October 2019 Minutes


The meeting was called to order at 6:04 pm at the library.

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

  1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The minutes from the Sept. 24, 2019, meeting were accepted with the following amendments: Under section 3, Procurement Law Discussion, second paragraph, the sentence “Previous outside bids on the old collection exceeded $10,000, and money would go into the town’s general fund, not to the library.” was changed to “Previous outside assessments on the old collection…”

Also, Under director’s report, the publisher “Macmillan/Blackstone” was changed to “Macmillan.”


  • PROPOSED RFP FOR LIBRARY BUILDING ASSESSMENT: A document on the state of the library written by Ms. Parkinson was to be discussed. It included notes from an October 10, 2019, meeting she had with Ms. Letarte, Town Administrator Michael Ward, and Lauren Stara, a library building specialist from the Massachusetts Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP.) on building assessments, RFPs, and grants. However, trustees objected to a meeting taking place without them being informed beforehand.

A discussion on what was formerly called a “feasibility study,” but is now called a “building assessment” followed. Some trustees objected to spending $30,000 for what appears to be a maintenance study of the building, rather than spending $50,000 for a broader study which would assess if the library could be renovated for future expansion. Ms. Colangione said trustees need “information and direction.” Ms. DeVivo said trustees need concrete financial numbers to start with.

The board voted (motion by Ms. Neil; seconded by Ms. Nugent) unanimously to generate a request for proposals (RFP) for a building assessment that would include potential modifications. Trustees agreed to hold a separate trustee meeting to create the RFP at 10 am Nov. 13.


 A. Facilities: Waiting for equipment on router switches for CWMARS.

The Facilities Department has taken over building cleaning, and a service will eventually be hired.

Ms. Neil questioned a report on the library building/maintenance plan prepared by Facilities Director Russ Karlstad, because it did not address the Community Room project and a need for a contractor. Trustees and/or Ms. Letarte were supposed to receive an answer about a contractor by Sept. 30. There has there been no further information about carpeting, French doors, or an exterior door. Trustees agreed that it this is not acceptable and decided to move forward with hiring a contractor on their own.

B. Follow Up: Weeded items: Ms. Letarte said no other libraries keep lists of old items removed from circulation. They donate to Friends groups, or other nonprofits. We use More Than Words after Friends are done with books. She contacted Mr. Ward about the legalities for (book) money returning to the library.

The evacuation/crisis plan, along with policies on threats, suspicious packages, hazardous materials, 911 emergencies, and the school department’s security camera policies were reviewed.

C.Technology: The circulation computers are being replaced.

D. Friends Update: They have given $2,000 for programming, to be split between adults and youth.P


Ms. Letarte said the date of the last fire drill is unknown. One will be scheduled when the Walnut Street project is done.

Ms. Letarte distributed the 2021 library action plan, to be submitted to the state Board of Library Commissioners.



NEXT MEETINGS: Nov. 13, 2019 at 10 am., and 6 pm Nov. 26.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:07 pm.

Minutes submitted by Karen Nugent, secretary.