Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board Minutes

Wednesday, July 16, 2003


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


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


EXCUSED:      Stu Bush, Kathleen Mortensen


I.          Call to Order


            The July 16, 2003 meeting of the Library Board was called to order at 7 p.m. by Hutter.


II.            Acceptance of Minutes


            Steinberg motioned and Gardner seconded to accept the minutes of the June 18, 2003 meeting as submitted.  Motion carried.


III.            Additions and Changes to the Agenda


            Barnard requested that 2004 board meeting dates be added to the agenda.  The item will be added to New Business.


IV.       Public Comments


            There were no public comments.


V.            Director’s Report


            Barnard reported that she attended the American Library Association Annual Conference in Toronto at the end of June.


            The Valley Library Consortium Board approved entering into negotiations with the Dynix Horizon automated system.  We currently have Classic Dynix.  The plans are to go live with a new system late April or early May, 2004.


            Word processing computers are now available for public use.  The computers are located on the main floor, along the wall behind the reference desk.  The board had supported the addition of word processing services at an earlier meeting.


            Hutter asked about the library having a table at Riverdays.  Copies of an article that appeared in The Saginaw News on the Riverdays celebration were distributed.  McKane said that the library was invited by the Midland Community Foundation to participate in Riverdays because the library has an endowment fund with the Foundation.


            The following comments relate to the written Director’s report and comments from patrons:


            There was discussion on the comment about putting a section of new fiction books for adults in the parents corner in Youth Services.  Staff did not recommend implementing the suggestion. 


            Barnard reported that in response to a patron comment, a chair has been placed by the Friends “books for sale” shelf on the lower level for easier browsing.


            The comment of how few computers we have compared to Bay City was discussed.  Since the grant that provided free “Gates” computers was based on the economic level of the library’s service area, Bay City received more Gates computers than Midland.  The board also discussed the concern from a patron about the book return; the patron left his name but did not wish to be contacted.


            Stein commented that the downstairs Youth Services area, with its new desk, overstuffed chairs, and new train, looks fabulous.


            McKane pointed out a correction in the attendance statistic of the Brown Bag Book Club in the Director’s report.  It should have listed 13 in attendance, not 123.  Barnard also pointed out that the figures in the statistical report are end of the fiscal year figures.


Old Business


a.            Library Planning Process

            Barnard reported that the library posted an announcement on the open meeting for the library’s planning process.  Since there were no public comments, the Board agreed to move forward with the process.


b.            Coffee Bar

            Barnard had nothing new to report on the coffee bar.


c.            Board/Community Communications

            Mortensen will be submitting an article for the September/October issue of The Library Connection.


d.            Annual Report Committee

            The Board approved the final draft of the annual report to City Council.  Gardner will represent the Board at the August 11 City Council meeting when the report is presented.  Stein and Steinberg were thanked for their work on the report.


e.            Nominations and Election of Board Officers

            The Board unanimously approved the slate presented by Steinberg of Stu Bush for chair and Judy Stein for vice-chair.


f.            White Pine Library Cooperative

            Barnard reported that since the last meeting, the library has submitted its letter of intent to withdraw from the White Pine Library Cooperative.  Bay County Public Libraries, Public Libraries of Saginaw, Harrison, and Bad Axe Libraries have also submitted letters.


            Barnard reviewed each of the cooperatives that made presentations.  Midland, Bay City, and Saginaw libraries will meet with Mid Eastern Library Cooperative again to discuss their services in more depth.  Barnard requested that a special meeting be held on August 6 to talk about a recommendation to move to a different cooperative, if necessary.  Barnard indicated that a cooperative must meet the needs of our patrons and be economically feasible for the library.  Barnard also said that the interlibrary loan service will be continued.


VII.      New Business


a.         Children’s Internet Protection Act

            Barnard reported that the Supreme Court upheld the Children’s Internet Protection Act.  This means that libraries who wish to receive universal service discounts on telecommunications have to adhere to the Act.  The Act requires that all the computers in the library be filtered, including staff computers.  It also requires that if a patron asks staff to disable a filter for them, the library must do so.  It is not known when the Act will be enforced.  Barnard said that the library currently has computers that are not filtered that only adult cards can access.


            The library’s internet policy will have to be reviewed to reflect the filtering in place or revised as necessary.  The library installed filters on designated computers several years ago based on input from the community.  Gardner expressed his hope that the community is watching this issue.


b.         Website Demonstration

            Barnard gave the board a preview of the City’s new website design.  The same template will be featured with all the departments throughout the City.  In considering the audience to be served, the Youth Services department was able to develop a page outside of the template.  Gardner suggested disclaimers be added and to test the page for ADA compliance.


c.         Meeting Schedule for 2004

            The board will meet the third Wednesday of each month in 2004 at 7 p.m., except August.


VIII.     Board Comments


            Hutter shared the details of a call from a representative of the blood bank, telling Hutter that the library wasn’t interested in co-sponsoring a blood drive.  Barnard responded that she did receive a call from the blood bank and told them that the library could post an announcement of the blood drive for public and staff but as a department of the City, couldn’t commit to co-sponsorship.  The library needs to consider its mission and possible requests from other nonprofit groups requesting library sponsorship.  Barnard will notify the blood bank.


            DuFort reported that Michigan will be the featured state in the national convention of township associations, which will take place in Washington, DC in September.  DuFort asked if the library could provide flyers, book marks, etc. to distribute at the convention.  McKane will gather items.


IX.            Adjournment


            Steinberg motioned and Gardner seconded to adjourn the meeting.  The meeting of the Library Board adjourned at 8:40 p.m.  The next regular meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, September 17, 2003 at 7 p.m. in the Boardroom.