By Dot Bergin
Friends of the Bedford Free Public Library heard a glowing financial report at their Annual Meeting on November 23. The Bedford Day sale brought in $11,500. President Beverley Matthews and Treasurer Jerry Wolf reviewed a year of successful activities resulting in total income of more than $44,000. In addition to the spring and fall “big” book sales, the Friends run on-going sales throughout the year, including some specialized sales on Amazon and E-Bay. Howard Cohen and Cindy Haynes sell books on Amazon; George Epple sells CDs online, as well. These sales bring in nearly $4,000.
Matthews said that 60 Friends helped with the Fall sale. She noted that the double-wide booth on Bedford Day drew many people into the Library and she commended the Friends for their organizational skill in making the sale attractive to buyers. Kaye Spofford and Jim Purvis were thanked, along with others, for their knowledge and dedication to the book sales.
When you look around the Library, you can see how much the Friends’ donations enrich the programs and the building itself. In the past year, here are some of the ways in which the Friends have helped. “Big ticket” items include:
- Museum Passes ($5200);
- Children’s programs ($5500),
- DVDs for circulation ($2800)
- Cookbook Book Club ($1,800)
- History Lectures by Prof Dan Breen ($1378)
- Weekly Movie program ($1300)
- Slat wall newspaper display and Periodical Room Shelving ($3800) and
- One Book One Bedford ($2100)
Major expenditures totaled more than $32,000 and as Library Director Richard Callaghan said, “the Friends make it possible for the Library to offer a vastly increased array of services to the community.”
In his report, Director Callaghan noted personnel changes in the past year (retirement of Sharon McDonald, for which the Friends hosted a party); hiring of Bethany Klem as new Children’s Librarian, and ongoing search for a new Teen Librarian to replace Jessica Borchetta, who has moved to Virginia. Callaghan reported yearly circulation of 366,000, making Bedford the second largest library in circulation within our population group (Weston leads by a small margin.) New features in the Library are the self-checkout and self-service/hold checkout, both of which relieve crowding at the Circulation Desk and have been well received by patrons.
Art exhibits are so popular that a new “community art wall” has been established outside the Children’s Room in order that artists who may not have enough material for a full show can display their works for a two-month period. Currently, artist Pai-Lin is featured in this spot.
Callaghan said the ever-popular history lectures by Prof. Dan Breen, usually held in January and February, will take place in March, beginning on Sunday, March 4, 2014. The subject this year is modern Chinese history.
Library Trustee Rachel Field reported on improvements outside the Library; two outdoor concrete chess/checker tables will be installed soon. Field spearheads a task force working to make the outside of the Library as inviting as the inside.
The Annual Meeting concluded with the election of officers for a two-year term:
- President – Beverley Matthews
- Vice President – Sabine Gossart
- Secretary – Christiane Colao
- Treasurer: Jerry Wolf
- Members at Large (one year term): Sheila Albrecht, Jerri-Cole-Lauziere, Linda Connelly, Carroll Eagles, Sabine Gossart, Greg Matthews, Joanna Nickerson, Renee O’Donnell, Susan Rogalski, Janet Schimelfenyg and Elaine Shwimer.