2017 May Agenda

RFL Trustees Meeting Agenda

May 4, 2017

6:30-8:00 pm, Richmond Free Library Mezzanine


Review April Minutes

Treasurer’s Report

Director’s Report

  • Carpet
  • other

Vote for RFL Board Secretary

Discuss applying for Conservation Fund money

  • Review previous bids for roof
  • Plan for proceeding with application

Review old strategic plan and develop timeline for new Strategic Plan process

Agenda items for June

  • July 4th
  • Clarify/update RFL trustees monthly calendar



2017 April Minutes

Richmond Free Library Trustee’s Minutes

April 6, 2017

6:00-7:30 PM

Present – Rebecca Mueller, Kristen Hayden-West, Jenna Bisset, Ellen Crary

Absent- Keith Frantz, Laurie Dana

The meeting was called to order. A quorum was reached with three trustees present.

  1. The trustees agreed to discuss Goal Priorities in the coming year when more trustees were present.
  2. March minutes were approved.
  3. Treasurer was absent, so no treasurer report.
  4. Reallocation of portion of funds from maintenance to salary was discussed and approved.  This was done to adhere to labor law, worker’s comp, etc stating that the cleaner must be an employee.
  5. Officers elected to chair, treasurer, secretary.  It was decided that Jenna and Kristen would act as co-chairs during a transition period of approximately six months when Jenna would take on full responsibility.  Keith was officially nominated to continue as treasurer.  Vote for secretary delayed until May.
  6. Richmond Free Library Trustees Monthly Planning Calendar was clarified and edited.
  7. Trustee meeting start time was discussed.  It was agreed upon that, starting in May, the start time will be 6:30 pm and go to approximately 8:00 pm.
  8. It was agreed that Strategic Plan activities would be delayed this month until more trustees were present and placed on the June agenda.  In the meantime, trustees will research strategic plans from other states and towns with similar demographics.  Examples of places that have good library strategic plans in place are Colorado and Colchester.  This information can be found on the internet.
  9. Rebecca said that conservation money was still available and encouraged us to apply for it as soon as possible.  Accurate and more specific cost estimates were still needed on the roof and steeple before moving forward.  It was discussed that, should the funds become available, they could also be used to repair part of the roof as well as repair rot on the trim on the north side of the library that is caused by the overhanging trees from the cemetery.  Rebecca will look at numbers again.  It was agreed that the roof is the best possible use of the conservation funds.  It was discussed who wants to write the application proposal.  The trustees will review the documents that Rebecca has for conservation assessment.  Rebecca will send the information and bring it to the May meeting so we can have a more informed meeting in May.
  10. Carpet replacement is still expected.  Bids are still being collected.  It was discussed that this would be paid for from the capital reserve.
  11. Agenda prepared for next meeting.  This includes: discussing goal priorities, vote for secretary, strategic plan discussion and research, conservation money.
  12. The town of Bolton has stopped reimbursing its residents for the library fees so that they can access Richmond Free Library.  The current amount charged is $35/family.  Rebecca mentioned that the Healthcare movie coming up was of high interest.  The New Baby Tea was a big success and that there are so many other great events happening at the library.

Ellen Crary

2017 September Minutes

Richmond Free Library
Trustees Meeting

Minutes, September 7, 2017

Present: Ellen Crary, Laurie Dana, Keith Franz, Kristen Hayden-West, Rebecca Mueller.  Special Guest:  Lara Keenan, State Library Consultant

Absent: Jenna Bisset

August Minutes

Keith moved to approve the August minutes, which were approved unanimously.

State Library Consultant

Lara Keenan provided a great overview of the answers to some questions about the Trustees’ upcoming work.  We discussed how to energy and re-energize trustees during stable periods when there is not an urgent or pressing need.  She presented some thoughts on advocacy for libraries and ideas for collecting stories from patrons about why RFL is important and how it has affected their life.  We also discussed our new Strategic Planning work and how to build on the work of the town’s recent strategic planning process, to invite input from the community and to present the information as an engaging info graphic.  Finally we talked about various resources and upcoming trainings and conferences that present great learning opportunities for library staff and trustees.

This was a welcome opportunity for Trustees to think about the meaning of the work of the Richmond Free Library, its importance to the community and its importance to each of the Trustees.

Treasurer’s Report and FY 2019 Budget

Keith and Rebecca reviewed the proposed FY2019 budget, which will be forwarded to the Selectboard.  Once change was made in the percentage of change in the Social Security/Medicare line item (this should be 7.65% increase.  Other line items changes were reviewed and discussed.  Keith moved to approve the budget as presented with the one change and Laurie seconded.  The budget was approved unanimously.  Budgets will be presented and discussed at the October Selectboard meeting.

Rebecca explained an issue around a change that the town made in accrued vacation for Wendy when they changed her employment status.  As an 11+year employee of the town, she has received 4 weeks of vacation.  When her status changed to Assistant Director, her accrual of vacation was “reset” to 2 weeks of vacation.  While Rebecca was told this was a town-wide practice, it is not mentioned on the personnel policies.  Rebecca had prepared a letter directing the selectboard to reinstate her vacation status and all Trustees present signed the letter.

Director’s Report

  • Children’s programming (Baby Laptime, Early Bird Math, Storytime and Yoga Storytime) begins next week
  • The week of Sept. 20 the library will host several events related to Archeology Month.
  • 23 the library will host Drag Queen Storytime with guest story readers focusing on diversity and belonging
  • 15 there will be a program on Rosie’s’ Mom (women in WWI)
  • 13 the library will host Rick Winston’s Alfred Hitchcock program
  • The new carpeting in the hallway and children’s and youth rooms is complete.
  • The maple trees in front of the library will be pruned to help with reducing the shade, and moisture on the front of the library building.

Steeple Repair

Rebecca recently had Jay Southgate of Southgate Steeplejacks come and do an assessment of the status of the tall steeple.  He feels that, on a scale of 0 to 10 (with 10 representing serious and immediate repair needed), our steeple is around a 2.5.  Some of his recommendations include building an access ladder inside to enable work to be done (from 10-55 ft. off the ground).  He suggests not doing any work on the spire as it is functioning as needed.  He suggested doing some reinforcement work inside the steeple using metal rather than recreating the existing wooden bracing.  He also recommended checking the fastening of the ornament on top.  Most of the rot is in the ornamental features, not the structure.  There may be opportunities to repair this without restoring all of the original ornamentation fully.

Since the Conservation Fund has been depleted there was discussion about phasing these repairs, perhaps starting next year and taking the money from the Capital Reserve fund.  Currently there is $35,000 in the reserve, but $12,000 was just spent on carpeting.  There will be an additional $8,000 added at the end of the year.


Members discussed doing something at the library on Trick or Treat night, since it has become a very popular destination for families.  Discussion was about handing out treats, perhaps in costume on the lawn.  This will be added to the October meeting agenda.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday, October 5 at 6:30 p.m. 

Respectfully submitted,
September 11, 2017

Laurie Dana, Secretary

2017 January Minutes

Richmond Free Library Trustee’s

Minutes – January 5, 2017


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


Kristen called the meeting to order.

Treasurer’s Report

Keith reported that the status of the budget at 5 months into the fiscal year is fine.  The payment for the redo of the stairs ($6,705) was made out of the capital reserve fund.

Report on Second Budget Meeting with the Selectboard

Kristen, Keith and Laurie attended the January 2 Selectboard meeting regarding the proposed Library budget.  As expected, the Selectboard’s concern was the 12.4% increase, which is almost entirely due to adding hours to make the Assistant Director’s position 32 hours per week and thus eligible for town benefits.  Trustees made the following points:

  • The position of Assistant Director is an important one as this individual manages the library in the Library Director’s absence.
  • This individual also manages (and often develops) children’s programming and will be taking on the role of Children’s Librarian.
  • The additional hours are needed as the current Children’s Librarian is cutting back his hours and to help with coverage hours lost by the resignation of another employee.
  • It is the desire of the Trustees not to lose this excellent, highly trained and competent employee due to financial or benefit considerations—we already lost an excellent employee this year.
  • Keith observed that with this change, the ratio of the library’s salary to benefits would be 22%, exactly the same as the town’s ratio overall.


Selectboard members asked several questions but did not indicate any decision in the matter.  They also asked if the Library would be willing to do a presentation as part of this year’s Town Meeting in March.  Trustees said that they would, but asked if there were specific items the Selectboard wanted addressed and also how long a presentation would be.  No specific decision on this was made.

Next steps:  Trustees will wait for the Selectboard’s response and discuss any possible next steps at the February Trustees meeting.

Candidate for Library Trustee

Jenna Bisset will be running for the Trustee position being vacated by Cammi at the March 7 Elections.

Trustee Meeting Schedule

On the Library Director’s request, the Trustees discussed and agreed to return to a monthly meeting schedule on the first Thursday of each month.

Library Volunteer Brunch

The annual volunteer recognition brunch will take place on Sunday, February 5 in the community room.  Staff and Trustees will arrive at 11 and the volunteers will be asked to arrive at noon.  The format of the event will follow past years.  Laurie will arrange for flowers and Kristen will work with Rebecca to determine what food is needed.  Trustees indicated an interest in finding out what staff wanted to provide and then they will fill in what is needed.

Fundraising Letter

The planned fundraising letter did not go out during December.  Trustees felt that we should still do a letter and that National Library Week (April 9-15) might be appropriate, particularly since this year’s theme is “Libraries Transform.”  Laurie will work with Rebecca on getting this done.

Friends Book Sale

February 17 & 18 will be the Friends of Richmond Library book sale.  Trustees are encouraged to sign up for a shift working the sale.

Conservation Fund

Kristen will start the process of applying for the Conservation Fund and Trustees recommend that the funding request be for restoring and insulating the front door so that it is working order and restoration of the steeple.  Kristen would make this request in conjunction with Geoff Urbanik on behalf of the Town and Trustees.

Next Meeting: The next meeting of the Richmond Free Library Trustees will be Thursday, February 2.  Ellen and Laurie will not be able to attend.

Agenda items

Additional budget discussion (if needed)

Planning for a Town Meeting Day presentation (if needed)

Final planning for Volunteer Brunch

Approval of November minutes (not taken care of at this meeting)

Approval of January minutes


March Trustee’s Meeting:  The March meeting will take place from 6-7 p.m. and then Trustees will adjourn to say farewell to Cammi as this will be her last meeting as a Trustee.

Respectfully submitted,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Laurie

January 7, 2017

Laurie Dana, Secretary

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)