Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board Minutes

Wednesday, June 18, 2003


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


ALSO PRESENT:    Virginia McKane, Assistant Director; Tracy Burton, Midland Issues


EXCUSED:     Joe DuFort


I.          Call to Order


            The June 18, 2003 meeting of the Library Board was called to order at 7 p.m. by Hutter.


II.         Acceptance of Minutes


            Mortensen motioned and Bush seconded to accept the minutes of the May 21, 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


            There were no public comments.


V.        Director’s Report


            Barnard reported that the Friends of the Library held a book sale June 6, 7, and 8 and raised $13,500 in gross sales.


            The Library held its annual Writer’s Conference this past weekend.  Seventy-three people attended.  Two students attended the conference with scholarships the library offered.  Lunch was held in the red carpeted area of the Midland Center for the Arts.  The keynote speaker was Michael Beschloss.


            Copies of the latest newspaper clippings were distributed; Hutter said she does appreciate receiving these.  One clipping was about Harry Potter activities planned for Saturday at Waldenbooks and the Midland Mall.  Youth Services librarian Char Taber will be reading from the first chapter of the new book at the Mall.


            Barnard reported that the City is working on a new template for their website and hope to unveil it soon.  Hutter asked if there will be any opportunity to do interactive things on the site.  Barnard said the library will need to stay within the City’s template but believes this will be possible.


            A staff in-service has been scheduled for the morning of Thursday, August 28.  The in-service will run from 8 a.m. to noon.  The library will be open to the public from 1 to 9 p.m.  Barnard said when deciding to plan for a half-day in-service, she considered the impact of closing the entire day to the public and the high number of returns to be checked in the following day.  Jim Van Borchove, Director of Workforce Development at The Henry Ford, will be the presenter.


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


            McKane described the Leap Frog items that the library purchased with the $1,000 donation from Wal-Mart.  The grant specified that the money be used to promote family literacy.  This is the third year the library has received a donation from Wal-Mart.


            Bush commented on the large number of people participating in the Youth Services programs.  McKane pointed out, however, that the Brown Bag Book Club had only three participants because it was the same day as the City track meet for fourth and fifth graders.  McKane also reported that the Youth Services staff is working on the 25th anniversary celebration of Battle of the Books.


VI.       Old Business


a.         Coffee Bar

            Barnard reported that we have received confirmed funding from Community Mental Health for Central Michigan of $10,000.  Private donations of $2,000 have been received.  A Community Rehabilitation Grant for $26,000 has been submitted to the State of Michigan.  A grant request for $10,000 has been submitted to the Midland Area Community Foundation.  The following foundations have expressed interest in funding the coffee bar:  The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, The Charles J. Strosacker Foundation, and the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation.  Private donations are being accepted by the Arnold Center. 


b.         Board/Community Communications

            The Board will be exploring the use of the library website.


c.         Library Planning Process

            The final draft of the Strategic Plan for 2003-2006 was distributed and discussed.  Short-term planning will focus on technology and customer service.  Barnard said an agenda item at an upcoming Library Board meeting will invite the public to comment on the plan.


d.         Annual Report Committee

            A draft of the annual report was distributed.  Any changes or comments should be addressed to Hutter.  The report will be reviewed and discussed at the July Board meeting.  The board would like to have the report finalized in July to be placed on a City Council agenda in August or September. 


VII.      New Business


a.         Nominations and Elections for Board Officers, 2003/2004

            The election for Board officers was postponed until the July 16 meeting, the first meeting of the new fiscal year.  The nominating committee of Steinberg and Mortensen will present a slate of officers at that time.


b.         White Pine Library Cooperative – Letter of Intent to Withdraw

            Barnard reported on the current financial difficulties facing the White Pine Library Cooperative and the impact on services from the Cooperative.  Bay County Library System and Public Libraries of Saginaw have expressed similar concerns about the Cooperative.  Members are required to notify the cooperative if they are considering membership in another cooperative.  Barnard reported that five cooperatives have expressed interest in our joining their cooperative.  Other options involving the Valley Library Consortium were discussed. 


The Board made the following motion:

            Based upon a recommendation of the City staff, the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library Board recommends to the City Council that the White Pine Library Cooperative be notified that the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library intends to withdraw from the White Pine Library Cooperative effective September 30, 2003 to ensure that options to join other cooperatives can be considered and acted upon if necessary.


VIII.     Board Comments


            Bush commented that he was in the library last week when the fire alarm went off.  He said the volume of the alarm was very loud and asked if it indeed has to be that loud.  Barnard will look into it.  Barnard also mentioned that the staff learned a lot of things about evacuating the building, since it was not a planned fire drill.


            Mortensen expressed an interest in the library participating in a community read program.  Barnard responded that she and McKane are meeting with the Midland Center for the Arts staff to discuss the possibility of a community read.


IX.       Adjournment


            Stein motioned and Steinberg seconded to adjourn the meeting.  The meeting of the Library Board adjourned at 8:25 p.m.  The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 16, 2003 at 7 p.m. in the Boardroom.