Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
September 24, 2015
Central Library Boardroom
Meeting Called By
Kimberly Richardson, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Kimberly Richardson, President; Georgia Morgan Blair, Patty A. Pilkerton, Samuel Rumore, Dora Sims, Judge Scott Vowell, Katrina Watson, Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by President Kimberly Richardson.
- Georgia Morgan Blair gave the invocation.
- Georgia Morgan Blair moved the approval of the agenda. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which passed.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved the approval of the August 27, 2015 Library Board minutes and the financial reports. Judge Vowell seconded the motion, which passed.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved the approval of the personnel action for August 2015. Dora Sims seconded the motion which passed. Sam Rumore abstained from the vote due to conflict of interest.
- Lenairria Creer was presented with a certificate of appreciation for thirty two years of service to the Birmingham Public Library.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- The Wylam renovation project drawings are complete. The project will be ready to go out for bids in the next couple of weeks.
Associate Director Interviews
- The Associate Director telephone interviews were held on Thursday 17, 2015. Three top candidates were identified. One of the candidates has accepted a position at another company.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to invite the fourth candidate to interview. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which passed with a 5-2 vote (Sam Rumore/Judge Scott Vowell- NO; Katrina Watson- ABSTAINED)
- The Associate Director interviews will take place at the October 22, 2015 regular Library Board meeting.
Overview of Activities for this Period
- As we prepare to close the first quarter of FY2016, I want to submit a suggestion for your consideration. Since January of this year, I have reported on the status of our vacant positions at the library. Our staff has been tremendous—filling in where needed and working additional evenings and weekends to fill in the gaps. At this point, the vacancies are beginning to negatively impact employee morale.
- Recently, we were able to advertise six full-time positions—the Associate Director position is the only one remaining from that group that has not been filled. As of today, there are five additional full-time positions that need to be advertised right away. Also, we currently have more than 25 vacant part-time positions throughout our system.
- I want to suggest that we consider temporarily cutting back hours at our seven community libraries—East Lake, Eastwood, Pratt City, Smithfield, Southside, Titusville, and West End by closing these buildings on Saturdays. Our regional libraries and Central will be the only BPL locations open on the weekend. This will enable us to use staff already in place to cover our regional libraries, as well as the Central Library over the weekends where coverage is becoming very difficult. I recommend that we maintain this schedule from mid-October through the end of December. This should give us time to fill vacant positions and; hopefully, be prepared to move forward, fully-staffed in 2016. Such a time period might also give us time to complete our strategic plan.
- We also have security guard positions which are vacant or, since we are on hold with part-time hours, we cannot let staff work additional hours to give coverage. As of now, we are covering some of these positions with off-duty contract officers. Funding for these officers is already tight and if this coverage continues, we will run short of funds long before the fiscal year ends.
Libraries Visited and Community Events During This Period
- I visited the North Birmingham and Springville Road Regional Branch Libraries during this period. Additionally, I attended the following community events:
- Aug 27 Supported Muscular Dystrophy “Lock-Up”—Jennifer Neely was “taken to jail” in support of a great cause—she raised more than $1700.
- Aug 28 Jefferson County Personnel Board Open House to show off new training area and meeting rooms—invited by Pete Blank and BPL identified as partner organization
- Grand Opening of the Negro Southern League Museum—had an opportunity to speak to Don Logan, Owner of the Birmingham Barons Baseball Team
- Sep 01 I was invited to give the invocation at our weekly Birmingham Kiwanis Club meeting—the speaker with Isabelle Rubio with the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Central Alabama
- Sep 02 Joint Branch and Department Heads Meeting for library staff—Birmingham City School’s Superintendent Dr. Kelly Castlin-Gacutan and BPL Director of Public Relations were introduced to staff
Sep 04 Bards & Brews at Ruffner Mountain
- Sep 10 Brought greetings to a meeting of the Alabama Notary Publics organization. Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill was the guest speaker for the event which took place at the Central Library
- Sep 11 Meeting with Mayor William Bell, City Council, and City Department Heads at City Hall to review updates on Capital Projects for the City—no mention about any library projects
- Transformative Leadership Program at Faith Chapel Church hosted by City Councilor Marcus Lundy—I was introduced by Councilor Lundy and was able to speak briefly about the library. I was one of only 3 department heads in attendance
- Sep 15 Invited Roy Williams to join me for the Birmingham Kiwanis Club Meeting—I had the opportunity to introduce him to the audience
- Commemorative Program for Sixteenth Street Baptist Church at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute—had an opportunity to meet the new President and CEO Andrea Taylor—the program began at 6:00 p.m.
- Sep 21 Attended the Alabama Humanities Foundation Luncheon where Mike and Gillian Goodrich were honored along with several others
Update of Library Services
- In August, our cataloging staff created 4,402 new bib records for BPL and 1,533 new records for the municipal libraries. Cataloging processed 2,972 new items. Acquisitions placed orders for 3,451 new items and received 2,808.
- Our subscriptions to Financial Ratings Series Online and Value Line Online have started.
- City Attorney Caroline Jackson is working on our extended 3-year lease with Shops on Montevallo for the Eastwood Branch Library Property. Even though the current lease expires on September 30, 2015, Caroline has indicated that the extended lease will need to be approved by the City Council and will be on the Finance Committee agenda on Monday, September 28 and on the Council agenda on Tuesday, September 29.
- We were not able to schedule a Long Range Planning Committee meeting before this board meeting; however, I will have two reports on our Central Library to share with the committee. 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.
- Cost information on both items, along with several other building needs throughout our system, is included in the capital projects update information distributed at the Board Meeting on Thursday, September 24.
- Board President Kim Richardson and I are scheduled to meet with Mayor Bell on Wednesday, September 30 at 9:00 a.m. to discuss our immediate building needs. A second meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 7 at 10:30 with Jarvis Patton. This meeting will include Foundation Board Acting President David Herring.
Accomplishment of Objectives Set Forth in Strategic Plan
- We received two responses for the RFP for our Strategic Plan. The Board’s Long Range Planning Committee will meet very soon to review the responses and report back to the full board.
Financial Report and Grants
- The financial reports were all included in your board packet which was sent to you on Friday, September 18. Please let me know if you have any questions.
- An update on grants is included in the Development Report.
Where I Need Your Assistance
I need assistance in moving forward with a few items which include the following:
- Giving some relief to our staff by temporarily cutting back hours at our community libraries and closing them on Saturdays—this leaves only the regional libraries and Central open on the weekends.
- Supporting our staff by helping to get our vacant positions filled.
What I Am Reading or Listening To This Month
- We have new software as part of our integrated membership/catalog/circulation system—it’s called Decision Center. It will help us determine what is popular in our collection, subject areas that we need to expand, and areas where we can weed or discard old titles that are not moving. I thought you might enjoy seeing a list of the most popular titles among our system-wide patrons. Listed below are our popular titles for the month of September 2015—so far. My thanks to Jared Millet, Collection Management Coordinator, for compiling the lists below.
- TOP TEN ADULT BOOKS
- 1. Undercover by Danielle Steel
- 2. Devoted in Death by J.D. Robb
- 3. X by Sue Grafton
- 4. Grand Opening by Carl Weber
- 5. 14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson
- 6. The End Game by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Elison
- 7. Hood Misfits Vol. 3 by Brick
- 8. One Night by Eric Jerome Dickey
- 9. Robert B. Parker’s The Devil Wins by Reed Farrel Coleman
- 10.Best Kept Secrets by Shelly Ellis
- TOP TEN CHILDREN/TEEN BOOKS
- 1. Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-a-Lot by Dav Pilkey
- 2. Daniel Visits the Library by Maggie Testa
- 3. Prince Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold
- 4. Boats Go by Steve Light
- 5. Hi! by Ethan Long
- 6. The Keeper by David Baldacci
- 7. Queen of Shadows by Sarah Maas
- 8. The Trouble in Me by Jack Gantos
- 9. Path of Stars by Erin Hunter
- 10.Curious George Takes a Job by H.A. Rey
Other Items Mentioned in Meeting
- Angela Fisher Hall introduced the new Public Relations Director, Roy Williams.
- Administration has received two RFP's for the strategic plan which will be passed on to the Long Range Planning Committee for review.
- On Friday, September 11, 2015, Angela Fisher Hall attended a meeting with Mayor Bell and all City Department Heads to discuss capital projects. The Library was not mentioned in these discussions.
- Angela Fisher Hall and Kimberly Richardson, Library Board President, have a meeting set with Mayor Bell on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 to request the Library be included in the $10 million dollars left remaining in the bond funds to include roof repairs at eight branches and repairs to be made to the Central Library.
- Angela Fisher Hall and Kimberly Richardson will meet with Jarvis Patton on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 to discuss the Library's part time positions.
- Caroline Jackson, City Attorney, is working on the Eastwood Lease agreement which should be ready to submit to the City Council Finance Committee by Monday, September 28, 2015 and to the City Council on Tuesday, September 29, 2015.
Administration is waiting to hear from Barbara McGrue, Deputy Director Finance Department, regarding the Library's part time positions. Jarvis Patton and Peggy Polk have given permission for the Library to move forward with advertising the Library's full time positions.
- The Library Board gave Angela Fisher Hall permission to make decisions regarding closing community libraries on Saturdays due to limited staffing. In October, the Board will vote on a change in the schedule for November and December. Angela was asked to provide weekend usage information.
- Dora Sims congratulated new Public Relations Director, Roy Williams.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch congratulated new Public Relations Director Roy Williams, asked that Administration consider inviting branch managers and librarians to participate in meetings, and also thanked Personnel Officer, Edith Major, for her work on the Associate Director interviews.
- Sam Rumore stated that he visited the Admont Abbey located in the town of Admont, Austria. It is the world's largest monastery library.
- Kimberly Richardson thanked the library staff for their hard work and encouraged staff as well as Library Board members to advocate for the library.
Angela Fisher Hall, Secretary