The board meets on the second Saturday each month. Minutes read from most recent to oldest. Additional minutes can be requested by the Friends of New Salem Public Library
Meeting Minutes December 12, 2020 Meeting called to order at 10:04 am Adjourned at 11:48 am
Members Present: Anna Channing, Lisa Finestone, Karen Stevens, Jo Ellen Boskind, Anan Zurba, Betsy Bergantino, Julie Hubbard, George Perides, Marny Ashburne
Approval of October and November Minutes: October minutes approved with the revisions made.
Reports Treasurer’s Report: FoL account balance as of 11/30/20: $5925,56 RoL account balance as of 11/30: $3,419.97 Annual Appeal Update:More donations have come in since 11/30 so the Annual Appeal total is now $754 and $325 in checks. The Treasurer's Report was approved unanimously.
Director’s Report:See attached report. Diana also emailed Betsy to thank the Friends for allowing the library to use the Zoom account. She will also be purchasing books soon from our anti-racism list.
Publicity: The Annual Appeal announcement has made the New Salem News twice.
Old Business Annual Appeal: We decided to send out the Annual Appeal link/letter again once we begin to publicize an event. We have 14 donors so far this year, last year we had about 70. Karen will not send acknowledgements to Board members, we all said thank you to each other. Post cards can go out to all donors and a handwritten note will be sent to anyone who donates $100 or more. Lisa offered to help write handwritten notes if Karen needs help. Karen may need to get more notecards made at Collective Copies and stamps at this time she has some leftover from last year.
Website: George added the most recent Meeting Minutes and did some cleaning up. We can update the ROL section with pictures of the complete area and maybe a blurb.
Antiracism Program Funding: See the Trustees’ notes for an update Anti Racism Reading List: Tab added to the website with the link
Reading List: We can shift towards “staff picks” or a “what we have been reading” to post on Facebook and our website.
Book Delivery: Lisa spoke with Sue. There is not a huge demand at this time but if we advertised it might be worthwhile to pursue. Marny will draft something for the New Salem News asking people who are interested to email us.
New Business Reading Aloud: Lisa has been in touch with Dorothy. We are hoping to plan two reading alouds for January and March. We would like to try an author visit in February.
Potential Dates are: January 21, 2021 and March 18, 2021 at 7:00 pm
George will take care of setting up the Zoom Meeting. Betsy will introduce Dorothy and welcome everyone to the event. We can give everyone a few minutes before the event and in between readers to socialize, ask questions, discuss the reading, and get their beverages of choice. Marny is willing to revise the flyer with the new readers and our Zoom information. Everyone will be directed to our website where there will be a registration link to a Google Form. Anna will create the Google Form and post it on the website.
Mira Bartok: Lisa has spoken with Mira. Mira can offer a reading and a q&a at this time. She also suggested partnering with another local kid lit author for this event. Lisa will see what Mira is willing to do and what her availability is.
Overdrive/Libby Tutorial: We wanted to offer a live training for people to learn how to use these tools and also get a Boston Public Library Card. Betsy and Anna could co-host an event to help people. We could do a trial run with Board members at the next meeting to see how it goes before deciding to publicize.
Cooking Class: Lisa will contact Nalini.
Dale Monette: Zoom is a challenging platform for him to do his program on because of the color quality etc, so he would love to do a live program in the future.
Chocolate Making: Betsy will contact Erving Station to see if they may be interested in partnering for a program. Lisa suggested possibly contacting Corner Cafe, too.
Email: Marny suggested adding language to the bottom of our emails to inform people why they receive our emails (a member or attended an event in the past) and if they would like to unsubscribe then they can reply. There have been some emails returning as undeliverable. Marny has been noting those and we think we can go ahead and start removing those contacts.
January Agenda Items: Libby tutorial Reading Aloud
Next Meeting: January 9, 2021 at 10:00am
Meeting Minutes November 14, 2020
Meeting called to order at 10:04 Adjourned at 11:28
Members Present: Marny Ashburne, Betsy Bergantino, Lisa Finestone, Julie Hubbard, George Perides, Karen Stevens 1. Discussion on minutes from October meeting: There were a few comments that the minutes may not reflect the actual discussion, especially with Julie not being able to get into the library. We decided not to approve the minutes and wait till the December meeting, when we can give input to and receive from Anna Channing, who wrote them
2. Reports Treasurer’s Report: FoL account balance as of 11/12/20 - $5,805.79 RoL account balance as of 11/12/20 - $3,419.41 No change since the previous month. Karen mentioned that we have not received any money from Amazon smile yet as the system is still nor properly set up. Amazon will fix the glitches and we should get this month the first deposit. Betsy asked everybody to remind our friends and relatives to use the https://smile.amazon.com for our purchases. Lisa motion to accept the Treasurer’s report, George second the motion and the report was approved Director’s Report:Diana’s report Trustees' Report: Marny brought us up to date with the latest meeting of the trustees. We discussed the items related to the auction of the old library furniture and the antiracism programming planning. George raised the point that in a 10/21/20 email Diana appeared not to be interested in receiving help from the FoL. Karen said that indeed other FoL organizations only raise money for their respective libraries and don’t run their own programs. Lisa said that Judy was the one who initiated the antiracism program and may not want us to interfere with her idea. Betsy suggested to step back and when they have finished with their arrangements to indicate that we are ready to help. Lisa asked whether we should put however, our list of books on our website and Facebook page. Marny suggested that instead of writing the whole list we can just recommend books we have read, akin to what bookstores do with “books recommended by our staff”. Betsy indicated that she will put such a list on the Facebook page. It was also suggested that we can expand the list to other areas, ranging from poetry, fiction, history etc.
3. Annual Appeal: Betsy thanked Julie and Marny for the Annual Appeal Letter. It is good and should go out on Monday 11/16/20 in the form of an email. It should be in the body of the email and not in the form of attachment, as sometimes the recipients don’t want or can’t open them. Lisa asked if we should put some pictures, but Marny was afraid that attachments may complicate things for some recipients (see above). Lisa said she will take pictures of the library for the website. Karen indicated that we should not send the appeal repeatedly, as this may irritate some people, but we can do that after a successful program/task has been accomplished (eg reading aloud for adults). Marny asked if the donors receive automatically a thank you note when they donate. Betsy thought yes, but she would check again to ensure that this is correct.
4. Library Gardens and Flower Pots Lisa said that these had been taken care of by Monica Wintersand Chris. However, she is not sure how long they will be willing to do it. Some time ago the Trustees had given money to FoL for expenses of taking care of the Garden and Flower Pots and also in the past FoL had discussed that but they thought it was not part of the FoL responsibility. So it may be time to revisit this. Is that something we want the FoL to do, the Library or the Trustees? Lisa talked to Matt Jenks, a landscaper, who said he will gladly volunteer to do some of the work. Marny said that we should thank Monica and ask her if she wants to continue. She is still the chair of the reimagining our library committee, but that will end soon. Betsy suggested to Lisa to ask the Trustees and explore the possibilities of a) Monica continues to do it or b) Trustees pay FoL for consumables as we find and manage volunteers to perform the work.
5. Share findings on other areas Friends’ activities There was a small discussion about findings of other Friends’ activities restricted primarily to the book delivery program. Lisa offered to ask Sue how we can help.
6. Programming Ideas Lisa contacted Mira Bartok. She will gladly do something with us. She does not want to read from her Memoir, and she had questions on whether a reading would target adults or children. She would do both if we want. Her book Wonderling 2 will be published in 2022 due to the coronavirus situation, but it is fully written. She will gladly read from it. Lisa will ask/suggest to her 3 items. A reading for kids in December, a reading for grown-ups in the spring and also the Reading Aloud for Adults. Julie was wondering whether arranging 3 items may be too much for Marny. Betsy suggested to start with 2 and if we see that it is doable move to 3 items. Anna sent her list of suggestions. That includes How To Workshops including How to borrow from an e-reader and generate book lists of various themes (mentioned under item 2 above). Betsy suggested to ask Sue to present how to order books through the e-reader and be ready for a Questions and Answers session. Lisa, suggested a cooking together presentation, similar to what the Greenfield Recorder has advertised. She said that in the past they did it once but people did not show much interest. George suggested that something like that may require a bit more than a cell phone camera, to appeal to the audience. Betsy wondered whether cook professionals of the area may be interested and Lisa suggested to ask Nalini, the cook at Quabbin Harvest. There is the possibility to have Dale Monette (a photographer) to show some of his books and promote them. Lis knows his spouse and will ask him for a Zoom presentation with a Q & A session. It was suggested that a weeknight may be best (6.30pm for 1 hour). Karen suggested to read bed time books. Betsy cautioned that we need to be careful with copyright.
7. Other business Betsy cleaned out the email George hasn’t done anything on the website. He said he will work on it the next two weeks prior to Thanksgiving. 8. Next meeting 12/12/20 at 10am
Meeting Minutes October 17, 2020 Meeting called to order at 10:00 Adjourned at 11.30
Members Present: Betsy Bergantino, Anna Channing, Lisa Finestone, Karen Stevens, Jo Ellen Boskind, Anan Zurba, Marny Ashburne, George Perides Approval of September Minutes
Reports Treasurer’s Report: FoL account balance as of 9/30 - $5,805.79 RoL account balance as of 9/30 - $3,476.63 Discussion surrounding how the remaining RoL money will be used. Some of the money has already been allotted for furniture and a diaper changing table. Report approved. Director’s Report:Diana’s report Publicity: Marny was great at helping us connect with other Friends groups, The Montague Reporter, and the New Salem News to promote the candidates forum. Trustees' Report: Leftover furniture auction: Diana’s still working on. Eli looked at different auction sites to use. Anti-racism programming planning: They are still working on this. There are some grant application deadlines looming and they’ll aim for one (Cultural Council or Academy). They are still looking at working with Jessy Molina, who can provide a variety of workshops, e.g., institutional racism or implicit bias. They are considering a two-part program—presentation/workshop along with a common-read book. This would be a multi-community program in conjunction with other libraries. To be decided are the number of programs and topics.
Judy requested feedback from the Friends as a way to gauge general interest: They would like to know if the Friends would be interested in an antiracism program. Perhaps tying it to a book? Do we think the town would be interested in exploring racism? Would it be attended? They’d love some input. For now, they seem to have settled on looking into funding from the Cultural Council for an institutional racism workshop. (If anyone has questions or is interested in helping them, contact Diana, Eli, Judy, or Martha.)
Old Business Annual Appeal: Marny’s Suggestions Karen suggested that we can go forward with programming such as Making Love While Farming and antiracism so we should consider fundraising. Julie is struggling with the library remaining closed and also not hosting programs outside of the book discussions. Anna suggests that we should go forward with a small fundraising campaign and use that has motivation to come up with some good programming for winter as it is likely people will be home all winter with rising COVID cases. Jo is supportive of an email campaign, using a sensitive letter like Shutesbury did. Betsy also mentioned considering the cost of a mailing. Anan would like to see us take the campaign digitally through Facebook and email. We voted to go forward with an online/digital campaign only. We should aim to get the email out before Thanksgiving so we can get ahead of the Giving Tuesday rush.
Candidates Forum: We had a very successful event. There were over 60 people registered and over 40 attended the live forum. AOTV, the candidates, and other libraries have shared the recording. New Business Email Cleanout: Website:
Antiracism Programming: We could offer to help support the program by contributing some funds. We also could use our funds to purchase some antiracism books for the library. Reading Aloud for Grownups: Lisa will contact Dorothy to see if she is still interested in helping arrange readers. We would like to go forward with the event. Lisa mentioned considering how we can help keep the social connection during Zoom because many people enjoy Reading Aloud for that reason.
Friends Group Shareout: Montague, Leverett and Erving friends seem to be more of a support and fundraising body. They do not have their own websites and do not appear to have much of their own programming. Greenfield friends do fundraising and are supporting the new building. Lisa mentioned that they provide a book delivery service and maintain the gardens. Good ideas- cafe at Town Meeting, members only preview of book sale, spelling bee, Friends brochure (Norwood example), greeting card workshop? Something art based,
November Agenda: Programming- Mira Bartok, Reading Aloud for Grownups, online workshop with Emily, antiracism Next Meeting: November 14, 2020 at 10:00am
Meeting Minutes August 8, 2020
Meeting called to order at 10:03 pm Adjourned 11:35 pm
Members Present: Anna Channing, Lisa Finestone, Karen Stevens, Jo Ellen Boskind, Betsy Bergantino, Marny Ashburne, Julie Hubbard, George Perides, Anan Zorba Approval of July Minutes: Minutes approved unanimously
Reports Treasurer’s Report: FoL account balance as of 7/31 - $5,911.57 RoL account balance as of 7/31 - $3476.63
We will be in touch with the Reimagining Committee regarding outstanding payments for several items so Karen can close the account when appropriate. Amazon Smile has been transferred into Karen’s name. Betsy has been added to all bank accounts. Karen is working on tax forms.
Report unanimously approved.
Director’s Report: COMMUNITY INTERACTION: We had a turnout of 5 for the last book discussion on Zoom. The next book is The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson and the discussion is on July 20th. We had 19 curbside pickups in June.
COLLECTION: 82 Adult Fiction books, 16 Adult Nonfiction books, 33 DVDs, 22 Audio Books, 7 YA Fiction books, 2 YA Nonfiction books, 38 J Fiction books, 31 J Nonfiction books, 13 E Fiction books, 2 E Board Books and 20 J DVDs were added to the collection in June. One Adult fiction book and 27 Adult Nonfiction books were removed from the collection in June.
MAINTENANCE & EQUIPMENT: On June 26 th Citizens Security Service set up our fire alarm so it uses wifi and doesn’t need a phone line. This should save the library $970.00 a year, $804 in phone line costs and $166 in maintenance costs. We now have a battery backup for our internet equipment in case of a power outage. The south side door repair and the floor refinishing are to be done sometime this summer/fall.
Publicity: Marny and Julie have connected to review press release samples. Julie has shared some contacts with Marny. Julie will continue to mentor Marny, as needed. The Board should consider whether we will keep our Friends work separate from the Library news. We would like to make sure that we take every opportunity to highlight our work while recognizing there is some overlap. We should get clarification regarding how the Library can accept personal donations directly and/or raise funds and if there are restrictions for that money. Marny will ask the Trustees about this at their next meeting. We would like to keep Friends and Library items separate in the New Salem News however Marny will check in with Diana and library staff regarding events etc. that affect them .
Trustee’s Report: Lisa and Marny attended the July 14 meeting. Judy would like to set a goal towards being culturally relevant during this time. Martha Nichol is the new Trustee. The Trustees voted to recommend her and the Selectboard will then officially appoint her. The next meetings are 8/18 and 9/15 at 6:30 pm via Zoom. We have requested that they send any changes in meeting dates to both Betsy and Lisa. Marny and Lisa will attend on 8/18.
Old Business FOL Tasks List- Link to Tasks List Zoom Account- We will not give out the account information. We will always have a board member set up the meeting for the Library or the Trustees if they would like to use it. George and Karen will be the points of contact for the account. Username: firstname.lastname@example.org Password: our typical password with 1 at the end Amazon Smile- Make sure to use smile.amazon.com on your web browser or turn on AmazonSmile in the settings section of the Amazon app. Select the Friends as your charity of choice. Marny will advertise in New Salem News.
New Business Other Local Friends Group Ideas- We would like to look at local friends groups to see their website/online presence, events/programming and fundraising. If we each take one or two to review we can share ideas from these groups. Betsy will email out bullet points of what to look for. Betsy- Orange, Athol Karen- Amherst Anna- Erving Julie- Norwood Lisa- Greenfield Jo Ellen- Shutesbury George- Leverett, Montague Marny- Wendell
George is interested in helping with the website.
Candidates Forum- There will be a contested race for the upcoming election for State Representative. Susannah Whipps and Will LaRose will be running. We could invite both candidates to a Zoom forum. Lisa reached out to Mary-Ann and she is interested in helping with this event. Lisa will also reach out to the candidates to see if they are interested and we can move forward from there.
Ecotarium Closing- The museum is closed for the foreseeable future.