The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gleason Library presents five-year plan

Library Director Angela Mollet distributes copies of the Community Read book, Zeitoun. Shown are (left to right) Selectmen Bill Tice, Peter Scavongelli, John Williams, Doug Stevenson, Jon Gorecki, Mollet and Town Administrator Tim Goddard. (Photo by Priscilla Stevens)

“I’m pretty excited about what we’ll be doing for the next five years,” said Gleason Library Director Angela Mollet at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on October 26. Mollet and Library Trustees Ann Rosas and Priscilla Stevens met with the Selectmen to present information about the library’s new five-year strategic plan, adopted by the trustees on September 24.

Mollet explained that the library developed its plan with input from the community, including a town survey (364 responses), focus groups with various consumers (adults and children/teens) and interested resident groups (financial and technology). The results indicate that Gleason Library serves two primary roles in Carlisle: that of a traditional library and as a community center. She said that the strategic planning and subsequent use of trust funds involves a careful separation between library enhancements and general operations.

One of the biggest changes the library will implement as a result of the survey, includes opening the library on Sundays. The first such opening will take place on November 7 from 2 to 5 p.m. and will also serve as a “fine-free day” so residents can return overdue items without penalty. The library plans to open for 12 Sundays in the future at a cost of $300 each (with trustees covering $100 the Friends of Gleason covering $100, and local business covering the final $100). After the trial, the library may decide to keep open on Sundays, but then the cost would become “operational,” requiring a restructuring of funding sources.

Using information to move ahead

Mollet feels comfortable with the results as the plan contained “a lot of input from the community” and said that the library will continue to seek input from library users. She called the plan a working document and said that the trustees will update it every year. She invited interested residents to view the plan on the library website or request to look at a hardcopy at the library. The survey data used to develop the plan is available at the library.

With state and local budget cuts always a possibility, Mollet emphasized the value of the library to the town as shown in both library and town surveys. According to town census data, as of January 31 there were 5,557 people living in town. The library FY11 budget is $511,586, yielding a per-capita cost of $92 for library services. Library data indicates that 4,091 library card holders have borrowed items from the collection within the past three years. Mollet did note that not all users live in town.

Mollet noted that a part-time teen librarian at the library also works at the Concord-Carlisle High School learning commons 20 hours a week, an arrangement that not only provides additional employment for the individual librarian, but facilitates resource coordination between the two libraries.

Goals for Gleason Library

A summary of the library goals and objectives for the next five years includes:

Community learning co-op – The plan states, “The people of Carlisle will be supported in their learning throughout life.” The library will provide residents with a portfolio of information, entertainment, research and technology.

Welcome to your place – “The people of Carlisle define what the library is and we provide the access.” The library will offer a safe, useful and accessible environment through the building, equipment, and hours.

Carlisle’s story – “Carlisle’s history has a home at the library.” Gleason will lead as the steward, collaborator and communicator of the town’s unique history, people and cultural identity.

Come together – “Gleason Library will provide opportunities for cooperative learning, civic engagement and community gathering.

A love of the word – The library will celebrate literature, independent thinking and cultural literacy of all mediums through programs.

Empower people – The library will offer friendly, personal and professional services to meet or exceed expectations.

Effective management – “The library will maintain the public’s trust by open, efficient, effective and professional management of the library’s resources.”

At the conclusion of the meeting, Mollet gave Selectmen copies of the book selected for the 2011 community read event, Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. Mollet encouraged them to pass it along if they already have the book or finish it early. Participants in community events are encouraged to finish the book by the new year. ∆

© 2010 The Carlisle Mosquito