Minutes, October 19, 2015


Present: Rebecca Seibel, Curt Albee, Cindy Binzen, Rachel Kurland, Carol Wilson, Miriam Newman, David Webb (for the Friends), Marty Frank

Minutes from the September meeting were adopted. 

Librarian’s Report: 

Rebecca showed the board the new magazine rack, which was not a unanimous hit, and described several options for expanding shelf space for DVDs. Buying a new DVD rack, better utilizing the space occupied by the old magazine shelves and using the front-window space on the other side of the room were among the possibilities discussed.

A programmable thermostat has been purchased but still needs to be installed. One option is to have it done when the furnace gets cleaned, although there are some reservations about pursuing that avenue because the service guy dispatched when the furnace needed attention last winter did not make a favorable impression. 

The Thursday after-school program is drawing between 14 and 16 participants, which is a manageable number, particularly with the help of volunteer Isabel Becker. Rebecca and Emily are planning some programs for sixth- through eighth-graders. Scheduled for Oct. 29 is a Halloween movie night, during which the students will be asked what sort of programs they might be interested in. Also planned is a reading group that will be led by Tom Diamond and begin Nov. 10. 

Poet and essayist Sydney Lea will come for a reading on Nov. 15. The Vermont Humanities Council’s book series on the seven deadly sins will occur during February, March and April. One activity that the Lyme library is offering is “Zentangle” – a copyrighted drawing exercise for adults that is supposed to be meditative and calming. The program is costing the Lyme library $280.

Rebecca plans to work on annual statistics, which are due to the state in mid-November.

Carol reported that she has talked with Earl Ransom about the possibility of a Woodbury grant, which the board has discussed as a way of helping fund the children’s programming component. The foundation will fund programs once or twice, but not on a continual basis. The awards are announced in May; an application would have to be made in February. Earl welcomes such an application.

Friends Report: 

Curt brought the Little Library he has constructed. Admiration and appreciation were universal. He’s hoping to have it ready for painting in a week or two. 

David reported that the Friends annual meeting was a success. More than 30 people attended. The first half was devoted to a business meeting, during which the annual holiday sale was discussed. David is chairman of that effort and reports it to be in good shape. After the business meeting, Melanie Finn read from her new book. 

The Friends are also exploring the possible purchase of a sound system for the library. A personal wireless system would not be too expensive and might be particularly suitable considering the infrequent need to use it. Also being looked into is making programs offered by the community access television station available to Strafford kids who might be interested in learning about video production. One problem is transportation; the programs are offered in White River Junction.

Treasurer’s Report 

Rachel says that income and expenses are going pretty much as was budgeted for 2015.

She and Rebecca have worked out a preliminary budget, which doesn’t represent a huge departure from our current budget. The preliminary budget projects $53,950 in income (up $650 from 2015) and $54,399 in spending  (up a little more than $3,000).

Cindy said she would like to eventually incorporate an assistant librarian/children’s programmer position into the regular budget rather than funding it through grants.

Marty moved, Curt seconded and the board unanimously approved seeking a level-funded appropriation from the town for 2016.

Other Business:

Mark Chute has said he will continue to shovel the paths for the library, although he’ll be gone for two weeks in November. He suggested that Steve Handy might be available as a backup.

The Building and Grounds Committee (aka Curt and Rocky) inspected the library and found it to be in good shape with the exception of a sill that needs some repair. Terry Garrison will check it out.

Cindy said the policy review is proceeding. She, Rachel and Rebecca are close to being done reviewing and amending the librarian’s contract and job description.

The annual appeals letter is written. The mailing list probably needs to be edited down (we sent out between 400 and 500 last year). Rachel will check out the cost of printing envelopes. Envelope stuffing will occur at our next meeting, which will be on Nov. 9 at Curt’s house.

Curt said he would like the board to contemplate the possibility of removing the remaining spruce. Its roots are creeping ever closer to the building, and the removal of the spruce on other side opened up that part of the property and made it more attractive. 

In terms of long-range planning, Curt suggested the board consider the possibility of a building expansion. The only realistic option would be to expand out where the bulkhead is now located. It would be expensive – Curt threw out $150,000 for 300 square feet as a ballpark figure – but it would give us more usable space and allow us to address the drainage problem.  

Submitted by Marty Frank