Friday, August 17, 2018

Friday update A is for....

More progress I'm happy to report.  Most of the furniture has been removed from the library.  Karen, Laura, Barb and I continued the inventory and file review.  And we checked books in and out of our little satellite library, which  is growing like Topsy.  Come visit us!  We even started to make photocopies on our little replacement machine for visitors again and are happy to report that our fancy Canon color copier will be replaced and installed in our Slusser library in the weeks ahead.  we'll keep you posted.  Museum passes are also going like hotcakes.  It all feels...okay.

A reminder that all of our online services are alive and well.  You can download ebooks and audiobooks, check Consumer Reports online, take an online course through Universal Classroom, brush up on that French you took in college at Transparent Language or check on your investments with Morningstar Reports.  All in the comfort of your jammies.  And so much more. 

Re: the building, we are meeting with potential contractors with expertise in building restoration.  The entire building is being assessed for smoke damage including ceiling tiles and insulation.  We expect the building to be empty of all furnishings including our twenty year old carpet by the end of the week next week.  Meanwhile, we take things day by day.  Thanks for all of your support, positive thoughts and prayers. 

Finally, my favorite finding from today...vintage film strips..Who has the popcorn?

things could be worse

Click on this for yet another example of how things could be worse.....

This does bring out a sort of gallows humor, which isn't a bad thing.  dvd

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Thursday Update and Great Library Editorial

And why did I keep some of these files??  In the silver lining department, this has been a great opportunity to go through files and purge.  Karen, Barb, Laura and I have all been going through materials today, figuring out what needs to be replaced, what must be tossed.  Rediscovered along the way are boxes and boxes of materials from the Bates Library and from when the Houston Drive building was built.  We will be reviewing all of those to determine what can/should be saved.  A big scanning job is ahead.  Heather Mitchell from the Hopkinton Historical Society has generously agreed to help us think through this process.  Forgive the sidewayness of this image.

If you didn't see this wonderful editorial in the Concord Monitor from this past Sunday August 12th, it's worth reading.

Editorial: Storm proves the role of library in Hopkinton, all towns
Sunday, August 12, 2018
Last month, an economics professor named Panos Mourdoukoutas wrote a column for Forbes in which he argued that Amazon bookstores should replace local libraries. It didn’t take long for Mourdoukoutas to learn that people really, really love their libraries – and for practical rather than sentimental reasons.
Forbes has since sheepishly removed the article, and Mourdoukoutas has become something of a Twitter punching bag for his lame suggestion. And yet he still hasn’t changed his tune. You see, Mourdoukoutas doesn’t like contributing his tax dollars to something he doesn’t use, something he believes has been rendered obsolete by Jeff Bezos’s behemoth. He would rather people hand over their money to Amazon shareholders than subsidize a public library. Some people just don’t get it.
But a lot of people do.
Earlier this month in Hopkinton, a storm blew into town and a bolt of lightning hit the library’s cupola. The ensuing fire caused extensive damage, and it will be months before residents have full use of their beloved building and its contents. In the meantime, the support the library has received from patrons and surrounding communities has been heartwarming – but not surprising.
Jim O’Brien, chairman of the Hopkinton select board, told the Monitor that “the library is definitely the center of the community.” He’s right, of course, but not just about Hopkinton. Whenever we have moved to a new town, the library is one of the first places we go. Not just because we want to check out the selection of new fiction, which we do, but because the better acquainted we become with the library and the people who work and gather there, the more our new town feels like home. A library is a place where young and old congregate and interact, where lifelong friendships are discovered and nurtured, where knowledge is gained and passed on. Best of all, a public library is one of the few truly equitable places in a society of haves and have nots. No one cardholder is above another; the library exists for all equally, regardless of sex or economic status, age or race, political affiliation or level of education.
If there was any doubt how the people of Hopkinton feel about their library, the lightning strike on Aug. 3 set the record straight. Even before the flames were fully extinguished, townspeople wanted to know how they could help – and then they started helping.
Town and library officials should be lauded, too, for how well they have kept people in the loop through a news blog and Facebook page, with links for each on the library website at We also applaud all of the area libraries that have opened their doors to Hopkinton cardholders, including Concord, Dunbarton, Henniker, New England College in Henniker, Hillsborough, Warner, Weare and Webster. As we said, it’s heartwarming but not surprising. That’s the way libraries, and librarians, roll.
But if some of you remain sympathetic to Mourdoukoutas’s argument – that there’s no place for publicly funded libraries in the age of Amazon – we suggest that you ask a few young people how they feel. You might be surprised by their answers. A Pew Research Center study from 2016 found that 53 percent of millennials had used a public library or bookmobile in the previous year, which is more than generation X (45 percent), baby boomers (43 percent) or the silent generation (36 percent).
Times change and society progresses, but libraries are just as important now as they have ever been. But most of you already knew that.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Happy Wednesday:  Lots of meetings and more progress cleaning out the building.  Most of the shelves have been removed and we are going through files.  Enforced spring cleaning.  Nothing like it.
The ServPro team is doing yeoman's work emptying the building,  battling either heat or rain.  I brought them ice cream today, which they much appreciated.  They definitely deserve thanks and treats!
And the staff feels so welcome at Slusser.  Karen and I (seniors that we are) enjoyed baked ziti for senior lunch thanks to Paula Simpkins.  We had many visitors, returning books and checking new ones out.  The ILL van came and books are being distributed accordingly.  It feels great to be doing the "normal" things.  Today Karen even ran her monthly book discussion of ""Behold the Dreamers" by Imbolo Mbue, which is much recommended.  She and the group met in the basement at Slusser and thoroughly enjoyed the conversation.

I'll send out more tomorrow, but for the moment let me offer another great example of community support.  Town member Dan Dustin called to say that he would open his personal collection of books to anyone who would like to come by.  He encourages others to do the same and welcomes the community conversation that will come as a result.  His collection is strong in Vonnegut, Henrik van Loon, art and arctic exploration.  If you'd like to check out his collection on Dustin Road, call us and we'll give you Dan's number.  If you know him, just give him a holler.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Quick Tuesday update from Donna.  It appears that the only books we will  need to replace are the new books (fiction and non-fiction).  For those of you familiar with the library, these are the titles that were directly in front of the reference desk on the right with the green tape on the spines.  These were directly in the line of fire (or smoke and water to be precise).  There are 990 titles in this category.  256 of these are currently checked out and 30 have been returned and are in the basement at Slusser. 

We are currently plotting some satellite lending strategies.  Stay tuned.  Many thanks again to the community and to the library staff who are working together on assessing damage and helping to brainstorm short and long term work. 

You'll be pleased to know that our Edgar A. Crow survived the strike!

We're happy to report that the Scouts have set up their collection box for donated party goods (birthday themed napkins, plates and gift bags) at "Hopkinton Town Library West" in the basement of Slusser.  Come by for a visit and to drop off donations.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Monday Post from Donna

Work continues apace.  The shelves are now being removed.  Cleaning continues.  The staff met to brainstorm next steps and we continue all to be thankful for the outpouring of support from the community and our neighboring libraries.  Bow is our most recent addition!

We have been receiving a steady flow of cards and letters, many with checks made out to the Hopkinton Library Foundation.  We are tremendously grateful.  As we have said, we are currently assessing the damage and planning next steps, working closely with Primex.  We have the singularly exciting opportunity to reflect on what we have been doing and how we've been using our space and planning how we can be more effective in all that we do.

Two heart warming notes among many are shared below.  One from some young library users and another from a library in Ohio, out of the blue.   Hope you can read the text!

Bow library added to list of libraries welcoming our patrons

The Baker Free Library in Bow has been added to our list of libraries welcoming our patrons while the Hopkinton Library is closed!  The library is located just off exit 1 off I-89 at 509 South St. in Bow.  Thank you neighbor!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Slideshow of photos

You can view a slideshow of photos of the library fire and recovery efforts here.  Thank you to Town Administrator Neal Cass for taking and sharing these photos.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Friday post from Karen

While the library building is closed, we wanted to finish off the week by letting you know all the things you CAN still do as a Hopkinton Town Library patron!

  •  Use one of our neighboring libraries.  See the list.
  •  Request books, dvds or audiobooks via ILL (Interlibrary loan).  You can use this form.
  •  Check out a museum pass. See the list.
  •  Download an ebook, audiobook or magazine.  See this posting.
  •  Visit us in the lower level of the Slusser Center Tuesdays-Fridays 9am-4:30pm if you need help with anything.  We are also available at our regular phone number (746-3663 - you can leave a message) or via email
Thank you for your support and kind words. Thank you to the Hopkinton Fire Department and all the other responders.  Thank you to Neal Cass, Hopkinton Town Administrator. This is an amazing community with amazing people who will have their amazing library back even better than before!