A message from Rick Barnes, treasurer of the Merrimack Public Library board of trustees

Dear Library Supporters,

I’m happy to report back to you about the Library Board of Trustees’ July monthly business meeting:

Friends of the Library news

As the Trustee Liaison to the Friends of the MPL I’d like to invite interested folks to consider running for one of the two vacant positions on the Friends Board, Vice President or Executive Director. This is a great opportunity for you to give back to the library while helping to create enjoyment for everyone in our community. You can visit the Friends page for more information or use the information at the end of this email to contact Friends President Claire Muise or Library Director Yvette Couser.

If you aren’t sure of the amount of commitment you can provide, the Friends are always looking for assistance with shorter projects that don’t require a position on the Board. We can always use help right now, sorting and packing book donations for our next book sale (Sept. 12 and 13), and it’s not too early to volunteer now to help plan our Annual Turkey Shoot Fundraiser (Nov. 19).

Money that is raised during events like these helps purchase unique items that patrons can check out or use in events. Two new items that the Friends recently funded are the Legolend Kits (yes, you will soon be able to check out Lego kits from the library!) and 3-Doodler pens, which will not be circulating, but are part of our growing Makerlab Collection.

If you or your kids have been having fun racking up your reading minutes during our "Every Hero Has A Story" Summer Reading Challenge, then you should also know that our amazing Friends group even has a hand in that! If our children and teens can reach the reading goal of 10,000 hours for the summer, the Friends will make a donation to Veterans Count NH to honor our local military heroes. Kids & Teens can read and turn in their logs up until August 31st.

Really, there are too many good reasons to mention to join the Friends, but I’ll give you one more: The Friends have purchased a Little Free Library that will soon be stocked with free books and installed at Wasserman Park, thanks to a great partnership with the Merrimack Parks & Recreation Department. The idea behind LFLs is for neighbors to share their favorite books with each other outside of the library building and promote reading; you take a book out and put a different one in its place for others to enjoy. I’d love to see many more LFLs pop up all over town, so if you would like to donate to have one dedicated in a loved one’s memory, or if you have a business and would like to sponsor a Little Free Library near your location, contact one of us at our emails below and we’ll be sure to make that happen.

Building stewardship update

Maintenance projects

I admit I have a lot of fun as liaison to the Friends group, but there is a serious side to our work as well. You’ll probably remember that earlier this year, sections of the flat roof on the library addition underwent a restoration to repair areas that were retaining moisture and leaking. That restoration proved to be more expensive than anticipated, but good stewardship of an older building requires constant vigilance and we are considering the most effective solution to future maintenance projects and repairs that will have the least impact to the tax payers. These include replacement of the north window, repair to ice dam damage on a small section of the slate roof on the original 1925 Lowell Building and eventually, a replacement or repair of the entire slate roof. These are sobering projects to consider, but the Trustees are committed to ensuring that our existing building be something viable for future occupants.

New teen room

The staff and volunteers have been rearranging furniture and shelving in order to create more space for patrons, and if you haven’t seen these two recent updates you’ve got to stop by. Our teens are a growing population and really needed their own dedicated space, that is now located in the Henderson Room adjacent to the Lowell Room (the room with our seismograph). In the Teen room you’ll find an entire Manga
closet – my own kids’ personal favorite – overflowing with exciting books you can devour as you fill up your reading log. Completing that log will earn you a raffle ticket so you can try to win one of the many great prized currently on display.

New magazine area

Ah-ha, I know what you’re thinking: if the Henderson Room is now the Teen Area, where did the magazines go? Readers can enjoy their favorite newspaper or magazine while sitting in the sunshine streaming through the windows overlooking the parking lot on the north end of our building. We’ve also moved the photocopier to the nearby north wall.

New technology

The staff are currently interviewing candidates for our newly created eResources Librarian position. This professional librarian will work with our team of information specialists in the Reference Department with a particular eye to researching and maintaining our growing electronic resources collection and circulating devices, as well as providing class and individual instruction.

With the start of the new fiscal year, we’ve also added a few new databases to our collection. Biblioboard is an electronic content delivery platform that allows staff and community members to curate parts of the digital collection and Atomic Training will be used to provide technology instruction.

Which reminds me, there’s still time to download my five song checkouts from the Freegal Music database before the week’s over. And I might have time to check out our Safari Books Online database for the most current books on computer programming. Each title contains a complete table of contents with chapter links for easy page-to-page browsing. All charts, graphs, and other images are included just as originally published.

Our new website layout

Toward the end of August, we’ll all finally get to see the library’s new website unveiled. This project was generously funded by the Merrimack Public Library Development Fund and will be attractive, modern and more user-friendly.

Annual policy review

The Trustees will also be reviewing and revising the many library policies, both for the public and for the staff, over the course of the year.

All of these wonderful improvements could not be possible without the dedication and hard work of our staff and volunteers coupled with support from everyone who loves our library. I know I speak for all of the Trustees when I say thank you. If you have suggestions or ideas on how we can become even better we’d love to hear from you. You can contact the Trustees, Friends, or Library Director at the below options:

Trustee chair – Jen Jobin, jen.jobin@merrimacknh.gov.

Library director – Yvette Couser, ycouser@
merrimacklibrary.org, 424-5021.

Friends of the Library president – Claire Muise, president.fmpl@gmail.com.

Trustee treasurer – Rick Barnes, rick.barnes@
merrimacknh.gov.