2019 Library Trustee Candidate Responses

The Board of Trustees of the Wellesley Free Library is a  six-member board of local residents who are elected to three-year terms of office. Trustees meet once a month at a posted open meeting. Trustees deal with the general oversight of all library services and policies. Through an ongoing planning process, they assess the Library’s needs and its role in town. They establish policies and procedures for the Library that reflect the needs of the community and which are consistent with national standards set by the American Library Association. Trustees work with the Library Director to prepare a budget that will provide services to the community in a fiscally responsible way. Through the Director, they supervise library property and facilities that consist of a main library and two branches.

1. How do you see sustainability as a factor in the development of policy and strategic goals for the Wellesley Free Library system?

Joint Response From Marla Robinson and Ann Howley

As Trustees, we totally support the staff and Administration at WFL in their commitment to sustainability. We are always interested in new efforts in this area. Our Director works regularly with MaryBeth Martello, Wellesley’s Sustainability Coordinator.

The concept of sharing materials is in itself sustainable. Borrowing books is an age-old library tradition, and now with the Library of Things, patrons can contribute to a more sustainable community by borrowing items such as puzzles, small electronics, musical instruments and other things that they only need temporarily. WFL staff started the Green Team. The team looks for ways to recycle things such as plastic, cardboard and other items. As the community gathering place, the WFL regularly hosts and supports programs on sustainability topics.

2. How does the current proposal to renovate the main library building improve the sustainability of the facility? If the current proposal does not improve sustainability, what would you do to incorporate sustainability into the project?

Joint Response From Marla Robinson and Ann Howley

Designing with sustainable goals in mind was important to the Library Trustees from the beginning of our feasibility study process for the reimagining of the interior of the Main Library. We hired an architectural firm that has a firm grasp on sustainable needs. The principle architect designs to LEED standards where it’s appropriate to do so, working closely with his associate who is LEED accredited.

Repurposing existing space is by its nature a sustainable goal. Maintaining and updating a building during its life prevents the obsolescence that then requires it to be torn down and rebuilt with all the waste of old materials and requirements for new. While it is a complicated process to design green when renovating, rather than building new, there are still many things we can look for as we proceed to the design phase in order to meet sustainable guidelines as well as meeting the goals of the project.

The Library Trustees will be asking the upcoming Annual Town Meeting to approve funds to proceed to the actual design phase of the project. If approved, we will continue to apply the following criteria to maintain and enhance where possible the sustainability of the Main Library. Criteria include:

  • Creating flexible, non-invasive design
  • Reusing existing furnishings where it makes sense
  • Designing to LEED standards where applicable
  • Using sustainable materials, locally sourced where possible
  • Using of materials low in VOCs and with no added Urea Formaldehyde
  • Replacing lighting with energy efficient LED lights
  • Maintaining and/or improving access to natural light


All 2019 Candidate Responses