Minutes for the Dec. 14 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, Melissa Strayton (librarian) and Marty Frank.

Minutes from the November meeting were accepted.

Friends’ Report: David reported that the abbreviated version of the Holiday Sale went exceedingly well: The Friends raised $2,530 after expenses. All the wreaths disappeared on the first day and a supplemental order sold out as well. Kemba Russell has announced that she’ll be leaving the board, although she intends to continue helping with fundraisers.

Librarian’s Report: Melissa reported that her most recent book order was delayed because a fair number of books had to be back-ordered. She’s working on the next order, which will be put in this week. Children’s programming hasn’t really gotten going, in part because the lack of snow made it impossible to hold a snow-related, outdoors program that was planned. Sarah is working on keeping the dedicated WordPress website updated. Melissa said she hasn’t spent time on rethinking the main website or on replacing the laptop used for circulation. Lisa Menard has stepped forward and is providing significant volunteer time.

Treasurer’s Report: Rachel reported that she has still been unable to contact Kerry to determine the status of our 990 filing. She briefly reviewed the most recent profit-and-loss statement, noting that some expenses were less than budgeted and others overbudget because of Covid, but that nothing else seemed particularly alarming. Our income from fundraising is down significantly, of course, because of the cancellation of the book sale and the diminished nature of the holiday sale. Melissa noted that Kanopy and GMLC expenses were less than anticipated, considering that the pandemic might be expected to drive up use of streaming and audiobook services. Melissa also reported that she’ll be spending slightly more than the budgeted amounts for adult and juvenile books.

We will be acquiring access to an online version of Quickbooks through TechSoup that will allow three people — the bookkeeper, the treasurer and the librarian — remote access to our bookkeeping files. The annual cost will be $150, and the program is set up to easily transfer information to a 990 form, making it possible for us to prepare the filing ourselves.

Rachel then reviewed her proposal for our 2021 budget, which projects level-funding from the town, total income of $51,470 and expenses at $59,047. That budget assumes that we will not be able to hold a book sale this summer and our holiday sale will continue to be reduced. Our constrained ability to fundraise will result in a significant deficit that could be plugged by drawing from the endowment or taking money out of the money market account at Vanguard. Rachel — and the rest of the board — expressed comfort with using the endowment money because we haven’t drawn on any of the income that’s been made available over the last few years. Including the nearly $10,000 that’s available to us this year, we have accumulated almost $40,000 in untouched funds. Rachel said she would seek guidance from the investment committee about which makes more sense — taking the money out of the endowment or from the money market fund.

The board then discussed various line items in the budget, many of which are the same or close to amounts in the current budget. In recognition of increased demand for new books while people remain at home, it does call for increases in the book budget. Also increasing will be insurance costs, reflecting the fact that our new coverage for trustees’ liability will be for a full year. A few expenses, including electricity and oil, are projected to go down because the library won’t be open as many hours.

Melissa suggested that this might be a good year to get interior painting done because the library will remain closed at least in the short term. Curt said he would get a couple of estimates.

The trustees agreed that Rachel’s proposed budget was close to what we’ll end up adopting. Rachel will do some further tweaking and bring back the revised version for a vote in January.  


Curt said the basement leak resumed after a recent rainfall. His most recent attempt to fix it didn’t work and he’ll continue to try to fashion some sort of repair. In the meantime, the leak is not all that serious and is doing no damage beyond what’s been done to a small section of plaster.

Rachel said that Better World Books is limiting the acceptance of books during the pandemic only to those that it selects after we inventory them through a scanner. She’s considering taking inventory of a few of the 25 to 30 boxes just to get a sense of how that might work out. In any case, it doesn’t appear that we’ll divest ourselves of those books anytime soon. Meanwhile, some of the boxes will be moved just to provide ready access to the circuit-breaker box.

Our next meeting will be conducted via Zoom on Jan. 11

Submitted by Marty Frank