Grafton Public Library

Director’s Report: December 2017

Posted by bethg on

Snow and ice removal and communication around inclement weather closures is an ongoing issue.

Landscaping and Garden

Budget is on track; staff leave may necessitate hiring more temps.

Circulation for December was 9,075 physical items (down 6.75% from last month and down 6.8% compared to last December) and 1,389 digital items (a 3% decrease from last month and a 16% increase from last December. Please see the attached Circulation Report.

Collection Development
The Playaway Launchpad collection was returned to the vendor – they offered free replacements for any machines with issues, because we were early adopters of the product. As both screens and chargers have evolved since our initial purchase, Sarah elected to send them ALL back for replacements. Kudos for Sarah for providing feedback throughout to the vendor and for being tenacious about getting value for our investment.

Museum Passes
In December, 86 passes were reserved, 80 were picked up and there were 6 “no shows.” We have come to the end of our complimentary tickets to the New England Aquarium and the Boston Museum of Science which had been donated by a patron, who has since moved out-of-state. Applications for regular passes have been submitted.

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: January 8 at 7:30pm, Mon Feb 5 at 7:30pm. Interviews are as follows; please contact Doug Bowman or Beth Gallaway for instructions to log on from home via WebEx.

Mon 1/22
7 pm PMA
8 pm Daedalus

Tue 1/23
7 pm DAS
8 pm Andy Deschenes

We are getting rid of our physical server and switching over to cloud computing (finally!) thanks to Coghlin. Move date TBD. We have a work order in to replace 2 OPACs with the Children’s Room public computers, replace the children’s computers with laptops, and upgrade Beth and Sarah’s computers, retiring the very old laptop that we use for programming. We also replaced the Children’s Room staff printer and acquired a postcard printer to be used for printing passport photos. I got a quote for Deep Freeze to help maintain all 8 patron computers; this would allow patrons to make changes, but changes wouldn’t stick, requiring less staff intervention to remove old documents, programs and downloads, lessening the chance of viruses, and ensuring all the computers have the same software and desktop icons loaded. Slowness continues to be an issue; Dan Cusher suggested emailed the Town’s Technology Committee to help figure out why our broadband access is so slow, even after reconfiguring internet access.

Outreach and Partnerships
Grafton Celebrates the Holidays was wonderful! We had a great turnout for our Henna artist—Mandy did 105 Henna tattoos in 3 hours! Sadly, we had to turn some people away at the end. In order to accommodate more people next year we will not offer the more elaborate designs. Many families came to make snowmen and write letters to Santa and the troops. People were appreciative that we had an activity for older children and adults. Due to the high demand for henna art, managing the sign up proved challenging for staff that were also needed to answer questions, greet/direct patrons and accept payment for raffle tickets, book bundles, and ornaments. In the future it would be helpful to have a Friends volunteer to run the Henna signup and manage the crowd that gathers around the artist’s table.

Sarah and Allison went to Millbury Street School at the request of a teacher to help fill in an activity for the 6th graders who did not attend the class field trip. We came with LEGOs for free play, 4 Sphero robots, sticker painting and the holiday coloring (cards, boxes, ornaments, etc). We ended up not using the LEGOs and determined that we would not offer LEGO free play for outreach as it is very heavy and awkward to move. We set up the Spheros with 2 Library tablets and used 2 school tablets. Overall the program was well received. The students said it was their favorite time of the whole week and the teachers were impressed.

Crescent Manor BookWagon had 14 visitors, 62 check-outs and renewals, 17 requests, and 1 new registration.

Jan and Beth were invited to appear on Upton Community Television to promote the program, and an article on G.U.M. (the Grafton Ukulele Musicians) is forthcoming in the Blackstone Yankee XPress in January. The group meets on the second Thursday of the month at Apple Tree Arts, 1 Grafton Common, from 6:30-8pm.

The Library collected non-perishable goods valued at 461.26 in lieu of cash for fines, and the items on the knitting tree were donated to the Food Bank for families in need.

South Grafton Elementary School encouraged parents and students to visit the Grafton Public Library to foster a love of reading on December report cards.

Through the Friends we sold $370 worth of our Snowflake and Wreath LEGO Ornaments (74 kits). The money raised will go towards future LEGO build programs. Hopefully next year we can offer additional designs for a LEGO Ornament fundraiser. We’d like to do stars and poinsettias next year. Thank you to Aaron Swartz for organizing themed raffle baskets from the Down Under Collections as a holiday fundraiser.

A total of 32 people volunteered 162 hours. Susan reports, “Every year it’s a struggle to find an affordable gift to give our regular, ongoing volunteers as a token of our appreciation. This year, we were fortunate to have The Grafton Country Store affordably priced 36 gift cards for complimentary ice cream cones, which they creatively wrapped as a cone filled with tootsie rolls attached to the card with a ribbon.  It felt great to use a town business!” Many thanks to Carol Dauphinais for her generous support.

Sue Witham completed a webinar titled “Shoot Me an Email, Library Style” by Leah Sewell, sponsored by NoveList. A number of staff are going to be out on leave over the next few months. I am planning to add two more emergency temps to help cover hours, and grant additional hours to Sue Witham as Jen McNeil is cutting back.

Tech Services
431 items were added in December. Donna weeded, shifted, maintained mystery and SFF sections; replaced broken cases in DVD and CDBk collections; updated/weeded NF continuations with Susan and continued the database clean-up project.

Children’s Room
Our December LEGO Build was a success with kids, teens, and adults each having their own program where they built a mini arcade game and a Super Mario Question Mark Block complete with its own mushroom inside. As always, our LEGO programs are well attended and always leave people wondering when our next program will be held and what we will offer.

School vacation week offered patrons the opportunity to see Despicable Me 3, a Drop in and Build program that provided a variety of building materials for patrons to explore, a LEGO drop-in program (thanks to whomever donated a sizeable collection of LEGO!), and a New Year’s at Noon program. Our LEGO program was by far the most well attended program of the week. New Year’s at Noon was fun for our young patrons as we celebrated with a balloon drop, bubbles, and music at the strike of noon.

Teen Services
Sarah and Allison also hosted back to back LEGO builds with tweens, teens and adults. Attendees made two geeky ornaments: a vintage arcade machine and a Mario question cube (which held a little mushroom inside!).

Dungeons & Dragons had another great turnout this month with 20 teens.

Although we receive requests for more coloring night programs for teens and adults, we did not have any attendees at either session this month.

Adult Services
The “Not Just for Young Adults” Book Discussion Group met to discuss The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser; the Daytimers Book Group met to discuss Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, by Kathleen Rooney; the GPL Mystery Book Group met to discuss Unintended Consequences, by Stuart Woods; the “Inspirational Book Club” met to discuss Option B: facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy by Sheryl Sandburg and Adam Grant; and the “Reads Well with Others” Adult Book Discussion Group met to discuss Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini.

In addition, the Library hosted Grafton Celebrates the Holidays, Christmas Coloring, GUM (Grafton Ukulele Musicians) with Apple Tree Arts, an Adult LEGO Build, the Grafton Writer’s Group, Saturday Afternoon Knitters.

Heidi proctored 2 tests. Cyndi notarized 9 documents.

Display topics included a Christmas music display and a Christmas book display. The fiction display for December was Staff favorite Christmas movies. We borrowed many DVDs from other libraries and they were flying off the shelf all month!

Comments from the Public:

  • “I’m so glad you mentioned Children’s Room video games. We won’t have to buy games to play on the gaming system we got for Christmas.”
  • “This is such a pleasant place to work.”
  • “Just wanted to let you know (because I think you were both here) that you encouraged me to buy raffle tickets and I was so excited on Sunday to find out I won the baseball one. Thanks.”
  • “I came to pick up a book and got these lovely ornaments! How nice to pass them on.”
  • Mystery Book Group folks praised the health of the plants and the caretaker who makes them so.
  • A patron asked about LEGO ornaments because of the outdoor sign. He also wanted us to know that he read our copy of The Finest Christmas Tree, by John Hassett, to his grandkids at their school. It was liked.
  • “You guys are the only place anymore that seems to do photocopying and you have great hours!”
  • “I mostly read ebooks (from Overdrive) but there’s just something about a book.”
  • “My daughter can’t wait for her birthday. She’s especially excited because she wants to come to the library because she’ll be able to be in the Children’s Room alone.”
  • “I like your elf costume. There are such wonderful things going on at the library now.”
  • “The place looks very nice – Christmasy!”
  • “How festive.”
  • “The library is cozy.”
  • “The library is kind of like my 2nd office.”
  • “The library has a really good movie selection.”
  • “You bring such Christmas joy with your outfit.”
  • “I’m so enjoying the [Christmas] CDs you got for me. So much!”
  • “I can’t wait for January 1st… when my Hoopla download limit resets!”

NO Log
12/27 No, we don’t have Cake, Pop, Crush –CZ (ordered Wish series – jFic -BG)
12/26 No, we don’t have any games for Nintendo Switch -CZ
12/21 No, neither Pronunciator nor offer help with Latin –SL (send alert to both database reps)
12/7 No, we don’t have a private meeting area. -EL
12/3 Had to shut down Henna line at 3:10ish and turn people away. Mandy was leaving at 3:30 and we had 15 people on the list. We looked into a second henna artist for next year (total would be $650 versus $350 we paid this year). Staff concluded that we should limit the designs to less intricate designs next year in an effort to cut down time per person. Although Mandy did do more than 100 people from 12:30-3:30! -AC
12/1 No, we don’t offer discount tickets to Stone Zoo. -EL

12/18 Patron at Stop and Shop tapped me on the shoulder and nearly scared me out of my shoes.  “Thank you and everyone at the library for all that you do. My kids and I just started coming to the library, and we’re going to start using it a lot more. Happy Holidays and enjoy your…(looks down) cheese balls and coco puffs.”
12/20 Someone called looking for an idea of a children’s home to donate books for Christmas-in shares-programs & services we have a list of local social resources which includes a homeless shelter -SL
12/7  Sarah and Allison visited some 6th grade students at Millbury Street Elementary who did not go on the class trip. We brought with us some app-controlled Spheros, Christmas cards and boxes to color and sticker painting. We received a lot of positive comments from the teachers and students. AC
12/4 Do you have tax deduction slips for book donations? -AC
12/3 Lots of positive comments on henna and the fact that it was free. -AC
12/3 These book sets are really only $3? -AC (Friends’ holiday bundles)


1/22 7/8pm OPM interviews Municipal Center, B
1/23 7/8pm OPM interviews, Municipal Center, B

Tue 2/6 7pm Board of Selectman Municipal Center, Conference Room A
Thu 2/8 6:30pm Grafton Ukulele Musicians at Apple Tree Arts, One Grafton Common
Thu 2/8 7:00pm Victorian Huswifery with the Alcotts at the Community Barn, Wheeler Road
Mon 2/12 Special Town Meeting, Grafton High School, Providence Road
Tue 2/13 7:30pm Friends mtg
Fri 2/16, 7:30am Legislative Breakfast, Worcester Public Library

Community Read TBA
Budget Hearing, Date TBA
Mon 3/5 7:30pm BuildCom mtg, Municipal Center
Tue 3/13 7:30pm Friends mtg
Sat 3/31, 10/11am Easter Egg Hunt, Grafton Common

Mon 4/2 7:30pm BuildCom mtg, Municipal Center
Tue 4/10 7:30pm Friends mtg

5/1 7:30pm BuildCom mtg, Municipal Center
5/8  7pm Annual Town Meeting, Grafton High School, Providence Road

Respectfully submitted,

Elizabeth S. Gallaway,
Library Director


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