2021 January Librarian’s Report

January 11, 2021  *  Annual Board Meeting        

Board members – terms up – None

Officers for 2021 –     

  • Pres – Franklin Bennek
  •  VP –  Felicia Hopkins
  • Sec –  Jane Pingelski
  • Tres – Cathy Lozier

2021 Meetings:                                                           2022 Meetings

  • January 11                                                                   January 10
  • April 12                                                                       April 11
  • July 12                                                                        July 11
  • October 4                                                                     October 3
  • December 6                                                                 December 5

Other important dates:           

Book Sale (?) – July 31                                              Book Sale –  July 30

Regular Meeting:

            Year in Review: This has been a very challenging and stressful year.  In many ways it has felt like we were running on ice; constantly reacting to events and playing catch up.  I believe our staff has risen to the challenge beautifully and thank the Board for their help and guidance.  Any sense of normalcy came to a halt in mid-March and business as usual has pretty much stopped.  We have adapted to the changes and have been able to resume operations to near normal levels.  Most programming stopped.  We have been able to do a few take away type of programs and to institute the Farm2Library program, but anything that would require a gathering has not been possible.  We have not purchased or provided virtual programming through zoom or Facebook partly because of time constraints on staff and partly because those platforms would reach a very limited number of our community.  Many of our numbers will be down by a large margin this year.  One thing that has increased is the amount of materials that passes through the library.  Our book return is full most days and our deliveries to and from the system are larger.  Some of this is pass through with items dropped here that are going to other libraries, but our interlibrary borrowing has been robust.  As we were planning for more access to our building the area was hit with a large surge in local and regional cases of the virus causing us to step back to Phase 2.  We feel confident in the plan we have in place and will use that to reopen again gradually as circumstances allow.

Correspondence –NYSERDA offers energy audits for a small fee ($100).  This would have been waived if applied for by 12/31/20 so there is a possibility that it would be available free again towards the end of this year.

Personnel – I would like to commend our staff for rising to the challenges of a very trying year and performing their duties in excellent fashion.  I would also like to thank the Board for their support during such a tough year.

    All staff and volunteers will again need to take anti-harassment training, and will do this as last year online as coordinated by SALS.  This was done in May of last year, so will probably be done in May again this year.  All employees and volunteers need to take this every year.  Cost for the library will probably be the same as last year.

4th Quarter programs – Farm2Library (406), stained glass earth (15), snowflake templates (9).  All programs were “pick up and go” with no extended in-library element. A hoped for book giveaway at the Senior Center was put on hold due to poor weather.  The Farm2Library program lasted until the middle of December.  This has proven to be a huge hit.  The pandemic probably helped with these numbers, but I think even going forward it will be popular. 

Upcoming programs – It appears that in house programing won’t be happening soon.  We plan on doing a few more take away craft type programs during this first quarter.

 SALS & Directors’ Council – Delivery will stop if SALS building is in a Red Zone.  SALS is working on a way for people to self-register through the catalog.  They are still working on this.  Many of the libraries have instituted rollover of vacation time not used in 2020.  We worked hard on using our time up at the end of the year.  Michael was able to use all of his time off.  I had three unused days.  Overdrive costs for this year are $340.92 for us.  Last year we put some of our book budget money as extra payment to Overdrive.  I will put some of the money I would usually spend on audiobooks toward more ematerials  this year as well due to pandemic usage of the econtent and decreased use of physical audiobooks.  SALS is doing a System Use and Satisfaction Survey as part of their planning for the future.  You probably received an email about this.  The link is https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SalsSatisfaction2020 please take time to fill this out.

Joint Automation Council / computers – JA costs will remain the same in 2021.  I would expect there to be changes for 2022.  We will plan to purchase two computers again this year to replace our oldest and worst performing computers.

Friends – As we get into the second quarter of the year we will make contact with Friends who have been helpers in the sale.  We lost one of our cashiers as Carol Barcomb passed away last year.  Hopefully we will be able to hold the sale this year.  There may be changes due to the pandemic and / or the number of volunteers available.

Maintenance – The furnace was cleaned in October.  We have our windows cleaned ($160) by Clearview in April or May.  I would like to have them also clean the front outside entryway.  I can get an estimate from them for the next board meeting.  If that turns out nicely I think we should have it done each year.

Tax Cap – The required reporting for this was submitted on 10/24/20and the amount we are allowed to ask for in 2021 is $65,497.

Meetings attended in fourth quarter 2020:

  • 10/6                 Library Journal Summit Webinar
  • 10/7                 Directors Council
  • 10/19               Start Up Meeting
  • 10/20               Webinar
  • 10/26               Webinar (Michael)
  • 11/13               Directors Council

Old Business:

Minimum Standards – the new updated standards go in place 1/1/21.  We need to be in compliance by the end of the year as they will be reported on in the following year’s annual report.  We are in good shape to be able to meet the changes by the deadline.  I’m reviewing the changes now.  We will need to work on a few things during the year; such as creating a new plan of service for the next 5 year period.

            Farm 2 Library – This program exceeded all expectations as the numbers of participants show (406 from mid-August through the end of the year).  It was immediately successful, even before publicity was put out.  There were a few bumps along the way and the pandemic made things a little difficult.  We will have a meeting in the Spring before things begin again and we will make a few changes at that time: mainly a change in the day we pick up the produce to a day that the library is open.  This would make it easier to get volunteers to help do the pickup.  With some luck we’ll be able to find a few people who would take turns doing that.

Pandemic – Due to rising cases in the local area we have gone back to Phase 2: Curbside Delivery.  We are making photocopies, sending faxes and helping in printouts though not letting anyone in the building.  Most other libraries in our system are also dropping back to curbside pickup, with a few closing their buildings with no services (except virtual/remote) for a week or two.  I don’t think this will change for the month of January and possibly into February.  When the local surge has come under control we will slowly reopen as per our Pandemic Safety Policy.

New business:

            Harriet Hawley Miller Trust – We received another payment of $26,700.18

*Telecommuting Policy – This policy is required as part of the Continuation of Operations Plan and as such needs to be approved.  NEED A RESOLUTION TO ADDOPT THIS POLICY

*Continuation of Operations Plan – This is being required by NYS and must be board approved by April 1, 2021.   NEED A RESOLUTION TO ADDOPT THIS POLICY

Other policies to be approved this year – There are a few policies that we need.  I have drafts of a Purchasing Policy, Financial Accounts Policy, and our Code of Ethics statement (that I don’t have a record of its being formally approved.)  I will get copies of these to you so you can look them over before the next board meeting. 

Sick Leave Law – Under the new Sick Leave Law we need to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave per year to our employees.  This Board has always been very generous with sick leave so there won’t be any effective changes in the way we do things.  However, the Full Time Employees Working Conditions and Benefits policy will need to be updated to reflect the change.  We currently have sick leave listed as days not hours and on an increasing scale as an employee accrues years of service.  I can have this adjusted with other policies that need adjusting and send to you before our next meeting.

Plan of Service – Our current plan of service ends this year.  We need to have a new five year plan to begin 2022.