Library Board

Wednesday, March 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, Ann Heard, Cherie Hutter, Kathleen Kinnish, Marilyn Soules, Judy Stein


            ABSENT:        Stu Bush


            ALSO PRESENT:       Virginia McKane


II.         Acceptance of Minutes


            Minutes of the February 15, 2006 meeting were approved as submitted.


III.       Additions or Changes to the Agenda


            There were no additions or changes to the agenda.


IV.       Public Comments


            There were no public comments.


V.        Director's Report


            Barnard reported that the gate count and circulation figures were down because of the power outage in February that closed the library.  Even though Internet service was not available, patrons were still thankful the library was open on the weekend of the power outage.


            Barnard highlighted the events scheduled to take place during National Library Week, April 3-8.  The theme this year is "Around the World at your Library."  Bookmarks with the events listed are available at the library.


            McKane reported on the final battle which took place Thursday, March 9.  Readers at Work from Adams Elementary School were the winners.  The Reading Wizards from Blessed Sacrament took second place.


            McKane reminded the board of the dinosaur displays in Youth Services this month.  There will be a drawing workshop with Tom Woodruff on March 23 for K-5th grade students.


            McKane described a new Family Read program that Youth Services will be introducing Thursday, April 27, at 6:30 p.m.  The program is open to K-3rd grade students and their families.  The book that will be discussed for April is Lady Lollipop, by Dick King-Smith.


            McKane reported that movies will be held in the auditorium during spring break. 


            On Friday night, March 17, Youth Services will host a teen program "Lock and Roll," at 7:30 p.m. in the lounge.  There will be board games, cards, and refreshments.


VI.       Patron Compliments and Concerns


1.         Your handicap parking places most times I come to the library are full or mostly full and very seldom do they have license plates or windshield markers for handicap.  Please address this issue.

            It is illegal to park in handicapped parking spaces without the appropriate designation visible on or in the vehicle.  The police will be notified if staff is aware of a violation.


2.         Please move the train table to the back with the other toys.  I want my son to look at books but I can't get him away from the table!

            This area was specifically designed to provide a comfortable play area for children and their parents.  The library has received many positive comments about the train table.  New picture books are also located in this area.


3.         Right outside the children's doors is a desk – child level – which has stamps on it.  The children always want and reach for those stamps.  I understand you want them for those that need them, but maybe if they could be on a countertop (higher) level.  It makes such a mess.  Thanks for consideration.

            This is a very popular activity for children.  If placed at a higher level, children wouldn’t have access to the stamps.  We haven’t received any other complaints. 


4.         Winter is the time when moms need more things to do with preschoolers and we find that the lapse of two months for story time with February being for teen events or Battle of the Books is bad timing.  Maybe if you would consider moving it to a later (spring) or earlier fall time would work for everyone.  I just have heard a lot of moms commenting on this situation and the timing.  Winter becomes long just in February.  PS:  If you could run all ages all months like other libraries in other cities, it would be terrific.

            It is not possible to move the Battle of the Books program.  The scheduling of this program has been developed based on the school year.  Staffing determines what programs are offered and how often.


5.         The Youth Services area has unused computers while the adult area is solidly booked.  Please change the layout.

            During the school year, the computers in the Youth Services area receive their heaviest use after school, evenings, and weekends.   Computers need to be allocated so that children use the computers in the Youth Services area and not have to go to the adult services area.  No computers will be re-located at this time.


6.         I use your word processor often but usually for making copies.  I would appreciate paying for smaller increments of time.

            The cost is reasonable at $1.00 per hour. 


7.         How about an email alert for patrons interested in new books of a particular genre?

            The library’s automated system does not have this feature.  Patrons may want to check out the BookLetters database or sign up for the Dear Readers service accessible on the library’s website.


8.         Can email notices of overdue books be sent earlier than 6 to 7 days after the book is due?

            Patrons are notified by email, phone or U.S. mail to alert them of any overdue materials.  Regardless of the method of notification, the library's computer system can only be set to generate the different notices at the same time.  Email notification is a minimal cost but waiting 7 days after the materials are due provides a substantial savings in phone and mailing costs.  Over 2,000 items are borrowed and returned every day.  Many patrons also take advantage of the 4-day grace period (on most items) to return their materials before a fine occurs so earlier notification is not cost effective.  (Library Board’s Frequently Asked Question Column, March/April 2005 Library Connection.)


9.         Suggestion:  carts for tired/handicapped people to put their books in.

            A powered wheelchair is available with a basket for handicapped persons.  Issues that would have to be addressed if carts were provided: storage, blocking aisles, and leaving them in the parking lot.


10.       Please expand hours to 9 p.m. Saturday and open at noon on Sunday.  There were at least 20 people waiting Sunday for it to open.

            The library is currently open 71 hours per week during the school year, offering morning, afternoon, evening, and weekend hours.  Additional hours would significantly increase the library’s budget.


VII.      Old Business


a.         Board/Community Communications

            Kinnish has turned in her submission for the May/June issue of the Library Connection.  Soules is scheduled for the July/August issue.  Heard will be responsible for the September/October issue.


b.         Community Read Project

            Heard reported that a book for the community read project has been selected and the author has agreed to come.  An announcement of the title and author will be made in September.  The committee will continue to meet regarding publicity and financial assistance.


c.         Cup and Chaucer Coffee Bar Report

            Barnard reported that the Cup and Chaucer will have international coffee  specials for National Library Week.  McKane is working with the manager for the summer reading program as well.  The manager continues to provide coupons for special pricing on Cup and Chaucer items.


d.         Book Drop/Parking Lot

            Barnard reported that she and McKane have met with a couple of companies who will submit proposals on preparing plans to address the issue.


e.         Township Communication

            Letters to the Township supervisors were mailed and Barnard had gathered information for Brink to take to a meeting of the townships.  No inquiries have been made to the library.


f.          Friends Recognition at Annual Meeting, Wednesday, April 26

            Stein, Heard, Brink, and Soules will attend the annual meeting.  Board members will contribute towards the purchase of a cake.


g.         Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative Board Representative

            At the last meeting, Barnard asked for someone who would be interested in being the library's representative on the Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative Board.  Stein will consider the position.  Bush will be contacted to determine his interest in the position.


h.         Expiring Terms of Members and Board Appointment Schedule

            Barnard reported that at their March 20th meeting, City Council will make  reappointments to the various boards and commissions.  From March 21 – April 28, people can submit applications for the vacant positions.  Barnard said the library will have application forms available.


VIII.     New Business


            a.         Strategic Plan Review

            Barnard reported that she and McKane met with Nancy Ohle, the facilitator who assisted with the development of the library's strategic plan.  Ohle recommended that the current plan be extended two years if no other issues need to be addressed.  The Board agreed to extend the plan.


b.         Board Annual Report Committee

            A committee of Hutter, Kinnish, and Stein was formed to prepare the Board Annual Report for 2005/2006.


IX.       Board Comments


            Soules asked for verification of checking out books and materials when there is an outstanding overdue fine on one's card.  Barnard responded that if there is a $5 fine in overdues on your card, the system will not allow anything else to be checked out until the fine is paid.


            Stein asked Barnard to remind everyone of the City's Master Plan and how one can participate in it.  Barnard referred those interested to the City's website for information.


X.        Adjournment


            The meeting of the Library Board adjourned at 8:16 p.m.  The next meeting of the Library Board is scheduled for Wednesday, April 19, 2006 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.