Notices, agendas, and minutes of the Springfield Town Library are posted here in accordance with Vermont's Open Meeting Law. Meetings are open to the public. Every session includes time for public comment. The Trustees meet on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30pm, on the second floor of the Springfield Town Library, at 43 Main Street in Springfield, Vermont.

For more information, call the Library at (802)885-3108 or e-mail

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Springfield Town Library Minutes February 14, 2017

Town of Springfield
Library Board of Trustees

Tuesday, February 14, 2017, 6:30PM

1. The meeting was called to order at 6:41PM.
Present: Pat Magrosky, Richard Cofrancesco, Sandra Richardson, Kerstin Burlingame, Amy Howlett (director), Herb Jamison (Prospective Trustee), Sarah Druen (Prospective Trustee), Barbara Ball (taking minutes).

Absent:  Josephine Hingston, Matthew Pincus, Judith Edwards  

2. Additions/Subtractions to the Agenda
Sandra would like to talk about the flag.

3. Public comments

4. Minutes from the January meeting were reviewed and accepted. (Kirsten moved, Sandra seconded.)

5.   FOSTL liaison report
Sandra attended the FOSTL meeting. They want to have a Volunteer Appreciation Day on April 23rd and include FOSTL and library trustees. The FOSTL Annual Meeting will be April 5th.
FOSTL will see if Tina and Willis Wood can speak at the annual meeting about their trip. Also a discussion regarding honoring Patricia Hayden's bequest. Amy will say a few words at that event and thank her family for her gift.
FOSTL will have their book sale twice: once in July and again in October for the Apple Festival. FOSTL members are enthused at programming ideas the children's librarian has mentioned and put more money into their budget to buy Maker Space supplies as well as to pay for children's programming.

6.   Director’s report
Discussion on if the trustees would like to redesign their page on the library website. If so, this would be the time. Trustees should check out the page and see about changes they might like to have made. Suggestions can be brought to the next meeting.
Amy mentioned Brattleboro's Brooks Memorial Library's trustee page as one with a far different layout and more info. This page can be found at .
Amy presented a letter from Oliver Owen with a donation for new books to FOSTL. 

7.   Strategic planning
FOSTL is not interested in financing the strategic planning process. The board discussed the last strategic plan 5 years ago. The board and director worked on the plan; staff and community involvement will be part of the coming effort.
Amy reviewed the credentials of Lawrence Webster. Her fee will be covered by the Library budget. Amy talked about the strategic planning process. There will be 2 meetings by invitation, a month apart, where different Springfield community leaders would be invited to attend. A board member and the library director would also be present. Invited participants would be from Springfield businesses and organizations. They would come to the meeting representing their organization, but then return to the organization and share what's happening at the library. The group would talk about what Springfield needs: how it is or can better be a healthy community, and how the library fits into this vision.
There would also be an open meeting for all interested community members. The community aspirations and hopes become the foundation of the new plan, written by library staff and approved by the Board. The town manager and select board may review as the final step.
Board members asked  if a survey should be part of this process; a short survey to answer specific questions could be included.
Board agreed with Amy that the strategic planning process probably won't take place until next fall. It shouldn't happen in the summer when the library is busy with summer programming, and doing it any earlier would be a rush.
Discussion that the Library Unconference will be in Killington on Thursday, May 18th. Amy would like to close the library so all staff can attend.
Herb suggested that if the library was closed on May 18th, perhaps it could be open another day in exchange, such as on a Sunday afternoon as a special treat. Board members liked this idea. Amy needs to run this idea by the library's union and also by the town manager.

8.   Director’s evaluation
Pat collated the director evaluations received from board members. 
Relating to the form used, the Board prefers that a report of expenditures should only be presented at meetings where it is relevant, not at every meeting.
Amy said that we are now halfway through the fiscal year and the library is on target financially.
Amy mentioned that it might be useful to move towards having a discussion of the library's big projects for the next 12 months at each meeting so the board can check in on progress made. For example, the website redesign or the strategic plan.
There was mention that the library's volunteer policy may need to be revisited.  There is a policy manual, but the volunteer policy may not be listed in it. Amy will look into this and get back to the Board at the next meeting.
A question was raised regarding how library volunteers are vetted. Amy said that volunteers are used for very specific reasons, like stripping books of identifying marks when they need to be removed from the collection. Typically volunteers don't work solo, although there are some exceptions. For instance, there is one volunteer who delivers materials to people who can't get to the library. Because of her role, the library provided a full background check and town volunteer application.

9.   Feed Your Passion planning
The group set the date for Feed Your Passion: Wednesday, May 17th from 5-7PM.
Board members should start brainstorming a list of people who might like to lead activities.
Discussion that maybe Trout River Brewery could do a tasting? This idea can be run by the town to make sure it wouldn't be against any rules.
Past and future ideas for activities included Zentangle, Gaming, Cake decorating, Smoothie Bicycle, Stellafane, garden club, music,  how to choose a dentist, how to get politically involved, learn 10 things in 2 hours, how to knit, yoga in the stacks, involving the movie theater and having them show a movie afterwards, having a table with voter registration. Sarah will talk with Town Clerk Barbara Courchesne about this. Having Mona Frye from the Art Gym do something.
Food vendors have included or could include the Co-op, 371, Subway, Hartness House, 56 Main St, Sherry's and others.
It was mentioned that having music in front of the library helped draw folks in. 
Amy will put an announcement on Facebook: Feed Your Passion is looking for performers and ideas. She will let people know that not every suggested performer or idea will be chosen. Amy can bring a list of submitted ideas to the next board meeting.

10. Flag
Sandra mentioned that the flag outside the library may be a bit worn. Amy will have Sonny look at this.

11.   Executive session if needed
No need.

12.  Next meeting date and adjournment
The next meeting will be Tuesday, March 14th, 6:30PM.

Motion to adjourn (Sandra moved, Kirsten second.) Meeting adjourned at 8:25PM.