DRAFT LIBRARY TRUSTEE MINUTES OF THE February 23, 2021 MEETING
The meeting convened at 4:32 pm, via Zoom.
In attendance by roll call: Trustees Gloria Parkinson, chairwoman; Wendy Neil, vice chairwoman; Stephanie Amell, E. Russell Grady, Sarah Laganelli, and Karen Nugent; and Library Director Marie Letarte.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The February 9, 2021 minutes were unanimously approved with a few amendments that Marie updated on the finalized minutes. Russ accepted the minutes as amended and Sarah seconded, with all approving.
PUBLIC COMMENT: None.
FACILITES: Ms. Letarte reported a new Facilities Director was in process of being hired and if all worked out and the position was accepted, he would start near the end of March; at that point Marie will ask to meet with him.
Russ also asked how many days the custodian cleans the library and Marie said 4 times a week.
Budget Narrative: In the part of her report that stated that in F21 the Trustees hired a consulting firm to assess the building and offer suggestions for future renovations or addition, per a suggestion Wendy made, Ms. Letarte added text stating that the Library paid approximately $45,000, with state aid, without asking the town for money or assistance (this is just paraphrased).
Recent Incident: Marie mentioned how a pair of the library’s snow shoes had been “stolen” and then brought back. Marie had posted on a town Facebook page and two people called the library saying they knew who had the snow shoes and they were promptly returned.
Russ didn’t feel that this incident (or any) should be posted on a town Facebook page. Marie feels that Facebook is where people are and feels she should post information there. She also pointed out programs and activities that the library offers, are posted on Facebook as well.
The library had been operating by appointments only but had stopped after both an incident with a member of the public as well as the rising Covid cases. As the cases have been beginning to decline the Trustees were reassessing to consider opening by appointment only once again.
Marie pointed out, that when open by appointment, because the back door is ADA accessible it is used for entrance (for those that don’t need an elevator the front door is then used as an exit). There was a limit of a half hour to browse or use the computers (by apt.), the bathrooms remained closed to the public, and there were cleaning agents available to patrons to wipe down computers before and after use. Certain areas of the library were blocked off and the children’s area offered family visits. At different points in time (due to state regulations) there may have been a limit to how many people in a certain area, such as a max of 8 (including staff) in the children’s room. When in the library masks are required and both hand sanitizer and gloves are available.
In discussing re-opening the staff had a variety of concerns which were all taken into account. Some concerns included patrons that didn’t adhere to the ½ hour timeframe for computer use and tried to stay longer, more of a worry of Covid to some staff that were more high risk, staff feeling that a 10 minute browse time might work for them. Consistency was brought up if the library keeps opening and closing so some suggested waiting for the vaccine to be more readily available and a post-school vacation spike was suggested as being a possibility.
The Trustees spoke about all the concerns and for consistency moving forward voted to re-open the library, by appointment only for now, but with the concerns being taken into account.
Therefore, Wendy made a motion to re-open the library, by appointment only, with accommodations; this was seconded by Karen. The accommodations include the following:
- Computers will be set to shut down automatically after the allotted time so staff does not have to deal with any confrontations with patrons.
- The library will be asked to be cleaned for each day the staff is working, to Covid specifications.
- “High risk” staff will not be required to answer (and thus hold open) the back door to let people in as that is putting them in close proximity.
- Browsing will remain at ½ hour as the 10 minutes does not seem to be an efficient amount of time; however staff does not have to “follow” patrons and is thus not in their personal space.
Russ made a motion to include these accommodations in the re-opening by apt. plan for the library and Sarah seconded. All that were present approved, however Stephanie Amell had left the meeting early before this vote.
Russ also suggested that the staff be offered the opportunity to take a furlough, if they were not comfortable working in the building with patrons coming in. As the legality of holding a job open is unclear, Marie is going to check on this and then report back.
Community Room: Marie had sent a memo letting us know that Marcie, from the interior decorating company Stefura Associates, had decided she could not work on the Community room design project herself. She suggested that LLB, the company the library just used for the building assessment, also has a design area that could work on the Community room, and that she would be willing to help. Gloria mentioned that it might make sense to solely use LLB (and not have to pay 2 vendors) if they could update the Community room themselves and the other Trustees agreed.
Marie will therefore ask LLB if they would be able to work on updating the Community room only, in the interim, before a whole remodel of the library is considered. Marie will ask them to give us a quote for doing design work, aka “beautifying” the room (new rugs, warm wall color, warmer lighting, and comfy furniture) that they could present to us at the March 23rd meeting where they are also presenting the full report on the building assessment.
The next meeting is scheduled for March 23rd and it was moved to a time of 4:00 since there is a lot to cover.
The meeting adjourned at 5:55 pm.
Minutes submitted by Wendy Neil