Present: Cindy Binzen, Miriam Newman, Carol Wilson, Curt Albee, Marty Frank, Rebecca Seibel, Dori Wolfe (for Strafford Energy LLC)

Dori Wolfe brought a copy of the proposed Solar Credit Purchase Agreement between Strafford Energy and the library. Her company has an investor lined up and is ready to proceed with the project. She said the key for the library is that it’s a no-risk venture: The agreement should generally deliver a slight reduction in the cost of energy for library but will never result in an increase. The contract is a 20-year agreement with an option to renew, and the library can expect a savings of about 1 cent per kilowatt. Strafford Energy is hoping to start construction of the array in mid- to late May, and it shouldn’t take long to complete. The board voted unanimously to accept the contract 

Minutes for the March meeting were accepted. 

Librarian’s Report: 

Building use: Noah Chute recently organized a 2nd local storytelling evening.
 Telas Whitfield of the UU Church inquired about using the library on the evening of April 22.

Programs: Tomorrow night the last of three Humanities Council program will occur. David Grant’s presentation in March was attended by 24 people.

Thanks to Carol for helping with the after-school program the last two weeks while Rachel was away. 

Mike Tisdale dropped by recently to update the computers and show David Webb and Rebecca about how to disable Deep Freeze and restart it for future upgrades or make other changes to the computers. Rebecca asked him about purchasing a scanner, and he recommended some inexpensive models. Rebecca will probably go ahead and order one, which will be $50 or less. 

The One Card program: Rebecca checked in with Lisa from the Norwich Library about the consortium of 12 libraries that allows users from member towns to take out books and other materials from any library in the group as long as they return it to the library they borrowed it from. She said Norwich is pleased so far and has not been overwhelmed with out-of-towners, although they would expect to see circulation increase if Strafford and Thetford were to join. She’s not sure how easy it would be to track circulation according to town. 

If Strafford joined, it would have to replace LibraryWorld with the Koha system and issue cards to those who wished to borrow elsewhere. The committee (one representative from each town) has talked about taking in non-Koha libraries, but it’s not a priority. One Card’s next step will probably be to include some other libraries in Vokal, a group of libraries using Koha. One Card’s quarterly meeting is April 24 and Lisa said she would be happy to express interest on Strafford’s behalf. 

Rebecca said she would like to see a fact-finding committee established, perhaps with Andy Behrens serving, to explore what’s involved in switching to Koha. Marty volunteered to serve on that committee. The board voted to have Rebecca tell Lisa from Norwich that Strafford is interested in exploring joining One Card. 

Other business: 

The Friends will have their next meeting on April 27, and Rebecca will ask them to support our purchase of a scanner, the vacuum cleaner and pillows.

Rebecca sent a note to the Turrell Foundation, noting that we plan to apply for a grant in the next round of funding and that we hope our decision not to apply during the most recent round won’t jeopardize our future funding. Someone from Turrell contacted the library and indicated that it won’t be a problem. Two other possible sources of grant support for children’s programming have been identified: the Donley Foundation and Woodbury Foundation. Miriam volunteered to check them out.

Although Brenda had some trouble with our new vacuum cleaner, it seems to be working.

Rymes was called out to check the furnace, which had stopped working while Rebecca was on vacation. A repair person came out, fiddled with the thermostat and got the furnace going again. It stopped shortly after he left, and Rymes was summoned again. A different repair person replaced the thermostat, which got the furnace going, but again only for a short period. Yet a different repair person came and changed something on the furnace itself. We were billed for two service calls and the part, which came out to $240.

Curt will call Tim Brownell, who installed the furnace, to review the repair that was done. Rebecca will call Rymes to see if they will reduce the bill, seeing as one service call should have sufficed. Rebecca is also convinced that the new thermostat isn’t working correctly and would like to eventually return to a programmable thermostat. 

Regarding the $1,000 bequest that Betsy Ruml discovered and has been in the general care of the town, Marty will contact Betsy to see if we can just transfer that to the endowment. 

The Personnel Committee: The committee had its annual meeting with the librarian, during which it expressed how fortunate the trustees feel to have Rebecca running the library and invited her to express any concerns she has about the job. Rebecca said that she remains happy in the position and feels well compensated for her work. She remains concerned about her ability to keep up with technology, thinks that help from the board in pursuing grants will do much to relieve any stress she feels about the job and identified the future of the after-school program as her only other major concern. 

Bylaws Review: In advance of distributing new copies of the recently revised bylaws, the board reviewed other sections to see if any other changes were warranted. The board voted to propose eliminating the vice president position and making a handful of minor changes. Marty will type up the proposed changes and the board will review them before posting them and publicly warning them for the 30 day period.

By way of thanking our volunteers, individual notes will be sent out, including one to the Friends, and Marty will write a general thank you to be published in the Strafford News. 

Spring cleaning will take place this year on May 17, starting at 9 a.m.

Next meeting is May 11. 

Submitted by Marty Frank