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March 24, 2016 Minutes of the Board Retreat

ANN ARBOR DISTRICT LIBRARY BOARD
GLADWIN CENTER, 4105 WEST LIBERTY, ANN ARBOR, MI
MINUTES OF THE BOARD RETREAT
THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2016

I. CALL TO ORDER

President Barney Newman called the meeting to order at 3:10 p.m.

II. ATTENDANCE

Board Present: Nancy Kaplan, Margaret Leary, Jim Leija, Jan Barney Newman, Prue Rosenthal, Ed Surovell, Jamie Vander Broek
Absent: None
Staff: Bruce Hadler, Eli Neiburger, Josie Parker, Karen Wilson (recorder)
Others: Kerry Sheldon, Griffin Reames, Bridgeport Consulting

III. WELCOME AND OVERVIEW

Kerry Sheldon, moderator, had Board members, staff and general public present introduce themselves.

Ms. Sheldon briefed the Board on the outline for the retreat. Trustee Leary inquired if the remaining sections of the Strategic Plan were going to be reviewed. Ms. Sheldon remarked that tonight’s meeting was prioritized for a four hour meeting and the remaining sections will be reviewed at a later date.

Board members were asked to participate in a brief opening exercise in which they selected a photograph which resonated with them and shared their selection.

IV. CONNECTING EPIC-MRA DATA WITH TONIGHT’S DISCUSSION

Ms. Sheldon inquired of the Board whether the EPIC-MRA survey presented at the Monday, March 21st AADL Board meeting brought to light any areas for discussion.

Board members noted the following: no clear mandate for having a new Downtown Library; we’re doing such a good job now, how can we do better; fundraising avenues in the community: donations/grants/individual donors/creation of a foundation or endowments.

V. POTENTIAL FACILITIES STRATEGY: LONG-TERM CAPITAL PLANNING

Ms. Sheldon led the Board in a review of the 2012 bond initiative.

Outcomes and determinations of this discussion included the following:
• Timing and other ballot issues were a factor
• All Board members did not have a clear insight on what limitations, if any, were placed on them for participation in the issue
• More grassroots initiatives were needed
• Participation of the Friends should have been strongly encouraged
• Not prepared for strong opposition with a political agenda
• More experience with bond initiative campaigns was needed
• A design for a proposed building was needed
• Capitalizing on community partnerships
• All financial options should be considered in the future
• A review of services currently provided now and needed in the future should be explored thoroughly
• The Board should work as a whole in conversations and incorporate facilities planning into the Strategic Plan
• The Board is not actively planning for a new Downtown Library building

VI. BREAK

VII. ORIENTATION TO THE NEW WESTGATE!

Director Parker presented floor plans for the Westgate Branch Library:
• The branch will have 2 meeting rooms available for reservation holding up to eight people
• A larger meeting room will be available for rental
• The new front entry will be at the old Pictures Plus entrance
• The children’s room will have a large wall with ‘honeycomb’ seating; a stroller corral area will be available
• There will be a separate computer room
• A space for the Friends material sales has been incorporated in the design
• A reading room has been placed at the opposite end of the building from the children’s area
• Smaller public study rooms will be available
• The Sweetwaters Café will have their own space

Interior renderings were also presented. The Library anticipates opening the branch in late July or early August. Additional staffing will include one librarian, one supervisor and more casual staff. There will be programing now at this location. AADL signage will replace the Sun and Snow current exterior signage. Westgate will also place signage noting additional parking in the rear of the shopping center. This location will be approximately 22,000 square feet.

The collection will be organized following BISAC subject areas, the way bookstores organize their materials instead of Dewey.

Signage will consist of top level (hanging from ceiling), shelving range ends and on-shelf signage consisting of bookend type signs clipped on shelves.

Meeting rooms will be bookable online.

VIII. POTENTIAL FINANCE STRATEGY: PHILANTHROPY/FOUNDATION/ ENDOWMENT

The Board discussed several options for expanding library finances including philanthropy, creating a foundation or establishing endowments and what their impact might be. Forecasting on future library expenditures for programming, staffing and facilities is needed.

IX. WHAT DOES IT MEAN/LOOK LIKE FOR THE BOARD TO BE USED WELL?

The Board discussed various scenarios to establish better communication, changing meeting structures and establishing a more transparent process for decision making.

Board members expressed interest in attending state and national professional development conferences.

X. APPRECIATIONS

Board members expressed appreciation for discussion in this forum and the mix of long standing and new board members.

XI. CLOSING REMARKS, EVALUATIONS AND ADJOURNMENT

Evaluations were distributed. Trustee Vander Broek thanked the Board for their participation and reminded them that any additional thoughts on this process may be emailed to Ms. Sheldon.

President Barney Newman adjourned the meeting at 6:55 p.m.