Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board


Wednesday, January 20, 2010 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; Stephanie Williams, Youth Services Supervisor; John Palen, Midland Issues


   II.                        Acceptance of November 18, 2009 Meeting Minutes

Minutes approved as submitted.


 III.                        Additions or Changes to the Agenda



IV.                        Public Comments



   V.                        Youth Services Presentation

In addressing the Board goal to increase awareness of the library, Barnard arranged for Stephanie Williams, Youth Services Supervisor, to do a presentation on youth programming.  Williams gave an overview of the programs offered by the Youth Services Department for babies through teens.


At the February Board meeting, Ron Suszek, Adult Services Supervisor, will give a presentation on Library computer services.


VI.                        Director’s Report

Barnard invited comments from Board members on her report.  Phillips inquired about the Advanced and Accelerated Students program.  Parent volunteers are developing educational themes for their children in the Midland Public Schools Advanced and Accelerated program.  The children and parent volunteers will meet at the Library once a month to work on the themes.  Staff will assist in identifying library resources related to the themes.


Soules noted the upcoming Afternoon Tea during Happenings 2010.  The tea is scheduled for Wednesday, April 14th.


Johnson commented on the upcoming Cram Night for high school students.


Kinnish complimented the Friends of the Library on giving unsold books from their sale to non-profit organizations. 


VII.                        Patron Compliments and Concerns


1.      High interest in use of e-books.  Your services are very limited.  As a member I would like to request subscribing to OVERDRIVE.

Electronic book subscriptions are expensive and, at this time, are not compatible with all ereader devices.  Staff is monitoring this.

2.      There should be a way to filter content available to users via internet, specifically You Tube.  I just noticed young people (12 or 13 years old) watching homemade fight scenes and live school related violence.

YouTube content cannot be filtered.  To block YouTube would eliminate access to much good information.

3.      First let me say I just love the magazine reading room and your selection.  I don’t mean this as a criticism.  I noticed you cancelled the subscription to America, the Jesuit magazine.  I really like this weekly magazine and I wish you would re-order.

Magazine subscriptions are evaluated annually.  With budget reductions, some magazines have been eliminated due to lack of demand and cost.

4.      Allow people that work in Midland to get a card.  I live on the line of Bay and Midland, but I spend all my time in Midland!

Residency not place of work determines eligibility for a free library card.  Those outside of the library’s service area may purchase a card for an annual fee of $75.00.

5.      I think more than $.25 should be charged to books on hold if notification is mailed.  Postage is $.41.

Library fines and fees are mandated by a City Ordinance.  The ordinance would have to be amended to make changes. The current charge is not to cover the cost of holds but to make the number of holds placed more manageable.


Six comments complimenting the library and its services.



1.      I feel if a seventeen year old student is responsible enough to drive to the public library and use a library card and return the books on time, why can’t they check out movies without parental consent. What if they live on the streets with no parents, they should be allowed to check out movies.

The library considers anyone under 18 a minor.  Parental permission is required because of the movie rating system.


VIII.                        Old Business

a.    Board/Community Communications




                  b.   Mid-Michigan Library Cooperative Report

Soules reported that the Cooperative received a clean financial audit.  She also explained that the Library of Michigan is now under the Department of Education.  Several letters were received by the Board including one from Ron Suszek, Supervisor of Adult Services, expressing appreciation for the use of the Cooperative’s mobile computer lab.


Soules announced that Summer Reading Program presenters are being scheduled for participating member libraries.  The theme this year is “water”.


c.       Library Board Goal Development, 2009-2010


Goal 1:  Phillips, Neher

Phillips stated that the committee will report at the February meeting.


Goal 2:  Galt, Soules

Soules and Galt asked that each board member extend invitations to others to attend library events and come prepared to give feedback at next month’s meeting.  Soules has offered to begin sending letters to area college newspapers.  Johnson prefers using word-of-mouth to disseminate information.


Soules announced that she will attend the January meeting of the Teen Advisory Board.  Barnard will extend an invitation to the Friends of the Library Board to send a member to an upcoming meeting.  The representative can provide information on the Friends mission, goals and fundraising efforts.


Goal 3:  Kinnish, Brink, Johnson

Barnard will complete the statistical information required for the application and send it to Kinnish. Once this information has been compiled, the committee members will meet to proceed with the application process.


IX.                        New Business

a.    Library Strategic Plan Review

Barnard reviewed new action items that have been worked on in the Strategic Plan and explained how the Library has moved forward in this process.


   X.                        Board Announcements

Soules complimented staff on the “Library Connection” newsletter. 


XI.                        Adjournment

Brink moved to adjourn.  Kinnish seconded.  Motion passed.  Meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.