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Messages - Rev. Elizabeth

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 A tune that lingers, an image that returns, questions with no answers; Kenya is on my mind
Twenty four hours after leaving Burlington, Vermont; after 4 airports, and three plane rides we arrived in Nairobi, Kenya for our journey, into a brave new world of virtual communication, a world  that would link our students in Fairfax with students in both rural and urban Kenya. No tourist trek,this was to be an adventure using technology to connect youth to youth, culture to culture, idea to idea, over space and time.
Ours was a trip of meetings.  I am not much of a meeting person, quickly losing attention and patience, but I have to admit that much was accomplished at these meetings, and the plans to create a virtual connection amongst various Vermont schools and several Kenyan schools blossomed into actuality. Like all trips, the ostensible purpose and the actuality were not quite the same.
I saw only a small part of Kenya, but nonetheless my impressions-- my sense of the country is  both powerful and subtle, tied to the people and landscape and small experiences that bear witness to large concerns.
I couldn’t quite understand the architecture of our hotel, TrippleO’s which is  in an area called Ruai, about 15 minutes from the airport and at least an hour from Nairobi proper, depending on the traffic.  There were stairs, stairs going here and there, for seemingly no reason. Stairs of marble and stairs of stones set in cement, somewhat like small cobblestones. Be careful! The risers for the stairs were not always the same; they varied from flight to flight, from stair to stair. It took me a day or two to remember that to get to breakfast I went down two flights of stairs, then up one!
 There were dining areas and playing fields that we chanced upon; there was a beautiful swimming pool that  was always full and burbling and empty of people.  Water fountains appeared in random  places. Parts were old, and parts were brand new. This was a magical building and I was in a castle in a fairy tale.  The food was very good and all the people were friendly and helpful. There  was a guard at the gate and  one couldn’t and shouldn’t go out alone.  This was no  place for an early morning walk. In fact the entire compound was fenced in.
Ruai, which is on the outskirts of Nairobi, though you couldn’t call it a suburb, seemed to be an industrial area, though this was perhaps because there was road construction and the attendant heavy machinery.  Along the ro was an assortment of buildings, some half built, with skeletal cementblock second floors waiting for completion; some new but shabby, and some the typical one story cement store with a door and a window and a handwritten sign above the door.  That this was the end of the dry season and dust was everywhere only contributed to the sense of disorder and general dishevelment. 
These excursions into a different culture and country are about standing in another world, listening, watching, feeling, reflecting.
It was getting late;we were at the end of a long day. We had met for three hours with representatives from Heifer International, and then went to try to  purchase the right SIM card for equipment we were going to use to connect schools. After an hour or so in an elegant mall complete with shops of imported French finery and security at the entrance, we finally left. The driver chose what he deemed a short cut so he could avoid end of the day traffic.
Was  it really a short cut to avoid traffic when our driver took us through the winding and crowded and narrow streets of Kibura, one of the largest slums in Kenya?  Or did he want  us  to see a side of Kenya and Nairobi that staying in a gated hotel or lingering in a high end mall would never reveal to  us. Row on row of Tin shacks tightly packed together. Crowded streets filled with people in all manner of dress.  Small shops of tin or concrete  with hand painted signs selling all manner of things, from cell phones to dresses.  Vendors selling things from kiosks made of tin and tarps or saplings and tin, occupied the space between the stores and the streets. The occasional Masaai  his red blanket draped over his shoulders,  carrying his herding stick following  a few cattle along the road, no one giving him any mind as his cattle meandered through the kiosks and vendors as though they knew where they were going.
Perhaps the driver  wanted us to know that this too, is Kenya, as much as is the elegant malls, and the towering glass buildings of Nairobi, or perhaps,  that it is closer to Kenya’s reality than those five star hotels and office buildings are.
But the people.  Women, if they were professionals, dressed with great class, and most had their hair done in sophisticated braids and buns. Many women regardless of their status,wore what we used to call sheaths,  though some young women wore typical tight pants. And of course, some women wore brightly colored traditional garments,wrapped around their bodies. Professional men wore jackets and ties.
I became  annoyed because my camera’s battery died, and I was left taking photos with an ipad, an awkward thing to do in the best of circumstances.  I convinced myself that the photos  I did have were adequate, and anyway, I had the images I had seen and wanted to capture on technology, firmly planted in my brain. And, did it really matter if I didn’t have pictures, anyway.  Wasn’t the  important thing was that I saw those grotesque vultures, stared after the Masaai herders,and was saddened by the vendor selling second hand clothes from Europe and America on tarps along the road?
There were some things I couldn’t photograph.  I felt it was rude to photograph the Kibura slums with its crowded streets; tin shacks packed together in abject squalor. Somehow it was a violation of the dignity the residents might have.
But I did photograph the animals in the Mara Masaai, despite the awkward nature of the ipad. Really, though, the photos can’t capture what it felt like to see that sturdy zebra grazing placidly whilst two birds busily pecked bugs off his back.  Seeing the grace and delicacy of the gazelle, the fine lines of its body, the smooth beauty of its movement couldn’t be captured by any photograph.  So, though I can only share mediocre photos of these creatures, I hold them in my minds eye.

Finally, though, it is about the young people.As always when we first arrived at the schools the youth attended, the young people gathered  in a large semicircle to greet us, and each of us spoke a few words to them.  At both St. Charles Lwanga and Rodi, the students we met who were to participate in this grand virtual adventure, came  from challenging circumstances at best, but were unfailingly bright, engaged and fun to watch and be with.  They all speak very softly, and with a curious accent, so one must be very attentive to catch everything they are saying.  They were interested in what we were doing, and ready to talk about the SDG’s and their meaning in their lives. And they were typical silly teens.Taking a break from work, the youth from St Charles were playing vigorous football on a field we had discovered in front of the hotel. But after a goal, or while taking a break they would  cluster together and dance; or hustle around me for a photo op!
My only chance to engage directly with the young people  taking thg SDG seminars was when I led stretching mid morning before tea.  It seemed that it was something totally alien to them, but they were all good sports and tried. There were some, of course, who got befuddled by cross body exercises, but they were good humored about it.
One thing of gentle intimacy and  youthful curiosity stays with me.  I was sitting with my back to the door as the students were arriving. Suddenly, a hand softly stroked by hair several times, and  then a smiling face bent in front of me.  I smiled back. Certainly, my hair was so very different than hers; she must have wondered what straight gray hair felt like! I was pleased that she felt sufficiently comfortable to stroke my hair.  The next morning she did  it again; it was a way to communicate with each other, and we shared smiles.
At Rodi, the school out in the countryside of Homa Bay county, we visited  the extensive gardens that Thomas, a young man who lives and works at the school as its resident gardener, has cultivated.  Hard work is evident everywhere.  Proudly he showed us the  corn and beans that he had grown. Enough food had be raised to meet half of the school’s food needs. He is the main reason why the Fairfax Farm to School is connecting with the Rodi: to support Thomas, share ideas, share experiences, and encourage each other in the sustainable production of food. The youth who will be participating in the virtual link with Fairfax spent time at the Homa Bay Tourist Hotel learning about the SDG’s and preparing for the internet connection. 
At the  Rodi school, deep in the countryside, we met with the woman’s group; some came late because they were getting ready for the market where they would sell, but they did manage to come despite the challenges they must have faced to do so. .  The group is very important to them; it has, over time, become a support and a community for them.  We had a great conversation about the role of their male partners in their lives.
 We went to visit a third school, new to Mary Lynn, which had a connection of some sort with someone she knew.  I  can’t tell you where the third school we visited was  as the town named isn’t on the map.(Nyagoko)  But it was a pleasant, well kept campus, and the teachers and principal greeted us warmly. The school, though a public school, gets some support from the Anglican church.On arrival,two little boys came running up to me, full of smiles and spirit.  As with the two other schools, the students in their uniforms stood in a circle and sang for us, and then a young woman performed a poem for us.  She was quite gifted and her presentation, though a bit overly dramatic, was powerful engaging, and when it came my turn to speak, I complimented her on her skill. We had planned on leaving after this, but the school staff had prepared a splendid luncheon for us of chicken and vegetables and ugali and fruit.  Their hospitality is always graciously given, and  a delight.
Let me  now tell you  about weaver birds. We were staying at the Homa Bay Tourist Hotel. Set away from the main road this hotel has spacious grounds, many meeting rooms, and a country ambiance.  Late afternoon it was pleasant to sit outside and look and listen.  By happenstance  one lat afternoon, I sat at a table under a tree laden with weaver bird nests.  I only knew they were weaver birds because Charlie Wolcott years ago had told me about them.  Anyway. 
They clamor; they are raucous; they all chirp and twitter at once, raising a rather pleasant din. And then, for about 30 seconds, they stop. It is silent. They the chirping starts all over again.  I could never determine what it was that made the stop-and then start again, in unison. I found it rather amusing.  No one else seemed especially interested.  As I looked up at the bottom of the nests, I noticed--- I could see sky! There was a hole in the nest! How could the baby weavers not fall out? From my seat it was hard to see how the nest was made and why this hole was there, though I assumed it was some sort of way for the parent birds to keep the nest clean,but still, what happened to the babies? Quite by chance I noticed a grass-like  mound on the parched lawn, and got up to look, and lo and behold a weaver bird  nest.  What an amazing work it is. Yes, it is actually woven. Upside down when I found it I turned it over and discovered that it was a two room nest.  One circular section was solid, with a nice soft woven bottom, and the other was open at the bottom, so I suppose, the parent bird could keep the nest clean.  It was indeed clean.  I marveled at the woven grasses that made the nest.  It was  a wondrous thing to that I held in my hands. I stopped being annoyed at the clamor of these birds, and continued to look up in wonder at the hanging nests, so beautifully made.
There were other birds, not as pretty.   In a field beyond the hotel’s fence stood a gathering of the most grotesque birds I have ever seen.  I think, from what I remember, comparing my memory with photos on the internet, they were Ruppell’s vultures. Large and grotesque.they were fearsome birds that looked as though they were put together from disparate and leftover parts.  I watched one high on a tree, trying to kept its balance, its broad wings fluttering as it stepped back and forth on the branch, managing to stay in place. Ugly as it was, there was a grace to its efforts to stay balanced.
And another bird.  It had the hop hop hop peck movements of a robin, had a body shape like a robin, but obviously it wasn’t a robin.  Its back was an electric blue, and its breast a vibrant red-orange.  A white collar circled its neck and there seemed to be a ring of white around its eyes.  They were numerous and unintimidated by the people walking about. It is called a supurb starling.
From my examination of the maps we drove to the Masaai Mara Reserve through the southwest of Kenya, through Narok towards the reserve. Some of the roads were newly paved, and some were dusty and filled with axle breaking potholes.  We passed fields of wheat and barley being harvested with giant John Deere combines.  At one point we were on the escarpment and looked over the vast and seemingly endless expanse of the Rift Valley as it stretched toward the horizon.  The land  was the gold of dried grass, but dotted darkly  with trees, and here and there  streaks of green indicated a stream bed or a swampy area.  The land cried out for rain.  We saw cattle and sheep and goats  with their Masaai herders foraging  for bits of greenery. The land waited for the small rains of October. The occasional hawk or vulture drifted overhead.
The Mara was parched; but there were many foraging animals. Wildebeest, zebras, gazelles, topi, warthogs all made an appearance.  We got glimpses of lions, and spotted elephants from a distance. The stop at the Masaai village with it attendant curio shop was a bit of an embarrassment.  A group of young men came out to dance for us, and then we were herded through the curio stalls, each of us with a Masaai who wanted to jolly us into buying more than we wanted.  I felt embarrassed for both of us.
Our last adventure was a visit to the Elephant Orphanage. Dust orange elephants were paraded out and announced as to age and name, and the attendents bottle fed them.  They were bright, amusing creatures; one young elephant seemed to know he had an audience and stood still on a small hill and flapped his ears, turned and looked at the audience and waggled his trunk.  And then we had one more meeting and we left.
I engage with people by sharing tasks and stories with them. I had little to do; did not feel that I could intrude myself into any of the activities that did involve the youth. The absence of real contact  with the children, with the people, has left me with a sense of detachment from the trip.  Engaging, interesting, strange, special. It was all those things, I lack emotional attachment to the place or the people, except on a very superficial level.  The things I remember: the girl stroking my head; the little boy running up to me; the animals on the mara; the graciousness of all the hotel workers; the young elephant performing for the visitors; the grace of the gazelle; the sturdiness of the zebra; the horrid ugliness of Kibera slum; buildings half built, skeletonlike with empty windows and walls that went nowhere. The little boy and girl, no more than eight ahd ten herding sheep along the road; these things shift and drift in my mind. None are Kenya; all are Kenya.

Library Announcements / Agenda; Joint Board Meeting 10/11/18
« on: October 09, 2018, 06:54:03 AM »
Fairfax Community Library
BFA Fairfax School Board
Joint Board Meeting
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Fairfax Room, Community Library
6:30 PM


Call to Order 

Public Input

Review Agenda


Approval of minutes of April 12, 2018 Joint Board meeting

Highlights of Quarterly Reports - Librarians

Unfinished Business
•   Recently updated policies
•   Status of Facilities Committe
•   School and Community Library Safety Update
•   Other

New Business
•   Interim
•   Process and timeline for hiring permanent Community Library Director and subsequent strategic planning
•   Next Meeting Date
•   Other


Library Announcements / Unapproved Minutes: 9/13/2018 FCL Trustees' meeting.
« on: September 29, 2018, 10:55:08 AM »
Library Board of Trustees Meeting
September 13, 2018
Call To Order
Meeting called to order by Pat Gallant at 6:30 pm.
Present: Pat Gallant, Eric Foreman, Ellen Holmes-Henry, Emily DiGiulio, and Chris Fearon.

Approval of Minutes of Sept. 4, 2018 meeting
The minutes of the September 4th meeting were approved unanimously.

Library Updates from Interim Library Director
Pat explained to Emily the membership of the the Joint Board. The five voting members of the Joint Library Board include the chair of the library trustees, the secretary of the library trustees, two representatives from the School Board, and a representative from the Select Board. A school principal, the school librarian and the town librarian attend, and other library trustees can attend if they wish, but do not vote. In advance of the meeting, Emily should communicate with the school librarian, and also notify Pat of agenda items for the joint board meeting, which is scheduled for October 11.

Eric and Emily met regarding the budget and library accounts and had a fruitful discussion with Town Clerk/Treasurer Deb Woodward.

Emily has been working on the budget and the process for paying bills. The process will be streamlined so that after receiving the invoice from the library director, Deb Woodward will mail the payment after cutting the check.
A related issue discussed was tracking library expenditures, which has been done by both the town treasurer and the library director. Eric suggested that Deb Woodward share her report with the library director monthly or as requested. Everyone agreed that this was a good plan. It was agreed it would still be a good idea for the library director to have a method for basic accounting of expenditures through saving invoices, journaling, or whatever method the director chooses. The programming budget was also mentioned, and will be addressed as part of the reconfiguration of library jobs.

Emily, Elizabeth and Nicole (all community library staff) attended ALICE training with school staff. Emilly brought a sheet listing procedures for the school and library she received at that training. Pat brought up the safety procedures guide she and Debbie Landauer worked on for procedures after school hours, and not covered by school policies. It was suggested that this  guide should be merged with ALICE information.  Pat will look at how that might be done. Ellen also reported that she had met with the SRO (School Resource Officer) and that he had an impressive background for the job.

Emily left the meeting to return to her duties in the library.

New Business
Future Staffing Structures
Pat shared her discussion with Town Manager Brad Docheff about potential staffing structures and whether the library director should be a salaried or hourly position. The upshot was that Brad felt that if there isn’t a compelling reason to make a change, then don’t. He also said the board should think carefully about staffing needs. One idea suggested was to have two full-time positions in the library, but we should map out what that would look like and whether all of our needs would be met, It was agreed that consideration of other library positions should wait until a permanent library director is hired so that we could

Create job description and classified ad. 
Discuss hiring process
We developed a timeline and process for hiring the new library director as follows:
•   Submit ad by Wednesday, Sept. 19
•   Ad to appear in print and online ads for Seven Days on Sept. 25
•   Ad will run for two weeks
•   Ellen will submit the ad to Seven Days; Chris will submit to the Vermont  Libraries Organization
•   Application deadline will be October 18.

Ellen and Chris worked extensively on drafting a job description and sent it out to board members prior to the meeting. There was also some discussion and feedback of the job ad. Chris will create a final version of the job ad and job description further before sending it to the rest of the board member for review to meet the posting deadline of Sept. 19th

Eric will set up an account for receiving the applications.

Set Next Trustee Meeting Date
The next Trustee meeting will be Thursday, October 18.  We will begin work on the budget and also review applications for Library Director.

Agenda for Joint Board Meeting
Pat will contact all Joint Board members to solicit agenda items for the Joint Board meeting, scheduled for 6:30 on October 11.

Progress on Library Safety Procedures Document
Pat accepted the ALICE document from Emily and will review it.  (See Library updates above.)

Meeting adjourned at 8:15 pm

Respectfully submitted,
Chris Fearon, Board Trustee

Library Announcements / Agenda:FCL Trustees' Meeting September 13 2018
« on: September 11, 2018, 09:00:52 AM »


Fairfax Community Library Board of Trustees Meeting
Sept. 13, 2018
6:30 PM –  The Fairfax Room

•   Call to Order

•   Approval of minutes of Sept. 4, 2018 meeting

•   Updates
o   Library Updates from Interim Library Director Emily DiGiulio
o   Other

•   New Business
o   Future staffing structures
o   Create job description and classified advertisement for Permanent Library Director
o   Discuss hiring process
o   Set next meeting date and potential agenda items
o   Agenda for October 11 Joint Board Meeting
o   Progress on Library Safety Procedures Document
o   Other

•   Adjourn

Library Announcements / Unapproved Minutes: 9/4/2018 FCL Trustees' meeting.
« on: September 11, 2018, 08:05:23 AM »
Fairfax Community Library
Trustees’ Meeting
September 4 2018
The Fairfax Community Library Trustees’ meeting was called to order at 6:30. Present were Pat
Gallant, Liz Griffin, Chris Fearon and Ellen Holmes-Henry.
There was neither correspondence nor public input.
The minutes of the August 14 meeting were read and reviewed. It was recommended that the
following be placed in the minutes:
"The Trustees reviewed the resume of a candidate for director. The candidate had been
interviewed by Pat Gallant and Ellen Holme-Henry.. They authorized Pat as Trustee chair to
offer the candidate the interim position and to create a contract for three months, until
November 21. Pat will consult the Town Manager on the terms of the contract."
The Trustees then authorized Pat Gallant to offer the interim program planner position to
Nicole Vance.”
This has been added to the document.
Eric sent a treasurer’s report. In the savings account, $1836.38; in te checking, $161.75. There
is a measure of uncertainty about the source of funds to cover the cost of the library directors
farewell reception. Eric will meet with Emily to review finances and clarify this concern.
Trustees discussed how to effectively keep track of the interim’s work hours and days off.
Emily Digiulio is a highly qualified librarian. She has signed a contract for interim library
director that ends at the Thanksgiving break.
Nicole Vance has agreed to 10 hours weekly employ as program planner, and started the week
before school. She too signed a contract that ends at Thanksgiving break.
A question was raised as to when the next meeting of the facilities committee will be held,and
where/ the trustees might access the meetings’ minutes.
The farewell party for Debbie Landauer on August 27th went very well. She and our interim
librarian had three full days of training and transition work. We wish Debbie well in her new
position.at the Waterbury Library and thank her for eight years of service here.
All Community Library staff attended ALICE training with school staff on August 23.
New Business
There will be a public meeting about ALICE, the security and safety guidelines for the school.
Ellen will attend. Pat and Emily will discuss ALICE and revise the section of the crisis document
that pertains to the library.
Chris has spent considerable time investigating the possibility of a community survey that
would gather data about the library to be used in creating a 5 year strategic plan, since the
current one ends in December. She has met with Lara Keenan the VT state librarian and
examined documents used by other libraries.
Considering the changes in the library and the upcoming budget planning and the existence of a
community survey conducted by the town, the trustees decided to examine and revise the
current strategic plan and update it for 2019. Further discussion at a later date will take place
and the trustees will decide the way forward for such a document. Chris will look at the strategic
plans of other libraries for ideas.
The trustees will be developing job descriptions to fill permanent positions for both the library
director and the program planner, and in conjunction with this will review how the library is
currently staffed and how might changes be made that would benefit the functioning of the
The library safety plan will also be discussed.
The consensus is that there should be program evaluations provided for participants in the
various library programs, and the evaluations need to be more nuanced and seek qualitative
responses to the program. It is important to know what people think and feel about the library
programs as we decide which ones to continue and ways to improve.
Ideas about how to reconfigure the staff were discussed. A possible model would be to have a
full time library director who worked consistent daily hours. The director would do some program
planning and there would be a library assistant who might also be full time and would also
handle program planning. There might be need for a third, part time individual for some times
when more coverage is needed.
Chris and Ellen will draft a classified ad seeking a library director, and the ad will go to the
Vermont Library Association website as well as other local print and digital media. They will
meet on Sept 11 to work on this and bring it to our next meeting.
There will be another trustees meeting on Sept 13 at 6:30.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:10.
Respectfully submitted
Elizabeth Griffin, secretary.

Library Announcements / agenda for Sept 4 FCL Trustees' Meeting
« on: August 31, 2018, 04:57:33 PM »


Fairfax Community Library Board of Trustees Meeting
Sept. 4, 2018
6:30 PM –  The Fairfax Room

•   Call to Order

•   Approval of minutes of August 14, 2018 meeting

•   Treasurer’s Report

•   Correspondence

•   Updates
o   Interim Positions
o   Facilities Committee
o   Other

•   New Business
o   Draft of Crisis Document (Pat)
o   Community Survey Update (Chris)
o    Permanent Position (Library Director) 
o   Future staffing structures
o   Other

•   Executive Session
o   Personnel

•   Adjourn

Library Announcements / FCL Program Planner Returns
« on: August 25, 2018, 10:34:21 AM »
The Trustees of the Fairfax Community Library are pleased to announce that Nicole Vance will be continuing to work as the program planner on an interim basis for the next few months. During this time the Trustees will be conducting a search for a permanent librarian (as previously announced); once hired, we will work with the new librarian to determine a staffing schedule that best addresses the library’s programming and circulation needs.   We are pleased  to have Nicole back with us.

I hope all library patrons and townspeople take the time to stop by and thank Debbie for her time with us!   Oh, there's cake, too.

Library Announcements / FCL Trustees' Meeting August 14 2018
« on: August 20, 2018, 01:56:41 PM »
Fairfax Community Library Trustees meeting
August 14 2018
The Fairfax Community Library Board of Trustees had a special meeting in order to discuss
personnel changes.
In attendance were Pat Gallant, Eric Foreman, Ellen Holmes-Henry, Christina Fearon, and Liz
The meeting was called to order at 6 PM and went into Executive Session at 6:05.
After lengthy and productive conversation the trustees came out of Executive Session at 8:05.
The trustees will hire an interim Library Director, envisioning the interim period as 3 months.
The trustees will create an interim job description for the interim Library Director to be hired to
replace Debbie Landauer.
The Program Planner’s hours will be reduced to 10 hours and there will also be an interim
program planners job description. This position will be considered interim until a permanent
Library Director is hired and the two can discuss the way forward.
For the duration of the interim period the hours for the Asslstent Librarian have been increased.
The next meeting will be September 4 at 6:30 in the library.
Respectfully submitted
Elizabeth Griffin, secretary.


Join us!
It is time to say thank you and farewell to Debbie!

Join us at a farewell reception for our Library Director, Debbie Landauer, who will be leaving us for a position in Waterbury.  

The reception will be held on Monday, Aug 27 from 5:30-7 in the library.   

It is an opportunity for the Fairfax community   to thank Debbie for sharing her talents, her ideas, her enthusiasms in  community as our Public Library Director.

Looking forward to seeing you there!
Fairfax Community Library Trustees.

Library Announcements / Library Director accepts new position.
« on: August 10, 2018, 11:10:03 AM »

                     August 8, 2018

Dear Fairfax Community,

As you may have recently learned, our Community Library Director Debbie Landauer has resigned as of August 27th to accept a new position. Under her leadership, our library has become a hub of community activity and resources, with excellent programs and materials for myriad ages and interests. 

The Trustees learned of Debbie's decision several days prior to her public announcement.  We have, therefore, been working to find a qualified interim director to fill the position while we conduct a more extensive search for a permanent director.  We are feeling optimistic.  It is likely that there will be no gap in service;  we want to make sure the library will remain open as before.  Because we will fill the interim library director position prior to filling a currently open position of program director, however, you will notice a temporary decline in program offerings. 

Please do not hesitate to contact us.

Pat Gallant, Chair,  Trustees
Fairfax Community Library
pgallant 50@gmail.com

Library Announcements / Special FCL Trustees' Meeting, August 14 2018
« on: August 09, 2018, 12:42:50 PM »

Fairfax Community Library Board of Trustees Special Meeting
August 14, 2018
6:00 PM – BFA Elementary Art Room
Room 161 (on second floor)

•   Call to Order

•   Executive Session to discuss personnel changes and issues

•   Other

•   Adjourn

Unapproved Minutes
Fairfax Community Library Trustees’ Meeting
June 21, 2018

The meeting was called to order by chair Pat Gallant.  Also present were: Debbie Landauer (Director) and trustees Christina Fearon, Eric Foreman, Liz Griffin, and Ellen Holmes-Henry.

The minutes of the May 10 meeting were reviewed.  Chris made a motion to accept the minutes and the board voted approval.

Eric reported that the savings account held $1836.07, and the checking $357.83.  A motion by Liz was made to accept the report and the motion passed.

There was neither correspondence nor public input. 

At 6:35 the board voted to go into Executive Session to discuss various staffing issues.
The board came out of Executive Session at 6:50.

Eric was unable to attend the last facilities committee meeting, but will seek out the minutes of the last meeting. He anticipates attending the next meeting. 

Debbie reported that the summer reading program, whose theme is “Libraries Rock,” currently has over 100 youth signed up to participate. 
She also indicated that she was delighted to be able to bring some books to a patron who was unable to come to the library. 
Debbie attended a Vermont Library Association Board retreat.
Currently Debbie is working on wrapping up the budget for the fiscal year which ends on June 30.
The program planner will, at the start of the summer, work an additional 2 hours, bringing  the total weekly hours  to fourteen.   
A Laptime Storytime, to be held one Saturday per month  will begin in July.  This is a story time targeted at babies still in arms! 

Nicole, the program planner, has developed an extensive summer program around the Reading Program theme, Libraries Rock. The kickoff event will be two children’s plays put on by the Backpack Theatre. The finale will be held August 8 and will feature the Modern Times Theatre.
In keeping with the theme, the library will be giving out kazoos at the 4th of July parade.

New Business
Pat and Ellen met with principal John Tague with concerns about the need to buzz the public into the library and how that system would be managed and he e-mailed Pat recently.  He said that they have talked about adding the buzzer to the new office area and it should be fine. He won't have any concrete answer or plan until they get bids back on the construction.

Debbie handed out an emergency procedures document for all the trustees to view. 
Pat and Debbie will meet to review Highgate Library’s emergency preparedness statement to determine if it could be adapted to meet our needs.

On another note, Debbie handed out digital contact information for Brad Docheff, the Town Manager, should any trustees’ care to contact him.

Chris Fearon and Eric Foreman will be working to create a Trustee Community Library Survey.  Chris will meet with Lara Keenan seeking information and ideas about the process of constructing and distributing the completed survey document.  One thing it will solicit from the community are ideas about what  Fairfax citizens think the library could be doing in and for the community at large. Further, the survey would help the trustees discern what folks might want to see in the library.  And, it is hoped  that individuals who are not library patrons my help the trustees learn how they might include them in the life of the library.

Data gathered from the survey will also be used in the development of the next five year strategic plan.

A brief discussion was held about the efficacy of a trustee and/or the director attending selectboard meetings on a quarterly basis.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:05.
The next trustees’ meeting will be held August 23rd

Respectfully submitted

Elizabeth Griffin, secretary.

Announcements / Food Shelf July Dates!!!
« on: June 26, 2018, 07:10:35 AM »
Just for July, the Fairfax Food shelf will be open on TUESDAY July 3 9-12 and TUESDAY July 10 from 9-12!
We will be open on the 4th Saturday, July,28th. 8:30-10:30, our usual day and hours.

Library Announcements / FCL Trustees' Meeting 6/21/18
« on: June 21, 2018, 06:35:14 AM »


Fairfax Community Library Board of Trustees Meeting
June 21, 2018
6:30 PM – Fairfax Room

•   Call to Order

•   Approval of minutes of May 10, 2018 meeting

•   Treasurer’s Report

•   Correspondence

•   Updates
o   Staffing
o   Facilities Committee 
o   Highlights since last meeting
o   Other

•   New Business
o   School and Library Safety
•   Plan for library emergency procedures during non-school hours
•   Buzzer update
•   Other
o   Trustees Community Survey
o   Summer Library Plans/Events
o   Confirm August meeting date
o   Other

•   Adjourn

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