Library Trustees Meeting Minutes – 2/8/22

Present (By roll call attendance):  Amy Howard (Chair), Kathy Nerrie (Treasurer), Gail LaHaise, Susan Johnson, Tim Lester, Sarah Mann, Erin Bowen, Jean Kobeski (Recording Secretary), Jane Malmberg (Library Director), Peggy Pschirrer (Selectboard Liaison)

Members Absent:  Bill Ranauro

Call to Order:  Amy called the meeting to order by roll call at 4:33 via Zoom. This meeting was recorded.

Amy welcomed Erin Bowen to the Board and gave Erin the opportunity to introduce herself.

Approval of Minutes:  Gail moved to accept the January 11, 2022 minutes as written.  Tim seconded, and all voted in favor.  The motion passed.

Treasurer’s Report:  Kathy sent a copy of the Treasurer’s Report to the Board for review prior to this meeting. 

Bills:  Jane noted an error that she will correct.  In Subtotals, Programs shows an expenditure of $527.92. Children’s books were inadvertently combined with Programs. The bulk of that subtotal is for children’s books.

In reference to bills, Susan asked how we share a magazine subscription with Plainfield.  Jane said they get the full amount, then send half of the copies by van to Walpole.

Amy moved to approve the December Treasurer’s Report and Bills (which was not done in January). Gail seconded. All voted to approve.  With Jane’s correction to the January bills, Amy moved to accept the January Treasurer’s Report and Bills.  All voted to approve.

Old Business

Logo/Branding:  Amy stated the committee has met twice and made good headway.  Jane said there is nothing official to report yet, but at some point they would like Board input on what they think of when they think about the library and the town.  Sarah suggested waiting until the committee has completed a cohesive survey that the Board can pilot. She feels it can be done digitally before the next meeting so the committee can compile the feedback and present it in March.

Sarah said another topic to discuss is the Board’s comfort level with exploring naming options. Right now the library is known as the Walpole Town Library, the umbrella name for the Walpole/North Walpole Library system.  We also use Bridge Memorial Library for the main town library and North Walpole Library for the branch.  Sarah asked if we are open to changing the name to encompass both. 

Amy said the main library is named Bridge Memorial Library for its benefactors, the Bridge Family.  Jean stated it is important to keep this name because of its historic significance.  Our library is listed on the NH Registry of Historic Places as Bridge Memorial Library.  Susan agreed this is important and we should be mindful of how the community feels about this. The survey of patrons will be helpful.  She stated we don’t want whatever we come up with to be detrimental to the end result.

Peggy said when she hears “Walpole Town Library” she calls up an image of the Bridge Library, as most do.  Her question to the Board was, how do we call up an image of the North Walpole Library?  All agree that it is important to find a way to incorporate N. Walpole in the branding. Kathy suggested naming the umbrella system the Walpole Town Libraries.  Jane and Sarah said the committee will continue to research other libraries so they can give the Board examples. 

Sarah stated the committee should be able to send a copy of the survey to Board members to pilot prior to next month’s meeting. No decisions need to made at this time.

Signage:  Amy suggested waiting to make a decision about the sign until the new logo (if there is one) has been established. Tim said that it may not be necessary; a logo could be added to the top of the sign later. He said a two-door sign, depending on size, will range from between $840 and $1200. It should be installed as soon as the weather is conducive;  the current sign is chipping and should be replaced as soon as we can. Susan asked if the sign Tim is thinking of has the name of the library on it. It does not. That could be added with the removable letters that come with the sign.

Jane contacted the Zoning Board about our sign and sent examples of what we are looking at.  They asked her to come to next week’s meeting to discuss this sign and answer questions. Jane also talked to Justin Cassarino at the Walpole School about the sign that was purchased to honor Sam Jacobs.  He said theirs was made by Keene Signworx, and the company is good to work with.  Jane also spoke to some other libraries that have similar signs, and they, too, were made by Keene Signworx, a company they all recommended.

Jane thought it might be good to work with a local company so we can see the sign as it is being made.  Kathy stated we would be working with Peter Poanessa, who also made the new sign at Hooper Institute.  He could make a nice wooden sign with a logo to which you might be able to attach the windows with removable messages.  Peggy asked what the library’s budget is.  Wooden signs are expensive. 

Tim reported that a 4’x5’ sign from his source would cost $1200.  Jane said we cannot have a sign larger than what we now have.  Tim responded by asking Peggy if we could ask the Zoning Board for a variance.  She said yes, depending on the size you are requesting.  They have various sizes listed within the ordinance.  Jane said she would ask the Zoning Board about that.  Peggy suggested looking on the town website prior to the meeting under documents. You will find the ordinance in there.

Erin said she will be attending a Walpole PTG meeting soon, so she can ask the price of the Walpole School sign.

New Business

Jane sent the Zoom link to the town budget meeting to Board members.  Amy and Jane will attend.  Jane said it would be good to have someone there who could answer questions about the chimney.  Peggy pointed out that this is an informational meeting;  voting on the budget will take place March 12.

Peggy reminded the group that the school district deliberative session would take place on Thursday.  That is an important meeting because school budget, which is going up considerably, will be discussed. That is also where Warrant #10 will be discussed, the article pertaining to the storage of teaching materials in local libraries.  After a brief discussion Sarah volunteered to craft a letter (for the Clarion) making a motion to vote this article down. She said she would have it ready tomorrow and send it to Amy. Amy stated that anyone uncomfortable with this decision could talk with Amy privately about it.

Door and Chimney:  Gail asked if someone who would be able to answer questions about the chimney and door could attend Town Meeting in response to the the library warrant article.  She fears someone may ask why it wasn’t taken care of during the renovation. Amy said she would be able to speak to it;  she said she could talk to Carole Cramer to get more information. A brief discussion about the problem was held.  Kathy said the problem centers around the old chimney, and this problem is not a result of shoddy construction.

Amy said the door issue is a no brainer. The age of the door and locking issues make it necessary to replace.  Susan asked who decides which estimate is selected.  Gail responded that the Board decides.  Even though the town is paying for it, the Board is responsible for taking care of the library.  Peggy responded by saying the Selectboard would be happy to let the Board choose our contractor, as long as we stay within the amount of the warrant article.  Gail said she would like to wait to see if Mark McGill could give us a rendering of his door proposal.

Jane stated we do not have to install an automatic door opener.  Gail asked if it is something we could add at a later date. Jane thinks we could but will ask for a definite answer.  We should be ready to take a vote after Town Meeting to see if the warrant article passes. Peggy said we could choose our contractor beforehand, and after Town Meeting, if the article passes, a check for the deposit could be cut.

Jean asked why Barry wasn’t approached about the door.  Kathy actually discussed the door with Barry.  She said this is not work he does; he is in construction.  If we gave him the job, he would hire someone to build the door.

Operations: Jane is thinking of resuming in-person programs in the library in March.

Jane attended a North Walpole Commissioners’ meeting and communication issues were worked out.

Buildings and Grounds: At the Commissioners’ meeting Jane said she got permission to paint the bench in front of the library.  We have the paint and Brad will do the painting as soon as weather permits.

Other Business:  Amy pointed out that the second Tuesday next month is March 8, voting day. She suggested changing the meeting date to the next week.  All agreed that March 14 would work.

Susan asked if the employee background check information that Jane sent to the Board should be discussed today.  Jane said she wants to get more information before we discuss it.


The next meeting will be Monday, March 14, 2022 at 4:30 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jean Kobeski, Recording Secretary ** These minutes are in draft form until approved at the March 14, 2022 meeting.

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