Otis Library & Museum Minutes
Thursday, May 13, 2021
5:00 PM – outside at the gazebo then moved into Town Hall.
Members in attendance: Diane Dyer, Chair, James Adams, Kathy Bort, Susan Brofman, Susan Ebitz, Lois Hall, Gloria Mamokhin, Donna Rich, and Celeste Watman
Meeting called to order at 5:12 by Diane Dyer, Chair
- Approval of April Minutes – unanimously approved.
- Approval April Treasurer’s reports – unanimously approved.
- Director’s Report – (noted and summarized throughout minutes)
- Unfinished/Ongoing Business
- MBLC Small Library Projects update was presented by Susan Brofman and Kathy. The MBLC Small Library Project is looking to find a small, rural library with a population of less than 2000 people who are willing to work collaboratively to build a new library using sustainable practices on a stream-lined timetable with the MBLC assuming 75% of the cost. The town selected by the MBLC must be willing to fund 25% of new construction, on a town site, and be willing to have this process documented so that it might be replicated in other rural towns in the Commonwealth. MBLC has not yet issued an application but prior to this meeting Kathy Bort did receive an email asking about the museum and was told that this pilot grant was for a library not a museum. This prompted a lengthy discussion about the museum. Kathy pointed out that it is currently closed to the public due to ADA regulations. Jim Adams was very concerned that the museum be preserved as part of the Otis Library. Gloria Mamokhin pointed out that Library could retain all the museum holdings and display them more prominently. She suggested that the Concord Library as a good example of this. The Board was in general agreement that it would like to preserve the integrity of the museum as an entity yet be willing to reconsider eliminating the word “Museum” from the title should that become a condition in the in the Small Library Project Application. Sue Brofman reminded everyone that MBLC had not yet issued the application. Jim made a motion for the Otis Library Board to maintain our commitment and fiduciary responsibility to the museum. The motion was seconded and unanimously approved. Kathy suggested that library inventory started by Celeste with help from Jim would be the next step. Jim then made another motion for the Board to commit to further improvement by finishing the inventory, appointing a part time curator and exploring how items could be made accessible. The motion was made and unanimously approved. The discussion turned to finding a curator and Celeste volunteered. A motion was made and seconded then unanimously approved to appoint Celeste as part time curator of the Otis Library museum contents.
- LTC “Diversity Otis” – grant (Donna, & Susan)
Donna and Susan shared the dates and themes of the upcoming StoryWalk on Saturday, May 15th where the book Stellaluna will be featured. South Berkshire kids will be distributing an activity bag for each child in attendance. “Pop-IN” Poetry will be held on Saturday, May 22nd at 7:00 PM. The theme will be weather.
Donna also related how one of the children had provided a “talking stick” during the April StoryWalk gathering and how this Native American tradition positively impacted this session. She also related how important it is to make sure the children have an understanding of what a Native American is realizing that they had had little exposure. Gathering the children in a circle and showing them pictures helped them to understand.
- New Business
- Kathy recommended that the summer hours be delayed until additional personnel can be hired. Kerry will be available only on Saturdays. The motion was made to take the Director’s recommendation of summer hours and unanimously approved.
- Jim has not yet had the opportunity to set-up the online IBOY (In our backyard) fundraising.
- Susan E. inquired about the time the Board would like to meet as it is time to issue dates for the next fiscal year. It was recommended to wait to do this until the June meeting.
- Kathy requested approval for the purchase of an iPad and new Chromebook to assist our patrons. A motion was made to not exceed $1000, that was seconded, and unanimously approved.
- Kerry will spearhead the Children’s Summer reading program. A different author will be featured every two weeks. Books by this author will be displayed and children can choose to read them and earn “brag tags” when they return the books.
- Kathy is looking into mobile “hot spots” that patrons could utilize if they do not have access to Wi-Fi.
- All museum passes have been renewed. The Cultural Council has paid for Magic Wings.
- The Staff and Trustees Fair chose Saturday, September 25th for the Library Fair with Sunday, September 26th as a rain date. 120 inquiries have been sent: 10 positive, 4 negatives.
- The meeting was adjourned at 6:30 PM
Susan Ebitz, Recording Secretary