Minutes for June 13 2022 Trustees Meeting

The meeting convened at 7 p.m. inside the library. Present were Cindy Binzen, Melissa Strayton (librarian), Marty Frank, Miriam Newman, Curt Albee, Denise Cote (for the Friends) and  Carol Wilson.  

Minutes for the May 2022 trustees meeting were accepted.

Friends: Denise, co-president of the Friends, informed the trustees that the organization was in a bind concerning the pending holiday book sale. Much is in place to proceed, but the Friends haven’t been able to identify someone willing to cart away whatever unsold books remain. Contact information for the seacoast dealer who took away the books last year has been lost. If no one is found, the sale will probably be cancelled. Denise said the Friends are still hopeful that the sale will take place. The trustees suggested that the Friends put out a notice asking that people hold off on bringing book donations to the library until a decision is made to definitely hold the sale. Melissa said she would contact some other local libraries to see who they use for their book sales.

Librarian’s Report: The most recent order for new adult books has arrived and been processed. Melissa said she is now working on an order for children’s books. She has been searching for a two-wheel handcart for moving books and has found one for around $90 at Home Depot. A schedule for summer children’s programming has been finished and the offerings are being publicized through the school, posters, Facebook, One Planet and the website. About 12 kids have signed up to participate in the summer reading program. Melissa still needs to order a Bose sound system, which will be paid for with ARPA grant money. To qualify for the second round of ARPA money ($500 for collection development) the library needs to acquire a unique identifying number that the government is using to track such grants — a task that is proving quite challenging but that Melissa is pursuing. 

Several new volunteers have come aboard and have already proven to be quite helpful. The transition to a new platform for GMLC’s ebook-lending program went smoothly. Stuart Saunders and Sylvia Smith have proposed a fundraising concert for Aug. 19, and Melissa has reserved the church sanctuary. The trustees discussed the advisability of hosting the concert and decided that a final decision will be made in July, when they hope to have a better picture of the trajectory of the pandemic. Marty will call Stuart and Sylvia and let them know. Melissa has received a request from the Council on Aging to hold two informational meetings about new or enhanced benefits for seniors on June 21 and July 7. The trustees asked Melissa to make sure the organization is aware that arranging the sessions to take place at the regular senior lunches might be a better option. Simone Pyle, the school librarian, will also be using the library over the summer for her Dungeons and Dragons group. Melissa has secured a free but somewhat antiquated laminating device. The library will be closed on Juneteenth, the new federal holiday. 

Other Business: Curt said he had hoped to have the water line dug up before the book sale, but it’s now apparent that it will happen after — perhaps during early July.  He has scheduled a meeting with a roofing company to have them inspect the roof and recommend the best course of action about repairing the slate roof and whether it makes sense to replace the slate in the back of the building with standing seam. The quote for replacing our windows with energy-efficient ones has expired. Curt said it’s an expensive project that won’t be compensated for by fuel savings within our lifetimes, but is still the right thing to do. Carol expressed support for the project. After some discussion, the board seemed to be in agreement with Miriam that we need a better idea of what the roof work will cost before deciding about the windows. 

Cindy and Miriam reported that the walk-around with Blake Spencer produced some interesting thoughts about how to expand our space for the children’s room — unfortunately, all of them are quite expensive and won’t provide all that much additional space. To expand the area where the children’s room is now located, for example, would require excavation and allow us to go out 8 feet, and leave us with an oddly configured space. Curt thinks expanding from the other rear corner makes more sense, but would still be enormously costly and end up not providing all that much space. Blake was also asked about creating an outdoor structure for children’s activities. He thought the cleared land behind the library — the back 40 — would be the best place for that. Trustees haver questions about the expense of that project and how much the structure would be used, especially considering the additional expense  of providing stairs or steps to make it accessible.

Gregory Maguire, who has a new children’s book out, was suggested as a possible candidate for a special program, once we resume offering them. Marty said his failure to pursue the website redesign was delayed at first by Covid and then by reservations he had about asking someone to take that on as a volunteer project. He proposed getting some estimates of what it would cost to hire someone to do the job. The trustees agreed. 

Our next meeting will be July 11 at 7 p.m. at the library.