Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board


Wednesday, June 20, 2012 7 p.m.

City Hall Council Chambers


      I.                        Roll Call

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


PRESENT: Melissa Barnard, Maxine Brink, Michael Burhans, Lucille Cronin, Sarah Galt, Steven Markey, Laura Peterson, Suzanne Phillips


ALSO PRESENT: Ron Beacom, Manager of MCTV and Library Communications; Wendy Shields, Technical Secretary; Stephanie Williams, Supervisor of Youth Services


   II.                        Acceptance of April 18, 2012 Meeting Minutes

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


 III.                        Additions or Changes to the Agenda



IV.                        Public Comments



   V.                        Presentation on Beyond Books:  The Early Literacy Activity Center

In addressing the Board goal to increase awareness of the library, Barnard arranged for Stephanie Williams, Supervisor of Youth Services, to give a presentation.  Williams gave an overview of the library’s new Early Literacy Activity Center:  Beyond Books.


VI.                        Director’s Report

Barnard announced that the library would be closed on July 4th.  The library received grants from The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation and the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation to re-surface the public parking lot.  Work should be completed this summer.


A wrapper to advertise the library’s summer reading programs was inserted in the Midland Daily News this past weekend.  The programs have been well received so far this year with two sold out magic shows and a well attended Zumba program for teens.


Barnard congratulated Cronin on her op-ed piece that was in the Midland Daily News.


Phillips recounted her positive experience with the online concierge service, offering personalized book recommendations to patrons.  This idea came out of the brainstorming session by the Board in the fall.


VII.                        Patron Comments and Suggestions


1.      We love the new Discovery Depot!  I have a three year old and he loves it!  Thank you.  We love our Grace A. Dow Memorial Library as always!

2.      Thanks so much for the creative and exciting hands-on manipulatives.  These are very neat places to learn and play.  Please bring it back during the winter months when there is not many other options to play!  What a diverse amount to play with.  Perhaps one of the stations could find a permanent spot in the library and you could rotate it in and out over time.

The “kitchen” has been relocated to the Beyond Books area.

3.      My daughter and I have visited the new room in the library and love it!  Kaydee calls it the play room.  I especially like the infant area. 

4.      Just thought of this – my daughter and I attended the Library Tea which we loved from start to finish EXCEPT for the Red Hat ladies who did not remove the biggest hats.  It was very hard to see the guest performers and I thought it very rude.  Can the library ask that these guests remove hats that block the view?  Please??

Please notify staff if there is a problem at the tea.

5.      Re:  reintroduce book due date stamping.  1) by stamping the due date, all members of the family know when the book is due, even if the print out is lost, 2) consider putting the stamp inside the cover to avoid covering up the outside.

The use of receipts only has been in place for a year and has eliminated the issues with the stamping method.

6.      Could you come up with a list of decent “great movies”?  You know, like “great” literature?  It doesn’t have to be Rebecca of Sunnybrook farm, but neither does one want to be mugged by a movie.  Good movies, thought-provoking movies, worthwhile movies, thanks!  I know what makes a movie “good” is subjective, but could you all try?

Staff is developing several lists of movies by genre as a pilot project.

7.      Could you please look at the cell phone use policy (computer & word processing area)? First we have the “ringtones from who knows where” followed by the loud voice and continued conversations and or multiple calls.  It becomes difficult to concentrate on what we’ve tried to enjoy our visit doing.

Please alert staff if cell phone use is disturbing. 

8.      Thank you so very much for bringing the author to speak last night on his Detroit historical fiction books.  He was excellent!  Humorous, helpful and encouraging to writers of all levels.

9.      When I first moved to Midland many years ago I worried about the library.  I shouldn’t have wasted my time worrying.  It has gone from strength to strength.  The employees are cheerful and knowledgeable.  The choice of books is broad.  This patron is more than pleased.  I love this library!



1.      I am a great fan of the library, I am there at least every other week checking out many books.  Having said that what happened to the “new release movies”?  The selection is pitiful and not current, it was much better two years ago.

With budget cuts, DVD purchases have been reduced. 

2.      Would like option of e-book lending.




VIII.                        Library Board Annual Report Committee

Galt reviewed the annual report draft that was distributed.  The revisions suggested were: 

·         Goal 1- Add the presentation on the early literacy activity center and expand information on the Board brainstorming session, including any suggestions that have been adopted.

·         Goal 3- Give the reasoning behind decision not to submit nomination.

Any additional revisions should be sent to Galt.  Another draft will be presented at the August Board meeting.


IX.                        Nominations Committee Report and Elections for 2012-2013 Board Officers

Peterson presented the slate of officers for 2012-2013:

Maxine Brink – Vice Chair

Michael Burhans – Chair

Motion presented by Cronin, seconded by Phillips.  Motion approved.


  X.                        Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative Board Report

Cronin reported that the May meeting was joint advisory council and board dinner meeting in Grand Blanc.  The presentation focused on the importance of advocacy of libraries on the local, state and national level and continued funding challenges faced by libraries. 


XI.                        2011-2012 Strategic Plan

Barnard reviewed the progress on the 2011-12 Strategic Plan, highlighting most recent actions.  Staff is working on the 2012-13 Strategic Plan that will be brought to the Board for discussion at the August meeting.  


a)      Building/Infrastructure

Goal:  Address needed repairs and renovations

Staff – Grants awarded for parking lot resurfacing, Friends of the Library committed $150,000 to Auditorium project to replace seating and carpeting.


b)      Funding

Goal:  Evaluate income sources

Staff – Library Work Group continues to work on proposed revisions.


c)      Programming

Goal:  Address issues that affect youth in the community

Staff – Reviewed Youth Master Plan


Staff – In applying the Youth Master Plan goals, the library provides parent education opportunities through resources, story times and early literacy activity center; participates in the United Way 211 service; and programs are offered for teens.


Staff – To address the reductions in the media centers, the library provides recommended purchase lists to media centers, distributes flyers on library programs to schools, continues offering Battle of the Books and summer reading programs, and the Friends provide funding to transport children to 1st grade tours at the library.


d)     Marketing

·         Beyond Books is featured this month on City in 15.

·         Students in the MCTV summer video camps interview library staff for their productions.  In June, Katrina Dumont from Youth Services was interviewed about teen services and in July, Melissa Barnard will be interviewed.

·         A marketing campaign committee is being formed to increase awareness of the library.  Steven Markey from the Board will be serving on the committee.


XII.                        Announcements

Cronin enlisted ideas for two more letters to the editor in the Midland Daily News for this year.  Burhans offered to do a letter on eBooks and Galt suggested a letter focusing on summer travel reading in the car using the library’s audiobooks.


Cronin requested that statistics on the room rentals be included in the Board reports.  Although the number of attendees per rental cannot be provided, a counter has been installed at the Auditorium doors to give an estimate of daily traffic.


XIII.                        Adjournment

Brink moved to adjourn.  Peterson seconded.  Motion approved.  Meeting adjourned at

8:10 p.m.