Minutes for July 12 Trustees Meeting

Present: Cindy Binzen, Curt Albee, Marty Frank, Rachel Kurland, Miriam Newman, Carol Wilson, Melissa Strayton (librarian)

Minutes from the June meeting were accepted.

Librarian’s Report: Melissa reported being quite busy of late. The book sale has been completed, and the library needed a thorough cleaning in its wake. A new printer was ordered and set up. The summer reading program has begun, as has the series of Monday evening programs. A large book order was placed and the books have been catalogued and are ready to be shelved. And the library now has its own Facebook page, although it remains a work in progress.

Melissa is still working on a job description for the person who will replace Emily. The summer reading program has attracted 22 participants, with at least 10 of them active. The remaining Monday evening programs will be: Music and Dancing and Movement (July 23); CD Scratch-Art Mobiles (July 30); Firetruck Night (Aug. 6). Melissa is hoping to take a week off in August and is arranging coverage.

Friends Report: Rachel reported that the book sale took in about $2,400, about $500 less than last year. About 9,000 books were donated, and 7,000 put out for sale. She noted that several dealers came to the sale and inquired about whether any special books had been culled from the donations, prompting her to wonder whether it might not make sense to pull out books that have more value than standard sale books but don’t warrant going through the time and expense of selling via Amazon. Those books might be sold for a slightly higher price, say $5 apiece. Rachel has concluded that we should make and distribute flyers for future sales.

A general discussion followed about how we might improve the sale, including how we could limit donations so we’re not expending so much energy on books that don’t get sold (55 boxes of books were pulled and prepared for shipping prior to the sale, and another 113 were left over after the sale). Curt advocated trying to increase sales as a way of at least making all the stress and labor more financially rewarding. He thinks the sale needs to be better advertised and the duration of the sale needs to be extended beyond the six hours we currently operate. Rachel warned that extending hours on Saturday may make it difficult to wrap things up in time for the barbecue.

Curt has explored the tent situation because the ones he has made available for use are getting old. He inquired at Blood’s, who told him that renting a 20x40 tent would cost $525, with an additional $250 for setting it up and taking it down. Smaller tents would cost proportionally less. Rachel noted that the Friends had authorized us to spend up to $2,000 to buy our own tents and we had spent about $900.

Finally, Rachel observed that mass market books, which don’t get sorted, might be abandoned altogether or sold by the box.

Treasurer’s Report: Rachel distributed the most recent Profit & Loss statement, with line items that have significantly deviated from the previous year’s results underlined. One of the line items that caught the board’s attention was spending on audio books, which is $33, compared with $270 we had spent during the same time period last year. Melissa said she intends to to be ordering more audio books.

Miscellaneous: Cindy met with Janet Cavanagh and Anne Fayen to consult about planting a tree in the front. Both urged us to plant something, although not down on the flat near the road (somewhere up on the rise, in line with the row of maples at the Homestead would make sense). They recommended an ornamental species called yellow-wood or a sugar maple. Janet wasn’t as keen about planting something right in front of the building where the lilacs have been hacked down. Leaving it as is allows us to show off the building, while planting something there would require removing the lilac roots. If we do decided to plant something, Janet suggested a bird’s-nest spruce, which grows low, while Anne recommended hydrangea. Cindy will price out a tree for the front where the spruce was.

Curt believes the bulletin board that we already have can be hung in the front foyer, giving us a spot for announcements (as opposed to cluttering up the front door). A narrow table would be a useful addition for that space. A cleanout of the basement will await removal of the remaining books.

The personnel committee (Cindy and Marty) met with Melissa to touch base about how she’s fared in her first six months. Melissa reported that she has learned quite a bit and very much enjoys the job. She said recruiting more volunteers would be very helpful. Melissa recognizes the need to be continually adding to the collection, a goal that might be easier to attain by putting in more frequent albeit smaller orders. Marty suggested a few sources to help her select materials that will be of particular interest to our patrons. Melissa expressed concern about getting a better sense of the cleaning schedule and will contact Brenda to clear that up.

There will be no August meeting (although Melissa will be in contact with the board about the job description she puts together to hire a new children’s programming coordinator) ; our September meeting will be Sept. 10.

Submitted by Marty Frank