For a short month, we got a lot accomplished in February: we held a pajama drive (thanks to all who donated), offered daily programs during school vacation week, received donations from the community, and checked out 11,503 items!
In February I completed the 2014 Annual Report and am pleased to share that all stats, from circulation to programs to database use, have increased. Check out the simplified, infographic version! I met with Lisa Rice, our Finance Committee Liaison and presented at the Public Hearing for the FY16 Budget.
Our parking lot has been full many times this month with people having to park in the overflow lot.
Materials circulation surpassed 11,500 items in February–11,503 items went out. Overdrive use decreased slightly, compared to January, with 934 checkouts, including 69 digital magazines.
Snow removal was kept up with very well, thanks to the efforts of DPW and the Town Building Department. Our primary custodian is Chris Caron, and he is doing a great job keeping up with the cleaning. Maintenance requests were submitted at the end of the month and include dry wall patching, door caulking, bulletin board and literature rack installation and more.
Beth met with Rob from Heritage Restoration Inc at the end of the month, just in time to get a proposal to CPC for the cost of repairing the Main and Boiler room doors.
Town IT went live on February 1. Department Heads were notified of the ticket system for help requests on Feb 24, and I got several IT issues into the channel, including a site survey, new profiles, aging router, and WiFi. Multiple requests for a site visit, additional user profiles, and repartitioning of a drive remain unresolved. The Library is not listed as a location in the electronic ticketing system, and this will hopefully be rectified soon.
Outreach and Partnerships
Beth met with several Friends Board members and volunteers to discuss the Easter Egg Hunt, scheduled for Saturday April 4. Hopefully the snow will be gone from the Common! We requested funding for Summer Reading Incentives (approved) and bookbags (discouraged).
Sarah and Val recorded for Storytellers.
The BookWagon traveled to the Senior Center and registered 1 new borrower. There were 9 visitors and 6 items checked out. While at Crescent Manor, we registered 4 new borrowers, and had 17 visitors, 12 check-outs and 7 requests.
This month Grafton partnered with the Boston Bruins and Cradles to Crayons for their yearly PJ drive. Donations were made at both the Library and the Municipal Center, with staff in both buildings wearing pajamas on Friday February 27 to raise awareness of the campaign. The Library with the most amount of donations wins a visit from a Bruins mascot and a Bruins Reading Rink! We are so glad to have had the support of the town and other town departments. This year we collected 4 pajamas for needy children throughout the Commonwealth.
Grants & Gifts
I completed a Community Preservation Committee Funding Request for $16,600.00 and found a grant source for a surveillance system.
A replacement AWE tablet arrived and two children tested it during school break.
Sarah and I worked on the LSTA grant and provided a draft by midmonth, two weeks in advance of the deadline, hoping for feedback on our proposal.
Local Scout leader Chris Paquin contacted me to donate a subscription to Boy’s Life, from Troop 106 – thank you! – and it will start this spring.
Our Birthday Club launched, and Carrie Hogan was the first participant, with a gift for Madeline Taylor.
Pepperoni Express donated pizza, Stop & Shop donated Dr. Seuss birthday cupcakes, and Dunkin Donuts donated pastry for the Long Range Planning meeting. I sent a thank you letter to the editor for all of the generosity we benefitted from this month.
We began cross-training two Children’s room staff members at Main Desk – Beth Patch and Val Evans. Beth Patch began working 20 hours a week. Some of her projects have included prep and support for the Long Range Planning process, creating databases for revenue, photo releases and outcome based evaluation, and training on circulation fuctions. She is a huge help and asset. Eileen attended a OneClick Digital webinar sponsored by Recorded Books to learn how to use this new database.
Thanks to Friends member Aaron Schwartz, who washed and sorted LEGOs! One new volunteer for senior tax abatement started this month, along with 2 ELL volunteers, and one regular volunteer. The Friends voted to host a Volunteer Appreciation party this year.
Susan met with mother of our autistic volunteer who is ageing out of GHS program. We are hoping to have him continue under the supervision of his new program, and possibly expand his hours. He currently works about 2-3 hours a week, pulling items to fill holds. Due to his interest in and skill with numbers, letters, and detail, we could keep him busy doing ongoing shelf-reading throughout the collection. (Susan suggested that someday we might hire him as a paid page.) Susan fielded a call regarding a summer intern; we are happy to have Alex work more hours, for a stipend, over the summer.
We have issued 41 Teacher Cards this month alone, largely due to a faculty meeting Heidi attended at the Millbury Street Elementary School. We are so pleased at the reception we have received from town and local schools in Grafton, as well as Grafton residents that teach in another town. We have also had our first request for materials to be pulled and set aside. We are happy to be able to support the educators of Grafton.
During a meeting Sarah had with the first grade teachers at South Grafton Elementary School, the topic of BookFlix was brought up. The teachers feel it is a valuable resource and recommend that their student’s take advantage of it at home, but they are hoping to be able to offer it onsite to aid their teaching and allows for in school use by the students. At this time the Grafton Public Library does not have a license that supports school use. During this meeting the teachers also expressed that while they love the Grafton Public Library, its current setup and lack of space isn’t conducive to spending a lot of time in the building because of the lack of quiet, comfortable spaces.
Take Your Child to the Library Day took place on February 7th and was hugely successful. 16 community members attended our 11am animal storytime and a total of 99 community members attended our two Animal Adventures shows. The people who participated in the program commented on how wonderful it was and how much they, and their children, enjoyed it.
We did have a few comments made about the Children’s Room being closed, bet we did our best to provide a selection of books in the Main Reading room for patrons to browse and borrow. In the future, more attention will be given to advance notification if we need to close the room for programming.
During school vacation week the library offered eight separate programs and served 89 members of the community. Our Lego Free Play program drew the biggest crowd with 42 participants using the library’s Lego collection to create, design, and play. The library also offered a Catapult Work shop where six children formed two separate teams to create a catapult using craft sticks, masking tape, rubber bands, and plastic spoons. The challenge was to create a catapult that could shoot a ping pong ball over a great distance, as well as perform an accuracy test by hitting a target 2.5 meters away. Each team did a fantastic job designing and creating their catapults. As the children were leaving, one group asked when the next challenge would be held.
Three enthusiastic Harry Potter fans played Harry Potter games and trivia at Harry Potter Book Night.
February 9-20 we provided an “I Love My Library” craft for all ages where people were invited to create a valentine for the Library, sharing what they love about visiting us. Here are some of the unedited responses we received to the prompt, “I love my Library because…”
- I can get books for research.
- I love to color
- I can get any book I want!
- I get every book I want! Happy Valentine’s Day!
- I can get lots of books for my toddler class
- play kitchen is fun
- Curious George
- I love to read
- it’s a home away from home
- Employey [sic] are very very nice
We had two very successful Dungeons & Dragons meetings during vacation week. Thanks to Pepperoni Express for supplying pizzas! We also had a great turnout to see The Maze Runner on the big screen, with one complaint about the content as much as the noise.
Our Chip Taste Test had four attendees. Even though we had a lot of great flavors donated from Bushel & Peck, the favorite was Lay’s Classic.
Nerdfighters helped set up and test play on the Library’s new Wii U. A Wii Mini was also purchased, to circulate. Over 50 new video games for the Wii U, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and 3DS have ordered to be added our collection. This includes patron requested titles and high demand holds.
This month’s book selection is Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. When her latent supernatural powers manifest in front of a noble court, Mare, a thief in a world divided between commoners and superhumans, is forced to assume the role of lost princess before risking everything to help a growing rebellion. I think fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy will enjoy this first book in a new series.
Susan created letter template for museum pass “no-shows” and added a line requesting people to call with cancelations on both the email confirmation letter and on the description of each pass, as well as on the Museum Passes policy page of the website. We now require an email address to make an advance reservation online.
We hosted an ELL tutor gathering for coffee and a chat, to meet one another and share ideas. Susan is going to do some research and planning for “conversation circles,” as that is a common need amongst the students.
Lee hosted the knitting group on Saturday February 21. It went really well, approximately 20 women and one 10 year old. Lee reports there was a real mix of skill level, and she I encouraged the more experienced knitters to help out the intermediate knitters while she worked with 3 beginners and taught them some basic skills such as casting on, knitting and purl. Everyone seemed to have a good time and all seemed enthusiastic to make the next group this month. She will send out a reminder email to those who signed up. Lee also introduced the “give and take” box, where knitters can donate extra, unwanted supplies and anyone in need may take anything they want to start a project. Some of the women thought name tags would be nice, so she purchased some cute, reusable tags for everyone.
In honor of Black History Month, we promoted fiction by authors of African descent. We also began promoting Cascade by Maryanne O’Hara, our Community Read pick. We relocated book group books out onto the floor. Allison had a YA fiction display themed books with hearts on the cover, and the Blind Date with a Book project had 2 submissions. The winners of a box of chocolates (each!) were Maya P Clark and Teresa Hubscher-Younger. We has a Friends of the Library Community Read display, containing Cascade by Maryanne O’Hara for adults; Someday by Jackie French Koller for the Young Adults and Letting Swift River Go by Jane Yolen for the kids, a Small Business display to go with the “Exploring Business Ownership: The SBA Advantage” program February 11 at 2pm, and Getting Organized display to go with the “Getting Organized and Conquering Chaos, One Step at a Time” program being held Monday, March 2nd at 7pm.
Susan sent 12 ink cartridges to HP Supplies Recycling, bringing our points to 495 for the last quarter PDF for redeemable merchandise, ordered 1,000 keytag Library cards, and purchased earplugs to give away to patrons. As part of a discussion about noise in the Library, we bought a sign holder and placed it in the Main Reading Room to announce the events of the day; evening staff will prepare the sign for the next day.
Susan proctored a test for a student of Temple University.
Grafton has volunteered us to be a test library for Evergreen 2.7.3 release.
Circ staff developed a procedure to track requests that are unfillable by all of our sharing resources. Sometimes it may be faster and less expensive to simply purchase an item then get it from out of state.
The Mezzanine is slowly coming to life. We’ve deleted about half of the non-fiction discards that were pulled last fall; about half of those have gone to Thrift Books, and about half have been put on the “Free Shelf.” We acquired valences for 3rd floor, and brought up 2 captain’s chairs as the first steps in drawing visitors upstairs. Volunteers are shifting the collection to make room for display/storage of Adult graphic novels, DVDs, and AudioCDs.
Prompted by a patron suggestion, Susan separated the Bollywood movies and will promote them on Facebook, website and eNewsletter. We have a fledgling collection, and they are going out!
We established a contract between The Friends and Thrift Books LLC, to replace Better World Books (BWB changed their policy to 40 minimum boxes, which we don’t have space for. Thrift Books minimum is 15.) The only difference is that Thrift Books doesn’t send a portion of proceeds to a literacy charity. Net proceeds will be 50-50 between the Thrift Books and the Friends.
We discussed This Wicked Game, by Michelle Zink, at the “Not Just for Young Adults” Book Discussion Group (which was snowed out once). The “Reads Well with Together” Adult Book Discussion book was The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood (This was January’s book. But it was snowed out until the end of February). We also discussed February’s book: Murder in the Garden Club by Neal Sanders. Neal expressed disappointment that NO Grafton Garden Club members attended this joint program. Heidi also facilitated at the Daytimers book group. We talked about The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman.
We also hosted “Exploring Business Ownership: The SBA Advantage,” on Wednesday February 11th at 2pm. Some attendees really seemed to appreciate the program. Six people attended the workshop. Four of them filled out the evaluation form we offered them. One of them filled out the SBA evaluation form. “An excellent program, thank you.” Wrote one participant, while another shared, “Slides were very good – tailor presentation more to general than one for specific questions instead of questions ongoing during presentation.” Suggestions for future programs included “How to develop a non-profit” and “Construction of a meeting room.” Heidi reported an increase in perceived learning of .9%; participants rated the session content and presenter highly on a scale of 1-5, and rated the facility a bit lower. Results follow:
Content of Program:
Interest level of material: 4.5
Match with my expectations: 4.25
Relevance to my work/life: 4.25
Clarity of communication: 4.25
Ability to hold interest of audience: 4.25
Perceived expertise in content area: 4.25
Response to questions: 4.75
Physical comfort of the environment: 3.75
Visual and auditory supports: 4.25
551 items were added in February. Donna and Eileen are still working on the ongoing projects: series re-cats, bibliographic database clean-up, etc. and beginning to process lots of new video games in preparation for upcoming program on 3/21.
Some slight decreases this month—although February has less days, we were open more days in February than in January. Weather (cold and stormy), and school break driving leisure use rather than academic may also be contributing factors. We may also have increasing dissatisfaction due to noise levels from increased programming for teens and adults in the Main Reading Room.
Total circulation in February was 11,503 items. Circulation is up 1.8% compared to January 2014 and up 9.5% compared to February 2014. Children’s circulation was 52% of total circulation in February 2015.
Total Overdrive circulation was 934 digital checkouts. OverDrive circulation decreased .74% compared to January 2015, and increased 75% compared to February 2014. Digital magazine checkouts increased 165%, from 26 to 69, still with no marketing.
MUSEUM PASSES & VOLUNTEERS
We had 51 Museum pass checkouts in February, out of 71 reservations, a 1.9% decrease compared to January 2015, and a 19% increase compared to February 2014. We identified just 3 no-shows. After talking with Event Keeper, we learned that any CHANGE to a reservation—i.e. a different day, different museum, or cancellation—results in a “no show” status, and by counting passes that were not picked up, we only identified 3 actual no shows.
We had 30 volunteers donate 107 hours of service, a 58% increase in bodies and a 39% increase in hours, compared to January 2015, and a 114% increase in bodies and a 45% increase in hours, compared to February 2015.
ATTENDENCE, BORROWERS, COMPUTER USE & REFERENCE QUESTIONS
Attendance for January was 4,948 Library visitors, a 2% decrease from January 2015, and a 68% increase from February 2014. We added 86 new borrowers, 41 of them were teacher cards; this is an increase of 41% from January 2015 and an increase of 43% from February 2014. The increase is definitely due to our presence at PTA and school staff meetings. We are SO grateful to be welcomed into the schools!
There were 262 computer users, a decrease of 22% from January 2015 and an increase of 14% from February 2015. We answered 304 reference questions, a decrease of 22% from January 2015 and a decrease of 31% from February 2014. The decreases in reference questions and computer usage may be due in part to the short month, several snowstorms, and February school vacation (less homework oriented Library use).
The Library offered 36 programs in February—more than one a day!–including storytimes, book discussion, and LEGOs, catapults and crafts over school break. Total program attendance was 426, an increase of 38% from January 2015 and an increase of 44% from February 2014. Our popular PAWSING to R.E.A.D program resumed and served 9 children in 3 sessions.
WEBSITE & SOCIAL MEDIA
The website had 3,975 hits from 1,939 unique users, a 2.5% decrease in hits compared to January 2015 (no data for Feb 2014) and an 8% decrease in unique users from January 2015. While 8,316 page views is not a record, it is a 2.6% increase compared to January 2015, and a 20% increase from February 2014. One change we made this month was to put the Events calendar in Monthly format (instead of posterboard) due to an issue with the MORE button not working).
We merged our three Facebook pages, and lost a few duplicate followers, for a total of 243 followers on Facebook. Twitter followers totaled 87, an increase of 5% from January 2015 and increase of 521% from February 2014. We post content daily. Pinterest followers totaled 231, an increase of 10% from January 2015 and increase of 192% from February 2014.
Ancestry had over 1,500 hits, totaling 1,782 searches, an increase of 67% from January 2015. Heritage Quest had 38 total hits, a decrease of 33% compared to January 2015. Gale database hits totaled on 83 searches, a decrease of 45% compared to January 2015.
BookFlix use declined sharply in February, with only 369 hits—a 48% decrease compared to January 2015. This is likely due to the school IP address getting blocked due to unlicensed use. ScienceFlix had only 2 searches, a 71% decrease compared to January 2015.
Mango use had only 4 hits in February 2015, a 33% decrease compared to January 2015 and a 67% decrease compared to February 2014. If it has a limited audience, we could save $1,900 a year by directing patrons to access it through the Boston Public Library.
Comments from the Public:
- “Thank you for your service in every way.” (Inspired by our wearing PJ’s to advertise the PJ Drive and because of the public access computers we offer). “Who comes up with the great ideas (like the PJ drive.)” “Why are you wearing pajamas?”
- People liked Heidi’s bunny slippers that went well with the “Animal Adventures” program.
- Two complaints about closing the Children’s Room on Friday, February 6th.
- “This place is buzzing.”
- “The Animal program was fantastic! One of the best I’ve seen and I’ve been around.”
- Instead of complaining about the noise after the “Animal Adventures” program, an older lady surprised Lee by saying that she “liked the atmosphere in here with the kids playing and all.”
- “This place is really hopping compared to what it used to be. Thank you for all you do.”
- “I like the new computers.”
- “You’re the best library!”
- Comment on the Digital Catalog. Two week check-out and no renewals is vexing.
- “Even when I haven’t been here in a while, it’s always so nice.”
- When asked if the patron would like us to search for a requested item outside our network, the person said “You’ve already helped in so many ways.”
- “Phone is horrible, I could not get through.”
- “What a good idea!” (offering hot chocolate).
- Someone is thrilled with the Bollywood movies and suggests we shelve them separately instead of needing to know the titles.”
- “Do you burn incense? It always smells so nice.” (the adult area).
- Thank you for the train books [from CLIO]. I really appreciate it.”
- Patron appreciates our energy expended on ILL’s and said “You guys are so attentive” about trying again to get an out of network item.
- Patron thought only one ILL had come in but all three were, including one she was very excited to read. “You just made my night,” she said.
- “The Library had really improved.”
- Someone really enjoyed Cascade and is coming to the discussion. She is very glad we suggested it.
- Complaint about the movie “too loud, violent, offensive. I came here for some peace and quiet!”
- “Can I park out front? Is the sidewalk safe? I hate the elevator.”
- “You have everything at the library in such good order. I have a lot of friends who think so. Not that it wasn’t run well before, but everything seems to be done just right.”
- “What a completely bizarre idea.” (about “Blind date with a book.”)
- Patron appreciated Eileen calling her to remind her of the President’s Day closing, so that she could plan accordingly to get the museum pass she reserved for the Tuesday after.
- A patron got a library card to sign up for Zinio based on the mailing. “You guys do a great job.”
From the New “Yes” log: grateful for ILLs, happy about Bollywood movies
- 2/26/15-Patron extremely thankful for obtaining Virtual Catalog Books for her
- 2/25/15 – Yes, we will work with teachers in the community to make sure the library has resources for students that will support the curriculum, and yes, we welcome topic and title suggestions. SB
- 2/25/15 patron really happy with mini tutorial about using her online account
- patron is really excited about the Bollywood movies-SL
- 2/21/15 – Worked with a patron, instructing her about downloading eBooks, etc. Did a working example with her. She reported back that it worked and when she got home was able to access the book and get it onto her laptop. JP
- 2/13/15 – Mom and son came in to find a biography chapter book. They were very happy when I placed a hold a Who Was Walt Disney? It was the type of book they wanted and the person they wanted. We used to own a copy but it was never returned. – AC
- 2/13/15 – Woman called twice for assistance with her new iPad and downloading an eBook to it. She was very happy for the assistance when I walked her through it. (First finding the book that she placed on hold that was now available and then downloading the Overdrive App to read it on.) – AC
- Yes, you can display your collection! See a Children’s staff member to book the display case. BG
No Log: Tax questions, quiet study book bags, and program questions.
- 2/26/15 – No, we do not have bags for sale at this time. SB
- 2/25/15 – No, the library does not have a quiet study area in the Children’s Room. SB
- 2/25/15-No, the Mystery book club isn’t accepting new members SL
- 2/25/2015 – No, we don’t have free tax services here. HF (Though I would love to offer it if we had space to do it.)
- 2/25/2015 – No, we do not have bags for sale at this time. SB
- 2/24/15 – No, we don’t have any religious board or card games. AC (3/3 on order: The American Bible Game, Mystery of the Abbey, Church Windows, Kings of Israel)
- 2/24/15 – No tax booklets available SL
- 2/23/15 – No, we don’t have any MA tax booklets or instructions. AC (we got a few more in BG)
- 2/19/2015 – No, adults can’t enter the bookmark contest, it is currently setup for children and teens grades K-12. VE
- 2/19/15 we don’t have tax instruction booklets-SL
- 2/18/15-No, we aren’t doing food for fines at this time-SL
- 2/9/15 – No, we do not have task lighting/reading lamps for the comfortable seating in the main reading room. SB via a conversation with Mary (will ask for donation via newspaper & social media BG)
- March: Community Reads: Cascade by Maryanne O’Hara Book Discussion
- Tue 3/17 7:30pm: Adult Craft: fabric scrap twine
- Wed 3/18, 3:30pm: Letting Swift River Go discussion & craft
- Mon 3/24, 7:00 pm: Skype Author Visit with Maryanne O’Hara
- March 8-15: Teen Tech Week: Libraries are for Making
- Fri 3/13, 2-5pm: Technology Petting Zoo
- Sat 3/14, 1-4pm Teen Art Coalition
- Thu 3/18, 7:00pm: Grafton Writers Group
- Fri 3/20, 10am-1pm: Library CLOSED for professional development, open at 1pm
- Sat 3/21 2-4pm: Knitting Group
- Sat 3/21 6-11pm: NHS Video-Game-A-Thon benefitting Cradles to Crayons
- April 1-30: National Poetry Month
- Sat 4/4 10/11 am: Friends of the Library Spring Egg Hunt, stories & crafts until noon
- April 12-18: National Library Week: Unlimited Possibilities @ your Library®
- 4/30 Poem in your Pocket Day
Respectfully submitted, Beth Gallaway, Library Director