- Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
- Call To Order
- Public Voices
- Approval of the Agenda
- Approval of Consent Agenda
- Terry Oglesby
- Kayla Lawrence
- Operational Items Requiring Board Approval
- Reports of the Committees
- Unfinished Business
- New Business
- Director's Report for August 2017
- Board Members' Comments
- Next Board Meeting is Tuesday, October 10, 2017.
- Submitted By
Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
September 18, 2017
Central Library Boardroom
Meeting Called By
Georgia Morgan Blair, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Gwendolyn Amamoo, Georgia Morgan Blair, Willie Davis III, Eunice Johnson Rogers, Dora U. Sims, James A. Sullivan, Judge Scott Vowell, Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch
Call To Order
- President Georgia Morgan Blair called the meeting to order.
- Dora Sims provided the invocation.
- There were no public voices.
The board presented Melvia Walton and Tiffanie Jeter with “Star of the Month” certificates for their work with the meet & greet events.
Approval of the Agenda
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to approve the agenda. Eunice Johnson Rogers seconded the motion.
Approval of Consent Agenda
- Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to approve the consent agenda. Eunice Johnson Rogers seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Interim Director Sandra Vick Lee introduced the new chief of security Kevin Bernal to the board.
- Terry Oglesby was not in attendance for this meeting.
- Attorney Kayla Lawrence certified there were matters to discuss in executive session including pending litigation pursuant to Alabama state code. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to enter executive session. Dora Sims seconded the motion, and it was approved.
Operational Items Requiring Board Approval
- Damein Baity provided an update stating the 2018 FY budget has not yet been approved by the city. Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch moved to approve the financial report. Dora Sims seconded the motion, and it was approved.
Reports of the Committees
Executive Search Committee
- Jamilah Woods gave a summary of the Executive Search Committee meeting minutes to the board and reported that over one hundred applications were received for the director position. Eighteen applicants were selected for review based on qualifications and experience. The search committee reviewed these applicants and chose five candidates to move on to the phone interviews which will be conducted on October 5, 2017. At a date to be determined during the week of October 16, 2017, the board will interview the three finalists in person. The committee will determine details of in-person interview itinerary. Judge Scott Vowell moved to accept the Executive Search Committee minutes as read. Gwendolyn Amamoo seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Welch added the committee discussed using a three tiered scoring method based on an oral presentation from the candidate, interview by the board, and their application. Edith Major will provide a scoring rubric. The committee will discuss spreading out the in-person interviews and presentation over two days.
Long-Range Planning Committee
- James Sullivan invited Creig Hoskins, architect at Studio 2H Design, to present his rendering of the Central library staircase. The proposed staircase would be ten feet wide and feature an independent platform area sized 14 by 20 feet for programming or music bands. The open design would allow security and staff at the front desks to have better visibility down the hallway. The walls of the staircase would be glass with stainless steel handrails. A wood finish will be added on the sides to reflect the wood on the walls of the first floor. Hoskins is considering terrazzo flooring and electrical outlets on the landings. Hoskins met with end users and incorporated their feedback into to design. If the design goes to construction, the stairway would be sealed off to minimize dust and some noise.
- Sherri Nielson, Mayor’s Office introduced herself and is responsible for capital projects. She stated the landings between each floor are around 100 square feet allowing furniture to be added such as sitting areas and study tables with lamps. The stairs are functional, programmable, and can be used as needed. The budget for the staircase is $750,000. There are two estimates for the replacement of the escalators: $1.9 million and $2.1 million. Welch asked how long the estimated installation time would take. Hoskins will need approval from the board and city to proceed. Nielson said that once the drawings are complete, they will be reviewed by the city’s code division. Then it will be put out for bid which could take four weeks. In another four weeks, a contract will need to be drawn up. Construction could start in three months and could take between two to six months to complete. The contract could specify how long the construction should take.
- Nielson said the money for construction is not allocated yet and funding will need to be secured. Funds for the design have been secured. Nielson mentioned the interest in the replacing the hydraulic elevators with traction elevators. The hydraulic pump has gotten overheated since the elevators have been used more than they were intended due to the escalators being out of order. The estimate for the elevator replacement is $500,000. For $1.25 million, both the stairs can be installed and the elevators replaced. Sullivan recommended requesting the stair replacement and elevator replacement at the same time. Nielson suggested making them two separate requests since they will have to be bid separately.
- James Sullivan made a motion to move forward with the staircase as presented by Creig Hoskins. Judge Scott Vowell seconded the motion. The board voted as follows:
- Gwendolyn Amamoo – Opposed
- Georgia Morgan Blair – Opposed
- Eunice Johnson Rogers – In favor
- Dora Sims – In favor
- James Sullivan – In favor
- Judge Scott Vowell – In favor
- Gwendolyn Guster Welch – In favor
- With a majority vote, the motion carried.
- James Sullivan made a motion to move forward with the replacement of the elevators. Judge Scott Vowell seconded the motion, and it was approved unanimously. Nielson will need a letter from the board stating the board reviewed the design from Creig Hoskins and approved of the concept.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo recalled a vote to replace the escalators in a previous board meeting. Amamoo said the board voted on the escalators and afterwards decided to see the presentation on the stairs. Judge Vowell replied the city did not agree to pay for the escalators. The cost of the stairs would be compared to the cost of the escalators. Nielson informed the board that the replacement of the escalators with elevators would cost over $2 million. Amamoo asked if the previous vote would need to be rescinded. Sullivan said his understanding was that the board would vote based on the information presented at this meeting.
- Sullivan presented two proposals from Mr. Amaro, East Lake entrepreneur. Mr. Amaro offered two choices regarding his three lots across the street from the East Lake Library: sell the lots or lease the property. To purchase the property outright, the cost would be $140,000 according to Mr. Amaro’s appraiser. The library would be responsible for all further development. The second plan would be to lease the properties at $750 per month. Mr. Amaro said the prices were negotiable. Attorney Lawrence said this proposal must go through the transaction division at the city’s law department, and they will send their own appraisers. Sullivan recommended checking with the city to see if it is feasible. Dora Sims made a motion to table this item until the board receives more information from the city. Gwendolyn Amamoo seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- The board discussed utilizing Expert Vending Services. Currently, the Staff Association has contracts with Canteen Vending. The Staff Association by-laws states the association president must make reports to the board at their request. The association prepared a report for the board meeting, but the meeting was rescheduled due to inclement weather. Welch asked how the Expert Vending snack and drink prices compared to Canteen, and Sullivan replied that Craig Lane of Expert said it would be lower than the current prices. Welch asked who profits from the current vending machines, and Lee replied the Staff Association is an organization that serves the staff who chooses to become members. Staff Association also supports Staff Day by purchasing coffee and beverages and gift cards for giveaways. Welch suggested having the legal department look into the matter. Sims suggested polling library locations to see if they would like to have vending machines. Some locations may be too small and need to be assessed. Rogers suggested the library use one vending company for all libraries. James Sullivan moved to table the discussion on Expert Vending Services until more information is gathered from other libraries. Eunice Johnson Rogers seconded the motion, and it was carried.
- Lee presented the board with proposed changes in the timeline of the strategic plan in the Financial Expertise page under “Increase the analysis of operations.” The MAS 90 financial reporting system has not been updated for 10 years, and the newest update for 2018 will be available in October. Recently hired Finance Coordinator Damein Baity has been working towards generating better reports. Dora Sims moved to the grant a one year extension for this item. Gwendolyn Amamoo seconded the motion, and it was accepted.
- Sims asked for an update on the carpet replacement at the Five Points West Library entryway. Lee reported that building services staff looked at new product and are still working on it.
- There was no new business.
Director's Report for August 2017
- Lee reported the reroofing project at Central Library’s east building will begin Sunday, September 24, and is projected to last 3-4 weeks. The Linn-Henley roofing project is proposed to begin October 10.
- The Comprise installation has run into some issues. IT will reassess what needs to be done before more installation is completed. Comprise will be installed in all municipal libraries.
- Weekend schedules are being assessed since some locations do not have enough staff to cover. The weekend of September 30th may need to have two locations closed. Coverage is looked at week to week, and closing is a last resort. Blair asked Lee if the library has considered keeping the regionals and Central open on the weekends and keeping the other libraries closed. Lee responded that libraries have booked meetings on the weekends that patrons pay for that are taken into account.
Board Members' Comments
- Welch commended Karnecia Williams on the Inglenook Library’s women’s empowerment program. Williams was a recipient of the Innovative Cool Awards. Welch asked Baity to look into utilizing existing funds for programs.
Welch thanked Heather McWilliams for working with her church to get a library card for their book club.
- Welch asked Lee to be proactive about staff placement during the construction of the stairs so that there is a plan in place before work begins.
- Eunice Johnson Rogers added that Karnecia Williams’ program really empowers women and is an exciting program. Welch said these are the types of programs that will make the community love the library.
- Dora Sims announced the city is looking to create a Five Points West bus terminal that will serve 17 locations. The Five Points West terminal will be located in front of the Five Points West library. Sims shared this information to encourage board members to attend the meetings regarding the project.
- Georgia Morgan Blair visited the West End library for a back-to-school event which had snacks for adults and children. Blair also check on the staff at Smithfield since their air has been out of order.
Next Board Meeting is Tuesday, October 10, 2017.
Sandra Vick Lee, Secretary