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 Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116.
Present at the meeting were: Chairman Jeffrey B. Rudman, Trustees: Vice Chair Evelyn Arana-Ortiz, Laura DeBonis, Carol Fulp, Zamawa Arenas, John T. Hailer and Byron Rushing.
Absent from the meeting were Trustees, Mr. Paul A. La Camera, and Dennis Lehane.
Also present at the meeting were: President Amy E. Ryan, Boston Public Library and City of Boston staff, and members of the public
Chairman Jeffrey B. Rudman presided.
The Chairman addressed the agenda item: Review and Approval of the Minutes of the Trustees Meeting held on Tuesday, January 14, 2104. On a motion made and duly seconded, the Minutes of the January 14, 2014 Meeting were approved.
Daniel Arrigg Koh, Chief of Staff to Mayor Martin J. Walsh, was introduced. Mr. Koh stated that both he and Mayor Walsh are dedicated to the Library. Mr. Koh mentioned that, for the first time in history, the BPL will provide prints from the BPL’s collection to Boston City Hall and to Mr. Koh’s office. Mr. Koh expressed excitement about the future of the Library and its plans to meet the demand for more on-line content. He stated that he sees a future for the Library that includes its traditional role of community center and place to borrow books, as well as continuing to be a vital part of the community through its on-line presence. Mr. Koh expressed his appreciation that the Library and its unions have reached an agreement to extend Central and branch hours/days of operation. He reiterated his commitment to the Library and said he was honored to be present at the meeting.
The Chairman then introduced Foundation board member Mr. Francis J. Kelly, III, to present Boston Public Library Foundation’s BPL52 – a campaign to reach users and potential donors. BPL52 would enlist 52 interesting and accomplished Library supporters to endorse the Library and its 52 weeks of valuable programs in a fun, young, and interesting way.
Next to speak was President Amy Ryan. President Ryan introduced Deborah Kirrane, the new Clerk of the Board. She stated that Deborah will begin work on March 17th and will attend the next Trustees meeting.
President Ryan introduced Beth Prindle, Manager of Exhibitions and Programming, to present plans for commemorating the first anniversary of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Ms. Prindle stated that the Library has been working closely with City of Boston colleagues, cultural heritage institutions, committees, and communities during the past year to organize services and programming, and would discuss the Library’s commitment to a broad range of programming to serve residents, survivors, runners, and visitors. She expects Copley Square and the Library to be particularly busy during April 14-20, and will be looking to a provide services to Library staff in addition to the public.
Ms. Prindle stated that a webpage has been created listing the Library’s following offerings for the anniversary:
- Dear Boston: Messages from the Marathon Memorial (April 7 – May 11)
- Concerts in the Courtyard (April 14 – 19)
- Our Marathon: Share Your Story Event (April 16 – 19)
- Author Talks
- Art & Architecture Tours
From April 14 to 19, we will provide additional tours to respond to the increase in visitors.
Ms. Prindle further explained that horticultural groups have planted thousands of daffodils along the Boston Marathon’s 262 mile route, with an eye toward their blooming as a sign of spring and rebirth. Trustees Arenas and Fulp suggested that our branches should similarly be provided with daffodils, as a way of extending the Marathon programming to the branches and into the neighborhoods; that it would be a good way to engage children in the commemoration events. Ms. Prindle and the Trustees all agreed this was a wonderful idea.
President Ryan introduced the next two Agenda items: FY15-19 Recommended Capital Projects Plan (attached) and Recommended FY15 BPL Operating Budget Report (attached.)
The process to develop and approve the Capital Projects Plan and the Operating Budget began in November 2013 and the role of the Trustees is to approve same. Both will then proceed to City of Boston’s Department of Administration and Finance. The City of Boston’s Administration and Finance staff will review the Library’s requests and make recommendations which are then presented to the Mayor. A meeting between the Library and the Mayor will then be scheduled prior to the Mayor’s submitting the budget to the City Council in April 2014. The City Council will conduct hearings on the budget and the final budget will be ready for approval by June 30, 2014.
President Ryan then invited David Leonard, Director of Administration & Technology, to present the FY15-19 Recommended Capital Projects Plan. Mr. Leonard distributed a spreadsheet listing the system-wide, branch and Central Library projects and, for each project, a description of the project, FY14 authorization, FY14 approved cash flow, FY15-19 projected, and FY15 request. (See attached document.)
Beginning with System-Wide Projects, Mr. Leonard reviewed Branch Facilities. Last year the Library conducted an evaluation of all BPL buildings, based upon the Compass Principles. The second phase of Branch Facilities Review will be from a more technical facilities point of view and will examine the building footprint and the systems within to determine their current health. This, together with last year’s Phase I report will feed the capital planning process going forward. Critical facility repairs will continue to be addressed as they normally are. The second phase of security system implementation will be addressed, controlling the way spaces are made safe for the public and staff.
Mr. Leonard stated the two main Branch Projects – Jamaica Plain Branch remodeling and Roslindale Branch Programming Study – are continuing. The Library is requesting that the Jamaica Plain branch remodeling project be brought into the formal design phase with revised cost estimates based upon what that design will look like. The recently completed Roslindale Branch Programming Study will have some early action with the balance of funds from that project during the balance of this year and going into next year as well.
Mr. Leonard addressed five Central Library Projects: (1) piping infrastructure, (2) energy improvements, (3) Johnson Building renovations, (4) McKim Waterproofing, and (5) Signage.
The piping infrastructure improvement project is not expected to receive standalone funding for this next year, and energy improvements will be within the Johnson
renovation project. Phase I of the Johnson renovation project is underway and funding for Phase II is being requested. The amount requested for the total scope of this project is approximately $18 million. The Library does not yet know whether funding will be all at once or over multiple years.
Trustee Arenas asked if the timing of completion for some of these projects would be included in these reports. Mr. Leonard responded that timing is based on funding availability and whether authorization is for a whole project or part of a project. With respect to the Central Library project, the first phase is on track to be completed next winter and will open sometime in March 2015. The second phase, if funded, could take up to three years starting from when it begins. Most other projects are just one year in length. Critical repair is something that comes up every year.
Mr. Leonard explained that the spreadsheet amounts are as of FY14 and that FY15 amounts are still under review. The City and the BPL plan for a five-year lookout listing what to expect next year, and the balance of funding for the following four years. This is subject to annual review and subject to change. As of now the BPL has only an estimate of how much the Johnson renovation will cost.
Mr. Leonard further explained the figures in the spreadsheet. Column one is entitled Total Authorization as of FY14 and represents total anticipated costs. Column two is entitled FY14 approved cash flow and lists the funds for each project for that year.
Mr. Leonard pointed to the work at the Dudley, Jamaica Plain, and Roslindale branches. Costs have been requested but have not yet been approved.
Trustee Hailer commented on work to be done at Dudley and whether the Library could be involved with the City’s work in that neighborhood as the Library could have a lot of influence going forward. Ms. Ryan replied that the School Department is moving into the Dudley area and the Library has had discussions with them. Ms. Ryan described the City funding in place to improve the exterior of the Dudley branch with landscaping, lighting, and signage.
Mr. Leonard then discussed capital projects being completed between now and June (FY14), plus projects that will continue into the next fiscal year: branch facilities review, fully functional self-checkout devices at all branches, completion of East Boston Branch, HVAC replacement at three branches, and Central Library signage.
Mr. Leonard listed additional projects that were authorized but “on hold” given other activities planned for FY15, and for which FY15 funding is not anticipated. These projects are work in the following branches: Adams, Egleston, Faneuil, North End, Parker Hill, Roslindale, and Uphams.
On a motion made and duly seconded, it was
VOTED: that the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston authorize the President or her designee to submit the recommended “FY15 Boston Public Library Capital Budget” to the City of Boston.
The Proposed Recommended Operating Budget for FY15 was then discussed. Chief Financial Officer Ellen Donaghey stated she would be presenting the FY15 Proposed Recommended Operating Budget to the Mayor and the City Council.
The budget process began in November 2013 with instructions from the City on how to proceed. In January 2014 at the Trustees meeting in East Boston, Meredith Weenick explained that although the City’s revenue was increasing, the increase was not sufficient to keep up with routine increases in other categories and City agencies should prepare for budget decreases. The BPL has been working closely with colleagues at City of Boston Administration and Finance to put forth the BPL’s estimated cost of increases and offer ideas to address those challenges.
The BPL budget is slightly over $40.3 million, but the number is not final. Contract negotiations contain over $150,000 worth of items. The proposed operating budget is $40,280,188, representing funding across all budget sources.
The City’s budget will be approximately $32 million. Approximately $2.8 million is anticipated from the State and the remaining money is trustee money: enterprise, donation, gifts, grants, and other funding sources. Between $1 and $1.2 million need to be resolved including personnel increases and increases to routine maintenance, HVAC, fire alarm maintenance, and security costs. There is a proposed decrease from the City of about $300,000 bringing us to the shortfall of $1 to $1.2 million.
Trustee Arenas asked how the shortfall was to be addressed. Ms. Donaghey replied that the Library is proposing to use some amounts of enterprise, trust funds, and donations that will bring the BPL into the shortfall range of $300,000. Savings associated with moving from two branches to one in East Boston and eliminating two unnecessary positions as a result of closing the Orient Heights branch nets $100,000. Salary savings are increasing by taking longer to fill vacancies. Historically we have calculated a 5% savings.
Trustee Rushing stated that for the past three years, the Library has been working very hard to gain support across the State. The BPL will be hosting a breakfast for the legislators and the Boston delegation. All trustees will be invited to this event. This event has been effective in the past. Actual users of Library of the Commonwealth services testify before their legislators about the importance of the BPL. Trustee Rushing stated digitizing services need more publicity among colleagues. The popularity of digitizing high school yearbooks and providing digitizing services to about 140 institutions and about 91 municipalities were discussed.
Ms. Weenick added that she has been speaking, per Mayor Walsh’s request, with Representative Dempsey, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee. The Library of the Commonwealth is one of the Mayor’s top five requests.
Ms. Donaghey pointed out that these numbers do not include items that are still outstanding, and does not include funding for the recently settled and ratified PSA contract. The City is finalizing the numbers it is anticipated that the BPL will be given a draw for that. Funding for additional Saturday and Sunday hours is not included. It does not include additional resources for the Teen Central and the Children’s Library. Phase I of the Johnson renovation is scheduled to open in March 2015 and it is increase use of that space is anticipated and additional staffing resources are hoped for. Also not included is implementation of the circulation staff upgrade. The AFSCME contract, was settled last fall, included an upgrade for the circulation staff. Human Resources is working with the union to come to a consensus on cost. Costs still under review are not included in the current operating budget for FY15.
Discussions will continue with the Mayor and the staff of City of Boston’s Administration and Finance to determine the costs in the final budget. Trustee Rudman indicated if something is to be given up, the Trustees will meet again and make whatever decisions have to be made. Trustee Rudman moved to have a vote on agenda item 2C. On a motion made and duly seconded, it was
VOTED: that the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston authorize the President or her designee to submit the recommended “FY15 Boston Public Library Operating Budget” to the City of Boston.
President Ryan introduced agenda item 2D which seeks authority to contract with a prints subject expert to organize the Prints collection online and identify Collections of Distinction. On a motion made and duly seconded, it was
VOTED: that the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston authorize the President, or designee, on behalf of the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston to enter into a contract with a consultant who has library and archival experience and expertise in describing works of art on paper. The consultant will work with staff to develop an organizational plan for BPL’s print collections in line with The Museum System, a collections management system for visual collections. The total cost of the contract shall not exceed $60,000 and shall be publically advertised.
Trustee Ortiz discussed the self-service book scanners, copy machines that allow books to be copied without having to press the books against the copy machine, preventing damage to the books. The self-service book scanners will function like pay-for-print program and will be for public use. Three machines would initially be part of a pilot program at the Central library. On a motion made and duly seconded, it was
VOTED: that the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston approve a contract publicly advertised under G.L.C. 30B to be awarded to Knowledge Imaging Center (KIC), 543 NW 77th Street, Boca Raton, FL, the sole responsive and responsible bidder, for the purchase of up to three KIC Bookeye 4 Systems at a cost not to exceed $72,000. The Boston Public Library Evaluation Committee performed an evaluation of the proposal presented by one vendor as described in the Request for Proposal and through this process determined that the proposal presented by KIC represented an appropriate value for the Boston Public Library.
Ms. Susan Glover reported on behalf of the Special Collections Committee. Ms. Glover drew the Trustees’ attention to appendix B of the Collection Development policy which discusses the special collections acquisitions process. Two acquisition items were presented to the Trustees: a watercolor by Allan Ronan Crite entitled Chapel of the Epiphany, St. John Evangelist Church, Bowdoin Street, Boston, MA. A watercolor executed in 1940 and purchased from Chow Gallery (Boston) for $13,000. The acquisition supports the proposed Collection of Distinction Boston artist collection which resides in the Print Department.
The BPL began collecting the work of Allen Rohan Crite during the 1950’s, focusing on his series of paintings depicting the nativity story. The BPL continues to collect Crite’s prints and books which depict religious subjects, the lives of African Americans in Boston, and the cultural histories of African American and Asian Americans. Prior to this acquisition the collection only included one watercolor sketch. The acquisition of the watercolor will provide the Library with an excellent example of another aspect of Crite’s accomplishments.
The next acquisition presented was a series of 18 original watercolors and seven pen and ink drawings by French artist Jules Davide, executed to illustrate a children’s abridged edition of Don Quixote, purchased from Michael Wintribe a New York art dealer, for $15,000. The acquisition supports the Ticnor collection of Spanish and Portuguese literature. Ticnor was an original BPL Trustee who donated his library to the BPL sometime in the 19th century.
Ms. Ryan offered an update on the Collections of Distinctions. There are 18 currently and the Special Collection committee is working on an additional seven. The next Special Collections meeting is scheduled for May 20 and the proposed Collection of Distinction will be discussed at that meeting. In September 2014, the next set of recommendations for the Collections of Distinction will be presented to the Trustees. President Ryan and Trustee Rudman thanked Laura Irmscher for her work with the Special Collections Committee.
Trustee Rudman announced that this was Ms. Weenick’s last meeting as the representative of City Hall, and he thanked her for her dedication and excellent service.
As there was no old business, Trustee Rudman asked for audience comments addressing the topics of the Trustee meeting.
Elissa Cadillic, AFSCME 1526 representative, addressed the Trustees regarding budgetary issues.
Ms. Marleen Nienhuis addressed the Trustees to express security concerns.
The Trustees called upon Mr. David Vieira who stated he would pass on commenting.
Mr. Don Haber then addressed the board, as one of the co-chairs of the Friends of the Jamaica Plain Branch Library, citing his pleasure in seeing the Jamaica Plain Branch renovation project is in the capital budget.
Mr. Rudman then indicated that the Trustees would be moving into Executive Session.
Post-Executive Session, Mr. Rudman reconvened a public meeting of the Board of Trustees to vote on the discussions held in privilege context in Executive Session. The vote is that the Trustees of the Boston Public Library of the City of Boston accept management’s recommendation to endorse the terms of the collective bargaining agreement ratified by the professional staff association on February 28, 2014. It was so motioned, seconded, and the vote was passed.
VOTED: that the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston accept management’s recommendation to endorse the terms of the successor City of Boston/Boston Public Library and Professional Staff Association Collective Bargaining Agreement ratified by the Professional Staff Association on February 28, 2014.
Special Library Assistant IV