Library Board

Wednesday, October 18, 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, Marilyn Soules, Judy Stein


            ALSO PRESENT:       Virginia McKane; Tony Lascari, Midland Daily News; John Palen, Midland Issues



II.         Acceptance of September 20, 2006 Meeting Minutes


            Minutes of the September 20, 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

            In addition to information provide in the written report Barnard reported:

·        The article on library services submitted to the Edenville Township appeared in their Fall 2006 newsletter.

·        The “Tourist in Your Own Town” program that the library participated in was well attended.

·        The library was recognized by the Michigan Library Association Marketing and Public Relations Roundtable for its printed materials on National Library Week, Summer Reading Program, and ShelfLife Book Review publication.  The library placed first in the category of medium libraries for each of these submissions.

·        Brandi Pfohl has been hired to fill the Technical Secretary position.  Pfohl will serve as the recording secretary at the Library Board meetings.

·        The Pluto sign will be installed around Thursday, October 26.  A formal ribbon cutting will be held on November 8 at the Delta Planetarium.

McKane reported that the Youth Services Lemony Snicket program drew 110 elementary/middle school children and 40 adults.


Board members noted that Carol Souchock, Supervisor of Adult Services, had resigned from the library to accept a new position in Adrian.  They wished her good luck.


Stein commented on the “Together for Kids 2006” Conference in November.  The library will staff a booth and Char Taber, Youth Services Librarian, will be a presenter at a workshop


VI.       Patron Compliments and Concerns.


1.      The computer services and all resources made available are gratefully   appreciated.


2.            Word processing for it to be more accessible in the library.

Providing word processing on the public computers is a goal for the future.


3.                  We would like more games for older children on the games computers (ages 7-10).  My daughter especially misses Magic School Bus games.  It seems that most of the games now are for Preschool and Kindergarten.

            Games for older children are accessible on the public access computers.  Links are provided from the Youth Services page.


4.        The late fine for DVDs and videos is $1.00 per day per video.  With all the     choices now available (Blockbuster, Netflix, etc.), why would one want to rent from the Dow Library after this?  Please consider reducing the late fee, so that it is at least at par with market options.

The library does not compete with the chain stores.  DVDs and videos are loaned for $1.25 per week.  Limited numbers of copies are purchased so the late fee encourages users to return the item promptly.


5.         Thinking of circulation at the Library.  Is it possible to include in Library card privileges the areas of the county that were previously part of this Library privilege area?

A City Ordinance establishes the non-resident fee.  It is not a consideration at this time to increase circulation by allowing those who do not contribute financially to the support of the library to have a free library card.


6.         There should be a parent viewing area for all videos and DVDs so that we can see if the program is suitable for family viewing.  I brought the DVD “Gilmore Girls” first season back after viewing five minutes of it and found it not appropriate.  I brought it back to exchange it and the checkout librarian refused to exchange it.

            Exchanges only occur when the DVD or video is damaged.  If the user needs additional information about the DVD, the reference librarian at the public service desk can check resources for a more complete description.  The DVD collection is for check out only, not for viewing in the library. 


7.         Upon returning a magazine which had been renewed twice, and which I still needed, I was informed of the need to allow the magazine to remain on the shelf for 24 hours before I could check it out again.  I can understand verifying if the magazine was on hold; however, it is extremely inconvenient to simply return it and then come back (an extra trip), just so it can be reshelved for a day.

            With renewals, the patron had the item out 6 weeks.  The renewal limit allows other patrons access to the materials.





Unsigned compliments and concerns:


1.                  Please put a wastebasket by circulation computer near 14-day books.

            There is a waste container located in that area.


2.                  Please do not allow loud talk and cell phone use in computer area.  Rules need to be posted since it is rude and not appropriate in this area.

Cell phones were addressed in the May/June 2005 Library Board “Frequently Asked Question” article.

Can something be done about patrons using cell phones in the Library and in the Coffee Bar? It can be very distracting when people talk loudly on their phones.
Cell phones can make life easier and more connected, but they can also be distracting. The Library does not ban cell phones as they are a part of many people's lives and are often a necessity. We would like to suggest that when a patron needs to use their cell phone, they go outside or move to an area of the Library where their conversation will not intrude on other patrons. While in the library, please put cell phones on vibrate and keep voices low.


            Users are encouraged to report disturbances to the librarians.


3.                  In your latest mailing, you showcased that people didn’t have to wait for every other month for storytime.  Well, as a working mother, I cannot bring my 4-year old to storytime during the day.  If you want all children to be able to participate, you need to have storytime for ALL ages in the evening.  I hope that you will reconsider this decision and bring back every storytime for 3-5 year olds.  Thank you for your consideration.

            Attendance at evening storytimes has been poor in the past.  Staff has scheduled an evening story time starting in January and will evaluate.  Staffing is not available to offer storytimes for all ages in many different time slots.


4.                  Regarding drive-up drop box.  Why not make it easier to get to the current drop slots by taking out the planters and allowing cars to drive up closer.  I don’t know if this would satisfy those who want a drive-by, but I expect it would be cheaper.  Possibly extending an overhead roof to protect from rain, snow etc. when getting out by the current slots.

Discussion on a drive-up return is ongoing.


VII.      Old Business


            a.         Board/Community Communications

                        Galt brought ideas for the new “Did You Know” column in the library newsletter that will replace the “Frequently Asked Question” column.  Ideas included featuring: seating in Mezzanine area, requesting book purchases, databases searches, assistance from the librarians, Consumer Information Corner, and Adaptive Technology Computer.  It was agreed that Galt would submit an article on medical databases for the January/February issue. 


                        Stein will be responsible for the March/April article and Brink for the May/June article


            b.         Community Read Project

                        Heard reported that the Community Read was underway, reviewed the discussion locations, and recognized the program sponsors.  Stein thanked Heard for representing the Board in accepting the proclamation from the City Council.


c.                   Book Drop/Parking Lot

                        With the information on the options from Wilcox Professional Services printed in the Midland Issues, Barnard offered to review the options with Board.  The Board declined indicating that since several of the options were not feasible they would wait for a more definitive presentation.  Barnard also noted that the plans to make St. Andrews more pedestrian friendly may impact the book return plans.


d.                  Community Communication Committee, Board Goal 2

Bush reported that the committee is first identifying goals, target audiences and ways to measure the communication methods that are recommended by the committee.  Barnard provided a list of current communication avenues used by the library.  The committee will develop ideas and bring back a summary to the full Board.


e.                   Meeting Dates 2007

The November meeting date in 2007 falls on the evening before Thanksgiving.  Barnard cancelled that meeting date so it would not appear in the City Calendar.  At their June 2007 meeting, the Board will discuss the necessity of rescheduling that meeting.


VIII.     New Business

            a.          Library Report to Council

Barnard summarized the presentation to City Council at their October 9th meeting.  In their comments, Council identified three focus areas: marketing, technology and programming.  The presentation can be viewed on streaming video from the city’s web site.


            b.         “Long Overdue” Report Discussion                  

                        Board comments included:

·        Report results were very positive about public library services.

·        It is imperative that library’s communicate financial challenges to the community.

·        Transportation may be an issue in using the library.

·        Outstanding fines and fees may prevent use of library.

·        Libraries are more than books, electronic access is important.

·        During tough economic times, students may turn to the public library.

·        Convenience of library hours may be an issue to consider.

·        The library as a safe place is in context of other places children and teens may go.


IX.       Board Comments

            Galt and Bush announced that they would not be in attendance at the November meeting.


            Heard thanked the library and Friends for the Teen Read Week author visit to Midland and Dow High Schools.


 X.       Adjournment

            Brink moved and Soules seconded to adjourn the meeting.  The meeting

            adjourned at 8:40 p.m.  The next meeting of the Library Board is scheduled for

            Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.