Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board


Wednesday, September 16, 2009 7 p.m.

City Hall Council Chambers



      I.                        Roll Call

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


PRESENT: Melissa Barnard, Maxine Brink, Sarah Galt, Tami Johnson, Kathleen Kinnish, Norm Neher, Suzanne Phillips, Marilyn Soules


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


   II.                        Acceptance of August 19, 2009 Meeting Minutes

Minutes approved as submitted.


 III.                        Additions or Changes to the Agenda



IV.                        Public Comments



   V.                        Director’s Report

Barnard thanked Marilyn Soules for participating in the taped One Book, One Community book discussion for MGTV. 


Barnard reported that public computers will be unavailable on Wednesday, September 30th while the new time management system is installed.  Galt inquired about the implications of the new system.  Barnard responded that the new system is more user friendly with a wait list so patrons can see when the next computer is available.  Patrons will also be able to use the computers for longer than one hour if there is no one on the wait list.  The print management system will continue to function as it did before.


Barnard announced that the Cup and Chaucer will celebrate its 5th anniversary on September 22nd with a ribbon cutting, cake and coffee.  Other upcoming events include the Ann Arbor Film Festival on September 24th; One Book, One Community lecture on October 1st and author presentation on October 8th; and the Great Michigan Read author presentation October 15th.


Galt asked how to access the new “Something About the Author” database.  Barnard stated that there will be an article about the database in the November/December Library Connection.  McKane and Barnard explained that the database can be found on the website by clicking on “Library A-Z”, “Books and Reading”, or “Research Resources”.




VI.                        Patron Compliments and Concerns


1.      As regular visitors to Midland, we really wish we could obtain a library card to use while we’re here.  We have library cards in other cities and it doesn’t seem to be a problem.  Could this service be added in Midland?

Since non residents do not contribute financially to the operation of the library, they are charged an annual $75.00 fee for a library card per the Code of Ordinances for the City of Midland. 



1.      Hello, I absolutely love public libraries and the service they provide to the public.  I am happy to pay taxes for them.  I have lived in many cities and visited many libraries, yet this is the only one I have encountered that charges for DVDs.  Why is this?  Are you not financially able to provide DVDs for free?  I have used libraries with thousands of DVDs, way more than provided here, yet they have been free.  Please consider changing your policy to adopt a more normal procedure for a public library.

The fee charged to borrow DVDs does contribute to library revenue and is applied towards library expenditures.


VII.                        Old Business

a.    Board/Community Communications

Soules commented that she was pleased to see relevant computer classes like Picasa and Facebook being offered at the library in October and November.


                  b.   Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative Board Report

Soules reported that there were some changes proposed by the Governor Granholm regarding the Library of Michigan.  The Library of Michigan will now be a part of the Department of Education and will staff a State Librarian.  It has been announced that MELcat is not in jeopardy.  The Cooperative is hoping that state aid funding levels will be maintained. 


Soules announced that Cooperative Libraries collectively served 45,000 participants at 311 events in the Summer Reading Program for 2010.


Soules also reported that Director Roger Mendel will retire at the end of September.  Denise Hooks has been selected as the new director.  Barnard stated that there will be a retirement reception for Mendel.


c.       Library Board Annual Report Committee

A revised draft of the annual report was distributed to board members.  Brink motioned to approve the annual report and submit it to City Council in October.  Kinnish seconded the motion.  Motion passed.  Galt asked if a board member needed to attend the City Council meeting, Barnard replied that it was not necessary.





d.      Library Board Goal Development

Galt requested input and ideas for board goals.  The brainstorming process provided many different suggestions.  The board decided to focus on three areas.


1.      Nominate Grace A. Dow Memorial Library for Library of the Year - Kinnish

2.      Increase awareness of staff and services through BLOGs, newspaper editorials and staff presentations at board meetings – Soules, Galt

3.      Conduct a demographic study of the Midland area and present a report on the topic – Neher, Phillips


The noted board members will draft the above ideas into goals and present for approval at the next board meeting.


VIII.                        New Business

a.       Library Statistical Report, 2008-2009

Barnard presented the 2008-2009 statistical report to the board.  Circulation, database usage, program attendance and gate count were highlighted areas.


IX.                        Board Announcements

Johnson reminded everyone that Sunday hours have resumed at the Library.  She also encouraged people to visit the Friends of the Library Used Book Sale in October.


   X.                        Adjournment

Brink moved to adjourn.  Johnson seconded.  Motion passed.  Meeting adjourned at 8:33 p.m.