About: Governance

Blake Memorial Library entrance
Blake Memorial Library is governed by a nine-member Board of Trustees. Seven trustees are elected by the Blake Memorial Library Association at the Association’s Annual Meeting in April, and two Trustees are appointed by the towns of Topsham and Corinth, respectively.
In 2021, 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, recent Board Meeting minutes, and the Library Committee Descriptions.

Strategic Plan

This 5-year plan was finalized in December 2021 and covers the period from 2022-2027.
Strategic Plan, 2022-2027

Library Bylaws

Blake Memorial Library Bylaws, revised 3/16/2020

Other Resources

Vermont Statutes and Standards Related to Libraries
Resources to Support Trustees’ Work


Board of Trustees Meeting June 11, 2024


2024 Minutes: Board of Trustee Meetings



119th Blake Memorial Library Association meeting:

2023 Association Meeting Minutes

2023 Minutes: Board of Trustee Meetings



118th Blake Memorial Library Association meeting:

Agenda and Packet
2022 Association Meeting Minutes

2022 Minutes: Board of Trustee Meetings



Annual Meeting, Blake Memorial Library Association:

cancelled due to COVID-19

2021 Minutes: Board of Trustee Meetings:



Read an Open Letter to BML Association and All Patrons, July 8, 2020 ›

Annual Meeting, Blake Memorial Library Association:

cancelled due to COVID-19

2020 Minutes, Board of Trustee Meetings:


Blake Memorial Library Committee Descriptions

Finance Committee:
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.

Governance Committee:
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.

Fundraising Committee:
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 two 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.

Personnel Committee:
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.

Technology Committee:
The technology committee is tasked with the job of ensuring that the library:

  1. 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”
  2. maintains and improves the library’s technology (hardware and software)
  3. develops a plan for improvement of library technology
  4. accesses grants for technology improvement
  5. recommends appropriate policies for the management of and use of Technology Committee

Download Committee Descriptions, above, in PDF format ›

Much of the work of the Board of Trustees is done by committees of Trustees and other volunteers. To find out more about volunteering at the library, visit our Volunteer page.

The Blake Memorial Library is governed by a Board of nine Trustees. Seven Trustees are elected by the Blake Memorial Library Association at the Association’s annual meeting in April.  Two Trustees are appointed by the towns of Topsham and Corinth, respectively.  Officers are appointed by the Board.

Current Board of Trustees and Officers

Shirley Montagne, Trustee/Treasurer/President
Rob Rinaldi, Trustee/Vice President
Carl Demrow, Trustee/Secretary
Tania Aebi, Trustee
Dina DuBois, Trustee
Nick Kramer, Trustee
Kathryn Price, Trustee