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The bronze statue donated to the library is still covered at this moment in time.

North Adams Library To Prioritize Maintenance Projects

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff
02:41AM / Friday, July 12, 2019
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The Library Trustees are going to create an updated list of maintenance needs.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The library trustees plan to compile a building maintenance list to review with the city administration.
 
New Library Director Sarah Sanfilippo told the trustees Wednesday that she recently met with city officials to go over some of the maintenance issues that have been relayed to her over her short tenure.
 
"I had a laundry list of things people have asked me about and we walked through the building and talked about things," she said.
 
Building maintenance has been a touchy subject between the trustees and the city. In the past, the trustees and library leadership have brought forth minor maintenance issues to the city as well as more serious concerns such as structural questions and the leaking belvedere.
 
Both sides have agreed that funding is the main roadblock in the way, leading to deferred maintenance.  
 
She said they did discuss the broken window in the belvedere and the building inspector reaffirmed that it was still on the city’s radar.
 
She also noted new concerns with the library’s side porch on the Main Street side of the building.
 
Trustee Donald Pecor asked if the city seemed sincere about wanting to address these issues.
 
"Did you get a sense that the administration will at some point act on some of these issues?" he asked. "I know money is an issue it always is." 
 
Sanfilippo said she did not know and said no specific plan was outlined but did note that the LED light change over should happen soon.
 
She did say it would be helpful to have a prioritization list.
 
"I am getting things from people verbally but I think we should have a list that we can prioritize," she said.  
 
The trustees thought this was a good idea and new trustee Tara Jacobs asked that they undergo a complete building tour to inform their list.
 
"I want to see things like boilers and the things in a building the public often does not see," she said. "It is always enlightening and sometimes horrifying."
 
Pecor added that once they have this list ready it may be worthwhile to invite the city administration to a meeting to go over it and get an update on possible historical grants that the city looked at in the past. 
 
Sanfilippo went on with her report and said she is still settling into the position and plans to continue to review and update library policy and procedure. She added that she has also met with the staff.
 
"I have met with all of the staff just to get to know people...and to find out how they think things are going," she said. "I wanted to know what they liked about their job and what they didn't like and what they feel we should be working towards."
 
She said in general many of the employees felt like they were being stretched too thin.
 
In the Friends of the Public Library report, Bonnie Rennell said the parlor redesign is moving ahead and addressed concerns that some of the improvements would compromise the historical integrity of the room.
 
"The decorator pointed out that the only thing period specific in the room is bones of it," she said. "The furniture, the rug, and everything else is not so the goal is to make a beautiful, calming, striking, and comfortable room."
 
She said the current wallpaper is actually from 1983 and the new wallpaper will be medium blue. 
 
In other business, Sanfilippo said the statue donated to the library has been installed on the Main Street side of the library lawn.
 
"They had to put some finishing up a few things up," she said. "I was able to take a peek at it and it looks nice."
 
The bronze statue of two children reading on a bench was donated to the city in memory of Judith Ann "Jody" LaFortune Gottwald.
 
She added that a new snack room has been established in the audio-video room.
 
"Thanks to the friends we bought an indoor-outdoor rug," she said. "There is a nice little seating area and we called it the snack zone. It is being used."
 
The old director's office used to act as the library cafe but when Sanfilippo came on the job she took the office back.
 
The trustees reorganized and elected Robin Martin as the new chairwoman and Tara Jacobs as the new vice chairwoman.
 
With no one jumping at the secretary position, the trustees agreed to hold off until the full board was present and their seventh and final member was appointed.
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