- 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 Monday, November 7, 2016
- Submitted By
Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
October 19, 2016
Central Library Boardroom
Meeting Called By
Kimberly Richardson, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Kimberly Richardson, Gwendolyn Amamoo, Georgia Morgan Blair, Willie S. Davis III, Eunice Johnson Rogers, Dora Sims, James A. Sullivan, The Honorable Scott Vowell, Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch
Call To Order
- The meeting was called to order by Vice-President Georgia Morgan Blair in Kimberly Richardson’s absence. Richardson later joined the meeting. Blair gave the invocation.
- Dora Sims, Chair of the Advocacy Committee, presented certificates to the Innovative Award winners for the September submissions. Loretta Bitten, Powderly received an award for After School Writing Lab (Assistance with Cursive Writing and Basic Penmanship). This program will benefit 2nd – 5th grades students in the Birmingham City School System strengthen cursive writing and general penmanship. Judy Dick, Springville Road received an award for Vintage Memory Making where children will enjoy sewing and crafting with the community. Chauntel Norris, Springville Road received an award for Parenting Program, where parents will discuss pregnancy, importance of breastfeeding, child development, safety, and literacy.
- Felita Hawkins, Southern Coordinator was recognized by the board for her 31 years of service to BPL. Hawkins was presented with a certificate of appreciation.
Approval of Agenda
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to approve the agenda. Dora Sims seconded the motion, and it was approved.
Approval of Consent Agenda
- Georgia Morgan Blair made a correction to the personnel actions. Blair requested the pay grade be added for one of the retirees. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to approve the Consent Agenda.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- Terry Oglesby reported Trane had a media kickoff event for the start of the city’s contract at the Titusville library. Trane has been doing site visits to many branches. The scope of work includes plumbing upgrades, replacing plumbing fixtures for low usage, and switching out HVAC mechanics. All branches are on the list except for Avondale, Eastwood, and Wylam. Sandi Lee confirmed the scope and schedule has been shared with coordinators and branch managers. Ogelsby stated if there are questions, he is happy to schedule a meeting for additional information.
- Oglesby spoke with his supervisor about the cost estimates for the escalator from Public Works via Schindler from January 2015. Oglesby thinks there will be an attempt to identify funding to replace with new escalators. The estimate from January 2015 states the cost would be $420,000. More is anticipated due to inflation.
- Judge Scott Vowell asked if the HVAC work with Trane is designed to prevent breakdowns. Oglesby confirmed it will be all new and efficient equipment. In addition to lower maintenance cost, it will also have a lower energy cost. Central will receive an extensive HVAC, roof, and lighting makeover. Most lights will be switched out with LED fixtures.
- Kimberly Richardson joined the meeting and thanked Terry Oglesby for the update. Richardson congratulated the Innovative Award winners and thanked Felita Hawkins for her many years of service.
Nicole King, City Attorney
- Attorney King announced this meeting will be her last before maternity leave, and Attorney Lawrence will be filling in. King met with Attorney Julie Bernard and Catherine Oseas, Archives regarding a research project. Oseas is looking to finalizing details, and the law department is checking to see if there would be liability on the library’s end. Aids Outreach is looking to house paperwork in Archives for the purpose of research.
- Dora Sims asked about the status of the memorandum of understanding. Attorney King reported that Attorney Smiley is reviewing it. Based on a previous meeting, it was determined the Foundation audit needed to be reviewed then the board would need to decide the amount of hours. Kimberly Richardson stated the audit will be presented to the Foundation board on October 19, 2016. Once the Foundation board approves it, the audit will be submitted to BPL to be reviewed and shared with the board. Determinations will be made at that time. Richardson thanked Attorney King on behalf of the board and wished her well for the delivery and recovery.
Operational Items Requiring Board Approval
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch inquired about Roderick Gadson receiving two checks with different amounts. Sandi Lee replied he had medical leave during one week of a pay period.
- Georgia Morgan Blair moved to approve the financial reports. Eunice Johnson Rogers seconded the motion. All were in favor, and it was approved.
Reading Initiative Proposal
- City Council allocated $1 million dollars to BPL for a reading initiative. Meeting with staff, community partners, and Birmingham City Schools, the draft proposal incorporates many of the items that were asked of BPL. Georgia Morgan Blair asked if PR would be included in the proposal such as a video. Richardson attempted to reach Johnathan Austin to consult with him to determine the process, timeline, and if they would provide the ability for BPL to make that type of presentation. Blair suggested creating a booklet format for the proposal. Richardson stated it will be professional.
- Blair asked if an employee can be transferred or assigned to monitor the program, saving $125,000 from an outside source, or could the library coordinate with the Birmingham City School system and borrow an employee to monitor the program. Richardson clarified $50,000 would be a partnership with non-profits team. There are two positions, evaluation data staff and program coordinator. The program’s performance must be reported to the city, and the evaluation data staff member would collect information from the tracking systems on devices and aggregate data. The program coordinator is a contract position since it is unclear whether it would be needed beyond one year. This person would be dedicated to driving the program daily without having split responsibilities. Blair stated places such as United Way loan an employee. Richardson stated it is something that can be explored.
- Dora Sims proposed partnering with the Birmingham City Schools to do an accelerated reading program. Richardson replied there is language in the proposal about accelerated reading. The proposal talks about making the program diverse enough to reach all levels of readers.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo asked who would present the proposal to which body. Richardson is trying to determine this information with Johnathan Austin. Once the information is received, they will follow that process.
- Amamoo asked Richardson if BPL could ask Birmingham City Schools for a program coordinator since we are partnering with them for the initiative. Richardson is willing to continue to explore this but does not want to appear BPL is giving up ownership of the initiative. There is still time to explore it and is in favor of a cost saving solution as long as it rolls back to continuing the activities of the program. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch made grammatical and spelling corrections to the proposal.
Willie Davis III asked if the library feels comfortable lending Chromebooks. Sandi Lee confirmed the library is comfortable with it because an accompanying adult over the age of 21 will check out the Chromebook with the child. The programs are preloaded on the Chromebook which are accessible for the child to use at home without WiFi. When the Chromebook returns to the library, it connects to WiFi, and the program results are uploaded. The Chromebook cost is in the patron’s record, and it is shared with them at the time it is checked out. Similar to the WiFi hotspots, if the Chromebook is not returned, the device is disabled. Chromebooks recommended for LightSail application will cost around $400. The reading programs are the only applications that can be utilized on the Chromebook. Davis voiced a concerned lending the Chromebooks. Lee stated that loss is expected, but the name and address is on file. The library would make every effort to get the item returned. Gwendolyn Amamoo asked if protective cases would be provided especially since children would be handling them. Lee replied the particular Chromebook they are looking at are considered sturdy, and at this point, it is not included. Richardson stated a protective sleeve can be explored.
- James Sullivan commented it would be difficult to see results in less than one year. Richardson emphasized expectations must be realistic within the allocated time-frame. If more children come through the libraries, read more, engage more with families in literacy with outreach programs, along with the metrics downloaded from the Chromebooks, this information can be used to expand and propose to continue the program. Welch added that the monthly statistics could also be used to show increased library use during the program with circulation, PC usage, and gate count.
- Welch requested information about the selection process and qualifications for the program coordinator and data position. Richardson stated job descriptions will be developed, and the positions will be advertised.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to approve the reading initiative proposal with changes. Georgia Morgan Blair seconded the motion. All were in favor.
- Richardson will check with Johnathan Austin with moving forward. Richardson thanked Lee, staff and board members involved in the process.
Deputy Director Evaluation
- Richardson will meet with Judge Vowell, Personnel Committee Chair and Sandi Lee about the evaluation. Afterwards, it will be shared with the board.
- Dora Sims made a correction to the Innovative Award winners list. Powderly will receive two awards instead of one. The Advocacy Committee recommends to award $100 in total to Springville Road and $100 to Powderly. Richardson asked the Innovative Award amounts are being tracked to avoid going over the allocated amount. Sims confirmed it is being tracked and has not exceeded the limit.
- Sims moved to approve the recommendation, and Eunice Johnson Rogers seconded the motion, All were in favor, and it was approved.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo asked if Kalisha Whitman received an honorarium for the video. Tiffanie Jeter has an itemized invoice from Whitman, and it will be put on next meeting’s agenda. Richardson commended Whitman on a job well done.
- Richardson stated there are some unexpended funds in the capital budget from a prior allocation for Wylam. The library was addressing that with money moved from that line item by the city. It left $724,000 which is not enough to complete Wylam as proposed. When the budget request was submitted, additional funds were requested to restore it to the anticipated $900,000, and it was not received. The board needs to decide what will happen with the money and the $25,000 from the Daniel Foundation for furniture. Georgia Morgan Blair suggested a total renovation instead of an entirely new building. Richardson recommended the Long-Range Planning Committee work on the issue.
- Richardson officially announced Patty A. Pilkerton resigned from the board. James A. Sullivan was appointed to Long-Range Planning Committee chair by Richardson. Lee will request if Oglesby could determine if the Wylam building is able to undergo a renovation.
Sims voiced a concern over the exterior of the Five Points West library, stating it needs to be cleaned and pressure washed. Sims asked if maintenance needs to ensure the exterior is kept clean or if the branch manager need to put in that request. Recently, a meeting was held in regards to the CrossPlex with developers, and an attendee expressed to Sims the poor state of the exterior. Lee stated there are contracts with the city to get carpets cleaned and windows washed twice a year. The library’s maintenance crew is not designed to work with exterior cleaning such as pressure washing. Public Works will need to be determined in the building’s façade can withhold pressure washing. The library can request a quote for pressure washing after the determination. Sims asked about the repair of the entryway of Five Points West. Lee replied the city has explored and tried to get a replacement for the walkway. The people who originally installed the walkway are not able to replace it. The hole under the walkway needs to be filled. Another opportunity is being explored. Richardson explained requests need to be made to Public Works since it is a city-owned building. Welch suggested asking building services to sweep the entrances of the libraries each day.
- Blair is concerned that the anticipated amount in grants listed in the Strategic Plan will not be met. Richardson noted the concern, and the figures will be reviewed. The purpose of the plan is to monitor progress, so it is not a major concern. Blair requested a figure be inserted for Foundation 2016. Richardson stated it will be reviewed and reported back to the board.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo asked for an update on the passport services. Lee replied that approximately 35 staff members are working through hours of training to get certified.
- Sullivan asked about a patron’s letter voicing concerns. Richardson explored the items in the letter and will report on the outcomes.
- There was no new business.
- The Annual Report 2015 is ready for board review, and the link will be sent via email. It can be accessed digitally.
On November 10, there will be an author visit for Shadow Tiger: Billy McDonald, Wingman to Chennault by William C. McDonald III and Barbara L. Evenson. This will feature Judge Vowell’s brother-in-law.
- The copier for Ensley will be delivered the day after the board meeting.
- At last week’s city council’s meeting, the vacancies for all the boards and agencies were presented. The vacancies for December which includes the library’s board may be listed on the first Tuesday of November (Election Day).
- Some board members have scheduling conflicts for Election Day. Blair voiced concerns about not receiving the board packet in adequate time according to the by-laws. Richardson stated staff could possibly achieve this by moving board packet delivery by one day but less information may be included. Welch mentioned the packet is delivered electronically before the physical packet is delivered. Richardson stated Lee will work to get the packet distributed one day earlier with the expectation that more components will come between the day the packet is sent and the meeting. The schedule for 2017 board meetings will be determined in December, and the board meeting date will be reviewed at that time.
Board Member's Comments
- Richardson announced Gwendolyn Amamoo officially retired from the Birmingham City School system.
- Sullivan will be doing more work with the Central City Neighborhood Association and will promote the library during those meetings. Richardson thanks Sullivan for his work with the Eat Drink Read Write (EDRW) event at the Wine Loft with the Young Professionals (YPs). Sullivan invited the board to the superhero party hosted by YPs at the end of October. Tiffanie Jeter said the event at the Wine Loft went particularly well since new names and email addresses were collected for upcoming library events.
Judge Vowell complimented Mary McCann on tending to things and getting information out in a timely manner. Richardson also thanked her for her part in the Strategic Plan process.
- Willie S. Davis III thanked Sandi Lee for coordinating two staff members to come to the Dannon Project’s civic wellness fair. Library staff members tested mobile technology to create patron library accounts onsite. No issues were reported. Tablets and laptops can now be used to sign people up for library cards.
Dora Sims commented she is running for neighborhood president. In early November, the city will have a groundbreaking ceremony for the CrossPlex development.
- Georgia Morgan Blair thanked Sandi Lee for including the partial report for EDRW.
Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch informed the board Roderick Royal is having author talks at various branches of BPL. Royal will speak about his mentor, A. G. Gaston. Welch is a volunteer at Avondale’s HalloRead, October 27.
- Sandi Lee invited board members to attend BPL Staff Day is October 20 at the Southern Museum of Flight.
- Karyn Davis-West requested a board member to present a certificate of appreciation for Janice Granger’s retirement celebration on October 28. Richardson stated she will make sure a board member is present.
- Richardson gave an update on Edith Major. She is doing well, and flowers have been sent to her home. Richardson attended EDRW events and congratulated staff and all involved. Richardson thanked board members who purchased tickets for the event with Chef Bryant Terry.
Next Board Meeting is Monday, November 7, 2016
Mary McCann, Senior Secretary