Library Board

Wednesday, June 20, 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, Marilyn Soules, Judy Stein


            ALSO PRESENT:            Virginia McKane; John Palen, Midland Issues


II.                 Acceptance of May 16, 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 showed the board an advertisement wrap that was in the Midland Daily News on June 3rd promoting the summer reading program. 


            Barnard reported that the Michigan Humanities Council announced that they would be sponsoring a Great Michigan Read Program.  A book has been selected for a statewide community read. The library, in collaboration with other local organizations, will be participating in this program with a kick off in mid-September. The title of the book will be announced in July by the Michigan Humanities Council.  It was questioned if this would be an annual program and if it would involve teens.  Barnard responded that it is possible that it could be an annual event.  Midland Public Schools will be contacted to see how they want to participate in the program. 


            Barnard commented on the city’s re-designed website.  A new feature on the library’s web page is the link to the streaming video for the “City in 15” programs that highlight library information.  Patrons with questions or comments can use the “Contact Us” link and selected the appropriate form to direct their question to the specific department. Other ways of using the web page including online tutorials are being discussed by the Library’s Technology Excellence Committee.


Barnard announced that, with software installed by the Valley Library Consortium, pre-overdue notices will be sent out three days before the materials are due to patrons who have provided the library with email addresses.  This service is available by email only. 


McKane reported that the summer reading program was underway and it is not too late to sign up.  Field Day held at the library on June 20th was very well attended. The group Acting Up Theatre will be performing “Mystery of the Missing Book” in the library on June 21st.  A Bluegrass concert will be held on Friday, June 29th.


In response to a Board suggestion, Barnard will check into the possibility of promoting the Cup and Chaucer Coffee Bar at the Midland Center For The Arts and the Dow Gardens. 


VI.       Patron Compliments and Concerns.


            Signed Compliments and Concerns:


  1. I listen to a lot of audio books on tape or CD.  Lately about 30% of the CD books have at least one defective disk.  Suggest each CD book have a large red label asking for special care in handling each disk.

Additional labeling on the books on CD is not practical.  Please report any defective disks when returning the item.


  1. I tried to come to the library today, May 10 2007 and couldn’t park.  I’ve been told that Dow’s stockholders are meeting across the street and parking anywhere.

This is an annual event.  The increase in the number of stockholders attending this meeting did impact the availability of parking in the area.


  1. I am impressed with your CD and DVD collection.  The library as a whole is very well stocked and organized. 


  1. Awesome Place.


  1. You should have a book rating on your website so we can tell what books are good.

The library did offer a blog last summer for those interested in sharing their reading choices.  Other book related blogs may be tried in the future.


  1. I come to this library because I reside in Midland.  However, I do feel that this library is pitiful! They charge for every little thing and it makes no sense.  How can you charge for a hold because you all don’t carry a particular book.  It costs you nothing to request the book, so why charge your patron for picking it up.  To charge someone to use their license when they forgot their card at home is also so utterly ridiculous!!!  If I didn’t live in Midland I would NEVER come to this library.  The libraries in Saginaw are much better and they don’t try to make a buck all the time off their patrons.

The library does process between 2,000 and 3,000 holds per month, incurring staff costs to process these requests.  In order to prevent delays at check out, patrons are provided with library cards.  The $1.00 charge encourages patrons to use their cards.  All fines and fees are included in a City Ordinance.


  1. I would like to express my disappointment over the TV in the new teen area.  Initially, we were excited to see a new place to go and read.  We were even encouraged to go there because the other parts of the children’s level is often noisy with preschoolers, etc.  Our family now has to be concerned about finding a place in the library away from potentially offensive programming (to us).  Why, where books are the main focus do we need a TV?  Also, it (TV) is highly distracting.  Thanks for your time.

The televisions in the Teen Spot have pre-selected channels that are allowed for viewing.  The teens have been very responsible in their use of the televisions.  Libraries are much more than books today. 


  1. Can signs be posted stating the library expectations regarding cell phone use and loud discussions?

Signs are posted.  The ability to change behavior through the use of signs is limited.  Staff does communicate with cell phone users who are talking loudly.


Unsigned compliments and concerns:


1.      It would really be nice to have the book author’s name on the check-out slip, not just on renewal slips.

More information on the receipts will further slow down the printing at check out.  Titles are provided on the receipts.


  1. Make a CD drop box outside please.

            The CD music cases are too fragile for the return.


  1. Thanks very much for a clean, well organized, comfortable library.  Especially for the teens.  The staff is so helpful and kind!


  1. New CD rack is very confusing to find new items on.  It was easier in the back corner.

The new display unit has increased awareness of this collection and circulation has increased.  Staff will review how the CDs are ordered in the shelving unit.


  1. Since many cell phone users speak very loudly when using it, could the cell phone notice suggest holding extended conversation in the lobby or outdoors?  I know the “silence” rule hasn’t applied for a long time, but the loudness of the talking is very interruptive.  Thank you.

Monitoring the use of cell phones is very difficult.  Signs are not effective.  Staff does communicate with cell phone users who are talking loudly.


  1. There isn’t a hook in the handicapped stall of the women’s bathroom downstairs.  Thanks.

The lower level restrooms will be remodeled this year and hooks will be added.




VIII.     Old Business


a.      Board/Community Communications

      The articles for the “Did You Know” column in the Library Connection have been assigned for the rest of the year.


b.      Community Communication Committee, Board Goal 2

      Barnard provided Board members copies of the post cards that were mailed to Lincoln Township residents, promoting library cards.  It was decided that the count of new library cards issued for Lincoln Township residents since the mailing would be compiled at the end of summer and brought to the September Board meeting.


c.      Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative Board Report - Bush

      Bush reported that the remaining state aid for 2006-2007 would be released in August.  Plans for the 2007-2008 budget are being made in case the proposal for a 50% reduction in funds to cooperatives is passed. Some areas that would be affected by the reduction include: delivery service, programming, and technology upgrade funding.  Two years remain on the director’s contract and the Cooperative Board would like to honor the contract.  Given the current level of funding, the Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative would run out of money in the 2010-2011 budget year.


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

            2007-2008 Goal Development

      A discussion was held on goals for the 2007-2008 year.  It was decided that each Board member should send goal ideas to Kinnish and a compiled list will be brought to the July board meeting. 


      Barnard suggested that goals should reflect what the library is trying to do, whom the library is trying to serve and trying to achieve.  City Council community goals should be considered to provide consistency.


      Galt made a motion to accept the rough draft of the annual report as presented, Kinnish seconded.  The draft was accepted unanimously with the addition of the goals at a later date.


e.       Nomination Committee Report – Bush, Stein

Stein reported that Soules and Galt accepted the nominations for Chair and Vice-Chair respectively.  With no other nominations offered, Bush moved to accept the nominations, Heard seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.  Soules will serve as Chair and Galt will serve as Vice-Chair for 2007-2008. 


f.        Library Budget, 2007-2008

Barnard announced that the City Council passed the City of Midland Annual Budget for 2007-2008.  There were no changes to the library’s budget.  The new fiscal year begins on July 1, 2007.


IX.       New Business


Friends of the Library Annual Meeting Report

Barnard attended the meeting.  The Friends Board reviewed membership statistics. There are currently 493 members, an increase over the past several years. Support for library programs such as Battle of the Books, Summer Reading, and special projects as in the digitization of the Midland Daily Newspapers were noted.  Three used book sales are held each year and the proceeds go back into the library. 


In appreciation of the Friends support, the library has developed a special “Thank You” bookmark to distribute to patrons recognizing the Friends contributions.


X.        Board Comments

            Galt recognized Heard for her service on the Board.  All members thanked Heard for her participation. 


XI.      Adjournment

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

            adjourned at 8:45 p.m.  The next meeting of the Library Board is scheduled for Wednesday, July 18, 2007 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.