Grafton Public Library

Library Updates

Director’s Report: August 2017

Posted by bethg on

Reference Question of the Year: “Do you have emergency instructions for Monday (8/21), just in case something goes wrong? With the sun? Is there a fallout shelter nearby?”

I completed the state ARIS report used to secure State Aid funding by the August 18 deadline – thanks to Diane for reviewing and signing! We are slightly down in circulation – possibly due to slower purchasing with the spending freeze.

Summer Reading
Please complete an evaluation for the summer reading program that you participated in, online!

Summer Reading Program Registration Stats

Adult – 253/ 306 (either ↓19% or ↑5% from last year)
Teen – 250 (↑71% from last year)
Kid – 539/548 (↓29%)

Adult – 290 (up 625% from 2015)
Teen – 146 (up 40% from 2015)
Kid – 759 (up 185% from 2015)

Adult – 40
Teen – 99
Kid – 266

Allison writes, “Kids and Adult figures total number of individuals that either signed up for a program or filled out a ticket. The original numbers are based on the number of registration tickets I made versus what was left. I am NOT 100% confident on these numbers, which is why I want to try electronic tickets next year. I am trying to compile an email list of kids and adults who participated so that I send them an email with our summer survey (and see if they will sign up for the newsletter). I’ve already done this for teens.”

The Summer Reading Program may only run for 6 weeks, but planning and executing is actually a year round process. We participate in the national Collaborative Library Summer Program, which schedules the theme 3 years in advance. Here is a rundown of our planning schedule:
August: Staff evaluation of program & debriefing, patron surveys/feedback
September: Stats and orders for next year due
October-January: Planning
February: Promotion of theme begins as when
March 15: Deadline for booking Summer Programs
April: Vacation programs match Summer Reading Program for promotional reasons
May 15: Calendar completed and printed in time for Fun
June: School visits to promote the program to all grades
Forthcoming Themes:
2018: Music Librarys Rock! / Artist Brian Pinkey
2019: A Universe of Stories / Artist Leeza Hernandez
2020: Theme: Fairytales, Mythologies, Fantasies / artist Leuyen Pham

Allison prepared a staff survey for feedback on this year’s summer reading program. Our Facebook announcement of the winners of the Sticker Voting for a favorite endangered animal reached over 2,000 people! The winners were the Fennec Fox, the Giant Panda, and the Sea Turtle. Thank you to the Friends of the Library for sponsoring! It’s a really engaging and interactive piece to our program.

Our custodian, Paul, made great progress on the Walkabout list. Tasks completed include foam insulation around the air conditioners (we added an owl to scare away the birds that keep nested in the A/C units), painting the junction box, adding foam to the air conditioner units, removing the mousetrap, cleaning and painting the LULA, and painting the railings. Paul Cournoyer arranged for DPW to adjust the tilted lamp globe on the parking lot light.

The LULA is re-certified for another two years. A certificate will be issued via email. Ossian Foote from Garaventa said that before the next inspection in two years time, we should figure out which breaker goes to the louvered vent in the wall near the top of the lift shaft. For testing purposes, they’d like to turn off the breaker to see if it opens by itself. He suspects that said breaker is in the PP2 box as their notes say the lift itself is in that box at #38. He said it looks like someone took the index card with all the notes about what is where out of the box for some reason—mysterious!
Recycling bins for the copier corner and trash/recycling for outside were ordered at the end of August.

We had a leaking air conditioning unit in the Main Reading Room on the opposite side of the room on Saturday August 23. Susan put a service call in to Renaud HVAC, and a tech came to clean out the unit. It was suggested when this happened in July that they do a preemptive maintenance on the second unit. Three YA books were water-damaged and discarded.

Landscaping and Garden
Some miniature bunnies have been added to the fairy house. The Garden continues to thrive, although I am perplexed as to why the squash blossoms never erupted into vegetables.

Please see attached Budget Report.

Evergreen was down briefly on August 10. Circulation for August was 13,577 physical and 2,958 digital, up slightly from July. Digital circulation seems to have jumped due to ePeriodicals. Please see the attached Circulation Report.

The Library Applications department at C/W MARS has been working on restructuring reports in phases. Some of our regularly used reports are now easier to access, and more are expected.

Collection Development
We continue to work on the non-fiction weeding project, and the 700’s are finished! Allison is working on the 600’s, and we only have 800-999 left. In the process, other books that are in bad shape or outdated are being culled, even if they don’t appear on the list we are working from. It’s also been a great opportunity to shelf-read, and rearrange. Once the project is completed, we will analyze the collection to buy replacements to fill gaps, and update the Ingram Continuations Program.

Overdrive added a new feature for patrons to be able to make recommendations, which will be monitored by C/W MARS staff. This is a move towards patron-drive collection development and is an awesome new feature!

Museum Passes
In August 224, passes were reserved, 199 picked up and there were 25 “no shows.”

Boy Scout Troop 106 reached out and offered to be of service.

Thanks to volunteers Aaron & Janelle for making sample eclipse viewers for our program.

Grants and Gifts
Thank you to Don Davidson, who donated a 3-year subscription to American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) magazine!

Thank you to the Central MA Lyme Foundation, who donated a collection of materials on Lyme Disease.

Thank you to Jane Nozzolillo who donated a copy of her book, the Littlest House. An additional copy was purchased for the Grafton Collection, as she is a former staff member and local author.

Thank you again to UniBank, who funded the development and implementation of Boopsie, a C/W MARS Library app which has been customized for our website and databases! It had a quiet launch in mid-August. Please check it out and add it to your smartphone or tablet:

Borrowers, Attendance & Usage Statistics, Program Statistics, Reference Statistics, Web Metrics, Social Media Metrics
Please see attached ARIS statistics.

Library Renovation
Tim’s office provided a draft Request for Proposals (RFP) for an Owner’s Project Manager (OPM) scheduled to appear in the Central Register on August 16 with submissions due by 11:00am Friday September 13. Tim took a phone call with UniBank mid-August and says that if the Board of Selectman will vote on “conclusive determination” that we have been awarded a grant at next meeting, then we can proceed with the construction project.
MBLC called a meeting to review our design and grant application; the meeting will be with the Director, Architect, and OPM on Thu Oct 26 at 10:30 at the Shrewsbury Public Library.

Lisa Rice applied for and accepted a position on the Library Planning and Building Committee.

On August 8 we received an email in the morning that the Internet would be down for maintenance at 4:30pm (when Town offices closed). When I investigated further, the date was not correct. I clarified that the service would include the Library, and it did. With less than 24 hours notice, we were down at our busiest time of day. I respectfully requested (again) the Library and it’s operating hours could be kept in mind, and if in the future we could have more notice and if this type of maintenance work could take place when ALL departments are closed, such as after 9pm or on a Sunday morning. We had no phone, staff or public internet or wifi, or access to files for an hour and a half. Several patrons complained. Tim assured me it was unavoidable, but unlikely to happen again.

A Hoopla upgrade is coming soon! Hoopla will soon be available for Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire–making Hoopla even more accessible for patrons! With no wait lists, hoopla content is always available, and with these new additions, patrons will have the ability to stream over 33,000 movie and TV selections directly through their televisions!

Outreach and Partnerships
Crescent Manor BookWagon had 16 visitors, 65 check-outs and renewals, 0 new registration, and 17 requests.

Thank you to Jen McNeil (and Millie!), Beth Patch, Marilyn Cusher and Karen Durand for staffing the Library table at National Night Out! Our prize wheel and giveaways were a great draw.
The Grafton Land Trust put together a Storybook Trail in June to celebrate the library building’s 90th anniversary on the Williams Preserve on Brigham Hill Road. The book is Library Mouse by Daniel Kirk.
Thank you to the Friends for sponsoring a World Wildlife Federation Donation as part of the Build a Better World Summer Reading Program!

We have one new Home Delivery recipient, and one that returned after an extended stay in rehab, bringing our total up to six. We also have a new volunteer driver, who replaced one who left for graduate school. We had 2 new volunteers start this month. There were a total of 29 regular volunteers, 2 ELL tutors, and 2 garden helpers, working a total of 292 hours.

Beth distributed invitations to staff appreciation. RSVP by September 5, 2017. Staff reviewed their FY18 accruals.

Tech Services
493 items were added in August. Donna reports she did some original cataloging on equipment/toys/games, and began a large database cleanup using Allison’s “List of Weird Things for Donna.” I am pleased to report we are serving as a pilot library for the Evergreen Web Client (we have installed software for the back end behind the scenes transactions like circulation and cataloging), and Donna is testing and evaluating the software and sending feedback to C/W MARS.

Children’s Room
Summer may have just ended, but we are back in full gear planning for fall programming and compiling summer stats.
We capped off our summer programming with a wildly popular concert by Grafton’s own Mr. Kim! We were lucky and had beautiful weather for the event. We estimate that around 300 people came out to see Mr. Kim sing, perform magic and puppetry, and even debut a brand new song! Chairs, blankets, and picnics were set up all over the Common and a wonderful time was had by all.

This summer, we offered 61 programs during our 5 week program and we had 1,744 children and caregivers attend. Sarah reports that she feels the summer was successful, but Allison feels our registration numbers are low and inaccurate. Next year, we are planning on implementing a new system to track registrants and details are still being worked out. As always, we were thankful for to the Municipal Center for accommodating us and our many programs, but offsite programming still comes with its own share of problems: lack of access to the collection, lack of access to program supplies and materials, coverage at the Library while staff are offsite, confusion over location of the program, and competition for space.

Teen Services
In August we concluded our summer programs and randomly picked winners in each age group. Winners have been contacted and Allison is in the process of purchasing gift cards. Winners will be contacted again when their prize is ready to pick up.

Allison created and sent out surveys for adults, teens, and kids to get feedback on our summer program, as well as materials they like to check out and purchase suggestions. These surveys end on September 30th. She will send out one more email before then and collect and share the data received.

Allison reports, “I keep trying to improve my Constant Contact emails. My goal is to send out 2-3 a month. One that contains upcoming events, new items to the collection, and related info for teens (like the Teens’s Top Ten voting). I’ve changed the format to this a little bit: instead of just listing the titles of items I am including pictures so that it feels more like you are browsing the shelf. Each book links to the catalog for patrons to check its status or place a hold. The second one is a themed booklist.”

This month’s featured book is Refugee by Alan Gratz. Although separated by continents and decades, Josef, a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany; Isabel, a Cuban girl trying to escape the riots and unrest plaguing her country in 1994; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence and destruction, embark on harrowing journeys in search of refuge, discovering shocking connections that tie their stories together.

Adult Services
In August, the “Not Just for Young Adults” Book Discussion Group met to discuss Boys, Bears and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots by Abby McDonald; the Daytimers Book Group met to discuss The All You Can Dream Buffet by Barbara O’Neal; the GPL Mystery Book Group met to discuss Coming Back by Marcia Muller; the “Reads Well with Others” Adult Book Discussion Group met to discuss Enchanted August by Brenda Bowen; and the “Inspirational Book Club” met to discuss The Yellow Envelope : one gift, three rules, and a life-changing journey around the world by Kim Dinan.

The Library hosted Saturday Afternoon Knitting, the “45-Million Dollar Flower” Pastel Workshop, Simple Steps to Taming Clutter and a DIY Solar Eclipse Glasses & Viewing. In Simple Steps to Taming Clutter, we offered an outcome-based evaluation that demonstrated a 20% jump in perceived learning on average, the presenter scored in the top 90% for satisfaction, and the content exceeded expectations. Comments on the program included:

“Jenna is awesome! She has so many helpful tips for daily use to help keep our life and space organized. Will put into use as soon as I go home.” And “Jenna is a wonderful presenter with accessible, useful information. Very motivational.” One participant commented it was difficult to hear at times.

Heidi proctored three exams and went to the Farmers Market once. She notes, “On August 9th when the server was down for maintenance, there were at least six people who went away unable to do what they came to the library to do.”

Displays for August included Whodunits, Beach Reads, August is Family Fun Month, and an Audiobook display.

Comments from the Public:
• “Mommy, I like this place.” “I do too. It’s cool. I didn’t know they had another floor.”
• Two different people said that the bookstore looks great!
• “This is the first library I’ve been to where I’ve been able to get handouts to walk me through ebooks.”
• “I’m so excited. I didn’t know you had museum passes until my friend told me. I usually have to pay full price when I take them [the kids] places.”
• “The Biomes Marine Biology Center was great! Lots of hand on stuff- petting tanks. The kids could pet sharks. There were presentations. Loved it.”
• When we couldn’t find a patron’s hold on the hold shelf, the patron said. “That’s OK. Just another excuse to visit. As I said, I’m always thrilled to walk in here.”
• A patron with vision issues and needed help printing things said, “Everyone here has been so nice to me so far.”
• “You always help me out. You’re like psychologists or psychiatrists. I can’t watch TV anymore because of Trump. He just needs to stop talking. I can’t take it anymore. I’m going to read instead.”
• Patrons complain that they are not heard by the person on the other end of the call when they are in the library.

NO Log
• 8/23 “I don’t think the library sign is working. I couldn’t find a parking spot tonight.”
• 8/18 “Do you have emergency instructions for Monday, just in case something goes wrong? With the sun? Is there a fallout shelter nearby?”
• 8/15, 8/16, 8/17,8/18 numerous requests for eclipse glasses
• 8/16 No Southwick passes
• 8/16 No passes to Canobie Lake Park (2nd call this month) -SL
• 8/15 We don’t have a universal charger for android phones -SL
• 8/12 No more Consumer Reports online (patron hopes it comes back in the future) -SL
• 8/7-12: numerous requests for eclipse glasses -SL

• 8/22 Do you have Thomas the Train books? You guys are the best! -CZ
• 8/15 There’s a lady upstairs wearing a real tiara! This library is amazing!
• 8/15 You guys have had the best building materials this summer! -CZ
• 8/15 I love it when I get a receipt and see how much I have saved by not buying books! -CZ

Respectfully submitted,
Beth Gallaway
Library Director

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Director’s Report: September 2017

Posted by bethg on


I completed the state’s financial piece of the ARIS report used to secure State Aid funding by the October 6 deadline – thanks to Diane for reviewing and signing! We have met all the requirements for State Aid for FY18 and do not need to apply for a waiver.

Summer Reading
Our summer surveys closed Sept. 30th and Allison is still sifting through the responses. We had 21 teens, 37 kids, and 75 adults take the surveys.

The staff voted to try a Read to Bead program in addition to our regular summer events, tickets and prizes. For this optional activity, participants can track how long they read during the summer in 15 minute pieces. They can stop by the Library throughout the summer to collect beads worth 15, 30, 60, and 120 minutes. They will collect their beads on a special chain. Allison ordered chains and tags, as well as thousands of beads. The beads are currently sorted and ready to go for the summer.

Paul cleaned the copper plates in the foyer at the Main entrance and repainted a number of areas, including the hallway near the staff kitchen. Bathrooms will be repainted in October.

Landscaping and Garden
We’ve had two people working tirelessly on the garden this month, clocking 56 hours!

A replacement paperbark maple arrived on Friday September 16. The sweetgum will stay.

Please see attached Budget Report.

Circulation for September was 10,117 physical items (a decrease, likely as a result of back to school) and 1,143 digital items. Please see the attached Circulation Report.

The upgrade to Evergreen release 2.12 is scheduled for Sun Oct 8th – Mon Oct 9th (Columbus Day weekend). The catalog will be unavailable.

Collection Development
The non-fiction weeding project is moving along. We’ve completed the 600’s and 700’s and have started on the 800’s. There is plenty of room in the biography section, so the only weed needed is for duplicates and books in bad condition; 29 biographies have been removed.

Museum Passes
In September, 87 passes were reserved, 80 were picked up and there were 7 “no shows”.

Grants and Gifts
We applied for a Local Cultural Council Grant for several musical performances.

Borrowers, Attendance & Usage Statistics, Program Statistics, Reference Statistics, Web Metrics, Social Media Metrics
Please see attached ARIS statistics.

Library Renovation
The Board of Selectmen met with the Library Planning and Building Committee and DPW Planning and Building Committee to see if it would be possible to share an OPM and cut costs. The feeling from the state is that this could jeopardize our grant funding; we budgeted a half million dollars for clerk of the works and OPM, about half of that is reimbursable. OPM is a full time job for our very specialized historical, library renovation.
Beth will meet with Rosemary, Ken Best, DRA and Julie Grace interim OPM in October to review the grant application.

Lisa Rice applied for and accepted a position on the Library Planning and Building Committee.

Please try Boopsie, downloadable at

Hoopla upgrade is coming soon! Hoopla will soon be available for Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire–making Hoopla even more accessible for patrons! With no wait lists, hoopla content is always available, and with these new additions, patrons will have the ability to stream over 33,000 movie and TV selections directly through their televisions!

Outreach and Partnerships
Crescent Manor BookWagon had 17 visitors, 71 check-outs and renewals, 1 new registration, and 33 requests.

The Library partnered with Recreation on the Annual Scarecrow contest. There are entries. Voting is online at! through Friday October 12.

Thank you to the Friends for sponsoring a World Wildlife Federation Donation as part of the Build a Better World Summer Reading Program! Our animals arrived in September.

Effective October 2, the Down Under Book Store prices were updated as follows:

$.25: All Books
Young Adults
$.50: All Books
$1.00: Hardcover Books
$.50: Paperback Books
DVDs/Blu Ray
$.50: Children TV Shows
$1.00: All Movies
$2: Adult TV Shows (Full Season)
Video Games & Audio Books

We added four new regular volunteers this month, with one return after taking the summer off. Two have decided they have too many school activities, so they have dropped out. We also recruited a new ELL volunteer to work 1:1 with an English Language Learner from Egypt. There were a total of 33 volunteers including 4 ELL tutors and 4 Home Delivery drivers, working a total of 172 hours.

Congrats to our Teen Librarian, Allison, who is expecting her first child in March! And to Susan, who will become a grandmother in March. Much to celebrate.

Tech Services
163 items were added in September.

Children’s Room
This September we added a Preschool Storytime program. Many of our Toddler Time friends were aging out of the program and requested that we add a storytime for preschoolers to our rotation in addition to our preschool STEM programming. Both our traditional and STEM storytime programming has had full registration with consistent numbers from week to week. Each session includes an activity with a focus on process over product.
Our Willard House program, Once Upon a Storytime, was nature inspired. We read and sang about squirrels and used nature to paint and create. In the picture below you can see the result of our “shake painting” using chestnuts, small stones, and dried Echinacea flowers. Stop by to check out our autumn themed sensory table.

Teen Services
We visited the Grafton High School and Grafton Middle School for Library Card Sign Up Month. At the high school we registered 24 teens with new library cards. At the middle school, teens registered for a card; as most are under 13, a parent needs to come in and sign off on the card application.

Also of note in September, we had 20 teen boys participate in our monthly Dungeons & Dragons session. A special thanks to Mare and Beth P. for supervising the event!

We attended the High School and Middle School Parent open houses. Allison reports that at the Middle School; 33 people said hello and 10 people took materials or had a conversation with her. Comments included:
• “I have Libby on my phone and it’s awesome!”
one of my teens “why are you here?” (“to remind people that we exist”)
• “My daughter won a summer reading prize, I’m glad you’re here because it reminds me that I have to come pick it up!”
• At the High School Open House, a table was staffed before the Open House began and then materials were left on the table in the lobby during the event. No one stopped or took anything.

Allison arranged to have our favorite henna artist, Mandy, come back for Grafton Celebrates the Holidays.

We’ve added the new Nintendo Switch to our collection for programs.

Allison’s teen book of the month is from one of our favorite MA authors: Jen Malone! Her new novel is Changes in Latitudes. Blaming her mother for her parents’ recent divorce, Cassie makes summer plans to distance herself from her family only to find herself on a four-month sailing trip to Mexico with her mother and brother, a tense vacation that is complicated by her attraction to a whip-smart deckhand.

Adult Services
We held the following book discussion groups:

“Not Just for Young Adults” Book Discussion Group met to discuss The Memory Key, by Liana Liu; the Daytimers Book Group met to discuss The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan; the GPL Mystery Book Group met to discuss The Last Policeman by Ben Winters; the “Reads Well with Others” Adult Book Discussion Group met to discuss The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs; and the “Inspirational Book Club” met to discuss Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert.

Other programs included Saturday Afternoon Knitting, the Grafton Writers Group, and participation in the Grafton Historical Society’s “History in Bloom.” Heidi represented the library at the event by doing an arrangement to interpret one of the Historical Society’s wedding dresses.

Heidi proctored one test this month.

Displays included Fall into Reading, “Happy Birthday” to Authors born in September and National Disaster Preparedness Month. We added a Reader’s Advisory Bulletin Board between the LULA and the office.
The fiction display for October will be Books to Films, and will be handled by Lee.

Comments from the Public:
• “Thank you so much for telling me about the Palmer Public Library’s train collection. It’s great and I would never have known.”
• “Thanked for small kindnesses, which since they are rare, he felt is should be acknowledged. (Letting a patron know a missing DVD disc had been returned in case the person still wanted to watch it).
• “No parking in the lot due to the apple pie social.”
• “We’ve taken out so many books about how to make jams and jellies that we thought we would give you some of what we made [from what they learned].”
• “I love audio books. They make my commute bearable. They are gems.”
• “I had a pretty tough week and this audio really helped me get through it. I’ve made one of the recipes already.” [Audio book of The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs. It was the “Reads Well with Others” selection for this month].
• “Whoever is responsible for the sunflowers did an awesome job. I haven’t seen any like it this year. She should write a book.”
• “It’s wonderful to see that you get professional development.”
• “This place is beautiful. I saw the historic building on the Common on my way by and wanted to look around. I hope you don’t mind.”

NO Log
• 9/25 No, you cannot access your home (desktop) computer’s files. –SL (edit: but you can upload home files to Google Drive and access from your Google account! Or use dropbox or a thumb drive, like the ones we sell…)
• 9/18 eMagazines through Overdrive. -HF
• 9/16 no passes to any museums in Salem -SL
• 9/5 Multiple requests for Middle School Summer Reading books.

• 9/20 Can I drop off library books that belong to another library? You’re the best! -CZ

Respectfully submitted,
Beth Gallaway
Library Director

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Director’s Report: October 2017

Posted by bethg on


Bathrooms were repainted in October. Lightbulbs in the Main Reading Room were replaced with round bulbs.

Landscaping and Garden
Beth P put the Garden to bed in October and decorated for Halloween with pumpkins and mums and the corpse bride and groom and ghouls. It was so beautiful and seasonal, and drew many visitors for photo ops! Children decorated pumpkins in a library program and these were placed on the grounds as well.

Please see attached Budget Report. Staffing is on target this year.

Circulation for October was 10,256 physical items (up slightly from last month and down slightly compared to last October) and 1,132 digital items. Please see the attached Circulation Report.
The Regional Delivery Survey was completed during the week of 10/16-20. The totals were 22 bins out and 23 bins in with a total of 645 items delivered.

For reference:
March 2017: 29 bins out, 27 bins in with 879 items
October 2016: 26 bins out, 26 bins in with 830 items

The reduction is likely due to increased electronic usage.

The upgrade to Evergreen release 2.12 went through as scheduled over Columbus Day weekend. No significant problems were encountered, however ComCat was down for several days.

Collection Development
The non-fiction weeding project is still moving along. The 800’s are well underway, and the travel section of the 900’s has been done. With more room in the biography aisle, we moved a section of biographies from the end of the 900’s aisle, which gave us space to shift 800’s and 900’s and give each shelf more ”breathing room.”

Museum Passes
In October, passes were reserved, were picked up and there were “no shows.”

Grants and Gifts
Beth, Julie Grace (interim volunteer OPM), Ken and Angela from DRA (Architects), Jennifer Thomas (Grafton Board of Selectman), Andy Deschenes (Grafton resident) and Ginny Kramer (Grafton legal counsel) attended a meeting with Rosemary Walthos and Lauren Stahl from MBLC. The purpose of the meeting was to go over the preliminary design and the application with the architect and hear concerns and comments addressed by the grant readers. Roe clarified the position of the MBLC that should the Town of Grafton hire a Town Employee to act as OPM, no grant funds can be used to pay his salary. Should the Town/Library Planning and Building Committee not follow through with the process outlined in the grant application (which we agreed to in the assurances section), grant funding would be jeopardized. Roe reminded counsel that the budgeted for the expense in the application and they were expecting us to spend all of our eligible costs so as not to reduce the amount of the grant. Additionally, she reminded us that we needed an OPM that met the state’s minimum guidelines, had the requisite experience and the capacity to handle the demands of the project. She conveyed that the OPMs were looking out for the best interests of the Library and Town. WE also determined we will need to go out to bid for an architect once we have hired an OPM.

Borrowers, Attendance & Usage Statistics, Program Statistics, Reference Statistics, Web Metrics, Social Media Metrics
Please see attached ARIS statistics.

Library Renovation
The Board of Selectman requested a halt to the OPM selection process, and the committee complied. The Town Administrator selected a candidate to act as OPM for both projects, but after learning that the grant would be compromised by not hiring an OPM following the grant’s guidelines, instructed the committee to proceed as needed. The committee has selected 4 finalists and is in process of checking references to determine interview candidates. The next meeting is Monday Dec 4 at 7:30pm at the Municipal Center, with an OPM Subcommittee Meeting to follow.

Please try Boopsie, our mobile Library app!

Outreach and Partnerships
Crescent Manor BookWagon had 37 visitors, 77 check-outs and renewals, and 18 requests.

Ukulele 101 had participants. The program was presented in partnership with Apple Tree Arts and a monthly ukulele jam session is tentatively being planned to start in November.

The Friends met and discussed the annual membership mailing, fundraising, and PR. The next Friends meeting is Tuesday December 12 at UniBank in North Grafton.

There were eight new volunteers this month, although two were “one time only” teens to make NHS hours (these kids were given special tasks that didn’t require extensive training), and one is a previous volunteer who’d left last year and is now returning. There were a total of 36 people working 159 hours. This includes garden help, ELL tutors and Home Delivery drivers.

Cyndi, Lee and myself attended the Passport Acceptance Facility Program training in October.

Tech Services
842 items were added in October. Donna did original cataloging of games, other items not in the system and worked on database clean-up.

Children’s Room
Halloween was a smashing success! We had 1,171 visitors at our library table and the spinning wheel was loved by all! We were scheduled to be on the lawn from 5-8, but we ended up with visitors from 4-8:20. Last year we ordered a large batch of Halloween giveaways and this year we gave away the last of many of our treats. We are looking forward to a new selection of giveaways for next year. Our participation in the Teal Pumpkin Project (allergen free treats) garnered a few compliments from families who have children with food allergies. They said it was so nice to be able to let the kids trick or treat and not having to worry about whether or not they would be able to enjoy it.

This month we have started a Saturday STEM program for school-aged kids. We kicked off our program with pumpkin math. We read the book, “How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?” and each child got to estimate how many seeds were in their pumpkin, then that got to carve it, count the seeds, and create their own Jack-o-Lanterns that were placed outside the library.

Teen Services
This month our new 3D pens were used in a program. Teens got to test out the pens and create whatever they wish. We’ll be holding another event soon, this time with an optional project to make.

D&D was popular again this month with 20 teens. Allison introduced a new rule, that we needed enough Dungeon Masters (DM) to facilitate the program by 5:30 or the program was canceled. This will eliminate waiting for an hour to begin. Since this is a teen run group, I told them that they needed to work it out among themselves to make sure that there are enough DMs. There is no D&D in November.

This month’s book pick is John Green’s newest book: Turtles All The Way Down. It all begins with a fugitive billionaire and the promise of a cash reward. Turtles All The Way Down is about lifelong friendship, the intimacy of an unexpected reunion, Star Wars fan fiction, and tuatara. But at its heart is Aza Holmes, a young women navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

Adult Services
The Library hosted the following book discussion groups in October: “Not Just for Young Adults” Book Discussion Group met to discuss Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake; the Daytimers Book Group met to discuss The Seventh Plague by James Rollins; the GPL Mystery Book Group met to discuss Ghost Times Two, by Carolyn Hart; the “Reads Well with Others” Adult Book Discussion Group met to discuss After Caroline by Kay Hooper and the “Inspirational Book Club” met to discuss Look for the Good, by Heather Lende.

Other programs included Saturday Afternoon Knitters, Grafton Writers Group and four sessions of Getting to know your ukulele at Apple Tree Arts.

Heidi proctored three tests this month.

Displays includes Pumpkin Spice (many positive comments on the joke!), Halloween and Scary Movies. Lee put together a great Book to Movie display.

• Better organized this year
• ALL of the staff needs to be more informed. There were too many times when we asked a question or like when we attempted to submit my son’s fully stamped passport that the librarian on duty had no idea how to help us or answer our questions, nor did they try to figure it out. It was annoying to be regularly told there was someone else to talk to about this or that and that person wouldn’t be in for another couple of hours or the next day, etc. We participated in the summer program and visited the library less this summer because of this. It’s annoying when people act as if they can’t be bothered to assist you in a meaningful way. [very disappointing comment, especially given the excellent job Sarah and Allison did in training all staff. Will address at staff meeting – BG]

Charitable Component
• Loved animal voting (4 comments)
• I love when you do drives for causes that people might not be aware of

Passport Program
• Loved visiting other libraries (as part of passport program)
• Great hours
• You’re doing a great job!

Other Comments:
Kids Programs
• Loved that there were events for my baby
• Loved the varied activities, both at the library and around town
• Loved kids learning through activities
• The projects were fun to do
• Loved the programs and interaction with librarians
• Capacity for summer programs was low
• More programs and activities that fits more kids. The registration was always full!
• Need more events for little ones!
• Not enough programs this summer for us with younger children.
• It was tough for us to attend most programs, since there weren’t that many that could accommodate both a 4 yo and a 7 yo. Maybe have options for younger/older siblings while programs are running?
• More programs that don’t have a size requirement. So many programs we didn’t get to because.
• Have some programs for 5-7 year olds. It was either preschool age or tweens. Thank you.
• More activities for 7-8 year old boys.
• More for younger children
• Bring different programs
• More flexible times
• Chess, kids art class
• More innovative, different programs.
• More!
• More upcycling and recycling
• Need more building, LEGO, and science programs
• Need LEGO programs for smaller kids (3 comments)
• We love the Storytime Music and Stem, but maybe an art program for the littles or lego/duplo building for them.
• Need more science activities (3 comments)
• Need animal show, animal petting, characters (Elsa…), magician show, more scientific, engineering, medical shows, make or build by yourself programs and activities, movies followed by a simple workshop
• Need grade level book clubs
• More kids activities in the evening
• We should bring people from outside who we can work with our young boys and girls to conduct workshops based on current trend and interest among young generation
• More evening activities for youth – they had summer camps that kept them from attending the library events
• Any chance of an afternoon session for under 5 year olds?
• Accommodate more kids, physical activities, summer reading program competition
• We love the programs you are running
• This year’s slate sounded great

• A requirement to actually read during the summer READING program
• Something for kids to track their reading
• Keep encouraging kids to read
• Wish kids can have recommended good books list per their grade (we did!)
• Active reading and involvement with school

Kids Prizes
• Love your prizes (5 comments)
• Loved Davis Farmland passes (3 comments)
• Need smaller prizes too (in addition to our larger prizes) making kids feel special
• My kids were very discouraged with the prize tickets. Them getting tickets was very reliant on my being able to take them to the library or program many times. If it were more reliant on reading books that is something they are in control of with just my help now and then to get books. Part of the thrill of reading programs to kids is the ability to take responsibility on their own “currency” and get rewards for their efforts. My children only put in a ticket or two each because they quickly realized the chances of them winning were so slim. I would much rather see smaller $5-20 prizes they could win and earn tickets by reading books.
• Need simple gadgets that can cover a wider range of kids so every kid would be a winner in the summer programs.
• I wish we could do small field trips where we meet up at other interesting locations in Grafton
• Can you please help our Grafton library get chance to work with Girls who code team. Westborough, Southborough schools have this as their after school activity and it would be nice if our middle school kids get the opportunity as well. There are many competitions based on this activity and Hopkinton library is a part of it too. I would be really happy if this can take shape in Grafton. In order to be a certified Girls Who Code participant you have to have space, each participant must have a computer (phones and tablets aren’t allowed), you need to meet 1-2 hours a week, and the program is only open to girls. I’m not sure we can find a convenient time for participants that wouldn’t be disruptive to people who come in to use computers. Additionally we would only be able to serve 6 girls at the library. Sarah will be taking a webinar on Girls Who Code, but I feel like this could be difficult to run until we get the new building.

• Bring more adult programs
• More events on the common
• Need things that encourage us to get outside, I also liked the where’s the chicken contest of a couple years ago
• Include more interactive projects
• More access to [raffle] tickets when attending events. I would forget to ask so it’s really my fault
• More hands-on things for adults
• Need programs on Massachusetts History
• Bring back color me calm
• More crafts and DIYs, Plenty for the teenagers but adults like crafts too.
• Explain it better when the information is given out. I was handed a packet and was told something quick about tickets and then every visit after we were never told what to do with tickets or if we got any.
• More day time options
• Offer something different for programs – seem to do the same things year after year
• More lecture series: about literature, history, gardening, etc….
• Respect for yourself and others, in person and on social media (eg. no bullying or anything about self health)
• Guest speakers
• Events after 6pm and weekends… science shows interactive hands on for the kids, craft making
• Programs to help moms and teens to learn computer coding language
• Need LEGO building programs for adults
• I would like programs that expose you to other cultures, like tea ceremonies, dancing, and foreign film nights
• Trivia contest?
• Instructional/DIY instructors
• Programs on music, hand quilting, easy flower arranging, jewelry making, astronomy, garden food, crafts, and life experiences experts
• Yoga for adults
• Programs about family issues and experiences
• Hands on make it and take it
• Music instruction
• Cooking classes
• Yoga, thai chi, arts and crafts, decorating, healthy living
• Guest speakers on gardening, gluten free cooking, Nina Park [nail art]
• Crafting projects, author workshops, maybe an open mic night
• Social activities for seniors
• Knitting classes twice a week
• Cooking, gardening, animal training, government and financial issues
• Murder Mystery of the library, scavenger hunts, gardening classes
• Mommy pampering day
• Anime 101 for adults
• Appetizer contest
• Adult board gaming/tabletop gaming/RPG, yoga
• Craft programs, author seminars, open mic night, workshops
• Photography class, painting, home repair
• I liked when you had Nina Park [nail art]. I missed the guest speaker who spoke about natural cleaning products.
• Afternoon programs would be good for those who don’t go out much at night.
• Speakers on wills, social activities for seniors
• Cheese making, wine tasting, chocolate dipping, scrabble tournaments
• Painting and computer coding
• We need the Illustoria magazine (subscribed! -BG)

Comments from the Public:
• “I love this library.” (said spontaneously! by various young trick or treaters)
• “You guys always have the prettiest flowers.”
• “It’s an amazing system. I had no idea.” (courier service and ILL).
• “Even though I don’t have time to go to your book clubs, I always read what you pick because you pick good ones. I especially like it when you pick ones I wouldn’t pick myself.”
• “Did you put the joke on the sign out front? (“Now offering pumpkin spice books.”) I laughed and laughed. I took a picture and sent it to a friend. We are always making jokes about pumpkins spice, like pumpkin spice chairs.” [It was a co-operative effort. Allison came up with the idea, and Heidi implemented it.]
• “I think you should raise late fees.”
• “I wondered why Dune was on your pumpkin spice display. It made me think. You made my day.”
• “Did you pick The Keeper of Lost Things? Well I loved it. I loved the whole thing!”
• “I think you have the best library around. I came in the other day after being away for years and had such a good time.”
• Someone got a library card because they were doing the walking tour.
• “I love when you dress up.” (to Heidi)
• “I’m so glad you are here! Because you’re smart.” [help recovering Kindle password].
• “A library is supposed to be quiet.” [the speaking club disturbed at least two patrons studying and they left.]

NO Log
10/14 – No, your 1½ year old grandson can’t come to tween programming, even if he had an adult with him. –SB
10/14 – No, your 27 year old special needs child can’t attend storytime, as we are underqualified—but we appreciate the suggestion and will look into finding an alternative, a presenter, or getting training! -SB
10/06 – No, we don’t have room to host a drop in chess program weekly at this time. -SB

10/12 – Yes, I can order you a book on Orcas -MW (happy faces for these two)
10/12 – Yes, I can order you a book on how babies are made -MW
10/5 – “You have such a great library! So many fun and unique programs!” -CR log

Respectfully submitted,
Beth Gallaway
Library Director

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Director’s Report: November 2017

Posted by bethg on


Column repair came to halt with the poor weather after several delays and will resume in the spring. Please see attached letter for details.

Landscaping and Garden
Thanks to Beth Patch for beautiful seasonal decorations for November!

Please see attached Budget Report.

Circulation for November was 9,732 physical items (down 5% from last month and down 7% compared to last November) and 1,431 digital items (a 7% increase from last month and a 29% increase from last November. Please see the attached Circulation Report.

Collection Development
The non-fiction weeding project is complete, with the exception of travel books. Beginning in January, we will start to replace some titles each month, starting with 001-002.

Museum Passes
In November, 61 passes were reserved, 55 were picked up and there were 6 “no shows”. We are coming to the end of the donated passes to the New England Aquarium, and the purchase of a new pass is in process.

Borrowers, Attendance & Usage Statistics, Program Statistics, Reference Statistics, Web Metrics, Social Media Metrics
Please see attached ARIS statistics.

Library Renovation
The OPM search continues. Next meetings: December 4, January 8.

WiFi Hub upgrade was scheduled. We hit 300 WiFi sessions in November, with 2 days showing over 20 users. We usually have 1-2 users when the building is closed, accessing from the Inn, the Common, or our parking lot.
Outreach and Partnerships
Crescent Manor BookWagon had 15 visitors, 66 check-outs and renewals, and 7 requests.

AppleTree Arts presented a Ukulele Jam session that had just 2 participants at the first meeting. The group, called GUM (Grafton Ukulele Musicians), will meet on the second Thursday of the Month at Apple Tree Arts. The Library has purchased a book club kit of 10 Daily Ukulele Books to place on long term loan with Apple Tree Arts for this partnership program. The next session is Thursday December 14.

November marked our last Willard House Once Upon a Storytime session of the season. We will be on break December –February. We are excited to see all of our friends again in March!

The Friends planned a raffle, gift book sale, and tote bag incentive at their November meeting. Thanks to Aaron Swartz for organizing! The Membership renewal mailing went out on Friday November 11 – thanks to all who stuffed envelopes. The Friends approved $500 for LEGO programs in Summer 2018 – and also approved sales of remaining LEGO ornament wreaths and snowflakes for $5 each as a fundraiser towards LEGO programs. A LEGO fundraiser for adults was discussed. A paint night and restaurant fundraiser is in the works.

We had four new volunteers start, and two are taking a break to focus on school activities. There were a total of 34 people who put in 152 hours.

We had an inquiry about editing services. While we don’t offer this service per se, we were able to recruit a volunteer who is an experienced editor by profession, and he will be completing a short term project for the patron.

Beth was voted Best Town Official in the Grafton News / Reader’s Choice Poll! Her plaque is displayed in the Main Reading Room. This is the second year the library has won accolades from the public, last year, we were voted the Best Place to Bring a Child.

Donna attended Technical Services round-table on 11/15 at Shrewsbury Public Library. Jan and Susan attended the Mass LNC Conference on November 2. Heidi and Susan attended the Passport Acceptance Training on November 8. Beth attended Community CPR training at the Municipal Center on November 9.

Work on the Standard Operating Procedures Manual is nearly finished. There are some formatting issues to correct, and then we will be ready to make copies!

Tech Services
515 items were added in November. Donna updated and re-labeled older non-fiction in the Children’s Room. She experimented with Webby…the new web-based client, and added materials using it. She continued her maintenance of the Mystery section by Weeding, shifting, and updating labels/series additions. In addition, she also did ongoing database cleanup and ongoing repair or replacement of DVD, Cob, and CD cases.

Children’s Room
We celebrated Dinovember in the Children’s Room this month with a dinosaur themed display. Some of storytime programming also got into the action with Silly Science learning all about fossils! The children were able to investigate real life fossils using a magnifying glass and create their very own using plastic dinosaurs. The room was full of trace fossils and body fossils. In preschool storytime we read When Dinosaurs came with Everything then made a dinosaur skeleton using pasta. Each of the preschoolers added their own flair to the skeleton and they were all truly ferocious.

Other storytime and silly science programs featured painting with forks and making food coloring “rain” through shaving cream clouds. The autumn themed sensory table was filled with pasta in candy corn colors and was a bit hit.

Due to the popularity of Library Babies, we have added an additional session on Thursday mornings. There is now a 9am and a 10:15am session. Adding the additional session will ensure all children and caregiver pairs have an individual book set to read along with and their own blanket to sit on if they choose to sit on the floor. We find that our baby program works best with a smaller group, so we hope the additional session proves to be as successful.

Thanks to Sandhya Shenoy, dubbed by her Children’s Room colleagues as a Shelf-Reading Master! Several notes of appreciation were sent to her in November for making the room look so beautiful by putting things in order and facing things out to present a nice atmosphere. The nonfiction and media looks terrific. Marilyn Wilcox was recognized at the November staff meeting for her wonderful displays.

Teen Services
Allison added 30 new teen fiction titles, 43 new nonfiction books, 25 new video games, and 19 more items (audiobooks, manga, graphic, etc.) to the collection. Over the last few months, she added two new nonfiction series of books for the teen collection, one on customs and cultures of the world told by a teen perspective and another about various world religions.

If you enjoyed Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series you may want to check out her new series: Renegades. In a ruined world where humans with extraordinary abilities have become the world’s champions of justice, a vengeance-seeking girl and a justice-seeking boy team up against a villain who has the power to destroy everything they have worked to protect.

Adult Services
Displays included a Thanksgiving cookbooks and entertaining display, and a National Novel Writing Month display.
The fiction display for November was Honoring Veterans, nicely done again by Lee.

Heidi proctored 1 test and Cyndi notarized 3 documents.

The Grafton Public Library hosted the following book discussion groups in November: the Not Just for Young Adults Book Discussion Group met to discuss What Light, by Jay Asher; the Daytimers Book Group met to discuss The Stupidest Angel, by Christopher Moore; the GPL Mystery Book Group met to discuss Murder is Binding, by Fredrik Barrett; the Inspirational Book Club met to discuss Reclaiming Conversation: the power of talk in the digital age by Sherry Turkle; and the Reads Well with Others Adult Book Discussion Group met to discuss Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent.

The Library also hosted a LEGO Bonsai tree build, Grafton Writer’s Group and Saturday Afternoon Knitters. The Adult LEGO Build was particularly successful. Allison reports that the adults really enjoyed the program and want more LEGO programs for their age group. We have been talking with the Friends about having a LEGO Build Fundraiser where we can create larger, more intricate builds and make a profit to pay for future free LEGO programs. Allison created an online survey to get some feedback, and it is still available to take. In conjunction with that project she also contacted the Tompkins County Public Library who did a LEGO Fundraising program last year. Allison reports: “They worked with a company in the UK to design a large 6-foot model of their new, expanded library and sold portions of them. Patrons could purchase a kit and bring it back to join into the larger building. Additionally, the Library sold two separate kits that patrons could keep: one a small scale model of the Library and another that was a bookcase and library cart. I chatted with them for awhile as they talked about their process and expenses. I don’t think that redoing exactly what they did would work at our Library. The initial costs were very expensive (around $20,000) and they still have not made a profit on their kits (they had to buy 500 of each of the smaller designs). I’ve been chatting with Chris McVeigh, a LEGO author and builder, to see how much it would be to create a Grafton Library specific design for us. I will contact him again after the holidays.”

Comments from the Public:
• “The Library always looks so nice. Abundant. Welcoming.”
• “Congratulations to Beth (Gallaway).” [For the Grafton News Readers’ Choice – said more than once].
• Patron said thanks for books on brain health after chemotherapy. She said “they were very helpful.”
• “We’ve been here more in the last 2 weeks than in the 10 years we’ve lived here.” (printing and faxing brought in today).
• “We’ve been loving Hoopla. We don’t have Netflix.” (implied that because of Hoopla, it wasn’t necessary.)
• “I’m so glad you are open today. I realized oh, no, my book won’t last till Monday and all the other libraries are closed already–till Monday!”
• A patron said “Thanks for being pleasant.”
• “I never come in the front door. It’s lovely.”
• “It’s better than shopping.” (printing cute pictures at the public computers).
• “It is marvelous, isn’t it?” (the new building. She was looking at our left over informational book mark about the project).
• “I got an A in both classes. You found books for me (CLIO). You helped me so much!”

NO Log
11/15 No, we don’t offer proofreading services. (will consider making it a volunteer project) -SL
11/9 No, we do not have passes for Plimoth Plantation. A Library membership is $500 for one year. 200 tickets for 6 people in at $16 adults, $10 for children (reg. $28 adults, $16 kids) -AC
11/7 No we (nor any library in the US) own Breathing Under Water by Sophie Hardcastle. -AC (I’m ordering it and will put it on hold for the patron when it arrives. -BG)
11/2 No, we are not offering a drop-in craft this month (in the CR), possibly in December -SW
11/01We don’t have the US News and World Report College list -SL
11/17 No the library does not offer any scholarships. -LM

11/28- “You make it so easy for us teachers”-Patron after checking out a half dozen books from one of Mare’s fabulous themed displays.
11/28 Can you help me with the lift? How many stairs are there going out the front door? (8) I counted!
11-17 Yes, you can meet at the library with two other people for a discussion.
11-30 YES, we can offer proofreading for you through our volunteer program. -SL

Respectfully submitted,

Beth Gallaway
Library Director

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2017 Annual Report of the Grafton Public Library

Posted by bethg on

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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Program: Victorian Huswifery with the Alcotts

Posted by switham on

Join the Grafton Historical Society and the Grafton Library on Thursday, February 8th  7:00 pm at the Grafton Community Barn, 37 Wheeler Road, North Grafton. Susan Bailey will share her presentation “Victorian Huswifery with the Alcotts”. Susan is an Alcott aficionado who explores the back-breaking work of the typical Victorian housewife through the experiences of Lousia May Alcott and her family.

A $5.00 donation is requested.  The program will be held at the Grafton Community Barn, 37 Wheeler Road, North Grafton, MA.

This joint program will convince you of something you may already know: “Housekeeping ain’t no joke…”

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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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Little Hats, Big Hearts

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February is the month of love. It’s also American Heart Month, and therefore no better time to spread awareness about how to have heart-healthy families and to educate the public about congenital heart defects, which affect approximately 40,000 babies per year.

The American Heart Association (AHA) and Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF) also want to raise awareness about congenital heart defects, which are the most common form of birth defect. Of the 40,000 babies born with heart defects each year, one in four will be critical enough to require surgery or procedures such as cardiac catheterization (often multiple times) during their first year of life.

Volunteers from around the country are joining the AHA, in connection with CHF, to celebrate American Heart Month by knitting red hats for babies born in February at participating hospitals. Supporters are knitting red hats to be given out to thousands of babies during American Heart Month in order to empower their parents to live heart healthy lives and help their children to do the same.

The Grafton Library’s Knitting Group donated over 2 dozen red hats which will be distributed to participating hospitals. Thank you to all the knitters for their generous hearts and the beautiful hats!


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Books Seeking a Good Home – these are for keeps!

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The Library has boxes of gently used books looking for a good home that are a result of weeding the collection to make room for new titles. Titles include adult and young adult fiction and nonfiction.  The books are free, and you may take all or just some. The books are currently stored in boxes, so it will require some time to sort through and see what titles are there.

If interested, please email Susan Leto at or call 508-839-4649 xt 1108.

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