Minutes for Dec. 12 2022 Trustees Meeting

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

Minutes of the November meeting were accepted.

Librarian’s Report: Melissa noted that the most recent financial statement does not account for recent purchases of books and DVDs. The budgeted amount for children’s books has now been spent and all but $130 of the amount allocated for adult books has been expended. The after-school program is chugging along and most of the kids who have been attending signed up for the next session. Melissa and Sarah will probably expand registration to 10, accounting for the fact that not everyone shows up every week. Melissa still hasn’t talked to Kaitlin about restarting a preschool storytime, but plans to soon and will aim to begin that program after the holidays and school vacation. Doug Erhard worked on our computers, fixing the printing problem and, after Melissa experienced a hack on her laptop, adding some security software. No progress has been made on the patron questionnaire. Melissa and Kevin Lynch plan to resume collection weeding shortly. The state-offered Palace app is now live for borrowing e-books and audiobooks, and Melissa plans to inform patrons about its existence and how to use it soon.

Friends Report:  The Friends are having their meeting tomorrow, after which we’ll be informed about how well the Holiday Sale went.

Treasurer’s Report: Rachel reported that we remain in good shape financially as we approach the end of the year, in part because of the large bequest we received earlier. The pending bill for preparing this year’s 990 is expected to be much larger than originally estimated because the accountant had to spend a fair amount of time sorting out previous year’s balances. The good news is that he’s willing to continue preparing our taxes, and future years shouldn’t be as time-consuming. We finally received word from the IRS that there will be no fine for our late filing of the 2019 990. 

Rachel has put together a first draft of our 2023 budget, which currently projects that expenses will run about $7,000 more ($64,919) than the current year. Much of the increase reflects increased spending for fuel, personnel, collection development (inflation) and cleaning. We’ll receive nothing from the separate endowed funds. We have $27,000 in the checking account. The trustees discussed possible line item changes to reflect the increased popularity of streaming services and the best way to cover the likely gap between spending and income. Final decisions will probably be made at the January meeting. 

Jessica Brown has expressed a willingness to take over the cleaning from Ed Eastman. The plan is for her to do it twice a month and charge us $32 for each hour spent.

Other Business: Carol reported that the website improvement committee met with Geoff Hansen and made some progress. Geoff checked out the Yola platform we’re using now and thinks he could tweak it so that phone-users could more easily navigate the site. No decision has been made on that, however, because of questions about how it compares with other platforms for ease of maintenance. Kate Siepmann has agreed to design a logo for us that could be used on the redesigned website and stationery. Cindy proposed purchasing four washable leaf-shaped pillows for the children’s room. Curt reported that the ladder is now stored in the barn across the street — it’s hanging on the right. 

      Several people have been asked about their interest in serving as a trustee to replace Curt when he steps down; none expressed any. The trustees will continue to explore options. Miriam has gone through the notebook where we have collected the various policies adopted over the years and discovered a fair amount of to be done in terms of culling and updating. She intends to continue her review and have something for the board to consider by February.

        The United Church of Strafford has asked us to co-host a discussion group of the book Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt, which would be facilitated by Joey Hawkins. Trustees expressed support for the idea. Cindy also raised the possibility of hosting another program that would feature Kevin Martin, author of Big Trees of Northern New England.

       Marty moved, Miriam seconded, that we go into executive session to discuss personnel. That discussion lasted about 10 minutes before the board returned to regular session and adjourned at 8:45.

       Our next meeting will take place on Monday, Jan. 9, at  7 p.m. at the library.

Submitted by Marty Frank