2019 Annual Report of the Grafton Public Library
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%.
2019 STATS AT A GLANCE
- 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)
BENEFITS OF THE LIBRARY
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 Tutor.com/grafton; streaming music and movies via our Hoopla database at hoopladigital.com; online art and music instruction via ArtistWorks; eBooks (including eAudio) via OverDrive, Hoopla, and BookFlix; Ancestry.com (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.
RETURN ON INVESTMENT
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 www.ala.org/advocacy/library-value-calculator.
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: www.graftonlibrary.org/thetimeisnow.
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.
GRANTS and GIFTS
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:
- Municipal Appropriation Requirement: the annual Total Municipal Appropriated Income (TAMI) is a minimum of the average of the last 3 years plus 2.5%;
- Meet the minimum Standards of Service for operating hours, materials expenditure, and more; and
- Report statistics annually.
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.
THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT!
Download our Grafton Library app: www.cwmars.boopsie.com
Download Libby, the OverDrive eBook app: meet.libbyapp.com
Download the Hoopla App on the App Store or Google Play
Download the Pronunciator Language Learning app: www.pronunciator.com/go-mobile
Download the Tutor.com app at www.tutor.com/mobile
Download Access My Library for databases at support.gale.com/aml/guest.php
In addition to offering eBooks, music, movies, and online learning at graftonlibrary.org, 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
OverDrive (ebooks) $10,102.90
Blackstone Publishing $5,586.99
Whalley Computer Associates $5,384.00
National Grid (electricity) $4,796.34
Prenax (magazines) $4,539.85
Recorded Books $4,049.75
ATC Group Services $4,000.00
W.B. Mason $3,828.13
American Alarm $3,071.29
Southwick Zoo $2,815.00
Staples Advantage $2,809.40
Allison Cusher $2,772.23
Koopman Lumber $2,673.87
Elizabeth Gallaway $1,749.18
Renaud HVAC $1,633.70
Plymouth Rocket $1,450.00
Boston Children’s Museum $1,400.00
Pegasus Press $1,184.98
Museum of Science $1,130.00
Eileen LeBlanc $1,057.31
Elizabeth S. Gallaway,