Minutes for the April 12 Trustees Meeting

The meeting convened at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Attending were Cindy Binzen, Rachel Kurland, Curt Albee, Carol Wilson, Melissa Strayton (librarian), Diane White (for the Friends) and Marty Frank.

Minutes from the March meeting were accepted.

Friends’ Report: Diane reported that the Friends just has a meeting and the decision about whether to put on the annual book sale is pending. Rachel has offered to sort books, but the Friends still need to find someone, or a couple of people, to run the sale. The Friends want to have a sale this year, but aren’t sure how or when. The PTA will be doing a limited version of their July 4 event — the Friends might do the sale then, or during Apple Fest in the fall. The plan at this point is to make a decision at their May meeting.

Treasurer’s Report: Rachel distributed a profit and loss statement before the meeting. Nothing jumps out as being out of the ordinary, and many things remain in flux because of the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. The most recent statement doesn’t reflect Melissa’s orders, both because there are some invoices that haven’t been processed and so many materials are put on backorder. 

We received an unpleasant surprise from H&R Block, which quoted a price of $125 for each year of the 990 that it prepared when Rachel talked to them — and then charged $350 for each when David McWilliams went to pick them up. Rachel has been talking with the people there to get an explanation for the discrepancy. She is hoping that they’ll offer some compensation by way of doing Barrett Hall’s 990 for free, and then having Barrett Hall pick up one third of the total cost of the three returns. In the meantime, Rachel will submit the 990s that were prepared to the IRS. John Hawkins is still investigating the advisability of switching our endowment investments to Vanguard funds with portfolios composed of companies deemed socially responsible.. 

Librarian’s Report:  Melissa said she has identified a book from the Morrill Collection that appears to be particularly valuable and will ask the homestead if they want to transfer it to the collection that they maintain there. Ordering continues, although the backordering situation is seriously delaying the arrival of new materials. Some of the latest order has arrived. Circulation demand is not particularly high right now. She plans to meet with Sarah shortly to finalize plans for children’s summer programming. Right now, Melissa and Sarah are leaning toward doing all programs outside and under a tent, which the Friends said we could use. 

Melissa will be fully vaccinated by mid-May, at which point the trustees and she will want to talk about the next phase of re-opening the library. Melissa is thinking we might resume scheduled in-library visits at the beginning of June. She hasn’t prepared any suggestions for website improvements but hopes to do that before the next meeting. She hasn’t heard from the painters about when they plan to come and do the last few things of their job. Curt said he’ll give them a call to nail that down.

Other Business: Curt talked with Shawn Harlow about the water intrusion in the basement. Shawn subscribes to Curt’s theory about the cause and is willing to try to address it but is pretty swamped right now, so it may be a while before he’s able to do it. Rachel has shelved and catalogued the collection of French books donated to us and distributed that information to about 25 departments at various colleges around the country. Someone from Harvard and a bookseller from Woodstock are going to drop by to check it out. Meanwhile, she’s sold about five of the books on Amazon. Rachel said the books will be rid of in some fashion by May, in time to start collecting more books for whatever happens this year. 

Curt will call Tim Eastman to see if he’s interested in mowing this year. We have some unspent money that was budgeted for the painting project that we can use for landscaping in the front. Cindy will consult with Janet Cavanagh for suggestions about simple, low-maintenance plantings that would like nice. Cindy will also drop by the library at some point to figure out with Melissa what cushions need to be re-covered. More slate tiles came off the roof this winter; Rocky has offered to do the repair while also removing the tarp from the bulkhead. Melissa asked about the possibility of getting Rocky or Curt to add more shelves to the spot where we maintain the audiobook collection.

Cindy will get a kit and submit a water sample for testing. Carol will provide thank-you notes to express our gratitude to our volunteers. Marty will buy batteries for the smoke alarms and change them during our annual spring cleaning, now scheduled for May 23 from 10 to noon.

The next meeting will be May 17 at 7 p.m. at the library.

Submitted by Marty Frank