July 2017 Minutes


The meeting was convened at 6:34 p.m. in the Community Room at the library.

In attendance were: Trustees Gloria Parkinson, chairwoman; Wendy Neil, vice-chairwoman; Tracy Colangione, Angela DeVivo, Karen Nugent, and Alex Zapantis; and Library Director Marie Mueller.

The minutes from the June 15 meeting were amended by removing an incorrect sentence pertaining to the town’s new budget formulation procedure. The amended minutes were then accepted unanimously.

There was no public comment.

The director’s report was put on hold so that Phil Duffy, an architect, could give a presentation on replacing windows and a door in the community room (under “old business.”)  Duffy said trustees need to have a written scope of work, and specifications, to solicit three bids. The town’s Building Committee would also be informed of the plan. Ms. Mueller said she would contact Chris McGown of the Building Committee to see if a building permit is needed.

The board voted unanimously, 6-0, (motion by Ms. Neil, seconded by Ms. Colangione) to obtain a detailed scope of work and specifications to winterize windows and the door in the Community Room.

Ms. Parkinson said she still has not heard from the Clinton Home Foundation regarding the trustees’ grant application to refurbish the Community Room. She will continue to contact them through October, at which time other funding options would be considered.


Ms. Mueller announced she has been named to the CWMARS Executive Committee. Trustees congratulated her. There are monthly meetings in Worcester.

Ms. Mueller said there will be a grand opening for the Little Free Library in Philbin Park at 4 p.m. July 28. Trustees voted unanimously (motion by Ms. Nugent, seconded by Ms. Zapantis) to close the library at 3:30 p.m. that day so staff can attend the ceremony.

The library hours for Olde Home Day, in September, will be 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Friday (regular hours, the library will not be open for the OHD opening night activities); and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. (The regular Saturday hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) The entire library, including the circulation desk, will be available.

Ms. Mueller will talk to Laura Taylor of OHD about how long the winning pieces of artwork will be on display in the library, and if release forms are needed.

Ms. Mueller said the library has received a $7,500 federal grant to be used for Health Literacy programs.


Trustees reviewed a second draft of a proposed child safety policy, submitted by the children’s librarians. Trustees voted unanimously (motion by Ms. Neil, seconded by Ms. Colangione) to appoint Ms. DeVivo and Ms. Zapantis to a subcommittee that will write a one-or-two paragraph more positive sounding plan of action. A second, more stringent procedure, will be used for children who repeatedly misbehave.


Trustees brainstormed various ideas for a master list including: setting up an outdoor space to attract patrons, holding raffles, distributing fliers, and coming  up with “branding” ideas, and using social media such as Eventbrite. On the recommendation of Ms. Neil, trustees agreed to read the new book, “Contagious,” about marketing strategies, by Jonah Berger.


Ms. Parkinson submitted a proposed letter of appreciation to the Friends of the Bigelow Free Public Library, to be sent in time for the Friends’ July 29 meeting. The letter, which was accepted by trustees, shares with the Friends the long-term plans for a future building project, and asks the group for support going forward.

The board discussed the Friends’ 501c3 status, as a non-profit organization. More research will be done to see if the Friends’ group has everything in order.


Ms. Parkinson, who is on a subcommittee with Ms. Neil and Ms. Mueller, requested that the matter be tabled until she gets more information on how to challenge a salary grade for the children’s librarian determined by a consultant hired by the town Personnel Board. Ms. Neil and Ms. Mueller met previously to draft a letter outlining the trustees’ position. Ms. Colangione was added to the subcommittee.

It was agreed that the subcommittee will request information from Town Administrator Michael Ward, and then request a hearing with the Personnel Board.


The trustees scheduled a meeting for 6 p.m. August 10 at the library.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:28 p.m.

Minutes submitted by Karen Nugent, secretary.