Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board


Wednesday, February 17, 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; Ron Suszek, Adult Services Supervisor


   II.                        Acceptance of January 20, 2010 Meeting Minutes

Minutes approved with correction.


 III.                        Additions or Changes to the Agenda



IV.                        Public Comments



   V.                        Computer Services Presentation

In addressing the Board goal to increase awareness of the library, Barnard arranged for Ron Suszek, Adult Services Supervisor, to do a presentation.  Suszek gave an overview of the computer services available at the Library.


VI.                        Director’s Report

Barnard expressed appreciation to the Kiwanis Clubs for their donations towards the purchase of a new Amigo wheelchair.


Barnard also thanked the Friends of the Library for donating a bequest from former Friends member Helen Nold that was used to purchase new tables and chairs for the Mezzanine.  Phillips inquired about how the projects from Friends donations are decided.  Barnard explained that staff submits a list of projects each year and the Friends Board selects from the list. 


Barnard reported that the first written battle for Battle of the Books occurred this afternoon.  Phillips asked how the changes in Midland Public Schools elementary schools would affect the program. With the reduced number of elementary schools, there could be more teams from each school.




Soules noted that the donation of the tables and chairs for the mezzanine helps to fulfill the mission statement of a “gathering place”.


Johnson commented on the Friends Used Book Sale coming up this weekend.



VII.                        Patron Compliments and Concerns


1.      As regular users of the library and as Midland citizens who are proud of the services the library provides as well as the size and scope of the resources available, we are extremely disappointed that now cell phones are allowed in the building.  This annoying, growing, horrible habit is inconsiderate and extremely disturbing.  We are so sorry that this degrading annoyance is allowed.

Recognizing that cell phones have become a staple in many people’s lives, the library does not ban cell phone use.  In order to provide an environment that meets the needs of our users, procedures are in place for staff to address cell phone use if it is disturbing others.  Patrons are encouraged to report any cell phone problems to staff.

2.      How about cram night for college students?

Request would be more appropriately directed to the college or university library.

3.      When driving into parking lot, in spaces facing the building (spaces 7, 8, 9 from circle around) the sewer is dropping.  When I park there, my car drops into the “groove” and takes extra gas to get out again.  This is dropping steadily since summer 2009.

There are no safety concerns with this situation.  The City Engineering Department will investigate.

4.      I think you should increase the charge for holding books to $1.00.  It’s still way cheaper than buying at the store!

Library fines and fees are mandated by a City Ordinance.  The ordinance would have to be amended to make changes.

5.      I much prefer new books (and reviews) that can be reserved to books on a topic.

This question refers to the display on first floor of new fiction books that could not be checked out while on display.  Patrons would have to put a hold on these books or wait until the books were returned to the New Book area.  Several months ago, the staff changed this display to highlight older books in the collection that can be checked out immediately. 




1.      Instead of using our library card number to log in on the computer, have a username so I don’t need my card and it doesn’t take forever to punch in the numbers.

The system accepts only barcode numbers.




VIII.                        Old Business

a.    Board/Community Communications

Barnard shared a letter she received from the Friends of Michigan Libraries asking our Board if they would consider joining a group whose purpose would be to provide training and education for trustees and to promote libraries and library services in Michigan.  Membership would cost $35.00.  Soules moved to respond affirmatively to the survey.  Galt seconded the motion. Motion passed.  Galt instructed Barnard to complete and return the survey expressing the board’s interest.


                  b.   Mid-Michigan Library Cooperative Report

There was no meeting this month, so Soules did not give a report.


c.       Library Board Goal Development, 2009-2010


Goal 1:  Phillips, Neher

Phillips reported that the committee is recommending that further research on this goal be postponed until the 2010 Census information is made available. The Board concurred.


Goal 2:  Galt, Soules

Board members discussed ways they are reaching out to the community to inform them of all the library has to offer.  Soules stated that she has the college newspaper contact information and will soon be writing letters to those publications.  McKane will notify Board members when the latest Library Connection newsletter is available for them to pick up or have copies mailed for distribution.


Soules reported that she attended the January meeting of the Teen Advisory Board. The teens gave Soules input on how to inform students about library programs.  


Barnard announced that per the Board’s request, Joe Sova, Friends Treasurer, has been invited to provide an overview of the Friends organization at the April Board meeting.  Also at the April board meeting, Katherine Redwine, Adult Services Librarian, will give a presentation on Genealogy and Local History.


Goal 3:  Kinnish, Brink, Johnson

The committee has collected basic information and statistics.  They hope to have a preliminary application ready for review by the board in March.


IX.                        New Business

a.   Expiring Board Terms:  Neher, Kinnish, Brink

Kinnish will contact Barnard with her decision to leave the Board or request re-appointment.  Neher will be retiring from the Midland Public Schools in June.  Midland Public Schools will be recommending a representative for appointment by the City Council. The Midland County Township Association will address Brink’s expired Board term at their meeting on March 4th and make a recommendation to City Council.




   X.                        Board Announcements

Soules commented on John Palen’s retirement from producing Midland Issues.  The Board has appreciated his work and coverage over the last several years.


XI.                        Adjournment

Brink moved to adjourn.  Soules seconded.  Motion passed.  Meeting adjourned at 8:12 p.m.