Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
November 19, 2015
Central Library Boardroom
Meeting Called By
Kimberly Richardson, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Kimberly Richardson, President; Patty A. Pilkerton, Samuel Rumore, Dora Sims, Katrina Watson, Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by President Kimberly Richardson.
- Dora Sims gave the invocation.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved the approval of the agenda. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which passed.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved the approval of the consent agenda with the addition of the 2016 holiday schedule. Dora Sims seconded the motion, which passed.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- Mayor William Bell's office has asked to suspend the Wylam renovation project. The original budget was $1.4 million dollars and reduced to just over $900,000 due to a portion of the funds that were originally allocated being used for other projects.
- The City is working on cost estimates to replace the Central Library escalators with steps/stairs
Nicole King, City Attorney
- Under recommendation from Nicole King, the Library Board entered into executive session.
Overview of Activities for this Period
- Although this has been a very short period between our last Board meeting and preparation for this month’s meeting, we have still managed to get a great deal accomplished. I even managed to take a few days away from the library to celebrate my birthday and get away for a few days. My report—along with the others covering buildings, public relations, and security—reflects the many activities which have taken place over the past three weeks. I did not include the development report with this packet although it was ready. However, in January, I would like to begin reporting on our development initiatives each quarter and that information will be supported by a financial report showing the quarterly activities for that department. If this will pose a concern, please let me know. Updates on some of our grant projects are covered in my report.
Highlights for this period include the following
- Along with the coordinators, I am working on a new assignment from City Hall. This one focuses on the fact that all cultural institutions—including the library—that receive money from the City of Birmingham, will have to make adjustments to comply with the State of Alabama’s gun law which was passed in 2013.
- We have all congratulated Sandra “Sandi” Lee on her selection as Associate Director for our system. Sandi is still working out of the Springville Road Regional Branch Library and will begin her transition to the Central Library in December. By January 4, 2016, she will have completely moved to Central.
- I have asked for permission (on October 26) to move forward with advertising two full time positions from the City’s Human Resources Officer Peggy Polk. They include Sandi’s position as well as one for a Library Assistant III who plans to retire on December 11, 2015 from our Catalog Department.
- Library staff William Darby (East Lake) and Maya Jones (West End) participated in the City’s Halloween event at Legion Field on Friday, October 23—at least 1700 were in attendance.
- Jim Bagget was contacted by Paul Schilleci of the Birmingham Peace Project. This group works with the Greater Birmingham Ministries to organize a food drive in conjunction with MLK Day each year. In 2016 they would like to hold this event, the food drive, at the Central Library in connection with our MLK lecture. Jim Baggett will coordinate this with Mr. Schilleci.
- Another article researched in Archives has been published. It is “James Bowron: An Alabama Industrialist” by Robert J. Norrell (Alabama Heritage, No. 118, Fall 2015). Dr. Norrell is an endowed professor at the University of Tennessee.
- Archives recently presented two programs. ‘You Hear that Little Doohickey?’Documenting Birmingham’s Civil Rights Mass Meetings” (Jim Baggett and Laura Anderson). Presented at the Society of Alabama Archivists in Auburn University, and Researching Your House History (Catherine Oseas) Archives
- In addition to patrons from the Birmingham area and other parts of Alabama, Archives assisted researchers from France, Japan, South Africa, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.
- Jim Murray was invited by Stephanie Yates, from UAB's Institute for Financial Literacy, to serve on the Institute's Board of Advisors.
- Last week, Jim Murray attended the first meeting of the Jefferson County Workforce Development Collaborative Network Jobs Committee. The purpose of the committee is to devise ways for the various local agencies engaged in job training/workforce development to pool resources and communicate more effectively. The group is scheduled to meet at BPL in January for a database demonstration.
- This week Jim Murray met with Andy Mayo, from the city's Economic Development Office, and three representatives of SCORE to discuss the possibility of the library hosting small business development seminars in 2016. We will hold the first three seminars at Central on the first Mondays in January, February, and March. These seminars will be aimed at people who are interested in starting a business. If these are successful, then we would like to expand the seminars to the regional libraries in the ensuing months. We are also discussing the possibility of holding SCORE classes at the library that are aimed at current small business owners who need advice on more advanced business topics like marketing, hiring/training employees, obtaining financing for further growth, etc.
- Shay Robinson created a display for Native American Heritage Month in the Fiction Department. She also prepared a handout with Native American authors and a book display.
- The Southern History Department is featured in the fall edition of "Alabama Heritage" magazine. They are highlighted in the magazine's new column "Adventures in Genealogy."
- At Central, the staff taught a number of classes including Intro to Genealogy, Patent Basics, Family Search Wiki, and Ancestry.com.
- City Council President, Johnathan Austin, will be visiting the library next week on Tuesday, November 17, to see our STEM program in action.
- Our System Teen Librarian Lance Simpson visited Powderly this week as part of the traveling teen STEM program and will have the final traveling program next Monday, November 16 at Southside.
- The Youth Department is finalizing budgets for grants, and will soon be purchasing our 3D printer, laptops, and other equipment—we need to expand the space for our teen section at the Central Library and are investigating ways to make this happen.
- The Smithfield Library welcomed Magic City Classic crowds during the week. They decorated bottles of water as a goodwill gesture and to promote the library.
- 1-2-3- Play With Me programs wrapped up this week at Central and Springville Road libraries. Pratt City has one more fall session next week. The Junior League of Birmingham’s Yummy Truck visited Springville Road during the November 5, 2015 session. The truck is also visiting other locations during the Page to Stage programs that have begun this week.
- Avondale Library received their long anticipated ukuleles for check out to the public. These have been well received and have patrons eagerly awaiting their turn at a chance to play a ukulele.
- East Ensley has been working on sprucing up the juvenile section to make it more inviting to children and their parents.
- Eastwood is planning to make new signage throughout the library. The goal is for the library to look more like a bookstore in the categories and signage once the project is completed.
- North Birmingham is providing seasonal movies for both adults and children.
- Inglenook hosted the Fire Station Show and Tell during National Fire Prevention Week. The afterschool children had a wonderful time hearing from the firefighters and climbing on the fire truck.
- Holiday programs are being planned at many locations. Public Relations will be sending out information about dates and times.
- The JCPLA Holiday Luncheon will be on December 1, at 11:30 at the historic Florentine Building in downtown Birmingham. The Library Champions will be recognized during the luncheon. The BPL Library Champions are:
- Carmelo Aliano was nominated by Jean Shanks on behalf of the BPL Wylam Branch. Mr. Aliano's diligent work with local leadership has been instrumental in getting a new library building for the Wylam community.
- Dionne Clark was nominated by Sandi Lee on behalf of the BPL Woodlawn Branch.
- Ms. Clark has been an integral part of the launch and success of the Prime Time Family Reading Time program.
- James "Jim" White, III was nominated by Olivia Alison on behalf of BPL Central.
- Mr. White is a founding officer of the BPL Foundation Board and has given more than 17 years of volunteer service. He stepped down from service in September.
- It’s already time to begin planning for next year’s Summer Reading. T-shirts are being ordered by the staff. The theme’s for 2016 are: children–On Your Mark Get Set Read; teen–Get in the Game Read; and, adult–Exercise Your Mind Read.
Libraries Visited and Community Events During This Period
Oct 23 Unveiling of the Miss Nina Miglionico statue in Linn Park—along with Board Member Sam Rumore, I served as the co-emcee for the event (if you have not seen the statue in Linn Park, please visit it soon
Nov 6 Bards & Brews at the Central Library
Nov 9 APLS Congressional District Meeting/LSTA Updates at the B.B. Comer Regional Memorial Library in Sylacauga
Nov 12 National Philanthropy Day Luncheon/Harbert Center in Downtown
- Women’s Network/Party With A Purpose Annual Fundraising Event at the Birmingham Public Library—BPL named as a recipient of half of proceeds from the event ($250-$500?)
Nov 13 Alumni Day at the School of Library and Information Science in Tuscaloosa at the University of Alabama—Board Member Sam Rumore and BPL Branch Manager (West End) Maya Jones on Planning Committee for the event
Nov 14 Five Points West Community Appreciation and Unveiling Ceremony at the Five Points West Regional Branch Library—portraits of outstanding community leaders will be unveiled
Nov 15 Book Signing and unveiling of BPL Press Booklet by Dr. Ed LaMonte on the administrations of David Vann and Dr. Richard Arrington, Jr.
Update of Library Services
In October, Cataloging created 5,292 new bib records for BPL items and 1,150 new records for requests from municipal libraries. Cataloging processed 4,263 new items. Acquisitions placed orders for 3,546 new items and received 4,354. In October, a new disc cleaning machine, our ECO-Pro disc repair machines, were used to clean 1,140 discs at the regional libraries, Central, and Southside. We have received the machines free of cost thanks to a program that Collections Management Coordinator Jared Millet found for us. BPL only pays for the discs that are cleaned.
- Bids will be opened on the Wylam Project on November 17 at 2:00 p.m. at City Hall.
- The lease agreement for the Eastwood Branch Library was approved at the City Council Meeting on October 27, 2015. We have received a signed copy from Mayor William Bell.
Accomplishment of Objectives Set Forth in Strategic Plan
- I have made all of the necessary updates to the current strategic plan and will make certain the Alabama Public Library has an updated version. We will use this document and have it on file until a new strategic plan for BPL is approved and adopted.
Financial Report and Grants
- The financial reports are included in this report. Additionally, you were given a quarterly report on fund development at our last board meeting. If you have questions about any of these items, please let me know.
- I have asked Danny Dorroh, Business Manager for the Library, to check on the status of our audit for 2014 and 2015. Although I received one request—about two months ago—from the auditor (Banks Finley and White) to confirm information on my status with the organization, we have not heard anything more about our audit.
Where I Need Your Assistance
I need assistance in moving forward with a few items which include the following:
- I would like the Board’s support in changing the Associate Director’s title to Deputy Director. This may require a meeting of the Personnel Committee or a motion from the board to make this change. If this can be done at the Board meeting on November 19, then we can move forward with having business cards and other items printed for our new Associate/Deputy Director Sandra "Sandi" Lee.
- The coordinators and I have been working on an assignment given to all cultural organizations that receive money from the City of Birmingham. These organizations have been asked to make adjustments to become compliant with the State of Alabama Gun Law which was passed in 2013. This will require that all of our libraries have security during the hours the libraries are open and that each location has some type of security device such as a scanner in place along with signage. I would like to request a meeting for the Personnel Committee in order to review suggestions that are being made. This may be an item which crosses over to the Policies Committee as well because it might impact the hours that some of our buildings are open to the public.
- Attached is information regarding the overall stats for our libraries—both the regular report that you receive and one additional report which contains a weekly average on activities at all of our locations. This has been pulled together to help with the assessment of our activity especially over the weekends. Unfortunately, because the servers that store this information are being upgraded and swapped out, we cannot retrieve all of the information as I thought we could. The numbers listed only show an average of the numbers per week.
- The Administrative Services team will complete a review of the meeting room guidelines on Monday, November 16, 2015. A meeting of the Policies Committee will be needed to review the proposed changes one more time
- The lease on the vehicle for the director ends on January 3, 2016. If the Committee of the Whole or Personnel Committee, whichever has authority over this matter, could meet to make a determination on the future of a vehicle for the director and associate director, this will be needed prior to the December 2015 Board meeting.
- A decision needs to be made fairly soon on how we will proceed with a strategic plan for the library. If the Long Range Planning Committee could meet to discuss our next steps, that would be appreciated.
What I Am Currently Reading or Listening To
- I am currently listening to a 12 disc audio book titled The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty (2013). The author masterfully moves through several plots from the outset. All along the way, as the lives of several women come together, the secrets of many husbands come to light. However, with disc 6, a heartbreaking, heartstopping, scream-out-loud secret comes to light. I can’t wait to get back into my car (where I listen to my audio books) to find out what will happen next. WOW!!! I might take the long route to work tomorrow—I-59/20.
- Sandra Lee was introduced as the new Associate Director.
- The Library currently has thirty-five vacant positions. Eight of those positions are full-time, which should be filled by the end of December.
- It was recommended that the Long Range Planning Committee meet to discuss moving forward with the strategic plan.
- It was recommended that the Personnel Committee meet to discuss personnel changes regarding the current gun carrying laws.
- Angela Hall will review car lease options for the Library Director and Associate Director positions and report back to the Library Board.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to approve the name change of Associate Director to Deputy Director. Kimberly Richardson seconded the motion, which passed.
- Dora Sims moved to approve the December Library Board meeting be moved to Tuesday, December 15, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion, which passed.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch inquired as to whether Alabama Media Group has donated the proceeds from the sell of the Birmingham Best Bites Cook Book to the Library. Angela Hall stated that Alabama Media Group sold 1,800 copies and the Library expects to receive approximately $3,000 from the company soon.
- Olivia Alison stated that the annual appeal has garnered approximately 80 donations totaling $6,200, with additional donations currently coming in.
- Kimberly Richardson encouraged all Library Board members to contribute to the Library as well as the Foundation Board.
- Katrina Watson stated that she appreciates the work of the Library Board as well as Administration, encouraged all Library Board members to contribute to the Library, and also stated that she recently passed the certified fundraising test.
- Dora Sims thanked Angela Hall for attending the unveiling of pictures at the Five Points West Library honoring three former neighborhood officers that made significant contributions to the community. The event was held on Saturday, November 14, 2015.
- Sam Rumore stated that he and Angela Hall were the co-emcees for the unveiling of the Nina Miglionico statue that was held in Linn Park on Friday, October 23, 2015.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch has enjoyed participating in the North Avondale Library Chapter Chatters Book Club for five years and also expressed appreciation for all that the Library Board and the Library is accomplishing.
- Kimberly Richardson thanked the Library Board for their work, welcomed Sandi Lee as the new Associate Director, and also stated that Regina Ammon's term as Friends Council President has come to an end.
Angela Fisher Hall, Secretary