1. Chairman's Report, Mr. Jeffrey B. Rudman
2. President's Report, Ms. Amy E. Ryan
3. Trustees Strategic Planning Committee Report
Trustee Byron Rushing, Chairman and Mr. Michael Colford, Director of Library Services
4. Trustees' Finance and Audit Committee Report
Trustee Evelyn Arana-Ortiz, Chair, and Mr. Sean Nelson, Chief Financial Officer
5. Trustees Fellowes Athenaeum Trust Fund Advisory Committee report
Trustee Evelyn Arana-Ortiz, Chairman, and Ms. Christine Schonhart, Community Services and Branch Manager
6. New Business
Mr. Jeffrey B. Rudman, Chairman
7. Public Comment
Mr. Jeffrey B. Rudman, Chairman
Mr. Jeffrey B. Rudman, Chairman
Meeting of the Corporation and Administrative Agency
Thursday, September 15, 2011, 8:30 a.m.
The Boston Public Library
Orientation Room, McKim Building
230 Dartmouth Street, Boston, MA
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, McKim Building, Orientation Room, Copley Square Library, on Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 8:30 a.m.
Present at the Meeting were: Chairman Jeffrey B. Rudman, Trustees; Evelyn Arana-Ortiz, Zamawa Arenas, Donna M. DePrisco, Paul A. La Camera, and Byron Rushing. Absent from the meeting were Trustees Carol Fulp and Berthé M. Gaines
Also present at the meeting were: President Amy E. Ryan; Nancy Grilk, Clerk of the Board; Boston Public Library and City of Boston staff, and 14 members of the public.
Chairman Jeffrey B. Rudman presided.
The Chairman addressed the first item on the meeting agenda pertaining to the review and approval of the Minutes of Trustees meetings held on February 24, 2011, May 10, 2011 (Meeting of the Administrative Agency), May 10, 2011 (Annual Meeting of the Corporation), May 10, 2011 (Annual Meeting of the Administrative Agency), and August 2, 2011 (Special Meeting of the Corporation and Administrative Agency). On a motion made and duly seconded, the Minutes of the Trustees meetings held on February 24, 2011, May 10, 2011 (Meeting of the Administrative Agency), May 10, 2011 (Annual Meeting of the Corporation), May 10, 2011 (Annual Meeting of the Administrative Agency), and August 2, 2011 (Special Meeting of the Corporation and Administrative Agency) were approved.
The Chairman announced the resignation of Trustee Berthé M. Gaines from the Board noting her long and distinguished service to the Board of Trustees particularly noting her great sense of duty, obligation and devotion to the Boston Public Library. On behalf of President Amy E. Ryan and the Board of Trustees, the Chairman read the following proclamation honoring Mrs. Gaines:
WHEREAS: Mrs. Berthé M. Gaines was appointed to the Board of the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston in 1984 and served as the first female Board Chair, and throughout her distinguished and accomplished tenure as a Trustee, Mrs. Gaines has sustained her passion to fulfill the mission of the Boston Public Library to preserve and provide access to historical records of our society, and to serve the cultural, educational, and informational needs of the people of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with a particular commitment to the branch libraries, and as a result of her distinguished service to the Boston Public Library system, Mrs. Gaines was awarded an Honorary Degree from Simmons College in Boston in 1999; and
WHEREAS: Mrs. Gaines’ significant contributions to the Boston Public Library have had and will continue to have a positive impact on Boston Public Library patrons, visitors and staff past, present and into the future; and now, therefore
BE IT RESOLVED:
That the residents of the City of Boston congratulate and thank Mrs. Berthé M. Gaines for her twenty-seven years of dedicated service as a Trustee of the Boston Public Library.
Following a round of applause by the Trustees, Boston Public Library staff and the public, Chairman Rudman noted that Mrs. Gaines will be missed. On a motion duly made and seconded, it was
VOTED: “That the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston accept the resignation of Mrs. Berthé M. Gaines, congratulate and thank her for her twenty-seven years of dedicated service as a Trustee of the Public Library of the City of Boston.”
Chairman Rudman congratulated BPL Technical Services Manager, Catherine Willis on the publication of her book “Boston Public Library” and called on Ms. Willis to say a few words. Ms. Willis expressed her love of the library as her inspiration for writing the book. The Chairman remarked that the book is beautifully presented, literate and evocative. It teaches us about the leaders, staff and patrons who have made the BPL into the great institution it is today. The Chairman thanked Ms. Willis on behalf of the Board of Trustees for a wonderful package of scholarship and love.
The Chairman moved to the next agenda item, the President’s Report. President Ryan expressed sadness that Ms. Janice Chadbourne, Curator of Fine Arts, recently passed away. President Ryan read the following testimony prepared by Mary Frances O’Brien, Director of the Central Library:
Janice Chadbourne, Curator of Fine Arts at the Boston Public Library for the past 25 years and Library employee for the past 35 years, died last week after a brief illness. Jan epitomized the best of librarianship. She was unfailingly gracious to the public and her colleagues. She was knowledgeable and brilliant, and most importantly kind, generous and patient in sharing that knowledge.
Jan was a leader among her colleagues and took seriously the supervisory responsibility of teaching and mentoring staff in Fine Arts who had the good fortune to work with her. Jan was devoted to her family and dedicated to the Boston Public Library and we are all the poorer for her passing.
Jan’s colleagues felt that an appropriate way for her "BPL family" to honor her work and memory is to establish a book fund in her name. The Fine Arts librarians suggested that the funds be used to purchase books for the Fine Arts research collection on American Architecture, Art, and Decorative Arts, with a focus on Boston and New England.
Anyone wishing to contribute can forward a check to the President's Office c/o Nancy Grilk. Please make the checks out to the Trustees of the Boston Public Library and note that it is In Memory of Janice Chadbourne.
Ms. Ryan expressed the tremendous loss to the public and to the BPL.
President Ryan reported that BPL staff has been working with the 9/11 Families to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001 and invited everyone to view the art work in the Johnson Building Lobby.
President Ryan addressed the agenda item on Boston Public Library FY11 Accomplishments which is posted on the BPL web page. President Ryan acknowledged the efforts of the Trustees, staff, and the public who have lent their creativity, effort and intelligence to the BPL accomplishments over the past past year. It was a year of transition in both managing resources and the changing world of information. President Ryan highlighted a few of the accomplishments. Discussion on the rise in demand for books, CDs and DVDs followed. BPL staff will prepare a chart on the demand for each of these items for the Board.
President Ryan turned to the Boston About Results Measurements document. Boston About Results (BAR) is a citywide commitment by the Mayor’s Office and all City of Boston Department Heads to set and measure goals. The BPL’s data is published on the City of Boston and the BPL’s web sites. The BPL further reports on quarterly usage at each branch on the web site. The President reviewed some of the BAR data and pointed out that 36,000 Boston residents signed up for new library cards in FY11. President Ryan invited everyone to follow the BAR on line.
President Ryan introduced Associates of the Boston Public Library (Associates) Board Chair, Vivian Spiro to provide an update on the Associates and to introduce Louisa Stephens, the new Executive Director. Ms. Spiro thanked the Trustees for their extraordinary work during difficult economic times. Ms. Spiro provided an introduction of Ms. Stephens, highlighting her impressive background and credentials. Ms. Spiro emphasized that the core mission of the Associates is to help preserve the BPL’s treasures. The Associates are tying their initiatives to the BPL Compass Principles.
Executive Director of the Boston Public Library Foundation (Foundation), David McKay presented an update on the Foundation which includes a strategic plan to chart its future course in tune with the BPL Compass Principles. Mr. McKay continues to work closely with President Ryan and Foundation Board Chair Ronald O’Hanley, and outlined some of the fundraising components. Discussion followed with an expression of support for the membership outreach component for the Foundation.
President Ryan called on Trustee Zamawa Arenas for an update on the development of the branding process for the BPL, and thanked her for the pro bono services of her company, ARGUS Communications. Trustee Arenas reported that the process has been integrated with the Compass Strategic Planning Process. It has been a comprehensive process of gathering input with more than eighty community and staff meetings posing questions on what the library means to people, its personality and the benefits. Trustee Arenas looks forward to reporting back to the Trustees at the November 15th Board meeting.
President Ryan turned to the next agenda item of the Proposed Collection Development Policy. She reported that Laura Irmscher, Collection Development Manager is unable to attend today’s meeting and Michael Colford, Director of Library Services will present. Noting the importance of the document, President Ryan stated that today’s presentation will include review and discussion by the Board, and then BPL staff will work on further refining the policy. President Ryan stressed that this has been a multifarious process with staff and affiliate input, includes comments received throughout the Compass process, and has been thoroughly reviewed by the Collection Development Committee. Mr. Colford presented highlights of the policy, included in the Collection Development Policy Executive Summary. Discussion followed on preservation, protection and expansion of the BPL’s treasures and the dissemination in cyberspace format while looking ahead at managing the collection over the next five to twenty-five years. The policy has been constructed with flexibility in order to be responsive to changes over time in technologies that are not presently available. The Chairman reiterated that the policy must be reactive to the changing times and technologies. Trustee Rushing pointed out that some of the appendices are policies and should be identified as policies. Trustees are invited to send their comments to Mr. Colford during the next thirty days. The Trustees stressed the importance of this policy to the BPL and expressed their desire to use caution in proceeding to finalize the document in order to make sure it is the right fit. Trustees will receive the final draft in advance of the Trustees meeting where a vote will be taken.
President Ryan provided an update on the beautiful new park on Harvard University land behind the Honan-Allston Library. As part of the new park design, Harvard University requested a transfer of the BPL parking lot behind the library for a parcel of land owned by Harvard University along Etonia Street which is adjacent to the library, and will retain the same number of parking spaces. On June 29, 2011, the City of Boston Public Facilities Commission accepted care, custody and control of the Etonia Street property from Harvard University and voted to transfer it to the Boston Public Library. The original parking lot has been incorporated into the park known as Library Park.
President Ryan called on Christine Schonhart, Manager of Branch Libraries for an update on two capital projects. The first is the East Boston project, the top capital project priority of the BPL. The BPL has been holding community meetings regarding the new East Boston Library for the past three years. A representative Community Advisory Committee is working with William Rawn Architects to bring the design to 60% by the end of September. All meetings are open to the public and documents are posted on line. Groundbreaking will be scheduled in the spring of 2012, with a proposed fall 2013 opening. The community process has been lively.
Ms. Schonhart reported on the Uphams Corner program and siting study to update and re-evaluate the 2002 study based on current needs. Local properties as potential branch locations in the Uphams Corner neighborhood are being evaluated against the BPL’s criteria.
David Leonard, Director of Administration and Technology provided an update on the construction of the new Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Central Library. The Map Center is on schedule to relocate into the McKim Building. Mr. Leonard provided descriptions of the new exhibits and spaces for research and reading; all to be publicly accessible. The public opening is scheduled for Saturday October 22nd. The gallery will be open concurrently with the BPL hours of operation.
Mr. Leonard reported on the Integrated Library System software used to manage BPL collections, circulation, and acquisitions by BPL staff and the public. BPL staff is in the final stage of a Request for Proposals. Mr. Leonard anticipates a vote on the contract at an upcoming Trustees Board meeting.
Capital improvements on HVAC and roof repairs are underway at branch libraries in Roslindale, Grove Hall, the West End, Charlestown and Dudley. Similar HVAC improvements are underway at the Central Library, and are a part of the BPL’s energy improvements.
The total projected City Capital budget in fiscal year 2012 for these projects is about $7.9 million.
President Ryan recognized and thanked James Meade, Superintendent of Facilities for his terrific work on capital projects and ongoing maintenance. At the request of the Trustees, Mr. Meade will re-involve the District 4 Boston Police Department to prevent damage by skateboarders to the BPL Plaza. President Ryan will meet with the Commissioner of Public Works and the MBTA about site cleanliness. The BPL is purchasing an electric power sweeper and power washer to help maintain the property.
Chairman Rudman moved to the next agenda item of the Trustees Compass Strategic Planning Committee and called on Trustee and Committee Chairman Byron Rushing, Michael Colford, and Gina Perille, Chief of Communications for an update. Trustee Rushing directed Board members to the Draft Strategic Plan contained in their Board packets. The planning process has been extensive and involved all levels of stakeholders of the BPL, in the neighborhoods, at the Central Library, and on line. Trustee Rushing encouraged fellow Trustees to review the Strategic Plan and provide comments to Mr. Colford by October 7th in preparation for the next Strategic Planning Committee meeting on October 12th. The Final Draft Strategic Plan will be presented for a vote of the Trustees at the November 15th Board meeting. Trustee Rushing reviewed the document which incorporates draft Outcomes for each Principle for the beginning of the detailed work plan. A timeline to engage these strategies will be presented at the November 15th Board meeting.
Mr. Colford thanked the Strategic Planning Committee members for their efforts and outlined the meetings that have occurred since the most recent Trustees meeting including several community meetings, and a Boston Delegation meeting. He reviewed the definitions in the Draft Strategic Plan and noted that all comments throughout the process are either incorporated into the Strategic Plan or on the BPL web page.
Ms. Perille outlined the process ahead: Trustee comments to Mr. Colford by October 7th, Strategic Planning Committee meets on October 12th, the next Draft Strategic Plan will be presented to the Board at the November 15th meeting for a vote on adoption, and the roll of out the Strategic Plan in early 2012 in concert with the new visual identity and branding for the BPL. The first one hundred days of 2012 will be dedicated to re-introducing the BPL and sharing the new Strategic Plan.
The Chairman praised the extensive outreach that asked users and staff what they think the BPL should do and for attaching specific content to a work plan.
The Chairman called upon Trustee Evelyn Arana-Ortiz, Chairman of the Trustees Finance and Audit Committee for an update.
Trustee Arana-Ortiz provided an update on the Trustees Finance and Audit Committee and addressed the agenda item of The Boston Public Library Gifts, Grants, Donations for the reporting period of May 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011. On a motion made and duly seconded it was,
VOTED: “that, the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston accept the Boston Public Library Gifts and Grants, May 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011”
Trustee Arana-Ortiz addressed the next agenda of the Trustees Fellowes Athenaeum Trust Fund Advisory Council and provided an overview of its mission, and of the meeting in August to approve program recommendations as outlined on the FY 2012 Fellowes Athenaeum Programmatic Plan Funding Recommendations. On a motion made and duly seconded it was,
VOTED: “that, the Trustees of the Public Library of the City of Boston approve the FY2012 Fellowes Athenaeum Programmatic Plan as recommended by the Trustees Fellows Athenaeum Trust Fund Advisory Committee”
Chairman Rudman addressed the agenda item of New Business. Trustee Arana-Ortiz reported that the Trustees Finance and Audit Committee met with the BPL’s financial advisor, New England Pension Consultants (NEPC) on August 25th to evaluate the BPL’s investments. As a result of that meeting and on behalf of the Finance and Audit Committee, NEPC prepared and sent a memorandum to The Boston Company, a fund manager for the BPL and requested they meet with the Committee to address the low performance of the BPL’s portfolio.
Chairman Rudman opened the meeting for comments from four members of the public. Public comments included discussion on the proposed new East Boston Branch expressing support for additional books, especially children’s books, and increasing seating capacity. Discussion followed with the Trustees; President Ryan outlined the community process and the resource planning that are ongoing with the community to inform the collection, building design, and programs for the new library. President Ryan will provide a written update for the Trustees on the East Boston process by the November 15th Board meeting. Further discussion included an update on the many events scheduled for the October 22, 2011 anniversary celebration at the Jamaica Plain Branch Library; appreciation for the Strategic Planning; capital project decision making; and Board governance.
There being no other business, the Board adjourned the meeting of the Corporation and Administrative Agency at 10:21 a.m. to go into Executive Session to discuss legal issues.