Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Happy faces and new ideas

At the September 29, 2015, board meeting of the Friends of the Library, we brainstormed ideas for Friends projects in the coming year.  Many voices contributed, and new ideas surfaced. It was a fun exercise and we came out smiling.

We filled the white board with words representing various ideas generated during about 20 minutes of brainstorming.  A smaller board displayed ideas that had been suggested prior to this meeting.

We will think about these ideas, discuss them (via group email), and find out who wants to work on what.  We'll narrow the list down to those that have strong support, and then begin to make real proposals for action.  

Board Meeting

The first official meeting of the newly-elected board is today, Tuesday, September 29, 7:00 - 8:15 pm in the Board Room on Level 1 of the Library.  All our meetings are open to the public.

We will be brainstorming ideas for new programs and activities, as well as taking care of some essential business of running this non-profit corporation, and responding to some requests from the Library Director for support of library programs, especially early literacy.

We'll also hear a brief report about the recent Book Sale.  A separate meeting will be scheduled later by the Book Sale team to consider next steps. The huge book sale at St Paul's was well organized, but perhaps not well enough publicized. Many good books remained unsold by the end, and have now been boxed and saved for a future date.

Friday, September 4, 2015


A book sale to benefit the Holyoke Public Library will be held on Friday, September 18 from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. and Saturday, September 19, from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at St. Paul Episcopal Church, 485 Appleton Street in Holyoke.  The Reverend Barbara Thrall has generously donated the space for this book sale.

Library Director Maria Pagán says, “Even in this day of digital materials, the physical book is very important and represents a commitment to reading and literacy in Holyoke. We are thrilled to collaborate with Reverend Barbara Thrall and the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church congregation with an event that will re-distribute books to the community."

Anyone interested in contributing books, CDs, and audio books to the sale, please bring them to the Holyoke Public Library Circulation Desk at 250 Chestnut Street, Holyoke, or call the Circulation Desk at 413-420-8101. Donations will be accepted up until Wednesday, September 16.

The Library is accepting donations in: Art/Architecture/Photography; Biographies; Business/Economics; Children'ʹs books; Cookbooks; Education; Entertainment/Drama/ Music/CDs; Fiction; Foreign Language; Gardening; History/Government/Law; Hobbies/Sports; Holyoke and the Pioneer Valley; Home Improvements; Humor; Poetry; Short Stories; Reference; Religion, Philosophy; Science/Medicine/Health; Short Stories; Social Sciences; and Travel. Note: Library staff members cannot appraise gifts for the tax purposes of the donor. [The book sale cannot accept magazines, except for art and architecture; Readerʹs Digest Condensed Books; paperbacks without cover; water damaged or mildewed books; law case books; or out‑of‑date text books.]

Friends volunteer Tim Damon (photo, right) has been busy for weeks sorting donated books into subject categories. Other volunteers help Tim transport the boxes to the church.  Additional volunteers will be needed to set up the sale Thursday evening September 17.  Contact Tim by email, or call the Friends office 413-420-8110.

This book sale is a joint project of the Holyoke Public Library Board and the Friends of the Library, in collaboration with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Books!  Books, and more books!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

New team, new collaboration

On September 1, 2015, three of the new officers of the Friends met with HPL staff member Nancy Kocsmiersky of the Library Development Office to discuss ways that we could work together. Nancy snapped this photo of us:
   Sandy Ward, President (standing)
   Kate Kruckemeyer, Vice President, left
   Pattie Lumbra, Assistant Treasurer/Membership Co-Chair, right.

We are considering new ways to keep our membership information up to date.  It has been a challenge, in the past, to keep the Friends membership list (maintained in a spreadsheet by a volunteer on a home computer) and the Library's main mailing list (maintained by Nancy with much more sophisticated database software, not accessible by the Friends) in sync. People move, phone numbers change... and notification of such changes might be sent to the Library, or to the Friends, or neither, or both. In spite of efforts to communicate changes, our lists evolve separately.

In August Nancy printed address labels for mailing the Friends newsletter. That was a helpful efficiency, but some of our newsletters were undeliverable, costing us fees at the Post Office. As we investigated each bounced address, comparing data from our two separate lists, we realized, again, the nuisance of this separation. We are seeking solutions. The software in Nancy's office will soon have to be upgraded. We are hopeful that the new version will provide new options for collaboration.