Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board


Wednesday, May 21, 2008, 7 p.m.

City Hall Council Chambers



I.                    Roll Call

Galt called the meeting to order at 7:06 p.m.


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


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


ABSENT: Marilyn Soules


II.                 Acceptance of April 16, 2008 Meeting Minutes

Minutes approved as submitted.


III.               Additions or Changes to the Agenda



IV.              Public Comments



V.                 Director’s Report

Barnard recognized the Teen Advisory Board members who volunteered for Midland Blooms: Alyssa Shoesmith, Amanda Worden, Sydney Koch and Courtney Potter.  Youth Services Librarian Kathy Brown coordinated the teen volunteers.  Library staff who volunteered to help plant were also recognized: Sharron Hill, Wendy Krause, Juli Seibert and Elaine Warakomski.


Flyers listing the Summer Reading Program events were provided to Board members.  The information is available at the library and on the library’s website.  The flyers have been distributed to the elementary schools. Galt noted the number of activities and questioned the ability to attend so many.  She suggested that less programming in the summer when the weather is nice and more in the months of January and February when it is cold would be appreciated.  Barnard said that staff will take this under consideration but noted that attendance at the summer events is very high and may even be higher this summer due to gas prices.


Barnard reminded the audience that the library will be closed Monday, May 26th for Memorial Day and that Sunday hours will resume after Labor Day weekend.





VI.              Patron Compliments and Concerns


1.      We love the Children’s Books on CD and would like to see more of these, especially the classics and older Newbery.  Also love the American Girl mysteries on CD.  We listen to them in the car.  I like this option as opposed to the new kind with the headphones because we can enjoy them as a family.

The library will continue to purchase in both formats. Playaways can be used with car radios with the proper cables.


2.      First - thank you for providing free movies during spring break.  My kids and I enjoyed a couple of them. Second – the theater was too dark with the lights off.  Sometimes it’s hard to see when taking my kids to the bathroom.  Third – we also enjoy the “free” kids’ movies but the selection downstairs YS can sometimes be slim pickings.

Floor running lights are left on during the movie.  Staff will look at whether any additional lighting is necessary. 


The free DVDs are very popular. Staff will continue to purchase for this collection.


3.      We attended a movie today in the library auditorium.  I don’t know that we will come again.  There were children talking, shrieking and crying throughout the movie.  I understand that parents appreciate having a place that can bring their young children where they don’t have to be as strict with their children as in a regular movie theater.  But they should try to have some consideration for the rest of the audience.  I only saw ONE mother bother to take her crying child out – the rest just expected us to put up with their crying children.  Much can be done by the library staff in setting expectations – for example, when the movie is introduced, staff could remind parents to please take their disruptive children out.  The ushers could have asked a few people to leave but I saw no evidence that they were doing so.  Please consider this in the future.  Thanks.

Staff will address noise issue.


4.      Could you put a sticker on the videos with the running time if it is covered up or only on the disc itself?

If the running time is not visible on the DVD, patrons can check the time by looking up the DVD title on the computer catalog provided in the Audio-Visual area. The time is included in the catalog record for the DVD.  Additional labeling increases staff and material costs.


5.      To be more green friendly it would be nice to have a bike rack that you could lock up your bike frame (instead of tire which could be removed).  With the price of gas more people should hopefully ride their bikes more often.

The suggestion will be considered as the bike rack situation is addressed.


6.      I am interested in a computer class (specifically Microsoft Word) and am in hopes that one can be started this summer.

Library computer classes are focused on library related issues and how to access information.  Instructional books are available on the different editions of Microsoft Word.


7.      Two comments regarding the directional arrows in public parking lot.

Parking lot has been restriped.



1.      My thanks to all who bought the apron display together.  I’ve long appreciated the art of the apron and so enjoyed seeing the nostalgic collection! – Next? Maybe hankies?


2.      Put all books of a series together to make them easier to find.

Series in the Children’s area are shelved in one area if the series has different authors.  If the series is written by the same author, they are shelved alphabetically by the author’s last name in the fiction collection. Please check with the librarians at the desk if help is needed in locating a title.


3.      One comment complimenting library staff.


VII.            Old Business

a.       Board/Community Communications

Kinnish will prepare an article for the September/October newsletter.


b.      Library Drive-Up Return

The Discovery Square Committee of the Project for Public Spaces will spend additional time addressing the roundabout proposal, delaying the public hearing before City Council until later this year.  Galt mentioned the Midland Issues article about opposition to the plan expressed by a community member before the Council.  This was in response to the 2008-2009 city budget and was not a public hearing on the roundabout.


c.       Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative Annual Meeting Report

Barnard attended the meeting at which the Advisory Council voted to recommend to the Cooperative Board that Chippewa River District Library (Isabella County), Pere Marquette District Library (Clare County) and Coleman Public Library be approved for membership.  Since there was not a majority of Board members present, the recommendation will be included on the Board’s June meeting agenda. Barnard explained that membership in the Cooperative would allow residents of these libraries to receive library cards at the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library at no additional charge. 


d.      Library Board Goals Committee Reports

Barnard reported that the students at Central Michigan University did not complete the marketing plan for the library. Despite several email exchanges clarifying the project, no information was provided to the library.  The consensus of the Board was to pursue this again in the fall.  It was suggested that other universities in the area could be approached.


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

The committee will discuss how they want to assign the 2007-2008 goals for the written report.  A draft annual report will be presented at the August meeting.


f.       2008-09 Library Budget

The city budget for 2008-2009 was approved by City Council at their May 19th meeting.  Barnard reviewed the library’s budget and capital purchases for the upcoming year.


VIII.         New Business        

a.       Board Member Appointments

City Council will conduct interviews with the eight applicants on Monday, June 9th at 6:00 p.m. in City Hall.


b.      Nominations Committee Appointments

Stein will serve as the Nominating Committee.  Soules has expressed interest in staying on a chair.  Kinnish and Galt are willing to serve as Vice-Chair. Stein will present the slate at the June meeting when the voting will be held.


XI.       Board Announcements

            Stein appreciated receiving the Board packet on time despite short staffing with the secretary vacancy.  Barnard noted that Wendy Shields, Account Clerk, has been willing to work extra hours doing secretarial duties.


            Stein reviewed the library closings for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday.


            Brink will be attending the annual Township Association dinner meeting on June 5th.  She will share information about the Summer Reading Program and have copies of the flyer available.


X.               Adjournment

Brink moved to adjourn, Neher seconded.  Motion passed.  Meting adjourned at 8:04 p.m.