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Grafton Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes
January 31, 2019
Attending: Bob Donald, Lucia Corwin, Andrea Dunmire, Deborah Toomey, David Whittall, and librarian Michelle Dufort.
Bob called the meeting to order at 7:07 PM
The minutes of the October 25, 2018 meeting were approved.
On March 6 the Library will host a program on Global Warming led by Laurel Green. It will last approximately 2 hours with videos and discussion. All are welcome. A program hosted by the Library and sponsored by AARP Vermont will be held February 27th on computer fraud and how to protect oneself.
Michelle has completed and submitted the annual public library report to the Vermont Department of Libraries.
Michelle reported that the book sale room is very full and the increased cost of $3 for a hardbound and $2 for a paperback have not diminished sales. While the monies have increased, it will not be sufficient to replace the funds the Library raised though the annual book sale. However, grave concern was expressed about the 2019 book sale. The librarian’s health issues and the aging of the Board and volunteers to assist in sorting, moving outside, and replacing the books (up and down the flight of stairs), and setting up for the sale, was discussed. The removal of the unsold and hence unwanted books will be a problem since the current volunteer has informed the librarian that he will NOT be able to perform this function in 2019. In addition, the Rockingham Recycling will no longer accept them and Springfield Recycling took them as a special favor in 2018. We will be unable to dispose of the excess books that will not fit in our book sale room. Michelle stressed how she worked very hard last year to obtain younger volunteers. While many agreed to assist, very few responded. The Board voted unanimously to suspend the book sale pending approval and input from the newly elected trustees. This decision, when completed must be announced in the Grafton News and broadcast widely.
If the annual book sale is suspended and the increased fees are insufficient to make up the difference, what should be done as a fundraiser to augment the Library’s budget? Two new ideas were to host a Valentine’s Day party for the community, but this would need a year’s lead time due to Town Meeting and new Board members. The other idea was to have Grafton businesses participate in book themed Christmas tree decoration to coincide with the Christmas in Grafton festival. One previously suggested fundraiser was to have families create gingerbread houses and display them in the Library. These will need further discussion with the new Board.
If the new Board agrees with suspending the book sale, Michelle will need to be very selective regarding submissions to the book sale room. The shelves there are already tightly packed.
Bob submitted the budget report which is attached. He also provided the Board with the amount of funds provided yearly from 2012 to 2018 from the main endowment fund and the Jerry Stevens Fund according to the spending rule of taking no more than 4.5% of the funds. Bob will notify TIAA that he will no longer be a Board member after Town Meeting.
The bond fund has $15,000 remaining for building needs and emergencies.
Building and Grounds
The bottom step on the cellar stairs broke during the removal of the water heater because it was partially rotted. The Board approved its replacement.
The interior of the Library needs painting and possible carpet replacement. It should be discussed at a future Board meeting as to whether the bond fund should be used for this purpose or saved for emergencies.
Three people are running for the Library Board and will be voted on at Town Meeting. David Whittall is currently serving on the Board and two new prospective members, Mary Beth Culver and Patrick Spurlock, are running for Andrea Dunmire’s and Bob Donald’s seats respectively. Town Meeting is held on the first Tuesday of March (3/5/19), Michelle suggested that the Board forgo the February 28th meeting and host a meeting of the new Board on Thursday, March 7, 2019. The Board agreed. Bob Donald will telephone Mr. Spurlock to talk about the duties of Treasurer, and Deborah Toomey will contact Mary Beth Culver to discuss the duties of Secretary prior to Town Meeting.
Bob Donald and Andrea Dunmire’s service as members of the Board were lauded and the Board thanked them for their service.
The meeting adjourned at 7:50 PM
Deborah Toomey, Secretary