Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board Meeting

Wednesday, June 19, 2002


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


EXCUSED:      Stu Bush


ALSO PRESENT:     Eric Gardner, assistant director Virginia McKane, and John Palen, Midland Issues


I.        Call to Order


          The June 19, 2002 meeting of the Library Board was called to order at 7 p.m. by Hutter.


II.       Acceptance of Minutes


          Minutes of the May 15, 2002 meeting were approved as submitted.  Steinberg motioned 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 reported that she just returned from the American Library Association annual conference, which was held in Atlanta, Georgia.  It was a very worthwhile conference with excellent speakers and many exhibitors.


          Barnard reported that the city participated in Mayor’s Exchange Day with Holland.  Representatives stopped at the library briefly.  Barnard mentioned that the Holland library has a coffee bar.


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


          Mortensen thought the Matrix:Midland Festival program with Homer Hickam was delightful.  Barnard said close to 600 people attended the Matrix program.  The library sponsored an essay contest but had no entrants.


          Because the Friends of the Library didn’t have their annual book sale at the same time as the art festival, the library posted signs and had forms available asking patrons to volunteer their time.  There were 17 inquiries about the book sale that weekend.


          Regarding the patron comment about the date and publication information not being included on book reviews of new books, Barnard said that we did indeed cut off the citations and will make sure they are there from now on.


          Regarding the patron comment that staff wear name badges with their first name, Mortensen said she is opposed to staff being required to wear name tags with their first names.  Barnard said the library hasn’t ordered name badges in a while; it hasn’t been an issue.


          Barnard reported that a suggestion box has been placed in the AV room as requested and several suggestions have already been made.


          Regarding the comment about not having the current New York Times Book Review available in the Best Seller Lists binder, Barnard responded that we have been remiss about keeping it up to date.


          Citizen comments from the library’s website were distributed.  Barnard said we respond to all of these comments.  The comment regarding genealogy information and the Ancestry Plus program was discussed.  The library does subscribe to Ancestry Plus but it can only be accessed from the library, not from home computers. 


          Another comment about the Battle of the Books requested that book lists from previous Battles be posted on the library’s website.  McKane spoke with the Youth Services librarians and all agreed it would be a good idea to post the list so people can have access to the titles.


VI.     Old Business


a.       Coffee Bar

          Barnard reported that she met with the City Manager about the coffee bar and determined that they need to know if there is interest of local coffee vendors.  Barnard checked with two local vendors.  One vendor had talked with former library director Jim Alsip about a coffee bar.  The vendor was interested but suggested that the coffee bar not be located on the Mezzanine or the basement location.  He thought the library hours were fine and thought snack food should be available.  He noted that staffing for a coffee service can be a problem and he was concerned about the close proximity of his coffee shop to the library.  Barnard asked him what problems he thought we would encounter and he responded that noise could be a problem.


          The other vendor Barnard contacted had no interest in discussing coffee service at the library.


b.       Board “Question of the Month”

          The board discussed the lack of responses to the latest question.  The board will continue with the “Question of the Month” in the fall.


c.       Reporting Committee

          Barnard reported that the annual report of the library board is scheduled to be presented at the June 24th City Council meeting.  A resolution has been prepared to accompany the report.  With the board’s permission, Hutter will prepare some overheads to use during the presentation.  The board thanked Blank for preparing the report.  At that time, the board also thanked Blank for her year of service to the library board.


d.       Excellence Award

          Stein distributed two letters she drafted to send to community leaders asking for their support in submitting a nomination to the Library of Michigan.  The board reviewed and edited the letters, and discussed the timing of the mailing.  Stein, Steinberg and Gardner will meet to develop a nomination letter from the library board to accompany the letters from community leaders for submission to the Library of Michigan. 


e.       Children’s Internet Protection Act – Update

          Barnard reported that the requirement that all computers had to be filtered in order to receive E-rate discounts has been overturned by a three-judge district court.  We are complying with the Michigan act which requires we protect minors from sexually explicit sites.  All the computers in Youth Services are filtered.  Minors are not able to access the unfiltered computers on the main level with their card.


VII.    New Business – Public Bulletin Board and Literature Distribution Policy


          Barnard reported that this is a patron use policy and will go before City Council.  It has been reviewed by the city attorney.  Palen asked if we have the right to deny posting an event because of its content.  Barnard replied that we cannot decide what can or cannot be posted based on content.  Items will be accepted from nonprofit organizations only and for one-time events.  We did have a poster that was offensive to some and people took it down; we had to put it back up several times.  Mortensen moved to accept the policy; Steinberg seconded.  All approved to forward the policy to City Council.


VIII.   Board Comments


          Regarding Telecirc, Stein spoke with a mother who was unable to get access to her child’s card.  Barnard responded that there is a form that parent’s can sign to be able to gain access to a minor’s records.


IX.     Adjournment


          Blank moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 p.m.  The next meeting of the Library Board will be Wednesday, July 17, 2002 at 7 p.m. in the Boardroom.