Brooks Memorial Library

Friends of Brooks Memorial Library

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Meeting Minutes 7/15/2020

August 28, 2020 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

The meeting was conducted via GoToMeeting and was called to order at 4:30pm.

Participating were Joyce Marcel, Connie Kimball, Betsy Wagenknecht, John Komar, Sue Dyer and Karen Duggan, with Starr Latronica and Courtney Carey for the library and Howard Burrows for the trustees. Cindy Hutchenson and Kate Wylie were excused.

The secretary’s report was approved.

The treasurer’s report was accepted and will be filed for audit. Our June 30, 2020 treasury balance was $43,740.74.

Joyce introduced Christopher Ilstrup, head of the Vermont Humanities Council, who joined us virtually. He gave us a brief history of their organization and an explanation of their funding. For this year, they will continue to offer their First Wednesdays programs to nine libraries, with a tenth to be offered virtually. This year’s fee will be on a sliding scale, with libraries contributing what they can.

Christopher believes strongly that the VHC and libraries should work collaboratively on fundraising. One possible suggestion is to create a prospect list and decide together which sponsors each might ask for funding, so as not to “step on each other’s toes.” To make this collaborative model possible, he would like to establish advisory councils with libraries and Friends’ groups and hopes that can happen for the 2021-22 year. For now, John will be our contact with Christopher.

We will talk about out First Wednesdays donation for this year at the next meeting.

Joyce reported that the trustees will fund the printing and mailing of the Annual Appeal. She will draft the appeal letter for their finance committee’s August meeting. She would like us to begin the appeal in September.

We voted to allow Starr to use up to $250 from any given line item without an email vote, from now until we review this again (possibly post-COVID).

John reported that we have received $1300 in funding from these corporate sponsors: Vermont Country Store, Brattleboro Savings and Loan, Against the Grain and Brattleboro Auto and Detailing (pledged, not received yet). Many other sponsors have been contacted.

Starr purchased an online magazine subscription with library funds, as she had a small window for doing so and our board was not able to meet in time.

Starr reported that the Children’s Room staff has really reached out to the community, delivering books with lunches and at the pool and assembling bags of art materials and books for children to take home.

Jennifer Ansart, in charge of interlibrary loans, will be moving to Colorado. There will be a going-away party for her on July 30th, 2-5pm, at the Kiwanis Shelter at Living Memorial Park.

The library reopening has been quieter than predicted. The library is open 1-5pm for patrons in 20-minute intervals, on the hour and half-hour, with cleaning done in between. People have been wearing masks and using the new sanitizer station. Many patrons still prefer to just pick up books at the front door. Starr says that everyone is being careful.

The bike rack/toolset has arrived and will soon be installed by a crew from public works.

There are no staff requests at this time.

While we have no plans for a book sale yet (and no donated books, due to the current conditions), we talked about the possibility of holding the sale in another location, like an empty downtown space or as a pop-up sale. Betsy will research some possibilities and report back.

There is no newsletter planned for now, as there is no activity to report; we hope to send a small newsletter in the fall. We will discuss this in August.

Howard reminded people that there are lots of virtual workshops available to us from ALA, NELA and the VLA.

We will meet on August 19th.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:50pm.


August 28, 2020
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Our Mission

The mission of the Friends is to support the Brooks Memorial Library through advocacy, public relations, and fundraising in order to provide the highest quality library services to the community.

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Friends of Brooks Memorial Library

224 Main Street
Brattleboro, VT  05301