martha canfield library

PO Box 267 • 528 East Arlington Road, Arlington, VT • 05250
802.375.6153 •

  • Tuesday — 9:00AM – 8:00PM
  • Wednesday — 9:00AM – 5:00PM
  • Thursday — 9:00AM – 8:00PM
  • Friday — 2:00PM – 6:00PM
  • Saturday — 10:00AM – 3:00PM

Russell Collection

Open 9:00AM – 5:00PM
Tuesdays or by appointment


January 11, 2021

**Minutes are considered to be in DRAFT form until approved at the next scheduled meeting**

The Board meeting was held at the library and via video conference and was called to order at 7:04 PM

Board Members In attendance: Sheila Kearns, John Spencer, Laura Crosslin, Alyson Grzyb, Brian Allen, Betsy Habberfield, Denise Koller, Carol Farley, Judy Steron
Staff: Phyllis Skidmore (Librarian), Bill Budde (Russell Collection)
Guests: None
Board Members Absent: Bill Henry, Dave Van De Water, Don Trachte

Public comment – there were no comments (and no public!)

There were no additions to the agenda

   • Previous meeting’s minutes –Denise moved that we approve the December minutes with only the change to the fact that Betsy seconded adjournment instead of Denise. Betsy seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report
   • Written report submitted
   • Pleased to say that we came in with excess funds in 2020. Bequests helped the income side of things. The endowment did very well. We never took a penny from the endowment in 2020 – in fact, we gave it $30,000.
   • We anticipated the annual fund to take a hit, but the reverse is happening. People who have not donated are now and people are increasing their donations. Denise anticipates this continuing.
   • Denise anticipates sending another $30,000 to the endowment soon.
   • One of the volunteers set up a “Fund Me” page for his birthday supporting the library. It is doing well.
   • We have received the proposed budget. It is very much in line with what we have expected in the past.
   • Denise and Phyllis reviewed the proposed budget in detail. Phyllis says the budget is closest on utilities and inter-library loans.
   • We don’t anticipate any large capital expenditures
   • Denise would like to improve the landscaping around the library, so we’ll watch that line item as well.
   • Betsy suggested that the Garden Club might be interested in helping with the landscaping in some capacity and will follow-up with them.
   • The Library will receive another grant from Berkshire Bank to help with Children’s Programming
   • Brian moved that we accept the budget as proposed. Carol seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Librarian’s Report
   • Written report submitted
   • The basket raffle did well with $947 is sales. Sold about $1,350 from the craft show and the library gets 25%. Brian said it was the best craft show he had seen.
   • Virtual Santa visit this year with over 2,500 views on Facebook.
   • With Covid cases steadily going up, Phyllis made the decision to close the library to on-site visits. Curbside only. As of last Monday, we had 14 cases in Arlington.
   • Brian was concerned that the board was not consulted. He has heard from people who are frustrated because they can’t use the printer.
   • Brian pointed out that 14 out of 2,200 residents is still a small percentage. We are a public building.
   • Phyllis said that 10-15 people would visit on Tuesdays and perhaps 6-8 on other days.
   • Brian’s concern is that we are paying staff for services that are not “normal”.
   • Sheila observed that we have never established clear policies on what the Librarian is required to consult with the board about. Her feeling is that the board is advisory in operational issues. Concern that a contagious person was possibly in the library was a reasonable decision in Sheila’s mind.
   • Betsy stated that librarians are still serving people even if the public can’t come into the library. She also posed the question as to what if this contagious person has a positive test result. If we because a super-spreader it could be devastating.
   • Judy added that the case counts in school are low because they keep out students and teachers who have symptoms.
   • Sheila would like to focus on the latitude that the librarian has to “close” the library to on-site visits.
   • Brian is concerned that our non-profit dollars are not being used wisely. Others disagreed.
   • Laura believes we should empower our librarian to make these operations decisions.
   • Denise believes the decision was to protect the public. She disagrees about the non-profit dollars are not being spent wisely.
   • Brian wants to be involved the decision to keep the library closed or re-open.
   • Brian moved that we re-open to the public when our librarian Phyllis believes it is safe and that the board must vote to support or deny the request. Denise seconded the motion. No further discussion. The motion passed unanimously.
   • John suggested continuing the discussion at the next meeting and considering guidelines as to when the Librarian can close the library to on-site visits (or more).
   • Phyllis requested going through the VT Department of Libraries website on Covid restrictions. Brian and Betsy volunteered to assist in going through that to help develop our guidelines.

Russell Collection
   • Written report submitted
   • Bill drafted a memorial resolution for Town Meeting for Dave Thomas.
   • John moved that board adopt the draft resolution for Dave Thomas on behalf of the board to be submitted to the Town of Arlington at town meeting. Brian seconded. The motion was passed unanimously.

Old Business
   • Town allocations were requested to all towns.

New Business
   • Annual reports to the towns are underway.
   • Slate of trustees to be presented. Sheila, Laura, and partial terms for Allyson and Bill H. are also ending. Sheila, Laura, and Alyson all accepted, and Sheila will check with Bill H.
   • Sheila will not be able to stand as President as for the next term and asked if anyone was interested.
   • Denise is willing to continue as Treasurer. Carol is willing to continue as VP. John is willing to continue as Secretary. Sheila will be contacting people to discuss the President role.
   • Phyllis read a thank you note from the advocates group. They recognized the board and staff for supporting the basket raffle.

Alyson moved to adjourn. Brian seconded. The vote passed unanimously.
Next Meeting: Monday February 1, 2020 @ 6 pm for the Annual meeting with the regular monthly
meeting to follow.

The meeting ended at 8:19 PM

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