During the Lewisboro Library Board of Trustees meeting held on Feb. 10, trustees discussed the library’s finances and goals for 2021.
Lewisboro Library Director Cynthia Rubino confirmed that the Lewisboro Library has applied for a second Paycheck Protection Program loan. Ms. Rubino said the library qualified for a second PPP loan because it suffered a reduction in gross profit during the third quarter of 2020. The library experienced a 47% drop in gross profit during the quarter due to the cancellation of the annual Lewisboro Library Fair.
Ms. Rubino said that once the application is approved, the library will receive a loan amount of $88,415, which is $215 more than the loan it received in 2020. She added that she was confident the second PPP loan will be forgiven just as the first one was.
“It will be very useful again this year,” Ms. Rubino said.
Ms. Rubino also gave updates on the library’s reopening phases. Since Thanksgiving, the Lewisboro Library has only been open for curbside grab-and-go service. Ms. Rubino said she will not open the library for in-person browsing appointments until Westchester County’s seven-day positivity rate falls below 3%. She said at the time of the meeting that rate was 6.62%.
Ms. Rubino said that even though the number of COVID-19 cases in Lewisboro has decreased over the last three weeks, the town’s positivity rate cannot be determined because the Westchester County Department of Health does not report how many residents are tested in individual towns, so Ms. Rubino said she is unable to base the library’s reopening plans on local data.
Library trustee Jennifer Cayea asked whether the library’s quarantine protocols for materials were still necessary. Ms. Cayea said her understanding was that no one has caught the coronavirus from materials, yet the quarantines are difficult for children, she said, because they create long wait times.
Ms. Rubino said the library’s 72-hour quarantine period was based on a scientific study that showed the virus remained on library materials for three days. She added that the library staff must handle hundreds of circulation items, so quarantining them for a period of time is the safest option.
Board of Trustees President Nancy Euchner gave her report during the meeting, reminding the trustees that the March meeting will be her final one. She said efforts to find her replacement on the board are underway.
In her report, Ms. Euchner said the board achieved many of its goals in 2020. Those goals included building and maintaining a closer relationship with the town government and connecting with the Katonah-Lewisboro School District to foster library and district programming. She said the board was particularly successful at cultivating donors despite the pandemic. Ms. Euchner added that sharing the town’s community announcements and Richard Sklarin’s joining the Lewisboro Town Board helped strengthen the library’s relationship with town government.
Ms. Euchner said that her top goal for 2021 was to resolve the library’s pension issues. She said the library’s current pension provider, MetLife, is not accepting new members from New York state, which leaves the library’s new full-time hire, Marie Nania, without a pension plan. Ms. Euchner said the library is calculating what Ms. Nania is owed for out-of-pocket pension expenses and she will be reimbursed. She added that two other employees are also affected. She said she is working with Ms. Rubino and Kevin Fitzmartin, the library’s treasurer, to resolve the issue.
Ms. Euchner asked the board to continue to brainstorm 2021 goals before the March meeting.
She also briefly mentioned the library’s plans to hold a library fair this year. She said that she hopes the library can go forward with the fair, but a decision must be made soon. Ms. Rubino said that the board should set a date for the library fair at the March meeting, even though a final decision has not yet been made, to reserve use of the fields at Onatru Farm Park.
Ms. Euchner agreed and said the board will revisit the issue of the library fair, including setting a tentative date for it on the town calendar, at the next meeting scheduled for Wednesday, March 10.