A meeting of the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston as a Corporation and as an Administrative Agency was held at the Hyde Park Branch, on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 3:00 p.m.
Present at the Meeting were: Chairman Jeffrey B. Rudman, Trustees: Evelyn Arana-Ortiz, Zamawa Arenas, Carol Fulp, Paul A. La Camera, Dennis Lehane, and Byron Rushing. Absent from the meeting was Trustee Donna M. DePrisco.
Also present at the meeting were: President Amy E. Ryan; Nancy Grilk, Clerk of the Board; Mary Margaret Pitts, Branch Librarian of the Hyde Park Branch; Boston Public Library and City of Boston Staff and 20 members of the public.
Chairman Jeffrey B. Rudman presided.
Chairman Rudman welcomed Trustee Dennis Lehane to the Board. He added that the Boston Public Library (BPL) is fortunate to have such a distinguished author on the Board. Trustee Lehane credited libraries in general and the Uphams Corner Branch in particular, for his literary accomplishments. Libraries mean the world to him and the he is honored to a Trustee.
Chairman Rudman introduced Hyde Park Branch Librarian Ms. Mary Margaret Pitts who welcomed the Trustees to the branch. She introduced members of the Friends of the Hyde Park Branch Mrs. Kathy Adams, Mr. Bob Smith, Mrs. Alice Kane, Mr. David Vieira, and Mrs. Barbara Wicker. Ms. Pitts traced the history of library services in Hyde Park from 1873. Services have been provided at the current Carnegie building since 1899 with the most recent addition to the branch in 1997. Ms. Pitts highlighted a wide variety of programs at the branch for people of all ages. The branch will participate in the celebrations leading up to the 150th anniversary of the formation of the town Hyde Park in 2018.
The Chairman addressed the item on the meeting agenda pertaining to the review and approval of the Minutes of Trustees meeting held on November 15, 2011. On a motion made and duly seconded, the Minutes of the Trustees meeting held on November 15, 2011 were approved.
Chairman Rudman offered congratulations to the Friends of the North End Branch, recipients of the 2011 Uncle Fred Carangelo Organization Award in recognition of their community service and support for that branch.
The Chairman called on BPL President Amy E. Ryan for the President’s Report. President Ryan introduced the new Youth Services Coordinator Ms. Jessi Snow, who has been a Children’s and Teen Librarian at the BPL for seven years. President Ryan reinstated this position to provide additional services and outreach to youth. President Ryan called on Ms. Snow to talk about her new position. Ms. Snow reported that she has been meeting with Youth Services Librarians to understand their interests and priorities and is establishing a mentoring program for new librarians with more seasoned librarians. In a previous position in Oakland, California, Ms. Snow provided outreach to non-traditional populations such as teens in foster care, group homes and shelters, and began similar work at the BPL. Ms. Snow will continue to focus on outreach and partnerships in her new position. Trustee Arana-Ortiz complemented Ms. Snow on the excellent assistance she provided to her teenage daughter while in her previous position.
President Ryan reported that the BPL is honored to partner with Harvard University on their 375th anniversary and introduced Mr. Michael Colford, Director of Library Services who is in charge of this partnership. Mr. Colford detailed the BPL’s coordination with Harvard to provide programs in neighborhoods. There will be an impressive range of lectures for adults by renowned Harvard staff at the branch libraries, wrapping up with a lecture by Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust at the Central Library in Copley Square as part of the Lowell Lecture Series. Harvard students will be guest readers for children’s programs at fourteen branch libraries. Harvard students will provide college life sessions for teens and tie into an existing program on SAT preparation at five branches. In honor of founder John Harvard’s donation of 400 books to start the university, Harvard will in turn donate 400 books to the Boston and Cambridge Public Libraries through direct donation and a financial contribution allowing the BPL to purchase books of its choosing.
President Ryan reported on the Boston’s Future: The New Boston Children’s Library, outlining the partnership with the Boston Public Library Foundation (BPLF). While in the preliminary stage, the BPL is committed to the plan which fits into the Compass Principles’ commitment to children and teens. It is a three phased campaign to meet the growing needs of children and to transform children’s services, particularly at the Central Branch in Copley Square by: renovating the Boston Room to create a welcoming children’s activity center; transforming the Rey Room into the Hub of the Boston Children’s Library for school-aged children; and, renovating the Teen Zone and developing the Teen Zone’s Educational Programs. The BPLF and BPL are partnering to raise funds for Phase 1, through private and city capital funds. BPLF Executive Director Mr. David McKay spoke on the BPLF’s fundraising campaign for the project, led by Ms. Rebecca Nordhaus. A $100,000 endowment provides seed funding for music program that will extend to the branches. Planning funds are another priority. Discussion followed on the anticipated budget and timeline. Phase one is expected to be completed within calendar year 2012. The budget and time line for phases two and three are being developed. The Chairman suggested the expertise of Trustee Arenas, Ms. Nordhaus, and BPL’s Chief of Communications Ms. Gina Perille be put to work for the development of the communications strategy. President Ryan pointed out that phase one will include critical funding for a project coordinator for this project.
Trustee La Camera was joined by the Trustees in acknowledging and thanking Mr. McKay for his excellent work to significantly increase funds for the BPLF in his first eight months on the job.
President Ryan called on Director of Branch Libraries Ms. Christine Schonhart to provide an update on the Washington Village Branch transition. The Boston Housing Authority (BHA) which houses the current branch is completing redevelopment of phase one of the Community Center in the Old Colony Housing Development in South Boston. The Washington Village Branch is limited in size and does not fulfill the Compass Principle of providing services to children and teens. To better serve the community, the BPL will partner with the BHA to provide services at the Community Center as well as at the branch. Planning for this project has been an inclusive process with involvement of the public, unions and library staff. This transition phase provides an opportunity for public feedback on any additional services that would benefit the community at the Community Center. A limited pilot phase begins in January when story times and computer training will be offered at the Community Center. A grand opening is scheduled for April 2012 at which time the branch will close and be returned to the BHA for housing. The BPL will have full control over its programs at the Community Center. President Ryan added that it is a beautiful new space with the potential to expand services to many more residents, and that it is close to the South Boston Branch.
President Ryan reported the next agenda item of a bequest of $19,000 received from the estate of Ms. Carolyn Harrigan, who passed away in 2010, for capital improvements at the Jamaica Plain Branch. The BPL will work with the Jamaica Plain Branch Staff, BPL Facilities Department and the Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch to determine the highest and best use of the funds.
On a motion made and duly seconded, it was voted,
VOTED: that, the President, or designee, be authorized to expend funds from the Estate of Ms. Carolyn J. Harrigan to be used for capital improvements at the Jamaica Plain Branch
Chairman Rudman added that the Trustees’ vote empowers the BPL Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to create an instrument of trust in the name of the Trustees for this account should the CFO determine that necessary. The Chair also requested the Trustees be apprised of the purposes to which the money will be put, adding that the Trustees are in agreement with the expenditures so long as they are consistent with the donor’s intent.
President Ryan moved to re-order the agenda items F and G to later on the agenda.
The next item to be addressed is the Report of the Finance and Audit Committee (Committee). Committee Chairman Evelyn Arana-Ortiz noted that each of the four items on the Committee agenda have been discussed and recommended for Trustees approval by the Committee at the January 5, 2012 meeting. Chairman Arana-Ortiz called on CFO Sean Nelson to address the item pertaining to the proposed amendment to The Catered Affair contract. Mr. Nelson addressed the first issue regarding the real estate tax assessed by the City of Boston to The Catered Affair under the city’s statutory authority to collect real estate taxes from for profit entities conducting a business in a City of Boston facility, in this case, The Catered Affair in the Boston Public Library. Because these taxes were not part of the existing contract between the BPL and The Catered Affair, the first amendment would assign those taxes to The Catered Affair for the duration of the contract, through May 1, 2014. Mr. Nelson reported that the City of Boston attorneys and The Catered Affair agree that this is the best course of action.
The second issue relates to The Catered Affair’s interested in applying to the City of Boston Licensing Board for a liquor license at the Courtyard Restaurant to support their business operation. This amendment would remove the BPL from realizing any financial benefit from the sale of alcohol and would eliminate any conflict of interest by the BPL in The Catered Affair seeking this license through another city agency. It would also remove the Trustees from being an interested party to the application. This amendment would eliminate the BPL from realizing commissions from the sale of alcohol and increase the commissions received from the sale of food, and would be revenue neutral to the BPL. The Chairman called on Ms. Holly Safford, President of The Catered Affair. Ms. Safford reported that The Catered Affair has operated at the BPL for two and one-half years. She described most of the events at the BPL have an alcohol beverage component which requires a one-day alcohol license from the City. Each event necessitates that a one-day alcohol license application be filed with the City Licensing Board and approval of that board, and requires several administrative procedures be followed. Ms. Safford is seeking support of the Board prior to beginning the community and regulatory process. Discussion followed. Chairman Rudman remarked that The Catered Affair has provided a great destination at the BPL and believes this license would enhance the experience.
On a motion made and duly seconded, it was
VOTED: that, the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston approve an amendment to The Catered Affair contract.
Committee Chair Arana-Ortiz addressed the next agenda item of the Proposed Draft of the BPL Investment Policy. Chair Arana-Ortiz reported that the revisions would reduce the risk to market changes to the BPL’s investment portfolio. The BPL’s investment consultant, New England Pension Consultants (NEPC) made applicable changes to the BPL’s current investment policy using the City of Boston’s template as a guide. The Committee and several Trustees reviewed the policy changes at a special Committee meeting held on December 13, 2011. NEPC incorporated the suggestions from that meeting into the draft which was reviewed and approved by the Committee at their January 5, 2012 meeting, and presented to the Trustees today. Chair Arana-Ortiz called on CFO Sean Nelson to provide an overview of changes to the policy. Mr. Nelson reported that NEPC was scheduled to attend, but are not in the audience. He reported that the changes to the draft policy are adjustments made to social screens in order to diversify the asset classes to lessen the volatility to the portfolio. Chairman Rudman called for a delay in a vote by the Trustees, and asked that members review the draft policy in preparation for a presentation by NEPC to further highlight the goal of broadening the asset classes beyond the current portfolio of domestic stocks and bonds to more foreign investment, different asset categories, and allocations at the March 13, 2012 Trustees meeting.
Chairman Arana-Ortiz moved to the next Committee agenda item regarding the re-bid of the Proposed Relocation of the Norwood Storage Facility Library Materials to the City of Boston Archives (COBAC) in West Roxbury and called on Ms. Mary Frances O’Brien Director of Central Library Public Services for the BPL. Ms. O’Brien took the lead on this Request for Proposals (RFP) for this project. She reported that the BPL will occupy the majority of the space at COABC and has already moved materials from the Charlestown facility into COBAC. The final step is to move out of the Norwood Storage Facility. The first bid for this relocation came in way over the $2 million budget. The BPL reviewed the project, reconfigured the components, changed the way the materials would be handled, broke the project into five components, and re-bid the project. This resulted in a new bid of $2 million which allows the BPL to move a significant portion of the collection from Norwood into COBAC. Discussion followed. Ms. O’Brien reported that this is a City of Boston funded project. She reported that additional efforts to minimize the amount of materials to be moved include further weeding out of materials. Weeded materials are provided to the Massachusetts Digitization Program and if not used, to Amazon for sale which raises funds for the BPL. Ms. O’Brien assured the Trustees that materials have passed through principles of good librarianship, conservatorship, digitization, and decisions reflect the BPL as a custodian of materials of the past. At Chairman Rudman’s request, Attorney Elizabeth Dello Russo, Assistant Corporation for the City of Boston Law Department confirmed that the bidding process has undergone careful consideration to insure the best and highest use of the city’s funds. The Trustees requested a visit to the COBAC be arranged by the BPL staff.
On a motion made and duly seconded, it was
VOTED: that, there be entered into with William B. Meyer, 255 Long Beach Blvd., Stratford, CT 06615, the sole responsive and responsible bidder, a contract for Providing Sorting, Packing, Mold Fumigation, Moving, Unpacking, Shelf Movement/Assembly, Shelving, and Recording Services for the relocation of the BPL Norwood Storage Facility Library Materials to the City of Boston Archival Center, for the period January 15, 2012 through June 30, 2013 at a total cost not to exceed one million, nine hundred fifty one thousand, three hundred twenty four dollars and twenty cents ($1,951,324.20). The Boston Public Library Evaluation Committee performed an evaluation of the proposal presented by one vendor as described in the Request for Proposals (RFP), and through this process determined the proposal presented by William B. Meyer represented an appropriate value for the Boston Public Library.
The next agenda item is the Trustees delegation of authority to the Trustees Finance and Audit Committee to approve the Integrated Library Systems (ILS) contract. Chairman Arana-Ortiz called on Mr. David Leonard, Director of Administration and Technology and CFO Sean Nelson. Mr. Nelson noted that the BPL has a ninety-day window to approve the contract from the November 29, 2011 bid closing. The Trustees do not meet within this time frame, thus the request is for the Trustees to delegate the authority to approve the contract to the Trustees Finance and Audit Committee at their February 9, 2012 meeting. Mr. Leonard outlined the selection process. The ILS is the system that provides the day-to-day operations of the BPL, interfacing with departments throughout the BPL and the external suppliers. The $2 million contract buys essential software and hardware that is required plus the migration of data. Mr. Leonard provided an overview of the process that was followed; a Request for Information helped to formulate the components included in the Request for Proposals (RFP). Respondents to the RFP are currently providing demonstrations of their project and solutions to the 10-member selection committee of City of Boston staff along with review by non-voting BPL staff and Metro Boston Library Network representatives. The City of Boston procurement process requires a vote of the Trustees to award the contract. Chairman Rudman called on the City of Boston Law Department to review this matter and at a later time, affirmatively report that this delegation of authority is permitted under the Trustees’ Bylaws. On a motion duly made and seconded, it was
VOTED: that, subject to the approval of the City of Boston Law Department, the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston delegate the decision to approve a contract or contract(s) to purchase software, to purchase hardware, and to purchase consulting services for the Integrated Library System (ILS) to the Trustees Finance and Audit Committee.
(Note: The City of Boston Law Department subsequently affirmed this delegation of authority).
Chairman Rudman returned to the President’s Report. President Ryan reported on budget items that frame the discussion for the FY13 operating budget. The preliminary budget formulation is based on the Compass Principles and extensive community engagement. The proposed FY13 operating budget provides the BPL an opportunity to stabilize and strategically move forward. President Ryan reviewed the current budget assumptions and reminded the Trustees that these are subject to change based on forthcoming City and State revenue figures. President Ryan provided an overview. The Trustees will need to approve the recommended BPL Operating Budget to be submitted to the city by March 31, 2012. This budget is included with the City of Boston’s Operating Budget and submitted to the City Council in April. The House and Senate Budgets are released in April and May. Final budgets are timed to the new fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012. President Ryan reported that the FY13-17 Capital Budget will be presented at the March 13, 2012 meeting. Factoring in the efforts of the BPL Foundation and the great work of the Friends at the branches, President Ryan predicts a good, strong year.
President Ryan reported that Budget Roundtables are set up for neighborhood presentations related to the Compass Principles
Under new business, Chairman Rudman thanked Ms. Marlene Nienhaus for her recent generous donation to the BPL. Ms. Nienhaus remarked that she is pleased that the purpose of the gift will be realized through the youth/teen librarian specialist.
Chairman Rudman also congratulated Mr. Don Haber of the Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch for an excellent 100th year celebration of the building.
Trustees La Camera asked if the BPL is tying into the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. President Ryan reported in the affirmative. Ms. Beth Prindle, Director of Exhibitions and Outreach reported on discussions with the Red Sox on the opportunity to do outreach. Ms. Christine Schonhart reported that Read Your Way to Fenway will continue and that the Red Sox have donated 18 copies of the Red Sox history to the BPL. Ms. Prindle reported on the digitization of archivable photographs of Fenway Park. A fall initiative is in the planning phase. The Trustees discussed marketing opportunities associated with the celebration in conjunction with the BPLF.
Chairman Rudman opened the meeting for Public Comment.
Mr. Don Haber, Co-Chair of the Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library provided a personal glimpse into the life of Ms. Caroline Harrigan, who, as reported by President Ryan earlier, left a bequest to the BPL. Mr. Haber noted that Ms. Harrigan was a member of the Friends of the Jamaica Plain Library and a personal friend. She devoted her fundraising skills and her energy to the branch. Mr. Haber shared the content of a letter written by Ms. Harrigan to Mayor Menino outlining her support for the Jamaica Plain Branch.
Mr. David Vieira reviewed the history of the Hyde Park Branch and restoration projects including energy efficient lighting improvements, thanked Director of Facilities Jim Meade for his support.
Ms. Barbara Wicker recalled a visit by former Trustee William O. Taylor to the branch who inquired what they would like at the branch and she replied “a piano”. Mr. Taylor donated a piano from his home, to the branch which continues to be an asset to the branch.
Chairman Rudman thanked the Branch and the Friends of their hospitality.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 5:15 p.m.
Clerk to the Trustees