Library Board

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

7 p.m.

City Hall Council Chambers


I.                   ROLL CALL

Galt called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. 


PRESENT:   Melissa Barnard, Stu Bush, Sarah Galt, Kathleen Kinnish, Norm Neher, Judy Stein


ABSENT:    Maxine Brink, Marilyn Soules


ALSO PRESENT:      Virginia McKane; John Palen, Midland Issues



            Minutes approved as submitted.



            Bush requested that a Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative update report be added to the agenda.






            In addition to the report, Barnard reviewed the schedule for Happenings ’08: Celebrating Libraries.  Instead of focusing on programs just during National Library Week, events have been scheduled in March and April.  The annual tea will be held during National Library Week featuring EllynAnne Geisel, author of The Apron Book.  Other events are included on a special flyer in the March/April Library Connection newsletter.


            Galt mentioned the vending machine in the Cup Chaucer Coffee Bar and the renovation of the lower level restrooms. The vending machine will provide snacks during the hours that the coffee bar is not open. The restroom renovation project should begin in March.


            Stein inquired about the 100 Best Communities for Young People award to Greater Midland.  McKane served on the application committee. This is the second year Greater Midland has won this honor. 






1.      You should have the Amigo over by the “In” door so handicap people can get on it when they come in the door.

Space restrictions and safety concerns do not allow placement at the door.  The staff can provide assistance if they are alerted.


2.      I would find it very helpful when searching the catalog if I could limit by adult books.  I find when I search I get many youth books and don’t know it until I’ve clicked on the book.  Time could be saved with this feature.

The ability to limit searches has recently been made available on the computer catalog.




1.      You used to have a wide selection of VCR movies – some of us don’t own a DVD player.

VHS tapes are being withdrawn based on use and condition.  No new purchases are being made in this format.  Use of the DVDs has increased significantly.


2.      When people are using the computers, why can’t they be a little quieter? I always try to be respectful of others. Today we had to listen to some man going on and on talking loudly to another lady.  They also talk loudly on their cell phones!  I think something needs to be done about it. Thanks.

The librarians at the service desks should be notified if there is a problem.


3.      Why can’t you download text files from your computer?  I wouldn’t have to print at all if I could save to a jump drive.

There are security issues that prevent allowing downloading/uploading. 


4.      The library time limit for computers should be longer than 1 hour if no one is waiting.  Have been to many libraries and not a good policy – very stressful. Never been to a library that does this.

We do not have a way of knowing if anyone is waiting.  A one hour limit allows fair use by everyone with a limited number of computers available.




1.      Positive comments about the library. (3 comments)




a.          Board/Community Communications

Brink will be submitting an article for the May/June and Neher for the July/August issues of the Library Connection.


b.         Library Drive-Up Return

As requested by the Board, Barnard reported that she contacted several organizations and informally discussed funding the drive-up return.  The responses were favorable towards funding the return. Barnard shared the comments received from community members about the drive-up return.  All comments have been positive.   


The estimated cost of the drive-up return is based on the construction of the proposed roundabout between the Center for the Arts and the library.  The roundabout project is included in the city’s engineering priories for 2008/09.  A resolution will be introduced this spring at a Council meeting to accept the gift funds for the construction of the roundabout.  At this meeting, residents will be encouraged to voice their opinions about the roundabout. 


Since the drive-up return is not included in the funds for the roundabout, engineering plans will have to be prepared with associated costs if the roundabout project is approved by City Council.  Formal applications for funding the drive-up return will be submitted when this information is available.


Stein and Bush reported favorable responses from people that they approached about the drive-up return. Galt explained how she had surveyed staff in her work department.  Of the 100 surveyed, 15 answered in favor of a drive-up return.  When the cost and other project priorities were added, the number supporting dropped to 5.  It is not know how many of those surveyed live in the library service area or use the library. Galt reported that others that she talked to outside of work were not supportive of the return as a priority for the use of the funds.


Stein asked about the timeline for action by the Board on the drive-up return.  Barnard requested that the Board decide at their March meeting. 


c.          Library Board Goals Committee Reports


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

Neher and Soules met with Barnard and McKane to review the collaboration process with organizations.  Neher reported that the process allows for organizations to approach the library or the library to approach organizations. The decision to collaborate on a project or event depends on resources needed and fit to the library’s mission.  


A list of past and ongoing collaborations was distributed. Four collaborations were selected to be highlighted:

·         Mid-Michigan Medical Center- Midland

Staff reviewed the book  Grandpa’s Crooked Smile before publication and the books were distributed through the library. 

·         Voluntary Action Center

The Center refers teens interested in volunteering during the summer reading program to the library.

·         Midland Chamber of Commerce

The library distributes “Be a Tourist in Your Town” passports and participates in the tourist day event.   

·         The Michigan Humanities Council

The library has received grants for author programs such as One Book, One Community; and partnered with the Council on the Great Michigan Read.


Neher asked for input from the Board on the status of this goal. It was agreed that this goal does not need further action.


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

Galt asked Barnard to provide an update on this goal.  Barnard reported that John Palen has put her in contact with Dr. London, a professor in the Marketing Program at Central Michigan University, who may have students interested in taking on a library marketing project.  Based on an email exchange with Barnard, Dr. London presented the idea of marketing the library’s electronic resources to his students.  A group of students is willing to take on the library as a “client.” Barnard will keep the Board informed of the progress of the project.


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

Stein read a draft of a letter to send to Midland Public Schools employees to re-introduction the Library Board and invite suggestions on how the library can support them.  Board members discussed the intent of the letter and were concerned that without specific questions or issues, responses would be very limited. No action on the letter was taken.  The idea may be revisited if feedback is sought from the school employees on library issues.


Other Committee ideas included wearing name tags at library functions and placing specific questions near the suggestions boxes in the library. No action was taken on these suggestions.


d.         Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative Board Report – Bush

Bush assisted in composing a response from the Cooperative Board on the State Librarian’s State Aid Distribution and Cooperative Plan.  The response outlines concerns with the proposed plan, particularly with the elimination of state funded Cooperatives. The Cooperative Board is reviewing the draft of the letter and upon approval will send it to the State Librarian. 



a.          Expiring Terms of Board Members: Soules, Stein

Stein announced that she will not be seeking reappointment.  She has served since July 2001 and wishes to give other residents an opportunity to serve. Soules was not in attendance.


Bush informed the Board that he will be resigning effective immediately due to scheduling conflicts. His term expires on June 30, 2009.


Board members thanked Stein and Bush for their years of service and commitment to the library. 


b.      Library Staff Organizational Chart

Barnard presented the staff organizational chart with the recent changes.  In order to control increasing costs, each vacant position in the library is reviewed to determine if the position can be modified or eliminated.   One and one-half positions have been eliminated in the reorganization.



c.       Midland Historical Newspaper Digitization Project

McKane demonstrated the new electronic resource, Midland Historical Newspapers 1870-1922. She explained how to access the archived newspapers from the library’s web page.  This project was funded by The Friends of the Library.



           Galt extended appreciation to Stein and Bush for their service on the Library Board.



         Bush moved to adjourn.  Stein seconded.  Meeting adjourned at 8:50pm.