan Blair inquired about a check that was written for proofreading services. Angela Fisher Hall responded that the check was written to a part time staff member and the proofreading was completed outside of the staff member's working hours.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch asked about the funds used to cover map cataloging and if this money was paid to a BPL retiree. Angela Fisher Hall responded that state aid covers this money and that it is paid to a BPL retiree.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to approve the financial report. Georgia Blair seconded the motion, which passed.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- The North Avondale and Titusville branches have foundation problems. MBA Construction Engineers is in the process of working on the documents needed to bid out the foundation work.
- The Ensley Library has had its wood framing replaced in the rear and sides along the building. The building has been painted. The original project cost was $18,000. Termite damage was found and repaired at a cost approximately $4,000.
- The work will begin on the sign for the Smithfield Library the week of January 26, 2015. The repairs will take about one month to complete.
- The design process has been started for the new Wylam Library building. Terry Oglesby introduced Billy Morace and John Wood with CMH Architects, Inc. and Willie Oliver with Steel City Services. Angela Fisher Hall introduced the branch manager, Jean Shanks.
Mechelle Rice-Fields, Birmingham City Schools
- Mechelle Rice-Fields is a Coordinator for the Birmingham School System and has worked to produce a parent planner and asked that the Library distribute these at all locations. Parents must sign for the planner and are also encouraged to apply for a library card. The planners will be distributed August 5, 2015 through September 25, 2015. Twelve thousand copies will be distributed city-wide.
- Judge Vowell moved to accept the request to place the planners at all library locations. Georgia Morgan Blair seconded the motion, which passed.
- Certificates of Accomplishment were given to Cornelius Lee, Tamiko Nixon, Samantha Gaston, Stanley Johnson, and Tonya Clarke for completion academic course work.
Interim Director's Report
Overview of Activities for this Period
- After a lengthy application process, I have been invited to join the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham. This is the largest Kiwanis organization in the world and it will give me a new platform on which to discuss the Birmingham Public Library with business leaders throughout this region. I’m very proud of this accomplishment and look forward to serving the community through this organization.
- Jennifer Neely and I worked together to make certain all of the details for our Board and Staff Leadership Training were covered. Based on our feedback from board and staff members, it was a wonderful event.
- The Computer Commons in our Youth Department at the Central Library has proven to be a wonderful training area for other groups coming to the library for tours. Inserted to the right is a photo of students from the Islamic School in Birmingham who were in this week for a visit to the library.
- Our Local Authors Expo is coming up on Saturday, February 7. The event will run from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Please come out and support the many authors who plan to join us. As of this writing, there were only 3 open spaces. We are planning for 100 vendors to be present.
- Impact Alabama—Save First is preparing to provide tax preparation services to low income families at a number of our libraries again this year—Smithfiled, Springville Road, West End and Woodlawn. This has been a successful partnership for us over the years and more than 500 families have received assistance.
- The UAB School of Education is going to repeat their writing project with Inglenook Elementary. It will begin in late February and run through March. The recognition program will be held at Inglenook Library on April 8, 2015, after school. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend.
- Our Youth Services staff held their annual, all-day planning session on December 3 at the home of Central’s Youth Department Head Vincent Solfronk. This year, the group invited Chanda Temple, BPL Director of Public Relations to join them. The group has solidified plans for Summer Reading 2015.
- At least two of our libraries served as locations for annual Kwanzaa programs—Five Points West and Powderly. We are very happy to work with community organizations by providing spaces for educational programs. Additionally, several libraries have hosted Affordable Care Act information and registration sessions.
- Many thanks to our very talented IT Services staff. They have produced training videos and provided training sessions over the past two weeks for BPL and JCLC municipal staff representatives to assist with trouble shooting and set up of library computers. I attended the training which provided very practical information. The training will go a long way in providing additional eyes and hands to help with computer problems. Our IT staff are responsible for more than 1000 computers throughout the cooperative system. This training helps a great deal.
Update of Library Services
- During the month of December, our Catalog staff created 2,986 new bib records and 1,562 new records for the other JCLC libraries. Catalog also processed 2,649 new items. On the Acquisitions side, the staff placed orders for 2,053 new items and received 1,960 new items.
- We are in the process of interviewing candidates for the cataloger position. This position will be responsible for cataloging items for our special collections.
- During our Board and Staff Leadership Training event, staff at my table mentioned several services that are available to library card holders. I want to reiterate some of those products here in case you are interested. They include:
Alabama Driver’s Permit Practice Test
The test contains 40 multiple choice questions based on the official Alabama Driver’s Handbook [http://driving-tests.org/alabama/alabama-drivers-handbook-online/].
- The test will assist those preparing for the Alabama driver’s license tests with knowledge rules of the road and road signs in Alabama.
- Every permit practice test presented on the website contains a series of multiple-choice questions. After the learner answers the questions, they immediately see whether the answer was correct or not.
- This resource does not issue any certificates of any type nor is it a substitute for the actual Alabama driver’s license test.
- After passing the permit practice tests it is recommended that the test taker check with their local Alabama Drivers Motor Vehicle office to book their exam time and date.
- This resource should be especially helpful for young people preparing for the Alabama driver’s license test. However, a person of any age can take the tests. The resource is also available in many languages on the website, simply by clicking “Read Aloud” and then “Translate.”
Business Plans Handbook
- Actual business plans compiled by, and aimed at, entrepreneurs seeking funding for small businesses. Presents sample plans taken from businesses in the manufacturing, retail and service industries which serve as examples of how to approach, structure and compose business plans.
CareerCruising features career guidance information, schools database, financial aid information, portfolio tool, employment resources and other assessments. This resource is applicable to middle school students exploring future career options as well as potential college students and job seekers.
- Chilton Library provides exclusive photographs, diagnostics designed by instructors, step-by-step repair procedures, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) maintenance schedules, wiring diagrams, recalls and Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) for automobiles and light trucks in one easy-to-use web site. Since this library subscribes to Chilton Library, you are now equipped with decades of data to maintain your vehicle. Just begin by choosing a vehicle.
- Freegal Music Service includes millions of songs from ten thousand labels including the labels of Sony Music Entertainment. The Freegal Music Service files are DRM-FREE, Mp3 files that can be played on any device (including iPods). Even better, the downloaded music file is yours to keep with no due date and no expiration date.
- Mergent Online is an Internet-based suite of information resources that enables in-depth business and financial research.
- Mango is an online language learning system that teaches real conversation skills for practical communication. Through fun and engaging interactive lessons, Mango makes learning a new language fast, easy and incredibly effective. The system is completely web-based and remotely accessible, so you can learn anywhere you have an internet connection. As you listen to and repeat after native speakers, you'll learn more than just words and phrases. You’ll learn how those pieces can be rearranged and combined to make new thoughts, new conversations, and even more practical communication!
Statistical Abstract of the U.S.
ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the United States is a summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic conditions of the United States compiled from both government and non-government sources.
TumbleBookLibrary is an online collection of TumbleBooks animated, talking picture books which teach kids the joy of reading in a format they'll love.
TumbleBooks are created by adding animation, sound, music and narration to existing picture books in order to produce an electronic picture book which you can read, or have read to you.
World Book eBook Suite
- World Book’s e-book collection includes highly illustrated, engaging titles that support a span of curriculum areas and reading levels. World Book eBooks features World Book products like Animal Lives, Explore the Universe, and Learning Ladders.
- I provided a list of major upgrades needed throughout our system at the December 2014 Board meeting. The list is included in this Board Packet. I want to share the list this month with the City’s Public Works and Planning Engineering and Permits Departments so they can include the items, as needed, in their budget requests for the new fiscal year. This should give them ample time to include the information.
- Our staff met with the City architects and the team from ACM Architects regarding our Wylam project. Terry Oglesby will introduce some of the team members at our Board meeting on Thursday, January 22. The firm was responsible for the new Fultondale Library and has worked on the Athens Public Library scheduled to open this month. I would like to visit the Fultondale Library with staff from Wylam.
- The City’s Economic Development Director, Lisa Cooper, has asked for an update on the Sear’s property from our contact. I should have something to report by our meeting date next week.
Accomplishment of Objectives Set Forth in Strategic Plan
- We covered a great deal of information regarding the Strategic Plan at our Board and Staff Leadership Training on Saturday, January 10, 2015. Our staff facilitators did an excellent job of walking us through the plan and identifying ongoing tasks, as well as items that need more attention.
- It is time to prepare for our next Strategic Plan and I will need the Board’s assistance to move forward with preparations.
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.
- Our end-of-year appeal has brought in at least $6,000 with an additional distribution from the Maude Davis Robertson Trust of over $20,000. We are scheduled to receive a $5,000 distribution this month from our Tutwiler Fund for the Southern History Collection. Additional information will be provided in the Development Report.
Where I Need Your Assistance
- It is time for us to begin a discussion on our next Strategic Plan. The current plans runs through January 2016—it was designed as a 5-year plan and was adopted in January 2011. In order for us to receive State Aid during the next fiscal year which begins for the State of Alabama on October 1, 2015, we will need to have a new plan in place—or at least be in the final stages of preparing a new one. I will need to schedule a meeting with our Long Range Planning Committee to begin this process.
What I Am Reading or Listening To This Month
- I am listening to an audio book titled How Successful People Lead: Taking Your Influence to the Next Level by John C. Maxwell. It offers practical guidance on preparing the next group of leaders in your organization. The illustrator for this year’s Summer Reading promotional material is Jarrett J. Krosoczka. I’m currently reading his book The Ostrich Conspiracy. In addition to a number of professional magazines, I’m also reading chapters from books titled The Successful Library Trustee Handbook by Mary Y. Moore; Creating Your Library Brand: Communicating Your Relevance and Value to your Patrons by Elisabeth Doucett; and Building a Buzz: Libraries and Word-Of-Mouth Marketing by Peggy Barber and Linda Wallace.
- Georgia Morgan Blair stated that the Foundation serves as a fiscal agent for library donations and we do not need them to serve in that capacity. After a discussion by Board members present, Olivia Alison, Director of Development, and Angela Fisher Hall stated that they would create a written document to distinguish between gifts to the Foundation and gifts to BPL.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo read a resignation email from Dr. Monique-Gardner Witherspoon. The resignation is effective immediately.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo identified the Nominating Committee. The nominees for Board officers will be announced at the annual meeting on February 26, 2015.
- Katrina Watson, Samuel Rumore, Dora Sims, and Kimberly Richardson stated that they enjoyed the Library Board retreat.
- Georgia Morgan Blair congratulated Avondale, East Ensley, Powderly, Springville Road, and West End on an increase in circulation. Mrs. Blair attended a program held on the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 2015 at the Bethel Baptist Church.
- Regina Ammon stated that the Friends Bookstore had $3,500 in profits during the month of December and also stated that two Friends Bookstore volunteers have been hired into the library system.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo welcomed the visitors to the meeting.
Angela Fisher Hall, Secretary