Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board Meeting

Wednesday, April 17, 2002


PRESENT:     Melissa Barnard, Sandra Blank, Stu Bush, Cherie Hutter, Judy Stein, Harvey Steinberg, and JoAnn Wilkie


ABSENT:      Kathleen Mortensen


ALSO PRESENT:   Virginia McKane and Eric Gardner


I.        Call to Order


          The April 17, 2002 meeting of the Library Board was called to order at 7:55 p.m. by Hutter.


II.       Acceptance of Minutes


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


III.     Additions or Changes to the Agenda


          There were no additions or changes.


IV.     Public Comments


          There were no public comments.


V.      Director’s Report


          Barnard pointed out the Success by 6 Playgroup information included in her director’s report.  The group works with a variety of organizations throughout the county stressing good parenting skills.  This arrangement has worked out very well for both the library and Success by 6.


          Also from her written report, Barnard said the visit from Dr. Bill Anderson went well.  He was very impressed with the library and all that is offered here.


          Barnard gave an update on the National Library Week programs that have taken place so far.  About 200 people stopped by for Curious George’s birthday celebration, the Dow Homestead tour had 16 attendees, the Lake Superior program brought in 120 people, 200 people attended the magic show, and the magic workshop was full.  McKane said the magician would love to come back to the library again; he has a different show he could do on the large stage area.  Hutter attended the tea/book talk and said Joan Somerville did a very nice job reviewing a variety of books.  Barnard said it has been a very successful week.  Hutter asked how the staff decides on the programs to have.  Barnard responded that staff watches the library’s list serve, and people keep their eyes open.  The committee consists of staff from all departments of the library.


          Barnard reported that the library was also the site of a reception for our Sister City representatives from Handa, Japan.  We set up a display of the books purchased with their donation.


          McKane recently attended an arts and culture legislative breakfast at the Midland Center for the Arts.  McKane met Dick Jellum, Vice President of the Midland Center for the Arts, who will be doing the diamond display at the Center.  The library has ordered several books on diamonds and may put together a book list to coincide with the Center’s exhibit.


          Hutter thanked Barnard for the good job in responding to the February question of the month.


          The following discussions relate to the written comments from patrons:


          Hutter commented about the one overdue book with the $96.37 fine.  It turns out that the patron had over 20 items checked out on his card.  Barnard did write to the patron explaining why we charge overdues and offered to send him a copy of his record. 


          Stein asked about the family from West Branch.  Barnard responded that yes, the family can get a library card here.


          Regarding the comments about the noise in the library, Barnard also received a telephone call saying how annoyed this person was by use of cell phones in the library.  The caller did not leave their name.  Steinberg said he has noticed people getting calls while they are using computers and they usually tell the caller they are in the library and ask to call them back.


VI.     Old Business


a.       Coffee Bar

          Barnard had nothing new to report on the coffee bar.

b.       Board “Question of the Month” – May

          After discussion, the board decided the May question of the month will ask patrons if they have accessed the library’s web page, what features they like or dislike, and what suggestions they may have for the web page.  Barnard will talk with the City’s information services staff to see about keeping track of hits on our web site. 

          In response to the February question of the month, Barnard distributed a draft summary of Midland computer training centers.

c.       Reporting Committee

          A second draft report to City Council was distributed and discussed.

d.       Excellence Award

          Barnard will contact the Library of Michigan Foundation to get up-to-date information on this award.  Stein will be spearheading this project.

e.       CIPA Update

          Barnard distributed information on the case of the American Library Association vs. the United States regarding the Children’s Internet Protection Act.  If the Act passes, the law will require libraries to filter all their computers in order to receive e-rate discounts.  Michigan law requires that we have one unfiltered computer to preserve First Amendment rights.  The court’s decision will probably be made in May. 


VII.    New Business


a.       Library Staff Committees

          Barnard distributed a list of the various committees the library has.  The committees are made up of a variety of staff people.  Barnard then gave an overview of each committee.

b.       Materials Selection Policy

          Barnard sent the policy to the City attorney for review.  There are some major changes to the policy and Barnard hopes to have it available for the Board in May.

c.       Library 2002/2003 Proposed Budget

          Barnard reported there are no unusual capital outlay items in next year’s budget.  We are looking to get a 3 percent increase on most items.  Steinberg asked for clarification on Library Rental revenue.  MCTV will be paying the library rent beginning with the new budget, based on an average square footage rate in the City of Midland.


VIII.   Board Comments


          Hutter shared that the president of the board of the Art Council at the Midland Center for the Arts told her how pleased the Art Council is to be able to display artwork at the library.


          Wilkie was in during National Library Week and said that Curious George did a great job with the kids.  McKane said there is a company in Columbus, Ohio that rents costumes.  The only cost to us is for shipping.  McKane also mentioned that Peter Rabbit will be 100 later this year and we may get a costume for that too.


          The Board wished to express to the library staff how well the National Library Week programs were run.  Barnard said she was happy to get so much publicity this year.


The meeting of the Library Board adjourned at 9:08 p.m.  The next meeting will be Wednesday, May 15, 2002 at 7 p.m. in the Boardroom.