Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board


Wednesday, August 18, 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, Michael Burhans, Sarah Galt, Tami Johnson, Laura Peterson, Suzanne Phillips, Marilyn Soules


ALSO PRESENT: Wendy Shields, Technical Secretary; Virginia McKane, Assistant Director; Marty Wazbinski, City Council member


   II.                        Introduction of New Board Members

Galt introduced the new Board members, Burhans and Peterson, who each made a brief statement about themselves.


 III.                        Acceptance of June 16, 2010 Meeting Minutes

Motion to accept minutes made by Brink, seconded by Soules.  Motion passed.


IV.                        Additions or Changes to the Agenda



   V.                        Public Comments



VI.                        Director’s Report

Barnard reminded the Board that the Library will be closed Monday, September 6th for the Labor Day holiday.  Sunday hours will resume on September 12th.


Barnard noted the new digital signage in the lobby which will be used to promote the Library and its programs.  The hardware and software were donated by the Friends of the Library. 


Barnard announced a new format for the Library Connection newsletter.  This streamlined format will be more efficient with no graphics, using less staff time to produce and reducing printing costs by going to two-color.  Galt complimented the new look of the newsletter.


Barnard expressed appreciation to the 179 teens who volunteered 1,350 hours in Youth Services during the Summer Reading Program.


A new book discussion group will begin this fall.  The “Not Too Serious” Book Club will meet once a month in the morning.  The fall series will focus on mysteries.  The “Books and Bites” Book Club will continue as before.


The very successful Summer Reading Program ended on August 14th.    Statistics for this program are not yet available.


Phillips asked about the ACT workshops being presented by Youth Services.  This is the first time that the Library has partnered with Kaplan Test Prep Services to provide the free workshops for students preparing to take the ACT test.  There has been a positive response to these workshops.  Other workshop topics will be presented in the fall.


Galt commented on the low attendance numbers for some of the adult programs, specifically classic movies and computer classes.  Barnard explained that the computer class registrations are at the maximum number of 10 but not all who register attend.  This is an issue that the staff has and will continue to address.  The continuing of classic movies has been discussed due to low attendance.  There are some seniors who attend regularly.  The staff time and cost are minimal.


VII.                        Patron Compliments and Concerns


1.      I participated in the adult summer reading program.  Thank you, I enjoyed it.  I would like to see the entry cards for the drawing copied on paper and not cardstock.  This way slips can be recycled and the cost is much lower for paper.  Thank you.

Slips will be shredded and recycled.

2.      Awesome, the best library I have ever visited.

3.      Please think about fixing your wireless service.  It has gotten slower and less reliable over the past year.  More bandwidth would be amazing.  Love this place.  Please keep it awesome.

Bandwidth limitations do not allow for downloading large files.  This would be disruptive to other wireless users.

4.      I would like to say I overall really appreciate the services at the library.  But I was wondering why members are limited to a set time on the computer even when no one is waiting to get on them!  I can understand it in order for someone else to have equal opportunity!

Although a computer reservation system is provided, not all of the library patrons are in the habit of using the system.  Time limits ensure that all patrons have the opportunity to use the library computers.  

5.      The youth group library help are very nice people (all of them).  Thank you for hiring such wonderful people.



1.      I regret the loss of the videos – some things are not duplicated on DVDs.

The circulation of the videos in the VHS format had significantly decreased and the condition of the tapes was problematic.  When possible, DVD replacements were purchased. 



2.      I have experienced a maddening lack of reliability on the libraries Wi-Fi.  Using various library laptops, I consistently get download speeds no greater than 25 kb/s.  Half the speed of Dial-up!  This is while the “signal strength excellent” wireless status is showing.  Weeks of consistently unacceptable speeds for downloading makes me think this is 1988 and not 2010!  Virtually unusable for modern needs.

Bandwidth limitations do not allow for downloading large files.  This would be disruptive to other wireless users.

3.      Where are all the “best sellers” for the “Book Express”?  Meijers has the popular books at least two weeks before Midland!!  The Book Express has 3-4 month old books on them!!

New books are added to the Book Express collection regularly.  The copies are checked out very quickly so the newest additions may not be on the shelf.  There is a list provided of the titles in the Book Express collection.  Titles remain in the collection as long as they are being checked out. 

4.      It would be great to have a branch of this library in the Midland Mall – and ease a little congestion.  Please put a sign at entrance and exit doors to tell perfectly capable people that using the button wastes energy!

There are no plans to expand library service beyond the current building.

5.      It is incredibly frustrating that your computers do not have Microsoft Office, specifically Word.  Users cannot print documents because they cannot open them without Word being on the computer.  There is no program whatsoever for users to print specific and/or original/unique information.  Very disappointing, Midland.

There is a link on the computers to Google Docs, a program similar to Microsoft Word.  The Microsoft Office Suite is available on the in-house laptops that are available to check out.

6.      E-mail due messages are not useful on short term items like videos.  The morning after I checked out the video, I received a due notice.

The automated system does not allow different formats/check out dates to be exempted from the early notification. 


Five comments objecting to DVD check out procedure.

The new system has improved security.  Patrons have been very cooperative and are adjusting to the changes.


Two comments suggesting angle parking in public parking lot.

Angle parking will greatly reduce the number of parking spaces available.


VIII.                        Old Business

 a.   Board/Community Communications


                   b. Mid-Michigan Library Cooperative Report

Soules reported that the Cooperative Board is currently evaluating the MMLC Director, Denise Hooks.  Library Directors from the Cooperative responded to surveys to assist in the process. 




c.       Library Board Annual Report Committee – Galt, Johnson, Phillips

Galt requested input on the draft from Board members.   Suggested revisions will be made and presented to the Board for approval at the September meeting.  The report will be submitted to City Council in October.


IX.                        New Business

a.    Board Meeting Dates

A draft of possible board meeting dates was presented.  Since several meetings this past year were less than one hour in length, there was a suggestion to reduce the number of times the Board meets next year.  It was decided to reduce the number of meetings for 2011from ten to seven.  Brink made a motion for the Board to meet the following months during 2011:  January, February, April, June, August, October and November.  Burhans seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

b.    Library 2010-2011 Strategic Plan Review and Approval

Barnard reviewed the Library’s Strategic Plan goals for 2010-2011.  Brink moved to approve the Library’s Strategic Plan as presented.  Soules seconded the motion.  Motion passed.

     c.     Board 2010-2011 Goal Development

The Board decided to carry over goal number one from 2009-2010 that was postponed because of the 2010 census. This goal will look at demographic information.  Goal number two and action plan b from last year will be included in this year’s goals.  Action plan b invites library staff to present 2-3 new topics at Board meetings.  There was discussion about re-applying for the Library of the Year Award that was goal number three last year.  Johnson and Soules volunteered to work with staff on revisiting this topic and possibly re-submitting an application.


The following people will draft goals to be presented at the next meeting:

Goal #1            Phillips

Goal #2 b         Staff

Goal #3            Johnson


Goal development will be on the agenda in September for further discussion and approval.


   X.                        Board Announcements

Soules congratulated Barnard on receiving the 2009-2010 Volunteer Excellence Award from the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art for her service on that Board.


Soules was pleased that the Walk/Don’t Walk pedestrian signals on the corner of Eastman and St. Andrews have been updated to include count downs.  The signals were installed by the Michigan Department of Transportation.


Brink announced that she has a Midland County Township Officials meeting on September 2nd at 6:30pm in Porter Township Hall.  Staff will provide Brink Library promotional materials to distribute.


XI.                        Adjournment

Brink moved to adjourn.  Phillips seconded.  Motion passed.  Meeting adjourned at

8:40 p.m.