Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board Minutes

Wednesday, January 15, 2003


PRESENT:       Melissa Barnard, Stu Bush, Eric Gardner, Cherie Hutter, Kathleen Mortensen (arrived at 7:45 p.m.), Judy Stein, and Harvey Steinberg


ALSO PRESENT:  Virginia McKane, Assistant Library Director; Ron Beacom, MCTV Director, and John Palen, editor of Midland Issues


I.       Call to Order


         The January 15, 2003 meeting of the Library Board was called to order at 7 p.m. by Hutter.


II.      Acceptance of Minutes


         Bush motioned and Steinberg seconded to accept the minutes of the November 20, 2002 meeting as submitted.  Motion carried.


III.    Additions or Changes to the Agenda


         There were no additions or changes made to the agenda.


IV.    Public Comments


         There were no public comments.


V.     Director’s Report


         Barnard distributed an article from the Midland Daily News about the database workshops being held at the library.  Barnard said these databases are very reliable and accurate, and the library needs to increase awareness of them.  A representative from each of the companies supplying the database will be conducting the workshops.


         Barnard reported that she, along with Virginia McKane and designer Alyce Riemenschneider of Ann Arbor, took a tour of the Alden B. Dow Home Studio and Archives.  Riemenschneider has been hired by the library to design a new desk for the Youth Services area that would reflect Alden B. Dow’s design ideas.  Riemenschneider is known throughout the state for her designs of children’s areas in libraries.


         Barnard reported that since funding for libraries from the state has been cut, the White Pine Library Cooperative is looking for creative ways to fill the director position and save money.


         The following discussions relate to comments received from patrons:


         Barnard has forwarded the audiotape request on European history to the Reference staff.


         There was discussion about the comment inquiring if arrangements could be made to apply for library cards somewhere besides the checkout desk.  Barnard said it would be problematic moving that function to other service desks.  Time studies have been done and results showed that waits at the checkout desk are not generally lengthy.  Barnard said that a future goal for the library is to look at self checkout to improve service.


         Stein asked about the comment on books that come with CDs and the CDs are missing.  Barnard replied that we no longer put the book back on the shelf without the CD.  We hold the patron responsible who checked it out.


         Gardner asked about Mr. Sid Plug-In.  Mr. Sid Plug-In enhances the use of the Ancestry database.  Barnard said we are unable to use this because of our browser.  Reference staff is looking into several options.


VI.    Old Business


a.      Coffee Bar

         Barnard reported that she has met with Mike Shea of the Arnold Center to review information that he has gathered.  Don Koster of Dow Howell Gilmore Associates has offered to design and provide cost estimates on a coffee bar.  Shea continues refining the expenses of the coffee bar.  There was discussion on the hours to have a coffee bar open.  Saturdays and Sundays are pretty critical days to have it open.


b.      Question of the Month

         Responses from the November/December question were reviewed.  For February and March, the Board decided to ask patrons how they get their information about the library.


c.      Library Planning Process

         Barnard reported that she has contacted the facilitators that were suggested at the November meeting and is working with one of them to see if their calendar will allow them to work with us. 


d.      Township Representative Appointment

         Barnard reported that the City Manager’s office has not heard anything from the township association about filling the vacant position.


e.      Fines and Fees

         There was no report.


VII.   New Business


         Annual Report Committee

         Hutter asked for volunteers to serve on the Board’s Annual Report Committee for 2002/2003.  Hutter, Stein, and Steinberg will serve on the committee, with Steinberg serving as chair.


VIII.  Board Comments


         Stein reported that the Library would have to be a member of the Chamber of Commerce to be able to distribute the Library’s Welcome Brochure through the “New Neighbors” service.  The City is not a member of the Chamber.  Stein recommended distributing the welcome packets to preschools.


         Barnard was asked for an update on the Friends.  Drummond Black is now handling the Blake Foundation case on behalf of the Friends.  No updates on the case have been reported.  The Friends book sale in December was very successful.  Barnard has been invited to meet with the Friends Board and present ideas for library projects for 2003/2004. 


         McKane reported that over 250 people attended the Battle of the Books briefing.  Mortensen said her school library has three copies of each book and very rarely are there more than a few of the books on the shelves.


         Hutter said someone asked her about conference rooms for nonprofit organizations.  Barnard replied that we have three conference rooms that are often occupied and suggested the person call the library secretary for more information.


         There was discussion on the library parking lot.  Mortensen made suggestions to accommodate cars pulled over for drop-off of materials.  There is no quick fix to meet all needs.  A drive-up drop box would have to be emptied frequently and would be physically demanding on staff.


IX.    Adjournment


         Mortensen moved and Stein seconded to adjourn the meeting.  The meeting of the Library Board adjourned at 8:05 p.m.  The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 19, 2003 at 7 p.m. in the Boardroom.