A few months ago, my library conducted a survey of our patrons. We wanted it to be short+useful, so we called it the "60 Second Survey" and limited it to five questions, on things like which services people liked/used, best way to contact them about programs and events, etc.
Of course, the last question was the open-ended "Tell us what you think" question. 255 people provided comments, which made for very interesting reading.
We had read the comments so we knew it was generally positive, but the visual impact of seeing things like this made us feel pretty good. A cloud is so much more concise than 255 individual comments, and we were very happy to see things like "friendly" and "helpful" rise to the top since those are areas we strive to emphasize.
Anyway, I don't mean this as a "We're #1" gloaty post - I just wanted to share because it was so positive. And, it's also a great visual, so we're going to include it in the Town Annual Report, as well as create a poster to display in the library, post on Facebook, etc. A t-shirt might be going too far, but we'll see. I like t-shirts.
I know I'm late to the Wordle game, but now I can't help trying to come up with other things to convert to clouds.
The storm that hit New England and the East Coast this weekend knocked out power to my library (like many, many other places). As a result, we're closed until further notice.
The "CLOSED" sign by the front door is big enough to be seen from the street. I happened to be there Monday when the mailman came, and he said he was told that anyone who is without power now shouldn't expect it back until Wednesday.
Luckily, the Somerville, MA, library is open and active, and I'm hanging out here until things get back to normal. I hope everyone else affected by the storm is finding a warm haven somewhere.
I don't know if this question was Halloween-related or a coincidence. A patron came up to the desk, slid me a piece of paper with "manningtree" written on it, and said,
Can you tell me where this tree is? It's the tree in Chelmsford where they used to hang witches.
I've never heard of this, and it's definitely the kind of thing would have stuck with me. But, we're not too far from Salem, MA, and Chelmsford was founded forty years before the witch trial era, so I suppose it's possible.
At first I'm shocked that this is something I've missed, but from the description I learn that this book is about some accused witches from Manningtree, England, and their trial that took place in Chelmsford, England. Ah, now it makes sense (someone confuses us with the Chelmsford in England about once a month). I explained this to the patron, and although he was disappointed, he wanted to read about this book online, so I pulled it up on one of the public computers for him.
Interestingly, one of the other search results was for Manning Tree & Landscape in Boxborough, MA, a few towns over from Chelmsford. This is probably be Google trying to be location-aware, but I did think it was a funny coincidence. Happy Halloween, everyone.
The book is The Portable Jack Kerouac, which was donated to the library in 1995 by the grandson of long-time Chelmsford Librarian, Edith Pickles. Just this week a coworker showed me this book - the story Edith's grandson recounts in the inscription is just stunning:
This is now my favorite story of censorship - and why it is very much the role of libraries to protect the public's right to unrestricted and unmonitored access to information. I am proud to follow in Edith Pickles' footsteps.
We had a little excitement Wednesday afternoon, when staff noticed a brown bat hanging on the wall inside the library. This is actually the second library bat since I've worked here - this time I got some photos and a video of the rescue.
Sadly, this photo is a little blurry - I was trying to sneak around the library and take pictures without alerting patrons to what I was doing. We had no idea how people would react.
Eventually I was able to get pretty close - the bat was either asleep or indifferent, because at one point a man sat on the bench right below him with no response.
We called animal control, but they had already closed for the day, so one of our maintenance guys volunteered. He got a butterfly net from the Children's Room display closet, a piece of cardboard from the recycle bin, and got the bat out of the building - with no injuries.
Make sure you turn the sound on when watching the video - you can hear the bat screeching/chirping about being in the net.
The Chelmsford Library was lucky enough to have some of our funding restored for the fiscal year starting July 1st, and we we have two openings for part-time Library Assistants at the Circulation Desk. Here's the listing from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Job Board:
The Chelmsford Library has TWO openings for Library Assistants at our Circulation Desk, one for 16 hours/week and one for 18 hours/week.
Part time position available to assist the public with the use of the library including Inter-Library loan, circulation and reader's advisory services.
WORK SCHEDULE "A": (16 hrs/wk avg)
Mon., Wed., & Thurs., from 5-9 pm at Main Library
Every Sat. 10-2 pm at MacKay Branch, N. Chelmsford
WORK SCHEDULE "B": (18 hrs/wk avg)
Tues., Wed., and Thurs., from 5-9 pm at Main Library
Every Sat. w/alternating locations -
10 - 2 pm at MacKay Branch, N. Chelmsford and
9-5:30 pm Sat. at Main Library
The positions require flexibility to fill-in nights and weekends. Candidates must be able to adapt smoothly to patron demands and should enjoy interacting with public of all ages. Four-year college degree and/or experience working in a public library preferred.
Salary: Union rate $15.97 per hr.
Closing Date: Positions open until filled
If you are interested in a position, please submit your resume to Alison Barry at firstname.lastname@example.org or 25 Boston Rd., Chelmsford, MA 01824. The Town of Chelmsford is an EEO/AA Employer.
Chelmsford is a fun library to work in, and our Circulation Desk is a very busy place. We need to fill these positions ASAP, so if you're interested, please send your resume to our Head of Circulation, Alison Barry, at email@example.com.