The Block Island Times

Library discusses island bookmobile

By Gloria S. Redlich | Nov 01, 2013

Though it might seem that the island’s small size would preclude the need for a mobile library, everyone is not able to get to the library, according to Library Director Kristin Baumann. The proposal was announced at the Oct. 29 Board of Trustees meeting. Baumann said they were working with former island nurse Mary Donnelly on the proposal.

At the same time, Baumann suggested that because the community is small, “we know who’s ill or who’s broken a leg,” or who’s incapacitated. “We also know what kind of movies or books [people] like,” she said. Baumann and her staff are currently in the process of developing a list of those who would benefit from the idea.

Another project the library is connected with is the Big Read, a national reading program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Baumann said she is working with the Tomaquag Museum of Exeter. This year’s event will feature a book that has been considered a modern classic — Louise Erdrich’s first novel “Love Medicine.”

The library’s program is scheduled for the weekend of Jan. 24-25, 2014.

Fundraising projects

As an upcoming fundraiser, Baumann said the library is launching a “Pots and Kettles Sale,” with people being asked to “clean out their kitchen cabinets for gently used items.” She said, to date the library had received linen, pots, food processors, blenders, and would continue to accept items. The sales are scheduled for Nov. 16, 23 and 30 — the latter taking place during the Christmas Stroll.

The proceeds from the sale will go toward the acquisition of cooking magazines and DVDs, as well as cookbooks.

Another project in the wings is the Winter Market, which Baumann described as a ‘farmers’-like market, to take place on Saturday, Nov. 30. Library trustee Charlotte Herring, library clerk Pam Glen, and Baumann are working on this project and planning to set the market up on the library’s front lawn, weather permitting.

If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the market will “go inside to the two downstairs rooms,” Baumann said, quipping, “If you’d like to make some quiche and have a table for selling it, just contact us.” She noted that many people have already signed up. If the market idea is a hit, Baumann would like to “piece together some holiday weekends to see how people respond.”

Baumann informed the trustees that the National Hotel, which is the library’s neighbor, had been in discussion with the Historic District Commission (HDC) about putting up a six-foot fence around its property and abutting the library. Though abutters were not notified, she is planning to attend the next HDC meeting to learn more.

Baumann said that Town Councilor Chris Warfel had expressed concern about delays on driveway work. The group agreed to continue the discussion to the next meeting when John Warfel, chair of the Building and Grounds Committee, would be present.

Financial report

Treasurer Bill McKernan reported on the status of accounts for the island library: the Henault Book Fund account has a balance of $4,490.70; the St. Vincent de Paul Fund account was closed out after its last funds covered expenses for taking island youngsters to an off-island performance of “Annie.”

McKernan pointed out that the trustee savings account had a balance of $29,242.05 and the trustee checking one of $7,589.31.

Three planned capital expenses are currently being addressed, McKernan said: an external book drop; heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) upgrade, and elevator upgrade.

With three trustees’ terms up at the end of this year, the group polled the three — Shirlyne Gobern, McKernan and Chair Connie LaRue — all of whom expressed a desire to continue on the board. They will write the Town Council to indicate their choices, as required.

The next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 19.

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