Lawrence Public Library – Annual Report FY19

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LAWRENCE

PUBLIC LIBRARY

ANNUAL REPORT

JULY 2018-JUNE 2019


LAWRENCE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES

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Top left to right: Mrs. Patricia Burke, Mr. Jay Dowd, Mayor Daniel Rivera, Rev. John Dello Russo, OSA, Atty. Eileen O’Connor

Bernal, Mrs. Mary Guerrero; Bottom left to right: Mrs. Suzanne Piscitello, Mrs. Ana Rodriguez, Mrs. Arlene Ross


A WORD

FROM OUR TRUSTEES

Dear Fellow Library Patrons,

It is with great pride as trustees, Library patrons, and citizens of Lawrence that we take this moment to reflect on our own Lawrence

Public Library, which has become for many the pride of our city’s commitment to learning. Over this past year, our Library has been

transformed to make it a part of the lives of many in our community and adapted to the needs of all. The Lawrence Public Library has

become an energetic hub of creativity, arts, and intellectual research. It has become as well the site for important community

information and life-long learning through a developing culture of inclusion. Inclusion has meant adapting the physical structure with

new ADA doors and front desk, and improved exterior and foyer lighting. Inclusion has meant new programming based on citizens’

needs. We have added a new teen corner that offers a space for teens to learn from fellow teens, encouraging them to be lifelong

learners. We have added programs of support for parents as well as health awareness programs for all. Finally, we have added English

and Spanish Conversation circles for those who want to improve their Language skills. All of these changes have taken place through

developing a culture of inclusion, engaging with community groups, and building awareness of patrons’ needs. This is made possible by

the support from a motivated staff and insightful guidance from our Library director and her administrative team.

But, these changes are only the beginning of a very bright future for our Library. As trustees, we encourage you to be part of the

change. Bring your innovative ideas and needs to your Library and help us grow the culture of inclusion in our city.

Very truly yours,

The Board of Trustees

The Lawrence Public Library

MISSION

The freedom to pursue knowledge is a foundation of our democracy. The Lawrence Free Public Library, an essential public institution,

strives to serve as an accessible and responsive information and literary center for all residents of the Lawrence community. Through

its evolving collection of materials and an abiding concern for its customers, the Library exists to preserve the free development and

expression of ideas essential for an informed citizenry.

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WELCOME

FROM OUR DIRECTOR

Jessica V. Vilas Novas

Dear Friends,

This past year marked a new beginning for our Library as we prepared to “soar to new

heights,” as our motto reminds us. Our team continued to do good work in the

advancement of our Library with the aim of providing a safe space that holds true to

the values of public libraries across the state and throughout the US. These values

include equitable access and inclusivity, two areas of our work that we continue to

pursue in our decision making of large and small projects and initiatives.

2018-2019 welcomed new growth for our Library as our budget increased, resulting in

the addition of seven new team members. This increase in staffing allows us to plan

for the reopening of the Main Branch on weekends. Our growing team is also eager to

continue the work of developing our newly launched Teen Corner as well as new

programs like Become Health Literate! which you can now discover across every

department. This upcoming year, we look forward to the reveal of our public mural

and programmable lighting.

Finally, we recognize that no one organization can succeed without the partnership of

other organizations willing to work alongside. The unfortunate gas crisis in September

2018 caused a standstill for our organization and many others that called for the

reflection of who we are, and what purpose we truly serve. We discovered that in

times of need, we continue to provide a safe space and equitable access for all as our

Library is and will always be many things to many people. When I asked the gentleman

who lives in another town, yet I see come in every morning, why this Library? He

readily answered, this one feels like home.

In this time of seasonal reflection and giving, we kindly ask that you consider giving to

our cause. If your time is what you can give this year, we value every minute of it and

welcome you to offer your skills in an area of your choice. As always, I invite you to

stop by to share your Library experience or just to say hello. See you at the Library.

With gratitude,

Jessica V. Vilas Novas

Library Director

Lawrence Public Library

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BRUINS

PJ PARTY

This year’s Boston Bruin’s PJ Drive

launched at our Library with dozens of

children and a number of special guests

from around Mass. First Lady Lauren Baker,

Library commissioner Mary Ann Cluggish,

MBLC Director James Longergan, Bruins

Mascot Blades, and Bob Sweeney, retired

Bruins player and current Executive Director

of the Bruins Foundation were present.

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ONE FOR THE BOOKS

JULY 2018

MOBILE PRINTING

New technology installed to

allow patrons access to the

printer from any mobile

device.

JANUARY 2019

NEW CARPETS

All first floor carpets

were replaced at the

Main library.

DECEMBER 2018

CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED

New service available to allow

patrons to make payments for

fines, lost books, or to purchase

merchandise with a credit card.

JANUARY 2019

RESTROOM UPGRADES

All public restrooms were

upgraded to include new sinks,

toilets, urinals, and stalls as a

phase 1 project at the Main

library.

FEBRUARY 2019

TEEN CORNER LAUNCH

A full-time teen coordinator was

hired and a teen department,

“teen corner,” was launched,

serving youth in grades 7th

through high school and early

college.

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2018–2019

MARCH 2019 NEW

CIRCULATION DESK

An ADA accessible

circulation desk replaced

the original tall desk from

the 70s at the Main library.

MARCH 2019 NEW

PUBLIC COMPUTERS

All public computers at

both libraries were

replaced after a decade.

MAY 2019

NEW COMPUTER LAB

A public computer lab was added

to the newly launched Teen

Corner.

APRIL 2019

HEALTH LITERACY

INITIATIVE

Funded in part by the National

Network of Libraries of Medicine,

Become Health Literate!

launched. Interactive flat screens

and health kiosks were installed

throughout the library where

patrons can access credible

health information.

MAY 2019

NEW MAIN ENTRANCE DOORS

All main entrance doors at the Main

library were replaced with ADA

accessible doors in our effort to address

the inclusivity of all patrons.

MAY 2019

AV UPGRADES

A new sound system was installed

in the main library auditorium

including a power amplifier,

control switch, wireless handheld

mics, and lavalier system.

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TEEN CORNER LAUNCH

The Teen Corner launched on February 7th with an all day celebration, welcoming

groups of youth from various schools for tours and a writing prompt activity led by the

teen coordinator. Copies of Elizabeth Acevedo’s The Poet X were raffled. Services

offered in the department include after school homework help, access to the

computer lab, a YA collection to borrow, recurring and special programs, and an

inviting space for youth to gather.

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YOUTH BOOTH

Funded in part by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, a Youth Booth runs in the Teen Corner using a “for youth,

by youth” model. The main goal of the Youth Booth is to provide credible and age appropriate information of health topics

and resources.


THE WRITING AND THE ARTS CAMP

Sponsored by Andover Bread Loaf, this six-day annual summer camp featured local art organizations

Elevated Thought Inc. and Urbanology. Lawrence artist, Samil, was a special guest who led an art

workshop which resulted in the above portrait of a young Robert Frost. This piece along with many of

the youth creations were exhibited in the Library’s art gallery at the end of the summer.

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HEALTH LITERACY

WHAT IS HEALTH LITERACY?

The ability to find, understand,

and access good health

information and services in

order to make good health

decisions and live a healthy life.

HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY HEALTH LITERACY?

Visit a health kiosk or flat screen

at the Library either privately or

with the help of a staff member

Participate in a Library healthrelated

program

Visit the Library’s website &

check out the Health Literacy

page for links to useful

websites, videos and more

Borrow Library materials, for

example: DVDs, books,

magazines, etc., covering a

range of health topics

Visit our health resource

information table

Funded in part by the National Network

of Libraries of Medicine, Become Health

Literate! is a new library initiative with

the aim of promoting health literacy in

the community. Interactive flat screens

and health kiosks were installed

throughout the library where patrons

can access credible health information.

Stay tuned for our upcoming health

program series.

This program is funded by The National Network of Libraries of

Medicine and is in partnership with the Mayor’s Health Task Force,

Lawrence Youth Council and Greater Lawrence Family Health Center.

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PARTNERSHIPS

Thank you to all of our Library partners who have worked with us. Your time is

appreciated and valued by all at the Lawrence Public Library.

Andover Bread Loaf

Adult Learning Center

Elevated Thought Inc.

Eliot Services

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center

Lawrence Public Schools

MassHire

Northern Essex Community College

Mayor’s Health Task Force

P.A.T.H.

Progress Clothing

The Greater Lawrence Family Health Center’s residency program

participants hosted health literacy programming in the Children’s

Room, making learning about various health topics a fun experience.

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AUTHORS

We had the pleasure of hosting these incredible authors this past year, all sponsored by the

White Fund and in partnership with Northern Essex Community College.

Elizabeth Acevedo

The Poet X

October 4th

Martin Espada

Letter to my Father

October 23rd

Julia Avarez

In the Time of the Butterflies

April 25th

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Julia Alvarez looks on the artistic talent of Lunara Devers

JULIA ALVAREZ

Julia Alvarez, author and Library of

Congress Américas Award winner visits

the Library and presents her book, In the

Time of the Butterflies, to an at-capacity

audience the Sargent Auditorium. The

audience of all ages listened eagerly,

asked questions, and enjoyed her book

signing following her presentation.

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CELEBRATING 30 YEARS

JOWDY WORLD KNOWLEDGE CHALLENGE

This year’s program celebrated 30 years of the Library’s

tradition of hosting the annual challenge between

middle schools. Honoring the years long contributions

from the Jowdy family, Lawrencians of Lebanese

descent, the theme of the challenge was Lebanon. In

attendance on behalf of the Jowdy family was Abe

Beshara, the late Ed Jowdy’s best friend from the Plains

neighborhood and owner of the former Lawrence

restaurant, Bishops. Ten schools participated and this

year’s winner was Bellesini Academy.

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THREADS UNBROKEN

HEALING GALLERY

New Day Campaign founder, Peter Brunn, gathered

local artists from Lawrence, North Andoverr, and

Andover to exhibit artwork focusing on mental

health and addiction. Paintings and photographs

were on exhibit in the Library art gallery over the

summer after an opening conversation and

reception took place on June 13, 2019.

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OUR YEAR IN REVIEW

REVENUES

EXPENSES

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STATS

CIRCULATION

We circulated 44,462

books, DVDs, audio

books, magazines,

newspapers, and more.

CARDHOLDERS

We had a total of

32,514 registered

cardholders.

ATTENDANCE

We had a total of

83,930 patrons

enter the Library.

REFERENCE TRANSACTIONS

We had 7,820 reference

transactions. Reference

transactions are questions

about locating and/or

accessing our resources.

MEETING

ROOM BOOKINGS

We had a total of

9,923 meeting room

bookings.

The Lawrence Public Library collects statistics on a daily, weekly and monthly basis and

records monthly revenue and expenses. Data is recorded and monitored by Library

staff and administration in order to report findings to the Massachusetts Board of

Library Commissioners who administers the Annual Report Information Survey (ARIS)

and Financial Report every fiscal year. This is in compliance with Massachusetts

General Law, Chapter 78. These statistics and budget reports are required in order for

the Library to receive State Aid. These numbers reflect the Library’s data which were

reported to the ARIS and Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2019.

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THANK YOU

On behalf of the Lawrence Public Library, we thank you for your support. A special thank you to the

following funders and donors for supporting our programs and allowing us to provide resources to the

community.

American Lebanese Awareness Association

ECFF Betty Beland Greater Lawrence Summer Fund

Friends of the Lawrence Public Library

Lawrence Cultural Council

Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners

National Network of Libraries of Medicine

NiSource Charitable Foundation

The Jowdy Fund

The Library Initiative for Teens and Tweens

The White Fund

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GET INVOLVED

Here are a couple of ways you can get involved at the Library

and help us deliver our mission.

BECOME A VOLUNTEER

Visit the Reference department located on the 2nd floor of the main library to learn how to become a volunteer.

Volunteers assist in all departments and duties may include providing afterschool homework help, shelf reading,

and a variety of special projects.

BECOME A FRIEND OF THE LIBRARY

The Friends of the Lawrence Public Library are a nonprofit, volunteer organization consisting of

community members who support our Library. This support makes it possible for the Library to

improve public service programs for adults and children, as well as to provide museum passes.

Membership is open to anyone who wants to help improve and grow our Library.

LAWRENCE PUBLIC LIBRARY

MAIN

51 Lawrence Street

Lawrence, MA 01841

978-620-3600

BRANCH

135 Parker Street

Lawrence, MA 01843

978-620-3650

lawrencefreeLibrary.org

fb.com/lawrencefreeLibrary

@lawrencefreeLibrary

@lawfreeLibrary

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STAFF

Our staff is here to serve you and as a team, we can offer services in English, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, and Chinese. Our

newest member has been on the team for half a year and our longest serving team members have served for 23 years. We

look forward to your next visit to the Library.

Top left to right: Allan Zapata, Luke Terry, Janelle Canales-Lanzot, Elvin Fabian, Charles Allen, John Tessier, Franklin Arias, Nancy Gunther

Middle left to right: Cassandra Abou-Farah, Giselle Encarnacion, Noelia Ramos, Miguelina Feliz

Bottom left to right: Genesis Vanderhorst-Batista, Jacqueline Delacruz, Wen He, Louise Sandberg

Not pictured: Jessica Vilas Novas, Ricardo Olivo

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