Board of Trustees Annual Meeting

On Wednesday March 9th, the Board of Trustees held its Annual Meeting.

One highlight was the presentation of the “President’s Report for 2010” by Hudson Area Library President Theresa Parsons. The report looked back at the achievements of 2010 and to the future plans and goals for this year. The complete text is continued below.

Library Director Corey Fleming also presented excerpts from the “Annual Report for Public and Association Libraries”.

He noted that during 2010 the library began to offer downloads of electronic books and and audio books for the first time. The number of library sponsored program sessions increased by 14% to 374 compared to 2009. Attendance at these programs grew by 11% to 4,505. The Summer Reading program grew very well to 210 attendees, a 33% increase compared to 2009. The Library continued to host programs for English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) with sessions growing by 13% to 480 compared to 2009 with total attendance grwoing by 4% to 4,472. Internet use at the library’s computers boomed to 11,191, a 33% increase over 2009. Overall visits to the library grew by 7% to 65,324 again compared to 2009.

Here is the text of the President’s  Report:

Hudson Area Association Library
President’s Report

The Year 2010

2010 was a time of adjustment and taking stock; a realignment of our focus from survival to service. Following years of deficit spending as a result of insufficient funding, we began the year cautiously optimistic, buoyed by expectation of additional financial support from the City of Hudson. That increased contribution, together with the generous support of individual donors, foundations and grantors, allowed us to meet our operating costs as well as keep our promise to expand library hours and programming. By balancing priorities, maintaining a tight control over costs where we had that option, and by being on the receiving end of countless volunteer hours, we ended the year on budget, still optimistic, and stronger than we’ve been in recent memory.

Some of the Year’s Highlights

  • Library hours were extended to include an additional evening and a later closing time on Saturday.
  • There was an increased use of meeting space and a broader range of program offerings for children, teens and seniors.
  • With funds from HUD obtained through Rep. Scott Murphy, we repaid the remaining balance due on our loan from CEDC.
  • From those same HUD funds, we were able to replace the ancient boiler that was declared unfit more than ten years ago.
  • Mark Orton, Hudson resident, gallery owner and Business Coach was welcomed to the Board.
  • A new and attractive website was designed by volunteers and staff.
  • Successful fund raisers (Food for Thought Mexican Radio Benefit, Ghostly Gallop, Hudson Wine Tasting Party and Spotty Dog Scrabble Tournament) raised money and enjoyed enthusiastic community support.
  • The History Room reorganization and presentation by historian and author Roderick Blackburn drew in many first time visitors to the library.

Goals for 2010 from Last Year’s Report – How Did We Do?

Continue to shore up and grow the library’s operating revenues from all sources as well as to begin the reseeding of the endowment fund.
Despite the downturn in the economy, there was a significant increase over prior years in unrestricted funds from individuals and foundations. To jumpstart the reseeding, 100% of the Board membership contributed to the Endowment fund.

Do whatever possible within our financial means to make the library a more attractive, comfortable and user-friendly space.
The computer room was redesigned and refurbished to hold additional donated computers and to more comfortably accommodate users of the space. Artwork donated by the owner of a Hudson gallery is now exhibited in this newly reconfigured area. The lions at the building’s entrance received a long overdue restoration, thanks to a generous donor.

Complete the review of all policies and procedures to insure compliance with fiscal and
regulatory guidelines.
Review is ongoing. Library By Laws were amended to limit consecutive terms of trustees to two three-year terms .

Take full advantage of the strengths of current trustees and cast a wider net for advisers to examine together the best use of our current space or alternatives to it.
While never off the table, this goal became hostage to other priorities.

GOALS for 2011

  • Provide quality programs and services in keeping with our mission and within budget.
  • Maintain a safe and welcoming environment for staff, volunteers and visitors.
  • Increase the number of board members to 15 and broaden community representation.
  • Improve and simplify financial reporting and overall record keeping
  • Schedule a Strategic Planning Retreat early in the year.
  • Begin in earnest the process of exploring within the City of Hudson, financially viable alternatives to remaining at 400 State Street.
  • If warranted by events, be in conversation with interested individuals or organizations regarding alternative uses for 400 State.

All in all, a very good year. A challenging one ahead. To the trustees and volunteers, to the staff and Friends of the Library, all of you who gave so generously of your time and talent, I salute you. I am proud to be a part of such a distinguished and giving group.

Respectfully submitted,

Theresa Parsons
March 9, 2011

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