EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 15, 2013

Director reports high participation in library's summer program

By Paul Tennant

---- — NORTH ANDOVER — Participation in the Steven Memorial Library’s summer program exceeded that of past years, according to Director Mary Rose Quinn.

The Thursday night series of presentations by various authors proved to be very popular, Quinn told the library trustees this past week.

Saloma Furlong, author of “Why I Left the Amish,” filled the community room at the library when she told her story in July.

Quinn said other librarians in the area have asked her how to contact Furlong. Family Movies under the Tent, shown at the Stevens Estate on Monday nights, also attracted many people, she said.

Assistant Director Kathleen Keenan and trustees said the activities were widely publicized.

It is likely the trustees will be asking the town to support structural improvements at the library in the not too distant future.

Trustees Ann Cavanaugh and Eva Hamori met last month with Angela Mancini O’Brien, a consultant who specializes in the design of library additions and renovations.

Cavanaugh and Hamori said they talked about upgrading the upper floor entrance and circulation desk, upper floor stacks, young adult section, reading room, lower floor entrance and lower floor bathrooms. O’Brien, they said, is expected to respond with a fee structure and time line.

School Committee Chairman Stanley Limpert, who attends many town board meetings and often provides members with information about the workings of local government, pointed out that for a project to be included in the capital improvement plan for next fiscal year, it needs to be submitted by October.

Cavanaugh said she and Hamori plan to confer with Town Manager Andrew Maylor before meeting again with O’Brien.

Trustee William Hansen, a retired investment counselor who heads the board’s Investments Committee, said the library’s endowment funds now total $693,605.

Saying that nearly 40 percent of the funds are cash, Trustee Peter Lafond asked if it would be prudent to put more of the money into “conservative stocks” to earn a higher return.

Hansen noted that the endowment funds are public — and said the library must be very careful about how it invests them.

He said he takes a more conservative approach to investing the library’s funds than he does his own portfolio.

“It is very difficult to forecast the market,” he said.

Quinn said that in 2008, when the stock market sustained a serious setback, the Stevens Memorial Library did not lose as much money as other libraries.

“We’ve been fine,” Trustee William Duffy Jr. said.

Lafond said he would be interested in knowing how other libraries handle their endowment funds.

Quinn said she will “look at what other libraries are doing.”

Hansen said 34 percent of the library’s endowment funds are in cash, 33 percent in bonds, 29 percent in domestic stock and 3 percent in foreign stock.