The Southborough Library looks forward: Legislative breakfast, Strategic Planning, and new image

There are a few news items out of the Southborough Library worth sharing. Two are invitations to help the library as it looks to the future. Another is an offer of amnesty. And the last is of an image makeover.

As I posted in the events for the week, the library is hosting a Legislative Breakfast this Friday. The public is invited:

Join Jamie Eldridge, Carolyn Dykema, and Kate Hogan for a morning that celebrates libraries across the Commonwealth and the politicians that support them. Learn more about the issues facing library cuts statewide and get more involved with library advocacy.

For more details, read the events post here.

The library is also looking for residents to help them with Strategic Planning:

Want to be involved in the library’s future? Southborough Library Director Ryan Donovan is putting together a group of Southborough residents representing different demographics within the town. He is forming a new Strategic Planning Committee to plan out goals for the next five years of library service for Southborough residents. We need you!

The first meeting will take place on a Thursday evening in March. More details will be provided once the committee has been finalized.

One more request for help comes with an incentive. The library is asking people to contribute to the Southborough Food Pantry. If you bring a pantry donation to the checkout desk, staff will waive your overdue fines – for Southborough materials. (Fees for lost, damaged or interlibrary loan materials are not applicable. )

20150210_Southborough_library_logoAnd the final news item is the library’s newly adopted logo (see image right).

Special thanks to Connor Ward from the school of Museum of Fine Arts for designing the library’s new logo! Several students in a graphic design course at the school took part in a contest to create us a new logo. Connor’s design was chosen out of eight submissions. We are grateful to him for his hard work on this project.

35 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Close it
7 years ago

I know you will say I am awful but you know what, CLOSE IT, it is no longer needed. It is a government tool. You can say you need movie rentals, you can say you need internet access, but when I see people I know from other tows there using the library it is time to close it and put the money to law enforcement, repairing roads, or buying books for the high school.

Nancy Kolk
7 years ago

How can you possibly say to close the library?! It is one of the best things in town! I could never afford to buy to buy all the books, movies, and CD’s I have gotten from the library over the years. The town library is a wonderful resource as a well as a community gathering place. Yes, out of town residents are allowed to get a library card, and Southborough residents can also take advantage of libraries in other towns if they wish. Libraries are something to be cherished, not dismantled, and it is definitely still needed. In my opinion, a town without a public library would be very sad, indeed.

Al Hamilton
7 years ago
Reply to  Nancy Kolk

For the record, I am not advocating closing the library. However, there are issues that deserve a public airing.

1. The role and function of the library has evolved over time and is evolving very quickly now. Many of the things we used a library 50 or even 15 years ago are now available on the web at little or no cost and far greater convenience.

2. Over the last decade, our Library budget has risen faster than our school or general govt budget. This is in part due to some state funding requirements. It is not a sustainable situation.

3. I am not surprised that the library is looking for a new mission (ie new customers) given this evolving landscape. Some if this is good pro active planning and some of it is (to be less flattering) “A bureaucracy in search of a way to justify its continued existence”.

In other areas when a department wanted to add a new capability, a way was found to put the funding of this new capability in front of Town Meeting for a clean vote on whether we wanted to pay for it or not. If the trustees want to offer significant new services they should put the funding of those services in front of the voters. They have a very strong political base and I am reasonably certain it will pass.

Sobo woman
7 years ago

To the person who wishes to “close” the library….perhaps you are a person who does not LOVE to read, browse books, enjoy the place. I am and I know there are many of us who LOVE the library. It is because of the library that I was able to return to school, with a house full of kids, and study for my nursing exams. It is because of the library that my 12 year old daughter LOVES to read. I’ve been bringing her there since she could walk. She is am avid reader and it is largely due to the fact that she was raised with the library being an important part of her life.

John Boiardi
7 years ago
Reply to  Sobo woman

We are not talking about closing the library FUNCTION. The recommendation is to move the library to another town buiding and rehabbing the current library for an appropriate police station. The library could move to the current plice station.

Elaine Y
7 years ago

We have a wonderful library – why would you close it because out-of-towners use it. They come here because our library is so good. It is a precious asset and resource. Everyone should use it and learn to appreciate it.

Dean Dairy
7 years ago

Given the library’s prime location and available parking, why not rent out space for a small coffee shop/bakery/Internet cafe?

It could increase overall convenience, create a nice meet-up place in town, attract use of the public library resources, and add a revenue stream that could help defray the cost of the library’s operation.

Kris
7 years ago
Reply to  Dean Dairy

That’s exactly what the current library IS! It’s not a coffee shop, but they don’t complain when you walk in with a cup of coffee nor do they complain about people meeting up to visit as long as they keep their volume at a reasonable level-the same expectation of any gathering place. Closing the library is a terrible idea.

John boy
7 years ago

The library BUILDING has outlived it’s usefulness. Move the library function to a room in one of the schools and rehab the building for the police department. The traffic at the library does not justify the expense.

resident
7 years ago
Reply to  John boy

The problem with that is now you have people coming on school grounds that have a right to be there whether they are desirable or not. There is no way for the police to ask somebody to leave the school area if they don’t have kids there because we would have the library there. It creates an issue that way. If you have an oddball on school grounds that has no kids there or any good reason for being there, he/she can be asked to leave the grounds and not return. If the library is there, you cannot. They have the right to be there simply because the library is there. You could however, put it in the town hall if there were room or the Senior Center or a place where the town owns the building.

To me the library is a “nice to have” not a need to have. Most people use kindles and such for reading now anyway. I have not used the library in years so it wouldn’t effect me much.

John boy
7 years ago
Reply to  resident

Part of the Memorial school in Framingham had a library as an integral part of the building. I am sure there are similar combined school/ libraries in surrounding towns.
Your fears are unjustified.

Elaine Y
7 years ago
Reply to  John boy

Not everybody uses kindles or wants to use them. I have never been in the library when no one else is there. And as for putting it in “a room”! Do you know how big our library is? Have you been in the Town Hall or the Senior Center? There isn’t any unused space in either of those buildings.

John boy
7 years ago
Reply to  Elaine Y

Schools– find space in one our schools. No one said the town hall or senior center. Please don’t say there is no room in one of the schools. Check the student population trend. Even if it were increasing there is plenty of room to house an appropriate sized library. Regarding the size of the library look at how much space the BOOKS take ( not much).
I am not against libraries. I am against the rising trend in taxes whether it be real estate, state, or federal.

Sobo Resident
7 years ago
Reply to  John boy

John boy….I take it you do not have children?

John Kendall
7 years ago
Reply to  Sobo Resident

Sounds like John Boy had his library card revoked

John boy
7 years ago
Reply to  Sobo Resident

Wrong!

Kate
7 years ago
Reply to  John boy

Interesting proposition; please report back when you discover other combined school/library situations. As far as I’m aware, Framingham has two excellent libraries, one of which has recently undergone remodeling (main library) and another which will be replaced by a completely new building. I guess the community regards the library as an important town asset.

John boy
7 years ago
Reply to  Kate

Memorial school in framingham had an integral library. It is no longer a school. Is now senior housing.

John boy
7 years ago
Reply to  Kate

Don’t compare a town of 80,000 with an industrial tax base to a residential town of 20,000. We are discussing library facilities. We are not saying “no library”. We need a new police station. Move the library to the police station and rehab the library into a place station.

Kris
7 years ago
Reply to  John boy

With all of the safety/security concerns in schools now, this would never fly. You cannot be on school grounds, nevermind in the building during school hours unless you have checked in at the office and have reason to be there.

Close it
7 years ago

I do love to read, out family loves to read, we do not do kindles either. But you/we/town/state/federal can not continue to support outdated institutions plus add institutions and more services. In the very same blog Cheryl Johnson is advocating for free pre school and I hate to tell you, mark my words, day care is shortly behind. With 17% of black families with one parent and now down to 52% for white, everyone is looking for more government support and service. So, Mr. Hamilton is correct in his analogy, and his summation that it will continue to exist and taxes will continue to rise and the low to middle income families will have less and less to spend to support the incomes of the high end earners – way out of balance. No snub on anyone, but I know I am a OT Jeremiah alone in the wilderness and “weeping prophet of doom”!

resident
7 years ago
Reply to  Close it

Close it, Christine Johnson not Cheryl Johnson is advocating for free kindergarten not free preschool.

John boy
7 years ago
Reply to  Close it

I’m not saying close the library, I’m saying move to some under utilized space in one our schools. We need a new police station. Rehab the library and make it a police station. With the proliferation of iPads, and other devices, reading is being transferred from pages in a book to screens. Just look around and see the ages of those with some sort of iPhone , iPad etc.
If you have a library card from Southboro, then you can get library books on line thru their library network CW Mars. We use it. So we never go to the physical library building but we are availing ourselves of the library.

Frank Crowell
7 years ago

Maybe St Marks and Fay School can take it over and offer the residents of Southborough a library on their dime.

Al Hamilton
7 years ago

We have a pretty fundamental problem that is seriously impacting our ability to fund the services that we want.

Our Town, is building rich, heavily indebted, and service poor. The complaint I have heard several times is “I pay all these taxes and cant even get my trash picked up.”

We have schools with declining enrollment, empty classrooms and under utilized municipal buildings in poor condition and a large amount of debt. We are also contemplating taking on the biggest debt load we have ever carried for a single building, the Public Safety Complex.

We really need to rationalize our infrastructure both on the school and municipal side. If we don’t we will never have the money for the services (Teachers, Emergency Workers, Police Officers, DPW and the Library) we want.

For the record, I place full day kindergarten as a higher priority than expansion of Library services but we can’t afford either if we don’t deal with our infrastructure problems.

Gary D.
7 years ago

Beth, in re: your comment. As there is no button to click on, I’ll just type “LIKE”…

Bill
7 years ago
Reply to  Gary D.

“Like” as well

Beth D
7 years ago

Thank you for your work with The Friends of the Southborough Library, Beth. I use the museum passes often!
The Southborough Library is a wonderful, sun light building. A great place for people of all ages to go to pass the time without spending money. Nice and warm in the winter months, nice and cool in the summer heat.
The comments to close the Southborough Library are just abused. Free libraries are part of our national heritage. It’s like saying that we should stop making American flags because all we have to do is “google it” if we want to see one.

Beth D
7 years ago
Reply to  Beth D

sorry, I meant absurd, not abused
**multi-tasking**
another reason to visit the library! It’s such a calm and relaxing atmosphere, one can’t help but to just slow down and enjoy!

Desiree Aselbekian
7 years ago

I had the privilege of attending the legislative breakfast at our Town library this morning. While I am not the biggest patron of the library, I support its mission and the services it offers to all of us. In fact, I learned many things about our Town library and Massachusetts libraries. That’s really the point, isn’t it? I LEARNED! Libraries provide more than just books; they provide a community committed to exploration, knowledge, and learning. I’m very pleased with the programs our library provides this community, and I can’t imagine living in a place where libraries don’t exist. It was the great Town of Franklin where the first public library in the country began, and Ben himself would have never thought it was even possible to provide (free to the public) all the programs, technology, and services the libraries of today bring. By the way, for all the e-book readers, you can borrow those free of charge through the library as well, but I guess you would have to have a library card in this Town to know that. Keep up the fight and advocacy that apparently is needed in this Town in support of our wonderful library.

Elaine Y
7 years ago

People who complain about not getting enough for the taxes they pay should remember that a large portion of the taxes they pay go for the schools, not other town services.

Sobo Resident
7 years ago

This is my second comment here. Thank you to Desiree for your comments. You summed it up perfectly. I know its easy to download, buy, etc….but think of what the nay sayers are communicating. Would they say that we shouldn’t teach in a classroom anymore because we can point and click and download lessons? Would they say that museums should be closed because they are too expensive to run? Would they say that churches should be closed because we can watch services on line? Being present in a peaceful place, browsing through books, studying in a quiet environment…these things are invaluable to any town and to our children. Go to a library in a college and you’ll see it is filled with students studying and learning. How did many of these kids get there…..by being introduced to BOOKS in a LIBRARY. For anyone interested, look up the AVON library in Connecticut. It is extraordinary. You can go there any day of the week and take advantage of the many conferences, gatherings, lectures that are being offered there. It is amazing. I wish it was in Southborough.

fayville resident
7 years ago

This would be a first for me. Every town I have lived in has a town library. Most in a building that goes with the uniqueness of each town. Especially in well heeled towns ,like Southborough , it should be top notch. I vote for my tax dollars to go to improving the library and its property. Maybe put it in the Garfield house. We have tons of books and town memorabilia to donate and have already done so. Most new residents would appreciate a well stocked library and meeting center, it’s a plus.

Dolores
7 years ago

When I visit the public library, it’s because of my volunteer work as Secretary for The Friends of the Southborough Library. That may seem strange. But I don’t visit the fire station either. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to have a fire station. Access to books has always been a privilege. I donate books to the public library to share that privilege with others. Electronic devices are nice and digital content is fine, but the software and hardware to view this material isn’t available to everyone and quickly becomes obsolete. Paper lasts. Technology doesn’t.

  • © 2022 MySouthborough.com — All rights reserved.