Blake Memorial Library is governed by a nine-member Board of Trustees. Seven trustees are elected by the Blake Memorial Library Association at the Associations’ Annual Meeting in April, and two Trustees are appointed by the towns of Topsham and Corinth, respectively.
In 2014, BML Trustees and community members held a series of meetings to discuss and develop a new strategic five-year plan. The Corinth-Topsham community residents were solicited for input and suggestions, culminating in a robust and forward-looking plan. Read it below along with the Library Bylaws, the reports from the most recent Annual Meeting of the Blake Memorial Library Association, and the Library Committee Descriptions.
This 5-year plan was finalized in February 2015 and covers the period from 2015-2019.
Read Strategic Plan in PDF format »
Reports from the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Blake Memorial Library Association
Blake Memorial Library Committee Descriptions
Or, simply read Committee Descriptions here:
The Finance Committee usually meets in November to set the budget for the ensuing year. The current year library income and expenses are examined and discussed line-by-line. The committee is made up of both board members and members from the community.
The role of the Governance Committee of the Blake Memorial Library is to ensure that the work of the board of trustees is accomplished according to our bylaws and as agreed upon by the board, in service to the library community.
The Governance Committee is also tasked with spearheading any discussions of the bylaws themselves, or other matters of the board or the association as are brought to the Governance Committee. Each year the Governance Committee updates the list of committees and reviews/updates the Board Calendar, for review following the annual meeting and voting of new board members.
The work of the library board is accomplished through committees using variations on the following process:
The Trustees identify a problem or state a goal they wish to accomplish, or a conversation with a community member yields a suggestion. Preliminary approval for the project is given. This idea or suggestion is turned over to a Library Committee which gathers information and determines possible solutions or proposals. The proposal(s) is referred back to the Trustees for a final decision.
The work is completed by the appropriate Committee. Additionally, the Governance Committee maintains a “Board Book” which is given to each member of the Board of Trustees. This book contains the Bylaws for the library, the Five Year Plan, the Board Calendar, documentation of the Trustees’ responsibilities, the Library Director’s duties, and other information pertinent to running the library and the achievement of its goals.
The Fundraising Committee’s roll in procuring revenue for the library has evolved and become more demanding in recent years as the library relies more heavily on this source of income. Activities such as two book and plant sales, the Secret Garden Tour, the annual library fund appeal letter, a fundraising dinner, and the quilt raffle continue to keep this committee quite active. Both board members and community members are on the fundraising committee.
Buildings and Grounds Committee:
This committee is composed of at least 2 Library Trustees, and an advisory group of community members (the Building and Grounds Advisory Committee) who have expertise and/or interest in projects related to building and grounds.
The Building and Grounds Committee is responsible for keeping the building and grounds in good repair, for regular maintenance, and for initiating and overseeing larger scale renovations and capital improvement projects. In carrying out this responsibility for larger scale projects, the committee will follow a sequence of steps, or action plan, consisting of (1) proposing and describing of a project, (2) discussion and preliminary approval by the Board of Trustees, (3) review, assessment, and guidance for the project by the construction experts on the Building and Grounds Advisory Committee, (4) developing a comprehensive bid proposal and acquiring bids for the work, (5) recommendation of a bid and final approval by the Board of Trustees, and (6) hiring the contractor and commencement of the project.
The Building and Grounds Committee will also present a brief report at each regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees, a report for the annual meeting of the Blake Memorial Library Association, and will contribute a relevant goal to the 5-year plan for future growth.
The Personnel Committee oversees the use of and the performance of the human resources of the Blake Memorial Library. Working in conjunction with the director, the Personnel Committee shares responsibility for establishing and developing appropriate personnel policies, ensuring that the library follows good staffing practices, and ensuring that library personnel perform their jobs well. The library director is responsible for training, supervising, and evaluating all staff; for reporting to the Personnel Committee on the performance of library personnel; and for making recommendations to the committee regarding both personnel changes and policy changes.
In addition, the Personnel Committee evaluates the performance of the library director on an annual basis using as guides both a self-evaluation completed by the director and the document Job Description: Library Director for Blake Memorial Library.
The Personnel Committee generally meets in February, and reports to the Board of Trustees shortly thereafter.
Note: All references to “staff” and “personnel” refer to both paid employees and volunteers.
The technology committee is tasked with the job of ensuring that the library:
- makes use of developing technologies in a cost effective manner in its mission to provide for patrons useful “non-print resources and technological access to information”
- maintains and improves the library’s technology (hardware and software)
- develops a plan for improvement of library technology
- accesses grants for technology improvement
- recommends appropriate policies for the management of and use of Technology Committee