Library Board

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

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


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


            ABSENT:            Marilyn Soules


II.                 Library Fines and Fees Collection – Jim Branson, City Attorney

Branson informed the Board that since April 2005 approximately $42,000 has been collected of the $89,000 in outstanding fines and fees.  There are 87 pending lawsuits ranging from $90 to $1,251.  Barnard added that a process is in place for addressing outstanding fees or fines that will prevent a backlog from occurring.


III.               Acceptance of November 15, 2006 Meeting Minutes


Maxine moved to approve the minutes, Heard seconded.  Minutes approved as submitted.


IV.              Additions or Changes to the Agenda




V.        Public Comments




VI.            Director's Report

            In addition to information provided in the written report, Barnard reported:

·        The renovations of the main level restrooms have begun.

·        McKane reported that cram night held on Sunday, January 14 was successful with 131 kids in attendance.

·        The deadline for Battle of the Books team registrations is Monday, January 21, 9 p.m.


Board members congratulated Stephanie Williams on her appointment as Supervisor of Circulation Services. 


Stein asked about the upcoming Citizens Academy and the library’s participation.  Barnard stated the library staff would be participating, providing information on library services and programs during one of the scheduled sessions.  


Kinnish asked about the upcoming National Library Week events.  Barnard announced that the theme is Get In The Game @ Your Library with programs focused on baseball.


VII.      Patron Compliments and Concerns.


Signed Compliments and Concerns


1.      Thank you for making the library so accommodating for our families.


2.      Suggestion:  To be able to listen to a CD before checking it out of the library.

Patrons are welcome to bring in personal CD players with headphones.

If a CD is in a locked case it must be checked out.  Patron then can listen to the CD and return it before leaving the library if they choose.


3.      The games on the computers downstairs are a little young.  Could you get a

couple for upper elementary.  My nephew really liked the geography game you used to have, where he could click on the country or city.

Games for older children are accessible on the public access computers.  Links are provided from the Youth Services page.  Please ask a librarian if you need assistance.


4.      If the bathrooms are to be renovated, hand bars to help a person get up if they

have had hip surgery would be nice.  Also it is dark in the women’s restroom on the main floor.  Are the restrooms wheel chair accessible?  Taller toilets in some stalls could also help especially for hip replacement surgery people.

                                    Restrooms are being remodeled to improve accessibility.


5.      Hi, are the any “rules” governing the use of the soft lounge chairs near the

windows in the Cup and Chaucer.  By that I mean what’s with people (usually men) using these as work stations for laptops, audio systems etc. and either not eating/drinking or sipping drinks for up to an hour at a time.  Actual experience where a man left his laptop for 15 minutes and went off to another part of the library.  Public sentiment.  There should be guidelines for this type of thing.

                  No library rules of conduct are being violated.


6.      I really appreciate the services provided by this library.  My concern is (I use

the library quite often) that the past 3 times I’ve been here someone has been using his/her cell phone.  I’m an idealist who wants to continue to believe that libraries are quiet zones.  Thanks!  Your staff is wonderful.

Patrons are asked to put their cell phones on vibrate when in the library and speak quietly.  A reminder card is given to patrons speaking too loudly on their phones.




Unsigned compliments and concerns:


1.      MCTV stopped taping the Halloween parade before 12:00.  There were a lot

      of unhappy parents.

The taping of the parade continued after the Halloween program until everyone present had been in the parade.  Next year, program information will clearly state when the parade will be held.


2.      Will the coffee bar open on weekends.  It was nice having coffee when I came

in on Saturday to do my research.  I enjoy the library very much.  The staff is always very helpful.

Due to increase costs, the coffee bar will be opened 10-5, Monday through Friday.



VIII.     Old Business


            a.            Board/Community Communications

                        Continuing with the “Did You Know” idea, Brink will be doing the May/June issue, Heard will do the July/August issue and Kinnish will submit an article for September/October.


b.                  Book Drop/Parking Lot

Barnard reported that the Discovery Square Placemaking Committee is reviewing ideas for addressing the exterior of the buildings to create a more pedestrian friendly environment.  Barnard and McKane provided the Committee input on ideas about the exterior of the library.  Exterior plans may effect the options of a drive-up return and any changes to the parking lot.


c.                  Cup and Chaucer Coffee bar

Barnard reported that Mike Shea is pleased with the financial situation of the coffee bar since the hours and staffing have been reduced. Barnard and Shea will be discussing the use of vending machines to serve patrons when the coffee bar is closed.


d.                  Community Communication Committee, Board Goal 2

Gault reported that the Committee reviewed several ideas that Soules discussed at a meeting with Barnard and McKane.  The goal is to reach non-users of the library to inform them of services and programs.  The Board supported the suggestion that a letter or flyer be sent to residents of a selected township as a pilot program.  A draft of the letter/flyer will be prepared by staff to be reviewed at the next Board meeting.


There was a suggestion to target agencies.   It was noted that the West Midland Family Center participated in the community read program, and this spring both West and North Midland Family Centers will host puppet shows that are made available to the library through the Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative.


e.                  Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative Board Report

Bush reported that the Cooperative financial audit was good.  Bush agreed to serve on the Cooperative’s Finance Committee. Bush reviewed the cuts made by the member libraries that lost millage elections this past fall. 


IX.       New Business

            MGTV City In 15 / Adaptive Technology Computer

Barnard showed the segment of “City In 15” with Ron Suszek and Dr. Allen, a library patron, discussing the Adaptive Technology Computer that is now available for patrons with disabilities.  Kinnish asked if anyone could use it and if organizations were being notified that this was available.  Barnard responded that the library has notified the Disability Network of Mid-Michigan, and those interested in using the computer should call the Reference Desk.


X.        Board Comments

            Heard noted that if you have a book on hold but check out a copy from Book Express before the hold is filled, it does not automatically remove your hold.  Patrons need to cancel the hold or request that Circulation staff remove the hold to avoid the $.25 charge. 


            Heard commented that even though you may have a number of people ahead of you on a hold, it doesn’t take long to get the materials.  Barnard explained that the hold count combines all of the holds placed on an item at all Consortium member libraries and doesn’t reflect the number of holds of Midland patrons.


            Stein commented on the letter from Joel ben Izzy, thanking the community for selecting his book for the first community read.  Bush remarked that he is still receiving good comments on the book and the author.


 XI.      Adjournment

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

            adjourned at 8:18 p.m.  The next meeting of the Library Board is scheduled for

            Wednesday, February 21, 2007 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.