Rudy Ruggeri, Vice-Chair, called the meeting of the Springfield Library Board of Commissioners to order at 5:30 p.m.
Library Commissioners Present:
• Barbara Garvey
• Jan Denney
• Sheila McElwaine
• Vera O'Connor
• Rudy Ruggeri
• Bettye Webb
Library Staff Present:
• Emily Bader, Library Director
• Lee Fogarty, Assistant Library Director
• Judy Cmero, Manager of Borrowers Services
• Attorney Maria Puppolo
• Craig Givens
A motion to approve the minutes of the February 16th , 2005 Library Commission meeting passed unanimously.
Ms. Garvey announced that Janet Edwards has resigned from the commission for personal reasons. Ms. Garvey, on behalf of the Commission, commended Ms. Edwards for her contributions. Ms. Garvey welcomed Craig Givens, to the Commission to replace Janet Edwards. While Mayor Ryan has appointed Mr. Givens, he has not been officially sworn in as of March 30th.
Policy on Decertified Libraries-Judy Cmero, Borrower's Services Manager: Ms Cmero presented a policy recommendation regarding Springfield Library services to decertified libraries. To receive state aid, Massachusetts libraries must meet certain minimum standards established by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC). These standards, adjusted by population, cover hours of service, training of library staff, participation in interlibrary loan service to other Massachusetts libraries, and financial support by their municipalities. Libraries that meet the standards are certified by the MBLC. Libraries that do not meet the standards when they apply are decertified. Some Libraries do not apply for State Aid and are therefore uncertified. Ms. Cmero recommended that the Springfield Library Commission approve a policy that the Springfield City Library
1. will not allow direct borrowing by residents of uncertified/decertified towns.
2. will not fill system-wide holds for residents of uncertified/decertified towns.
3. will charge residents of uncertified/decertified towns who want Springfield City Library services an annual fee of $35.
This is the same policy adopted by Amherst and its four neighboring libraries. Because Springfield is the largest library in Western Massachusetts, denial of access to Springfield City Library services and resources to residents of uncertified/decertified towns will also provide significant support and motivation to the libraries and residents of those towns who are lobbying their own towns for adequate library support.
After some discussion, there was general consent among the Commissioners that they needed more statistics and background information concerning this issue. The Commission requested a list of decertified/uncertified libraries in Massachusetts, demographic and economic information about these communities and profiles of users and uses by the residents of these communities. Ms. Cmero will provide this information and statistics to the Commissioners by the end of April and the matter will be discussed and voted on at the next Commission meeting on May18 th. Ms. Garvey stated that she was opposed to this type of policy, which in effect punishes residents for town officials' decisions.
Library Behavior Policy- Recommendation to create an ad hoc committee: Ms. Garvey formed an ad hoc committee to review the current Library Behavior Policy. Attorney Puppolo was asked to be on the committee. Commissioners appointed to the committee are Ms. McElwaine, Ms. O'Connor and Mr. Ruggeri. The ad hoc committee will meet before the next Commission Meeting on May 18th and present their recommendations at that meeting.
Friends of the Library Walkathon-Mary Ann Maloney, Friends President: Ms. Maloney discussed the upcoming Walkathon sponsored by the Friends on April 10th at Forest Park. Ms. Maloney encouraged everyone to participate.
One Book, One Springfield Update: Ms. Bader updated the Commission on the One Book, One Springfield program. Approximately 75 people attended the Kick-off event on March 29th. Materials, including pins, posters, and brochures were distributed to the Commissioners and to the public in attendance.
Library Commission Committee Reports:
Strategic Planning: Ms. Webb reported on the March 28th Strategic Planning Committee Meeting. The Committee discussed the results of the Community Forum, the Focus Groups, Interviews and Research on Best Practices. This was followed up by a brainstorming session on future directions in light of the data. Each committee member was asked to list five issues and priorities based on the data provided by Mr. Brickman and Ms. Braun. These issues and priorities will be collated by the Consultants and discussed as a basis for developing strategic goals at the next meeting on April 11. Ms. Webb commended the Consultants on their presentation.
AAB Complaint report, Ms. McElwaine: The AAB has decided to continue the March 14th hearing on the Commission's complaint and the SMA's request for a variance until May. Thomas P. Hopkins, director of the AAB visited Springfield the morning of March 30th and met with building inspector Charlene Baiardi, Attorney Puppolo and Ms. McElwaine. Issues discussed included building and occupancy permits that were probably not obtained by the SMA for many of the construction projects performed over the past 10 or 15 years. The group visited the museum of Fine Arts via the Chestnut Street door, met with Roger Plasse who provided some documentation on construction projects and promised to locate and forward others to the AAB. These documents will be shared with Ms. McElwaine, Ms. Puppolo and Ms. Baiardi. Mr. Hopkins stated that the March 14th hearing would be rescheduled to June or July, rather than May. Mr. Hopkins provided the legal citation to use in asking for restoration of universally accessible parking on the Quadrangle side of the building. At this point, he does not consider that Quadrangle parking in any of their lots designated "handicap accessible" meets AAB accessibility standards for the Central Library. Mr. Hopkins offered to provide training on accessibility issues in Springfield for architects, building department staff, library commission and staff, members of the Mayor's Disability Commission and others in the Community. Ms. Bader will follow up on this issue.
Commissioner Reports-Library Visits: Ms. McElwaine visited the Central Library as an observer and stated that she is encouraged that there are more students in the library and security procedures have improved. Ms. Webb visited the East Forest Park Branch and found the Branch to be very welcoming to patrons and found the staff to be very helpful and professional.
Directors Report: Ms. Bader reported on the FY06 Budget process discussing the transition from a line item budget to a program and performance-based budget. Ms. Bader and Ms. Fogarty are working on the Budget that will be submitted in mid-April. Budget Hearings will be held in May. At this point, it is the intent of the Control Board to have completed the budget process by the end of May. Ms. Bader recommended that we incorporate the One Book, One Springfield Logo as part of the Library Logo. Ms. Bader will meet with the graphic artist to discuss library stationary and business cards. A sample will be presented at the May 18th meeting for approval by the Commission. At that meeting, the Commission will also discuss and decide what the official name for the Library should be. Examples include: Springfield Library, Springfield City Library, and Springfield Public Library. The Library has been known as the Springfield City Library.
Advisory Committee Reports:
Forest Park: Ginna Ondricek discussed the progress of the Lift Project at Forest Park. Construction documents have been prepared by Reinhardt Associates and the project is ready to go out to bid. Some of the demolition work will be completed before the project is bid. Construction should begin in June and completed by fall. The Library will remain open, however there may be some days that the Library will have to be closed due to construction but these will be limited.
Other Business: Ms. Bader mentioned the Trustee Symposium scheduled for April 9th sponsored by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners in Northampton. Registration information has been e-mailed to the Commissioners. Mr. Ruggeri discussed the meeting regarding security held with Joe Carvhalo, Roger Plasse and Emily Bader. Mr. Ruggeri was impressed with the security cameras and electronic surveillance at the Central Library. Mr. Ruggeri suggested that a meeting be held with Reverend Munroe, Dean of Christ Church Cathedral regarding problems encountered by the Library from participants in their Soup Kitchen. Ms. Kress announced a demonstration that will be held at the Central Library on April 23rd at 12:00p.m. regarding lack of accessible parking to the library. Wheelchairs, walkers and canes will be provided for participants to experience first hand how difficult it is to get from both the State St. Parking Lot and the Edwards St. Parking Lot to the Library.
Meeting Adjourned at 7:30 p.m.
Approved: May 18, 2005