Date: October 15, 2019

Poultney Public Library Board of Trustees Regular Meeting

Time: 6:00 PM

Location: Poultney Public Library


Present were: Rebecca Cook, Jean Davis, Ennis Duling, Nancy Luzer, Jean Roberts and Bruce Williams.

Meeting opened at 6:11 pm.

The agenda was accepted.

The minutes of the last meeting were read. In updates to those minutes: our final book sale total was $2005.  We gave away 2500 books during the Free Book “Sale”.  After the last books are packed up we may have $200 more to add to that total.  Roger from Vermont Roofing is hoping we can get the Gen Flex tech rep here to meet with himself and Bruce to figure out how to fix our roof. 

We received $29 from Shaw’s reusable bag program.  The new pass policy was enforced a few times with freezes on patrons.  No one complained bitterly and the return of passes in a timely manner has improved.

Rebecca has been updating and adding content to our website.  She also rearranged the adult room to make space for another reading nook.  This space holds two upholstered chairs that have been stored upstairs.

In the General account, Neisja has $1000 unaccounted for which she put into our postage/misc line.  There are other small glitches that Rebecca is trying to figure out.  It is frustrating that she has to spend time on this when it should not be an issue.  The Special account was quiet.  Circ is down a bit as Sept. was a quiet month.  This has given the staff time to work on various projects.  Computer use and downloaded resources were up.

Inventory has been started.  Apollo is very user friendly in this process.  The library will close for one day to finish up.

Rebecca has been having an ongoing issue with an elderly couple.  She finally has found a person at  the Castleton medical center who may be an advocate for them and be able to get them the help they need.  As this couple takes up a lot of Rebecca’s time, we are hopeful that this proves true.

Summer reading program was very successful.  There were 12 teens for the lock in—record number!

The front entrance project is going to be more involved then at first was thought.  The cement slab of the walk that is next to it will have to come out and there is really no way of knowing what will be found once the tiles are all up.  Bruce has found someone to do the work, however we are hoping to have the Town commit to the project.  If that doesn’t happen we may be faced with both the cost of the entrance and also the roof.

A long time patron and avid reader passed away recently.  Her request was to send donations to the library.  So far we have received $1600.

Rebecca attended the Association of Rural and Small Libraries conference.  She said it was fantastic and went all four days.  As it was in Burlington for the first time it was easier for her to do so. She came away with a great deal of useful ideas to think about.  One of these is a machine that will mend books which we encouraged her to purchase.  It will be extremely useful to fix new books that have chunks of pages fall out after one circulation.  The other useful idea is a dvd refinisher that will restore scratched dvds, allowing them to be circulated a few more times before having to be replaced.

Meeting adjourned at 7:12 pm

Next meeting is December 3 at 6 pm.  This is the annual budget meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

Jean Roberts

  • Minutes of the July 16, 2019 meeting.

    Present were: Rebecca Cook, Jean Davis, Ennis Duling, Nancy Luzer, Jean Roberts and Bruce Williams.

    Meeting opened at 6:01 pm.

    The agenda was accepted with no changes made.

    The minutes of the April meeting were read. In the general account although Rebecca and Neisja’s totals for the quarter were not the same on many lines, the areas which went over budget were balanced out by the ones which were under. On the bottom line we had $12,642 not spent. The town will absorb this, as they have absorbed our deficits in the past. The special account looked fine. In statistics, circulation was down slightly for the quarter, registration was up. The computer use was down slightly from last year at this time. The audio borrowing from Listen Up Vermont was quite good.

    Summer reading program is doing well. There are more programs going on this summer which are well attended. The telescope is a success.

    Book sale netted $1642 on the day and $187 since, with a total of $1830 so far. Better World Books has a new way of accepting books. The donor scans the ISBN of the book and immediately knows if it is one that they will take. So far we have sent 6 boxes. It remains to be seen if this is the best way to get rid of our book sale leftovers.

    The summer raffle of a kayak, birdhouse and afghan brought in $429.

    The air conditioners needed some attention. After several false starts, Rebecca found Chris Hurley who was prompt and thorough in cleaning out the air conditioners, both inside the building and out. She found him very satisfactory. The leaking of the roof during the one of the last driving rainstorms lead to many phones calls for help. The successful one was to Vermont Roofing out of Rutland. They fixed areas on the roof and then, when it leaked again during the book sale storm, Roger Louiselle, vice president of the company, came out to try and figure out what was going on. When he was unable to replicate leaking in that area, he gave Rebecca his personal cell phone number for her to call him as it is happening (if it does) so he can see for himself what is going on.

    During these same storms we have had leaking in the basement due to the deteriorating of the tile entryway. There is an actual hole now that leads to the cellar and exposes the wood beam that the cement is on. Bruce is going to contact Myron White to remove all the tile and lay down a solid cement entrance before we have any more damage done to the building. We will see if he can also find a way to stabilize our new veggie bench so we can have it next to the building in the garden area, and not on the walk to the side door which is where it is now. The bench was created for the town and was put in front of the co-op on Main Street. When the co-op closed it was thought that the library was a good place for people to continue to use it.

    Shaws has named the library July’s beneficiary of their “give back” bag program. The bags sell for $2.50, $1.00 of which is given to the library.

    There was some discussion about the proposed changes to the park pass policy. Currently, late returns are subjected to fines. These do not seem to be making an impact on repeat offenders. The proposed change would deny the offender pass use for certain intervals, depending on the lateness of the return as in one day overdue, the loss of passes for a week. Two days, no passes for two weeks and three days or more overdue, loss of pass privileges for the season, plus billing for pass replacement. Ennis made a motion to accept, it was seconded by Nancy, all were in favor.

    Rebecca wrote a draft to clarify our position in regards to a statement made on the Facebook page of the Welsh-American Genealogy Society. The wording makes it seem as if their proposed library for the displaced GMC Welsh Room books is linked to the Poultney Public Library’s expansion project. The piece Rebecca will put on our own Facebook page, web page and around the library clarifies that we are not involved with them, in a very non-confrontational way. Hopefully that will help folks understand that the WAGS project is separate from ours.

    The Apollo feature “Gabby” is taking off quite well. So far there have been 160 text messages to 29 phone numbers. Patrons who are contacted by text are more apt to bring their overdue materials in, which saves on postage. The staff is very pleased with “Gabby”. Another feature of Apollo is the tally at the bottom of each due date slip that states what the patron saved by borrowing the materials instead of buying them. This quarter the savings added up to $98,000. We feel these statistics could be very useful in the future!

    Meeting adjourned at 6:58 pm.

    Next regular meeting is on October 15 at 6pm.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Jean Roberts
  • Minutes of the April 16, 2019 meeting.

    Present were Rebecca Cook, Jean Davis, Ennis Duling, Nancy Luzer, Jean Roberts and Bruce Williams.

    Meeting opened at 6:01 pm.

    The agenda was accepted with no changes to be made.

    The minutes of the special February 5 meeting were read.

    Jean D. reported that there were no quarterly statements from Edward Jones yet, so she will check into that.In the general account, Rebecca and Neisja’s numbers are far apart for books and binding, also for computer replacement. However, Neisja has us with more money left over so Rebecca will just wait and see how things are next quarter. Overall things look ok. Bruce will go see Paul about the our leftover building money so we can move forward on our other projects. He also will inquire about the village WiFi repeaters as Rebecca has ideas about how to upgrade them. The one on our building seems to be the only one working right now.

    In the special account there is a little more activity as the library did a fund raising for the Vermont Fairytale Festival, and the Women’s Club also used the library to purchase raffle tickets for a basket raffle they are having. Mr. Hostetter donated to our Stewart’s Holiday Match to help Rebecca buy telescopes for summer reading program activities. He also has been sending her books to help understand the telescope and the night sky. This year’s reading program theme is “A Universe of Stories” and Rebecca intends to have a few “looking at the night sky” events.

    Circulation statistics are the first ones run by the new Apollo system. No computer stats were done as Rebecca had to figure out how to get them. She will have them for us at the next meeting. Another new Apollo feature is Gabby. This is a program that will accept and send text messages to patrons who wish to avail themselves of this feature. A special phone number will direct the incoming texts to the circ desk where they will be responded to during open hours. It should be live this week.Agnes from Royal Glass came to re-key all the doors so that one key does all the locks, both in the library and upstairs. There is a sub key for the side door so that program room users will not have access to anything other than the room.

    July 6 is Book Sale Day.After a brief discussion about Green Mountain College’s dissolution and what may happen with their collection of books, historical documents and the Welsh Room, Rebecca walked us through the new library website and catalogue. We liked them both.

    Meeting adjourned at 7:10 pm.

    Next meeting is July 16 at 6 pm.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Jean Roberts
  • Minutes of the re-scheduled July meeting, July 31, 2018.

    Meeting opened at 6:30 pm.

    Present were Rebecca Cook, Jean Davis, Ennis Duling, Nancy Luzer, Jean Roberts and Bruce Williams.

    There were no changes to the agenda.

    Minutes of the last meeting were read.

    Rebecca passed out the General Account for the end of the year. The health insurance line was in the black with $5473.28. Rebecca supposed that perhaps the town employees all had a healthy year. The clerk line was in the red as Denise has been in more often, covering for staff. This cost was offset by many other items, the end result was that we were in the black for the end of the year by $6129.99. The special account looks good. Circulation was up in everything. With the new ILL system we have more or less exploded in the request department with the result that we sent out a record 379 items this year.

    The new hours are going well for both patrons and staff. Closing now at 7pm, gaming night on Thursday is now happening after hours. It is still going strong, led by Tim Johnson. Tim was the winner of the kayak raffle.

    There are a few building projects left to be done. As yet we do not have a firm number on how much money we actually have left over from our renovation. Once we have that figure it will be easier to prioritize projects. Bruce will paint the bulkhead doors and other odd jobs, but getting the slate flooring installed in the vestibule and bathroom, cutting off the old sign supports, repairing the mosaic in the entryway and many other jobs will need to be done by hired workmen. Which will be easier to do once we know how much money we have to work with.

    Summer reading program is coming to a close on August 6 with a make your own sundae party and a flea circus. The teen lock-in night will be August 17.Book sale total hit $2000 with more coming in as the priced books in the program room get sold. August 23 to 25 Rebecca would like to have all the boxes of leftover books brought into the program room to be given away. She envisions running it just like the book sale, only folks wouldn’t have to pay for them. This would only be for the $.25 and $.50 books. The specially priced ones would still have to be purchased. In this way we can hopefully get rid of a good deal of our unsold books.

    There is $850 in the Pat Roberts Memorial fund. Jean R. made a motion, seconded by Ennis, to use the money to purchase a locking glass fronted book cart, on wheels, to house and safeguard all of our genealogy materials. Motion passed.

    A no trespassing warrant was served on a gentleman who made a female patron uncomfortable with his actions. As this was caught on our security tape, Rebecca was able to verify the complaint and notify the sheriffs office. The warrant is good for two years. Afterward Rebecca found that he had also made some of the staff uncomfortable, whereupon it was stressed that these things should always be shared with the director.

    Nancy suggested we could use one or two more comfy chairs for folks who want to sit in a quiet place, as the ones available either face another chair or are in a more prominent place. Rebecca has also thought of this, as there are two more of the red chairs upstairs. The problem becomes where to fit another chair in. She will consider it some more.

    Meeting adjourned at 7:36 pm.

    Next meeting is October 16, 2018 at 6:30 pm.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Jean Roberts
  • Minutes of the April 17, 2018 meeting.

    Meeting opened at 6:32 pm. Present were Rebecca Cook, Jean Davis, Ennis Duling, Nancy Luzer, Jean Roberts and Bruce Williams. There were no changes to the agenda.

    Will Casey finished our front doors. We are waiting to get them re-keyed. Bruce is investigating the possibility of enclosing the vestibule with glass from the frame of the interior door to the ceiling. This would help to keep heat in the winter, cooling in summer, from escaping whenever the exterior door is opened.

    Dawn suffered a foot injury and has of yet not been able to work on our website. She will be starting on it soon.

    Rebecca handed out the general report for the third quarter. DOL has begun certification core workshops again. The travel and education line does not have enough in it for travel expenses for staff so Rebecca will use Maslack Foundation money, with our approval, to fund her upcoming trip to Fairlee and leave the travel money for Racheal and Denise who will be attending workshops this summer.Statistics showed circulation down a bit this quarter which is not surprising given the weeks of bad weather and the amount of sickness in the community. Patron visits averaged at 464 people per week. Both doors now have working counters installed.

    Our current OPAC system, Mandarin, is having many issues lately. Rebecca is considering other companies that might better serve our needs. ‘Apollo’ by Biblionics is one that caters to small public libraries. She is getting information about it and hopes to get a sample to see if it would work for us.

    Jean D. handed out information on our invested funds. We have $111,966 available at this time.

    Rebecca is working on the float for the parade in July and also on children’s programming for the summer. This week Ashley Wolfe will be coming through a CLiF grant. We will give out books to all children who attend. Our CLiF programs are always in the summer so Rebecca is curious to see how a spring break one will be received. In the teen room we now have a gaming system thanks to the Stewart’s Holiday Match program. It will be available for 12 to 20 year olds with no game having greater than a ‘T’ (for teen) rating. Vinnie is going to give us an updated quote on the cost of adding security cameras to our system to take care of some blind spots. These areas include both east, west, and south sides of the exterior and places inside the new addition. A proposal by Rebecca to have an annual written staff evaluation was met with approval by all.

    There was a good discussion about the idea Rebecca put forth concerning a way to increase our library hours without having to increase our expenses. She feels the existing hours of :Monday & Friday 10:30 to 5Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 2 to 8 open hours totaling 34Saturday 10 to 1could be changed to:Monday & Friday 10 to 5Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 12 to 7 open hours totaling 38Saturday 10 to 1 (no change)This gives us 4 more hours of operation. If the staff is directed to come in a half hour early instead of their customary 1 hour (prep time) we should be able to keep within our budget. We decided that Rebecca had done a fantastic job of figuring a way to increase hours without increasing cost. At Bruce’s request a motion was made (by Jean R) to change the library operating hours effective July 1 and to be revisited six months thereafter. Nancy seconded, the motion was passed unanimously.

    We all commended Rebecca on her “Across the Fence” appearance on WCAX-TV to talk about children’s books.

    Meeting adjourned at 7:30 pm.

    Next meeting is July 17, 2018 at 6:30 pm.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Jean Roberts
  • Minutes of the January 16, 2018 meeting.

    Meeting opened at 6:30 pm.Present were Rebecca Cook, Jean Davis, Ennis Duling, Nancy Luzer, Jean Roberts and Bruce Williams.

    There were no changes to the agenda.The minutes from the last meeting were read. In regards to the resistance of the town manager to adding additional open hours to the library, Rebecca feels that the main objection he has is that there may not be enough work to have two full time employees. Rebecca is now logging every hour she works on library matters that are above her paid time, such as reading book review journals while at home, coming in early or staying late, etc. so Paul will be aware of how much work there really is to running the library.

    The general budget for the second quarter was handed out. All looks fine. We did get the E-Rate rebate which will cover the deficit in the computer upkeep line. Special accounts look good and all the circ figures are up.

    In building repairs and improvements, Will Casey has been working on our old front doors. The library’s main door is almost finished. He is just waiting to see if it can be hung the way it was, swinging inward, as we have other handicap accessible doors, or if it must be outward opening to accommodate ADA standards. While the door to the upstairs is being refurbished, a temporary plywood door is in place. Will has also been working on odds and ends that need attention inside the building, such as replacing the water damaged ceiling tiles. Bruce has found someone to fabricate our sidewalk railing—Terry Morse. He will not install it, however John Russell Corp. will do the installing to his specifications.

    The library will not be doing any projects or events (excepting game night and library yarns) until the school break in February. This will give Rebecca time to catch up on back paperwork and other jobs. She applied for a booth at the September “Viking Invasion” to be held at the Sherburne Library. She also is working on ideas for a 4th of July float with the staff, using the summer reading program theme of “Libraries Rock” with a musical slant and is thinking of having several programs having to do with our slate industry.

    Dawn has been hired at a flat rate of $100 to update our website. The money raised from the quilt raffle will be added to the money from the Vermont Country Store towards large print books.

    Book sale will be July 7.

    The next regular meeting will be April 17 at 6:30 pm.

    Meeting adjourned 7:15 pm.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Jean Roberts