Monday, March 3, 2014

Report of the Library Director for Feb 2014



Closed for Renovations  – ATM articles – Brainstorm new services

Circulation
Circulation for February was disrupted due to the renovations.  We went to limited services on Feb 24th.  This disruption will continue through March.
February circulation activity was 3,780, which is 19.9% lower than last month, and 23.4% lower than last year.
Also due to our closing, this is the first month in over five years that circulation of Upton owned items was higher than activity at our circulation desk.

Laptops: 13.  Nooks: 3.  Games: 46.

Unique Patrons
Upton Library currently has 1,772 items checked out to 338 unique patrons.

Digital Content Use
BYKI: In February, 1 user accessed byki for a total of 3 hours.  Our top language was English.
Overdrive: eBook circulation to Upton patrons: 233, eAudio circulations: 75.
Wowbrary:   We have 140 active subscribers to Wowbrary. (+2)
New Patron Registrations:  8 new patrons registered in February.
New Items: We added 217 items to the collection in February. +
Passport Applications processed in February: 11.

Programs
Library book group: 6 people met on Feb 25th.
Senior book group: 12 people met on Feb 11th.
Thursday storytime averaged 4 children per session for 3 sessions.
TinyTots lapsit averaged 5 children per session for 3 sessions. 
Library Table: 3 visits, averaged 8 patrons and 27 items.
Lego Days: averaged 2 children for 1 sessions.

Special Events
Library had several snow closings in February – 5 hours closed on Feb 5th and 10 hours closed on Feb 13th.  During the storm on Feb 18th, we stayed open, and served 11 patrons between 3pm and 8pm.

Plans for Next Month
1) Library Renovations!
2) Clean and weed in Storage areas
3) Develop new services for reopening




Planning and Design Grant – ATM Warrant
After discussion with the Finance Committee and the Town Manager, I have a revised set of draft warrant articles to present to the Trustees.
What I will recommend to the Trustees on Mar 3rd is that they submit two warrant articles instead of three, and make the appropriation of funds contingent on our being awarded a provisional grant from the MBLC.
If we don’t get a grant award, I would suggest that the Trustees and/or feasibility committee reconsider our options and develop a detailed plan and request for appropriation for a fall special town meeting.

Library Improvements
Barbato Construction is downstairs removing the old carpet as I write this report.
The moving out process went very smoothly.  Storage trailers rented from Miniwarehousing are installed on the Thompson Family land on Grove street.  Library staff were able to pack the collection into boxes in one day, and the Worcester County Sheriff’s work release program moved the boxes and furniture into storage over two days.
Unpacking will be more time consuming, as we need to make sure items are put back in the proper places.  I am going to schedule three days for moving boxes back in, and at least four days to reshelve items.

Improvements Schedule
Mar 3rd-21st – Library space is turned over to the general contractor for work to be completed.
Mar 24th-28th – Library materials moved back into the building.
April 1st – Regular library services resume

Circulation Desk and New Furnishings
After April 1st, I will make a wish list and then a plan for purchasing and installing new circulation desk, furniture and posters for the library.  I am prepared to go three to six months using folding tables as circulation space until we can get a quality, custom made circulation desk installed.
I will also make a plan to present to the Trustees to use some of our library funds to purchase new furnishings after we reopen.  During the moving out process, it became clear how old, damaged and unattractive many of our current furnishings have become.  (chairs, desks, posters)

New services / programs brainstorm
During March, the staff and I will be brainstorming ideas for new services and programs that we can offer once we re-open.  I will have more details at our April meeting, but here are some ideas I’m tossing around:
Better display / more displays for new materials
Dedicated display and access on public computers to digital content
Use movie public performance license – ‘movie nights’ and/or ‘movie discussion group’
Digital programs for children – ‘spaceship bridge simulator’, library minecraft server?
Guest readers (firefighter?  police officer?) for storytime

Storage Area use plan
Our storage area in the attic is currently too full.  We need to reduce the weight of materials in this area.
We currently have approx. 4,500 items in the storage area, as well as extra shelving, furniture and supplies.
Over the month of March, I’d like to do the following:
- Reduce number of items in storage to approx. 2,000.  To accomplish this, we will withdraw most of the juvenile, reference, and nonfiction materials currently in storage.  These items have been untouched in storage for over a year, and contribute greatly to the weight problem.  Items to be kept in storage will be: juvenile materials that directly support the local curriculum, and fiction materials that are the older works of popular, prolific authors.
- Evaluate the stored furniture and shelving.  I’ve been stashing extra shelves, desks etc.. in the attic just in case I find a use for them.  With the renovations and the new layout, it is time to finally get rid of most of these items.  Anything that is still in good shape can be offered on the public surplus auction site.  Other items will need to be disposed of.
- Encourage Friends of Library to hold spring booksale.  With the storage items, plus the items I’ve been withdrawing from the collection to prepare for the move, we have a large number of booksale items.  I’d like to keep one of our storage trailers across the street for a few months, and try to hold a booksale in May or June to keep these items out of the attic.

Ereader / eContent / digital resources
After doing some investigation, I have a proposal for the Trustees regarding our eContent funds.
I would like to keep the eContent special article funds for another year, and use them to pay for the voluntary extra assessment by CWMARS to fund eContent, and reserve the remainder to support the Statewide eBook platform, currently in limited testing.
For this year, I’d like to spend up to $1,200 from the FY13 expense account to purchase a subscription to World Book Online reference center.

-World Book Online is the best product that I reviewed for non-fiction digital content.  Nonfiction ebook purchases were too expensive and specific compared to a general reference product.  For our budget, we would only have been able to purchase a very limited number of ebooks.  We used to offer access to Grolier Online (another children’s online encyclopedia product) that was purchased by the MBLC for the entire state, but that access was discontinued in 2011.
- The appropriation that was made in May 2011 for the purchase of eContent is worded such that I don’t think we can use it for a subscription database.  I’d like to preserve these funds for at least one more fiscal year, and use them to pay the extra CWMARS assessment for eContent, and to support the upcoming Statewide ebook platform.
- The Statewide ebook platform is a new service currently being tested in a handful of libraries.  Its goal is to provide free, accessible econtent through public libraries to all residents of the commonwealth.  The funding model and specifics are still being formulated by the MLS.  I anticipate sometime in FY15, the service will be rolled out to more libraries, and that the MLS will be asking for voluntary funding contributions.

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