Annual Town Report FY2008
The Bedford Free Public Library provides resources for reading, self-directed growth and development, and the pursuit of ideas in an environment that is comfortable and welcoming to patrons of all ages, abilities, and cultures. The Library fosters a sense of community by anticipating information needs, maintaining a responsive and comprehensive collection in all formats, providing meeting space, and collaborating with town groups and organizations. Librarians serve to encourage the development and love of reading, to create and promote library services and programs, and act as a professional interface between the library user and the rapidly evolving world of information.
The Bedford Free Public Library is open 69 hours a week, 7 days a week (except summer Sundays). A Reference Librarian is available in person, by telephone, email, or instant message every hour the Library is open. Free programs for all ages and storytimes for children are held year-round. Computers with the Internet, library catalog and databases, and Microsoft Office software are available for use. Internet access is also available to those with a laptop via wireless or cable connection. The Minuteman Library Network catalog, online databases, and individual patron accounts can be accessed through the Internet at www.bedfordlibrary.net.
FY08 Annual Statistical Report
Total Circulation 301,708
Total number of residents with library cards 10,736
Materials borrowed from other libraries 33,375
Materials loaned to other libraries 35,435
Total Collection Holdings 112,433
Professional Library Services
Number of reference questions answered 11,742
Number of items added to the collection 9,448
Number of attendees at library programs 8,561
Meeting and Conference Room Use 607
Use of Study Rooms 1 & 2 1,546
Number of Employees (FTE)
Professional Librarians 5.92
Senior Lib. Technicians 2.5
Library Assistants 4.17
Library Pages .95
Bldg. Super. / Custodial 1.91
Admin. Assistant 1.00
Number of Employees (Actual)
Half-time or above 7
Library Circulation breaks 300,000
For the first time ever, circulation topped 300,000 items! Circulation and library use has continued to climb steadily since the completion of the library expansion and renovation in 1999.
The Library was brightened considerably this year, as several areas of the building received new carpeting. The first floor Browsing Area, Meeting and Study Rooms, Children’s Room, and the second floor Reference/Young Adult/Magazine area all acquired a more colorful and inviting look through the installation of new carpeting along with fresh accent painting on the walls.
An Eagle Scout project by Nick Tate brightened the appearance of the west library stairwell with a colorful mural. The theme is Elevations, and it depicts scenery from snow-topped mountains to life below the seas. The design was created by Marissa Masek, a Bedford High School student.
For our Fifth Annual ‘One Book, One Bedford’ event, the Library selected Here If You Need Me: A True Story by Kate Braestrup. This memoir by a widowed mother of four who becomes a chaplain in the Maine Warden Service provided a lot of discussion in the Library and around town. The highlight of the event was Kate Braestrup herself, who came to speak at Old Town Hall at the end of April.
Professor of History Dr. Daniel Breen returned to lead a six-part lecture and discussion series on World War II. Due to the popularity of this series and the extent of the material, it will continue in FY09. The Thursday Night Film Series continued to be a popular event, and regular book, informational, and cultural events rounded out the calendar for adult programs this year.
The Children’s Summer Reading Program concluded at the end of August with a huge outdoor picnic. The theme was “Catch the Beat @ the Library”, and special musical programs were held throughout the summer, in addition to weekly club activities and storytimes on the lawn. During the school year, weekly storytimes were provided for the enrichment of preschoolers.
FY08 COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS
In March, Trustee Rosemary Dyer stepped down from the board after eight years of service, and Rachel Field was elected to fill the open position.
FY08 LIBRARY TRUSTEES: Lynne O’Connor, Chair; Howard Cohen; Rosemary Dyer (-March); Rachel Field (March-); Sarah Getty; Abigail Hafer; Michael Pulizzi and Michele Ross
FY08 Library Corporation: Michael Pulizzi, Michele Ross, Abigail Hafer
Using funds raised through membership fees and book sales, our hardworking Friends generously supplied the Library with museum passes, monthly calendar postage, the public performance license to show films, Film Movement DVDs, TV series DVDs, BookPage monthly subscription, support for ‘One Book, One Bedford’ and other special events, and refreshments at library programs.
In FY08, the Friends funded the purchase of Library Insight, an online museum pass program that allows patrons to reserve museum passes from home. The Friends also supplied funding for our upcoming “Wild About Books” Children’s Summer Reading Program, which will provide for special programs, an area carpet celebrating the theme, and the end of summer contribution to African wildlife (depending on how many participants meet their reading goals).
FY08 Officers: Mercedes Kane, Co-President; Kay Spofford, Co-President; Kim Seibert, Secretary; Julie Turner, Membership; and Rick Spofford, Treasurer.
The Library enjoyed the invaluable assistance of 20 regular volunteers, who, along with a handful of temporary community service volunteers, contributed over 1,500 hours of service in FY08. Volunteers worked at the circulation desk, called patrons about reserves, repaired books, delivered materials to homebound patrons, shelved items, contributed to special projects, and performed routine office tasks.
FY08 Library Volunteers: Betty Baker, Betsy Boschetto, Nancy Campbell, Wally Campbell, Anne Dawson, Betty DePriest, Marcia Hegarty, Nan Hoeflich, Ginny Johnson, Ken Konkle, Pat Konkle, Garvin Moore, Mary Narcisi, Erica Neff, Ed Stickney, Sally Sutherland, Ruth Thompson, Pat Watson, Pat White, and Lynne Wolf.
A special thanks to:
Arts Steering Committee
Members of the Arts Steering Committee generously donated their time and talents in the selection and organization of artwork by local artists for display throughout the Library.
FY08 Arts Steering Committee: Ronnie Gould, Jean Hammond, Constance Hanley, Sing Hanson, Mary Johannessen, Judy Morgan, and Carol Rissman.
In July, Lisa Baylis was promoted to Head of Circulation (a position shared with Jennifer Dalrymple), after working nine years as a Library Assistant.
In May, the Library welcomed Nancy Tegeler as our new half-time Children’s Librarian. Nancy received her Master’s in Library and Information Science from Simmons College in 2008.
Young Adult/Reference Area Improvements
After planning for reallocation of the Teen and Reference spaces throughout this year, we will see the project come to fruition in FY09. With teen materials expanding far beyond the capacity of the current room, and print reference materials shrinking in favor of online resources, we will be swapping the two spaces next year. New tables, chairs, and computer stations will recreate the current reference space in a functional and flexible teen area with the ability to accommodate several groups at once. The current YA Room will become the Reference Room, which will house the reference collection and provide additional quiet study space. Design of the space was accomplished through the collaboration of staff with library design consultants.
The Library has hired Extra Mile Design to redesign our web page (www.bedfordlibrary.net) into a more attractive, neat, and functional site. Improving our site’s appearance and organization will make it more welcoming and user-friendly. A new web structure will also better highlight our services and resources.
Open 9-6 on Fridays
The Library will be experimenting with staying open an extra hour on Friday afternoons in the fall. This was the most requested time for expanded hours from our town-wide survey, and we hope the expanded hour will permit more library users to get the materials and resources they need before the weekend.