Reading Library Trustees Meeting
July 13th, 2015
Submitted by Milde Waterfall , Secretary
In attendance: Tony Pikramenos, Libbet Downs, Vanessa Maxham, Bill Bakker, Peter Seman, Milde Waterfall.
Libbet opened the meeting at 6:30 pm. The purpose was to determine next steps involving the letters on the portico of the Library. Suggestions were brought forward from patrons who had consulted paint companies. The group reviewed those suggestions and the suggestions from professional conservators from Williamsburg, Virgiina, Poplar Forest, Lynchburg Virginia and The Lunder Conservation Center in Washington DC. All the conservators recommended getting the letters out of the elements. The techniques recommended by conservators is time consuming but works and does not remove the gold leaf underneath the water based latex.
Discussion followed on next steps with respect to stewardship as well as fiscal responsibility. Now that the letters are inside we have time to go forward . Therefore we are creating a timetable to seek professional guidance with regard to preserving and protecting the letters. We have been given three contacts in New England and are making appointments with them to examine the letters and advise next steps. Previous damage had been done by powerwashing in the 90’s, further damage by prior painting and repairs in the 80’s.
As a result of having very little historical record of the physical plant prior to Tony’s tenure, he has begun a file dedicated to important historical information on brick, mortar, paint, the presence of gold leaf, and other important details for future generations of citizens. Heretofore much of this past information exists primarily in community memory. We are exploring all options involving the preservation and care of the letters and involving national professional advice.
Next meeting has been changed to Tuesday, August 4, at 6 p.m.