2015 December Minutes

Richmond Free Library Trustees Minutes – December 3, 2015

 Present: Laurie Dana, Keith Franz, Kristen Hayden-West, Cammi Richelli and Rebecca Mueller. Town Manager Geoff Urbanek and Selectboard Liaison David Sanborn also attended.

Absent: Karen Tufano

Minutes of November Meeting

The Board approved the minutes of the November meeting unanimously.

Library Director’s Report

  • Rebecca mentioned that the annual Holiday Market would take place on September 5th using the Library. There will be a library table at which we will promote the February Book Sale, the February fundraiser dinner at the Hinesburg Pub and promote the baskets being raffled off. Sarah spearheaded the basket effort and got donations as well as purchased some small items.
  • She also reported that the floor in the community room has been refinished at a cost of around $4,000.

Treasurer’s Report

  • Keith reported that budget expenditures are appropriate for the point in the budget year.

Annual Appeal Letter

  • Rebecca reported that she has received the “grand list” for Richmond from Linda parent. She is doing some clean up of the list based on those who have passed away or who are facing major health issues. She has tested running labels.
  • The count is about 1700 households on the list.
  • Winooski Printing has provided an estimate of $450 to print and fold the 2-page letter and print envelopes. She thinks that they are doing this work at cost.
  • We will send this out using Bulk Mail rates (estimated to be around $250).
  • Kristen will approach the Friends about underwriting the printing and postage.
  • Rebecca was authorized to go ahead and arrange the printing with WP.

Bill-Paying Policy Discussion

Geoff reported that the issue of whether the select board can “hold up” bills has been settled after receiving an opinion from the town’s attorney that they cannot. In order to assist with the bill process, a new cover sheet has been developed and will accompany bills that are sent to the Town for payment.

There was discussion about options to make the bill-paying process for Richmond Free Library clearer while not requiring a lot of additional effort and not making vendors wait for payment. The suggestion was made that the Library have it’s own warrant (which is the way bills are approved for checks to be written) and have it’s own approval process. Geoff and David were supportive.

A motion was made that the Library have it’s own bill warrant, that a trustee other than the person who is initialing the bills needs to sign the warrants and that this can continue to happen every two weeks with any signed warrants presented at the monthly meeting of the Richmond Library Trustees. The motion carried unanimously.

A written policy document on the bill-paying policy will be developed and will be voted on at the January meeting of the RFL Trustees. Rebecca will create a process, including a schedule that will be attached to the policy and reviewed at least once a year.


Priorities for 2016

Based on feedback from the Library staff retreat, the most important priority will be to improve technology services for library patrons during 2016. There are two major components of this:

  1. Swapping the current library office and the current computer room will provide more space to create a public technology resource room that will include the copier, fax and computers as well as a space to help patrons with their use of technology such as tablets and other devices. Work that will be needed include some electrical work to add outlets and an Ethernet home run. Dismantling of some wall shelving and counters (though some will remain) and remodeling the current computer room to function as an office.
  2. Additional training for staff in technology usage is the 2nd part of this priority. Rebecca feels that there are resources to get this training. There is an individual from another library who provides technology training and he can be contracted to work with staff.

Rebecca said that the support she needs from Trustees is moral support to continue to pursue these goals.

Finishing the new mezzanine space by locating better conference tables is another goal for 2016. Laurie will research some furniture providers.

Building Management

The trustees spent some time speaking with Dave Sanborn about planning for how to develop an exterior plan for the library building. Dave expressed his understanding that the historic nature of the building complicates creating a long-term building maintenance plan. Keith said that he regards the relationship between Town and Library as a landlord-tenant relationship. He described this as the Trustees & Library being responsible for interior maintenance and “leasehold improvement” such as the mezzanine renovation. The structure of the building and the grounds, including things like the concrete stairs, are landlord responsibilities. Dave stated that he feels that the Selectboard is working to figure out a process for the Library building and to address issues related to other Town buildings that have similar concerns.

Town Report

The town report on the Library is due now. Trustees agreed that Rebecca would draft a report and circulate to the trustees for comment via email.

Next Meeting: The next meeting of the Richmond Free Library Trustees will be Thursday, January 7, 2016. Cammi will facilitate this meeting. Agenda will include a review of current Library policies.


Respectfully submitted,                                                                                                                                                               Laurie

December 6, 2015
Laurie Dana, Secretary


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