The Trustees of the Bedford Free Public Library welcomed their newest member at the April 13 meeting. And, following a long-standing custom, Renae Nichols was thereafter elected secretary for the coming year, considered the best way for a new member to “learn the ropes.” Nichols had already been given an orientation by Library Director Richard Callaghan. In her candidate statement when she ran for office in March, Nichols related she had been a patron ever since her children, now in high school, were small, and in her words, she hopes “to ensure the library remains an inclusive space that welcomes all people and reflects the diversity of our community and the world.”
Abby Hafer was elected board chair and Fahad Alden was voted in as vice-chair for 2023-24. Current chair Michael Pulizzi was thanked for serving two terms.
Director Callaghan reported that the planned work to upgrade and repair the elevators in the building began on March 15 and is continuing. The work on the elevator in the original building is complete but there was an unanticipated problem with the software that “talks to” the fire panel. Until that is resolved, the company doing the work will hold off on repairs to the second elevator so that there is one functioning elevator in the building.
The policy governing the use of the Library Meeting Room was again under discussion. Callaghan, Assistant Director Noreen O’Gara, and Head of Children’s Services Nicole Monk recently attended training on how to be prepared to handle requests from outside groups who want to use the meeting room. That training will be shared with all Library staff so the message to anyone inquiring is consistent. The hierarchy for meeting room use is: Bedford Library programming has top priority, followed by use by town groups and non-profits. The HVAC project which will soon be underway is limiting the use of meeting rooms, at least until the fall, and, as Callaghan pointed out, there is so much children’s programming now that there is very little open space in the meeting room schedule.
Trustee Fahad Alden inquired about live, in-person author visits. He is eager to bring authors -perhaps local authors-into the building, as has happened in past years (Remember “One Book, One Bedford?”) Recently, the Library collaborated with other local libraries to bring three online, virtual author visits. The programs were oversubscribed and were received enthusiastically by patrons.
Until there is a timeline for completion of the HVAC work, Callaghan said it will be difficult to schedule a multi-author panel but he invited Alden to submit a list of authors who might want to participate. O’Gara mentioned that authors like the idea of collaborative, virtual events.
Events of Note
- The Friends of the Library will be holding their spring book sale beginning on Thursday night, April 20 (members only) and concluding on Sunday, April 23.
- National Library Week is April 23-29. This year’s theme is “There’s More to the Story,” illustrating the fact that “in addition to the books, libraries lend items like museum passes, games, musical instruments, and tools. Library programming brings communities together for entertainment, education, and connection through book clubs, storytimes, movie nights, crafting classes, and lectures.” All of which the Bedford Library does!
- The Genealogy Club returns on April 27 with a discussion of brick walls and breakthroughs, where patrons can discuss their latest research. Meeting time is 10 to 11:30 a.m.