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 Fields Corner Branch, on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 at 3:00 p.m.
Present at the Meeting were: Chairman Jeffrey B. Rudman, Trustees; Evelyn Arana-Ortiz, Zamawa Arenas, Donna M. DePrisco, and Paul A. La Camera. Absent from the meeting were Trustees Carol Fulp and Byron Rushing.
Also present at the meeting were: President Amy E. Ryan; Nancy Grilk, Clerk of the Board; Ms. Kimberly McCleary, Branch Manager of the Fields Corner Branch; Boston Public Library and City of Boston staff, and 10 members of the public.
Chairman Jeffrey B. Rudman presided.
Chairman Rudman introduced Branch Librarian, Kim McCleary who provided background on the branch, community demographics, library programs, and introduced the branch staff and members of the Friends of the Fields Corner Branch Library.
The Chairman addressed the first item on the meeting agenda pertaining to the review and approval of the Minutes of Trustees meeting held on September 15, 2011. On a motion made and duly seconded, the Minutes of the Trustees meeting held on September 15, 2011 were approved.
The Chairman reminded the Trustees of the annual Trustees Staff Appreciation and Recognition Ceremony to be held on Friday evening, November 18, 2011 at the Copley Library. Fourteen employees will be honored for 25 years of service to the BPL.
The Chairman announced that the American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association presented an Award of Excellence to the Mattapan Branch of the Boston Public Library for the work of William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc., the City of Boston, Public Facilities Department, and the Boston Public Library, in “Recognition of Distinguished Accomplishment in Library Architecture.” It is the highest honor for architectural achievement in the design of a public library in the country. Chairman Rudman read a portion of a November 28, 2011 letter from William Rawn Associates, Architects, Inc. to President Ryan: “We greatly appreciate the strength of Boston Public Library’s vision, which was made evident in your staff’s significant guidance and support during the design process. The inclusive atmosphere that you set with the community was exceedingly powerful. For us, the vitality of the building affirms the value of the teamwork and spirit of inclusiveness exhibited by everyone at the Mattapan Branch Library”. President Ryan noted that the branch opened in 2009 and thanked her predecessors for their participation in this project.
The Chairman moved to the next agenda item of the BPL Compass: Principles for Excellence (Principles). President Ryan expressed Trustee and State Representative Byron Rushing’s regret at not being able to attend today’s Trustees meeting due to a formal meeting of the Massachusetts Legislature. President Ryan praised the leadership of Trustee Rushing this past year. She noted that the Compass Strategic Plan (Strategic Plan) breathes life into the Principles approved by the Trustees in December 2010. President Ryan called on Chief Communications Officer Gina Perille to present highlights and revisions that were unanimously recommended by the Compass Strategic Planning Committee (Committee) to the Strategic Plan and the Principles since the most recent iteration reviewed by the Trustees at the September 15, 2011 meeting. Ms. Perille reviewed modifications that are clarifying, and non-substantive. The Committee recommended one change requiring a vote of the Trustees to change Compass Principle III from BPL Collections to Special Collections. President Ryan reviewed extensive process over the past two years consisting of 80 public meetings, 16,000 responses to an on line survey, and outreach to non-library users. Discussion followed. At the recommendation of the Chair, the Trustees the two votes on the agenda were combined into one to approve the Plan with the discrete amendment to change Compass Principle III as recommended by the Committee.
On a motion made and duly seconded, it was:
VOTED: that, the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston approve the “Boston Public Library Compass Strategic Plan,” as amended.
Chairman Rudman recognized the Committee members and BPL staff who have been involved with the Strategic Planning Process and offered the appreciation for their considerable work.
The Chairman called on BPL President Amy E. Ryan for the President’s Report. President Ryan provided background on the new BPL visual identity process led by Trustee Zamawa Arenas and her company, Argus Communications. The visual identity process was embedded in the Strategic Planning Process. In addition to a new logo, a new set of templates will be rolled out in 2012 to provide a uniform look for all BPL materials. President Ryan introduced Trustee Arenas who expressed the appreciation of her team in working on this process. Trustee Arenas reviewed the framework for the process which began in the fall of 2009, with a hiatus until the second phase of the Compass process got underway in March 2011. The process involved 570 participants at public meetings, staff forums, and the Compass blog, plus thousands who participated in Compass surveys. Trustee Arenas provided a PowerPoint presentation overview of the process stemming from the promise and experience of the BPL to the public, staff, and Trustees that honors the past and embraces the future. The identity builds on the BPL as a progressive, forward thinking institution, and includes the attributes, functional benefits, emotional benefits, personality, and the essence of the organization. Argus arrived at “boundless possibilities” as the essence of the BPL that captures the promise that goes beyond physical space to include the personal, professional and economic growth fostered in the community. Trustee Arenas reviewed proposed treatments that were presented to 80 staff members, and revealed the final visual identity that captures the boundless possibilities with a solid foundation as well as being aspirational and forward-looking. Chairman Rudman offered the deep appreciation on behalf of the Trustees to Trustee Arenas for her contribution of considerable time and talent that she devoted to this project. A brief discussion followed.
On a motion made and duly seconded, it was:
VOTED: that, the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston adopt the new visual identify for the Boston Public Library as presented.
President Ryan reported on the October 22, 2011 opening of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center (Map Center) which provides a new dimension of service to the public at the BPL. The exhibit is open during regular BPL hours. The map curator is available during afternoon hours and by appointment. The Map Center fulfills the dream of Mr. Leventhal to make the BPL’s extraordinary map collection open and accessible to all, and fulfills the promise of Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the Trustees to provide an open and public space. It serves all ages and all walks of life. President Ryan recognized the work of the Map Center’s Executive Director, Jan Spitz, Curator, Ron Grim, and the Map Center staff. Executive Director Jan Spitz thanked the Trustees, Mayor and President Ryan for their unwavering support of the project. She reported that more than 6,000 people of all ages have visited over the first two weeks. Chairman Rudman recognized the work of BPL’s Superintendent of Facilities James Meade for providing his expertise on this project. After a round of applause, Mr. Meade thanked the staff for their excellent work.
President Ryan introduced Collections Manager, Laura Irmscher and Web Services Manager Scot Colford for a presentation, in response to Trustees questions, on how the public uses the BPL’s collection in terms of e-books, print books, and other materials. Ms. Irmscher and Mr. Colford offered a presentation on the collections within the context of the digital landscape. Ms. Irmscher reported that current holdings are 90% books with the rest DVDs and downloadable materials. Circulation is about one-quarter DVDs, with downloadable materials growing rapidly. Ms. Irmscher reviewed how users encounter collections, showing four main areas:
web-based, discovery, mobile, and sharing through user interaction. She noted that the BPL is moving toward expanding users’ access of materials through mobile, sharing, and building on web and discovery tools. Archival and manuscripts collections are now searchable through the BPL’s web site. Digitized images and collections are available on line. Scan-on-demand and digital lending are available, a component of interlibrary loan. e-Books allow users to transfer books to their mobile devices as well as audio books, music, and videos. Mr. Colford described the process where users can share information back to the BPL, searching across multiple data bases. The BPL is headed toward providing once place where users can find many different sources of information. The BPL has a dynamic on-line calendar that allows users to share event information with others and receive reminders and update. The BPL Communications Office uses many social media outlets, plus electronic newsletters and blogs for effective outreach. Information can be posted and shared with others. A new on-line catalogue allows patrons to share information and thoughts with other users. For patrons without access to technology, services are available in the library including 474 internet-accessible computers throughout the system, plus 72 catalog and data-base computers to access information on collections. The laptop lending program provides 250 computers system wide for use in the BPL. Public training programs help the public learn how to use this technology. Discussion followed about streamlining a single point of access, moderating the on line feedback, support for training, growth of e-Book usage, support for paying fines on line, and smart phone technology. The Trustees would be interested in learning more about mobile access at a presentation at a future Trustee meeting. Further discussion followed on the distinction between Special Collections, which cannot be circulated, and circulating Collections with the digitization of Special Collections. Ms. Irmscher explained that the BPL is working on distinguishing between Special Collections and Collections of Distinction. Chairman requested a presentation at future Trustees meeting on Special Collections in a digitized age to promote elite democratic education, available to all.
President Ryan provided an update on the Collection Development Policy and working on criteria for Collections of Distinction which are topics for future discussion.
President Ryan reported on the Resources Allocation FY13 Operating Budget Timeline beginning with a preliminary budget outlook in January 2012. A special Trustees meeting may be scheduled for February to address the budget. The recommended operating budget is presented to the Trustees at the March meeting for approval, and subsequently submitted to the City of Boston in late March. The Massachusetts House and Senate budgets are approved in June, and the Legislative Conference Committee releases the final budget in late June. The Governor has 10 days to submit veto recommendations. The City and State budgets are expected to be signed and in effect by July 1, 2012.
Chief Financial Officer Sean Nelson provided an overview of the Draft Boston Public Library/Metro Boston Library Network Technology Plan: July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013. This is a requirement of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners in order for the BPL to receive federal e-rate funding through the FCC. A more comprehensive three year plan will be developed in the next fiscal year. Highlighted in the plan is the replacement of the library’s Integrated Library System, system-wide network and security upgrades, and application of resources to support digitization and accessibility of digital resources.. Discussion followed on the vote to approve this one-year plan.
On a motion made and duly seconded, it was
VOTED: that, the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston approve the “Boston Public Library/Metro Boston Library Network Technology Plan, 2012-2013”
President Ryan reported on a temporary modification in the public service hours in the Music and Fine Arts Department due to position vacancies, reducing the hours by 4 hours per week. Filling these positions is a high priority. Evening hours will be added to Rare Books and Prints Department by rearranging the schedules. These modifications take effect on November 21, 2011.
The Chairman called on Trustee Finance and Audit Committee (Committee) Chair, Evelyn Arana-Ortiz for her report. The Chair reported on the Committee’s review of the FY11 Audited Financials with BPL’s auditor, O’Connor and Drew.
Trustee Arana-Ortiz summarized the contract for periodicals which has been approved by the Committee. On a motion made and duly seconded, it was:
VOTED: that, without public advertising, there be entered into with the EBSCO Subscription Services, 30 Park Road, Tinton Falls, NJ 07724 a contract for (1) supplying periodicals and serials for the period commencing January 1, 2012 and ending December 31, 2012 and (2) servicing the subscriptions for the individual items throughout the year as specified in the Specifications, and subject to the terms, agreements, and conditions set forth in said contract, at a total cost not to exceed one hundred sixty one thousand one hundred forty eight dollars and no cents ($161,148.00)
Chairman Rudman called on the Trustees for any New Business. Trustee La Camera called upon BPL Foundation Executive Director David McKay to report on the November 4, 2011 BPL Foundation Gala. Mr. McKay reported that the Gala raised $517,600, exceeding the goal of $400,000.
Chairman Rudman opened the meeting for Public Comment calling upon Strategic Planning Committee members Ms. Mimi Jones, who reported on the excellent work of the committee, and Ms. Meg Campbell, who added that the Compass process is a great template for other city departments to follow and congratulated President Ryan for her leadership. Addition public comments included appreciation for the strategic planning process; ADA compliance; Board vacancies; youth violence and the creation of satellite learning centers in concert with neighborhood libraries in Fields Corner by providing computers; Project for Public Spaces as a possible resource; and ideas on effective partnerships and relationships.
There being no other business, the Board adjourned the meeting of the Corporation and Administrative Agency at 4:45 p.m.
Clerk to the Trustees