Nesmith Library Board of Trustees

Wednesday, December 15, 2010



Present:  Trustees Mark Branoff (Chairman), Norman Boutillette (Treasurer), Mary Lee Underhill (Assistant Treasurer), Patricia Barstow (Recording Secretary), J R Siegel

Director Carl Heidenblad

Assistant Directors Lois Freeston

Excused Carolyn Webber, Anne-Marie O'Neil, Diane Mayr


Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order at 7:07 pm.


Minutes:  The minutes from the November 9, 2010 meeting were accepted unanimously without changes.


Correspondence: There was no new correspondence to report this month.



            Treasurer’s Report:  Spending for the year is on track, with 90.5% of the budget spent as of the end of November.


            Director’s Report:  Circulation, still below what it was in 2009, caught up quite a bit in November. The decrease from last year is now 5,899 items and Carl attributes much of this decrease to the way the new circulation software operates.


            Despite the circulation statistic, it has been a good, busy year at the library with many indicators showing growth. Fifty new patrons were registered in November, and internet usage is up. Both residents and non-residents take advantage of the WiFi services. Sunday visits are also up 30% over last November.


            On the downside, the HVAC controller unit has died yet again, and getting a replacement board will be a challenge. Carl has asked the maintenance company to do two things, find a supplier for the controller board and get prices for an energy management system. With an energy management system (a PC that controls the HVAC system) the library could save money on heat as well as air conditioning and could more effectively manage temperatures throughout the building. Properly installed, an energy management system could go a long way toward eliminating the vagaries of the current heating system.


            The heating system has three boilers. The broken controller can’t balance the workload, so two of the boilers are always off while the third runs constantly, producing 140 degree water temperature. Whatever heat from this process filters through the building is what there is, and it is very uneven. Repairing the system is essential. Replacing the controller board would cost an estimated $4,000 while purchasing an energy management system would cost in the neighborhood of $13,000.


            Everything is set for the ceiling and lighting renovation in the circulation area next week. Tri-State Acoustical will be starting the work on Monday morning and expects to take three days to complete the project, with the option to finish on the fourth day.


            The library will be closed during renovations but any staff member who takes the time off will take it as earned time. Carl expects only a few employees to work Monday but has planned staff training days for Tuesday and Wednesday. He expects 90% of the staff to attend the training sessions.-


            On Tuesday, Bobbi Slosser from the NH state library will present a workshop on e-book technology. She will give an overview of the technology and then concentrate on how the state’s program works and is expected to evolve. This important workshop will help staff members begin to wrap their arms around a technology that will likely have major effects on their daily work in the not-too-distant future.


            Wednesday’s workshop will feature Mary Ann List, the director of the Portsmouth Public Library. Her presentation, called “Getting to Yes,” deals with library customer service and stresses a more positive approach to rules implementation.


            Carl has a machine all set to order for the reference librarian, but it probably won’t be installed until after the first of the year. Carl does the machine installations and says that, while the other machines in the library take a day to install, this more complex system will require three to four days.


Strategic Planning Committee Report: The minutes from the October 26 meeting were presented to the board.


Unfinished Business:

2011 Budget: The library’s proposed 2011 budget of $975,261, which represents level funding from the previous year, has been reduced by the town to $968,340. The most significant line item change was in group health insurance, which was reduced from $94,500 to $87,140. The town, anticipating that employees will be about as healthy next year as this year, decided to allocate less money to its Health Trust Fund and, instead, to redirect those funds to group health insurance. The $87,140 represents 85.5% of the cost of the insurance; the balance of the premiums will be funded through the Health Trust Fund account and employee co-pays.


The heating budget was reduced by $2,660. The town took a more conservative approach to calculating this figure than the library does, looking at only a couple of years of data. Carl takes an average over many years when he makes a projection of heating costs.


$6,000 was added back into the budget for books and periodicals, leaving this line item still $4,000 short of last year’s budget.


A motion was made that the board approve the budget for 2011 as revised on November 10, 2010, in the amount of $968,340. The motion was made by Mary Lee, seconded by Patricia, and passed unanimously.


New Business:

Trustees Emeriti: A new plaque has been hung near the library entrance honoring the library’s trustees emeriti. The plaque currently lists Pat Skinner and Dr. Murray Levin. J. Gross, also a trustee emeritus, was mistakenly overlooked; his name will be added to the plaque. The board discussed electing two more former trustees. Some members requested a list of these men’s accomplishments and the board decided to postpone further discussion until Carolyn Webber, who knew both men, could be present.


Director’s Evaluation: Carl handed out a self-assessment of his work performance over the past year and walked the board through it.  Board members should complete their evaluations of Carl and forward them to Mark by January 8th. It is understood that J R’s evaluation will be late due to his work and travel schedule.



Strategic Planning Committee Meeting: The next meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee will take place on January 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm.


Trustees’ Meeting: The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 beginning at 7:00 pm.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:34 pm.



Respectfully submitted,

Patricia Barstow

Draft subject to approval