Nesmith Library Board of Trustees
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Present: Trustees — Mark Branoff (Chairman), Carolyn Webber (Vice-Chairman), Norman Boutillette (Treasurer), Mary Lee Underhill (Assistant Treasurer), Patricia Barstow (Recording Secretary), Anne-Marie O'Neil (Corresponding Secretary), J R Siegel
Director — Carl Heidenblad
Assistant Directors — Lois Freeston, Diane Mayr
Call to Order:
The meeting was called to order at 7:05.
Minutes: The minutes from the September 14, 2010 meeting were accepted unanimously without changes.
Correspondence: Anne Marie presented the employee appreciation gift for the month of October as well as the gift that will mark staff members’ employment anniversaries for the coming year.
Treasurer’s Report: Spending is on target with 73% of the operating budget spent after three quarters of the year. Computer spending is high for reasons explained in previous meetings. Technical services spending, which covers library-specific office supplies, is at 100% but this is not an issue since any further purchases before the end of the year could be made from the regular office supply line item, which is currently only 47% spent.
Director’s Report: Circulation is down from 2009, probably because the new library software doesn’t allow as many renewals, but the library doesn’t feel any less busy.
Carl would like to finish revamping the lighting over the circulation desk and the A/V area before the end of the year. $28,000 has been allocated to this project in the CIP but this money will disappear at the end of the year. We need help from the Town’s Maintenance department to proceed and they have been extremely busy. This project involves replacing a portion of the ceiling and replacing old lights with new lights that are easier to maintain.
Finance Committee Report: Carl will be meeting with Town Administrator David Sullivan and Assistant Town Administrator Dana Call on October 13 to justify the library’s budget proposal for next year and to allow the town to ask any questions it may have about that proposal. All town departments are being asked, for the third year in a row, to hold their budget requests at level funding. Level funding would effectively result in a budget decrease of $20,000 due to increased insurance costs and salary step increases. Ways of dealing with this funding gap were discussed. It was noted that not all town departments have complied with the level funding request in the past.
Prior to the years of level funding, the library had customarily requested a small annual budget increase.
Strategic Planning Committee Report: The minutes from the August 30 were presented to the board.
Library Office Renovation: There was general consensus that we should know where the library stands financially for next year before proceeding with the office renovation. Even if FLOW were to provide funding assistance, we would want to have a clear financial picture before asking them to sign on. We won’t know the budget until the March election but we will have a good idea after the deliberative session. Accordingly, Norman moved that the office renovation and discussion thereof be tabled until after the deliberative session. Anne Marie seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
2011 Library Schedule: A proposed schedule of library closings for the 2011 calendar year was presented. Anne Marie made a motion to accept the schedule as proposed. Mary Lee seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously.
Parking: For enhanced parking lot safety, J R suggested, and the board agreed, that the parking spaces should be angled the next time the lot is painted. Carl added that the most serious safety concern actually arises from patrons who violate the one-way driving pattern, speeding past the book drop to a parking space directly in front of the building where people are often walking.
Software On-site vs. Remote: J R reported that he had done a card catalog search from home and was unable to duplicate that search at the library. Carl said that this was true on several of the older machines (the ones on which the card catalog search is the default screen) but that making them mirror the capabilities that J R saw at home would make those machines no longer secure. Carl would be willing to try changing the four computers located in the adult area but not the two in the Children’s Room. The error message produced by the software, “Hardware doesn’t support this,” is very misleading. Perhaps the best solution to this issue would be to place signs on the computers that read, “If you can’t duplicate a search, please contact a librarian.” This problem occurs only with the Quest feature of the software; all other features are identical locally and remotely.
Book Series: Science fiction series are traditionally numbered to indicate a book’s position within the series. This is very helpful to readers of the series. J R would like to see this convention extended to other types of fiction series and asked what sort of an impact it would have in terms of labor to put series numbers on spine labels. Diane explained that it isn’t always easy to determine whether a collection of books is a series or what the relative placement of a book should be in a series.
Strategic Planning Committee Meeting: The next meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee will take place on October 26, 2010 at 6:30 pm.
Trustees’ Meeting: The next meeting will be held on November 9, 2010 beginning at 7:00 pm.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 pm.
Draft subject to approval