Minutes for June 13, 2016

Present: Cindy Binzen, Miriam Newman, Carol Wilson, Curt Albee, Marty Frank, David Webb, Rebecca Seibel

Minutes of the May meeting were approved.

Friends Report: David reported that he had met with Rachel to sort books for the July 4 sale and that he will start rounding up volunteers.

Treasurer’s Report: Rachel submitted the following report via email: We're in better shape than at this time last year.  We got less from the endowed funds, but that was balanced by higher unrestricted donations. Fundraising covered the painting restoration. Rebecca got us grants for after-school programs. Program expenses, books, audios, DVDs are all within a few dollars of last year. We saved on both snow removal and heating oil through no fault of our own. Utilities, etc are close to what they were last year. Last year at this time our net income was -5,218.33.  This year it's +664.12.  ($4,000 of that is the amount was received in grants.)

Other Business: Rebecca has requested pillow covers and new chairs for the loft. Rachel has said she’ll do the pillow covers when time allows. Bethany Cole of the Friends is going to look into the chairs.

The painting with a restored frame is in the library, but has not been hung. A little work needs to be done to beef up the hangers. The homestead is excited about our offer to show the painting during its  July 1 house tour that will focus on the art collection. 

Curt said he is still waiting to hear from the mason about repairing the stairs and is still looking for a carpenter to repair the windows.

Librarian’s Report: The children’s after-school program ended May 26. Emily and Rebecca visited the elementary grades at Newton on June 9 to talk about summer programs; 14 kids have started summer reading logs already, and the Friends have agreed to again provide gift certificates for participants. Rebecca checked expenses on special children’s programming: We’ve received $4,000 in grants and $400 from the Friends, and have spent $2,322 so far and will probably spend another $2,000.

John Echeverria contacted Rebecca about his war on the invasive shrubs along the stream. He consulted  with Eli Mintz about cutting them down and removing as much of the roots as possible. He has offered to cover the cost. In the discussion about that offer, a number of people noted that there is invasive burning bush on the other side of the stream, which is not library property — and will probably have to be dealt with to prevent the stuff from returning. Carol thought that some research about whether the shrubs might have been intentionally planted should be done before we decide their fate. The board eventually voted 4-1, with Carol opposed, to allow John to remove the burning bush.

Curt reported that Calvin Benjamin’s bill for the work on the back property was $1,200. He met with Matt Perry to survey the remaining trees that border the lower part of the library property and marked the trees that should stay. Most of the rest is junk, and one dead maple definitely needs to come down before it comes down on its own, perhaps on top of the library. Curt said he and Steve Handy will take care of the rest. Curt also relayed a query from Mike Hebb about whether we want him to make a bench or a picnic table for the back area, and the board decided a table would be more useful.

Yet more business: Rebecca informed the board that she had received an email from VTel asking us to participate in a program that the company is conducting through libraries that makes a VTel router available to be loaned to residents interested in trying out the company’s Internet service. The board decided it didn’t feel comfortable helping a private company sell its service.

The next meeting will be July 12, which is a Tuesday.