Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board


Wednesday, April 16, 2008, 7 p.m.

City Hall Council Chambers



I.                    Roll Call

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


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


ALSO PRESENT: John Palen, Midland Issues


ABSENT:  Norm Neher


II.                 Acceptance of March 19, 2008 Meeting Minutes

Minutes approved as submitted.


III.               Additions or Changes to the Agenda



IV.              Public Comments



V.                 Director’s Report

Barnard wished all a Happy National Library and reviewed the week’s events.  She also noted that the gate count was down in March because of the Easter holiday closings.  Normally the closings occur in April.


Kinnish inquired about the Computer in Libraries Conference attended by Barnard.  Barnard highlighted meetings that she attended on search engines, new products, open source automated systems, and information on a recent Pew study on the use of the internet.


Stein commented on the number of children who participated in Carousel Horse craft, the upcoming Friends of the Library Annual Meeting on May 28th, and the lower level restroom remodel that is on schedule.


Soules noted the resignation of Pfohl from the position of Technical Secretary and asked about the status of the position.  The position is being evaluated before posting but, in the meantime, a part time staff member will be working additional hours to fill in.  Duties assigned to this position will be covered.





VI.              Patron Compliments and Concerns

                  SIGNED COMMENTS:


1.      I am discouraged to think of spending $40,000 - $60,000 on an auto book return!! Think of the books/films it could buy (even if money raised for this purpose.) Other cities do this (and have done it for 40 years) with an anchored box, a cart and tarp (to prevent rain) and an employee to check it periodically.  (It is not that far away!) A sign says that any returned and damaged after box is filled, the damaged book cost will be charged to the person who checked out the book.

There are safety concerns with staff retrieving materials from an outside return.  Patrons may try to force materials in the box when it is full, damaging other materials.


2.      You have a better selection of children’s movies upstairs than you do downstairs.

The free children’s DVDs are limited to those that are less than one hour, generally 20 to 45 minutes.  The movies in the AV Room are feature films.


3.      I borrow a lot of books on CD and some come from different libraries.  Almost always the boxes from other sites are filthy and MUST be cleaned prior to playing on my CD player.  Lots of Thanks to the people who keep Midland clean! I assuredly do not have any problems with Midland’s CDs.




1.      Enjoyed Animal Art and crafts.


2.      Change DVD and tape with other libraries, more variety.

Materials are labeled and barcoded differently. 


3.      When buying DVDs I wish you would buy full screen instead of wide screen.

Wide screen provides the preferred view of the movie, not cutting off scene shots on either side.  In order to be consistent, the library purchases all movies in wide screen.




                   There were 2 positive comments about the library.


  There were 2 negative comments about the print management system (vending       

  Utilizing the system requires payment for pages printed and limits paper waste.


VII.            Old Business

a.       Board/Community Communications

Soules invited Board members to share any comments that they may have received from the public.


Stein related that a patron attending the Apron Program told her that she watches the Board meetings and finds the patron compliments and concerns very interesting.


Kinnish polled her sorority members about the drive-up return. They all responded favorably to the idea.


b.      Library Drive-Up Return

Barnard reported that the City Council may be addressing the roundabout project at their April 28, 2008 meeting.


c.       Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative Annual Meeting,

May 8, 5:00p.m.

Board members should contact Barnard if they would like to attend the Cooperative Annual meeting, open to all Board members at no charge.


d.      Library Board Goals Committee Reports

Barnard provided name tags for Board members per the suggestion related to goal number five.  Board members have the option to wear the name tags at library events that they attend, identifying them as Board members.


Stein suggested that the Board keep in mind survey possibilities for the future.


Barnard is in email contact with the Central Michigan University student who is working with other marketing students on a marketing plan for library electronic resources.


e.       Library Board Annual Report Committee – Galt, Kinnish, Neher

Kinnish reported that the committee will have a draft annual report ready for review at the August Board meeting.


VIII.         New Business        

a.       Reappointment and Appointment of Board Members

Soules was reappointed by City Council for another three year term.  Barnard explained the process and provided dates for those interested in applying for the open positions.  Information is available on the city’s website.


b.      Proposed 2008-2009 Library Budget

Barnard reviewed the library’s proposed budget and capital purchases for the 2008-09 budget year.  The City Manager’s budget message addresses the increase in property taxes and the reductions in city expenditures.


The reductions to the library’s budget are in the following areas: capital purchases, contractual services, staff education and training, postage, printing, books and materials, and processing supplies.  Postage savings would result with the discontinuing of the mailing of the Library Connection newsletter.  Options to the mailing include: using the online edition, signing up for email delivery, and picking up copies at the library.  It was suggested that Neher may be able to assist with email distribution in the Midland Public Schools.


XI.       Board Announcements

Soules will not be in attendance at the May Board meeting, Galt will chair the meeting.


Soules will be meeting with Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative Director Roger Mendel for an orientation.  Soules noted that the Midland Daily News listed the library spring movies as the number one spring break activity.


Soules and Stein attended the afternoon tea featuring aprons and encouraged others to visit the display of aprons on the mezzanine. Stein also noted that the library collaborated with Peel ‘n Pare on the apron program series.


Stein attended the spring break movies and commented on the volunteer ushers.  Volunteens will be recruited to help with the 2008 Children’s Summer Reading Program.  Stein expressed concern with the empty vending machine in the Cup and Chaucer Coffee Bar.  Barnard had contacted the manager who was in the process of having the machine fixed so that more items could be re-stocked.  The machine has been repaired.


Galt attended the China program on April 10th.  She commented on the opportunity to promote this type of program to high school students.


Stein asked about the handout on City Council and Board and Commission goals.  Barnard distributed the goals in preparation for discussion at a future meeting.


X.               Adjournment

Bring moved to adjourn, Kinnish seconded.  Motion passed.  Meeting adjourned at 8:07 p.m.