- Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
- Call To Order
- Public Voices
- Approval of Agenda
- Approval of Consent Agenda
- Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- Kayla Lawrence, City Attorney
- Operational Items Requiring Board Approval
- Committee Reports
- Unfinished Business
- New Business
- Director's Report
- Board Member's Comments
- Next Board Meeting is Tuesday, July 11, 2017
- Submitted By
Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
June 13, 2017
Central Library Boardroom
Meeting Called By
Georgia Morgan Blair, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Georgia Morgan Blair, President; James A. Sullivan, Vice-President; The Honorable Scott Vowell, Parliamentarian; Gwendolyn R. Amamoo; Willie S. Davis, III; Kimberly Richardson; Eunice Johnson Rogers; Dora U. Sims; Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch
Call To Order
- Georgia Morgan Blair called the meeting to order.
- Dora Sims provided the invocation.
- There were no public voices.
- Dora Sims, Advocacy Committee chair presented Innovative Cool Awards and I Am BPL Awards. Ellen Griffin Shade was awarded two Innovative Cool Awards for Club Create, a monthly craft program at Avondale library. The $100 will be used towards the purchase of craft supplies. Karnecia Williams was awarded two Innovative Cool Awards for the Inglenook program “An Expression of Appreciation for the Women of the Inglenook Community,” a bi-monthly program honoring women who make a positive difference in the community.
- Cynthia Barnett, Catalog received an I Am BPL Award for her idea of creating a clearinghouse repository for discarded library material. Branches will view the list of materials and request them before it is sent to Better World Books or the Friends bookstore. This idea is a cost saving measure and enhances patron experience. Cheryl Burgess received an I Am BPL Award for her idea of installing directories in the elevators about the buttons so patrons know what floor various departments are on. Mary Little, Administration was nominated for consistently saving the library system money by printing meeting materials double-sided. Ellen Griffin Shade received an I Am BPL award for her idea of instituting a drop-in coloring station for adults at other branches. This idea expands and improves the value of BPL services.
Approval of Agenda
- Judge Scott Vowell moved to approve the agenda. Dora Sims seconded the motion, and it was approved.
Approval of Consent Agenda
- Judge Vowell moved to approve the agenda with the amended corrections on the personnel actions. Dora Sims seconded the motion, and it was approved.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- Terry Oglesby gave an update to the work being performed on library buildings by Trane for cost saving measures. Plumbing work will soon be completed at Ensley, East Lake, Smithfield, Titusville, and Woodlawn. Plumbing repairs include replacing fixtures, replacing flush valves, and aerators on sinks. Interior lighting work has begun at Avondale, East Lake, Five Points West, North Birmingham, Smithfield, Springville Road, and West End. Roofing work at North Avondale, Springville Road, Woodlawn is underway, and Southside will start soon. Central, East Ensley, and Springville Road will receive HVAC work. Heating and ventilating systems controls have been replaced Avondale, East Lake, North Avondale, Smithfield, and Springville Road.
- In regards to the escalator/stair replacement, Oglesby reported that Sherri Nielson of the mayor’s office is working on appointing Studio 2H for the design.
- Ogelsby said city council passed funds to purchase new wiring for the library. Oglesby will work on a fee proposal for engineering work that needs to be done to replace wiring. James Sullivan asked who to speak with about the progress of the escalator/stair redesign. Oglesby stated part of the delay in finalizing the appointment of Studio H2 is determining the amount that will be budgeted for the stairs. Initially, PEP estimated $400,000 which can change based on the design. The mayor’s office is working on finding a reasonable budget.
- Lee informed Ogelsby that the HVAC installers at Wylam found a leak in the mechanical room which could possible void the warranty. Public Works has been notified.
- Sandra Lee confirmed that city council approved to move capital funds from several areas including Pratt City for Legion Field. Lee made Andre Bittas aware about the two issues at Pratt City, the foundation and gas line.
Kayla Lawrence, City Attorney
- Attorney Kayla Lawrence did not have anything to report. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch asked Lawrence to check the liability of animals in the library in light of the recent news story of a service animal attack.
Operational Items Requiring Board Approval
- Sandra Lee reported the city has indicated the library will be in a hiring freeze starting July 1, 2017. Currently, sixteen positions are open that have not been advertised. Eight branches are affected, and four libraries will have insufficient staff on weekends if the positions are not filled before the potential hiring freeze. The library will attempt to ask the city to allow filling of these positions, and if there is no response, Lee would like to consider a staffing plan. Georgia Morgan Blair added the executive director position is exempt from the freeze. Kimberly Richardson asked if there is a process so that the library can make the case for critical positions such as branch heads. Lee answered there is not a laid out process, but the library is planning on asking about critical positions. Lee said all of those currently advertised jobs are drawing to a close. Edith Major has been working diligently to process as much as possible before the June 24 cut-off date.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch asked if it the senior security position can be advertised this week to try and fill it before the cut-off date. Edith Major said it can be posted as soon as the next day. Judge Scott Vowell moved to approve the posting of the senior security position, and Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion. The motion carried.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to approve the financial report. Eunice Johnson Rogers seconded the motion, and it was approved.
Chair Dora Sims asked the board if there were any questions about the corporate or neighborhood association “meet & greet.” Tiffanie Jeter confirmed the invititations will be sent via Evite in addition to phone calls. Sims encouraged everyone to eat at Slice pizza restaurant on June 27 for a library fundraiser. Ten percent of sales (excluding alcohol) will be donated to the library when a ticket is presented.
- Sims made a motion to accept the Innovative Awards, $100 for Avondale and $100 for Inglenook as well as the I Am BPL Award winners Cynthia Barnett ($25), Cheryl Burgess ($25), Mary Little ($25), and Ellen Griffin Shade ($25). Kimberly Richardson seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Sims reminded the board that some of the grants the library applies for ask if the board contributes 100%. Sims encourages board members to contribute in order to avoid missing out of potential grant money.
- Chair Kimberly Richardson moved to approve the distribution of funds from the Weathers fund and BPL Health Workers fund. Eunice Johnson Rogers seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Chair Judge Scott Vowell reported the committee made revisions to job descriptions including system wide teen librarian, senior security officer, and chief security officer. Judge Vowell moved to approve the three job descriptions as amended. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Administration provided the board with a detailed organizational chart. Kimberly Richardson requested to include names and titles of key management positions and indicate vacancies. Gwendolyn Amamoo previously requested a diversity report on recent hires, and Lee sent it to her. Lee will share the report with the full board.
Executive Search Committee
- Georgia Morgan Blair reported the committee rewrote part of the job description. The position purpose was amended to include the director works under the administrative direction of the Birmingham Public Library Board. An amendment was included in the degree requirements including advanced degree in public administration, library science or related field. The job will be posted from June 14, 2017 – August 18, 2017.
- A survey will be sent to the staff to give board feedback on qualities and needs from the prospective director. Public Relations will create a press release. Board members discussed including language about only serious candidates need to apply. Richardson asked to consider pulling information from the previous staff survey before sending another one.
- Richardson made a recommendation to announce open and close dates while updating the public on the progress. The board discussed sharing a timeline and amending it as needed.
- Judge Scott Vowell moved to approve the search committee minutes. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion. The motion was approved.
- Georgia Morgan Blair reported on the reading initiative program. Blair met with Superintendent Herring, Birmingham City Schools who is willing to work with the library. Blair also presented the board with a revised version of the proposal with changes from the committee. The library will be requesting the full $1 million. Welch stated she would vote to request the full $1 million as opposed to $250,000 as was previously discussed.
- Richardson reminded the board that city council already approved the proposal, and the next step is the mayor’s signature. Kimberly Richardson moved to request a letter from Birmingham City Schools superintendent documenting their commitment to partner with Birmingham Public Library on the reading initiative and submit that as documentation of their willingness to partner with BPL with the original proposal. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion. The motion passed.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch discussed the Development Report. Welch commented the report repeated the same gifts and donations in multiple areas on the report. Welch asked Administration to be cautious on how groups of donors are individually recognized specifically with plaques. Welch asked Lee for a fundraising plan for 2017-2018, showing the major donors and sponsors. Lee stated it is currently being worked on.
- Welch commented the Raise the Dough fundraiser at Slice Pizza restaurant later in June is a good idea.
- Georgia Morgan Blair received a letter from a professor who requested to present his new book and have a book signing at BPL. Lee stated the current policy is to review the proposal by the programming committee. Richardson made a motion to have Administration handle the author’s request. Judge Scott Vowell seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Lee asked Jarvis Patton about a line item in the proposed budget. Lee reported she asked Patton about it in a meeting who was not aware of the specific use for it. Patton confirmed funds can be moved if it does not need prior approval from city council.
- Sandra Lee reported the meeting room revenues have dropped $13,000 this year. Lee asked what rate the board would like to advertise the meeting room. Richardson recalled approving the rates but postponing the implementation of the new rates. Lee received confirmation from the board to begin advertising the new rates in July pending legal department review. Lee also informed the board a church is interesting in renting the Central auditorium before Sunday business hours and asked the board if it would be possible. Richardson asked legal to look into liability issues with after-hours events which is on the new meeting room applications. Kayla Lawrence will review this issue. The event person job description is being reviewed by legal. At this time, security can accommodate opening and closing the doors while the event position is under review.
- Sandra Lee reported on the Central library’s summer reading kickoff party. Four hundred fifty patrons registered, and two hundred seven patrons attended. Twenty-four patrons registered for summer reading at the event. Over 40 staff members participated. Twenty-five dollars of fines were waived, and thirty-six dollars was collected. Since online registration opened through Beanstack on May 15th, there are 1,171 children, 178 teens, 361 adults, and 81 staff members participating in summer reading to date.
Board Member's Comments
- Judge Scott Vowell spoke about an article in the Montgomery Advertiser. The Montgomery Central library is undergoing a renovation with innovative ideas such as spaces for children with special needs. Judge Vowell will share the article with Sandra Lee.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch attended the Charter Spectrum press conference. Lee said Charter requested BPL’s tax information before they donate the $1500 announced at the press conference.
- Welch reminded the board members that city council will have a budget hearing on the mayor’s proposed budget at 4:30p.m. on June 14.
- James Sullivan attended the summer reading kickoff party. Sullivan thanked the staff for doing a great job.
- Dora Sims reported that she and Sullivan attended Neighborhoods USA and encouraged people to come to Birmingham. Sims hopes some improvements will be made to the library before they arrive in May 2018.
- Kimberly Richardson saw a video from the summer reading kickoff party and commented that it looked well attended. She commended the staff for the work that went into the event. Richardson recognized the Development staff for the $95,000 grant award from the Community Foundation for the teens engineering program for the next two years. Richardson thanked everyone for all they do especially during this busy time of year.
Next Board Meeting is Tuesday, July 11, 2017
- The meeting was adjourned at 6:10 p.m.
Sandra Vick Lee, Secretary