Minutes for Jan. 29 Trustees Meeting

Present: Cindy Binzen, Curt Albee, Miriam Newman, Marty Frank, Carol Wilson, Rachel Kurland, Melissa Strayton (librarian)

Minutes from the December meeting were accepted.

Librarian’s Report: Melissa said that despite the number of holidays and weather interruptions, she believes that her transition into the new job is going well. She inquired about the process of authorizing her to sign checks, what to do with a nearly full conscience jar, and arrangements for shoveling when Mark Chute is gone. She also reported that income from our endowed funds will be going up this year.

She reported that she is thinking about having a day for volunteer training, to make sure everyone is on the same page. She was also wondering about how to track her hours (not really necessary, Cindy said) and those of volunteers for the annual report to the state. New keys have been made for the post office box. A hook has been put on the collection box at Coburn’s to make it a little easier to gather books dropped off there. She said she would handle recycling, and Marty volunteered to take care of the trash. Curt is planning to replace the battery in the basement smoke detector.

Melissa said she is trying to clean out the catalogue so it better reflects what is actually in the collection and is noting specific accession dates for books to aid the weeding process. She had hoped to be able to print out receipts for patrons to help inform them of what books they’ve borrowed but LibraryWorld doesn’t allow for that. Instead she’ll email the information, which LibraryWorld does allow, but will have to spend some time getting patrons’ email addresses. She’s also planning to buy some more bookends and wants to explore whether people can access the printer from their personal laptops.

She’s talking to Emily about summer programming and is interested in compiling an annual calendar of town events.

Treasurer’s Report: Rachel reported that we ended 2017 with a budget shortfall of about $1,850. largely because of unexpected projects such as the chimney repair. She has adjusted the expense side of the 2018 budget by adding $500 to the line item for the new-librarian transition process, $250 to that for snow removal and $300 for the line item for oil. She said that the Investment Committee inquired about whether we planned to spend any of the income available from the endowment, which prompted a discussion of how to pay for the tree work done by Eli Mintz, who has billed us $2,000 for the work already done and will bill us another $800 for the cleanup work planned for the spring. The board decided it would prefer to take the money out of the checking account, where it is earning minimal interest, rather than out of endowment, where it is being actively managed. Rachel reported that we have received about $5,425 in donations from the annual appeals letter.

Miscellaneous: Cindy updated the board on the Rymes saga. She finally got past Ralph, who has been exceptionally unhelpful, and talked to the person at Rymes’ insurance agency who is handling the claim. Not surprisingly, the insurance company has received none of the information that Cindy has supplied to Rymes about our situation. The insurance  company at this point is under the impression that our besooted basement is the result of chimney work, not the furnace cleaning, and is therefore not a claim it will need to cover. Cindy is busy attempting to get them the information they need to get a more accurate understanding of what happened.

Curt raised the issue of whether we should assemble a capital needs assessment plan as a tool to better plan for major projects and align them with financial resources. He reviewed a plan compiled by Dismas House and thinks it is much more extensive than what we need for a building that is sound and well-functioning. Cindy said that it would be nice if, after spending a fair amount of money and attention on the outside of the building, we were to focus on interior projects such as painting and replacing the carpeting in the back room.

A discussion about whether we should adopt a policy on alcohol consumption prompted Melissa to volunteer to check with the Woodstock library to see what they use. Carol said she has informed the town about our wishes regarding snowplowing. Miriam said she’ll amend the building use policy to make clear that we won’t be able to arrange for snow shoveling when activities are planned outside of normal library hours.

The next meeting will be Feb. 12.

Submitted by Marty Frank