Called to order at 6:32pm. Trustees present: Laura Lawson-Tucker, Judith Serkin, Richard Wizansky, Jeanette Tokarz, and John Shaw, with Cathi Wilken (librarian) and Lesley Malouin (Friends of the Library). Trustees absent: Sandra Cortes, Nika Fotopulos-Voeikoff.
o Accept Minutes from June meeting.
♣ June minutes were accepted without any changes.
o Librarian’s Report —Cathi
♣ Camp started today. So far so good! Cathi showed photos of the brook and soccer fun. Cathi also wrote an article about summer camps for the upcoming Gazette. As of now, all camps are full.
♣ What to do about in-person or hybrid meeting? Cathi needs to be at library with at least one trustee, but that still feels somewhat lonely. Cathi suggested more trustees attend in person. Discussion followed. Trustees decided to keep with a hybrid meeting. At least one trustee will be present at the library and will welcome any public attendees. Cathi is free to decide to stay home and join online if she would like.
♣ ARPA funding ($3,000) discussion: These funds are required to be spent to help patrons, but cannot be used for building upgrades. Ideas include: upgrade patron computers, purchase study carrels, rent or buy new reference options. Cathi will also look into what other libraries are using it for.
o Strategic Plan Review —Richard
♣ Our previous Strategic Plan covered 2017-2020. Due to the extra work of keeping up with COVID restrictions, we did not review this until now. Upon this new review, we find we have done a good job achieving the goals we laid out!
Successes include the following: We pulled up the carpeting and refinished the wood flooring in the front room. Programming was continued and even expanded despite COVID restrictions. The Friends of the Library group was formed and has been doing great work helping with programming and fundraising. (The trustees gave the Friends group an ovation.) Some staff hours were added by creating the camp director position. Volunteer outreach had been going well before the COVID pandemic, and is starting to pick up again. Laura, Judith, Cathi, and Leah worked on the succession plan and created a book describing all librarian and assistant librarian activities which Cathi and Leah keep updated.
Goals we fell short on: We did not do much to increase tech programming for adults. We did not create programming with local writers, although Back Roads Stories did feature local storytellers. We did not create a kitchen/pantry, but this has been rolled into the building addition plans.
Overall, we were very successful meeting the goals of our strategic plan. As Richard said, we were victorious!
Jeanette made a motion to revise the strategic plan, changing the end date to include 2021 due to the COVID disruptions. Trustees will have a discussion and vote on a new strategic plan this fall. The new plan will start with 2022. Richard seconded the motion. Trustees unanimously approved the motion.
o Librarian’s Eval—-Laura
♣ Trustees have received Cathi’s annual evaluation that is a compilation of Trustee input, as well as Cathi’s self-evaluation with notes from Laura and Judith. Trustee’s that have any further input are asked to please be directly in touch with either Laura or Judith.
o Treasurer’s Report- Richard
♣ Financial Report: Finalizing fiscal year 2021, we are in very good shape and even have a $7026.25 surplus. The surplus came from some irregularities this year due to the State of Emergency restrictions and from increases in our fundraising. Salaries were slightly down because we did not have cleaning and technical assistance that we would normally have. On the other side, a new computer was not planned for, but was much needed, and the purchase exceeded our budgeted amount. Adding to the positive side, our fundraising was excellent this year: the spring raffle and the annual appeal letter both brought returns that were significantly higher than normal. The surplus will be rolled over to next year.
♣ Capital Campaign for building project: Richard proposes creating a fundraising committee to develop a campaign to include: developing a prospect list, making solicitations, developing a case statement (a pamphlet that will tell the story of the library and the addition to encourage donations), and creating a proposal to seek grants from foundations. Richard is optimistic given that we are starting with support already committed by the town and the library itself, and seeing how successful the Broad Brook Community Center has been.
♣ Discussion of upcoming 2021 fundraising activities that we are planning (raffle, building capital campaign, annual appeal) and how they can work in concert with each other): Richard discussed the planned fundraising schedule over the course of the year. We had a spring raffle, are now approaching an early fall raffle with a destination prize, and have our annual end-of-year fundraising letter. The capital campaign will be ongoing (announced this year, solicitations in winter and spring). Richard does not see any problem with that spacing. The capital campaign can coexist with the regular budgetary fundraising.
Jeanette will be attending the upcoming Friends of the Library meeting, and will discuss fundraising ideas. The destination raffle is a new and malleable idea, but we are thinking it could span the end of August into the beginning of September. Jeanette pointed out that this is a tight schedule to meet for this year. Leadership and specific prize have not been decided on yet, for example. Discussion followed. Trustees decided that the destination raffle planning should start now, but plan to be implemented in late summer or early fall of next year (2022).
♣ Judith introduced a tentative idea of a celebratory ‘cello concert to be held at the completed Broad Brook Community Center, perhaps taking place in 2023. This could be a fundraiser for the capital campaign.
♣ Building Committee Update- Richard, John: The Select Board approved the committee’s recommendation for an architecture firm, Goldstone Architecture, and voted to hire them for this project. The architects have already visited the library to make measurements. They have a schedule for documents and meetings to follow. Isaac Wagner, our consultant, has submitted a tax credit proposal for the project. The building committee is also developing a public relations plan to make sure the community knows what we are planning and to generate excitement. Richard has written an article for the upcoming Gazette.
The building addition will be a larger agenda item at the trustee’s August meeting.
o Friends of the Library
♣ Lesley has nothing new to report. Jeannette will attend the upcoming Friends Meeting, July 25th, and will report on our fundraising ideas as noted above.
o Guilford Fair – Cathi
♣ It’s happening. Cathi proposes we do our normal setup: Selling water, water bottles, and books; Promo photos running on the computer; Trustees and Friends will staff our tent.
o New Business (Anything forgotten on this agenda?)
♣ No new business
Meeting adjourned at 7:44pm.
***Next monthly Trustees Meeting: Monday August 16, 2021 at
6:30 pm ON ZOOM and IN-PERSON at the library.
Minutes submitted by John Shaw, co-secretary