Minutes of the Sept. 13, 2023 Trustees Meeting

The meeting began at 7 p.m. in the library.

Present: Cindy Binzen, Miriam Newman, Marty Frank, Kevin Lynch, Carol Wilson, Melissa Strayton (librarian), Diane White (for the Friends), Becky Proulx (observer)

Minutes from the August trustees meeting were accepted.

Friends Report: Diane said the Friends are hoping to hold their annual meeting in conjunction with the book talk by Matt Hongoltz-Hetling, with the meeting preceding the book discussion. The Friends will provide snacks. Melissa reported that Rebecca S. and Ellen B. are working on the holiday raffle. 

Librarian’s Report: Kevin and Melissa have devised and posted a digital form that parents can use to sign up their children in the after-school program. Melissa suggested that the format would be a useful tool for conducting the survey about library services we’ve been talking about. The Monday of the current week proved to extraordinarily busy. Among the 30 or so people who visited the library were a number of families new to town and their children. Melissa has reached out to Artistree to see if they’d be interested in putting on a program at the library.The program could be geared for preschoolers and serve as a way to introduce some of our more recent arrivals to the library. Carol suggested that Saturday would be the best day for a program aimed for young families.

Melissa has been interviewed over the phone by people from the Turrell Foundation about our most recent application for a grant. A report on how we spent the last grant is due to Turrell by Sept. 30. Some glitch delayed the last Baker & Taylor book order. Ellen Bagnato has begun volunteering and is training to work the circulation desk. Some of the picture books are being shifted out of the bins because they were getting too cramped. A questionnaire has been sent out to libraries that belong to the LUV co-op. Members are coming to the conclusion that it’s time to rethink the program because streaming services and technology changes have all but ended the demand for their DVDs and audiobooks. The possible end of the service should be taken into consideration when we put together the 2024 budget. 

An application for the state grant that supports our courier service has been submitted, as has a report on how we spent a grant for summer children’s programming. Blackstone has introduced an audio streaming  platform that would link into the Palace app. The regular cleaning of the library building is back on track. Melissa has sent an email to the painting contractor about taking care of the finishing touches on the interior painting. The basement might need some organizing before books start coming in for next summer’s sale. Melissa has asked John Freitag to see if the road crew could regrade the parking area right  in front of the library. About 48 people attended the recent Herb Goertz reading. The town’s climate committee will be using our building to host a book discussion group on four Thursday nights.

Treasurer’s Report: Rachel distributed a profit and loss statement before the meeting. She noted that we’re spending more than we planned for such things as cleaning, mowing and heating — and will need to adjust the budget accordingly for the coming year. We have a number of potential sources of additional income, including the endowment and the CDs we’ve purchased. 

Other Business: Cindy thinks we should schedule the strategic/planning retreat after the new member joins the board. Rachel and Miriam will work on putting together a questionnaire for consideration at our next meeting. Kevin expressed interest in surveying the community about the building and how well it serves Strafford’s needs. Regarding our website improvement project, Carol reported that the committee met but decided it wanted another opinion before making a recommendation about the logo. Kate Siepmann agreed to share her thoughts, and we’re waiting to hear from her. The board decided that Nov. 8, a Wednesday, would be the best day that week to put on the program by Laura Ogden. Marty will contact Laura. 

Rocky repaired the slates that had come down off the roof. Cindy will ask West Wilson to give us an assessment of what we should do with the roof. The personnel committee will meet with Melissa on Sept. 18. Cindy will contact Mark Chute to see if he’s interested in shoveling this winter

Our next meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday Oct. 11 at the library.

Submitted by Marty Frank