Birmingham Public Library April 2020 Board Meeting Summary
The Board meeting was called to order by President Eunice Johnson Rogers at 4:30 p.m.
Trustees: Eunice Johnson Rogers, Judge Scott Vowell, Lynn Flowers- Martin, Fatima Carter, Mona Lisa Morris, Kimberly Richardson, Mona Lisa Morris, Willie S. Davis III, James Sullivan, Trustees Absent : Sherri Nielson, Jamal McCaskey
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; Edith Mayor, Bessie Miller; Catherine Frey, Director of Library Development; Roy Williams, Director of Public Relations; Richard Manoske, IMS Administrator
Others Present: Malera Wright, Assistant City Attorney; Terry Olgesby, City Architect
Floyd Council, Executive Director presented short updates from the City of Birmingham regarding COVID-19 and staff support:
· Mr. Council reported that "no staff have reported being sick with the Coronavirus" and the City has been working to assure that the health, wellbeing, and concerns of our staff and our citizens are addressed.
· Mr. Council thanked the Board for allowing the library to close in a timely manner to prevent having staff and patrons in harm’s way during COVID-19.
· Mr. Council reports that the library has been following the direction of the Mayor’s leadership team. Weekly Department Head meetings have been conducted and Mayor Woodfin has hosted several all staff Tele-Town Hall phone conferences to listen to city employee concerns and to provide answers and support. "Every single staff member was approved for telework assignments and are still being paid as normal."
· Mr. Council reported that the City Leadership Team informed Department Heads that all employees will be receiving the 1% cost of living raise from the City of Birmingham.
Janine Langston, Deputy Director presented the following updates about COVID-19 related Virtual Library Services and other public service information:
· The Spring Reading Challenge was launched on March 23, 2020.
· BPL partnered with Birmingham Parks and Recreation and the Birmingham Public School to distribute book gifts to school children during BCS feeding schedule Birmingham Park and Recreation locations. Bessie Miller talked briefly about the five locations that were distributing books. The library system did not determine the distribution locations.
· BPL launched Virtual Story time from Avondale Library. Virtual Story time has been a big success with the public. The Virtual Story time was featured on the Good Day. Alabama by JJ Pruitt and is also available on the library's YouTube page.
· Library Branch Managers are visiting their locations at least twice a week to assess the buildings and report any issues to Billy Conner, Superintendent of Building Maintenance and Rod Ziegler, Superintendent of Building Services.
· Staff members have been attending online training through ALA, EBSCO and Web Junction and all the library databases providing summaries for the library's records.
· BPL presented the first Virtual Bards and Brews via Facebook page using Zoom. The program was very successful and had lots of views.
· The City of Birmingham contacted the library to contribute to a collaborative Home Activity Guide for children, teens and adults. This publication is expected to be made available during the next week.
· BPL launched a Local Authors online Reading Challenge featuring Chandra Sparks Splond and a roster of local authors who have participated for the community.
Fatima Carter asked why only five Birmingham Park and Recreations locations were targeted to distribute books. Bessie Miller stated that the locations were determined by BCS and Parks and Recreation. Food trucks will now be used for the delivery of food to give free books to school children where possible during summer learning and the books will be geographically shared all over the city of Birmingham.
Eunice Johnson Rogers proposed a motion to approve the meeting Agenda. Judge Scott Vowell motioned to accept the Agenda as presented. Willie Davis III seconded the motion to accept the Agenda as reported and it was approved. Eunice Johnson Rogers communicated that the motion was approved and accepted.
Terry Olgesby discussed the recent updates with the Monumental Stairs Project, the Wylam Library Project ,VOIP Project, and Central Library Carpet replacement. In summary he shared the following updates:
· Central Monumental Stairs Project : The terrazzo stone for the Monumental stairs project was delayed by a month due to the Coronavirus and the closing of the manufacturer. The contractors will begin the installation of the terrazzo stone on the stairs during the next week.
· Wylam Library: The new Wylam Library is completed and ready to open when all other libraries reopen.
· VOIP System: The VOIP system will be discussed with Damien Baity based on the E-rate funding projected to be used for the project.
· Central library Carpet Replacement: Quotes for the carpet will be available the following week.
Eunice Johnson Rogers proposed to the board about splitting the Advocacy, fundraising Committee to better serve the committees. She stated she wanted James Sullivan to set up a Fundraising Committee. Kimberley Richardson asked, was there anything in the bylaws concerning the division of committees? Eunice Johnson Rogers also asked Kimberly Richardson and Lynn Flowers-Martin to be members of the Fundraising Committee. Eunice Johnson Rogers also wanted to know if any of the committees for the library have designated a time and weekly date for Committee meetings. Eunice Johnson Rogers asked the Board members to consider assigned days of the weeks and times for meetings as agreed at the Board Retreat held on March 14, 2020. A follow-up on proposed committee meeting schedules is planned for May 12th board meeting.
Eunice Johnson Rogers proposed discussion about what would be the new process for books upon the re-opening of the Library system. How will the return of pre-COVID-19 books be handled from books that were returning to the book drop? Eunice Johnson Rogers also asked if there would be a process for the staff in the form of cleaning and sanitizing of the books upon their return to the library. Staff report that a plan is being developed to ensure safety of staff and patrons.
Mr. Council suggested a few ideals upon the opening of the libraries to the public:
· Social spacing in public service areas with a controlled number of people in buildings.
· Social spacing in the computer commons.
· Volunteer nurses and social services in partnership with the Dannon Project, a current viable library partner.
· Staff report that a plan is being developed to ensure safety of staff and patrons.
Eunice Johnson Rogers asked would the library be opening before the next Board meeting. Mr. Council stated that he was unclear of the library opening before the next Board meeting.
Janine Langston discussed the delivery and installment of Wylam library furniture.
Eunice Johnson Rogers thanked the staff for their dedication and their hard work to do their job from home and take care of home and family members. She thanked the staff for the wonderful job presenting a new side to the library with the online resources and social media sites. James Sullivan thanked the staff for their hard work and their dedication. He also stated be safe and keep his family in their prayers.