By Rosemary K. Otzman
The Belleville Area District Library Board voted unanimously at its May 14 meeting to hire Sue Kennedy of K2 Communications Plus as an advisor for its marketing committee and to write a mission statement.
Kennedy will help the board prioritize decisions on a new library facility.
Board members Christina Brasil and Joseph Monte were absent from the meeting.
Kennedy’s cost is $6,000, with about $5,000 for research and packaging of the results and $1,000 for “a facilitated workshop and full developed mission statement and core values.”
Kennedy said the agreement assumes that the Belleville Area District Library Board will recruit/solicit participants for research activities and provide a facility for the workshop.
Board Chairman Mary Jane Dawson asked if it would take about six to seven weeks and Kennedy said that was so, but she would need participation by the board and parts of the library staff.
Kennedy, who has worked for the prize-winning Canton Public Library for six years, said her work would give the library board “solid groundwork to make decisions.”
Kennedy said they need to set the kickoff meeting and Deputy Library Director Mary Jo Suchy said she would prefer to have that after June’s budget meeting. Kennedy said she is flexible.
Library Director Deb Green said she wanted an initial meeting before the next month’s meeting and said the marketing committee could meet during Memorial Day week.
An initial meeting with Kennedy was held with board members Mike Boelter, Elaine Guiterrez, John Juriga, and Green and Suchy, where they heard her presentation.
The proposal approved covers the first two phases of the initially outlined project: Phase 1: Initial Assessment and Phase 2: BADL Foundation Setting Workshop.
She said this proposal should serve as a starting point for discussion with the BADL marketing committee and the board.
“As previously discussed, projects of this nature are scalable based on the desired scope and funding available,” Kennedy wrote in a memo to the board.
Kennedy said the research will be packaged so that the board can continue to utilize it for developing a strategic plan and prioritizing new facility decisions.
“Strategic planning and support would be considered a separate project and prosposed/quoted separately,” the memo
She said she would develop a questionnaire and survey to understand the needs of the community: similarities, differences, and priorities in Belleville, Sumpter, and Van Buren.
Also, the study would give an understanding of how or if needs, expectations, and experiences differ between current library patrons and non-users.
In other business at the May 14 meeting, the board:
• Heard Gutierrez and Dawson tell of their experiences with April 23 World Book Night when each gave away 20 books as part of an international reading venture. Gutierrez gave away Tina Fey’s autobiography at the bowling alley and Dawson gave “Look Again” by Lisa Scottoline and her husband Rick gave “Fahrenheit 451,” both at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Ann Arbor. They reported people were thrilled to get free books to read;
• Heard volunteers are needed for the 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 21 Garden Walk to benefit the library. Workers would be greeters at the gardens or selling tickets at the library;
• Heard Chairman Dawson say she is happy to report that the cancer of her granddaughter Allison, age 7, is in remission and her hair has grown back;
• Were advised the library will be a part of the Sumpter Country Fest and Strawberry Festival parades;
• Learned library intern Ashley Clark has completed her Master’s degree in Information from the University of Michigan and will begin her new job at Southern Indiana University soon;
• Was informed the new library website is up, which was created by Clark, and that the library will be replacing seven computer this month in keeping with its continual update schedule; and
• The library has received a $2,000 literacy grant from the Detroit Book and Author Society for its literacy program.
By Rosemary K. Otzman