- Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
- Oath of Office
- Call To Order
- Public Voices
- Approval of Agenda
- Approval of Consent Agenda
- Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- Veronica Merritt, City Attorney
- Operational Items Requiring Board Approval
- Committee Reports
- Unfinished Business
- New Business
- Director's Report
- Next Board Meeting is Tuesday, March 13, 2018
- Submitted By
Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes
February 13, 2018
Central Library Boardroom
Meeting Called By
Georgia Morgan Blair, President
Type of Meeting
Regular Board Meeting
Trustees: Gwendolyn Amamoo, Georgia Morgan Blair, Fatima Carter, Willie S. Davis III, Kimberly Richardson, Eunice Johnson Rogers, Dora U. Sims, James A. Sullivan, Judge Scott Vowell, Gwendolyn B. Guster Welch
Oath of Office
- The Honorable Katrina Ross swore in new board member Fatima Carter and re-instated trustees Kimberly Richardson and James Sullivan.
Call To Order
Georgia Morgan Blair called the meeting to order and recited an inspirational reading from Mary McLeod Bethune.
- Terri Wright, Eastwood Neighborhood Association President, at 4736 Vermont Avenue, Birmingham, Alabama 35210, advocated to keep the Eastwood Branch Library at its current location in the Shoppes on Montevallo. The library’s lease will be up for renewal in October 2018. Wright welcomed the new board members and offered assistance to help keep Eastwood library open.
- Patron Wynne Dimock moved to Birmingham approximately one year ago and is a Friends Bookstore volunteer. She commented her amazement at the libraries throughout the Jefferson County Library Cooperative.
- There were no presentations.
Approval of Agenda
- Kimberly Richardson moved to approve the agenda. Judge Scott Vowell seconded the motion, and it was approved.
Approval of Consent Agenda
- Judge Scott Vowell moved to approve the consent agenda. Dora Sims seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Sims made a correction to the spelling of Pratt City in the minutes.
Terry Oglesby, City Architect
- Terry Oglesby messaged Sandra Lee regarding project updates since he was unable to attend the meeting. Sandra Lee reported the city is moving forward with VOIP telephone library for the Central Library. Architect Creig Hoskins will have the stair design completed in the next few weeks. Lee received a request from the city for Trane to install HVAC system at Southside library requiring it to close for approximately three weeks. The gas repair line is projected to be complete by the beginning of next week.
Veronica Merritt, City Attorney
- Pursuant to Alabama State Code 36-25-A7, Attorney Merritt certified there were matters to discuss relating to general reputation and character in executive session. Gwendolyn Guster Welch moved the board enter the executive session. Dora Sims seconded the motion, and it was approved. The board entered executive session.
- Dora Sims moved the board exit executive session. Gwendolyn Guster Welch seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Kimberly Richardson moved to request Administration provide guidance and support to the Staff Association with best practices around restricting the Staff Association. Eunice Johnson Rogers seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Judge Scott Vowell moved that the board authorize Administration to immediately take such steps as they deem proper to move any vending machines or related equipment that may pose a danger to the staff and patrons. James Sullivan seconded the motion, and it was approved.
Operational Items Requiring Board Approval
- Damein Baity reported the city allowed the library to transfer approximately $180,000 to true the library’s budget due to shortfalls going into the budget this year. Baity said the transfer was possible through working with the city and board members advocating for more funds to the library. The use of funds included $20,000 for janitorial supplies, and $72,000 for telecommunication bills and equipment rental for copier leases. Baity also reported he, Floyd Council, and Sandra Lee attended budget training on February 8. Administration was charged with starting the following year off with a zero based budget – starting at zero and building the budget up from according to the library’s needs. The budget is due to the city by Wednesday, February 21. Floyd Council asked the board how they prefer to review the proposal before being sent to the city. Gwendolyn Guster Welch moved the board authorize the Finance Committee to approve the budget proposal and authorize Administration to submit the budget to the city. Judge Scott Vowell seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Baity reported that approximately forty-two percent of the general fund budget has been collected, and fifty percent has been expended as of January 31, 2018. Baity is identifying areas of commitments to get the funds expended as well as reviewing and considering how revenues will be collected.
- Baity said there is $500,000 available for the Reading Initiative. The Technology Committee is currently reviewing ways to utilize the funds. Gwendolyn Guster Welch asked if the funds were limited. The plan is to use the funds for programming. Kimberly Richardson said the initial reading initiative proposal reflected the priorities at the time it was created. Richardson recommending reviewing the partnerships proposed. Welch recommended seeing what plan Council and his team can come up with the since the original proposal was for $1 million. Baity reported the cut off to spend the funds would happen around April, and he will work with city administration to see about getting relief although it is not guaranteed. Approximately sixty-six percent has been collected from projections, and the forty percent has been expended from that fund.
- Floyd Council made the recommendation the board grant approval for BPL to rejoin the Urban Libraries Council. The organization supports libraries and museums nationwide, and BPL would be the only library in the state who is a member. The organization fosters innovation and technology and would provide tools to help BPL accomplish goals set forth the strategic plan. Professional development opportunities are available specifically for directors and deputy directors. Council spoke with Susan Benton, CEO over the phone. The membership cost is $9000. Georgia Morgan Blair asked if a funding source has been identified, and Council confirmed. Judges Scott Vowell moved to approve BPL rejoin the Urban Libraries Council. Gwendolyn Amamoo seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Floyd Council asked the board to approve his attendance and limited staff to upcoming conferences and meetings: University of Alabama Board of Visitors luncheon presentation, Public Library Association conference, American Libraries Association conference, and the State of Alabama director’s training. Due to obligations, Council offered to pay his own way to these conferences if funding has not been identified. Kimberly Richardson approved Floyd Council to attend the professional development events presented. Eunice Johnson Rogers seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Judge Scott Vowell reported the committee reviewed three new positions and their job descriptions: Community Engagement Manager (CEM), Security Manager, and Senior Accountant. These positions were created by shifting existing positions. Kimberly Richardson how to avoid overlap with the duties of the Public Relations department where it says “developing media plans.” Council responded the CEM will supervise the scope of work from Public Relations department and Development department, and these departments will report to the CEM. Judge Scott Vowell moved to approve the three new positions. The motion was seconded by Gwendolyn Amamoo and approved by the board.
- The Personnel Committee also reviewed changing working title changes for some staff members to make their titles to more accurately reflect their responsibilities. Regional coordinators will now be regional managers; the public service coordinator will be Central Library manager; and Senior Secretary will become the Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director. Judge Vowell moved to approve these working title changes. Gwendolyn Amamoo seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- Dora Sims thanked Georgia Morgan Blair for allowing her to chair the Nominating Committee. The committee met on February 8, 2018, and comprised of James Sullivan and Gwendolyn Amamoo. Sims sent a call out to board members to submit their nominations for president and vice president. Sims reported the board members nominated Georgia Morgan Blair as president and James Sullivan as Vice President. Georgia Morgan Blair declined the nomination as president and nominated James Sullivan for president. James Sullivan accepted the nomination. Gwendolyn Guster Welch nominated Gwendolyn Amamoo vice president. Amamoo accepted. Judge Scott Vowell moved the board to elect the nominees by acclamation. Gwendolyn Guster Welch seconded the motion, and it was approved.
- There was no unfinished business.
- There was no new business.
- Floyd Council thanked the board members for their support and patience during his time entering the role as executive director. Council gave special thanks to his staff.
- Council highlighted projects and upcoming events from the director’s report. Council and his staff started project management work on applying for the Mellon Foundation’s Council on Library and Information Resources grant which awards $50,000 - $500,000 for the digitization of hidden collections. Nine to ten partners have been identified, and the board will be updated as work continues. Council was invited to serve on the strategic planning steering committee for the Birmingham City School. Council has a prior scheduled lunch meeting with Dr. Lisa Herring, Superintendent of Birmingham City Schools. Council will attend the University of Alabama Board of Visitors luncheon on March 2, 2018. On February 22, Council is invited to sit on a panel to discuss a documentary about the architecture of the Atlanta Fulton Public Library.
- Council presented the draft of the 2017 Annual Report and gave thanks to staff members who worked on it. Council wanted to present the data to the board in a succinct way. The board was highlighted to enforce the strong leadership. The report included the budget for fiscal year 2017, reports of Staff Day and Inventory Day, employee highlights, public service performance data, signature program highlights, key partners, and community library highlights. Kimberly Richardson commented the annual report was very well done, and it is one of the best documents that has come out in a long time. The time and effort put towards compiling the information and presentation is greatly appreciated. Richardson suggested all the Birmingham city council members receive a hard copy and possible have it on the agenda to present it to the elected officials to become more invested in what the library does.
- Gwendolyn Guster Welch welcomed Fatima Carter. Welch congratulated James Sullivan as president of the library board and commented he is the first African American male in the history of BPL and will work alongside an African American director. Welch attended the BPL Spinners program by Russell Lee where she learned about blues music and enjoyed it. Welch thanked Mary Little for her work. Welch thanked everyone.
- James Sullivan thanked everyone for believing in him to be board president. He is looking forward to working with the board members to move the library forward. Sullivan knows of Fatima Carter’s work ethic from her time with the Young Professionals and is happy to be working with her again. Sullivan thanked the staff for the annual report.
- Fatima Carter thanked the board for the warm welcome and looks forward to working with the board.
- Gwendolyn Amamoo thanked the board members for having the confidence to have her serve as vice president. Amamoo stated Floyd Council and his staff are doing an excellent job. Amamoo welcomed Fatima Carter. Amamoo liked the annual report especially how the board was highlighted to show the support they offer to the library.
- Dora Sims congratulated Georgia Morgan Blair on the leadership she brought in 2017. Sims congratulated James Sullivan and Gwendolyn Amamoo and looks forward to their leadership. Sims welcomed Fatima Carter. Sims congratulated Mr. Council and Sandra Lee for making a big impact with the staff.
- Georgia Morgan Blair thanked everyone for their support for the past year. Blair is proud to say she was on the committee that selected Mr. Council. Blair commented Gwendolyn Guster Welch was featured in an article in The Voice, a nationwide publication about her service to the Birmingham Public Library.
Next Board Meeting is Tuesday, March 13, 2018
- Judge Scott Vowell moved to adjourn the meeting. Georgia Morgan Blair seconded the motion, and the meeting was adjourned.
Floyd Council, Secretary