Present: Laurie Dana, Keith Franz, Kristen Hayden-West, Cammy Richelli, Karen Tufano,
Rebecca Mueller and Selectboard member David Sanborn.
Minutes of Jan. Meeting
The Board approved the Minutes from the previous meeting unanimously.
The Richmond Selectboard’s Library Liaison, David Sanborn, attended the meeting at the invitation of the Trustees. David commented that he feels the Richmond Free Library is an important community resource but that he feels that it is not visible enough. Rebecca reviewed for him the current usage of the library including patrons using the physical library’s resources and those who access the many online resources provided. She also reviewed library programming including story times, early bird math and spoke about teens after-school usage. Rebecca observed that the group not represented is middle-school age children and that finding programs that interest them has proven difficult. Rebecca provided David with the packet of information provided to new library patrons.
Keith then opened a discussion about how the town funds and manages capital building projects for the library. This has been an ongoing question for the Trustees and has become more important in light of the roof repair project and the significant costs expected. David expressed his support for the need to preserve the building and its historic character. There was some discussion about the use of the capital reserve, concern about replenishment of the reserve and that there could be a bond needed to finance roof and/or building repairs.
Trustees recommended that the Selectboard consider whether having each individual town
building’s manager contracting and managing their own maintenance projects cost-effective. Keith observed that Hinesburg has a manager who is responsible for contracting with plumbers,
electricians, getting bids and overseeing construction projects for all of the town buildings. He
wondered whether that would be an option for Richmond. In addition to possible economies of scale, it would give the town some power to negotiate better contracts and receive better service.
The Trustees are also concerned that it should not be the Library Director’s job to manage large construction projects, even though Rebecca has done an excellent job. David agreed to bring this up to the Selectboard and the Library Trustees offered to speak about this with them if
Keith reported that the routine library expenditures remain in line with the budget.
After further discussion about Headwaters’ summary report on recommended repairs to the Library roof, Trustees asked Rebecca to set up a meeting with Ben Durham and the Trustees to try and understand his recommendations, timing and pricing in the Summary provided. Continued work on the first phase of repairs is “on hold” until Headwaters receives further instructions. This work outlined in the purchase order is not yet complete and is already several thousand dollars over the budget.
Based on Headwaters’ summary document, trustees will pursue a complete building assessment to check on other structural issues with the building which may, or may not, have been caused by roof conditions. Rebecca will contact Preservation Trust of Vermont, as recommended by Ann Cousins, to see if they are willing to do a building assessment and if we would qualify for an emergency grant for part or all of the assessment cost.
Library Director’s Report
Mezzanine Construction – Project is complete and paid for. Laurie will explore donations and/or nonprofit discounted furniture and possible quilt donations and/or loans for the space.
Open House – The decision on whether to hold a spring Open House will be on the March agenda pending results of discussion of roof construction and funding.
Staffing – Library staffing changes are going very well.
Mats – Rebecca will contact with UniFirst to deliver and change floor mats in the front entrance and hallways to try to control snow, salt, wet, etc. She observed that the Town Center and Post Office also contract with them and pick ups from each of the buildings happen on different days—an example of where townwide buying would be helpful.
Vermont Dept. of Libraries is reevaluating their statewide standards for libraries.
Space Usage Policies – Trustees asked Rebecca about policies for the use of the new mezzanine space. Rebecca said that she is using the same policies for all spaces and the contract asks which space(s) the groups want to use. She reviewed her current practice in charging nonprofit groups and the Trustees supported her in differentiating between nonprofit groups wishing to use the space for members-only events versus those which serve the wider community or are providing children’s or educational programs.
Fundraising – Keith mentioned that Hinesburg Tap House recently held a fundraiser dinner for Our Community Cares Camp and that they have a commitment to doing fundraising for nonprofits. He recommended we look into having a dinner to benefit Richmond Free Library.
Review of Building Projects
The trustees briefly reviewed building projects that should remain on the list to be discussed with an eye toward possible grants to finance them. The items include:
Repair of the main stairs
Repainting the RFL sign
Trimming the maples in front of the library
Repair & upgrading of the front door
Another mold test (and possibly a radon test) for the basement
The Friends Book Sale is February 13 &14—Karen reminded Trustees that baked goods are needed for the bake sale.
The next meeting of the Richmond Free Library Trustees will be Thursday, March 5, 2015. Cammi will facilitate and revisiting the Open House will be on the agenda.
February 7, 2015
Subsequent to this meeting, Rebecca scheduled a meeting with Ben Durham from Headwaters on Thursday, Feb. 12 at 5 p.m. at the Library to review the Summary of recommended repairs, timing and costs previously provided to the Trustees.