Nesmith Library Board of Trustees

Tuesday, November 9, 2010



Present:  Trustees Mark Branoff (Chairman), Carolyn Webber (Vice-Chairman), Norman Boutillette (Treasurer), Mary Lee Underhill (Assistant Treasurer), Patricia Barstow (Recording Secretary), Anne-Marie O'Neil (Corresponding Secretary), J R Siegel

Director Carl Heidenblad

Assistant Directors Lois Freeston, Diane Mayr


Call to Order:

The meeting was called to order at 7:04 pm.


Minutes:  The minutes from the October 12, 2010 meeting were accepted unanimously without changes.


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



            Treasurer’s Report:  Spending is on target with 80% of the operating budget spent after 83% of the year has elapsed. No line item expenditures are significantly out of line other than the two that have been discussed in previous meetings.


            Director’s Report:  The Windham Women’s Club has donated a puzzle to the library. It is the Club’s centennial edition puzzle of Windham landmarks and it will be placed on the puzzle tables for patrons’ enjoyment.


            At the annual FLOW banquet, which took the form of a breakfast at the library this year, FLOW president Jennifer Simmons announced the winners of this year’s volunteer awards. Lisa Brennan won the Marjorie Carter Award and Bev Donovan won the Carl Heidenblad, Murray Levin, Patricia Skinner Award. Congratulations and thank you to two very deserving recipients.


Reference librarian Lois Freeston was recognized at the state level. For her dedication and hard work, she was awarded the New Hampshire Library Association’s 2010 READS Award (the REference and ADult Services Section Award).


October circulation figures are down from last year. While this is probably due to the way the new software handles renewals, Carl is nevertheless somewhat concerned.


There is $30,000 in the CIP for the purpose of updating the ceilings and floors of the library. Carpeting costs were much more expensive than expected but Carl would like to complete a ceiling project before the money disappears at the end of the year. This project would update the ceiling and lighting in the entrance, circulation desk, and A/V areas. Carl has received two bids for the replacement of the acoustical ceiling tiles. The first, for $7,580, was from Albright Systems of Windham. The second was from Tri-State Acoustical of Keene in the amount of $6,340. Both companies bid Armstrong Ultima acoustical tiles, the same type of tile that is used in the reference area.


Both Carl and Al Barlow would like to have the contractors replace the ceiling tiles and then replace the smaller HVAC diffusers with the same larger size diffusers used in the Multipurpose Room. They also want the tiles suspended from full one-inch wide grid strips, which would lead to fewer problems as the tiles shrink with age.


The new lighting would ideally consist of a strip of fluorescents four to six feet off each wall in the A/V area and very strong lighting in the circulation desk area, while the lighting level in the entrance would remain pretty much unchanged. The hope is to use only recessed rather than surface-mounted lighting. With good planning, the project should be doable using only existing electrical circuits. The town maintenance department could do the lighting installation. This would have the dual benefit of saving money and making it easy for the maintenance department to maintain the system since they would have thorough knowledge of the installation.


The Board wanted to approve spending enough of the CIP funds to cover the cost of the ceiling tile replacement, the light fixtures and diffusers, and any other costs that might arise, and felt that $14,000 should cover any eventualities.


Tri-State Acoustical has many large institutions as clients. They have done a great deal of work in Manchester as well as at Concord Hospital and Parkland Medical Center.


There is, unfortunately, no way to execute this renovation without closing the library for three to four days, but December tends to be a quiet month for the library.


A motion was made to accept the Tri-State Acoustical proposal as submitted and to approve the expenditure of up to $14,000 of CIP money to cover the cost of the proposal and associated, incremental expenditures. The motion was made by Mary Lee Underhill, was seconded, and passed unanimously.


Strategic Planning Committee Report: The minutes from the September 27 meeting were presented to the board.


The Strategic Planning Committee is considering conducting a series of leadership interviews to gauge what the community wants from the library, how the library fits with the community’s needs today and where it should be heading to fulfill future needs. All trustees were asked to compile lists of potential interviewees.


The usefulness of surveys was discussed. It was noted that books-on-tape were initially offered at the library after a 2002 survey pointed out that a large number of library patrons commute. Surveys have also worked as marketing tools when a question such as, “Do you use this service?” has resulted in broadening the community’s knowledge of the library’s programs and services.


Unfinished Business:

There was no unfinished business to discuss.


New Business:

2011 Budget: The town administrator wants all town departments to hold their budgets for next year as close to level as possible. The town administrator was able to rework the health insurance figures so that the increase isn’t as great as expected, and the resulting increase in personnel expenses for next year will be $12,650 rather than $20,000. To absorb this increase while keeping the budget level, the heating budget was cut by $3,049 and the budget for books and periodicals was reduced by $9,100. At last year’s fuel price of $1.49 per gallon, the reduced heating budget should suffice for the winter. Carl doesn’t ever remember cutting the materials budget by such a large amount.


A motion was made to approve the proposed budget of $975,261 as a minimum necessary to operate in 2011. The motion was made by Mary Lee Underhill and was seconded. It was approved unanimously.



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


Trustees’ Meeting: The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 beginning at 7:00 pm.


The meeting was adjourned at 8:39 pm.



Respectfully submitted,

Patricia Barstow

Draft subject to approval