Board of Library Trustees Meeting
with the
Medway Cable Access Board of Directors
January 30, 2013

7:30 p.m.

Medway Cable Access Studio, High School

A quorum of the Board of Library Trustees attended the Medway Cable Access Board of Directors meeting 7:40 - 8:30 p.m. to discuss possible mutual programs and opportunities.

Trustees Attending:

Diane Burkhardt
Ed Duggan
Chris Monahan
Wendy Rowe, Chair

MCA Officials Attending:

Bob O'Neill - BoD President
Rich Boucher - BoD Vice-President
Norman Schneider - BoD Secretary
Shelley Weiler - BoD Treasurer
John Foresto - BoD Member
Joe McLaughlin - Studio Manager

Discussion Encompassed:

  1. The receive-only capability of the Cole Room and its potential (expensive, ~$20,000) upgrade to broadcast capability.
  2. How to record Library programs without built-in broadcast capability
  3. The BoD wish for more content from the Library

John Foresto explained that Medway Cable Access is required to provide a certain amount of content, so they are always looking for more. MCA is funded by the 4% fee added to each customer's Comcast and Verizon cable bill. John pointed out that this gives them a budget considerably larger than the Library's. With that funding, they buy equipment for and run the studio, install equipment in municipal buildings, and run free classes for adults as well as students on how to use the equipment to record, edit, and produce movies. Anyone trained can borrow the cameras to record events, which can then be broadcast on Medway Cable. They also have students who are dispatched to record events, but they would rather train volunteers who would then borrow the equipment and record events for MCA. They generally pay staff to record municipal meetings, since not many volunteers want to make that sort of commitment. But parents with kids on school teams generally record their games, for instance.

They would like to recruit and train volunteers at the Library (Friends, for instance) who would record -- with parental permission, and paying attention to copyright issues -- storytime every week, for example. They would like coverage of one-time events, too, but in particular would like something they could count on regularly. Storytime came up frequently in their suggestions.

If we want someone to record an event, we should email Studio Manager Joe McLaughlin telling him about it and asking him to send someone. Bob says if it's something particularly important, we should let Joe know so he'll make sure it gets covered. Wendy asked if that day's talk at the Library by the state's Employment and Training Resources Career Center would have been good if she'd thought of it ahead of time (yes). She added that we'd gotten MCA kids to record a Social Security talk, but there was no audio; that happens sometimes, they said.

They can supply students to record events, but they stressed that they would prefer that we generate and record the content. Wendy expressed reservations about whether Friends and other Library volunteers would have the time to get trained, pickup/return the cameras at the High School, and record the events; she was also concerned that using the expensive cameras would worry people, since it worries her. Various MCA Directors assured her that it's easy to use the equipment and that they aren't worried about it -- after all, they let students use it.

They suggested they could help us by recording a few things to get us started, but they'd want us to produce content with our own volunteers ongoing. Wendy asked for information to distribute at the Library about the training and MCA services; John asked Joe to find and supply their old one. They would be willing to come do a training at the Library if we collect people interested in learning how to use the equipment. They say they'd even be willing to drop off the equipment at the Library for our volunteers to use, so recording wouldn't be such a big time commitment.

Wendy pointed out a few times during the meeting that the weekly storytimes and the after-hours Cole Room user are through June only, unless we receive funding to continue it.

Bob said they could even help improve things for broadcasts, for instance by paying for upgrades to make the Story Room nicer. Wendy asked if that could extend to paying for the person running the storytime, since otherwise there wouldn't be any content; John Foresto said that was a possibility. Wendy said if that were the case, she'd be willing to commit herself to record the weekly storytime.

John said they are buying the equipment needed to broadcast movies outside, and asked Wendy for help with the movie licensing since the Library already has a license. Wendy agreed to contact the Library's movie licensing rep for information, which she will give to John.