Grafton Public Library

Library Updates

Spotlight on Historical Fiction

Posted by sleto on

Whabook cartt do the first Native American to graduate from Harvard College, a young fugitive from Stalin’s rule, and the daughter of Jacob, from the book of Genesis have in common?  They are all characters in books nestled together on this month’s “spotlight shelf”: Historical Fiction.

Check one out and time travel from your own livingroom couch!

Visit the display virtually and place holds on titles of interest through our Adult Display: Historical Fiction Pinterest Board!


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Director’s Report: April 2014

Posted by bethg on

Much of April was taken up with interviews, second interviews, and calling references for candidates who applied for the Children’s Librarian vacancy. Thanks to Jenny McNeil and Allison Cusher, who participated in the search committee, to Susan and Heidi who provided Library tours, and to other staff who covered service desks so we could conduct interviews. We received 14 applications, invited seven candidates for interviews, and six accepted. One accepted another position, and another candidate declined a second interview because the low salary was unacceptable for position that requires a master’s degree and includes supervisory duties. Four candidates performed a storytime and for Library staff and patrons, and we have narrowed our selection to two candidates. Both are in process of completing their degrees. I made a recommendation to Tim McInerney on Friday May 3.

The other big item for April was the Friends annual Egg Hunt. Betty Wright at the Recreation Department coordinated high school volunteers to fill the eggs, Beth solicited donations from Wegmans and Stop & Shop, and Donna Trainor mobilized the volunteers the day of the event. Girl Scout Troop 30225, along with one other teen volunteer, was a huge help in placing eggs on the Common and providing friendly assistance to the participants. I heard only positive comments, and everyone was respectful of the 6-egg rule. Thanks to Carrie Hogan, Holly Walton, and Dana Wilson who helped the day of the event. Holly and Jeff hid the golden eggs, Carrie made the coffee run, and she and Dana helped replenish craft supplies during the egg hunt festivities. Jenny McNeil says, “thanks to their efforts, I’m sure many Easter centerpieces included a Grafton Library marigold.”

Dana’s pictures went to the paper after the reporter’s camera was stolen on another assignment; as of May 1 they have not been published. A Letter to the Editor from the Friends is in the works.

The March Director’s Report was posted to the Library website—a first. No one has commented to date.

I met with Jen Sclar in the Assessor’s office to discuss redeployment of an unused server. Eric from C/W MARS came out to do a site survey and reported that no traffic is going through their secure connection, so a meeting has been called with C/W MARS and MX to fix the issue.

Per Board request, I began researching all Library trusts; a separate report will be provided. Note that in 2002, the Town Clerk reported no information on 3 trusts. A thorough review of Board minutes is recommended, to see if we can narrow down the date of these bequests.

Heidi and I met with Carolyn Browne, the president of the Garden Club, to talk about putting a garden in the back of the Library between the two walkways. We want to provide a small garden of edible ornamental plants, that will be a component to the science-themed summer reading program. I’ve made several attempts to contact Perrault for landscaping help. The Garden Club does not have members who can commit to caring for the Library’s plants. No one responded to the publicity for a volunteer that could take care of plants and weed.

Another person came in with a census handout in April. We’ve started tracking compliments on our daily reference stat sheet. When looking for contact information for the Grafton country club the patron said, “You are doing all kinds of things the telephone company didn’t do. It is appreciated.” “Thank you for the face-outs and readers’ advisory strips!” said one appreciative patron.

We received a compliment on the DVD selections and said it was amazing. Tim Adams complimented Eileen on her hard work and consistency. Ted Alcarez said “You guys are doing great work. We don’t tell you enough.”
One patron noted “I miss the non-fiction section over here [where the YA is now]. Bigger, glossier, nicer books.” We have been purchasing more popular materials, which are sometimes in paperback format. Many large glossy books from For The Love of Books are on display. The nonfiction is hidden from view around the corner from fiction. Suggestions for a more prominent location are welcome.

During the rainy month, we kept an eye on the Children’s Room floor and report no flooding. It remains cold and damp in the Children’s Room. I requested storm drains get a spring cleaning, and checked in with the gutter cleaners who felt unless we noticed debris or loose tiles, this should be a once-a-year project in the late fall.

Renaud returned to address the issue of spouting water in the Children’s Room radiators again. We need to do an MIIA required fix: a gas valve extension. Renaud quoted the cost of cleaning the trap that runs under the entry to the Children’s room as well, and delivered a proposal to add thermostats for thirteen radiators to address the temperature issue in the building. We could replace these one at a time, but the other two issues need to be taken care of, and this year’s building and maintenance line should cover the cost.

National Window presented a quote for $3500 to repair the large palladium window and the lite in the window in the Children’s room that is missing a pane. Lidco came to replace the lamp and changed the incorrect bulb, and will be returning after our light bulb order comes in; we now have 2 parking lot lights out. DPW has been working hard to pave the Perrault lot, providing an extra 35 parking spaces to the Town Common. I re-requested a quote for materials to repair the front walkways, and requested someone come to replace the broken textured tile on the ADA ramp to the parking lot, now that the weather has warmed up.

Fire alarms and smoke detectors passed all tests on April 28. Beth submitted the documents for the building inspection for the first time in 10 years on May 2.

I’d like to de-accession old furniture to purchase ergonomic computer chairs and a small table and chairs for our staff room. Old chairs and tables could be given to the Friends, painted by local artists, and auctioned at the September mini-golf fundraiser. I have approached BVT and GHS for volunteer help to wipe old computers so they can be donated or destroyed.

Outreach and Partnerships
We served as donation location for Towels for Tufts, an initiative sponsored by a local Girl Scout troop. We have agreed to donate copier paper boxes to a Hopedale organization, Birthday Wishes; they provide birthday parties to children who live in homeless shelters. The copy paper boxes get wrapped and filled with party supplies for shelters that do not allow outside visitors.

Beth delivered a birthday themed storytime at the Willard House and Clock Museum on the first Wednesday in April. Three adults and four children attended. Participants made a birthday card for Simon Willard, and cards were displayed at the Museum during their open house the following weekend. Beth and Allison were community readers at the North Street Elementary School; On Monday April 14th Allison read the first few chapters of The Name of This Book Is Secret by Bosch to Mrs. Beausoleil’s sixth grade class at North Street Elementary School and Beth read This is Not My Hat and I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen and told a story about hats to second graders. It was great to see the school, visit the Library, and meet some students.

Beth taped a poetry-themed Storytellers episode for GCTV. Volunteers and presenters are needed 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.

The Book Wagon went to the Senior Center on April 23. It was visited by eight patrons who checked out 12 items and renewed one item, and requested three holds. We accepted three returns, renewed a library card, and took one reference question. Because of the Monday holiday, Susan wasn’t able to bring the sandwich board to the Senior Center the day before; maybe we would have had more traffic if there had been more advance advertising on site.

Susan completed her Basic Library Techniques (BLT) Certification in Collection Development on April 10; some of the highlights of the continuing education workshops were discovering a variety of resources to help in making selections to purchase; learning selection policy guidelines (will be looking ours over for updates); putting together creative displays (we are already doing most of these!); patron privacy; defending collection choices; weeding (already following most practices, learned at weeding workshop last year); an overview of the Mass e-book Project pilot; discovering BPL electronic resources, and ILL (already had this info).

Heidi attended a Reference Roundtable at the Charlton Public Library and Eileen participated in a webinar from on “The Best Way to Find Your Roots.” Her sense was that the general purpose of the webinar was to try to interest libraries in purchasing books from their digitized collection. The information in the webinar could be useful, if a patron were to come in looking for genealogical information further back then what offers, we could recommend which goes back to 1850.

On April 28th, Allison met with the YA Collaborative at the Milford Public Library. The collaborative is a seasonal meeting of young adult librarians in MA to talk about everything related to teen services and foster relationships with local libraries. One of the things Allison is really excited about is the roving book club being held this summer. Dozens of libraries will be participating by hosting a book discussion each week of summer. Teens are encouraged to visit other local libraries and meet new friends. More information will be available soon including the selected books, host libraries (Grafton will be one!) and dates.

The staff met on and received assignments to post to social media and write book reviews for the website. We should now have a new review every other week, and new content on the three Facebook pages every other day, if not daily.

Children’s Room
The Children’s Staff delivered 25 programs to 174 attendees in April. Ten young detectives searched the library during the Clue game. Future engineers designed structures with gumdrops and marshmallows-after, of course, sampling the materials.

Although we’ve had to compete with the great outdoors on sunny days, afternoon attendance seems to be picking up, as school-aged kids hit the library after three to study, have play dates, or work on projects.

Several of our regular storytime families came to our special storytime featuring children’s librarian candidates. Our patrons are very invested in their Children’s Room, and were very pleased to be a part of the process.

LEGO Club was a HIT, with attendance tripling to over 35 participants by the end of the third and final session.

Projects included cavalry scenes, vehicles, a mini-hot dog, and even model of the Grafton Public Library (built by yours truly). Check out more photos at We are planning to offer a DUPLO day soon for ages 2-6, and have added DUPLO building kits that come with stories. For example, you can read the farm book and then build a sheep, cow, horse, and pig.

The Library would love to offer a creative and fun LEGO Brick Builder’s Club on a regular basis, and branch out into story prompts and STEM programs with LEGO. We are seeking donations from the community to get started, and will be issuing a press release soon inviting community members with LEGO bricks in the basement or attic to drop off LEGO in good condition. We will also accept donations for new LEGO, and they can be purchased online through our wish list at If we do not get donations, this might be a programming expense to pass along to the Friends or consider State Aid money. It’s an investment that will pay for itself quickly; the LEGO lady costs $50/hour for library programs.

After the Egg Hunt on the Common, 95 people came to the Children’s Room to hear a story and complete a spring craft. Jenny and Marilyn handled the crowd with ease and noted ways to improve for next year; hosting the stories outside or upstairs to leave ample room for crafts or browsing is top of the list. The Easter Bunny was on the Library lawn, which was a better place than at the entrance of the Common; people naturally navigated to the Bunny, and then into the Library.

Teen Services
We had a variety of teen programs this month including Peep Diorama Building, Upcycled T-shirt into Bag (for Earth Day), and a Jelly Bean Taste Test. And there were a bunch of new faces to the programs!

The teen collection and area are expanding! The new teen books will now be on display to the left of the music CDs. With the new teen books moving and a little shifting and rearranging, Allison managed to add nine new shelves for the collection. These will fill up fast with over 200 new teen books coming in through June. With so many new titles coming in, it’s hard to pick a favorite. The book I couldn’t wait to check out was Dear Killer by Katherine Ewell. Kit, a seventeen-year-old “moral serial killer”, chooses who to kill based on anonymous letters left in a secret mailbox, while simultaneously maintaining a close relationship with the young detective in charge of the murder cases. Check out our Pinterest page to stay up-to-date on all our newest books!

Adult Services
Susan protected a test in March, and got a nice thank-you note back from the person she proctored. We also received 3 separate compliments from patrons in the last week of April about our service.

We have been making more time for one-on-one help with resumes and papers for various patrons who have requested this service. At some point, we’d like to start a human resources library so patrons can check out an expert, relieving staff from this time-intensive task. We LOVE to help, but it’s not always the most effective use of our time. So long as we can still get our library work done, we are happy to proofread.

Susan continued to weed old and worn-out material from the fiction collection and is through the letter K, removing Large Print titles and music CDs to make room for new YA materials. Beth weeded nonfiction through the 300s.
Non-fiction DVDs have been interfiled with nonfiction books upstairs with the hope that they will have more visibility to patrons. Susan put a post on Facebook and the website to highlight the non-fiction DVD collection and alert people that it has been relocated and interfiled. She also ran a full list of our DVDs (we have over 1500 DVDs for teens and adults!) and put them in a folder at the desk with a list of just nonfiction given to Heidi to post upstairs. Patrons have been asking for just such a list. We also pin new DVDs and BluRays to our Pinterest account for a visual guide to what’s new.

We frequently review the list of most requested items that C/W MARS provides to guide us in our collection development; DVDs are very prominent on the list. Patron Tim Adams made a point of complimenting staff on the depth of the selection and availability last week; he came to the Library expecting to place holds on two titles he didn’t think we would own, and they were sitting on the new shelf. Staff kindly credited the director with the change in ordering more popular materials, and told him they were now allowed to assist with collection development.
We got a new museum pass for free: Biomes Marine Biology Center & Aquarium in Kingston, RI. It holds the largest collection of New England marine life in the world. Passes to Davis Farmland and Southwick Zoo have been ordered; we’d love to get a LEGOLand Boston pass as soon as one is available.

Following a request from two different patrons, Susan asked Donna for help with mystery readers advisory. Donna came up with some great resources which she also posted on FB. Thanks, Donna!

ADOPT-A-SHELF has been initiated; five staff members that work at the front desk have been assigned a section of our fiction, DVD and audio collections to be responsible for. The goal is for each section to be kept neat, organized, face-outs updated, and old and ugly books pulled. Susan reports she can already see a difference! Thanks to Keith, Eileen, Donna and Jan. Beth and Heidi are working on nonfiction, and it was suggested the Children’s Room undertake a similar scheme.

The young man who signed up for 10 hours of service for a Boy Scout badge completed his requirement, yet continues to come in on occasional Saturday afternoons, because he “likes it here.” We’ve found that the young people (aged 13-14) make great volunteers; they are eager to do a good job and their parents seem to enjoy an excuse to sit and read! (Parents are required to stay for kids under 15). We acquired a second adult, not as a senior tax write-off, but for her own pleasure. She comes in one afternoon a week during the busy late afternoon and handles a bulk of the shelving. Our NHS student completed her Independent Service project (The Book Wagon) and continues coming on Saturdays for shelving and other projects.

We discussed Under the Never Sky, by Veronica Rossi, at the “Not Just for Young Adults” Book Discussion Group on Monday, April 14th. The Adult Book Discussion book was The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. We had two new participants. One of them bought a flower dictionary for her mother-in-law (we think) as a Mother’s Day gift this year, as a result of reading this book.

Heidi was an official “giver” for World Book Night. “World Book Night is an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the love of reading, person to person. Each year on April 23, tens of thousands of people go out into their communities and give half a million free World Book Night paperbacks to light and non-readers.” Heidi visited the folks at the Municipal Center looking for homes for her books. Her official book was a young adult novel, Enchanted by Alethea Kontis. Heidi was also given a few copies of The Raven’s Warrior by Vincent Pratchett. While there, Heidi convinced someone from the Clerk’s office to check out one of our audio books to give listening a try. She also got someone from the Assessor’s office to take a library card application so she can learn to use the library’s eBook collection.

In honor of National Library week, we held an “Altered Book” program. We learned from Donna Rodonja how to turn an unwanted book into a decorative bird house. It is very easy, but the results are striking.

We had two “In Memoriam” displays one for Peter Matthiessen and one for Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Heidi put up a library-themed display for National Library Week. We also had a poetry display for National Poetry month.

We participated in Massachusetts Library Snap Shot Day on Tuesday April 8th (it was also Pajama Day, to promote the Tuesday evening PJ storytime). We took pictures of patrons using the library in various ways and posted them to our Flickr account with a tag that allowed our pictures to show up with other participating libraries photos when people search for Snap Shot day. We shared on social media, too.

Patrons give rights to the pictures to MBLC and the pictures are pooled to be used by any MA Library for advocacy and marketing purposes. Beth was part of the planning committee and provided technical support with several other librarians during the event. Heidi submitted usage statistics for Grafton’s Snap Shot Day to MBLC.

Tech Services
525 items added were added, and 124 deleted in April. Donna is participating in our staff “Adopt-a-Shelf” project and has taken on maintaining the Mystery and Science Fiction shelves. She is posting weekly to FB (trying to reach the mystery fans this month), and compiling a reader’s advisory list of mystery sub-genres and their authors for the Circ. Department. This came about after a patron’s request for some “humorous” mystery authors. We weeded the CD collection and she is researching how best to re-cat the music collection to something more user-friendly. Our collections should not require a directional cheat sheet to locate materials.

April Stats:

Attendance: 4,522

Circulation: 11,598

Reference Questions: 540

Programs: 46

Program Attendance: 479

Computer Users: 299

Website Hits: 3,525

Museum Pass Checkouts: 35

Library Cardholders: 8,547

Items in Collection: 41,001

Value of materials circulating: $134,896.15

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Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Posted by sleto on

TWIGS AT TWILIGHT:  Tower Hill Botanic Garden is open until 9pm on Wednesdays from now through December 31.  Savor local food and music at Twigs Café, including piano, jazz guitar, flute and more. 

Beginning June 1, 2014, the Tower Hill Botanic Garden admission will no longer be free with the library pass, but will entitle patrons to half price admission, with a limit of 2 persons per pass. As always, children under 6 are admitted free.

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“So Many Books, So Little Time”

Posted by sleto on

bookmarks magWe have added a  terrific resource to our collection to help you narrow down your choices: bookmarks!

This periodical is published specifically for passionate readers. It contains summaries of hundreds of opinions from every major newspaper and magazine on the latest fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books, as well as articles about classics you may have been meaning to read for years. Every issue highlights a veteran author and provides an overview of their writing career and a bibliography.  You’ll also find subscriber picks, book club news, and suggestions of specific genres of literature, or a particular time period. Next time you visit the library, ask where you can find this gem!


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Infant Sign Language Workshop May 21

Posted by switham on

SignLanguageEXTENDEDOn Wednesday, May 21st 10:30 a.m. Sheryl White presents “Early Signs of Communication,” an Infant Sign Language workshop!

Learn how to reduce frustration and help give your pre-verbal baby a means of self-expression before she can speak. Come with your baby and learn 25 ASL signs plus the benefits of signing, research, and resources.


  • Accelerates spoken language
  • Enhances early literacy skills
  • Gives a window into your child’s mind and personality
  • Reinforces verbal language
  • Builds on babies’ natural tendency to use gestures

Bio: Sheryl White is has been teaching programs and working with families for 14 years. She is a Certified Educator of Infant Massage, Baby Signer, Reiki Master and mother of three. Her role in these classes is to facilitate and help strengthen the connection between infant and caregiver through early communication.

Please register for this workshop.


Did You Know…

Posted by sleto on

 That we have an interesting collection of non-fiction DVD’s? They are now interfiled with the rest of our non-fiction collection on the top floor of the library. You can check out some great titles such as The Buddha, Planet Earth, American Quilts, Dogs Decoded, The Medicated Child, Jazz Icons, The National Parks, How to Guides for Home Improvement and many, many more-317 in fact!
Come on in and take a stroll through our rows of intellectual stimulation!

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Having Trouble Navigating the Online Catalog?

Posted by sleto on

Ask any staff member; we are always happy to help. But if you need assistance after hours, an online catalog help link has been added to the C/WMars catalog. From any catalog search page click on the word HELP on the menu bar to find tips on searching for materials, requesting materials, and managing many aspects of your library account.

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Free Comic Book Day, Saturday May 3rd!

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Free Comic Book Day 2014
FREE Comics and Activities at Grafton Public Library!!

On Saturday, May 3rd the Grafton Public Library will give away FREE comic books from 10am-5pm! There will be selections for all ages and interests. Drop in to caption a cartoon, draw your own comic panel, and participate in other fun activities. Don’t forget to wear your super hero costume for a fun day celebrating comics!
The Grafton Public Library joins comic book stores and libraries throughout the world to celebrate comics and comic books with Free Comic Book Day (FCBD). Free Comic Book Day is held the first Saturday in May each year and celebrates an original American art form that’s fun to read.
For more details for the program, please Allison Cusher, Teen Librarian, at 508-839-4649 or by email at For more information about Free Comic Book Day, please visit

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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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Early Childhood Education Seminar for Parents on Benefits of Music and Movement

Posted by switham on

If you missed this program on March 6th, check the Apple Tree Arts website page for other dates and locations.
Ideal for Parents/Caregivers of children birth through age 5

Led by Jan Barlow of Apple Tree Arts, attendees of this seminar will participate in developmentally appropriate music activities that help children develop an array of skills including spatial awareness, body part identification, crossing the mid line, listening and learning how to follow directions. These activities also support the development of language, pre-reading skills, pre-math skills, cultural literacy and expression. Attendees will receive songs and exercise activities that help children develop these skills.

Best of all, children will experience joy while singing songs and moving their bodies when parents and care givers learn how to incorporate music and movement into the children’s daily activities.

Objectives for participants:

  • Increase knowledge of why music, movement and music education is essential to children’s development.
  • Increase knowledge of how music is a powerful tool for brain development, creative thinking and communication.
  • Increase knowledge of ways to incorporate music into your families’ daily living and your comfort level with achieving this.

If you could not attend this seminar, Apple Tree Arts will be offering it again soon at other local libraries. Check the Apple Tree Arts website page for the other dates and locations.

Biography of Jan Barlow
The session is presented by Jan Barlow, education director of Apple Tree Arts, a nonprofit community music and theatre arts school based in Grafton. Jan has trained extensively in the MusikGarten curriculum and is Level 2 certified by the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association. She is an alumna in Vocal Performance from Berklee College of Music and has a degree in Business Management from Dean College.

Jan oversees Apple Tree Arts’ early childhood music program. She has a passion for educating young children and their families during the informative early childhood years. She shares this passion through her music training programs for preschool teachers and day care providers and through the classes she teaches for children from birth through age nine.

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