Notices, agendas, and minutes of the Springfield Town Library are posted here in accordance with Vermont's Open Meeting Law. Meetings are open to the public. Every session includes time for public comment. The Trustees meet on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm, on the second floor of the Springfield Town Library, at 43 Main Street in Springfield, Vermont.

For more information, call the Library at (802)885-3108 or e-mail stlib@vermontel.net

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Town of Springfield
Library Board of Trustees
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

1. The meeting was called to order at 6:32PM.
Present: Josephine Hingston, Sandra Richardson, Amy Howlett (director),  Herb Jamison, Matthew Pincus, Sara Druen, Barbara Ball.

Absent:  Richard Cofrancesco



2.   Additions/ subtractions to the Agenda
N/A

3.   Public comments
Rosanne (Bunni) Putnam, member of the FOSTL Board and president of the Springfield Historical Society expressed her concerns. She said that Springfield Town Library is a library and not a social services branch of the town; that libraries should be about reading and giving children and adults)access to books that they may not have at home. Bunni urged the Board, “not to get so tied up in being a social setting that we forget we're a library.”

Bunni also expressed concern about the Children's room murals. She mentioned that $13,000 was spent to restore the murals when they were obtained from Springfield Hospital in 2010. She stressed it wouldn't be right for the murals to be taken down or given away, etc.

There was a question regarding whether the library's insurance would cover the murals, for instance if they were leaked on, etc. Amy will research this.

One board member mused that maybe the library isn't the best place for children's lunch or for DCF visitations. Amy gave some background, saying that this was the first year the library was a summer lunch spot. Generally about 6 kids would come to the lunch. Some would take part in library activities. Some would get their lunch and leave. Kids sign up at the Family Center and the library was a pickup spot.

Amy said that the library will be talking seriously during the coming strategic planning process about what the library means to Springfield and how best the library can help Springfield and its residents thrive and succeed in the coming years.

4.   Review and approve minutes from the August meeting
The minutes from our August meeting will be reviewed in October.

5.   FOSTL liaison report: Apple Festival Book Sale October 7th

Bunni Putnam gave the FOSTL update today. The book sale will be open at the Apple Festival from 9-12AM. All children’s books will be free and kids can take as many as they want. All other books will be by donation.

Bunni mentioned that membership in FOSTL has declined and invited all board members to become Friends of the Library.

Bunni also invited all to attend a FOSTL meeting. They are held the first Wednesday of each month.

6.   Director’s report, updates, strategic planning

Amy gave the update that work on the elevator starts October 2nd and should take 3 weeks. The elevator will be unavailable during that time. Work on the elevator may overlap on renovations of the children's room, including replacing ceiling tiles and the carpet.

There was a suggestion to put a notice by the elevator during the time it is inoperable stating the library’s willingness to retrieve items from inaccessible floors.

Amy gave the strategic planning update. Two select board members have already agreed to participate.  The strategic planning committee met last night and came up with a list of 20-25 invitees.
The two community conversations are by invitation and will be on September 27th and October 25 from 4-8pm. Participants will attend both dates. In between these two meetings, there will be a “family meeting” for the Board, staff, and FOSTL. The Board agreed that 4-8PM is a good time for the Family Meeting to occur. A date hasn’t been determined yet for this meeting.

New Policies
The Springfield town manager approved the Guidelines for Library Behavior and the Policy on Children. The Board confirmed the Guidelines and the Policy again.


Lost Material Retrieval Methods:
Circulation Supervisor Tammy Gould attended the meeting tonight to talk about the lost material retrieval method. A board member had previously expressed concern that a patron's credit could be affected because of losing a library book and it being turned over to a collection agency. 

Tammy explained that the library has been referring overdue resources to collections for the past 10 years. This has resulted in a decrease in the backlog of lost books. Overdue accounts are sent to collections after books are 56 days overdue. Before they're sent, the library sends a letter that the patron has 2 weeks to bring the items back or they'll be referred to collections.

Tammy said she feels the current system is working well. She only has to turn an average of 5 accounts over to collections monthly.

Amy mentioned that all library staff have the power to waive overdue charges, grant “amnesty,” or make a deal with patrons regarding overdue materials. A patron who has lost a library book can buy a brand new book and give it to the library as a replacement or pay for a new item. If a patron does this, the fine is waived. The maximum fine is $10 per overdue resource.

Discussion that the library is a tax-supported institution that provides value to our town and it’s best not to waste money. The library needs to be responsible to the tax payers. However, we also want to be compassionate to patrons with special circumstances or fragile situations.

Amy stated that losing 7% of the collection annually is not unusual in public libraries.

The Board decided to keep the current practice in effect, however, to add a statement to the final letter. For instance something like, “Come talk to us if you are in dire states…” or “Give us a call. We want to figure this out and work with you…”  or We are open to discussion. If there are special circumstances, we're happy to hear them.” Hopefully, this will encourage patrons to come to the library and communicate regarding their missing items, make a plan, and hopefully be able to continue to use the library.

Amy will work so that a compassionate statement is added to the end of the letter.

8. Executive Session
N/A

9. Next meeting date and adjournment: Tuesday, October 10th, 6:30PM

Motion to adjourn passed (Matthew motioned, Sandra second.) 7:52pm.