ANN ARBOR DISTRICT LIBRARY BOARD
343 S. FIFTH AVENUE, ANN ARBOR, MI
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
MONDAY, JUNE 17, 2019
19-097 I. CALL TO ORDER
President Song called the meeting to order at 6:04 p.m.
19-098 II. RECESS TO CLOSED SESSION FOR DISCUSSION OF REAL ESTATE
19-099 III. RECONVENE TO REGULAR MEETING AT 7:00 P.M.
President Song reconvened to the regular meeting at 7:11 p.m.
19-100 IV. ATTENDANCE
Board Present: Dharma Akmon, Victoria Green, Jim Leija, S. Kerene Moore, Colleen Sherman, Linh Song, Jamie Vander Broek
Staff: Josie Parker, Eli Neiburger, Len Lemorie, Rich Retyi, Karen Wilson (recorder)
19-101 V. APPROVAL OF AGENDA
(Item of action)
Secretary Moore, supported by Vice President Leija, moved to approve the agenda.
AYES: Akmon, Green, Leija, Moore, Sherman, Song, Vander Broek
Motion passed 7-0.
19-102 VI. CONSENT AGENDA
(Item of action)
CA-1 Approval of Minutes of May 14, 2019 and May 20, 2019
CA-2 Approval of May 2019 Disbursements
Vice President Leija, supported by Treasurer Sherman, moved to approve the consent agenda.
AYES: Akmon, Green, Leija, Moore, Sherman, Song, Vander Broek
Motion passed 7-0.
19-103 VII. CITIZENS’ COMMENTS
I just wanted to say I am very thankful for the library and making things fun for adults as well as kids. I really, really appreciate this and I just discovered how much money I’ve saved every year by checking materials out at the library. I started looking on my shelf at home at my library items and I have about 65 things out right now. I mean all sorts of things, I read a lot. I kinda did a quick counting of how much they were worth if I had to buy them, pre-tax and it was over a thousand dollars and then I got nervous and quit counting because I don’t want to be responsible for that much. I would say I save about two to three hundred dollars a month on reading material just by using the library and it means a lot to me. So thank you.
Hi, I’m Emily and I’m ten years old. I love the summer game because I love reading. I love Salinger House and I also love …. detective. I also have a wide range of books and series that I love. I also don’t travel in the summer too often so I have plenty of time to read. It also gives me something to do when I am bored. Thanks for the summer reading program.
My name is Coral Lee and I love the library. Libraries are essential for a location they provide so many benefits. Ours is exceptional in the way they provide so many different materials and media formats which compliments the different learning styles. The Summer game has added so many different layers to the benefits of our local library. The badges are not only informational and often mind stretching. I appreciate the game comments and the clues. The library staff are very helpful and patient during the summer game and throughout the year. Thank you for providing such service. Thank you.
Karen & Loryn Thurman
We just wanted to say thank you for all the amazing programming and events that you do and we enjoy them so much. I think we have some specific requests for more with petting animals, food, she likes Zingerman’s, and she was planning events the other day for us to do because she knew Zingerman’s was summer game. But I also appreciate the fact that there are things for everyone but I really appreciate the book signing yesterday and how it was run. We were on the fourth floor and we were out of here by a half hour after it started. It was pretty impressive. I think librarians should run all events or library staff. So thank you.
Hello, I’m Lucas and I’m ten years old. I want you to know that one of the things that I really like at the library is the summer game. One is that you can get badges by exploring all around Ann Arbor and another thing that I like about the library is movies. I think they have every movie in the world. One of the things that I would say they could use is longer hours. I wish the library had longer hours because sometimes I have another thing to do and I don’t have enough time to pick out a new book from the library.
My name is Susan and I live over by the Pittsfield branch. I appreciate the summer game because it gets me out of the house during the summer now that my kids are grown and exploring different places outdoor and I’ve also encourage the students that I work with at Forsyth Middle School to come to these and I’ve actually taken a former Forsyth Middle student, he’s a special needs student, around to get codes with me. So it’s a wonderful thing, great for the public. Thank you very much.
I first want to thank you for having the summer game. I do enjoy playing it. My husband and I especially enjoy exploring the parks around Ann Arbor with those badges and kudos to all the staff. But I also wanted to make a comment asking that you please revisit the decision to convert all branches to the subject heading style of cataloging. I would ask that you ask yourselves if the benefits outweigh the disadvantages which include alienating long time users, in particular following the blog that happened about the Malletts closing when it was said that it was going to be changed. There were a lot of comments there, which I do understand that staff does read, and I have seen that the staff has responded to. So I do thank them for that. I also suggest that having an alternative type of cataloging is confusing for the many new people that come to Ann Arbor each year to use the library. Thank you for your consideration.
Tammy Kutter/Cathy Chow
Hi, we came last year. The Tammy and Cathy show. So during the Ann Arbor Summer Festival Tammy and Cathy were there pretty much every night. So I would like to thank the Ann Arbor District Library for the variety of materials and tools that we are allowed to borrow from the library. And for the range of programs that you provide for the year, not just the Ann Arbor summer game. Recently I was talking to some friends who do not use the library on a regular basis and I went on and on and on about how wonderful our library is. So much so that they asked me if I worked here. So thank you so much and we were participating in an event next door and have just time to say thank you. And we can’t stay because I haven’t finished mine. We’re going back and thank you so much. Thank you very much.
Hi, I’m Karen Stover, I’m a current resident of Pittsfield Township. One of the reasons that I stayed within the Ann Arbor school district is because I wanted to keep my library card. I love the library. I’m moving soon and I realized that I can save thousands of dollars by just by paying $150.00 a year. On that I would like to talk about the summer games. I agree with and echo everybody in here. I see a bunch of programs through your Facebook listing of things, events and activities. So that was great. One thing that I would like to say though is that for outside residents I kinda heard the rumor that you could attend and do the summer games if you weren’t a resident. So I got my boyfriend signed up however it is horribly advertised. I talked to basically every artist at the A2 comic arts festival and they were all like, Oh I don’t know what’s happening, I don’t know who these people are. They don’t care about the art they just care about the codes. So like in talking about that like oh, and you can play too and they were just so surprised. I think another thing that isn’t well advertised is the prizes. If you’re coming from anywhere else prizes are not cool as a summer reading program and I think that’s about something that the library can do more with. I tell people, oh yeah I got these cool sunglasses at a library thing and they all say like what? That’s crazy and if you played you know but I think that, even though I played last year I had no idea what I was playing for. And like even just saying these are some of the things that we might offer would be really helpful I think towards convincing people to actually participate. You know it’s happening, but a lot of people don’t know why or that they can. Thank you.
Hello, my name is Enzo and I am almost eleven. Thanks to AADL for devoting your time to make cool events. Have a good summer.
Hi, my name is Tess and I would just like to thank you all for how awesome the summer game is. I really enjoy playing it, I love the staff here is so nice. I love meeting all the new people, I love going everywhere. My family did the awesome badge at the cemetery last year and that was just a place that we had never really been to before so there’s a lot of places that we’ve never gone to that we really enjoy going to. So thank you for the whole program and everything you guys do.
So I am Rachel, I’m thirteen and I go to Slauson Middle School. Our family is like long time library people. We always come to the library and go to like library storytime every Tuesday, was a family tradition, even after I became too old like enjoy library storytime, we still come every Tuesday. Like it’s our family ritual and my parents are like I’m cooped up with this kid all summer and like what am I going to do and so summer game has been awesome for our family. We do all the badges online and the catalog and we go to all the different places and events. So far a lot more of games you have, I found a lot of new things through summer game, new books, new movies, new places and new activities that I really ended up doing all of the things. So basically thanks so much for cool things. You guys are doing great.
My name is Sadie and I am nine years old. And I just want to talk about how much I love the Ann Arbor Library and its codes. First of all I would like to say that I’ve been doing the codes for a few years and I really enjoy them and they help me go to a lot of new places that I’ve never been before and I’ve been going to the library since I was really young and it’s really a nice place to read your books in and have a quiet space to read. It’s really nice because you can just hang out with peace and quiet and just read your books. So thank you for listening and have a great week.
My name is Marina Silbergleit and I have used the downtown library for my entire life and I was really little when my parents brought me here and I’ve been going my whole life. It’s really awesome how many different books and manga and its great how there is such a wide selection. Thank you very much.
Hi, my name is Eleanor. I am eight years old and I am going into third grade next year. I just wanted to talk about my favorite part of the library. Most people when you ask them, what’s your favorite part of the library, they would say the summer game or the comic arts festival or other cool events but my favorite part about the library isn’t technically an event it’s just books! Like I see a new book as soon as I walked in there, like surrounding me and you search whatever you want and poof it’s there like magic almost. So I would just like to thank all of the people who have made that happen.
Hello, my name is Joshua, I’m eleven. Hello school board, hi Mom. I just want to say that last year my request was that we get more Doctor Who and thank you because you did. I would like to make the same request again this year because we just should. Thank you.
Kim & Jamie
I’m Kim and this is Jamie and we want to thank you for the summer game and he said he want to say bus, say bus? No, I guess not.
Yes, these are two of my three children and yes its summer and she thinks it’s a good season to put cloths on and leave the house. She’s in pajamas just laying around. And so it is not summer until we come to the comic arts festival for summer game kick-off. We’re here a lot. On Saturday it was great and Eleanor found her an origami book in the catalog she wanted and it was on the second floor and I told her to write down the call number and she could go find it. I would just sort of trail her to see if she could find it on her own, help her reach it if it was so high. It was very exciting, all very positive. And I do have to say one negative thing, which was also positive here. I came up to the second floor with Eleanor and we were looking around and she kinda went the wrong way and we ended up going by the bathrooms. It still smells like such a mildewy smell. Because last summer we were here for something and I thought, oh, there must be some water damage or something happened. It seemed so strange to me that a year later it still had that. So, I’m sure someone has mentioned it to you, the library board but this is an odd thing so normally I wouldn’t complain about it, but since you’re here I thought I’d mention it. We did find the book and it was not quite too high and she’s made some origami already for Father’s Day. It’s really amazing thing to have so many different things at our fingertips here. We take great advantage of it. So thank you for that, for all the time you put into your mission.
My name is Catherine and I am fourteen and I live about ten minutes away from the Traverwood branch and I would like to thank summer game for being here, like instead of being on the Internet just watching YouTube, I can tell my Dad I’m like researching stuff on the Internet. I really think it’s cool that we can get stuff for free as prizes for summer games and also competing with your friends is really fun. I can laugh at my friends on the leaderboard. Thank you for doing this.
Hi, I’m Mr. Dave. I’m just here for the codes so…no, I’m just kidding. So I wanted to follow up on a few comments. One is it’s great to see attendance by so many people, I think in part maybe it’s just because we said there is a code here, maybe just in part. But also, I mentioned two months ago that the Board meetings are now on the online events schedule so people actually are aware of it. I still noticed the in-person booked schedule does not have it. So, it would be cool if that gets advertised since not everybody is online. At least for us. Another follow up, A2Caf is awesome. This year I had a lot of fun. Last year I had heard privately that summer game might have interfered with some vendors. I didn’t really ask people this year but it just seemed less intrusive. So, props there to whoever was involved. I feel like there is something else but, oh the codes! I might actually play this year but I probably only enter codes. Thank you, bye.
I really like the summer game and …
This is Jasper he is nine and a little shy and he wanted, he chose, I said we can go home and watch a movie or we can go the library board meeting.
Hi, I’m Tom Brown and I am almost sixty-one years old. I actually teach 11th graders. My daughter Lat, many of you know Lat. She’s at Westgate right now at the emerging writer’s workshop. She said to say Hi to you. I want to say that our home library is Malletts Creek and the thing that I really like recently in the last year or so, the option to freeze your hold. That was a really nice thing that we added. So props to Eric down there. My favorite clue of all time was one about beans. It had a Mafia theme that said “Say hello to my lentil friend”. And I brought some favorite items too. Yeah, that was a good one. One of my favorite things this year is the umbrella, I have a magenta umbrella too. I use my hat all the time. I have this bag I’m holding from the summer game, I still don’t know how to fold this though. So thank you very much, have a good summer everybody.
Hello, my name is Alison Hookwire. I am actually a trained librarian. I have worked in a library for a year and work for a company that works for libraries. So this is my favorite library in the world and I actually visited a lot of libraries in the world. I have been in Ann Arbor for three years and my library is Traverwood. In the three years I’ve been here I have learned how to make macarons, learned how to make my own handkerchief, I have mastered, honestly, I have become very good Indian chef with all the cookbooks we have in the library. My boyfriend has learned how to fix a roof with help from the library. He’s built different wood projects with books from the library. We’ve checked to make sure that our house is insulated properly with some of the tools from the library. Obviously we have saved thousands and thousands of dollars and learned thousands and thousands of new skills and have actually been able to use them in our daily lives. And the resources of audio books and eBooks. I honestly I cannot image living anywhere else. Its five stars for a reason. It has been five stars for eleven years for a reason. The amount of money and support that this community provides this library is honestly why I want to stay and want to be a part of it. So thank you so much.
19-104 VIII. FINANCIAL REPORTS
Josie Parker, Director
Director Parker reported that Finance Manager Cooper was seriously injured in a car accident. We will be working with Maner Costerisan and May and June’s financial report will be presented at the July Board meeting. Budget reconciliations will also be presented then. Our financial controls are in place. We meet this Friday with Yeo & Yeo to discuss the upcoming audit.
19-105 IX. COMMITTEE REPORTS
19-106 A. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
President Song reported the committee met briefly earlier today to discuss the Director’s evaluation.
19-107 B. STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE
Trustee Vander Broek reported the committee met several weeks ago and reviewed the summary of the retreat and trustee interviews. Bridgeport will be presenting them later on tonight.
19-108 X. DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Josie B. Parker, Director
Director Parker presented her written report and highlighted the following:
The Ann Arbor Historic District Commission presented AADL with an award in recognition of our ongoing work to digitize the Ann Arbor News for inclusion into Old News. Andrew MacLaren, Amy Cantu, Debbie Gallagher and Eli Neiburger were all recognized.
The Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library were thanked for their annual contribution of $100,000. Those monies are used for the summer game and other youth and teen events. No tax monies are used for prizes. Hundreds of volunteer hours go into processing and selling used books.
The Ann Arbor Comic Arts Festival this past weekend saw 6,500 attendees at the two day event. Eli Neiburger, Nicole Williams and Audrey Huggett were thanked for their scheduling of activities.
Malletts Creek re-opened on June 3rd and has seen a 4% increase in visits over last year so far. The collection is seeing heavy circulation.
Japan Week has begun and AADL is hosting a number of events in partnership with the University of Michigan’s Center for Japanese Studies.
Summer Game has begun. A billboard has gone up by the bridge near the Y Center and it included a code. New this year will be yard signs containing a code advertising the Summer Game. They will be available to patrons on a first come, first served basis. Banners will be hung on Fifth Avenue and building codes will be up on all library branches. Forty-two badges have been dropped so far.
A summary of public and staff comments were viewed.
19-109 XI. OLD BUSINESS
19-032 A. BRIDGEPORT CONSULTING - UPDATE
Anica Madeo introduced Kerry Sheldon and then reviewed the strategic planning process.
Trustee interviews were used to determine key themes including the need for a high-level visionary plan: that trustees value the current leadership and have a high level of trust in staff; that the Downtown Library building needs to be addressed; to continue to grow the Library’s institutional values making an impact on social equity and public access.
Emerging focal areas included building for the future and improving equity and access for underserved populations and reviewing institutional partnerships.
Board members commented on the report and asked several questions regarding staff participation.
18-049 B. UPDATE ON CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS
Len Lemorie, Facilities Manager
Facilities Manager Lemorie reported that glass for the meeting rooms at Malletts Creek is being installed this evening and should be completed by Thursday. This work is being done after the library closes for the evening.
Fourth floor meeting room construction estimates should be available by July.
Backup generators at Malletts Creek, Pittsfield and Traverwood are under consideration and prices are being sought.
Facilities Manager Lemorie thanked Kathy Hoskins, Andrew MacLaren, Sara Wedell and their staff for all the work done to open Malletts Creek back up.
19-093 C. DIRECTOR’S EVALUATION LETTER FROM AADL BOARD
Linh Song, President
President Song read the following:
Many congratulations on another successful year as Library Director for the Ann Arbor District Library. The Executive Committee and Board of Trustees are honored to serve alongside you and fully appreciate the impact that you’ve made on communities within and beyond Ann Arbor. The AADL continues to set the standard in public library programming, community outreach, while challenging itself to do more, for more people. The library system that we experience today reflects the cumulative efforts that you and AADL staff have made over many years by opening our doors wider, building new doors, and looking to the horizon for the challenges and wonders ahead. We are all lucky for it.
In this past year, you have continued to fully integrate a new website into operations, without unannounced or significant downtimes. This is an incredible feat and often a struggle in the private sector, much less in the public sector. The website’s launch and transition using an open-source system showcased strong leadership given its impact in collections management to communications. Patron expectations and questions were quickly addressed with facts and good humor, without excuses.
The process of introducing something new, informing the community, and bringing them along may be routine for the AADL but that is not the case for many entities. We strongly believe that this is possible because you and AADL staff have developed keen and empathetic insight into various communities. There is trust and proof of trust in the work produced. Projects are not task lists but opportunities to engage groups such as the blind community via the VISIONS conference, to seniors in broad, multigenerational programs. Thank you for expanding efforts to meet community members’ needs with respect and imagination.
Beyond these notable projects, your performance was reviewed by the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees in respect to all 2018 programs and our strategic plan. You’ve met all strategic plan goals, many ahead of schedule, with an eye to what the AADL system will be like in the short and long-term. As we work towards developing the next strategic plan over the course of the next 6 months, Trustees would like a more expansive view of the AADL’s role as the city’s convener, host, and incubator. Our EPIC-MRA survey indicated extremely high patron satisfaction. Our status as a 5 Star Library for the 11th year in a row demonstrates respect as a national library leader. The Trustees believe it is time to develop our own ambitious goals, especially in diversity, equity, and inclusion with staff, programs, and community outreach. We look forward to your proposals on specific and strategic efforts, informed by staff experiences and expertise. The Trustees eagerly anticipate next year’s review process to be just as informative and exciting as this year’s process.
Finally, I would like to highlight your success in negotiating a long-term, 5 year agreement with our unions, while also streamlining organizational structure by creating 2 departments and eliminating another. You have prioritized a culture of generosity so that we can retain our greatest assets, our AADL staff. Your skills also demonstrates a keen sense of our financial condition so that with these contracts, we can better plan for future budgets and projects. Thank you for deftly navigating this work in a transparent and fair manner.
Again, congratulations to another year full of accomplishments and reflection. The Trustees and I remain steadfast supporters in your efforts. We look forward to serving our community with you by our side.
Director Parker thanked the Board for their support. She also thanked those present for speaking this evening.
19-110 XII. CITIZENS’ COMMENTS
I’m Varshini, I’m thirteen. I’m going into ninth grade at Huron. I just finished eighth grade. So I turned fourteen in December. So my Mom thought that I should start doing more things in the community and stuff, so she signed me up to volunteer at the library and I’ve only done it two or three times but I already know it’s going to be fun in the future. I hope that I can do it in high school too and use it for my volunteer hours. I just want to thank the library for giving me that opportunity.
Ok so my name is Claire I’m going to ninth grade and am actually moving out of state. Which is marginally really sad because ever since I was really young I’ve played the summer game. It’s like only the fun thing I do during summer. If I didn’t do it I would probably just lay around all day and do nothing. So I’m really thankful for the library has taken the time and energy to set this whole thing up and it’s like yeah, I’m so sad because ultimately I didn’t appreciate how good your library system was. But it’s really efficient, it’s really straightforward and easy to use. I’m not really sure what else to say but thank you.
I don’t know if I can follow that, I’m not in eighth grade. I moved out to Ann Arbor two years ago from Berkley, Michigan. I want to say that I tried to use the library system there quite a bit. I live in the Traverwood area now and use that a lot. The thing that my family appreciates so much about Ann Arbor is the hours that the library keeps. Being able to go when it’s convenient for my family, being able to go after dinner if need be. Like kids have a different schedule than most mainstream libraries do so that to me has been probably the best thing about moving to Ann Arbor has been the ability to take my kids out for low cost fun indoors when it’s raining like heck every day of the week lately. So I really appreciate having it available and the summer game has been good too because it’s made me explore a little more of the city, get to know a little more of the city and get outside which is great. Thank you.
I spoke before and I decided to stay so here are my comments of listening to your meeting. It was great. I think that for your next meeting when you have people from the summer game come you should have something like Josie’s director update. There was a bunch of summer game information in that I would have never learned. I think it would be like an entire thing. It might also help with people coming to other events. I kinda always wonder why you guys don’t put more point values on showing up for the off-season because I feel like people would show up. And if you’re trying to get attendance and you’re trying to get people show up the points are pretty arbitrary. I think that would definitely be something that would bring people out. I also wanted to mention for the events that aren’t summer games that I really enjoy, that keep happening hopefully. I love the events going on I know that it is kinda not a favorite game and Smash is way more a cultural phenomenon but there is a big Smash community in the area and people drive from all over to come to this one in particular. We talked about potentially trying, we got the information, we’re just bad at planning, but this is not just a game that requires people to show up and play instead of having open play for those games would be fun event and might hold for some of the events. You guys have like subscriptions to it so it’s kinda going away if you’re not doing that. The other thing I really love going to, plan my evenings around are the live events like Nerd Night. Those are great, there always wonderful. It doesn’t matter if it’s not the speakers that we’ve showed up to see it’s an awesome time. Another thing that I love the library for is all the art. People are so surprised when I tell them about it. The library that I came from also had art checkouts so I wasn’t surprised by it but it’s definitely something that I love. I really, really wish that there was more on display at other branches. Even just a couple pieces because I’m always trying another branch and then I have nothing to fill out with. I would love for some of them to have duplicates for super popular ones because some of the hold lists are really, really, really long. Physically I would love more dinosaur paintings. They also need to be re-categorized to fake dinosaur somewhere because they are so hard to search for. They’re from 1918 so they are actually really old school but they are classy and I know people that have worked here and they said like, Oh yeah, I love when people check those out, but they always have holds on them. Thank you.
19-111 XIII. AMENDMENT OF AGENDA
(Item of action)
Vice President Leija, supported by Treasurer Sherman, moved to amend the agenda to add a closed session at the July 15, 2019 Board meeting for discussion of real estate.
AYES: Akmon, Green, Leija, Moore, Sherman, Song, Vander Broek
Motion passed 7-0.
19-112 A. VOTE FOR CLOSED SESSION AT THE JULY 15, 2019 REGULAR BOARD MEETING FOR DISCUSSION OF REAL ESTATE
(Item of action)
Roll call vote
Vice President Leija, supported by Treasurer Sherman, moved for a closed session for discussion of real estate at the July 15, 2019 Board meeting.
A roll call vote was taken.
AYES: Akmon, Green, Leija, Moore, Sherman, Song, Vander Broek
Motion passed 7-0.
19-113 XIV. ADJOURNMENT
President Song adjourned the meeting at 8:54 p.m.