MARCH 26, 2007 Minutes of the Regular Meeting

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT LIBRARY BOARD
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2007

07-150 I. CALL TO ORDER

President Leary called the meeting to order at 6:10 p.m.

07-151 II. ATTENDANCE

Present: Cahill, Greene, Leary, Murphy, Barney Newman, Surovell
Absent: Head
Staff: Davis, Nieman, Parker, Wilson (recorder)
Others: Jim Greene, Dykema

07-152 III. RECESS TO EXECUTIVE SESSION FOR DIRECTOR’S EVALUATION

07-153 IV. RECONVENE REGULAR MEETING AT 7:00PM

President Leary reconvened the regular meeting at 7:18 p.m.
Treasurer Barney Newman was absent from the regular meeting.

07-154 V. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
(Item of action)

Secretary Greene, seconded by Trustee Cahill, moved to approve the agenda.

AYES: Cahill, Greene, Leary, Murphy, Surovell
NAYS: None

Motion passed 5-0.

07-154 VI. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF FEBRUARY 19, 2007

Trustee Surovell, seconded by Trustee Murphy, moved to approve the minutes of February 19, 2007.

AYES: Cahill, Greene, Leary, Murphy, Surovell
NAYS: None

Motion passed 5-0

07-156 VII. CITIZENS’ COMMENTS

Jean King

“Thank you for the opportunity to address you. I’m restricted to three minutes, so I’m not going to tell you all the things you do right. That eliminates four or five minutes from my talk. Except I want to complement the reference department. At one point I was in a debate with the former dean of the law school about how “sex” got into Title IX. I remembered an author and a journal and I insisted that I remembered them right but I was wrong, they found it in 5 minutes. And that’s the quality of all of the services in the library. I’ll leave this behind with Josie so my comments will not be wasted.

I have one complaint that I’m here on tonight. I made a request of the library to buy the biography of Katharine Dexter McCormick and you have some flyers on this. I think the library should purchase it. She’s very likely the most important woman born in Washtenaw County. She graduated from M.I.T. in 1904 with a degree in biology, the first woman to get a science degree there and she was very active in the first two decades of the suffrage in the last century. In 1950 she gave $2,000,000 towards the development of the birth control pill. She rarely sought publicity and is little known. She was married to the heir of the McCormick reaper business, she was so rich that a book you have about the Dexter family said she couldn’t spend the interest on the interest. She gave her birthplace, Gordon Hall in Webster Township, to the University of Michigan, probably on the advice of her attorneys who were attempting to reduce her exposure to taxes. As the interior of Gordon Hall is restored and its site is further developed and its role in the Underground Railroad becomes even better known, it will be increasingly important in this area. And people should not have to go to another county to get a copy of her biography as I did. School children of all ages, library patrons, and foreign visitors will want to know more about the Dexter family and about Katharine.

The reference librarian to whom I submitted a request to purchase said this book was too expensive (it’s $50.00 a copy), that two copies would have to be bought (one for reference) and that the publisher was not favored. This is the only biography of Katharine McCormick. I responded that I would write friends on the library board about this purchase but while my three letters were still in the mail the Director of the Library told me she had heard of my complaint and had heard what I had intended to do about it. I never got an answer to my three letters except that one of my Board correspondents later said to me when I asked to talk but didn’t specify the subject: “You are wrong.” I think I’m right, and I think that you should purchase the book, maybe only one copy for reference. I told two retired Ann Arbor teachers, one was June Rusten, about my difficulties in getting the library to buy what I requested and they said when the library was in the school system they never had any trouble getting the library to buy every book they requested. The entire episode raises questions in my mind as to how decisions about book purchases are now made and what role the public might have in these decisions. Right now I am telling people, don’t bother to ask. This is not the first request for a book purchase that I have made of the Ann Arbor Library which has been turned down, but it is the first one I have protested. The case for buying this book at this library at this time seems to me to be pretty clear. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to address you.”

Ray Detter
Citizens Advisory Council
Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority

“I’m here because the Downtown Area Citizen Advisory Council instructed me to come here. They told me that I must come here to express downtown residents support for keeping the downtown district library in its present downtown location. And I might say that while nobody’s threatening at this particular point to move it out and there is of course a study which is going on to determine what your needs are, I just want to make sure that you know our position, and what will continue to be our position. We believe that taking the district library out of downtown will hurt the downtown as well as the larger community. Such a move would not have the support of that community. We want to assure you of our willingness to support a capital millage campaign to keep it downtown. Also our willingness to work with the Downtown Development Authority and other governmental bodies to do everything possible to cooperate to keep it where it is, perhaps within a larger plan for the use of the next door library lot. And we want to play a part in that as well. There are members of the DDA who are certainly moving in that direction although it is not their policy as of yet. We all know that there has been a library downtown for 150 years, when the first books were purchased for the Union school in the 1850’s. We certainly accept the fact that there are problems with the library’s current location. Every downtown library as far we know of have similar sorts of problems and that is really a result of an open society and we want to keep it that way. We have to as downtown residents and we continue to still live downtown. We believe that in spite of the problems that the downtown library is a success. I’ve handed out a handbook which lists some of your success, on page 3, you’re on page 10, and you’re on page 11. You are a downtown destination that is a very important part of what makes people want to come downtown and we hope that it is going to stay that way. Every successful downtown has a downtown library. Chelsea instead of moving out of the downtown put an addition on the back of their library. Dexter defeated a library millage for a library out of town then turned around and passed one that would put the library downtown. We think the same thing might happen here in terms of the nature of the possibility. We believe that the library downtown is central to the health and the future success of the area. A major vitalizing destination and a resource place. We always come to the downtown, you see us all the time as you do lots of people throughout the city with regard to the meeting places that you have here. It is a central location. People get downtown and they enjoy the possibility in regard to having that kind of relationship. Dick Jackson was going to speak tonight, he lives at 101 North Main, but he couldn’t be here, he had a conflict. But he recognized the fact that some of the people in Ann Arbor are graying and some, of course, are developing disabilities. Dick doesn’t drive a car and he also has a reading disability. And he said, this is to quote him “you can get to the downtown library without a car, but you can’t get to the others without a car.” Dick is a major celebrator of the downtown special resources, requires books for the blind and he uses them. And he also emphasizes the fact of remaining close to the transit center so it isn’t just those people who may have difficulties but also people of all ages can get to this downtown library and we want to do everything possible to encourage that kind of direction. As far as the library is concerned in terms of directions in the course of time, we as individuals and as a group work with the downtown library for quite a period of time. Joan Blos of course, worked with Josie Parker, Ira Lax with the Magic Carpet Mornings. And I see all of those strollers over at Liberty Plaza in the summertime. It’s a major park and that kind of cooperation is terribly important. And also of course here we have a repository, with much of the history about the library which is located in the library and located on the street and of course we are working on the downtown sculpture exhibit program. We couldn’t exist without having you here. The history is out there on the sidewalks, the repository for that history is here. Of course we have worked very closely over the course of time with Josie Parker, with Eli, on making of the downtown Ann Arbor website and also on our own website, the street exhibit program. We usually have a meeting with members of library on the issue of setting up a local history blog, which we hope to advance as well, which is part of the nature of importance of this group. Tomorrow Leticia Bird and Jean Long from Pioneer High and myself meet with Sulura Jackson the principal of the new Skyline High to discuss making local history and the street exhibit program a part of possible choices for high school students in terms of projects that they might be working on. This place is essential with regard to carrying on that project. And we want to keep those resources downtown where our history was shaped and our downtown walking tour is located. Just want to let you know that we intend to help you everyway we can to keep the library downtown. Thank you.”

07-157 VIII. FINANCIAL REPORT

Associate Director Nieman took the floor and reported the following:
As of February the Library has $10.8 million in unrestricted funds. Tax receipts totaling $13.3 million, which is 97% of the budget, have been received as of the end of February. Currently, six items are over budget year to date in the operating budget. The Communications line item may need to be revised. Page 14 shows $116,000 was spent in February on the NEB project. That figure should be getting bigger each month as we move along. Page 17 shows $6.5 million in the undesignated fund balance.

There were no questions from the Board on the Financial Report.

07-158 IX. APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS
(Item of action)

Trustee Surovell, seconded by Trustee Murphy, moved to approve disbursements. Trustee Murphy thanked the staff for providing the format in alphabetical vendor order.

AYES: Greene, Leary, Murphy, Surovell
NAYS: None
ABSTAIN: Cahill
Motion passed 4-0-1.

07-159 X. DIRECTOR’S REPORT

In addition to the regular report, Director Parker added information regarding an A2D2 public parking workshop being held on March 29, 2007 at the City Council Chambers. This is a study the DDA is working on with the City.

07-160 XI. COMMITTEE REPORTS

A. BUDGET & FINANCE

In absence of Treasurer Barney Newman, Trustee Murphy presented the Budget & Finance Committee report. The committee met with Administration and reviewed the proposed 2007-2008 budget. The draft 2007-2008 will be presented to the Board at the April meeting. A public budget hearing will be held in May. The committee also met with representatives of two audit firms chosen in response to audit RFPs. The recommended audit firm is presented as a resolution under New Business.

B. PERSONNEL

Trustee Murphy reported that the Personnel Committee had met. The committee discussed the Director’s evaluation and reviewed the evaluation procedure. A final evaluation will be coming for Board review and discussion, along with a public statement at the May Board meeting.

07-161 XII. OLD BUSINESS

06-125 A. UPDATE ON NORTHEAST BRANCH
Ken Nieman

Work is proceeding on the underground utilities. The schedule has not changed. One concern is that contingency has been impacted for some items, the contingency sits at 3.9% of the building right now and Pittsfield at this time was at 5.1%. We are working on cutting expenses to keep within the budget.

Trustee Cahill questioned spending falling behind schedule. Associate Director Nieman responded that he was happy with the progress of the building and is not concerned with the current rate of spending.

07-024 B. UPDATE ON STATUS OF FRIENDS OF THE ANN ARBOR DISTRICT LIBRARY
Josie Parker

The month-to-month contract with the Friends is working smoothly. Director Parker attended their Board meeting this month, where they received their audit report. The Library has agreed to accept the $30,000 donation from the Friends. The Friends have indicated that they are increasing their gift to the library next year from $90,000 as usual to $125,000 or more. They are securing worker’s compensation and liability insurance. The FAADL will be holding their annual meeting in May at Malletts Creek.

Director Parker has agreed to extend the month-to-month agreement through April 30, 2007.

07-146 C. UPDATE ON SPACE NEEDS STUDY OF THE DOWNTOWN LIBRARY
Josie Parker

We are in the information gathering phase. The staff is pulling a large amount of information together. Tim Minick has met with the structural architect. Providence will be conducting focus groups April 11th through the 14th. The Board will meet with Providence on April 14th. On April 22nd a public meeting for the community will be held as part of the Director’s Program at the end of National Library Week. Focus groups are being developed around the following populations: the disabled, aging/seniors, Gen X/Y, families with young children, AADL Friends, the business community and historic districts, individual interviews to include township clerks and supervisors, AADL managers/supervisors and AADL staff.

Trustee Cahill asked that the meeting on the 14th of the Board be posted as a work session.

07-162 XIII. NEW BUSINESS

07-163 A. RESOLUTION TO APPROVE ACCOUNTING FIRM REHMANN ROBSON, PC TO COMPLETE THE LIBRARY’S AUDIT FOR THE YEARS ENDING JUNE 30, 2007-2010

Trustee Murphy, seconded by Secretary Greene, moved to approve the accounting firm of Rehmann Robson, from Jackson, Michigan, to complete the Library’s audit for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2007 through 2010 and that all resolutions that conflict with the provisions this resolution are rescinded.

AYES: Cahill, Greene, Leary, Murphy, Surovell
NAYS: None

Motion passed 5-0.

07-164 B. VOTE FOR EXECUTIVE SESSION AT THE APRIL 16, 2007, REGULAR BOARD MEETING FOR DISCUSSION OF LABOR NEGOTIATIONS AND DIRECTOR’S EVALUATION
(Item of action)
Roll call vote

Trustee Cahill, seconded by Trustee Murphy, moved to hold an executive session at the April 16, 2007 regular Board meeting for the discussion of labor negotiations and Director’s evaluation.

A roll call vote was taken.

AYES: Cahill, Greene, Leary, Murphy, Surovell
NAYS: None

Motion passed 5-0.

07-165 XIV. ADJOURNMENT

Trustee Cahill, seconded by Trustee Murphy, moved to adjourn.

The meeting adjourned at 7:51 p.m.