Library Board

Wednesday, April 19, 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, Marilyn Soules, Judy Stein


            ABSENT:        Kathleen Kinnish


ALSO PRESENT:       Virginia McKane, Assistant Director; Tony Lascari, Midland Daily News; Sarah Galt


II.         Acceptance of Minutes


            Minutes of the March 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 had no additions to her written report.


            The Board expressed their congratulations to Youth Services librarian Rebecca Hastings for being named Outstanding Library Employee of the Year by her peers.


            Michigan Notable Author, Gene Scott, will do a presentation about his book, Michigan Shadow Towns on Monday, May 15, at 7 p.m. in the Library Lounge.  The book features historic small towns in Midland County.  The program is sponsored by the Library of Michigan Foundation.


            McKane reported that Jerry Pallotta, known as the "alphabet man," will do a program for children K-3rd grade at the library May 23 and 24.  Books will be available for purchase and autographs.  The program is sponsored by Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative.


            Soules expressed thanks to the Midland Daily News for all the coverage of the National Library Week activities.


VI.       Patron Compliments and Concerns


1.                  Coin machine on lower level gave me three Canadian quarters.  This is not the first time I have gotten Canadian change.  Please do not put Canadian money in the machine.  Since it won't accept the money from me, those Canadian quarters can only be put in the machine as it's being filled.

            Neither the copy machines nor the change machines accept Canadian coins.  Coins from the copy machines are used to fill the changer.  Staff will check to see if in the original set-up there were Canadian coins that made it into the machine from the coin rolls.


2.                  Perhaps you could include more "broader" books in your Book Club in a Bag series.  My seniors seem to think that the current selections are a bit obscure.

            Books included in the “Book Club in a Bag” selections are those used in the Library’s book discussion group.  More “Book Club in the Bag” choices will be available in the near future.


3.                  The large-print books are so hard to see.  I would like to see them displayed as the 7-day books are; must get on knees to read the titles and can hardly get up due to arthritis.  Bifocals make it hard to read from a standing position.

            The size of the collection and space limitations don’t allow us to display these books.  We must use both the top and bottom shelves.  Staff will study the issue further.


4.                  The online catalog is impossible.  It often requires to refresh the page.  One letter wrong in the search will cause it to not find anything close to the book being searched.  Or it will say "check spelling."  It is kind of annoying to find a book.  Randomly searching for a book is nearly impossible.  Some of the books are out of author alphabetical order.

            We need more information from the user on this comment.  Staff is available to assist those using the catalog. 


5.                  Can the custodian please open the doors on time – rather than make people wait in the cold – not 9:02 or 10:02, etc.

            Staff keep careful track of time in order to open promptly.  The clock in the lobby has been checked for accuracy.


6.                  Why can't you open even two minutes before 9 AM?

            Staff has opening tasks to perform and plan to be ready to serve our patrons at 9:00 a.m.  We don’t want to set up expectations that the library may open earlier on some days.

7.                  Excellent selection of books on most every topic!  Keep up the good work.


8.                  I think you should have the new-release videos on the shelf and not by request wait list.  Maybe if you had two copies and only utilize the reservation system for one copy.

            Being able to place holds on materials is a service that is appreciated by many patrons.  Additional copies are purchased for some high demand movies.  Staff will review current practice.


9.                  I owe you a coffee… "The Cup and Chaucer" is doing well.


10.              I suggest that the café stay open all day on Saturdays.  It is a very busy day for the library with many families coming in.  My husband and I would appreciate have a cappuccino while our daughter flipped through some books.

            This suggestion was referred to the Cup and Chaucer manager.


11.              Middle school/teen tutors greatly needed.

            Volunteer tutors are welcome to reserve conference rooms to conduct tutor training.  The schools may have information on the availability of tutors. This service is not within the role of the library. 


VII.      Old Business


a.         Board/Community Communications

            Barnard reported that the May/June issue of the Library Connection newsletter will be mailed to every Midland household.  Marilyn Soules' article will be included in this issue and will tell patrons how to address comments and suggestions.  The article submitted by Kathleen Kinnish will be in the July/August issue and Ann Heard will submit an article for the September/October issue.


b.         Community Read Project

            Heard reported that the author of the book selected for the community read project has agreed to come to Midland on Thursday, November 9 to talk about the book.  The community read project committee has come up with the event name of "On the Same Page: One Book, One Community" that can be used year after year.  The title will be announced in the fall.


c.         Cup and Chaucer Coffee Bar Report

            Barnard reported that because of the wireless access now available, more tables and chairs have been placed near outlets along the brick wall that borders the fiction section. 


Heard reminded the Board that the Friends of the Library have books for sale in the Cup and Chaucer area as well.

d.         Book Drop/Parking Lot

            Barnard reported that a company is working on concepts to address traffic issues in our parking lot and come up with ideas for a drive-up book drop.  We are exploring what opportunities we might have; the proposal will provide options and cost.  Barnard said that no funding for this project has been requested.


e.         Friends Annual Meeting

            Barnard reported that the Library Board is on the agenda for the Friends annual meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, April 26 in the Library lounge.  Heard will speak as the Library Board representative at the meeting.


f.          Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative

            Bush agreed to be the Library's representative on the Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative Board.


            The annual meeting of the Cooperative will be Thursday, May 11.  Barnard invited board members to ride along with her and McKane to the meeting.


g.         Board Vacancy Application Process

            Barnard reviewed the requirements and process of applying for the open position on the Board.  This is a three-year position which begins July 1.


h.         Board Annual Report Committee

            Hutter reported that she and Stein have met and have picked out some key topics to cover in the Board's annual report.  Stein invited board members to let her or Hutter know if there is anything they would like to see addressed in the report.


VIII.     New Business


a.         Wireless Access Update

            Barnard reported that the Library's wireless access will be up and running  by the time the May/June Library Connection newsletters are mailed.  The announcement about wireless access is featured in the newsletter.


            There are "hot spots" located in the Cup and Chaucer Coffee Bar, adult fiction area, adult non-fiction area, and the Teen Spot.  There is no charge for the service and the Library's Internet service is filtered.


b.         2006/2007 City of Midland Budget Process

            Barnard reviewed some important dates in the budget process.  The adoption of the budget is scheduled for May 22.  A copy of the proposed budget is at the library.


            The library's proposed budget for 2006/2007 is $4,017,720.  Proposed capital purchases include window replacement, public restroom upgrade, automated phone notification upgrade, theft detection gates, wall mounted outside book drop return, vacuum cleaner, and Youth Services computer furniture.


            Barnard reported on proposed cuts to MCTV.   MCTV is funded by cable fees from Charter Communications.  Revenues are decreasing while expenses are increasing.  In order to address the deficit, City staff have recommended to Council cuts to staffing and services.  It is being proposed that many of the boards and commissions meetings, including the Library Board, no longer be televised.  The proposed Cable Communications Fund budget will be discussed in much more detail at the May 1st City Council meeting.  Cuts would go into effect July 1.


c.         Public Spaces Report

            The Board discussed the Project for Public Spaces information that was included in the Board packet as well as an article in the Midland Daily News about Midland's public spaces.  Barnard attended a meeting presented by the consultant from Project for Public Spaces, Inc. and shared information from that meeting.  The library was mentioned a few times in the discussion, referring to the outside of the building.  Other places highlighted were the Farmer's Market; Discovery Square, which includes the Library, Michigan Molecular Institute, the Midland Center for the Arts, and Dow Gardens; as well as the circle area off Ashman.  Barnard will provide additional information to the Board as it becomes available.


IX.       Board Comments


            Hutter shared that some of the scientists at MMI that helped out during last year's Science Rocks National Library Week celebration said they are willing to come to the library again to do some science experiments for the children.


            McKane reported there are still openings for the Family Read program set for Thursday, April 27 at 6:30 p.m.  Lady Lollipop, by Dick King-Smith will be the book discussed.


            Barnard reminded the public about applications for the vacant Library Board position.


X.        Adjournment


            The meeting of the Library Board adjourned at 8:25 p.m.  The next meeting of the Library Board is scheduled for Wednesday, May 17, 2006 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.