Washburn Memorial Library Report for 2020
Hours: Tuesday: 1-7; Wednesday – Friday: 10-4:30, Saturday: 9-12
WML Website: https://www.washburnlibrary.com
The year started with the Knitting group and Girl Scouts meeting weekly in the Barbara Porter Room. Scott from Northern Business Products replaced our old copy/Fax machine with a more up to date version. I was busy with inventory and separating Legos. Don Hanson's after school group moved all the books we had packed away over to the museum in anticipation of Thrift books picking them up sometime in the summer. Courtney Howe was doing crafts with kids and adults once a month on Saturday mornings. The first grade class from the Elementary school came in on the last day in January for a story and learning how to make snowflakes. That class had plans of coming in once a month for stories and some kind of craft.
Library life was moving along with all of these plans for story times, craft times, knitting times, board meetings, summer reading programs centered around Maine's 200th birthday, etc. when the corona virus took over our lives. The library was closed to the public from March 16th until the beginning of June when Porch Pick Up started.
During that down time I attended weekly Zoom meetings hosted by Janet McKenney with the Maine State Library. There was weekly talk about how libraries were going to not be a spreader of the virus. Protocols for quarantining books were enacted and the circulation desk was moved to provide protection for the librarian and patrons. As we all waited to find out the seriousness of this pandemic and how it would affect the library business, the board was busy applying for and receiving another Stephen King Foundation grant to create a children's room downstairs. Thanks to Londa for her tireless efforts with this grant. Books have been ordered and received and cataloged for this new space. The new bookshelves are installed and just waiting for the children's books to be moved.
We did get an extension on the Lego grant. Hopefully the rest of the monies will be spent this next year and we will have some kind of Lego program in the future.
The Maine State Library received some relief monies that they shared with as many local libraries as wanted to take advantage of some of the money. This library has a subscription to Beanstack and Zoom for two years. Beanstack is an online program that allows patrons to sign up for reading challenges. It took the place of an in person summer reading program. We did have a few people take advantage of the challenges that this library offered for the summer.
We opened again the beginning of September for people to browse for books, use the computers, photocopy and FAX with the new restrictions for our space. Wear a mask, sanitize hands and keep your distance. Our building capacity was for 5 people at a time. We were able to maintain this service until after Thanksgiving when we went back to just Porch Pick Up.
During this time Facebook has become a great means of providing programming for our library. Courtney Howe did several story times and craft times and shared some recipes with our patrons. They have been all very well received. The numbers of views for all of the videos has been really very encouraging to all of the board. Nine videos featuring stories, Snail Brings the Mail had 199 views, Up Down had 525 views, Raccoon on the Moon had 427 views, Happy Birthday Maine had 68 views, The Maine Birthday Book had 114 views, Potato had 637 views, Pick a Pumpkin, Mrs. Miller had 343 views, Turkey Trouble had 523 views, and Love Behind the Mask had 474 views.
Courtney did seven weeks of flower making classes with views reaching 605. The beehive craft was viewed 364 times. The pumpkin craft was viewed 755 times and the ornaments craft was viewed 574 times. Thank you Courtney for being willing to do this for the community.
Thrift Books did pick up almost a ton of books which the board had boxed up and gotten onto two pallets. It was quite an adventure for Rita, Londa and Donna as FedEx came with an eighteen wheeler to load the books and wouldn't go up the driveway to the museum.
The Ye Olde Book Shoppe has been open a few times this year with moderate sales.
The Board of Trustees met several times through Zoom, with a few in person meetings always following the proper masking and distancing.
We received a grant from Bates College to purchase diversified books. Those books have been ordered and some have been cataloged. More to come.
The website has been invaluable during this time. It is there that you can access the card catalog to see what we have for books and other materials. I am always happy to help one in whatever way possible to get a good book into your hands.
Thank you to Adam for all that he does to keep this building operating properly. Thank you to Don Hanson's after school group for doing whatever was asked of them. Thank you to the teens who volunteered during the year. Thank you to those who donated books whether for the collection here at the library or for the book shop. Thank you to the board of trustees that keep this library a vital part of the community.
We look forward to the time when the doors will again be able to be open.