Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
August 27, 2015
North Birmingham Regional Library
Meeting Called By
Kimberly Richardson, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Kimberly Richardson, President; Gwendolyn R. Amamoo, Vice-President; Georgia Morgan Blair, Patty A. Pilkerton, Dora Sims, Judge Scott Vowell, Katrina Watson, Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by President Kimberly Richardson.
- Janine Langston gave the invocation.
- Georgia Morgan Blair moved to approve the agenda. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion, which passed.
- Georgia Morgan Blair moved to approve the consent agenda. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion, which passed.
- Angela Fisher Hall, BPL Director, gave an update in Terry Oglesby's absence.
- The Wylam Library renovation project is moving forward and the architects from CMH, Inc. gave an update on the finishes.
- East Lake is currently closing at noon due to air conditioning problems. City Council has approved funding to purchase a chiller for the air conditioning system.
- The Central Library is in need of repairs to the escalators and elevators. Administration has prepared a document (attached) explaining the needs and will request a meeting with Mayor Bell to discuss.
Long Range Planning Committee
- Patty A. Pilkerton moved to accept the recommendations for the finishing and furnishings to be used for the Wylam Library renovation project. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion, which passed.
- Patty A. Pilkerton moved to accept the Request for Proposal (RFP) in regards to the library's 2016 strategic plan. Katrina Watson seconded the motion, which passed (attached).
- Patty A. Pilkerton moved to approve the proposed list of potential consultants for the library's 2016 strategic plan. Library Board members suggested that the RFP be sent to others who might be interested and Patty A. Pilkerton amended her motion to include such. Judge Vowell seconded the motion, which passed.
- Georgia Morgan Blair moved that the Library Board approve meeting on Thursday, September 17, 2015 to conduct telephone interviews with the Associate Director candidates. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion, which passed.
- Judge Vowell moved to send the Appendix F document, with revisions, to the Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee for approval. Georgia Morgan Blair seconded the motion, which passed (attached).
Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee Meeting
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to accept the Policies, Procedures, and By-Laws Committee report with corrections. Georgia Morgan Blair seconded the motion, which passed (attached).
- Debra Platt was presented with a certificate of appreciation for her service at the Library. Ms. Platt retired August 28, 2015.
Nicole King, City Attorney
- Nicole King introduced Kayla Lawrence. Ms. Lawrence is serving as a new attorney in the Law Department.
- The Library Board entered into executive session to discuss pending litigation.
Overview of Activities for this Period
- We have hired a new Director for Public Relations who will begin his duties on Tuesday, September 8, 2015. Roy L. Williams is a 27-year veteran journalist. Prior to his selection to work at BPL, Roy spent the previous six months with Starnes Publishing as a community reporter for the Hoover Sun and 280 Living. Roy built a loyal following of readers, mostly as a business writer, during a nearly 23-year career at The Birmingham News until October 2012. He then spent 18 months as marketing director at Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School in Birmingham before founding Williams Writing Solutions, a consulting firm whose clients included Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell. Many may remember Roy’s brother, Army Major Dwayne Williams, was among 180 killed when terrorists hijacked a plane and crashed it into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001.
- Our Coordinator for Collection Management Jared Millet has announced that he and his wife will be moving to Atlanta very soon. Jared’s wife has accepted a position with Georgia Power and Jared expects to find a job in Atlanta sometime between now and the end of December. We will certainly miss him.
- I have been invited to participate in an upcoming City of Birmingham program and serve as a co-host. The sculpture of attorney and former City Councilor Nina Miglionico will be unveiled on October 23, 2015 in Linn Park. This program is scheduled to take place between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. The project is very near and dear to our board member Sam Rumore and he has shared many updates with us at past board meetings. Please add the date to your calendar and make plans to join us.
We are planning to print two essays by former Birmingham-Southern College professor and long-time BPL supporter Dr. Edward LaMonte by using the Books-A-Million print on demand service. Entitled Transforming Birmingham, the document will focus on the administrations of former Mayors David Vann and Richard Arrington, Jr. LaMonte worked as Mayor Arrington's chief of staff during his time in office. A discussion and program will take place on Sunday, November 15, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. in the Arrington Auditorium—Dr. Richard Arrington has agreed to attend and share a few words with the audience. Please add this program to your calendar. It is another publication from our extended archival collection.
Libraries Visited and Community Events During This Period
- I attended the African American Business Council of the Birmingham Business Alliance luncheon at the Harbert Center on Friday, July 31. One of the speakers for the day invited me, from the back of the room, to come to the podium and make a few comments about the luncheon and why I attended. It gave me an opportunity to briefly talk about how the library can help area businesses.
- On Tuesday, August 11, I attended a reception at Iron City for the Woodlawn Foundation. I was joined by Pam Jessie, Woodlawn Branch Manager and several other staff members. We had an opportunity to speak with Gillian Goodrich regarding a donation from the Goodrich Foundation for our youth programs.
- I attended a reception for donors to the United Negro College Fund on Thursday, August 13, 2015 at the Birmingham Museum of Art.
- Earlier that day (August 13), I attended a meeting in Montgomery regarding the Health Info Net database the library had a part in starting back in the 1990s.
- I visted three libraries during this period and plan to visit more before our Board meeting. My visits included stops at Avondale, Eastwood, and North Avondale. Inserted below is an e-mail I shared with all staff after my visit.
E-mail sent to BPL staff on Tuesday, August 18
Good afternoon BPL Family! I hope this rainy Tuesday has gone well for all of you. On yesterday, I had a late afternoon meeting. Afterwards, I decided to visit three of our libraries. It was very damp and dreary outside; however, when I entered our libraries, they were filled with warmth, excitement, and happy, smiling faces--staff were engaged and library patrons were busy collecting items to check out, using the computers, and reading. I came back to Central feeling much better than when I left. All of you have a very positive impact on the lives you touch every day and I hope that you will always remember this.
A comment card came across my desk recently and I want to share the content with you (I will not give the name of the patron).
7/30/2015 "Mrs. Drake and Ms. Jolly: I was a young child growing up in Pratt City. I struggled with reading and speaking. Ms. Drake took the time to teach me how to read. She also taught me how to research and use the dictionary. Because of this effort and love, I was encouraged to better myself to become a productive person in the community. I am a college graduate now with a degree in engineering. I give back to at risk youth now because of what Ms. Jolly and Ms. Drake did for me. Pratt City Branch has endured through bad weather and all other circumstances. I am 40 years old now, and to see the same powerful faces of influence is more that I could imagine. From the bottom of my heart--Thank You!!"
This is a powerful testament to how we, as library staff, can change lives and fill rainy days with sunshine.
Have a great evening. See you tomorrow.
Update of Library Services
- In July, our Catalog Department created 3,748 new bib records for BPL items and 1,385 new records for requests from municipal libraries. Staff in the Catalog Department also processed 2,382 new items.
- Jared Millet, Coordinator for Collection Management, has shared collection budgets with all departments and branches. He works very hard to divide the $786,000 from our materials budget among our departments and locations.
- We have hired a new full-time delivery driver/courier for the library. Martez Harris will begin his new duties on Monday, August 24. Martez formerly served as a full-time Building Service Worker at the Central Library.
- I have received two reports on our Central Library that need our attention. One is a report from Bhate engineering regarding the drop along the first floor hallway from the parking lot. Another report is from Traveler’s Insurance which focuses on the building’s infrastructure and systems in case of a disaster such as fire or flooding. Both reports will require decisions by the board and action on behalf of the City. I will share this information with the Long Range Planning Committee at its next scheduled meeting—sometime in September.
- Our facilities report has more specific information on our buildings.
Accomplishment of Objectives Set Forth in Strategic Plan
- I am happy to report that we have offered our Director of Public Relations position to Roy Williams—more information was offered earlier in this report. A large segment of our current strategic plan indicates that we will use social media, press contact and other measures to keep the public updated on initiatives taking place at BPL. Roy will be a new addition to the staff who can help guide us in this area.
Financial Report and Grants
- I have included a report from the City’s budget in your packet. I have not included a report from our Library Fund; however, I will have that report included in our September packet. As I work with our Development Department to prepare a quarterly report in October, I want to make certain that our information is matching as we prepare these reports.
I have requested a meeting with Jarvis Patton and Barbara McGrue, Deputy Director of Finance, to discuss the part-time hours at the library. Now that school has started back, it is extremely important that we move forward in getting these positions filled. At this point, the concern is that several of our part-time employees, in the same pay grade, have varying sets of hours that they work—the hours are not consistent such as 20 hours biweekly, 15 hours biweekly, etc. This has been the case over a very long period of time and has been decided based on the needs of various locations. I am hopeful that a meeting can be arranged very soon and I will have an update at our meeting.
Where I Need Your Assistance
I need assistance in moving forward with a few items which include the following:
- Along with Terry Oglesby, I have updated the cost to replace/repair items here at our Central Library—in both buildings. Additionally, I have received a new report from Traveler’s Insurance regarding a review of our infrastructure in case there was a disaster (fire and/or flooding) at our Central Library, as well as a preliminary report from Bhate engineering regarding our first floor hallway. In all cases, there are several repairs needed at our Central Library and whether there is a renovation project or not, the City will be responsible for the necessary repairs. I will share the costs with you at our meeting. I will need your assistance in sharing this information with Mayor Bell.
What I Am Reading or Listening To This Month
- I still have not read Go Set A Watchman and decided that I need to reread To Kill a Mockingbird first.
- This month, I have read a self published book by Bishop Calvin Woods titled Walk With Me. Woods is one of our best known surviving civil rights movement leaders from Birmingham. While Bishop Woods shares his own story, he gives recognition to his 13 children, several of which made their own contribution to Birmingham’s movement. I am also reading selections from French Quarter Fiction, a collection of short stories on New Orleans.
- Angela Hall will meet with Jarvis Patton today to discuss filling the twenty three vacant positions that the library currently has.
- Miss Iwate, the Japanese friendship doll gifted to the library will be returned to her home country for restoration. She will return to the library in early 2016.
- The annual Eat, Drink, Read, Write festival will be held October 6-9, 2015.
- Dora Sims thanked Jennifer Neely for donating her time to the Muscular Dystrophy Association fundraising campaign.
Angela Fisher Hall, Secretary