Library Board

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

7 p.m.

City Hall Council Chambers


I.          Roll Call – Stein called the meeting to order at 7 p.m.


PRESENT:       Melissa Barnard, Maxine Brink, Stu Bush, Ann Heard, Cherie Hutter, Kathleen Kinnish, Marilyn Soules, Judy Stein


ALSO PRESENT:       Virginia McKane, Assistant Director

                                    Tony Lascari, Midland Daily News


II.         Acceptance of Minutes


            Minutes of the January 18, 2006 meeting were approved as submitted.


III.       Additions or Changes to the Agenda


            Stein requested that an item to discuss recognizing the Friends of the Library be added to the agenda under Old Business.


IV.       Public Comments


            There were no public comments.


V.        Director's Report


            Barnard reported that the City is beginning the process of updating its Master Plan and is inviting the public to participate in the process.  Citizens can participate by hosting a small group Meeting in a Box which contains materials needed for a meaningful discussion about the City's future.  Citizens may also participate in an on-line survey or attend community workshops.  People can contact City Hall or visit the City's website for further information.


            McKane updated the Board on the Battle of the Books.  The first written battle was held today with 61 teams participating.


            Midland preschools, daycares, and patrons have brought in dinosaur art to display in Youth Services.  The display corresponds with the T. rex Named SUE exhibition at the Midland Center for the Arts.


The library was represented at the Kids Day at the Mall as well as Wellness Day at the Mall.


From the statistical report, Stein asked if the gate count includes the lounge and auditorium use.  Barnard responded that gate counts are not done for those doors.  Attendance at library programs held in the auditorium and lounge are included in program attendance numbers.  A counter is being considered.


VI.       Patron Compliments and Concerns


            Barnard responded to the comments and questions received from patrons.


1.                  Please gather a list of all the book clubs available locally.

Many book clubs are membership by invitation only or require paid membership in an organization to join.  The library sponsors a book discussion group open to anyone.


2.                  Books on tape – much better than books on CD – can return to same location easily; easy to change when walking.  Ask the users!

The format available from venders is driven by the market.  Books on tape are being phased out.  The library has increasing demand for books on CD and MP3. 


3.                  You have to move the tax form, photocopy area away from the computers!  The people using that area are loud – put them in the basement.  You have an elevator they can use if they can't use the stairway.

Staff will request that users keep voices down.  The location of the forms and tax computer allows staff and volunteers to assist users.


1.                  Tax form computer is great idea.  But it faces a window and is hard to see screen when the sun is out.

Computer monitor was replaced.


2.                  It would be nice to have Microsoft Word so that those of us without internet access at home can do what we need to do here.

Staff is exploring providing this service.


3.                  My comments concern the computer system for finding youth services books and materials.  I find it confusing and very difficult to use, especially in comparison to the old system, which was straightforward and easy to use.  Please bring back the old system!  We could easily find books with it.  If it's difficult for me to use, imagine how it is for children.

The “old system” is being phased out by the vendor.  Please see the librarian if you need assistance using the catalog.  Upcoming new releases from the vendor may address some of the catalog searching issues.


4.                  I find it very disconcerting to find a man dozing/sleeping in the reading area by the fireplace in front of the "Quiet" room.  I haven't mentioned anything on repeated occasions, but today when he was snoring, I find it should come to your attention.  I would like to enjoy sitting/reading in this area particularly.

Please report disturbances to staff.


5.                  I like the idea of your new free downloadable audio books, NetLibrary.  However, I'm told by your librarians that you cannot use the books on the iPod.  I believe most people have iPods if they have a portable audio player.  You can pay iTunes money to download books.

The company that provides the downloadable audio books licenses libraries to have access that does not violate copyright.  The iTunes product is for individual use only.  Patrons are provided with information on the specifications for devices that can be used.


6.                  The library is well maintained but need more old movies on DVD.  Thanks.

The library is purchasing older movies on DVD as they become available and as the budget allows.


7.                  I really enjoy the coffee shop!  Thank you to all involved!


8.                  I can't believe that our public library has a television.  Don't we get enough TV at home?  Aren't we supposed to encourage kids to read when they come to the library?  I would like to see the TV removed!

The television is used very responsibly by the teens.  The library has not had any problems.


9.                  I wish old videos (DVD and video tapes), esp. Hallmark and PBS series would be free.  I noticed many were not checked out in a long time and with this incentive, more people would check them out.  In Cincinnati they do this.

This is a revenue source for the library, providing funding for the purchase of DVDs.  See the March/April Library Connection “Frequently Asked Question” feature under Library Board for further explanation.


10.              I am very concerned about the display case for Planned Parenthood in the basement of the library.  It has pictures that are totally inappropriate for viewing by children.  Why would you allow such a thing with no parameters on what is displayed?  I wanted to be able to bring my children here but will not with such pornographic material in full view.  It is most disappointing to see such a lack of discrimination as to what will benefit children.

The two pictures that may be referenced here are of the human body and are not pornographic (sexually explicit).  There have not been any other complaints about this display.


11.              I just wanted to let you know that my daughter and I really enjoyed the January guest storyteller, Rebecca Anlas.  We attended three sessions last month.  They were all fantastic!  My daughter is 4 and she enjoys attending the Listeners Story Time.  All the librarians in the children's department are so wonderful… kind, caring, and very knowledgeable.  Many of them know us by name… which I think is awesome!  The ladies at the checkout desk are helpful and friendly too.  I think we have a wonderful library.  Keep up the good work!


12.              Kudos to the entire staff for their continued professionalism and fine service.  The library is one of the facilities which I value most as a resident of this community.  A couple questions about new books:

1)   Is there any way to view a list of recent acquisitions by subject groupings to see what books have been added in our fields of interest?  Can the reference librarians provide this information if we request it?  We peruse the shelves of new books and look at the new and notable displays but often wonder what else we might reserve if we knew that a title was part of the book collection.

The automated system can’t sort titles in these groupings.  New books are shelved in the new book area for six months to allow patrons to see the new additions.


2)   New books at other locations.  We often find new books of interest in collections at other libraries but are not allowed to place a hold on them.  In searching, we often observe that titles are on the shelf over a period of many weeks.  It is disappointing to be unable to avail ourselves of these books when they are not in use.  Is this a hard and fast policy restricting use of new books to the purchasing branch for a period of time after acquisition? 

Again, my appreciation for the resources of the Grace A. Dow Library.

It is common for libraries to restrict new books to their patrons only for a period of time.  This is a practice of the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library.


16.       With great anticipation I came to the library today to get set up to use the eBooks at NetLibrary.  I inquired about computer system requirements and was assured that there was no issue of what kind of computer the user has.  As a Macintosh user, I wanted to know.  I was assured that there would be no problem.


            To my great dismay, I have discovered that it is impossible to use eBooks on a Macintosh.  The downloadable files are in .wma (Windows Media Audio) format.  It appears that all of the NetLibrary offerings have Microsoft's proprietary DRM (Digital Rights Management) in them which means they can be used only on a Windows PC.  Microsoft has stopped further development of the Windows Media Player for Macintosh.  There does not appear to be any workaround for this situation.


I am very certain that a significant number of your patrons use Macintosh computers.  Since it is the library's chief business to provide access to all information, I do not understand allowing this limitation – no, barrier – to stand.  Needless to say, I am deeply disappointed.

Patrons can pick up instructions at the Reference Desk on accessing eBooks on Macintosh computers.  Macintosh computers can’t be used to download the downloadable audio books.


17.       I read about access coming soon for NetLibrary.  Do I have to come to the library to sign up for the service?  Will there be a cost?  I think this is a great resource, my hat's off to all of those who have pushed for this forward thinking direction the library is taking towards technology.

There is no charge to register a user name to access NetLibrary.  Please see librarians to register.


VII.      Old Business


            a.         Board/Community Communications

            Brink's "Frequently Asked Question" response will be included in the March/April issue of the Library Connection.  Kinnish has turned in her submission for the May/June issue and Soules will be responsible for submitting a question and response for the July/August issue.


b.         Community Read Project

            No report at this time.


c.         Cup and Chaucer Coffee Bar Report

            Barnard reported that the Cup and Chaucer is promoting a new bookmark where you buy six beverages and get one free.  The manager is also looking at products that will give patrons more value for their money.  Hutter commented that the Cup and Chaucer has been doing a nice job of catching your attention as you enter the library.  The board was also pleased that Mike Shea, director of the Arnold Center, won the Charles J. Strosacker Award.


d.         Book Drop/Parking Lot

            No report at this time.


e.         Board Goals, Township Communication

            The committee of Brink, Bush and Stein composed a letter to each township supervisor, either thanking them for their patronage and support or inviting them to become patrons of the library.  The letters highlight the Teen Room, computer classes, informational computer resources, youth services, local history/genealogy information, and the Cup and Chaucer.  Bush stressed that board members welcome the opportunity to attend a township meeting as representatives of the library board.


            Brink will be doing a report at a meeting of the townships on March 2.  Barnard will gather information about the library and its services for Brink to take with her.


f.          Friends of the Library Recognition

            Barnard reported that the Friends of the Library annual meeting is set for Wednesday, April 26 at 7 p.m. in the library lounge.  McKane will be attending the Friends board meeting on February 22 and will request that the Library Board be put on the agenda for the Friends annual meeting.


VIII.     New Business


a.         Wireless Access Update

            Barnard reported that the modem has been installed, equipment is being purchased and installed for filtering, and training will be scheduled for staff.


b.         Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative Board Representative

            Barnard reported that when the library joined the Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative, we were told that all Class VI libraries would have a permanent seat on the board, which consists of all laypersons.  It is now time for our library to select a member of the library board to fill that seat.  The position would take effect at the Cooperative's annual meeting on Thursday, May 11.  All meetings are held in Flint at the Cooperative office; six or seven meetings are held each year.  Barnard asked the board to consider filling this seat and to let her know if interested.


c.         Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative Annual Meeting

            Barnard reported that the annual meeting of the Cooperative is Thursday, May 11.


d.         Expiring Terms of Board Members

            Terms will be up at the end of June for Stu Bush and Cherie Hutter.  To be reappointed, it is necessary to submit an application to the City Manager's office by March 10.  At their March 20th meeting, City Council will consider those seeking to be reappointed.  Hutter said she will not be seeking reappointment; Bush has not yet decided.


IX.       Board Comments


            Stein commented that a friend of hers was thrilled with the computer classes provided by the library.


            Heard commented about the international theme coming up with National Library Week, which also ties in with the Midland Public Schools and the Dow Chemical Company applying to the International Baccalaureate Organization.


X.        Adjournment


            The meeting of the Library Board adjourned at 8:12 p.m.  The next meeting of the Library Board is scheduled for Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.