Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
January 28, 2016
Central Library Boardroom
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, Samuel Rumore, Dora Sims, Judge Scott Vowell, 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 approval of agenda.
- Kimberly Richardson noted that the by-laws give an order for the board meeting and future meetings will follow that order.
Election of New Officers
- Kimberly Richardson was nominated to serve as president for a second term; the motion was made by Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch and second by Dora Sims, which passed.
- Georgia Morgan Blair was put forth as a candidate by the Nominating Committee.
- The floor was opened for other nominations for Vice President. Patty Pilkerton was nominated by Judge Scott Vowell and accepted the nomination which was seconded by Samuel Rumore, Jr.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch nominated Georgia Morgan Blair and the nomination was seconded by Dora Sims.
- After a vote of five for Georgia Morgan Blair and three for Patty Pilkerton, Georgia Morgan Blair was elected as Vice President.
- Jeff White, Banks Finley and White, shared a draft of the 2015 Library Audit. He will return for a committee meeting to answer any questions about the audit.
- Kimberly Richardson presented a certificate to Jared Millet, Collection Management Coordinator acknowledging his 8 years of service to BPL. He is moving to Atlanta.
- Cynthia King was acknowledged for her retirement after 37 years of service to BPL. She was not present to receive her certificate.
- Samuel Rumore, Jr. was recognized for his 10 years of service as a Library Board member—this was his last meeting.
- Katrina Watson was recognized for her 5 years of service as a board member. She did not seek reappointment and could not be present for the meeting.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
Terry Oglesby was not present; however, Director Angela Fisher Hall gave a brief update on buildings and noted the need for sidewalk repairs around the East Building.
Nicole King, City Attorney
- Attorney Nicole King asked that the board go into executive session to discuss personnel and security matters.
Overview of Activities for this Period
- On Friday, February 5, 2016, we will say goodbye to Jared Millet our Collection Management Coordinator. Jared and his wife have moved to Atlanta—he is commuting for now. Also, long-time BPL employee Cynthia King (Library Assistant III in Circulation/Central) will retire on January 27, 2016 after more than 30 years of service. We will miss both of them.
- Sandi Lee and I have both received our cars. Thank you all so much for giving your approval for the leases.
- I have been invited to join a national task force organized by the Harvard Family Research Project and the Public Library Association. The project is designed to build the capacity of public libraries to support and promote family engagement in education. A critical component of the project is the formation of a learning community (or community of practice) composed of public library task force members—a diverse group of librarians from around the nation—and parents . Our meetings will be virtual and the initial meeting is scheduled for February 24, 2016. This is my first opportunity to take part in a national conversation as the director of BPL.
- After a discussion with Board President Kim Richardson, I was able to contact Dr. Darryl Lee, Assistant to Councilor Valerie Abbott, regarding our library board appointments. Lee requested a copy of the library’s Strategic Plan and I shared that with him. Judge Scott Vowell has had an interview for his reappointment. The Education Committee will meet on Tuesday, January 26 to discuss applicants for the board positions.
- We are so excited about our recent grant from the UAB Benevolent Fund. The library will receive a total of $50,000 for equipment to outfit a new learning space for teens at our Central Library. Please mark your calendars for Thursday, February 25, 2016. This is the date when a ceremonial check will be presented to us at a UAB Blazers basketball game. I hope all of you can attend to cheer us on.
- As a result of the grant from UAB, as well as a LSTA Grant from the Alabama Public Library Service (APLS), we will receive a new 3-D printer, several laptops, printers, and other learning tools for our teens. We want to create a space where this equipment can be set up, used, and serve as a showcase for library sponsors. Our team is looking into moving the Bookstore to the first floor and using this space on second floor to create our learning lab. The Bookstore will return to a space where it was originally located—on first floor.
- I will be prepared to share a 2015 annual overview with you at our board meeting. A final document will be ready to post on our website by the end of February.
- The City’s Finance Office is already beginning to load the preliminary budget for the new fiscal year. We are working as hard as possible to advertise positions and get them filled in a timely manner. Recently, we have advertised approximately 27 positions since the first of the year. This is an exciting time and staff are very happy to have the opportunity to fill some positions that have been vacant for at least one year.
- Peggy Polk, Director of Human Resources for the City, requested that Edith Major and I once again submit a request to have Roderick Zeigler’s position upgraded. Roderick is our Building Services Department Head and is a Grade 18. That request, which was one of several positions we asked to have upgraded at the start of our current fiscal year, has been sent to Dr. Polk’s office and has gone to the Finance Department. This upgrade will move him up to a Grade 24. Edith Major’s positions was the only one upgraded at the start of FY2016.
- As a result of Peggy Polk’s request, Edith Major and I have asked to have all of our library positions audited. The last audit for our library positions took place in 2006. This audit is the next step that I recommended to the board after only one of our positions was upgraded in July 2015. We should receive notice for a meeting very soon to outline the steps required for the audit.
Other Activities Around Our System for this Period
The January Bards and Brews program drew a crowd of approximately 275 attendees. Participants came from as far away as Columbus, GA and Montgomery, AL. A great time was had by all that attended. The next Bards & Brews will be on February 5th and will be a regular Open Mic event held at Central. The beer will be provided by Band of Brothers - a black owned brewing company from the Tuscaloosa area.
- The 13th Annual Martin Luther King Memorial Lecture drew a very interested audience of over 60 participants. Attorney David Gespass spoke to the group about voting rights. At his bidding, the audience participated in an interactive discussion throughout the program. The annual Martin Luther King children’s activity is featuring an I Spy Martin Luther King activity that has the children searching for images of Dr. King and his many accomplishments.
- Reading with Ringling Brothers is currently going on in all locations. This is our annual partnership with the Circus to encourage children to read. Children read five books and then receive a bookmark and the Circus provides ticket vouchers for children to attend free with a paid adult admission.
- Staff will be attending the annual PLD Mini-Conference at the Homewood Public Library. This is an annual training opportunity put on by the Alabama Library Association’s Public Library Division.
- The EMA and Small Business Administration will be working from the Powderly meeting room to assist residents with filing paperwork regarding damage sustained in the Christmas day storms.
SaveFirst has initiated their services to provide free tax preparation at these locations - Woodlawn, Smithfield, Springville Road and West End. Information has been shared on Bham365 and on our blog. Five Points West has a different group providing services at their location.
- Black History month programs will be taking place throughout the system. Public Relations is working on a brochure of events. Of particular note is a program at Springville Road, Quilt of Souls, February 19th at 10:00 a.m. Phyllis Lawson will discuss her book, Quilt of Souls, followed by a lunch and an heirloom quilting workshop offered (free) by Gees Bend Quilter Marlene Bennett Jones. This program is being offered in conjunction with the Alabama Folklife Association. Space is limited and reservations are required.
- Valentines for Children’s Hospital and Valentines for Veterans programs have begun throughout the system. The Valentines, created by children, teens and adults, are sorted and delivered to Children’s Hospital, the VA Hospital and various other veteran organizations close to individual libraries. Several Three Hots and a Cot locations have received Valentines. The North Avondale Library is handling the Children’s Hospital deliveries. The Springville Road Library is handling the Valentine for Veteran’s delivery.
- The upcoming sessions of 123 Play with Me at Avondale, Springville Road, Five Points West, Central, and North Birmingham. Lisa has prepared the promotional posters and flyers for the first three sessions. These sessions will begin in late January and continue through February and early March.
- Page to Stage Reader’s Theatre workshops featuring the Birmingham Children’s Theatre production – “Tuxedo Junction” will begin in January at and continue through February. Libraries participating include Avondale, Central, East Lake, Five Points West, Pratt City, Southside, Springville Road and West End. This is a partnership with Birmingham Children’s Theatre and the Junior League of Birmingham.
- Ms. Mary Warden has expanded the Ready to Read sessions to include Monday morning sessions at North Avondale. Sessions are already in place at the Central Library, Five Points West Library and North Birmingham.
- Adult Coloring is the newest stress relief idea sweeping the nations. We have responded with programs throughout the system. Programs at the Central Library have been drawing ever increasing crowds. The first program in November had 25 participants with the next program drawing almost 50 people. Coloring programs have been happening at Springville Road, Wylam, Five Points West, and more programs are being planned.
- Inglenook Library is reaching out to their community with newsletters to the community. Their newest initiative is a direct mail campaign to the local churches including a brochure that highlights the services offered by the library for the community. Karnecia Williams is following up with a call and offer to visit the churches with information to share with their congregations.
East Ensley shared a wonderful holiday moment at their library - A man came to the library during the holiday season. He was an East Ensley patron when he was a youth. He beamed when he saw Cynthia and happily talked about his time using the library when he was a kid. He said that Ms. Cynthia kept him straight and helped to make him the man he is today. He has graduated from high school and college; he helps to put on programs at the McAlpine Recreation Center.
Libraries Visited and Community Events During This Period
- Dec 22 Birmingham City Council Meeting—Proclamation from Mayor William A. Bell for Library Journal’s 3-Star Library designation
- Jan 06 Joint Branch and Department Heads Meeting at Central Library
- Jan 13 APLS Administrator’s Meeting—Via Teleconference at BPL—Deputy Director Sandi Lee attended
- Jan 17 MLK Memorial Lecture at BPL with guest speaker Attorney David Gespass—more than 60 in attendance
- Jan 17 Attended a performance at the Hoover Public Library’s Theater
- Jan 18 MLK Unity Breakfast at the BJCC—about 2,000 in attendance. I was able to sit at the table with Councilor Valerie Abbott, her assistant Dr. Darryl Lee, and Priscilla Cooper from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
- Jan 19 Attended the Central City Neighborhood Association Meeting at the Central Library—Council President Johnathan Austin was in attendance and gave me an opportunity to briefly mention our hope for a Central Library renovation—Public Services Coordinator Karyn Davis West attends these meetings on a regular basis and make reports on the library’s activities
- Jan 20 Branch and Department Heads Meeting at the North Birmingham Branch Library
Update of Library Services
- Jared Millet, Collection Management Coordinator, will leave his position on February 5, 2016. He is preparing for us a binder filled with instructions on various parts of his job. Staff in both Catalog and Acquisitions is helping to prepare for the transition.
- In December, Cataloging created 3,776 new bib records for BPL items and 1,432 new bib records for requests from municipal libraries. Cataloging processed 3,030 new items. Acquisitions placed orders for 1,997 new items and received 2,324. In December our ECO-Pro disc repair machines were used to clean 1,188 discs.
- A full report on our facilities is included in this packet.
- Effective January 2, 2016, Felita Hawkins completed her service as the coordinator assisting with maintenance issues. From this point forward, Sandi Lee, Deputy Director, will be responsible for working with our maintenance team and serving as staff liaison with Public Works.
- So far this winter, we have had a few glitches with heat; however, Public Works has been able to address any problems and get things working again.
- With the exception of a few broken windows at West End—small decorative windows on the back side of the building—we made it through this fall without any reports of burglaries or major acts of vandalism.
Accomplishment of Objectives Set Forth in Strategic Plan
- The Library’s Long Range Planning (LRP) Committee met on Thursday, December 10 to discuss two proposals shared by the same companies that provided quotes before. At the request of our board president and LRP committee chair, I asked the consultants to share proposals based on our available funds of $20,000 and focusing on the extension and proper implementation of our current plan. Since no resolution was made at the December Board meeting, the matter will be raised once again at the Committee of the Whole meeting on January 25, 2016.
Financial Report and Grants
- Financial reports are included in this packet for your review. Our development staff along with our business manager have prepared a quarterly update on special funds; however, the document is labeled as a “draft” only because we have not had time to check for duplicates on our list of donors. By the time of our board meeting, we hope to have the document finalized.
- The accounting firm of Banks Finley and White is preparing an audit of our special funds; however, they will not be able to complete the process until all board members complete and return their questionnaires. If all information is turned in by Friday, January 22, the audit can be presented at our board meeting.
- Finance Committee Chair Judge Scott Vowell has indicated that the audit will be received for review on January 28. The Finance Committee will meet to address any questions or concerns and the document will be adopted at the February 2016 board meeting.
Where I Need Your Assistance
I need assistance in moving forward with a few items which include the following:
- We are working through the second phase of the Feasibility Study with consultants from Power 10. This is a good time to just talk with friends, family and community members about our library. Our structural needs are mounting here at the Central Library and several roof repairs are needed at our branches. Getting this message to as many people as possible will help us tremendously.
- Please review the recommendations that our staff leaders have made regarding hours of operation and staffing needs. This material is included in your packet and grouped together as information for the Committee of the Whole meeting scheduled for Monday, January 25, 2016 at 3:30 p.m.
There was no new business to discuss.
- Mrs. Welch asked Michelle Dean to report to Council President Austin that the City has requested more security personnel for the library but has not provided funding.
- Mrs. Amamoo said hello and thanked everyone for their support.
- Mrs. Blair thanked everyone for her selection as Vice President and gave a “pitch” for Ms. Richardson’s grant writing class at Hoover Library.
- Mrs. Sims congratulated those who were elected and thanked everyone for their work.
- Ms. Pilkerton had no comment.
- Judge Vowell shared congratulatory words with everyone.
- Kimberly Richardson wants everyone to go to Bards and Brews.
Angela Fisher Hall, Secretary