Library juggling programs and projects

Thu, 02/27/2020 - 5:15pm

The Island Free Library Board of Trustees reviewed updates on its building and grounds, including window replacements, a solar project, and a new water fountain. 

The condition of the windows at the Library has been a topic of discussion for some time.

Library Director Kristin Baumann said that new windows had been ordered, but she had some concerns about the installation process.

“Just one concern on that project: I like clarity on that project. I feel I’m still a bit confused on what the phases are and who’s paying for what phase,” said Baumann.

The plan was for new windows to be installed in two different phases, but member Dave Sniffen said, “there’s no reason why they couldn’t be rolled into one phase.” Sniffen mentioned speaking to Facilities Manager Sam Bird about rolling the project into one, but the issue is that one phase was going to be paid for by the town, and the second phase with grant monies from the Champlin Foundation.

“I think it can be done in one shot, and we have the money to do it,” said Baumann.

“I can check with [Town Manager Assistant] Shirlyne Gobern,” said Chair Lisa Nolan.

“We have to get it done, we have a timeline. It would be great to roll the two phases into one phase. We will see what he says, I don’t know the legality of it,” said Sniffen.

The library has also been planning on installing a solar array, but Baumann said there had been no forward movement on that project.

Water fountain update

“The Friends of the Island Free Library have budgeted money to put a water fountain out front,” said Baumann, updating the trustees on that project. “That needs Historic District Commission approval and we are on the HDC agenda to do that. Sam has done a sketch for us, and we have talked about placement out front,” said Baumann.

“Does it look like the one in front of the church?” asked Nolan. A water fountain has recently been installed at the Nicholas Ball Park, which is located in front of the Harbor Church.

“It does,” said Baumann.

There is also a water fountain located at the Solviken property.

“I asked for [the water fountain] to go not front and center [but] closest to the water source, and still be ADA accessible,” said Baumann. She said Facilities Manager Sam Bird “was very clear about this being in compliance” with the Americans with Disabilities Act. “It will have the dog bowl, a bottle filling station and a drinking spout,” said Baumann.

Library Director’s Report

Baumann did not have a report written for the night’s meeting, but she did have news to share with the board on the status of the library.

“I’m happy to report that the library is healthy. It’s busy. We have been having some really great climate change programming going on. Jamie [Newell] took an online class last week specifically through the American Library Association for writing for your library’s website. Next week, Thursday and Friday, we are going to do the Public Library Associations’ conference in Nashville, participating virtually. The building is getting lots of little things done and (checked) off the building list; Bob Gallant comes and does that. We had a lot of fun book programming in the library. I think everyone is doing pretty good,” reported Baumann.

Baumann mentioned that the library is collaborating with the Recreation Department “in taking school kids and parents to the Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art” during school vacation week.

“It’s starting to feel like spring here... We have programming and scheduling booked through St. Patrick’s Day. There’s new faces here, change of pace is starting up,” said Baumann.

Friends of the Library Report

Baumann spoke for the Friends of the Library report and the coming events through the library.

“The Friends ran a well attended program, the Snowy Owl photography program, everyone liked the work. In March, we will be doing a celebration of women history and suffrage rights. The Friends are working on finishing up the reupholster project, and the Bake, Book and Bloom dates. The Friends are in good shape,” said Baumann.

Trustee update

Nolan reported on the Trustee Vacancy update, notifying the board of a new member.

“We did things a little backwards this time, because of the postponing of this meeting. Town Council actually met last night, and approved a new member for us, a new Trustee. It’s going to be Sarah Cullen... I hope you all welcome her. The Town Council did appoint her, and she will be joining us at the next meeting,” said Nolan.

The trustees ended the meeting with Sniffen agreeing to speak to Sam Bird about the window replacement project. 

The next meeting for the Island Free Library is scheduled for Tuesday, March 17 at 6 p.m.