Date of Meeting:  Tuesday, May 5, 2020 @ 7:00 pm

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

Members Absent Yvonne Howard

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

Public Present: No members of the public were present. 



Roll Call, Introduction of Guests

The meeting was called to order at 7:04pm by Nancy Heckel, and roll taken. Chairperson Heckel designated Board Member Anderson to sit for Board Member Howard. No members of the public were present. 

Review of Minutes

Minutes from the January through April meetings will be revised and sent by Board Members to Library Director Geraghty to post. Minutes not already approved by the Board will be done so at the June 2020 Board meeting. There was a general discussion about the purpose of Minutes for both the Board and the public with agreement that general knowledge of Board discussions is helpful to provide context to what is most valuable: motions and decisions made regarding Library matters.


Financial/Treasurer’s Report:

Chairperson Heckel noted the one transaction in March for a vacuum cleaner for the library in the amount of $275.59. The current balance in the Trustee checking account after that expense is $9,340.59. 

Chairperson Heckel noted that Board Member Call signed off on the town audit on behalf of Sutton Free Library. 


Library Director’s Report:

Current & Summer Programming: 

Director Geraghty noted that she and Assistant Librarian Snow have conducted many virtual story times, reading over 250 books between the two of them. More than ten volunteers have also done virtual readings, and discussions continue in terms of how to best connect to the community in innovative ways during this Pandemic and time of physical distancing. Chairperson Heckel suggested as a resource the LSPA (Lake Sunapee Protective Association) website where Kathleen Stowell reads stories once per week on topics which explain what is happening in the outside world, seasonally, such as vernal pond life. 

Regarding the Summer Reading Program, Director Geraghty and Assistant Librarian Snow are in the process of coming up with alternatives to this, such as crafts-to-go. These activities and programs will depend upon Board decisions regarding when and how to re-open curbside service. 

Re-opening Phases:

Director Geraghty shared that the Reopening NH Libraries Task Force has been established by the NH Library in response to the pandemic and is meeting on a regular basis with the goal of providing pandemic-era recommendations to NH libraries. Current recommendations from this task force include:

  • Consider phased-in re-openings;
  • Communicate consistently with staff, public, trustees and town departments for the sake of consistent messaging and practices;
  • Consider having someone representing the Board of Trustees on the Town Emergency Management Committee or Joint Loss Management Committee;
  • Communicate with the town attorney on considerations for re-opening.

Director Geraghty will continue to keep the Trustees apprised of recommendations by this organization. 

There has been an increased request for books from patrons of the Sutton Free Library. Though curbside service has not yet been approved for the Sutton Free Library; when it is approved, Director Geraghty noted that she and Assistant Librarian Snow are comfortable doing curbside service with appropriate scheduling and precautions taken. Current safety measures for books, once the library has re-opened, include quarantining them after they are returned and cleaning the surface of all books prior to their going back on to shelves. 

Many library users have asked for instructions on how to access Overdrive and there are instructions and tutorials available that Director Geraghty has posted on Facebook and the library web page. 

Board Members discussed the value of having Library Trustees present for Sutton Selectboard weekly meetings on a rotating basis. The reason for this is two-fold:

  • Gain knowledge of the town’s response to COVID;
  • Keep apprised of discussions and matters involving Sutton Free Library.

Board Member Anderson will contact Town Administrator Phillips to determine how a SFL Board Member may be present for these meetings.

Telescope Donation:

Director Geraghty noted that the New Hampshire Astronomical Society has had a telescope donated to their society that they have offered to donate to the Sutton Free Library. The Society will alter the telescope to specs that make it more user friendly. 

The Sutton Social Distancing Egg Hunt

Director Geraghty stated that this was a great success, with almost 80 families/buildings registered on-line and on the egg hunt map, and even more who did not register, for a total participation of over 90 places/eggs. The response from those on the egg search was very positive, and varying age ranges participated. 

 Building & Grounds Update:

Director Geraghty noted that the renovated bathroom has been completed and looks great. Items removed from the bathroom during renovations, which include an oak door with door frame, and a large countertop, are stored in the furnace room.

Board Member Call noted that the faucet sink downstairs has not been fixed. Director Geraghty noted that the outside spigot is currently not in working condition and will ask her spouse to look at it prior to contacting and paying for a plumber. 

Committee Reports: 

Friends of Sutton Library:

Director Geraghty noted the SFL received a grant from Walmart for $500 for the SFL’s summer reading program. Because of the current Pandemic, this summer’s 2020 reading program will switch to an on-line presence, and the Walmart grant will be secured for the summer of 2021 reading program instead.   


Assistant Librarian Snow is taking part in a 7-week professional development class, called Story Time Basics, which has been offered by the State at no charge for one staff person per library.

Board Member Lander brought up the CARES Act Grant offered through NH Humanities, which Chairperson Heckel offered to research further. 


Previous Action Items Update:

Pandemic Policy:

Board Chairperson Heckel invited discussion on the Sutton Free Library Pandemic Policy. 

Motion to Approve New Sutton Free Library Pandemic Policy:

Board Chairperson Heckel invited a motion to approve the new Sutton Free Library Pandemic Policy. Board Member Anderson made a motion to approve the new Sutton Free Library Pandemic Policy, seconded by Board Member Call. The motion carried unanimously in the affirmative. 

MOU (Memorandum of Understanding)

Board Chairperson Heckel invited discussion on the MOU. 

Board Alternate Member Anderson suggested that, after the ramp is completed at some future date, we consider the benefits of carpet vs. tile. There was a brief discussion and agreement that carpet cuts down on noise and is easier for those in wheelchairs to maneuver around on. 

There was discussion with the Board regarding the definition of minor vs. major repairs, to better understand if the town or the library is responsible for a given repair, job or maintenance. Minor vs. major could be differentiated by location, scope, or cost of the job or repair. Director Geraghty agreed with this need, as the line between town and library responsibility in regard to repairs has been unclear in the past. Board Member Lander will send the MOU for review, with a request to clarify what constitutes minor vs. major in the MOU. 


Master Plan

Board Member Lander developed a draft list of goals for the Library from the goals Board Members sent her and explained this effort as an opportunity for the Library Trustees to have input into the Master Plan Review. This input would be due to the Planning Board by July 2020. Board Member Lander agreed to forward this draft list to Roger Wells, Chair of the Planning Board, and ask for his feedback.


Emergency Plans/Procedures for Closing the Library

Board Chairperson Heckel opened the discussion on whether or not the Board would like to continue working on our library Emergency Plan. Board Member Anderson suggested that because the library is not currently open, we table this discussion for the time being, and revisit it when the library is open on a more regular basis. Director Geraghty will pass the notes on Intruder policy by the Sutton Chief of Police to vet those through him. 


Director Geraghty noted that in the three years she has been present at the Library, she has not had a review or evaluation, and wondered about the procedure for this and for reviewing those the Director oversees. Board Alternate Member Anderson noted that, based on information she had found, there is no known procedure, and that reviews are more of a self-evaluation, and will forward that information on to Director Geraghty. 


Board Member Call asked about heating fuel costs, and if these are negotiated by the town or the library. Director Geraghty suggested contacting Town Administrator Phillips to ascertain this information. 

2021 Budget Planning

Board Chairperson Heckel suggested we revisit the 2021 Budget in June 2020 and recognize the impact of the Pandemic to budgetary concerns. While the library had anticipated installing  automation into the Library, Director Geraghty suggested that we revisit this in the fall, when we have a better sense of the impact of the Pandemic. 


Board Chairperson Heckel reiterated her email contact information to Board Members. 

Chairperson Heckel stated that the next library Board of Trustees meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 2, 7pm. 

Motion to Adjourn Board of Trustees Meeting:

Board Chairperson Heckel invited a motion to adjourn the Board of Trustees Meeting. Board Alternate Member Anderson made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Board Member Call. The meeting was adjourned at 8:59pm. 

Notes by: 

Marcy Vierzen, Recording Secretary