Grafton Public Library

Director’s Report: August 2022

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The Library was open 27 days in August and had 6,489 visitors. We were open 273 hours and had 11 attempts/requests for access between 9-10am. We had 107 meeting room reservations for 261 participants with 1 no-show. We registered 126 new borrowers, and corrected 2 accounts for Grafton patrons. We provided 351 computer use sessions (not including Wi-Fi which is still not trackable). Staff answered 336 reference questions. We offered 31 programs to 259 attendees. September is traditionally a quieter month with back to school and post-summer reading program regrouping. The programming survey was completed by 56 people.

The Board of Library Trustees Policy Sub-Committee met on August 10 to review the 3D Printing Policy; draft was sent to legal for review. They met again on August 31 with guest Kristie Proctor, Director of Student Accessibility Services, Quinsigamond College and member of the Disability Commission, to review the Unaccompanied Adults policy after an incident in March 2022. Ms. Proctor felt the safety of children was of highest priority, and stated that if the person with the disability was satisfied with the reasonable accommodation offered, no further escalation should take place. She recommended a formal appeals process be defined that includes a timeline and procedure and include it in our policies; Beth will draft. The committee also reviewed a draft piano policy; Debby is researching PianoMe as another rental venue for our facility/piano use.
We convened a committee of staff and 2 board members and determined that My Heart is On the Ground by Ann Rinaldi (Scholastic, 2001) should have been weeded from our collection a long time ago due to misinformation and erroneous narrative about the Native American Boarding School experience.

We suspended notary service in August and are unable to offer Passport Acceptance due to low staffing. We had 42 low coverage instances where we had to pull someone from another department, derailing them from their work or duties; call in a temp; close a department and one building closure due to lack of adequate staffing. We extended an offer letter to Kara Dzindolet as our new Head of Borrower Services; she will begin in August. We extended an offer letter to Cynthia O’Neil as our new Adult Services Librarian—Technical Services.
Multiple staff attended a training on Bystander Intervention + Conflict De-escalation in the Workplace

We are unable to close FY22 and pay encumbrances and begin the ARIS financial report due to the transfer to VADAR, the Town’s new accounting system. We have a very tight FY23 budget.

Flooding during rain at the Emergency Exit door in the Teen Room continued to be an issue, repairs were made in September (a clogged gutter contributed to the issue).

Construction Update
• We continue to wait for the stair gate, folding doors for presentation area, additional signage.
• The HVAC system is the only remaining punch list item; Advantage will be back when parts arrive to complete work.
• We are still working to resolve other outstanding non-punch list items, including signage, office shelving, locks for cabinets and drawers in public spaces, soundproofing, landscaping, wiring, piano, patio furniture and lighting, and FF&E installations.

IT Update
No further movement on laptops for loan or meeting room tablets from work completed in July. Allie worked on Bibliotheca tickets and printer troubleshooting, new emails and logins were set up for new staff.

COVID-19 Update
Case counts in Grafton have remained stable but masking is still strongly encouraged.

Children’s Services
August brought the end of Summer Reading Programming and the beginning of the school year to the children and families in Grafton. We experienced high volumes of returns as families brought back materials checked out over the summer in preparation for starting the school year and transitioning to their fall schedules.

Staff were hard at work wrapping up the summer program, planning upcoming fall programming, decorating the room, and planning upcoming displays. We are eager to get back to our first series of in person fall programming since Fall 2019!

Order carts for new children’s materials are ready to go and our young patrons are eager to see an influx of new items!

Teen Services
The Teen Room was very busy the first week of school! Staff set behavior expectations and were overwhelmed by the number of kids. We capped at 40 and then started turning people away. Beth reminded youth of the unattended child policy and asked the schools to send the reminder to parents and students, to deter the under 13-year-olds from hanging out on site.

Staff displayed their favorite teen picks. We also worked on adding new manga titles to our future book order. Sarah S. hosted Manga Club and Anime Club this month. Allison worked on book orders, created a schedule for the book end themes, researched animal programs, escape room programs, Halloween and GCTH supplies, and booked programs for October and December.

Borrower Services
We circulated 13,959 physical items and 17386 digital items, bringing our total circulation for 2022 to 96, 424 physical and 120, 486 digital items. There were 104 museum pass reservations; 87 were picked up and there were 17 “no shows.”
4 seed packets went out. We made 13 out of network requests. Of note: Overdrive has scheduled monthly maintenance for the first Thursday of every month 6AM-8AM

Our main display for August was “Dog (and Cat) Days of Summer” to celebrate International
Dog Day and International Cat Day. The 3 smaller displays were: Cool Books for Hot Days, Good
Books about Friendship, and Ice Cream & Other Sweet Treats.

Volunteers and Outreach
Crescent Manor BookWagon had 15 participants, 20 check-outs and renewals, 5 requests, and 1
new card registration. We delivered 34 items to Homebound patrons. 27 volunteers donated 105 hours of service.

Reference Services
Staff placed 573 holds. We had 1106 database uses and 9,682 page views on our website over 5,684 sessions. The reference team created the displays on the themes of Read Beyond the Beaten Path display (Eric) and Beach Reads (Sarah L.)

We hosted the following programs in August:
“Not Just for Young Adults” Book Discussion Group met to discuss Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett.
Daytimers Book Group met to discuss The Music of Bees by Eileen Garvin.
GPL Mystery Book Group met to discuss Celine by Peter Heller.
The “Reads Well with Others” Adult Book Discussion Group met to discuss How the Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior.
The “Inspirational Book Club” met to discuss The Secret Wisdom of Nature: trees, animals and the extraordinary balance of all living things: stories from science and observation by Peter Wohlleben; translated by Jane Billinghurst.
Lecture: Returning to the Moon – and What Comes Next.
Lecture: Chiropractic for Kids – What You Need to Know Before Heading Back to School.
Saturday Afternoon Knitting.
Grafton Ukulele Musicians met for their regularly monthly session at our partner Apple Tree Arts, held an extra practice session on site, and also played in the sun! on the patio for the first hour of the Friend’s Children’s Book Sale for Play Music on the Porch Day.

Technical Services
Items ordered at the end of June continued to arrive. Beth did some cataloging over Labor Day Weekend to get some of the bestsellers out before our new cataloger arrived.

The Friends held a Children’s Book Sale on Saturday August 27 from 10am-4pm and collected around GUM will be celebrating International Play Music on the Porch Day from 10-11am with family-friendly tunes. A book sale will be held on Saturday Nov 5. A bag fundraiser is underway, with 2 size options. Mobile Mini-Golf fundraiser will be held on Sunday October 2.

8/29 Yes, I can show you where to find the 616 nonfiction books.
8/29 Yes, we have audiobooks available.
8/29 Yes, I can help you locate your downloaded files.
8/29 Yes, I can help you make a copy.
8/29 Yes, I have a pen you can borrow.
8/29 Yes, I can help you print a document.
8/29 Yes, I can help you find a book by Lucy Knisley.
8/29 Yes, we can renew your library card and update your address.
8/29 Yes, a 10-year-old can be on their own as long as their adult is in the building.
8/27 Yes, we have A Street Cat Named Bob
8/13 Yes, you can get a lost card replaced
8/13 Yes, we take donations!
8/2 Yes, we have notary service — by appointment only.
8/2 Yes, I have a highlighter you can borrow.

NO Log
8/31 Can you tell me which books I recently returned?
8/29 Do you have access to LinkedIn Learning?
8/29 Do you have Microsoft Access on the public computers?
8/27 Do you have passes to Franklin Zoo?
8/26 Do you have notary service? (suspended in August due to short staffing)
8/25 Do you have Colleen Hoover books available?
8/24 Do you have a soda machine?
8/23 Patron wanted to know if the scan to email was working yet. (IT says it’s a Xerox issue, Xerox says it’s an IT issue! – BS)
8/18 No, you can’t drop off your 11-year-old and leave her here unattended.
8/13 No, we don’t have Apple computers, we have PCs. (we have 3 macs in the teen room for teens -BS)
8/13 No, you don’t need a code to use the computers.
8/13 No, we do not have a weekly mahjong group (we can provide the game and space if someone wants to start one!) -BS
8/5 No, when you use a museum pass, not everyone has to be a Grafton resident. Only the person reserving the pass.
8/2 No, I’m sorry we don’t have any more baby/toddler story times this summer. They won’t begin again until the fall. The patron was disappointed because she is a teacher and won’t be able to bring her child.
7/29 No, we do not have a keyboard (piano type, not computer type) in the Library of Things. (ordered! -BS)

Patron Comments


  • Building 2
  • Circulation 1
  • Collections 4
  • Customer Service 5
  • Heidi’s costumes 6
  • Programs 3
  • Gardening 2
  • Meeting rooms 1
  • Book Sale 1


  • Doors 2
  • Collections 2
  • Noise 2
  • Programs 1
  • Computer Privacy 1
  • Signage 1
  • AMH/Self Check 1

8/31 Oh boy, what’s going on in that room (pointing to YA). I would not want to be here with them being so loud, are they always here around this time? Yes – Oh, in that case I will avoid coming to the library around this time.
8/29: Where are all the teen new books? (explained about not being able to order or process books without a cataloger)
8/26 “Please stop looking at the DVDs. We don’t have a DVD player.” We have one available to check out for patrons in the Library of Things! -BS)
8/25 Patron wishes we would buy more copies of contemporary romance books (Hazelwood, Thorne, Hoover). They are available as ebooks but she likes physical books. (Me too! we have stickered all the romances and I would like to create a trade paperback collection -BS)
8/25 “My son was here the other evening and you closed an hour early because you didn’t have enough staff. Are you hiring?” I explained that we have to have a minimum number of staff in the building to remain open, and if one person goes home, we sometimes don’t have enough.
8/22 “I aim to use my library card as much as my credit card.”
8/20 A patron was looking for the Margaret Arnold plaque or the Margaret Arnold room. I told her I don’t think the plaques have been installed yet.
8/20 We were open for 32 hours over 4 Saturdays and have 784 visitors. Two patrons expressed surprise we were open: “Nobody is open on Saturdays in the summertime.” (We are open late to meet state aid requirements based on population and budgeting decisions. -BS)
8/17 A patron mentioned that she tried to apply for a library card online and there was no option to add a preferred name. She wanted to make sure her preferred name was added instead of her legal name. She was not sure if we can add that field to the online form.
8/16 My son is 18 and my daughter is 22. Do you have anime or manga programming for adults? (I said not at the moment but would take that request under advisement) -we can add if someone on staff wants to take it on -BS
8/16 “Seems like you guys have a lot of holidays coming”, staff member said, “No the next one is in Sept for Labor Day,” patron said, “Well that’s the day I would like to come.”
8/16 There’s an awful lot of Democrat books. Where are the conservative books? Who does the ordering? -AP & RH (We order books from a variety of viewpoints and purchase patron requests all the time! -BS)
8/13 You are open till 6 pm on Saturday? it’s too late , you should close early especially during summertime. (We are open late to meet state aid requirements based on population and budgeting decisions. -BS)
8/6 A patron was super impressed with all the offerings we have for children. She had read our website since April and was very impressed ~ no other library that she has been to has as many as we do. She loves the room and all the things for her child to do!
8/6 Patron, walked up to me and said that the public computers are visible to all when they are working on private and sensitive documents and if can install privacy screens on them.
8/5 “I have to say the new library is phenomenally beautiful! I grew up in Grafton and was recently here and stopped by the library. The architect did a great job of marrying the old with the new and maintaining the character of the Common. So lovely! I used to live in Westborough and was on a board that oversaw what could be built in the center of town and you did a great job. Take care of the building…I lived so close to the library as a kid that whenever I had a question, my parents would tell me to run over to the library to find the answer.”
8/2 “Unlock the door” said a mom to her young child who was in the restroom. We don’t have a key if someone can’t unlock the door. (locksmith: 1-800-555-1212 or 508-757-1434)

Respectfully submitted,

Beth Schreiber, Library Director

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