Haverhill Public Library
Board of Trustees
Minutes of May 21, 2020
The regular monthly meeting of the Trustees of the Haverhill Public Library was called to order at 8:35 a.m. on Thursday, May 21, 2020 in the Donald C. Freeman Whittier Room. In attendance via telephone were Trustees Bresnahan, Coletti, Klueber, Rurak, Sheehan, and Veasey-Sirois. Also in attendance was Director, Sarah Moser and Assistant Director, Jonathan Nichols.
The trustees were given copies of the minutes dated April 16, 2020. After perusing the minutes, a motion was made and seconded to accept the minutes. The minutes were so approved.
Business manager, Josh, presented the financial statements for April. He stated that the portfolio was down 8% and compared that to a decrease in the whole market of 14%. He noted that even during this pandemic, people are still willing to donate, which is much appreciated. One line item that is over budget is IT Software, due to the new website, but the library has cash flow that will carry over to the next fiscal year. A motion was made and seconded to accept the financial statements. The financial statements were so approved.
Sarah stated that even though there haven’t been any patrons in the building, staff has been busy with purchasing, painting, online meetings and webinars, social media interaction, programming from home and with the grab and go boxes, which have been overwhelmingly popular. She gives credit to the staff for adapting on the fly and keeping busy, especially while some other libraries are completely closed.
Most staff came back on Monday, May 18. Most were happy to be back. Trustee Coletti commended the staff for keeping busy and is happy that they have been able to look at longer term improvements to the building and services offered. The governor suggested that libraries wait until May 26 to start curbside pickup. We anticipate being busy with that. Also, the laptops have arrived and Fran is getting them ready.
Trustee Coletti asked if staff could make grab and go boxes to give to daycares that are open. Sarah said that one daycare asked for books to distribute and that we could continue to do that. She also asked if we could partner with Haverhill Promise and Sarah said yes and that she will contact them. Trustee Rurak asked if it would be possible to place books in laundry mats. Sarah said that is possible and also salons and barber shops.
Trustee Coletti asked if we could contact MBLC to encourage book delivery since they aren’t delivering books regularly. Sarah noted that Optima is the delivery company so they decide when and how often deliveries come, but library associations are encouraging them to deliver.
Staff Update: Some staff can’t return yet or don’t feel comfortable returning, which could become an issue once we re-open to the public because it will be difficult to cover hours since we have two vacancies and there is a hiring freeze by the City. Cleaning the building could be difficult with our custodian being out and the cleaning company only working part time.
FY21 Budget Update: Sarah noted that there weren’t any changes made to the trustee’s budget and she is not sure about the City budget yet but we will have a surplus in staff related items. The Mayor is working on a three-year budget.
Website/Technology Update: Jonathan noted that the website design is progressing well and we presented it to the design committee. We purchased myLIBRO to use as our curbside pickup app. We also purchased Cyprus Resume Creator and will now offer chat sessions and screen sharing services. Trustee Veasey-Sirois asked how those services will be staffed. Sarah said that initially reference will be responsible but if the services become popular then other departments could help out. Patrons can make appointments for help too.
Trustee Bresnahan asked if the architect has finished measuring. Sarah said that they have finished and that payments are up to date. She asked the trustees if they want to continue on with the project or put on hold for now. They agreed to put it on hold.
Renewal of Dana and Erik’s contracts: The trustees will need to vote on 1.) renewing Dana’s contract for one year at an additional $2 per hour and 2.) renewing Erik’s contract for six months. Sarah mentioned that Dana hasn’t had a raise in years and that without an archivist, Erik is instrumental and efficient. Trustee Rurak asked how Erik decides what to include and not include in our collection. Sarah said that he makes decisions based on the HPL mission and whether the item is related to Haverhill, and if needed we bring in outside appraisers. She will ask Erik for examples of his inclusions/exclusions. Trustee Bresnahan asked Sarah if she recommended renewing the contracts and giving Dana a raise and Sarah replied yes. She also noted that the public will not be allowed back into special collections until the later phases of re-opening. The trustees voted to renew Dana’s contract for one year with a $2 rate of pay increase and to renew Erik’s contract for six months. Trustee Sheehan made a motion to accept both and Trustee Bresnahan seconded the motion. All were in favor.
Removal of painting: Sarah asked the trustees if it would be possible to remove the painting above reference in the mezzanine area since it is in bad shape, and put a modern Haverhill mural in its place. The trustees suggested asking Jennifer the history of the painting first.
There being no further business to discuss, a motion was made and seconded to adjourn. The meeting ended at 10:00 a.m.