Director’s Report: August 2021
Construction fencing was removed Monday August 9. The Library relocation continued into the month of August, with WB Meyer delivering a final load of items to 35 Grafton Common on August 10; only the book drop remains to be moved. Key turnover occurred August 13, and Clerk of the Works Andy Deschenes gave notice Friday August 25.
At the end of August – indeed, at the third week of September, we are still lacking:
• fax lines run from the electrical room to the fax/copier/printers
• public computers
• key cards
• a working alarm system
• panic buttons
• security gate at the Common entrance and the 2 hard wired laptops to manage the gates and door count
• additional ethernet drops at the place where computers were indicated on the drawings
• additional electric outlets at the place where computers were indicated on the drawings
• doors for study rooms, maker space and Community Room, the hanging art system (with a display ready to go up)
• the remainder of the shelving or furniture, the 2 additional self-checks and DLP wand, and miscellaneous FF&E
• A phone tree of who to call (for each system) when issues come up with lighting, alarms, HVAC etc.
The Grafton Public Library was open ZERO hours in August, and circulated 4,117 physical items (mostly renewals and a few staff checkouts) and 3,224 digital items. We hosted multiple tours, meetings and visits from contractors and vendors related to reopening the Grafton Public Library.
The Director attended construction meetings and Building Committee Meetings and had many impromptu conversations around issues related to IT, security, alarms, policy, procedure, and logistics. Beth completed the ARIS report and worked on punch list items and led a tour for Tower One with Captain Michael Killen – the firefighters saw the Knox Box, alarm panel, sprinkler room, electrical rooms, and orientation for sprinklers, fire extinguishers, and AED locations. She met with architects, a building committee member, and gave a tour. She had phone meetings with Board of Library Trustees and MBLC. She cleaned up at St. Andrews – the container garden, book drop, a Xerox, and 4 boxes need to be moved still. The refinished antique tables were returned Thursday. The interior ramp was worked on at the end of the month. Phone testing was scheduled and needs further coordination with the Town and IT. WE still have outstanding furniture and shelving, with no ship date.
A Grand Reopening Committee meet at the beginning of August and decided to only move forward only with a Ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday October 1 at 11am WHICH HAS SINCE BEEN POSTPONED due to lack of completion of necessary items to reopen to the public, and elected to postpone the Saturday October 2 events for families to a 1-year anniversary celebration next August, and a Jerome Wheelock evening birthday celebration in June 2022
Eileen worked on bills, called newspaper delivery to find out why papers are not arriving at the new location, scheduled Ransford Pest Control, corresponded with town on sewer and water bills, assisted with canceling the old fax line at 53 N. Main Street, and provided some ARIS stats to Beth.
Sarah, Allison and Beth interviewed two candidates for the Children Library Assistant vacancy and Jen and Cyndi provided tours of the library building. A part-time administrative assistant position was posted. Beth began preparing a Bibliotemps request for additional staffing as we work to fill vacant positions.
This month we were finally able to begin the big move back to the common! CR staff were hard at work setting up their staff workstations, rearranging furniture to optimize the flow of the collection and increase line of site visibility, and began to tackle craft supply and program material organization. While we were all so excited to be in the new space, the delay in shelving has been a challenge since we were unable to put the collection in its proper place, shelf read, and actually put out craft supplies in the closet.
We ran our final two LEGO mini build programs, but many of our final build kits, the Reading Unicorn, were taken and there was lots of back and forth with disappointed, but patient families who reached out in confusion when they went to pick up their kits and found an empty box. After a plea for their return via social media, eleven Reading Unicorn kits were returned anonymously to the library. All of our families were able to participate, but it did make for a stressful few days.
In honor of Free Comic Book Day, we had a Comic Book Workshop hosted by Matt Ryan of Free Lunch Comics. He presented a short history of comics to the group and ended the program with a figure drawing lesson. Grab and go kits continued to be offered throughout the month of August.
Sarah met with a member of the Friends to discuss next summer’s reading program and fundraising opportunities. She also compiled SLP statistics for the ARIS report and the MLS end of summer library survey and continued to refurbish library carts.
Allison worked on Kit pickup of Summer Reading Program DIY programs, taught online, and continued setting up the Teen Services space and planning the Winter Reading Program.
Allie continued to work on our Mind, Body and Spirit display. Staff continued to unpack, organize space, and attempt to find storage for supplies and other things as much as able without a significant amount of shelving. They practiced with Princh, monitored the new AMH system, updated museums passes, and completed off-desk projects, such as reviewing our list of 100 Novels every library should own, identifying best sellers not already ordered, reading the RA selection Mistress of the Art of Death in preparation for an upcoming training, and attended webinars.
Staff placed 1 hold. We had one volunteer who put in 2 hours. We received two new volunteer applications, bringing the total to 31, not counting the folks we know are returning (at least 7 so far). We will review the new applications soon and begin the process of bringing them onboard.
We issued 19 new Grafton Public Library cards, and corrected 5 accounts for Grafton patrons after running the “Patrons with wrong home library” report, which we are now running monthly. There were 11 Museum Pass reservations; 9 were picked up and there were 2 “No Shows”
Adult programming included LEGO mini-builds: Bunny and Reading Unicorn; a comic book workshop with Matt Ryan, and a celebration of Free Comic Book Day. We held the following virtual book discussion groups:
• “Not Just for Young Adults” Book Discussion Group met virtually to discuss Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger
• Daytimers Book Group met virtually to discuss Cat Shout for Joy by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
• GPL Mystery Book Group met virtually to discuss Dead as a Dinosaur by Frances and Richard Lockridge
• “Reads Well with Others” Adult Book Discussion Group met virtually to discuss The Mountaintop School for Dogs and Other Second Chances by Ellen Cooney
• The “Inspirational Book Club” met virtually to discuss Peacebunny Island: the extraordinary journey of a boy and his comfort rabbits, and how they’re teaching us about hope & kindness by Caleb Smith.
Allie was designated the Princh point person, and she spent time setting it up on the staff computers. IT needs to set it up on each patron computer. As we continue to use it, it’s less clear it will serve our needs. Sandhya got the MBLC Wi-Fi hotspots charged and registered and added to Library of Things. Jane updated a list of local AA/NA Meetings. Taylor shelf-read and his Carolyn Dee volunteered to repot library indoor plants.
582 items were added in August. Donna set up and organized TS office, requested records from C/W MARS for new titles unique to us, added an extremely large YA collection of new manga and graphic novels, did original cataloging and packaged items for the Library of Things in the Adult and Children’s collection and assisted Heidi, Sandhya, Ranjita and Jane with washing and storing the old set of library dishes.
Staff attended a key training and a training on the Xerox copier, (which still has not been set up to fax) and on the new Automated Materials Handling (AMH) equipment by Bibliotheca representative. Staff were interviewed for the Wage and Compensation study.
Beth was a panelist on the topic of Leading with Compassion for a New England Library Association Advocacy Day. Mare continued to prepare her paperwork for the para librarian level 2 application due this fall and attended the “State of Reader’s Advisory” webinar.
Staff attended webinars on
• “Neurodiversity @ the Library” -RH
• “Get Started with new Libby” -RH
• “Privacy, Confidentiality, and Intellectual Freedom in the Library”-JB
• “Crash Course on Romance” -RH
• “Crash Course on Historical Fiction” -RH
All staff are reading Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin for our next reader’s advisory training in September. In medieval Cambridge, England, Adelia, a female forensics expert, is summoned by King Henry II to investigate a series of gruesome murders that has wrongly implicated the Jewish population, yielding even more tragic results. As Adelia’s investigation takes her behind the closed doors of the country’s churches, the killer prepares to strike again.
No, we are not scheduling meeting rooms at this time (numerous requests)
No, your items are not due, but you can return to any C/W MARS member library! (I got an email saying my items are due tomorrow. Are they due/Are you open?) -by phone, FB, email (numerous requests)
No, we are not open
No, we don’t have a date to open
all month – When is the library opening? (numerous) – if we knew, I’d be posting a date. Reopening hinges on many things absolutely outside of our control, but until we receive and install the remaining shelving, we can’t accept returns, circulate items, or open. And until we get training on various new systems, some of which are still in process of getting installed, we can’t open.
8/30 “Both of your voicemails are very, very well done….Again, good job on the voicemail” [A librarian from the library in Williamstown thinks our outgoing phone message is excellent; lots of excellent and useful information and without ums and ahs. She shared this when I returned her call.] -HF