Minutes for Feb. 11 Trustees Meeting

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

Kerry Claffey (bookkeeper), Miriam Newman

Minutes from the January meeting were accepted.

Bookkeeper’s Report: Kerry distributed a Profit & Loss statement through Feb. 12 that showed a bottom-line operating loss of $2,272, the reserve account at $4,118 and the checking account at $49,281. Snow removal costs are up, largely because of the amount of ice and snow we’ve received, but also because we hadn’t been billed for some previous work. It’s early in the year, but most things appear to be on track. After someone questioned whether the electricity bill was unusually high, Cindy reported that Doc Bagley had volunteered to check out our bills from Green Mountain Power and those from Strafford Energy LLC to see if he can figure out how our arrangement with the latter is working out.

Librarian’s Report: Melissa said she is committed to doing a better job of ordering books and other materials, acknowledging that it hasn’t been happening as frequently or regularly as it should. Her plan is to put in an order every third week with the goal of getting a regular flow of new materials coming into the library. To facilitate that, she’ll need to arrange more volunteer staffing to give her the time necessary to review and choose new materials.

She and Marty sat down recently to review the website and identify what needs to be updated or otherwise changed. Marty plans to start making changes soon. Melissa said she recently attended a meeting via Skype about the Vermont Librarian Certificate Program. Having taken numerous course over the years, she believes she is very close to being certified and plans to get that finished. 

She plans to attend a meeting in Rockingham to discuss this year’s summer reading program. A relatively new resident of Strafford who is an obstetrician/gynecologist has volunteered to give a program at the library about mid-life women’s health. It has been scheduled for Saturday, March 2, at 4 p.m. Melissa also noted that the annual statistics collected by the state are due this week.

Melissa’s research into the Kanopy movie streaming service found that libraries handle billing differently, with some allocating a yearly lump sum, others establishing monthly amounts and some establishing limits for individual patrons. The board decided to sign up for the service on an experimental basis. It budgeted $500 with the intention of seeing how long such an allocation will last and whether there will be a need to set limits on use.

Miscellaneous: Curt said sign repair is ongoing. Marty talked with Melvin, who said he could give his talk on a Thursday evening or Sunday afternoon. The board will see if March 10 or March 17, both Sundays, at 2 or 3 p.m. will work for Melvin. 

Next meeting will be March 11 at 7 p.m. at the library.

Submitted by Marty Frank