Minutes for the Oct. 5 Trustees Meeting

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

Minutes from the September meeting were accepted.

Librarian’s Report: Melissa said that collection acquisitions are on target. After talking with the librarian at Lyme’s Converse Library, she’s going to try placing orders every other week rather than putting in large monthly orders. If anything, that might help in the near future when the publishing industry is expected to experience even more serious supply-chain problems and books are likely to be delayed in arriving. The older computer that’ was no longer being used has been given to Doug Erhard, who has erased the hard drive and recycled the device. Melissa said she met with Marty to review the website and come up with a list of potential improvements. (Marty later reported that he talked with Scott Chesnut, who’s still willing to help us out, but wants to wait until winter.) After consulting with a tech person at the Department of Libraries, Melissa made a change to our website that makes it more secure. Melissa said she plans to add Taproot to our collection of periodicals, which will increase the periodical budget by about $40/year.

Melissa remotely attended a conference put on by Vermont Department of Libraries that addressed the topic of indoor air quality. She learned that air purifiers such as the one we plan to acquire through the ARPA grant ideally will purify the air inside a building five or six times in an hour; ours will manage to do that three or four times. Melissa noted that that might not be a huge problem because the number of people who frequent the library is low compared with many public buildings. On the other hand, if the trustees wish to augment the work being done by the freestanding purifier, we might consider an option discussed at the conference — installing an ultraviolet light in the heating system’s duct work (using air filters isn’t an option for us because of the type of heating system we have). The UV light is effective against both viruses and mold, and costs relatively little (around $500 to $600). 

Melissa has concluded that it will be very difficult to host after-school children’s programming at the library because of the relatively small space and low ceiling in the loft area. The window for conducting programs outside under the tent has all but closed. As a result, Melissa and Sarah are exploring partnering with the One Planet program to offer programs at the gym. Normally, parents pay a fee for their children to attend the program, either for a period of time or on a drop-in basis. If the library were to offer programming through One Planet, attendance would be free for that program, and Sara would run it. The advantage for the library is that the space would be more appropriate for children’s programming during the pandemic, and One Planet might cover some of the costs, such as providing snacks. The trustees had a number of questions and concerns about how the two programs would be combined. Melissa will get back to the board with details.

Friends Report: Reporting for the Friends, Cindy said that this year’s annual meeting — scheduled for this month — will be business only. The Friends also plan to hold the same sort of abbreviated holiday sale as they did last year — selling raffle tickets and wreaths, but skipping the food/craft/stuff sale in the library.

Treasurer’s  Report: Rachel distributed a Profit & Loss statement before the meeting. We’re over budget on postage expenses — something that Melissa attributes to robust demand for interlibrary loans. We’ve spent about 80 percent of the book budget and 55 percent of the allotted amount for DVDs and audiobooks. One mystery is our spending on electricity (budgeted, $675; spent, $740). One possible explanation is that the dehumidifier ran more frequently. 

Other Business:

David McWilliams will be taking down the tent that’s still up on the front lawn. 

Cindy reported that EC Brown’s finally showed up, and, of course, appeared on one of the few days she wasn’t around to make clear what we wanted. The results aren’t pretty. The drainage gravel was installed around the perimeter of the building, but the hydrangeas (which look pretty scrawny) were planted right in the gravel. Meanwhile, some of the bushes were planted incorrectly (too close to the building or right in front of basement windows) and the quantity of mulch we paid for is nowhere in evidence. Cindy has scheduled a meeting with someone from EC Brown’s this week and is hoping for the best, even if that means waiting until the warm weather returns to get the job done correctly.

We still haven’t heard from Tom Cecere about the EC Fiber network hub they were thinking of installing on library property. Mark Chute has agreed to continue doing our shoveling.

It’s time to get the annual appeal letter out. Marty will write it and available trustees will gather Oct 26 at 6 p.m. to stuff envelopes.

Miriam moved, Marty seconded and the board voted unanimously to go into executive session to discuss personnel. The board entered the session at 8:20 and resumed the public portion of the meeting at 8:40.

Our next meeting will be Nov. 8 at 7 p.m., at the library..

Submitted by Marty Frank