Library Board

Wednesday, February 21, 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, Kathleen Kinnish, Marilyn Soules, Judy Stein


            ALSO PRESENT:            Virginia McKane; John Palen, Midland Issues


            ABSENT:            Ann Heard


II.                 Acceptance of January 17, 2007 Meeting Minutes


Brink moved to approve the minutes, Galt seconded.  Minutes approved as submitted.


III.               Additions or Changes to the Agenda




V.        Public Comments

            Stein welcomed Dow High student, Melissa Shoesmith, who was observing the meeting for her government class.



VI.            Director's Report

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

·        The “Frequently Asked Questions” has been changed to “Did You Know” on the website to reflect what the board is doing in the Library Connection.

·        Kathy Brown has been hired to fill the part time vacancy in the Youth Service Department

·        Battle of the Books Teams have completed the second written battle.  McKane explained that the 60 teams are now down to 16 teams who will compete on March 3rd at the oral battles. The championship battle is scheduled for March 8th .

·        Students from Pine River Elementary School who participated in the Job Shadow Day at the library sent thank you notes.  Barnard read several.


Stein noted McKane’s participation on the 100 Best Communities for Young People Committee and inquired about the red wagon.  McKane stated the library will be displaying the “Little Red Wagon” during National Library Week.


In response to questions about the Rosetta Stone Language Program, McKane reviewed the features of this online service.  The languages currently available are French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic. 


VII.      Patron Compliments and Concerns.


Signed Compliments and Concerns


1.      The Midland library to me is a very nice place to come.  People are very nice

      the works are very nice.  It is the place to come for all your resource needs.


2.      I would like to purchase a basket if you have them for sale.  Could be a

      fundraiser as well.

Referred suggestion to the Friends of the Library.


3.      Would like a small selection of poetry out someplace so those of us who are in

       and out fast can pick up a book of poetry.

Recommend that patrons check the new non-fiction area for recent additions to the poetry collection.


4.      I love this library.  I read on the average 8 books a month.  I am unhappy,

however, with the audio books.  I travel a lot and it’s upsetting when one disk or two on one story are scratched and unusable.  The disc can ruin a CD player and also its unfair to us in Midland County that you can’t solve the problem.

Please inform staff that the CD is defective or damaged when returned.  The collection is too large to check every CD at time of return.  A scratched CD will not damage players.


5.      Please place a sign in the men’s toilet for them to flush it when their done. 

      Very disappointing to flush others waste.

With restroom remodel, the toilets will automatically flush.


6.      The ladies toilet does not seem to be as clean as in the past.  Your staff is

      always so pleasant.

Bathroom remodel is in progress.


7.      The search function on the new web based catalog is awful.  I can put in an

exact title and come up with 84 hits and at least the first 20 are not the right book.  For an author search, it requires the author’s full first and last name before it finds any of that author’s books.  Last name only turns up apparently random titles, none by that author.  Bring back the green screens of useful searches.

The former author/title search screen is still available under Expanded Search.  The tabs will be relabeled to reflect this.


8.      Re: the “Card Catalogue” Why do you keep making it harder and harder to

look up books, videos etc.?  It was an adventure learning to use the first system (after paper cards).  When that was mastered, you “improved” the machine.  I never mastered that (I took the computer training course and still had to ask reference librarian for help sometimes) this newest one is the worst.  Most frustrating this week was typing in title and getting 148 hits (most of which did not even have that phrase in the title) and the screen refused to scroll down when I wanted to “limit” the selection.  Don’t know how I will be able to find videos at all.  The reference staff are very good, but they have other customers.  I guess I’ll have to take another course -- but wait, they’re only offered a couple of times a year!  Thank you for your consideration.  I can appreciate the difficulty of trying to meet the needs of a diverse group of library patrons.  Thanks for trying.

The former author/title search screen is still available under Expanded Search.  The tabs will be relabeled to reflect this.


9.      We should be able to down load files off internet to flash drives.

Security and virus issues continue to be a concern.  Staff is researching options.


10.  Please get Word on your internet computers so I can do my school work

online.  Thank you.

OpenOffice is being considered.  This program is very similar to Microsoft Word and is free.




Unsigned compliments and concerns:


1.      Please enable library computers to display Russian, Arabic, and other


Working on enabling a variety of fonts.


2.      Need a better selection of CD’s.

Please submit specific suggestions.


3.      Where did the bike rack go?  Please put it back

The bike rack move was unauthorized. It has been returned to its normal location.


4.      I would appreciate it if you would shovel your sidewalks.  I am a walker and

you make it difficult.

Every effort is made to keep walkways cleared.


5.      Good Job.  I love the books.


6.      A patron made a suggestion to me for the next community read.  She would

like it to be of a longer duration.  She was out of town for a time at the start of this year’s event and when she returned the discussions were already underway, and she was too late to participate.

Length of the book is considered when developing the community read schedule.  Maintaining the momentum of the program is harder the longer the program lasts.


7.      You need more game computers in the youth department.

Links to games are included on the Youth Services web page that is accessible on the public access computers.  Adding computers with Internet access is a priority.


8.      The new catalogue search screen is more difficult and time consuming then

the previous system.

The former author/title search screen is still available under Expanded Search.  The tabs will be relabeled to reflect this.



VIII.     Old Business


            a.            Board/Community Communications

                        Brink has turned in her “Did You Know” article for the May/June issue. She has focused on the Library’s Consumer Corner


                        Stein congratulated Brink on being named 2006 Township Official of the Year.


b.                  Book Drop/Parking Lot

Barnard reported that the Discovery Square Placemaking Committee is reviewing ideas on altering St. Andrews Road for pedestrian safety.  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 and McKane met with that Mike Shea, Director of the Arnold Center, and Amy Norling, Manager of the Cup and Chaucer. The coffee bar financial status is acceptable.  A soft drink vending machine has been installed and new food products will be introduced. The Arnold Center is in the process of purchasing the coffee machine to allow other brands of coffee to be used.


d.                  Community Communication Committee, Board Goal 2

McKane shared with the board a draft of a “Did You Know” style postcard that could be sent to residents living in townships that contract for library services.  The information highlights the value of having a library card.  The Board approved the postcard design and wording.


The Board requested that the library staff select the township to be used as the pilot for the first mailing.  Barnard informed the Board that postal routes may overlap in other townships but that would not be a serious concern.


IX.       New Business


            a.  Friends of the Library Donation

Barnard announced that the Friends approved at their January Board meeting to donate $35,000 for a newspaper digitization project.  City Council accepted the donation at the February 12th council meeting and set a public hearing for February 26th to amend the library budget to fund the project.  McKane explained that the digitization would provide keyword searching of the newspapers.  The plan is to digitize newspapers from 1870 thru 1922 that are no longer covered by copyright.  The original newspapers will still be archived by the library.


b.      Expiring Terms of Board Members: Hear, Kinnish, Brink  

Barnard reviewed the City Council’s procedure for reappointment of Board members with expiring terms.  Barnard will contact Heard and Kinnish for their decision on whether they wish to be considered for reappointment.  


The Midland County Township Association has requested that Brink be reappointed.


c.       Review of Actions to Address Circulation

Barnard reviewed the circulation strategies to address the decline in circulation reported for the 2005-2006 fiscal year.  The following was presented:


1.            Review use of materials, particularly non-fiction.

·        Reviewed the statistics of collection subject areas.

·        Concentrating purchases in high use areas.


2.            Explore different ways to display materials.

·        Extended the display time of new children’s picture books to 9 months.

·        Using more face out book displays on shelving units.

·        Highlighting children’s authors with the Author Birthday display and

            special collections with stuffed animal book characters in Youth Services.

·        Displaying new CD Music on a face out displayer.

·        Continuously changing book displays on first floor and lower levels.


3.            Ensure that materials are up-to-date and accurate.

·        Reviewing the non-fiction collection.

·        Removing older materials and replacing with more recent publications as



4.            Expand popular collections like Book Express.

·        Increased selection of Book Express titles.

·        Revitalized Children’s Favorites, Series Wall, and Children’s Fiction


·        Increased purchase of popular CD music.

·        Developing a teen CD music collection in the Teen Spot.


5.            Utilize website to promote materials.

·        “New at the Library” link to: Books Coming Soon, Selection of Books

            Now at the Library, New Audio books, and New DVDs.

·        Lists of recommended books for children by topic and grade level.


6.            Promote related print materials at programs.

·        Displaying books at the computer classes.

·        Displaying books at story times, Crafty Readers and Brown Bag youth


·        Included book titles at the library’s table for Wellness Day at the Mall.

·        Tie in book displays with other organizations’ programs:  Butterflies at

            Dow Gardens and Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit at the Alden B. Dow

            Museum of Science and Art.


7.            Increase interaction with patrons at the library.

·        Proactively approaching users and asking if they need assistance.


d.      Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative Annual Meeting, May 17

The Cooperative Annual meeting in May is open to all and will be held in Flint.  Barnard will send out a reminder notification to see if any of the board members wish to attend.  There is no charge.


Bush announced that the next Cooperative Board meeting is in March and he may not be able to attend. He also informed the Board of the Governor’s proposed cut to state aid for public libraries and the impact on the Cooperative.


e.       State Librarian’s Town Hall Meetings

Barnard announced the meeting will be Monday, April 2, and hosted by Grace A. Dow Memorial library.  Topics will cover State and Regional wide services, challenges libraries face, best service provided and Michigan Electronic Library (MeL). If any of the board members are interested in attending contact Barnard.


X.        Board Comments

            Stein questioned if the puppet shows were still going to be at the North and West Midland Family Centers.  McKane confirmed that they are scheduled in May.


 XI.      Adjournment

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

            adjourned at 8:35 p.m.  The next meeting of the Library Board is scheduled for

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