New Berlin Library Minutes for November 24th 2021

In attendance:

George Anderson- President

Darla Smith, Vice President

Donna Wells, Treasurer   

Angelica Schmidt, Secretary   

Alan Fairbrother, Trustee

Lynn LaValley, Trustee

Jill Robinson, Trustee

Also in attendance:   

Michelle Priola, Director   

Start time: 6:00 pm End Time: 6:33 pm   

George Anderson opens the meeting at 6:00 pm.

Bills are passed to each Board member for review.  Lynn LaValley makes a motion to approve all current bills from this month and last month seconded by George Anderson. Motion carries 7-0.

Donna Wells makes a motion to approve the minutes from last Board meeting, seconded by Alan Fairbrother.  Motion carries 7-0.

Treasurer’s Report:

Donna Wells hands out the Balance Sheet as of 11/30/21, The Profit and Loss Budget vs. Actual Sheets for January through November of 2021, and the Profit and Loss Budget Overview for January through December of 2022.  Donna asks the Board if they have any questions.  Some discussion over next year’s budget occurs.  Donna brings the Board’s attention to the increase in charges by 4 County Library System as the main change increase in next year’s budget.  Michelle mentions that this rate should be fixed for the next 3 years so no further increases are likely to occur in that period of time through 4CLS.

Donna Wells brings attention to payroll expenses.  The only raise anticipated in the proposed budget for the next year will be the Library Director as requested.  Concerning other library staff NBL has increased rate of pay over the past few years in accord with guidelines for State and Federal minimum wage standards, so no pay increases are allotted for this in next year’s budget.  In addition, NBL has kept pace with upgrading other benefits such as Family Leave and sick pay over the past few years.  Donna Wells mentioned that further funding ideas should be considered to continue to maintain the budget.

George Anderson makes a motion to approve the proposed budget for 2022, seconded by Lynn LaValley.  Motion carries 7-0.

Director’s Report:

For complete Director’s report refer to ‘Director’s Report’ written by Michelle Priola.

Michelle hands out a list of current magazines NBL receives through amazon at better pricing.  Because magazines are not checked out it is difficult to gauge how much use they receive from patrons.  Some magazines on the list with a star next to them have been widely viewed by patrons and others less so. Michelle’s suggestion is to avoid renewing any magazines that patrons are less likely to read to keep expenses down.  Michelle agrees to email or print the list of magazines for Board members to review with the purpose of offering suggestions on what could possibly be removed from the list of magazines NBL renews subscriptions for.  Motion tabled until next meeting.

Michelle brings up the need for a condensed job description for both the Library Director and Assistant Director needing to be in place in the bylaws.  Michelle states that she does not feel it would be appropriate to write her own job description but that it should be in the bylaws in a condensed form compared to the current description.  Donna Wells mentions that she has written up a job description for the Director in the past and she will try and find it for Board review during a future meeting.

Michelle informs the Board that a patron has donated a framed picture from Norman Rockwell and has requested that it be hung up somewhere in the library.  Due to the print not being historically relevant, it would be out of place in the Museum portion of the library.  Board in agreement that Michelle can hang it at the basement back entrance as there is space for it there on the wall.

A letter from Sue Ackerman of the Pittsfield Historical Society is passed around to the Board members.  The letter requests that the Pittsfield 1831 Census of School District 1 book currently in possession by NBL be transferred to the Town of Pittsfield Historical Society where it will be kept in a fire-safe box for residents of Pittsfield to access as needed.  George Anderson makes a motion to give Pittsfield Historical Society this book, seconded by Lynn LaValley.  Motion carries 6-1 in favor of giving book to Pittsfield Historical Society.

New Business:

General discussion occurs about the need to increase fundraising and George makes a suggestion that the Board consider brainstorming ideas for this at next meeting.

It is agreed that next meeting should take place December 29th @ 6:00pm.


Donna Wells makes a motion to close the meeting at 6:33pm seconded by Jill Robinson.  Motion carries 7-0.