Meeting Minutes ~ Corrected & Approved


Date of Meeting:  Tuesday, April 7, 2020 @ 7:00 pm


Members Present Nancy Heckel; Jen Call; Diane Lander; Yvonne Howard; Marcy Vierzen, Betsy Anderson (Alternate); Elizabeth Geraghty (Library Director)

Note: This meeting was conducted on ZOOM for all present. 

Public Present: No members of the public were present. 



Roll Call & Welcome:

The meeting was called to order at 7:03pm by Board Member Heckel, and roll taken.

Selection of New Chair and Board Members’ Responsibilities:

The first matter discussed was the Board positions. It was offered that Board Member Heckel will be Chair, Board Member Lander will be Treasurer, and Board Member Vierzen will be Recording Secretary. The NHLTA recommends that the Treasurer act as a back-up to the Chair, and this was agreed upon by those present. Board Member Call offered to head the Building Committee, with Alternate Member Anderson and Board Member Lander assisting as back-ups. Board Member Howard will remain the liaison to the Friends of Sutton Free Library.

Motion to Approve Board Chair & Other Positions:

Motion to approve these positions was made by Board Chair Heckel, seconded by Board Member Howard. The motion carried unanimously in the affirmative. 

Board Alternates:

There was a discussion about who could be contacted to act as Alternates to the Board. Various Sutton residents were discussed, including those who are high-end users of the Library, and Board Members agreed to reach out to make contact with those residents to ascertain interest. 


The Board Members suggested corrections to the draft minutes of the March 17, 2020 special meeting.  Board Chair Heckel invited a motion to approve the March 17 minutes. Board Member Call made a motion to approve the minutes as amended, seconded by Board Member Howard. The motion carried unanimously in the affirmative. 

Board Member Howard will send the corrected January 7th meeting minutes to Library Director Geraghty to file and post. Approval for the draft minutes from the other January, February, and March meetings will wait until those minutes are made available. 


Library Director Elizabeth Geraghty noted that there was an annual $500 donation, from Susan Coulter, in memory of past Board member Beth Cernek, to go to unrestricted funds. 

Motion to Approve Funds:

Board Chair Heckel invited a motion to accept these funds. Board Member Call made a motion to accept the funds, seconded by Board Member Howard. The motion carried unanimously in the affirmative. 

Library Director Geraghty noted that the only other correspondence is from one of the census people who had indicated that the response rate to census surveys in Sutton is very low. Geraghty said she would relay this information on through social media and in Sutton News. 


Financial/Treasurer’s Report:

Regarding deposits, $700 was taken in for both restricted (Rotary: $200) and unrestricted funds ($500). Expenses include a $30 membership fee to the NHLTA (Trustees Association) and $1,499 for a laptop computer. As well, there is a $14.99/month Zoom Membership Fee that Board Chair Heckel is incurring on her personal credit card. This Zoom account is only to be used by the library and is not available for use by the public. 

Library Director’s Report:

The Sutton Social Distancing Egg Hunt is planned. 

Virtual story times are going well. More volunteers have offered to do readings as well. 

While the library is closed, Director Geraghty and Assistant Librarian Snow have cleaned out the furnace room and are continuing the weeding process in order to prepare for automation in 2021. 

The summer reading program is on hold for further information from the state regarding the handling of public areas and libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Board Member Lander asked Library Director Geraghty to send the Board Members a copy of the final Town approved Library budget and also if an updated account listing could be provided for each meeting or at quarter ends. Director Geraghty said she would provide updates as she receives them from the Town.

Building & Grounds Update:

The bathroom renovations are in their 3rd week, coming along well, and are expected to be completed by this upcoming Friday. Noted was that the sink in the second bathroom is leaking, and the hot water does not work. The company working on the current bathroom may be able to fix this, in order to save expenses in calling a separate plumber to do so.

As well, the spicket to the back of the building needs to be turned on, and ensured that it is in working order, for ease of watering plants outside and to be available for the summer reading program. 

Library Director Geraghty asked Board Chair Heckel to contact Brian Thompson to mulch, weed, and take care of the two garden beds outside at the front of the Library, and in the circle. Alternate Board Member Anderson will touch base with Becky Harrington to find out more about the circle garden. There is currently lupine, irises, and milkweed (excellent for butterflies). 

Director Geraghty also noted that with the closure of the library to the public, some of the time that Custodian Harrington typically spends on weekly cleaning has been put toward tasks which are considered more annual in nature, such as window cleaning and shelf cleaning. These jobs were not budgeted for, so this has been beneficial. 


Previous Actions Update: Emergency Plan:

Emergency procedures were discussed. Board Member Lander noted the importance of the Library Director having authority to close the library in an emergent situation. Board member Call said this would need to be within a certain number of hours of the emergency and would require a quorum.

Discussed were stipulations for snowstorm closings, guidelines in the event of a fire on the premises, as well as future plans for pandemics. Noted was the fact that Sutton Free Library agreed during our Special Board Meeting on March 17th to close down the library just ahead of the recommendations by the State of NH. This was great foresight. Board Alternate Anderson noted that emergency policies were worked on approximately one year ago and will review these once again. Board Chair Heckel agreed to research pandemic policies. 

Planning Board Information Regarding Library to Include in the Revised Master Plan:

The Board discussed future directions and plans for the Sutton Free Library, to submit to the Planning Board, by early this upcoming summer. It was suggested that each Board member submit five items that they consider the most important to move toward and address for the library. A suggestion was made to ask Sutton residents how we can work to improve their library experience, to meet their needs, and/or to solicit ideas. Director Geraghty noted that past Director Thoma put a similar survey out to the public in 2013 as well. Board Member Howard suggested we include the Friends of the Library for suggestions.  

Board Members offered to review the Library content of the Master Plan, and each member can send their top 5 goals to Board Member Lander to collate.


Review of MOU items (Memorandum of Understanding):

NHLTA has agreed to look at this, though past Board Chair O’Neil preferred that we review prior to submitting to the NHLTA. Board Chair Heckel suggested we add this to the May agenda and take the opportunity to review prior to that. 


NHLTA Listserv:

Board Member Lander will act as a liaison. Anyone can sign up for the listserv. 

Board Members to read the bylaws:

A reminder for all Board members, seasoned and new, to read the bylaws of Sutton Free Library.


SFL Board of Trustees Town Website:

After review of the Sutton Town website, Board Member Lander suggested that the Library Trustees be added to the Boards & Committees drop-down menu. 


Board Chair Heckel stated that the next library Board meeting will take place on May 5, 2020. 


Board Member Lander moved to adjourn the meeting; Board Member Call seconded the motion. The motion carried unanimously in the affirmative.  The meeting adjourned at 8:23 p.m.

Respectfully submitted:

Marcy Vierzen, Recording Secretary