Minutes for Jan. 14 Trustees Meeting

Present: Cindy Binzen, Curt Albee, Marty Frank, Melissa Strayton (librarian), Carol Wilson, Rachel Kurland, Kerry Claffey (bookkeeper), Miriam Newman

Minutes from the December meeting were accepted.

Bookkeeper’s Report: Kerry distributed a Profit & Loss statement for 2018, which showed total income at $58,880 (down $373 from 2017) and expenses at $57,129 (up $847) for a positive operating margin of $1,751 (compared with a positive margin of $2,973 in 2017). He said the transition from Rebecca to himself is going well, and he plans to complete the work necessary to allow direct deposit for Melissa.

Librarian’s Report: Melissa reported that although Cameron will soon no longer be available for volunteer staffing, the library is in good shape for coverage. She further investigated the possibility of providing the New York Times digitally to patrons and found that the lowest cost would be about $1,200, which is too much. Moreover, the library subscribes to Vermont Online, which provides our users access to back issues of the Times. She is considering getting one online subscription to the Times. On the other hand, subscribing to Kanopy videostreaming service might make a lot of sense. It offers 30,000 titles, including documentaries, foreign films, educational programs and specialty content such as the Great Courses program, and charges $2 per view. The library would be able to control the cost of the service by setting a cap for how many titles each patron could view annually. The Woodstock library offers the service, and Melissa said she would check to see what it spends.

Todd Binzen wants to use the library on Feb. 13 for the Windsor County Partners mentoring program. Bob Bauer, on the other hand, has decided to stop offering his regular meditation sessions. After having reviewed the final 2018 budget report, Melissa said she will try to make adjustments to how she orders new materials for the collection. She also plans to apply for a Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) grant, which would need to be coordinated with the school.

Treasurer’s Report: Rachel said a few more donations have rolled in since the beginning of the year. She checked in with Mascoma Bank on their CD rates by way of figuring out how we might do better with the large balance sitting in the checking account that is now earning no interest. The bank pays 2 percent for a 13-month CD and 2.65 percent for an 18-month CD — about the highest rates offered by the institutions she surveyed. She will consult with the investment committee about what Vanguard might offer and what the committee might advise us regarding how much might prudently be locked up in CDs and on what kind of schedule. She noted that a review of the end-of-the-year balance sheet shows that most line items were similar to the previous year’s, although we received about $1,000 less from the Friends, had fewer restricted gifts (although about the same in total donations) and purchases for the collection were down. The large increase in miscellaneous income reflects the insurance money we received for the basement cleanup.

Miscellaneous: Melissa reported the courier service unilaterally switched its delivery day from Monday to Tuesday, a day the library is closed. She solved that problem by making arrangements to have the deliveries dropped off and picked up at the post office. Miriam suggested Melissa urge the state to alter the contract with the service to prevent future unilateral changes. Curt said he intends to fix the outdoor sign. The independent contractor we hired to clean the furnace performed that service, and was a pleasure to deal with. Marty said he would review the website to see what needs to be updated and also said he would prepare the narrative for the Town Meeting report. Cindy mentioned that it’s been a while since the library offered some special programming and invited the board to come up with some ideas. Among the suggestions: a presentation on computer security; a game night; a night with Melvin Coburn.

The next meeting will be Feb. 11.

Submitted by Marty Frank