Minutes of the Blaisdell Memorial Library Trustees Minutes December 16, 2013

MINUTES OF BLAISDELL MEMORIAL LIBRARY TRUSTEES MEETING

December 16, 2013

Present: Rhoda Capron, Susan Medeiros, Sara Wotton, Kathleen Matthews

Meeting was called to order at 6:21 p.m.

Policy Update/Current Task: All policy reviews were placed on hold until the budget process is complete.

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

Treasurer’s Report: The November budget figures were discussed as was the corrected October report.  Both reports were deemed to be suitable for this point in the year. Rhoda moved to file the reports.

Kathleen seconded. All voted in favor.

Library Director’s Report: The November circulation figures were down slightly from last year with the exception of Downloadables where the numbers continue to rise as more and more patrons take advantage of this service. Rhoda reported that as the result of the Town receiving an energy conservation grant from Public Service of NH, all of the library’s light bulbs and ballasts have been replaced with more energy-efficient equipment. PSNH also installed a motion detector downstairs so that the lights will turn on only when someone is actually using the Children’s Room or the meeting area. Both the annual Christmas parade float and the Gingerbread House program were rousing successes.The new afternoon book group continues to grow and increase in popularity. This season’s holiday hours were agreed upon: the library will close at 1:00 on December 24th and remain closed on December 25th and 26th. It will also be closed on New Year’s Day. The perennial problem with the parking lot not being properly plowed during and after snowstorms was discussed at length. Rhoda reported that after this season’s first major snowstorm the Town only plowed the parking area once, which created safety hazards for staff and patrons entering and exiting the highway. Since the Town requires the Library to maintain regular open hours during storms (if staff is to be paid), it stands to reason that its parking lot would be kept as cleared as the lots at the Fire Department and other town buildings. However, this is not the case. Rhoda tried to obtain the cell phone number of the plow driver, as she was directed to do last year by the Town Office,but the Road Agent declined to provide it. Given that our many attempts to resolve this persistent problem have been unsuccessful, it was decided ask for a meeting with the Board of Selectmen to obtain permission to hire our own snow-clearing contractor. Rhoda will make the appointment.

Committee Report:

Kathleen presented the new conceptual design for the front of the building. In addition to creating a new garden that mirrors the existing plantings on the other side of the walkway, the design will address issues in the areas surrounding the monument and along the woods edge where invasive plants will need to be replaced. The design will be displayed in the library so patrons can see how past, present, and future landscape funds are being used.

Old Business: Rhoda and Kathleen gave a brief account of their November meeting with the Budget Committee as well as the COLA changes that the Board of Selectmen made after the library’s proposed budget for 2014 had been presented. Kathleen moved to accept the revised guideline of 2% vs. 3% for staff salary increases. Susan seconded. All voted in favor.

New Business: The annual Staff Holiday Party will take place at Susan’s house at 4:30 on Sunday,January 12th. Further discussion of hiring guidelines for Children’s Librarian and the trustees annual goals were tabled. December’s Monthly Tasks were reviewed. Susan will send the disbursement letter to the Town (to obtain half of the 2013 budget in January), write the quarterly update to the Board of Selectmen, and, write the annual report about CD activity to the Attorney General’s office. Rhoda will obtain the quarterly ledger from the Town to track salary expenditures. Susan moved to accept all donations. Sara seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Next Meeting:

Monday, January 27th at 6:00 p.m.

Meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen Matthews

 

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

MINUTES OF BLAISDELL MEMORIAL LIBRARY TRUSTEES MEETING

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

 

Minutes of the Blaisdell Memorial Library Trustees Meeting March 3, 2014

MINUTES OF BLAISDELL MEMORIAL LIBRARY TRUSTEES MEETING

March 3, 2014

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

Meeting was called to order at 6:01 p.m

Policy Update/Current Task: All policy discussions continue to be tabled until after Town Meeting. The first policy to be reviewed at that time will be the Internet Policy.

Secretary’s Report: The minutes of the January meeting were reviewed and a date was corrected in the

Library Director’s paragraph. Melanie moved to accept the report with this correction. Pat seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Treasurer’s Report: The January 1st – March 3rd report was reviewed. Rhoda had questions about the expenditures in the Books line which she will discuss with Janet. The Movies & Videos lines continue to be separated so Rhoda will mention this to Janet as well. Pat moved to file the report. Susan seconded.

All voted in favor.

 Library Director’s Report:

Circulation for January and February showed a slight decline from last year due, more than likely, to the cold weather and the number of snowstorms that occurred in both months.  Rhoda expressed appreciation of and gratitude for the fine job that Pat did during Rhoda’s absence during the month of February. The Friends of the Library’s “Chocolate Fundraiser” was very successful. The Humanities Council-sponsored presentation on archaeological treasures from the Isles of Shoals was well attended and well-received. The “Winter Olympics” program for ages 7-14 took place last weekend and was a resounding success. Events included: Ice Cube Bobsleds, Mini-Marshmallow Biathalon, Book Basketball, and Balloon Slalom. March 19th will be a busy day at the library: The annual Senior Luncheon will take place at noon; the Coe-Brown Academy Art Exhibit will be set up during the day and will be on display through April 9th; and “Family Chess Night” will take place in the evening. A “Zentangle” workshop will be presented at the library on March 23rd and a tick talk by Alan Eaton is being scheduled for a date in May. The new book-shelves, built at the NH State Prison, should arrive within the next two weeks. Allison and Pat will be attending a technology tools workshop on March 20th.

Discussion ensued about the possibility of hosting a series of technology support sessions for patrons on Saturdays.

Committee Report: Kathleen shared that she is in the process of setting-up a display featuring the new landscape design for the front of the building. Two of last year’s successful fundraisers are about to get underway: selling High Mowing Organic Seeds and taking orders for vegetable plants. Lee Gilman contacted Kathleen to inquire about the status of the second phase of the invasive plant eradication program. She will contact Lee and Charlie Brown once the outcome of the 2014 town budget is known.

Old Business: The Budget Committee’s Public Hearing went well in February, with no questions or concerns expressed about the library’s proposed budget. The parking lot continues to be plowed in a timely manner. Due to a foot injury sustained by Al Vachon, the town manager, Charlie Brown, offered to have the snow-shoveling done by someone else. It was deemed unnecessary to accept his offer at this time but a back-up plan for such circumstances needs to be discussed in the future.

New Business: Extensive discussion occurred regarding the potential hiring of a Children’s Librarian and the crafting of a set of Hiring Guidelines for current and future open staff positions. Regarding the proposed Children’s Librarian position, it was determined that, due to the limited hours of the position, the Children’s Librarian would not have any responsibility for independently expending library funds; therefore, the Library Director will be responsible for recruiting, hiring, and conducting a three-month review of the individual selected for this position, pending the Board’s approval of the candidate proposed for the position. However, if and when the Children’s Librarian position increases to full-time and/or the job description is changed to include fiscal expenditures, the Board of Trustees will assume responsibility for interviewing, hiring, and reviewing the individual who assumes this position.

Discussion about Hiring Guidelines centered on matters pertaining to posting open staff positions,interviewing candidates, and developing a three-month probationary period for all new staff positions. It was decided that positions will be posted on the state jobs board, in newspapers, on Craigslist, here at the library and at the Town Office. In regards to interviews and hiring, it was determined that the Board will be responsible for the interviewing and hiring of the new Library Director and Assistant Librarian and that specific questions (yet to be determined) will be asked of all candidates. For the next meeting, everyone will bring sample questions and potential topics to be considered for the interview process. All positions will remain open until suitable candidates are found

It was decided to implement a three-month probationary period for all newly-hired staff. The Board will develop a formal review document and a review process specific to the three-month, probationary period and separate from the annual reviews conducted on all staff members. The Board of Trustees will conduct the probationary reviews of the Assistant Librarian and Library Director. The Library Director will perform the reviews on any other newly-hired staff member and present these to the Board. Also, during her/his three-month probationary period the new Library Director will need to have all major decisions approved by the Board.The opening for the position of Library Director to replace Rhoda will be posted in May. In order to be prepared for this deadline, the following actions will be taken prior to the next board meeting: Rhoda will e-mail her job description and a draft of the new Hiring Guidelines to Board members. Trustees will each craft a sample advertisement for the director’s position.

Other New Business included discussion about the complications of having weekly checks signed for the building’s cleaning contractor. Potential solutions will be discussed at the next meeting. Pat also shared an e-mail regarding trust fund legislation that was sent to the library. This will also be addressed at the next meeting. All Monthly Tasks have been completed except those pertaining to the outcome of Town Meeting and the approval of the proposed 2014 budget. Susan moved to accept all donations. Melanie seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Next Meeting:

Monday, April 7th at 6:00 p.m

Meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen Matthews

 

 

Minutes of the Blaisdell Memorial Library Trustees Meeting June 10, 2013

MINUTES OF BLAISDELL MEMORIAL LIBRARY TRUSTEES MEETING

June 10, 2013

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

Meeting was called to order at 5:35 p.m.

Policy Update/Current Task:  Rhoda is still reviewing policies to determine if there are any in need of revision. Susan shared a draft that could serve as the staff’s annual evaluation of the library director by staff. It was modeled after an existing workplace document. After discussing its contents and design, it was decided that the new evaluation should have clear, simple statements and should be able to be used for all employees. Susan and Rhoda will continue to work on this task.

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

Treasurer’s Report: The book-keeper’s monthly report was not available. Janet requested earlier notification of board meetings so that she’ll have time to prepare the reports. Sara will contact her as soon as meeting dates are set. Sara also communicated with Janet about the new account and recent signatory changes. There continue to be erroneous dual lines for Movies & DVD’s, even tough the latter replaced the former. Rhoda has been in touch with Janet to correct this and to make certain the money is shifted to the correct line. She also noted that the Alarm line went over because of the increased expense of the new battery. Rhoda moved to file the report. Susan seconded. All voted in favor.

Library Director’s Report: The circulation numbers for May were well above the highs of 2011, though down slightly in comparison to last year. The Building Committee recently completed its inspection of the building and found no major discernible concerns. The Story Hour program’s final celebration was an exceptional puppet show done by librarian Carol Sanborn. The event was extremely well-attended and received rave reviews from both children and adults. The 2013 Farmers’ Market season was successfully launched and has a number of new vendors. The money raised by vendor fees will be used to purchase new signs for the highways and to expand publicity. Suzanne Tomasczewski, the Nottingham School Librarian, will be doing the Summer Reading Program, “Dig Into Reading;” this will also help to strengthen the link between the town and school.

Committee Report:

Kathleen reported that the public launch of the “Following Nature’s Lead” fundraising campaign went well. The raffle, native plant sale, seed sales, and vegetable plant orders all went smoothly and raised enough money to pay for the installation of native shrubs beside the ramp on the east side of the building. This will complete the restoration of that particular garden. The committee continues to meet with various landscapers and land care professionals to gather information and estimates for eradicating the poison ivy and invasive plants at the back and sides of the building. A report will be presented at the next board meeting.

Old Business: Susan reviewed the draft of ideas that Laurie Legard, as chair, had proposed last year to be considered as Annual Goals for Trustees. These included: consistent posting of minutes and meeting dates (Susan will do this); generating a Library Director evaluation; estate planning (Rhoda and Allison are working on this); developing hiring guidelines; creating a Children’s Librarian position; and, developing a long-range plan for the library. The decision was made to make the hiring guidelines and new position the priorities for this year. The meeting of regional library trustees will be held at Blaisdell Memorial Library this coming, Monday, June 17th, from 6:00 –– 8:00. Sara will ask for the date to be re-posted with an RSVP on the NHLTA list-serve.

New Business: The Monthly Tasks list was reviewed. All tasks will be completed once the carpet is cleaned this Friday. The task of visiting the school to promote the Summer Reading Program was waived as the school librarian will include its promotion in her normal end-of-the-school-year experiences with students. Susan moved to accept all donations. Sara seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Next Meeting:

It was decided not to meet in July. The next meeting will be on Monday, August 12th at 5:30 p.m.

Meeting adjourned at 6:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen Matthews

Minutes of the Blaisdell Memorial Library Trustees Meeting September 23, 2013

MINUTES OF BLAISDELL MEMORIAL LIBRARY TRUSTEES MEETING

September 23, 2013

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

Meeting was called to order at 5:41 p.m.

Policy Update/Current Task: Discussion about the Internet Policy was tabled. Pat has updated the inventory for the Technology Plan. Due to the loss of several DVD’s taken out by one patron, consideration is being given to placing a limit on the number of DVD’s allowed to be checked-out. The decision was made to use the latest sample of a Library Director Evaluation that Rhoda downloaded. The staff will be expected to complete the same evaluation.

Secretary’s Report: The minutes of the August meeting were read. Rhoda moved to accept the report.  Sara seconded the motion. All voted in favor. Questions arose about the time-limit for posting meeting minutes and whether or not these needed to be approved by the Board before posting. The State RSA’s will be consulted for clarification.

Treasurer’s Report: The August financial report was reviewed. Susan moved to file the report. Melanie seconded. All voted in favor.

Library Director’s Report:  The summer patterns of high circulation and significant numbers of new patrons continued in August. Rhoda pointed out the particularly strong number of patrons downloading books. The “Natural Building” presentation was well-attended and well-received. The new day-time book club has started. Rhoda plans to attend the monthly Senior Luncheon to promote the book club. In early October there will be an AARP program about the Affordable Care Act. The furnace filters need to be changed but Rhoda has yet to hear from the Town Manager about who will be performing this service. Rhoda is still exploring possibilities for expanding the shelving for the Non-Fiction collection.

Committee Report:  Kathleen reviewed the recent meeting with the Board of Selectmen about the landcare report presented to them by the Board. Funding for the Fall application of herbicides was approved and work has already begun. The Landscape Committee recently met to discuss potential future plans that include purchasing a landscape design for the unfinished areas at the front of the building and undertaking a town-wide mailing to raise funds for implementing the design. The committee needs clarification about how much funding is currently available before it can proceed with either endeavor.

Old Business: Rhoda shared highlights of her recent trip to Washington, D.C. for New Hampshire Librarians Day. The 2014 Capital Improvement Plan which Rhoda recently submitted to the Town was discussed, particularly the Children’s Librarian position. It was decided to table discussion of Hiring Guidelines until the 2014 Budget work has been completed.

New Business: Rhoda reviewed the Town’s guidelines and time-table for the 2014 budget process.  Although the dates may change, the Board is scheduled to meet with the Selectmen in mid-November and the Budget Committee on December 5th. The Public Hearing for the Town Budget will be February 6th. Susan recently attended an NHLTA workshop which she’ll discuss at the next meeting. All Monthly Tasks have been completed. Susan moved to accept all donations. Sara seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Next Meeting: October 21st at 5:30 p.m. The Board will meet in closed session at 4:30 to complete the annual Library Director Evaluation.

Meeting adjourned at 7:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen Matthews

Minutes of the Blaisdell Memorial Library Trustees Meeting August 10, 2010

MINUTES OF BLAISDELL MEMORIAL LIBRARY TRUSTEE MEETING

August 10, 2010

Present: Rhoda Capron, Laurie Legard, Susan Medeiros, Sara Wotton, Kathleen Matthews Meeting was called to order at 6:35 p.m.

Policy Updating: Rhoda shared the changes she made to the drafts of the volunteer policy documents under consideration: the volunteer policy guidelines, a volunteer service agreement, and a volunteer application form. A question of the need for all three documents was discussed; it was decided to proceed as follows: Rhoda will present the policy to a prospective volunteer at the time interest is first expressed.  The individual would then fill-out an application form and, upon completion of a successful background check, would sign the service agreement, indicating his/her understanding of and willingness to abide by the library’s policy for its volunteers. Discussion was held about clarifying the rules in regards to the use of minors as volunteers. Rhoda continues to seek information at the state level and will also inquire about maintaining our status as an approved site for community service. Sara moved that we accept the volunteer policy as drafted. Laurie seconded. All voted in favor.

Secretary’s Report: Reviewed the July report. Laurie moved to accept the report. Sara seconded. All voted in favor.

Treasurer’s Report: The latest budget was discussed. There were no issues, questions, or concerns.  Rhoda reported that the second & final disbursement check had been received and the deposit made.  Laurie moved to file the report. Sara seconded. All voted in favor.

Library Director’s Report:  July’s circulation statistics were reviewed. July always tends to be a big month for circulation but this year’s numbers were particularly high, especially the number of children’s materials. In fact, the total number of materials circulated in July of 2001 and 2002 were considerably less than just the number of juvenile materials checked-out this July. The Summer Reading Program has gone well, especially since this is the first year that older children have been involved. It is hoped their participation has laid a strong foundation for future summer programs. The program’s finale, a “sea serpent” party, will be this Thursday. Regretfully, Sarah has left the staff in order to assume a new, fulltime position in Amherst. Beginning in mid-September Robin Proulx will conduct Story Hour. Rhoda met with Kevin Smith, the experienced new technology director at the school, and anticipates that he will do well as the administrator of the automated system shared between the library and school. Five library staff members and Laurie successfully completed a CPR course at the library. On September 15th Rhoda, as a member of a regional emergency planning group, will present a public workshop for families on how to be prepared for emergencies. The Farmer’s Market is going well. This Sunday the market is hosting a crafts fair and raffle to raise money for next year’s advertising. Market vendors will each donate an item to the raffle. Paul Dallaire replaced the downstairs door but it still needs weather-stripping and urethane. Laurie volunteered to do the urethane. Steve Capron will get the weather-stripping.

Old Business: Discussion was held about the moisture issues in the downstairs room. Dry weather and the dehumidifier have prevented any odors in the closet.

New Business: Discussion was held about a letter Rhoda received from a company seeking to distribute bookmarks showing the library’s hours as part of a business’s advertisement. It was decided not to establish the precedent of using the library to advertise private businesses. Rhoda will contact the company regarding this decision.

Next meeting will be held Tuesday, September 21 at 6:30 p.m.

Meeting adjourned at 7:38 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen Matthews

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

MINUTES OF BLAISDELL MEMORIAL LIBRARY TRUSTEES MEETING

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

Minutes of the Blaisdell Memorial Library Trustees Meeting May 7, 2012

MINUTES OF BLAISDELL MEMORIAL LIBRARY TRUSTEES MEETING

May 7, 2012

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

Meeting was called to order at 6:38 p.m.

Policy Update/Current Task: Discussion continued regarding the development of a policy for loaning the library’s e-reader. Rhoda spoke with the Barrington librarian who provided helpful feedback about specific issues, particularly the required deposit and the greater popularity of the Kindle Fire versus the Nook. Following discussion the board decided to keep a deposit of $25 as part of the loan agreement and to insert a statement that a parent’s signature is required for any borrower under the age of 18. The new e-reader loan program will be launched soon and the policy will be adjusted as needed. Work continues on up-dating the Harassment Policy. Pat will contact the Town Office about obtaining an electronic version of the town’s policy so that Kathleen can make specific language changes and adapt it to fit the library’s use and purpose.

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

Treasurer’s Report: The monthly ledger was reviewed. Rhoda received salary information from the town which shows that our salary line is on target. Our appropriation level is 52%. The Telephone line is low. Rhoda expects this is due to the fact that the town switched to a new phone company but recommended that the line be monitored for the next few months. Laurie moved to file the report. Sara seconded the motion. All voted in favor

Library Director’s Report: Rhoda was pleased to report that the April statistics, especially circulation, showed a dramatic increase, particularly in children’s books. The staff conducted the required Typical Week Survey. No surprising changes were noticed since the last survey. The Teen Advisory group would like to have summer movie program based on books that have been made into films but require a special movie license to do so. Rhoda reported that the State Library coordinated a group purchase of movie licenses and that she has purchased a membership license for the Blaisdell Library. The license will also allow civic groups (e.g., Boy Scouts or Recreation Department) to show movies on site. On May 24th, Cheryl Smith will present a program entitled: “Growing Healthy Plants Outdoors.” Rhoda was contacted by Community Action regarding a public program, “Homeowners Property Tax Relief” that will be presented Tuesday, May15th. Al Vachon finished sheet-rocking the meeting room and it is now ready to be painted.

Old Business: Rhoda and Laurie met with Paul Colby, the town Code Enforcement Officer, to work on the Disaster Plan. They have completed a considerable portion of the plan and are following up on some of his suggestions, such as keeping the trustees’ minutes and other pertinent information on a flash-drive in Rhoda’s possession at all times. Discussion ensued about ways to back-up important information. It was decided to have both a day-to-day back-up process as well as a monthly back-up process. The chair of the board will keep the latter secure. A back-up device will also be provided for the Assistant Library Director. Laurie, Rhoda, and Kathleen will take the next steps to finish-up the Disaster Plan. Discussion occurred regarding the upcoming Annual NHLTA conference. Sara reported on her investigation of the mystery trust fund money which, as it turns out, was expended in 1977 when physical changes were made to library. Sara also reported on her efforts to assist the Historical Society in the process of re-gaining its non-profit status with the IRS. Kathleen shared information gathered from her consultation with a landscaper about the restoration and rejuvenation of the gardens and hardscaping around the building. Their recommendation is to target specific sections of the landscape over a period of time and to use volunteers whenever possible to help reduce the cost, which will be considerable. Kathleen also presented several fund-raising ideas to be conducted over the next few months, beginning with a plant sale at the opening of the Farmers’ Market.

New Business: It was decided that all current and future trustees undertake a background check as is required of all staff and volunteers. The cost is will be covered under the current budget. Rhoda will provide the appropriate forms and will facilitate the notarizing of said forms. The date of the annual “Trustee’s Clean-Up Day” will be determined at the next meeting. All of the Monthly Tasks have been performed. Laurie moved to accept all donations. Pat seconded. All voted in favor.

Next Meeting: Monday, June 4th at 6:30 p.m.

Meeting adjourned at 8:06.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen Matthews

Minutes of the Blaisdell Memorial Library Trustees Meeting February 11, 2013

MINUTES OF BLAISDELL MEMORIAL LIBRARY TRUSTEES MEETING

February 11, 2013

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

Meeting was called to order at 5:45 p.m.

Policy Update/Current Task: Rhoda shared samples of other libraries’ Social Media policies. After reviewing others’ work it was determined that our own policy should aim to be as clear and uncluttered as possible and that it should contain the elements recommended by the School Library Journal. The policy will need to be modified as changes evolve in social media and issues arise as a result of patron usage.  Rhoda will compose a draft to present at the next meeting.

Secretary’s Report: The minutes of the January meeting were read. Laurie moved to accept the report with the corrected spelling of a proper name. Pat seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Treasurer’s Report: The final copy of the 2012 financial figures were reviewed. No questions or issues were raised. Laurie moved to file the report. Kathleen seconded. All voted in favor.

Library Director’s Report:  Rhoda reported that January was an exceptionally busy month. The circulation numbers were more than double those from ten years ago in January 2003. The Humanities Council program about Dinah Whipple was very well-attended, including by a number of people from distant towns. Rhoda noted that ours was one of only two libraries in the state to offer a program on African-Americans during Black History Month. The high attendance, however, raised questions about the building’s capacity and the need for an alternative venue for programs set during the normal evening hours. The next program being offered, “The Moose Man,” was to occur soon but has been postponed by the presenter until April. The Weekend Story Hour program for working parents has begun and shows potential for growth. Plans are being developed for February’s school vacation that may include programs by the UNH Chess Club and a literature-related miniature golf tournament put on by the Teen Advisors group. A current program for 5th & 6th-graders based on the book, The Westing Game, is going well.  Rhoda hopes to an in-memorial donation to purchase two comfortable chairs to be placed next to the back window on the Main Floor.

Committee Report: Kathleen reported on the recent meeting of the Landscape Committee. The first draft of the fundraising business plan was shared and a number of question about decision-making processes were asked and answered. In addition to developing a comprehensive business plan and preparing a formal public launch of the fundraising campaign this spring, the committee has also made it a priority to develop a well-researched eradication for coping with the native and non-native invasive plants, particularly poison ivy and bittersweet, that are creating considerable landscape and land use problems.

Old Business: The revised Holiday Policy was approved and is being sent to the Town Office. The issue of requiring Rhoda to explicitly track her hours has finally been resolved.  The Library Director should use the same log book as other staff but add the word “Exempt.” Candidates for Alternate Trustee are still being considered. Discussion was held on the topic of having the staff write anonymous appraisals of the Library Director as part of the latter’s annual review. Sara will review what other libraries are doing and present samples at the next meeting.

New Business: A regional meeting of library trustees is being hosted in Barrington on March 14th. Sara expects to attend; Kathleen will try to as well. The Monthly Tasks were reviewed with compliments expressed to Rhoda for a well-written article for the Annual Town Report. Laurie moved to accept all donations. Pat seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Next Meeting:  March 11, 2013 at 5:30 p.m.

Meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen Matthews

Minutes of the Blaisdell Memorial Library Trustees Meeting January 14, 2013

MINUTES OF BLAISDELL MEMORIAL LIBRARY TRUSTEES MEETING

January 14, 2013

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

Meeting was called to order at 5:33 p.m.

Policy Update/Current Task: The primary topic of discussion was a review of the 2012 year-end financial information provided by Janet. Rhoda provided insight regarding particular expenditures in lines that appeared to have overages. Comparisons were made between amounts spent in 2012 and projected costs/budget request for 2013. Questions were raised about an existing savings account as well as the balance in the landscape fund, which appears to be much too low. Kathleen will contact Sara, as treasurer, to get more specific information and to request that she make inquiries at the bank about the savings account. The public hearing for our proposed 2013 budget is scheduled for February 12th.

Secretary’s Report: The minutes of the December meeting were read. There was no discussion. Pat moved to accept the report. Laurie seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Treasurer’s Report: The monthly budget figures were reviewed as part of the larger discussion about finances. Laurie moved to file the report. Pat seconded. All voted in favor.

Library Director’s Report: Rhoda reported a record-breaking total circulation for 2012 was. She was pleased to see that her effort to attain better balance in making purchases for the adult and juvenile collections was well-reflected in the circulation data. The Friends of the Library purchased a changing table that has been installed in the upstairs bathroom; a sign will be posted in the downstairs restroom to indicate the table’s location. Rhoda designed and purchased online two colorful new ceiling banners to designate the Young Adult and Children’s Room areas. The Barrington and Madbury libraries have invited area trustees to a regional gathering of trustees they’re sponsoring on March 14th. Rhoda will send the specifics to each board member. Upcoming library programs include: A presentation on Dinah Whipple, a Portsmouth slave, sponsored by the NH Humanities Council and a possible presentation/workshop by the UNH Chess Club during February vacation. Registration for the new weekend StoryHour is open. Chelsea Bell, the current intern, is in the process of developing a book discussion group for 4th-5th Graders.

Committee Report: Kathleen reported that the newly-formed Landscape Committee had its first meeting December 12th. The committee has: begun the process of forming a business plan for the “Following Nature’s Lead” fundraising campaign; is researching ways to ecologically eradicate poison ivy and bittersweet; and is seeking human and other resources to support the next phases of work to be done as part of the restoration project. The committee would prefer to do a formal, public launch of the fundraising campaign later in the spring, perhaps in conjunction with a tour of local gardens and a day of garden-related workshops. One or two small fundraising events may also be planned for late winter/early spring.

Old Business: Laurie reported on her conversation with Charlie Brown, the town administrator, regarding the recording of hours for the library director’s work schedule. Laurie felt the message was mixed: on one hand, in a salaried position the library director needn’t be overly-concerned about this; however she still needs to record the 40-hour work week. Rhoda reiterated her concerns about the complexity in doing so, particularly in regards to short weeks. The fact that the library is closed on Fridays complicates matters.  The concept of flexible hours was discussed at length but the board may need to take formal action in order for this to become possible. It was suggested that for one month Rhoda record her work hours in detail so the board will have better information upon which to base any decision.

New Business: Laurie will be stepping-down from her trustee position when her term expires this year.  Susan has chosen to seek the trustee position in the upcoming election. This will leave a vacancy for Alternate Trustee. Though not required, it has proven beneficial to have an alternate trustee who is wellinformed about the library so Rhoda will create a short-list of individuals who might be willing to serve in this role. Rhoda posed a question to the board about the selling of produce that had been raised by a market vendor. The concept of developing a social media policy was revisited with the result that Rhoda will begin gathering resources and information for future discussions on the topic. The board unanimously voted to change the language pertaining to the scheduled holiday the day after Thanksgiving to read “ten days and a floater” since the library is never open on Fridays. Rhoda took responsibility for making that change and sending it to the Town Office. Laurie took care of the CD renewal at the bank; she will also send the required report to the state. The letter requesting the current disbursement has been sent. Rhoda will soon begin drafting her annual report for the town. In February, we’ll need to prepare for the auditor. The discussion about the potential for composing a staff appraisal of the library director as part of the director’s annual evaluation will be considered at a future meeting. Rhoda reported that a significant donation has been given to the library for the purchase of books on CD and that two donations were made toward the landscape project fund. Laurie moved to accept all donations. Pat seconded the motion. All voted in favor.

Next Meeting:Monday, February 11th at 5:30 p.m.

Meeting adjourned at 7:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen Matthews