September 2019 Minutes


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

In attendance: Trustees Gloria Parkinson, chairwoman; Wendy Neil, vice chairwoman; Tracy Colangione, Angela DeVivo, E. Russell Grady, and Karen Nugent, secretary; and Marie Letarte Mueller, library director. Also Town Administrator Michael J. Ward, and Facilities Director Russ Karlstad.

  1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The minutes of the Aug. 24, 2019, meeting were unanimously approved with one amendment: The date of the next meeting was changed from Oct. 24 to Sept. 24, 2019.


  1. DISCUSSION WITH FACILITIES DIRECTOR: Mr. Karlstad’s update as follows: The facilities department has taken over cleaning of the building and plans to hire a cleaning service; regular maintenance will be done on Mondays, as the library is closed; snow removal and mowing/landscaping will be done by the facilities department; windows in the Community Room will be started after Sept. 26.

Community Room project: Ms. Parkinson said trustees are “eager” to have the project completed. Mr. Karlstad said vendors are not willing to work on a historic building, but he knows someone in Berlin who might agree to do the exterior door and windows. A French door, for the interior is on order. He said a contractor is scheduled to come on Monday, Sept. 30, to look at the room. Mr. Karlstad said he will pass information to Ms. Letarte Mueller. Ms. Neil and Mr. Grady questioned Mr. Karlstad about previous information given about the French doors, carpeting, painting, and windows.

Mr. Grady asked Mr. Ward if trustees can secure contractors/vendors on their own. Mr. Ward will check with the town solicitor.

Security Cameras: Ms. Parkinson said she contacted the town solicitor and was told cameras cannot be placed in bathrooms or in front of bathrooms. Mr. Karlstad recommended placing cameras outside the three exit doors. Trustees agreed. There is no funding yet; wireless connections are needed. Currently the only alarmed door is on the lower level.

Mr. Karlstad left at this point.

  1. PROCUREMENT LAW DISCUSSION: Mr. Ward is the town procurement officer.  The discussion centered around the old collection in the closed stacks, but Mr. Ward gave an overview of the town’s surplus property bylaws (land is not included) as follows: Anything valued less than $500 requires notification to the procurement officer to have on record; $500 to $2,500 requires advertisement in newspapers, and/or the town website; anything valued from $2,500 to $10,000 requires notification to the Board of Selectmen for their bid process, and advertising. Anything valued greater than $10,000 requires the state law formal bidding process.

Previous outside assessments on the old collection exceeded $10,000, and money would go into the town’s general fund, not to the library. Mr. Ward said trustees could request that the money go to the library at a town meeting, or request that money spent hiring someone to catalog the collection be deducted. Trustees previously discussed hiring a high school or college student as a temporary employee/independent contractor to catalog the collection, which Ms. Parkinson and a few trustees have been doing for several years. The terms would be three-month stints (not to exceed 12 weeks or benefits would be required) with no set hours, supervised by a trustee, and paid minimum wage. The project would have a set time limit of six months to a year, and more than one person could be hired as long as it’s for  less than 12-week intervals.



A. FACILITIES: The CWMARS router has been replaced, but slowed down printing. Three switches will be replaced to give CWMARS better access to fix things. Cost is $2,300 to come from technology budget.

Community Room project and other information: See above.

VOTE:  Motion by Mr. Grady, seconded by Ms. Nugent on a request from Girl Scout Brianna Williams to place a mailbox for retired US flags in front of the library, to earn her Gold Star Award, was defeated by a vote of 3-3. Ms. Parkinson, Ms. Colangione and Ms. Neil cast the dissenting votes, saying there was not enough information provided about maintenance and continuation of the project after Ms. Williams leaves for college.

B. PROGRAMS: Ms. Andreason, the new Head of Adult Services, will be taking over programming duties.

Ms. Letarte Mueller reported that publisher Macmillan will only provide 1 ebook per library network. This will increase wait times.  She urged trustees to protest as advocates for libraries.

C. PERSONNEL/COMMITTEES/TRAINING: Staff agreed to limit the lending of non-traditional items (hot spots, telescopes, etc) to two weeks. Also, the expanded Saturday hours, 9 am to 2 pm will begin on Nov. 2.

Mr. Grady asked for information on when the last fire drill took place.

D. FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY UPDATE: The Olde Home Day book and bake sale netted more than $1,200. The Friends are sponsoring a Hitchcock Film Festival, refreshments at open mic, and gingerbread house making.

  1. MBLC CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM BOND HEARING, Sept. 26, 2019: A discussion with Mr. Ward about state grant timelines and a feasibility study for library renovations, or a new building, took place. He suggested a feasibility study ASAP using the $50,000 already saved up, and if that costs a little more, to put an article on the next town meeting warrant for the remainder. The discussion will continue among trustees at future meetings.

Ms. Letarte Mueller acknowledged that she misspoke at the last meeting about not knowing about a letter sent by a staff member who had concerns about the new Head of Adult Services position.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:08 pm. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 24.

Minutes submitted by Karen Nugent, secretary.