Minutes for April 17 2023 Trustees Meeting

The meeting convened at the library at 7 p.m. Present were Cindy Binzen, Carol Wilson, Miriam Newman, Marty Frank, Kevin Lynch, Rachel Kurland, Alicia Houk (for the Wild Garden Alliance) and Melissa Strayton (librarian). 

Minutes of the March meeting were accepted.

Alicia Houk came to talk about and propose establishing a garden of native plants. Her organization, Wild Garden Alliance, is promoting conservation and education through the planting of native gardens. Alicia explained the importance of planting native species to help support pollinators and the insects that birds  depend on. She thinks libraries in particular can make a significant impact in teaching people about the importance of “rewilding” the landscape. Strafford library would be one of first libraries to offer space for demonstration gardens, and the Wild Garden Alliance hopes to get a number of other Vermont libraries to host native gardens. Alicia showed trustees her plan to establish four beds in the front of the building, noting that the garden could be planted in phases. Alicia has started the various plants she hopes to put in, so there would be no cost to us — although we would have to figure out some way to provide wood-chip mulch. Her expectation is that the garden would require minimal maintenance. June 17 would be the target planting date, and volunteers would be needed. 

Librarian’s Report: Melissa said the most recent book order has arrived and has been processed and shelved. The annual statistical report for the state has been submitted. A Friends meeting is scheduled for May 3, at which time Melissa will present her requests for funding. The summer reading program’s dates have been set, and Melissa will be sure to include a Fire Truck Night, probably in July. Melissa is planning to post information on social media and other outlets to inform people about the Palace and Libby apps that are available for downloading ebooks and other digital content. The after-school program is chugging along; eight kids are registered to participate.

Kevin reported that he has consulted with Doug Erhard, who advised that we install the Bit Defender security program on the laptop used for circulation. Kevin will do the installation.

Treasurer’s Report: Rachel distributed Profit and Loss statements before the meeting. Spending on supplies is over budget because we purchased a several-year supply of barcodes for new acquisitions.  The library’s endowment is starting to go up again as a result of an improving stock market. The Library Investment Committee needed to put its investment policy in writing after a change in representatives at Mascoma Wealth Management. Marty moved, Miriam seconded that we adopt the investment policy proposed by the investment committee. The motion passed unanimously.

Other Business: Carol reported that the committee working on website improvements is about to meet with Molly Faccio, a graphic designer who has expressed interest in creating a new logo. Cindy reported that the needs assessment required for the grants being offered by the state has been filed and the library is asking for $150,000 for replacing the slate roof and purchasing and installing back-up batteries. Cindy has heard nothing from the woman who had indicated a willingness to organize a storytime for pre-schoolers. She thinks we should now focus on starting that in the summer. Marty mentioned that he had recruited Matt Hongoltz-Hetling of Vershire to do a reading or program in the fall on his new book about quackery.

Melissa will put together a list of the volunteers that need to be thanked. Melissa said she will be taking a number of days off in the next couple of months. The trustees discussed the proposal for putting in a native garden and decided to go ahead with it, although on a limited basis. Miriam moved, Rachel seconded that we ask Alicia to put in the beds near the sign and under the spruce tree, but hold off on the beds where we only recently put in some plants. Passed unanimously. 

Our next meeting will take place at the library on Monday, May 8, at  7 p.m.

Submitted by Marty Frank