Library board liveblog

Came a bit late, they are talking about plans for re-configuring the library.  (Steve is livetweeting)

9 members in attendance (Jabian, Dante, and Bill not in attendance)

Automated materials handling would go into where the bookstore is now, the bookstore would go into where the a/v is now (which I think is a poor idea, because the bookstore should be where foot traffic is, no?)

5:12 – Jim Kersten – lots of stuff going on at entrance.  Phyllis Harrington says that’s no more than is there now.

Sofas, soft seating in the front – I think?

Jim asks about whether if we moved bookstore to Salem Street we could have door there.

Phyllis notes that the location at Salem Street is dark.

Looks like there is no desire from the bookstore to have it on Salem Street; opening it at off hours would require paid staff, etc.

Comments from Literacy Volunteers – having to go through Talking Books might be disruptive to the Talking Books; Jim Izatt from Talking Books doesn’t mind the door being open, but issue of confidentiality for respective clients with the way this is being configured.

5:18 – Kevin Dowd – not looking to vote on proposal now, just looking for additional feedback.

Phyllis – Would need information from staff regarding needs for space.

[I am putting in a major editorial aside that the teenagers NEED MORE SPACE!!!! and this plan doesn’t seem to look at that at all.]

Another meeting of buildings and grounds committee will happen soon — do I need to start attending these meetings?

5:23 – reviewing minutes.  I don’t have them in front of me so my fingers will take a break for now.

5:26 – Sunday and Monday openings begin later this month.

5:28 – Google has approached the library to come inside and map the library.  City law department has ok’ed this if the board approved.  Board votes to approve.

Remember — it’s getting to be the time to apply to be on the library board!  Details to come later.

Denise – listing for job on ALA, Chronicle of Higher Ed, and Hotline.  Three paid advertisements, as well as the T&G.  Other electronic library sites that are free.  Also on web page, deadline of October 31.  Resumes accepted until position is filled.  They discussed headhunter, and will revisit depending on the resumes that come in.

Discussion of newspaper article and other media regarding library board openings.  Good!

Wei, head librarian’s report – Five more new staff members next Monday, three the week after, some others have already started.

[Bill has entered; note that there was an article about him in Saturday’s T&G]

5:35 – staff development day (which is why library closed from 9-1 a few Fridays back)

Will visit all WPS (elementary, I think) this year – visiting in the morning.

Total of three applicants for library docent program.  They will be ready on October 21 for Sundae Sunday.

Discussion of Nemo, the dog that kids read to; Easy moved to western Mass, so can only come once a month.

5:40 – discussion of Libby at schools — there seems to be a question about how some schools were not ready for it.  Wei and Dee visited the WPS and they will be reaching out to make sure schools know the schedule.

Deb – Finance Committee met on September 11.  Approved travel and conference money.  Approved occasional support from Saxe Fund for a bit over $2,000.  (Sorry, these Finance Committee updates happen very quickly.)

Audit report from Foundation – compared to previous five years.  Did that comparison at today’s meeting.

Donna – report of the Administration committee — approved two new people for two new positions.  branch coordinator for FPBL and head of circulation (I think; couldn’t get names).

Security manual needs to be updated.  Need consistent incident reporting, suggested they submit to HR and head librarian and be tracked.  Consider Black Belt Librarian for training in customer service.

Committee met several times to have simple, painless, and effective self-assessment for the board.

Board assessment could help with board retreat, strategic plan, for new board members.

5:51 – Library/Theatre District Task Force – first meeting was last Thursday – discussion about development around the area based on the library’s mission statement.

Request from Tim McGourthy for five priorities – most importantly, task force needed broader vision, wider input, and would like library to host charrette.

Area of mixed use to support the library.

Follow design guidelines for downtown.

Security and accessibility were important.

Enhancing library access and outreach.   Opening up Salem Street area.

They had a motion that the task force is not in favor of ice rink proposal (that it is not the best use of the area).

Staff survey had a lot of recommendations.

Next meeting, intend to talk with Tim McGourthy next week or the week after.

Phyllis – should library task force take a position on the hockey arena?

Jim – this will have an impact on us.  This directly impacts us.

Phyllis – not sure how the library is in the position to address the viability of an ice rink.

Phyllis, clarifying – unsure why the task force said that the library welcomes a hockey rink, just not here.

Donna – we welcome a public process to determine a need for the library as well as the outer ring.

6:01 – Judy – some of the conversation from the public influenced some of us to give our opinion.

Kevin Dowd – official position of task force on first page.

Phyllis – proposes amendment that task force say that they are not opposed to a hockey rink elsewhere.

Discussion of amending language; hockey rink is not feasible for this location.

6:05 – Phyllis – if you went around the room and asked people what they thought of in a library district, no one would say hockey.

Jim – hockey rink proposal is taking away from us and not bringing anything.

Jim – “We need to be in a position where our needs are heard and our voices are listened to.”

(Sorry, you should look at Steve’s livetweeting for some of this.)

Kevin praises Steve’s plan.  His design proposal includes a parking garage.  His plan is to get us to think outside the box.

“Although the task force is not opposed to this rink, it is not a feasible proposal (?) for this location.”

6:13 – brochure about library volunteer opportunities to be available at Sundae Sunday.

6:14 – Foundation event — Celebration of Authors — is on Thursday evening.

Foundation received two grants recently.

On October 23, orientation for new board members.  Julie will be leaving the foundation and will be searching for new executive director.

in process of adjourning…