Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board


Wednesday, February 20, 2013 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: Wendy Shields, Technical Secretary; Joan Grady, Associate Reference Librarian


   II.                        Acceptance of January 16, 2013 Meeting Minutes

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


 III.                        Additions or Changes to the Agenda



IV.                        Public Comments



   V.                        Presentation on Library Computer Classes

In addressing the Board goal to increase awareness of the library, Barnard arranged for Joan Grady, Associate Reference Librarian, to give a presentation.  Grady gave an overview of the library’s public computer classes.


VI.                        Directors Report

Barnard called the Board’s attention to the items that were distributed at the meeting.  Included are a Cooperative brochure and an additional article on the Library’s Healthy Eating series.  Ninety people were in attendance at the first presentation of this series.  Peterson and Cronin distributed surveys to the attendees.  A flyer was included in the Board packet with dates and information on the remaining programs in the series.


The City of Midland has prepared a performance measurement dashboard comparing City of Midland services to other cities in the state and nationally.  The report is available on the City’s website.  Barnard reviewed the Library’s results.  Galt inquired about the responsibilities of the maintenance staff at the library during discussion about the operating expenditures of the library.


Burhans indicated he was willing to volunteer at the Healthy Eating Series.  Galt remarked that her son is participating in the Battle of the Books program.





VII.                        Patron Comments and Suggestions


1.      I am part of four library systems and one charges nothing for children’s books and the other two charge $.01/day for children’s books.  Your prices are outrageous – almost $12 for four days overdue is a disservice to the library system, the community and the taxes being paid.

Fines are used as an incentive to return books so that they are available to others.  Library fines and fees are included in the City’s Code of Ordinances.  The Library Board reviews the charges and makes recommendations to the City Council.  Public comments are welcomed in the process.

2.      We love the library!  Every month our family at least checks out 30 books.  But I have one complaint.  We need the stamp back!  Ever since you have used the receipt, we have lost it and are puzzled when our books are due.  When we used the stamp we knew exactly when we needed to return/renew our books.  Thank you, it would make life a little easier.

The system now used has been in place for over 1 ˝ years and has addressed the problems associated with the use of the stampers.  There are several ways to track due dates.  Patrons can post the receipt in the same location in their home so they can refer to it.  Accounts can be accessed through the library’s webpage to keep track of materials. Patrons are encouraged to sign up for the pre-overdue notification through email.  Via email, patrons will receive an email three days before materials are due as a reminder. Patrons can also call 837-3457 to inquire about due dates if a receipt has been lost.

3.      As so many of us have e-readers, it would be nice if you ordered at least one copy (Kindle) of each of the titles listed under your section, “Best Seller Books Coming Soon”.

Not all books published are available in the eBook format for libraries.  Some publishers do not participate in the Overdrive eBook subscription service that we use.



1.      I get your online newsletters.  For the one listing “New books on CD” I would appreciate your adding call numbers to the nonfiction entries.  It would make it easier for me to find them when I come to the library.  Or merge with fiction or file by author’s last name.

The online newsletters are provided through a subscription service that uses a set format.  The titles on the list are linked to the library catalog that includes the call numbers.

2.      Get better computers.  You are the best.


VIII.                        Library Board Expiring Terms: Brink, Burhans, Peterson

Barnard announced that Brinks, Burhans and Petersons terms will expire on 6/30/2013.  Barnard requested that they contact her by March 8th to let her know if they are interested in being re-appointed.  Burhans indicated that he is interested in continuing on the Board.





IX.                        2012-2013 Strategic Plan

The Plan was reviewed, noting items that actions have been taken since the last review. 


Goal: Provide staff with tools to enhance performance

Action: Standardized new employee orientation to be used by all departments

            Staff:  Develop a list of need to know information, review with supervisors

            *Reviewed by supervisors, used with new staff

Action: Offer relevant training via webinars or a staff in-service

                        Staff:  Look for opportunities from MMLC, MLA, MCLS, ALA and other                                    sources

*Getting Kids Hooked on Books webinar

*Toddler/Preschool Story Times with Music workshop

*Early Literacy webinar

*OCLC Interlibrary Loan webinar


Goal: Provide programming to target audiences

Action: Expand book discussion format to reach young professionals and males

Staff:  Initiate an online book discussion and a nonfiction book discussion featuring a guest speaker

*Anytime, Anywhere Online Book Discussion – Discontinued due to lack of participation.  Replaced with Book of the Month selection starting in March.

*Book Discussion on The Beast in the Garden with guest speaker from the Department of Natural Resources, April 10


Goal: Provide one-on-one interaction with program attendees

Action: Welcome program attendees

                        Board:  Serve as greeters and, when applicable, assist with program surveys

                        *Michigan Women in the Civil War, November 8 - Cronin

                        *Eating for Health, February 13 - Cronin and Peterson


Goal: Increase visibility in community

Action:  Initiate an awareness campaign

Staff:  Utilize the campaign available through OCLC & Gates Foundation

Board:  Volunteer to assist at campaign events

*GEEK booth at Friends Book Sale, October – Cronin, Galt, Markey, Peterson

*Santa Parade, November – Cronin, Markey, Burhans

*Kids Day at the Mall, February – Cronin, Markey, Phillips

Staff:  Develop and distribute a brochure about the library’s early literacy activity center

*Brochure completed and is being distributed


       Barnard updated the Board on the marketing program, “geekthelibrary.”

The Friends February Book Sale is this weekend and the “geek” booth will be there with the prize wheel.  The “geekthelibrary” campaign will wrap up in April.  Plans are underway for a celebration of the program.


  X.                        Announcements

Cronin suggested we send promotional materials to Diane Middleton at the Midland Area Chamber of Commerce for their relocation packets. 


Peterson commented on the increase in circulation of eBooks for January.  The library is currently conducting a survey on the use of eBooks.


Galt commented that she had two good experiences at the Library recently.  She received fantastic service when looking for a specific type of book.  She also found the book lists in the Teen Room very helpful.  Peterson added that the media staff at Midland Public Schools uses the online book lists frequently.


XI.                        Adjournment

Brink moved to adjourn.  Peterson seconded.  Motion approved.  Meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.