Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board


Wednesday, November 19, 2008, 7 p.m.

City Hall Council Chambers


I.                    Roll Call

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


PRESENT: Melissa Barnard, Maxine Brink, Sarah Galt, Tami Johnson, Kathleen Kinnish, William Snover


ABSENT:  Norm Neher, Marilyn Soules


ALSO PRESENT: Wendy Shields, Technical Secretary; John Palen, Midland Issues


II.                 Acceptance of October 15, 2008 Meeting Minutes

Minutes approved as submitted.


III.               Additions or Changes to the Agenda



IV.              Public Comments



V.                 Director’s Report

Barnard directed the Board’s attention to the newspaper article section of the packet.  The Library placed an ad on the Kroger pharmacy bag.  A copy of the ad was included in this section.


Barnard announced that the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library has obtained the Essential level of certification on the Library of Michigan Quality Services Audit Checklist.  Beyond essential, libraries can receive certification for enhanced and excellent.


Kinnish inquired about the Disability Network Mentoring Day.  Barnard responded that a student selected the Library and was scheduled for a tour and hands-on experiences.  This was the first time that the Library participated in this program.


Kinnish asked about the Heart Healthy Holiday Cooking program.  Barnard explained that a chef and dietician presented the program.  There was a full house and it was a very successful evening.  This program was co-sponsored by the Mid-Michigan Health Regional Medical Center.  Adult Services Librarian Sudi Kotecha organized the event.


Kinnish also mentioned teen author, Pete Hautman, and his presentation at local schools.  The Friends of the Library sponsored his visit. 


Galt noted that adult material circulation did not increase.  However, she did visit the library on a beautiful fall day and it was packed.  Barnard commented that it is hard to explain the variance in the statistics.


VI.              Patron Compliments and Concerns


1.      I think that because the computers are so slow in transitioning from screen to screen, you should allow an additional 15-30 minutes on the allotted time.  I have accounts in Yahoo, My Space, and other sites I need to visit but to change sites takes forever.  Also, the warnings that pop up at the end breaks one’s train of thought.  Once would be sufficient.

Response time is slower in the afternoon during peak use.  Laptops are available for in-house use.  The warnings are needed to ensure that all users are aware that their time is ending.

2.      The internet is very slow sometimes.  It is bad when you wait twenty minutes out of a one hour period.  Also, you could close at 5 p.m. on Friday and close all day on Sunday to save money.  Try Charter, Mercury or AT&T for internet service.

The library uses Charter as their Internet Service Provider.

3.      I like that you offer e-audiobooks.  The problem is that I am unable to use the service because I use an i-pod for my listening device and the files are not compatible.  There are other libraries that allow the use of an i-pod, I wish we did also.

Apple is beginning to allow iPod use with downloadable products other than with their own.  The vendors currently offering iPod compatibility have a very limited number of titles available.  The library is waiting to see what the various vendors offer before making a decision to change vendors.

4.      Place date stamps on the counter past the check out counter.  That way we could stamp the dates on our books if we have forgotten to stamp before leaving.

The area cannot accommodate this added activity without causing congestion.  The dates can be hand written on the sticker using the receipt to verify the dates.

5.      We would be very interested in a “Ready, Set, Read” class in the evenings.  Perhaps around 6:30 or 7:00 p.m.

These were scheduled in the evenings during 2007 and attendance was very low.

6.      Your library is very neat and employees are very courteous.



1.      $1.00 per page is too much to charge for printing from computers!

Color printing is $1.00 per page, black and white printing is $ .10 per page after the first free page.

2.      I think that the computer time should be allowed to be lengthened or that it should be able to be used later in the day again, instead of once per day, based on how busy the computers are.

Laptops are available for check out and use in the library.

3.      The e-mail reminders of books coming due (and renewability) are very helpful for those of us who take out a lot of books.  Thank you.



VII.            Old Business

a.       Board/Community Communications

Brink offered to contribute the Library Board – Sharing Favorites section in the March/April issue of the Library Connection.


b.      Library Board Goals Committee Reports

Kinnish called upon board members to report on the activities of their committees.


Goal 1:  Advise library staff and evaluate processes and procedures related to technology use and instruction at the library.

Board members assigned:  Neher, Galt, Johnson

Galt reported that they began discussion on this goal and will report at the January meeting.


Goal 2:  Participate in the review of the Library’s Mission Statement and development of a strategic plan.

Board members assigned:  Galt, Soules, Kinnish

Barnard indicated that McKane and she met with a possible facilitator and that he will be submitting a proposal.  The staff hopes to begin work on the Mission Statement and Strategic Plan in January.


Goal 3:  Participate in the City of Midland Community Roundtable discussions regarding city services, including the services of the library, to provide input in identifying city budget priorities for fiscal year 2009-2010.

This goal was completed in October 2008.


Goal 4:  Suggest innovative marketing strategies to communicate library services and programs to the community.

Board members assigned:  Kinnish, Soules, Snover

Kinnish reported that Soules has been attempting to contact a Northwood Marketing instructor to discuss the involvement of a Marketing class in achieving this goal.


In addressing Goal 4, Snover commented that he saw advertisements on television promoting the Bay County Library System.  He wondered if the Library would consider this form of advertisement.  He wasn’t sure if this would be cost prohibitive.  The public access channel was suggested and Snover mentioned that people can be trained at MCTV to possibly produce segments that would promote the Library.  Barnard commented that we currently use the government channel to advertise Library programs.  Johnson said that there is a cost in using the public access station; the government channel is free of charge to the Library.


VIII.         New Business        

No new business.


IX.              Board Announcements

Galt mentioned that a patron told her about a chess club that they had at a previous library.  She thought that the role of bringing together groups with similar interests might be a good fit for the Library.  It would bring cultural enrichment to the community.   Barnard commented that chess and checkerboard games are set up in the Teen Spot and that there are Teen Game Nights where various games are played.  Johnson commented that Crafty Readers does fulfill a cultural enrichment component.  She also often sees displays at the Library which does this as well.


Barnard remarked that the Library has not received requests for this type of service.  Patrons do ask about book groups but, since most local book groups are private, the library does not make referrals.  Books and Bites began as a result of the need for a public book discussion group.


Johnson commented on the great Battle of the Books display in the glass cabinets on the lower level.  She said that the graph demonstrating participation and books read was very interesting, and encouraged people to view it.  This display was made in celebration of the Battle of the Books 30th year.  Barnard mentioned that the Battle of the Books kick-off was Saturday.  Children’s author Betty Birney was the speaker and over 500 people attended.  Kinnish recalled that the Books and Bites group read Battle books in the past.  She would like to have that done again.  The deadline for forming teams and other information is on the Library’s website.


Kinnish attended the Middle East Lecture series that the Library presented.  She appreciated the opportunity to attend this very informative program.


X.                 Adjournment

Brink moved to adjourn.  Motion passed.  Meeting adjourned at

7:37 p.m.