Library Trustees Meeting
August 22, 2006
Medway Public Library
MaryAnn Cabibbo, Vice Chairman
Nina Hunt, Acting Director
William Roberts, Secretary
Wendy Rowe, Chairman
Dennis Crowley, Selectman
Motion to approve agenda: (MAC1, WLR2) passed unanimously
Motion to approve August 1 minutes: (WLR1, MJ2) passed, MaryAnn abstained since she wasn't at the meeting
Carla's husband liked the mini booksale and wishes it was a monthly affair.
Warrants were signed by 4 trustees.
Old and somewhat valuable books have been moved into storage (dry, no mold) in the basement. If patrons request them and the staff has time, the requested book can be retrieved and perused in the history room.
Will be formally organized once school starts and people are no longer free to flit about like birds on the wing.
May get help from the school system's cleaning service. They've been by to case the joint. Will have to give them a key and the security code.
Chuck vows to do it right a way.
Chuck will teeter on the ladder on Nov 2nd.
This concerns when only 1 staff member is present. Talked about this a bit again. Still generally felt that 1 staff member + a trustee or a very reputable volunteer was alright for a lunch amount of time. Suggestion to put Trustee contact info near the phone at the desk.
Some museums are worried that they are losing business because of the passes and would like to have towns limit access to actual residents. The Minuteman Membership Committee discussed this but came to no conclusion. It was decided to do nothing ourselves at the moment (it would need be a joint decision with the Friends since they pay for them). Enforcing a resident only policy might well make the staff's life harder.
The price has come way down since a vanilla PC can be used with scanner, receipt printer, and special software. Natick and Lexington installed them recently. It's unclear how much time they actually save (as there can't be holds on the books, fines over 3 dollars on the card, etc). Our Circulation Librarian, Bill Hoffman, talked to Natick and will talk to Lexington.
The Town Counsel said that ideally there should be 3 candidates and they need to prostrate themselves before a joint meeting of the Selectmen and the Library Trustees who would jointly decide.
The chosen person would serve until the spring when they need to run again.
The School Committee just up and appoints folks to fill its vacancies.
Wendy made a stab at filling out the Certification Worksheet. The MBLC was aghast to learn that nearly all the town departments we get compared to (and nearly all the departments we don't get compared to) received increases. They've never approved a waiver for a library if it was cut more 23% compared to the other departments. After discussion, the figure we need from the town to achieve waverability is on the order of $138,000 (not the $88,000 we'd been talking of earlier). It was still felt that it was worth trying to appropriate this money and so we need a Special Town Meeting.
The town's accountant is going to prepare the Certification worksheet officially so that we can be confident of the amount.
In addition, to have a prayer of certification we need to be open 32 hours come October 1. This may well need to be in place before the special town meeting is held (which might not happen till mid October, 45 days from when Town Counsel approves the articles). The library will have to pay up front (from Tuchinsky interest) and will have to foot the bill should the certification attempt fail at the Special Town Meeting.
Dennis suggested that as a fall back position we should ask for the money to keep us open 32 hours (which is a good thing in itself) and then at a subsequent special town meeting before January try again if it looks like money is available.
Dennis also said that the Selectmen will not support us in any of this (including the few thousands needed to be open 32 hours).
Motion: To authorize Chair to pursue temporary contractors to allow the library to be open 32 hours. (MAC1, MJ2) passed unanimously.
As the Selectmen are not willing to call a special town meeting in time on their own. We need to have a petition drive with the exact correct wording of the required articles.
Dennis thought that the town administrator would be willing to make Town Counsel available to Wendy to check the wording. Dennis was going to call Suzanne in the morning to urge her to let Wendy talk to the Town Counsel.
Meena wasn't sure it was a good idea to seek a special town meeting when the Selectmen are going to need to call one later on in the fall. The question is how much later. The library will have to be open 32 hours a week in the interim and pay for contractors' time. Other trustees generally felt it was better to have the town meeting sooner and thus prepare the petition and get signatures.
Dennis said that the Selectmen are having a working meeting this next Monday, but would make time to receive the petition, thus giving us a little publicity. Presenting it at a selectmen's meeting is not required. The selectmen must call a Special Town Meeting within 45 days of when the petition with 200 signatures is delivered to the Selectmen's office.
Motion: to spend Tuchinsky Interest money to be open 32 hours beginning the last week of September and seek access to the Town Counsel to verify the wording of the warrant articles and to further authorize the chairman to expend library funds to have a lawyer check the wording should access to the Town Counsel be denied and to prepare a petition for a Special Town meeting and collect at least 200 voter signatures on same: (CR1, MAC2) 4 in favor, Meena abstained.
Alas it's all too true that Nina is moving on to a better land in Bellingham.
There is no point in trying to get a Children's Librarian now, there's no time to do programming and the other things a Children's Librarian does. What we need is staff to work the desk. Cannot afford to reactivate one of the part-time benefited positions. So the best thing is to reopen a non-benefited staff position and make it 19 hours. Lorie Brownell could be recalled if she's willing.
Motion to reinstate Lorie Brownell's 12 hour position and raise the hours to 19. (WLR1, MAC2). Passed unanimously
This will allow us to be open 20 hours (for one hour out of the 20 we would be scheduled to have 2 people). However it does nothing for the volume of other library work that needs doing (currently done before the library opens each day).
Wendy suggested that we approach Margaret Perkins (who has an MLS, is the Holliston Reference Librarian and a Medway resident) with the idea of being sort of a 15 hour (or so) Assistant Director. Margaret indicated she'd be willing.
With Nina's resignation we need an Acting Director. Wendy is willing.
Chuck asked if the Acting Director is paid anything extra and was concerned that this will prove overly burdensome, especially as there is no end in sight. He was informed that Nina was not paid extra for being Acting Director and that Wendy would not be (can't be, anyway, since she's a Trustee so that would be a conflict of interest), and that it's easy to change acting directors with a form so if it gets to be too much Wendy will resign as Acting Director and we'll have to find another.
Motion to make Wendy Acting Director as of Sept 8th: (MAC1, WLR2) passed unanimously
The current closing times are a problem. Patrons keep coming in and checking out books right until the last minute with the result that the staff cannot leave until a quarter past, this even with the help of stern and unyielding volunteers who go about announcing impending doom, shutting computers, etc.
The idea is to lock the doors 15 minutes prior to closing. This will make it likely that all patron check-outs can be completed by the actual closing time.
Motion: To lock library doors, open the book drop, and shut patron computers 15 minutes prior to closing: (CR1, MJ2) passed unanimously
The hours notices will be changed to reflect the quarter-of closing time even though we'll still let people inside check out books till virtually the hour.
Motion to adjourn: (CR1, MJ2), passed unanimously, at 9:55 who could be opposed?