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May 6, 2013 Minutes of the Regular Meeting

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT LIBRARY BOARD
343 S. FIFTH AVENUE, ANN ARBOR, MI
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
MONDAY, MAY 6, 2013

13-093 I. CALL TO ORDER

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

13-094 II. ATTENDANCE

Present: Kaplan, Leary, Murphy, Barney Newman, Rosenthal, Surovell
Absent: Head
Staff: Parker

13-095 III. RECESS TO CLOSED SESSION FOR DIRECTOR’S EVALUATION

13-096 IV. RECONVENE TO PUBLIC HEARING ON BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2013-2014 AT 7:00PM

President Rosenthal reconvened to the Public Hearing on the 2013-2014 Budget at 7:03 p.m.

Staff in attendance: Choate, Neiburger, Nieman, Wilson (recorder)

13-097 V. CALL FOR PUBLIC COMMENT ON THE BUDGET

The following comment was received:

Lyn Davidge

My name is Lyn Davidge and it’s a little bit daunting to comment on any budget proposal because I’m fully aware of the fact that there is so much I don’t know about the proposed budget and so much that you do know. With that in mind though, I’d like to express my concern at the proposed reduction to the materials budget. I’m speaking only for myself but I like to think that many others in the community might share my concern at the thought of nearly $99,000 less being available next year for purchase of books, dvd’s, audio books, magazines, large print, musical instruments, telescopes and so forth. Other tangible materials that we can all enjoy here in the library or check out for home. I hope you will address the rationale for this particular cut in your discussion tonight. And if I have misunderstood what the materials line in the budget actually stands for I would hope that you will also clarify that during your discussion. Thank you.

Don Salberg

My name is Don Salberg and I live in northeast Michigan and I have one simple request and that is I understand that there will be merit increases in salary for a lot of the staff, I don’t doubt that they deserve it. I’m wondering if the criteria for meeting merit increases in salary can be provided to general public. Thank you.

13-098 VI. RECONVENE REGULAR MEETING IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING PUBLIC HEARING ON FY 2013-14 BUDGET

President Rosenthal reconvened to the regular meeting at 7:06 p.m.

President Rosenthal addressed the Open Meetings Act in stating that the AADL Board and staff are scrupulous in adhering to its letter and its spirit. All board decisions are made in public meetings.

13-099 VII. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
(Item of action)

Trustee Leary, supported by Vice President Barney Newman, moved to approve the agenda. Trustee Leary, supported by Vice President Barney Newman, amended her motion to reverse Item A and Item B under New Business.

AYES: Kaplan, Leary, Murphy, Barney Newman, Rosenthal, Surovell
NAYS: None

Motion passed 6-0.

13-100 VIII. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF APRIL 15, 2013
(Item of action)

Trustee Murphy, supported by Treasurer Kaplan, moved to approve the minutes of April 15, 2013.

AYES: Kaplan, Leary, Murphy, Barney Newman, Rosenthal, Surovell
NAYS: None

Motion passed 6-0.

13-101 IX. CITIZENS’ COMMENTS

Don Salberg

Hello again, my name is Don Salberg and I still live in northeast Ann Arbor. I wish to revisit the failed bond referendum for what I hope to be one last time. Because I had questions which I posed at the last board meeting and I have subsequently received answers and I would like to share my impression about those answers. First I was able to examine the Providence Report from 2007 which apparently highlighted all the needs for a new library. One of the premises that was presented was expectation that there would be a 16% growth in Ann Arbor’s population by 2020. Last year’s SEMCOG published its prediction and expects that Ann Arbor would grow at only 6.1% by 2040 so there is quite a difference here. And I believe the intervening years has changed the prospects of population growth in Ann Arbor and this should be considered. Certainly if the 16 % by 2020 presented an urgency for enlarging the library, 6.1 % over 23 years offers a much less urgent need. At that time also there was question as to how the Internet was going to impact library services. Since then, in fact, even a year later when Luckenbach and Ziegelman created schematics for a new library and their didactic related to their schematics they stated that the Internet was providing most of the resource for the people doing research and that very few people were coming to the library as their primary source for obtaining new information. In regards to the major driving motivations, I guess, for the library as I understand them from discussions that were held and I attended two informational meetings, there were at least three major deficiencies of the library that were presented. One was that it didn’t have enough of a large meeting facility. Your basement conference room or whatever, only holds 100 individuals and that you frequently have overflow. I was told that that meeting room on the lower level was used very frequently and I also remember hearing that there were thirteen instances of all of last year where the capacity was exceeded and these people were taken to another room, were able to watch the proceedings with closed video. That doesn’t seem like a great demand for additional space by itself. Certainly a nice auditorium with comfortable seats and that would be desirable, I think, in any facility. But the urgency for getting one at this time does not appear to be justified by the information that was provided to me. There is also concern about the elevator, well, I understand after talking to Ken Nieman, that the elevator is very serviceable, apparently people with wheelchairs and that, have no difficulty getting in and out. There have been no complaints by disabled people about the elevators. Furthermore the ADA will not inspect the library or the elevator until there is new construction. The other thing is that the electrical facilities here are supposedly outdated and there is need for additional electrical power lines. These would require drilling through the floor I understand, but there are also ways that power lines can be added by running cables along the floors, over doors. There’s protective coverings that can either make this look attractive or at least, not, will kind of hide the appearance. The people that voted down the referendum 55 to 45, you might look at it in a different way and see that 55% of the voters actually like the library as it is rather than just rejecting the referendum. And there was some suggestion that the reason that that referendum lost was because the population wasn’t properly informed. I disagree, I think we have an intelligent population, I think they understood what was going on. Thank you.

Bob Rorke

Good evening, my name is Bob Rorke. In January I was retained by the Protect Our Libraries PAC to review the Ann Arbor District Library’s operations and to suggest alternative scenarios of future directions of libraries. Since that time I have reviewed the finances and operations of the library system. And I can state from my review that the Ann Arbor District Library is well funded and well managed. Despite a substantial loss of revenue since 2008, the Ann Arbor District Library has been able to adjust to the times and continue to maintain their services to the community. This library is staffed and directed by a group of extraordinary individuals. And with all these findings I am very confident. In regards to the future direction of the library I am less clear. The basic function of lending materials and providing reference resources are becoming more outmoded as technology advances and the younger generation become library patrons. The administration of this district has been very proactive in offering new direction and new services. My question, though, are these initiatives viable in the long term. For the past few months the board has been provided with presentations on services including gaming, podcast, services to the ESL population and specialized lending of musical instruments, telescopes and art. These are a few of the new initiatives. However, there seems to be no change document, tactical plan that describes why it was decided to offer these services. And what was their subsequent impact. Today I have a question, what are the services that the Ann Arbor District Library provides, what is the current demand for those services. What resources are needed to provide these individual services? What do we believe will be the potential demand for these services 5 years from now, or 10 years from now? Is there competition in these service areas? Either from developing technology or other community organizations. What resources will be needed to provide these services in the future? These questions today, I believe, are pretty much unanswered. In November the voters’ resoundly defeated the bond issue for a new downtown library. Some have suggested that the voters didn’t appreciate the library, some have question whether the communication to the public was adequate. I don’t believe either of these arguments are valid. The voters were asked to tear down this structure and build a new $60 million dollar edifice. Question was why? It’s a question the voters asked themselves and I believe the bond initiate failed due to lack of substantial answers. The public couldn’t understand how we got from today’s library to the library of the future. And after four months of study I don’t see it either. There’s conjecture that local media production, local archiving, and a public meeting space might be the library’s future role. However, there’s no detail plan that supports the conjecture. There’s been no evidence presented that would convince the public that the new library vision is real and that it necessitates a new facility. Now I’m sure there are members of the board and the administration that would challenge this conclusion. A vision has been articulated by the board and the administration, but there’s little evidence presented to support the vision. That I believe is the challenge to Ann Arbor district libraries. To present a factual, realistic plan to support their vision. Thank you.

Anna Solomon

My name is Anna Solomon and I live on the west side of Ann Arbor and I use the library a lot. I am a new mom and my son is five months old. I was someone who voted for the new construction of the library. I really think that parts of the vision of what it would represent are very important for the future of this city. One of the reasons I settled in this city is because of the library system. Such an amazing opportunity as a gathering place and as a resource for young families who don’t have a lot of money. As you might know, under the age of 2 the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend screen time for children and so being able to have books available for my son, I use it all the time. I read to him every day and I also use the storytimes all the time. It is a wonderful place to gather and to meet people that you wouldn’t necessarily meet in your own neighborhood. I think the argument that the space for events is big enough for the things that have been planned is not really the point, the point is that a larger space, a building that can be part of, more of, a kind of community center would promote new opportunities for programming. And so, I really think as the next generation of Ann Arborites that I am raising, I really see the value in expanding and in changing in order to meet the new needs. And that’s really all I have to say. Thank you very much.

13-102 X. FINANCIAL REPORTS

Associate Director Nieman reported that due to the early meeting date, April financials were not ready and would be presented at the June meeting.

13-103 XI. APPROVAL OF DISBURSEMENTS
(Item of action)

Trustee Leary, supported by Trustee Murphy, moved to approve the April 2013 disbursements.

AYES: Kaplan, Leary, Murphy, Barney Newman, Rosenthal, Surovell
NAYS: None

Motion passed 6-0.

13-104 XII. COMMITTEE REPORTS

13-105 A. BUDGET & FINANCE COMMITTEE

Chairperson Kaplan reported the committee met on April 26th to discuss last month’s Board concerns. Economies were proposed and a revised 2013-2014 budget was prepared. A presentation is scheduled later in this meeting.

13-106 B. COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE

Chairperson Kaplan reported the committee did not meet.

13-107 C. DIRECTOR’S EVALUATION COMMITTEE

Chairperson Barney Newman reported the Board has met with the director and has completed her evaluation. The topic will be discussed further in the agenda.

13-108 D. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

President Rosenthal reported the committee had not met.

13-109 E. FACILITIES COMMITTEE

Chairperson Leary reported the committee had not met.

13-110 F. POLICY COMMITTEE

Chairperson Murphy reported a committee meeting has been scheduled for the end of the month.

13-111 XIII. DIRECTOR’S REPORT

Director Parker reported that AADL received three American Library Association awards for electronic and print publications. Staff who created and worked on these publications were congratulated.

Associate Director Celeste Choate has been asked by the Public Library Association to again participate in a “modern reference services” webinar.

Associate Director Eli Neiburger will be on a panel discussion with the CEO of the New York Public Library tomorrow regarding the digital future of libraries on NPR’s On Point.

13-112 XIV. NEW BUSINESS

13-113 A. RESOLUTION TO AUTHORIZE MILLAGE RATE TO BE LEVIED BY TAXING AUTHORITIES
(Item of action)

Treasurer Kaplan, supported by Trustee Leary, moved that the Board resolves as follows:

That as to the 2013-2014 fiscal year of the Ann Arbor District Library, and as to that portion of said Library within the City of Ann Arbor, and that portion of the Library within the territory, townships, or areas outside the City of Ann Arbor, the voted millage for Library operational purposes shall be the amount of 1.55 mills.

That the foregoing amounts are levied by the Ann Arbor District Library and the Secretary of the Board of Trustees is authorized and directed to report the same as the Library tax levy to the proper assessing officer(s) of the appropriate agencies and the Secretary may provide copies of this resolution when requested by any appropriate agency.

That the amounts certified are essential for the fiscal year of the Ann Arbor District Library commencing July 1, 2013, except as subsequently altered or amended by appropriate certification.

That a certified copy of this Resolution may be issued as though the original with the certification provided.

All resolutions and parts of resolutions that conflict with the provisions of this resolution are rescinded.

AYES: Kaplan, Leary, Murphy, Barney Newman, Rosenthal, Surovell
NAYS: None

Motion passed 6-0.

Trustee Surovell left the meeting at 7:37 p.m.

13-114 B. RESOLUTION TO APPROVE ANNUAL BUDGET FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2013-2014
(Item of action)

Treasurer Kaplan, supported by Vice President Barney Newman, moved that the Board approves and adopts the budget for the fiscal year ending June 20, 2014 as presented and that all resolutions and parts of resolutions that conflict with the provisions of this resolution are rescinded.

Director Parker clarified the reductions made to last month’s draft budget allowed keeping the millage rate at 1.55 mills.

AYES: Kaplan, Leary, Murphy, Barney Newman, Rosenthal
NAYS: None

Motion passed 5-0.

13-115 C. RESOLUTION TO ADOPT THE 2013-2014 BUDGET AS A LINE ITEM BUDGET AND COMPLIANCE OF DISBURSEMENTS
(Item of action)

Vice President Barney Newman, supported by Treasurer Kaplan, moved to adopt the 2013-2014 budget as a line item budget and to approve the compliance of disbursements as presented.

AYES: Kaplan, Leary, Murphy, Barney Newman, Rosenthal
NAYS: None

Motion passed 5-0.

13-116 D. RESOLUTION TO EXTEND SPACE USE AGREEMENT WITH THE FRIENDS OF THE ANN ARBOR DISTRICT LIBRARY
(Item of action)

President Rosenthal, supported by Trustee Leary, moved that the President of the Board of Trustees of Ann Arbor District Library be authorized to sign a one year extension of the space use agreement along with the President of the Board of the Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library and that all resolutions and parts of resolutions that conflict with the provisions of this resolution are rescinded.

AYES: Kaplan, Leary, Murphy, Barney Newman, Rosenthal
NAYS: None

Motion passed 5-0.

13-117 E. DISCUSSION ON PROPOSAL TO BUILD FIBER OPTIC LINE TO PITTSFIELD BRANCH

Associate Director Eli Neiburger presented a proposal to build a fiber optic line to the Pittsfield branch. Options he presented were to contract with Merit for a one-time cost of $112,150 with ongoing yearly costs of $2,625. To contract with TDS for a one-time cost of $600 and ongoing yearly costs of $27,912. Or to do nothing to the current connection. His recommendation was to contract with Merit. This item was a discussion only item and will be presented as a resolution at the June Board meeting.

13-118 F. DIRECTOR’S EVALUATION LETTER FROM AADL BOARD

President Rosenthal read the following:

Dear Josie,

The Ann Arbor District Library Board of Trustees has completed its evaluation of your work over the past year. In each of the ten areas of your responsibility you have continued to excel. Since your salary is equitable with those in comparable positions, and at your request, we have agreed that, for the fourth year in a row, your salary will remain the same.

The fact that you continue to attract and empower talented people to the staff is evidenced by the fact that they are invited to travel nationally and internationally to speak on important issues about the changing nature of public library functions and are quoted in the national press.

The Board encourages you to continue the appropriate delegation of library functions to your excellent staff so that more of your time and effort can be addressed to public issues that require your expertise. Your contributions and leadership have been recognized in Governor Rick Snyder’s appointment of you to serve as a commissioner on the Michigan Commission for the Blind. In addition, you continue to be seen as a national leader and are invited to participate in national initiatives.

The Board is pleased that the Library continues to operate with a balanced budget year after year while developing and providing new services and seeing increased use of the Library’s services. It is particularly proud of the fact that this can be accomplished while meeting the need of additional maintenance to the aging Downtown facility.

It is with considerable pride that the Board recognizes how you have positioned the Library in the forefront of the direction that public libraries are moving today. There are unavoidable changes taking place in the publishing industry that are being addressed by public libraries all over the world. Other major public libraries look to the innovations of AADL as they adjust to the changing realities and expectations of their communities. We are in agreement with you and the desires of many of our patrons, that our community expects and deserves the benefit of a 21st century library that fulfills its mission of disseminating information in all the forms in which it is available. It’s clear that the recognition from the Library Journal in awarding AADL a Five Star Rating for the fifth consecutive year indicates your achievement in directing the library toward that goal. This award is given on the basis of how libraries are utilized in the community in circulation, visits, program attendance and public internet use. In its category of libraries with budgets between $10 million and $29.99 million, not only was our library the only one in the state to receive this distinction, it ranked 4th in the nation in this category! That is quite an accomplishment!

Each year presents new choices and new demands. Ann Arbor is a special community, founded and built on learning and information. The Ann Arbor District Library has increasingly been central to our community and its growth and prosperity. It is therefore incumbent upon us to pay special attention to the strategic goal of maximizing the efficiency and utilization of the meeting rooms in all facilities to provide what the community deserves.

With appreciation for all you have done, the strong, thoughtful and caring attention to your staff, and in anticipation of working with you to meet the challenges ahead, the Board applauds you for another successful year as Director.

Sincerely,

Prue Rosenthal, Board President
Ann Arbor District Library Board of Trustees

13-119 XV. CITIZENS’ COMMENTS

Lyn Davidge

I would just like to briefly thank you for the discussion about the materials budget. Since there was a supplies line in the budget as well, I would not have realized that distinction here. I appreciated it very much and I have to say that it would have been nice to know about all of those things that you mention Margaret. But it was a useful discussion and I hope to hear more of those in the future. It was very helpful, thank you.

David Diephuis

I appreciated your strong statement regarding the Open Meetings Act at the beginning of the meeting. I do agree with you that sometimes we nitpick and get concerned about some things. But what you talked about was what are the requirements of the Act and certainly you are meeting the requirements. My question to you is what is allowed under the Act. I believe this community wants more than what is required. The Act doesn’t limit you to only certain things, it allows you to film the meetings, it allows people to come to the committee meetings and make presentations or statements. That I think is the true spirit of the Open Meetings Act. And it would be a great way to increase communication with the community, to allow people to come to the committee meetings, to post the video on some website where we people could see what’s going on without have to come to the meeting. In your own philosophy statement it says, you say we accept the responsibility for serving the entire district by providing free and open access to its facilities and services for all members of the community. What a wonderful, worthy and admirable value, free and open access. I hope that you will embrace that value and look to open up some of your committee meetings and provide video of this board meeting. Thank you.

13-120 XVI. ADJOURNMENT

Trustee Murphy, supported by Vice President Barney Newman, moved to adjourn the meeting.

President Rosenthal adjourned the meeting at 8:06 p.m.