BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING
April 28, 2015
Location Youth Program Room
Trustees Present: Carol Blackwood, Chair; John Bohannon, Karin Fischer, Pat Fowler, Leslie Lassetter, Ray Massucco & Martha Rowley
Trustees Absent: Doreen Aldrich
Library Personnel Present: Celina Houlne, Director; Mary Van Hartesveldt, Librarian
Members of the Public Present: Carolyn Frisa
The meeting was called to order at 6:20, Pat Fowler arrived at 6:23.
New Business: Houlne asked that the following items be added to the agenda: Complaints of dog urinating on library property, Employee Leave Policy, Approval of minutes of April 7th meeting.
Public Comment: Carolyn Frisa spoke about the Friends Annual Plant Sale. It will be held on Saturday May 9th in front of the library, 8 am – 3 pm. They need donations of plants, which can be dropped off at the library beginning May 4th. Anyone unable to bring plants during library hours, can leave them at the side entrance of the building. Volunteers are needed to work the sale and help with clean up (probably from 3-4 pm.)
Approval of Minutes: Minutes for both 3/24/15 and 4/7/15 were unanimously approved.
Trustee Board Membership: Blackwood regretfully acknowledged the resignation of David Gould. Trustees recognized his contributions, and wished him well. Lassetter agreed to solicit names of potential candidates to serve the remainder of Gould’s term, and invite them to attend a future board meeting and/or submit a letter of interest.
Director’s Report: In addition to items in the attached report, Celina noted that the library is scheduled to host the Chamber Mixer on Wednesday, October 21, 2015.
Fowler moved that we approve additional payment for the following line items and amounts:
NEH Grant Expense: $6,000
Fischer seconded and the motion passes unanimously.
Blackwood noted that the committee will soon bring the Library Director Evaluation Form to the full board for review.
Lassetter moved that money not to exceed $900 be spent for purchase and installation of locks for historical collection display cabinets. Fowler seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
There was a long discussion regarding money left by Ryan Ostebo, including concern that it not get absorbed by the budget deficit. There was some agreement that, although his bequest was not designated, and therefore does not exist as an individual line item, it should be used meaningfully and acknowledged with a plaque.
Fischer noted that Houlne will email the Historical Collection Management Policy for review and possible approval at the June meeting.
Building and Grounds
Massucco moved that $7,500 from the Whitcomb Fund be placed in a reserve fund for landscaping, with creation of a barrier at the back of the library property being the first priority. The actual landscaping plan will be subject to board review and approval.
Fischer seconded the motion and it passed unanimously.
Lassetter moved that Massucco compose a letter to the Wrights requesting that they refrain from allowing their dog to urinate on library property because it is damaging both the granite stair and the book drop.
Fowler seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Blackwood requested that Houlne speak with her about the Employee Leave Policy to figure out the best way to address her concerns.
Next Meeting is scheduled for May 26, 2015 at 6:15 pm. The bulk of the meeting will be a discussion with Amy Howlett about strategic long term planning.
Pressing issues could be added to the May agenda, but Blackwood hopes that most items can wait until the regular June meeting.
Respectfully Submitted by Karin Fischer 4/28/15
Director’s Report April 22, 2015 Célina Houlné
March Programs and Statistics
• Youth Programs – 24 events, attendance of 619
Bellows Falls Middle School Art Show was a huge success and visitors have been commenting how great it is to have art throughout the Library. Teen Tech Week was a success with several teens coming in to learn video game coding and basic electronics. The Teen Advisory Council brought back the Anime Club, which meets just before the Friday teen game nights.
• Adult Programs – 20 events, attendance of 203
On March 28 the Vermont Humanities Council program, Vermont and the Civil with Howard Coffin, was attended by 40 people, Eric Bye played the banjo, and the Friends cooked hard-tack and applesauce cookies. Tax-help, genealogy classes and the One-On-One Computer help continued to be very popular. The book sale began on April 10 and will run until May 9 in the top floor meeting room.
• Meeting Room and Program Room usage – 16 library, 2 non-library
• Adults Computer Use – 742 Public Access Computer Sessions
• Youth Computer Use – 130 Public Access Computer Sessions
• Wireless network use – 793 sessions for laptop and mobile devices
• New Library Cards issued – 31
• New titles added to collection – 275
• Items checked out – 3,134
• Inter-Library Loans (ILLs) – 32 items borrowed from other libraries, 58 items loaned
• March’s monthly financial report is for 9 months or 75% of the fiscal year. The current budget forecast for FY15 is that we’ll be within budget, barring any unforeseen circumstances that may arise.
• Revenue will be transferred from the savings account to pay for the designated Whitcomb fund expenses (the Youth furniture and office cabinets). See separate report on Whitcomb donation revenue/expenses.
• Two lines that are projected to be $1,000 over the budgeted amount need to be approved by the Board: Electricity/heat, and custodial. In addition, I listed the NEH grant expense of 6,000 as needing approval, though this expense is matched by grant income. See separate report on list of 1k items.
• Annual book sale revenue so far is approximately $1,400.
Building and Grounds
• I’ve contracted with Don Hashem, who also cleans Town Hall, to temporarily clean the library twice per week, as Bob Patch has resigned due to health reasons.
• Eric Clarke cleaned the walkways and removed the heavy layers of sand. He confirmed the Wright’s are continuing to bring their dogs onto library property to urinate near or on the building.
• Scott Bolotin, owner of Morningside Perennials, pruned the trees on the front lawn.
• The stone bench out front was repaired and put back up by town hall workers.
• I’ve contacted Rohr Cook who worked on the roof during the renovation, to ask him to evaluate the roof and find out why water is leaking inside.
Other Director Activities
• Staff – I have posted the custodian position with Vermont Job Link, town departments, and Eagle Times. I’ll be interviewing and hiring in May. We held our monthly staff meeting.
• Supervision – I’ve continued to provide training for Nancy Tusinski, our new Reference and Historical Collection Librarian. She’s been getting acquainted with the Historical Collection and the NEH grant with Emily Zervas; getting to know Library policies and procedures, helping patrons with computer questions and reference questions, developing reports to aid in collection development practices, and to quote Nancy: “most importantly getting to know the wonderful staff and the library patrons!” Nancy, in a very short time, has already become a valued member of the staff, jumping right into the fray, helping with technology issues and collection development.
• Fundraising – It has been a very busy month as I supervised setting up the book sale and spent many hours weeding the fiction, audio and video collections. Staff worked extremely hard, along with the Friends of the Library and other volunteers to get ready. The preview sale on Friday for Friends members was held on Friday and was a great success, as was the next day. This week everything is ½ price, and next week will be the $3 bag sale. Please come in and also tell your family and friends about all the great books that need new homes!
• Friends of the Library – I attended a planning meeting on April 2 for the Friends plant sale which will be held on Saturday, May 9 and they’re looking for donations of annuals, perennials, house plants, etc, (you can bring them to the library the week of May 9). They’ll also be having a raffle for garden-related items. The Friends bought us a new whiteboard for the meeting room, which was used by Howard Coffin at the Humanities Program. They also donated 4 baker’s carts to use for storage, 2 of which are now in use at the book sale.
• Grants – I filed Form 471 for the electronic filing for the e-rate federal grant. I attended ‘The Science and Art of Grant-Writing” day-long class held at the Stafford Technical Center in Rutland which was very informative. The instructor, Anne Lezak, is an experienced grant-writer, and she had many useful anecdotes and wise advice on what to do and what not to do when writing a grant. We reviewed the overall process, the individual steps, and the best language to use to explain the proposal. We reviewed online resources including the Vermont Directory of Foundations, and Vermont Quick Facts, and Vermont Indicators On-line, and other sources for statistics.
• Windham County Librarians – Nancy and I attended the meeting at Brooks Library and I introduced her to the other area librarians. We discussed VOKAL, KOHA, ILL, summer programs and the likely upcoming FY16 budget cuts for the state library.
• Community outreach – I attended the monthly Departments Heads meeting at Town Hall. I met with a local student who is working towards her MLIS at Simmons College to discuss library management.
• Personnel Committee – I attended the monthly meeting on April 21 at which we reviewed the month’s activities and the director’s evaluation process.
• Historical Collection Committee – I attended this meeting on March 30, at which upcoming tasks were reviewed, including updating the Historical Collection policy and pocket response plan (PReP) to be used in case of disaster such as when the local history room was flooded. I’ve filled out the PReP, to include the contact information for emergency personnel.
• Building & Grounds Committee – I attended this meeting on April 13, where we reviewed the list of interior and exterior needs. The committee will recommend to the Board that we use a portion of the Whitcomb Fund to complete the landscaping behind the building (estimate of $7,500); repair the existing sign (estimate of $375) and install the locks for the Historical Collection Display Cabinets (estimate of $850). I’ve asked Frank Hawkins for an updated estimate to repair the sign.
• Joint meeting with Selectboard – I attended the meeting where we went into executive session to meet with legal counsel, Stephen Ankuda, about the lawsuit.
• Board Meeting – I attended the monthly Board meeting on March 24.