Library Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes – 5/10/22

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)

Absent:  Bill Ranauro

Amy called the hybrid meeting to order at 4:33 p.m.  This meeting was recorded.

Approval of Minutes:  Amy moved to approve the April 12, 2022 minutes as written.  Erin seconded, and all voted to approve.

Treasurer’s Report:  Everyone did not have the opportunity to review the hard copy of the Treasurer’s Report since several members attended the meeting via Zoom. Kathy said in the future she would email the report to everyone prior to the meeting. Kathy reported that we are within all budgets and money is coming in as expected. Amy asked for clarification of the O. Hubbard account.  She said we expected $7,000 and we have received $8915. Kathy said that was correct and we will not receive any more money this year.  Kathy said the Library Trust Fund is the only one based on earnings.  A & W Hubbard Fund is $2875 quarterly and we have $75,000 in all three bank accounts. 

Bills:  Jane reported we have received the invoice for the portable AED, which was paid, and she already received reimbursement money from the Savings Bank of Walpole to pay for it. That check will be put back into the checking account.

Jane questioned whether we should continue the subscription to the Keene Sentinel at $475/year. She said there have been several delivery issues this year;  there seems to be less to the paper, and not that many people come into the library to read it.  She suggested changing to the Eagle Times for a year at $92.  She said that paper has even contacted her for upcoming events to feature. Kathy suggested possibly subscribing to the digital version of the Sentinel.  Jane said she would look into the pricing for that.

Amy stated it may be better to approve the Treasurer’s Report and Bills via email, after Kathy sends a copy of her report to everyone. No vote to approve was taken at this time.

Old Business

Logo/Branding:  Sarah noted that she emailed a summary of the town survey to board members and thanked Susan for her summary of the last survey question.  Three comments by the public were discussed.  First, there was a request for accessibility to the Board.  After a brief discussion, these ideas were suggested:

            • Create a single email address for the Board

            • Host a “Meet the Board” at the library

            • Post a reminder that board meetings are open to the public

            • Publish a photo of the Board.

            • Request that the Clarion permit board candidates to submit brief campaign statements, even if uncontested

Second, there were requests for quiet reading space in the library.  Jane said they already have a space in the stacks, and the Community Room is available.  She has created a space in that room with comfy chairs and has posted a sign stating it is a quiet reading room when not reserved for a group activity.  The sign recommends checking with the staff to see if an event is scheduled.

The third issue was about the hours of the main branch.  Some people find them confusing.  Amy suggested running with the new hours for a year before studying them.

Peggy reminded board members that the town publishes a tri-fold document, The Town Directory, in which library trustees and hours are listed.  She said these could be distributed by the library; copies can be picked up in Town Hall.  Peggy said Sarah Downing keeps it up-to-date.  Jane said she would get some for the library.

Prospective Logo Designers:  The logo/branding committee introduced two designers to the board who have shown interest in designing the library logo by showing examples of logo designs from their portfolios. Sarah pointed out pros and cons of hiring each of them.   Since these designers are either friends or family of board members, Sarah and Jean will recuse themselves from voting, Amy asked that the remaining board members email their choice of designer to her. Tim asked that Amy send an email reminder with the choice of candidates.

North Walpole Lease:  Peggy said the lease has been taken care of and looks good.

Old Home Days:  Jane said she has a dilemma because both branches of the library will be open that Saturday, so there are only two people available to participate in the parade.  She is asking the Board’s help to either participate in the parade or work at the table on the common. At the table they will have some type of activity, issue library cards, and sign up people for the summer reading program. Jean suggested having tote bags left over from the renovation project at the table. Jane will also reach out to the Friends for help.

Trees Outside Main Branch:  Gail expressed concern about the new trees scheduled to be planted in front of the library. She feels they will block the view of the building and will be damaged over time by salt and sand.  She wondered if the order could be cancelled if it hasn’t been delivered and paid for yet.  Jane said they have been delivered and are scheduled to be planted on Wednesday of this week.  Since this planting was planned with Jennifer Burr months ago, it was felt that it wouldn’t be fair to her to cancel now.      

New Business

Policy Changes:  Jane attended a workshop on book challenges, which were up significantly last year nationwide. An attorney from the NH chapter of the ACLU said New England tends to be 6-9 months behind on issues like this so he warned libraries to be prepared for what might be coming.  Our library has already updated our collection and challenge policies, but Jane said we need a challenge policy for programs. She will research the policies of other libraries and draft one for ours to present at the next meeting.  She said our circulation policy needs to be changed to explicitly state that all ages have access to and can check out any book in the library.

Jane asked Peggy if she feels we should show these policies and challenge forms to the town attorney.  Peggy said we should.  She asked Jane to send them to her once they are completed and she will forward them to Attorney Hockensmith for review. 

Operations :  Everything in both branches is running smoothly.  Circulation is up and N. Walpole is experiencing an increase in library visits.  Attendance at programs and library book clubs has been very good.

Some bookcases in the children’s room are collapsing.  They can probably be repaired.  Kathy reminded Jane that money from the O. Hubbard Fund can be used to purchase new ones.

Jane will meet with the Friends next week and check on the status of the wish list.

Buildings and Grounds:  Tim reported that a deposit has been made to Mark McGill and he has begun work on the front door.  There is nothing new to add about the chimney.


With no other business to discuss, Gail moved to adjourn the meeting. Kathy seconded the motion, and Amy adjourned the meeting at 5:50 p.m.

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

Respectfully Submitted,

Jean Kobeski, Recording Secretary

** These minutes are in draft form until approved at the June 14, 2022 meeting.

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