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Library News

November 1, 2023

Update from the Director

Dear Boylston Community, 

Did you notice a few snowflakes in the air this morning? Winter is fast approaching. As we prepare to enter a new season, I want to share some of the major successes we have experienced at the library over the last few months.

  • We saw record-breaking numbers in our Summer Reading programs with over 1,000 participating adults, teens, and children. Our community is reading! We also saw record numbers of people visiting the library on a daily basis. 

  • After a busy summer our staff transitioned to preparations for the 2nd annual Fall Festival on the Common. You told us you wanted to see some large-scale community celebrations, and we listened. With sponsorship from the Boylston Public Library Foundation, Inc. as well as Clinton Savings Bank and Creative Event Services, Fall Fest is our biggest event of the year. 

  • Use of digital materials has increased in recent months, and we now have the resources to regularly perform digital asset management to ensure diverse collections are available for you. We work hard to maintain a variety of audiobooks, ebooks, movies, television shows, newspapers, magazines, and scholarly materials. Boylston card holders have access to several different services and databases in addition to what is offered through our CWMARS network. If you're not taking full advantage of our online resources, reach out to learn what you can access for free through the library. 

What are we working on next?
We're preparing some upcoming additions to our regular services. After being awarded an American Library Association grant this June, we've held community conversations and sought feedback on how to make the library more autism-friendly. I want to thank everyone who took the time to get involved with this process. Our next steps are to implement some of the ideas and action items from our research. There will be some exciting new additions to the Children's Room in the year ahead!  

One of the initiatives of our Strategic Plan is to develop a comprehensive "Library of Things." The Library of Things will provide various materials for the community to share. I'm happy to announce that Boylston Parks and Recreation has generously donated disc golf sets as well as a pickleball net with rackets and balls. These items are now available to borrow. What other types of items do you want to have access to through the library? 

You belong here. 

Erica Hout, MLIS
Boylston Public Library 

Community Art Gallery

We are all creative and we'd love to see your work at the library! Whether it's crafts, photos, paintings, or any other artistic expression. Sign up for the September Community Art Exhibit!

Outdoor Wi-Fi
Enjoy free wi-fi from the library parking lot or Common area by joining Boylston Library Outdoor Wi Fi, and using the password boylston.

May 16, 2023

Update from the Director
Not everyone sees the value in libraries. After all, you can get everything online now, right? Libraries love online content, and librarians fight to keep digital materials free, trustworthy, and accessible to you through our catalogs and databases. It's also true that use of online materials has increased over the years. Yet, while staff is still needed to manage online content, this is only a sliver of what the library delivers. 

The next time you hear someone question the meaning of libraries in the modern age, invite them to visit our small, bustling building on a Tuesday morning. They'll find our staff sorting the many boxes of books, DVDs, audios, and games that were ordered by Boylston residents over the weekend. They'll hear the sounds of an engaged group of children bubbling over from a carefully planned Story Time, as well as caregivers who often stay long past the program to socialize. They'll see people coming in and out as part of their morning errands--to print documents, to drop off museum passes they borrowed, to pick up seed packets from our Seed Library, or to browse a new, monthly art exhibit. They'll notice a library volunteer absorbed in an English lesson with Boylston families learning the language.

Invite those who doubt the purpose of a public library to visit us any time, and we'll be able to show them a community that relies heavily on our physical resources, as well as the cultural and social engagement that can be found here. It's okay that not everyone uses the library. It's also okay that some of our patrons use our online content while never setting foot in the building. But part of our mission is to ensure people see the value of the library, regardless of how they use it. Help us by encouraging folks to get acquainted with that value and take part of our community in a way that works best for them...there's no better time to do so than the summer!

We've been organizing summer reading programs and an active schedule of events for all ages. Stop in to get a summer programs booklet. Keep an eye out for opportunities to engage with us digitally or in person. Whatever your interests, the library can help you make the most out of another beautiful summer in New England. 

You belong here. 

Erica Hout, MLIS
Boylston Public Library  

New Online Learning Resource
We now provide Brainfuse's HelpNow for homework help! Students can receive access to live tutoring, a writing lab, study tools (including SAT prep), online study groups, a Spanish language lab, and more!

New Streaming Service
Try our new steaming service, Kanopy! All you need is your Boylston Library Card.

Boylston Seed Library
Ready to start your garden this season?  Take a look at our seed varieties on the  Online Catalog

January 23, 2023

Update from the Director
Looking at the snow outside, it’s hard to believe that spring will be here in the blink of an eye! Things move at a fast pace at the library. We had our busiest fall and early winter on record due to the number of programs and participants we’ve hosted. This is thanks to special programs such as the Fall Festival which attracted over 400 people, as well as popular ongoing programs like our Story Time sessions.

Our strategic planning process concluded this fall. Thanks to the Strategic Planning Committee and our Board of Trustees, we have an approved plan of goals and objectives to guide our initiatives for the next five years. (Detailed information on the library’s updated five year goals, mission and vision statements can be found on the library’s website.)

While conducting our strategic planning process, we heard so often that people were looking for new ways to meet community members. We wanted to start responding to this immediately, and are excited to introduce a “Meet Your Neighbor” series. I know firsthand from meeting many of you that our community is full of dynamic, interesting, and diverse people. If you or someone you know want to share your talent, skills, knowledge, or experience, please reach out.

Another program we’ve just debuted is HelpNow, an online resource that provides live online homework help with professional tutors, a writing lab, a Spanish language lab, SAT test prep, access to FAFSA specialists, and more. We partnered with our neighbors at the Berlin Public Library to offer this service, which will ensure that all of our students at BES and Tahanto have equal access. HelpNow is free and available to use at home, at school, and on-the-go with a Berlin or Boylston library card. (HelpNow is generously funded through the Boylston Public Library Foundation, Inc. The Foundation and the Friends of the Library are conducting their annual appeal to raise funds. Learn more about their annual campaign or make a donation.)

The library staff are busy finalizing our spring offerings. We’re planning a wide range of new upcoming programs and community partnerships. Be on the lookout for our spring publication within a few weeks!

Today’s library is about more than reading. See how the library can open new possibilities for you.

You belong here.

Erica Hout, MLIS
Boylston Public Library

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