Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board Minutes

Wednesday, May 21, 2003


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


ABSENT:        Joe DuFort


ALSO PRESENT:            Midland High School students Jessica Marks and Erica Parker, and Tracy Burton from Midland Issues


I.          Call to Order


            The May 21, 2003 meeting of the Library Board was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by Hutter.


II.            Acceptance of Minutes


            Mortensen motioned and Gardner seconded to accept the minutes of the April 16, 2003 meeting as submitted.  Motion carried.


III.            Additions and Changes to the Agenda


            There were no additions or changes made to the agenda.


IV.       Public Comments


            Marks and Parker were at the meeting to fulfill a requirement for their government class to attend a City or School Board meeting.


V.            Director’s Report


            Virginia McKane was unable to attend the meeting because of a rescheduled library program.       


Barnard distributed brochures for the library’s summer reading program, which begins June 2.  All of the brochures were designed in-house.  The theme for this year’s program is humor.


            Barnard reported that over 200 daylilies that were planted last year froze over the winter months.  The daylilies will be replaced and annuals will be put in the planters for now.


            Barnard distributed a listing of projects that the Friends of the Library have committed to funding for the 2003/2004 year.  The total amount committed is $19,425.  The Friends will consider other funding possibilities for special programs that may come up.  The current Board will remain the same for the next year.  Barnard said she is looking forward to continuing our good relationship with the Friends.


            The following comments relate to the written Director’s report and comments from patrons:           


Hutter congratulated the entire library staff on receiving the City Manager’s Safety Excellence Award.  It is nice to see that recognition.


            Barnard reported that the Youth Services projects are moving along.  The Youth Services desk will be taken out next week and Three Rivers Construction is putting up the Plexiglas for the train track.


            Gardner asked if the new local history/genealogy area is working out.  Barnard said a few adjustments are still being made but the volunteers like being closer to the machines to assist patrons.


            Mortensen said she was glad to see the extra publicity paid off in the attendance numbers during National Library Week.


            Regarding the patron concern about the $85,000 expenditure on the new café, Barnard was able to contact the patron and explained that the money for the café would be coming from grants and foundations.  The patron appreciated hearing from Barnard and had some misconceptions with things she had heard.  The patron asked if we could get John Palen to write an article in Midland Issues clarifying this.


            The patron that commented that fines are too high, especially for videos, did not leave their name or telephone number.


VI.       Old Business


a.         Coffee Bar

            Barnard reported that the library and the Arnold Center are waiting to hear from Community Mental Health for Central Michigan and Michigan Rehabilitation Services regarding grant requests.  The Arnold Center would like to get commitment from other organizations before going to the local foundations requesting funds.


            Barnard reported that a gentleman stopped her at the Friends annual meeting to express his concern about having a coffee bar in the library.  Barnard reassured him that no City funds will be used to set up the coffee shop.


b.         Board/Community Communication

            Hutter has submitted her article for the July/August issue of The Library Connection.


c.         Library Planning Process

            Bush updated the Board on the progress of the library planning process.  The committee has chosen two broad topics to assess further:  technology and customer service.  The committee drafted statements and listed key points under each.  Facilitator Nancy Ohle will be compiling the information discussed at the May 13 meeting and send it to the committee members to make sure all the points were covered.


d.         Annual Report Committee

            Steinberg has compiled the pieces of the annual report and will be sending a draft to board members for comment at the June meeting.  Barnard reminded the Board that they are not required to report to City Council until after July 1.  The Board decided that they would prefer to present the report at a Council meeting rather than sending it.


e.         Library Connection Board Article

            This item was discussed under Board/Community Communication


VII.      New Business


a.         Library Budget 2003/2004

            Copies of the library’s recommended budget for 2003/2004 were distributed and discussed.  City Council approved the budget at its May 19 meeting.  Overall, the 2003/2004 budget is very close to the library’s current budget.  Barnard said that it is a conservative budget reflecting the economic climate but a good budget for the library.  There will be no staff changes and minimal capital items in the new budget.


b.         Cablecasting of Boards and Commissions

            City Council and MCTV are working on a plan to begin cablecasting all board and commission meetings.  The cablecasting will be done by trained MCTV staff, not volunteers.  All meetings will have to take place in Council Chambers at City Hall since the equipment is in place there.  Barnard will keep the Board informed with updates.  Board members reacted positively about being able to help community members be informed about the library.


VIII.     Board Comments


            Hutter asked about placing “No Standing, No Stopping.  Fire Lane” signs near the entrance of the library that were discussed at the last meeting.  Barnard replied that signs are now in place.  The library is not required to put up signs but it was recommended because of ambulances that need to get in as close as possible.  Steinberg commented that the signs are very visible.


IX.            Adjournment


            Steinberg motioned and Bush seconded to adjourn the meeting.  The meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.  The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, June 18, 2003 at 7 p.m. in the Boardroom.