Minutes for the Aug. 17 Trustees Meeting

The meeting convened at 6:30 p.m. outside Barrett Hall. Present were Cindy Binzen, Rachel Kurland, Miriam Newman, Curt Albee, Carol Wilson, Melissa Strayton (librarian), David Webb (for the Friends) and Marty Frank.

Minutes from the July meeting were accepted.

Librarian’s Report:  Melissa reported that the library seems to have settled into a routine, albeit  one that is anything but normal. The interlibrary loan system is busy and performing well with a new company now providing the courier service. Although patrons are visiting the library — often calling to see if they can pop in, rather than making an advance appointment — there has not been much use of the public computers. The summer reading program has concluded, and gift certificates were given out to seven readers. Melissa decided not to apply for the current round of funding from the Turrell Foundation, in part because there is a fair amount of uncertainty about how the after-school program will operate during the pandemic and also because some money remains from our last grant. Applications for the next round of funding can be submitted in January. Melissa has applied for a state grant that would cover half the cost of the courier service for interlibrary loans.

The Kanopy streaming service, which is now being paid for by the Friends, is getting minimal use. On the other hand, GMLC use — downloadable audiobooks and ebooks — went up a little bit. New passes have been purchased for the Billings museum and VINS. Melissa noted that a handful of volunteers have worked a few hours at the library and was wondering if the board thought it was time to make more extensive use of people willing to donate some time. The trustees thought that if Melissa felt comfortable using more volunteers she should go ahead. 

Noting that spending on the collection is below budget— particularly for children’s books, audios and DVDs — Melissa said she plans to catch up over the next few months. She is also talking with Sarah about what kind of after-school programming the library might offer in the fall. One option being discussed is a once-a-month outdoor activity when weather permits.

Friends’ Report: David said the Friends have been meeting less frequently these days, with the next one scheduled for September. This year’s annual meeting will be an abbreviated one — there will be a business meeting but no special program planned for the public. Although the Friends are losing two key board members — Mary Newman and Cindy Stableford — several people have stepped forward and shown some interest in joining the board. Rebecca Seibel has also agreed to take over Cindy Stableford’s role as treasurer. One thing that needs to be determined fairly soon is what the Holiday Sale will look like. Wreath-selling shouldn’t be a problem, but there’s some concern about whether it makes sense to hold a raffle at a time when many local businesses are hurting and probably unable to donate prizes. 

Treasurer’s Report: Discussing the most recent profit and loss statement that was distributed before the meeting, Rachel said that both income and expenses are down, but nothing jumps out as being of special concern. We had budgeted $5,000 for “repairs” and spent only $600 on painting the front of the building, so there’s money available for landscaping work. Roberta hasn’t been paid anything for the bookkeeping work she’s been doing, and Rachel will check in with her about that.

Miscellaneous: Curt said he’s still looking for someone to repair the damaged slate tiles on the roof. The situation remains unchanged with the mason: Meetings have been scheduled but Ken Frank hasn’t shown up. Curt talked with Mark Bergeron of Bergeron’s Landscaping about fixing the lawn in the wake of the septic system work — both regrading the area near the tank and getting the lawn in shape to be used again for such things as the book sale. His solution: bring in a truckload of topsoil, and regrade and reseed the area that needs attention. He estimated it would cost between $1,600 and $1,800, although Curt thought it would end up costing around $2,000 if we also took care of a problem area on the other side of the walk. The work should be done in September if we want to have the lawn usable by next July. Rachel motioned to proceed with the work; Carol seconded. The motion passed unanimously. Melissa asked whether that would present an opportunity to do something about the pipe that’s leaking in the basement. Curt said he would look into it but really wants to avoid having to dig up the whole thing. 

The painting of the front of the building is done and cost $600. The carpets have been cleaned. The dehumidifier isn’t draining properly; Cindy said she would have Rocky look at it. Rachel has submitted the paperwork for a new fuel contract. 

Our next meeting will take place at Barrett Hall on Sept. 14 p.m. at 6:30.

Marty moved to go into executive session to discuss personnel; Miriam seconded and the board voted unanimously to do so at 7:36. The board remained in executive session until 8:20 and then adjourned.

Submitted by Marty Frank