Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board Minutes

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

City Hall Council Chambers


PRESENT:       Melissa Barnard, Stu Bush, Eric Gardner, Cherie Hutter, Judy Stein, Harvey Steinberg


EXCUSED:      Ann Heard


ABSENT:        Joe DuFort


ALSO PRESENT:  Virginia McKane, Assistant Director; John Palen, Midland Issues; Kathie Marchlewski, Midland Daily News


I.        Call to Order


          The March 17, 2004 meeting of the Library Board was called to order at 7 p.m. by Bush. 


II.  Acceptance of Minutes


          The minutes of the January 21, 2004 meeting were approved as submitted.  The February 18, 2004 meeting was canceled due to lack of a quorum.


III.  Additions or Changes to the Agenda


          There were no additions or changes to the agenda.


IV.     Public Comments


          There were no public comments.


V.  Director’s Report


          Barnard reported that this year’s Battle of the Books program was very successful.  The Novel Knights of Cook School won the Championship Battle held on March 11.  The Cosmic Battlers of Carpenter School were the runners-up.  McKane added that 66 teams participated this year, the most teams since the program involved just the 4th and 5th graders.  The Friends of the Library supported the program by financing the Battle T-shirts, Battle patches, and trophies.


          The 25th anniversary of the Battle of the Books was Saturday, March 13.  McKane gave an overview of the activities that took place during the celebration.  Barnard commended the Midland Daily News for their excellent coverage of Battle events.  Barnard read letters that were received from Governor Jennifer Granholm, Congressman Dave Camp, and State Senator Tony Stamas, expressing their congratulations to the library on the 25th Anniversary.

Barnard highlighted the $10,000 Reed Act Grant that was received by the Mideastern Michigan Library Cooperative.  This grant provides training for library staff to better serve the unemployed and funds to purchase related materials.


          Barnard distributed a bookmark that Bookmark the Bear will share with children during his school visits promoting National Library Week.  Great Lakes Ice Cream Company is developing a flavor especially for the Library called Chewy Dewey.  Other programs to be held during the week include rubber stamping for kids and adults, Dr. Zap science program, a tea with flower arranging, and many others.


          Hutter asked how the Dr. Seuss night went with Mayor Black, Fire Chief Garcia, and Police Chief St. Louis reading Dr. Seuss books.  Barnard replied that the guest readers did a great job.  Approximately 350 people came to hear stories, do activities and crafts, and play games.


          Hutter asked about the Friends of the Library donation and what will be done with the money.  Barnard replied that the money from the Friends will be used toward the Battle of the Books program, the Writer’s Conference – cosponsor the keynote speaker and reception, summer reading program prizes, National Library Week programs, Chapter-a-Day online book club.  Barnard said that this Friends Board does welcome requests for funding during the year.  Barnard is discussing with the Friends a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the library building in 2005.  Barnard also mentioned that this past weekend’s book sale was very successful for the Friends.


          Steinberg asked about the delivery system as noted in the Cooperative report.  Barnard reported that we are receiving through delivery requested materials from other member libraries in the Cooperative.  The Cooperative funds two delivery stops per week and the library pays for three delivery stops per week providing daily delivery for interloaned materials for patrons.


          Hutter inquired about the number of interlibrary loans.  Barnard estimated that we borrowed from libraries outside of our automated system over 150 items per month.  Total number of items borrowed including those borrowed through the automated system is approximately 15,000 per year.


VI.     Patron Compliments and Concerns


          Barnard read and discussed each compliment and concern received in the past two months.


VII.    Old Business


a.    Coffee Bar

          Barnard reported that at the March 22 meeting of the City Council, the Library will be requesting Council to amend the library budget to accept donations to construct a coffee bar and also to enter into a contract with Three Rivers Construction, who submitted the lowest bid for the project. 

          Barnard reported that the coffee bar naming contest was a success.  There were 435 entries.  In addition to having entries available at the Library and at the Arnold Center, people were able to make their submission using the Library’s website.  Hutter and Steinberg from the Library Board and two members from the Arnold Center Board will meet to select the winning entry.  Gardner commented that the community’s response to this contest is a real testament to their involvement in the library.


b.    Board/Community Communications

          Gardner will submit an article for the May/June 2004 issue of The Library Connection newsletter.


VIII.   New Business


a.    Expiring Terms of Board Members

          Barnard reported that there are three members with terms expiring the end of June:  Joe DuFort, Ann Heard, and Harvey Steinberg.


Ann Heard will be reappointed as the Midland Public Schools representative for another three years since she just recently took over the position vacated when Kathleen Mortensen resigned. 


          Steinberg announced that he will not be seeking reappointment. 


          Barnard has not heard from DuFort, who is the representative for the townships, regarding his intentions for reappointment.


b.    Board Annual Report Committee

          Barnard reminded the Board that the Library’s fiscal year ends June 30 and City Council will accept annual reports anytime after that.   Bush, Stein, and Hutter will work together to write a report for submission to City Council.


c.    State Librarian Excellence Award

          The Board discussed applying for the award later this year and decided to put a subcommittee together in May.


IX.     Board Comments


          Stein commented that MCTV’s renovation project has been very discreet.  Barnard responded that the project was planned very well by the staff.  McKane then described all the moves that will be taking place with the library collections.  The audiovisual materials will be moved up to the Midland Room (coffee bar).  Space from the A/V room will be used as a teen area, as well as a place for seasonal children’s materials.  Staff is working with Dow-Howell-Gilmore Associates to design the space for the teen area.


          Stein made the comment that she appreciates that Barnard and McKane attend so many of the library programs.


X.  Adjournment


          Hutter motioned and Steinberg seconded to adjourn the meeting.  The meeting of the Library Board adjourned at 8:20 p.m.  The next meeting of the Library Board is scheduled for Wednesday, April 21, 2004 at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.