BOT Meeting July 2021
Stowe Free Library
Minutes of Board of Trustees Meeting
July 2nd, 2021
Present: K.Spear, S.Gaines, A.Colavito, B.Mullin, C.Maison Kastner,
D.Witmer, C.Weber (Director)
Absent: Kim Kaufman
Call to Order: 8:10 am
Motion was made by Darla to add Child Safety Policy to Agenda, seconded by
Shelby. All in favor. Motion passed.
Brian suggested edit on minutes in Treasurer’s Report, change “will pay better” to
“and may pay better”. A motion was made by Darla to make change, Charlotte
seconded, motion approved.
Friends Report: Kelley spoke to Margo Hall and they are going to modify the
book sale. They will not have a lot of advertising. They are bringing in booksellers
to go through the collection. They are also modifying the sale committee,
restructuring for next year. They will meet in September.
Cindy is meeting with Ronna (spelling?) and Carol w/o 7/5 to go over the budget.
Treasurer’s Report: Endowment fund at 1,306,868 and will yield approximately
$23,400/year income. The yield was $33,000 previously. Morgan Stanley (MS) is
uncomfortable with the investment concentration in Union Bank so they are
helping us with the risk part. Brian recommends reducing to 5,000 or 2,500
shares in Unionbank.
MS advised that most clients use money from their principal to invest - called
modern endowment management. We’re up 150k so MS recommends taking 10k
or 20k out to put aside as supplement income. MS recommends becoming a
discretionary account, which would mean we give them the authority to make
changes/investments quickly, without needing our approval each time, but within
the bounds we set up. Darla asked what our input would be - MS would make
decisions without calling every time, but would report regularly.
Brian recommended MS should come to our meeting to present so the board can
have a deeper understanding of the investments and would help create continuity
for the future of the Board. Brian said MS should attend our meeting in
Shelby reminded the Board of Gary Deziel as a great resource for explaining
expenditure/investment policy. He works specifically with libraries/endowments
and understands the nuance! Suggested inviting him back to present to the
Town payments ($28k/year) - Brian paid the quarterly $7k from the wrong
account and has since reconciled the account.
Brian and Kelley met with Charles regarding the payment/amount to discuss why
this payment exists and to express our interest in dissolving this agreement/
payment by 2023.
Regarding payments for 2021-2022: Our operating balance is $21,400.
Development is $33,000 earning dividends 2k/month approx.
If we pay the town another 14k we will deplete the account.
Charles said not to bother paying, he mentioned this might be a good time to
discontinue this agreement/payment because he believes this might be a bumper
year in revenue.
Kelley expressed our desire for the library to have zero payments. Kelley
explained to the Board that the budget may take a hit if we dissolve payments
because that money filters back in to the library budget, but she also said the
Trustees will make up for the difference.
If there is a question about this revised budget/payment at town meeting, the
discussion would be welcome.
Our reasoning for revising/dissolving this agreement is that by sending this
money to the town, the Library and the Board lose control of the flow/allocation of
funds and this violates certain restrictions built in to the endowment. We
acknowledge the likelihood of the endowment families family coming to question
where funds are going is unlikely, but we need better control of this as our
responsibility to the endowments and the public. We want to be responsible
stewards of the endowments. For example, one restriction the endowment is that
we can’t buy furniture, illustrating that thought was put into how the money was to
be used and in reworking or dissolving this town payment we create more
transparency for future board members to work with.
We honored our outstanding invoice payment and it is now a new fiscal year. The
budget for 2022 has passed so Kelley and Brian proposed paying 28k for this
fiscal year with the goal of paying through fiscal year 2022 and ending payments
Darla voiced her agreement and expressed her feeling that this is well overdue
and it is wonderful to have a new footing to build off of!
When asked about how/when the new budget works, Cindy said the budget will
be set by Fall, starts in October. Discuss again in Sept/Oct.
There was discussion about how the Cemetery pays for lawn mowing and maybe
we would pitch in something for garden care. Kelley pointed out that this cultural
campus is a town property and the maintenance should come out of town
Patrons up - 26 new! We gained a lot during COVID as well, but people are
coming in for new cards - mostly families new to town.
Still offering curbside - 61 packages out in June. Charlotte asked about the sign
outside indicating “CURBSIDE PICKUP” and whether that discourages people
from coming in? Cindy is updating the website to clarify and will also take the
Calls - new phone system which is hooked into internet and computers. This
makes it asier to transfer calls, all through the cloud, and the system can run
reports. VoIP system. Voice Over Internet Protocol.
Mysteries are the most read genre in Stowe. Cindy and staff rearranged the
library so all new books are in front, large print together, etc. Looks great!
ARPA Grant, Dept of Libraries receiving 2mil. Will give 1/2 to all libraries up front
with a list of how to use the money. SFL will get 3k, Cindy would like to use this
for signage for restroom, and other areas.
Visits: 123 before they stopped counting. Door counters report coming
Circulation is good, you can see all stats in Cindy’s report.
Adult Copley Woodlands book group was in person, on site. The Soul of A
Woman - 8 attendees - great conversations.
The book group process: Library Drops off or pickup books, the attendees share
with friends, and the library picks up after a month.
The statewide system for book groups allows libraries to swap books, so we can
borrow kits from other libraries rather than purchasing all new each time.
Question was asked whether we should expand book group to West Branch?
Cindy contacting Heidi Scheuerman/Maxine Adams.
Adult YA book club - 5 attendees in person outside.
Youth services - Nancy offering storytime on lawn. Kelley stated the
Groundspeople should let us know next time they plan to fertilize.
Will Sally Dain come back for M/F story hour? She owns Little Acorn in
Waterbury. If Sally doesn’t return, we will still provide story hours regardless.
Golden Dome summer book club. Sara Evans and Izzy Mitchel (high school
students) contacted Nancy to refresh this and supervise.
Discussion on Overdue Fines: Unwelcoming, hinders people from coming in. The
webinar Cindy attended was not useful because it referred mostly to bigger
A motion was made by Brian to remove fines, seconded by Charlotte. All in
Favor. Motion passed.
Child Safety: This policy is to clarify that adults are not allowed in the juvenile
area without a child. We have signage, but want to expand the child safety policy
to be more clear. There was recently a woman asked to leave the section and felt
she was being accused of being dangerous. Some of the staff are very black and
white regarding policy/procedure so we need to be very specific in the policy to
allow them to take proper action.
“In the interest of providing a safe environment, librarians are authorized to
restrict the lengthy occupation of adults without children in the juvenile section of
Kelley was uncomfortable with the word lengthy… if we remove the word lengthy,
it leaves the amount of time “allowable” to Cindy’s discretion.
A motion was made by Shelby to change Child Safety Policy as recommended
by Cindy, but removing the word lengthy, seconded by Charlotte. All in favor.
Old Business: Darla, inquired about whether we paid Emmitt for his logo work!
New Business: Kelley has a thing about Xmas. In September she would like to
talk about decorations. Would like to match up decoration timing with Main Street
Traditional Xmas in Stowe. Robin’s gorgeous tree. The signage on tree says
provided by SFL/Friends. Wants to decorate outside, gazebo, lights… Kelley
asked whether the art center contributes to decorations? Not generally, though
we can work with them on the balcony.
Next Meeting: Skip August meeting. Usually don’t meet July August.
Next meeting is September 10.
Adjournment: Motion was made by Darla to adjourn at 9:05am, seconded by
Charlotte. All in Favor. Motion passed, meeting adjourned.