By Kathy Bach
ANNUAL MEETING SUMMARY:
June 11, 2020 Annual Meeting met Via Zoom technology.
The 2020-2021 Budget, By-Law change and slate of officers passed unanimously.
Please read the following report for updates.
OFFICE COMPUTERS & TECH SUPPORT:
The society is long overdue in updating technology in the society office. We had Rob’s Computers out to review our uses and needs. Joining me in the meeting was our Collections Director, Allison Free, and our Technology Specialist, Benjamin Free. Our Archivist, Barbara Cook, had previously sent her overview and requirements by email and met with Rob at her home. Our collective decision is to purchase 2 new computers equipped with Windows 10, 1 new monitor, repurpose 1 monitor and reuse the current printer, providing it functions well with Windows 10. This purchase, with labor including that visit, would total $1,354.
At our Annual Meeting, a long overdue addition was made to our By-Laws with the addition of a Technology Specialist under Article VII Standing Committees, Section 1 d.Technology Specialist – is responsible for overseeing technology in the society offices and facilities, making periodic reports and recommendations to the board. This person would be the board interface with technology vendors. The board voted to fill the position with Benjamin Free for the 2020-22 term.
MUSEUM OPENINGS AND 2020 SEASON:
First, I’d like to thank everyone who is working for the society in this environment we call the “new normal.” All indications are we will never go back to the old ways but rather adopt some new protocols going forward. That is why our museums are not yet ready to open. We previously had reached a satisfactory level of service whereby visitors of all ages could interact with volunteers of all ages to have a well-rounded “hands-on” museum and learning experience.
At this time, we cannot meet the safety, social distancing and other standards that make it possible to offer that experience. I have spent time with some of our engaged interns and board members to get a sense of what we might offer and the input has led to a mix of virtual educational experiences with demonstrations and perhaps some “do it yourself” activities. These will take some time to organize and videotape.
In the meantime, Barbara Cook, Kate Farrish and I will continue to photograph and provide historic dialogue on Facebook. June’s theme is “where am I?” as we offer a behind-the-scenes peek at historic locations. July and August will venture to the more historic sites, highlight our volunteers and video demonstrations (if they are ready). For sure, we will have a feature on the Old Tolland County Court House Museum cupola project with the emphasis on fundraising once the button is on our Facebook page.
The sale of merchandise continues and has had an uptick since it has been discussed on social media. I will be featuring a few publications over the summer, highlighting our inventory found on the webpage and at the Tolland Red & White and also doing a brisk business from my porch.
Thanks for thinking of the Tolland Historical Society. Have a restful summer.