Hancock Library Board of Trustees
November 27, 2013
Present: Laurie Bryan, Mary Garland, Amy Markus, Peter Ryner
The meeting began at 1:00 pm.
The October 23, 2013 minutes were approved.
The Treasurer's report was approved. Amy will continue to work on replacing the sign and post.
There was a brief review of December programs.
There was then a general discussion of the 2014 Library budget.
The principal source of operating funds comes from interest and dividends earned by approximately two dozen trust funds that residents have donated to the Town over time, and which are managed by the Town Trustees of Trust Funds.
Until very recently the Library has been able to rely upon receiving approximately $20,000 per year from those funds. However, in the last three years that amount has dropped dramatically, and in a recent discussion with Hunt Dowse of the Trustees of Trust Funds, the Library Trustees have been told to expect no more than $12,000 for 2014. At the same time the cost of everything from heating fuel to books has increased.
The Library is already a bare-bones operation, with only one full-time staff member. The library relies heavily upon the help of many volunteers, and the Friends of the Library have provided essential financial assistance. However, there is a limit as to how much they can provide.
The Library Trustees also rely upon a trust fund which was created by donations for the maintenance of the building, and these funds continue to be utilized for expenditures such as replacing major portions of the roof, purchasing a new furnace for the Daniel's room, and painting the exterior of the building. Often the Library has received partial financial assistance from the Town for these major maintenance projects. That support reflects a recognition that the Library building and land is owned by the Town.
The annual operating budget has not significantly increased for the past ten years, and cuts have been made in the number of magazine and newspaper subscriptions and in other areas. However both Amy and the Trustees feel that there are not many additional cuts that can be made while still providing the kind of library that residents expect.
In 2013 the Trustees asked the Town to provide $5,000 towards the Library's annual operating budget. After further review of projected costs and revenues, the Library Trustees concluded that for 2014, $7,000 should be requested.
The next Trustee meeting will be on December 18.
Submitted by Peter Ryner