Minutes for the June 14 Trustees Meeting

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

Minutes from the May meeting were accepted.

Friends’ Report: David reported that planning for the book sale continues. Besides the fact that Diane White and Denise Cote are running the sale (along with Rachel), the sale will be different this year because of changes in how unsold books are handled. All will have to be scanned and receive approval from Better World Books before being packed and shipped there. Rejected books will be moved back into the tents where they will be available for free. Doubly rejected books will end up in the recycling bin. Rachel reported that 140 boxes of books have been sorted so far.

Melissa mentioned that there’s a children’s program scheduled for July 1, which will require that a tent be left empty until 7:30 that night. Diane and Denise will be notified

Librarian’s Report: Melissa said she put in a large order for May and is working on this month’s. She has also ordered the packaging from Baker & Taylor for audiobooks. Two new volunteers have stepped forward, and Melissa has reached out to the people who were volunteering before the pandemic to see if they want to come back. The laptop has been donated to Doug Erhard, who advised us to scrub the old CPU before taking it to e-cycling. 

In response to the governor’s clearance for Vermont to fully reopen — one that allows individual businesses and other enterprises to establish their own policy on health precautions — the trustees decided to fully reopen the library on June 21 but to still require masks. The policy was adopted in recognition of the fact that many children remain unvaccinated and that requiring masks might make people feel more comfortable about using the library. The trustees also decided that masks will not be required for outdoor events, such as the summer reading program or the book sale.

Melissa noted that it’s time to pay for re-registering our domain name. The trustees instructed her to do it for two years, which will cost $90. Information about the summer reading program will be distributed through the school and on posters around town. Melissa is planning a vacation in July.

Treasurer’s  Report:  Rachel reported that expenses and income appear to be on track. 

The investment committee has determined that moving our money from the Vanguard funds where they’re invested now to ones that qualify as “socially responsible” — also known as ESG, for Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance — will not meaningfully affect our rate of return. As a result, the committee has moved what accounts for 27 percent of our endowment portfolio into a socially responsible Vanguard fund managed by Wellington. 

The investment committee has also proposed a change to the way it tracks the money that will be available to the library from the endowment. Rather than making a yearly determination based on the endowment’s balance and keeping track of what has been set aside, the committee proposes that the library has access to whatever money is in the endowment that exceeds the $250,000 in principal once that has been adjusted for inflation (using 2017 as the base year). The endowment balance is now $388,000

Rachel moved, Marty seconded that the trustees adopt the investment committee’s proposed amendment to its rules of operation to reflect that change. Passed unanimously.

Other Business: Curt reported that Shawn is holding off work on the basement leak until after the booksale. The painters still have not shown up to finish the few small areas that need attention, probably because they’re focusing on outdoor work. Five boxes of French books remain. Rocky plans one more go at slate roof repair.

Cindy provided additional details on the landscaping project/estimate from EC Brown’s. The crushed stone that they want to put around the perimeter of the building would be for both the health of the plantings and improved drainage. The shrubs would be a combination of boxwoods and hydrangeas. The initial estimate for the work is $2,700, although that might change to reflect alterations requested by the trustees (including the establishment of a perennial garden under the front sign and the addition of landscaping fabric under the stone). The trustees decided to have Brown’s schedule the work.

Regarding Cindy’s earlier proposal for having the library host an authors’ reading this summer, the trustees decided to explore the possibility of scheduling two writers on a Thursday night sometime in August. Three possibilities mentioned were Catherine Tudish, Corey Cook and Melanie Finn. Cindy will check on getting the outside windows washed. The personnel committee will meet with Melissa in June at a date to be determined. Rachel will check on oil prices before our July meeting. 

The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. on July 12 at the library.

Submitted by Marty Frank