Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board Meeting

Wednesday, March 20, 2002


PRESENT:       Melissa Barnard, Sandra Blank, Cherie Hutter, Kathleen Mortensen, Judy Stein, and JoAnn Wilkie


ALSO PRESENT:    Kathie Marchlewski, Midland Daily News and Virginia McKane


EXCUSED:      Stu Bush and Harvey Steinberg


I.        Call to Order


          The March 20, 2002 meeting of the Library Board was called to order at 7:03 p.m. by Hutter.


II.       Acceptance of Minutes


          Minutes of the February 20, 2002 meeting were approved as submitted.  Blank moved and Stein seconded to accept the minutes.


III.     Additions or Changes to the Agenda


          Under New Business, the subject of an opening on the Library Board was added by Hutter.


IV.     Public Comments


          There were no public comments.


V.      Director’s Report


          Barnard reported that back issues of adult magazines, dating back two years, are now available for checkout.  Signs have been posted and bookmarks are being made to advertise this new service. 


          Barnard reported that she received a telephone call from a very satisfied patron who received exemplary service from a reference librarian who went beyond the call of duty.  This patron is a literacy tutor and said she has always gotten great help from all the librarians, reference as well as youth services.


          Barnard reported that last year, the library requested funding by the Friends of the Library to help with National Library Week events.  At that time, the Friends agreed to contribute $1,300.  Recently, Barnard met with the Friends Board and presented information on the programs set for this year’s National Library Week (April 14-20).  The Friends Board voted to increase their contribution to $5,600 to support the activities planned.  Hutter expressed the Board’s pleasure that the staff has done such a great job preparing National Library Week programs.  Barnard then highlighted the various programs that will be held.


          Barnard is scheduled to present a book talk the same day and time as the April Board meeting.  Since some of the members may want to attend the book talk, the Board agreed to change the April 17 meeting time to 7:45 p.m.


          Barnard reported that TeleCirc will go live May 1.  Board members commented that they have received calls for holds and overdue material.  Barnard said bookmarks announcing TeleCirc will be available in April.


          An article from the March 19 issue of the Midland Daily News was distributed.  The article gives an overview of Matrix:Midland programs scheduled, including a talk by Homer Hickam, author of Rocket Boys, who will also be keynote speaker for the Midland Writer’s Conference, and sponsored by the library and Friends of the Library.


          The following discussions relate to the written comments from patrons:


          Regarding the request for books-on-tape for Riverside residents, Barnard responded that books-on-tape are very heavily used and very expensive.  Residents can request books-on-tape for delivery; they will be checked out to the resident and delivered.  The regular loan periods will be followed.  The Library of Michigan also provides a free service for the legally blind or physically handicapped.  The Activities Director was contacted that the library received this request.


          Regarding the comment about the employee lot lights being on at odd times, it was discovered that the timer was defective.


          Hutter asked about the person losing her library card.  Barnard responded that the minute someone reports their card lost or stolen, the circulation staff puts a block on that card so that it cannot be used by others.


VI.     Old Business


a.       Coffee Bar

          Since the library has learned that we are within city planning and development rules and regulations, Barnard said the next step is to meet with the City Manager.  Barnard will report updates to the Board.  


b.       February Question

          The Board discussed the major concerns that came up with the February question – amount of time allowed on the computers, computer training, and accessibility to computers.  They also discussed current practices and issues related to these concerns.


c.       Board “Question of the Month” – April

          The Board agreed to compile the responses from the February question and make them available for the public to view, along with a written summary from the Board.


d.       Reporting Committee

          A first draft report to City Council was distributed and reviewed. 


e.       Excellence Award

          Barnard is attempting to find out if the requirements for the award will be the same for next year.  The Board was asked to think about the types of people they should approach about writing a letter on the library’s behalf.


f.        Defibrillator in Library

          Barnard contacted the City Safety Manager and passed on the suggestion to consider having a defibrillator in the library.  The City-wide Safety Committee will be discussing and evaluating the need for defibrillators in City buildings.  Barnard will keep the Board informed.


VII.    New Business


a.       State Laws Relating to Michigan Libraries

          Barnard reported that the Library of Michigan has compiled a booklet containing all Michigan laws that relate to libraries.  We refer to these laws when we put our policies together.  Barnard said the library staff is working on updating the materials selection policy and hopes to have it available at next month’s meeting.  The Library Privacy Act will come into play when we talk about the circulation policy.


          Hutter asked what library committees there are and requested a list of the committees.  The Board is also interested in having reports about the activities of the various departments.


b.       Library Board Opening

          Two Board positions have terms expiring June 30, 2002 – Sandra Blank and Judy Stein.  Stein has been reappointed for a three-year term.  Blank has decided not to seek reappointment, wishing to give someone else the opportunity to serve on the Board.


VIII.   Board Comments


          Hutter asked McKane about the part-time associate librarian opening.  McKane responded that 32 applicants took a written test.  McKane and Barnard will assist the Human Resources department with scoring the essays.


          Barnard was asked why there is no flag outside.  Barnard responded that late last summer, the concrete was replaced and the company that replaced the concrete doesn’t pour for flag posts.  We are in the process of finding someone to install a new flag pole and hope to have it completed this spring.


          Hutter said someone approached her at a meeting, knowing she was on the Library Board, and went on and on about how much she and her team appreciated the Battle of the Books program.  It was their first time participating in the Battle and they came in second place.  Stein added that she heard that kids were thrilled about the all day battle. 


          Stein inquired about the idea presented at the last meeting about putting a sign in the lobby for new users.  Barnard responded that she has discussed this with her staff and they are thinking of having more of a display instead of just a sign.


          Bookmark, the Library bear, is traveling to the elementary schools wearing his new Read T-shirt, promoting our programs during National Library Week.


The meeting of the Library Board adjourned at 8:20 p.m.  The next meeting will be Wednesday, April 17, 2002 at 7:45 p.m. in the Boardroom.