Library finances in good shapePublic events scheduled for April
Creative programs for April’s spring break, a film series, fundraising and the library’s building and maintenance projects were on the agenda at the March 26 meeting of the Island Free Library Board of Trustees.
Donations to the library are strong, Library Director Kristin Baumann said. She reported that January/February income into the library, from donations and fees, totaled $1,826.70. Funds were raised through the library’s in-house ventures, such as selling snacks and out-of-circulation books. In addition, Baumann reported that the Friends of the Library remain in a strong position financially with assets of more than $13,000. That group has begun planning for its Memorial Day Bake, Book and Bloom sale. Scheduled for Saturday, May 25, plant set-up will begin at 8 a.m. with the sale opening at 10 a.m.
The Friends will also host a speaker on May 11 at 3 p.m. to discuss old books. Ray Rickman, from “Value of the Book,” will provide insights and information about what makes a book valuable. Participants can bring up to three books for a valuation.
Baumann reported that the Friends group also purchased an annual calendar to be posted in the library and highlight events happening throughout the year. An educator from Blithewold Gardens and Estate in Bristol, Rhode Island, will give a slide presentation at one of the events.
Activities for Children and Adults
The library has activities and classes in the works for most of April for both children and adults. Future films include: “A Fierce Green Fire,” April 23, at 6:30 p.m. and “Truck Farm,” on May 21, at 7 p.m.
During the Block Island School’s April vacation week, the library will host three programs. The first, from “Pow Science,” will focus on chemistry and flying objects. “Pow Science” will gear its offerings toward elementary aged students, middle schoolers, and the high school set.
In the second program, called “Night Sky,” the Museum of Science in Boston will bring their portable planetarium StarLab to Block Island. Like the Night Sky film series, this program is held in conjunction with the Ocean View Foundation.
The third program, a joint project with the Block Island School Friends, is part of the chicken curriculum at Casey Farm in Saunderstown, R.I. Representatives from the farm gave a presentation at the school on March 28, and then set up an incubator and eggs at the library. The eggs, from Dominique and Rhode Island Red hens, are expected to hatch over school vacation week.
As for adult activities, Baumann is setting up an elementary computer class to address the use of e-readers. She said there have been questions about the use of e-readers and felt the class was needed.
Maintenance and Renovation
The board and Baumann suggested ways in which maintenance procedures could be refined and more easily scheduled. The board suggested that Baumann have all maintenance issues referred to her for approval before they are undertaken so that projects are not overlooked and budgets are kept.
Regarding planned renovations, board member John Warfel reported he has looked at some fence replacements for both the back parking area and the front yard. He has also been investigating possibilities for new front doors. Cost differentials were discussed. The board said it would be optimum if the installment of a new front door could coincide with possible renovations to the book drop area in the front foyer. Funding for the two projects comes from separate pools, with one being town-backed. Warfel also said he has studied the considerable cost savings with using LED lights. It was suggested that the lights be replaced one room at a time, given their expense.
In other maintenance issues, Baumann told the board she would like to paint the conference room and has paint on hand for that project. The room may be closed temporarily while that takes place.
Board member Charlotte Herring said a small committee is moving forward with revisions to the library’s personnel handbook. All changes are not yet completed.
The next meeting of the library board will be April 23 at 4 p.m.