Grafton Public Library

Director’s Report: March 2014

Posted by bethg on

Director’s Report

A computer disappeared from the mezzanine, and was found a week later on a bottom shelf in the fiction stacks. We are not sure if someone moved it for a prank, took it and brought it back, or tried to steal it and chickened out. Cable locks have been ordered for all Library machines.

The Library has received Level III grant for the roving archivist’s return to assist with developing a collection development plan, and carry out some of the suggestions in the report, including consolidating materials to one accessible location. Rachel Onuf and I will begin working on the project in April.

The budget was turned in and the Town Administrator made a $17 increase to the request. With the support of the Board of Library Trustees, I went to Finance Committee March 15 prepared to defend the budget requests. The meeting seemed to go smoothly. Their concerns appeared to be funding that would allow us to maintain our state aid grant, and looking at ways to consolidate services like snow removal and IT. I have met with Tim to discuss snow, with Jen Sclar to discuss IT, and look forward to additional conversations.

In March, I spent a lot of time scheduling interviews, coordinating summer reading, and taking care of building maintenance. I also did the Willard House storytime at the beginning of the month. I drafted a call for Library volunteers, booked an author visit for April—Rick Wiggin is coming to discuss his book about Embattled Farmers during the revolutionary war—and an infant sign language presenter for May.

I also met with Donna Trainor to discuss logistics for the egg hunt and Betty from the Rec Department regarding filling the eggs with candy.

I ran a weeding list for the nonfiction collection and began pulling out-of-date, worn, and non-circulating titles. Biography and Oversize are done. Heidi will be taking a second look to see if there is anything to keep, replace or update. We’re considering integrating the Oversize titles and moving the shelving further apart; it may create more of a sense of space. The new seating on the mezzanine is used frequently, by tutors, wi-fi seekers, and teens.



Renaud returned to modify the gas vent valve, per MIIA specifications, and looked at 2 leaking radiators. Several more solutions were offered by the tech: install a steam capture on the spouting radiators, and drain and flush individual radiators. We also discussed individual thermostats instead of valves, to regulate heat in all areas of the building.

Seaver was contacted about the drip on the copper apron and we’re waiting for the roofing guy to finish another project before he returns. ADA solutions is replacing the tactile tile at no cost. Lidco will replace the lamp in the parking lot light when they are in town to do a few other jobs, by the end of April.


Jenny taped for GCTV, and Beth is scheduled to record on April 8. Volunteers and presenters are welcome for May-December! In June, July and August, we’d like to stick to a science-themed stories to promote the 2014 Summer Reading Program.



We received 14 applications for the Children’s position, and interviewed six people. All candidates were invited back for a second interview; one has accepted another job, and declined due to the low salary; we are $3-4 less per hour compared to similar positions in the Boston suburbs. The second interview includes a performance element and is open to the public. Dates and times follow:

Wed April 9, 10:30 am

Thu April 10, 1:00 pm

Fri April 11, 10:30 am

Sat April 12, 11:00 am
Staff had a meeting in March to touch base on the budget and share departmental news. Staff have been encouraged to attend information sessions on the proposed change to health care that would save the town $1 million annually by switching to GCI, and to information sessions regarding the budget.

I attended the Apple Tree Arts sponsored program on Music and Movement for young children, and it was excellent and I wish it had been better attended. Heidi attended Library Legislative Day in Boston on Monday March 31.  Eileen took a webinar on online learning. Jan attended a resource sharing meeting. Susan attended webinar on the impending ILL transition on 3/26.  The new system will be run by MLS with a different but similar process to the one we currently use, which is run by the Thomas Crane Library (QUILL). The software is Clio in the Cloud.  MLS believes there will be an increased ability for self-management. We will still be using the Boston Public Library Illiad process to get excerpts.  It is expected that C/W Mars will make the transition in June.

Susan also attended session 1 of a two-part program: Basic Library Techniques-Collection Development on 3/27 at the Flint Public Library in Middleton.  It was a really good program, and she is looking forward to part 2 on 4/10.  She have some great new resources for material sources, plus got tips on weeding, displays, and many other things.  She’ll give a full summary after session 2.

Donna attended the Roundtable meeting for Tech Services at the Chicopee Public Library, where she got an update on the state eBook project, which is still in pilot stage. A couple of libraries talked about circulating e-readers and the security they use for them, what they load on them, etc. Most of them used the devices they owned in-house for demos and instruction. Ours are quite out of date.

Donna is looking forward to some new Evergreen features –we’ll be able to add notes to our item records (local musician, town history, etc). She also picked up some additional ways to do batch functions using the “copy bucket.” Cataloging details may not very exciting, but we always manage to share a few time-saving and handy tips at these things, and once in a while we can even score some supplies at the supply-swap.


Children’s Room

The Children’s Room offered an activity every day except one! In March.  Highlights included Dr. Seuss stories on Read Across America Day, a St. Patrick’s Day craft, and a spring craft to create paper flowers from muffin pan liners, paper cups and construction and tissue paper. The daffodil ones were really impressive!

A patron asked us to do a display highlighting Dyslexia resources on March 15, and we decided to leave the display up for a month. A parent interest group for struggling readers was scheduled for Saturday March 29 to discuss concerns and strategies, but no one showed up. We will try to repeat the session in March. This is another great example of how when patrons come in with ideas, we try to take the ball and run with it.

Our collaboration with UniBank, the STEM-themed Bank on Reading, draws a crowd of ten. We approached MCU in South Grafton to ask if they might be interested in hosting a session at their location on a recurring basis. The Tuesday night program has been slow to grow an audience, so staff are planning to wear PJs on Tuesday April 8 to promote it.

We changed children’s DVD loan period to 3 weeks as an experiment to help cut down on hefty overdue fines. The ability to purchase Blu-ray DVD combo packs, and some great donations, have allowed us to expand the collection enough to accomodate the long loan period and unrestricted borrowing to still leave materials to choose from.

A display of Playmobile figurines got a lot of attention at the beginning of the month. A collection of Japanese erasers was featured at the end of the month. Email to find out how to display YOUR collection!


Teen Services

Two teen volunteers hosted a video-game-a-thon fundraiser for Cradles to Crayons as their NHS independent service project. They collected $300 and a large basket of games and toys. Total traffic was around 40 people between 6-11pm on Saturday evening March 22. No new library cards, but patrons did drop in and return materials. Super Smash Brother’s Brawl was the highlight in the Main Reading Room. The Children’s Room featured Mario Kart and a hand held gaming system, and the 3rd floor mezzanine was standing room only for Call of Duty. Parent chaperones augmented Beth’s supervision of the program; two staff members and an adult volunteer dropped in with their kids to play. The event indicates potential for a lock-in for the future; the participants were respectful and helpful.

A chocolate-y aroma filled the air of the Grafton Public Library on March 29th. Nine teens took on the difficult task of sampling twenty-five different kinds of chocolate for the Chocolate Taste Test program. The program, which was open to teens in grades 6-12, was split into two sections: milk chocolate and specialty chocolate. The winner of the best tasting milk chocolate went to Milk LINDOR Truffles Bar by Lindt, with three votes. The runners up in this category, each which received two votes were Godiva and Hershey’s. The second half of the program was devoted to more daring chocolate samples from dark chocolate to chocolate with chilies or wasabi flavoring. Due to the variety of offerings there was no clear winner: Hershey’s Special Dark, Wegmans White Candy Making Chocolate, Hebert’s Poppin’ Candy, and Intense Orange Excellence Bar by Lindt each received two votes.  A jelly bean taste test is next.

The program generated a noise complaint. Allison reports the teens had a very strong reaction to the wasabi chocolate, and had to be asked by staff several times to keep it down. A patron complained about the noise level to all staff working on Saturday 3/29. Beth spoke with Allison and Susan and wrote an incident report, then called the patron to follow up and have not had a return phone call. The space limitations of the building, and lack of designated meeting room or quiet study space, make it impossible to meet all the needs of the community.

In addition to the Chocolate Taste Test we also had some excited teens come to library in celebration of the Divergent movie release. We had two nights of programming: a book discussion and trivia night. We also had some new purchases to support the Divergent excitement with two new books: Inside Divergent: The Initiate’s World by Cecilia Bernard and Divergent Thinking: YA Authors on Veronica Roth’s Divergent Trilogy.

The Teen Librarian’s Pick of the Month is Uninvited by Sophie Jordan: Davy Hamilton has the perfect life until a medical test reveals she is a carrier for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome. Now she’s being treated like the killer she may become…

Adult Services

We completed the quarterly MLS delivery survey, with 23 bins received, 28 sent containing a total of 700 items. This was the second highest number in past year (highest was last March @ 851) which indicates that although we are unlikely to loan more than we request, we are purchasing unique and in demand items.

The Senior Center Bookwagon on 3/24 was visited by 12 patrons.  We checked out 14 items, registered 2 new patrons, handled 2 reference questions and took some returns.  It appears the increased publicity and signage helped, but because of a smoke issue in the usual location we held it in the lobby, and we believe this location will be better on a permanent basis.

Susan completed revisions on the Home Delivery program materials. We have a new single page brochure, an updated Home Delivery Request form, and have developed and sent out a Home Delivery Survey to the current recipients.  Two have come back to date, and recipients are highly satisfied! “This service has been very helpful to me – thanks to all of you – special thanks to Susan,” wrote one recipient. Some of the new brochures and request forms have been brought to the Senior Center to give to the people who receive Meals on Wheels, and to have on hand for general interest.  We are issuing a press release about the program to the usual news sources, as well as posting on the website in April.

Tixkeeper was updated with current information on each pass, and the information will also be printed and put on the envelopes the passes go out in. Thanks to Jan Parise for helping on this—it was a time consuming project to accomplish amidst working on the desk!

We sent 21 boxes of discards to Better World Books, from our own weeding, plus some from Down Under.

Heidi was invited to present on the Grafton Public Library’s Adult Summer Reading program at the “Summer Reading Program 2014 Kickoff” program.  It was held at the Worcester Public Library on March 13th.  There were two break-out sessions at the meeting and she spoke to people interested in the topic at both sessions.

We discussed Hidden Talents, by David Lubar, at the “Not Just for Young Adults” Book Discussion Group on Monday, March 10th.  The Adult Book Discussion book was The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom.

Heidi also had the opportunity to do a St. Patrick’s Day themed storytime for the Preschool storytime.  We made shamrock trees.

Thanks to funding from the Friends of the Library, we hosted the program “Delectably Green and Clean.”  Cleaning Coach Leslie Reichert taught participants about less toxic and in some cases more effective products we could use to clean our homes and clothing.  She sent everyone away with a sample of an alternative to Comet cleaning powder. We had 10 people attend. Several other people couldn’t make it at the last minute but were still interested.  We also have a copy of Leslie’s book The Joy of Cleaning: a cookbook for green cleaning.

We had a “I don’t remember the title, but it’s green” display, which was fairly popular.  We also had an Irish display for St. Patrick’s Day week and put some of the “For the Love of Books” on display.

Tech Services

Donna and Eileen added 767 items in March! We deleted 148. Donna received records for and cataloged the collection of books from the For the Love of Books fundraiser, continued the project of centralizing series collections in the children’s room (re-cataloging, re-labeling, and repairing as needed); and continued the project of separating BLU-RAY/DVD combos in adult and children’s depts. This consists of re-cataloging the discs, putting them in appropriate separate cases (which I obtained by watching for free email offers of cases from other libraries) and re-creating the artwork for the covers).

Donna single-handedly changed the loan-period from 1 week to 3 weeks on the children’s DVDs and Blu-Rays and continued re-labeling, re-cataloging, and repairing older books in the children’s collection.

 Please feel free to comment & ask questions below!

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