The May 17, 2004 meeting of the Amherst Library Board of Trustees was called to order at 7:30 PM by Chairman, Don Holden. Trustees present were David Hallenbeck, Tom Head, Robin Julian, Bob Lown, Helen Rowe and Library Director, Natasha Leonard.
LIBRARY DIRECTOR’S REPORT: 200 patrons entered the April National Poetry Month drawing and 94 entered the National Poetry Week drawing. The May theme is “Books in Bloom”. The Amherst Garden Club has donated two garden tour tickets for the raffle. The June theme will be “Travel the World”. Approximately 50 people attended the “Spirit of Music” program held Saturday, May 15.
In the technology area the T1 connection is now up and running. The speed of this connection is very evident. There are still some wiring problems to be sorted out as the computers are moved around. Prior to offering the wireless system to patrons it will be thoroughly tested. The Wireless Access Policy/Procedures was reviewed. Natasha had made some changes from the first draft. She will finalize this policy for our next meeting. Natasha is using Tech Atlas for in house staff training. This will allow her to pinpoint areas staff members need to focus on and thus send them out for individual training. Natasha is working with an on-line DreamWeaver tutorial program. This is a web designed software program which will allow her to plan for the future. Future upgrades of our system are currently planned into 2006. A printer contract is being set up to cover the laser printers.
The Board unanimously accepted $450.00 in the gifts account. A request has been made by a member of Lucy Richardson’s family for the money in her memory to be spent on either gardening books or replacement of classics. Since the garden books are in excellent shape due to the Garden Club most of the money will go to classic replacement. A $250 gift was designated for the purchase of audio-books and $100 was received from the sale of the paperback rack.
Sarah and Natasha attended the NHLA Conference at the Mt. Washington Hotel. There will be a luncheon on Friday, May 21 for the staff and friends of the Library put on by The Friends of the Library. The new reference desk and location is receiving positive comments. There is much more area available at the Circulation Desk. There are plans to have a homework desk located there also.
The fire alarm box will need to be replaced due to its age. Parts are no longer available for repairs. Mr. Berry will put this into his July budget. The cost will be between $1000 and $3000.
Natasha has prepared a patron survey pertaining to hours of operation. Under consideration is changing the opening time to 9:00 AM and closing on Saturday at 3:00 PM. There would be a net total gain of one extra hour of operation. Natasha would also like to change the pay incentives for weekend workers. There would be some salary savings with this plan. Staff members have been surveyed on both issues and are in favor of the changes. The Board approved the patron survey.
Circulation figures: (See Attached)
A discussion was held concerning the suggestion that the Library close the grounds in the evening from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM. The Selectmen have approved an ordinance banning parking in front of the Library during those hours. If the grounds were closed this would allow the police the ability to monitor the grounds. These plans are in direct response to the after hours gathering at the Library by the young people. The issue of noise, disturbing the neighbors at late hours, trash and recent vandalism brought about the request. The Board decided to wait until next month to make a decision concerning the closing of the grounds. It is hoped that the no parking ordinance will be enough. In the meantime, Natasha will send out some publicity concerning our decision in the hopes that a dialogue with the students can be initiated. The Board will reassess the situation at their June meeting.
The door count for the student art show was 527. The show was put on by the Friends of the Library.
Under old business, Don reported that so far the replies to the staff questionnaire have been positive. He is still waiting for one more to be returned and will have a summary for us next month.
Under new business Bob, Dave & Tom briefly discussed the NHLTA Meeting they attended on May 15th.
There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 9:37 PM.
The next meeting is June 21, 2004.
Helen D. Rowe, secretary