July 2019 Minutes


The meeting was called to order at 6:01 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; Library Director Marie Letarte Mueller, and librarian assistants Kathleen CD and Laura Boivin.

  1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Minutes from the June 13, 2019 meeting were unanimously approved with one amendment: Under “Approval of Minutes” the last sentence was changed from “She said the new bylaw applies to all candidates: local, state, and federal” to “She said the new policy applies to all candidates: state, local, and federal.”


            2.  A  motion to move “Correspondence” to the next agenda item was unanimously approved, so Ms. Mullen and Ms. Boivin wouldn’t have to wait until the end of the meeting. A letter dated June, 26, 2019 to the trustees from Ms. Mullen, outlining concerns she has about the new position– Head of Adult Services–was the correspondence. The letter says the job description she read in newspaper ads appeared as a replacement for Ms. Letarte Mueller’s job, and not someone who would work the circulation desk and other duties. She is concerned the desk will be swamped with only one person working and helping with computers, etc.

Ms. Letarte Mueller said the advertisement in the Item was a shorter version of a three-page job description. It was cut to fit newspaper advertisement space. Ms. Parkinson said there was a misunderstanding and that the concerns are addressed in the longer job description. She said the new position was created to free up Ms. Letarte Mueller to work on grants and other state issues. Ms. Letarte Mueller said she would tell all applicants there will be circulation work and they must pitch in when it gets busy.

Ms. Boivin said she hopes the new person is just not somebody who will be in charge when Ms. Letarte Mueller is out of the building.

Ms. Boivin also said the staff is upset that security cameras have not yet been installed. The town facilities director is handling purchase of cameras for several town departments, to cut down costs, and his budget just took effect July 1. Ms. Letarte Mueller said cameras will need an updated wireless network, which will cost. (It is free now.) Ms. Boivin responded that staff have been anxious since a patron allegedly spent the night in the Community Room.

A motion (made by Ms. DeVivo/seconded by Ms. Nugent) to have Ms. Parkinson contact the facilities director, Russ Karlstad, immediately and ask that security cameras and a subscription to wireless be installed ASAP. The motion passed unanimously. 

  1. PROCUREMENT LAW DISCUSSION: A discussion on requirements to put books in the stacks out to bid was tabled because the procurement officer was not in attendance.
  2. JUNE 2019 CLINTON ELECTION: Mr. Grady said the new policy of not allowing campaigning on library property is unfair. Also, he said it was wrong to have Candidates’ Night questions submitted to Ms. Letarte Mueller rather than to the Item’s moderator, as the Item newspaper sponsored the event. Regarding the new policy, Ms. Parkinson said it is to prevent uninvited campaigning, and that the library should not be a place where patrons are solicited by candidates.

            Ms. Letarte Mueller said she submitted questions to the Item moderator, as did Ms. Colangione & Ms. Parkinson. Mr. Grady said since the Ms. Letarte Mueller is not a Clinton resident, she should not be allowed to participate in election-related activities.

  1. DIRECTOR’S REPORT: Facilities: Mr. Karlstad is working on getting French doors, exit door, windows, and carpeting for the Community Room. A motion (made by Ms. Neil/seconded by Ms. Nugent) to have Ms. Parkinson speak to Ms. Karlstad about all unfinished work on the Community Room and voice the trustees’ displeasure at the progress passed unanimously. She will request that work be done ASAP, or the board will take action on its own.

 Planning: A cartography exhibit from the Commonwealth Museum will be on display during August.

Our non-traditional lending items list is growing and includes a telescope, microscope, and an additional wi-fi hot spot to borrow. A policy on lending and circulation of hot spots was approved unanimously. A Lost Materials Policy was also unanimously approved, with one change: The sentence “In some instances, exceptions may be made at the discretion of the director,” had the following added: “or the Head of Adult or Youth Services.”

Personnel: Ms. Letarte Mueller has scheduled interviews with applicants for the new Head of Adult Services position. Trustees emphasized that applicants are clear that circulation desk duties will be required.

Friends Update: Volunteers are needed for the Olde Home Day book/bake sale.

  1. TRUSTEE ADVOCACY: Ms. Parkinson said when members of the public ask questions of individual trustees, they should be identified and asked to submit questions to the director in writing, with their name and contact information, so the library staff can respond appropriately.


OPEN MEETING LAW REMINDER: Ms. Parkinson reminded trustees that there should be no discussion of library business on email or email threads. Responses should be sent only to the sender; “reply to all” should not be used.


The next meeting is scheduled for 6 pm, Thursday, Aug. 22.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:03 pm.

Minutes submitted by Karen Nugent, secretary.