Library Board

Wednesday, May 16, 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


            ABSENT:            Marilyn Soules


II.                 Acceptance of April 18, 2007 Meeting Minutes


Minutes approved as submitted.


III.               Additions or Changes to the Agenda




IV.       Public Comments




V.            Director's Report


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

the Midland Genealogical Society is celebrating their 35th Anniversary.  The library staff and community appreciate the Society members who volunteer in the Local History/Genealogy Room weekday afternoons.


Bush noted that the computer classes and the Spring Writers conference are full and have waiting lists.  Stein questioned if more room could be made to accommodate more people.  Barnard responded that the room capacity limits would not allow more attendees.  


Stein congratulated Kay Bouwens, Reference Librarian, on her retirement.


Galt inquired if the program on picture books presented at a Midland High School Child Development class could be offered to other childcare providers.  McKane will discuss with the Youth Services staff at their upcoming retreat.








VI.       Patron Compliments and Concerns.


            Signed Compliments and Concerns:


1.      The computer area has become very loud and disruptive.  There is a great deal of loud talking, laughing and cell phone conversations.  Please remind people that it is necessary to be considerate of others.  Thank you.

Patrons are encouraged to let the staff at the Reference Desk know if others are being too loud.  Staff will remind those who are disturbing others to lower voices or move to another area.


2.      If there is any way to please keep the books on tape it would be great.  My great-grandma is blind and truly enjoys the books.  She has a hard time with CDs.  The mysteries are her favorite.

                  Venders are phasing out books on tape for the more popular books on CD format.  The Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped provides a special collection of books on tape for qualified Michigan residents.


3.      As you prepare to renovate, please consider a re-do of the restroom facilities in the children’s section.  Possibly arrangements could be made for a low height toilet and a family restroom.  I notice dads and grandpas with their daughter/grand-daughters and there is presently no accommodations for them.  A low height drinking fountain would be helpful.

            Two heights of drinking fountains are available outside of the restrooms on the lower level.  Space and cost is a factor in providing for a family restroom.  The lower level restrooms will be remodeled to improve handicapped accessibility.


4.      It is time to categorize the videos by subject and to have a hardbound binder that lists the movies by subject with a small write up about the film and it’s rating. 

            The online catalog provides access to title listings.  The videos are divided by movies and “non-fiction” titles.  The non-fiction titles are classified by Dewey Decimal subject numbers.  The stickers on the spines of the movies identify the genre of the movie, keeping the collection alphabetical by title.  The merits of the current system and the suggested system will need to be considered. Staff at the Reference Desk can assist those searching for specific subjects.


5.      I love your library.  It’s the coolest one I’ve ever been to.

You have a very cool library and lots of cool books and movies.


Unsigned compliments and concerns:


1.      Because we have such a wonderful, beautiful library, I write this as a proud thankful Midlander.  The lower bathrooms are not cleaned and maintained by whoever does your cleaning very well.  I do cleaning and would feel terrible to do my job this bad.  The upper bathrooms look nice – I have never used the lower level, only today, April 16 because you closed the upper due to remodeling.

With the first floor restrooms unavailable during the remodeling, the lower level restrooms are getting much more use.  It is difficult to maintain the restrooms at the same level when they are the only restrooms open to the public at this time.


2.      I think it would be much easier if the children’s cd-roms were organized by age group instead of their call number.  It is very time-consuming to have a look through all of them.

It is not practical to group as such because the age groups identified on the packaging overlap, not consistently recommending for the same age ranges.  


3.      May I humbly suggest that you engage some computer assistants to aid the illiterate geriatrics who have no understanding of the operation procedures of google, etc.

Basic Internet computer classes are held several times a year.  Staff at the Reference Desk will provide assistance explaining how to get started.


VIII.     Old Business


            a.            Board/Community Communications

                        The article for the “Did You Know” column in the July/August Library Connection issue will be on the Friends of the Library submitted by Heard.  Kinnish’s article for the September/October issue will be on the Rosetta Stone database.  Soules volunteered to do the column for the November/December issue.


b.            Book Drop/Parking Lot

Barnard reported that the Discovery Square Place Making committee held a meeting, and re-confirmed that the development of a pedestrian friendly crossing between the Midland Center for the Arts and the Library is a priority.  With traffic studies, engineering plans, and funding still needing to be addressed, it could be a year before any construction would begin.  The drive-up book return is being kept in mind during the planning stages.  Barnard suggested removing the book drop/parking lot as an agenda item but will continue to keep the Board informed on the progress of St. Andrews.  The Board agreed. 


The committee is also working on a logo and possibly developing a website for Discovery Square.   The new way finding signs mistakenly identified the area as the Cultural Center.  The signs will be corrected to read Discovery Square.


c.                  Cup and Chaucer Coffee Bar

The Board discussed advertising the Cub and Chaucer Coffee Bar at Dow Gardens and the Center for the Arts.  The limited open hours of the coffee bar may not be conducive to the use patterns at these locations.  Barnard will check on the feasibility of promoting the coffee bar at the Gardens and Center.


d.                  Community Communication Committee, Board Goal 2

Barnard informed the Board that the post cards for mailing to Lincoln Township residents are at the printers and they will be responsible for delivering them to the post office.  Due to postage route boundaries, the mailing area is larger then first anticipated with a mailing of 3,671.  After a period of one month, the number of library cards issued to Lincoln Township residents will be compared to the number recorded in April 2007.


e.                  Board Annual Report Committee – Bush, Heard, Kinnish

The subcommittee will provide a copy of the draft annual report in next month’s packet. Board members are encouraged to bring ideas for next year’s goals to the June meeting.  City Council goals will be incorporated. 


The annual report and goals will be discussed at the June meeting.


IX.       New Business


            a.              Appointment of Midland Public Schools Representative

Barnard announced that Norm Neher has been appointed to the Board.  Neher coordinates the Instructional Media Program.  His term begins in July.


b.                  Nominations Committee Appointments for 2007/08 Chair and Vice-Chair

Stein and Bush will serve on the Nominations Committee and bring a slate of officers to the June meeting.


X.        Board Comments

            Brink announced an upcoming Township Association meeting on June 7 and asked if there was anything the Board wanted her to bring up.  Several suggestions were offered: the recent mailing to Lincoln Township, the article in the Edenville newsletter, and the computer training offered at the library. Overall, Board members were interested in how the library could better serve the townships and inform them about library services. Barnard and McKane will put together information about the library to be distributed to attendees.


            The Board continued the conversation about serving the Townships.  Ideas ranged from busing children to the library, utilizing a Bookmobile, loaning books to the family centers, and emphasizing remote access to the library through computers.  No action was taken on these ideas.


            Galt offered that children from birth to age 5 could participate in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library Program that sends a book monthly to those registered.  The program is offered through Success by 6. The library has the application forms.


            Brink related that she attended a meeting at the Wirt Central Library of the Bay County Library System and remarked on the beautiful new building.


            Stein questioned if there was a calendar for summer programs this year.  McKane stated that a flyer is being sent out to public and parochial schools, preschools, and the family centers for distribution to students.  Copies will be available at the library and information will be posted on the library’s website.  A wrapper will be included in the Sunday, June 3rd Midland Daily News.



            Stein shared a comment from a patron who had moved back to Midland on the excellent quality of library service at the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library in comparison with other libraries used.


            Galt commented that the tourism draw of the library could be tied into the goals.  She explained that people coming in to a town do stop by the library.


            Bush reported that although he was not able to attend the last Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative meeting, Roger Mendel sent an email explaining how the state budget crisis will affect the Cooperative.  Mendel also will be seeking Cooperative Board approval to work a couple days of the month for the Northland Cooperative, assisting them in the necessary steps to dissolve.


            Barnard stated that summer hours at the library begin Memorial Day Weekend. The library will be closed on Sundays until September 9.


XI.      Adjournment

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

            adjourned at 8:11 p.m.  The next meeting of the Library Board is scheduled for Wednesday, June 20, 2007 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.