Nesmith Library Board of Trustees

Tuesday, August 9, 2011



Present:  Trustees Mark Branoff (Chairman), Carolyn Webber (Vice-Chairman), Norman Boutillette (Treasurer), Mary Lee Underhill (Assistant Treasurer), Patricia Barstow (Recording Secretary), Karen Marcil (Corresponding Secretary), Peter Tousignant (by phone)

Director Carl Heidenblad

Assistant Directors Lois Freeston, Diane Mayr


Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order at 7:10 pm.


Minutes:  The minutes from the June 14, 2011 meeting were accepted as written.


Correspondence: There was no new correspondence this month.



            Treasurer’s Report:   As there was no trustees’ meeting in July, the current Treasurer’s report reflects the financial activity of both June and July. Year-to-date spending is on track.


Director’s Report:  Carl has been asked by the chairman of the CIP to attend tomorrow night’s CIP Committee meeting. He is to provide a recap of the expenditures the library made from the 2008 CIP disbursement authorized by Town Warrant Article 17. The money was spent on exterior painting and interior lighting. Both were major projects completed with excellent results, and thousands of dollars were saved because town employees were involved in some aspects of the lighting project. Carl’s only disappointment is that there was not enough money left to replace the carpeting throughout the library, and replacing only part didn’t make sense for many reasons. Replacing the carpeting will cost in excess of $40,000 and will probably make the $50,000 threshold for CIP requests.


Strategic Planning Committee Report:  The minutes of the May 16, 2011 Strategic Planning Committee were presented to the Board.


The Committee’s homework from the July 18 meeting was to generate goals in eight areas that were defined in that meeting. Norman asked that we e-mail our thoughts to him in advance and he will compile them into a document for use at the next meeting.


Norman also stated that our best resource as we write goals is our staff and that they should know that we would be more than happy to have their participation in the process.


Unfinished Business:

Library Office Renovation: The renovation is on target. The collapsible shelving will be dismantled later this week. Everything else has been scheduled to satisfaction except for a bit of painting which should be scheduled by the end of the week.


GMILCS:  Carl has drawn up a proposed 2012 budget that demonstrates how GMILCS' dues could be covered.  Since GMILCS' fiscal year begins on July 1, the Nesmith Library's first dues payment would be halved, assuming a January 1, 2012 start date.


There is also a one-time set-up charge, which could be reduced by $12,000.  This $12,000 reduction includes a $7,000 Polaris re-licensing fee waiver if the library joins GMILCS by August 26.  The reduction also includes a $5,000 fee waiver for the elimination of duplicate records.  The one time set-up charge is payable over a two to three year period, which could easily be paid from Non-lapsing I funds.


If we join GMILCS, our patrons’ library cards would be valid at any member library. While they now have walk-in access to around 87 thousand items, they would gain walk-in access to more than a million items.


How joining GMILCS would affect the staff’s workload is a tough question to answer. Twelve other libraries have done so without adding staff, partly because these libraries collaborate and make sure that staff is well-trained. This is not a casual commitment: staff will be expected to take part in training and to work on committees; Board members will be asked to serve on the GMILCS Board. Other member libraries have not seen hoards of people from other towns coming in to borrow books as a result of membership.


The Polaris technology is light years ahead of the Follett software that we currently use in terms of structure, capabilities, and power. Updates to the Polaris system are covered in the annual fee.


What the annual dues would buy us is a state-of-the-art automation system plus two full-time staff members, a system administrator and a technology librarian. (Were we to purchase the automation system ourselves, it would cost us more than $300,000.) Any technology problems we experience with the system would be fixed by this staff, and they would be under contractual agreement to resolve problems in a timely manner. Currently, Carl, with help from several others, keeps our modest Follett software system running. As a member of GMIILCS, the library would not need to seek an automation expert when it comes time to find a new director.


Would GMILCS membership facilitate the library’s full participation in E-book technology? Yes and no. One of the big advantages to Polaris is authentication. We now authenticate clumsily through a third party. Polaris offers seamless authentication at the front end. As e-book technology expands, authorization is going to become essential to libraries as well as to e-book providers. Authorization is necessary from the library’s perspective to restrict e-book lending to patrons only, and from the provider’s perspective to avoid pirating of e-books. Dealers will likely charge a premium to libraries that don’t have good authorization. The other advantage that lends itself to e-book technology is that twelve of the strongest libraries in the state, with some of the best people in the state, would be working on our behalf. Member libraries are right now debating how to handle access to their own e-books.


GMILCS offers a huge advantage in terms of Polaris training because it has twelve libraries with expertise. However, staff training extends beyond the automation system. GMILCS has high expectations from participating groups.


GMILCS relies on the state’s inter-library loan van for transportation of materials, and funding for the van was recently drastically reduced by the state legislature. How GMILCS will compensate for this and how that will be reflected in their dues is an issue to discuss with GMILCS.


At this point, Peter, connected by phone, needed to leave the meeting.


Norman moved to extend meeting to discuss the Personnel Committee’s report. The motion was seconded and the vote was unanimous.


Personnel Committee Report: 

A motion to go into non-public session to discuss the Personnel Committee Report was made by Norman and was seconded. The vote was as follows:

Mark Branoff:               yes

Carolyn Webber:          yes

Norman Boutillette:       yes

Mary Lee Underhill:      yes

Patricia Barstow:          yes

Karen Marcil:               yes


In the non-public session, the Trustees voted to promote Lead Children's Librarian, Jane McCue, to Grade 16, Step 2, effective September 1, 2011.  They also voted to start advertising in September for a part-time Young Adult Librarian (15 hours per week) to replace Lori Morse, who resigned in June.


A motion to exit non-public session was made by Patricia and was seconded. The vote was as follows:

Mark Branoff:               yes

Carolyn Webber:          yes

Norman Boutillette:       yes

Mary Lee Underhill:      yes

Patricia Barstow:          yes

Karen Marcil:               yes


New Business:

Old Issues of National Geographic Magazine: Since these are all available on CD, there was a discussion about retaining them as part of the library’s collection.



Special Trustees' Meeting: A meeting with a representative of GMILCS will be held on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.


Trustees’ Meeting: The next regular Trustees’ meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 13, 2011 beginning at 7:00 pm.


Strategic Planning Committee Meeting: The next meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee will take place on Monday, August 22, 2011 at 6:30 pm.


NHLTA Orientation Workshops: Orientation workshops for new library trustees will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. as follows:


The meeting was adjourned at 8:50 pm.



Respectfully submitted,

Patricia Barstow

Draft subject to approval