Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board


Wednesday, February 18, 2009 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, Tami Johnson, Kathleen Kinnish, Norm Neher, Marilyn Soules


ABSENT:  William Snover


ALSO PRESENT: Wendy Shields, Technical Secretary; Virginia McKane, Assistant Director; John Palen, Midland Issues, Abby McGuire, Midland Daily News


II.                 Acceptance of January 21, 2009 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 letter from the State Librarian.  This letter congratulates the Library on achieving the Enhanced Level of the Library of Michigan’s Quality Services Audit Checklist. 


Neher inquired about how the number of Battle of the Books teams compared to other years.  McKane responded that this year’s 64 teams is one of the higher totals but is not the highest number of teams registered.  There are a total of 479 students participating.


Soules noted the Summer Camp Kick-Off at the Midland Center for the Arts on March 28th from noon – 4 p.m.


Johnson reminded people that the Friends of the Library Used Book Sale is this coming weekend, February 20th - 22nd.  Recycled bags will be available for purchase at the sale.  Friday is members only; memberships can be purchased at the door.


Galt commended the staff on having no on job injuries for 2008.  Barnard recognized the safety committee and the library staff for their hard work in achieving this goal.


VI.              Patron Compliments and Concerns


1.      Need to improve lighting in the parking lot.

Repairs have been completed on parking lot lights.


2.      I think you guys should let us download music on our iPods with your computers.  People like me don’t have the internet.  The rule with renting laptops only at eighteen years of age is bad.

Because accounts need to be set up to download music, personal or home computers must be used.  The cost and legal responsibilities associated with the laptops prevent the library from allowing minors to check out the laptops.


3.      I really enjoy Books on CD as I drive a lot.  However, I find it difficult to pick out interesting ones as I read a lot of authors.  How about a new or recommended selection of fifty titles to guide us.

On the library’s website: click on “New at the Library” and click on “New Audiobooks.”  This list is updated with new additions to the collection.


4.      I stopped to quickly get books with my two boys.  Both check-out lines were open and had 2-3 people/line.  One line had a woman either getting a new card and/or paying a fine.  She was taking forever!  My complaint is why doesn’t that type of work get done in another area so the line moves quickly.  I was in a hurry and very upset to have to wait!  (Sorry, I have no patience!)  Would it be possible to set up a self serve line (maybe at third check-out line) for those of us who don’t need a receipt and know what we are doing.

Staff strives to be as efficient as possible but some patron issues do take time to resolve.  The check out desk is staffed at all times with staff that is trained and has the necessary resources to perform check out duties.  At other service desks, staff may be away from the desk assisting patrons or there may be only one staff member assigned at the desk.  There is no funding currently available to provide self check out.


VII.            Old Business

a.    Board/Community Communications

No new information.


                  b.   Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative Board Report

Soules reported that the current director is retiring in the fall and the search for a replacement is underway.  Governor Granholm’s budget recommendation to move the Library of Michigan to the Department of Education was discussed at the meeting.


c.       Library Board Goals Committee Reports

Soules 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

No new information.


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 reported that Lee Rouse from Omni Tech International has been hired as a facilitator for the strategic plan process.  The Strategic Plan committee will consist of staff members Virginia McKane, Melissa Barnard, Ron Suszek, Stephanie Williams, Mary Schultz, Monica Anderson and Ann Jarvis as well as Board members Sarah Galt, Marilyn Soules and Kathleen Kinnish.  The first meeting will be March 24th.


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

Mary Beth Rousseau from Northwood University has offered to have students in one of her Marketing Management courses develop marketing strategies for the Library.  Teams of students will present their plans for consideration at the end of the term.  Barnard and McKane will be presenting information on the Library at one of their classes and providing the students an opportunity to tour the Library.


d.      Budget Updates

Barnard announced that the proposed budget cuts for the Library have not changed at this point in the budget process.  The City Manager is developing the budget to present to City Council with the proposed budget reductions from all city departments included.  The dates for the public hearings on the budget are listed on the City’s website. 


The proposal to reduce Library hours has been reported in the newspaper.  Barnard has received only one comment regarding the proposed reductions at the Library related to the impact on the use of the Conference Rooms.  If approved, the reduced hours will go into effect July 1, 2009. 


VIII.         New Business

a.   Expiring Board Terms:

Galt is seeking re-appointment. Snover has declined consideration for re-                  appointment.


           Galt’s name will be submitted to City Council to be considered for re-appointment.


IX.              Board Announcements

Soules encouraged all to attend the upcoming Library events in March and April.


Brink will attend the Midland County Township Association meeting on March 5th.  Barnard will supply Library newsletters and flyers for her to take to the meeting.


X.                 Adjournment

Brink moved to adjourn, Galt seconded.  Motion passed.  Meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.