- 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
- Reports of Committees
- Unfinished Business
- New Business
- Director's Report for August 2017
- Board Member's Comments
- Next Board Meeting is Tuesday, September 12, 2017.
- Submitted By
Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
August 8, 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; Dora U. Sims; Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch
Call To Order
- Georgia Morgan Blair called the meeting to order.
- Dora Sims provided the invocation.
- Vince Amaro, business and property owner in East Lake, owns property adjacent to the East Lake library. Amaro proposed working with the library to develop this land into parking lots for the library and enhance accessibility. Amaro is open to ground leasing the lots on a long term basis and having the library/city take on the cost of demolition or Amaro paying for demolition with the library paying a higher ground lease. Amaro would also entertain the option of the library purchasing the property. Under the advice of Attorney Kayla Lawrence, Georgia Morgan Blair referred the consideration of this proposal to the Long-Range Planning Committee.
Venus Hines of Onyx Event Planning informed the board of the services they provide and offered better utilization of the room rentals within the libraries. In the past, Onyx has partnered with the Purpose Center for events and was invited by board member Willie Davis III. Hines offered free event planning for the upcoming corporate meet & greet on August 24. Blair referred Hines to Tiffanie Jeter and Melvia Walton who are coordinating the event.
- Craig Lane and Laurie Parker of Expert Vending Services asked the board to consider using them as a vending company for the library. They shared samples of snacks and drinks with the board. Expert Vending is a member of the vending associations and certified minority supplier. Twenty percent of the sales would come to the library board, and Lane expressed an interest in donating computers to the library. Blair referred the consideration of Expert Vending use to the Long-Range Planning Committee. The current vending machines are handled by the staff association.
- There were no presentations.
Approval of Agenda
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to approve the agenda. Gwendolyn Amamoo seconded the motion, and it was approved.
Approval of Consent Agenda
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to approve the consent agenda. Judge Scott Vowell seconded the motion, and it was approved.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- Terry Oglesby was not in attendance for the meeting. Janine Langston confirmed a vendor has been contacted for the replacement of the entryway rug at Five Points West library. Karyn Davis West confirmed the Central library roof is still leaking and has been reported.
Kayla Lawrence, City Attorney
- Attorney Kayla Lawrence certified matters needed to be discussed in executive session regarding personnel and possible litigation pursuant to Alabama code. The board went into executive session.
- Dora Sims made a motion to reconvene the meeting. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to withdraw the July 19, 2017, communication placed in said employee’s personnel file. The name of the employee was discussed in executive session. Gwendolyn Amamoo seconded the motion, and it was approved.
Operational Items Requiring Board Approval
- Damein Baity shared a statement from Sherri Nielson on behalf of the mayor. The message is that the mayor knows the design for the stairs is just preliminary and all option are still on the table until all information has been gathered. Nielson’s note stated, “As soon as we move through the design of the stairs and arrive at an estimate, we won’t be able to arrive at a solution.” Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch asked Baity about city council’s designation of $2.1 million in the library’s budget. Welch also asked if the $1 million from the FY 2017 budget is in the FY 2018 budget, does the library need to follow certain guidelines to make sure the $2.1 million will be rolled over. Baity responded the $2.1 million is what the council proposed to give the library in the budget. The council agreed to park the $1 million the library was going to get in 2017, so they requested it be parked in fund 102. Baity researched and found that the project has not yet been set up. The $2.1 million is what the council proposed for the library to have in the budget in FY 2018. Welch asked if there is anything the board needs to do to make sure the $1 million from last year makes it to Fund 102. Baity suggested following up with councilors to ensure it makes it to Fund 102 since it has not yet been done. Welch asked if Baity could follow up. Welch asked Baity to notify the board so that board members can reach out to their connections to city councilors.
Reports of Committees
Personnel Committee Report
- Judge Scott Vowell reported the grievance matter was discussed during executive session.
- The Personnel Committee also worked on job descriptions, Program Coordinator and Statistical Analyst for the Reading Initiative. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to approve the changes to the job descriptions. Gwendolyn Amamoo seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Judge Vowell said Lee and staff are working on updating all the job descriptions which is a long term project requested to be completed by November 2017.
- During the Personnel Committee meeting, Lee reported that managers will be established at each of the regional libraries and the two existing coordinators will each acquire an additional region. The managers were selected based on seniority. The following staff member will be appointed as branch heads at the respective locations: Alice Walker, Five Points West; Leigh Wilson, North Birmingham; Carla Perkins, Avondale; Kelly Laney, Springville Road. The northwest regional coordinator is Janine Langston. The southeast regional coordinator is Yolanda Hardy. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to accept the recommended staff changes effective after the board meeting. Judge Scott Vowell seconded the motion, and it was approved.
Long-Range Planning Committee
- James Sullivan presented the board with estimates of replacing the escalators, replacing the elevators, and the installation of stairs. Sullivan still wants to move forward with the stairs because of long term costs. Sullivan pointed out that new stairs and new elevators combined would cost less that escalators. Sullivan reported David Herring said he had a meeting Jarvis Patton who is waiting for the library to make a decision. Sullivan recommended replacing the escalators with stairs and replacing the elevators in the East building.
- Judge Vowell suggested requesting escalators and elevators in the interest of the public, but if those funds were not available, then the library board will request the stairs. Sullivan was under the impression the decision had already been made to replace the escalator with stairs. Some board members replied the decision was not made.
- Judge Scott Vowell moved to recommend the installation of replacement of escalators and replacement of elevators if the funds are available. Gwendolyn Amamoo seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Judge Scott Vowell moved that in the event the escalators cannot be replaced, the board recommends the installation of the stairs. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch said the board should see the design of the stairs before voting on it. Damein Baity reported that the architect came to the library today to get the end users, the employees, to help him come up with a concept of the stairs. The architect would like to design the staircase like an art piece and will consult and get feedback from the board on August 15, 2017. Gwendolyn Amamoo said since the board made the decision to replace the escalators and elevators, the board does not need to discuss the stairs until the mayor’s office comes back to the board. Dora Sims asked if the stair design could first be looked at before taking action. Blair said the motion was taken and approved, and the architect would need to make a presentation to the board. Blair said no action can be taken on something that the board has not yet seen. Damein Baity confirmed the design will be ready for the board to review by August 15. Judge Vowell asked if the design could be sent out to the board prior to the September board meeting. Georgia Morgan Blair said once the board receives the staircase rendering, the decision can be made then.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch requested the 2016 Annual Report be posted online.
- Welch discussed the incident from last month’s board packet regarding pizza in the library. Sandra Lee’s report for August clarified the pizza was not brought in by the children, and East Lake served pizza as a part of the program in the library. Welch said the board needs to be cautious about changing policies and making sure all details of incidents are gathered before acting. Welch thanked Lee for clearing it up.
Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch asked what the budget is for the Corporate Meet & Greet and if all the funding has been secured. Olivia Alison said they are hoping to receive in-kind donations for alcohol. Meliva Walton replied they are waiting on a pending request and are still in need of $500-$600. Welch thought the Neighborhood Association Meet & Greet was excellent. Welch proposed giving funds from the board fund. Welch said, if needed, the library board will give the Development staff up to $500 for the cost of the Corporate Meet & Greet. Dora Sims moved to allocate up to $500 from the board fund to help with the expenses of the corporate meet & greet, if needed. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Welch asked staff to follow up on the promises from the mayor and city council during the last event.
Director's Report for August 2017
- Edith Major reported there is a recommendation for the chief of security position. Judge Vowell moved to authorize the director to offer the candidate for the position subject to background check. The motion carried.
- Major received the paperwork back regarding the training position upgrade. Staff in the city personnel office are out on vacation this week.
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch discussed the closing of some branches on the weekend due to lack of staff. Welch asked if there a way to consider using part-time staff at Central who could be sent to the branches in order to stay open on the weekends. Major referred this item to Karyn Davis-West.
- Welch requested Public Relations promote the awareness of the added PIN to JCLC accounts.
Welch would like to see about helping Bards & Brews with funding since they were not able to host an event for August.
- Welch discussed that the Eastwood manager brought up concerns to the property managers at Shops of Montevallo which was met with lack of enthusiasm. The roof has been leaking in addition to other problems. Welch requested the legal department look into terminating the lease and finding another site.
- Major informed the board that Sandra Lee let her know staff at Smithfield wanted to remain open on Thursday and Friday afternoon even though they are without air conditioning so the children will have a place to go after school. Welch commented the staff is dedicated and requested portable air conditioners be put in Smithfield.
- Blair complimented Karyn Davis-West for being diligent about informing Blair about incidents in a timely manner while Sandra Lee is away.
Board Member's Comments
Dora Sims complimented Meliva Walton, Tiffanie Jeter, and Olivia Alison for a successful neighborhood association meet & greet.
Georgia Morgan Blair thanked the board members who attended the meet & greet for standing with her and supporting her. Blair thanked the staff for conceiving and executing the unique event. The event was well received in the community.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo appreciates the African American Literature booklet. Amamoo congratulated Loretta Bitten, Powderly, for being awarded NAACP Mother of the Year.
Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch asked Roy Williams to look at promoting activities on television and Facebook Live. Press releases may not be getting enough coverage. Welch said the event such as the meet & greet should have had media invited. Williams confirmed he is sending information to media and utilizing Facebook Live. Welch said all need to be advocates for the library, and good news will need to be pushed.
- Welch asked if the Development team could look into finding a way BPL could receive a perpetual gift such as the Birmingham Best Bites cookbook.
- Georgia Morgan Blair received a letter from Alabama Possible, an organization that assists families financially prepare for college, thanking the library for their participation at 8 library locations. Alabama Possible recognized librarians at Central, East Ensley, East Lake, Five Points West, North Birmingham, Springville Road, Powderly, and Woodlawn branches. Blair thanked the coordinators for having the vision to host programs like this.
Next Board Meeting is Tuesday, September 12, 2017.
- Meeting was rescheduled to Monday, September 18, 2017, due to inclement weather.
Sandra Vick Lee, Secretary