martha canfield library

PO Box 267 • 528 East Arlington Road, Arlington, VT • 05250
802.375.6153 •

  • Tuesday — 9:00AM – 8:00PM
  • Wednesday — 9:00AM – 5:00PM
  • Thursday — 9:00AM – 8:00PM
  • Friday — 2:00PM – 6:00PM
  • Saturday — 10:00AM – 3:00PM

Russell Collection

Open 9:00AM – 5:00PM
Tuesdays or by appointment

August 7, 2017

**Minutes are considered to be in DRAFT form until approved at the next scheduled meeting**

The Board meeting was called to order at 7:05 PM (as soon as the Secretary arrived)

In attendance: Alyson Grzyb, Carrie Gutbier, John Spencer, Phyllis Skidmore (Librarian), Bill Budde (Russell Collection), Sheila Kearns, Dave Thomas, Simon Metcalf, Brian Allen, Bob Dudley, Dave Van De Water, Cherise Madigan (guest from the Bennington Banner)

Absent: Cindy Pike, Charlie Cummings

The additions to the agenda were Finance Committee Report and Programming discussion.

• June 2017 – Brian moved that the May minutes be approved as written. Dave V. seconded. The motion was unanimously approved.

Treasurer’s Report (summary):
• Cindy sent the report today
• There were no comments or discussion on the report. Cindy was not in attendance.
• Bob moved to accept the treasurer’s report, Sheila seconded. The motion was unanimously approved.

Librarian’s Report (summary):
• The new inter-library loan system went live Aug 1. It has been good so far after one week. Sheila recognized the amount of work that needed to be done by the library staff in the past to support interlibrary loans.

• The Manchester bird place that went out of business donated a locking showcase

• Many childrens programs so far.

• Advocates group on track for a basket raffle and a craft show.

• Book house is doing well. Over $200 on Saturday during Norman’s Attic.

• Still need help sorting books in the basement anytime the library is open.

• Quite a few new library card applications.


Martha’s Book House Report
• Book cases at VCS – Brian said he could coordinate use of his truck to pick them up for use at the book house.

Russell Collection Report
• Small but interesting items have been donated

• Uptick in visitors during the summer

• Bill has been looking into the Dorothy Canfield Fisher (DCF) issue. Bill referenced a paper or thesis that was particularly interesting. The article points out that the Abenaki were not specifically targeted.

• Vivian Hicks is DCF’s great grand daughter

• State Library board is still forming a position

• It is the State Librarian that makes the decision regarding the name of the award. The board will weigh in on October 10 and make a recommendation to the State Librarian.

• The Russell Collection has a small amount of material from DCF, but most was donated to UVM. All published works are in the library.

• DCF was on the Committee on Rural Life – promoting VT – DCF was part of the eugenics movement


Finance Committee Meeting
• The finance committee met on July 22nd

• Cindy reported on first half of 2017 and the outlook for the remainder of the year

• Missy Kraus who handles our investments was present. She stated we have done a little better than standard indexes. Current value is approximately $1,018,000.

• Committee will meet again in December to review budget proposal for 2018.


Old Business:

1. By-Laws – definition of a quorum. The board is defined as a 12-member board. Since this is a fixed number, then a quorum of 7 is just over 50% of the board. Alyson is going to drop the issue at this time. No one objected.

2. Landscape work – the landscaping looks nice. A suggestion was made to potentially plant a tree (apple?) toward the front right corner. Perhaps remove the Juniper at the front left corner and replace with something like a lilac. This could be done as part of the fall clean-up time. Bob made a motion to plant the trees within the funds budgeted, Brian seconded. The motion passed unanimously.

3. Efficiency Vermont – Got another check for $1,020. This is either the second or third check. Everything is working well. Alyson will request a report of how we are doing.

New Business:

1. Carrie started a discussion on programming for the rest of the year. What types should we have? Literary, humanities, wider range? Bill has had some requests for more genealogy, Phyllis has a speaker on technology. Phyllis recommended a broad range of topics to arrange as many people as possible. Dave V, suggested possibly move larger programming to the MACK center at the high school. Casting a broader net to surrounding communities? Bob also agreed that an eclectic mix is best.

2. Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award discussion. Bob asked what the VT Department of Libraries has asked of us. The answer is nothing. More questions are coming from the community.

o The board should discuss whether we want to make a statement or take a stance.
o Bob suggested we make a statement that it is a complex issue and that we should continue to discuss and talk about the issues openly and fairly. Uncomfortable judging history by today’s standards.
o Sheila wants to bring out the issue of whether it is proper to name a children’s book award named after DCF. Bill pointed out how DCF helped children in many ways during her lifetime. These were complex issues that evolved over time. The books that have won awards have tackled complex issues and have been broad reaching and evolved.
o Bob noted diversity in the DCF book awards. He feels the award has a cachet.
o Bill suggested offering a public meeting. Alyson suggested a panel discussion to allow the public to make an informed decision. We might be able to create an area on our website to provide links to important material. Provide a context to this and the rest of her life.
o DCF was on the board of the Book of the Month Club selection committee. This club was very influential.
o Dave V. suggested making an aspirational statement about the value of literature and create a teaching moment. Assist the State Librarian in making a decision.
o Bob said we are a library –we should provide information. Likes the idea of having a community meeting with people who are knowledgeable. Need to provide both sides of the discussion.
o Bill suggested that as a non-profit organization we need to remain balanced.
o Alyson asked Phyllis to create a section on the website. Bill V. asked who could curate this. He stated it needed to be done carefully, and in a fair and balanced way. It is a huge undertaking. He cautioned about the amount of work and that we need to do it well
o Sheila suggested soliciting other references. Keeping the information balanced could be a challenge.
o Bill could start the collection of information and references.
o Sheila still wanted to make a statement to the value of the award. She is willing to draft such a statement for the next meeting.

3. We need to review the long range plan at the next meeting. Perhaps on the agenda for next month.


Next meeting – Monday, September 11th at 7PM

Meeting adjourned at 8:20 PM.

New Books

for all ages


Click to see updated lists