December 2018 Minutes


The meeting was called to order at 6 pm at the library.

In attendance were: Library Director Marie Letarte Mueller, Trustees Gloria Parkinson, chairwoman; Wendy Neil, vice chairwoman; Tracy Colangione, Angela DeVivo, Karen Nugent, secretary; and Alex Zapantis. Also present were Deborah Marini, head of youth services; and Michelle Marble, library assistant.

The minutes of the Nov. 27, 2018 meeting were unanimously approved with one amendment: The names Donna Jones and Tony Carchedi, from the Friends of the Bigelow Free Public Library, were added to the list of those in attendance.


  1. Computer filters: A presentation was given by children’s library staff Ms. Marini and Ms. Marble.  After handing out emails dating back to June and July from the children’s library staff to Ms. Letarte Mueller, Ms. Marble explained that there had been two instances of pornography found on hallway computers in the “tween” area, in the hallway where they cannot be directly supervised. One image was saved to a computer. The staff asked Ms. Letarte Mueller to put filters back on the computers so they would be safe for children. 

            Upon questioning by trustees, Ms. Letarte Mueller responded that she does not think filters work well, that there is already a policy in place prohibiting anyone under age 18 from viewing pornography, and that filters would give a “false sense of security.” Ms. DeVivo and Ms. Parkinson questioned if freedom of speech and censorship issues are involved, and suggested consulting the town solicitor. Ms. Colangione, Ms. Neil Ms. Nugent, and Ms. Zapantis disagreed, saying the problem is a “no brainier” and filters should be put in place ASAP. Also discussed was a method of wiping or sweeping computers after each user logs off.

Three votes were taken:

            1.Trustees unanimously voted (motion by Ms. Neil; seconded by Ms. Colangione) to immediately install a system (Userful) to clear cache after each user logs out.

  1. Trustees voted unanimously (motion by Ms. Neil; seconded by Ms. Colangione) to install filters as soon as possible to block pornography on the tweens and teens computers.
  2. A motion to authorize Ms. Parkinson on behalf of the trustees to consult with the town solicitor on the legality of implementing such filters—to make sure there are no liability issues for the library in terms of First Amendment protection and safety, was passed by a vote of 4-2. Ms. Nugent and Ms. Colangione cast the dissenting votes.

Ms. Neil pointed out several times that it is illegal for anyone younger than 18 to view pornography, so there is no question that filters should be on childrens’ computers.

Ms. Letarte Mueller said she will do above as soon as she researches clearing caches and filters.

Trustees thanked Ms. Marble and Ms. Marini for their hard work and for bringing the issue to the trustees.


The Inclement Weather Policy was reviewed.


Library Legislative Day is March 5 at the State House.

An exhibit from the National Institutes of Health, “Thriving and Surviving AIDS, Politics and Culture,” will run April 1-May 11, at the library.


The elevator passed its annual inspection on Dec. 3, 2018.

The boiler passed inspection on Dec. 12, 2018.

No progress has been made on new windows or wall repair in the Community Room renovation project. Facilities Director Russ Karlstad has measured the windows and anticipates a cost of about $3,300 for storm windows. Trustees requested that Ms. Letarte Mueller ask Mr. Karlstad who will install the windows, and to provide a cost analysis of all his work projections for the next meeting. Trustees were also asked to bring our initial cost breakdown of work phases for the Community Room grant.

A quote of $6,100 was received from Whitney Brothers Oil for an HVAC unit for the Community Room. The unit will go on the west (“chaulkboard”) wall.

A second quote for security cameras is still pending.

Shelving has arrived, but has not been built yet.


Ms. Marble submitted her resignation letter. Her last day will be Dec. 22, 2018.

The Personnel Board approved the new position of Head of Adult Services, starting next fiscal year on July 1, 2019. A job posting for the library assistant position was sent to the Item and the MBLC job site. The new assistant will be cross-trained.

Meanwhile, Patti from Bibliotemps will stay through Jan. 1, 2019, and interviews for her replacement have begun.

Technology: Online registration for museum passes and programs have started. New computers are online.

OLD BUSINESS: There was a discussion on 2021 Library Odyssey involving planning for the future and how trustees should be spreading the information about the library, about potential for construction, and reaching out to people of influence who can help the library move forward in 2021.


The meeting was adjourned at 7:49 pm. The next meeting is scheduled for 6 pm Jan. 22, 2019.


Minutes submitted by Karen Nugent, secretary.