Minutes of the Blaisdell Memorial Library Trustees Meeting January 27, 2014


January 27, 2014

Present: Rhoda Capron, Susan Medeiros, Sara Wotton, Pat Vachon, Melanie Metz, Kathleen Matthews

Meeting was called to order at 6:37 p.m.

Policy Update/Current Task: Reviews of the Technology and Internet policies were tabled until after Town Meeting on March 15th. It was also decided to review current safety policies, at a future time, to make certain these covered all aspects of safety and security, per a recent NHLTA article.

Secretary’s Report: The minutes of the December meeting were read. Rhoda moved to accept the report. Susan seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Treasurer’s Report: The final budget report of 2013 was reviewed. All lines accurately reflect expenditures. Un-spent monies from Maintenance and Repairs lines will be returned to the Town. Susan moved to file the report. Pat seconded. All voted in favor.

Library Director’s Report: Both December’s statistics and the year’s totals reflect strong, significant growth across all areas in 2013. There were 1,441 more materials circulated in 2013 than in 2012 and a total of 21,480 more items circulated than ten years ago in 2003. No new Play-A-Ways were purchased due to an increase in cost and a decrease in demand. The staff held its first staff meeting for 2014 and covered a good range of topics, including a concern about the need to clarify the fines policy. Some patrons do not appear to understand why the library goes to such extents to retrieve its materials. Discussion centered on ways to raise public awareness of this serious issue by emphasizing the true costs associated with over-due and lost materials–– staff time, postage, purchase & replacement costs of materials (especially DVDs) –– and the fiscal ramifications for taxpayers. Rhoda will add a paragraph to her report in the 2014 Town Report and, in the future, will include information about the fines policy and over-dues situation on the web page, Facebook, and Library News e-mails. The Public Hearing for the Town’s 2014 Budget will take place Thursday, March 6th at 7:00. Rhoda will be away but Susan,Kathleen, and Pat will attend the meeting to address any questions about the library budget that might arise. Rhoda received a reasonable estimate from the NH State Prison for construction of the new shelf and was given approval to proceed with its commission. Rhoda will call the alarm company to have the emergency call contacts list changed to include all trustees’ names and numbers. The Teen Advisory Group has begun anew and is planning a Winter Olympics party on March 1st for children ages 8-13.  TheFriends of the Library will host a chocolate fundraiser on February 16th and, on March 2nd, will sponsor a program about Isles of Shoals archaeology.

Committee Report:The new landscape concept design will be displayed on the bulletin board above the paperback bookshelf near the entrance. The display will include a document that outlines the major phases and fundraising goals for the design’s implementation as well as suggestions for making commemorative or memorial donations.The first fundraisers of 2014 –– seed sales and vegetable plant orders –– will begin in March.

Old Business: Rhoda described the meeting that took place with the Board of Selectmen regarding the plowing situation, particularly their concerns that the empty building across the road was being plowed but not the library. Since that meeting, the parking lot has been well-plowed in a timely manner. Regarding the new position of Children’s Librarian, Rhoda reported that the Town does not appear tohave any specific guidelines to be followed for this process. Rhoda has written a job description that she will post if and when the budget is passed at Town Meeting. She would like to have someone in the new position by May so she/he will have ample time to prepare for the Summer Reading Program.

New Business: Rhoda announced her intention to retire from her director’s position, effective August 31st. Although the board knew this decision was imminent, Rhoda’s official announcement was still received with genuine sadness and regret. Pat also announced that she would only remain in her position as Assistant Library Director until April 2015. The board expressed its gratitude for her willingness to assist with the significant transitions the library will experience in the year to come. There was considerable discussion about who would run for trustee when Sara’s term expires in March. The deadline for filing for candidacy is Friday, January 31st. Rhoda shared her draft for the 2014 Town Report. Minor changes were made. Rhoda requested that Kathleen compose a section for the library report that outlines the Landscape Committee’s work this past year. Rhoda also shared the information she included in the lengthy NH Public Libraries Statistical Report which she has completed well-ahead of its due date in March. Discussion of Annual Goals for Trustees was suspended indefinitely as the main priority for the next several months will be the development of a process for, and ultimately the hiring of, a new Library Director. The Monthly Tasks lists were reviewed; all tasks for January have been completed. Susan moved to accept all donations. Sara seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Next Meeting:Monday, March 3rd at 6:00 p.m.

Meeting adjourned at 7:54 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen Matthews


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