Love Your Library Month

Above: The Friends of the Southborough Library are asking you to donate this month to support the Library programs you love. (image by Caroline Lou.)

It’s Love Your Library Month. So, I’m putting on my other hat as President of The Friends of the Southborough Library.

The board urged me to share with readers the fun graphics created by teen volunteer Caroline Lou to help us raise funds this season. While we’re at it, we are also happy to share some of what the Southborough Library has been up to over the past year.

Donate to the Friends flyer - large
(click to enlarge)

In 2023, patrons checked out over 154,000 items from Southborough’s collection (books, movies, games, museum passes, and other circulating items). Patrons also received another over 11,000 items at the Library through Inter-Library Loans, and checked out close to 13,500 e-books.

The library held 538 free programs for kids, teens and adults, attended by close to 8,000 people.

Donating to The Friends of the Southborough Library, helps pay for some of the programs and resources the community enjoys. If you would like to support us, click here to learn more.

For those interested in more details on how the Library served the public last year, below are  highlights from the Library’s Annual Report for the upcoming Annual Town Meeting.

In the report the Library described programs offered in 2023:

This year, the library hosted a variety of both in-person and virtual ongoing programs. They included a monthly virtual book club, story times for children, Baby & Toddler Time, Tuesday Tech Time, and Crafternoons for middle and high school students. Special events, such as the annual Candidates’ Night event, also continued. The Rotary Club of Southborough and the Southborough Poetry Workshops continued as monthly in-person evening events. New programs have continued to be offered at the library. A professional cooking instructor has been leading online classes to show how to make delicious meals from around the world, which have received positive feedback and enthusiasm from participants. Southborough Recreation continued to help maintain online and in-person registrations in partnership with the library. As weather allowed, the library held several successful outdoor programs for children including regular weekly preschool story times, baby yoga sessions, and continued a popular Friday morning singalong series called Kids Jam.

The library has continued to develop opportunities for Southborough teens with a large increase in volunteering options, through partnerships with The Friends of the Southborough Library, local nonprofits, and direct outreach to schools in the district. Local teens have had the opportunity to take on leadership roles designing craft sessions for younger children, contributing to the development of teen programs, and offering tutoring sessions about technology. A new range of programs was offered throughout the year such as a mindful exercise program, a Dungeons & Dragons session, therapy dog visits, and a bake-off for Southborough’s blossoming, talented young bakers. The library has also started innovative ways for teens to contribute to the library autonomously. Teens can send in book reviews for the large expanse of selected new YA books and contribute to crafting projects from home. The selection of new tools, such as a Cricut machine, new comfortable seating, and young artists’ submission of chosen artwork, has improved the culture of inclusion, innovation, and enrichment that make the Teen Room in Southborough Library an environment patrons enjoy.

Another highlight from the report covered new initiatives/services last year:

To meet emerging user needs, the library launched a new and revised website in October 2023. The update features highlighted museum passes and new books, as well as a better integration of our weekly newsletter. Additionally, events are listed in a new, easily accessible format. The library had high-definition security cameras installed at entryways and exits of the facility, as well as in the Teen Room. These to help ensure safety at the library for staff and patrons and provide the opportunity to monitor the Teen Room. The library also expanded the Spanish and Spanish/English bilingual books in the Children’s collection and created an adult Spanish book section. Progress has been made cataloging local history items this year, featuring materials such as school yearbooks; Town of Southborough annual reports, town meeting warrants, and assessor’s reports; books about Southborough and Worcester County; and school district reports.

As for the Library’s services and collections, the report detailed:

The Southborough Library provides books and other materials to residents of the town to check out and borrow. Any resident of Massachusetts qualifies for a library card. The library has four public computers with Internet access upstairs. There are three catalog terminals to search for books and materials, two iPads for the catalog, a black & white printer, and free Wi-Fi for the public. The library also hosts a pay-per-use copy machine and a self-service fax machine. The library provides access to a self-checkout machine upstairs. Visit the Southborough Library website at to search the catalog and request items, download e-books and audiobooks, live chat with staff, or access online electronic resources. Departing e-resources in 2023 include Skillshare and Beanstack. Staff routinely provide Reader’s Advisory service, suggesting books for library users to read. Library card holders also have access to downloadable e-books and electronic audiobooks on their personal e-readers, smartphones, and tablets via the C/W MARS Overdrive service at

Thanks in large part to The Friends of the Southborough Library, the library offers reduced price passes to many cultural museums and educational attractions across Massachusetts. The Southborough Library offers two circulating telescopes for patron checkout, as well as an expanded collection of circulating puzzles and board games. Thanks to grant support from the Southborough Community Fund, the library offers twelve circulating ukuleles in the Teen Room. Thanks to state grant funding, the library has two circulating gardening kits that include tools for the novice and experienced horticulturalist. The successful Library Seed Exchange also continued for the fourth consecutive year with an outdoor in-person launch event. The library’s outdoor Story Walk continues to attract new outdoor users and enhance youth literacy. Approximately 6,325 residents of Southborough have active library cards. . . 

Southborough is a member of the Central/Western Massachusetts Automated Resource Sharing (C/W MARS) network. Through the consortium’s interlibrary loan service, cardholders can request materials that Southborough does not directly own but still has access to via a statewide delivery service. Unless there is a pending waitlist, books and materials are typically received in just a few days. Users are notified by email, phone, or text when the material arrives. To search the full C/W MARS catalog and place holds, visit Users may also access books outside the C/W MARS network via the statewide Commonwealth Catalog at

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