Minutes February 23, 2016

Moderator: Ellie Chesebrough

Minutes February 23, 2016

Postby Ellie Chesebrough » Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:54 pm

Simon Fairfield Public Library
February 23, 2016
Trustee Meeting

Present: Joe Biagioni, Danielle Morrow, Ellie Chesebrough, Kate Anderson, Barbara VanReed, Ramona Lachapelle, Kevin Sughrue and Justin Snook.
Absent: Betty Holden.

The meeting was called to order at 7:09 PM

The Board welcomed Representative McKenna. Director Snook read a letter to the Representative outlining his major concerns for libraries. This letter follows these minutes and was signed by all Trustees present as well. Issues and concerns mentioned to Mr. McKenna included the library’s building renovation to become ADA accessible, prevailing wage, and the importance of keeping the Mass Board of Library Commissioners as an independent agency. Representative McKenna emphasized the importance of notifying Senator Karen Spilka and Representative Brian Dempsey, chairs of Ways and Means in the Senate and the House, with budget concerns for FY2017 State budget items. He also noted that one of his Administrative Assistants is well versed in both grant writing and in handicapped issues.

The minutes for January 26, 2016 were accepted.

Treasurer’s Report
There was no Treasurer’s Report

Director’s Report
• The new shelving is up in the Friends' Room, and volunteers will be transferring the Friends' assets this Saturday
• The first draft of the new web site is completed; work continues.
• Our budget was presented to the finance committee and received well.
• Adam Furno and I have begun the process of disposing of the old copier and moving the local history cabinet downstairs to that spot. Once it is done, we can move the new magazines back into the lobby and the old magazines into the adult stacks.
• Rules have been crafted and posted for the teen loft. Trash is becoming a concern.
• A Breakfast for Library Advocates is being held in Whitinsville on March 4 from 7:30 to 9 and is open for all to attend.

Old Business
Building renovation: A meeting with the town’s Safety Committee was held with much of the discussion focused on parking, ingresses and egresses. Work will continue to resolve these issues.
Clock: Work needs to be completed on pendulum to function correctly with the clock. A motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously to provide an additional $150 to complete this work.
Director’s Review: Morrow will forward summaries to Biagioni.
Friends: Chesebrough reported that low key annual meeting will be held in late April to elect officers. It was proposed that coupling a program to attract members to this meeting would be beneficial as well as hosting several events throughout the year would be good.

New Business
Back Door: Chesebrough presented a petition to have an article on the Annual Town Meeting warrant for the cost of replacing the rotted door in the basement. All present signed the petition and Chesebrough will submit it to the Town Clerk for signature certification before the March 4, 2016 deadline.
Other: Snook presented a routine for signing pay vouchers more often than once a month. Vouchers awaiting signatures will be in a folder on top of the filing cabinet in the office. He asks that Trustees check this file when they come to the Library.

The next meeting will be March 22, 2016.

The meeting adjourned at 8:25 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellie Chesebrough, Secretary

February 23, 2016
Dear Representative McKenna:
In the fiscal year of 2015, the operating budget of the Simon Fairfield Public Library was
$208,988. State aid received was less than $10,000, and yet we circulated $866,449.42 worth of materials
($650,233.12 within Douglas and $216,216.40 to the rest of the commonwealth). This is just our collection circulation and does not account for the value we provide the region by providing public computer use and Internet access, educational programming, research assistance, and more. Taking everything into account, the value of our library—broken down into monetary terms—easily exceeds a million dollars per fiscal year to the commonwealth.
We find ourselves in crisis mode, though, due to extremely constrained budgets. The primary culprit is a domino effect stemming from chapter 70 and unfunded mandates on public schools. As the state requires more and pays less on the public education front, the town's resources are all diverted there. Douglas faces an imminent $2.5 million budget shortfall because of this issue. When people talk about cutting that deep into the budget, eyes always turn to the most vulnerable institutions—libraries and senior centers—which also happen to serve the most vulnerable parts of our community. So please be mindful of that, even though it isn't what we are here to discuss.
What I would like to address this evening are three line-items that we need you to support:
● 7000-9401: State Aid to Regional Libraries
This line item peaked in FY2002 at $17,623,954. In FY16, it was a mere $9,938,482. While it doesn't affect us directly, the stress it creates in the regional systems does trickle down to us.
● 7000-9501: State Aid to Public Libraries
This line item directly affects the grant money we receive from the state by maintaining compliance with MBLC service standards. It peaked in FY2009 at $9,989,844 and now hovers at $9,029,000. The MBLC is requesting a $4,471,000 increase to this line item in FY17, and I beg you to support it. Our library simply could not continue to operate without these funds.
● 7000-9506: Library Technology & Resource Sharing
Sharing resources and developing our consortial technologies is more important than ever, yet funding for this line item peaked in FY2001 and has since been cut by more than half to a paltry $2,116,564. Because of the stress on the networks, our membership fee to be a part of CWMARS is increasing by 9% next fiscal year. Remaining a part of our regional network is going from 3% to 4% of our entire operational budget.
Library funding accounts for a mere .07% of the state budget. What we ask for isn't unreasonable. If 9401 increases by $1,001,993, 9501 by $4,471,000, and 9506 by $3,883,436, then we will have enough money to continue providing our current levels of service. If these line items continue to be neglected, along with the other line items that affect small towns, the upcoming years are going to see a dramatic reduction library services.
If network costs continue to increase, some libraries will drop out (leaving their citizens without access to network materials). The cost on the remaining libraries will increase even as the network becomes less of an asset, until the networks dwindle and each library has to fend for itself. Many will go extinct. That's the reality that is coming. Please help us avoid it.
Justin Snook Director, Simon Fairfield Public Library
Ellie Chesebrough
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Joined: Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:55 am

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