Library Trustees Minutes, Feb. 8 , 2016


Present: Curt Albee, Cindy Binzen, Rachel Kurland, Carol Wilson, Rebecca Seibel, Miriam Newman, Marty Frank 

Minutes from the January meeting were adopted.

Librarian’s Report:

The first in the three-part Humanities Council program on “7 Deadly Sins” will take place tomorrow night, with Jim Schley leading the discussion. The after-school program is going strong, with 14 to 17 children regularly participating. Isabel has been helping, and Rebecca hopes that Leah will be able to assist. Emily is going away at the beginning of March, and Rebecca has arranged a joint program with the school in which storyteller Michael Caduto will visit, at the school. The Friends have agreed to cover most of the cost, with the One Planet program chipping in some money.

Bob Bauer will use the building in March for guided meditation offered through the Cabin Fever program. If enough people indicate interest, he may do it regularly. Rebecca has sent $100 to the church for the benefit concert that’s scheduled in April. She has applied to the Byrne Foundation in hopes of securing assistance to supplement the Turrell grant for children’s programming. She also registered with the secretary of state’s office, which cost $125. Renewal of that registration will be required every other year.

The courier service we hoped to use for interlibrary loans didn’t work out: the library was notified that they would not serve Strafford, without explaining why. Rebecca suspects it’s because we’re small and out of the way. The new DVD racks are working out well. The little library is all but done and has found a home on the front porch of Jessica Tidman’s store. The library will be closed on President’s Day, as Rebecca’s contract stipulates.

Treasurer’s Report:

The monthly profit and loss statement was distributed; everything looks fine. The painting restoration, which will cost about $1,200 and might take 16 weeks, will be kept off budget. The trustees agreed that we’ll try to cover the cost by raising money, mostly by soliciting $100 donations from individuals, with a collection jar at the library for those wishing to contribute smaller amounts.

Regarding the Indian artifacts, Rachel talked to John Dumville, who urged us to try to keep them in Strafford, rather than storing them with the state in Montpelier. He’s not convinced the state is being particularly careful about how they’re stored. He also questioned the wisdom of trying to return them to tribe where they originated. The federal law requires returning only sacred and burial items, and Dumville believes keeping the bow and quiver would serve a useful educational purpose if put on display at the homestead. He believes such an exhibit might spur a healthy discussion about the possession and dispossession of such cultural items. 

The board reviewed the letter written when the items were given as a gift to Justin Morrill, which makes clear they came from the Cheyenne and states that they were “captured.” At this point, the state has initiated the federal process for identifying the owners of the artifacts and determining their rightful custodians. Board members seemed to agree that if the items are eventually returned, John Dumville’s wish to use them educationally can be served with a photograph of the bow and quiver and a display of the original letter to Morrill.

Curt has talked to Mike Hebb about the library property in back and discovered that we actually own a decent-sized piece of land. It’s pretty much overgrown with buckthorn and other undesirable brush. Clearing it out will make a good weekend project. 

Curt will nominate Miriam at Town Meeting for a full term on the board.

Miriam will serve with Cindy on the personnel committee. 

Next meeting will be March 7. 

Submitted by Marty Frank