Library Board

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

7 p.m.

City Hall Council Chambers


I.                   ROLL CALL

Due to technical difficulties Soules called the meeting to order at 7:12 p.m. 


PRESENT:   Melissa Barnard, Maxine Brink, Sarah Galt, Kathleen Kinnish, Norm Neher, Marilyn Soules, Judy Stein


ABSENT:    Stu Bush


ALSO PRESENT:      Virginia McKane; John Palen, Midland Issues;

                                    Cathy Nelson Price, Midland Daily News



            Minutes approved as submitted.





IV.       PUBLIC HEARING – Proposed revisions to Library Fines and Fees Ordinance.

            Barnard informed the Board that the revisions were posted on the library bulletin board and web page, regular renters of the library’s facilities were mailed an announcement, articles appeared in the Midland Daily News and Midland Issues, and the Public Meeting Notice highlighted the public hearing. Barnard reviewed the three written comments received before presenting the revisions to the ordinance. One was concerned about the affordability for non-profits if room rental rates are increase, the second suggested that DVD movies should be free, and the third comment was about raising the price of printed pages.


            Soules opened the Public Hearing for comments.  There being none, the Public Hearing was closed.  Board discussion followed.  Galt expressed concerned about the wording allowing the Library Director to waive or reduce video charges. It was decided to leave the language as presented.  Stein reported that comments from people that she informally surveyed were positive about the changes.


            Brink moved to accept the proposed changes as submitted, Stein seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.  Kinnish moved to forward the revised fine and fess ordinance to City Council and recommend that City Council approve the revisions, Brink seconded.  Motion passed unanimously.


            There will be a first reading at the November 12th regular City Council meeting and a second reading at the November 19th regular Council meeting.








            In addition to the report, Barnard announced that the Library is adding to the Great Michigan Read program offerings a “Hemmingway Read In” at Starbucks, November 13th, 7-9 p.m., co-sponsored by the Literacy Council of Midland County. Stories from The Nick Adams Stories will be read aloud followed by audience discussion.


            The library will be co-hosting with the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio the launching of the book Alden B. Dow: Midwestern Modern, by Diane Maddex on October 23rd, 4-6 p.m. on the Library Mezzanine.  There will be brief comments by the author and copies of the book will be made available for sale and signing. 


            McKane highlighted the Teen Read Week activities: manga program, book discussion of Things Change by Patrick Jones, and school visits by author Patrick Jones. Gloria Whelan, author of the young adult novel The Pathless Woods, is speaking on October 18th in conjunction with the Great Michigan Read. The Youth Services Department has been working with Midland and Dow High Media Specialists in a “Passport” program for the English students.  During Teen Read Week, students bring their passports to the library, visit different stations throughout the building, and return the passports to their school library to collect a prize. 


            Soules asked if there was any information about the Rosetta Stone language program being discontinued.  The decision to discontinue the online language program to libraries was announced by the company. Beginning February 2008, the program will no longer be available through the library.


            Neher commented that the English students at the Midland Public Middle and High Schools are participating in a Hemmingway writing project as part of the Great Michigan Read.  He thanked McKane for meeting with the staff to discuss the project.



            Signed Compliments and Concerns:


1.         I would love it if the website had a feature that would notify me when one of my favorite authors (from a list on website) had a new book published.

        Current automated system does not offer this service. Staff is researching other alternatives.


2.         Keep up the good work! The library is my favorite place.  You guys that work here make it wonderful again and again.


3.         I love the access to the Tumble books online.  My kids at home and school love them!


4.         It would be nice to have the library close earlier on Friday nights and stay open longer on Saturday night.  There are football games & then basketball games on Friday nights and it would be more convenient for students both college & high school to be able to go to the library on Saturday evening.

        No plans at the present time to change library hours.


5.         I rented some DVD’s and VHS tapes last week.  I did enjoy all.  Just wondering if someone on your staff could possibly wipe off with some kind of cleaner the outside of the plastic boxes/containers of the DVD’s and VHS tapes when they are returned.  I know these items do get used but it was disappointing to get a tape and find the outside of containers having grunge on them.

        Staff will clean as needed.


6.         I like the old movies.  It’s hard to find them on the shelf.  A classic label on the DVD’s would be very nice.  Also noire is another label idea.

        This would add a second label to many DVD’s, covering more of the spine.  Reference books on movies are provided to assist users.


7.         I just shared the women’s restroom with a woman and two preschoolers.  Only the oldest could reach water faucet.  How about a step stool for small children?

        Safety concerns prevent using a stool.


8.         Thank you for adding Plots & Pizza for middle schoolers.  My sister and I really enjoyed Brown Bag Book Club.  I was wondering, could you add a group for high schoolers?  I’m a sophomore and would like to see a teen/high school version. Thanks.

        The library book group set up for high school students was discontinued because of low attendance.  Each high school offers a book group for students.


Unsigned Compliments and Concerns:


1.         The bike lock up area is looking rather bad.  The concrete has something poured all over it.

        Area has been cleaned.


2.         The person or persons who set up the display for Constitution Week did an outstanding job.  The wonderful selection of books (even an audio book included) and DVD’s should pique anyone’s interest in learning more about our constitution.  I have a reading list on this topic to last for quite a while.  Thank you so much for an excellent display.


3.         Your Youth Services Department is just fantastic!!  They are always so patient with the children.  Kudos to all the staff.


4.         I brought my 90 year old father in to look at the new books.  I moved a quite heavy chair over to them for him.  He got up for a minute and someone took his place on the chair. It, therefore, struck me that having a chair or two, preferably on castors, in that area might be a very helpful to many patrons.

        The new book area is not large enough to accommodate chairs. Chairs on caster are a safety concern.  The wheelchair provided by the library is a possible solution.







a.          Board/Community Communications

        The “Did You Know” articles in the Library Connection are assigned through the March/April issue with Stein contributing for January/February and Bush for the March/April issue.  Brink volunteered to submit an article for the May/June issue.  


        As requested, Barnard provided figures comparing the same time frame of May to September for 2006 and 2007 for library cards issued to Lincoln Township residents.  In 2006, thirty cards were issued and, after the postcard mailing in 2007, forty-three library cards were issued. 


b.         Board 2006/07 Annual Report

        The annual report was received by City Council at their October 1, 2007 meeting on consent agenda.  The report is posted on the library’s website.


c.          Mideastern Library Cooperative Board Report – Bush

In Bush’s absence, Soules reported that there had been no progress on state aid funding for fiscal year 2007/08.


IX.     NEW BUSINESS – Library Board Goals, 2007/08

Soules opened discussion on addressing the goals for the upcoming year.  It was noted that the goal to recommend revisions in the library fines and fees ordinance to City Council is accomplished.  The goal to monitor the library’s performance through statistics will be ongoing. 


The Board decided to assign each goal to committees of two or three who would bring suggestions back to the Board as a whole for consideration. Assignments are as follows:


·         Neher and Soules - Suggest new opportunities for library collaborations with community organizations. 

·         Bush and Galt - Suggest innovative marketing strategies to communicate library services and programs to the community. 

·         Brink, Kinnish and Stein - Seek dialog/feedback from the community to determine needs through solicited comments. 






         Brink moved to adjourn.  Stein seconded.  Meeting adjourned at 8:43 p.m.