Grafton Public Library

Library Updates

2020 Community Read: Remember the Ladies

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Friends of the Grafton Public Library Community Read 2020

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of 19th Amendment, The Friends of the Grafton Public Library encourage everyone in town to participate in the 2020 The Community Read Remember the Ladies by Gina L. Mulligan. Remember the Ladies stars on a female lobbyist in 1887 hired by the National Women’s Suffrage Association who comes in conflict with a senator desperate to crush the amendment and it’s champion. In a political game where bribery, threats, extortion, and seduction prevail, who will win and at what cost?

The young adult title is The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters, and the children’s title is Marching with Aunt Susan: Susan B. Anthony and the Fight for Women’s Suffrage by Claire Rudolf Murphy, illustrated by Stacey Schuett.

Stop by the Grafton Public Library to pick up a copy of any Community Read title and come to any of the Community Read events.

In addition to various book discussions, the Library is hosting a variety of events celebrating women’s suffrage, including a felt rose craft and an evening with Steve Adams, Suffrage Balladeer, on Tuesday, March 10 at 7:30pm in partnership with the Grafton Historical Society at 71 Main Street, South Grafton, MA. Steve will perform “A Fine Agitation: Scenes from the Struggle for Women’s Suffrage,” a program of original songs created to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage. Covering key moments and individuals in the 72-year struggle for the 19th Amendment, the program presents Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Alice Paul, Ida B. Wells, Frederick Douglass and others as they fight for women’s right to vote.

Please review the calendar of events and register for programs online at, or call the Library 508-839-4649. A downloadable poster of events is also available.

Details, Heidi Fowler, 508-839-4649 x11XX or


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Seeking Community Stakeholders for Library Long Range Planning

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The Grafton Public Library seeks Grafton residents, business owners, and community leaders to volunteer to serve on a diverse planning committee that will assist in setting Library service priorities for the next five years (2021-2025) for the Grafton Public Library. Participants MUST attend two focus group meetings, scheduled for 6:30-9:30pm at the Library (53 N. Main Street, North Grafton MA) on Tuesday March 10 and May 12. The successful candidate has a strong working knowledge of the Grafton community, and may or may not be a current Library user.

The meetings will be facilitated by Library Consultant. Meetings will include defining a vision for the community served by the Library, brainstorming, and conducting analysis of the Library’s Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations and Results. The feedback gathered will be used to develop a Long Range Plan for 2021-2025. Meeting attendance at both meetings is mandatory for planning committee members. Refreshments will be provided.

A Long Range Plan, or strategic plan, is a written document that provides goals, measurable objectives and specific activities for Library staff to carry out. Strategic planning isn’t new for Grafton; it is a routine part of running a successful Library, and considered to be a standard of best practices in library management. A Long Range Plan spanning five years is required by the MA Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) for any library that wishes to apply for—or keep—grant funding. The Library currently is in the middle of MA Public Library Construction Program Grant for Library renovation and expansion, and must create a plan and update an action plan (and remain eligible for State Aid) to keep this grant.

The Long Range Plan is reviewed annually at an autumn meeting of the Grafton Public Library Board of Trustees, and the Library Director submit an updated a plan of action for the Library to the MBLC each December.

As the current Long Range Plan expires in December 2020, it’s time to see where we are going, next! Anyone can review the current Long Range Plan and Activity Plan online at

Can’t commit? Bored by meetings? You can still provide valuable input! A Library Satisfaction Survey will be forthcoming on the Library website in April 2020.

If you are interested in participating in the strategic planning process and joining the Long Range Plan committee, please contact Beth Gallaway, Library Director, to get an information packet, at or 508-839-4649.

A few documents of interest:

MA Public Library Standards for Children
MA Public Library Standards for Young Adults
Project Outcome: Library Performance Measurement
National Library Standards
Library Standards Checklist

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Friends T-Shirt Fundraiser – Order by Feb 29!

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Dear Friends, we have an exclusive just for you for a limited time! Have you seen the Summer Library Program T-Shirts and wished that you could snag one? Well,  now you can!

Shop Here:

With many prints and styles to choose from, you can celebrate the summer theme along with all our librarians and friends alike! The theme for 2020 is “Imagine Your Story” and there are three designs corresponding to the children’s, teen, and adult programs. Mommy and Me option available with matching Adult size t-shirts for the children’s theme.

Friends Fundraiser: Summer library program tshirts! 3 designs for youth, teens and adults

Youth Sizes are $10 and Adult Sizes are $15 with tax and shipping included.

Pre-orders will be accepted for a limited time until the end of February! Shirts will be available for pickup at the library before the summer programs kick off. We will inform everyone when the shirts are available for pickup, and there will be a deadline by which you will need to pick them up.

Like all events hosted by the Friends, proceeds benefit Library programs. Friends of the Grafton Public Library membership is open to the public – please pick up a brochure at the Library today! We hope to see you at the library to support these fundraisers and THANK YOU for supporting the Grafton Public Library.

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Share the Love! Friends Fundraiser

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Stop on in to share the love of our library and help support the Friends with these declarations of love!
Decorate one of the 3 designs and display your love of the library all month long. To participate in our fundraiser head to the children’s desk to make your donation, pick your design and have fun decorating!

$1 donation - small book $1 donation - small heart $5 donation - large bookDesigns may be posted through out the library for display or taken home that day! At the end of the month all designs will be available to be picked up and brought home the first week of March. If any displays are left at the end of the week they will be recycled. Please add your name, or initials to the back if you would like to pick up your creations.

Like all events hosted by the Friends, proceeds benefit Library programs. Friends of the Grafton Public Library membership is open to the public – please pick up a brochure at the Library today! We hope to see you at library to support these fundraisers and THANK YOU for supporting the Grafton Public Library.


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2019 Annual Report of the Grafton Public Library

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2019 Annual Report Infographic, page 1 - circulation, visitors, services 2019 Annual Report page 2, financials














The Grafton Public Library, located in temporary quarters at 53 N. Main Street, North Grafton MA while the 35 Grafton Common location is under construction, 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/property in Massachusetts; proof of residency is required.

In spring 2019, the Library closed for three weeks to move to temporary quarters. The new location at the former St. Andrews church fits the entire collection and has space for patrons and staff, including a small program room, but parking is very limited, so visitors and program attendance decreased even though number of programs offered increased to 553. Circulation of physical items such as books, music, and movies decreased by 4% while digital item circulation increased by 2%.


  • 52,385 items in the collection
  • 123,752 physical items circulated (4% decrease)
  • 23,595 digital items circulated (2% increase)
  • 1,174 museum pass checkouts (14% decrease)
  • 55,054 visitors (26% decrease from 2018)
  • 9,167 library card holders (7% decrease
  • 553 programs (14% increase)
  • 8,784 program attendees (20% decrease)
  • 97 volunteers (18% decrease)
  • 1,389 volunteer service hours (20% decrease)
  • 11,279 computer users (56% increase)
  •  54,038 website hits (15% increase)
  • 105 documents notarized (34% decrease)
  • 108 passport applications executed (54% decrease)
  • 17 tests proctored (32% decrease)

The Library provided access to a collection of over 52,000 items in various formats for children, teens, and adults, including books (large print, graphic novels, manga, English Language Learner (ELL) resources, fiction, non-fiction, easy readers, picture books, board books for babies, and more); magazines for all ages; audiobooks in CD and MP3 format; music CDs; movies and television series on BluRay and DVD; membership passes to local museums and attractions; board, card, and video games for all ages; and a variety of kits and equipment, such as a telescope, ukuleles, home energy assessment kits, binoculars, lawn games, programmable robots, and more.

The Library provided 553 programs to 8,784 children, tweens, teens, and adults, including an all-ages summer reading program, seven story-time sessions per week, two-four programs a month for teens, and five book discussion groups for adults. In 2019, we continued outreach to Crescent Manor, local public schools, daycares, and homebound residents.

Online services include free tutoring daily from 3–9 p.m. via; streaming music and movies via our Hoopla database at; online art and music instruction via ArtistWorks; eBooks (including eAudio) via OverDrive, Hoopla, and BookFlix; (in library) and Heritage Quest (at home) for genealogical research; a collection of databases from Gale publishers; and access to 52.5 million items statewide via the Commonwealth Catalog.

Free services include free 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, paper shredder, and other office supplies. The Library provides free public access computers for word processing and Internet access for adults, teens and children. Sign up is required; computer users must adhere to the Library’s Internet Use policy.

Fee services include faxing ($2.00 first page/$1.00 each additional), laminating ($1.00/page), and photocopying ($.20 black & white, $.50 color). These fees go into a revolving account to pay for paper and ink/toner.

In 2019 the Library was re-certified as a Passport Acceptance Facility, with five staff certified as Passport Acceptance Agents. Passport acceptance is available Monday through Thursday from 11am-8pm and Friday and Saturday from 11am-4pm. All Department of State fees apply. An additional service fee of $35.00 per new passport goes into the Library’s gift fund. The Library accepted 108 passports in 2019.

The Library, funded at $858,741 out of the total $65,220,897 FY20 Town budget, remains at 1.3% of the Town budget.

  • Value of CIRCULATING materials in 2019: $1,449,809.24
  • Value of materials from OTHER libraries, borrowed IN Grafton: $452,883.54
  • Value of items circulated TO other libraries from GRAFTON: $311,923.53

The Library’s operating budget cost taxpayers $46.79 per resident in FY2019. The total value of services for 2019 is estimated at $2,314,430.13. Calculate the value of your household’s library use online at

Architectural drawings were completed and the Town went out to bid for a general contractor in August, hiring CTA Construction in September. A ceremonial ground breaking was held on November 6. Site preparation and demolition of the stacks was completed in December. Soil and groundwater contaminants were anticipated but unquantified, and a brief delay for testing and remediation slowed the project down at the end of the year. We expect to reopen in the spring 2021. Please see the report of the Library Planning and Building Committee for more information. Additional information about the grant, the construction process, and preliminary design is online at:

In 2019, the Library accomplished the following:

  • Relocated to temporary quarters in anticipation of library renovation and expansion.
  • Tagged 95% of the Library’s collections with RFID tags.
  • Installed two self-check units.
  • Added laptops to the Teen/Tween space.
  • Replaced desktops with touch screen Online Public Access Catalogs (OPACs) to search for library materials.
  • Reinstituted a suggestion box in the adult and children’s spaces, and a suggestion form online.
  • Created a self-pickup Holds shelf for requested materials.
  • Hit over 1,000 subscribers to the Library’s electronic library newsletters and began a new materials e-newsletter…
  • …which led to a Wowbrary subscription, a weekly, automatically generated email alert of new titles.
  • Continued popular programs like Afternoon Knitting, Grafton Ukulele Musicians Jam Session, book discussion groups for adults, storytime, arts & crafts for all ages, book discussion for all ages, Dungeons & Dragons, and Crescent Manor Book Wagon.
  • Registered 561 participants in the Summer Reading Program, and provided 150 summer programs for 2,040 participants of all ages. Read to Bead was again a very popular component!
  • Added a pass to the MA State Police Museum.
  • 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 Apple Tree Arts, Grafton Historical Society, Willard House & Clock Museum, UniBank, Grafton Historical Society, the Grafton Garden Club, Grafton Public Schools, Grafton Recreation Department, and Busy Bee Academy for off-site story times.
  • Partnered with Friends of the Grafton Library on Community Reads, Egg Hunt and various fundraisers.
  • Partnered with Recreation Department on Storytime in the Park, and attended Big Truck Day.
  • Partnered with Grafton Public Schools on Parent Teacher nights, Community Reads Days, Mystery Reader, EdCamp, library visits, Student Wellness Resource Fair, PTG Fun Fair and Octoberfest, and Summer Reading.
  • Participated in Town-wide initiatives such as National Night Out and Grafton Celebrates the Holidays.
  • Planned our first Winter Reading Program, Reading is Magic, which launched December 1.
  • Coordinated 97 volunteers who donated 1,347 hours of service.
  • Matched English Language Learners with willing conversation partners.

The Library received 2 grants totaling $23,781.92 in State Aid from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners. These funds are appropriated from state taxes annually. State Aid is a grant for discretionary expenditure to supplement the municipal library budget, and it does not have to be spent by the end of the fiscal year. It is administered by the Board of Trustees, and is currently being banked to defray construction costs; the Trustees have committed $125,000.00 to the Capital Campaign. State Aid Funding is dependent on several requirements:

Not meeting these terms results in loss of state aid, loss of grant opportunities, loss of awarded grant funds, and loss of reciprocal borrowing privileges. Read more about State Aid online.

The Library received $10,000.00 in contributions from the Friends of the Grafton Public Library for museum passes, marketing, programs, and staff hospitality. The Friends membership reached 140 members. The Friends hosted the annual Spring Egg Hunt, and several fundraisers: Cards for a Cause, LEGO Ornaments, and books for sale. Canvas tote bags are still available for sale at the Library as an ongoing fundraiser.

The Library received an additional $2,926 in gifts, donations, and fees from passport application execution.

The Library received a Grafton Cultural Council / MCC grant of $1,200.00 that covered 50% of the cost to deliver a storytelling program with Jungle Jim, and a 4 session writing workshop series with Lisa Shea.

The Capital Campaign continued to accept donations and pledges. Donations are accepted at any UniBank location.

The Library made the following building improvements in 2019:

  • Valve replacements for code requirements.
  • Upgraded wifi hotspots.
  • Performed annual maintenance of air conditioning and heating units, fire alarm system, fire extinguishers, boiler and hot water heater.
  • Decommissioned LULA for construction.

In 2019, the Library had 13 FTE. Lee McCulloch resigned and Allison Picone was hired to replace her, with a January 2020 start date.

Staff oversaw 96 volunteers who delivered 1,379 hours of service. Volunteers shelved and shelf-read library materials, covered books, gardened, delivered books to the homebound, and worked on clerical projects. One Friend provided 10 volunteer hours managing the few donations that continued to arrive in spite of Down Under closing in December 2019; he put together book bundles for sale during the holiday season.

Download our Grafton Library app:
Download Libby, the OverDrive eBook app:
Download the Hoopla App on the App Store or Google Play
Download the Pronunciator Language Learning app:
Download the app at
Download Access My Library for databases at

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:

Town By-laws require each department to disclose expenditures over $1,000.00:
Ingram Library Services $72,716.59
C/W MARS network $20,453.00
Midwest Tapes $15,308.41
Bibliotheca $15,156.19
OverDrive (ebooks) $10,102.90
Amazon $8,321.63
Blackstone Publishing $5,586.99
Whalley Computer Associates $5,384.00
National Grid (electricity) $4,796.34
Prenax (magazines) $4,539.85
Eversource $4,253.59
Recorded Books $4,049.75
ATC Group Services $4,000.00
W.B. Mason $3,828.13
Demco $3,210.49
American Alarm $3,071.29 $3,000.00
Southwick Zoo $2,815.00
Staples Advantage $2,809.40
Allison Cusher $2,772.23
Koopman Lumber $2,673.87
Gale $2,451.29
Proquest $2,285.92
Bayscan $1,959.00
4Imprint $1,912.93
Scholastic $1,801.00
Elizabeth Gallaway $1,749.18
T-Mobile $1,722.98
Renaud HVAC $1,633.70
ABDO $1,560.10
Plymouth Rocket $1,450.00
Boston Children’s Museum $1,400.00
Garaventa $1,284.00
Ransford $1,263.00
Pegasus Press $1,184.98
Museum of Science $1,130.00
Kearsage $1,074.74
Eileen LeBlanc $1,057.31

Respectfully submitted,

Elizabeth S. Gallaway,
Library Director


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The Library Will Be CLOSED In Observance Of President’s Day Mon Feb 17, 2020

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The Grafton Public Library will be CLOSED in observance of President’s Day on Monday, February 17, 2020. No items are due this day. The Library will reopen at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, February 17.

Museum passes for Monday may be picked up in advance on Thursday (10 am-9 pm), Friday or Saturday (10am-5pm).

Please visit our digital branch online to read a newspaper, check out an ebook, learn a new language, and more!

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December Construction Update

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The Library Planning and Building Committee met Monday December 2 and approved several change orders, which were brought to the Select Board for approval.

The construction team met Tuesday December 3, 10, and 17, with CTA Construction, OPM, Clerk of the Works, and DRA Architects.

The stackbox was demolitioned at the end of December; photos are online at

A significant part of December was spent with soil and groundwater testing. We’ve known from the beginning that there was a high likelihood for environmental cleanup – between the oil tank that was used by the Library and local lore that there was a gas station on the site, we’ve been expecting to find something. During the initial excavation following demolition, it was noted near the building that there was a petroleum odor. Because of this, we stopped the work and quickly brought in a Licensed Site Professional (LSP) who is experienced in remediation projects and could lead us through the necessary steps.

Working with the site contractor (who has their own LSP), the design team and construction team, we pulled together a draft plan to keep the project moving. Ten locations across the site (2 in the detention pond and 8 in the building footprint) were identified for testing and 10 soil samples were taken in each of those 10 locations. A quick groundwater monitoring station was also created and water samples were taken.

It was determined that petroleum was present in some locations at varying amounts – not in large amounts (in fact just over the level designated as “recordable”) but just the same, present.

The team has carefully gone through the steps to notify the DEP and EPA and created/submitted the appropriate paperwork based on the soil tests that were performed.

By January, we identified three different landfills (lined, unlined and no contaminants) that will receive the different types of dirt to be exported from our site and have completed the required paperwork.

Steps for end of January and into February are to complete a groundwater management plan which includes regular testing of groundwater on site as well as a system to clean groundwater that will be removed from the site and discharged into the storm drain system. This groundwater management plan is based on water sampling done on site and will be submitted to the DEP per regulations.

We expect the DEP review process to take 2-3 weeks once submitted; the team is ready to file their plan in the next 1-2 weeks. Then excavation can re-start.

We don’t have a good estimate yet on the additional cost to send the dirt to the three landfills but are hoping to have that shortly. The team performed due diligence and look at a potential ‘Plan B’ to see if we could find another path that could mitigate cost. The proposal was to:

  • Change the foundation system from spread footings to aggregate piers
  • Increase the thickness of the vapor barrier below the foundation
  • Install a below-slab ventilation system similar to a radon system

The benefit to this is that there is very little excavation as the piers don’t require mass removal of soil, so the cost to excavate and truck away the material would not be incurred. The biggest downside is more political/optics than practical – impacted soil would remain under the building and while every measure would be taken to mitigate any risk and to meet all State and Federal requirements, the fact would remain that the building was constructed on top of contaminated soil.

After talking with both Tim McInerney, Beth and Mark Sullivan we all agree that continuing with the original plan to remove and replace the impacted soil is the best course of action.

Other activities related to construction have been continuing at a good pace – submittals are being reviewed and approved, RFI’s are being asked and answered and in general the team is doing everything possible to be ready to run as soon as we have gotten over these early hurdles.

December MBLC Report

Building Committee Minutes
December 2, 2019

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