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April 18, 2024

Trustees Minutes

Haverhill Public Library

Board of Trustees

Minutes of April 18, 2024

The regular monthly meeting of the Trustees of the Haverhill Public Library was called to order at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 18, 2024 in the Whittier Conference Room. In attendance were Trustees Bresnahan, Coletti, Klueber, Sheehan and Veasey-Sirois. Also in attendance was Director, Sarah Moser and Assistant Director, Jane Lemuth.

Secretary’s Report

            The trustees were given copies of the minutes dated March 21, 2024. After perusing the minutes, a motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes. The minutes were approved.

Treasurer’s Report

Business manager, Josh, presented the financial highlights for March:

  • The endowment and special collections continued to grow in March.
  • The state aid check came in and was about $25,000 higher than expected. The money will come from the City in May.
  • So far, the Reader’s Fund has brought in 83 gifts. The average gift is lower due to the gifts coming in from the email solicitation being smaller, but there has been more gifts overall.

Director’s Report

A copy of the director’s report was given to the trustees. Sarah discussed the highlights and other director’s news:

  • The library has been operating normally and programming has been high since re-opening.
  • The new cleaning company is working out well, although they are more expensive. Sarah discussed hiring a part time custodian with the Mayor. It would cost about the same as a cleaning company but would be more helpful having a person on staff to troubleshoot other issues that arise and help with things like snow removal and small plumbing issues.
  • The new Head of Reference is working out well and we are fully staffed.
  • Comic Con is being planned for next month.
  • Jackie broke her foot and is recovering at home.

Old Business

            Building: 24 Restore is still waiting for payment but need to discuss with the Mayor if it is the City or trustees responsibility. The insurance company is the City’s but the building is owned by the trustees.

            Rob from Garland is going to come back with a water proofing company to inspect the flashing. The trustees would like if Rob could write a statement saying that the roof was well maintained and that it didn’t leak due to wear and tear, to submit to the insurance company.

New Business

            Sarah met with CHA, the project management company, along with OverUnder. CHA wants to meet with the trustees and they recommend asbestos testing.

            DGI has a few good candidates that the trustees have interviewed for a fundraiser but would like a draft of an offer to help distinguish if the fundraiser is a staff member or contractor. The trustees discussed hiring an employment lawyer.

            Mayor Barret joined the meeting at 10:15 a.m.

            Sarah discussed the trustees budget for FY25. She is asking they increase it by about $20,000 in order to add teen print materials and programs, youth audio-visual materials, adult audiobooks and the increase in the fee for Overdrive.

Presentation by Dr. Jessica Kallin, Executive Director of Haverhill Promise

            Dr. Jessica Kallin and Diane Connolly, President of Haverhill Promise Steering Committee, joined at 10:30 to discuss the possible collaboration between Haverhill Promise and HPL. Jessica discussed stakeholders, strategies, outcomes, statistics and metrics for 2023, her accomplishments as her first year of director, goals for 2024, HP and HPL current collaborations and potential expansions, benefits of collaborating, financial projections and fundraising overview.

            Trustee Coletti asked what HPL’s role would be. Jessica stated that schools are limited on their options for collaboration so the library is needed to help increase literacy advocacy.

            Trustee Sheehan stated concerns over conflicts of donations, separation of entities, succession planning and the liability to the library. There was a discussion on liabilities vs. benefits.

            Trustee Coletti thought there might be better ways to fund Jessica’s salary besides having her fundraise for it. There was a discussion with the Mayor about the possibility of taking Jessica on as library staff funded by the City but there might be conflicts with library and renovation fundraising. The Mayor stated that the details regarding distinguishing HP from HPL and the non-profit tax status would need to be worked out but it could be possible.

            Sarah stated that having HP collaborate with HPL would be an asset to building fundraising and that absorbing HP could bring in money for their mission directly benefiting the library. There are successful case studies of this kind of partnership to look to.

            Jessica and Diane left the meeting at 12 p.m.

            There being no further business to discuss, a motion was made and seconded to adjourn. The meeting ended at 12:25 p.m.


Kathleen Bresnahan