Grafton Public Library

Library Updates


Posted by bethg on

The Grafton Public Library, located at 35 Grafton Common, is open Monday through Thursday from 10am-9pm and Friday and Saturday from 10am-5pm. A Library card is FREE to any resident in Massachusetts.

Funded at just over 1% of the Town budget, the Grafton Library is pleased to provide superior return on investment of your tax dollars! The Grafton Public Library’s operating budget will cost taxpayers $35.68 per resident in FY2017.

At year end, there were 47,396 items in the collection. This is insufficient to meet demand, and at 2.6 items per capita, is well below the 4.8 items per capita baseline standard for public library service in a town of Grafton’s size; unfortunately we lack the space to maintain an excellent retrospective collection, and the budget to purchase all items in demand. In 2016, patrons requested 23,382 items from other libraries in the C/W MARS network, a 6.5% increase from 2015.

The Library facility continued to be a challenge in terms of space, accessibility, seating, parking and noise. Capital projects brought forward in November included brick repair and repointing, self-check, window repair and deleading, and automated materials handler. Much the year was spent preparing the MA Public Library Construction Program grant application, which if successful, would fund 40-55% of a library expansion and renovation project.

• 82,633 visitors ↑ 12%
• 13,562 program attendees ↑ 45%
• 139,627 items circulated ↑ .6%
• 14,101 digital items circulated ↑ 22%
• 1,173 museum passes picked up ↑ 14%
• 10,056 library card holders ↓ .38%
• 7,306 items added ↑ 10%
• 4,873 Computer Users ↑ 7%
• 5,610 Reference Questions ↑ 12%
• 551 programs ↑ 21%
• 25,288 website visitors ↓ 3%
• 51,459 website hits ↑ 1%

Physical circulation of items increased by less than 1%, but digital items increased by 22%. Visitors, programs, items added, computer use, reference questions, museum pass use, and website hits have all increased, while number of Grafton library card holders decreased by less than 1%.

The formulation and acceptance of the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan prioritized six roles for the Grafton Public Library:

  1. Visit a Comfortable Place: Physical and Virtual Spaces. Residents will have safe and welcoming physical places to meet and interact with others or to sit quietly and read and will have open and accessible virtual spaces that support networking.
  2. Satisfy Curiosity: Lifelong Learning.
    Residents will have the resources they need to explore topics of personal interest and continue to learn throughout their lives.
  3. Stimulate Imagination: Reading, Viewing, and Listening for Pleasure. Residents who want materials to enhance their leisure time will find what they want when and where they want them and will have the help they need to make choices from among the options.
  4. Create Young Readers: Early Literacy. Children from birth to five will have programs and services designed to ensure that they will enter school ready to learn to read, write, and listen.
  5. Know Your Community: Community Resources and Services. Residents will have a central source for information about the wide variety of programs services, and activities provided by community agencies and organizations.
  6. Celebrate Diversity: Cultural Awareness. Residents will have programs and services that promote appreciation and understanding of their personal heritage and the heritage of others in the community.

The plan, online at, identified 53 objectives to meet the following four goals:
Goal I: Provide access to excellent collections of materials in a variety of formats, reading levels, and interests, for all ages.
Goal II: Deliver well-rounded, patron-centric, and forward-thinking services to engage visitors from birth to adulthood.
Goal III: Create loyal, enthusiastic fans of the Library that become our promoters, champions and advocates.
Goal IV: Provide an up-to-date, attractive, adaptable facility that is appropriate for the size, scope and needs of our diverse community.

The strategic plan, reviewed annually, showed at year-end review that we are on target.

The Summer Program exploded this year, with:

  •  3,149 participants of all ages, including 2,177 kids at programs;
  • 140 teens, up 40% from 2015;
  • 759 kids, up 185% from 2015;
  •  290 adults, up 625% from 2015;
  •  150 programs ranged from Yoga workshops, Night Sky pop-up planetarium, Coding with Minecraft, Mr. Kim in concert, and many crafternoons;
  •  12 end of summer reading prizes given away
  •  8 storytimes in the park;
  •  50 bags of food were donated to the Grafton Food Bank in lieu of library fines;
  •  20 pints of blood were donated to Boston Children’s Hospital; 4 bee hives were purchased for Heifer International;
  • $84 donated to Tufts Wildlife Clinic in Grafton collected from penny voting for Heifer International.

In addition, the Library:

  • Completed annual patron database cleanup.
  • Recataloged items to make it easier for patrons to find books in a series.
  • Continued to discard damaged, old, inaccurate, and duplicate materials that were not circulating, as space is at a premium.
  • Added passes to Southwick Zoo and Davis Farmland;
  • Added Hoopla, an online streaming media service;
  • Partnered with the Grafton Food Bank to offer two amnesty periods (June-August and November-December), allowing patrons to donate non-perishable goods in lieu of cash.
  • Partnered with Willard House & Clock Museum, UniBank, and Grafton Recreation Department for off-site storytimes;
  • Partnered with local scouts on dental hygiene, brain exercise, sensory garden, and other initiatives;
  • Partnered with local schools to promote summer reading and provide STEAM themed kits for PreK-gr 2;
  • Coordinated 49 regular volunteers and a number of non-recurring volunteers, who donated 1,719 hours of service, a 22% increase.

Keeping up with failing systems is an ongoing challenge. The Library made the following building improvements in 2016:

  • Improved air conditioning and heating in the throughout the Library;
  • Upgraded wireless access throughout the Library;
  • Replacement of rotted pipe in the kitchen;
  • Performed annual maintenance of air conditioning and heating units, fire alarm system, lift, fire extinguishers, boiler and hot water heater.

In 2016, the Library had 11 FTE and continued to fall short of the lowest baseline standard for public library service of 13.8 FTE for a population of 10,000-24,999 residents.

Valerie Evans resigned her 24-hour position due to scheduling conflicts but agreed to stay on-call for emergency coverage; we split the position into two 12-hour positions. Cyndi Zarriello and Sandhya Shenoy were hired to fill those positions.

Teen Librarian Allison Cusher continued on the YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers book selection committee. Many books that Allison received gratis for review and consideration for her committee’s book list were added to the Library collection, donated to the Grafton High School Library, and provided to teens in the community.

All staff met their commitment to maintain their skills by attending professional development sessions on topics ranging from eBooks to reader’s advisory to marketing. The Library was closed for professional development for 3 half days in 2015.

Due to the amount of off desk and outreach work required to complete job duties, we struggle to meet Board of Library Trustees policy of two people per service desk during all service hours. Increased demand for library services still leaves staffing the building thin on some night and weekend shifts.

This year, due to non-benefit staff taking non-paid leave time, we experimented with substitute staff with great success; we are not able to cover all 1,200 hours of leave time, and this figure does not include unanticipated sick time, just personal/vacation time. We reviewed Sunday hours at a Trustees meeting, but need 100% coverage for 58 hours during the week, first.

The Library received over $10,000 in grants. We completed a LSTA Full STEAM Ahead grant to develop science and art themed kits for preschools and daycares, STEM/STEAM themed programs for preschoolers, valued at $7,500.00 for performer and materials. The Library received a $1,000 grant from the State Historical Access Board (SHRAB) to put historical documents such as annual reports and newspapers into acid free storage boxes. The Library received $2,500 from UniBank for two wireless initiatives which will roll out in 2017: circulating WiFi hotspots, including a portable digital projector that is a WiFi hotspot, and implementation of Boopsie, an integrated mobile app that pulls together Library information, a searchable catalog, links to databases and digital resources, and the online event calendar.
Memorial donations in memory of former trustee and longtime Library advocate Henry Saylor Poler are still being accepted by the Friends of the Library. Donations and bequests are always welcome! Contact Beth Gallaway, Library Director, at 508-839-4649 x1105.
The Library received numerous contributions from the Friends for marketing, programs, and staff hospitality. The Friends membership reached 169 members. The Friends hosted a Paint N Sip fundraiser, the annual Spring Egg Hunt, and several Down Under Book Sales. Bookbags are now available for sale at the Library as an ongoing fundraiser.

The Library spent over $1,000.00 with the following vendors in 2016:
Ingram Library Services $28,472.17
C/W MARS network $16,537.00
Renaud HVAC $16,364.75
Findaway World $14,261.01
Midwest Tapes (media) $14,074.00 $8,361.78
Kearsage (electric) $6,961.64
National Glass Works $6,429.00
Gale (large print books) $5,210.33
Overdrive $4,164.58
W.B. Mason (supplies) $4,096.71
Recorded Books (materials) $3,689.50
Basch Subscriptions (magazines) $3,557.08
Staples Advantage (supplies) $3,791.53
Midwest Tapes (database) $3,000.00
Xerox Corporation $2,839.32
N*Star $2,492.14
Allison Cusher (reimbursements) $3,494.25
Proquest (databases) $1,979.00
Town of Shrewsbury (database) $1,763.22
National Grid (electricity) $1,615.23
The Creative Company $1,612.22
Scholastic (books) $1,555.00
Koopman $1,541.62
Jesse Dowd $1,480.00
Gareth Stevens Publishing $1,418.50
Verizon (phone/alarm/fax lines) $1,260.63
Quality Books $1,233.73
Charter Cable (Internet & Wi-Fi) $1,080.00
Rourke Educational Media $1,023.60

In addition to offering eBooks, music, movies, and online learning at, the Library increased its social media presence across multiple platforms. You can now friend or follow the Grafton Public Library on the following sites:

The Grafton Public Library, established in 1876, moved into a dedicated facility at 35 Grafton Common in 1927. The Georgian building featured a vaulted main reading room, Board Room, Director’s office, and basement level meeting space. Subsequent renovations and capital projects relocated the Children’s Corner into the meeting space, repointed brick walls, repaired the cupola and damaged ceiling, replaced water-damaged carpeting, increased electrical amperage, and added furniture and shelving to accommodate the growing collections and population.

We are grateful to the Town for support in CPA and CPC funds for the renovation completed in June 2013 that made part of the building ADA-compliant by adding a LULA and accessible entrance and restroom. This project additionally brought fire protection, safety and security systems up to code. Ice dam damage required repairs in the Main Reading Room and Director’s office in 2015, and the staff kitchen underwent some renovations in 2015 as well.

We are in the unique position to take advantage of a grant award from tax funds already collected for the purpose of library renovations in the commonwealth. In January 2017, we submitted a grant application with a proposal to remove 3,390 square feet of stacks and add 22,597 square feet of new space, for a total of 25,987 square feet to benefit the current population of 18,155 residents, projected by CMRPC to grow to 22,122 by 2035.
The proposed project includes 134 reader seats, shelving to accommodate 20 year growth, and enough parking to serve the community. Thanks to the Town for appropriating $75,000 for DRA Architects to facilitate planning and design, including 3 community forums. These meetings, along with five focus groups, helped us to prioritize a flexible meeting room, tutoring/quiet study rooms, a teen area, a youth services program room, climate-controlled space for historical collections, dedicated staff office space, and self-checkout stations. The submitted design includes a rooftop patio and gardens to extend the proposed facility by providing outdoor space to read, connect, and reflect.

We have been in need of more space for well over thirty years. Our efficiency and excellent service may be underscoring the need for an updated, upgraded facility worthy of the Town’s educated, inquisitive, engaged residents. In my short tenure, the statistics I provide on a monthly and annual basis demonstrate the vitality of your local public library.

I hope you will attend subsequent Town Meetings to learn about and vote on this important project. Whatever the outcome in 2017, I look forward to serving you, and thank you for your continued support.
Respectfully submitted,

Elizabeth S. Gallaway,
Library Director

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C/WMars Evergreen Databases will be DOWN for Scheduled Upgrade February 20th

Posted by bethg on

The C/WMars Evergreen databases will be down on Monday, February 20th (President’s Day holiday) for a scheduled upgrade.

The upgrade will start early morning, after notices are complete.

All Evergreen services will be unavailable while they upgrade the database. This includes the client, OPAC, and authentication via SIP (OverDrive, Commonwealth Catalog, Boopsie, etc.)

We expect the system to be back online by mid-afternoon.

Thank you for your understanding. Please contact Susan Leto, Head of Borrower Services, at or 508-839-4649 xt 1108 with any questions.

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RESCHEDULED – LEGO Death Star Ornament

Posted by switham on


This is the rescheduled event that was supposed to be held on Saturday, December 17th. If you were originally signed up for that event we have reserved your spot.

LEGO Death Star Ornament – Celebrate the release of the newest Star Wars movie by making a LEGO Death Star Ornament. All supplies will be provided. Registration is required and space is limited. Each participant should fill out a form. You may only sign up for one session of the Death Star Ornament.

This free program is for everyone grade 3 to adult.

Session 1  1:00-1:45 pm – Event is full but you may still submit this form to be placed on the waiting list.   Register online

Session 2  3:00-3:45 pm – Event is full but you may still submit this form to be placed on the waiting list.  Register online

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Scarecrow Contest

Posted by sbanister on

October 22, 10am-12noon
Stakes, twine and hay will be provided on the Common at this event only.

October 23rd -30th
Vote for a favorite scarecrow online at The winner will be announced on Halloween!

October 11th -31st
Post a photo of your favorite scarecrow and share on social media, using the tag #GraftonMAScarecrow

November 1st -4th

PLEASE NOTE: If it rains, we’ll be building in the bandstand – or families and individuals can take materials home to complete. Return to post your scarecrow by 12 NOON Sunday so we can get online voting underway!


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LEGO Brick Builders

Posted by switham on

lego bricks 2






Design your own creation, or build a specific model! Bricks and Building Resources will be provided.

For children in grades K-5.

Please register for this program.

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Celebrating Summer Reading Success – Thank you!

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Library Director Beth Gallaway with 2 of our Summer Reading Grand Prize winners!








Young Adult Librarian Allison Cusher with our Teen Summer Reading Grand Prize winner!






The Grafton Public Library would like to thank all those who participated in our “On Your Mark, Get Set, READ!” Summer Reading Program 2016! It was wonderful to see so many patrons this summer in the Library as people of all ages tried new crafts and workshops, met up with friends, picked up Summer Reading titles, or some audio books for that long road trip! Congratulations to all our Summer Reading prize winners and many, many thanks to our sponsors!

Summer Reading success is:
• 2,730 participants of all ages
• 140 teens participated
• 759 kids registered
• 2177 kids attended a program
• 150 programs that ranged from Yoga workshops, Night Sky pop-up planetarium, and Coding with Minecraft to Stop Motion Animation, Mr. Kim in concert, and many craft afternoons!
• 12 end of Summer Reading prizes given away – Congrats winners!
• 3 Grand Prize Winners!!
• 8 Storytimes in the Park
• 48 Henna tattoos for kids, teens & adults
• 196 Lego creations were built!
• 27 teens and tweens made SLIME!
• 23 teens and adults learned the art of glass fused pendants
• 50 bags of food were donated to the Grafton Food Bank in lieu of Library fines – thank you patrons!
• 20 pints of blood were donated to Boston Children’s Hospital.
• 4 bee hives have been purchased for Heifer International.
• $84.00 donated to Tufts Wildlife Clinic in Grafton that was collected through Penny Voting for the Heifer International animal.

The 2016 MA Statewide Summer Reading Program was sponsored by the Grafton Public Library, the Friends of the Grafton Public Library, the Town of Grafton, the Grafton Recreation Department, Trek Stop, Apple Tree Arts, Willard House & Clock Museum, the Massachusetts Library System, the Boston Bruins, and the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.

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Bulbs request for Girl Scout Gold Award and Library garden

Posted by switham on

Image result for garden bulbs

It’s time to plan for spring planting in our Library garden!

Girl Scout, Julia is working on her Gold Award. The Gold Award is the highest achievement within the Girl Scouts of the USA, earned by Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts. Only 5.4% of eligible Girl Scouts successfully earn the Gold Award. Julia and Beth Patch (Library staff) have built the new raised bed and planted plants which attract bees. As part of her project, Julia would like to plant bulbs for early spring and is requesting donations of the following bulbs:


Bulbs can be dropped off at the Library. Thank you for your support and help with this project!

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Adult Craft: Bullet Journals

Posted by switham on

Bullet journals are a customizable way to organize yourself. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, or all of the above. In this program attendees will receive their own journal. We’ll talk about the different ways to use bullet journals, show you examples, and give you ideas. Then you’ll be able to start personalizing your journal the way you want. We’ll provide markers, colored pencils, and other supplies to get you started.
Please REGISTER online for this program or call 508-839-4649.

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Yes, it’s August! Get your summer reading books!

Posted by acusher on

Child Facebook CSLP2016

North Street and Millbury Street Elementary Schools

Suggested titles, not required.

Students entering 2nd Grade

Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park

Cam Jansen series by David Adler

Ready Freddy series by Abby Klein

Geronimo Stilton series by Geronimo Stilton

Horrible Harry series by Suzy Kline

Flat Stanley series by Jeff Brown

Henry and Mudge series by Cynthia Rylant

Mr. Putter and Tabby series by Cynthia Rylant

Franklin series by Paulette Bourgeois

Students entering 3rd Grade

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

Owen and Mzee: The True Story about a Remarkable Friendship by Craig Hatkoff

A-Z Mysteries series by Ron Roy

Clementine series by Sara Pennypacker

39 Clues series by Various Authors

The Spiderwick Chronicles series by Tony DiTerlizzi

Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne

Poetry Books

Students entering 4th Grade

Enemy Pie by Derek Munson

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

Amber Brown Goes Fourth by Paula Danziger

Awfully Short for Fourth Grade by Elvira Woodruff

Ivy and Bean series by Annie Barrows

Fudge series by Judy Blume

Time Warp Trio series by Sarah Varon

Meg MackIntosh by Lucinda Landon

Rose by Nikki Giovanni

Students entering 5th Grade

Just Kidding by Trudy Ludwig

The Friendship by Mildred Taylor

Dear America series by Various Authors

The Sister Grimm series by Michael Buckley

Charlie Bone series by Jenny Nimmo

The Magic Thief series by Sarah Prineas

The 20th Century Children’s Poetry Treasury by Jack Prelutsky

The Blue Fairy Book series by Andrew Lang

Shimmer and Splash: The Sparkling World of Sea Life by Jim Arnosky

Students entering 6th Grade

Rules by Cynthia Lord

The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen

Tangerine by Edward Bloor

Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer

So B. It by Sarah Weeks

The Brooklyn Nine: A Novel in Nine Innings by Alan M. Gratz

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

Heat by Mike Lupica

Egypt Game by Zipha Keatley Snyder

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Chaldenko

Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini by Sid Fleischman

Middle School: The Real Deal by Juliana Farrell and Beth Mayall

The Tarantula Scientist by Sy Montgomery

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

The Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch

Suggested Authors: Jerry Spinelli, Jack Gantos, Anthony Horowitz, Andrew Clements, Nancy Farmer, Sharon Creech, Walter Dean Myers, Avi, C.S. Lewis, Paul Zindel, Jane Yolen

Online Learning – Elementary Schools

Wonderopolis – check out the Wonder of the Day!

Raz-Kids – use your school login to keep on readin’!

Kids InfoBits – requires Library card to login

Research in Context (formally InfoTrac Jr. Edition) – requires Library card to login

Encyclopedia Britannica – requires Library card to login

Pronunciator (upgrade from Mango Languages for foreign language learning!) – requires Library card to login

Bookflix – requires Library card to login

Educational Television – use your Library card to borrow these great programs on dvd

National Geographic

Animal Planet

History Channel

Visit a Museum today! – reserve a Museum Pass with your Library card


Grafton Middle School

One Book, One School – Code Talker: A Novel about the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac

Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac

Grafton High School

Select one of the following:

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick

Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Truck: A Love Story by Michael Perry

Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

The Hot Zone by Richard Preston

Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

Take Me With You by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Senior Year: A Father, A Son, and High School Baseball by Dan Shaughnessy

Jupiter’s Travels: Four Years Around the World on a Triumph by Ted Simon

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

A Civil Action by Jonathan Harr

Nefertiti: A Novel by Michelle Moran

Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

Once a Runner: A Novel by John L. Parker Jr.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls

Turn the Ship Around!: A True Story of Turning Followers Into Leaders by L. David Marquet

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Paper Towns by John Green

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson

Behold a Pale Horse: Exposing the New World by Milton William Cooper

Fevre Dream by George R. R. Martin

This Beautiful Life by Helen Schulman

It Was Me All Along: A Memoir by Andie Mitchell

Broken Road: Turning My Mess Into a Message by Tony Collins with Bethany Bradsher (on order)

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope by Tom Brokaw

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Martian by Andy Weir

Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen

Little Victories: Perfect Rules for Imperfect Living by Jason Gay

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

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