Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board Minutes

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

City Hall Council Chambers


I. Roll Call Bush called the meeting to order at 7 p.m.


PRESENT: Melissa Barnard, Stu Bush, Eric Gardner, Ann Heard, Cherie Hutter, Judy Stein


EXCUSED: Harvey Steinberg


ABSENT: Joe DuFort


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


II. Acceptance of Minutes


The minutes of the March 17, 2004 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 gave an overview of National Library Week activities that are going on this week. Between 160 and 170 people attended the bagpipe and dance program, as well as the program on the history of the ice cream cone and sampling of the Library's Chewy Dewey ice cream, developed by the Great Lakes Ice Cream Co. Michigan Reads author Rhonda Gowler Greene read her book Barnyard Song to over 80 attendees.


Barnard announced that Catherine Lundgard was named employee of the year. This staff award is particularly significant because it is an award that is bestowed on by their peers. The Board offered their congratulations to Catherine.


Barnard discussed the recommended budget that was included in the Board packet. Barnard said it is a fairly conservative budget and went over the capital purchases and projects schedule. There have been comments from Council members that the City budget should remain flat. There will be work sessions and public hearings before the budget is approved in late May. Hutter inquired about penal fines. Penal fines are generated from traffic tickets in Midland County. The amount of money the Library receives from penal fines is determined by the Midland County court assessments.


VI. Patron Compliments and Concerns


Barnard read and discussed each compliment and concern received in the last month.


VII. Old Business


a. Coffee Bar

Hutter talked about the process of selecting the name of the coffee bar. Hutter said it was not an easy process, with 435 names submitted. In selecting the name, the committee was sensitive to the fact that this is a joint venture with the Arnold Center.


Gardner reported that there is a Chaucer scholar on staff at Saginaw Valley State University who reads Chaucer beautifully. The library hopes to incorporate a reading into the grand opening of Cup and Chaucer.


Barnard reported that furniture for the coffee bar has been ordered and equipment will be shipped directly to the library. Three Rivers Construction will be building the actual coffee bar off site. As much as possible during construction, patrons will have access to the collections in that room.


b. Board/Community Communications

Heard will submit an article for the July/August 2004 issue of The Library Connection newsletter.


The Board will use the "News from the Board" section on the library's website to post updates on the progress of the coffee bar.


c. Expiring Terms of Board Members


Applications will be accepted through April 23. The City has received applications for the city at-large seat (vacated by Harvey Steinberg). The Township Association will be forwarding a recommended candidate for the Township position.


Gardner asked about the current township seat and the status of Board member Joe DuFort. According to information received from the City Manager's office, the person who is on the board remains until an official resignation is received or someone else is recommended as a replacement by the Township Association.


d. Board Annual Report Committee

There was no report.


e. State Librarian Excellence Report

There was no report.


VIII. New Business


Library Statistics

Barnard said that at the last meeting there were some questions about library statistics. The staff is looking at statistics that we can or do collect that may be meaningful to the Board. Barnard requested input from the Board as to what type of statistics would be more helpful to them. Suggestions included: age ranges of users, township usage, number of nonresident cards purchased, interlibrary loans, and database use.


Heard said it might be nice to compare some statistics before and after the coffee bar comes in.


IX. Board Comments


Hutter asked if the library would be willing to allow people to bring in laptops to the coffee bar and having wireless service available. Barnard responded that the Library Technology Excellence Committee is exploring wireless connections as well as other technology improvements in future planning.


Stein heard a positive comment that the library opens the auditorium up to dancing classes. The library facilities are heavily used and users are very responsible. Bush suggested that we could highlight rental of rooms on the website. With current demand, availability is limited, so we'll want to carefully consider promoting rental rooms.


Heard complimented the Youth Services staff for their help in finding the books she was searching for. McKane added that the staff is currently in the process of interfiling the oversize books in with the rest of the collection to make the collection more user-friendly.


X. Adjournment


The meeting of the Library Board adjourned at 8:20 p.m. The next meeting of the Library Board is scheduled for Wednesday, May 19, 2004 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.