Library Trustees Conduct May Meeting

Chair Karla Alfred opened the Holliston Library Trustees remote meeting at 7 PM on Wednesday, May 10, 2023.  Library Director Deric Wilson and all Trustees were present.  Minutes from the April 23, 2023, meeting will be reviewed as amended at the Trustees June meeting. 

Alfred read a letter to the Trustees from Town Administrator Travis Ahern detailing additional staff hourly increases to two positions for the FY24 Library budget.  These, Ahern said, are “sustainable solutions” to staffing issues discussed during Trustees April 5 meeting.  Ahern’s letter noted other “complaints were researched by Human Resources and found of no merit.”  Ahern referred staff to both Human Resources personnel or the Town Administrator to settle future statements of dissatisfaction.

Deric Wilson presented his Director’s Report, beginning with participation numbers for some recent Library programs.  Between 50 to 75 people per show of online programs, 9 at the monthly Book Club, and 3 attending the Young Adult (YA) book club.  Wilson reported the FY 24 budget had passed the Finance Committee “up to the full ask.”

Concerning staff communication, Wilson said he was updating staff via email as well as trying “overlap” meetings —where staff is coming and going — creating synchronous time for a staff meeting.  He reported that there has been no money in the budget for professional development, but he is interested in putting funding toward this area. 

In other program news, a watercolor class will be held on October 24 thanks to a grant from the Holliston Cultural Council (HCC).  Up to 25 people may attend, with material costs covered by the HCC.  Trustee Mareourn Bo Yai will look into locating a Mahjong instructor.  She said this activity will bring in a different demographic— mid-40’s through seniors—patron. Wilson is also considering a speaker from the Travel Channel who speaks about his book and insights into Big Foot. 

New outdoor cameras have been installed in the parking area, a part of a town wide security upgrade. 

A building proposal came in from consultant Mary E. Braney that was under budget for consideration of the grant process begun by Wilson.  The Trustees voted to approve the proposal. 

Trustees discussed two policies this evening:  the Inclement Weather Policy and the Crisis Response Policy.  The current Book Challenge policy is being reviewed.  Wilson will also check in to possible staff level training in this area.  The group agreed that this policy could use one updating.  The Inclement Weather Policy was approved. 

The Trustees approved changes to Library hours for the summer weeks.  Saturday hours will not be changed. Thursday and Friday evenings will shorten by one hour to 10 AM to 5 PM.  Monday to Wednesday will remain 10 AM – 8 PM.

Trustees will add summer meetings (July and August) to their yearly schedule.  Dates for these will be announced. 

Wilson plans to schedule a time to meet and greet patrons in the library for coffee and donuts.  He will include both a morning and an evening among the dates.  Trustees thought this was a good idea. 

Gwenyth Swain thanked Wilson for reaching out to parents of children with diverse needs for suggestions.  Wilson reported that the staff appreciation dinner went well. 

The Library will not have a nominating box for the Citizen of the Year; instead, a QR code will be displayed that will collect nominations. 

The Trustees will next meet in person (first in person meeting since March 7, 2020) in the Library Conference Room adjacent to the Children’s Library on June 7, at 7 PM.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:56 PM.

Yvette Cain

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