Somerset Public Library Annual Report – 2017
Of the many events, programs, activities, issues, staff hirings, staff “moving ons”, trustee changes this year, none were more significant than the retirement announcement of Library Director Bonnie Mendes. After 31 years of dedicated service to the Somerset Public Library, both as Reference Librarian and Director, Bonnie announced in September that she would be retiring as of April 1, 2018. This, of course, prompted the creation of the Somerset Public Library Director Selection Committee which has been working through the process of searching for and selecting only the third Director in the last 53 years.
The Board of Library Trustees honored the retirement of trustee Eleanor Buckley after 27 years of dedicated service.
We have had a busy year. Of special note were the following programs and events: The Children’s Department Summer reading program “Build A Better world”; one art workshop and two Somerset author book signings; we opened a Self-Service Checkout station; school vacation programs; and the “Mind of the Making” program sponsored by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.
Building and grounds maintenance and development are always important.
- We were honored this year to be selected by the Southern New England Master Gardeners as their showcase site. In partnership with the Library Trustees, they are undertaking the transforming of our landscaping and through seminars and public events are teaching the public about soil testing and improvement, composting, and plant selection and garden design.
- Through the stewardship of Marine League Commander Bruce Aldrich and Town Administrator Richard Brown, the Hood Library building has had several much-needed key improvements and renovations made. Landscaping improvements are scheduled for spring, 2018.
- With the help of the Highway Department and a grant from the Hathaway Memorial Charitable Trust, our Periodical Room has been turned into a technology training area as well as a flexible meeting place for young adults and tutors.
We were honored with multiple monetary awards for various programs from charitable groups, businesses and individuals. Included were the Hathaway Memorial Charitable Trust, the Somerset Cultural Council, Horner Millwork, Auclair’s Market, Venus De Milo, the Somerset Progressive Club, the Somerset Federal Credit Union, South East Massachusetts Driving School, Charles F. Fisher and Fisher Bus, Bill and Liz Langfield, and Bristol County Educators. We gratefully thank these donors – their support allowed many programs to succeed.
The Library Annual Statistics Report is impressive: it shows growth in our total collection, number of items circulated, website “hits” and total library attendance ( for all purposes). And despite all of today’s distractions, we added over 500 new patrons.
The Board of Library Trustees wants to remind our patrons and the public that despite all that we have reported, our budget is static and our total hours of operation are less than we would like. Our greatest hope is to increase our hours with adequate staff and continue to provide the library service you want and need.
Dr. David M. Cucinotta, Chairman
Gayle Bradbury, Vice-Chairman
Kathleen Rubano, Secretary