Minutes for Sept. 10 Trustees Meeting

Present: Cindy Binzen, Curt Albee, Marty Frank, Miriam Newman, Melissa Strayton (librarian), Cindy Stableford (for the Friends)

Minutes from the July meeting were accepted.

Librarian’s Report: Melissa reviewed what has happened over the two months since the last trustees’ meeting. A new printer has been purchased and installed. The Summer Reading Program went well; gift certificates will go out to all the younger readers who participated. The display turnstile was sold  for $100 and was picked up.


     Only one person responded to the solicitation for the children’s coordinator position, and that candidate didn’t work out. Melissa will check out a lead on another possible candidate. Melissa believes she can run the after-school program without hiring another person but will need volunteers to staff the circulation desk. The program will start Sept. 20. Cindy Stableford offered the help of the Friends to coordinate volunteer staffing.

    Storytime might be moved to Wednesdays. Meanwhile Melissa has written and submitted an application for a new round of Turrell funding but doesn’t expect a reply until December. She has spoken with the school librarian to coordinate on some book buying so both libraries don’t have copies of the same book. The courier service will begin Oct. 1 and cost $15 a week, with a grant from the state covering half of that if the library commits to the service for a year. If there’s a substantial increase in gas prices, the service has the right to adjust its rates accordingly. In any case, the library should save money on postage.

   A LUV meeting is scheduled for Sept. 17 and the Friends annual meeting will take place Oct. 2. Melissa said that she has received training in serving alcohol, raising the possibility that the library might allow it to be offered at appropriate events, such as the Friends meeting.

Friends Report: Cindy S. said that the Friends have arranged to have Yvonne Daley read from her boook Going Up the Country, about hippies moving into Vermont and their enduring cultural impact. The Friends are working on the holiday sale. 

      The Friends are in solid financial shape. They have a balance of $20,000-plus, and once they’ve met their financial commitments expect to have about $1,000 less than what they started the year with. The membership drive this year did not go as well as in previous years. One thing that helped their budget was that the tents they bought for the book sale cost substantially less than expected.

Other Business: Curt reported that Tim Brownell replaced the broken faucet in the bathroom. In the process, he discovered that our hot-water heater is in a crawl space directly below the sink. The unit is leaking and all but inaccessible. He recommended moving it to where it can be seen and easily shut off. Curt contacted Ben Linehan, who said he could fix/replace and move it.

     Tim B also looked at the situation with the air in our water system. The air might be entering the system in any number of places and speaks to the fact that the metal pipe that conducts water from the well is old and could fail at any time. If it failed in the middle of winter, the library would be in tough shape. The options for addressing the situation include:

  1. Digging up and removing the old pipe and replacing it with a plastic line. That  would involve excavation and figuring out how to go under the walkway, which hopefully can be done without tearing through it.
  2. Cut the pipe inside the building and attempt threading a plastic line through it to the well, which might fail if, for example, passage through the pipe is impeded by accreted metals. If it fails, the remedy would be Option 1.

     The general consensus seems to be Option 2, and Curt said he would contact Ben.

     Curt also noted that we still have no idea where the septic system is, assuming there is one. The board could make an effort to try to find it or continue on in utter ignorance, as we have for many decades.

      Cindy reported on her research into a possible tree replacement. When she went to Brown’s, they told there were any number of options but advised the library to take into consideration the location of the septic system. Easier said than done, and Cindy proposed postponing further consideration of the matter until spring. The basement cleanup continues and significant progress has been made. The sign board is gone, the puppet stage will be offered for free, Melissa and Rachel will go through the books, and the once-used snowblower will be sold.

     Cindy talked to Brenda, who told her she’s been cleaning the library every other week, although a little less frequently in the summer. We’ll need to find a bookkeeper to replace Rebecca (about four hours monthly) who wants to finish by the end  of the year and should start looking now. Kerry Claffey has expressed interest. A discussion on how Melissa should be compensated for whatever time she puts in to the after-school program while we lack a coordinator prompted Curt to ask Melissa to put together a proposal. Cindy noted that dropping the program is an option.

   The next meeting will be Oct. 15.

Submitted by Marty Frank