Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board Minutes

Wednesday, March 19, 2003


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


ALSO PRESENT:     Virginia McKane, Assistant Director; Mike Shea, Arnold Center; and John Palen, Midland Issues


I.          Call to Order


            The March 19, 2003 meeting of the Library Board was called to order at 7 p.m. by Hutter.


II.         Acceptance of Minutes


            The minutes of the February 19, 2003 meeting were accepted with the change that Barnard did demonstrate the library’s new online catalog under New Business and that only items b and c of new business were postponed until the March meeting.


III.       Additions or Changes to the Agenda


            Since Mike Shea from the Arnold Center was present, Hutter suggested that the coffee bar item from Old Business be moved for discussion after Public Comments.


IV.       Public Comments


            There were no public comments.


VI.       Old Business


            a.   Coffee Bar

                  Mike Shea from the Arnold Center distributed a coffee shop study prepared by Dow Howell Gilmore, Associates, Inc., as well as information about the Arnold Center.  The study included a cost analysis and a drawing of the proposed coffee bar area, located in the Midland Room.  Shea discussed the layout of the room, break-even costs, possible funding for the project, maintenance of the coffee bar, and options for serving various beverages and muffins or pastries. 


                  Shea views this coffee bar venture as a partnership with the library.  The Board agreed that this venture would not only provide patrons with a comfortable area to enjoy a beverage or other refreshments, it would also provide Arnold Center customers with an opportunity to learn, earn, and work in a community setting.  The Board voted unanimously in favor of recommending to City Council the development of the coffee bar in a joint venture with the Arnold Center.  Mortensen mentioned that the Board would still need to address concerns of those not in favor of a coffee shop.


V.        Director’s Report


            Barnard reported that the library will be featured in one of the segments on MGTV’s “City in 15” in April.


            The Friends of the Library held a book sale March 14-16.  It was a record-breaking sale for a spring clean-up sale.  The Friends are now planning for their next sale, which will be the first full weekend in June, to coincide with the art fair.  In other Friends news, the Friends of the Library have filed a lawsuit against the Blake Foundation.  Drummond Black is the attorney for the Friends.


            The Board briefly discussed a couple patron comments that suggested the library caters only to a narrow elitist group of people.  Barnard said it is difficult to address their concerns since no specific title recommendations are mentioned.  Neither comment was signed.


VI.       Old Business


            b.   Board “Question of the Month”

                  The Board discussed different ways to communicate to the public, not just having a question each month, but supplying important information as well.  One suggestion was to address frequently asked questions through the library website.  This item will be discussed at the next meeting.


            c.   Library Planning Process

                  Bush and Gardner updated the Board on the library’s planning process.  Key areas of importance were identified.  One key area is how the library and staff can maintain excellence and keep up with all the technological changes.  Bush and Gardner said that the staff on the committee have been very helpful and open with their opinions.


            d.   Township Representative Vacancy

                  Barnard reported that she is still working with the Township Association on getting a recommendation from the Township to fill the vacancy on the Library Board.  Barnard said the Township Association would prefer the position be filled by someone who is currently an official for one of the townships.


            e.   Annual Report Committee

                  There was no report from the committee as they have not yet met.


            f.    Board Reappointments

                  Barnard reported that both Cherie Hutter and Stu Bush were reappointed to the Library Board for another three years.


            g.   Children’s Internet Protection Act Update

                  Back in May, 2002, Barnard reported that the three judge district court had declared the Children’s Internet Protection Act unconstitutional.  This Act would have required all libraries to put filters on their machines, including staff machines, or lose telecommunications discounts.  The decision was appealed by the Justice Department and the case is now before the Supreme Court.


VII.      New Business


            a.   Library of Michigan Quality Measures

                  Due to the late hour, this item was postponed until the April meeting.


            b.   Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA)

                  Due to the late hour, this item was postponed until the April meeting.


VIII.     Board Comments


            Hutter congratulated McKane on a successful Battle of the Books program.


            McKane reviewed some of the programs being held during National Library Week, April 7-13.  Mortensen encouraged everyone to go to Patricia Polacco’s  program.  Stein asked about Bookmark coming to the parochial schools as well as the public elementary schools.  Barnard responded that there may be a problem with scheduling but the committee will look at that option next year. 


IX.       Adjournment


            Stein moved and Mortensen seconded to adjourn the meeting.  The meeting of the Library Board adjourned at 9 p.m.  The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 16, 2003 at 7 p.m. in the Boardroom.