Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board


Wednesday, May 20, 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, William Snover, Marilyn Soules


ABSENT:  Norm Neher


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


II.                 Acceptance of April 15, 2009 Meeting Minutes

Minutes approved as submitted.


III.               Additions or Changes to the Agenda



IV.              Public Comments



V.                 Director’s Report

Barnard reminded the Board that the Library will be closed Monday, May 25th for the Memorial Day holiday.  The Library will be closed on Sundays from May 26-September 7, 2009.


Barnard announced that the Library will be participating in the statewide program, “Park & Read.”  A limited number of passes may be checked out beginning in June and throughout the summer.  These passes can be redeemed for one free entrance into any one state park, with several parks offering free hammocks to participants.  The pass is “due” one week from check-out.  The program is sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources and the Library of Michigan.


Barnard reported that the Library’s Teen Advisory Board has volunteered to plant flowers for the Midland Blooms program.  Barnard invited the Board to join the teens on Saturday morning, May 30th.


Barnard distributed the Summer Reading Program brochure.  Galt expressed concern about the children’s performances all being on the same night.  Barnard responded that the Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative makes the arrangements, matching the availability of the performers with the Library’s preferred dates as possible.  Kinnish complimented staff on the brochure.  The brochure is designed in-house by Library staff and Barnard recognized Graphics staff for developing the attractive brochure.  Kinnish was glad to see that there would be a summer book discussion this year.   


Johnson noted that there would be a summer reading blog for adults on the Library’s website.  Soules added that there is also a web guide that has ideas for summer travel.


Kinnish congratulated Ann Jarvis, the Library’s outstanding employee for 2009.  Barnard explained that the award was given to Jarvis by her peers for her work on the Library website, computer class instruction, and good customer service.


Soules noted that the gate count was down in April.  Barnard explained that it could be due to the Easter holiday falling in April this year when the Library was closed two days that month.  Soules also mentioned the increase in database searches.  It appears that many people are discovering the databases and the Library staff is doing a good job of promoting them.  Barnard mentioned that the Library offers consolidated searching with Power Search.  When used, this searches multiple databases and may be part of the reason for the increase.  The library’s website also has a revolving picture that highlights current topics with links to Library databases.


VI.              Patron Compliments and Concerns


1.      I have been a library card holder for years and years and years.  I have never seen a class offered in “how to play chess”.  I would really appreciate if you could offer a class to the public.  Thank you.

We appreciate receiving program suggestions and will review.  Online resources were recommended.



1.      I came here to print a word document for class and I was told that I cannot access word from the computers that have the internet, my doc is saved on my e-mail and I cannot access the internet on computers that have word.  That is ridiculous.

Laptop computers are available for uploading and downloading.


2.      For someone who depends on his local (and tax supported) library for internet access, among many other things, the down right lethargic and molasses-like speed of the majority of the internet computers appalls me.  There is no reason to put up with this level of functionality – or lack thereof.

There was a problem with Internet access on the day that this suggestion was submitted.  Problem was corrected as soon as possible.


3.      Hand sanitizers and tissues at all work stations or why not swine flu.

Restrooms are available for hand washing.  


In addition, there were four comments about security gate alarm going off while checking out books.  Problem has been corrected.


Barnard encouraged people who submit “Compliments and Concerns” to sign their form so that the director can respond to the comments.


VII.            Old Business

a.    Board/Community Communications

Snover wrote the May/June Board article for the Library Connection.  Johnson has submitted her article for July/August.  Galt reminded the Board that Soules had inquired about continuing the Board column in the Library newsletter.  Barnard agreed to have staff check the circulation of the recommended books from previous issues and report the findings at the June meeting.  A decision about continuing the Board column will be made at the June meeting.


                  b.   Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative Board Report

Soules reported that the current director is retiring in the fall and four candidates will be interviewed in June.  The committee will present their recommendation for a director to the Board on June 11th.  Soules mentioned that the status of state funding for libraries and the Library of Michigan is still undecided.  She reported that there will be a 4% cut in state aid to libraries this fiscal year that will affect Cooperative services.   Soules reported that Barnard, McKane and Johnson all attended the MMLC Annual 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

Report was presented in January 2009.  Barnard distributed a brochure that explains the computer services available at the Library.  This brochure is a result of a recommendation made by this committee.  The information in the brochure will be available on the Library’s website in the future.  Johnson felt that the brochure fills the need that the committee identified.


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

Board members assigned:  Galt, Soules, Kinnish

The Strategic Planning Committee met in April to review the revised mission and vision statements, and develop goals.  Library staff will now work on action plans for the goals.  The Board will have the opportunity to review and approve the statements and strategic plan at a later meeting.


Revised Mission Statement: The Mission of Grace A. Dow Memorial Library is to enrich our community by providing opportunities for learning, exploration and enjoyment in a welcoming environment.


Revised Vision Statement:  The community’s chosen gateway for knowledge; a place for our community to gather and connect.


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

The Northwood University marketing seniors presented their proposals to McKane and Barnard.  Soules also attended the presentations and thanked McKane and Barnard for their effort in providing information and data to the students.  Johnson felt it was a positive experience for both parties.  More information about the suggestions offered will be provided to the Board.


d.      2009-2010 Budget Updates

The proposed city budget was approved by City Council on Monday, May 18th.  As a result of this, reduced library hours will take effect July 1st.  There are plans to update the website, make signs and print bookmarks to provide as much notice as possible to patrons about the hours change.


e.       Library Board Annual Report Committee – Galt, Johnson, Soules

Soules reported that the committee plans to have information for the Board at the August meeting.


VIII.         New Business

a.       Board Member Appointment

Barnard announced that three people have applied to fill the vacant seat left by Snover.  City Council members will interview candidates.  Barnard hopes to have the name of the new Board member at the June meeting.  Soules thanked Snover for his service on the Board.


b.      Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative Board Representative Appointment

Soules stated that her term as representative on the MMLC board expires September 30, 2009.  She explained the responsibilities of the position and indicated that she is willing to continue this appointment if no one else is interested.  Barnard said that the Cooperative needs to be informed of the new representative’s name by August 1st.  The Board will make the appointment at the June meeting.


c.       Nominations Committee Appointments

Soules stated that it is the end of her second year as Library Board Chair.  A nominating committee of Soules and Kinnish was formed to identify candidates to fill the positions of Chair and Vice Chair.  This committee will provide names to consider at the June meeting when the election takes place.


IX.              Board Announcements

Brink announced that there will be a Midland County Township Officials meeting on June 4th.  The Library will provide summer program brochures to distribute.  Homer Township has requested that Barnard write an article about the library for their newsletter.  Barnard asked Brink to extend an invitation to the Township officials that she would be willing to do the same for them.


Soules applauded Catherine Lundgard for nominating the Volunteens for recognition in the Midland Daily News. 


Johnson reminded everyone that the Friends of the Library book sale is June 5th – 7th.


X.                 Adjournment

Brink moved to adjourn.  Kinnish seconded.  Motion passed.  Meeting adjourned.