Grafton Public Library

Director’s Report: January/February 2017

Posted by bethg on

Over January and February, the Library participated in an I Love My Library Campaign, with valentines placed by the construction drawings. I am gratified that at special Town Meeting on January 9 the voters agreed to dedicate land to the stewardship of the Trustees for the purpose of Library renovation and expansion. Much of the month was taking up writing the Library Annual Report for 2016 (everything is up again, except total borrowers and computer use!) and completing the MPLCP grant application.

Snow and ice removal continues to be an issue. A staff member was injured when she slipped and fell in the untreated lot. The Town was low on sand/salt, the packed parking lot means cars prevent the sand/salt from being spread, and requests as early as 11:30 am did not result in dispatch of sand/salt trucks. If the Library lot is deemed a hazard, the Library cannot remain open to the public. It seems we revisit this issue annually with no change.

Garden & Landscaping
The library was closed on February 9 for a snow day, along with the majority of libraries and schools in the region.

The FY17 budget should be 66% spent by the end of February. P/T Personnel is running high.

Total Circulation for 2016 was 139,627 physical items, and 14,101 digital items for a total of 153,728 items circulated in 2016.

Please see the attached Circulation statistic report for January and February circulation statistics for print, media and electronic materials, and the attached ARIS report for borrowers, attendance & usage statistics, program statistics, reference statistics and web and social media metrics.

Library Renovation
The MPLCP grant was submitted! Thanks to Diane, Beth P, Marilyn C and Allison for helping to collate, and to Doug Bowman for hand-delivering the 8 binders to the MBLC by the deadline. DRA developed a 3D rendering of the proposed expansion at

The Library Planning and Building committee met once, and minutes are online at

Outreach and Partnerships
Sarah continued with her visits to Grafton’s north and south preschool classes. She planned her lesson to tie into their monthly theme of shadows and reflections. The children really loved the story Dark, Dark Night by M. Christina Butler and helped make the sound of the wind through the trees and the creaking, squeaking lantern.

Silly Science resumed in the beginning of January. Silly Science has really taken off with a full class of young scientist, engineers, and creative thinkers ready and willing to learn new concepts and take on new and fun challenges. We kicked off our session with a lesson about dinosaurs. Children were given a rock and they were given the task of uncovering a dinosaur. We also made imprints using toy dinosaur and play dough and talked about trace fossils and body fossils. Some of our other lessons included building towers and talking about nutrition and keeping our bodies healthy. We look forward to our next session beginning on February 27.

Crescent Manor had 12 visitors, 61 check-outs and renewals, and 7 requests in January and Crescent Manor had 12 visitors; 68 check-outs and renewals and 23 requests in February.

We were able to give 80 free tickets to staff, town employees and patrons through a generous gift from a former Friends member. Thanks to the Friends for launching canvas bag sales, and for hosting a plant night fundraiser that was great fun! It was nice to see that Friends and Trustees and staff also attended.

A Procedures committee has been formed and met twice this month to develop a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) manual. We identified over 80 procedures to update or create by July 1. The committee members signed up for various procedures, and will be asking for staff help as well. A draft “format” is being developed for Beth’s approval. This task was assigned by Tim as part of Beth’s Department Head goals for FY17, due by July 1 2017, in addition to completing an electronics inventory and a calendar of recurring annual events, like the ARIS report and summer reading.

It’s been decided that we will wait until the Town offers free training, as our quotes from both the Red Cross and Med Star were between $800-$900 to renew our certifications.

In February, Lee participated in a MLS Listening Tour workshop on “Fake News.” The general consensus among the librarians at the workshop was that Libraries should be pro-active in helping our communities understand and have the tools to identify Fake news from factual news. Lee shared links to resources. This subject will be put on the agenda for the next staff meeting.

Heidi attended the Coalition for a Healthy Grafton Healthy Eating & Active Living sub-committee Meeting.

Tech Services
521 items were added in January. Donna processed a large children’s orders had many items that needed record request and did original cataloging on, and processed toys, games. She also assisted with drafts for tech services procedures and continued database clean-up, removing expired messages (ongoing). 581 items were added in February. Donna also did original cataloging on games and toys, re-cataloged/re-labeled YA DVD collection to Anime, and maintained mystery section, and provided coverage at the desk.

Children’s Room
Library Babies and Toddler Time resumed their session in January. On January 14, the Library hosted a LEGO Death Star build. 21 children, teens, and adults came together for this program to create a unique display piece and chat about Star Wars. Our LEGO build events have proven themselves to be a popular program across age groups. One challenge of offering this type of program to the community is our current programming space. This program can’t take place in the Children’s Room due the number for children and families that come to use the space to read, play, and explore. This leaves the tables upstairs in the Main Reading room as our only on site option, but fitting 10 people and a projector around a table while still providing an ample amount of space to build and sort pieces proves to be a real challenge. There was also an issue with a parent insisting that an underage child be included. This was problematic, as the build proved too challenging and created a problem with the pacing of the program. In the future, we must insist age limits, which are provided with careful thought, are strictly enforced.

Mr. Kim’s monthly visit was met with a room of excited toddler and preschool aged patrons. They love singing along, playing games, and hearing his puppets tell jokes and stories. We are thankful we have the opportunity to work with Apple Tree Arts to provide this program to the community.

Teen Services
Allison attended two training programs: one on Youth Mental Health First Air and another on Suicide Prevention. Additionally she attended the ALA Midwinter conference in Atlanta, GA as her final duties of being on the YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers committee. To see the 2017 final list, and the culmination of her hard work, visit YALSA at

Nerdfighters and Dungeons & Dragons met monthly. January’s teen programs included the rescheduled LEGO Death Star ornament and February’s teen programs included a Star Wars Symposium, LEGO Millenium Falcon build, and a screening of Suicide Squad. Allison developed a survey for suggestions of what movies teens want to watch at the library this summer. Send us your suggestions on our survey at

January’s book selection is Heartless by Marissa Meyer. In this prequel to Alice in Wonderland, Cath would rather open a bakery and marry for love than accept a proposal from the King of Hearts, especially after meeting the handsome and mysterious court jester. In addition to the book, we own a Playaway copy. If the name Marissa Meyer looks familiar it’s because she’s the author of the Lunar Chronicles series that begins with Cinder.

Allison worked on a weeding project to make some space in the teen fiction collection. We are looking into local organizations that are willing to take our discards so that they still may be enjoyed and used in the community.

February’s book of the month is The Art of Magic The Gathering: Kaladesh by James Wyatt. This full-color book showcases the award-winning art of Magic: The Gathering, bringing the Kaladesh plane – and all its inhabitants, inventors and artifacts–to vibrant life.

Adult Services
Heidi proctored 2 exams in January and 1 in February.

There was an Evergreen system crash on January 17; after spotty service for an hour or so, it went down completely from 3:00 to closing. All staff were being trained in Off-line Circulation procedures for potential future crashes (we process checkout as normal and upload data when the system comes back online. Eliminates errors from writing by hand or scanning to word and saves time!

Evergreen had scheduled maintenance on 2/20, Presidents Day. There were multiple issues with the hardware at C/W MARS which caused a lengthy downtime on Tuesday 2/21. This was further impacted by the usual large increase in returns on the day after a holiday. Staff implemented Offline Circulation mode, and from all reports it ran smoothly, with no patron complaints about some of the functions unavailable during Offline Circ (registration, paying fines, information about holds or searching the catalog). Patrons were compassionate when they saw the piles of books awaiting check-in; there were approximately 350 items in the Children’s Room and approximately 200 in Adult Services. The upload after Evergreen was restored was completed by Heidi; there were 120 check-outs in the Children’s room, 111 in Adult Services and 24 “exceptions” which are transactions that could not be processed in Offline Circ (patron accounts or material barcodes that weren’t found). Heidi spent approximately an hour processing the upload and resolving the exceptions.

“Books to Movies” was January’s Fiction display, to coincide with the kick-off of the 2017 awards season. We have quite a few sets of book/movie which are displayed together, until one or the other is checked out! Susan restocked the display cart a few times, and this display will remain until the Oscars. A display in February of the US Constitution and the Presidency had little check outs! Another display was prepared by Allison with the theme “Nevertheless she persisted” and a few of those books have been checked out. January’s “In Memoriam” display honored Mary Tyler Moore and John Hurt. Heidi curated a “Flora in Winter” display to go with the Garden Club program, a terrarium display to go with the fundraiser, and a “January is National Hot Tea Month” display, and in February, displays promoted the upcoming March Community read of Loving Frank and Valentine’s day.

In January, the “Not Just for Young Adults” Book Discussion Group met to discuss Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross; the
Daytimers Book Group met to discuss the Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah; the GPL Mystery Book Group met to discuss
Out Cold, a Brady Coyne novel by William G. Tapply; the “Reads Well with Others” Adult Book Discussion Group met to discuss The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth; and the “Inspirational Book Club” met to discuss This Year I Will– : how to finally change a habit, keep a resolution, or make a dream come true by M.J. Ryan.

In February, the “Not Just for Young Adults” Book Discussion Group met to discuss The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan; the Daytimers Book Group met to discuss Broken For You by Stephanie Kallos; the GPL Mystery Book Group met to discuss Faithful Place by Tana French; the “Reads Well with Others” Adult Book Discussion Group met to discuss Happy People Read and Drink Coffee by Agnès Martin-Lugand ; translated from the French by Sandra Smith and The “Inspirational Book Club” met to discuss Love For No Reason: 7 steps to creating a life of unconditional love by Marci Shimoff with Carol Kline.

The Saturday Afternoon Knitters met in January and February. We also offered two LEGO projects for AFOLs (Adult Fans of LEGO), holiday ornaments and a Millennium Falcon build. The Library partnered with the Grafton Garden Club to host a ‘Flora in Winter’ Presentation, and the Friends offered Build Your Own Terrarium Workshop fundraiser at ArtWorks Studio.

Collection Development
21 boxes were shipped to Thrift Books in January; 2 from discards, and 19 from Down Under. 12 large print books, 8 fiction and 6 audiobooks were weeded in February to accommodate returns. Non-fiction continuations have been coming in, and are waiting to be reviewed by the reference librarian before being put on the shelves. Non-fiction shelves are gradually being “shelf read” by specific volunteers who only perform this task. Any badly damaged or duplicate items are brought to the Head of Borrower Service to be discarded. A report of outdated materials that have not circulated in 5 years or that required updates (medical, legal, travel, etc.) was run by Allison. Heidi is going through the report gradually, and so far has withdrawn 20 items from the Dewey 100’s series.

Comments from the Public:
• “Thanks. I appreciate you getting this movie for me (out of region request)”.
• “I’m so glad you’re going for an enlargement. It’s been long overdue. Libraries are so important. People don’t think so because of technology but they are. This library is very special. I always find what I need here. Thank you very much.”
• “I’m glad they put [the flier] in with the census so we could learn about the databases.”
• “Gosh, I haven’t been here since I was 15.” (Came to get tax forms).
• Comment from tutoring person about noise from knitters: “Can you ask them to quiet down?”
• “I’d hire whoever cleared the walks out there. They are bare. Good job.”
• “Love your “Refugees Welcome” sign.”
• Patron appreciates the signs he’s seen popping up around the Library about being welcoming.
• A patron waxed reminiscent about inventive displays (blind date with a book). The person smiled at our current display.
• A patron put The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth because it was seen on our “What We’re Reading” section of our website.
• “She’s awesome” (helping her find sheep breed books). Another patron agreed and said “They’re all awesome. What would we do without them?”
• “We’ve saved so much money using the library.”
• Patron so appreciates having her daughter’s eyeglass prescription mailed back to her. It was in a book she returned.
• “Thanks for all your help. (Kids event calendar, museum passes and library card). I didn’t realize you had so much.”
• “It’s so pretty in this room, isn’t it?” [main reading room]
• “You are the most help helpful library. I love this library.”
• Patron complained about Nerd Fighters – suggested she try the third floor. She said she “was inspired to read Truman because of your “Spot Light On…” display.
• “I just read a review [of The Lost City of the Monkey God] last night and I find it here today…I can always count on this library.”
• “I read and enjoyed a book because of your display. Thanks.” (It was Into the Wild).
• “The bags are $20 each. You have a good supply? That’s a really good price. I’ll be back.”
• “How many red bags do you have left? I want to buy one before February vacation. We are going to Vermont and I’m going to have all the books in one bag.” She looks forward to her kids asking where their books are and being able to say “in the book bag.”
• “Are they new?” (book bags). Cool. I wish they just said “Grafton Public Library.”
• “I’m excited the vote passed. I tried to share it with as many people on my FB pages as I could.”
• “I’ve lived in town for 30 years and it’s overdue.” [Library building project].
• “How cute.” (tea display)
• “You guys do such a great job with displays” (book/movie).
• “Library should have a collage art night.”
• “I so appreciate how easy it is to use your computers. The printer works. You don’t have to log in to use, or worry about timing out, or need to pay to release the print job. It’s a joy to use.”
• “I have to say I’m loving that Hoopla! I’m telling everyone I know about it. You set it up and you’re waiting to pay, but you don’t have to because the library rocks.”
• “I love the Hoopla app.”
• “I read all the time and I can’t tell you how excited I am to be able to borrow kindle books from the library.”
• “Will you be getting Southwick’s Zoo passes?

NO Log
2/28 Do you have a meeting room I can use to run an SAT prep class?
2/15 Second complaint about the sidewalk to curb area. A 66 year old patron took it upon himself to do it! -SL (these folks will call the town; they did for the last storm too)
2/15 Do you accept credit cards to pay a fine?
2/15 Complaint that the area between the curb and the sidewalk aren’t plowed -SL (suggested call the town)
2/15 We didn’t know our phones were down last night! -SL
2/8 Do you accept credit cards to pay a fine?
2/4 No we can’t have the “Take Your Child to the Library Day” programs at the Library. We also couldn’t have them at the police station, fire station, or Apple Tree Arts. And yes we did have to pay custodial fees to use the municipal center on a Saturday. -AC
2/4 Can you break a $100?
2/01 No federal tax instructions (several times every day)
1/31 No, we don’t have federal tax instructions (at least 3 requests per day!)
1/19 Patron was upset & surprised we only had one copy of the Very Hungry Caterpillar. (Our copy was out.) She assumed we’d have multiple copies of the very popular picture books. We explained we just don’t have the space to keep multiple copies of anything.
1/17 We don’t have more than 2 copies of every new best-seller -SL
1/10 No, we don’t have private tutoring booths -SL
1/5 A patron wanted a copy of Escape from Warsaw on DVD. The problem is that the DVD was only released in the UK and even buying a copy doesn’t guarantee that it would play on DVD players in the US. -AC
1/4 We can’t issue a new library card over the phone -SL
1/3 “There’s not enough room for someone with a disability to work at the computers. It’s difficult to have a document up and also be able to use the keyboard.” -AC
1/3 No, we do not have any private study space to tutor a student. -AC
1/18 “Can I get a passport here?” -LM

2/28 Could you help me get into my email?
2/28 Could you help me print this picture?
2/28 Can I borrow a pencil and ruler?
2/14 Can I get a library card today?
2/8 I saw two people today using their Friends bags to check out books. The second person said “These bags are the greatest! You can put a thousand pounds of books inside and it holds it all!” -AC
2/8 Can I leave these few books from Down Under while I grab some money? – AC
2/7 We like this (library babies) more than the music class we pay for!
2/03 “The Library needs this expansion! The teens need their own space!” (from teens at D&D) – AC
2/03 Yes, the Library does “get to keep” money given as a donation (i.e. keep the change) -SL
2/03 Yes, we can let you know if a library close by has a movie you want -SL
2/01 Yes, you can send a double sided fax -SL
1/27 You’re doing a movie night again during February break? We love the movie nights.
1/27 Yes, your 8mo can absolutely come to library babies.
1/27 My Grandson loves Mr. Kim. He got puppets and a guitar for Christmas because of him!
1/19 Yes, there is still room for the superpark if the library expansion goes through.
1-10 “I’m so excited-I came in with vague information about 2 different books my daughter needs and you have both of them!”-(Book Thief and Devil’s Arithmetic) ,SL
1/10 Yes we can help you print a full sized map from Google Maps (11×17 size print, patron was thrilled and I learned something!) -SL
1/10 Can you tell me where I can find information about whales?
1/5 “The library’s resources really helped me when I was looking for a new car. Having access to Consumer Reports in print and online really helped me to pick a great car as well as know what was a reasonable price to pay. Having that information made the whole process much less stressful.” -AC
1/4 “I just love the (Grafton tote) bag that we bought! It’s a great bag.” -AC

Respectfully submitted,
Beth Gallaway
Library Director

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