Library Commissioners Present:
- Helen Boyle
- Janet Edwards
- Barbara Garvey
- Vera O'Connor
- Rudy Ruggeri
- Bettye Webb
Guest Speaker Present
- Attorney Maria Puppolo (Springfield Law Department)
Library Staff Present:
- Emily Bader
- Lee Fogarty
- Carol Leaders
Commission Chair Barbara Garvey called the meeting to order at 5:37 p.m.
A motion to approve the minutes of the May 5, 2004 meeting passed unanimously.
A motion to approve the minutes of the May 18 Springfield Library Commission Policy Committee was approved with one amendment. Ms. Boyle requested that she be recorded as being in favor of the Commission's decision to raise the age at which parents or guardians will be given information about their child's patron record to age 17.
Ms. Garvey requested that Commissioners consider changing the day of future meetings from Tuesday to Wednesday. Commissioners agreed that future meetings of the Springfield Library Commission will be held on the third Wednesday of each month starting in July 2004.
Forest Park Accessibility Project
Mr. Ruggeri and Ms. Bader reported on the meeting they attended with Eddie Corbin from the Purchasing Department and Wayman Lee from the Law Department. At that meeting it was decided that, because of project cost estimates, it is necessary to follow Massachusetts public procurement laws in selecting an architect to oversee the project. It is estimated that construction costs for the project are $100,000; contingency costs are an additional 10%; and architect's fees will be approximately $10,000 for a total project cost of approximately $120,000.
Ms. Bader reminded Commissioners that it will be necessary to get a waiver from the Architectural Access Board (AAB), since installation of a lift is not in compliance with AAB regulations. Exterior changes to the building will also need to be reviewed by the Springfield Historical Commission.
Mr. Ruggeri made a motion to endorse the concept drawings prepared by architect Philip Burdick for a lift to provide handicap access to the Forest Park Branch Library. Motion was seconded by Ms. Edwards. Motion passed unanimously.
Ms. Bader will work with the Purchasing Department to develop an RFP for an architect to prepare construction drawings. RFP to be advertised in July.
Ms. Bader reported that she and Jean Canosa-Albano (Manager of Youth and Outreach Services) attended a two-day Step Up Springfield Community Mobilization Summit. More than 100 representatives from local agencies attended the summit, with the goal of developing methods of working together to improve Springfield students' academic achievement. After discussions with a number of funding agencies, Ms. Bader believes that future library requests for funding from local foundations will have the best chance of being successful if the requests focus on the goals of Step Up Springfield.
Branch Advisory Committee Reports
Representing the Indian Orchard Branch Library, Pat McKeller reported that the Advisory Committee is concerned about parking in the small library parking lot. She asked if a sign could be erected to indicate that the lot is reserved for library patrons only.
Ms. Bader believes that the lot is only large enough to accommodate handicap parking. She will check with the library's architect to confirm. There was general consensus that, depending upon the architect's answer, a sign should be erected that restricts parking to either library patrons only or handicap parking only.
Mattie Jenkins from the Mason Square Advisory Committee asked about the Commission's intentions regarding finding a more suitable site for the Mason Square Branch Library. Ms. Garvey replied that Mayor Ryan's first preference is to take back the Urban League building for library use. The Mayor intends to focus his attention on the library issue as soon as the City's budget problems are resolved.
Ms. Jenkins expressed concerns about the inadequate current library service in Mason Square, particularly for students during the school day. She indicated that the neighborhood is pursuing funding to bring students to the Central Library to work on school projects. Ms. O'Connor responded positively to the idea, and recommended continuing to work on it through the summer.
Program and Planning Committee Report
Committee Chair Bettye Webb reported on a meeting that she and Helen Boyle had with Emily Bader and Lee Fogarty. She reviewed the three major projects that the library will be undertaking in the coming year:
- Long Range Planning - This is a year-long process that will set strategic directions for the future. Ms. Webb stressed the importance of Commission involvement in the process and also pointed to the importance of seeking input from all parts of the community. An RFP for a consultant to guide the process is currently being advertised.
- One Book, One Springfield - This project is modeled after successful programs in other cities. The goal is to encourage everyone in the community to read and discuss the same book, in this case The Color of Water by James McBride. In addition to numerous book discussion groups, a number of related programs that focus on themes from the book are planned. The library has submitted grant proposals to fund the project to the Board of Library Commissioners and the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts.
- A+ Sundays - A proposal has been submitted to MassMutual to fund a series of Sunday afternoon programs at the Central Library that are aimed at improving student achievement. Ms. Webb indicated that she and Ms. Boyle hope to meet with representatives from MassMutual to stress the importance of the project to the community.
Ms. Garvey asked Ms. Bader whether or not she had considered shifting some branch library hours to enable branches that had not previously been open on Saturdays to have Saturday hours. Ms. Bader will look into the possibility and come back to the Commission with a recommendation.
Ms. Garvey also asked Ms. Bader if she was planning to recommend expanding library hours in FY05. Ms. Bader replied that there are too many existing staff vacancies to consider any hour adjustments at this time.
The meeting adjourned at 7:17 p.m.
Approved June 29, 2004