Library Trustees Meeting
January 17, 2013
Medway Public Library
Carol Brown, Vice Chair (arrived at 8)
William Roberts, Secretary
Wendy Rowe, Chair
Margaret Perkins, Acting Director
Motion to approve the agenda (CM1, WLR2) passed unanimously
FY14's level funded budget is 2% larger than FY13, due to salary adjustments.
Would not cover our additional hours on Monday & Wednesday. We would need to fund those from Tuchinsky interest if we were to keep them.
The RM Miscellaneous line is still farcically low. We would need to fund this through Tuchinsky as well.
Motion to approve the level funded Budget: (WLR1, CM2) passed unanimously
Discussed the FY14 Budget Initiatives and Impact.
This includes funding for a full time Director, the extra Monday & Wednesday hours, realistic RM Miscellaneous and the materials budget. It would result in getting the full State Aid.
It would allow us to make progress on our 2020 Library Initiatives.
Motion to approve the Budget Impact Worksheet as discussed with the worksheet reformatted for better clarity. (CM1, CB2) passed. 5-0-1. Ed abstained.
Motion to approve the edited Budget Narrative as discussed (CB1, WLR2) passed unanimously
Motion to adjourn (9:30) (CB1, CM2) passed unanimously
Medway Public Library will be recognized in the community as an essential and reliable partner in the delivery of information resources, education, self-advancement, and recreation.
Medway Public Library is an indispensable part of the community, dedicated to providing residents of all ages with dynamic collections, innovative programs and wide-ranging and sustainable services.
Medway Library has 5038 registered borrowers. On average, every week we serve 1338 people of all ages, handle over 60 reference requests, host 90 public computer internet users, and circulate 2142 items. We host a diverse mix of Library-sponsored programs, art shows, Scout troops and other community groups, sport signups, theatrical performances, Community Education classes, story times, and meetings of town boards.
The Library’s collection contains 82,176 volumes, including books, audio books, CDs, DVDs, and magazines. The Library’s electronic presence includes a website and a wide range of electronic resources and services. These include access to eBooks and downloadable audio books provided by the Minuteman Library Network, and both in-library and remote access to many databases provided not only by Medway Library but also by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners and the Minuteman Library Network. These resources include full text journal articles, reference and job search resources, and area newspapers.
The library catalog interface provided by Minuteman offers patrons an easy way to: find materials; reserve books, audio books, CDs, videos, DVDs, eBooks, downloadable audio books, and games; renew items; and pay fines and manage library accounts online. E-commerce functionality allows patrons to use credit cards to pay fines via computer at any time.
Thanks to our Library certification, Medway residents enjoy borrowing privileges for over six million items. Residents are very pleased with their ability to obtain books, periodicals, and audiovisual materials in person and through inter-library loan.
The Library has a strong technology infrastructure. Technology serves a vital library function. It continues to increase in importance as a tool for patrons using eBooks, downloadable audiobooks, office software products, online networks, databases, and connecting to others around the world.
The Library is also equipped with a photocopy machine, a high quality public printer, a fax machine, a scanner, and 10 public Internet access computers. Wireless technology, introduced a few years ago, extends services to a new cadre of users equipped with their own laptops and other digital devices.
Two full-time and five part-time staff work a total of 143 hours per week. These part-time positions include an Acting Library Director, and four Library Assistants. The full- time positions are the Technical Services (cataloging) and Circulation Services Librarians. We have two substitute librarians we can call in when the alternative would be closing due to staff absences.
FY 2012 MAJOR INITIATIVES & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
The Library Board adopted a Medway 2020 plan with initiatives for facility and program improvements.
As of September 2011, the Library was open 36 hours a week, with expanded hours (10AM-8PM) on Mondays. Trustees voted to use Tuchinsky Fund interest as needed to pay to staff the additional 4 weekly hours.
For five days following the hurricane, the Library opened at 8:30AM for Internet use, charging electronics, and bathrooms for patrons without power at home. As many as 20 grateful patrons came on a single day.
The Library added a self-checkout station and a donated new scanner, and converted the fax machine to public access. Even with email overtaking faxes for document transmission, the public fax is used an average of 1-2 times ever week.
In response to patron requests, the Library added numerous museum passes, funded through Memorial Donations and donations from individuals and local banks. The Library also added an online museum pass reservation system to streamline processing while improving patron service. Museum, park and zoo passes went out 462 times in FY12.
Working with the Department of Public Services, the Library evaluated building maintenance needs and submitted Capital Improvement Plan requests for 2012-2017. Two broken HVAC units were replaced, restoring normal heating and cooling capability. Programmable thermostatic controls with a computerized setup were added in the Library. The Library secured a reliable cleaning service, providing thorough weekly cleaning and additional cleanings of the public restrooms twice weekly using municipal funds designated for that purpose.
One hundred and seventy-nine children participated in the summer reading program. The Medway Cultural Council funded the Creature’s Teachers program, a family music night, and a Poi workshop. Well over 100 people attended these programs and a program with Penny the Therapy Dog. A nighttime family astronomy program funded by the Medway Cultural Council was very popular, with many families lining up to use telescopes. A total of 823 children attended programs throughout the year.
Our reserved meeting rooms were used 360 times, while others used unreserved quiet study space. Volunteers spent over 1866 hours helping with book shelving and similar tasks.
We worked with Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science to host a wonderful volunteer summer intern, who held six Summer of Science programs in conjunction with 4-H, and 10 story times for toddlers and preschoolers. Attendance at these well-received programs totaled 151.
Library staff worked with the Senior Center to start a monthly book group there, leading the first three meetings. The Library also coordinated with the Holliston Public Library on the launch of a new morning book group held in Holliston, which also welcomes Medway patrons.
FY 2013 MAJOR INITIATIVES & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
With minimal use of substitutes, creative scheduling, and Trustee permission to use Tuchinsky funds for the purpose, we were able to add 4 additional open hours on Wednesday mornings, bringing us up to our full minimum 40hr/week requirement.
What began in October as a weekly Baby & Toddler Sing lapsit drop-in program scheduled for a six-week period proved so popular that the Trustees voted to keep it as an ongoing program. A record seventeen children and 15 adults attended the first two Wednesdays in January. The presenter is a librarian at Framingham Public Library.
Changes to make the Library facility more welcoming included changing the old conference room into a lounge, extending the downstairs community area hours until 9:30PM Monday-Thurday, and adding a donated wooden train table and a donated DUPLO block table in the Children's Area. People relax in the lounge throughout the day with books and laptops, and it continues to be used along with the meeting rooms during our extended evening hours.
More desktop computers are planned for this year, adding to the stock upstairs and providing wired internet computers downstairs . The downstairs computers will be available during our extended evening hours as well as throughout the day, increasing access for people who don't have wireless devices.
The new video setup in the Cole Room provided through the Medway Cable Advisory Board has been utilized for meetings and programs approximately 3 times per month so far. This included well-attended free monthly movies hosted by the Friends of the Library, multi-media presentations during programs, and computerized slide shows during business and municipal meetings. Once the last few technical difficulties are worked out, we will step up our publicity to encourage more groups to reserve the room to make presentations or just watch movies together. The writers of the upcoming Moby Dick reading and the Medway Players original musical have both agreed to allow their performances to be recorded and broadcast on Medway Cable, although since we are not yet set up for direct broadcasting those will need volunteer videographers to capture the performances for future broadcast.
The monthly "Paws to Read" program continues to be very popular, with 18 children filling all the available slots. This program gives children in grades 2-6 the opportunity to spend 15 minutes reading to a trained therapy dog.
Museum, park, and zoo passes have already gone out 258 times during the first six months of FY13. Reserved meeting rooms have already been used 198 times during that span, and volunteers have already spent over 1100 hours helping with book shelving and similar tasks.
Members of the staff have been trained on how to help patrons using eReaders. A Sony eReader has been added to the circulating collection to support patron access to our growing e-book and e-magazine collections.
Our electronic resources continue to grow in popularity. In the first six months of FY13, ebook and audiobook circulations have already reached 1539 checkouts. The total circulation for all of FY12 was 1979 checkouts.
Muzzy Online children's language learning program and Zinio e-magazine subscription service have been added through a new joint purchase deal with Holliston Library, adding to our previous jointly purchased Career Cruising database and Mango Languages.
For FY13, we have added adult programs, some free and some with one-time funds: presentations about Social Security and Career Center Services, Sisters in Crime (mystery writers), It's Not About the Hike (inspirational). The Medway Cultural Council and one-time funds together have allowed us to fund a fossils & dinosaurs program, a children's book author's presentation, and an author/illustrator craft program for children, plus a family program about the 7th Massachusetts Regiment.
In conjunction with the Medway 300 celebration, this year we are hosting an interactive murder mystery theater program based on historic Medway characters, Shakespeare in the Park, a straw weaving workshop for adults, a yarn doll making workshop for children, a dramatic reading of Moby Dick, and an art show. We added Medway 300 canvas tote bags to the circulating collection, and they are very popular.
We have been expanding our promotion of STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) learning at the Library. 4-H science activities were held over the past two summers, a 4-H science club was created and meets monthly at the Library, and a program is scheduled in conjunction with WGBH.
Our Acting Director has been appointed to the Minuteman Library Network Board of Directors, ensuring that Medway has significant input into how the network is run. Members of the staff attended professional development events through MLS and (thanks to a grant) NELA programs. We have begun using a Facebook site along with website to help propagate news. We continue to reach out increasingly to local news outlets (papers, radio, and online) to get the word out to more people about what the Library offers.
The Library opened early (9AM) on the two days after Hurricane Sandy to provide internet computer service and a comfortable environment to anyone who needed it.
FY 2014 GOALS & INITIATIVES
Goal 1: Library services will be accessible, courteous and responsive to the needs of the community.
Goal 2: The Library will meet the public’s needs for current and popular materials, information, education, culture and entertainment.
Goal 3: Residents of all ages will regard the Medway Library as a prominent place to meet and interact with others in the community.
Goal 4: Residents will have access to a variety of innovative programs.
Goal 5: Library patrons will have access to high quality information technology.
Goal 6: The Library will develop a comprehensive public relations campaign to increase visibility and raise the public’s awareness of the many services and opportunities available.
Goal 7: Medway Public Library will be an inviting and safe part of the community.
Goal 8: The Library will explore creative ways to ensure fiscal sustainability of library services.
Initiative 1: Initiate a search and hire a Full-Time Library Director (Goals 1-8)
Initiative 2: Offer additional educational programming for adults, families, teens, and children (Goals 1,2,4,8)
Initiative 3: Maintain the number of hours open at 40/week, which would meet the Hours Open Requirement and allow the Library to receive the maximum amount of State Aid. (Goals 1-5, 7,8)
Initiative 4: Support patrons’ access to digital books and magazines by adding eReaders/tablets to borrow and to use at the Library. (Goals 1,2,5)
The Library will use comparative ranking information provided by the Board of Library Commissioners to evaluate its performance. These consist of: hours open, circulation, collection size, library visits, computer use, and programming and outreach.
BOARD OF SELECTMEN’S BUDGET POLICY IMPACT
We have not yet regained the minimum financial support required to continue funding the popular services we began offering in FY13, let along making progress on our FY14 goals. But the difficulty goes well beyond our budget lacks of $36,000 for materials that we must make up with grants and donations in order to stay certified, $4000 for R&M, and $10,000 to maintain our hours open; beyond the $13,000 to continue the extended evening community space hours, toddler story programs, and other added programming; and beyond the additional $4000 needed to allow for basic daily and annual cleaning. We need a full-time professional Library Director to drive our progress towards the library service Medway needs.
Now more than ever, libraries build communities. No longer is the Library mainly a place to house books and a haven for quiet readers and studious researchers. The Library still welcomes those readers and researchers, but has expanded in its role as the heart of the community, bringing people together for the sake of learning, entertainment, and social contact. The Library is an inclusive community center, a place for all ages rather than one focused on a particular population. The Library has something for everyone.
Schools are expecting children to do their work on computers and to hand in their homework assignments online. College students, job-seeking adults, entrepreneurs, and small business people all rely on the Library to provide internet access, computers, power for portable devices, and a comfortable place to sit. Social, municipal, business, and charitable groups all need places for members to congregate and discuss issues. As always, parents bring young children to the Library to foster a love of reading and life-long literacy. Scout troops read to youngsters, high school and senior volunteers help keep the books tidily on the shelves, teachers tutor students. And every social connection at the library, every interaction between families, every shared group performance or discussion, helps bind the community together.
Every time new media takes hold, the Library grows in importance by providing access equally to all. Along with that, librarians embrace a growing role in teaching people how to use their electronic devices to access that information, and how to be good information consumers. An abundance of information is available via the Internet, but people need to be able to tell the reliable sources from disinformation or The Onion. Librarians can help people recognize good information, but libraries go even further by pooling their resources to acquire access to a wealth of authoritative resources. With electronic databases, libraries are able to provide reliable Reference collections that can be kept up to date sustainably.
Today, we move into some very transitional aspects of library services. With one-time FY13 initiatives funding, we have spent the year planning and reconfiguring the facility, adding programs, increasing hours, and adding technology to better serve the changing needs of the community. More and more groups are using our meeting space throughout the day and into the evening, more people need our computers, and more people ask for technical assistance using their devices with the available online resources. But we know we are still reaching only a fraction of the people who could benefit from the Library. Wherever we go in the community, we find people who are surprised by the services we offer. We use websites and Facebook and press releases and signs and radio interviews, but the only way for us to maximize the use of our valuable resources is to get out more into the community to spread the word in the schools, businesses, and organizations throughout our town.
Every full-time Library Director has spent the bulk of his or her time interacting with people throughout the community to find out what they need and to spread the word to them about what the Library offers. That is the biggest casualty of our losing 20+ hours per week of Library Director time. With a half-time Director, most of the Director's time is spent on the core professional librarianship issues (collection development, scheduling and personnel issues, policy review, budgeting, accounting, facilities issues, and ensuring that certification requirements are met) and on direct patron interactions at the Library. There simply aren't enough hours for a half-time Director to get the word out into the community.
We lost our Library Director in the wake of the devastating FY07 budget cut when the Library was on the brink of closure. Open just 20 hours per week, the Library lost its state certification. Our hours and budget have increased some since then. But each day every effort continues to try to keep our Library operating as a full-time operation, using a patchwork comprised of a part-time Library Director, staff, and volunteers. Staff members care so much about the Library that many volunteer on their own time to complete tasks impossible to finish during their work hours. During FY07-FY09, the Library would have been unable to continue operating without the 20 hours per week put in by the volunteer Acting Director, a Library Trustee familiar with the accounting, program, facilities, and scheduling issues of the Director's job. Even at our current staffing level, the former Acting Director volunteers at least ten hours per week. Without that help, the Library could not function. Dependent on the long-term commitment of a substantial number of specialized volunteer hours, this system is not sustainable.
Activities and programs that exist today cannot be developed to their full potential or expanded under our current circumstances. We recently received an NEH grant awarding us the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf, a trustworthy and accessible collection of 25 books, 3 films, and access for one year to Oxford Islamic Studies Online that provides an introduction to the complex history and culture of Muslims in the United States and around the world. Imagine how much more we could accomplish with another 20 hours per week of a knowledgeable Director's time.
With the addition of a full-time Director, we will be able to re-deploy current staff to provide additional programming that will enhance our offerings in areas such as STEM (Science Technology Engineering & Math) education, information literacy, and additional services for under-served populations.
Last year, we outlined in our Medway 2020 Initiatives paper Library needs and improvements falling into the following broad categories:
New programs for various populations
Increased access to technology
Physical changes to the Library building to match new usage patterns
A more pervasive (i.e. extensive and accommodation) Library presence in the community
However, accomplishing goals requires a great deal of leadership, effort and teamwork. We need your help and support to ensure that Medway receives the full benefit of our Library services.
We need a “face” for the Library, a dedicated advocate, a person in charge. This Town has recognized that the use of professional management is a most effective method of getting a job done properly and efficiently. That is why we have a full-time Town Administrator, Director of Public Services, Director of Information Services, Director of Human Resources, Principle Assessor, School Superintendent and Principals, and a full complement of professional management to keep the town on track to meet its goals. Hiring a full-time Library Director will accomplish the same for our Library.
It's time for a change. We need to move forward with the recovery so we can implement our planned changes to give Medway the Library our residents deserve. Goals are necessary, but they can't be accomplished without the financial and administrative resources to see them through. We need a full-time professional Library Director to:
Coordinate with other town officials
Champion the Library's vision
Maintain the Library's fiscal and program viability
Optimize allocation of resources
Implement goal-oriented strategies
Coordinate Library programming
Expand resource-sharing to provide the best value
Encourage staff professional development
Seek out, apply for, and administer grants
Increase Library visibility
Reach out to the community
Medway has the distinction of being the only Massachusetts municipality in the 10,000-14,000 population range with a part-time Library Director. We are also well below comparable town in many metrics. As you can see from the table, Medway's library spending (total and per capita) is by far the lowest of the surrounding towns. Medway's operating budget should fund all basic library operating costs, including materials and routine repairs/maintenance. That would allow us to use donations to provide additional services to the schools and public.