Minutes of the Blaisdell Memorial Library Trustees Meeting June 4, 2012


June 4, 2012

Present: Rhoda Capron, Laurie Legard, Susan Medeiros, Pat Vachon, Kathleen Matthews

Meeting was called to order at 6:39 p.m.

Policy Update/Current Task:  Board members shared their experiences at the annual NHLTA conference which all attended on May 21. Rhoda attended a workshop about social media that she found to be valuable for the wealth of information it provided about current issues and points to consider, such as who should manage the library’s Facebook page. She believes it would be in the library’s best interest to develop a Social Media policy, as other libraries are in the process of doing or have already done, so this topic was added to the list of policy development and updates that require the board’s future attention. Another consideration that Rhoda derived from this particular workshop was the importance of using Twitter as a way to reach people who don’t necessarily come into building and young people who no longer use e-mail as their primary means of communication. Rhoda and Kathleen attended a session on using statistics that proved not to be especially innovative or useful for our library and community. In contrast, Rhoda and Laurie found the workshop, “Succession Planning”, particularly useful because of its emphasis on developing long-term plans for library changes (e.g., critical positions, staff, collections, structure). They received excellent suggestions, both conceptual and pragmatic, for ways to develop short and long-term plans that will keep people coming to the library. Kathleen attended a presentation on fundraising that turned out to be more appropriate for communities unlike our own that have a higher ratio of wealthy residents. This prompted a discussion about fund-raising during which Susan offered the suggestion of tactfully requesting that residents and patrons remember library in their wills, possibly by placing something on the website about legacies that include the library. Laurie attended two useful sessions: one on strategic planning that addressed the library’s role in the community and ways to keep library on track in regards to its own goals; the other was a session on intellectual freedoms pertaining to public libraries. Sara attended two of the sessions already described and found both to be useful. Rhoda also reported on her attendance at the NHLA one-day program entitled “Digital Summit,” that was focused on how libraries can utilize differing technologies. A prime topic of discussion at the conference was about digital book formats and e-reader loan programs. Most libraries do not require a deposit. The conference led Rhoda to investigate our down-loadable books information, particularly the “holds” that people place, so she could see how these relate to book selections and collections. She also would like to consider alternatives to using “Overdrive” for down-loadable books as there appear to be other services that may be more efficient and easier for patrons to use.

Secretary’s Report: The minutes of the May meeting were read. Minor adjustments were made. Pat moved to accept the report as amended. Laurie seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Treasurer’s Report: No report was available for this month.

Library Director’s Report: May’s statistics were record-breaking –– the highest in 11 years –– showing continued increases in circulation, especially in the Downloads category. Rhoda reported on the use of flash-drives for back-ups by herself, other staff members, and Laurie, as chair of the board. Rhoda was pleased to report that, despite recent heavy rains, there has been no sign of moisture in the meeting room.  Al Vachon will begin painting as soon as the Story Hour program is finished. The new rug will be laid once the painting is done. Kathleen requested that the old carpet be saved so that she can use it to help smother the poison ivy at the back and side of the building. Laurie will take care of the CD that is about to expire. The decision was made to postpone our annual clean-up day because this will be addressed when the first landscape project is done in July.

Old Business: The Disaster Plan is nearly finished, pending Kathleen’s work with the statement about the plan’s scope and goals. Rhoda is investigating the location of the special kind of freezer that the Disaster Plan requires in order to save/preserve any wet books and materials. The recent plant sale was a moderate success, given that it was our first attempt at this kind of fund-raiser. Kathleen shared other ideas that she had about raising money for the landscape work by focusing on one event per season, including picking & selling organic blueberries and selling fall flower bulbs and chrysanthemums. It was decided to proceed more slowly with fund-raising right now though it’s clear that considerable money will need to be generated to address the extent of work that needs to be done. Kathleen suggested that we raise public consciousness about the landscape and our purposes for having a fund-raising campaign by generating a pamphlet that describes the how and why of our integrated landscapes and our intentions for its restoration and preservation. Kathleen volunteered to undertake this task. Rhoda will contact a patron who is a strong library supporter and graphics arts designer to ask for her assistance in this matter.

New Business: The Monthly Tasks were reviewed. The decision was made to move the task of carpet cleaning to late August this year due to the other carpet work that will soon be done. Rhoda will visit Nottingham School this week to promote the summer reading program. Discussion was held about ways to keep town officials informed about the library issues and events. Laurie moved to accept all donations.  Pat seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Next Meeting:  Monday, July 9th at 6:30 p.m.

Meeting adjourned at 8:16.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen Matthews

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