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



(draft) 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