Minutes for April 10 Trustees Meeting

Present: Cindy Binzen, Curt Albee, Miriam Newman, Marty Frank, Rebecca Seibel, Cindy Stableford (for the Friends)

Minutes from the February meeting were accepted.

Friends Report (Cindy S.): The Investment Committee met in January and, as part of updating its rules of operation, changed the name of the donor-restricted fund now called the Ordway-Steele Fund to the Ordway-Steele-Mattison Fund. They also determined that with the 2017 opening balance of $251,694, a disbursement can be made to the library in the coming year of $6,729 (based on 3 percent of the latest five-year average of unrestricted endowment balances).

Librarian’s Report (Rebecca): The biography section, after undergoing a serious weeding, is going to be switched with the mystery section to make more room for the latter. The due date for filing the 990 tax form is coming up, and Rebecca will check in with Kerry to see if he can handle that again this year. She suspects that he’ll have to file for an extension. Stuart and Sylvia Smith have offered to put on another benefit concert, and they’ve proposed doing it on July 7, the first Friday of that month, at the church.

It’s time to think about arranging for mowing. Last year it was handed off from Dana Kendall to Jeremy Kendall, who raised the rate without notifying us. We ended up spending $895 last year. Cindy said she would contact Mark Chute to see if he’s interested. It appears that Rebecca has a plan in place to staff the library during the three weeks she’ll be gone to help Marty recover from surgery. Both Kate and Emily have indicated they can work some hours, and a combination of volunteers can fill out the remaining time.

At the Library World meeting last Friday, two people from the Vermont Department of Libraries talked about a new system for resource-sharing among local libraries. This “integrated library system” will revamp and improve systems for cataloguing and inter-library loans. To fully integrate into this system, however, individual libraries will need to have computerized catalogue systems that are capable of communicating with each other. Unfortunately, Library World has shown no interest or willingness to change its software to allow that to happen.

The state is offering $3,400 grants to libraries interested in switching to a new catalogue system that will allow them to participate in the statewide network. That money would cover the full cost of migrating the current catalogue to the new system and cover a fair amount of the first year’s annual fee. After that, the library would pay an annual fee of $800, compared with the $440 it pays Library World now. The new system will allow books entered into the Strafford library to immediately show up in catalogs throughout the state, and would also allow patrons to directly arrange for their own inter-library loans, although individual libraries would be able to decline to offer that option. Rebecca said she would want to wait until the currier service is available to Strafford before opting to do that; otherwise the postage fees could be quite high. The system would also allow for better statistical reports.

The state Department of Libraries is planning to have the system running by August. Libraries wishing to receive the start-up grants need to notify the state by June. Marty suggested that we check  with a library or two in another state that has been using the system to see how well it works.

Personnel Committee (Cindy B.): Cindy and Curt met with Rebecca in March. She said her favorite part of the job is ordering new books for the collection and least favorite is dealing with patrons who don’t return library books and other materials on time. She reported that the computers are all adequate to the task, although the copy/printer machine has been less than stellar and may soon need to be replaced. She expressed concern about not offering enough adult programming in recent months and mentioned digitizing the library’s collection of old newspaper clippings as a project that would be worth undertaking. She’s still planning to retire in December, and Cindy said we should begin the search process for a new librarian in September or October.

Miscellaneous: The trustees voted to continue meeting on the second Monday of every month at 7 p.m. at the library. They also voted to retain Cindy Binzen as chair of the board, Rachel Kurland as treasurer and Marty Frank as secretary.

Building Use Policy: Miriam presented her proposal for a revised building use policy, which would make the building available to all Strafford nonprofits interested in activities that reflect the library’s educational, cultural, social and recreational role, and allow the display of informational literature about nonprofit, educational, cultural and recreational projects and events in a designated area of the library. The proposal was well received, and Miriam volunteered to revise the building-use application form and to make a couple tweaks to the policy. The board voted to suspend the current building use policy pending adoption of a new one.

Spring cleaning is scheduled for May 21. Curt volunteered to serve on dead-fly-removal duty and Marty vowed to inspect his work as soon as he’s able.

Next meeting will be May 8.

Submitted by Marty Frank