Trustees of the Bedford Free Public Library opened their meeting on Oct. 11 with a tribute to former member Robin Grace, who has resigned from the Board because she no longer lives in town. Chair Mike Pulizzi praised Grace’s “warmth, wisdom, and humor.” Although the bylaws say the Trustees can appoint someone to fill the unexpired term-which ends in March- the Board voted unanimously to leave the seat vacant. With the caucus coming up in the second week of January, the Board felt it would be appropriate to give the opportunity for an interested candidate to come forth via the caucus and town election.
In other news, Director Richard Callaghan noted that the four-part personal financial workshop series, sponsored by the Babson Financial Literacy Project with funding from the Friends of the Bedford Library is getting much attention. The workshops take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. via Zoom. If you missed the first one on October 11, dealing with managing credit, Callaghan said you can still log into the three following sessions:
- Oct. 18: “Getting Started with Investing.” Learn about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs, and how to choose investments that make sense for you. https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85983062818?pwd=dURQMlIyNDIxWGF6QWpxRDJ0Tk1lZz09
- OCT. 25: “Saving & Retirement”
- Nov. 1: “Preparing for the Unexpected”
New! Interactive tool for Searching the Library of Things
One of the most popular resources offered to Bedford patrons is the Library of Things, a collection of more than 70 objects which patrons can borrow for home use. There’s a new tool for searching, viewing, and reserving an item. It’s yet another service made possible with help from the Friends of the Library! The “things” that can be borrowed range from a dementia doll to a coffee urn to sophisticated small electronic devices. Here’s how to do it: go to the Library website, click on Resources, and in the left column choose Library of Things. Then click on the item you wish to borrow, which includes a full description of how to use it. A calendar will pop up and you can select the date you need the object and request it.
Children’s room is Humming
Although short-staffed the Children’s Room continues to offer a range of programs. On Saturday, Oct. 15, from 3 to 4 p.m., the Library will be joining with the Parents Diversity Council for an in-person celebration, the first in two years. Learn the meaning of Diwali, watch a puppet show, enjoy a dance performance, and learn about typical Diwali dress. Best for pre-K to fifth grade but children of all ages are welcome.
Callaghan and Assistant Library director Noreen O’Gara brought the Trustees up to date on the problem of finding enough staff to fill open positions. Currently, the search for a Children’s Librarian to replace recently retired Elaine Garnache is continuing. O’Gara explained that all area libraries are in the same dilemma: finding professional, qualified staff. She sees “the same ads for the same positions” on all the job posting sites. Even finding enough part time staff is difficult. Recently, the Library was forced to close at an earlier time than usual because there were not enough staff to keep the building open safely.
Safety for both staff and patrons in a large building is critical, she said. But Bedford is not alone in this quandary. The pandemic and the changing nature of work are also contributing factors, she noted. The Trustees agreed that hiring issues are seen in all areas of society today.
About the New HVAC system
The Library’s aging HVAC system is slated for an overhaul, due to age. Funds were voted at the March town meeting and the bidding and oversight of the project is being handled by the town Facilities Department. Many factors have contributed to slow progress but patrons should know the town is seeking a vendor and there should be a timeline soon.