- Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
- Call To Order
- Public Voices
- Approval of Agenda
- Approval of Consent Agenda
- Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- Nicole King, City Attorney
- Operational Items Requiring Board Approval
- Committee Reports
- Unfinished Business
- New Business
- Director's Report
- Board Member's Comments
- Next Board Meeting is May 26, 2016
- Submitted By
Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
April 28, 2016
Central Library First Floor Conference Room
Meeting Called By
Kimberly Richardson, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Kimberly Richardson, President; Georgia Morgan Blair, Vice President; Gwendolyn R. Amamoo, Parliamentarian; Willie S. Davis III; Patty A. Pilkerton; Eunice Johnson Rogers; Dora U. Sims; James A. Sullivan; The Honorable Scott Vowell; Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch
Call To Order
- Meeting called to order by President Kimberly Richardson.
- Georgia Morgan Blair gave the invocation.
There were no public voices.
Mechelle Rice Fields, Birmingham City Schools Family Involvement Coordinator, presented a plaque from the Birmingham City Schools Student Support Services Family Involvement Program to the Birmingham Public Library Board in appreciation for the partnership and support to Birmingham City Schools families. BPL branches distributed a total of 256 Parent Planners during the partnership.
Approval of Agenda
Georgia Morgan Blair moved approval of the Consent Agenda, and it was seconded by Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch. It was approved.
Approval of Consent Agenda
Kimberly Richardson made additions to the March 2016 minutes. In the Operational Items, Richardson notes the group meeting with Georgia Morgan Blair, Judge Scott Vowell, Eunice Johnson Rogers, and Richardson herself was called based on the authorization that had been given in the prior month’s board meeting to complete the budget. In the minutes, it states there was not enough time for public notice, Richardson clarifies that it was not the intent to skirt the Open Meetings Law.
The minutes stated Richardson made a request to hold a training session with Barbara McGrue and Peggy Polk when she has not yet made the request. She will make the request. Richardson noted as a result of that discussion, she requested a Personnel Committee meeting to address the identified issues.
Judge Scott Vowell moved approval of the Consent Agenda with the changes, and it was seconded by Dora Sims. The motion was approved.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
Terry Oglesby stated Public Works is working to get the elevators fixed. It has been requested that Kone Elevators and Escalators provide Angela Fisher Hall with a proposal that would include cost to replace the elevators. Oglesby contacted Otis Elevator Co. to ask for budget information, specifically the cost to replace the patron and freight elevators. Angela Fisher Hall has been sent the repair proposal from Otis, and the replacement proposal will be forthcoming.
Last Board meeting, Terry Oglesby mentioned the negotiation between the Birmingham Public Library and Trane Energy Savings Program. The city is in negotiation with Trane, and Oglesby provided this list of library locations projected to be included: Avondale, Central, Linn-Henley, East Ensley, East Lake, Ensley, Five Points West, Inglenook, North Avondale, North Birmingham, Pratt City, Smithfield, Southside, Springville Road, Titusville, West End, Powderly, and Woodlawn. The scopes of work are different for each one with the goal of making the buildings more energy efficient. Some of the locations will receive roofing, mechanical, plumbing, lighting, and electrical upgrades. Oglesby suggested that Hall speak with Andre Bittas and see if he is able to share the list and scopes of work with her.
Kimberly Richardson inquired about the timeframe for the Five Points West chiller repair since it was pulled off the agenda for the City Council meeting on April 24, 2016. Angela Fisher Hall stated Trane sent a tentative agenda with the work starting next week and completed by next Friday.
Kimberly Richardson shared a concern that when the escalators were taken out of service, more pressure was put on the elevators which were not made for high capacity. Terry Oglesby confirmed that the proposals will need to include the needs of the library, and the work performed on the elevators will not be an even exchange but an upgrade.
Judge Scott Vowell asked if the Board could do anything to assist in the repair of the elevators. Kimberly Richardson stated that the repairs were submitted with the request as a part of the budget proposal to the city, and she encouraged advocacy about this issue.
Gwendolyn Guster Welch shared a personnel concern since children arrive at the library after school and congregate in the stairwell. Welch requests of Angela Fisher Hall to ensure security is in place to monitor the stairwell.
Kimberly Richardson wants the staff to communicate to the patrons that the service elevators are still accessible despite public elevators being down.
Nicole King, City Attorney
Nicole King reported that the Memorandum of Understanding from the Advocacy Committee has been completed on her part and is waiting for the Transactions Department to review it. Caroline Jackson is working on the Intellectual Property document.
At 8:45 a.m., Nicole King recommended the board go into Executive Session under Alabama State Code 36-25-A7 to discuss matters that are likely to be litigated.
Operational Items Requiring Board Approval
At 9:42 a.m., the Executive Session ended and resulted in two recommendations. Kimberly Richardson recommended the Board permanently remove the BPL Director and Board president from their abilities to serve as officers of JCLC, the Library Foundation, and Friends of the Library. Georgia Morgan Blair moved approval and Gwendolyn Amamoo seconded the motion. The motion was approved with Judge Scott Vowell opposed.
Kimberly Richardson recommended as of April 28, 2016, the Library Board would assign any and all authority for financial transaction in regards to BPL to Deputy Director Sandi Lee pending personnel review process not to exceed 45 days. Dora Sims moved approval and Gwendolyn Amamoo seconded the motion. The motion was approved with two opposed, Judge Scott Vowell and Patty A. Pilkerton.
- Dora U. Sims stated the committee reviewed three submissions for the innovative program awards developed by Gwendolyn Amamoo. The recommendation to the board is to accept the submissions and transfer $250 from the board fund to the respective library accounts. Upon board approval by the full board, the committee will have the staff post a PR write up about the awards to social media.
- Dora U. Sims moved to accept the submissions for the innovative programs from North Avondale for $50, Pratt City for $100, and West End for $100 and allocate a total of $250 from the board fund to the respective library accounts. Eunice Johnson Rogers seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- The Finance Committee recommended that each branch manager or department head be given, in writing, their current Fund 60 balance. It was was also recommended that an email be sent to all employees to ask them to pay any outstanding library fees. Due to budgetary concerns, it is recommended to limit staff to one paid convention travel per year unless it is necessary due to committee assignment. It is also recommended that staff planning to retire during the calendar year are not granted travel funds during that year. The final recommendation that all BPL staff be removed immediately as signatories on the Foundation and Friends of the Library bank accounts. Patty A. Pilkerton seconded the motion, and it was approved. Judge Scott Vowell abstained.
Long-Range Planning Committee
- The Long-Range Planning Committee met on April 14, 2016, with Jim Sisson of Vantage Associates. Sisson stated the cost of general and professional liability insurance for the Strategic Plan would be $1754 for a full calendar year and could be cancelled after the project is over. The first two months are required up front and the subsequent payments are monthly. The committee recommends the board decide to pay half or full amount of the cost of professional and liability insurance. Judge Scott Vowell moved to pay up to half of the cost of general and professional liability of $1754 to be added to the previously approved $20,000. Willie Davis III seconded the motion. Gwendolyn Guster Welch voted no. Kimberly Richardson and Georgia Morgan Blair abstained. With the majority vote, the motion was approved.
- The committee recommends approval of July 23, 2016, for the board retreat for the strategic planning process. Patty A. Pilkerton moved approval, and Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded which was approved.
- Patty A. Pilkerton shared that the Long-Range Planning Committee has decided to have stakeholder interviews on May 17, 2016, and May 24, 2017. The committee will develop a mechanism to determine who to interview, and Jim Sisson will ultimately schedule the interviews.
- The Policy Committee met on April 30, 2016 discussed the Food Policy and Unattended Children Policy. Dora Sims moved to accept the revisions to the Food Policy and the Unattended Children Policy. Georgia Morgan Blair seconded the motion, and it was approved.
There was no unfinished business.
- Dora Sims requested Board approval to send her to the American Library Association 2016 conference. Sims serves on the Newsletter and Website Committee for the United for Libraries Division of ALA. Kimberly Richardson stated if funding can be identified, the new board members be sent to ALA because of the nuts and bolts training available to new board members.
- Georgia Morgan Blair moved to approve the Board to pay for Dora Sims’ registration fee to the 2016 ALA Conference. Willie Davis III seconded the motion which was approved. Patty A. Pilkerton opposed.
- Georgia Morgan Blair moved to identify funding to authorize approval of three new board members to attend ALA if they so chose. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion which was approved. Patty A. Pilkerton opposed.
- Kimberly Richardson noted the memorandum for the board meeting was printed on old letterhead, and Angela Fisher Hall stated the old letterhead was printed in error. It has been updated.
- The Board discussed changing the dates and time for the regular Board meeting to accommodate Board members and public visitors will full-time employment. Georgia Morgan Blair moved to change the date of the regular Board meeting to the second Tuesday of the month at 4:30 p.m. effective June 2016. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion which was approved. Judge Scott Vowell opposed.
Comments made at Board meeting by library director
- Pratt City branch library had a busy day on the fifth anniversary of the April 27, 2011, tornado. Debra Drake Blackmon, Branch Manager, and Sandra Crawley, Regional Coordinator, stayed at the library until about 8 p.m. where local residents met with people involved in planning the park next the library.
- BPL will have a table at the Sanford Howze Recreation Center on Saturday, April 30, 2016, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. to give out information for activities for children.
- The paycodes for the part-time positions have been updated by the finance department from the city. The information is in the binders passed out at the Finance Committee meeting. The binder also contains quarterly report for the development and business office.
- Angela Fisher Hall and Billy Conner, Head of Maintenance, talked about ensuring the Linn-Henley building have working fire extinguishers since the fire suppression system has been removed.
Angela Fisher Hall and Mary McCann are working on the manuals in preparation for the new Board member orientation.
- Twelve staff members of BPL attended the Public Library Association Conference in Denver, and the reports have been provided to the Board.
A major grant with AmeriCorps has recently been completed. It is one of the first grants done in collaboration with the Mayor’s office for civic engagement. If approved, the grant will provide five volunteers for the library and five for City Hall.
- The mayor is calling a meeting on May 5, 2016, for all of our grant representatives throughout the city to discuss getting as many grants submitted as possible during the time President Obama has remaining in office. Angela Fisher Hall and Carrie Campbell will be in attendance since Sandra Vick Lee and Olivia Alison will be in Montgomery.
Overview of Activities for this Period
- Sandi and I are very appreciative of the reception held in our honor on Monday, April 11, 2016. Our families were very happy to meet many of you and we thoroughly enjoyed the celebration.
The addition of Mary McCann and Tiffanie Jeter to our staff has really helped with the workload. Both are excited to be working with us at the library and we are happy to have them in place.
- We have just received a copy of the Birmingham Business Journal for this week. There is an article about me and the library focusing on a possible renovation for our Central complex. I have not had a chance to read it but I am very happy that this newspaper has given us a connection to the business community.
- Several board committees met over the past few weeks and minutes from those meetings are included with your packet unless the committee chair asked to distribute them at the meeting.
- I was among several women honored by the Birmingham City Council recently during the “Visionary Experience” at Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve. The event took place on March 31; however, due to a mix up, I was not notified. Included in the board packet is a certificate from the event and letter of apology.
- Adjustments have been made regarding the pay codes for our part-time employees. This means that we have enough funds in place to pay all of our part-time staff through the remainder of the fiscal year.
- Patron complaints regarding the elevators in our East Building are continuing. Public Works is getting quotes on the cost to make the necessary repairs. The same holds true for our East Lake Branch Library. That elevator has been out of service for several weeks.
- The Avondale Business Association is planning a yard sale to benefit the Birmingham Public Library system. This event is scheduled for Saturday, May 7 in the parking lot of the former V. Richards store. Please make plans to come out and support the event. Our staff will have a table with activities for children.
Other Activities Around Our System for this Period
In this portion of our report, Deputy Director Sandra Vick Lee has given special focus to the variety of partnership our branch and department staff are engaged in carrying out. Please review and let us know if you have questions.
- Word Up! Poetry Contest was held on Sunday, April 10th at the Central Library. The event was well attended. Please see the press release that followed about the winner and participants - Three of Jefferson County’s most talented young spoken word artists were crowned winners after participating in WORD UP!, a poetry slam for students enrolled in high schools or homeschooled in Jefferson County, on Sunday, April 10, 2016, at the Central Library, 2100 Park Place in downtown Birmingham. The first place winner ($300 prize) was Ellen Camp, a sophomore at Alabama School of the Fine Arts. Winning the second place $200 prize was Jeralyn Langford, a senior at Clay-Chalkville High School. The third place winner ($150) was Ellis Goldstein, a junior at Homewood High School. The slam is sponsored by the Birmingham Public Library (BPL) and Real Life Poets, a nonprofit creative writing organization based in Birmingham. Ten students in grades 9 through 12 performed an original work of poetry inspired by the theme “Speak Out!” Camp’s poem is entitled “For Teenaged Girls,” Langford’s poem was called “Victim,” while Goldstein performed an original work entitled “O Soldier.” Each participating high school held a preliminary contest, and the winners from each school competed in the WORD UP! competition. The participating schools for this year were as follows: Carver High and Parker High Schools of the Birmingham Public School System, Clay-Chalkville High School, Homewood High School, Alabama School of Fine Arts, Bessemer High School, and Holy Family Cristo Rey Catholic High School.
- Several Birmingham Public Library branches are participating in The Big Read sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Birmingham-Southern College, the Public Libraries of Jefferson County, and other organizations. Emily Dickinson is not only one of the supreme lyric poets of American literature. She has also come to symbolize the purest kind of artistic vocation. Not merely unrecognized but virtually unpublished in her own lifetime, she developed her genius in the utmost privacy, invisible to all except a small circle of family and friends. Driven only by her own imagination, she created a body of work unsurpassed in its expressive originality, penetrating insight, and dark beauty. These programs are happening throughout the system in April.
- The Page to Stage Theater Workshops are going on during the month of April at selected locations throughout the system. This workshop is featuring the Children’s Theater production of Pinocchio. These programs are made possible with our partners The Junior League of Birmingham and the Birmingham Children’s Theater.
- April 12th was another very busy day at a number of our libraries. Several locations served as polling places for the runoff elections.
- 123 Play with Me sessions are being held at Five Points West and North Birmingham. The Junior League is will funding this program again for the upcoming year.
- The Hillcrest Afterschool Grant featured program during April has been The UAB Bookends presenting Alice in Wonderland. The group has been very well received at the locations featuring this program. Everyone is asking for them to return. March program’s included Alabama 4H Science School for an afternoon of hands-on-fun as they introduce some of Alabama’s most famous reptiles—turtle, snake, gator, and more, oh my! Roy Williams, PR Director, visited Woodlawn to capture the excitement and fun experienced by the children. He created a Facebook video and tweeted about the event.
- April begins our Summer Reading preparation in earnest. The LA III meeting will kick off the staff orientation to this year’s themes –children, On Your Mark, Get Set, READ!, teen, Get in the Game – READ!, adult, Exercise Your Mind – READ! Alabama Power is the main sponsor for our Summer Reading programs. The Jericho Cotchery Foundation will sponsor the Teen Tail Gate party June 24.
- Prime Time Family Reading Time concluded last week at Inglenook Library. We had a great group of children and parents involved during this session. We are looking forward to the fall sessions starting in September. The Five Points West Regional Library was scheduled to begin their spring session Tuesday, April 19 but those sessions have been postponed due the HVAC issues at the Five Points West Library. These programs highlight our partnership with the Alabama Humanities Foundation.
- Eat, Drink, Read, Write planning is continuing. A tentative schedule of events has been decided upon. The committee is making contacts and securing locations for the events to take place. There are events scheduled beginning Oct. 1 and lasting through Oct 7. The programs include a children’s art display and reception, food symposium, Young Professional event, Bards and Brews, an online six word story contest and a keynote speaker. More to come as plans are finalized!
- East Lake hosted the Children's Community Art Show “I Dream a Community” in the library. The contest was open to artists 8th grade and younger. Contestants were asked to show what they dream for in their community. First place $50.00 cash prize and the winning art work will be featured in the downstairs diner hallway at East Lake United Methodist Church, Monday, April 4 to Friday April 8th. East Lake partnered with Rev. Sally Allocca, East Lake United Methodist Church.
West End hosted the JCCEO on March 29 and they paid power bills for those who qualified. They paid 75 power bills and made an appointment to see 127 people at their offices. It was a very busy day because this was broadcast on a radio station and TV. Legal Services of Alabama & Magic City Bar Association handled 20 cases on Thursday, March 24th. Maya Jones’ mother participated and received a last will and testament, living will, durable power of attorney and a medical power of attorney all free of charge because of her age.
Libraries Visited/Meetings Attended/Community Events During This Period
This listing basically covers my involvement in activities during this period. Deputy Director Sandra Vick Lee is also involved in a number of activities that she reports to me and those items are used for her evaluation.
- Mar 23 Library Advocacy presentation by Angela Fisher Hall and Sandra Vick Lee for Library Assistant III Staff in the Arrington Auditorium at the Central Library
- Mar 24 City of Birmingham Meeting Regarding Grant Opportunities—Crossplex
- Mar 29 Cyber Security Meeting in IMS Building with City Department Heads
- Mar 30 Library Advocacy presentation by Angela Fisher Hall and Sandra Vick Lee for the Collection Development Staff Meeting in the Arrington Auditorium at the Central Library
Mar 30 Meeting with COB Cyber Security Team from AT&T in the IMS Building
- Apr 4 Bizwomen Mentoring Monday at Ross Bridge sponsored by the Birmingham Business Journal
- Apr 11 Grand Reopening of the Friends’ Bookstore—FOX6 News covers the event
- Apr 11 Reception Welcoming the New Library Director and Deputy Director at the Central Library
- Apr 13 Conference Call with Harvard Family Research on BPL program funding and evaluation
- Apr 14 Good Day Alabama with Jeh Jeh Pruitt at the Central Library
- Apr 14 YWCA Purse and Passion Annual Luncheon
- Apr 15 WATV Radion Interview with Ron January and Roy L. Williams at the Birmingham Public Library System and National Library Week
- Apr 15 Miles College Alumni Association Scholarship Gala at the Sheraton Hotel
- Apr 22 Fusion Awards at the BJCC sponsored by Summit Media
- Apr 25 Health Action Partnership Meeting at United Way
- Apr 26 Birmingham City Council Meeting at Avondale Elementary School at 6:00 p.m.
Update of Library Services
- We are very happy to have Tobin Cataldo serving as the Collection Management Coordinator. He recently attended a conference in Mobile/Orange Beach where he gave a presentation on the digital preservation of documents. The conference was for the Network of Alabama Academic Libraries (NAAL) where BPL is a member.
Our statistics from the Collection Management include the following: Catalog processed 4062 in hand records, 1839 by mail records, 3572 new items, 110 reconciled items, and 20 maps. Acquisitions ordered 2594 items, received 3271 items, and checked in 152 serials. Our OverDrive (BPL) system circulated 2,052 books and 1981 non-book items. Patrons visited our databases 7626 times.
- Over the weekend of April 16-17, all of the compressors at the Five Points West Regional Branch Library stopped working. On Thursday, April 21, approval was given to purchase the equipment needed to repair the entire chiller at a cost of just over $100,000. I will keep you posted on when the repairs will be made.
- The problem with the East Lake elevator has still not been resolved. It will cost at least $2,000 to $3,000 to fix one part in order to determine what the real issue might be. Public Works is still investigating.
- Plans are underway for the commemoration of the April 2011 storms in the Pratt City area. The City will host an event on Saturday, April 30. Additional information will be shared when available.
Accomplishment o Objectives Set Forth in Strategic Plan
- Our library Advocacy Plan has been updated and shared with staff at two training sessions—one for Library Assistant IIIs on Wednesday, March 23 and one at the Collection Development meeting on Wednesday, March 30.
- The Long Range Planning Committee met on Thursday, April 14 at 3:30 p.m. to discuss potential additions to the strategic planning consultant’s contract. This committee also agreed to consider the Long Range Planning Committee members and staff who were present as the steering committee for the plan.
- Minutes from the committee meeting are included in this board packet.
Board Member's Comments
- Georgia Morgan Blair brought up an incident from the report about an individual at Five Points West who may have had a medical emergency instead of being disruptive. There was also an incident involving bullying where the victim retaliated. Blair indicated the incidents were not handled properly.
- Kimberly Richardson asked if there was a need to review the security contract. Angela Fisher Hall replied the Personnel Committee authorized her to meet with Peggy Polk, Director of Human Resources for the City of Birmingham to discuss identifying staff positions for security rather than off duty officers.
- Dora Sims mentioned Pamela Jessie’s report from PLA 2016 about passport services in libraries. Sandi Lee spoke with them at PLA and is attempting to contact them with follow up questions.
Next Board Meeting is May 26, 2016
Mary McCann, Senior Secretary