Grafton Public Library

Library Updates

2017 Annual Report of the Grafton Public Library

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Read and print the 2017 Annual Report of the Grafton Public Library

The Grafton Public Library, located at 35 Grafton Common, is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.– 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. A library card is free to any person who lives, works, or owns a business in Massachusetts; proof of residency is required.

The Grafton Public Library celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2017, and 90 years in its location at 35 Grafton Common. The Library loans books; magazines; audiobooks; music CDs; movies and television series on BluRay and DVD; board, card, and video games; and a variety of kits and equipment, such as a telescope, lawn games, programmable robots, and more.

The Library provides programs for children, teens, and adults, including an all-ages summer reading program, seven story-time sessions per week, Dungeons and Dragons once a month for teens, and five book-discussion groups for adults; free public access word processing and internet access; online tutoring daily from 3–9 p.m. via; test proctoring; reference and research assistance in person, by email, and by phone; home-bound delivery service; one-on-one technology help; access to a scanner, laminator, paper shredder, and other office supplies; faxing and photocopying for a fee; streaming music and movies via our Hoopla database; online art and music instruction via ArtistWorks; eBooks (including eAudio) via OverDrive, Hoopla, BookFlix and ComicsPlus; online access to the Worcester Telegram and Gazette; and access to 52.5 million items statewide via the Commonwealth Catalog online at

• 77,099 visitors — down 6.7% compared to 2016
• 10,164 library card holders — up 1% compared to 2016
• 11,704 program attendees — down 13% compared to 2016
• 477 programs — down 13% compared to 2016
• 139,627 physical items circulated — down 3% compared to 2016
• 16,494 digital items circulated — up 17% compared to 2016
• 2,771 museum passes picked up — up 136% compared to 2016
• 6,590 computer users — up 35% compared to 2016
• 5,689 reference questions — up 1.4% compared to 2016
• 29,830 website visitors — up 18% compared to 2016
• 46,716 website hits — down 9.2% compared to 2016

Visitors and program attendance decreased due to fewer summer programs offered and many programs held offsite; this also affects circulation of items. Although circulation of physical items (such as books, music, and movies) decreased by 3%, digital item circulation increased by 17%.

The Grafton Public Library’s operating budget cost taxpayers $42.28 per resident in FY2018. Given that the price of the average hardcover book for adults is about $30, using the Library saves patrons a lot of money. You can calculate the value of your household’s library use online at

At year end, there were 48,820 items in the collection. This remains insufficient to meet the demand of borrowers. Also, at 2.6 items per capita, Grafton remains below the 5.5 items per capita minimum standard for public library service in a town of Grafton’s size; this baseline standard for public library service was established by Wisconsin in 2010 and is used as a national standard. In 2017, patrons requested 22,382 items from other libraries in the C/W MARS network, a 4.2% decrease from 2016. The value of Grafton Public Library items circulated in 2017 was $1,613,251.42.

We continue to make progress on objectives outlined in the 2016–2020 Strategic Plan. The plan, online at, identified 53 objectives. The Trustees’ annual review of the strategic plan was deemed to be ambitious and on target. In 2018, we will implement a comparative religions lecture series, the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten reading incentive program, and technology workshops for the public.

In 2017, the Library accomplished the following:
• Offered 58 summer programs for 2,843 participants of all ages and increased summer reading participation.
• Added passes to Old Sturbridge Village and offered free passes to the New England Aquarium and Museum of Science, thanks to a generous donation via the Friends of the Grafton Public Library.
• Partnered with the Grafton Food Bank to offer two amnesty periods (July–August and November–December), allowing patrons to donate non-perishable goods in lieu of cash. This is repeated annually.
• Partnered with Willard House & Clock Museum, UniBank, Grafton Recreation Department, and Busy Bee Academy for off-site story times.
• Partnered with scout troops, the National Honor Society, and teens on donation initiatives for pets and clothing.
• Partnered with Friends of the Grafton Library on Community Reads.
• Partnered with Recreation Department on Fun in the Sun & Scarecrow Contest.
• Partnered with Grafton Public Schools on Parent Teacher nights, Community Reads Day, EdCamp, library visits, and Summer Reading.
• Participated in Town-wide initiatives such as National Night Out, Grafton Celebrates the Holidays, and Halloween trick or treating.
• Celebrated Jerome Wheelock’s birthday and the Library’s 90th anniversary with a Gala on the Common, assisted by Boy Scout Troop 107.
• Coordinated 37 volunteers who donated 1,966 hours of service.
• Launched a Capital Campaign–donations are accepted at any UniBank location.

In addition to offering eBooks, music, movies, and online learning at, the Library continues to increase its social media presence across multiple platforms. Friend or follow the Grafton Public Library on the following sites:

The MA Public Library Construction Program (MPLCP) Grant was completed and submitted in January 2017; at a special Town Meeting in January 2017, residents voted for the Library to have jurisdiction over some of the adjacent acreage at 90 Upton Street for purposes of Library expansions.

At May Town Meeting, residents voted to accept the preliminary building design, which includes meeting rooms, quiet study rooms, a teen space, a children’s program room, a quiet reading room, and ample parking.

Voters also approved raising and appropriating matching funding, moving the question to ballot for the May Election. The Library funding question passed on May 16, 2017. In July 2017, the Town of Grafton was awarded a provisional grant by the MA Board of Library Commissioners to cover 51% of the estimated eligible costs.

The Library Planning and Building Committee is in process of hiring an Owner’s Project Manager to develop a borrowing schedule and hire an architect for design drawings so we can go out to bid for a construction company before the end of the year. We anticipate breaking ground in Spring 2019 and completing the project at the end of 2020 or beginning of 2021. More information about the grant, the construction process, and preliminary design is online at

As mentioned previously, the Town of Grafton was awarded a provisional grant of $7.4 million by the MA Board of Library Commissioners, to cover 51% of the estimated eligible costs of the $16.6 million dollar library renovation and expansion project.
The Library received $10,000.00 in contributions from the Friends for marketing, programs, and staff hospitality. The Friends membership reached 172 members. The Friends hosted the annual Spring Egg Hunt, and several Down Under Book Sales and a end-of-year raffle. Library tote bags are still available for sale at the Library as an ongoing fundraiser.

The Library made the following building improvements in 2017:
• Contracted with Blackburn Construction to repair and restore the four columns on the portico at the Main Entrance (work halted due to weather and will resume in Spring 2018).
• Installed new routers and upgraded the cable modem.
• Performed annual maintenance of air conditioning and heating units, fire alarm system, lift, fire extinguishers, boiler and hot water heater.
• Added a fairy garden and stepping stones to the formal garden beds and maintained the Library’s vegetables and herb garden.
• Painted public restrooms and corridors.

In 2017, 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. This baseline standard for public library service was established by Wisconsin in 2010 and is used as a national standard. The expanded facility will require hiring a facilities manager and custodian.
All staff members 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 three half days in 2017.

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 due to leave time, illness, outreach, and professional development. Increased demand for library services leaves staffing the building thin on some night and weekend shifts. Our summer reading program survey revealed a huge interest for more programming. These are areas that, with help from the town, we hope to address.
Eight members of the Friends of the Library provided 137 volunteer hours managing the Down Under Book Store.

Town By-laws require each department to disclosed expenditures over $1,000.00; the Library spent over $1,000.00 with the following
vendors in 2017:

Ingram Library Services (books & media) $47,871.63
C/W MARS network (catalog, delivery) $20,637.00
Midwest Tapes (media) $11,403.32 $ 9,784.01
Kearsage (electric) $ 5,250.34
Quality Books $ 4,207.89
W.B. Mason (supplies) $ 4,129.37
Xerox Corporation (copier lease) $ 4,000.24
Drummey Rosane Anderson, Architects (testing) $ 3,540.00
Basch Subscriptions (magazines) $ 3,424.76
National Grid (electricity) $ 3,302.86
OverDrive (ebooks) $ 3,278.22
Gale (large print books) $ 3,181.33
Renaud HVAC $ 3,170.00
Recorded Books (materials) $ 3,071.40 (database) $ 3,000.00
N*Star $ 2,947.67
Bartlett Tree Service $ 2,267.00
ProQuest (databases) $ 2,044.00
Staples Advantage (supplies) $ 1,882.25
Town of Shrewsbury (Worcester T&G online) $ 1,818.40
Penworthy Company (books) $ 1,675.64
The Creative Company (books) $ 1,609.70
Scholastic (BookFlix database) $ 1,633.00
Plymouth Rocket (software) $ 1,450.00
Allison Cusher (reimbursements) $ 3,662.50
EBSCO (database) $ 1,360.00
Verizon (phone/alarm/fax lines) $ 1,232.83
ABDO $ 1,114.35
DEMCO (supplies) $ 1,065.95
Koopmans (supplies) $ 1,065.09

Thank you so much to the residents of Grafton for supporting our application for the MA Public Library Construction program grant. Not only did voters approve putting adjacent land under Board of Library Trustees jurisdiction, they also approved the preliminary design and funding for the project—and all before we received notification we had received the grant! In September, the Board of Selectman voted to accept the provisional grant as good faith and agreed to borrow the full amount with the understanding that reimbursements will not arrive until our turn on the wait list comes up in 2020/2021 (depending on if other libraries ahead of us get their funding passed at their Town meetings/elections). This means the project is officially considered to be “Under Construction” by the MA Board of Library Commissioners and the Library will able to break ground—and possibly complete the project—well ahead of schedule, which will help keep the costs down.

As of January 2018, we are anticipating that the project will be complete by December 2020, with a grand reopening celebration of our renovated, expanded, 21st century library planned for January 2021. Please continue to share feedback as we move into the design phase, and anticipate revisions within the scope of the building program to be revealed at Town Meeting in May 2018. I look forward to seeing you at the Library soon!

Respectfully submitted,

Elizabeth S. Gallaway,
Library Director

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Take Your Child to the Library Day Sat Feb 3

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Join us as we celebrate Take your Child to the Library Day with a special, all-ages storytime celebrating libraries at 10:15am! Does your child have a library card? Today would be a great day to get one!

Fines for overdue materials will be WAIVED for all youth under age 18 TODAY ONLY! We are also offering free replacement cards.

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Back in the Stacks – February 2018

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“Back in the Stacks” books – what will you find?

For the month of February, we explore titles with a romantic or love theme, oo-la-la!

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley – A hardcover edition of the best-selling classic follows the legend of King Arthur as told by the women central to the tale, from the zealous Morgaine, sworn to uphold her goddess at any cost, to the devout Gwynhefar, pledged to the king but drawn to another.

All About Love : new visions by Bell Hooks – Presenting radical new ways to think about love, the author examines the role of love in our personal and professional lives and how it can be used to end struggles between individuals, communities, and societies.

Love Signals: how to attract a mate by David B. Givens –  A professor of anthropology who has studied contemporary American mating rituals presents a popular guide to the meanings and messages of body language, with discussions of facial expressions, voice, gestures, clothing, and jewelry

Baker Towers by Jennifer Haigh – For the people of Bakerton, and the five children of the Novak family, the years after World War II alter their lives in unforeseen and irrevocable ways. Dorothy is a fragile beauty hooked on romance. Brilliant Joyce, the family’s keystone, is bitterly aware of the life she might have had elsewhere. Sandy, the youngest boy, sails through life on looks and charm. George, the veteran, is driven to escape the life he was born to through selfishness and hard work. And Lucy, the volatile baby, is a confused girl with a voracious need for love. A compelling story of love and loss in a western Pennsylvania mining town.

Love by Toni Morrison – The epitome of a group of women’s ideals about love, fatherhood, and friendship, wealthy hotel owner Bill Cosey finds his life compromised by his troubled past and his feelings about a spellbinding woman named Celestial.

A New England love story : Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia Peabody by LouAnn Gaeddert – Relates the love story of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia Peabody based on their letters and journals.

A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott – An Englishwoman falls for an older man who takes her to France where she discovers he is already married. When she leaves him, he pursues her and confines her to a lunatic asylum in Germany. But she will escape. The novel was written in 1866 and was rejected by the publisher as too sensational.

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OPM Interview Schedule Announced

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OPM (Owner’s Project Manager) Interviews for the GPL Expansion and Renovation Project will be held Mon & Tue 1/22 & 1/23 at 7 & 8 pm. These are open meetings and the public is welcome to attend.

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Delayed Opening Friday, January 5, 2018

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Due to the snowstorm, the Library will delay opening until 12 noon on Friday January 5. We understand people may not be able to get to us during periods of inclement weather, so no fines will accrue for materials due 1/4-1/6. Please visit our digital branch at Stay safe and warm!

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Library to CLOSE for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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The Grafton Public Library will be CLOSED Monday, January 15, 2018 in observation of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. No items are due on this date. The Library will reopen at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, January 16, 2018.

Please visit our digital branch online to read a newspaper, check out an eBook, learn a new language, and more!

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Holiday Closings: December 25 & January 1

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The Grafton Public Library will be CLOSED on Monday, December 25th for Christmas and Monday, January 2nd for New Year’s. No items will be due.

Museum Passes for Tuesday, December 26th may be picked up on Saturday, December 24th until 5pm. The Library will re-open at 10am on Tuesday, December 26th at 10am.

Museum Passes for Monday, January 1st or Tuesday, January 2nd may be picked up on Saturday, December 31st until 5pm. The Library will re-open at 10am on Tuesday, January 2nd at 10am.

Please visit our 24/7 digital library branch at

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Grafton Ukulele Musicians – join us for the next session April 12!

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Grafton Ukulele Musicians logoWelcome to Grafton Ukulele Musicians (GUM), a partnership between Apple Tree Arts and Grafton Public Library.  We meet the second Thursday of every month and our next meeting is Thursday April 12, 2018  from 6:30-8:00 pm. All levels are welcome and there is no fee. GUM. meets on the third floor of Apple Tree Arts, One Grafton Common.

Bring your ukulele and your singing voice to participate in this jam session lead by Miss Jan Barlow from Apple Tree Arts. Participants suggest the music and also continue to practice songs learned in previous sessions . We are using the Daily Ukulele — Grafton Library has copies to check out and brings some extras to the group.

Don’t have a ukulele? You can borrow a ukulele, as well!

Brush up on your strumming skills or learn new chords with the Ukulele Course online at ArtistWorks, for free! A library card is required to access.

Here are some of the songs GUM worked on last month and will do again:

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Brown Eyed Girl (Van Morrison)
Danny Boy
Hey Good Lookin’ (Hank Williams)
Love Me Do (Beatles)
King of the Road (Roger Miller)
Polly Wolly Doodle
Save the Last Dance For Me (Ben E. King)
Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Israel Kamakawiwoʻole version, handout)
This Land is Your Land (Woody Guthrie)
We Shall Overcome (Ziphilia Horton)
What Do You Do With A Drunken Sailor
You Are My Sunshine

If you have any questions, feel free to email facilitator Jan Barlow.

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Column Restoration Underway October 23- 28

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Please note: the Main entrance (front door) of the Library may be unavailable periodically this week (October 23-28) as work is done to restore the columns.

Sorry for any inconvenience (and dust)!

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