2012 Annual Report
The Town’s Technology Center
In 2012, The Wilmington Memorial Library demonstrated how it is truly becoming the town’s technology center where residents can learn how to navigate the 21st century world. Curtis Wyant, Technology Librarian conducted 26 hands- on Microsoft Office classes including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. These computer classes were conducted in the Banda Room which is converted to a computer training lab where students use eight laptop computers purchased by the Friends of the Library. Other technology programs presented to a larger audience included digital photography, e-readers, computer security, and iPad basics.
The popularity and interest in e-readers and ebooks continues to grow. During the summer, the library began circulating six Nooks and Kindles loaded with adult bestsellers and classics and ten Nooks loaded with school summer reading titles for teens. More patrons now own their own e-readers and many come to the library looking for assistance. In response to many inquiries about how to download e-books, music and magazines, Technology Librarian Curtis Wyant developed video tutorials for the library’s website making the download process very clear and easy.
Technology enabled the library to make local history more accessible to remote users. In July, the Town Crier archives back to 1955 became available on the library’s website thanks to a digitization project funded by the Wilmington Rotary, the Friends of the Library and local funds. Kudos to Curtis Wyant, Technology Librarian and Charlotte Wood, Assistant Library Director for their expertise and fortitude in making this project a reality. In addition, Gerry O’Reilly’s pictorial books about Silver Lake and Wilmington and the Wilmington High School yearbooks back to 1940’s were digitized by the Boston Public Library (BPL) and are now available on the library’s web site. These two digitization projects were done in conjunction with the Internet Archive at no cost to the library thanks to a federal grant awarded to BPL.
The library also continues to add more technology based services for patrons. In October, the library purchased a subscription to Zinio, a digital magazine online collection. Via the library’s website, patrons can now access over ninety magazine titles, cover to cover, from their mobile phone, tablet, or computer. The Friends of the Library also purchased an iPad for patrons to use in the library and enjoy Zinio on a tablet computer. The 2012 statistical report for the first time includes the total number of audio, ebook, music and magazine downloads made by patrons.
Thanks to the Friends of the Library and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, two iPads were purchased and loaded with educational apps for toddlers, preschoolers and school aged kids for in house use in the Children’s Room.
The Town’s Events Center
High caliber library events ranging from professional performers and expert speakers would not be possible without funding from the Friends of the Library. In 2012, Friends funding for library events totaled approximately $15,000, most of which came from the Book Store Next Door proceeds.
Adult programming continued to be robust in 2012 with over eighty well -attended events. Topics ranged from consumer rights, to Queen Victoria, to raising backyard chickens, to a themed series titled “The Road to the White House” featuring a month long penny vote for president. A couponing group, led by Administrative Assistant, Gloria Corcoran, was started in April and continues to meet monthly. In addition, the library hosted two popular “After Hours” concerts, one in March featuring Four Guys in Tuxes, and one in December featuring The New England Tenors. Tickets for both concerts sold out quickly with audiences giving both performances rave reviews.
From babies attending “Baby Times” to kids ages eight and up creating their own magazine, the library offers a variety of opportunities for children and their families to attend educational and entertaining programs. Children’s Librarian, Barbara Raab, introduced a new program this year featuring Mackenzie, the Listening Scottie, a certified therapy dog. Signing up for 15 minute sessions one evening per month, children read out loud to Mackenzie, which helps these beginning readers to increase their reading confidence. The library adopted the state wide 2012 summer reading program theme “Dream Big Read” with 628 kids registering either online or in person and logging over 2000 books. Over 1500 children attended a total of 36 events during the summer including performances by musical groups, puppet shows, movies, crafts, storytimes and more. Adult, teen and children readers were all invited to the Ice Cream Social finale event at the end of August when winners of the grand prizes were announced. All readers had the opportunity to enter to win an e-reader.
We celebrated National Poetry Month in April with our annual poetry contest. The 2012 theme “animals” inspired over 200 poems from poets of all ages. The winners were invited to the library to read their winning poems and receive prizes and certificates.
During National Library Week, April 8 to April 14, we asked patrons in the library and on our website “Why is the library important to you”? We received many great comments such as the following:
It’s a vibrant and energetic place, offering all sorts of programs, fun, musical, historic, etc. for all ages- Joanne Poulin.
It allows me to read all kind of books that I would never buy for myself. Reading takes you anywhere you want to go – Michelle Valente
Libraries are an integral part of a community…part social, part educational…in fact they are the heart of a community-Suzanne Schreyer
The third annual Community Fair was held on Saturday, September 22 on the Swain Green. This forum was developed by the library as a way for residents to learn about available services and volunteer opportunities with the goal of sparking community engagement and civic pride. The Fair featured over thirty nonprofit organizations serving Wilmington plus vendors from the Farmer’s Market. This year’s Fair also featured a Town of Wilmington information table and an opportunity for residents to talk with retiring Town Manager Michael Caira and new Town Manager Jeff Hull. A shredding truck was on hand once again providing on site shredding. Over 100 vehicles came through the shredding line and approximately 500 people attended the Fair. In conjunction with the Fair this year, the library also sponsored a “Wilmington Through Art” contest. Eighteen art entries depicting scenes of Wilmington were entered and displayed in the library the week preceding the Fair. Wilmington Arts Council judges selected three winners and one honorable mention. Cash prizes for first, second and third place were awarded by the Friends of the Library.
Collaboration with WPS
All six Wilmington public elementary schools held School Nights at the library in 2012 with over 785 students and their families, teachers, reading specialists, principals and administrators participating. The library issued 60 new library cards at School Nights. All School Night events featured a scavenger hunt, raffle drawings, guest readers and light refreshments. Barbara Raab, Children’s Librarian also participated in the Wilmington Public School STEM night, served as a mystery reader in Kindergarten classrooms, made presentations to teachers, and visited elementary schools to promote the summer reading program. The summer reading brochures were distributed to all Wilmington Public School elementary students, to the Wilmington Middle School students and students entering 9th grade.
Teen Librarian Brandy Danner’s “30 second” book talks were well received by students at the Middle School and High School. In the spring, Brandy presented book talks to 106 students and in the fall to 550 students. After hearing these book talks, it is estimated that 150 books were checked out at the library. Brandy also wrote an article in VOYA, a national magazine for teen librarians, about the effective 30 second book talk for teens. In the fall, Brandy visited five sophomore history classes to provide instruction in using the library’s databases in preparation for the upcoming research assignment; taught a four-session class on creating book trailers to students at Wilmington Middle School; and worked with the high school Visual Arts department on designing covers for summer reading titles.
The creation of the Town of Wilmington historical coloring book was spearheaded by Assistant Library Director Charlotte Wood who worked with Town Curator Terry McDermott and Wilmington High School art teachers Jen Fidler and Megan Hinman. Art students contributed over twenty illustrations depicting Wilmington’s history. The Friends of the Library subsidized the printing of the coloring book which is for sale at $5 a copy.
Staff News and Operational Changes
Thanks to funding support from the Friends of the Library, Tina Stewart, Library Director, Katie Huffman, Adult Services Librarian, Brandy Danner, Teen Librarian and Barbara Raab, Children’s Librarian, had the opportunity to attend to the Public Library Association Conference in Philadelphia in March with over 8,000 librarians from all over the country. This national conference provided ideas and inspiration critical for keeping abreast of trends in today’s rapidly changing library environment. Wilmington librarians were also very involved in the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium (MVLC), serving as chairs on multiple standing and ad-hoc committees. Katie Huffman also served on the statewide resource sharing planning committee, which develops strategic goals and plans for sharing databases, ebooks, and other resources.
The library saw a number of staff changes this year. Two part-time Library Assistants retired; Carol MacDougall, in March and Barbara Bresnahan in December. In August, Gayle Field was hired as a part-time Library Assistant. Jenny Arch, part-time Reference Librarian resigned in May; Marissa Szumowski was hired in June to fill this position. Katie Huffman, Adult Services Librarian, resigned in September to become the Library Director at the Gleason Public Library in Carlisle, Massachusetts. In order to continue the marketing initiatives developed by Katie Huffman and to further promote library services, a Marketing Librarian was recruited and will begin work at the library in January, 2013. In September, we implemented a “single service” desk on the first floor of the library for more efficient use of space and staff. This move involved reconfiguration of the reference desk and circulation desk into one service point.
Creating a Warm and Welcoming Place
The “Wilmington Through Art Contest” provided an opportunity to decorate the library with some permanent art work depicting scenes of Wilmington. The Friends of the Library purchased “Autumn Path” painted by Philip MacKenzie in honor of retiring Town Manager for his 22 years of support to the Wilmington Memorial Library. Four other “Wilmington Through Art” entries were purchased and hung on the first floor.
The building envelope was improved with the installation of a new roof in the summer and new replacement windows in the fall. The new windows are not only an energy efficiency improvement but also an aesthetic improvement. The Friends of the Library plan to fund the new window treatments which will add to the welcoming ambience. Last but not least, in December we began selling coffee and tea in the library, a service provided by the Friends of the Library.
Proud of Our Accomplishments
Since the loss of funding for a new building in 2005, staff has committed itself to not only making over the a dated building with challenging space constraints into an inviting facility but also creating innovative services that respond to the changing needs of the community. Proud of our accomplishments the past seven years, we submitted an application in November for the Library Journal’s Best Small Library Award, cosponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Library Journal. The award honors the public library that most profoundly demonstrates outstanding service to populations of 25,000 or less. Whether or not Wilmington Memorial Library is recognized with this national award, we will continue to implement forward thinking solutions that provide valued services and experiences in an inviting facility and connect Wilmington residents to their community and the world beyond.
(as of December 31, 2012)
Library Director -Christina A. Stewart
Assistant Library Director -Charlotte Wood
Administrative Assistant- Gloria Corcoran
Children’s Librarian- Barbara Raab
Technology Librarian- Curtis Wyant
Teen Services Librarian- Brandy Danner
Assistant Adult Services Librarian- Marissa Szumowski
Assistant Children’s Librarian - Barbara Michaud
Assistant Technical Services Librarian - Linda Harris
Circulation Librarian- Linda Pavluk
Circulation Assistants -Ruth Ellen Donnelly, Karen Whitfield
Technical Services Assistant- Diane DeFrancesco
Library Assistants - Gayle Field, Desiree Maguire, Maureen Walsh
Michelle Barnes, Amanda Bonnette-Kim, Stephanie Canty,
Britney Chin, Cassie Cushing, Elizabeth Harvey,
Kaitlin Kinsella, Nicholas Michelangela, Maria Patron