Short Takes from the Bedford Free Public Library ~ September, 2020

Although there is still no timeline for the reopening – either partial or full – of the Bedford Free Public Library, curbside pickup of requested books continues to provide highly-valued service to patrons.

Assistant Library Director Noreen O’Gara reported these statistics for the month of August to the Trustees at their September 8 meeting:

  • 6,000 check-outs filled through ‘Hold’ requests
  • 90 curbside pickup slots/per day
  • 1,900 unique patrons received books

O’Gara described the curbside activity as “vigorous.”  She was glad to report that three new pages, two students and one adult, will be joining the staff at the end of the month.  “We need many hands,” she said, ‘it’s a lot of work and we’re doing the best we can to meet our users’ needs.”

Director Richard Callaghan said he and O’Gara have been considering a way to allow public use of the Library computers, on a limited and carefully monitored basis.  “There are some who don’t have access to a computer at home and really need the service the Library provides,” Callaghan said.  It may be possible to provide this service, on a reservation-only basis, sometime after the middle of October.  The Library already has Plexiglas dividers in some areas and other safety measures will be in place to protect both users and staff.

Although the public hasn’t been inside the building since March, improvements are happening and the interior is being well cared for.  Carpet is being replaced in some areas, a capital project that was approved by the Town in 2019.

Callaghan noted that the state has now declared Juneteenth to be an official holiday.  He remarked that in his years as Director, there had never been a holiday added to the calendar. In 2021, Juneteenth falls on a Saturday and per law, the Library will be closed on that day.  Chair Elizabeth Hacala remarked that the new holiday would offer learning and programming opportunities.

For the upcoming 2020 Thanksgiving holiday, the Trustees voted to make it a four-day weekend.

The Trustees’ meetings are posted on the Town’s web site, with Zoom link instructions. The next meeting is set for Tuesday, October 13 at 7 pm.


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