December 2020 Minutes



The meeting convened at 5:03 pm, via Zoom, after much technical difficulties.

In attendance by roll call: Trustees Gloria Parkinson, chairwoman; Wendy Neil, vice chairwoman; Stephanie Amell, E. Russell Grady, Sarah Langanelli, and Karen Nugent; and Library Director Marie Letarte.


  1. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The December 2, 2020 minutes were unanimously approved with one amendment: The following amendment was made to the first section: Under “Approval of Minutes” in the last sentence the word “diversification” was taken out of the sentence that previously read, “The attendance on diversification committees is decided on a case by case basis.”






FACILITES: Ms. Letarte reported that the new alarm system will be put in some time in January.  The current system is functioning.

Ms. Letarte confirmed that the ceiling is indeed damp, though not dripping; however, this confirms that the roof is leaking.  Ms. Letarte took pictures of the leak and Ms. Parkinson would like to compare them to pictures she had taken of the ceiling prior to the roof supposedly being “fixed”. Ms. Letarte let Mike Ward know about the leak and noted that the town building committee would need to address this issue with Mike Ward.  Russ Grady also noted that there was $6000 already budgeted to hire someone to access the roof in order to find the issue of why the roof leaks. It’s possible a camera could go up there to diagnose the problem.

In addition, the wall in the Community Room still also has an issue with water.  It’s not wet but it’s crumbly and discolored. Ms. Letarte also took pictures of this wall and sent the pictures and information to Mike Ward, the town administrator.  In order to diagnose this leak most likely the ground would need to be excavated, at great expense.  There was a question of if we wanted to request the building committee works this issue as well and if an article on the town warrant made sense; however, later in the meeting when we talk about the building assessment this issue may become moot for the time being.

The library continues to operate by appointment only, but the Board of Health did approve one person at a time being allowed to go into the library. 


BUDGET: Ms. Letarte broke down the various accounts, and specifically the gift account and how most of the monies are allotted to specific expenditures.  State Aid won’t be known until February. The State may modify some requirements, to be eligible for State Aid, such as number of hours required to be open, material expenditure, etc., because of the temporary emergency of Covid.  Finally, some program expenditures may be able to be charged under Covid expenses for reimbursement by a federal grant.

Gloria also reminded the Trustees of the Community Foundation of North Central Mass (CFNCM) money that Nypro Foundation had originally gifted $10,000, with an additional $5,000 was matched from the CFNCM; the current value of the account is $18,803.11.


PROGRAMS: There continues to be many youth and adult programming going on both one time and recurring events.  Ms. Letarte praised how well her staff has been running things; the children’s room is doing lots of art and crafts grab and goes, for example. The staff continues to engage residents so the Trustees suggested giving the staff a holiday gift, as a thank you, such as a gift card. Ms. Parkinson will write up a nice letter and all Trustees will chip in to pay for the gift cards.


TOWN REPORT: Ms. Letarte added text to the conclusion of the town report but Russ suggested adding an even more specific list of items (from the building assessment report) such as the parking issue, lack of a sprinkler system, transformer, etc.


HR Manager: Ms. Letarte met with the new HR Manager and was told a better evaluation form was in process for yearly reviews. The new process will include reviews based on goals.  Ms. Letarte will ask the HR person to send the new form for the Trustees to look at and a timeline for reviews.  As Ms. Letarte was supposed to have had a review this past July, the board believes Ms. Letarte should have a timely review, either with the old form, for now, or using the new form, if available.  A motion by Karen that a subcommittee be formed for the evaluation of the Director.  Karen made the motion that Gloria and Russ do the Directors evaluation, and Stephanie seconded it. The motion was unanimously approved.






  1. Community Room: Wendy left a voice mail with the interior decorating company Stefura Associates, but had not received a return call as of the date of this meeting. Ms. Letarte and Ms. Parkinson said that Grafton library was going through renovations and might be able to help with the name of a company. Wendy will try contacting both and if successful will call a subcommittee meeting.


  1. Building Study Update: The Building Study subcommittee met on December 18th. Ms. Parkinson mentioned how good LLB Architects has been and that they came up with 4 levels on a spectrum of what could be done to fix the library. It ranged from doing the bare minimum, so the library won’t collapse, to the most ambitious, which included an addition to the current building by pushing out the elevator, using the stack area, a flexible use of space, and doing all repairs and renovations necessary. The town representatives on the committee were in favor of going the most ambitious route; this also included looking at moving the library to another centrally located site, such as the possibility of buying what is currently St. John’s gym.


This brought us back to the discussion about the leaking wall; once we get the final report on the building study we may conclude it’s better to work with the town to fix the overall building vs. spending in upwards of $50,000 for one wall.  The building is in desperate need of help and the town will have to spend money anyway, so is it worth renovating/moving?  Ms. Letarte also mentioned that the year 2023 will be the 150 year anniversary for the library as a town department.

  1. Under old business Ms. Parkinson recommended Trustees look at a recent email that addressed open meeting laws, which addressed such things as subcommittees, public meetings, and other topics.

The next meeting is scheduled for January 26th at 4:30; all meetings through June were “penciled in”.

The meeting adjourned at 6:52 pm.

Minutes submitted by Wendy Neil