Increased Foot-Traffic at Bedford’s Library

By Dot Bergin

Bedford Free Public Library, located on Mudge Way

Everyone knows the Bedford Free Public Library is a very busy place, but would you believe that 32,400 patrons passed through the doors during the month of August?

Library Director Richard Callaghan noted this statistic labeled Patron Traffic-during his report to the Library Trustees at their September 11 meeting, a surprising number even to him. In order to receive state aid, libraries are required to submit an Annual Report Information Survey, covering a variety of statistics such as circulation, number of professional staff, hours open, etc. Patron Traffic has been added to that compilation.

Director Callahan and Assistant Library Director Vanessa Abraham summarized recent developments:

  • The summer reading program for children, headed by Children’s Librarian Sharon McDonald, was very popular, with more children than ever completing the program.
  • With the closing of the Hanscom base library, the librarians are seeing an influx of registrations from base residents.
  • In physical improvements, the Library roof has been re-shingled. The new roof has a 25-year lifetime. Carpeting has been replaced in various parts of the building.
  • A “self-checkout” kiosk will soon be installed directly across from the Circulation desk; enabling patrons to serve themselves in most transactions and freeing up librarians for more patron-service.
  • The outdoor wooden benches (gift of the Friends of the Library) are proving to be very popular; the staff has observed patrons sitting outside and reading, even on rainy days, since the benches are under the roof overhang. The benches were installed following a survey that showed library users wanted more outdoor seating. Future plans call for outdoor chess and checker tables.
  • Bentley College recently donated 45 stackable chairs and two tables; Bentley has made similar donations in years past.

The Trustees passed two motions:

  • To accept a collection of first-edition volumes donated by Bedford resident Arnold F. Kovall. Director Callaghan will arrange to have the collection appraised for value.
  • To request $4,000 at the Special Town Meeting on November 13, to meet state aid requirements.

The Trustees anticipate an unusually successful Friends of the Library book sale during Bedford Day weekend. One Trustee commented there were some “fantastic” donations from residents.

Keep our journalism strong! Support The Citizen Journalism Fund today. Contact The Bedford Citizen: or 781-325-8606

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rachel Lewis Murphy
Rachel Lewis Murphy
9 years ago

This is terrific! I have been very concerned that library patronage would drop with the use of computers. I love the feel of a book in my hands and turning the pages. Books…you can learn about anything and everything. You can travel, learn languages and read about everything on this earth, and other parts of the universe. Thank you for keeping our library open.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x