Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board


Wednesday, August 17, 2011 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, Lucille Cronin, Sarah Galt, Laura Peterson, Suzanne Phillips, Mary Ann Woodbury


ALSO PRESENT: Wendy Shields, Technical Secretary; Virginia McKane, Assistant Director


   II.                        Welcome New Members

Galt welcomed new members, Lucille Cronin and Mary Ann Woodbury to the Library Board.Both new members stated they welcomed the opportunity to serve on the board.


III.                        Nominations Committee Report/Election of Officers

Peterson presented the slate of officers which proposed Burhans as Chair and Brink as Vice Chair.A motion was made by Peterson for Burhans to serve as chair, seconded by Phillips, motion approved.Burhans then requested a motion for Brink to serve as Vice Chair.Galt made the motion, seconded by Cronin, motion approved.Burhans chaired the remainder of the meeting.


IV.                        Acceptance of June 15, 2011 Meeting Minutes

Motion to accept minutes made by Brink, seconded by Galt.Motion approved.


   V.                        Additions or Changes to the Agenda



VI.                        Public Comments



VII.                        Directorís Report

The Japanese Garden will celebrate 20 years at the Library in September.This anniversary coincides with Midlandís 30 year Sister City relationship with Handa, Japan.Representatives from the city of Handa will be visiting in October.From now until October, volunteers and staff will be working on the garden to prepare it for the visit.


Barnard explained that a tax reform law has been passed that eliminates the Michigan tax credit for charitable contributions to public libraries beginning in 2012.Donations to the library will be eligible for this state credit if they are received by December 31, 2011.


The library will be closed Monday, September 5th in observance of Labor Day.Sunday hours resume on September 11th.



Galt offered the Boardís assistance with the sister city visit.Phillips asked about gifts we had given to Handa, Japan.Barnard explained that many of the gifts that have been received from Handa are on display at the Library.


Galt noted the decrease in adult circulation statistics.There is no easy explanation for the decrease. Staff is looking at ways to improve circulation as well as determining what collection areas are experiencing the decrease.


Brink asked if the Friends donation is similar to last yearís donation.Barnard responded that it is very close to the same amount.


VIII.                        Patron Compliments and Concerns


1.      This is the most impressive library that I have ever been to.The childrenís area is dynamic, the activities and community events are superb.Thanks!

2.      You are charging me $1.00 because I donít have my library card with me?My gifts to the foundations that give you millions will hear about this as well.This is no service to our communityÖbe real!!!

The library is funded primarily by property taxes paid to the City of Midland.Users are encouraged to use their library cards for more efficient service.

3.      I think it would be wonderful to bless your patrons with a free movie on their birthday.Thank you!

The library does not plan to offer this service at this time.

4.      Thank you for the gift certificate and I used the library as a cooling center during the ďhot weekĒ and almost daily.

Participants in the summer reading program for adults were entered into weekly drawings for gift certificates.The certificates were provided by the Friends of the Library.

5.      I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all the wonderful services available for children at the library. My daughter has been a faithful attendee of baby time, toddler time, and now circle time and we couldn't be more thrilled with the quality of the programs, the professionalism of the staff, and just how excited she is every time she gets to attend! I also wanted to express my appreciation for the small toilet and sink in the bathrooms downstairs; we started potty training last week and it was a relief to me when my daughter had to use the toilet and there was one available that was just her size. I know that might be an odd thing to be thankful for, but as they say, it truly is the little things that count. Thank you for your hard work; we are a very lucky community to have such a nice facility and qualified staff available to us.









1.      What happened to kids being taught to whisper in the library?I think the librarians could do a better job in childrenís area of policing this.The noise was unacceptable.

The summer is very busy in the Youth Services area with many more children than at other times. Parents and children talking aloud in the Youth Services area is acceptable behavior.Quiet areas are available on the first floor.

2.      Canít read descriptions on books or CD because bar code and address sticker cover.Very limited choices in CD books.Baskets should be for library use only.Tired of all the ďBritishĒ authors, actually never liked at all.

The address sticker is being relocated.Baskets may be used in the library but are also available for check out.

3.      You should allow snacks!

Snacks are allowed in the Cup and Chaucer Coffee Bar.



1.      My husband and I frequent this library often Ė we are not thrilled by the fact that we now have to remember when books are due/save the receipt.The system of stamping seems and is better for us.I canít believe not stamping saves time/money as we were told.

2.      I saw the signs that the date due stickers are being discontinued due to complaints that stickers cover descriptions of material content.In my opinion, it is the bar code and library address sticker that cover the relevant info.Please move those.

3.      Heard the stickers with date stamps were going away.Please reconsider, this is the easiest way to see when a book is due, the little receipt is easily lost!

4.      Bring back the date stamps, please!!

5.      Would like to be able to stamp my books with a date.

6.      Donít get rid of the due date stamps please!I canít keep track of the receipts.Maybe put sticker in a different place.

7.      I would like to suggest that when we check out a book, the stamp with the date due could be put on the same piece of paper thatís been on the back of each book, only put it on the inside flap of the front cover or on the back flap (on inside).

8.      Unhappy with new policy removing the date due sticker.

9.      I would like to have the date stamps put back in use.It is much easier to keep track of due dates.

10.  Iím sorry that we wonít be stamping the due dates on the backs of books that we check out.Even though Iím very comfortable using the website to look up due dates it is just handy to have the date on the book.I hope we keep the stickers so that I can write the due date on myself in pencil.

11.  I donít feel that significant information is covered up with the time/date labels.Not all people have computer access, and print out sheets can and do get lost.Please reinstate!

12.  I like the idea of not putting due date stickers on the outside back cover, but how about using those old rectangular paper gridded forms on the inside front or back cover to stamp due dates.I lose and/or forget to check the register slip.

13.  Thank you for getting rid of the extra stamping and paperwork.Good job!!

14.  Today I borrowed three books from the library and learned that there is no date-stamping of library materials. I have no problem with that action, since once-in-a-great-while I was definitely irritated by the sticker covering information on a CD. I don't even have a problem that the rubber stamps are not provided, although that would certainly be helpful for my request (this e-mail) for blank labels on the inside-front-cover. It is of significant concern to me if a customer cannot write the due date themselves on a blank label that could be maintained on the inside-front-cover of books. Do you REALLY expect customers to keep track of ONE small piece of paper for x or xx books? If so, I very strongly disagree. THAT is NOT a good way to help books get returned on time. THAT is going in a WRONG direction for the management of the return of books by customers. Logically, some people will resort to writing the date on the inside front cover or front page with either pencil or pen. That could potentially lead to an occasional damaged book. All three paperback books that I borrowed today have blank pages for the inside cover. Please maintain a blank label on those books so that the library customer can record their due date. If and when a customer noticed at the library that a label was full, the person at the check-out area could apply a new one ... to help ensure that the label was applied on the inside. If a book had a cover on it, then the label could simply be placed in another location, whether inside the front cover or on the next surface (the next "page"). I would greatly appreciate action be taken on my request.



1.      I am so happy to have you remove the papers covering the backs of paperbacks.

2.      The date stamp was a very nice courtesy, but I guess good manners are a thing of the past at the library.

3.      Where is the date stamp?

4.      Two seconds to flip over a book; five minutes to get phone book, dial number and wait for someone to look up a due date.Please keep stamps somewhere on the book!


Eleven comments received from same person not supporting change.


All of the comments about the due date stamping are appreciated.Positive verbal comments have outnumbered the negative responses.Most library patrons have been very cooperative about the change.


IX.                        Old Business

a.†† Board/Community Communications

Burhans commented that the Harry Potter Hoopla created a lot of excitement in the community.Peterson commented on all of the newspaper coverage of this summerís events.


Peterson expressed gratitude to Galt for serving as Chair over the last two years.




††††† b. Mid-Michigan Library Cooperative Report

††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† The next meeting is in September.Barnard stated that no one has come forward to serve as the representative for the MMLC Board.Cronin volunteered to serve as representative. Burhans offered to be the alternate representative in the event that Cronin cannot attend and it is acceptable to the Cooperative.There are three meetings per year and the term would run until September 30, 2012.Brink moved that upon approval from the cooperative director, Cronin will serve as representative with Burhans as the alternate, seconded by Phillips.Motion approved.Barnard will inform Cronin of the date of the next MMLC Board meeting.


c.††† Library Board 2010-11 Annual Report

Phillips asked for input on the Annual Report draft that was distributed to the Board.Phillips will send the revised annual report with corrections to Barnard who will prepare the annual report for the City Council meeting in September.A motion to accept the draft with corrections as the Library Boardís annual report for 2010-2011 was made by Galt and seconded by Cronin.Motion approved.


   X.                        New Business

a.       Board Meeting Dates 2012

Galt reminded the Board that with the change to seven meetings per year members can only miss two meetings per year.The Board seat is automatically vacated if there is a third absence.Brink moved to accept the 2012 Board meeting dates as written, seconded by Burhans.Galt requested discussion on the November date which falls on the evening before Thanksgiving.The first motion was voted on and declined.A new motion to accept the 2012 dates with September replacing November was made by Brink, seconded by Peterson.Motion approved.


†††††††††††††††††† b. Library Strategic Plan 2011-12

Barnard gave an update on action items in the Strategic Plan.


c.†† Library Board Goal Development 2011-12

The following goals were proposed:


Goal 1

Review emerging trends and demographics in Midland community and evaluate impact on current and future library programs.

Action Plans

a)      Compile demographic study leveraging existing data from City of Midland and other sources.

b)      Present demographic report to library board

c)      Evaluate results and determine appropriate actions

d)      Write future goals as necessary in response to study (entire board)


††††††††††††††††††††††† Board members:Woodbury, Phillips, Burhans






Goal 2

Promote the library to the community by increasing awareness of the library with the goal to achieve sustained usage of the library and attendance at library events.

Action Plans

a)      Invite library staff to two to three Library Board meetings between October 2011 and June 2012 to present members and public with information on services, holdings, programs and events.

b)      Each Board member will bring five ideas to increase adult circulation to the October 19th meeting to contribute to a brainstorming session.††


Goal 3

To work with library staff in nominating the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library for the Library of Michigan State Librarianís Excellence Award in September 2012.


Cronin moved that the above goals be adopted, Peterson seconded.Motion approved.


XI.                        Board Announcements



XII.                        Adjournment

Cronin moved to adjourn.Galt seconded.Motion approved.Meeting adjourned at

8:45 p.m.