JULY 2018-JUNE 2019
LAWRENCE PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
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
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
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.
FROM OUR DIRECTOR
Jessica V. Vilas Novas
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.
Jessica V. Vilas Novas
Lawrence Public Library
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.
ONE FOR THE BOOKS
New technology installed to
allow patrons access to the
printer from any mobile
All first floor carpets
were replaced at the
CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED
New service available to allow
patrons to make payments for
fines, lost books, or to purchase
merchandise with a credit card.
All public restrooms were
upgraded to include new sinks,
toilets, urinals, and stalls as a
phase 1 project at the Main
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
MARCH 2019 NEW
An ADA accessible
circulation desk replaced
the original tall desk from
the 70s at the Main library.
MARCH 2019 NEW
All public computers at
both libraries were
replaced after a decade.
NEW COMPUTER LAB
A public computer lab was added
to the newly launched Teen
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
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.
A new sound system was installed
in the main library auditorium
including a power amplifier,
control switch, wireless handheld
mics, and lavalier system.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
Greater Lawrence Family Health Center
Lawrence Public Schools
Northern Essex Community College
Mayor’s Health Task Force
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.
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.
The Poet X
Letter to my Father
In the Time of the Butterflies
Julia Alvarez looks on the artistic talent of Lunara Devers
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.
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.
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.
OUR YEAR IN REVIEW
We circulated 44,462
books, DVDs, audio
newspapers, and more.
We had a total of
We had a total of
enter the Library.
We had 7,820 reference
transactions are questions
about locating and/or
accessing our resources.
We had a total of
9,923 meeting room
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.
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
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
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
51 Lawrence Street
Lawrence, MA 01841
135 Parker Street
Lawrence, MA 01843
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