Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board Minutes

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

City Hall Council Chambers


PRESENT:       Melissa Barnard, Stu Bush, Joe DuFort, Eric Gardner, Cherie Hutter, Judy Stein, Harvey Steinberg


ALSO PRESENT:            Virginia McKane, Assistant Director; John Palen, Midland Issues


I.        Call to Order


          The January 21, 2004 meeting of the Library Board was called to order at 7 p.m. by Bush.  Bush announced that this meeting is the first meeting of the Library Board being cablecast “live” on MGTV 5.


II.  Acceptance of Minutes


          Minutes of the December 17, 2003 meeting were approved as submitted.


III.  Additions or Changes to the Agenda


          There were no additions or changes to the agenda.


IV.     Public Comments


          There were no public comments.


V.  Director’s Report


          Barnard reminded the Board of the Library’s Chinese New Year celebration on Friday, January 23rd and the Valentine Cabaret scheduled for February 14th in the Library Auditorium. 


          McKane updated the Board on the Battle of the Books.  Sixty-six teams will be participating this year.  Written battles will be February 19 and 26, and the championship battle will be held in March.


          McKane also noted that March 13 will be the 25th anniversary celebration of Battle of the Books at the library.  Planned events include costume characters, crafts, juggling, music, and a fencing demonstration.  Youth Services is looking for people to share their memories of past Battles.  Battle of the Books will be featured on an upcoming MGTV “City in 15.”


VI.     Patron Compliments and Concerns


          Barnard explained that the patron compliments and concerns are written comments that we receive from the public.  There are several suggestion boxes located throughout the building where patrons can voice their opinions.  Comments are also received through the library’s email.  Barnard read and shared her response to each comment that was received in the last month.


          Hutter suggested in response to late delivery of Sunday papers that patrons be provided with online information.


VII.    Old Business


          a.    Coffee Bar

              Barnard gave an update on the status of the bid process for the coffee bar.  Barnard also shared an up-to-date floor plan, as well as tile, counter, and carpet samples. 


              Barnard said the architects recommend that a name be given to the coffee bar as it is being done, not waiting until the room is finished.  Barnard suggested that perhaps the contest for naming the coffee bar begin in February.  Hutter and Steinberg volunteered to work with representatives from the Arnold Center board in selecting the name from entries.


          b.    Board/Community Communications

              The Board’s page on the Library’s website has been updated with changes requested by the Board.  “News from the Board” will be changed regularly.  Stein checked other library board web pages.  The Board page compares favorably.


          c.    Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative Budget

              Barnard shared a brief overview of the MMLC budget.  Hutter asked if the Board has decided on a Library Board member to represent them on the MMLC Board.  Barnard responded that with the rotation, it will be 2006 before our library will need a representative from the Board to attend the Cooperative Board meetings.


          d.    Board Vacancy

              Barnard reported that City Council has accepted the resignation of Library Board member Kathleen Mortensen.  Barnard is pleased to report that Midland Public Schools is forwarding a name to City Council for consideration.  Barnard hopes to have the position filled by the February Library Board meeting.


          e.    Strategic Plan:  Technology Excellence and Customer Service Excellence

              Barnard updated the Board on progress of staff committees addressing the strategic plan.  The Technology Excellence Committee is evaluating current technology and perceived needs.  The Customer Service Excellence Committee is developing tools to analyze work activities to assist in evaluating programs and services.     


VIII.   New Business – Statewide Resource Sharing and Delivery Service


          Barnard shared information on the status of the state resource sharing and delivery system initiatives being developed by the Library of Michigan and Michigan Library Consortium. 


IX.     Board Comments


          Hutter shared with the Board that she has had a number of people approach her with new excitement about the coffee bar.  We are doing a good job generating some excitement about this project.


          Bush commented about the drop in circulation being due to the change in our service area and asked if there were grants available for townships to fund contracting with the City of Midland for library services.  The townships affected by the change would need to address funding alternatives.  Barnard said that some of the libraries that stayed with White Pine have inquired about membership with Mideastern.


X.  Adjournment


          The meeting of the Library Board adjourned at 8:10 p.m.  The next regular meeting of the Library Board is scheduled for Wednesday, February 18, 2004 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.