Author: rfltrustees

Director, Richmond Free Library

December 2017 Agenda

Richmond Free Library Trustees

Monday, December 4, 2017

6-8 pm 


  1. Approve Minutes
  2. Treasurer’s Report
  3. Librarian’s Report
  4. Strategic Plan Development
  5. Trustee Vacancy

2016 November Minutes

Richmond Free Library Trustee’s

Minutes – November 4, 2016

Present: Ellen Crary, Laurie Dana, Kristen Hayden-West, Cammy Richelli, Rebecca Mueller

Absent: Keith Franz


Kristen called the meeting to order.

Minutes of September Meeting

The Board approved the minutes of the September meeting unanimously.

Treasurer’s Report

Kristen presented the information that Keith had prepared.  The status of the budget at the end of the first quarter was right on target.  The Capital Reserve fund as of 9/30/16 was $35,141.

Library Director’s Report

  • Jennifer Esser has been hired to fill the position vacated by Sarah and she will work 20 hours/week now, which will rise to 25 hours/week. Vicki Zimmer has been hired as an “on-call sub” primarily to cover Douglas’ month away.  She can fill in at other times.
  • The new front steps are completed and the Trustees agreed they look great and feel much safer.
  • Wendy has started a new “Baby Lap Time” program for parents and children (newborn-6 months of age).
  • The public is invited to decorate mittens that will be used as garland in the library during the holiday season.
  • Connie provided Rebecca with a few updates to her proposed budget related to insurance coverage for Wendy when she becomes eligible. Geoff and the Selectboard have not asked for additional changes to the proposed budget.

Report on the Budget Meeting with the Selectboard

Kristen, Keith and Cammi met with the Selectboard to present and discuss the library budget.  Kristen reported that she felt that the meeting went well and that the Selectboard understands the issues that the Trustees brought forward, in addition to the budget.

The following were some points made:

  • There is confusion about who is responsible for the “infrastructure” upkeep of the Library building. This needs to be clarified for the future in a written policy.
  • The Selectboard asked about the step replacement project—which would technically be infrastructure—and understood that this was a safety issue that couldn’t wait for further clarification.
  • There is a need to survey the infrastructure and maintenance needs of all of the town-owned buildings
  • Keith feels that, in light of this discussion, the library should ask that the reserve be funded at $8,000 which should cover the basic replacement, upgrade and repair costs for the interior spaces of the building.
  • Rebecca made the observation that the Library is technically funding this reserve through the Community Room Fees that come to the Town.

Trustees Next Steps:

The trustees agreed to the following next steps:

  • Rebecca will ask Geoff for an update on the building survey to report to the Trustees at their January meeting
  • The budget can be submitted without an additional vote as it is unchanged. Rebecca will “alert” the Trustees should any further changes be requested.

Town Report

The Library’s page of the Town Report for the FY 2016 year will be due before the next Trustee’s meeting.  Rebecca will do a draft and circulate for comment.  Kristen recommended including some of the information on the roof repair recommendations, etc.

Holiday Fair

The Trustees will not have a table at this year’s Holiday Fair.

Conservation Fund

The Richmond Conservation Fund is still open to the idea of the Library applying for funds for the roof repair.  This was discussed as a joint application with the Town of Richmond, or a Trustees application with the Selectboard’s support (depending on the “rules). Kristen will talk with Jennifer about having her helpi write a Conservation Fund proposal.  Jennifer brings some grant writing experience to the Library staff.  Laurie offered to help as needed.

Fundraising Letter

Rebecca presented a draft of the Annual Fundraising Appeal letter.  Trustees really liked the tone and feeling of the letter.  There were a few suggestions made and Rebecca will finalize the letter and work on getting it out.

March Election

Cammi will be stepping down at the end of March so there will be a Library Trustee opening.  A notice will be posted on Front Porch Forum about the opening.  Other Trustees offered to meet with anyone interested in running if they would like to learn more.  As part of this discussion, Trustees discussed adding a Youth Advisor to the Trustees and would like to explore how this might work.

Next Meeting: The next meeting of the Richmond Free Library Trustees will be Thursday, January 5, 2017.

Reminder:  The new meeting schedule for the Richmond Free Library Trustees is the 1st Thursdays of the month in January, March, April, June, September & November.

Respectfully submitted,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Laurie

November 7, 2016

Laurie Dana, Secretary

2016 November Agenda



NOVEMBER 3, 2016

6-7:30 pm

– Approve Minutes

– Treasurer’s Report

– Director’s Report

– Report on Budget meeting with Selectboard

– Fundraising – Letter and Conservation fund

– Holiday fair at RFL

– Trustee on March 2017 ballot

– Other

2016 September Minutes

Richmond Free Library Trustee’s

Minutes – September 8, 2016

Present: Ellen Crary, Laurie Dana, Keith Franz, Kristen Hayden-West, Cammy Richelli, Rebecca Mueller.
Also attending Selectboard Library Liaison, Steve May.


Kristen called the meeting to order.

Minutes of June Meeting

The Board approved the minutes of the June meeting unanimously.

Library Director’s Report

  • Richmond Free Library Storytime attendees were recently featured on ABC 22 News.
  • Summer programming went very well, although summer movies were not well attended.
  • Sarah has officially left and Rebecca is recruiting for a new Library Staff position, 20 hours per week.
  • LJ plans to reduce his hours to 10 hours per week, Joan currently works 5 hours and Douglas 18 hours. Rebecca would like to increase Wendy’s hours to 32 –discussion of the budget implications of this follow.
  • Rebecca has scheduled the replacement of the cement stairs and requested a deposit check. The work will likely be done in October.  When the contractor has cut the tree roots as he needs to complete the step replacement, Richmond Tree Warden will make a decision on whether the tree can be pruned or needs to be removed.
  • Rebecca reminded Trustees to check the Library’s FaceBook page to see all of the activities taking place.

Treasurer’s Report

Keith presented the General Fund report for the Fiscal Year that ended June 30, 2016 and made several observations:

  • Library revenue was well above projections.
  • Overages in Retirement, Telephone, Water & Sewer were not a surprise and adjustments were made in the FY17 budget.
  • The overages in Books and Programs were covered by savings in other areas.
  • Total library expenditures for FY16 were under budget.

Keith mentioned that he feels Rebecca has done a great job of monitoring the budget and keeping costs on track.  Rebecca also mentioned that all of the library staff are very “frugal and creative” in helping to keep costs low.

He also mentioned that the Capital Reserve is well-funded and we spent around $4,000 out of it during FY16.  The estimate for the step project is around $6,700.

FY18 Budget Planning – Trustees discussed the following in preparation for approving the FY18 budget proposal to submit to the Selectboard.

  1. Building Needs – Rebecca provided the Trustees with an excellent and thorough document outlining the maintenance and capital needs for the library, which included:
    — A comprehensive list of ongoing “regular” maintenance items which are covered within the
    library’s maintenance budget.
    — A list of recommended evaluation/improvement projects.  The trustees prioritized this list
    and feel that some of the items should be scheduled and taken care of in the next year.  Of the
    most concern was to evaluate the air quality of the basement to determine if there are any
    health issues and if there are ways to take care of the damp and odors.  Other “high priority”
    items included repositioning and replacing the faded sign, landscaping issues in front and back.
    And purchasing replacement AC units now to take advantage of end-of-season cost savings.
    Rebecca will update the list with updates and include the priority rankings that Trustees —
    These items are typically funded from the Capital Reserve.
    — A list of structural maintenance issues that have been identified within the two building
    evaluations recently completed.  Trustees feel that these items are outside of the scope of the
    regular maintenance and capital reserve budgets and fall within the purview of the Town of
    Richmond, as building owners, to address.
  1. Staffing Needs – Rebecca outlined her “case” for increasing Wendy’s hours to 32/week, which will make her eligible for town insurance coverage. Wendy’s work is important to the library’s function as she is the Assistant Director and also in charge of all of the children’s programming at the library.  This change is reflected in a 3% increase in salary and an increase of about 24,000 for the cost of a family plan.  She is uncertain whether Wendy would take advantage of the Town’s health insurance but it needs to be in the budget.
  1. Capital Reserve – As mentioned in the Treasurer’s report, there is a fairly healthy Capital Reserve budget—however this fund is important to maintain in order to address more costly maintanence and replacement issues as they arise.
  1. Advocating for the Budget – Steve May, our Library Liaison to the Selectboard, joined us for a productive discussion about ways to educate the selectboard about both the library’s mission and programs and the various budget pressures that are represented by occupying an historic building. The Trustees would like to reach an agreement on the Town’s responsibility for maintaining the historic structure of the building as the owners of the building of which the Library is the tenant.  In order to start this process, Rebecca will request time on the September 19 Selectboard Agenda to begin this educational process.  The Trustees will share several documents with the Board members:
    — The revised Building Maintenance document mentioned in #1 above
    — The structural reports from Headwaters Construction and Jan Lewandowski that describe
    building structure issues and recommendations.
    — A request to move forward on the Library Trustee’s recommendation for the Town to have a
    system of coordinated facilities management in the interests of both using staff time to address
    their primary responsibilities and to realize cost savings.

Approval of FY18 Budget Proposal

Keith moved to approve the FY18 Library Budget Request as presented, Laurie seconded and the motion passed unanimously.

Proposal to Richmond Conservation Commission

Kristen reviewed the mission and purpose of the Richmond Conservation Commission and described a preliminary conversation she had about the appropriateness of a proposal to fund library building repairs through this fund.  The Trustees agreed that this would be an appropriate use of these funds as addressi “conservation of buildings of historic importance.”  Since we believe the structural repairs to the building, such as the roof and steeples, fall within the responsibilities of the town, we will make a recommendation that the town, with the support of the Library Trustees and the Friends of the Richmond Free Library, make the project request.

Next Meeting: The next meeting of the Richmond Free Library Trustees will be Thursday, November 3, 2016.

Reminder:  The Richmond Free Library Trustees meet on the 1st Thursday of the month in January, March, April, June, September, and November.

Respectfully submitted,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Laurie

September 10, 2016

Laurie Dana, Secretary

2016 September Agenda

September 8, 2016

Richmond Free Library Trustees


FY ’18 Budget

 -Building needs

 -Staffing needs

 -Capital Reserve

Space Improvements

  -Completed improvements

  -Ideas for future improvements

Subsequent meeting agenda:


    -Review Strategic Plan

    -Community Outreach

2016 June Agenda

Richmond Free Library Trustees

Thursday, June 2, 2016

6 pm



Approve minutes

Treasurer’s Report

Library Director’s Report, including summer maintenance projects update.

Finalize plans for July 4th

Executive Session: Library Director’s performance review.






(Open to the public)

2016 June Minutes

Richmond Free Library Trustee’s

Minutes – June 2, 2016

 Present: Ellen Crary, Laurie Dana, Kristen Hayden-West, Cammy Richelli, Rebecca Mueller

Absent: Keith Franz


Cammy called the meeting to order.


Minutes of March Meeting

The Board approved the minutes of the May meeting unanimously.

Library Director’s Report

  • Rebecca reported that all summer programs are in place and a flyer to be distributed through the area schools is being printed.
  • There will also be adult activities during the summer including a workshop on June 25 with the artist who created the mezzanine banners.
  • Building maintenance issues continue as the boiler expansion tank needs to be replaced and some work needs to be done on the air conditioning systems. A new tank will be installed and HVAC recommended that the AC refrigerant be topped off, to hopefully fix the air conditioning issues.  Contractors once again mentioned that having the boiler on the 3rd floor was not a great idea.  Trustees wondered if it is worth exploring moving the mechanicals.  Kristen thought that the reason they were not installed in the basement was due to the damp conditions.
  • Rebecca also mentioned that some noise when the elevator runs is due to the hydraulic fluid being cold and having to be heated. The solution would be to heat the elevator mechanical room.

Treasurer’s Report

While there was no official treasurer’s report, Trustees and the Library Director are not aware of any current issues.

July 4 Water & Book Sale

The trustees will again have a water and book sale during the July 4th festivities and will gather at around 8:30 a.m. to set up.  Keith will purchase water, Kristen will arrange for the tent, Laurie will bring water buckets & cash.

Summer Building Projects

Rebecca has received one estimate of $9,000 to remove the old concrete steps and reinstall new ones.  The contractor did mention that the big tree IS likely causing and will continue to cause problems with these steps as the roots have grown underneath them.  He would need to significantly cut the roots to lay the base for the new steps and they would likely just grow back.  Rebecca still needs to get 2 more bids for the work.

Executive Session

Laurie moved to go into Executive Session to complete the annual Performance Evaluation of the Library Director.  The motion carried unanimously.  Executive Session ended at 7:30 p.m.


Next Meeting: The next meeting of the Richmond Free Library Trustees will be Thursday, September 1, 2016.

Reminder:  The new meeting schedule for the Richmond Free Library Trustees is the 1st Thursdays of the month in January, March, April, June, September & November.


Respectfully submitted,                                                                                                                                                                Laurie
June 5, 2016

Laurie Dana, Secretary

2016 May Minutes

Richmond Free Library Trustee’s

Minutes – May 5, 2016

 Present: Ellen Crary, Laurie Dana, Keith Franz, Kristen Hayden-West, Cammy Richelli, Rebecca Mueller


Cammy called the meeting to order.


Minutes of March Meeting

The Board approved the minutes of the March meeting unanimously.

Library Director’s Report

  • Rebecca reported that the Vermont Reads events on the Shackelton exhibition was extremely successful with 65 attending the film, 40 for the talk and 40 for the travelogue.
  • The office shift is in progress, this will move the office from the corner into the current computer room and all of the public technology resources into the corner room. The fax line has been installed in the corner office, so that will move out of the check out area.  A cable connection will be moved to the new office and the expanded DSL line will be installed in the public area. Rebecca is exploring putting “bandwidth quotas” on the public line so that no each individual public user will have a bandwidth limit.
  • Summer programs are now in place. Due to new rules, people who are being paid to provide summer programming will need to sign a Workman’s Comp waiver form.
  • Rebecca reported that the boiler tank in the basement is apparently leaking and she has calls in to a couple of contractors to evaluate and repair as needed.
  • There was a report of inappropriate behavior between a couple of teenaged patrons in the mezzanine area. This was called in by the parent of another young patron who witnessed the behavior.  Staff will be instituting methods to have a more consistent physical presence in that space and more frequent checks when staff is not present in the space.
  • Rebecca also reported that the most recent elevator inspection was conditional, as the battery in the emergency phone had died. She will purchase a new battery.

Treasurer’s Report

Keith reviewed the most recent Year-to-date financial report (for the end of April)—which represents 83% of the year completed.  While there are a couple of line items that are over budget he cautioned that there are a few May bills reflected in this report.  Water and sewer has been over budget all year, which has been addressed in next year’s budget, however the overall budget is in line with expectations.

Keith also reported that there was $30,186 in the capital reserve at the start of the year with another $8,000 being added in June 2016.  Currently we have spent $4,340—most of that was for refinishing the community room floor.  The reserve is healthy and there will be another $16,000 paid into that account in June 2017.

There was some discussion about library revenue, which is higher than budgeted.  This is due to fees from increased community room usage.  Kristen asked what types of events generate income for the room and Rebecca mentioned music recitals, birthday parties, weddings, and dance classes as uses that are outside of normal library or community events that are not charged or are charged minimal fees.

Rebecca also feels that there should be a way to set aside some of the community room fees to offset the cost of piano maintenance.  The piano is a big reason that the room is used for music recitals and events. At present, this is around $125 for each tuning, which is currently being done 3-4 times per year.  There is also no fund set aside should the piano require more extensive maintenance in the future.  Keith felt that this could be discussed with the auditor to determine the best way to set money aside.


July 4 Water & Book Sale

The trustees again decided to do a water and book sale during the July 4th festivities.  Keith will purchase water, Kristen will arrange for the tent, Laurie will bring water buckets & cash, and Ellen will provide wagons so that water could be sold across the street or along the street before the parade.



Summer Building Projects

Several building projects were discussed and prioritized by the Trustees, they include:

  • Removal of old concrete steps and installation of new ones. This project was going to be “rolled into” some other town work but that will not be happening.  We need to go ahead and arrange for this as the “top priority.”
  • Go ahead with repositioning and repainting the RFL sign, moving it away from the building and turning it so it is perpendicular to the road. SignDesign was recommended as a possible contractor by a couple of Trustees.  Rebecca will also speak with the Zoning Administrator to see if we need an updated zoning approval (there is one currently on file).
  • Rebecca would like to have an air quality test done in the basement to check for mold spores. The area is damp most of the time, even with a dehumidifier running.  She believes the cost is about $600.
  • Recarpeting of the 2nd floor will be discussed for after this year’s Holiday Market.
  • Exterior painting and trim & fascia board replacement will be discussed as part of Summer 2017 work.


Selectboard Liaison


Rebecca mentioned that the new Library Liaison from the Selectboard is Steve May.  He dropped by the library recently to talk with Rebecca.  She will recap their discussion in an email and copy David Sander who is the new Chair of the Selectboard.  The Trustees want to make sure and continue discussions and clarify lines of authority around the building maintenance issues.


Open Meeting Law

Laurie reviewed the requirements of the open meeting law as it applies to the Library Trustees based on recommendations from the Vermont Dept. of Libraries and FAQ from the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.


Trustee Meeting Schedule:

Based on discussions from the March meeting about moving to 6 meetings per year (the minimum required by our By-Laws), and the requirements of the Open Meeting Law regarding meeting schedules and warnings, Trustees voted to review their standing meeting schedule.


The Trustees unanimously approved meeting the 1st Thursdays of the month in January, March, April, June, September & November.  Laurie will communicate this new meeting schedule to Linda Parent for inclusion on the town website.


June Performance Review

The Trustees will conduct a performance review of the Library Director during their June meeting.  In preparation, Rebecca will prepare a review of her accomplishments during the past year.  As Board Chair, Kristen will review, add any additional thoughts and forward to the Trustees prior to the June meeting.


Next Meeting: The next meeting of the Richmond Free Library Trustees will be Thursday, June 2, 2016, Kristen will facilitate.

Agenda Items:

  • Finalize plans for July 4 water & book sale.
  • Review of status of Summer Building projects.
  • Performance review of Library Director (in Executive Session).


Respectfully submitted,                                                                                                                                                                                   Laurie

May 8, 2016

Laurie Dana, Secretary

2016 May Agenda

Richmond Free Library

Trustees Meeting

May 5, 2016



  • Approve March Minutes
  • Director’s Report
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • July 4th water & book sale
  • Review of building & equipment list and capital reserve
  • Review of open meetings law (Laurie)
  • Meeting schedule