Annual Report 2013
Town’s Technology Center
The library’s role as a tech hub continues to grow. In January, the library began offering one-on-one, one-hour tech help sessions. Over the past year, 98 patrons took advantage of these sessions learning how to download books to their e-reader, use their iPad or iPhone, send a resume via email for job application, and much more. In addition to our ongoing Microsoft Office classes taught by Curtis Wyant, Technology Librarian, the library continued to offer a wide variety of technology programs including programs on eBay and Craigslist, social media, online identity, e-readers, iPads, and free software tools.
Thanks to funding from the Friends of the Library 2012 Annual Appeal, a Digital Media Lab is now available. It consists of a 21” Apple iMac featuring the Adobe Creative Suite 6 plus peripherals. Patrons can use this media workstation for video editing, website design, and graphic design projects. The Friends of the Library also purchased four Lego Mindstorm EV3 kits. The library now offers regular programming with this technology that makes it possible for children and teens to build their own robots.
Patrons can now access the library using their mobile devices. “WML Mobile” is available for free in the Apple iTunes App Store. This app is basically a collection of links to various pages on our website, upcoming events, new releases, and our social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Using technology to preserve the past and make it more accessible, Curtis Wyant, Technology Librarian, has scanned many historical photos of Wilmington including photos from the “Bond Collection.” These photos can be viewed on Flickr via the library’s web site. Using Facebook to share some of these photos, we started posting a photo from the historical archives weekly on “Throwback Thursdays.”
The Town’s Annual Reports back to 1830 were digitized by the Boston Public Library through state grant funding. The library has digitized videos of the library’s historical programs about Wilmington presented over the past seventeen years. These videos cover many topics including Wilmington’s families, churches, industry, sports and personal memories. All can be viewed via the library’s web site.
The Town’s Events Center
While technology continues to play an important part in our offerings and how we do business, the library’s ambitious roster of events provide an important opportunity for face to face interaction with presenters and audience. A six-part discussion series on foreign affairs held in September and October received rave reviews including this email to Library Director Tina Stewart from one of the participants. I wanted to send you an email and thank you for sponsoring the foreign policy discussion group at the library. I am a new empty nester and decided to try something different. I tried to recruit others to come with me but had no luck, their loss. I showed up the first night and will admit that although not much intimidates me, this did. Six weeks later I left with about ten new friends, a wealth of knowledge and a greater understanding and appreciation of how others think regarding such important issues. In response to a request from participants, the library has scheduled a similar discussion series on domestic affairs to be held in this spring.
All things chocolate was the theme for February events including a Chocolate Olympics for kids and a Brownie Bake Off contest for all ages. March events focused on China and May events on places close to home. Library Trustee and reader extraordinaire, Eileen MacDougall, accepted an invitation to present quarterly book talks which have garnered a regular following of readers looking for some good read recommendations. Approximately 200 people came by on Saturday, September 25 to shred documents at the shredding truck in the Wildwood Street parking lot. Funded by the Friends of the Library, there was no charge for this service
Andre Dubus kicked off the Author Talk series in May with over eighty people in attendance. During the summer, Margot Livesey, Hallie Ephron, Linda Barnes, Courtney Sullivan, and B.A. Shapiro gave informative and engaging presentations about their books and the craft of writing. William Landay, author of the best seller Defending Jacob, got rave reviews in the finale After Hours event in September.
In celebration of Wilmington’s 283rd anniversary, the library featured Discover Wilmington events including a photography contest. Forty entries depicting Wilmington were displayed in the conference room at a reception on September 25. Winners were selected by Wilmington Arts Council judges and cash prizes were funded by the Friends of the Library. We also brought back Times Gone By and Apple Pie, first presented by the library in 1997. A panel of six long-time residents shared their memories of Wilmington. Former Town Manager Mike Caira did a great job moderating the panel, adding his signature touch of gentle humor to the discussion. Honoring the historic Baldwin apple, all attendees enjoyed homemade apple pie. WCTV videotaped the program which can be viewed via a link on the library’s website. The Discover Wilmington Series also included a cemetery stroll led by Terry McDermott, Harnden Tavern Curator. Thirty people enjoyed the walk and learned about historical sites along the way on a sunny Saturday morning.
The Children’s Department staff presented another successful summer reading program with 785 children signing up for Dig into Reading. With 5,332 books logged, Wilmington kids exceeded the 3,000 books read challenge, logging their reading in person or online. Over 2000 children attended the 55 programs presented during the summer months. Barbara Raab, Children’s Librarian, collaborated with the Recreation Department’s Tiny Tots and Kids Club program with visits to the library during the summer.
Children’s Librarian Barbara Raab spearheaded the reconfiguration of the Children’s Room to accommodate more seating for school age children and space for early literacy activities in the preschool area. The makeover included the creation of neighborhoods to make easier browsing for popular topics, such as trucks, dinosaurs, going to school, etc. New shelving installed in December was funded with state aid money. Early literacy items will be purchased with funds from the Friends of the Library 2013 Annual Appeal.
Teen Services Librarian Alison Schwartz has had notable success with teen craft programs. Tween/Teen Do-It-Yourself Gift Day in December had nearly thirty attendees. The revamped Teen Zone features a laptop bar and new study tables and chairs, and has drawn a consistent group of 10-20 teens every day after school to socialize, do homework, and play board games.
Children’s Librarian Barbara Raab and Teen Services Librarian Alison Schwartz continue to develop positive collaboration with the Wilmington Public School System with regular outreach and visits to classrooms. In September, a new quarterly email newsletter to WPS teachers highlighting library services that support teachers and students was launched.
Marketing and Outreach
Wilmington Memorial Library became a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pick-up point for Wilmington residents and others who have CSA shares with Farmer Dave of Dracut, Mass. Since Wilmington did not have a CSA pick-up point, the goal of the program was to provide a convenient place for residents to get their produce without having to drive to other towns. About 50 families home took advantage of the service. In conjunction with the CSA pick-up point, we started a library supported reading (LSA) service for those interested in having a librarian select books tailored just for them. Books were packaged and placed alongside the farm produce boxes. Vegetables and fruits not picked up were donated to the Wilmington Food Pantry and the Elderly Services Center. This innovative service was featured in Library Journal in September. Library Director Tina Stewart and Joanna Breen, Marketing Librarian, gave a table talk presentation on the “Farmer in the Library” at the Massachusetts Library System Annual meeting in November.
In the past few years, the library has focused on better ways to make Wilmington residents more aware of the wide variety of services offered by our library. During the month of November, a billboard on Route 38 promoted the library with the message Why buy?....saving money starts here. Funding for the billboard that was up during the month of November was provided by the Friends of the Library and state grant monies.
Library staff appeared on WCTV to promote library events and services this year. Marissa Szumowksi, Adult Services Librarian, and Library Director Tina Stewart were interviewed on WCTV by Lisa Kapala on “Where’s Wilmington” in February. Barbara Raab, Children’s Librarian, and Joanna Breen, Marketing Librarian were interviewed on this show in June, promoting the summer reading program. The library also joined WCTV and staff has taken advantage of editing classes. Joanna Breen, Marketing Librarian, made a promotional video that will be shown on WCTV in early January 2014.
We have increased our presence on social media. The library created two Facebook ads encouraging people to “like” the library’s page. We received over 100 new likes in a month as a result of this ad.
The first featured monthly column “Off the Shelf” appeared in the Town Crier in September. These articles are written by library staff and cover interesting and timely topics about technology, new services and programs, favorite books, and library trends.
Our marketing efforts were recognized at at the Massachusetts Library Association Conference in April 25. In the Public Relations Awards ceremony, the library won first place in the newsletter category, second place in the website category and third place in the bookmark category.
In January Joanna Breen was appointed to the new position of Marketing Librarian. Brandy Danner, Teen Services Librarian, resigned in April. Alison Schwartz joined the staff as the new Teen Services Librarian in July. Karen Whitfield, Children’s Library Assistant, retired in November. Karen had worked in the Children’s Room for 23 years. Sonia Lacombe and Gayle Field were appointed part-time Library Associates and Marissa Szumowksi became the full-time Adult Services Librarian in November.
Thanks to funding support from the Friends of the Library, Curtis Wyant, Technology Librarian attended the Computers in Libraries Conference in Washington D. C. in March and Charlotte Wood, Assistant Library Director, attended the American Library Association Conference in Chicago in June. Joanna Breen, WML Marketing Librarian, won a scholarship to attend the Massachusetts Library Association Conference in April in Cambridge, MA.
Five members of the library staff attended a workshop on dealing with issues pertaining to safety and library security that was presented by Warren Graham, a nationally renowned expert of day-to-day library security procedures. Quarterly staff meeting topics included reader’s advisory training in March, technology training and library trends in June, town update from Town Manager Jeff Hull and Assistant Town Manager Kendra Amaral in September, and presentations by four representatives from local organizations in December.
Strategic Planning in the New Year
The library will begin the New Year by embarking on an important strategic planning process with two ambitious goals: to envision what role the library could and should play in the lives of Wilmington residents and to set a course for growth, change, and excellence for the future. We look forward to working with the Strategic Planning Committee representing community stakeholders and getting input from the community at large about the future of the public library and how to best serve residents and add value to their lives.
(as of December 31, 2013)
Library Director -Christina Stewart
Assistant Library Director -Charlotte Wood
Administrative Assistant- Gloria Corcoran
Children’s Librarian- Barbara Raab
Technology Librarian- Curtis Wyant
Marketing Librarian- Joanna Breen
Teen Services Librarian- Alison Schwartz
Adult Services Librarian- Marissa Szumowski
Assistant Children’s Librarian - Barbara Michaud
Assistant Technical Services Librarian - Linda Harris
Circulation Librarian- Linda Pavluk
Adult Department Circulation Assistants
Ruth Ellen Donnelly, Desiree Maguire, Maureen Walsh
Technical Services Assistant- Diane DeFrancesco
Children’s Department Library Associates
Gayle Field, Sonia Lacombe
Hunter Ball, Britney Chin, Michelle Doucette,
Morgan Higgs, Ashley Martinez,
Maria Patrone, Ruju Trivedi, Rebeka Wierzbicki