Grafton Public Library

Library Updates

Birthday Club Donation Program

Posted by switham on

The Grafton Public Library is pleased to offer a new way to donate materials to the Library. In lieu of—or in addition to!–gifts for any occasion, you can now donate a book to honor a loved one. The program is called Birthday Club, but a donation in someone’s honor may be made for milestones such as birthdays, retirements, showers, graduations.

Donors may choose a specific title to add to the Library’s circulation collection, or simply donate to cover the cost of addition(s) to the Library’s collection. In return, donors receive a receipt and certificate, and a bookplate will be placed in the book.

Gifts and donations in any amount are accepted year-round. These unrestricted funds become invaluable in funding materials, programs, services and expenses not covered in the Library’s operating budget, including marketing, emergency building repairs, and new equipment.

For more information, please visit

Or, download the Birthday Club Donation Form, complete the form, and mail, with your check, to Grafton Public Library, PO Box 387, Grafton MA 01519.

To begin the process of making a Birthday Club donation, set up a trust, or discuss planned giving, please contact Beth Gallaway, Library Director, at 508-839-4649 or by email at

No comments

The Lavender Garden by Lucinda Riley

Posted by jparise on

The lavender gardenLucinda Riley uses a dual narrative in The Lavender Garden to relate the story of Emilie de la Martinières, a young heiress who now finds herself in possession of an aging Chateau on the Côte d’Azur in 1998 and that of Constance Carruthers, a British newlywed suddenly swept up in the covert activities of Churchill’s Special Operations Executive, supporting the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation in World War II.

Both are reluctant in their new roles, and also share a family connection which unfolds as the drama of their new circumstances plays out, and involves the characters who enter their lives. Riley does a nice job of representing both the magic of the French countryside and the tension of the difficult circumstances in which the people of Occupied France find themselves. Her characters range from bohemian artists to sneering Nazi elite, charming intellectuals and wine growers to gruff French Resistance fighters. They are fairly well drawn, if not always very likeable. Some twists and turns and family secrets also serve to make the story line moderately interesting, and the resolution is satisfying.

The Lavender Garden is a pleasant read if you like historical fiction, travel fiction, stories about the changing roles of women in society and a bit of mystery thrown in for good measure.

Request The Lavender Garden in regular print.

Request The Lavender Garden in large print.

Request The Lavender Garden audio book.

Request The Lavender Garden e book.

No comments

Library Delayed Opening Friday March 20th – Opening at 1 p.m.

Posted by switham on

The Grafton Public Library wishes to alert the public that the Library will be closed the morning of Friday, March 20th for staff professional development and training. The Library will open at 1 p.m. and close at 5 p.m. regular Friday closing hours. Any late fees on items due March 20th will be waived. Please visit us on the web at to view the catalog, request items, and connect to our many databases and social media outlets. Thank you to our patrons for your patience and understanding. For any questions or concerns, please contact Beth Gallaway, Director, at 508-839-4649 or

No comments

Book Review: Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Posted by switham on

Leaving Time, by Jodi Picoult, tells the story of Jenna Metcalf, a young teen who is desperately searching for her mother, Alice. Alice disappeared ten years earlier, after a tragic accident at the elephant compound, where she was a scientist studying grief among elephants. Not wanting to believe she was abandoned, Jenna searches the internet and reads her mother’s journal, looking for any information that would help her find her mother, or explain her disappearance. Having no luck on her own, Jenna turns for help to Serenity Jones, a once famous psychic, and Virgil Stanhope, a private detective and ex-cop, who was in involved in the investigation of the incident at the compound. The unlikely trio begin their search, leading them to discover the events leading up to Alice’s disappearance and the surprising truths they discover about Alice, and about themselves.

This book offered a lot of interesting information about the emotional intelligence of elephants, the dynamics of the relationships they have with one another, and the surprising amount of grief they experience when they lose a member of their group. This is especially evident with the loss of a young calf by its mother, and parallels these emotions with those of the human characters in the story.

Jodi Picoult is once again able to draw you into the complex lives, feelings and emotions of her characters in a new and unique way, while offering a surprising twist at the conclusion of the story.

No comments

Workshop: Getting Organized and Conquering Chaos, One Step at a Time

Posted by switham on

Jenna Elliott is the founder of The Naked Flower, Professional Organizers. She has been an organizer and re-designer for 11 years and works with a variety of clients, both in the office and in the home. Prior to starting The Naked Flower ( Jenna was a master floral designer and project manager for a fortune 500 company.

This workshop will give you a step-by-step approach to reducing clutter and increasing the functionality of your space. She will share tips on:

1. The three categories of disorganization
2. 5 steps to decluttering a room
3. Room mapping, the step that makes maintaining organization possible
4. Tips to get motivated
5. Resources such as websites, stores and literature on getting organized

For questions, or to sign up, please contact the Heidi Fowler at the Grafton Public Library or 508-839-4649.

No comments

Friends of the Library COMMUNITY READ 2015!

Posted by bethg on

The Friends of the Grafton Public Library
2015 Community Read:

CASCADE by Maryanne O’Hara
at the Grafton Public Library,  35 Grafton Common, Grafton MA

Description: Struggling to protect her family’s theater from a reservoir plan and married to a man desperate for children, would-be artist Desdemona Hart of 1935 Massachusetts is drawn to creative newcomer Jacob, who is wrongly implicated by anti-Semitic townspeople in the wake of a local murder.

This year we are pleased to offer companion books for younger readers:

Young Adult selection: Someday by Jackie French Koller

Children’s selection: Letting Swift River Go, by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Barbara Cooney

Stop by the library to sign up and pick up a copy of the books

For more information, contact the Grafton Public Library at or 508-839-4649.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 7:00pm
Beyond The Quabbin: Using Digital Resources to Discover the History of Massachusetts

Monday, March 9, 2015 at 7:30pm
“Not Just for Young Adults” Book Group: Someday by Jackie French Koller

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 1:30pm
“Daytimers” GPL Book Group
Cascade book discussion

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at 7:30pm
Community Read : Craft for adults

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 3:30pm
Letting Swift River Go discussion and craft

Tuesday, March 24 at 7:00pm
Skype Author Visit with Maryanne O’Hara, the author of Cascade
Refreshments and chatting at 7:00pm, video chat visit at 7:30pm

Monday, March 30, 2015 at 7:00pm
Cascade book discussion

Tuesday, March 31 at 7:30pm
Lecture: History of the Quabbin Reservoir

No comments


Posted by bethg on

carsOn Wednesday January 20, at 3:30 pm, there was only 1 parking spot, and the lot next door was 1/3 full, with 10-12 cars. We were hosting LEGO club, which filled with 14 participants. All 10 public access computers were in use. Every table had people sitting at it—studying, tutoring, reading, using a laptop. The Children’s room was busy, with tutors, kids studying, computing, and using the preschool play corner. On the mezzanine, another set of tutors and a reader put every table in the building in use, as two middle school students walked from floor to floor in search of a place to sit and several people commented on the busy, bustling Library.

Materials circulation surpassed 11,000 items in January in spite of losing 3 days due to snow—11,298 items went out. Overdrive use skyrocketed, nearly hitting 1,000 checkouts for the first time; I suspect many people received eReaders or Overdrive compatible devices as holiday gifts. The addition of digital magazines for Nook owners may also have contributed to the 941 items that checked out.

In the first two quarters of FY 2015, we submitted 57 requests for materials not owned by any other library in our network. We processed 45 returnables (loans of material); 13 from within Massachusetts and 32 from out of state. There were 12 cancellations due to unavailability. Books that are too new for loan will be purchased, if within our collection development scope, unavailable titles will be placed on the NO log. We requested and received 6 articles; 1 from Boston Public Library, 5 from OCLC.

Rockwell Roofers came to assess the drip on the copper apron that is contributing to an icy patch on the concrete pad. Their report indicated the job was not completed and the copper needs to be re-soldered. We will schedule the work when we have a run of 40 degree days, likely not until spring. The cost estimate came in at just under $10,000.00 and funding will come from the building project reserves.

Radiators continue to be an issue, with water dripping and spouting from valves in new and different areas. I am being more vigilant about draining out water when the level is too high, and have assigned this task to the building custodians.

Snow removal is an ongoing issue, but calling ahead of the storm to remind Building Dept. about the Library’s needs is successful. We will be paying for snow removal manpower form the part-time employee budget. The reflective markers at the pathways seem to be helpful; next year, I will make sure to put them on the pathway between the two parking lots.

None of the FY 2016 capital projects brought to committee were recommended; the suggestion from the committee was to try CPC for preservation items and wait for a building to renovate the restrooms. Projects beyond FY2016 were not addressed. Beth will complete the CPC grant application for window and door repair and bring to CPC in February.

We had a patron complaint in January about the accessible space on South Street that was not cleared; it is the responsibility of the building owner to clear the sidewalks, per the MA Supreme Judicial Court’s 2010 ruling in Papadopoulos v. Target Corp. There does not appear to be enough DPW staff to keep up with all of the sidewalk snow removal needs of the Town. I listened to the patron, contacted the TA’s office, and encouraged him to do the same. It was resolved for that storm, but not for the following one, and the patron brought to the Board of Selectman on
Tuesday Feb 3. Snow was removed on Thu 2/5. SeeClickFix, a new website and app that can be used to report non-emergency issues, is particularly useful in getting these types of matters attended to. Additionally, See Click Fix now has a snow removal component for residents to help out neighbors or request help shoveling.

Matt from MX returned to eliminate a virus and get 2 machines out of a reboot loop. He kindly left instructions so we can do it ourselves, next time. We are scheduled to switch over to Town supported IT, through the school system, on Feb 1, but still have the option of calling on MX for assistance, and there is some money still budgeted for support.

Outreach and Partnerships
cascadeBeth attended the Friends of the Library January meeting to discuss Community Reads and ask for funding The MOMS of Grafton Facebook group and Beginning Years Family Network kindly promoted the Bank on Reading PreK STEM storytime at UniBank, and we had 12 families, instead of one, as a result! It’s a great program that Sarah and Jen have put a lot of work into, so we’re happy for the increased attendance.

The Crescent Manor program was canceled because the Activities Director left. Susan scheduled a meeting with the new Activities Director and the program will resume in February. The Senior Center Book Wagon was canceled due to the snowstorm.

Sarah visited Apple Tree Arts, Early Learning Center, Babies in Common, and local schools to drop off posters and bookmarks for Take Your Child to the Library Day. Posters will be collected to reuse next year. Babies in Common asked for some booklists, and Sarah is working on that for Jeanette.

Lisa Rice kindly organized volunteer readers for Storytellers. Thanks to local educators Lisa Rice, Beth Thulin, Andrea Anderson, Michelle LeRoux, and Doug Adams for reading!

23 bags of food were delivered to the Food Bank in January. I offered to assist the Food Bank with social media and will be attending a meeting in February.

Sue started promoting our Library eNewsletter with signs, a button on our website, and I put sign up forms to all Town Departments. We have 130 subscribers as of February 5. If you have not already signed up, please do so!

pjsThe Cradles to Crayons PJ Drive runs through March 6. Bring in new PJs size 4T/5T through 18/20 and they will be donated to children up to age 12. The Boston Bruins are donating prizes, including a reading rink and mascot visit, for the libraries that collect the most pajamas.

Grants & Gifts
Sarah and I sat in on a telephone call with MBLC and the librarians around the state who submitted letters of intent for the upcoming LSTA grant round. We intend to write a grant for STEAM themed kits to use for storytime and circulate to preschools and daycares. Our draft proposal is due February 24 and is well under way.

??????????The AWE funded by UniBank arrived and had a faulty charger. Even after replacing it, we still had some issues and ultimately swapped it for a new unit. Staff tested it to get familiar with it, and Anjali come in for a photo op with Sarah at the end of the month. UniBank covered the cost of the unit, and the Library paid for the case and accessories.

Allison participated in an online training for her YALSA selection committee. Susan, Allison, and Beth Patch did Ethics certification. Four trustees and three staff attended the Legislative Breakfast in Worcester. We left with an assignment to contact our representatives in the next week. Currently, Governor Baker has proposed a cut to library line items, and we cannot afford even the proposed one half of one percent cut. Please take a minute to review the MBLC Legislative agenda, Opportunity for All, online at and then call, email or write a letter to your representatives at the state level. Use CapWiz to see exactly who to send the message to: Please stress the importance of funding for the following, and be sure to include a personal anecdote about how you and your family use the Library! Here are the talking points:

Line 9501 State Aid to Public Libraries: Grafton has an 88 year old building and we never know what’s going to go wrong next, making it very hard to anticipate the Library’s building & maintenance line in the Town budget. There is never enough money for plumbing, HVAC and electrical issues! We also have used State Aid to respond to increased demand for Library materials, like Audio & Adult Fiction, to hire temp staff to cover the public service desks with so we don’t have to close departments and cut programs, and to supplement popular programs like Museum Pass loans.

Line 9506 Library Technology & Resource Sharing: Although Grafton is no longer a small library, we are in process of being phased out of the grants to small libraries that helps pay for our C/W MARS network membership. Without it, we would not have been able to join, and give local residents access to over 9 million items across 144 member libraries in our region, and nearly 50 million holdings, statewide! Our C/W MARS membership covers the catalog, databases, tech support, and more. Grafton has a relatively small materials budget (less than $5 per person), and limited shelf space, so we really depend on the shared collections to get our patrons the items they want. Return on investment for our membership fee of $14, 038 is $175,106 in C/W MARS services for holds, library catalog, site visits and phone tech support, databases, and requests from other MA libraries outside of the network—a HUGE savings to the Town to get our residents what they need/want.

We added one more ELL tutor and 2 more regular volunteers to our rosters. We also have another NHS Independent Service Project in the works. The same student who last year helped launch the BookWagon is going to coordinate the Friends Easter Egg Hunt this year. Currently, we have a need for people to disinfect donated LEGOS in the bathtub, using a 10% bleach solution.

Children’s Room
Our programming numbers for the January sessions of storytimes were very high. We saw a total of 19 babies, 91 Toddlers and 93 preschoolers spread throughout or 5 weekly storytimes this month, even when we were two days short due to the great blizzard of 2015! Children’s circulation was 50% of total circulation in January.

LEGO Jan 2015Our first session of Lego Brick Builders was a huge success. The children were so pleased to play and create using the library’s donated Lego collection. We had 23 parents and builders come to our first session, and it generated much excitement about our upcoming LEGO Free Play program during February school vacation week.

January also brought the launch our Grafton Public Library’s Teacher Card program, and we have been invited to talk to North Grafton Elementary School, Millbury Street Elementary School, and South Grafton Elementary School faculty to promote that fantastic program and the budding collaboration between the schools and the library. We have also attended one PTG meeting and have two more scheduled.

As a result, BookFlix use was huge in January, with 253 sessions and 709 documents retrieved! Unfortunately, our current license is only for access from home or the Library, and it would cost an additional $1200.00 for in-school access. This would be an excellent investment. We feel that providing comprehensive assistance and resources to the teachers of Grafton will in turn help the students. We have a wonderful community and are pleased to have the opportunity to help it thrive. We issued 8 Teacher Cards this month and I anticipate many more to come.

We are currently writing a “Full STEAM Ahead” LSTA grant so we can continue our mission of providing quality services and programs to the community. If we are awarded this grant, we hope to use the funds to strengthen the STEAM programming we offer to the community, implement outreach storytime programs within the community through our community partners, and create STEAM themed kits that will be available for circulation to our local schools and daycares.

Teen Services
NerdfightersThe first Teen Art Coalition program revolved around knitting. Six teens participated and put a great effort into this. Each month will be a new type of art. February will be duct tape crafts. Future programs will include scrapbooking and t-shirt spray painting.

Teens had a great time sharing their interests in our first Nerdfighters program. YouTube videos of the vlogbrothers, John and Hank Green, were shown. Teens created a poster to share what they get nerdy about and it can be seen in the teen section of the library. The afternoon was spent learning and playing Killer Bunnies and Clue. Future sessions will have teens sharing their favorite things and more hands on activities.

Teen Librarian, Allison met with GHS school librarian Patti Keller to talk about future collaborations between the public library and school.

Thirty librarians met to share information on our collections, reaching teens through social media, and summer programming. A Librarian Swap (YA Librarians replicate their successful programs at neighboring libraries in exchange for another program outside their area of interest or expertise) is in the works.

The D&D group met again for a special Friday night afterhours program. Twenty teens participated. The group will continue to meet once a month in the library.

whenTeen Librarian’s Pick: This month Teen Librarian Allison really enjoyed Victoria Laurie’s novel, When. Laurie is known for her paranormal mystery series for adults and this is her first book for teens. Sixteen-year-old Maddie Flynn cannot help but see the death date of everyone she meets or sees in a photograph or on-screen, and her alcoholic mother exploits this by having her do readings for money, but when Maddie predicts the death of a young boy, she becomes the center of an FBI investigation. This book will draw you in quickly and keep you guessing until the end.




Adult Services
Our first adult knitting program was an astonishing success. We had almost twenty adults come. What was great about this program is that people were so willing to share their knowledge and skills and learn from one another from seasoned knitters to newbies. Karen Brooks, mother of Teen Librarian Allison Cusher, donated a couple dozen knitting kits that include a skein of yarn, needles, and instructions. These kits will be available for new knitters until we run out. We will also start a collection box for donated knitting and crocheting materials. The staff scheduled a monthly knitting and crocheting program which will be held on the following Saturday afternoons from 2-4pm: 2/21, 3/21, 4/18, 5/16, 6/ 27, 7/25, 8/22, 9/19, and 10/17. In addition, we will offer a Give and Take Box. If you want to donate yarn or needles to be used by fellow knitters please bring them to any of the sessions. This is a great way to clear up your stash or try a new yarn.

We discussed The Naturals, by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, at the “Not Just for Young Adults” Book Discussion Group. The “Reads Well with Others” Adult Book Discussion book was The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood (which we are still trying to discuss. Our meeting has been snowed out twice. Maybe the third time will be charmed). Heidi also facilitated at the Daytimers book group. We talked about The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister.

Our Blind Date with a Book display is up. Patrons can check out a mystery date during the month of February. Inside each book date is a bookmark. Patrons can rate their date and return the slip for a chance to win a box of chocolate.

We celebrated National Puzzle Day January 29 and put out several jigsaw puzzles for adults and some new puzzles in the Children’s Room of varying age and experience level puzzles for our patrons to enjoy. A patron had suggested a few months ago that we make a puzzle available for adults on a regular basis; a puzzle mat was purchased to facilitate an ongoing puzzle in progress.

January was “International Creativity Month” so Heidi created a display of creative topics that a visitor liked so much she photocopied Heidi’s sign to create a display of merchandise at the Tower Hill Gift Shop. We also had a Small Business display to go with the “Exploring Business Ownership: The SBA Advantage” program February 11 at 2pm, Knitting books and stories to go with the “Saturday Morning Knitting” group on January 17th, and a “Best Self” display for the first of the year. This month’s Fiction Spotlight was Suspense/Thrillers, which was set up in Susan’s absence (due to her Africa trip!) by Lee McCulloch; December was actually Women’s Fiction and erroneously reported as Suspense.

Tech Services
Donna and Eileen added 269 items in January. Ongoing projects including working with Allison to put YA fiction into series order/re-cataloging and re-labeling; re-labeling, re-covering, and checking the cataloging in the Children’s collection; removing no-longer needed “messages” from bibliographic records in our database; and adding “Holiday” and “Seasonal” to the call-letters of the Children’s items that periodically go into storage, making them easier to locate. Eileen cataloged a collection of donated comics for the YA department.

Comments from the Public
“The library has really helped my child read better.”
“I listened to Big Little Lies three times in a row. It is my new favorite book.”
Snow removal complaint
“It’s quiet this morning. I’ve gotten used to seeing Lego builders and all kind of things. It’s nice to see how much use the library is getting” 🙂
There were 4 noise complaints (the day of the Nerfighters program).
Will there be another vote for a library expansion?
“I didn’t know there was an upstairs.”
Who made the tree?” (holiday book tree).
“Those new computers are great.”
“This is a nice space.”
“You have some nice map books here.”
“You were very helpful.” (finding information on Champlain the explorer).
“Do you ever send out reminders to people to read cleanly?” The book the patron is reading has a torn page and yucky things spilled on it.
The handicapped spaces are icy and the sidewalk isn’t clear and the patron’s wife was afraid to use the lift because she didn’t want to get stuck in it. (Jan. 10th).
“You are dedicated.” (About Heidi changing the message board sign at night).
A patron said she grew up going to the North Grafton Library (when it was still a mansion). She learned how to read [from] going there, she said. <3
“Thank you. You said to keep looking for the missing book and I did find it.”
“I had to park in the overflow parking it’s so busy here. What a problem to have. *smile*
“Now that I know you have up-to-date Patterson books, I’ll be back often.” (He thought to check perhaps because he was here already to fax something).
Two noise complaints on January 22nd (no programs scheduled-patron didn’t like that 2 other patrons were talking (quietly) while she was trying to read, and recommended we “shush people at the door, it’s a library!”
“I haven’t been here in 50+ years.”

Total January Circulation was 11,298 items. Circulation is up 5% compared to December 2014 and  up 4% compared to January 2014, in spite of several closures for snow. Children’s circulation was 50% of total circulation in January 2015.

Overdrive circulation surged in January 2015, with 941 total digital circulations. OverDrive circulation is up 47%compared to December 2014, and up 35% compared to January 2014. It’s likely that a significant number of patrons got eBook readers or tablets or smartphones as holiday gifts! There is absolutely no way to keep up with eBook demand. In January, OverDrive launched eMagazines for Nook users (including Nook apps). It is likely we will transition from Zinio when our annual contract is up, as OverDrive provides a less expensive alternative and simpler interface. Zinio use increased and OneClick Digital increased compared to December, likely due to the January Census mailing that featured the contest for use of these two new databases.

We had 52 Museum pass checkouts in January, out of 71 reservations—a 27% cancellation rate. We identified just 3 repeat offenders, and they are being contacted. I have requested that language about cancellations be including in the confirmation email, and that we make confirmations mandatory. This means anyone making an online reservation without an email address will need to call the Library, and staff will have to make the reservation. There was a 6% increase in checkouts, compared to December 2014, and a 30% increase in checkouts, compared to January 2014.

We had a complaint that a patron with a pass reserved for MLK Day didn’t know the Library would not be open the day of to pick up the pass. The closing, due to a federal holiday, was on the events calendar, the museum pass page, was the front image on the news carousel on the website, and was posted to Facebook, to Twitter, and to the door 2 weeks in advance. We contacted the patron to apologize, she appreciated our concern over her complaint, and we have put reminder phone calls in advance of closures on the staff calendar.

We had 19 volunteers donate 77 hours of service, a 26% increase in bodies and a 41 percent increase in hours, compared to December 2014, and a 35% increase in bodies and hours, compared to January 2014.

Attendance for January was 5063 Library visitors, a 14% decrease from December 2014, and a 33% increase from January 2014. We added 61 new borrowers, 59 onsite and 2 at other C/W MARS libraries. There were 334 computer users, a decrease of 4% from December 2014 and an increase of 43% from January 2015. WE answered 392 reference questions, an increase of 9% from December 2014 and a decrease of 35% from January 2014. I think had a push for more accurate tracking early last year, and a reminder is due that anything that has to be looked up constitutes a reference question, including holds requests and programming questions, as well as research queries.

The Library offered 27 programs in January, including storytimes, book discussion, and National Puzzle Day. We debuted fourn new programs: LEGO Brick Builders Club, knitting group, Teen Art Coalition and Nerdfighters. Total program attendance was 308, a decrease of 46% from December 2014 and an increase of 204% from January 2014. Our popular PAWSING to R.E.A.D program will resume in March.

The website had a new high of 4,079 hits from 2,107 unique users: 24% more hits compared to December 2014 (no data for Jan 2014) and a 16% increase in unique users from December 2014.While 8,101 page views is not a record, it is a 26% increase compared to December 2014, and a 4% increase from January 2014. We have reached 255 followers on Facebook and are discussing merging our 3 pages at the next staff meeting.

Ancestry had over 1,000 hits for the second month in a row. Gale database use increased, as did Heritage Quest. BookFlix use was huge in January, with 253 sessions and 709 documents retrieved! Unfortunately, our current license is only for access from home or the Library, and it would cost an additional $1200.00 for in-school access. This would be an excellent investment. Mango use is up, but with only 6 hits in January, needs more promotion. We may have had some use of Basic ESL, the link dropped off the website and has been restored.

Upcoming Events:

  • Tue 2/10,7:30 pm: Friends of the Library Meeting
  • Wed 2/11, 10am: Toddler Storytime
  • Thu 2/12, 11:30am: Toddler Storytime
  • Fri 2/13, 2-5pm: Technology Petting Zoo
  • Tue 2/17, 1:30pm: Daytimers Book Group
  • Wed 2/18, 10am-2pm: Drop in LEGO FreePlay
  • Wed 2/18, 3:30-5pm: LEGO Brickbuilders
  • Wed 2/18, 6:30pm: Teen Movie Night: The Maze Runner
  • Wed 2/18, 7:00pm: Grafton Writers Group
  • Wed 2/19, 11:00am: Catapult Challenge (CR closed)
  • Wed 2/19, 5-7: Open Art Bookmark
  • Thu 2/20, 3-4pm: Teen Potato Chip Taste Test
  • Fri 2/20, 11am-3pm: How to Train Your Dragon I & II + PIZZA LUNCH donated by Pizza Express
  • Fri 2/20, 5-9pm D&D
  • Sat 2/21, 2-4pm: Knitting Group
  • Tue 2/25, 7:00pm: Gardening is Murder: Author Visit with Neal Sanders
  • March: Community Reads: Cascade by Maryanne O’Hara Book Discussion
  • Mon 3/3, 7:00 pm: Reads Well With Others Book Group: Cascade by Maryanne O’Hara
  • Wed 3/4, 7:00pm: Beyond the Quabbin: Using Digital Resources to Discover MA History
  • Mon 3/10, 7:30pm: NJFYA Book Discussion: Someday by Jackie French Coller
  • Mon 3/24, 7:00 pm: Skype Author Visit with Maryanne O’Hara
  • Fri 3/6, 10am: Mr. Kim
  • Sat 3/7, 10:00am: Special Town Meeting
  • March 8-15: Teen Tech Week: Libraries are for Making
  • Fri 3/13, 2-5pm: Technology Petting Zoo
  • Sat 3/14, 10-12 Teen Program
  • 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, 7-10pm: Video-Game-A-Thon
  • April 1-30: National Poetry Month
  • April 12-18: National Library Week: Unlimited Possibilities @ your Library®
  • Thu 4/30: Poem in your Pocket Day
No comments


Posted by bethg on

We had over 200 people visit during Grafton Celebrates the holidays to do a craft, write a letter, hear a story or sing a song. David Polansky’s concert drew over 100 people, and 112 families listened to seasonal stories. While we did not exceed room capacity during the event (people came and went), the event was cramped, uncomfortable and not everyone could hear when he had a technical failure with his microphone. Some people stood in the hallway and talked during the performance, and others did not respect the chair placements that we designed to leave walkways and moved furniture. While it’s a great event, and he is wonderful to work with, our facility is, sadly, not conducive to this type of program, and it’s frustrating for patrons, staff and performers. I recorded the event for GCTV with David’s permission, but much of the content was unusable due to poor sound quality. I did produce a 3 minute clip that will air on GCTV.

Renaud was on site multiple times to try and clean a continuing pipe blockage that resulted in water spouting in lower level radiators, including in the Children’s Room and new vestibule. Driving rain created leaking in the book drops, to the point where materials are getting damaged; we are pricing a new model.

Matt from MX checked in to see how the new machines are running. Patron feedback has been low, which is surprising. We added a link to register for Constant Contact to our website and got our first subscriber!

Outreach and Partnerships
Susan and the Bookwagon went to Crescent Manor and had 9 visitors, 9 check-outs, 15 returns, 2 requests and 1 renewal; at the Senior Center, she had 13 visitors, 6 check-outs, 2 returns and 1 renewal. Barb Connelly says the Bookwagon is a program that seniors really look forward to!

UniBank storytime resumed mid-December.

Ice Out Charlie stopped by for a visit to warm up before his big chill on Lake Ripple. Tickets for the Grafton LIONS Ice Out Charlie raffle may be purchased at the Library through February 15.

Grants & Gifts
Sarah submitted a Letter of intent for Full STEAM Ahead, to create Science/Technology/Engineering/Arts/Math kits to circulate to preschools and day care providers.

??????????The UniBank Charitable Giving Program provided $2500.00 to partially fund the acquisition of an Early Literacy Station (ELS). An ELS is a standalone tablet computer (not connected to the Internet) that comes preloaded with over 70 educational software programs for kids ages 2–8. Since space is such an issue in our Library, we are so excited to have a portable tablet ELS that we can use in-house and take on the road! The ELS is designed to support school readiness and early education while making learning exciting and engaging. The applications span reading, language arts, math, science, STEM, social studies, writing, graphic arts, typing, music, and more. The content is correlated to Common Core standards. Software features popular characters from Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer and Spongebob Squarepants. The ELS will be available in the Children’s Room in the New Year. UniBank for Savings is a community bank with ten area branches. AWE is a provider of digital learning solutions for young children that inspire a lifetime of learning.

I suggested a spring date for dedication of the memorial bench for Jennifer White.

The Library mini-golf fundraiser netted $2,054.00 after expenses. An additional $200 was collected in the donation tube. One sponsor still has not submitted a check. LEGOs and furniture will be ordered in January.

Thank you to the Witham family who donated a trial subscription to Hootsuite!

Donna Bates-Tarrant received a very nice compliment from Beth Patch, who called Donna “kind, helpful and dedicated…she totally took the time [to get me what I needed] … she was fabulous.”

Allison was selected for the YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers book selection committee. This is a volunteer appointed on a national committee! Her term will run for February until the end of next January. As a committee member, she will be required to attend the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco in June and the Midwinter Meeting in Boston next January. The task of this committee is to prepare an annotated list of recommended books appropriate for reluctant young adult readers.

Val, Lee and Sarah were featured on December’s Grafton Minute-by-Minute program. You can watch their segment, Meet the Librarians at; skip to the 14:08 mark.

Susan Leto and Marilyn Wilcox were trained in CPR. Lee McCullough, Jan Parise and went to Whitinsville for eBook training. Susan and Heidi attended Making Marketing Fun, and reported back with the importance of surveys and some new marketing resources. We are experimenting with Instagram, but it requires a personal cell phone to use; members cannot post directly via the web or an app. Topics of conversation include how we take attendance (add bodies in + bodies out, then divide by two!), and what’s coming up for December and January.

I completed the GCTV Producers certification, an 8 week class. Graduation was held January 5, 2015. Certification allows me to check out cameras and equipment to record Library events or PSAs, and access to editing software in the studio, o to direct, produce or crew in studio. This will be a big help with our Storytellers program.

Sarah completed LIS 482 – Library Programs and Service for Children and LIS 488 – Technology for Information Professionals this fall. She found the children’s programming class to be extremely helpful when I was rewriting Grafton’s Unattended Child Policy and implementing our Teacher Card program. Class discussions were lively with many of the students sharing their own experiences about working in a library’s children’s services department. The information on childhood development and developing age appropriate storytimes was stressed and she adjusted some of her storytime techniques based on the assigned readings; for example, finger plays for babies and toddlers should be repeated at least twice.

Technology for Information Professionals focused on learning about the various technologies used in library science and technology related topic.  Sarah learned about different ways libraries can reach their patrons, such as Pinterest boards, Facebooks accounts, and Twitter feeds, and learned about the importance of libraries acting as community hubs, the digital divide, and how libraries fit into net neutrality. Sarah says, “One of my big takeaways from this class was the importance of meeting patrons where they are. Having an active presence on social media is a good way to make the patrons of your community aware of the programs and services the library offers. That being said, the information has to be updated and added to frequently, or it ceases to be thought of as a reliable source of information. This has helped me to realize how important it is for me to keep up with my Facebook and Pinterest library posts so patrons always have access to new content.” This spring she will be taking LIS 450 – Organization/ Management of Public Libraries and LIS 453 – Collections Development and Management.

Mare produced a Christian/Gentle Reads board on Pinterest for reader’s advisory purposes; check it out at

The Staff met for a holiday party on December 5, and for a staff meeting on December 10. Five staff attended the Town of Grafton Holiday Party, which I helped to organize with Betty Wright and Barb Connelly.

Four new volunteers started in December; two as ESL tutors, one to do disc cleaning specifically, and one general volunteer.  We presently have 13 regular volunteers, 3 Home Delivery drivers, and 7 ESL tutors. Donna trained a new volunteer to clean and resurface DVDs, and CDs on the JFJ Easy Pro machine. Volunteer recruitment PR went out at the end of December.  Gifts of an “I Love my Library” pen with a candy cane and a handwritten personal note were given to 23 volunteers.

Children’s Room
This month, the Grafton Public Library’s Children’s Room had a very special guest from the North Pole. Sugarplum was back for another year to watch over the staff and give the children something to look forward each day as she moved around the Children’s Room.  77 children participated in our Sugarplum program and 11 children brought in their tracking sheet to receive a book as a prize for participation.

Another popular activity this month was writing letters to Santa. We collected 131 total pieces of mail for Santa this year. We have response letters waiting behind the desk for any children eager to hear what Santa had to say.

Grafton Celebrates the Holidays was a busy day for the library. We had various craft activities upstairs that we ran with the assistance of local Girl Scout Troup 30286. Friends of the Library volunteers read stories all day to 112 visitors. The day was finished on a high note as we enjoyed a performance by David Polansky in the afternoon with 102 merry audience members.

Storytime programs have resumed for the winter session, and with the addition of a morning program on Thursdays, we are offering 5 storytimes a week. We added an 11:30 session by request, and it was not well attended before the holidays.

We have continued to weed the children’s collection to remove damaged and worn items as well as those with low circulation and/or outdated information.

We have been hard at work preparing for the launch of the library’s Teacher Card and Teacher Portal on our website – preview at We hope that providing teachers with a card that better fits their needs by providing longer loan periods with no fines, that we can strengthen our relationships with the educators of Grafton.  The teacher portal also provides links for helpful resources like databases, as well as library visit request and assignment alert forms help keep lines of communication open with teachers in the community.

December also brought a bit of summer, as orders for the upcoming Summer Reading Program, Every Hero Has a Story,” began to be delivered. We have begun to plan various programs and we are eager to bring Super summer reading programs to the residents of Grafton.

Over 80 people celebrated New Year’s at Noon and/or attended a brief flute recital that followed, provided by Apple Tree Arts.

Teen Services
The library celebrated Harry Potter all month with displays and programs. The teens created Hedwig inspired ornaments and a Harry Potter Trivia Challenge. Both programs were well attended and 4 people attended a screening of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Many technical difficulties with the projector, audio, and laptop speak to a need to purchase a new digital projector sooner rather than later.

The Grafton Library also hosted another Dungeons & Dragons event that was popular and loud.

Allison’s book selection this month is a new nonfiction book called Ladies of Animation, in which six women (Lorelay Bove, Mingjue Helen Chen, Claire Keane, Lisa Keene, Brittney Lee, and Victoria Ying) currently working in animation and illustration discuss what inspires them alongside some of their works.

Adult Services
I hosted a Technology Petting Zoo with a mix of scheduled demos, TED talk screenings, and drop in office hours. Heidi did an demo. We had 7 people over 2 days. We will offer this program monthly.

“Not Just for Young Adults” discussed The Miracle Stealer, by Neil Connelly. The “Reads Well with Others” Adult Book Discussion book was John Saturnall’s Feast by Lawrence Norfolk. Heidi also facilitated at the Daytimers book group.  We talked about The Lightning Keeper by Starling Lawrence.

A display on Suspenseful fiction went up mid-month. Other December displays included holiday stories and music, knitting, and an In Memoriam display for P. D. James.

Jan developed ILL Request Slips to help staff taking out of network requests at the desk

Food for Fines continued through December 31. Nineteen bags of food have been brought to the Food Bank as of 12/26, and there are several in the bin ready to go.

Thank you cards were sent to all who brought treats throughout the holidays.

Tech Services

576 items were added in December. Donna started a big project to put J and YA series fiction into proper order, re-cataloged and re-labeled items to reflect author, series name and series number. She worked on clean-up of patron database (fixing home library, etc.), deleted old messages from item records, and covered the desk. Donna takes special pride in maintaining the Mystery Collection, and is also working on two ongoing projects: integrating J mysteries into J Fiction, re-cataloging and re-labeling items, and repairing, re-covering, cleaning and re-labeling children’s books

Comments from the Public

  • “Word on the street is that there’s a lot going on in the library.”
  • “I really enjoy the Grafton Library.  It’s a wonderful place and everyone there has always been so helpful and kind.” (a patron from Northbridge who prefers to pick up her ILL’s here).
  • “This is a nice library.” (had been going to Shrewsbury before the construction. Has realized it’s just as easy to come here.)
  • When we were updating a patron’s record in Evergreen, she said she wanted her default library to be Grafton, not Whitinsville.  She said she “loves this library.”  We figured out that it already was set to here.
  • “The library is my favorite place in town.  I cut the “Shrewsbury off of the “I love the Shrewsbury Library” and put it on my car.” [Marie Arnold said this].
  • Patron from Greenfield “over the moon” that she can use the Brahms CD’s that are marked “in storage.”
  • “Thank you for being open until 9pm.  Millbury is closed on Mondays and is only open until 8pm.”
  • “I love/appreciate those new computers.” (comments)
  • “I appreciate your help. If not for you [helping with a fax] I’d have had to go to Shrewsbury.”
  • “I appreciate it [printing help]. I really needed this [document printed.]
  • “Heidi is a genius.” (photocopying help; 8 ½ x 11 to legal sized)
  • “Heidi, you were great.” (Scanning documents and helping him attach them to an email).
  • “It looks so pretty in here.”
  • “He did such a good job with “Oh Holy Night, my favorite carol” (overheard at Grafton Celebrates the Holidays).
  • “What a nice old building.  I like the little decorations everywhere.” (at Grafton Celebrates the Holidays).
  • “That was a good story. She had a nice reading voice.” (overheard at Grafton Celebrates the Holidays.)
  • Patron who hadn’t been here in a while commented on how nice it looks now.
  • “Love the gift books.” (Mary Tulloch’s Christmas creations).
  • “I haven’t been here in years.  It’s so nice.”  She was also thrilled with the Down Under Bookstore, the buying power possible because of the low prices and the kids’ holiday gift books.
  • “You ladies are so nice here at the library.”
  • “The book tree is cool/clever.” (4 comments)
  • “I can’t thank you enough.” (for having what she needed from a 1967 Grafton News).
  • “When did the library become so loud?” (2 comments, Saturday, Dec. 20 – Harry Potter Trivia and Dungeons & Dragons).
  • “You really should look into this phone system.  I got the run around. Took 3 calls to reach you.”
  • “Every once in a while I throw you a curve ball and I’m rarely disappointed.” (about an out of state ILL of a CD).
  • “I have to say you have the best costumes” (one of Heidi’s Christmas outfits).
  • A patron was unhappy with the fact that the non-fiction DVDs are interfiled in the non-fiction section. She wanted to browse because she didn’t know what she wanted to check out. (Beth and Heidi will put their heads together—there is not enough space in the Main Room for all of our media).

Upcoming Events:

  • Sat 1/17 10-12, 2-4 Knitting Group for adults in the AM, teens in the PM. Bring a project or come to learn, yarn and needles will be provided for newbies.
  • Sat 1/24 12-4 National Read-a-thon Day – Patrons are encourage to spend the afternoon reading. Snacks will be available. No sign up or registration required, just stop in and join us. This is an all ages, low-key program:  You don’t need to read the whole time (but it is encouraged). You don’t need to read a specific number of pages or a specific book.
  • Fri 1/30 7:30am Legislative Breakfast, Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Sq. Worcester MA (RSVP Denise McGinley, 508-799-1689
  • Sat 2/7 Take Your Child to the Library Day 1:00pm live animal show
  • March: Community Reads: Cascade by Maryanne O’Hara Book Discussion and Skype Author Visit


No comments

Bookmark Contest for Grades K-12

Posted by acusher on

friends logo

Friends of the Grafton Public Library Bookmark Contest – Love Your Library!

What do you love about your library? Design, draw and color your own bookmark for a chance to win the Friends of Library Bookmark Contest! Winning designs will be made into official full-color bookmarks for the Library. Entries will be judged according to each age appropriate category: Grades K-3, Grades 4-6, and Grades 7-12.

Winners will receive their own set of laminated bookmarks, an art book to keep and one given to the library in your name, and bragging rights with your first name and grade on the back of your bookmark. Please note the following guidelines:

  • Original entries only—no tracing or use of copyrighted images, such as cartoon characters and clipart.
  • This contest is open to all students in K-12 who live in Grafton or who use the Grafton Public Library regularly.
  • The bookmark design needs to be related to the theme of “Love Your Library” but does not need to include that phrase.
  • Children who attend home school should enter the comparable level.
  • All entries must be clear and reproducible.
  • If you include words, check for correct spelling and that the writing is clear and fits the space well.
  • Entries should be submitted on the appropriate form and returned to the library. Forms can be picked up at the library or on our website.
  • Multiple entries per person will be accepted.
  • Entries must be received by 5pm on Saturday, March 28, 2015

Contact the Teen Librarian, Allison Cusher or the Children’s Librarian, Sarah Banister for more information.

Entry forms will be available at the library or can be printed from home here: Bookmark Contest 2015

No comments

Grafton Writers Group to Meet at Library

Posted by bethg on

Poets, essayists, blogs, diarists, memoir ghostwriters, short or long fiction… it’s all good! Join us to workshop your writing, try some unblockers, celebrate our publishing successes and share resources! Adults 18+. This group meets on the third Wednesday of each month from 7-8:45 pm. Next meeting: Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

Facilitator Beth Gallaway is the author of Game On! Gaming at the Library (Neal Schuman, 2009) and a creative writing major

No comments