Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the
Berkshire Free Library Association


Berkshire Free Library Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes
January 18, 2022

Present at the Library and via Zoom were Graeme Brilliant, John Stoughton, Darlene Waite, Carol Leigh, Fran Miller, Nancy Lohmann, Carol Cox and Janice Merrill, along with Barbara Schwartz. The meeting was called to order by John at 7:10 PM. Graeme added an Agenda item – Book Sale in February/March.

Secretary report: Minutes of the December meeting were distributed via email and reviewed. No changes were requested.
Treasurer’s report: Carol Leigh had distributed reports via email and she noted the P&L report layout was different, making it easier to understand. Thank you for that! No further questions.

Director’s report: Story Time continues with 4 or 5 little kids, all masked. We had lost 2 families when it was moved indoors. Craft Time Thursday mornings continues at 10:30 AM. Ancestry program access is now required to be done in the Library rather than from one’s home. Roger Sharp may offer an Ancestry workshop.

Library’s information on the new Berkshire website is being organized www.berkshireny.net. WICK web site creation book has been ordered. Two new laptops – one a Chromebook, one laptop are in the office now. Fran was approached to consider a loaner library in Creamery Road Apartments, the senior housing facility in Harford but which is part of the town of Richford. A variety of bar-coded books would be checked out and placed in a secure spot there. Trustees agreed this would be a good effort to pursue on an experimental basis. Fran’s contact is Felicia. She also noted there is a craft sale there that we are welcome to include our crafts.

Community Foundation Grant – the Rosen grant – has the Story Time grant due February 23 and it was suggested that we add our summer reading events into that grant request since it may cover books distributed in the summer. Fran will try to get the grant written before the annual report is ready to be worked on.
Fran noted she will be out for surgery around March 18. She has assistants and work prepared for this event.
Graeme moved and Nancy seconded a motion to accept all 3 reports as presented. With no further discussion, the motion vote was unanimously carried.

Old Business
Exercise class planning was postponed to next month’s meeting to see how Covid continues to impact.
Emergency lighting has not yet been fixed, and the light panel over the computers has a loud hum. John will contact Will Simmons to fix them. New smoke detector for upstairs was purchased by Darlene and will be installed by Graeme.

New Business
Carol Kania sent an email resigning from the Board as of January 18, 2022. She will continue to help with book sales and offered to continue as the contact for local authors at the Blueberry & Book Festival. President John Stoughton accepted the resignation.
Carol’s term, plus Judy Barrett’s and Sandra Negus’ terms are awaiting new Trustees. Nancy moved that Lisa Michaud join the Board (able to start in March) filling Carol Kania’s vacancy with the term ending 12/2022. Carol Cox seconded the motion. With no further discussion, the motion was carried unanimously.

Janice moved that Barbara Schwartz join the Board for a 3-year term, taking Judy Barrett’s position. Graeme seconded the motion and it carried unanimously. One more Trustee is needed from Richford, still looking.

A two-weekend Book Sale was requested by Graeme with dates being end of February, beginning of March. Actual dates the lower room of the Community Hall is available will be emailed to Trustees soon. Volunteers are needed to set up, work during, and help take down. The Trustees agreed to pursue.

Round Table
Thank you cards will be sent to the retiring Trustees and may be signed in the library.
Graeme reported that many of our Policies and Procedures are on the website, and more will be added shortly. There are very few that need updating this year.

Carol Leigh noted that since Judy Barrett left she will need another person on the Finance Committee. She also noted that the President of the Board must sign all checking account statements, so John will do so.
There being no further business to conduct, Barbara moved and Carol Cox seconded adjournment. Unanimously approved at 8:05 PM.

Next meeting is February 15, in person and via Zoom.

Janice Merrill Secretary


(draft) Berkshire Free Library
ANNUAL MEETING – February 15, 2022

Present: John Stoughton, Nancy Lohmann, Carol Cox, Carol Leigh, Graeme Brilliant, and Janice Merrill and Donald Murch.

Meeting was called to order by President John Stoughton at 7:10 PM.

Minutes of the Annual Meeting of January 2022 were read by Carol Leigh. No changes were requested . Carol Leigh said she would check on whether or not a donation was made to the Berkshire Community Assn. There was no further discussion, so Nancy Lohmann moved acceptance of last year’s Annual Meeting Minutes. This was seconded by Carol Cox and motion passed unanimously.
Nomination of Trustees and Officers
Carol Cox nominated John Stoughton and Carol Leigh for a 3-year term as Trustees. Nancy Lohmann seconded the motion, and with no further discussion the motion passed unanimously.
After some discussion, no one else expressed interest in being an officer, so Nancy Lohmann moved that the existing officers be appointed for another year. Carol Cox seconded and the motion passed unanimously. Slate of officers is:
John Stoughton, President
Carol Cox, Vice President
Carol Leigh, Treasurer
Janice Merrill, Secretary

Our Annual Report was emailed to Trustees earlier, but it is not finished yet because Fran is still receiving updates and has a couple items to fix, like summer reading program numbers. If approved by the Board, it will be updated and submitted by this weekend. Janice moved that the Annual Report be approved as submitted with the changes Fran will be making. The motion was seconded by Nancy Lohmann and passed unanimously.
There being no further business to conduct, Carol Cox moved to close the Annual Meeting. The motion was seconded by Graeme Brilliant and passed unanimously.

Janice Merrill, Secretary


(draft) Berkshire Free Library

Present: John Stoughton, Nancy Lohmann, Carol Cox, Carol Leigh, Graeme Brilliant, and Janice Merrill and Donald Murch.
Meeting was called to order by President John Stoughton at 7:32 PM.
Minutes of the Reorganization Meeting of January 2022 were read by Carol Leigh. No changes were requested.
Director’s report was given by Fran. Challenging weather has kept attendance numbers lower than usual. She noted new cards were issued online from Candor and Apalachin new residents to the area. Additional attendance numbers added from 12 crafts sessions held.

Old Business: The Community Foundation of Tompkins County, also known as the Rosen Grant, (the Story Time grant) for $6,000 included some local authors for Summer Storytime.

New Business – Books to the Harford senior housing location has been postponed because of the snow storms but will get started later this week.

Treasurer’s report was given by Carol Leigh. She noted we had received a donation from the Town of Richford and additional donations from our recent fund drive. She also stated she had the 941 finished, and W2’s printed from a government web site that worked well! She got a letter from Social Security administration stating that she is “able to do online filing” and that if the Board of Trustees do not approve, they need to contact SSA.
Carol Leigh said she would prepare cash boxes for the upcoming Book Sale.
There being no further discussion, the above reports were accepted as presented upon motion from Nancy Lohmann, seconded by Carol Cox, and carried unanimously.
Old Business:
Exercise class using publicly available DVDs will be further discussed next meeting for an April start, hopefully. Janice will check with NTNN to see if they are willing to make this a sub-program, utilizing their existing insurance.

Emergency lighting was repaired at no charge by Will Simmons. A thank you card will be sent to Will.

Book Sale posters are up, and there are lots of books set up. Graeme has the list of Trustees who volunteered to work and a list of donors who had indicated a willingness to help was given to him. More kids books need to be set up. Fran said she would attend Sunday, 1 to 4 PM. Three cash boxes are needed: one for local author sales, one for books sold, and one for “round up” donations that are not taxable.

New Business:
New member – Donald Murch of Richford, was nominated to the Board by Janice Merrill, and Carol Cox seconded the motion. Don told a little about himself, and his nomination was unanimously approved.
Lighting – Will Simmons recommended changing all existing lightbulbs to LED bulbs. His electric company, SIMCO, can do this for $358.50. Janice moved we approve this expenditure, Graeme seconded and with little discussion, it passed unanimously. Nancy noted that only one quote is needed if the expenditure is less than $2,500.

Blueberry Fest – Carol Kania will contact local authors. After discussion, July 17 and July 24 were selected as possible dates. Fran will check for conflicts with NV Summerfest and email responses will be sent this week to the Board.
Policy review – Homebound pamphlet – Before Fran came there was an outreach grant through FLLS and she tried to re-start it but no one signed up and we only had a few people to deliver the books. Most participants are now deceased. If any patron contacts the Library and asks about a delivery, Fran has and will continue to deliver them. People were asked through Meals and Wheels and Northern Tioga Neighbors Network. We are already setting up an outreach at the senior housing in Harford and we may be able to offer a joint setup with Newark Valley at the Golden Lane senior housing. We can put notices on Facebook and website to advertise.

Review of Grants – Fran will gather a description of the various grants we use, and they will be reviewed at the next meeting.
Committee assignments – After discussion the following volunteered, with Fran as a member of each:

Policy – Janice, Nancy, Carol Cox

Finance – Carol Leigh, Carol Cox

Building and Grounds – Graeme, Darlene

John will ask Barbara if she would be on the Finance Committee, and Lisa Michaud (starting in March) if she would be on the Building and Grounds Committee.

Round Table – No further discussion.
There being no further business, Carol Cox moved and Nancy Lohmann seconded adjournment of the meeting, with unanimous approval.

Janice Merrill, Secretary



Berkshire Free Library Board of Director’s Meeting,

BFL March 15, 2022

Present: John Stoughton, Graeme Brilliant, Darlene Wait, Carol Cox, Lisa Michaud, Fran Miller, Don Murch, Carol Leigh, Nancy Lohmann, Barbara Schwartz and Janice Merrill.
Meeting was called to order at 7:10 PM.

Minutes of the February meetings were read and there were no corrections.
Director’s report – Fran’s report shared use numbers. She also distributed a document of BFL Director’s Grants we have had or currently use, very helpful information, which she further explained.

Creamery Hills Apts has 40 books in their facility and they have requested more Amish stories and large print books. They are available to residents on Tuesdays 11:30-2:30. Fran suggested we have Marcie work an hour at BFL during this time she she can be there to give library cards and she has a grant that will provide snacks at that time as well! The Board liked the ideas.

Zoom has been renewed another year.

Exercise class will not be covered by our insurance through Klossner. Janice will check with the Town or with NTNN to see if we can be under their umbrella for this program. Fran suggested we could meet at Rawley Park in Richford and walk the trail and possibly have a book club.

Under New Business, Fran noted articles for the town newsletters were done. She attended a Falcons meeting covering technology at FLLS. She has finished a FLLS mini grant. The summer program theme is “Oceans of Opportunity.” Fran will be out for surgery for two weeks, using one week of her vacation, March 18-April 2. All her duties have been assigned to the staff so there will be no problems while she is gone. Best wishes for speedy healing, Fran!

Treasurer’s report was distributed by Carol Leigh. She noted we made $356.60 from the book sale, and $30 for local authors. The Town of Berkshire donation will be here soon.There were no further questions, so Barbara Schwartz moved to accept all three reports as presented. Darlene Wait seconded, and upon vote the motion carried unanimously.

Old Business
Emergency lighting supplies check was sent to Simco and work will commence as arranged. John will check with Will to see when he can get started.
Exercise class update and Harford Senior housing (Creamery Hills) were covered earlier.

Book Sale – Carol Leigh asked that the individual paper receipts for tracking sales tax of the books sold be replaced by a spreadsheet with columns for the various items sold, local authors, sales tax, etc. After discussion this idea was approved by the Board.

Blueberry Festival is to be held July 23 and we have the Fire Station and Community Hall on that date. Janice asked Chris Negus if they would bring blueberries and he said he will put it on his calendar. There are still lots of items to make raffle baskets and several stated they will help to put them together. Richford Church will likely continue to do a bake sale (Janice will check). Auxiliary will likely sell cutlery, Carol Cox said. Darlene said she would ask the Fire Department if they would hold a chicken barbecue. Pancake breakfast is a good money maker the Trustees and friends can do (just blueberry and plain pancakes).
We decided to hold a planning meeting April 12th at 7 PM at the Fire Department (Darlene will reserve) and invite those who’ve been involved in the past – Berkshire Fire Department, Auxiliary, Carol Kania, Cindy Gregrow, Karen McNally, book sale people, vendors, etc. Spread the word! Note that Kathy and Glen Hartman will not be in town that day but she may be willing to help beforehand.

New Business
Carol Leigh suggested that we have on file an insurance certificate from Brent who does our lawn mowing. He has a business and may easily be able to provide one. We all agreed and so Carol L will contact him.

Human Library was reviewed by Janice. She said that the concept is a good one and requires registration with the Denmark group. She suggested that with Covid still around people may not be willing to meet one-on-one, but perhaps we could have a demonstration at the Blueberry and Book Festival and provide information on how to register for future events. This could be more of a “neighbor meeting neighbor” event. After discussion, we agreed to pursue a booth at the Fest, and Fran, Don and Janice will put something together for that.

Policy review – Graeme said all the policies are on the web. We will be revising those that have not been reviewed for 5 years.
Buildings and Grounds Committee – After discussion of the focus of this committee, Lisa Michaud has agreed to join that group. It was recommended that there be a list in the library office of issues that need to be addressed.

ALA membership – Cost of renewal of the membership is $50, and Lisa moved it be renewed. Carol Cox seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

Carol Leigh suggested paying Fran’s mileage to Harford weekly. Darlene moved and Graeme seconded. More discussion would add the words “in accordance with current governmental rates of reimbursement” and the amendment was further modified to include “all library-related travel.” Thus modified, Janice moved and Carol Cox seconded the motion to reimburse Fran for all library-related travel at the current governmental mileage reimbursement rate. It was unanimously approved.

Carol Cox moved that we pay Fran for one week of vacation and Nancy Lohmann seconded. The motion was unanimously carried.

Round Table
Carol Cox noted that several deaths has recently occurred of past Board members and Board member’s families and that we should have a Sunshine Committee to send cards on behalf of the Trustees. Darlene Wait said she would accept that responsibility.
Carol Cox also noted that there was a file cabinet drawer that is locked and not operable, plus a trunk that is locked. John will ask Ron Sharp, locksmith, to take care of them soon.

Graeme Brilliant said that he would like to make changes to our current storage plan. He would like to have doors from the building currently in the basement brought up to the scary attic (4 people will help do this). The main attic would hold raffle items, decorations, and needs shelves. The storage shed is also in need of shelves and they can be used once the old items are disposed of. Then we can accept new items for book sales.

There being no further business, Carol Leigh moved and Janice seconded a motion for adjournment. The motion carried unanimously and the meeting closed at 8:40 PM.

Janice Merrill, Secretary


Berkshire Free Library
Board of Director’s Meeting, BFL
April 26, 2022

Present: John Stoughton, Darlene Wait, Carol Cox, Lisa Michaud, Fran Miller, Don Murch, Carol
Leigh, Nancy Lohmann, Barbara Schwartz and Janice Merrill.

Noted, the regularly scheduled meeting to have been held last week April 19 had to be rescheduled due to electricity outage. Meeting was called to order at 7:05 PM. Agenda items may be added through meeting.

Minutes of the March meeting were read and there were no corrections.

Director report Fran’s report shared use numbers. She reviewed the emailed reports of Overdrive usage, noting that we had 717 books used through that system in 2021, and 608 books used in 2020. The recommended donation is $1 per book. Trustees discussed and Nancy moved that we donate $400 to the FLLS for Overdrive for the coming year. Darlene seconded and the motion received unanimous approval.

Assemblyman Friend authorized us for $2,500 bullet aid for large print books (we had asked
for $4,000).

Summer lunches/program will be held July 5 thru August 19, lunches for ages 0 to 18 are being brought by Owego Boces Monday through Friday and eaten here on premises this year.

Program will be offered on Wednesdays. Trustees and volunteers will be appreciated for this effort!

The Rossen grant of $6,000 will apply to Story Time and the Summer Program. The FLLS Outreach mini grant for large print books was granted in the amount of $800. Nice work Fran!

Treasurer Report Carol Leigh had distributed the P&L and Balance Sheets via email and they were reviewed. She noted that $2850 was paid for Polaris, the Patch Trust dividend was received, and the building insurance of $1600 was paid. There were no questions.
Motion to accept all 3 reports was made by Darlene Wait, seconded by Lisa Michaud and upon vote, unanimously approved.

Old Business All lights in the Library are now fixed! Sill repair on the windows is in progress.

Janice reported that Northern Tioga Neighbors Network has approved the additional expense to have an exercise class covered. Still liability waivers will be signed by participants. NTNN and the Library will coordinate the classes in the near future.

The file cabinet lock mechanism works after a fashion must pull towards you then turn to unlock!

The lock on the trunk in the attic cannot be opened, so the locksmith suggested we cut off the lock. No one knows what is
in the trunk. It could be fun to open at the Blueberry & Book Fest!

Blueberry & Book Fest program was discussed.

Janice suggested unless the larger program with advertising as well as the day’s schedule raises income for the festival, it could be
replaced by a single sheet handed out that day with a schedule of activities and no one has to
ask for advertisers.

Carol Leigh will email financial reports on the last program expense and income and the Board will consider at the next meeting or via email.

John brought in some baskets and porcelain dolls for the raffle. Barbara got a list of museums, etc., to ask for passes for the raffles.

Karen McNally and Carol Leigh talked about pancake breakfast. Carol has New Hope Mills to donate but it should be made with eggs, which can also likely be donated. Don may be able to cook, depending on wife Graces health situation. Carol L will ask the Auxiliary to add the B & B Fest pancake breakfast to the food permit for the fire hall kitchen. Auxiliary will do chicken dinner starting at 11 AM not 10 AM so we can take a little more time in the breakfast cleanup. Carol L and Cindy Gregrow have the red card certification
for food safety required.

Karen McNally can tell about the Visions Credit Union grant of $250 for artists and entertainment.

The Town of Berkshire insurance covers the event. The Town will donate $250 towards expenses for the event.
Nancy requested we email her any entertainers information possible for the event. There will be articles in the town newsletters stating that any interested vendors email blueberry@htva.net for more information.

George has secured dumpsters for the day. John will check with Paul Kunik on the Bakeoff Contest possibility. We agreed two separate contests are best, one for adults, one for children. Maybe Cornell would donate ice cream if Joneswont attend as a vendor. Maybe the Boy Scouts would like to use that as a money maker. Janice will ask Lamberts to be a food vendor.

New Business was covered under the Director Report.

There being no further business, John asked Fran to leave the meeting for an Executive Session. Upon resumption of the regular Board meeting and her return to the room, Fran was told her salary would now be $15 per hour, effective January 1, 2022. She expressed appreciation for the vote of confidence and needed extra income. The Board expressed their considerable appreciation of the excellent work she does, above and beyond that which the salary coveys.

There were no comments in the Roundtable portion of the meeting.

There being no further business, Carol Cox moved and Nancy Lohmann seconded adjournment
of the meeting, which upon vote was unanimously approved.

Janice Merrill, Secretary

Berkshire Free Library
Board of Director’s Meeting, BFL
May 17, 2022

Present: John Stoughton, Darlene Wait, Carol Cox, Fran Miller, Don Murch, Carol
Leigh, Nancy Lohmann, Graeme Brilliant, Janice Merrill and via Zoom, Barbara

Meeting was called to order at 7:10 PM. Agenda items may be added through meeting.

Minutes of the April meeting were read and there were no corrections.

Director Report was reviewed by Fran. In addition to the Old Business listed, she has been writing grants for more large-print books, all due in June. Fran said the dates during which lunches will be available is June 5 through August 17.
Summer program will include the bug book, painting bugs, plus the book “Thirteen Ways to Eat a Fly” with Tanglewood bringing water animals like turtles, etc. Fun!
Richford has not yet replied about Fran coming Mondays or Fridays and some Tuesdays.
New Business included summer passes to the Museum of the Earth and Sciencenter for Library patrons!
Treasurer Report was reviewed. Carol Leigh noted the 990 was filed electronically, and we received the $2500 Bullet Aid from NYS.
Carol asked about transferring to the Patch Trust Fund those memorial donations made this past year which were deposited into the Savings account. Darlene moved this be done, Carol Cox seconded and the motion was unanimously approved. Note the Patch Trust Fund has traditionally been used for special projects, building costs unmet, special equipment, just not everyday expenses.
John asked for a motion to accept all three above reports, so Barbara moved, Graeme seconded and the motion was unanimously approved.

Old Business: Exercise Class TOI said it is too far to drive for them to do a class here, so Fran will ask Daisy if she is willing. We may need to hold a CPR class to have someone certified for the classes. We will try to schedule the Exercise class to start in September or October.

Blueberry & Book Festival: Bakeoff will be held, Darlene is working with the coordinator to get up to speed for future years. Joan Stoughton will help and Richford Congregational will help if needed.
Firemen (Cheryl) will do the chicken bbq. Still not sure if 4Hers will do the ice cream – maybe get it from Tastee Treat in Richford or Cornell Dairy.

Program ads need to be done by end of June for distributing to businesses who advertise ahead of time. Carol Leigh and Janice Merrill will work on their town’s businesses.

Selling 50/50 raffle tickets on the day – Gloria Overby will do the sales. We must be sure the color of the tickets differ from the raffle basket tickets!

Pancake breakfast – Carol Leigh met with Fred Davis who will help and Don Murch will help cook as well. It was noted the health permit is held by the Fire Dept and both Carol L and Cindy have red cards from Tioga county.

SweetTrees will donate a gallon and 4 quarts of maple syrup.
Negus’ blueberries 25# were usually picked before the event and stored in the Food Pantry fridge. Darlene will ask Vern for the donation of blueberries.
Follow up blueberry festival should be held early June, so John will schedule and email.
New Business: Summer Program was covered in Director’s report.

Newark Valley Library’s school district tax proposal was discussed. Berkshire had considered this tack in the past but felt it wouldn’t be fair to NV taxpayers. Maybe we should consider next year to add to the school budget vote for Berkshire Library, if the towns would still support us.

There being no further business to conduct, Carol Leigh moved and Graeme seconded a motion for adjournment. Passed unanimously.


Janice Merrill
Berkshire Free Library
Board of Director’s Meeting, BFL
June 21, 2022

Present: Carol Cox, Fran Miller, Carol Leigh, Nancy Lohmann, Janice Merrill and via Zoom,
Darlene Wait, Barbara Schwartz and Lisa Michaud. George Lohmann and Carol Kania attended.

Meeting was called to order at 7:15 PM.
Agenda items were added under New Business
Dollar General, Haefele, Scott Smith by Carol Leigh, and a Tillers and Toilers letter added by
Carol Kania.

Minutes of the May meeting were read and there were no corrections.
Treasurers Report Carol Leigh reported that the Community Foundation grant came in, she transferred $1,000 to Visions from NBT for book purchases. Barrett Vaughn bill of $1,100 for the remainder of the sill repair. This bill will be paid by the $500 balance in the Tioga Downs painting grant, since the sills were originally part of that grant. Janice moved and Barbara seconded a motion to use $600 from the Capital Reserves fund to pay for the remainder of the
bill. The motion was unanimously passed.

Directors Report Frans report was emailed and distributed and she noted that lunches will be dropped off at 11 AM and leftovers picked up at noon. Fran was going to ask if the Food Pantry could let her use their refrigerator to store the bags so she didnt need to worry about a cooler and ice packs and a thermometer to track temperature inside. Janice said she may be
able to get a used fridge and we talked about where it could be placed and there were several spots available. Followup as soon as possible by Janice.
She noted that the Town of Berkshire had approved the expenditure of renewing Ancestry, so
that is good!
Also, the Science Center and Museum of the Earth/Cayuga Nature Center passes will be available to the public with a $50 fee if lost, for a 7-day loan. She was unsure how many people the pass covered.
The Open meeting law was reviewed by several Board members and found it sufficiently confusing to hold passing any policies until after the Blueberry Festival so it could be more deeply investigated.

There is a potential new volunteer, Karen Lorenzen, with 22 years daycare experience who wants to help with summer reading/craft program. The Board approved Fran writing a letter of acceptance and thanks to her.

Nancy moved to accept all the reports as presented, Lisa seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

Old Business Blueberry and Book Festival updates. There are currently 33 Raffle baskets, 19
of which are gift certificates. No more baskets from old inventory are being made.

Pancake breakfast items will be purchased by Carol Leigh, and she will get workers for the breakfast herself.
There will be a Volunteer Sign-up Sheet at the Library with all positions and times listed for the Festival. Fran and Nancy will post on the website and Facebook page about the signup sheet and the Festival.

New Business

Library upgrades for Festival Tillers and Toilers would really like to see the shutters back up.
They are stored in the attic and will be pulled out as they can be. The screen door needs a new screen, and Barrett Vaughn may be willing to give an estimate. Hopefully these can be done before the Festival.

Dollar General Carol noted that a tax exempt form must be filled out before purchasing items without tax.

Haefele It is no longer possible to pay this internet/phone bill annually and now must be paid monthly. There is a new router coming, hopefully before the Festival.

Scott Smith In trying to get a good budget, Carol asked but was told they could not give a monthly budget amount until the middle of July. Best guestimate will have to do, and is actually sufficient for the first budget.

Tillers and Toilers Carol Kania noted that they and some other individuals had done a lot of work around the Library gardens and they should have a thank you letter sent. Fran will do so.

A final preparatory meeting for the Festival will be held July 12, not sure yet of location , for the Fire Department, Auxiliary, all stake holders. Fran will check with Bill Morris about the Community Hall availability and details will be emailed soon.

There being no further business, Nancy moved and Janice seconded adjournment of the
meeting. This was unanimously passed.


Berkshire Free Library
Board of Director’s Meeting, BFL
July 19, 2022

Present: John Stoughton, Carol Cox, Fran Miller, Carol Leigh, Nancy Lohmann, Janice Merrill
and Lisa Michaud and via Zoom, Darlene Wait, Barbara Schwartz and Graeme Brilliant. George
Lohmann and Carol Kania also attended.

Meeting was called to order at 7:07 PM. No new Agenda items were added.

Minutes of the June meeting were read and the only correction was to the month of the Minutes read should be May not April.
Directors Report Frans report was distributed and she noted ebooks and eAudio were new
additions to her report. She said though the number of visits in the Summer Program were not
as great as last year, they represent new people and grandparents. Fran said FLLS rolled out a
new search program Polaris Vega which will include an excerpt of the book being searched.
They are asking $115/year based on our chartered service area, which all smaller libraries pay.

Treasurers Report Carol Leigh reported no big expenditures, and $890 income so far for the
Festival. She said Les Wagner had made a donation for purchase of Christian books in memory
of his mother, Edith. Carol said she would track these in a new line item in the books. She has
added a Festival Income line item and Festival Expense item for ease in tracking Festival

There being no questions on any of the above reports, Nancy Lohmann made a motion to
accept all of the reports as amended. Carol Cox seconded the motion which was unanimously

Old Business

Exercise class no update since it will begin in September, except to note a walking program
coordinated between Richford and Berkshire might be a good start, Fran suggested.

Blueberry and Book Festival Janice Merrill noted Scoops @ Richford Tastee Treat has
ordered the Wild Blueberry ice cream and will donate 100 cones. Carol K secured a raised ice
chest that may be helpful but noted we should use crushed ice not dry ice.

Darlene Wait said the Maine ambulance per Chris Dyer would be on site.

Gloria Overby made two blueberry buckets for cash donations that may be used as needed.

George Lohmann and Carol L arranged for art contest winner checks, and he reported he has
volunteers to oversee the art show throughout the day.

Nancy Lohmann will introduce the authors before their talks at the gazebo.


Karen McNally and her daughter will sell raffle tickets. Tents will be set up Friday morning at
9:30 and Boy Scouts and volunteers will set up vendor tents Saturday morning.

Books for the sale will be put on tables Thursday at 8 PM in the Community Hall basement.
Barbara Schwartz volunteered to help Graeme and Heidi at the Festival.

Fire Hall truck bay must be cleared out first after the festival, along with helping the vendors
pack up. The book sale can wait to be packed up another day.

Noted the Museum will be open, though it will be very hot on the 2nd floor and an electrician
needs to fire a new fire detector so the ladder is still in place.

Open Meeting Law discussion was postponed until next meeting.

Refrigerator thank you was sent to Richford Congregational Church

New Business

The Helping Hands Food Pantry had made a free/donation Vegetable Stand and he asked
where we would like it placed, either on Route 38 on the corner of the Library lawn or closer
to the entrance of the Pantry on Jewett Hill Road. He noted it will be placed after the Festival.

Round Table
Carol Kania asked about whether or not we planned to do a Pie and Ice Cream free-will
fundraiser. This was tabled until next month.

Fran noted Justin Ford Brandis wanted to donate 3 plates made by his ancestors to the
Museum. This was approved and will be displayed in the Museum.

There being no further business, Barbara Schwartz moved and Carol Cox seconded
adjournment. This was unanimously carried.


Janice Merrill, Secretary



Berkshire Free Library
Board of Director’s Meeting, BFL
August 16, 2022

Present: John Stoughton, Carol Cox, Fran Miller, Carol Leigh, Janice Merrill and Lisa Michaud, Darlene Wait, and Graeme Brilliant and via Zoom, Barbara Schwartz.

The meeting was called to order at 7:09 PM. Agenda items added were Apple Festival, gift card for snow removal person, online sales, and Senior Foundation money.

Secretary’s report: Minutes of the July meeting were read and two typos corrected on the second page, “wire” not fire; “Justine” Ford Brandis not Justin, so “her” not his.

Director’s report: Four adults received new cards, and checkout numbers for ebook and audiobook doubled!
Old Business: Friday was the last day of the summer lunch program but will continue Wednesday story time since there are new people we don’t want to lose.

New Business: Regarding the Exercise class she will be meeting with Caitlin from SNAP-Ed on Friday, and the class will start out with a walking club held in Berkshire at Creekside Park one week then in Richford at Rawley Park the next, Thursdays in September and October at 2 PM. The hope is that we can find an instructor for indoor classes the rest of the year.
Tillers and Toilers Tea will be held Sept. 10 at 1:30 at Newark Valley Fire Hall, $15 per person.
October 14 is the Annual FLLS meeting on Zoom, link to be sent.
We received $500 from the Tioga County Senior Citizens Foundation to purchase books and more.

Treasurer’s report: Carol Leigh reported she wrote our largest check for $3,710 to Scott Smith & Son for fuel, up from $2,600 last year. Budget will be reported in new business.
Darlene Wait moved to accept the three reports given, and Lisa Michaud seconded. The motion carried unanimously.

Old Business: Exercise class: Already covered in the Director’s report.
Blueberry & Book Fest: was well attended and a success according to vendors and attendees. Yay!
Summer Program: The Director already covered it in her report.
Open Meeting Law: Extension to allow Zoom with quorum being in person through September. Graeme suggested we could make a policy on what “extenuating circumstances” might cover, especially since the winter brings treacherous driving after dark on some meeting nights.
Website: Berkshirefreelibrary.org is working well.

Food Pantry’s Vegetable Stand: is placed in north side front lawn of the Library, and well used. Fran regularly removes what is past good use and gives to her chickens, so that is good too.

New Business: Online Sales: Graeme proposed purchasing “Libid” program to handle online book sales; or maybe ebay or ABE Books which lists older books. (We have an 1830 Prayer Book!) He requested a $100 investment to get started, which should only take 3 months to evaluate. Libid is $10 a month and ABE is $25 a month. He will wait until September’s meeting to request a motion since he doesn’t want the trial period to start until then.

Pie & Ice Cream: Carol moved and Graeme seconded a motion to hold a Pie & Ice Cream social this year, which was unanimously approved. It will be held September 15 at 6:30 PM at the Berkshire Fire Hall. Pie signup sheet will be posted at the Library’s circulation desk.

Fall Letter campaign: Nancy Lohmann is on vacation but will get a draft emailed upon return. It was suggested that we pull our mailing list from our current list of patrons and include those who do not have a Berkshire or Richford mailing address as well.

Ancestry: was renewed for one more year by the Town of Berkshire. Fran gave the invoice to Penny to give to the Town for payment.

Potato Festival: Book sale will be done under the Historic Society’s big tent but we need volunteers to help erect it Friday night. It will be a free will donation rather than a set price with the exception of books by local authors.

Apple Festival: There was some interest in having a book sale at this event if there is a spot available. Not sure what the cost to the Library would be. Fran would find this out as well as check with the NV Library to see if they had any objection to our being there.

Gift Card for Snow Removal person: Carol Leigh will secure $500 of gift cards for our snow removal person.

Budget: Carol reported she had made some changes to the 2023 Estimate Budget. A copy was received by all.
Tioga County Senior Citizens Foundation: donation was reported in the Director’s report.

Round Robin: Fran asked Kirsten if she wanted to continue at the Museum curator. Town Historian Penny Mangus may be willing if not
John Stoughton reported that his brother Bruce has a baby buggy that once belonged to Mildred Brown, early librarian. Conversation followed and the idea seemed lovely!

There being no further business to conduct, Barbara Schwartz moved and Graeme seconded adjournment. Approved unanimously.

Janice Merrill, Secretary



Berkshire Free Library
Board of Director’s Meeting, BFL
September 27, 2022

Present: Carol Cox, Nancy Lohmann, Fran Miller, Carol Leigh, Janice Merrill, Don Murch and Lisa Michaud, and via ZOOM John Stoughton, Graeme Brilliant and Barbara Schwartz.

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 PM. No additional Agenda items were added.

Secretary’s report: Minutes of the August meeting were read one correction on page 2 under Round Robin, the baby buggy was donated by George Stoughton, not Bruce Stoughton. No further changes.

Treasurer’s report: Carol Leigh reported the budget had been submitted to Tioga County for support consideration but we won’t hear anything until December earliest. Note, all county libraries receive the same dollar amount of support from the county.
We received a $20,000 donation from George Stoughton in memory of Ruth Stoughton. Discussed placing the funds in a higher interest earning account and Carol will investigate the best deal for a short-term investment. No further questions on Treasurer’s report.

Director’s report: Fran’s report was distributed. She reported the PULISDO NYLA webinar to be held October 27 about Robert’s Rules of Order via Zoom will count as required Trustee training hours. She noted the FLLS Annual meeting will include voting for a representative from Tioga County. She reviewed the revised Open Meetings Law. Locally, the Walking Club meeting Thursdays alternatively in Richford and Berkshire is generally well attended and plans are to move indoors for the cold months. Janice will check on space available in Richford, but the Berkshire Community Hall has been reserved. No further questions on her report.
Barbara Schwartz moved the above reports be accepted as corrected and presented. Nancy Lohmann seconded the motion which was unanimously approved.

Old Business: Ice Cream Social brought in $441 with $40 expenses. 28 Pies were donated but attendance was somewhat lower than in previous years, only filling 4 tables. Lots of pies were left over but some could be sold whole. Many pies brought had not been signed up previous to the event hence the excess. There was only 1/3 of one of the two 3-gallon tubs of ice cream left over.
Potato Festival book donations brought in $415.87, representing about 1/3 of the books brought. Graeme also reported half of the remaining books will go to Ithaca’s library.

Fund Raiser mailing was handled completely by Nancy due to wide-spread illness in the group. Kudos! They will be in the mail Thursday. There are also about 40 addresses of patrons who do not live in Richford or Berkshire but they will get a letter as well.
Fran has signed up the Library to take part in the “The Great Giveback,” and that will be clean up at Creekside Park on Saturday, October 15 from 10 AM to 1 PM. Fran will bring water and snacks.

New Business: Museum Curator, Kirstine Armstrong, has not been in contact with Fran for quite some time so Fran will try a different method of contacting her about her interest in continuing the position. Penny Magnus, Town Historian will be sent the job description.
Apple Festival – Graeme reported that all the books are organized and labeled. We will need to bring tables from the basement along with the books which will be moved Friday and returned Sunday after the festival. There will be a tent there that is 10 x 10 and easy to put up. Book sale will be by donation only except for local authors and other books with a price set by ebay. Any who are willing to work even an hour will allow Graeme and Heidi to take a break.

Graeme suggested that the library’s books that should sell for at least $10 and up should be placed on the “Livid” program and on the ABE program online. They cost $10 and $25 a month respectively. A three-month test of the usefulness of these programs should be made. Janice moved and Carol Leigh seconded a motion for a three-month trial of these programs to see if we can get a better return on our used books. The motion was approved unanimously.

Round Table: No one had anything to add to the meeting.
Since there was no further business to conduct, Carol Cox moved that the meeting be adjourned. Graeme seconded the motion and it was unanimously approved.

Janice Merrill, Secretary



Berkshire Free Library
Board of Director’s Meeting, BFL

October 18, 2022

Present: John Stoughton Carol Cox, Nancy Lohmann, Fran Miller, Carol Leigh, Don Murch and Lisa Michaud, and via ZOOM, Janice Merrill and Barbara Schwartz.

The meeting was called to order at 7:04 PM. No additional Agenda items were added.

Secretary’s report: Minutes of the August meeting were read and no corrections made.
Director’s report: Numbers are up for circulation during September.

Old Business: Craft Thursday had its greatest attendance this past week. Walking Club will continue in the Community Hall upstairs when it is raining or less than 50°. Saturday’s “Great Giveback” effort of cleanup at Creekside Park was attended by 10 people. She met
two ladies who were doing a virtual 5K run for St. Jude’s and thought that was a good idea for the future..

New Business New York State news reports minimum wage increase in January. November is National Novel Writing month and on the 4th is a How to Write Your First Book. Ginny Osborn will do a workshop from 1 to 3 PM at the Library.

There is a new sign for Mothers Helping Babies in the lobby. No further questions for the Director.

Treasurer’s report: Carol got an email that the special interest CD opportunity at Visions was extended so she got one for $20,000. The Fund Raising letter printing bill of $840 was paid and to date we have received $3,085 in donations. Not sure if this is behind last year.

No further questions on the reports, so Lisa moved to accept the above reports as presented. Carol Cox seconded and the motion was unanimously passed.

Old Business:
Already discussed the fund raiser in Treasurer’s report. The Policy Committee will be meeting soon to see what policies must be updated. Apple Festival update and Online Book Sales items will be covered by Graeme next month. Great Giveback was discussed in Director’s report.

Museum curator position: Fran proposed sending a letter to Kirsten thanking her for her previous service and that a new curator will now take on the position. John read a letter from Penny Magnus stating her interest in the position and detailing the plans she had for
advancing the museum, for example, rotating the display every 3 years. Nancy moved that Fran send the letter to Kirsten and that we accept Penny as the new museum curator. Carol
Cox seconded the motion. There being no further discussion, the motion was unanimously

New Business:

FLLS Annual meeting problem ensued when John attendance was set to mute and it took a minute to unmute and then vote. Fran suggested we invite Sarah Glogowski to attend a Board meeting.

Thursday Oct 27 is a PULISDO NYLA Roberts Rules of Order training that counts as training hours required of each Trustee. Attend at the Library for 5 PM Zoom meeting.

Round Table:

Carol Leigh reported that by the end of 2021 the Library had received $5,025 from the fund raiser. There was concern that the Newark Valley library tax levy has adversely impacted the community’s perception of our need, maybe thinking we received some income from that,
even though the fund raiser letter stated that would not be the case. Fran suggested there should be more open conversations with Patricia, president of the NV library Board of Trustees. Perhaps we can share program, or there is some other way we can get in-kind for the share that Richford and Berkshire residents pay via their taxes. Some kind of sharing of programs may help the community feel better about paying those taxes. It was noted that the vote for the library tax was 196 votes for and 111 votes against, the closest proposals outcome on the ballot. If the tax rolls are the way FLLS supports to fund the library and we are forced to do so, surely the 9,028 plus taxpayers in Newark Valley could easily defeat the 2,451 taxpayers in Richford and Berkshire combined! A relatively low tax cap of 2% plus inflation further complicates the issue. Someone wondered what fund raisers the Newark Valley Library does? Someone will try to find out the amount of tax levy paid by Richford and Berkshire taxpayers.

There being no further discussions, Carol Cox moved and Lisa Michaud seconded
adjournment. Unanimously passed.

Respectfully submitted,

Janice Merrill, Secretary



 Berkshire Free Library
Board of Director’s Meeting, BFL

November 15, 2022

Present: John Stoughton, Nancy Lohmann, Fran Miller, Carol Leigh, and Lisa Michaud, and via ZOOM Darlene Wait, Janice Merrill, Graeme Brilliant and Barbara Schwartz as well as guest Sarah Glogowski from the FFLS.

The meeting was called to order at 7:10 PM. A review of FLLS with Q&A to follow was added to the Agenda.

Sarah reviewed the history and current makeup of Finger Lakes Library System. Most libraries joined FLLS due to the cost factor of the catalog and database systems available through FLLS. Workshops, consulting, mediation are among other benefits of membership. Starting January 2023 each Trustee must take at least 2 hours per year of workshops/education to maintain minimum standards. Reminder the supervisor version of the sexual harassment training is also required annually.
There followed a discussion of referendum form of funding a library like Tappan Spaulding Library has done. Sarah agreed the Berkshire Free Library may now be in a tight spot due to misunderstanding of voters that BFL gets any benefit from that money, plus the unlikelihood of passing its own referendum next year because Newark Valley has a much greater population than Richford and Berkshire combined. We also learned that Tappan Spaulding will receive $50,000 each year until State Legislature introduces and passes a referendum to rescind this referendum! Sarah said she would send us information on the referendum timeline as well as workshop inks.

Secretary’s report: Minutes of the October meeting were read with correction of the month in Secretarys report made.

Director’s report: Numbers are up for circulation during October.

Old Business: Trunk or Treat in Richford was a big success gave away 75-100 books. There were few who came to BFL on Halloween and Fran suggested next year we have a display on the Library lawn.
The Library will be closed November 25 and 26th. One person attended the writing workshop.

New Business: Mindy Moniz of Richford arranged an Elks Club Coat Giveaway to be done as A Warm Welcome to the Library. Sneakers will also be given away and Fran will contact the school nurse to get names of kids that may be happy to receive them.
Trustees reviewed the E-content contribution to FLLS statement and Carol Leigh moved with Nancy Lohmann seconding the motion to send the recommended $307 from BFL. The motion was unanimously approved.

Fran would like to start a Book Club in January, done both in person and via Zoom. A new wireless microphone will be purchased for better hearing via Zoom when others are around the table talking.

Treasurers report: Carol Leigh noted that the special CD already made $10.20 in interest! She reported that to date fund raising amounts to $4,835, $700 short from last years giving. In January Carol will get names from the supplemental list (those who live outside BFL area but use the Library) and see if they gave a donation. The Budget will go out tomorrow to the Berkshire and Richford Town Boards.
A motion to accept all three reports as presented/corrected was made by Barbara Schwartz, seconded by Lisa Michaud. The motion passed unanimously.

Old Business: Fund Raiser has already been discussed in Treasurers report. Policy Review will be covered next month.

Online Book Sales require setting up a Paypal account for the Library. After discussion, Graeme and Fran will set up such account.

Museum Curator has been completed, with no response from previous but Penny sent the letter of interest. Fran has spoken with her but will send an official letter of acceptance of her as Curator, and will invite her to attend a Board meeting.
New Business:

Christmas Open House consisting of hot cocoa and cookies donated by Trustees and others will be held on Wednesday, December 14.

Christmas Raffle will be held to fund raise and award two lucky winners a beautiful doll donated from John Stoughton Amy Stoughtons former dolls. Tickets will be $1 each or 6 for $5. We have plenty of tickets available at the Library.

Snow removal Peggy Davis will be asked if she wants to do it again.

Fran noted that the faucets have been fixed. We need to replace one of the handles Bill Morris will be asked to do this. It was also suggested we remove the tub and shower since the hot water doesnt work. Fran will send a thank you.

Round Table: Nothing to add from anyone.
There being no further business, Carol Leigh moved and Nancy Lohmann seconded adjournment,
which was unanimously passed. Meeting closed at 9 PM.


Berkshire Free Library
Board of Director’s Meeting, BFL
December 12, 2022

NOTE: Via email prior to this meeting Trustees agreed on daytime meetings, the second Monday of each month at 3:30 PM. Public notices have been changed.
Present: Carol Leigh, John Stoughton, Graeme Brilliant, Fran Miller, Darlene Wait, Carol Cox, Nancy Lohmann, Lisa Michaud, Janice Merrill and guest Penny Magnus, our Museum curator applicant, and via ZOOM, Barbara Schwartz.

The meeting was called to order at 3:45 PM.
Secretary’s report: Minutes of the November meeting were reviewed, with no changes or questions.
Director’s report: In addition to her written report, Fran noted that every other Wednesday for the next several weeks she must report for Jury duty, so Irene has agreed to step in and cover the desk.

She said the Warm Welcome to the Library distribution of coats and shoes by the Vestal Elks went smoothly, putting over `100 coats and shoes into the community. They may be able to do it again next year, or maybe will refer us to the Owego Elks.

Fran listed the dates the Library will be closed for 2023. Fran had forwarded training links and information on proposing a Referendum for taxpayer support which would need to be started in January. Also, the FLLS Directors meetings time has changed so in order for Fran to properly take part, she has asked Marcie to cover the desk on those dates/times.

New Business: A Library Collection Grant from FLLS brought us $2,000. We did not receive any Bullet Aid this year. Fran shared #5 of NYS Library Minimum Standards – Budgets, which we meet.

Treasurer’s report: Excel spreadsheet and Budget had been emailed to all Trustees beforehand. Carol reported that she had paid a bill from Ancestry which was for tax, but had not mailed it since she didn’t think it was right. In fact, Ancestry needs to change their records since we do not pay that kind of tax. No further questions or changes.
Darlene moved and Carol Cox seconded a motion to approve all three reports as presented. Unanimously approved.
Old Business:
Policy review has been done and five year old policies not requiring changing, were updated with the current date. A new year’s worth of Policies will be created in January.

Online Book Sales – Graeme reported that a Paypal account was not needed, and the sales should start rolling in soon!

Museum Curator – Penny Magnus reviewed her letter of interest in the position, and Nancy moved that she be appointed our Museum Curator going forward. Barbara seconded the motion, and it was unanimously approved. Penny asked if there was any inventory list she could have. Lisa will contact Nancy Reddy to see if she had any inventory when she was Curator since Kirsten had not responded. Penny wondered if she had a budget to purchase things that come up in auctions, online, etc., that belong in Berkshire’s history. There being no line in the current budget, it was suggested she request the Town Board for a line item for such.

Penny said she has learned some idiosyncrasies of the Ancestry program online and since the Town pays $1,500 a year for the license, people need help in using it. After discussion, there are 5 computers and two laptops available for the class, and it will be held January 10 at 1 pm, then each first Tuesday of the month at 1 PM until classes are no longer requested.

Snow Removal – The Library is all set and shoveling has been and will be done.
New Business: Open House will be held Wednesday, December 14th from Noon to 5 PM at the Library, with cookies, hot cocoa, coffee and tea and a Trustee present to help welcome people. Everyone who was able signed up to bring cookies and take a shift at the Library.

Round Table:
Janice asked if the Trustees felt there was a need to proceed with a Referendum before next month’s meeting. Discussion revealed that there will likely be other tax increases, proving difficult for many taxpayers, and it would be a poor time to add ours to it, since Newark Valley’s will be charged to taxpayers annually until State legislation modifies it. Although our donations from fund raising are significantly lower than in previous years, one large donation has insured that we will meet the current budget without need for a referendum. We talked about having building constructions grants from Tioga Downs or elsewhere to make the dangerous areas – stairs to the museum and back attic and stairs to the basement – more public friendly, maybe including an elevator for handicap accessibility. To be discussed in the coming year.
There being no further business to conduct, Carol Cox moved and Darlene seconded adjournment of the meeting. Unanimously approved.
Thank you, John and Joan Stoughton, for the lovely Christmas treat for each Trustee!

Janice Merrill, Secretary