The Friends David & Joyce Milne Public Library

Meetings & Minutes

The Friends’ 10-14 member board meets monthly except in July and August. Meetings are open to the public and are held in the library on the 2nd or 3rd Monday at noon. Officers and new board members are elected at the Annual Meeting on the 2nd Wednesday of December. Full minutes are available from The Friends upon request.


  • January 13
  • February 10
  • March 10
  • April 7
  • May 19
  • June 16
  • September 15
  • October 20
  • November 17

  • January 14
    Minutes available upon request
  • February 11
  • March 11
  • April 8
  • May 13
  • June 10
  • September 16
  • October 21
  • November 18

  • January 9

    Introductions: Welcome to new Board Member Jessica Dils.Secretary’s Report (Maria Siskind): November 14, 2011 minutes approved.Treasurer’s Report (Bud Riley): Gross income for 2011 just under $41K (up $3650 from last yr) includes ~$24K from Book Sale, ~$1,300 from Book Nook (since summer), ~$19K from memberships (up $2,384 from last yr), $566 from WSB’s Community Dividend Program, and $244 from cookbook. Expenses of ~$5,300 (up $3,742 over last year) allowed us to donate just under $35K to the library, leaving a net income of $825. Holdings as of 12/31/11 were $15,929 in checking, $53,680 in CDs, for a total of $69,609. Approved.Michael Sussman (new treasurer) donated a Macbook computer for use of the treasurer, and Ginny brought in a backup drive to use with it. Ginny proposes we allow our local Williamstown postal permit to lapse, to save us the $180/yr fee. The only mailing that hasn’t gone through Zip’N Sort lately is the dealer mailing in February, but Bud endorses using ZNS for that as well.Membership Report (Maggie Bye & Robin Clutz):182 memberships so far in 2012 campaign (new and renewals) totaling $9,755. These are responses to the December fundraising letter to ~930 carefully chosen addresses. Ginny proposes that next mailing go out in early March, timed after Trustees’ mailing but before final book donation deadline of March 31. Ginny would like to send 2nd mailing to a wider list, perhaps in the form of a Biblio-File newsletter (see PR). Membership folks request help from board members in further culling through address list to remove obsolete addresses and add new town residents. Other enhancements to the mailing list include adding new library card holders from library staff, also checking with former board member Jen Bayliss (Connors Bros Movers) for names of new arrivals.Public Relations (Ginny Sheldon): 
    Website: Ginny walked the board through the preliminary new website which is being developed by Jeff Stripp of i3Marketing according to the specs of the committee. Ginny showed categories on main page. Question about who will receive info from sign-up forms–we will want a “friends” email address, possibly a gmail account (check with Pat about whether this should be coordinated with the library). Optimally, Ginny would like to see website launch before the 2012 Book Sale. Trustee liaison Nancy McIntire suggested we compare the Library’s developing website with our developing website to see if they are “compatible.”
    Bulletin Board:Maribeth Pomerantz and Maria Siskind volunteered to update periodically. Brainstorming about what to post: pockets with Friends publications such as brochure or Biblio-File; Friends news; most recent President’s letter; how to purchase cookbook; recipe from cookbook; visual graphic for fundraising and/or membership drive (growing stack of books); photos; etc.Biblio-File:Ginny will send a short issue (1 page, 2-sided) in March. Content: report on Legislative Breakfast (see New Business), reminder about book sale donations deadline (March 31) and book sale itself (April 20-21), possibly a membership coupon.Book Sale (Ginny Sheldon): Highest cookbook buyers are Milnes–they’ve purchased 3 batches already. Cookbook has earned back its cost and is now in the black. Book Nook also doing very well, making steady sales, has brought in over $1330 since it started. Melissa Segalla relayed Jeanne Blake’s suggestion that Book Nook might be closed prior to sale so those books could be added to the book sale. Length of closure ~1 week, post a sign referring buyers to the Book Sale. Other book sale topics (auction, café, etc) deferred to Book Sale meeting at 1:00 today.No Director’s Report.Trustees’ Report (Nancy McIntire): The Trustees’ Annual Fund is up–they believe this is the result of mailing list improvements; the Trustees had 88new donors this year. The library is also working on a new website — Mindy and Pat are working with Jeff Stripp of i3Marketing. Pat is reorganizing the media area, working with a furniture sales rep to design new layout for that area.Old Business:
    Holiday Walk: Thanks to Maggie and Robin for organizing our table at the Penny Social on December 3, 2011. Maggie and Robin thank the many volunteers who took shifts. Ginny notes that shorter work shifts promote better volunteering. Robin plans to start preparations earlier next year.

    Annual Meeting: Dec 14, 2011. Well attended, Ginny thinks almost 50 people. Recruited new book sale sorter Jean Vankin. Ginny showed thank you note from Gay Klaus Scarborough. Music was well integrated. Ginny notes that we paid fees to both musicians as well as Williams Inn.

    New Business:
    2012 Legislative Breakfast coming up on Friday 1/27/12 at Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield. Anyone interested in attending should let Pat know. Williamstown folks usually carpool.

    Proposal about New Logo: Ginny circulated a short history and proposal to hire a graphic designer to create a new logo for the Friends, with the idea that the new image could be adapted for use by the library and Trustees, giving the groups a more unified look. A website subcommittee (Ginny, Susan, and Jessica) met with professional graphic designer Beth Carlisle, who has some ideas about this. She offered to do this for us for a reduced fee. Ginny asked for feedback from the board.

    The confusion between the Friends and Trustees in the eyes of the community is ongoing. Last year, John and Martha Storey raised this issue again with the Trustees while discussing fundraising strategies.

    Stephen suggested we could save ourselves some money by designing our own website banner in-house, and he presented several attractive examples. The library and Trustees could use the same graphic but change out wording if they wish to have a cohesive look. If we hire out a professional designer, what exactly will we get? Do Trustees and Director want this? If so, how should payment be divided between the parties? Ginny will get a breakdown of the fee and notify the designer that we need feedback from library and Trustees before proceeding. Nancy and Ginny will raise this topic at Trustees meeting on Wednesday 1/11/12.


  • February 13
    Secretary’s Report (Susan Abrams): January 9, 2012 minutes approved with correction: Add Jessica Dils to list of Board members present.Membership Report (Maggie Bye & Robin Clutz):49 memberships (6 new, 43 renewals) since last meeting generated $3,890, bringing our 2012 campaign numbers to 231 memberships totaling $13,645. Discussion of format and mailing strategy for next Biblio-File, to be mailed in March.Treasurer’s Report (Michael Sussman): Of interest is the income from the cookbook and Book Nook of $435, expenses of $246, and library contribution of $100 for programs. When combined with memberships so far, ordinary income for the month is $7,606. Holdings as of 2/13/12 were $23,535 cash in bank accounts and 4 CDs, for a total of $77,215. Approved.Public Relations (Ginny Sheldon):
    Email: The board now has an email address:
    Website: Goal remains to have a functional website by March 20.Book Sale/Book Nook (Ginny Sheldon, Melissa Segalla)Book sale meeting to follow Board meeting. Ginny suggested that Book Nook need not close on March 31 for the Book Sale period.Director’s Report (Pat McLeod):
    • The Trustees’ Annual Fund is up to $37, 061 for this year from 408 homes, already exceeding last year’s total of $30,150, and donations are still coming in!
    • Activity in library was very high in January (13,500 items circulated), exceeding December as well as last January.
    • The library is still working on a web page with Jeff Stripp of i3Marketing.
    • Migration of the online system (C/WMARS) has been postponed again.
    • Legislative breakfast on Jan 27 at Berkshire Athenaeum had 81 attendees.
    • Trustees are paying ¾ of custodian’s salary in order to keep him on board; the town is covering the rest.
    • Trustees are also paying $13,000 toward new and rearranged shelving in the media area, as well as new wall shelves near Fern’s desk and an additional rolling picture book unit for the Children’s Room.
    • The library is collaborating with the Bennington community and library for programs on Chinese culture and the Chinese Year of the Dragon. Events are planned for the spring and fall. Pat is considering an adult “community read” based on The Dragon Keeper’s Handbook by North Bennington author, Shawn MacKenzie. Mindy will offer workshops for high and elementary school.Trustees’ Report (Nancy McIntire):The Trustees will soon announce a new subcommittee for building-related issues. The first public meeting is March 7. Trustees attended the Legislative Breakfast, as did Maggie and Stephen from the Friends Board. The news about state funding was generally positive for now, with the new representatives hoping not to have to cut library funding.Old Business: Logo Design postponed.New Business: none.
  • March 12
    Secretary’s Report (Susan): February 13, 2012 minutes. Approved.Membership Report (Robin): Robin reports 15 renewals and 1 new membership, bringing in $865. Our 2012 memberships now number 247. Ginny is preparing a new issue of Biblio-File to be mailed to about 2000 households.
    Public Relations (Ginny, Susan, Jessica):
    Email: We have changed our email address one final time, so that it matches our website url: it is now Ginny will continue to monitor the old address. Stephen suggests setting up forwarding from the old address to the new one.
    Website: Susan and Ginny have been working on the website. They would like the board and a few others to “test” it by looking around, clicking on links, and generally making sure things work. They will send out the url ( when it is ready for testing. When the site is ready for public viewing, it will be switched over to its final address:
    Book Sale/Book Nook: no new information.
    Director’s report: none.
    Trustees’ Report (Nancy M.): The upgraded shelving should be coming soon. The plan is to reallocate the media room space and reuse the old shelving elsewhere.
    Trustee Marilyn Faulkner has chosen to step down at the upcoming end of this term. So the Trustees are looking for a new board member to run for Marilyn’s 3-yr seat.
    The Trustees’ Facility Review Committee met for the first time. Members are: Ed Epping, Williams Professor of Art; Tom Mahar, Williams Facilities Project Supervisor; Steve Nesterak, Williams Facilities Director of Real Estate; Leslie Reed-Evans, WRLF Executive Director; Nancy McIntire, Trustee; and Pat McLeod, Library Director. The committee’s tasks will be to identify building needs, set priorities, establish a timeline, and develop a financial plan for meeting those needs. The committee welcomes input from all but will actively seek feedback from library staff, town government, and the Friends. The next meeting is Tuesday, April 3, at 4:00 pm at the Milne. Public is welcome.Old Business
    Bulletin Board (Maribeth & Maria): They have physically divided the bulletin board with Pat and configured our half into blocks that are receptive to different categories of information.Adjourned 1:07 pm.
  • April 9
    Minutes available upon request
  • May 14
    Minutes available upon request
  • June 11
    Minutes available upon request
  • September 17
    Minutes available upon request
  • October 15
    Minutes available upon request
  • November 12
    Minutes available upon request

  • September 19
    Announcements & Correspondence:USPS workshop on 9/21/11, National PCC (Postal Customer Council) Day, at Springfield Post Office. Berkshire Taconic ofering seminars for nonprofit organizations ($40 each). Thank you note & congratulations from Joyce Milne re: cookbook. Note from Cathy Nagy to Friends book sale volunteers re:help in picking up book donations during her summertime move (excerpt: “A town library is ever so important to the quality of life in a community. Your involvement is most admirable.”)Secretary’s Report (Maria Siskind): June 13, 2011 minutes approved with one name correction.Treasurer’s Report (Bud Riley): Jan. 1-Sept. 15, 2011 Profit & Loss Comparison approved as presented (on file). Highlights: Book Nook income: $612.82; Book Sale ’11 gross: $23,975 (down a little); Cook Book income: $1256 (printing cost $1868; working toward the break-even point); membership income since Jan. 1: $12,405 (up by $4,420!). Total income $27,529.82, slightly up since last year; spending also higher. Total on hand: $68,167.95. Recent disbursements include $10,000 (approved in 2008 for conceptual design of library renovations) and $13,635 + $4,510.88 for library budget items/programs. Payment of $1400 to Words Are Wonderful is due Oct. 14.Membership Report (Robin Clutz): Summer revenue of $615 from 12 renewals and 4 new members, bringing total 2011 memberships to 424. We will donate complimentary 2012 memberships to the 11 Spruces members who were flooded out of their homes. Approved We need to better publicize our monthly meetings to encourage participation. Stephen Dravis will submit notices to The Advocate and The Transcript. Gay Scarborough suggested we also submit a more content-oriented article about our activities.Book Sale (Ginny Sheldon):Melissa Segalla will be coordinating Book Sale ’12 with Ginny and Peter Mehlin. Melissa shared the inspiration for the Nook and how it has operated over the summer, has been stocked with books from personal collections as well as unsold Silent Auction ’11 items. The Nook will enable us to “save” a portion of next year’s best unsold books. So far, it has operated smoothly on the honor system for payment (wall-mounted cash box) and no conflict with the regular sale. Larry Wright made a guest appearance to update us on sorting: as usual, LOTS of books in kitchen so we NEED liquor boxes! Many thanks to Fred Scarborough for the hundreds of boxes he has collected and delivered to the sorters over the years from The Spirit Shoppe. We will contact Patt Patterson’s husband re: Pittsfield Price Chopper liquor boxes. A refresher session will be scheduled for sorters.Public Relations (Ginny Sheldon): Last year’s design money ($500) was used in collaboration with Berkshire Direct for the following: June ’11 Friends/Trustee collaborative bookmark developed for Sundays@6 will also be used by Trustees in their Annual Appeal; Nov. ’10 logo revision/trifold membership brochure/President’s letter/WSBooks discount card; Feb. ’11 BiblioFile, membership “pledge” card; and ongoing website development. Ginny requested an additional $500 for additional design and technical services for website. Approved. Susan suggested the Friends may want to work toward increased online communication, perhaps in conjunction with our new website configuration.Director’s Report (Pat McLeod): Written Director’s report is on file. Highlights are: renovation grant application was withdrawn in June on recommendation of consultants John and Martha Storey; new regional delivery system working efficiently; bar-coding of collection progressing but could use more volunteer time; thanks to the Friends for sponsoring Pat’s attendance at the June ALA Conference in New Orleans; summer reading programs (sponsored by The Friends) highly successful and well attended; highest door count ever in July due to programming, heat wave, and hikers; August circulation numbers highest ever; Library website will be redesigned by Berkshire Direct.Trustees’ Report (Nancy McIntire):The Trustees Annual Appeal is going out this month (instead of May/June) with personalized letters and to an updated database. The Trustees are forming a new Building Committee.Old Business: Incorporated name change: Ginny contacted the Corporations Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office and was advised to fill out the Article of Amendment application and submit it with a $15 fee, despite the fact that the name change vote was taken in December 1998.
    Words Are Wonderful: Reminder that Friends are sponsoring the one-day residency of author James Preller on Friday, October 21.
    By-Laws review, Cookbook Sales, Sundays@6, Nominations:Deferred to OctoberNew Business: Early Literacy Center: Request from Mindy Hackner viaPat for the Friends to pay the annual maintenance fee of $350. This will be part of Pat’s 2012 budget request to the Friends.Adjourned.
  • October 17
    Secretary’s Report:Minutes of September 19, 2011 approved.Treasurer’s Report (Bud Riley): We have contributed $30,135.88 to the library activities to date this year. The cookbook has made $1,676. The Book Nook has made $838.31. We have $3,512.98 in cash and $63,581.46 in CDs, for total assets of $67,094.44 ApprovedMembership (Maggie Bye):Maggie will send a letter to the 12 Friends members who are Spruces residents, informing them of our free extension of their membership through 2012. Ginny is working on the membership letter to be mailed in late November. We have 390 renewals and 33 new members.Public Relations (Ginny Sheldon): Stephen Dravis published a notice (in The Advocate, Berkshire Eagle, and The Transcript) for today’s meeting, inviting the public to attend. Ginny is meeting with Berkshire Direct about website design.Book Sale:Book donations are steady. The Book Nook is doing well. Fred Scarborough has started collecting boxes for storing. We still accept VHS tapes for the sale.Director’s Report (Pat McLeod):August was the highest-use month for the library this year. The library will begin de-accessioning the VHS collection except foreign films not available on DVD. The Trustees mailed their Annual Appeal in October and will send a reminder in December.No Trustees’ Report.Old Business: Words Are Wonderful takes place October 14-22. We funded two residencies: author James Preller and storyteller Andrea Wright. Our incorporated name is official: we are “Friends of the David and Joyce Milne Public Library, Inc.” Bud is working on the official name change with our bank. We discussed our table at Sundays@6, including cookbook sales and raffle. By-law review deferred until 2012.New Business: Jennifer Bayliss has resigned. Melissa Segalla has been appointed to fill the rest of Jennifer’s term (through December). Need dto forma a board nominating committee. Judy Madden volunteered. We will need a new treasurer as Bud is resigning from this position. Bud will remain on the board and is willing to train the new treasurer. Still looking for entertainment for our Annual meeting. The Legislative Breakfast will be at the Berkshire Athenaeum on January 27. We vote to contribute $50 – Approved.Pat McLeod’s Funding Proposal FY11/12 is for $25,343, about the same amount as last year’s funding. ApprovedAdjourned.
  • November 14
    Secretary’s Report (Maria Siskind):October 14, 2011 minutes approved with one correction: we did not fund Andrea Wright’s WAW performance.Treasurer’s Report (Bud Riley):The cookbook made $1,696 and the Book Nook $941.86. Our 2011 membership drive has raised $12,635. We have $3,163.93 in cash and $63,581.46 in CDs, for total assets of $66,581.46. Approved.The Audit Committee (Maribeth Pomerentz, Michael Sussman, and Maggie Bye) will meet with Bud before the Annual meeting.Membership (Robin Clutz & Maggie Bye):5 renewals bring the total to 429 members. The 2012 Membership Drive mailing will go out in late November.Public Relations:Jeff Stripp, now with i3 Marketing, is working on our website.Book Sales (Ginny Sheldon):Melissa Segalla reports that the Book Nook has made $1,000 in six months of operation. Sorters are working hard and we have enough boxes at the moment. Book Sale meetings begin in January. Rebecca Ohm will do publicity and we hope Jennifer Bayliss and Katie Case will organize volunteers again.Director’s Report (Pat McLeod):The Trustees Annual Fund has raised over $28,000. The October Director’s Monthly Report to the Trustees is on file.Trustees’ Report (Nancy McIntire):The Williamstown Historical Society has asked to make changes in their signage. The WHM has a new staff member (Sarah Currie) and will be open more hours.Old Business:Western Massachusetts Library Advocates wrote thanking us for our $50 donation to their Legislative Breakfast on January 27, 2012. They are celebrating their 50th anniversary on December 1.New Business:The Nominating Committee (Judy Madden, Robin Clutz, Gay Klaus Scarborough, Michael Sussman, and Maribeth Pomerantz) has met twice and propose: Ginny Sheldon, Robin Clutz, Maribeth Pomerantz, and Maria Siskind for 3-year terms; Melissa Segalla for a 1-year term (to complete Jennifer Bayliss’ term); and Jessica Dils for a 3-year term. The proposed slate of officers (1-year terms) is: Ginny Sheldon, President; Stephen Dravis, Vice President; Susan Abrams, Secretary; and Michael Sussman, Treasurer. Bud Riley will be retiring as Treasurer after serving since the mid-90’s; luckily Bud will remain on the Board!Williamstown’s Holiday Walk is December 3; Maggie Bye and Robin Clutz will organize the Friends’ table.Our Annual Meeting will be December 14 at The Williams Inn, 7-8:30 pm. Eric Buddington and Mark Maniak will provide entertainment and Gay is organizing refreshments.