Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board Minutes

Wednesday, December 17, 2003


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


ALSO PRESENT:  Virginia McKane, Assistant Director; John Palen, Midland Issues; Attila Relenyi, Antimicrobial Specialists & Associates, Inc.


EXCUSED:                      Cherie Hutter, Kathleen Mortensen


I.          Call to Order


            The December 17, 2003 meeting of the Library Board was called to order at 7 p.m. by Stein.


II.            Acceptance of Minutes


            The minutes of the November 19, 2003 meeting were approved as submitted.


III.            Additions and Changes to the Agenda


            There were no additions or changes to the agenda.


IV.       Public Comments


            Dr. Attila Relenyi, Technical Director and General Manager of Antimicrobial Specialists & Associates, Inc., expressed interest in what the Library Board does and would like to see if there is a service that his company could provide to the library.  Barnard gave an overview of the Board’s makeup, their role, and their duties.  Decisions that affect library patrons come through the Board. 


            Relenyi specifically addressed interest in having input on the new automated catalog and selection of materials.  Barnard indicated that the decision has been made to upgrade the current automated system.  The Board’s role does not extend to selecting the system or selecting materials for the library.


            Relenyi had suggestions for the way the database (library catalog) pulls up information.  Barnard explained that the catalog information is determined by cataloging standards.  The searching capabilities are defined by the automated system.  Patrons do not have access to catalog records. 


V.            Director’s Report


            Barnard distributed copies of additional newspaper clippings to the Board.  Barnard also read two thank you notes which were recently received, one from a job shadowing student and one from the principal of Windover High School.


            Barnard informed the Board that Governor Jennifer Granholm, in her Executive Order, did not cut state aid to libraries.


            Barnard reported that she and Virginia McKane presented information about the library at orientation sessions for the three new council members.


            Barnard reported that there will be some changes in locations of some collections.  The back issues of newspapers and magazines will be moved to the old Friends store.  Most of the audiovisual material will be moved up to the Midland Room. Youth Services will be expanded to include a teen area in the AV Room.  The extra area will also allow Youth Services to have holiday books out all the time, not just before the holidays.  The young adult material will also be moved to the AV Room, leaving more room in the children’s area and allowing for integration of oversize books onto the appropriate shelves.  The Friends of the Library will provide funding to hire a designer for the area.


            Barnard reported that materials circulation has decreased since the change in the Library’s service area.  Barnard estimates that 35 people have purchased nonresident cards.


            McKane reported that Youth Services has chosen to highlight a different holiday this year – the Chinese New Year.  The library has a Chinese person on staff who has assisted in planning and provided display items for the lower level glass cases.


            McKane reported that Youth Services is still working on plans for the 25th anniversary celebration of Battle of the Books.  McKane also reported that the library will host a Valentine Cabaret in the auditorium on February 14. 


            McKane commented that the Suzuki Concert, featuring students of Lois Palen, presented a wonderful afternoon of music in the library on December 13.


            Stein thanked the staff for paying attention to the great demand of Leap Frog products and purchasing more tapes.


            Barnard verified with the Board that Patron Comments will be listed as a separate agenda item, beginning with the January meeting.


VI.       Old Business


a.         Coffee Bar

            Barnard reported that the Arnold Center Board will get back with the Library Board about the contest for naming the coffee bar.  The architect is writing the specifications.  It is hoped that bids will go out early January.


            Barnard read a written comment she received stating opposition to the coffee bar.  Barnard did talk with the patron, a long-time library user, who expressed concerns about the focus of the library being changed with the coffee bar, as well as his concern about parking.  Gardner commented that he believes the parking situation in general needs to be addressed.  Barnard said the patron didn’t change his mind but he certainly had a better understanding of why the Library Board made the recommendation to City Council. 


b.         Board/Community Communications

            Stein reported that she and Gardner met with McKane to discuss the Library Board’s portion of the Library’s website.  Stein then reviewed the ideas that were discussed:  add News from the Board feature on front page, add Agenda and Minutes to search bar and move to the top of the Board page, include Board articles in html, and review other Library Board web pages.  Gardner motioned and Bush seconded to incorporate changes to the website.  Motion carried.           


VII.      New Business


            Barnard reported that she was notified that Kathleen Mortensen expressed her desire to resign from the Library Board.  Since Mortensen was the school representative for the Board, we have been in contact with the Midland Public Schools about getting a replacement.  An application will need to be filled out and the applicant will go before City Council to be appointed.  The Board wishes Mortensen well and expressed that she will be missed.


VIII.     Board Comments


            Stein noted that she read in the Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative director’s report that MidMichigan Medical Center has applied for membership in the Cooperative.  This will be the first medical library to join the Cooperative as a multi-type library.


IX.            Adjournment


            The meeting of the Library Board adjourned at 8 p.m.  The next regular meeting of the Library Board is scheduled for Wednesday, January 21, 2004 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.