REPORT OF THE BOARD OF LIBRARY TRUSTEES
The Board of Library Trustees of the Abington Public Library is pleased
to submit its report of the year, 2004. During the year the library
continued to serve as the community's information and cultural center
and is now in its eighth year in the new library building.
In 2004, there was a significant increase in the number of registered
borrowers at the Abington Public Library. This in some ways reflects
the downturn of the nation and state's economy, where a populace with
less disposable income reaches out to their public libraries for more of
their recreational and informational needs. But most importantly this
growth in the library's patron base also parallels the growth in the
town's residential population. During this time the population of
Abington swelled to over 15,500 residents. The library responded by
expanding the print collection and providing new compact discs,
videos, books on tape and other resources, all of which stretched the
budget to the maximum. Staff members continued to teach residents
basic internet and database searching.
The Copeland Meeting Room was used by the Thimbles & Friends
Quilting Group, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the North
River Collaborative, Abington condominium associations, parents'
organizations, the Abington Police Department, the Council on Aging
movie program, and the Visiting Nurses Flu Clinic, in addition to library
sponsored programs. Several art exhibits by the Abington Art
Association and the Artists' Circle from the Fuller Museum in Brockton
were hung on the walls of the Copeland Room. The small study rooms
were used by many tutors and Abington students needing tutoring or
studying for exams.
The library continued to be open 40 hours per week until late June
when the hours were increased to 50 including Monday, Tuesday, and
Thursday evenings until 8:30 P.M. and on Saturdays from September to
mid-June. This was due to partial restoration of funding lost during the
previous fiscal year when the Library's budget was reduced 21.5%.
Membership in the Old Colony Network provided access to over 3.0
million items, expanding the library's collection of books, periodicals,
newspapers, audiocassettes, videocassettes and DVDs. The Southeast
Massachusetts Library System (SEMLS) provided daily delivery service.
OCLN, SEMLS and the Mass. Board of Library Commissioners provided
Internet service. Periodical and reference databases were still
provided through SEMLS and the Board of Library Commissioners. The
library also continued to develop its own web site www.abingtonpl.org.
This site, built with funds provided by State Aid to Libraries showcases
the library's resources and collections and provides links to sites in
the Town and beyond. Library patrons are able to use the web site to:
review their library account, renew books, place holds, search the
online catalog, check for adult and children's program dates and times,
ascertain library hours, print meeting room booking form, view library
policies and many other things formerly available only at the library.
Abington residents and organizations generously supported children's
activities. The Friends of the Library again funded the children's
Summer Reading Program. The Cliffhanger Club Parent-Child Book
Discussion Group, for children in grades four to eight met once a
month during the school year to read and discuss favorite books.
Toddler time and the traditional preschool story hours continued to fill
Children's programs included guest performers, story-craft activities,
preschool and toddler story hours, after-school programs, and a book
discussion group. Children's programming is entirely funded by private
donations from The Friends of the Library, The Anderson Insulation Co.,
Inc., The Kathy Greenwood Fund, Fleet Bank, Gap/Old Navy and the
NRC Family Network. Donations were received for children's books
from the Ruth F. Winsor Fund.
The Friends of the Library continued their support. The Friends
sponsored the Periodicals Subscription Drive; donated family passes
to Plimouth Plantation, the Science Museum, the Kennedy Museum, the
Museum of Fine Arts, the Children's Museum in Easton, MA., and the
Roger William Park and Zoo; conducted the spring book sale and the
rental collection of best sellers. Sadly, during the year, longtime library
Friend and ardent supporter Gloria Casey passed away. The Friends
plan to donate to the library in her memory. The book discussion group
met monthly with discussion leader Chris Cormier Hayes. Membership
in the Friends is open to all.
The Trustees also thank the Abington Lions Club for the pass to the
Children's Museum in Boston and their fund raising concert which
enabled the library to purchase new large print books and Books on
CD. The Board also thanks the Abington Cultural Council for its
support. The Board and the Library Staff join in acknowledging the
outstanding work of the library's volunteers, the BookStops. These
dedicated people performed such jobs as delivering books to nursing
homes, shelving books, keeping book shelves in order, covering new
books, copying and collating and assisting with other clerical tasks.
The Trustees installed a series of plaques honoring those residents
and other generous people who have remembered the library in their
wills and by other means. Those making donations of over $10,000.00
have their names inscribed on this "Benefactor's Wall."
The Board reluctantly accepted the resignations of longtime Library
Assistant Nancy Cannon, who retired on June 30th and Trustees Ann
Doherty and John Leahy who did not seek re-election. Aimee Tyler and
Jonathan Harris were welcomed to the Board. The Board also wishes to
acknowledge the dedication and the public service of all the members
of the staff.
2004 LIBRARY STATISTICS
Total Collection 70,555
Reference Questions 7,904
Public Internet Workstations 6
Registered Borrowers: 8,323
Abington Public School Class Visits 21
According to information provided by the Massachusetts Library
Association (MLA) on their website @ www.masslib.org the following
are some financial statistics that are directly related to Abington's
circulation figures. The value of library services was $1,176,102.72. This
figure represents the amount Abington residents would have paid out
of pocket if they had not used the library.
The actual library budget for FY2004 was $268,746.00, a significant
Quantity of Use Library Service Value of Service
80,014 @ $12.50 Books Borrowed $1,000,175.00
1,662 @ 2.00 Periodicals Borrowed 3,324.00
9,601 @ 3.87 Videos/DVDs Borrowed 37,155.87
4,423 @ 9.95 CDs,Books on Tape etc. 44,008.85
2,221 @ 6.00 Children's Programs 13,326.00
396 @ 15.00 Adult Programs 5,940.00
103 @ 50.00 Hours of Meeting Room Use 5,150.00
311 @ 24.00 Museum Passes 7,464.00
4,948 @ 12.00 Hours of Internet Use 59,376.00
Henry DiCarlo, Chairman
Betty Henderson, Vice Chairman
Janet O'Connor, Secretary