- Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
- Call To Order
- Approval of Agenda
- Approval of Consent Agenda
- Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- Kayla Lawrence, City Attorney
- Operational Items Requiring Board Approval
- Reports of Committees
- Unfinished Business
- New Business
- Director's Report for November 2016
- Board Member's Comments
- Next Board Meeting is Tuesday, January 10, 2017.
- Submitted By
Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
December 13, 2016
Central Library Boardroom
Meeting Called By
Kimberly Richardson, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Kimberly Richardson, President; Georgia Morgan Blair, Vice-President; Willie S. Davis, III; 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.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch gave the invocation.
Dora U. Sims, Chair of the Advocacy Committee, and Willie S. Davis, Advocacy Committee member, presented Innovative Awards to three recipients. Shea Robinson, Central Fiction will use the award for a trivia night program. Heather McWilliams, Smithfield will use the award for a holiday party for the Smithfield book club. The award winners thanked the board. Ellen Griffin Shade, Avondale was not able to attend the meeting. Her award will be used towards Books and Beads, a jewelry making program.
- The Advocacy Committee also presented certificates to the I Am BPL Award recipients. Nancy Cleckler suggested having best sellers available at libraries for walk-in patrons. Augustus Jones suggested installing hand dryers in the restroom to cut the cost of paper towels. Maya Jones suggested a discount for fax services for city employees. Ellen Griffin Shade suggested charging stations for patrons. Kimberly Richardson thanked all of the award winners.
Approval of Agenda
- Georgia Morgan Blair moved to approve the agenda. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion, and it was approved.
Approval of Consent Agenda
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch asked Sandra Vick Lee to ensure that staff evaluations are performed before the effective merit date. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to approve the consent agenda. Georgia Morgan Blair seconded the motion.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- Terry Oglesby reported there is a request to appoint two architects to form design work for monumental stairs in the place of the escalators at the Central library. The architectural services agreement is currently being drafted for their signature then will need to go to the mayor for appointment. If all goes according to the plan, the work could start as early as March 2017.
- The HVAC design is complete in Central and Linn Henley. The replacement of mechanical equipment will start in January or February. Plug load management devices have been installed at Central and fifteen branch locations in an effort to conserve electricity. Roofing design work should be finished by the end of the year. Re-roofing will begin the beginning of next year for several locations. Water saving upgrades at Avondale and West End have been installed.
- Oglesby clarified the architects will discuss the design of the staircase with the board once the agreement is finalized.
- Willie S. Davis III asked for an update on the leaks at Woodlawn. Oglesby stated leaks are called in to manufacturers as soon as Billy Conner from Maintenance submits a report. It takes time before the repair is made. Richardson stated there is a table with a bucket with no surrounding barricade at Woodlawn. Richardson is concerned about the appearance and potential hazard of the bucket and wonders if a barricade needs to be put in place. Oglesby replied Public Works can replace the ceiling tiles and remove the bucket if there are no leaks.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch asked about the back door of Wylam not being ADA compliant. Oglesby replied that since the front door is compliant, it is acceptable. Oglesby stated if the board wants a renovation, part of the work can include changing the back door.
Kayla Lawrence, City Attorney
- Assistant City Attorney Kayla Lawrence recommended the board go into Executive Session pursuant Alabama State Code 36-25-A22 to discuss pending and threatening litigation.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to reconvene the board meeting. Georgia Morgan Blair seconded the motion, and it was approved.
Operational Items Requiring Board Approval
Sandra Vick Lee checked with Barbara McGrue, City of Birmingham Finance Department to have a line item name changed regarding Birmingham City Schools as requested at the last board meeting. It is not possible to change the name.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to approve the finance reports. Willie S. Davis III seconded the motion, and it was approved.
Reports of Committees
- The Personnel Committee chair Judge Vowell presented the board with his recommendations for job descriptions of the contract positions for the proposed reading initiative, Program Coordinator and Data Coordinator job descriptions. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch noted the proper process should have been followed, and the job descriptions could have been sent to committee members for information only. Sandra Vick Lee explained the Data Coordinator description was taken from a comparable job description from the Jefferson County Personnel Board job bank. Welch recommended the Data Coordinator report to the board in addition to Tobin Cataldo.
- The Program Coordinator job description was written after searching the internet for jobs relating to outreach and community engagement. The Personnel Board did not have a comparable description. Richardson said the job description lays out the expectations of the role of GPS and another job description will need to be created.
- Lee proposed a job description for the Event Staff Person for a social event during or after library hours. This person is already employed as BPL staff and would work the event independent of regular scheduled hours. They would be paid directly by the person hosting the event. Welch reminded the board the job description will be sent to the city’s legal department before put in place.
- Georgia Morgan Blair moved to approve the Data Coordinator and Outreach Community Engagement Facilitator jobs descriptions pending approval by legal and the two contract positions pending approval by the reading initiative by city council. Judge Scot Vowell seconded the motion, and all were in favor.
- Judge Scott Vowell moved to approve the Events Staff contract position job description pending approval from legal. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion, and it was approved.
Long Range Planning Committee
- Chair James A. Sullivan presented the board with the Wylam improvement proposal for the Daniel Foundation grant. The improvements included updating some existing furniture, purchasing new furniture, replacement of the back door window, repainting the interior, and reworking the floor.
- James A. Sullivan moved to accept the Wylam budget proposal for use of the Daniel Foundation grant including the flooring option at the cost of $3345.
- Chair Dora Sims moved to accept the Innovative Award winners: $50 to Avondale, $50 to Central, and $100 to Smithfield. Willie S. Davis III seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Sims listed the recipients of the I Am BPL award: $25 to Ellen Griffin Shade for the idea of adding charging stations; $25 to Maya Jones for the idea of offering discount fax machine use for city employees; $25 to Augustus Jones for the idea of installing hand dryers in restrooms; and $25 to Nancy Cleckler for making best-sellers available to walk-in patrons. The awards were approved, and the committee asked Sandi Lee for additional information about fax machines cost, paper towel costs, and looking into a grant for charging station. Sims moved to pay the I Am BPL award winners. Judge Scott Vowell seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Sims moved to renew the board’s Freedom to Read Foundation membership. Georgia Morgan Blair seconded the motion. Richardson requested this action be automatically paid every year without board action.
Executive Search Committee
Kimberly Richardson made the decision to postpone the executive search phone interviews due to questions about process and transparency. Richardson opened the discussion to the board for any questions, concerns, or comments. Dora Sims expressed her concern that executive search committee meetings were closed to the rest of the board members due to the wording of an email sent by Mary McCann, Senior Secretary. Richardson clarified the notices state “Open Meeting” at the top, and there may have been a misunderstanding. Richardson asked the board if there are any questions about process, to be brought up in a timely manner. Sims asked if it was stated at the last board meeting that only the committee members would ask the same questions from the last director search. Richardson replied that it was discussed the search committee would handle the first round of interviews and then the full board would be involved during the in person interviews. Welch supported this statement since she initially started the discussion. Richardson stated there were discrepancies between the committee selection and individual board resume review. Richardson asked if anyone would like to be involved in the process by joining the committee. Sims stated she would like to be involved, and Willie S. Davis III took himself off the committee. New phone interview dates will be determined by committee members.
- Georgia Morgan Blair received a phone call from Councilor Sheila Tyson who saw the advertisement for increasing meeting room fees on the BPL website. Councilor Tyson asked to wait to advertise the new meeting room prices until the Reading Initiative passes. Blair notified Sandi Lee, and the new prices were taken down from the site. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to postpone the meeting room rate increase until further notice. Dora Sims seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- The Foundation audit letter will be sent to the board.
- The black library car which was leased to the former director has been moved off the library lot to Sandra Lee’s residence to avoid damage and ensure the battery stays alive. Lee asked if it was possible to allow another staff member to use the vehicle. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch recommended Lee to keep possession of it until a new director is in place. Georgia Morgan Blair seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Sandra Lee reported ALA will no longer send hard copy renewal notices in the mail. They will be sent via email and asked board members to forward the emails to Administration.
- The new board meeting schedule will be discussed at the January board meeting.
- The LA I position at Woodlawn will be re-advertised. Two resignations have occurred since Lee sent the list of vacancies to the city. Two retirements are coming up along with a vacant LA I position which are included in the eleven vacancies sent to the city for approval. These vacancies may cause scheduling issues until the positions are filled. Some community libraries may need to be closed. Kimberly Richardson said our efforts to advertise for positions need to increase since responses to advertisements are low. Edith Major replied Cheryl Williams at the Alabama Career Center expressed the same concerns since people do not visit as much as they used to. Major has started to compile a list of websites to advertise vacancies. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch stated posting the full range of salary would help draw people to positions. James A. Sullivan requested a list of positions be sent to the board to help spread the word.
- In anticipation of staff inquiries, Sandra Vick Lee asked the board if there is a possibility of closing the library early on Saturday, December 31. Georgia Morgan Blair moved to close the libraries Saturday, December 31. Dora Sims seconded the motion, and it was approved.
Director's Report for November 2016
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch inquired about the publicity for Ringling Brothers Out of This World holiday reading program. Lee replied the publicity from Ringling Brothers arrived last week, and all branches now have PR materials. Welch asked the advertisements be shared with the schools. Lee added information has been sent to private and parochial schools.
- Welch asked what the plan is for the city not covering computer budget. Lee stated there is no plan at this point, and the conversation is leaning towards asking the city to support computers in the budget. The option to reduce costs is to reduce computers. Richardson stated the reading initiative may provide saving costs that would allow available funds to be re-allocated towards computers. A plan will need to be developed to request funds from the city.
- Richardson thanked the board members who attended the Committee of the Whole meeting at the city in support of the proposed reading initiative which was approved. The next step is to wait for Cheryl Kidd, Council Administrator to provide information on the process whether a contract is generated or a Memorandum of Understanding.
Board Member's Comments
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch requested of Judge Vowell to conduct a Personnel Committee meeting to respond to employee letters. Judge Vowell scheduled a meeting for the following Wednesday, December 21.
- James A. Sullivan commended Sandra Lee and Welch for a job well done at the Committee of the Whole meeting for the reading initiative proposal.
- Judge Vowell expressed his congratulations to the library for an excellent article on the library featured in The Atlantic.
- Georgia Morgan Blair recommended sending a formal acknowledgement to Councilor Scales for the $25,000 donation to the Springville Road library. Acknowledgements also need to be sent to the team at Best Bites. Blair nominated the Best Bites team and Councilor Scales for next year’s Champions of the Library. Blair attended Christmas parties at District 7 and District 1. Blair also attended the Black Nativity by Aldridge Repertory which Edith Major’s daughter directed Blair said it was rewarding to see the involvement with the community. Blair attended the library champion luncheon which was very nice.
- Welch requested board members speak to their councilors for supporting their library and Central collectively.
- Richardson thanked the board members for their strong stances and contributions. Richardson thanked the staff for all that is done on a daily basis especially through a trying year, but progress has been made. Richardson thanked all for supporting in her role as board president.
- A nominating committee was established for the new year. Welch will serve as chair and committee members are Willie Davis III and Judge Scott Vowell. Notification will need to be sent to the chair for nominations of president and vice president. Parliamentarian is appointed by the president. Judge Vowell asked for an update on a replacement of Pilkerton’s place on the board. Richardson said it has been requested to Councilor Abbott. Blair and Sims first full terms will be up. Sullivan will also be ending his term as a replacement.
Dora Sims reported the city council voted to accept the development at the CrossPlex and will be a plus for the libraries in that area.
- Richardson asked board members who wish to be reappointed, to go ahead and submit a letter to Councilor Abbott and Dr. Lee now indicating intentions and to be considered among other candidates.
Next Board Meeting is Tuesday, January 10, 2017.
Sandra Vick Lee, Secretary