Short Takes from the Bedford Free Public Library – October 2020

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The Library’s “Grab and Go” book pickup initiative has been a great success since it was launched on June 23.  But what happens to curbside pickup when the cold and snowy weather descends?

Library Director Richard Callaghan and Assistant Director Noreen O’Gara have come up with the answer, which they are calling “Curbside/Inside.”

O’Gara outlined the procedure as follows:

Courtesy image (c) 2020 all rights reserved

A sneak preview of the coming “Indoor/Outdoor” area for contact-free pick up of materials – Click to view the full-size image

Starting November 2, patrons will enter the Meeting Room on the High School side of the building to pick up materials and will exit through the second door in the room. Both entrance and exit are easily accessible via the ramp.  Bank ropes will guide patrons from the ‘In door’ to the ‘Out door’.  Patrons will still need to make appointments, as they do now, to reserve library items and schedule a pickup time.  O’Gara said that the Library will continue to circulate materials other than books: DVDs, Audiobooks, and even Library of Things items, although she notes that sometimes the staff will need to set up a special pickup time for certain Library of Things items such as the telescope, which is too big to fit in one of the brown paper bags.  Patrons can return their books inside or leave them in the outdoor book drop.

Callaghan and O’Gara emphasized the care with which this process is being worked out, to ensure safety for both patrons and staff.  A staff member will be on hand, behind a Plexiglas divider, to answer questions. An air purifier is being installed in the Meeting Room to assure good airflow.  The idea is for patrons to be inside for only a short time to retrieve their books and then to make a speedy exit from the building.  It’s expected that indoor pickup will continue until perhaps May – when warmer weather returns.

Library Retirements

Carleon Soo-Hoo (c) 2020 all rights reserved

Behind the scenes with Tech Services Head Kathy Ruggeri

In other news from the October 13 Trustees meeting, a longtime employee will be retiring at the end of November.

Kathleen Ruggeri, Head of Technical Services, has held the position for 21 years and prior to that, worked at the Library for nine years, first as a Page, and then as a Library Assistant. In her work, she dealt with acquisitions, periodicals, bibliographic records, and the Library of Things items but because it was “behind the scenes,” many users never met her face to face. Ruggeri had hoped to retire earlier in the spring but with the pandemic, she agreed to remain at her post, so as “not to leave anyone in the lurch,” for which the Director and the Trustees expressed gratitude.  Director Callaghan reported that a search is now underway to fill the position.

Jane Paulson is retiring from her part-time position as Reference Librarian. She joined the staff in 2004 and worked mainly in Reference but sometimes in the Children’s Room, and often on Sundays. Paulson is an artist and will now concentrate on her art.

How Diverse is the Children’s Collection?

Library intern Jess Dyment, a student in the Master of Library Science program at Rhode Island University, will conduct a diversity audit of the Children’s Room, to make sure Bedford has a diverse and inclusive collection. Under the direction of the Children’s librarians Bethany Klem and Elaine Garnache, Dyment will review titles in the collection to see if there are areas that need expanding.

Reminder:  Library cards will not expire until June 21, 2021, at the earliest and there are no fines!


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