It is exciting to tell you the things that are happening in this busy library!
In May 2021, the MBLC (Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners) launched a pilot project to construct a new library building in a Massachusetts town of 2,000 or fewer residents. It will be new construction only - no renovation or addition projects will qualify. The goal is to build a new public library building that is functional, efficient, flexible, durable, and economical. The planning of the building will be a collaborative effort between the selected town and MBLC staff. The library trustees asked the Otis Selectmen to approve submitting a letter of intent which was submitted by June 29, 2021. The next steps include a site visit, and live interview with key people, and looking at potential sites. There will be community meetings scheduled to ask for ideas and feedback. The MBLC consultants will work with the library staff and participants to develop a Library Building Program and identify the building site by the end of September. In November there will be a town meeting for approval to formally apply for the pilot project, the deadline for the application is December 3, 2021. Throughout December, January, and February the MBLC and Library Building Specialists will study all applicants. The pilot project town selection and notification will be made in February 2022. Currently four towns are being considered. For more information, please contact the library.
The library grant from the American Library Association provided communications, materials, and resources to promote an acceptance of cultural diversity. By providing multicultural books, CDs and DVDs in the library and the Farmington River Regional School and working with a new community organization Diverse Otis the library has designed and implemented many conversational opportunities, culminating in a community forum “Celebrating Diversity” in late July. Now the next steps are more activities in school, the library, and the community. If you are interested in participating, please contact the Otis Library, or Diverse Otis.
Building on these efforts, our monthly Story Walks are held along the Farmington River Path with multicultural books accompanied by music and movement and mindfulness activities. The story walks encourage family participation and interaction, and it is posted for 2 weeks for private use. The Pop-in-Poetry program, is a new event behind St. Mary’s church, scheduled on a Friday for all ages to share thoughts, feelings, and talents in individual prose, or poetry from a favorite poet.
Our Children’s Summer Reading Program continues in August by highlighting two talented successful local authors. On August 5th at 6pm Mary Pope Osborne, author of the popular Magic Tree House Series will do a presentation via zoom. She may be presenting something New! On August 26th at 6pm Ty Allan Jackson will do a zoom presentation. Ty is the author of children’s books such as Danny Dollar Millionaire Extraordinaire, and Supadupa kid.
We have been busy working on library logistics. A new library website developed by Kyle Hawley will debut by August 1! The trustees accepted our recommendation to become fine free! We believe that patrons will make donations when they feel a donation is warranted. Through the hard work of our financial consultant Patricia Strauch and our treasurer Sue Brofman, we received forgiveness for the payroll protection grant monies we received through funding during Covid. We are busily planning the annual Library Craft Fair scheduled for September 25, this year we have scheduled a rain date September 26! We are delighted to have several vendors registered and we are excited to start collecting raffle prizes while the recreation commission is planning some children and family events. It is truly an Otis Community Event. If you would like to help, please contact the library. I am excited to have the library open and busy. Thank you for your support as we proceed with care and caution.