SouthEast PortlandTool Library
Like the public library... but for tools

Board Meeting May 14, 2105

And now a refreshing change from our usual format.

Sharpening Event
When Glenn left at noon, more than 30+ had brought tools & knives for sharpening. Megan (of 1SharpTool and SEPTL volunteer) said we were on track with recent years. We’re not yet sure how the rest of the day finished up from noon until 4pm. Unfortunately New Seasons on Hawthorne held their sharpening event the previous Wednesday, so that probably cut into our participation.

Ordering Volunteer T-shirts
– We’re down to the last ~5 t-shirts, all XL. We need to order ~50, depending on pricing strata.
– Aaron will circulate for consideration a revised logo that he created a while back. But undertaking a full re-branding and logo development process does not seem worthwhile at this time.
– It might be worth creating a CafePress store to sell swag. It would require no out-of-pocket investment — other than time. Let’s ask volunteers if they would buy t-shirts, etc. in the survey (see ‘Fixing the Volunteerism Crisis’ below).
– The question was raised whether we would consider sponsorship by local business(es) and put their logo on the shirts, or if that would cheapen their value to people.

Board Meeting Venue
– Backstage Bar is too loud; we need to let them know that we’re giving up our monthly reservation.
– Given the evening meeting time, we need a venue that serves food.
– Next month’s meeting will be at the Barleymill again (1629 SE Hawthorne Blvd). We can reserve a table, and our server was very welcoming and willing to turn down the music.
– Each meeting attendee’s homework is to keep their eyes open and suggest an alternative venue at next month’s meeting.

Seeking a New Space for SEPTL
– By Wed, May 20 Glenn will look up all churches within SEUL and assign a portion of the list to each of the 7 meeting attendee plus Bob and Michael. We’ll contact each of them to ask if they have space available for rent. A list of talking points will be provided.
– Our criteria, in an ideal world :
1,000 sq ft (we currently have ~460 sq ft)
Secure from break-in or access by others; not a shared space
Year-round HVAC
A window (We can dream, can’t we ?!)

Fixing the Volunteerism Crisis
– We need to better recognize and perhaps reward volunteers. PDXTimeBank is currently an incentive. Perhaps conduct a drawing for each month’s volunteers, giving one winner a local biz donation, or a gift card ? What else ?
– Volunteering can be lonely — especially when you are in fact working alone. We need to think of ways to develop more of a sense of community. Past advice that we have followed included holding events and workshops. What else can we do ?
– We will send an online survey invitation to all members to find out how we’re doing, how we can do better, and how we can motivate people to volunteer. Glenn will draft a survey outline in Google Docs for the board to review.
– Members don’t realize there is a crisis. Because a small circle of dedicated volunteers keep stepping in to feel the void, perhaps the Library is taken for granted ?
– For a number of reasons, SEPTL will not hire workers at this point.
– Should there be a volunteer requirement for membership ? (Shifting toward more of a co-op model.) But we need recurring volunteers who develop experience; the Library cannot run efficiently with one-time volunteers due to the training & acclimation required.
– Should there be a shift volunteer requirement for the board ? What do other Libraries do ? It was suggested that the board already invests a lot of time, and adding more burden on them perhaps is inappropriate. It’s an ‘easy’ answer, but not the best one for long-term sustainability of SEPTL.
– When new members join they are asked if they might be interested in volunteering. If they say ‘yes’, are they being contacted quickly ? Do we have or need a protocol to handle that efficiently, and not miss opportunities to recruit new, enthusiastic members as volunteers ?

– Glenn Devitt, for Bob Weber who was wandering around the great Commonwealth of Massachusetts.