Tuesday, September 5th 2017
I hope everyone had a wonderful summer. It is hard to believe it is September already. We had a very exciting and productive two months at the Turner Free Library. I have so much to share, but I will try to keep it brief.
Each department had their Summer Reading Program this year; the topic given by the Massachusetts Library Commissioners was “Building a Better World”. I will have all of our brochures available at the meeting.
We had two 30 hour per week interns this summer who assisted us with many of our programs and library upkeep, Junior Brenden Joyce and Sophomore Serena Mills. Their largest projects were RFID tagging, scanning old photographs, assisting Meghan Malone at Farmers Market, and Imagination Station, and running our free lunch and breakfast program.
This was the first year we offered both free lunch and breakfast here. Meghan Malone organized the program in partnership with Project Bread and the Randolph High School. On average, we had 5-10 children come to breakfast and 15-30 children come for lunch daily. Meghan also offered a STEAM program after lunch for children of all ages.
Our First Friday programs were a huge success. In partnership with Macaroni Kid, we averaged over 300 people at each event. Families came after library hours on Fridays, July 7th and August 4th to see magicians and jugglers, complete crafts, play with robots and virtual headsets and more. We plan to extend this program next summer adding either a September or June date.
Our new phone system is up and running. This has freed up the staff tremendously to help patrons on computers, and fill other demands as the library continues see a rise in patron attendance. Staff continue to see a shift in their position duties as patrons are checking out their own materials at times. However, the need for computer and scanning help, locating materials, assisting with patron behavior, has skyrocketed. We have also installed a new ATM machine, this has helped patrons with paying for printing and library fines, a portion of the commission is donated to the Friends of the Turner Free Library.
We are losing Hannah Donovan as she journeys off to Scotland for graduate school. I tried very hard to convince her to be a librarian, but it did not work out. While she worked for us here she completed projects such as organizing our historical documents, weeding and shifting the entire adult nonfiction collection, ran children’s programs including the Student Success Center, and she filled in on the circulation desk as needed. She has been a wonderful asset to us this summer and will be greatly missed. The staff is having a going away party for her on Thursday September 7th at 12:30 if you are free please drop by.
Since hiring Craig Sander from Centriole Solutions to assist us with all of our technology woes, things have been on the up and up. He has done some research throughout our technology structures, and has offered some innovative solutions. We are really looking forward to getting past these issues with his help.
Unfortunately, this summer, our HVAC system took most of my time. I have attached a time line of events. I am currently keeping a binder in my office of all photographs correspondence with our Project Manager, HVAC Engineer, HVAC Installer, Maintenance Company, and water treatment companies; I have been working with to find a resolution for what ended up being a severe iron problem. After hours of meetings, and fighting over bills, I believe the light at the end of the tunnel is near. I gathered a second opinion from a different water treatment company, Metro Group. I found them to be extremely helpful and informative. This week they are working with Atlantic Mechanical to flush out the entire system with chemicals, power washing and starting the system fresh, fingers crossed this is our solution. I would be happy to meet with the building committee to go over all the gruesome details of this project.
The solar eclipse event here at the library was nothing short of insane. Meghan Malone received a grant from NASA to purchase 500 pairs of glasses for our solar eclipse event at the library. As media pushed that all libraries had glasses, we also quickly ordered 1500 more. Each patron was limited to one pair per person present at the library, and we only gave out 75 pairs a day. Beginning on August 14th through the entire week, our phones did not stop ringing, and we quickly learned we were the only library in the area offering the glasses. During the solar eclipse event on August 21st, we offered projects like making time capsules, and solar jewelry. We also had a green screen for photoshoots, along with the eclipse on a video stream in the Shurtleff Room. I worked with Safety Officer Kevin Donnelly to block off Turner Drive and an additional police detail was sent. Our program that started at 1:30 pm had a line forming at 11:00 am. Eventually, the line went around the building down to the fire station. We easily and quickly gave out the 500 pair of glasses, and had patrons sharing with one another. While it was a tough week on the staff, the event went very well and we received many compliments.
Elizabeth LaRosee was sought out by the Boston Foundation, as word has spread of the impact she is making with the teens in this community. She was asked to submit a list of wants and needs to the Foundation, and was granted $4,000 to be given to the library yearly to continue her efforts for teens. I want make clear this was not an application, but a call that was made to her. I am extremely proud of her, as she continues to do an outstanding job, not only for the Turner Free Library, but the community at large.
This fall we are excited about launching a few new programs at the library. We will be offering Rokus loaded with movies for check out. This will allow patrons access to more of the latest new movie releases. Sharon has purchased four laptop computers for computer lesson purposes. She will be holding computer classes upstairs in the Mary Wilkins Freedman Room.
Our program attendance has doubled since October. I believe the three major factors in this increase are the renovation, addition of a programming room, and our new Adult Services Librarian.
I plan my last day being Friday, September 15th, as Wylie is scheduled to arrive on September 22nd. I look forward to seeing everyone on, Tuesday, September 5th at 5:30 pm. Thank you.