Grace A. Dow Memorial Library

Library Board Minutes

Wednesday, November 19, 2003


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


ALSO PRESENT:     Virginia McKane, Assistant Director; John Palen, Midland Issues; Ron Beacom, MCTV Director


EXCUSED:      Joe DuFort


I.          Call to Order


            The November 19, 2003 meeting of the Library Board was called to order at 7 p.m. by Bush.


II.         Acceptance of Minutes


            Steinberg motioned and Mortensen seconded to accept the minutes of the October 15, 2003 meeting as submitted.  Motion carried.


III.       Additions and Changes to the Agenda


            There were no additions or changes to the agenda.


IV.       Public Comments


            There were no public comments.


V.        Council Chambers Orientation for Cablecasting Board Meetings


            MCTV Director Ron Beacom gave an overview of cablecasting the City’s Boards and Commissions meetings.  Six part-time employees have been hired to cover these meetings.  After going through the process of holding a public meeting in Council Chambers and giving pointers, such as microphone placement, the cough switch, and using visual aids, Beacom conducted a tour of the control room. 


VI.       Director’s Report


            Barnard was pleased to inform the Board that the Friends of the Library made nearly $9,000 as their November book sale.  The Friends also used the former Friends Store on the lower level of the library to sell books at bargain prices.


            Author Jack Gantos visited the library and presented programs for teachers, adults, and children of all ages.  He was also the speaker for the Battle of the Books kickoff.  McKane reported that about 560 people came to the library to hear Gantos speak.  Mortensen said she heard from a few people that they came to the library to hear Gantos and loved his program.  Waldenbooks brought books written by Gantos in addition to Battle books for Battle of the Books kickoff attendees to purchase.  The library was given 20 percent of the profits.  The Friends of the Library helped to sponsor the visit by Gantos.


            Barnard asked McKane to update the Board on the Michigan Read Program.  McKane informed the Board that Barnyard Song, by Rhonda Gowler Greene is the chosen book for the program.  The library has already booked Ms. Gowler Greene to present a program during National Library Week.


            McKane also informed the Board on some upcoming events.  Seuss Night is March 2nd.  This year is the 100th birthday of Dr. Seuss.  The Youth Services staff would like to have some celebrity readers come and read to the children that night.  Youth Services Librarian Rebecca Hastings is in charge of this program and is arranging for readers.  McKane invited the Board to participate.


            Barnard made one addition to her written report.  Katherine Redwine, Supervisor of Adult Services, attended the Michigan Library Association Conference in October.


            McKane updated the Board on the new Leap Frog pads.  McKane was happy to report that every book for the Leap Frog pads has been checked out.  There are currently 15 holds on the pads.  Staff is considering buying more pads and books.


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


            Steinberg asked about the gate count figures.  Barnard replied that there is a people counter as you leave the library.


            Stein complimented the library staff on the winning entries in the Michigan Library Association 2003 Best of Show.


            Board members were pleased to see the limit of two books from the Book Express collection changed to no limit.  Also, effective December 1st, all videos and DVDs will circulate for seven days.


            Mortensen asked about the comment of having to get materials from other libraries.  Barnard responded that we have not changed our buying practices.  Mortensen also asked about the handicapped door opener.  Barnard replied that the maintenance staff has adjusted the door to stay open longer.


            From now on, the patron compliments and concerns will be numbered so the Board can refer to the numbered comments specifically during the cablecast meetings.


VII.      Old Business


            a.         Coffee Bar

            Barnard had included in the Board packet the coffee bar resolution and agreement.  The project will be bid out for construction.  The process is moving a little slower than anticipated.  Barnard told the Board that direction is needed from them on how to name the coffee bar.  After much discussion, Gardner was asked to create an entry form for people to submit their ideas.  Once the coffee bar is open, people will be asked to submit a name with an explanation.  It was decided that the final decision will be made by two Library Board members and two Arnold Center Board members.


b.         Board/Community Communications

Bush reported that he has submitted his article for the January/February issue of the Library Connection newsletter.  Steinberg will prepare an article for the March/April issue.


            Gardner and Stein will work with Library staff on using the Library’s website as a Board communication tool with the community.


VIII.     New Business


a.         Children’s Internet Protection Act

            Barnard distributed and reviewed the requirements for complying with the Children’s Internet Protection Act.  Complying with this act is not mandatory but its requirements must be met for the library to continue receiving Universal Service Fund Telecommunications discounts for Internet services.


The act requires public libraries to filter all computers, including staff, and to disable the filter on any machine when an adult patron requests staff to do so.  The library currently filters 15 of the 21 public access computers.  The 6 unfiltered computers are located apart from the filtered computers and can only be accessed using an adult library card or by an adult 18 years and older unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.  Staff check identifications if necessary.  Staff computers are not filtered and it is not practical to disable the filters on the filtered machines as they are now configured.


The Library Board reviewed the library's Internet policy.  The policy is in compliance with the Michigan Library Privacy Act.  The Board feels that the current policy and practices meet the needs of the community.  Additionally, the savings received from the Universal Service discount would not be realized since more filtering licenses would have to be purchased and the software on the computers would have to be modified to allow staff to disable the filters on demand.


            Bush stressed the importance for the library to let the public know why it is not conducive for the library to comply.  Steinberg pointed out that it is not a law that we have to comply with, rather it is a matter of receiving the discounts.


Gardner motioned for the Library Board to accept the recommendation from the staff to continue with the current policy and filtering.  Hutter seconded.  Motion approved.


b.         Township Library Use

            At the last meeting, DuFort asked for a breakdown of library usage by township residents.  The information on overdues that DuFort requested is not obtainable but Barnard was able to compile some useful information, including the number of cards residents of each township has, circulation for those townships, and how much each township pays for library service.


IX.       Board Comments


            Hutter asked about the Library of Michigan Excellence Award.  Previously, the Board had decided not to submit another nomination until there is a significant event or service to highlight.


            Hutter asked if the Board prefers to meet in City Hall Council Chambers again in December or at the library for the final time.  Bush suggested that if the meeting could be taped by MCTV staff, it would be good practice for going live.  Barnard will check with Beacom on the taping possibility.


X.        Adjournment


            The meeting of the Library Board adjourned at 9:15 p.m.  The next regular meeting of the Library Board is scheduled for Wednesday, December 17, 2003 at 7 p.m. in the Library Boardroom.