This is not an official blog of the City. It is the work of Mark Kapel who is solely responsible for content.

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Baldwin Library Board Building Committee Meeting of January 6th.

 On Thursday, November 17, a sellout crowd of over 250 people attended a fundraising event to benefit the   
 Youth Room of the Baldwin Public Library. With proceeds from sponsorships, donations, ticket sales and 
 the auction, the Library raised over $22,000. This money will be put to use to enliven the early learning   
 corner of the Youth Room and to expand access to the early literacy computers. Many thanks 
 to all who made this event a success                                                                                       
-Baldwin Books and Beyond  Winter2012

Youth Room Renovation Project
How the money raised  at the Books and Bites fund raiser might be spent was the first topic of conversation .Board members expressed a desire to show people who participated in the fund raiser where their donated money  was being applied and to show the Birmingham City Commission that the Library was continuing to adhere to the fiscally responsible Purchase Guidelines published on the Baldwin Library web sight and made available at the meeting. One would think since the library raised the money on it's own via a fund raiser that that would be self evident but the Baldwin Library Board under Director Doug Koschik likes to dot all the I's and cross all the T's. For example  the library's strict adherence to the rules and principals espoused in the Michigan Open Meetings Act is rare in civic or library arenas where deviations, lapses, and omissions are frequently shrugged off.  In the past under other boards and other directors The  Baldwin Library's fiscal responsibility was reported to be less than exemplary. The document below indicates the Library's goals in regards to the Youth  Room  and preliminary cost estimates. Much of the discussion concerned  previous library dealings with both companies, prior satisfactions and how the dollars could best be allocated. Shopping locally  was suggested and a couple toy stores were mentioned.  It was remarked however that the puppet stage  mentioned had to be of industrial strength to withstand the pounding of what could  be thousands of children.

Report for the Long_Range Planning Session of the Birmingham City Commission to be made on January 21st 2012

A copy of this report was deliver in print and via a Power Point presentation at the last Library Board meeting and is available on the Library's website in written form, power point with pictures,  and in a televised and archived version of the meeting  In addition a copy of the written proposal and artist renditions have appeared in this blog as well.

The  library's agenda position  has been moved up to a 9:45 am time slot  which  in a day of discussions is prime time.  Director Koschik said that it would be premature to expect a recommendation of the City Commissionat this time. He would however appreciate an opinion. That  much was offered  by board members and guests at the Building Committee meeting. The consensus seemed to be that the less expensive Fanning Howley option was more practical for now and served the immediate need. But one never knows what might happen in the future.Perhaps a donor with ten million dollars would come forward Kochick said he thought the fanny holly plan was lacking in two areas. Windows to open up the south side of the building to sunlight and handy capped access. There were also parts of the Victor Saroki  planhat everyone seemed to like that could be incorporated. Two entrances one from Martin Street  the other from Merill  were  mentioned. As was  a cafe.One suggestion was cafe on the west side of the building and a third entrance  with a ground level access for the handicapped. An outdoor seating portion of the cafe could then provide 24 hour electricity, wi fi access similar to what was done at  the Leelanau  County Library in Northport  Michigan (see our post  Pure Michigan. Pure Library. Northport, MI 49670.
                                                 Front from left: Sheila Brice, Andrew Harris, James W. Suhay
                                              Back from left: David Underdown, Frank Pisano, Bob Tera
In terms of a time table, Koschik suggested perhaps by the end of the decade. The Fanning Howey plan by itself would require a year to make the decision and two years to implicate. Board Member Shelia Brice sasid the next steps would be to open the dialogue up to the public and involve the contract communities Board MemberJames W. Suhay favored a phase one Howley, phase two Saroki  possibilities approach. Assistant Director Mark Church said if you were going to double the size of building you might think of doubling the staff  because the library currently had a stopped toilet (which  he excused himself to go fix) because te  Mr Fixit  was no longer available. Board Member Terra also said that he read of two metro area libraries carrying as much as a million and a half in annual debt money that would have to repaid even if revenue from declining property values housing values continued to drop. 

All of the above and more will be open for discussion at the next library board meeting on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. in the Tribute and Donor Rooms of the Library.

The Library will make it's presentation to 

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