Present (by roll call attendance) were: Amy Howard (Chair), Kathy Nerrie (Treasurer), Gail LaHaise, Jean Kobeski, Susan Johnson, Bill Ranauro, Tim Lester, Sarah Mann, Jane Malmberg (Library Director), Peggy Pschirrer (Selectboard Liason)
Amy Howard called the Zoom meeting to order at 4:32 p.m. This meeting was being recorded.
Amy welcomed Sarah Mann to the library board and thanked her for jumping in and getting involved right away. Sarah was given a few minutes to introduce herself to the board.
Approval of Minutes: Gail moved to approve the November, 2021 minutes. Susan seconded, and all voted by roll call to accept the November minutes as written.
Treasurer’s Report: Kathy reported that we did not receive the $1900 balance expected from the Trustees of the Trust Fund. She will look into this. She also stated she did not enter the amount spent on the Treasurer’s report. She will fix this and email the corrected report to the board for email approval. Income on the report is correct and she stated we spent less than we took in.
Bills: Jane previously emailed copies of the bills for board review. She stated that book orders could look higher this month because backordered books arrived. She said she was $42 over on Hoopla because she needed to keep the account active and will need to make another deposit in January. She wants to keep Hoopla active because patrons are using it. Amy asked if that had been put in the budget. Jane responded that there wasn’t a specific line for it but there is plenty of money in the book or technology budget to take care of it. Amy said she thinks it would make sense to have a separate line for it to track of physical vs. online books. Jane said she could combine Libby and Hoopla. Jane also reported that the library did not get the grant for Overdrive but she thinks it would be a good idea to still purchase some of our own more popular titles for Overdrive. She said she could take some money from technology and move it into that column. She will keep track of the amount and report it to the board. With no further questions or comments about the bills, Amy moved and Gail seconded that the board approve the bills. By roll call vote, bills were approved.
Budget: Jane met with the Selectboard to discuss the library budget and had usual expenses approved. She also put in to change a part-time staff position to full-time, pending approval at Town Meeting. She will send a copy of the budget to board members.
Peggy read a warrant article she drafted for the library for repair of the chimney and replacement of the front door. The money will come from the unassigned fund balance rather than taxation. She included $40,000 based on estimates she has received so far for the work. Peggy explained to the board that amounts spent cannot exceed was is approved in the warrant. Tim asked if the warrant article should include the $1800 for signage; Amy stated that could be covered by the library.
Amy suggested getting a door that is in keeping with the historic nature of the library. Perhaps a custom door could be made. Tim responded by saying faux historical doors are made but safety and compliance are necessary. The door must open out and there needs to be a crash bar. Jane is waiting for final estimates from Adam Vose and Mark McGill. Adam asked if the library wants an automatic open button; he will include the price of one in his estimate.
Amy asked Peggy if there would be a public budget hearing. Peggy stated it hasn’t been announced but should be in early February, possibly the 10th.
Goals for the Long Range Plan: Jane emailed a copy of the revised Strategic Plan to board members. On it she she crossed off what has ben done and added a few goals, such as creating the logo for the library. Amy said she doesn’t think a Strategic Plan needs to be as specific. It can evolve over time.
Logo and Branding: Amy asked Sarah to lead this discussion since she had sent her thoughts in an email to the board prior to this meeting. Amy said she thinks it’s a good process to go through and to have a recognizable logo. Sarah said it would be helpful to have some background on where the request for a logo came from. Jane replied by saying she and Julie feel that the library needs a consistent brand to use on social media and other promotional materials. They would like to see a common branding that reflects both libraries and the services they offer. Sarah said the drawing of the library that has been used in the past can be considered when creating a new logo.
Sarah asked what the next step should be. Does the board want to create a smaller group to work on this? Amy said in a case like this, a smaller committee is usually formed, which meets, comes up with ideas, then presents them to the whole group. Jean thanked Jane for sending examples of logos from other libraries to give an idea of the direction we may want to go with our logo. Jane stated we want to be modern and relevant. Tim stated he can see the desire to go fresh and modern but he would hate to see the old drawing of the library mothballed. He thinks there is still a place for that, as well.
Amy said they could proceed by forming a committee to work on the logo. She said she would be interested – Sarah and Jane, as well. Jane would like to include Julie. Susan also volunteered. Bill said that is probably as many as are needed. They can meet and report back to the whole group. Amy will reach out for a time for the five to connect.
Signage: Tim stated exit signs are needed inside the library. Jane said they were ordered and are already up.
Amy asked what the process for the outside sign is. She said she would like to see an example of what Tim and Jane have discussed. Tim said it would be a sign like you see at the Congregational and UU Church in Walpole and the Catholic church in North Walpole. Tim said signs would cost between $1,000-1,800. They would be weatherproof, have changeable letters, and glass panels that lock. They have not chosen a vendor yet. Gail suggested they check with the Walpole School because they just erected a similar sign. Jane said they would try to find someone local. Tim and Jane will do the research and present a proposal with 2-3 options at the next meeting.
Amy asked if we need to go to Zoning or Planning Board for approval before putting up such a sign. Peggy said we should look at the Zoning Board’s restrictions on signs. She suggested contacting Myra Mansouri or Jan LeClerc, who are both very knowledgeable about signage
Policy Update for Materials Challenges: Jane sent the board a draft of a Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials. She noted that there have been many materials challenges around the country and was advised to have a policy and means by which patrons could present a challenge to the library. She created the draft for board approval. Amy moved to accept the Reconsideration Policy and Form. Gail seconded, and all voted to approved in a role call vote.
Covid 19 Plan: The library will continue to stay open and offer curbside delivery but will continue virtual programming through February.
Old Home Day: Amy stated that Old Home Day is scheduled for this year and asked the board to think about how the library can participate. Kathy said that a few years ago the library created a float.
Operations: Jane said they will be doing more passive programming, such as take home crafts, the bake-off, in addition to virtual programs. She also said she is very encouraged by the numbers of library visits and check-outs over the last two months.
Buildings and Grounds:
Light: Tim spoke to Houghton’s for a third time about the urgency of installing the new light outside the front of the library. It is a serious safety issue. Laura said the work would be done soon.
North Walpole Bench: Peggy will talk to Cheryl about getting the bench painted when the weather permits.
Other Business: Amy reminded Jean, Gail, Tim, and Sarah to go to Town Hall to sign up to be on the ballot to run for another term.
Jane thanked everyone again for their support during her recent illness.
Adjournment: Gail moved to adjourn the meeting. Tim seconded, and all voted in favor. Amy closed the meeting at 5:46 p.m.
The next virtual meeting will be February 8, 2022, at 4:30 p.m.
Jean Kobeski, Recording Secretary.
***These minutes are in draft form until approved at the February 8, 2022 meeting