Minutes for Feb. 12 Trustees Meeting

Present: Cindy Binzen, Curt Albee, Marty Frank, Carol Wilson, Rachel Kurland, Melissa Strayton (librarian), David Webb (for the Friends)

Minutes from the January meeting were accepted.

Librarian’s Report: Melissa said that things continue to go well. She has inquired about piggybacking onto the courier service for interlibrary loans, which has refused to deliver directly to Strafford, by arranging to use the Royalton library as the drop-off and pick-up point. The service costs $350 yearly, which is significantly less than we pay in postage, and is very easy to use.

Melissa has updated the contact information with Baker & Taylor. She has started to work with Emily to prepare a summer reading program. The theme for this summer is “Libraries Rock.” She has applied for a $200 grant from the Vermont Department of Libraries, which she would use to help pay for someone who offers a program in which kids would work on making musical instruments. Melissa noted that some patrons are having trouble opening the interior entrance door; Curt said he would look at it.

Cindy asked about the possibility of continuing to mark the arrival of new babies in town with bookplates noting their birth. In addition to doing that, Melissa said she wants to send a new board book to families with newly arrived babies. The challenge, everyone agreed, will be finding out who the new babies are.

Friends: David acknowledged that the group has been hibernating for the winter, although a meeting is planned for April. David has decided to step down as president of the Friends board, and Ingrid Webb will be leaving the board altogether. That leaves the significant challenge of finding a new president and covering the work that David and Ingrid have been doing for the Holiday Sale.

David expressed interest in pursuing a fundraising idea passed along by Melissa. It would be modeled after an event put on in Killington called Spell and Sip, which combined a spelling bee with some food and drink. The Killington event attracted about 60 people and raised $600. David observed that such a fundraiser, in combination with one or two others, might replace the regiftable component of the Holiday Sale, which involves a fair amount of work (although it raises more than $1,000). Some trustees expressed concern that jettisoning the regiftables would leave little at the sale itself to attract people to the library. 

Treasurer’s Report: Rachel has sent the annual financial statement to the Probate Court. She noted that Green Mountain Power had threatened to cut off our power because we were behind in paying our bills. That was the result of some mix-up with the solar company, which we were under the impression was paying the GMP bill after we had paid their bill. The trustees were in general agreement that our arrangement with the solar company — and how it has affected what we pay for electricity — has been murky from the start. Rachel said she would contact Dori Wolfe to get some sort of accounting.

Miscellaneous: Melissa conducted some preliminary research about what would be involved in changing our no-alcohol policy. She said the library would be governed under a special provision of the state regulations, which would require that we first receive general permission from the Selectboard to serve alcohol, would require the state liquor control board to be notified five days in advance of whatever event we intended to serve alcohol at, and would require a designated person from the library to oversee it and take an alcohol education class. Various fees would be owed to the state. Curt noted that Barrett Hall is able to host events in which alcohol is served simply by insisting that whoever is running the event demonstrate that it has insurance coverage. Marty questioned whether the various regulations cited by Melissa were established for organizations that intended to serve alcohol themselves as  opposed to simply allowing alcohol to be consumed by whatever group is using their buildings. Melissa said she would check how the Tunbridge Library, which hosts numerous art openings in which alcohol is served, handles the matter.

Cindy updated the board about the ongoing effort to get Rymes to cover the cost of cleaning the soot left in the basement after the furnace-cleaning. Rymes’ insurance company has offered to pay 50 percent of the estimated cost of the clean-up — which would be $2,000 if we proceed with ServePro. The board agreed to pursue this.

Marty is going to ask Emily for training in maintaining the website, and Cindy is going to ask Emily to look over the website and see what might need to be updated.

The next meeting will be March 12.

Submitted by Marty Frank