Birmingham Public Library Board Minutes


January 14, 2020

4:30 p.m.

Linn Henley Research Library

Meeting Called By

James A. Sullivan, President

Type of Meeting

Regular Board Meeting


Trustees:Willie S. Davis III, James A. Sullivan, Judge Scott Vowell, Kimberly Richardson, Lynn Flowers-Martin, Fatima Carter, Mona Lisa Morris
Trustees Not Present: Sherri Nielson, Eunice Johnson Rogers Staff Present: Floyd Council, Executive Director; Damein Baity, Chief Financial Officer; Karyn Davis-West, Central Manager; Janine Langston, Deputy Director ; Kimberley Wiley, Jamilah Muhammad, Human Resources Technician, Yolanda Hardy, Southern-Western Regional Manager, Caleb West
Others Present: Malera Wright, Assistant City Attorney; Pat Rumore

Call To Order


Central Manager Karyn Davis-West discussed recent updates on the Monumental Stairs Project. She also gave the Central Fiction Department updates. In summary, she shared the following updates:

Pat Rumore asked if the Circulation Department will move back to the 1st floor in the Central Library. Karyn Davis-West confirmed that the Circulation Department will move back after the Monumental Stairs Project in the Central Library is completed. Judge Vowell asked what the Fiction Department space will be used for in the future. Davis-West stated it will be the East Grand Reading Room and there will be some shelving with popular reading items against the wall.

Public Voices

There were no public voices.

Approval of Agenda

James A. Sullivan moved to approve the agenda. Trustee Richardson motioned to accept the agenda with the addition of the report from the Nominating Committee. Willie S. Davis III seconded the motion to accept the agenda with the addition of the report from the Nominating Committee and it was approved by the board.

Approval of Consent Agenda

James A. Sullivan moved to approve the consent agenda. Willie S. Davis III motioned to accept the consent agenda. Lynn Flowers-Martin seconded the motion to accept the consent agenda and it was approved by the Board.

Terry Oglesby

Terry Olgesby discussed the recent updates with the Monumental Stairs Project, the Wylam Library Project, and the VOIP Project. In summary, he shared the following updates:

Attorney Malera Wright, City Attorney

There was no report by Malera Wright.

Operational Items Requiring Board Approval

Finance Reports

Chief Financial Officer, Damein Baity presented the financial report. In summary he shared the following Capital Projects estimates and updates:

  1. The estimates for the front glass façade.
  2. The estimates for the skylight.
  3. The estimates for the Central Library carpet installation quotes throughout the building.
  4. The quotes for the elevator replacement in Central Library.
  5. The Fire Suppressant System estimates for the Linn Henley Research Library.

Damein Baity stated that the meeting with the City Finance Department was postponed due to a schedule conflict. The meeting was intended to address funds accumulated from the Librarie's salary line item which could be converted to capital improvement funds for needed repairs at the Central Library East Building. Baity reported that we exppected an answer by Friday, January 17, 2020.

Executive Director Floyd Council informed the Board that he visited the construction site twice during the rainstorms and observed that no water was present in the Central library. He also talked to the construction workers who had the opinion that water may be going into walls through the ceiling or the perimeter of the skylight. James A. Sullivan asked if they thought there was water going into walls or do they know if the water is going into the wall. Council stated Billy Conner checked on the building and there was no water present in the building. Fatima Carter asked if there was an update on were the water is going, and if the water is actually going in the walls. Council clarified that the construction crew was giving a theory based on their opinion of where they thought the water may be going. He also shared that Terry Olgesby was looking into the total cost for repair or replacement of the skylight. He shared that they would likely have to take the elements off to see if there is corrosion around the skylight, or simply sealing it and restructuring the skylight. Council stated when the City approves for us to move the money from the salary savings line, we will get started on the projects.

Floyd Council shared there would be no recommendation for the Central Library reopening to the public until the Board has a better understanding of how long it will take to complete the additional repairs and carpet replacements. Judge Vowell if the carpet was going to be replaced before Central Library reopened and where will the funding come to replace the carpet. Council stated that the funding will be available from the funds accumulated from the Librarie's salary line item and the carpet will be completed before the reopening of Central Library.

James A. Sullivan asked about Wylam Library. Janine Langston stated that she is recommending a soft opening for Wylam Library so we are able to open the building as soon as possilble. A grand opening will be given when the shelving and furniture has been placed in the building. Kimberly Richardson asked was everything resolved about the funding from the Daniel Foundation for the furniture, and was there anything pending for Wylam Library. Janine Langston stated some of the Daniel Foundation funding was used to purchase:

Kimberly Richardson asked to please keep the Daniel Foundation informed of Wylam Library's progress. Janine Langston stated that she had reached out to the Daniel Foundation to keep them informed. Floyd Council stated that Langston and himself have been keeping engaged by Carmelo Aliano and the neighborhood association. He stated that he discussed with the neighborhood association and Aliano about purchasing a marquee sign for Wylam with the money left from the contingency, but unfortunately the money was used for the water issues at Wylam Library.

James A. Sullivan moved to approve the financial report. Kimberly Richardson motioned to accept the Financial Report. Willie S. Davis III seconded the motion to accept the financial report and it was accepted by the Board.

Reports of the Committees

Nominating Committee

Fatima Carter motioned to accept the recommendations for the nomination for Eunice Johnson Rogers as president and Willie S. Davis III as vice president. Lynn Flowers-Martin seconded the motion to accept the recommendations for the nomination for Eunice Johnson Rogers as president and Willie S. Davis III as vice president. Sullivan stated that the swearing in of the new president and vice president will take place February 11, 2020, at 4:30 p.m., in the Arrington Auditorium.

Unfinished Business

No unfinished business.

New Business

Floyd Council asked for approval for Jamilah Woods to serve as interim human resource officer capacity in Edith Major’s absence. Kimberly Richardson informed the Board that no approval was needed for this type of action, since it could be payable automatically after working out of class for 30 days. Council shared that he wanted to inform the Board that she would be doing the same workflow since she is eligible for compensation for this role. Judge Scott Vowell asked would this affect Edith Major in her return back to work. Council stated this would not affect Edith Major in her return back to work.

Board Members' Comments

Floyd Council thanked the Board and his Leadership Team for all that they do. Council gave a special thanks to Janine Langston for a great start in her new role as deputy director. He discussed partnering with the Mayor’s office to host the Brothers and Bow Ties program that will consist of 50 boys participating and 77 bow ties to be presented at the program. The bow ties will be given with special notes attached to be given to the boys. Council gave a special thanks to Candice Hardy for all the hard work that was involved in putting everything together for this program.

Floyd Council discussed the Global Forum for Freedom and Justice lunch that he attended with James A. Sullivan and Pat Rumore. Council stated Global Forum for Freedom and Justice would love to partner with the Library to have a mini collection inside their resource center. Council shared that in his opinion this future partnership would be a great opportunity for the Library to partner for literacy components. Council stated he would keep the Board informed of any updates about this opportunity.

Janine Langston shared that the month of February will be amnesty month for all the libraries of the Jefferson County Library Corporative:

Kimberly Richardson asked if the staff had considered the national trend of going fine free. Floyd Council stated that during a JCLC meeting a discussion had taken place between Tobin Cataldo and himself about the library going fine free. Council stated that a large percentage of urban libraries have gone fine free. He discussed the reference copy of the Urban Libraries Council (ULC) and how 260 libraries were nominated for the Innovative Awards. He stated that Birmingham Public Library was nominated for five programs. Despite not winning, BPL programs received great praise and one was featured in a ULC presentation. Janine Langston stated she would get with Cataldo for statistics on how amnesty month works out, and how people perceive amnesty month to help with the idea of going fine free. Council shared that management will conference again as a team and meet at a later time about the discussion of going fine free.

Willie S. Davis III discussed pushing back the date for the Health and Wellness Fair scheduled for March 10, 2020, due to the fact the Monumental Stairs Project will not be complete. Floyd Council advised pushing back the date for the Health and Wellness Fair until a later time.

Floyd Council discussed the Board retreat and the speakers:

Pat Rumore asked Floyd Council what is the role of the Friends Foundation at the Board retreat. Council stated the Friends Foundation and other board committees will give a presentation at the retreat. Kimberly Richardson suggested the retreat agenda should be done in the same manner as the prior retreat. Richardson stated a committee was established to work on prior retreats. She stated the Board meeting was open to the public, but the retreat portion was only open for Board members and partners. She stated there was a part of the retreat that was set aside for the Board to discuss the business aspect of the Board and the Strategic Plan. Council stated that he would be working with the president and team to come up with a draft of the agenda.

library and the steps to purchasing the property. Council stated a recommendation needs to be made about Eastwood Library concerning renewing the lease. Council stated alternatives for Eastwood Library have been looked into intensely, but nothing could be found that was city property. Kimberly Richardson asked was there a conversation about Eastwood Library being closed, and about purchasing a book drop and nothing else could be found in the area. Judge Scott Vowell asked what the circulation numbers for Eastwood Library are. Janine Langston stated she would get the circulation numbers for Eastwood Library. James A. Sullivan stated we can discuss Eastwood Library through a Long Range Planning Committee meeting.

Kimberly Richardson stated “Happy 2020” and gave compliments to staff for all they do for the children.

Pat Rumore stated the Friends Bookstore will be reducing hours to 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and that Friends Bookstore Manager Thracie Pace has been terminated due to lack of funding.

James A. Sullivan stated it was an honor to serve on the Library Board and have a Happy New Year.

Mona Lisa Morris stated she will not be attending the Board meeting in February because she will be attending a town hall meeting.

Next Board Meeting is Tuesday February 11, 2020

Submitted By

Floyd Council, Secretary