Minutes for the Oct. 21 Trustees Meeting

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

Minutes from the September meeting were approved.

Librarian’s Report: Melissa said things are going OK. She recently renewed the contract for the courier service, which qualifies us for another $390 grant from the state, offsetting some of the cost. We will soon also have to renew our membership in the LUV co-op and the Green Mountain Consortium. Now that our pilot period with the Kanopy streaming service is concluding, we have received some summary information about how it has been used: We have 14 active users, with 750 hits on the account (i.e. people visiting the site at least to check it out), and we’re averaging about 35 views per month. A general discussion about whether to continue paying for the service (it costs $2 for each view, with some content costing a bit more) the consensus was that it doesn’t make sense to spend that much money for something that is being used by such a small group of people and that part of the problem might be that people are sampling shows and then deciding not to watch them (in which case we get charged for a full viewing). After agreeing that it might make sense to both place limits on how many shows a household can view monthly and that we should try to broaden the number of people taking advantage of the service, the board decided to allocate $80 to the account to give us another month while Melissa gathers information from Kanopy and consults with other librarians to see how we might address our concerns.

Melissa says she is about to put in another order for new materials for the collection. The after-school program is doing well. Sarah Rogers, our new children’s programming coordinator, is doing well and is becoming more comfortable working in the program. A volunteer training is still being planned. Paul Searls, the Northern Vermont University historian who published a book about demographic trends in Vermont, is scheduled to do a program Nov. 20. The new laptop for circulation has arrived but has not been set up. We should be hearing soon from the Turrell Foundation about whether we’ll receive another grant. Melissa will try to compose a list of babies who have been born in the last year to get to Carol to make book plates.

Treasurer’s Report: Kerrey distributed the profit-and-loss statement covering finances through Oct. 19 showing a budgetary shortfall of about $19,000, almost all of it accounted for by our unexpected building expenses. Rachel said she was notified that our $10,000 CD had matured and recommended that we use that to cover expenses for the remainder of the year. Combined spending on the new septic system and the cleanup of the flooded basement was about $25,000, all of which was covered by the $12,500 bequest we received, money from the checking account and the handful of donations that came in. If we transfer the $10,000 matured CD into checking, that would bring the account up to $17,000, and we’re still owed the final quarterly $8,500 payment from the town. We also still have a $15,000 CD. We’ll transfer some money from the reserve account to the checking account to cover the new laptop. Kerry also pointed out that there are a number of expenses that the Friends generally cover that haven’t been submitted to them. Kerry thinks we should have enough available in the checking account to cover the cash flow for the rest of the year.

Miscellaneous: Cindy reported that our new insurance company, Odell Insurance, is now Colby Insurance after it combined with another company. Our contact person, Erin, continues to work there and has been very helpful. All of the paperwork required for the various changes we made has been submitted. One thing we have to remember is that a new exclusion form will need to be submitted whenever we elect a new officer. Kerry noted that one reason our insurance costs have increased is that we now have insurance to indemnify officers from any possible future claims. 

Cindy also reported that the personnel committee met with Melissa and will meet with her again in January.

The mason never showed up to complete the touch-up work on the repair; it’s probably too late in the year to expect that to get done. Cindy called Amanda at the water-testing company we’ve been using to monitor our well; she recommended that any further testing of the well be done in the spring, when any contamination from a septic system is most likely to occur. Curt is going to try to locate a piece of rubber roofing to put over the bulkhead this winter. Rocky Fuller has repaired the wobbly lamppost at the bottom of the front steps. The permanent sign board on the front lawn remains in need of attention. The church has been reserved for the benefit concert that Stuart Smith is arranging, which is scheduled for Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. Donated proceeds will be split between the library and the guest performer.

The work session to process the annual appeal letter will take place Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. Marty will write the letter, get it printed and buy additional envelopes. Rachel will take care of labels. Cindy will get the list from the town clerk’s office and go over it with Rebecca.

The next meeting will be Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. at the library.

Submitted by Marty Frank