Library Board

Wednesday, July 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, Sarah Galt, Ann Heard, Kathleen Kinnish, Judy Stein


ABSENT: Marilyn Soules


ALSO PRESENT: John Palen, Midland Issues


II. Acceptance of Minutes


Minutes of the June 21, 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 has received a tentative agenda for the State Librarian's visit, which is Friday, August 4 at 3:15 p.m. State Librarian Nancy Robertson will be here for about 45 minutes; the Board is welcome to come and meet her.


Stein commented on the great attendance at the ice cream social.


The Teddy Bear Picnic was also a success. In addition to a teddy bear parade, there was a large tent set up outside with cake and ice cream, crafts were set up in Youth Services, and movies were shown in the auditorium.


Stein said she was pleased to read that Adult Services Supervisor Carol Souchock met with the Midland Computer Club to demonstrate downloadable audiobooks.


Stein wished to thank the Friends of the Library for purchasing plastic book baskets. Barnard responded that the Friends have developed a new logo which will be on these baskets. The baskets will be available for use in the library and will also be available for checkout. The baskets are lighter than the wire ones we currently have. Kinnish commented that taking the baskets home could result in fewer lost books.


Stein said she was able to stop in and see the newly reupholstered furniture on the Mezzanine. Barnard responded that the chairs will be featured on the front page of the September/October issue of The Library Connection to promote seating on the Mezzanine.


VI. Patron Compliments and Concerns

1.                  What happened to QUIET in the Library? Every year the tone gets louder and louder.

The Quiet Room located on the first floor overlooking the Japanese Garden is an option for those who want a quiet area.


2.                  When I was in White Plains, NY for a visit, I went to the children's section of the public library. In the children's section, there was a small area where children were allowed to eat snacks. I wish there were such a place downstairs (not far from the train table). It needn't be expensive at all. Just a small (10' x 10') uncarpeted floor with a couple of benches. The Cup and Chaucer is too far away. I can't convince my child to go upstairs to eat.

Allowing food in the library outside of the coffee bar area would be a maintenance problem.


3.                  My daughter really loves the train that runs around overhead on the ceiling of Youth Services. I hear that it's difficult to maintain and keep from breaking, but I'd like to encourage you to try because it encourages a love of the library in young children.

The train is on a regular maintenance schedule. There are no plans to discontinue the use of the train.


4.                  I am returning "The Widow of the South," by Robert Hicks, a 7-day book which is due today and I still have almost 75 pages unread very disappointed why can't you folks make this a 10-day rental? Seven days for busy people just doesn't cut it. This is the third or fourth time I have been unable to finish a 7-day book. You don't seem to care if it's 100 or 400 pages it's still 7-days a real poor program.

The goal of the Book Express program is to have a quick turnover of popular books. There are copies of all of the Book Express titles in the regular collection with longer due date periods. Consensus of the Library Board discussion was to keep Book Express books at 7 days.


5.                  It would be great to receive the email reminder for a due book on the first day it is due, rather than a week or so later. Thanks!

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. (March/April 2005 Library Connection Frequently Asked Questions)


6.                  There needs to be a way to search for books that are for kids, like picture books.

This search is not possible on the current online catalog.



Unsigned compliments and concerns:


1.                  The "whirring" noise (from the lights?) in the quiet magazine room is so disturbing. Can't something be done?

Addressed by maintenance staff.


2.                  Your lighting is bad.

Not enough information.


3.                  Your service has been great. I've been coming here since I was a newborn. Great job.


4.                  It would be nice if perhaps a sign of some kind be placed at the newspaper section asking people to take one newspaper at a time. It is difficult to get a newspaper when people take all of them at once.

Please contact a librarian if there is a problem.


5.                  Better stamps for patrons.

All date stampers have been replaced.


6.                  Please: new date stampers at Youth Services.

All date stampers have been replaced.


VII. Old Business


a. Board/Community Communications

Heard has submitted her article for the September/October issue of The Library Connection. Bush will submit an article for the November/ December issue.


b. Community Read Project

Barnard reported that several people we contacted asking that they host a discussion group at their location have already agreed, including Midland High School, Dow High School, Whiting Forest, Alden B. Dow Home and Studio, and Barstow Shipps. We are working with West Midland Family Center to set a date. The library will host several discussions as well.


Staff is developing evaluation forms, a book discussion guide, and a discussion leader help sheet. Barnard showed the community read logo to the board. The logo will be used on all the publicity and brochures.


The title will be announced Monday, October 9. The author will visit and speak at the library on Thursday, November 9.


c. Cup and Chaucer Coffee Bar Report

Barnard reported that she did get in touch with Mike Shea of the Arnold Center. Shea will plan on attending the September 20 Library Board meeting to discuss issues facing the coffee bar.


d. Book Drop/Parking Lot

No report.


e. Board Annual Report

Galt inquired about the timing of the Board's goals. Barnard responded that she usually presents the annual stats report at the September meeting. The goal of receiving reports on the community public spaces project will be on-going. The revising of fines and fees will be the most difficult goal to complete, as information needs to be gathered. Goals will be placed on each agenda with more discussion on meeting goals at the September meeting.


Goal 2, Explore at least one new method to communicate with the community about library services in order to preserve and expand our patron base will be discussed at the October meeting.


Kinnish questioned the wording in the second paragraph under last year's Goal 1 "from patron comments" was added after implemented. Brink motioned and Kinnish seconded to approve the annual report as changed. Motion passed.


Barnard told the Board they have the option to submit their report to City Council as a written report or presenting it to them in person; Council members do receive the reports ahead of time. Kinnish will present and highlight the report to City Council at a regular Council meeting in August.


VIII. New Business


a. Township Communication

Barnard reported that Edenville Township will contract with the City for library services for 2007. Barnard has been asked to write an article for the Township's newsletter.


Barnard has been invited to speak at the Midland Township Officials Association annual meeting, which will be held in Porter Township. Barnard will discuss the advantages of having a library card and services that the library offers.


b. Meeting Schedule 2007

Barnard reported that the City will be working on the City calendar in September or October for next year and will be needing the Library Board's schedule for 2007. Brink motioned and Heard seconded to hold Library Board meetings at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month except August and December. Motion passed.


IX. Board Comments

Stein shared with the Board that a patron had contacted her about a report prepared by Public Agenda titled "Long Overdue: A Fresh Look at Public and Leadership Attitudes about LIBRARIES in the 21st Century." The report is available for free download and will be distributed to each board member.


X. Adjournment


Brink motioned and Kinnish seconded to adjourn the meeting. The meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m. The next meeting of the Library Board is scheduled for Wednesday, September 20, 2006 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.