Board of Trustees

Thom Forbes, Lauren Casper, Joanna Riesman, Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman, Tim Donahue 

Hastings-on-Hudson Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes

November 29, 2018


Lauren Casper (President), Joan Vaillancourt (Director), Joanna Riesman (Treasurer), Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman (Secretary), Thom Forbes, Timothy Donahue, Michéle Ankuda (President of Friends), and Toni Thomas (Friends)


The minutes of our October 2, 2018 meeting were approved.


Budget status report was reviewed. We are pretty much on target with 50% of our budget remaining. Supply spending seems to be up, so Joan will be monitoring use and report back.

Building and Equipment

We would like to be able to install the Mitsubishi ductless system for the Picture Book Room and Director’s Office for which we have been awarded a grant for $7,500, but before we go ahead, Lauren will contact Dan Lemons to get a sense of the status of the Village energy audit and how this would fit in. The system would be wholly independent of the main system, and would be paid for by a combination of the grant and matching Memorial Fund monies.

The step outside of the Library has been broken for over 6 weeks, and the wall in front of the Library is also in bad shape. Joan has reminded DPW of this weekly, but the repairs remain untended. Ed Lisanti, a part time handyman who works for the Village, met with Joan 4 weeks ago regarding needed repairs to broken ceiling tiles, a dangling outlet, a moldy smell in the biography section, amongst others, but he has not returned to do the work. Joan will continue to try to get follow-up.

The Daisy Troop that has been using the Orr Room on a 4 week provisional basis has been given the OK to continue to use the room weekly for the remainder of the school year. A second request by a group of home schooled children has been granted, and they are scheduled to use the room on Wednesdays from 11am-1pm.

Mike and Joan have begun to create themed displays down the middle aisle that change bi-monthly. The first display was Destination: Paris, then Boooks! for Halloween, and currently there is a display of graphic novels.

$180 was taken directly out of the Library’s account for the removal of shrubs from our roof. Joan spoke to Buddy and told him that we need a bill for every item they deduct directly from our lines to keep our accounts in order.

The Friends will be financing the purchase of a larger book drop bin for Maple Avenue. This will cut down on the number of pick-ups necessary (including when the Library is closed) as well as insure that books will not be damaged from overstuffing. The design of the bin and new location will make it possible for patrons to drop off books without getting out of their cars.

Adult Programs

Harvey Lerner had his last Talking Pictures on November 4th. The film was Leave No Trace. Charles Goldman contacted Joan, interested in showing a series of classic films followed by guided discussions.

Joanna Riesman asked Joan to find out if our projector is able to re-orient the size of the image it projects. Currently images fill the screen almost to the floor in the Orr Room, making it impossible for people in the audience past the first few rows to see the entire picture. The hope is to raise the picture higher on the screen.

Our community showing of I Think We’re Alone Now with a discussion to follow with director Reed Moreno is most likely to be held in February.

Ed Young asked if he could use the Orr Room on Wednesday evenings from 6:30pm-8:30pm for his Tai Chi classes. The board would like to grant his request, especially since Ed has been a huge supporter of the Library and the room is available at that time, but only if his class is free and open to the public as per our mission.

Children’s Programs

The Battle of the Books was a big success and Debbie Quinn has continued an off season book club with the children who participated.

Our beloved Holiday Candy Houses event will be held on Friday, December 7th. There will be three sessions – 3:30pm, 5pm and 6pm. The supplies have been purchased and the tables from the school are being delivered on December 5th.

Friends Report

The response to the Fall membership letter has been strong with many additional gifts coming in.

Book shop sales continue to be robust.

Donations from Foodtown as a percentage of shoppers’ bills is very gratefully welcome “free money”.

The Holiday Giftique will be held on Saturday and Sunday, December 15th and 16th in conjunction with the outdoor Farmers’ Market. Set up will be held on Friday evening the 14th.

The raffle, Hastings from A(ioli) to Z(infandel) – A Raffle in Good Taste, is selling steadily.

Toni Thomas reported on plans for this year’s lecture series, Dewey à La Carte. Various potential topics such as local food production, community supported agriculture, alternate food sources, and people in the restaurant business were discussed and names of possible local speakers were shared.

Additional Programming

New board member Timothy Donahue shared his own exciting ideas for speakers for the Library. He will meet with Joan to discuss dates and speakers.

Hastings-on-Hudson Public Library Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes 

October 2, 2018


Lauren Casper (President), Joan Vaillancourt (Director), Joanna Riesman (Treasurer), Jacqueline Preiss Weitzman (Secretary), Thom Forbes, Timothy Donahue, Suzanne Feldman (Friends)


The minutes of our June 12, 2018 meeting were approved.


Budget status report was reviewed. We are at the beginning of our fiscal year and we are doing well. Many books have been purchased, while 75% of our budget is still remaining.

Building and Equipment

We have been awarded a grant fro $7,500 for the Mitsubishi ductless system for the Picture Book Room and Director’s Office. It will be an independent system, not connected to the main HVAC. The Friends have put a lot of money and care into rehabilitating the Picture Book Room, a well used and well loved space, so this is an important step in making the room comfortable for the public.

We have been very successful with our state grants: deck ($60K), HVAC in the Orr Room ($19K), Kitchen ($8,500), LED lighting ($8K), and now the HVAC ($7,500) for the Picture Book Room – a total of $103K.

A Daisy Troop has been given permission to use the Orr Room every week on a 4 week provisional basis. Nicole is on deck to administer this program if this arrangement proves successful and expands to include more groups.

The Friends purchased two shelves for the center aisle; one is for travel and seasonal displays and the other is for paperbacks.

A heavier duty router that can take care of 40-50 people has been put in place in response to trouble we had been having with our Wi-Fi.

In response to our back windows leaking during heavy rain, Buddy suggested we call Corey Glass to caulk where necessary. The Board has requested that we have Buddy do a walk-through to make sure that there are no other causes of the leakage.

In addition, administrators of the Farmers Market have reported that electric outlets on the north side of the building are not working. Joan will have Buddy check.


We reviewed our personnel policy with regards to a question from a member of our staff.

Adult Programs

A handout has been prepared for library patrons listing new apps that are available from WLS. Allison Midgley gave our staff a demonstration of how work these apps work.

Turnout was good for the WEBS program we hosted on “Create a LinkedIn Profile with Impact”.

Adult programming for the Fall includes: Friendly Speed Chess on Mondays at 6:30pm, Mahjong on Thursdays at 10am, and Adult Scrabble on Thursdays at 6pm. A few Senior Art Workshops are also being scheduled.

Harvey Lerner has scheduled his last Talking Pictures for November 4 at 3pm. The film is Leave No Trace.

We discussed a community showing of I Think We’re Alone Now with a discussion to follow with director Reed Moreno. We hope to be able to hold this event in the HHS auditorium and make it free and open to the public. We would invite Harvey Lerner to lead the discussion.

Children’s Programs

Our Summer Reading Club and programs were a big success.

Scheduled Fall programs for children include: Let’s Pretend offered twice on Wednesday mornings for ages 6-36 months, Out of the Book is offered on Wednesdays at 1pm for children 3-5, Picture Book Time is offered on Thursdays at 11am for children 2 and up, and four Pre-School Art Workshops with Helen and Jackie. For our older children we have LEGO Club meeting at 3pm once a month for four months, Makerspace for children 5 and up will be meeting on Columbus Day at 1pm, Art Workshop – Grandma Moses will be meeting on October 18th, Pizza and Art for grades 5-8 on October 25th at 4:30pm, and Afternoon at the Movies on November 1st and 8th at 2pm. Family Game Night is scheduled for November 2nd at 5:30p.

In addition, Hastings will be participating in the Westchester Library System’s Battle of the Books on October 20. Hastings is sending a 4th-6th grade team as well as a 7th-10th grade team.

Friends Report

The Friends are preparing for the Holiday Giftique to be held on Saturday and Sunday, December 15th and 16th in conjunction with the outdoor Farmers’ Market.

The Dewey lecture series theme for this year is food, cooking, and wine. A raffle, Hastings from A(iole) to Z(infandel) – A Raffle in Good Taste, will accompany the series.

June 2, 2019 was considered as a date for the Friends’ Spring fundraiser.

Next Meeting

Our next meeting is scheduled for November 15, 2018 at 8pm.