2018 November Minutes

Richmond Free Library

Trustee Meeting

November 1, 2018


Present: Laurie Dana, Keith Franz, Ellen Crary, Rebecca Mueller, and Jeff Forward

Absent: Jenna Bisset, Jana Brown


Electric Vehicle Charging Station Proposal

Jeff Forward, the town Energy Coordinator, presented a plan to install a level-two charging station for electric vehicles (Current plan two vehicles per station with option to expand in the future) that will be tied into the library’s electric grid.  Jeff expressed that by placing the charging stations in town it would help with economic development and advertise electric vehicles.  Jeff stated that the library parking lot had already been chosen as the most viable option between Waterbury and Williston.  He presented the board and Rebecca with a map of three proposed locations; 1) the two front spots closest to the steps, 2) An added two parking spots perpendicular to the library in the back lawn and 3) in the farthest part of the lot.  Jeff stated that spots two and three were the least desirable and most expensive options because the electrical line would be longer and thus cost more.  He also again mentioned that he felt strongly that the electric vehicle charging locations should be both convientend and prominent therefore promoting and educating about electric vehicles at that #1 was the best spot.  While the board agreed with a prominent and convenient location, there were concerns expressed about the front two spots taken over as those are used with people with less mobility, families with small children, and people using the space for loading and unloading.  Jeff agreed that those prime parking spots would not be the location of the new charging station.   It was discussed and suggested that the charging station would be placed next to the police parking spots.  This would all be paid for and maintained by a grant from the state as well as fees reimbursed while people charge.


Library Building Urgent Repairs

Several repairs have become urgent- the most notable being the tubing for radiant heat as well as the boiler.  Fixing it is not an option for various reasons most notably that it would not be the most cost effective way to heat the building.  Rebecca will get three quotes from various providers (suggestions from Jeff Forward include Marshals, Chuck’s Heating and Mountain Air).  Rebecca will then present the quotes to the town and have the town hire and pay for the new heating system as soon as possible.  In the meantime, the library will do the weatherization updates mentioned in the town building plan that was done by Breadloaf.  These updates include; weatherization of the windows, vapor barrier and items related to code issues.


Minutes Approved

Minutes from the October meeting were unanimously approved.


Treasurer’s Report

Keith presented the treasurer’s report. Fiscal year 2019 was short by $2100 total due to amended  social security and retirement as well as the opt out amount was more than anticipated. As of now, salary line item is ok but last year it was over budget. Rebecca will montiter that.

Auditors made accrual to actual budget amounts for the FY 2018 budget.

2020 budget errors were fixed. This was mostly because of the opt out health insurance amounts. The recommended salary line was decreased (time did not increase). The current currier grant for inter library loans needs to be monitored. This will help keep the postage line item within the budget.

3.23% overall increase of $7200 will be resubmitted.


Librarian’s Report

Rebecca sent an email with the library report to trustees before the meeting. The most pressing item was an unexpected but necessary elevator repair for $1100.



Halloween was a great success. There was a well attended and enjoyed costume parade during the day for younger children. The reopening of the coffee and tea table was a welcomed addition.


Holiday Market

Trustees will not set up a table for the event on December 1st.


Respectfully Submitted,


Ellen Crary



2018 November Agenda

Richmond Free Library Trustees
Thursday, November 1, 6:30-8 p.m.
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Station proposal – Jeff Forward, Fran Pomerantz
  • Library Building urgent repairs
  • Approval of October Minutes
  • Treasurer’s Report – Keith
  • 2020 Budget Revisions (2018 updates)
  • Librarian’s Report – Wendy
  • Halloween & Holiday Market update
  • March Trustee election

2018 October Agenda

Richmond Free Library

Trustees October 4, 2018 – 6:30-8 p.m.

Vote Approve September minutes
Treasurer’s Report – Keith
Librarian’s Report – Wendy
Review 2020 Budget Submission
Halloween planning
ALA Trustee’s Video – Advocacy (10 minutes)
Next steps with Selectboard in terms of building report.
Review revised Strategic Plan “Action Steps” document with updates of Items #1 and #5.
Discuss “Action Steps” for Goal #2: EXPERIENCES: The library plans to host activities that reach out to a broad spectrum of people to address the interests and needs of all community members.

Please note: In October we would normally review Library Policies with the Director. This will review will be tabled until the Director returns from leave.

2018 September Minutes

Richmond Free Library

Trustees Meeting

September 6, 2018

Present: Jenna Bisset, Laurie Dana, Jana Brown, and Ellen Crary.

Absent: Keith Franz and Rebecca Mueller


Minutes Approved

Minutes from the August meeting were unanimously approved.


Treasurer’s Report

No report available, Treasurer absent.


Librarian’s Report

Although Rebecca was absent, she sent an email briefly updating trustees on the library.  Rebecca stated that it was a very busy summer at the library and things have even picked up lately.  Playgroup, Part 2 and home visits have begun and exciting speakers have been booked for this winter.


2020 Budget Planning (cont from Aug meeting)

Any budget increase of more that 2% needs to be in writing to the town.  Book budget was increased $2000 as discussed.  Trustees would like clarification on the other increases in 2018 and FY 2019 for the salary, health insurance, and retirement line items.  All others seem on par with regular annual increases.

Via email to Laurie, Rebecca mentioned that managing community space is adding to staff time as is the increase on community outreach projects such as Part 2 and Home Visits. Laurie has sent out a letter to help with clarification on these items.


Town Facilities Plan Update

No trustee was able to make the recent selectboard meeting. Laurie will reach out to Christie Witters, Library selectboard liaison, to see if the selectboard has come up with a next step on implementing the update.


Strategic Action Plan- Item Five, Engagement

“The library will provide positive supportive interactions with all library visitors”

  • Trustees agree that changing the layout of the front desk to better greet the front doors will hugely improve staff’s ability to interact with patrons. Trustees discussed getting another contractor to draw up plans that might have more creative solutions to provide space as well as security for staff and the library.
  • Trustees thought that it would be beneficial if an outside group came in and did customer service training for all library staff.
  • Trustees felt that it would help library staff to have a specific job description for all volunteers that included specific skills necessary for performing the job in a helpful way. This would especially include a contract for junior volunteers.
  • Trustees brought up that, possibly when the new layout is set up, there should a suggestions/ feedbox available to patrons. Trustees also suggested that there be a website space added for this feedback.


Move to Adjourn unanimously approved.

2018 September Agenda

Richmond Free Library Trustees

Thursday, September 6 – 6:30-8 pm


  • Minutes – Approve Minutes from August meeting
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Librarian’s Report
  • 2020 Budget Planning
  • Town facilities plan update
  • Review & develop action plan for Strategic Plan Item #5:
    Engagement — the library will provide positive supportive interactions with all library visitors.
  • ALA Trustee’s Video — Topic Advocacy
  • Fundraising plan for 2018-2019
  • New business

August 2018 Agenda

Richmond Free Library Trustees

Thursday, August 2, 2019

6:30 – 8 pm



  • Approve Minutes June  meeting
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Librarian’s Report
  • Use of community space, policy review
  • Final Report – Townwide Facilities Assessment
  • Librarian’s Medical Leave of Absence, start end of September
  • Preliminary draft of 2020 budget
  • Discussion of  fundraising plans for 2018
  • Trustee’s video (if time)

2018 June Agenda

Richmond Free Library

Trustees Meeting Agenda

June 6, 2018 – 6:30-8 p.m.

  • Vote to approve May minutes
  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Librarian’s Report
  • Vote to Approve RFL 2018-2022 Strategic Plan
  • Planning for July 4thwater/book sale
  • ALA Trustee’s Video (10 minutes)
  • Discussion of bulleted action steps associated with Goal #1 of the 2018-
    2022 Strategic Plan
  • Update on Townwide facilities review and associated Library building
    issues and concerns (Rebecca)


Reminder:  There will be no Trustees meeting in July due to the July 4th Holiday festivities.  The next meeting will be Thursday, August 2.

2018 May Minutes

Richmond Free Library Trustee Meeting Minutes
May 3, 2018
Present: Laurie Dana, Keith Franz, Rebecca Muller, Jana Brown, Ellen Crary
Absent: Jenna Bisset
Minutes from April Meeting- The minutes from April 12 meeting were approved.
Treasurer’s Report- There was no report available due to the Town Office not having them
available. It was brought up that the check deposits were still being sent in once a month as
there are not enough to be deposited every other week as per the auditor’s recommendation.
Librarian’s Report-
Rebecca reports that there has been a lot of “weeding” of books because the stacks are too full.
They are doing this based on circulation and it includes many Audio CDs. Discarded books and
CDs go in the book sale although the good Audio CD cases will be reused.
The summer programming is scheduled and the Friends have been asked for cash to support it.
Contractors for a new secure front door and people to do the sign have been called but they
have been too busy or are not getting back to Rebecca. Rebecca and Laurie will call a couple
more people.
Evolving Landscape ongoing art installation activity has been great and well received.
Protest Art by Coop Students that was inspired by Katherine Paterson’s book Bread and Roses
is up.
The June 5th Katherine Paterson event is anticipated to be full ticketed capacity. Rebecca
states that they will be 100 tickets available.
The State Fire Marshal came and checked out the back stairs in the meeting room. He stated
that it met code and would not need a gate.
Strategic Plan-
Laurie brought in a draft of the layout with photos and words from the strategic plan. She found
another layout example she prefered and would email it out to us (done before minutes
finished!) She stated that there were a lot of good photos that could be used. She is hoping the
final draft of the Strategic Plan will be one page.
It was discussed that we should have a trustee who is a liaison to the Friends of the Library.
Everyone agreed that this would be beneficial to both groups. It was agreed that Jana Brown
would be the Liaison to the Friends.
Jana and Laurie both attended the Vermont Trustee Regional Training that was held at the
Ilsley Library in Middlebury. They were impressed at how well it was run and how high the
attendance was (36 people). Several takeaways were shared at the meeting. One was that
there is a lot of information on laws in regards to privacy and the responsibility of the Library to
protect it. Another takeaway was the issue of excess budget. In one town’s Town Meeting, a
law passed that the library’s excess budget went into its reserve. The trustees discussed that
this would greatly benefit our library and the money could be used for building and operating
costs. An example that Rebecca used is that she could use this for the order for new computers
she is putting in. Laurie and Jana also learned more about how volunteers, while working in the
public space of the library, are expected to be like librarians. The trustees discussed that it
might be a good idea that there is a sign at the circulation desk when a volunteer is working at it.
Finally, it was mentioned that the trustees perhaps should have name tags to wear when we are
in the library or when we are at public events and volunteering for the library (Fourth of July etc).
It was discussed and agreed that future meetings will begin with one of the information trustee
training videos that are about the roles and responsibilities of a Library Trustee. This will be
added to the agenda starting this June. Our next agendas for the rest of the year will also each
revisit and revise one of the bullets on the strategic plan.
The trustees discussed ideas on how to come up with programming that attracted a more
diverse audience to bring them into the library. It was suggested that there be a program on
Financial Literacy. Other ideas include; digital citizenship, digital privacy, the roll of the library in
a democracy and in communities.
Respectfully Submitted,
Ellen Crary

2018 April Agenda

Richmond Free Library

Trustees Meeting

Thursday, April 12, 6:30 PM, Mezzanine

  1. Approve minutes
  2. Treasurer’s report
  3. Librarian’s report
  4. Elect Trustee Officers
  5. Establish meeting schedule
  6. Review project calendar
  7. Review Strategic Plan and presentation
  8. Adjourn

2018 April Minutes

Richmond Free Library
Board of Trustees

Meeting Minutes – April 12, 2018

Present:  Jenna Bisset, Jana Brown, Ellen Crary, Laurie Dana, Keith Franz, Rebecca Mueller and Christy Witters, Selectboard Library Liaison

Minutes from March Meeting

The Minutes from the March 1, 2018 meeting were unanimously approved.

Treasurer’s Report

Keith reported that in the 9th month of our yearly budget, we should be at about 75% of budget expended and in almost all categories we are at or below that percentage.  Based on the town auditors’ recommendation, Connie has asked if income from Community Room fees could be sent to the office more often than once a month.  Trustees agreed with Rebecca that she could send over this income with the warrant twice a month.

Librarian’s Report – Rebecca shared the following items via email prior to the meeting – those items with Discussion indicated were topics for the meeting.

  • A staff retreat will be held to share new strategic plan and to discuss ideas and goals. We will focus on space reconfiguration and potential programming.  We have design sketches with possible changes, but it looks to be an involved and somewhat expensive project.  I will share proposals at a later Trustee meeting.  Discussion: Rebecca reported that she has had a builder look at, and make suggestions for renovating the circulation area to reflect changes based on staff discussions and Strategic Plan recommendations.  Trustees felt that they might want to have additional input and Laurie will talk with an architect friend to see if they might be willing to look at the space and needs.
  • Staff and I have been facilitating AARP volunteers work with people needing to file tax returns.
  • We have developed a collaborative relationship with the Mansfield Coop. Students are deeply involved with the Vermont Reads Project and will have a performance art & poetry session related to the book, Bread and Roses, Too.  The Coop students look forward to Katharine Paterson’s visit in June.
  • Ongoing support to book groups, community senior center programming, music programs and community groups.
  • Everyone on the babysitter’s certification course was accommodated. When we made reminder calls a week in advance, several registrants dropped out and those on the waiting list were able to attend.   A parent in the community is organizing another class with Richmond Rescue.
  • “Song of the Vikings: the Making of Norse Myths,” a Vermont Humanities Council presentation by Nancy Marie Brown on March 18, was well attended and received. (45 in attendance)
  • March Legos has had a small but dedicated following.
  • Mud Season Playgroup on Saturdays has been well received by those parents who are unable to bring their children during the week.
  • I have provided some input into the Town Plan: Utilities and Facilities. Inserting some language regarding the what/why of the Library to emphasize the importance of maintaining and repairing the building.
  • I met with Breadloaf architectural firm, along with the Town Manager, to discuss results of the building assessments. Emphasis is on life/safety issues.  The library needs to address the open stairwell in the community room.   There are non-life/safety issues and recommendations.  A final assessment report is forthcoming.  Discussion:  One of the recommendations was that new building codes would require that the stairwell in the community room be enclosed.  Rebecca asked the Fire Marshall about this and he will be inspecting.  His initial response was that we do not have to follow new regulations unless we plan to renovate in that area.
  • I have met with a contractor to explore replacing entrance door and will be receiving proposals.
  • A “Spring’s Evolving Landscape” workshop was led by Kathy Wysocky Johnson & Judy Bush on Sunday, April 8. There were 17 participants.  This is an ongoing activity.
  • I have requested a proposal from Glaeser Sign Company to provide new lawn sign and sign for the front of the building. Discussion: Trustees would like to see this item accomplished soon as it has been on the list for quite some time. Trustees wondered if a second estimate (Sign Design was suggested) was warranted.  The plan would be to build a new sign that is moved away from the building and perpendicular to the road so it is visible.  Rebecca would also like to add a small sign on the canopy by the stairs.  There was some discussion about whether the cost should come from maintenance, Capital Reserve or Friends funding.  No decision was reached.
  • Electric Vehicle charging stations proposed (from Richmond Climate Action Committee)
  • A Picture Book Art Reception was held on Wed., April 11.
  • “After hours” incident. Discussion:  There was an incident in which a staff member discovered an unauthorized person sheltering in the library vestibule at a time when the library was closed but the Community Room was being used–so the door had been propped open.  This individual was later discovered to be known to the Police as a problematic individual.  Trustees discussed the fact that, because the community room does not have a separate entrance, it is always necessary to allow access through the front doors to after-hours groups.  Trustees agreed with Rebecca that, at least, we need to find a solution that does not involve visibly propping the door open.  Laurie suggested changing the lock-code mechanism so that it allows the door to be “unlocked” for a period of time, rather than propped open.  She will explore the cost and brand of lock system installed by Dion at the new Lyric building and provide information for Rebecca.
  • The Library will be closed on Friday, May 18, for the Vermont Library Association Conference.

Election of Officers

The following slate of candidates for Officers was proposed:  Laurie Dana, Chair; Keith Franz, Treasurer, and Ellen Crary, Secretary.  The slate was elected unanimously.

Meeting Schedule

Trustees agreed that the Richmond Free Library Board of Trustees official meeting time will remain the first Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m.

Monthly Planning Calender

Trustees reviewed the revised Monthly Planning Calendar presented by Rebecca Mueller and feel that all of the necessary items are reflected.

Strategic Plan

Laurie stated that she will be working on the design for the strategic plan document and will have a draft ready for the May meeting.  At that meeting, Rebecca will also present the action items under each category that the staff had developed for discussion and review.  Geoff Urbanik suggested that the library present the strategic plan to the Selectboard at some point in the next few months.

Next Meeting:

The next Trustees meeting will be Thursday, May 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Library.

Agenda items will include review of the Strategic Plan draft, update on sign quote, update on lock research.