Minutes for the Jan. 11 Trustees Meeting

The meeting convened at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Attending were Cindy Binzen, Rachel Kurland, Curt Albee, David Webb (for the Friends), Carol Wilson, Miriam Newman, Melissa Strayton (librarian) and Marty Frank.

Minutes from the December meeting were accepted.

Friends’ Report: David reported that the Friends met in December and voted to round up the amount given to the library from the Holiday Sale to $2,600. They also accepted Kemba Russell’s resignation from the board. They won’t be meeting again until April, at which point they’ll be working on the annual membership drive.

Librarian’s Report: Melissa reported that there isn’t much to report, largely because of the holidays. She has been busy mostly filling people’s book requests. She didn’t place a book order in December in part because the back-ordered books are still arriving and being processed and also because she had spent the annual budgeted amount for collection development by the end of November. Her plan is to put an order in this week and another one at the end of the month.

Her focus this month will be on completing an application for a new round of funding from the Turrell Foundation. That is due Feb. 1. She’ll also be attending a meeting of Upper Valley librarians who will be discussing children’s programming for the coming summer.

David has been exploring our options for replacing the laptop used for circulation. After being unable to reach Mike Tisdale, he has been consulting with Doug Erhard, who he has found to be informative and accessible. Doug thinks we should get something other than a Mac — mostly because we should be able to procure a computer that will meet our needs for less money than an Apple product would cost — and a computer with a solid state drive (for speed). A Dell Inspiron, for example, would offer a 15 inch screen and 6 gigabytes of RAM and could be had for $550. Acer has a Chromebook that offers a 15 inch screen that would cost closer to $400.  Rachel said that we might be able to get a good deal on a refurbished Dell or Lenovo through Tech Soup for a reasonable price. The board decided to ask Doug to review what’s available on TechSoup and have him make a recommendation.

Treasurer’s Report: Before reviewing her revised proposal for the 2021 budget, Rachel reported that almost $9,000 would be available to us from the 2020 disbursement from the endowment. Nevertheless, she recommended that the board take whatever money is needed to supplement our other sources of income in 2021 from our CDs, which are earning very little these days.

The board reviewed the proposed 2021 budget, which projects $59,532 in income and expenses at $61,526. Under this plan, the town’s funding will remain at $34,000, income from our endowed funds will decrease by almost $800, and we will count on $9,000 from the annual appeal letter, $6,100 from the Friends and $2,000 from Turrell. Our projected expenses will remain fairly close to what was spent in 2020, with a slight increase in the book budget. After noting that this budget puts us on a trajectory that would require us to use income from our bank accounts or from the endowment disbursement even after our fundraisers are back at full speed, Marty moved to accept the budget as proposed, with the deficit to be covered with funds withdrawn from our CDs. Curt seconded the motion, which the board passed unanimously. Rachel will inform the Investment Committee that we will not be taking any money from the endowment this year.

Rachel said that the new version of Quickbooks has been purchased but that she wants to consult with Doug E. before downloading it. Regarding the filing of the 2019 990, Rachel said she has still be unable to get hold of Kerry C. to determine if he ever completed and filed it. Marty expressed concern about the potential financial penalties for not filing on time, and the board agreed to check with Suzanna Liepmann about our best course of action.

Rachel also reported that she had found another operation that might take our numerous cartons of unsold books from the last book sale. She’s still collecting information about how that would work and will report back to the board.

Roberta now has check-writing authority.


Curt said he didn’t do anything with the basement leak, but did explore interior painting. He doesn’t think Frank Brown has the equipment or personnel to take on the job, but does believe that Jeff Wilmot would be a great option. He comes with an excellent reputation and will be soon submitting an estimate that breaks the job into four sections of the library, with an estimate for each. We would be able to decide which rooms we want painted and how much of the prep work (moving books and paintings, for example) we want to take on ourselves. Wilmot has a large crew, so the job could presumably be done quickly and during the winter, when the library will be mostly closed to the public anyway.

Both Curt and Carol, whose terms are expiring, said they’re willing to continue serving on the board. Curt will submit his name for election and Carol will ask the Selectboard to reappoint her as its representative. Marty will prepare the narrative summary for the 2020 town report, and Rachel will prepare the financial statement. She will also take care of registering with the Secretary of State, as nonprofits are required to do every other year.

Our next meeting will be conducted via Zoom on Feb. 8.

Submitted by Marty Frank