Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes: May 13, 2014

MAY 13, 2014

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Present: Doreen Aldrich, Carol Blackwood, Patricia Fowler, Carolyn Frisa, David Gould, Trustees; Samantha Maskell, Mary VanHartesveldt, Library; Chris Garofolo, Eagle Times, Susan Smallheer, Rutland Herald, Press; Arnold Clift, David DeRusha, Celina Houlne, Donna Stevens, Others; Absent: Hope Brissette, L. Raymond Massucco and Janice Mitchell-Love

Call to Order: The chair called the meeting to order at 6:16 p. m. He asked for permission to move the agenda items around to accommodate for an executive session regarding the former Library Director.

Public Comment: Houlne thanked everybody who made the celebration of the grand re-opening so fantastic. Clift also thanked everybody involved.

Approval of Minutes 4/8/14, 4/15/14, 5/6/2014: Frisa moved to accept the minutes of 4/8/14, seconded by Blackwood. The motion carried. Frisa moved to accept the minutes of 4/15/14, seconded by Fowler. The motion carried. Fowler moved to accept the minutes of 5/6/2014, seconded by Blackwood. The motion carried.

Director’s Report: Maskell gave a rather extensive report attached hereto and made a part of these minutes. One thing not on the report is to bring in a facilitator to do a communications training workshop and team building exercises with staff to help re-design the concept of how the library is run. She contacted VLCT and the recommendation was to include Celina and the board. The fee would be $88.00/hr. plus mileage. The other is John Schottland who has worked with libraries on conflict resolution and communication training and the last is the Vermont Department of Libraries, Michael Roache. He specializes in communication and team building. and will only work with staff. They would like to bring Michael here in early June and he is free. They may close the library early morning for a couple of mornings and the workshop wouldn’t be a whole day. This is a proactive move to help make the transition smoother. The board endorsed this.

Finance & Budget Committee: VanHartesveldt passed out the Budget Status Report and Balance Sheet for period 10 and her Spreadsheet, focusing on her projection spreadsheet. She said we need to transfer funds to be credited to the renovation payable to the town. There is not much change; but on page 1 under the e-Rate Grant we are making a slight change in how we receive it and credit it all to our bill. Because we have a grant line, we’d rather show it here. There was discussion about the shortfall. Clift said when he looks at expenditures, the budget shows $364,270 and the projection shows $354,793. We have $14,000 plus projected in maintenance fees and another $7,000 for property and liability. That is about $21,000 and wonders where the savings are in that. VanHartesveldt replied that it was the Director’s salary not being paid. Fowler added, “And the additional services person”. Clift also asked about the line for property and liability insurance. It implies that our building is four times more valuable after our renovation as it was before. VanHartesveldt responded that the Town raised the value of the building. Clift said the property and liability starts at $7,000 and shoots up to $21,000; but what it implies is that our building is four times as valuable after the renovation as it was before and his point was that we should make sure that the library is only paying its portion of the property and liability insurance. Fowler moved that in order to cover FY 14, our purchases made from the Whitcomb Foundation, the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees is authorized to withdraw the amount of $5,606.00 from the Whitcomb Foundation donations held in a Merchants CD account in the form of a check made payable to the Town of Rockingham. Frisa seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously.

VanHartesveldt said they have $1,000 in a TD bank account for petty cash/checking account. They use that money to buy computer items, movies for the library, etc. Sometimes when they need things, they have to wait for one purchase to clear and get a check from the town before they can make another purchase. She asked if the board would expand that to $2,000. Maskell said it would help move things a lot faster. Blackwood moved to expand the amount of the petty cash allocation to $2,000, seconded by Frisa. The motion carried.

Buildings and Grounds Committee Report: Gould reported that he has talked with the neighbors and they seem pleased that the lighting problem was somewhat taken care of; more pleased that something was happening. They also raised the issue of a possible fence and Emily is working through the landscape bids; but has not heard back yet. Frank Hawkins has given us a bid for a wood sign out front somewhere in the neighborhood of $4,000-$5,000. Gould stopped by KG Signs in N. Walpole and they gave a ballpark figure of between $1,000-$1,200 for a 4×8 sign that would be aluminum framed and vinyl with printing on both sides. Those in attendance didn’t seem in favor and Gould reminded them that library standard says we have to have a sign out front. Frisa suggested we ask Hawkins to revise his proposal. Aesthetically, you are going to get two very different products and that is something to think about. Houlne said she’d like to be involved in this when she returns in a couple of weeks.

Historical Collection Committee Report – Grand Re-Opening Event Report: Frisa thanked everyone who helped make the library’s grand re-opening a big success. Thanks to those businesses that donated food, the wonderful musicians, the speaker, etc. Thanks to the volunteers who helped set up, decorate and clean up afterwards. There will be a letter to the editor thanking people for their donations and service and they will send out note cards as well. Their next regular meeting will be June 3rd. She thanked Arnold Clift for all the 50-50 raffles he worked on.

Fowler said she asked Chip Stearns and Tom MacPhee about the smoking issue in front of the library on Saturday. There is an ordinance in town that there is no smoking on town owned property so she can contact the person about “Smoke Free Zone” signs or someone else can.

Personnel Committee Report – Library Director’s Job Description: Gould advised that there have been minor corrections. Blackwood said she has corrections; we need to improve some of the grammar as this is going to be a professional document. Gould was ready to move for adoption; but will put it off until Blackwood submits her corrections. Clift asked if a committee had been chosen to write the job description. Frisa responded that the board worked very closely with Zervas and Maskell to create the document. Frisa asked for a timeframe for these corrections. Blackwood said she could do it very quickly.

David DeRusha asked if any progress has been made in getting a replacement on the board. Gould explained that Bob DeRusha was interested; but Bob said there has been a change of plans so we don’t have anyone to serve yet. Fowler asked about Marguerite Janiszyn; she had expressed an interest. Gould said he didn’t know; but if anyone is interested, he would like to talk with them and if anyone has suggestions, let him know.

Library Director’s Contract: Frisa moved to go into executive session for the purpose of discussing the Library Director’s contract where premature general public knowledge would clearly place the library at a substantial disadvantage and invite Attorney Steven Ankuda to attend. Blackwood seconded the motion and the motion carried.

At 8:15 p.m., the open meeting resumed.

Policy Committee Report: None

Old Business: None

New Business: None

Other: None

Next Regular Meeting: June 10, 2014 at 6:15 p.m. RFPL Meeting Room

Adjournment: At 8:17 p.m., Blackwood moved to adjourn; seconded by Frisa. The motion carried.

_________________________________Secretary Doreen Aldrich – 5/16/2014

Director’s Report
May 13, 2014


• Sconce on the south side of the elevator tower broke when the doorstop failed on a windy day and the door swung open to hit the cast iron scones. The Highway Department repaired the doorstop and Lawrence and Lober repaired the sconce at a cost of $375.
• Pepper from the Highway department fixed the doorstop and adjusted the door closer to prevent the door from swinging open with such force.
• The floor machine decision has yet to be made through Emily and Bob have tested two different models. We are waiting price information for one of them before the decision is made.
• The lenses on the lights on the back of the library were partially darkened. Emily spoke to the neighbors to let them know. The neighbors stated that their real issue going forward was the noise created by the HVAC units. They requested that the library explore the possibility of a fence that will redirect or muffle the sound.
• Emily has been pursuing quotes for the two phases of landscaping installation.

Events and Programs
• H.P. Lovecraft’s Whisperer in the Darkness drew a diverse crowd of 30 for a talk about the 1928 science fiction story set partially in Bellows Falls.
• An IMLS Preservation Grant for Smaller Institutions application was submitted. The grant is for $6,000 to rehouse the library’s glass plate negatives and purchase storage furniture and environmental monitoring equipment for the historical collections.
• The Friend of the Library have made tote bags with the Library’s new logo. They look great and cost $12. The design work for the logo was donated by Garret McIntyre.
• The Youth Department offered a free Red Cross Babysitter Training. This program was funded by a grant from the Mclure Foundation. The class filled up very quickly, and there was a wait-list. I’m hoping we can receive grant funding to offer more of these trainings.
• The Library participated in World Book Night along with the Village Square Booksellers, Wool FM, Fact TV, and other community givers. Through this program we gave away multiple copies of “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” by Ransom Riggs and “Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein to light or reluctant readers. Since World Book Night Sam has heard directly from a couple of people who considered themselves non-readers, but then received and enjoyed “Miss Peregrine…” and came into the Library looking for more.
• The ongoing RFPL Reads bookgroup continues to be well-attended. This month, the group is reading different biographies of Hetty Green and discussing them on Thursday, May 29 at 7pm.
• The booksale was a success for the Friends AND the library, with the Library’s income being $ 1390.50 on Wednesday. Donations continued to trickle in for people who took books on Free Friday. Thanks to all the Friends and volunteers who did set-up, staffed the sale and did cleanup! And thanks to the highway department and recycling for managing the leftovers!
• The Library hosted the Greater Falls Connection’s Community Forum “More Dreams – Less Drugs”, which was attended by community members and community leaders to discuss current issues with substance abuse in the community and ways everyone can come together to respond to those issues. The event was filmed by Fact TV (Thanks to Joe Brissette for filming) and can be viewed online.
• The Youth Department’s Annual Magic: The Gathering Tournament was a fantastic success! We had a lively and enthusiastic crowd from ages 8 to 28. Thanks to Tony Angers again for his assistance as a judge and mediator and for running the tournament.
• The Library had a table at the recent Herrick’s Cove Wildlife Festival and again offered facepainting. This year’s table had some excellent teen volunteers who ran the table and managed to keep up with the crowd; thanks to Cyric Sherburne, Alecia Santors , Alex Dewitt, and Allegra Maskell.
• The Youth Department’s Winter/Spring 2014 session has come to an end. Programming will be starting back up again on June 23rd with the summer reading program “Fizz Boom Read” , a science-themed program. We have a lot of exciting things being planned for this summer. Over the next few weeks classes from the elementary and middle school will be visiting the Library to see the place and learn about the upcoming summer activities.
• Through funds donated to the Library in memory of Russell Capron the Rockingham Free Public Library Maker Space will be available soon. With this space and the tools and materials that will be available, the Library will be providing hands-on learning opportunities for all ages on a range of skills including basic electronics, robotics, sewing, knitting, bicycle repair, fabrication, and nearly anything else you can think of! The Library staff is currently seeking out people in the community with skills that they would like to share.
• We have a couple of upcoming programs in the next few weeks you should know about:
–How the Guitar Conquered America on May 15, 7 PM
–What’s a Doula? Facts, Feelings and the Philosophy of Woman Supported Birth (presented by Elayne Clift) on May 22, 7 PM
–Annual Friends of the Library Plant Sale on May 31 from 8-noon
–Little Lit: Math and Science on May 31 at 7PM