The meeting convened at 7:10 p.m. in the library. Present were Cindy Binzen, Melissa Strayton  (librarian), Rachel Kurland, Carol Wilson, Becky Proulx, Kevin Lynch.


Secretary’s Report:  Approve minutes from November meeting.  Cindy moved, Carol seconded, all approved with the proviso that Cindy change erroneous next meeting date to 11-Dec-23.


Friends Report: Holiday Sale check for $2600 //is this amount correct?//YES


Librarian’s Report:   

After school program librarian Sarah has health issue that may keep her out of the Library through her last planned date, 18-Dec-23.  Melissa working on job description but has questions around scope, which she suggests expanding (e.g., high demand for preschooler programming). Salary offered may be at same rate as current (plus Cola) for approximately 40 weeks..  Any salary above current run rate would need to come from a source other than Turrell (which runs Sep-Aug). Melissa has started dialogs with two potential replacements for Sarah, both are qualified and one might be particularly suited to expanding the program.  With an eye toward an early Spring start date for the replacement, Melissa warns that, in the past,  hiring an after school programmer has taken as long as a year.   Melissa to try to get some intel on how many children will attend this year.  

Library collection has a large end of year adult order ($900) in process and Melissa is building children’s order.

Palace, Libby, Hoopla, Kanopy - Palace instructions are ready for publication to the website.  Since virtually all streaming offerings are moving / have moved to subscription model, Melissa continues to monitor patron usage.  Only 25 patrons are using Kanopy but the 2024 cost to cover comparable use is  $1000. Given the paucity of users, we will back off Kanopy to $500, adjusting as appropriate.  In future, we may consider upgrading GMLC/Overdrive or adopting Hoopla in future as an alternative.

Key returns no additional.


Treasurer’s Report: 

Library Investment Committee proposed a reallocation of some endowment funds from those which have yielded no income for past 24 months to another appropriate fund which yields 4.3% YTD.  Cindy moved, Rachel seconded, all approved.  See Appendix A for detail.

2023 P/L update yielded an action to discuss cost reduction of grounds keeping.  Any 2023 shortage will be covered using monies from the CDs.

2024 Budget Review was led by Rachel:  a long discussion ensued. Going forward, our nut to crack is that Library income has remained flat (with negligible fluctuations) while expenses increase and the tab for library maintenance and improvements piles up. 

Library Appeal has current balance of $3910.  Cindy to post gentle holiday reminder to listserve, 



Other business:

Furnace cleaning is scheduled. 

Cory Cook (poetry) in April.



Other Business:

      Strategy session now targeted for some Friday in late Feb 2024.  No format specified, no prep yet.

      Furnace cleaning is scheduled 12/21 10am.

      Adult program ideas - Cory Cook (poetry month), Hospice, Tii McLane (Jan), Green burials.

      Action items:

      Carol will organize website meeting on 21-Dec 11:30.

      Cindy will correct next meeting date in Nov. minutes on public website.

      Cindy will talk to Eric about reducing price of grounds keeping if we omit back field.

      Cindy will post appeal reminder to listserve.

      Carol will let Town Office / Select Board know that 2024 Library funding request is flat but is expected to increase in 2025.

      Rachel will make last of revisions to 2024 budget making it ready for approval.

      Melissa and Carol will handle 2023 Baby Books.

      Melissa to continue pricing analysis of streaming content for 2024. Done, but need more info.

      Kevin and Melissa to work on Palace instructions publication, late Dec-Jan. 

      All:  STILL NEED  thank you writers for donations.  Please volunteer, Cindy NEEDS help.


Next Meeting Monday 08-Jan-2024










Appendix A - Library Investment Committee Proposal To Transfer Endowment Funds


Swan and Downer Fund 1919 bequests totalled $10,000 and were to “be invested ..in bonds of the Government of the United States….and only the income to be used.”  They are currently invested in Fidelity Short Term Treasury Bond Index (FUMBX) with a balance of $9,127 on 11/13.  


Ordway/Steele/Mattison Fund consists of a $5,000 bequest from Robert Ordway in 1980, a $2,000 bequest in memory of Gina Steele in 1995 and a 2015 transfer of $1,000 donated by the Mattison family from Town Funds. There are no restrictions on investments of principal and only the income can be disbursed.  The funds are currently invested in Fidelity Balanced Fund (FBALX - the closest Fidelity equivalent we could find to the Wellington Fund) with a balance of $7,450 on 11/13.


There were no distributions from these funds in 2022 because they were underwater and have remained so all through 2023. We would like to suggest the following:


1.  Transfer the balance of both the FUMBX and FBALX accounts into the Fidelity Government Cash Reserves Fund (FDRXX) which is 99.5% invested in US Government securities and is yielding approximately 4% YTD in 2023


2.  Transfer funds from the Pooled (Unrestricted) Endowment FDRXX account (current balance is $38,000) in the amount necessary to bring the balance in the Restricted Funds FDRXX fund up to $18,000 - approximately $1,500.


3.  Going forward, transfer all income on the $18,000 to the library at the end of each year.


The resulting benefits would be 1) an easily identifiable amount of interest income for Library Trustees’ budgeting purposes (see attached Report 1) and 2) bookkeeping simplification for the Library Investment Committee.