Director’s Report July 2023
The Library was open 23 days in July and had 7,156 visitors. We offered 62 programs for 1,165 attendees. We had 135 meeting room reservations for 351 participants and one cancellation. We hosted an additional 68 meeting room uses for staff use (photography, meetings, etc.) and filed 6 incident reports, including hate speech, disruptive behavior, unattended children, meeting room use and tutoring policy violations.
Beth met and corresponded with people regarding meeting room and facility rentals, with Trustees, staff, the Town Administrator’s office. She worked on year-end procedures and scheduling, submitted bills for payment, worked on a final nonfiction book order, and made updates to the procedures manual, website, event calendar, and social media pages. She prepared a CPA funding request for CPC to meet the gap for the cupola restoration project.
Beth shepherded the monthly GUM Jam session in partnership with Apple Tree Arts, attended the NASA Space Ambassador program and Stargazing Party at Willard House and accepted a donation of three telescopes to loan from Celestron!
Beth attended the Board of Library Trustees policy subcommittee meeting and worked on policy updates, and attended the monthly trustee meeting. Beth reviewed and submitted payroll and bills, approved meeting room usage; updated the website, social media, and calendar of events; and made updates to the procedures manual.
Eileen maintained the collection of periodicals, took care of incoming mail, and prepared bills. Debby worked on scheduling and payroll, compiled Weekly Reports, worked on upcoming social media posts, helped clear the sprinkler room to meet compliance standards from the Grafton Fire Department, and covered the Teen Room, and worked on Board of Library Trustee tasks. Debby compiled the Weekly Report, worked on upcoming social media posts, payroll and scheduling, as well as tasks for the Board of Library Trustees for their upcoming meetings.
Anonymizing of holds took place in August. We also eliminated text messaging support to Boost T-mobile customers due to lack of support from the carrier. ComCat items are now fine-free.
We continued to review applications for the 18-hour Library Associate-Teen Services position and scheduled interviews for the first week of August; we are seeking a teen specialist who LOVES middle school age students and is available between 2-6pm on weekday afternoons. We recorded 45 low coverage instances.
We learned from accounting that we went over budget and had to request a transfer of $10,000 from the Board of Library Trustees from State Aid; we have since learned we paid duplicate bills, misattributed some programming invoices to a non-existent program line instead of the Gift Account, and will be receiving a reimbursement from Ingram.
Patio furniture was put together and installed. The Capital Campaign ordered concrete gaming tables and musical instruments to be installed in August.
Beth is working with the construction team to schedule dates to replace the incorrect Maker Space and Presentation Area doors and install locks. Town of Grafton will complete the ball bearing for the gate at the bottom of the stairs.
HVAC commissioning is still outstanding. The HVAC unit above the staff break room is still making a random loud screeching noise like a hard water stop, and the unit rumbles at a low vibration that is extremely disruptive to staff using the room as a respite from work on their breaks. Noises like a faucet turning off or hard water stop continue to recur over the Admin wing and other spaces; the architect suggested it could be a water pressure issue, which William Blake will bring to Town of Grafton Water Department; Beth has been bringing this up to the Construction Team and Building Committee for many months, and it was not an issue for the first year of operation. We continue to have water cascading off the roof near the book drop and surpassing the lower downspout and gutters, creating water pools in the mulched blueberry bush garden, which makes the mulch overflow onto the concrete pathway to the exterior book return, and creating an obstacle and potential trip hazard for visitors with wheelchairs, walkers or other mobility issues. We are still waiting for return of chairs from Tucker, they were going to repair stitching issues on the upholstery.
Beth renewed the Deep Freeze license in July.
Volunteers, Outreach and Partnerships
Crescent Manor BookWagon had 6 participants, 33 check-outs and renewals and 2 requests.
We delivered 9 items to Homebound patrons. We had 23 volunteers who put in 110.75 hours.
We surpassed 1,000 followers on TikTok, with 1,011! We have 2,199 followers on Facebook, 791 on Instagram, 112 on YouTube, 418 on Twitter, 424 on Pinterest, and 8 on Flickr. We have 2,080 subscribers on Constant Contact. We are investigating a HootSuite for streamlining posts.
Summer Reading was in full swing this month with programming and a full and bustling room. The heat, humidity, and frequent storms we had during the month had people flocking to the library to take advantage of the cool room and activities, both staff lead and passive, that were provided all month long. Families visit the library all day long and staff are always hard at work placing holds, reserve tutoring rooms, cleaning up toys, shelving returns, answering questions, connecting people with resources and materials, and more from 10am to late evening each day!
Some highlights of the month included a visit from Animal World Experience, a fun-filled day of soap making for grades 3-12, The James Webb Space Telescope + Star Gazing Party! – a wildly successful partnership program with Willard House, two full sewing camp sessions, various arts and craft programs, Summer Songs in the Park, and the always surprising Super Summer Saturdays! We also had Toto the Tornado Kitten and his human, Jonathan back for another fun filled feline visit. Our Toto visits are one of our longest running summer programs, and we get visitors of all ages who treasure their “Toto time” each year
We have received so many compliments about the room and all of the activities we have been hosting this summer. Families are so happy to have a free resource for their children and a comfortable place to gather and play.
The CR is currently working 20 hours short, and it has added a bit of strain to CR staff since we have had trouble filling all of the gaps with subs, but we have done our best to provide a variety of programs and top tier service to the families in our community.
July kicked off our summer reading programs! Each week we are offering a movie and Perler bead night. Teens get to vote on the movie that night and have the opportunity to make art out of Perler beads. Other successful teen programs this month included: Anime Club, Manga Club, Animal World Experience, The James Webb Telescope + Star Gazing Party, Soapmaking Workshop, Button Art and a Tarot Workshop.
Historically in the summer we only see teens when they are browsing or for programs. This year has been different. Teens who used to come after school are continuing to visit during the summer to hang out. We are so happy that they are continuing to use the space. There have been a few incidents this month of adults with children who have wanted to use the teen room or tutor rooms for themselves. Each group was asked to move to a different area of the library so that the teen room can be maintained for the exclusive use of teens.
This month we also reviewed applications for the new part time teen position. Beth, Debby and Allison interviewed five candidates and chose the person we think will best fit the position.
We circulated 14,118 physical items and 3,347 digital items–There were 135 museum pass reservations; 106 were picked up and there were 29 “No Shows.” We gave out 223 seed packets.
We registered 115 new borrowers and corrected 11 accounts for Grafton patrons and made 9 out of network requests; 2 were unfillable.
Our main display for July was “Oh the Places I Can See Through Books.” The four smaller displays were: American historical fiction, “Books to Read on Vacation,” “Rain or Shine, We Love Reading All the Time,” and National Day of the Cowboy. Book lists were added to the website for Independence Day and Disability Pride. A graphic novel display was set up for Eisner nominees. The lobby display case was filled for Independence Day, Shark Week, Disability Pride Month, and upcoming library programs.
Sandhya hosted 1 daytime “Unplug with Art” program for adults: 6 people attended. She organized and hosted the Ceramic Tile Coasters craft program for adults: 8 people attended (and 2 registrants were no-shows).
The Reference department placed 589 holds. Heidi and Eric assisted patrons with tech, reference questions and circulation. They ordered new non-fiction materials, put out new acquisitions and worked on collection maintenance. They also collected data for the monthly report, planned August book displays. Eris familiarized themselves with more of the local history collection.
We held the following in person book discussion groups:
- The “Not Just for Young Adults” Book Discussion Group met to discuss This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura.
- The Daytimers Book Group met to discuss Rules for Visiting by Jessica Francis Kane.
- The GPL Mystery Book Group met to discuss The Widows of Malabar Hill, by Sujata Massey.
- The “Reads Well with Others” Adult Book Discussion Group met to discuss A Song Everlasting, by Ha Jin.
- The “Inspirational Book Club and Guided Meditation” met to discuss Talk Like TED: the 9 public-speaking secrets of the world’s top minds by Carmine Gallo.
The department hosted Saturday Afternoon Knitting, etc. Displays for July included Eric’s display titled: “Time to Travel” and Heidi’s American Revolution end cap display.
Heidi went to the Farmers Market on the Common once in July, for 1 1/2 hours. It was kind of a low attendance day, and interacted with 23 individuals. She checked out one book from the display and answered several reference questions.
We have 1,661 database uses, 284 computer users and 3,684 WiFi users.
582 items were added in July and 154 items were deleted. Cynthia worked on fixing 49 items.
She ordered books through Ingram for each department and unpacked items as they arrived, sent in requests to the CatCenter for records to be added to the catalog, and worked on replacement items. She created several records for Library of Things items, including many children’s games and puzzles and the three telescopes, and worked on adding grids to existing carts in Ingram. Cynthia ran reports in Ingram and Baker and Taylor to see any cancelled items and sent them to selectors if they had any. She also helped cover the desk for Borrower Services.
Book and media donations in saleable will be accepted Aug 28-Sept 8, with the next Book Sale running Sept 9-10. The next Friends meeting will be posted to the Friends Facebook page.
7/31 “Thank you. I had a lovely time.” (“Reads Well with Others” Book Group.)
7/31 “Thank you so much for your help. You saved me so much time! I’m kind of a perfectionist, so it would’ve taken me forever and still not looked right. What a beautiful library. This is our first time here.” (help with Summer Reading reporting form).
7/31 Multiple comments Animal world program was awesome. Grafton library doing good job with programs
7/31 Multiple comments during the program tonight about how dark the Community Room is.
7/31 Patron complimented on how the library smells newer than last time he came in.
7/31 Patron interested in how to get her daughters involved with a piano recital on the event calendar for January 2024.
7/31 Lots of confusion about having the tutoring rooms on the event calendar. People keep asking if they can book a tutoring session or think we offer private tutoring. We do recommend tutor.com as an alternative.
7/31-No, we don’t keep a list of piano teachers but people sometimes advertise on the bulletin board in the hall. We did recommend ATA.
7/31- I’m sorry, but sewing club is already full. It’s a very popular program.
7/31 Patron asked if the Wifi networks that require a password are “safer” than the general GPL-guest Wifi that does not require a password. [the password protected is for staff-only to protect public access to private data -BS]
7/29 “Is the book sale that is coming up only for children’s material?” -yes, we think so, but the request for books on Facebook doesn’t ask for only children’s.
7/29 “I’m so glad I didn’t have to go anywhere else.” (to get her pictures printed from her phone so she could frame one of them and use the others for source material for an art project.)
7/29 Thank you so much for all the programs you are running especially on Saturdays. We’ve done both the games and the spin art/ball pit and we’ve loved both.
7/29 Comments about the flower bouquet at the desk, patron was missing her garden and would love to be able to see the gardens outside but she is not steady enough on her feet for the walkway. I let her into the community room so she could see the gardens outside and still be on a firm surface.
7/29 Comments about the non-working door opener. x 3
7/29 Super Summer Saturdays is awesome!
7/27 “I miss the old library. It’s just not the same. It makes me sad to see the whole front of the library (the historic reading room) is just a waste of space and not being used. It makes me think that we didn’t really need a library as big as this.”
7/27 “How many books am I allowed to check out?” -I told him 50- his response “Really? Five-Zero? You’re kidding me, right?”-
7/27 “When will this door (opener) get fixed? It’s just ‘great’ for the handicapped.” -told her we were waiting on a part, and I don’t know when that will be- her response was “It’s probably held up in China!”
7/27 Helped a patron send photos to her email and crop/print them and she asked if I was adoptable – hah.
7/26 Informed patron entering 5th grade in the fall that they were not old enough to use the gaming room.
7/26 “Wow. This place is amazing. Everyone should know about it. The natural light is great….Thank you. You’ve been very helpful. I’m so glad I needed to photocopy something or I wouldn’t have come here.” (photocopies and a library card).
7/26 “I love your hat.” (2x. Star themed outfit to advertise for the stargazing and telescope program at Willard House. Though the program is full, it is good for people to know what kinds of things we offer.)
7/26 “I love the carpet. It’s pretty.” (blue and gray one).
7/26- I’m sorry, the telescope program today is full. 4 calls before 12
7/26 5 people waiting in the breezeway to come in at 9:30. 4 more waiting outside 9:50.
7/25 “Thanks. You guys are life savers.” (Being able to fax something here.)
7/24 “Wow, I’m surprised you have this book (Tomorrow, and Tomorrow and Tomorrow / Zevin), it’s months out on Libby.” (this book was published in 2022 in all formats, but Libby/OverDrive may not have been able to license from the publisher -BS]
7/24- No we don’t have the giant board games out today. That was a special event for our Super Saturday program.
7/22 “I keep losing my card. I can’t wait for there to be a digital one.” -she was thrilled to learn about the CWMARS app which will give her the digital card she wanted.
7/22 Patron who held the door open for an elderly patron– “These doors are awfully heavy for some people. He looked like he could use help.” (I thanked him for being helpful and considerate) –
7/22 Patron leaving the children’s room– “This is the cutest library ever! I just love it!” –
7/21 “Oh, you’re so good, answering the phone. You close at 6pm don’t you? You librarians are so good. My daughter-in-law is a librarian. You are all so good.”
7/21 This is so cool! (self-return)
7/21 Thanks (for self-check demo) Now I can do it myself next time!
7/21 “It’s cold in here!” x2
7/21 “Thanks for being so helpful…you saved me a trip….If my kid is asking to read, you bet I’ll get her the book.” (Finding her the adult and YA books she was looking for).
7/21 “Oh, you’re the one who changes the message board. I’m always surprised at all the wonderful things the library is offering. I drive by or I walk in and see what’s going on. It’s great.”
7/20 Worcester patron called to ask how to get a museum pass
7/20 “Oh, there are no free books today!” (The free cart in the lobby vestibule is empty)
7/20 “Thank you for your help. You are always so helpful.”
7/20 “Oh, you put Romance stickers on the Fantasy books. How great. I discovered that Romance / Fantasy is a genre I really like. Thanks for helping me find more of them.”
7/20 “I got all kinds of ideas….I’m a Friend of the Millbury Library.” (She took pictures of Sandhya’s book birdhouses and the book hedgehog).
7/18 “This was a great pick for my first time. I love to read. I love to talk about books with people. This has been wonderful.” (at the Daytimers Book Group).”
7/18 Patron was upset about the door not being fixed and was muttering comments about her newspapers not being delivered either.
7/18- Patron was upset that why door is still not fixed and when I was trying to explain she just walk away
7/18 – Rec Dept- we love our Room 202 better than our office 🙂
7/17- Middle school girls – Beth, you don’t work in YA anymore? We miss seeing you
7/17 – Why is there no return bin outside for people who are in a hurry? The self return takes so long since we have to return one book/item at a time and many times the machine stalls if we try to do it fast. This is very frustrating.
SS- No we do not have a return bin outside the self return is all we have.
7/17- Do you have the reading list for Grafton public schools 2nd grade? There is no official list, but we do have copies of the summer reading passport here if you’d like a copy.
7/17 6 people (all ages!) waiting to come in well before 10am.
7/15 Yes, we do have FAX capabilities. Patron seemed disappointed that we charge for that service.
7/14 Please update the website to reflect the book donation dates (Edited the DONATE page 7/15)
7/14 Is there a tarot card reading program for adults?
7/14 “Thank you for recommending the Worcester History Museum back in February.” Mentioned her daughter was able to see old diaries/journals and loved it.
7/14 “We appreciate everything you do and all the programming!”
7/13 Can we come to the library every day? (small patron asking dad on the way out)
7/13 How do I use a computer here? (Patron computers are upstairs. You need to sign in so we know how long a computer is used.)
7/13 Is there a place that has a plotter printer that could print posters? I directed her to Staples.
7/13 This place is so beautiful. I am loving this donor display. (I told her about the recycled floor from the old library, and she loved that as well.)
7/13 I have only been here for 3 mins and this place is amazing. I am astonished at the renovation and cannot believe all of the resources available for patrons!
7/13 Yes, our patron computers have Microsoft Word on them.
7/13 No, we do not have notary service here. -jb [suspended due to low staffing-BS]
7/13- Overheard comment: They have really cool things here for little kids.
7/13 Comment: “I brought my brother-in-law and his family to the library because we have such a great children’s room!” CZ
7/13 No, the Bruins aren’t coming here this year. They pick different libraries to visit every summer.
7/13 “I have middle and high schoolers that home school and I’m very impressed with this new teen space! This will be great to visit to get a break from learning at home.”
7/12 “I’m from Milbury and my grandkids love your new library.”
7/12 New patron: “The historic reading room is very beautiful. I’m so excited to check out the book clubs and the knitting club!”
7/11 Yes, we do have an AED here (asked by the group doing CPR training for the cheer/football meeting)
7/11 How can I go about donating to get my name on the wall (beehive capital campaign sign)? (Took patron’s name and passed along to manager.
7/11 After button art a teen who had also been at pride tote bags asked for more lgbtq related programming
7/11-Many positive comments today about our art programs. One mom was especially grateful that we offered the same programs for teen and tweens, as both siblings wanted to go. Asked for more all-ages craft programs as the parents would like to work on these projects as well!
7/10- lots of questions today about using the library WiFi-what is it, is there a password? Should we have clearer signage?
7/10- He wants to come in every day just to do the scavenger hunt!-
⅞ “This place is wonderful! We needed a place for the kids on this hot day-this is perfect! Thank you so much”.
⅞ Yes we have kids movies!
7/ 8 Do we have VHS Player?
7/7 “I don’t hardly buy books anymore. I had to get rid of so many.” (Now she just uses the library. *smile*)
7/7 The new middle school principal stopped by to see the teen room and was impressed with the space.
7/6 Yes, if you have something on hold, you will get an email and should not have to come in and check every so often – unless you request a phone call or text message.
7/6 “I guess we don’t get check in slips anymore.” (Did we ever? He said we used to give them back in the old library.)
7/6 “Yes, we have a shredder you can use.”
7/6 “I love libraries! Thanks for all of your help.”
7/6 “What a beautiful new library you have!”
7/6 Yes, the dumbwaiter was removed with the renovation, because we now have a full service certified elevator
7/5 No, we do not have Southwick’s Zoo passes this year
7/5 “Your gardens are lovely. All the rain must be helping. They look great.”
7/5 Yes, we do have a children’s book in Korean but it’s a Korean vocabulary book. CW MARS does have a few fiction books in Korean that we can order for you. (Patron took the vocab book as they are hoping to brush up their skills.)
7/3 “I love your headband.” (Red, white and blue, light up, tube crinoline and ribbons headband for the 4th of July).
7/3 “Yes, our Internet is working and you can use our public access computers.”
7/1 “How long has the door opener been broken? I will be glad when it is working.” (not really broken, just turned off because of the non-locking door feature)