Library Trustee Minutes of May 18, 2017
The meeting convened at 6:02 p.m. in the Community Room at the library.
In attendance were: Library Director Marie Mueller, Trustees Gloria Parkinson, chairwoman; Wendy Neil, vice-chairwoman; Tracy Colangione, Julianna Record-Massalski, and Karen Nugent.
Also present were Children’s Librarian Deborah Maypother Marini, Library Assistant Michelle Lupien, and Amy Villett of the Friends of the Bigelow Free Public Library.
The board voted unanimously (motion made by Mrs. Nugent and seconded by Ms. Colangione) to accept the April 20 minutes. There were no public comments.
1. Children’s Safety Policies: The board had a discussion with Ms. Lupien, Ms. Marini and Ms. Villett about the existing and proposed safety policies. A few examples from other libraries were passed out. Several suggestions were made, and board members agree there are issues regarding children being left alone at the library for prolonged periods of time, including after closing, sometimes with no contact information. It was agreed that Ms. Lupien and Ms. Marini will finesse the proposed policy for discussion at a future meeting.
2. Holiday Policy: The board voted unanimously (motion by Mrs. Nugent and seconded by Ms. Colangione) to close the library on Saturdays before Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.
3. Olde Home Day: Ms. Neil reported that she spoke with Laura Taylor of OHD about their art show. Ms. Taylor would like artwork displayed for a month, however, there is not enough space in the library for 30-40 paintings. It was agreed to offer space for the winners of each category – likely six or seven pieces of art – for a month. Ms. Neil will take the idea to Ms. Taylor.
4. Community Room Refurbishment Update: Ms. Parkinson said she still hasn’t heard from anyone about the grant proposal made in March to the Clinton Home Foundation. She agreed to continue to call the chairwoman, former library trustee Caroline Keiger, each month to inquire about the grant status. Meanwhile, Mrs. Nugent suggested starting work using funds from elsewhere, possibly state aid or asking the Friends group to fundraise. It is unclear if the Friends group is registered as a 501 (c) 3 non profit. Ms. Nugent and Ms. Neil will investigate. Ms. Mueller said any work costing more than $10,000 would have to go through the Town Administrator with formal requests for proposals (bids). It was agreed to split the major work to avoid bid requests at this time. The work priorities are window replacement, door replacement, and repairing walls. The board voted unanimously to request quotes for window replacement.
5. Public Relations Strategy: Ms. Massalski suggested calling local high schools and community colleges to offer unpaid internships to students as an incentive to build their resumes. She also suggested taking out inexpensive Facebook ads, and handing out fliers about the library to school children to bring home in backpacks. Also, Ms. Massalski suggested looking into the cost of hiring a professional marketing planner. Ms. Mueller will look into Facebook ads and fliers. She and board members agreed to check out the cost of a local marketing professional. Ms. Colangione noted that when she was out gathering signatures for her nomination papers, some people told her they are unaware that Clinton has a library. It was decided to devise a way to get information about the library to newcomers.
1. Meeting Location: Ms. Parkinson said she would like meetings held in the library, unless there is an executive session scheduled, or the library meeting rooms are in use. Board members agreed.
2. State Aid: Ms. Parkinson shared a letter from the state Board of Library Commissioners which said a second, final state aid payment of $9,783.13 will arrive within the next few weeks.
3. Director’s Report: Ms. Mueller said the HVAC units gifted to the library by the Nypro Foundation about 10 years ago are breaking down. She will ask the Nypro Foundation if they would agree to replace them, and possibly include a new unit for the Community Room. Also, she said the new shed built by the high school industrial arts class out back is nearly finished; new UserFul computers are up and running; and a small “circulating library” will be set up at the splash park in the Acre. Ms. Mueller noted that if the next federal census shows the population of Clinton has increased to more than 15,000, the state requires libraries to be open at least 50 hours a week. Currently, the library is open 44 hours a week. But, she said, libraries are allowed three years to make the change. Ms. Mueller also gave the latest data on the budget and programs, and told the board the summer reading theme will be “Build a Better World.”
Thanks to Ms. Massalski: Since it was Ms. Massalski’s last meeting, board members thanked her for stepping in at the last minute and serving the end of a unexpired term. She replied that it has been an honor, and felt bittersweet about leaving the board.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. June 15 in the library.
Minutes submitted by Karen Nugent, secretary.