November 2018 Minutes


The meeting was called to order at 6:30 pm at the library.

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

1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The minutes from the Oct. 23, 2018 meeting were unanimously approved (motion by Ms. Neil, seconded by Ms. Colangione.)

2. FRIENDS OF THE BIGELOW FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY UPDATE: Donna Jones and Tony Carchedi of the Friends gave an update. Ms. Jones said she and other Friends members have observed that the library is often fairly empty during the day. She suggested that the building is not as inviting as it could be, pointing out the black front doors and a deteriorating sign out front. They said perhaps the door could be repainted a brighter color, and the sign replaced, as a way of getting more people in. Ms. Letarte Mueller agreed that the sign needs to be replaced, but, she said, the door, as part of the building, falls under the town facilities director’s jurisdiction. Ms. Jones said the Friends may have enough money for a sign and would be willing to fundraise, but they need specific items to fundraise for. Ms. Neil suggested a “Go Fund Me” website, which could also be used for furniture when the downstairs Community Room is finally refurbished. Mr. Carchedi offered to research a “Go Fund Me” page.

Ms. Letarte Mueller suggested that Friends have more sign-up tables at town events. Ms. Jones said it is sometimes difficult to get people to staff tables, but their goal is to get more people involved, including teens; and to increase marketing. Trustees agreed to take the issues under advisement, and thanked the Friends for their efforts. Ms. Parkinson said trustees “appreciate and respect the tremendous strides” made by the group.

3. PROPOSED HEAD OF ADULT SERVICES POSITION: Ms. Letarte Mueller said the Personnel Board will inform us of its next meeting, so the proposal can be heard. Meanwhile, BiblioTemps will continue filling the vacancy left by the resignation of a librarian.

4. DIRECTOR’S REPORT: Planning/Programs; The town’s Cultural Council has received many requests from performers. The library may pick up the slack, depending on the performers. We are looking for free and lower cost programs, and working with other town departments on a community calendar so there won’t be big events scheduled on the same days.

Library Legislative Day is March 5, 2019, at the State House. Trustees were encouraged to meet with legislators and advocate for the library.

The library has received a $1,000 grant for a series of yoga and health programs. Ms. Letarte Mueller is working with Wachusett Wellness on a schedule.

VOTE: Trustees voted unanimously (motion by Ms. Parkinson; seconded by Ms. Zapantis) to join the Central Massachusetts Library Advocates, as an institution, for $150 a year.

Budget: The library’s state aid payment is $9,607.15 for the first half of the fiscal year; and was assessed $12,832 – a slight increase – for Fiscal 2020, which will begin on July 1.

Facilities: There has been no progress on the wall repair, radiator removal, or window replacement for the Community Room. We are waiting for a quote from Whitney on an HVAC unit for downstairs. We are still waiting for a second quote on security cameras. New shelving has been shipped.

The board looked over materials from the Mass. Board of Library Commissioners on seeking a $250 million construction bond for the public library construction program. The new bond would fund 18 projects on the wait list; and possibly new planning and design phase projects.

Upon questioning by Ms. Nugent, Ms. Letarte Mueller said she would check to see if the upstairs storage area, adjacent to the Children’s Room, has been decluttered.

Ms. Letarte Mueller is still looking into online registration for museum passes and programs.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 pm. The next meeting is scheduled for 6 pm Dec. 20.

Minutes submitted by Karen Nugent, secretary.