• Play group in the Fox Room, 9:30 AM Fridays

    Join us and Rutland County Parent-Child Center from 9:30-11 AM Fridays in the Fox Room for play, activities and meeting new friends.

  • MSJ Yearbooks now online

    From our friends at Rutland Historical Society: MSJ yearbooks (1939-1993 except 1943 which was not published) is online at the Historical Society website.

  • New source for e-books

    OneClick!digital has now added a selection of classic books to its offerings. There are no checkout limits, holds or waits … perfect for class reading lists.

  • OneClick has your audiobook

    Check out an audiobook from OneClick Digital with your library card … no limits or wait times. iPhone app now available, and find a wide assortment of audio classes as well.

  • Try TumbleBooks ebooks for Kids!

    Click on the Kids Space tab to access TumbleBooks! Find animated, talking picture books with fiction, non-fiction and foreign language titles, and Read-Alongs (chapter books with sentence highlighting and narration.)

  • Reader’s Corner

    Reader’s Corner (which you can find in the left-hand menu, and the top menu) features all the resources you need about books in our library. There are links to InterLibrary Loan and a request form for new books and dvds. Check it out today!

  • Events List

    List of Upcoming Events will go here

  • Volunteer Application

RFL Long Range Plan

The Process

The Rutland Free Library Board of Trustees and staff undertook a long-range planning effort in January of 2005, using the “Planning for Results” process developed by the Public Library Association. The key ingredient of this process was a broad-based Community Planning Committee, which met between March and May to articulate community needs and recommend library responses to those needs. The committee included representatives of each of the towns that contribute public funds to library operations, representatives of many community segments, two members of the library staff, and two members of the library board. The library director and assistant director attended all meetings.

An outside facilitator helped coordinate the process, which was a lively interactive community dialogue.  To ensure ample input, the facilitator also conducted focus groups with library staff, board, friends, and a group of young adults. Individual interviews were held with several community members.

Once the Community Planning Committee completed its recommendations and selected service responses, library staff developed goals, objectives and activities. Following Library Board review and input, the Long-Range Plan was approved in September of 2005.

Key Priorities for the Plan Period, 2005-2010

The Long-Range Plan service responses, and associated goals and objectives reflect the following priorities for the library’s future that were shared by many of those involved in the planning process:

  1. Provide ease of access and convenience to the user. Focus on innovative ways to serve library visitors that reflect current needs, such as expanded use of the library’s web presence, faster identification and delivery of high-demand items, and more display shelving.
  2. Support information literacy and understanding of information technology. Expand training class offerings and locations by partnering with appropriate community agencies.
  3. Develop a welcoming, community living room style. Establish a café area and work on providing seating and table arrangements throughout the building and grounds.
  4. Strengthen local history/genealogy services. This unique collection requires both preservation and improved access to become more useful to the community.

Library Service Responses

When writing their vision for the Rutland region, the Community Planning Committee outlined key areas that they viewed as critical to that vision. Service responses are a way of stating how a library believes it can best serve these articulated needs. Based on the selected service responses chosen by the committee, and guided by the Board, the RFL staff formulated goals, set out strategies to measure success, and laid down some plans for activities which will help us achieve those goals.

One caveat should be noted, however. Public libraries across the country are experiencing rapid and often profound changes in community needs and use patterns. Rutland Free Library is no exception. Library trustees and staff have set out goals for the next five years, but are fully aware that although the key priorities outlined in the executive summary are likely to remain solid, the plan needs to be fluid.

Over the course of five years, activities may be altered or new ones added in order to remain responsive to the larger community needs. Even as this plan is adopted, it is clear that our own current usage figures indicate the need to be constantly monitoring and re-evaluating the plan and asking the question, What can the library bring to the community that no other institution can? Rutland Free Library is not so large that changes have to be caught up in spirals of authority, nor so small that none can be anything but dreams. The library is sized perfectly for nimble action.

Service Responses, Goals, and Activities 2005-2010

Library visitors will make full use of the library building and grounds for formal and informal sharing of information and community building.

Each year during this planning cycle, the number of people using the library for commons purposes will increase by 10% over the previous year. Measures will include program attendance, daily gate count, and annual staff survey in lobby.

Strategy and Activities:

  1. Establish a café area in the building
  2. Install comfortable seating in all feasible locations
  3. Develop building grounds with tables, benches or other seating and additional landscaping


Library users will enjoy and benefit from a library that anticipates and quickly responds to changing trends in current events and popular culture; this response is reflected in every aspect of library services – materials, technology, programming and staff knowledge.


Each year usage of current topics and titles will increase as indicated by a 10% annual increase in each of the following measures: circulation of new popular fiction and nonfiction titles, number of website hits on portions of the website and attendance at events.

Strategy and Activities:

  1. Create more display shelving to encourage browsing and discovery
  2. Update the website at least monthly with a target of weekly
  3. Develop a system to quickly identify high-demand items
  4. Communicate current topics and titles to the public
  5. Create and distribute newsletter

All who visit the library or the library website will find the information they seek.

Each year of this planning cycle, there will be a 10% increase in the number of people who after a survey that they found the information that they sought.

Strategy and Activities:

  1. Expand interior and exterior signage
  2. Update the website at least monthly
  3. Continue and expand computer classes
  4. Provide a person to direct patrons as they enter the library


Library users will have the opportunity to develop the skills needed to locate, evaluate, and effectively use information in a variety of formats.


  1. The number of people learning how to use and locate library resources will increase by 10% per year as measured by attendance at computer classes and one-on-one instruction provided by library staff and/or volunteers
  2. The number of people who say on class evaluations and one annual survey of one-on-one patrons that they are confident in their abilities to find, use, and evaluate online information will increase 10 percent per year

Strategy and Activities:

  1. Expand computer and research training classes
  2. Set up training classes outside of the library to reach every segment of the community
  3. Improve interior signage and maps

People of all ages will turn to the Rutland Free Library as a resource throughout their lives.

The number of library cards issued will increase by 10% per year.

Strategy and Activities:

  1. Develop relationships with other agencies and institutions to locate and provide expanded outreach services
  2. Contact schools and home schooling families about opportunities to visit the library
  3. Provide library staff visits to all schools in the library’s service area
  4. Provide a broad range of programs for widely diverse ages

The Rutland Free Library will provide access to an excellent collection of local history and genealogy.


  1. Patron satisfaction with resources will increase by 10% as indicated by a survey.
  2. The number of patrons using local history and genealogy resources will increase by 10% per year as indicated by hits on website and appropriate databases and a door-count of visits to the Vermont Room

Strategy and Activities:

  1. Establish a collection development policy with an eye to expansion
  2. Develop a preservation plan which will include digitizing selected portions of the collection
  3. Provide bibliographies and pathfinders for local history and genealogy resources
  4. Re-locate the collection to the Lawrence Reference room and provide needed equipment for researchers
  5. Give all public service staff an orientation to the basic print and database resources