The Recreation Commission administers the contract for field fertilization and pest management, which during 2011 continued the organic program. A three-year contract for field maintenance (mowing, trimming, field refurbishments and management) was awarded in the spring 2011.
BANTA DAVIS: The Recreation Commission has responsibility for maintaining and scheduling the fields on the Banta Davis land. The Rory Bentley Fitness Cluster is also located at Banta Davis.
SPALDING: The Recreation Commission has responsibility for maintaining and scheduling the playing fields at Spalding. Careful coordination with the school sports and other youth group usage and maintenance of the fields at times required mowing at one end of Spalding while activities were ongoing at the other end. The Recreation Commission would like to thank all of the groups for their cooperation and patience.
DIMENT PARK: The tot lot is used as a place for children up to age 5 years old as one of the only venues in town to meet and socialize. A safety audit was recently complete and maintenance issues will be prioritized and addressed.
TENNIS COURTS: Tennis lessons for adults and children were offered for five weeks in the afternoons in spring and for five weeks in the mornings and afternoons in the fall. The summer program utilized the tennis courts from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Monday through Friday over a six-week period for children’s lessons. Because of the failure of the Banta Davis Phase 2 project, the tennis courts will also need some repair in the near future.
BENFIELD: As part of the Community Preservation Act (CPA), a portion of the Benfield project is allocated to installation of a multi-purpose field for soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and other active and passive activities. Moneys were budgeted in prior years to design the fields; however, the design activities on Benfield were prioritized lower due to efforts to complete the Banta Davis Project. Our efforts in 2012 will include the renewed effort to complete the design efforts on Benfield.
Recreation programs included a variety of recreational opportunities to meet the needs of all segments of our community within the constraints of having no dedicated indoor Recreational facility in town. We offer a range of fitness, arts & crafts and life skills classes during the spring, summer, fall and winter seasons using the town hall and school facilities as well as some outside vendor locations. The Summer Fun Program for youth (age 4+) is offered for six weeks during the summer using the school facility and the outdoor recreation facilities. About 10 young people are employed during the summer as counselors and swim instructors. We offer a wide range of programs for residents in Carlisle to include all ages and interests. Programs include a variety of health and wellness, toddler, science, arts, sports, and educational classes. Ski programs for youth were offered at Nashoba Valley Ski Area in Westford. Basketball programs for adult and youth ran every night in the winter and on weekends in the Corey Gym at the Carlisle Public School. Adult evening badminton and basketball was also popular again this year.
Future Plans – Short Term
The Recreation Department continually assesses the need for program and the ability to support a program in a small community like Carlisle. The need for a free and unstructured recreational outlet for youth in grades 5-8 on early release Tuesdays has become apparent and will continue. We have also discovered the need to expand this type of a program for the youth in grades 5-8 after school. As a result, we implemented the “Home Base” program on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 2:30-5:30. This program is a pilot program for the 2011-2012 school year. So far it has been a great success and we hope to continue and grow the program in the future.
The Recreation Department will be seeking outside funding, possibly from CPA, to construct a bridge between the Spalding and Banta Davis facilities. This will provide an exceptional resource for the school that will allow access to the Banta Davis facility for sports activities and will also become an enhancement to the community’s path and trails resources.
Future Plans – Long Term
Program space continues to be a problem. We are grateful to have the use of Town Hall for most adult classes and several children’s classes. We are grateful for the use of the school gym facility in the evenings and on weekends for both adult and youth programs. The Commission will continue to work collaboratively with the town and the school and other venues in planning and improving shared spaces.
At some time in the future, a Recreation Center or Community Center perhaps in league with a Senior Center would be a welcome addition to the community of Carlisle.
A focus area for the Recreation Commission in 2012 will be to evaluate the possible use of the Highland Building to support dual use activities of programs and a community center.
Giving back to the Community
The Recreation Commission’s goal is to provide quality programs for all residents of Carlisle and to reinvest in our community. Every year the Recreation Commission gives back to the community from the excess fees generated from our programs and from gifts and grants received for recreation projects.
We are fortunate to have many teenagers and adults performing community service as chaperones, coaches and referees. Often their service means a program can run despite low enrollments or at a lower cost. Sometimes their service allows a child to continue taking swim lessons or participate in a seasonal program when they might otherwise need to forego such an opportunity due to financial circumstances.
The Recreation Commission is very happy and pleased to have senior citizens helping us as part of the Town of Carlisle Senior Work Program. These individuals have brought relief with enthusiasm and good humor to an otherwise over extended staff.
We are grateful for the support of the Concord Carlisle Community Chest and the donations to Carlisle Recreation from residents of Carlisle. These donations all contribute to the well being of our community.
Rick Amodei, Chair
CARLISLE TRAILS COMMITTEE There were two major events for the Trails Committee in 2011, one planned and one not. From January to April we undertook our most ambitious construction project ever, the wildlife viewing platform on the edge of Spencer Brook in the Benfield Conservation Land. Scheduling around snowstorms, working in deep snow, and hurrying to finish before Spencer Brook thawed, the 7-weekend project was always challenging and an unforgettable experience. Special thanks go to the Carlisle Conservation Foundation’s donors for funding, to CCF’s Steve Hinton for masterminding the project and participating in every aspect of the construction, and Alan Ankers for design and construction help.
Our second big “event” was the double-whammy of Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm, which both brought down huge numbers of trees and branches on the trails. With help from many volunteers, we spent most weekends from September through November clearing storm damage.
The Trails Committee in 2011 pursued its five major goals: 1) public education, 2) maintaining existing trails on public land, 3) working to preserve trails on private land being developed, 4) creating new trails, and 5) advising the Selectmen on trails issues.
Public education –The committee led seven public walks to familiarize townspeople with the trail network. In March, a near-record 67 people took a night walk from Spencer Brook Reservation to the newly-completed Benfield wildlife platform, arriving just as the “Super” full moon rose over Spencer Brook. It was a completely clear and magical night. In April we cosponsored an Earth Day vernal pool walk with the Conservation Commission at the Conant Land, where a population explosion of fairy shrimp captivated the 22 attendees. On a rainy June day, as part of Riverfest, 10 people walked to the Benfield platform. On Old Home Day in July, 25 walkers joined the 7-mile Double Sundae Sunday Saunter with stops at both of Carlisle’s ice cream stands, finding relief from the muggy weather. In October, walks were offered on two weekends at River Road Farm to view Pagey’s Preserve, proposed for acquisition as conservation land; 16 people came on a rainy day and 60 when the weather was nice. The annual post-Thanksgiving walk at the Greenough Land was blessed with a warm, sunny afternoon, and 32 people took the opportunity to walk off their stuffing.
Our guide to the Town’s conservation lands, “Trails in Carlisle”, is available at the Town Hall and Ferns Country Store. Individual trail maps are available on the Trails Committee web site, carlisletrails.pbworks.com. The web site, linked to the Town’s web site, also includes information on the Carlisle Trekker Award, notices for upcoming walks and work days, and a problem report form.
Marilyn Cugini earned the Carlisle Trekker Award in December for hiking all of Carlisle’s trails, becoming the twelfth person to do so. She kept a blog of her experiences, and presented the committee members with photo note cards from her walks.
Trail maintenance – After the snowy winter, a public work day in April cleaned up trail damage all over town. Particularly noteworthy, chest waders were involved in removing fallen trees from River Meadow Brook, where they had rerouted the flow and undercut part of the Otter Slide Trail. Another public work day in June cleared the Sachs Greenway and Hanover trails. High school Earth Science students helped clear trails in Great Meadows and replace broken boardwalk boards. As noted above, the committee and other volunteers cleared nearly every trail in town in September and again in November. The trail to the Benfield platform was mowed twice, and a steel post was installed to prevent unauthorized vehicular access to the Benfield Conservation Land.
Trail markers were put up on the Hart Farm trail and the Holmes-Avery trail. Wooden signs have been made for the Kolansky trail easement.
Preserving trails and new trails – Two Boy Scouts created new trails this year for their Eagle service projects: Brendan Nunan from Church Street to the Banta-Davis trail, and Anthony Perugini in the new Chestnut Estates conservation land. We expect to extend Anthony’s trail into the recently-surveyed Mannis Land next year. Sheldon Kolansky’s trail easement through his property was recorded. It connects trails in the MacAfee land, Holmes-Avery land, and Sleigh Road in Westford, giving access to the Bruce Freeman rail trail. Working with CCF and the Sudbury Valley Trustees, a trail was laid out and cut on the Elliott’s land to allow access to Pagey’s Preserve, proposed for protection as conservation land. This included building a small bridge. We met with a Land Steward from Acton and walked a future trail link from Ben’s Woods to extensive conservation land in Acton. We also met with Alan French of the Bay Circuit Alliance to discuss routing part of the Bay Circuit Trail through Carlisle. We met with neighbors, the Conservation Commission, the Land Stewardship Committee, and the police chief to discuss a potential new trail access into Foss Farm from the intersection of River Road and Bedford Road. We also met with Steve Carlin, the manager of Great Brook Farm State Park, to discuss his plans for new trail parking on Lowell Road with future trail connections to the Fern Loop, the Erickson Loop, and the town’s Gage Woodlot.
Interfacing with other boards and committees –We worked with the RecCom on a CPA proposal to replace the Spalding Field to Banta Davis boardwalk, but it was tabled for legal reasons. We met with other town conservation boards in April, organized by the Land Stewardship Committee. Member Kevin Smith is part of the inter-board committee drafting rules for use of Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices on trails in town conservation lands. Committee members Louise Hara and Kevin Smith are part of the group working on the Town’s new Open Space and Recreation Plan.
Finances – At year’s end there was $7,275 in the Trail Maps revolving fund and $15,000 in the CPA account.
Acknowledgement - The Trails Committee would especially like to thank the many volunteers from the community who have helped in our trail projects through the year. We also wish to acknowledge the unnamed volunteers who quietly maintain trails in their neighborhoods without direct involvement of the Trails Committee. Without volunteers, the Town wouldn’t have its wonderful trail system.
Henry Cox (chair)
Marc Lamere (vice chair)
Bert Willard (secretary)
Kevin C. Smith
Report submitted by Steve Tobin.
CARLISLE YOUTH COMMISSION The Carlisle Youth Commission continues to sponsor Friday Night Live (FNL) the first Friday evening of each month during the school year. At these events we offer dancing, games, and other activities for all Carlisle sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. During the 2010-2011 school year we hosted 1833 attendees, for an average of 204 per FNL. At these events we maintained a 17 to 1 student to chaperone ratio. Each of our chaperones must have an approved CORI form on file with the Carlisle Public School in order to chaperone. In addition to the monthly FNLs, the Commission hosted one dodge-ball tournament which was very well attended.
In 2011 Commission members Lisa Harris and Brenda Hicks completed their terms. They were replaced on the Commission by Dawn Hatch and Alexandra Walsh. Jeff Blue elected to step down from the Commission with two years remaining in his term. Tom Ratcliffe replaced Jeff on the Commission and will complete the two years remaining in Jeff’s term.
The Commission, through the Carlisle Recreation Department, launched online registration for the 2011-2012 FNLs. The new registration system was well received by the families and helped to streamline the process.
For 2011-2012, the Commission is now required to have a certified Crowd Manager in attendance at each FNL. A permit must be submitted to the Fire Department prior to each event as well. Phil Lotane and Nicole Pinard have taken the online certification course and are the Commission’s certified Crowd Managers.
GLEASON PUBLIC LIBRARY The Gleason Public Library respectfully submits the 2011 Annual Report to the people of Carlisle.
In 2011, the Library opened on Sundays for the first time in our history. The Trustees abolished overdue fines for the library. We held a gala event in coordination with an Essence of Carlisle Art Show celebrating over seventy Carlisle artists, we received a grant to focus services on Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Music (STEM+M), we updated and improved our website, we were able to shift staff hours to have four full time librarians, and we continued to offer an array of educational and entertaining programs and collections from e-books to large print books and everything in between.
The GPL mission is to be a dynamic community nucleus. The Library fosters personal and civic connections, embraces learning and the pursuit of knowledge, and provides professional services and a bountiful collection of research materials, recreational materials and media, and technology. The GPL promotes discovery, equality, loyalty, civility, literacy, positive interactions, and trust through all times.
The Library provides a collection to meet the varied needs of Carlisle patrons. To supplement, support, and promote that collection and the intent to provide lifelong learning, the Library offers a wide range of programs designed to bring the community together. This year, the Library stepped far into the realm of downloadable formats as patrons became more savvy consumers of e-books and e-resources. The Friends of the Gleason Public Library donated several e-readers first used by staff in training then extended for loan. These devices enabled the Library to showcase and demonstrate the e-collections we hold and grow. Use of this media grew considerably over the course of the year.
In 2011, programs for all audiences included: “The Joy of Getting Things Done” with Linda King, “Songbirds of the Northeast” with John Root with the support of the Carlisle Cultural Council, Invasive Plants with Tedd Elliman funded by a grant from the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord Wild and Scenic River Small Grants Program, “Small Arms at Gettysburg and in the Carlisle Gettysburg collection” with Paul Carpenter and “Industrial Evolutions” with Dr. Robert Forrant, both with the Carlisle Historical Society. A presentation on “Guatemala Service Trip” by six eighth-graders from the Carlisle Public School who volunteered in Guatemala was standing room only. The Carlisle Garden Club cosponsored “A Year in the Life of a Honey Bee Colony and its Beekeeper.” The Carlisle Cine Club showed films and organized a special presentation of belly dancing by Carlisle’s “Om” dancers.
We celebrated poetry month in April with a special discussion group and a poetry contest. Prizes were awarded to the winners: Aiko Ma, Rebecca Bishop, and Mary Zoll. The poetry interest continued throughout the year with Sarah Rolph facilitating a monthly group meeting of local poets and Mary Zoll offering monthly poetry courses.
In the fall the Library received a $10,000 grant for a unique program designed by the librarians and penned by Martha Patten. The grant is to provide focus on STEM+M, Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Music to all Library services, while reconfiguring the reference service spaces. As a result, the Library added more related programs starting in late 2011. Some of the programs listed above were cosponsored by this grant that is to be completed by the fall of 2012. Our launch event was “Inside the Video Game Industry,” organized by Trustee Steve Golson, and featuring guest innovators including Doug Macrae, Jamie Gotch, and Ichiro Lambe. Another program is the Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Club, led by librarian Charles Schweppe. This grant is funded through the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services managed by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC).
The Susan Zielinski Natural Science Fund supported several programs in 2011 and cosponsored with both the STEM+M grant and Friends of the Gleason Public Library. In particular, the fund cosponsored Anthony Mariano’s Amazon Adventure as part of the Summer Reading program, “How Magmas Form in the Ring of Fire” with Christy Till, and, in partnership with the Carlisle Conservation Foundation, Carlisle Conservation Commission, and Carlisle Garden Club, the Zielinksi fund hosted Doug Tallamy's “Bringing Wildlife Home” at the Carlisle Public School. The Fund receives donations and supports forums, lectures, exhibits and additions to the collection in the areas of Geology and Ecology, and the protection of wildlife, biological diversity, and the environment. The Fund honors the memory of Carlisle native Susan Elizabeth Zielinski and reflects Susie’s love of the natural world and of the town where she grew up.
The Library was opened Sundays from 2 to 5 pm January through April because of private sponsors, including area businesses, organizations, families and individuals matching donations by the Friends of the Gleason Public Library and the Gleason Public Library Endowment. Sunday hours provided a new venue for programs, including an Art Fair featuring Carlisle Artisans, a panel of local Carlisle authors including Nancy Shohet West, Tracy McArdle, Margaret Crouse-Skelly, a bridge players program, a film with the First Religious Society’s Environmental Action Committee, and a classic film with the Carlisle Cultural Council in memory of former Chair Elissa Abruzzo.
The Friends of the Gleason Public Library and Friends of the Council on Aging continued to offer joint programming through the afternoon and evening lecture series and special events. These included “Carlisle Conversations,” moderated by Carlisle volunteers, “Muslims in America,” with Professor Kayed Khalil, “Opera,” with John Tischio, “Superstars,” with David Aguilar, “Cosmology at the South Pole,” with Colin Bischoff, “Art Matters,” with Jane Blair, and health lectures: “Your Aching Joints: Hip & Knee Arthritis and Modern Joint Replacement, with Dr. Dean Howard, “Rheumatology and More,” with Dr. Alan Marks, “Heart Health,” with Kathy Laferriere, and "Mind and Body," with Carole Legro.
The third annual community read, Cover to Cover, was held in January, 2011. The book selected by Carlisle voters was Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers. Events included book discussions, a documentary film, a program on Muslims in America, a panel “Disaster and Response: Lessons from Katrina” including Arthur Adelberg, Beth Daley, and Carlisle’s David Campbell and Fire Chief David Flannery, "New Orleans Cuisine: A Gastronomic Tour," with Tony DiRomualdo, "Stories of Perseverance," a roundtable of stories from Carlisleans including Michael Dundorf and Ray Offenheiser, and to complete the month a new Orleans-style dinner prepared by Dian Cuccinello with music by the New New Orleans Jazz Band.
The committee that orchestrated this major event included Estelle Keast, Jennifer Albanese, Ann Rosas, Martha Patten, Angela Mollet, Trustee Steve Golson, Nancy Pierce, Susannah Vazehgoo, and Marilyn Harte. The committee read, discussed, planned, cooked, and marketed the Community Read. Their commitment and energy are a major reason why this event is a growing success.
Library Computer workshops and events included an introduction on how to use the Evergreen system, "Answers to Go," on how to use the range of databases provided by the Library, and a Tech Petting Zoo all about e-resources and how to access the e-content held by the Gleason Public Library. These workshops were planned and led by Shelagh Tomaino and Martha Patten.
Special events for teens in 2011 included monthly early release day films throughout the school year, Wii-Lympics tournament, Office Olympics, Dystopian Scavenger Hunt, Candy Sushi, Tie-Dye, The Amazing Race, Henna Tattoos, Teen Read Week, a visit from author Marcella Pixley, a Karaoke night, and a blogging and book review workshop (presented in conjunction with the Concord Carlisle High School library). The Teens of Gleason Advisory group (TOGA) continued to meet on a monthly basis to plan teen programs and offer recommendations on teen services at the library. The TOGA book group held several meetings. The teen department responsibilities were overseen by Jennifer Barnes through June, then by Jennifer Petro-Roy beginning in July and on.
Of special note, without a teen librarian at the helm, the library staff and volunteers extraordinaire managed to plan our third Harry Potter party. A heartfelt thanks to the team of prefects and professors including Henry and Amelia Cox, Janet Hentschel, Emma and Greg Schmidt, Anagha Chandra, Emma Marshall, Juliana Kulik, Alex Knobel, Meg Doucette, Larissa Shyjan, Warren Spence, Jon and Priscilla Stevens, the de Alderete Family, Genna Carmichael, Lauren Tice, Charles Schweppe, Martha Patten and Dan Brainard. Together we transformed the Library into Hogwarts and welcomed Carlisle middle schoolers for a fun evening of trivia and improvisation.
The children’s department was fortunate to be donated a train table and set of train toys which have delighted visitors to the children’s space. The librarians offered three Story Time sessions in the fall, winter and spring for ages three to four years old, four to six years old, and Drop-in for children ages three and under. In addition to these weekly Story Times, the librarians made special visits to local preschools, including Noah’s Ark and the preschool in the Carlisle Public School. These groups visited the Library in return for special meetings with the librarians. The Cub Scouts and Brownies held meetings in the Library. In addition, each month PJ-clad children ages three and up joined in the Pajama Story Time. Drop-in crafts were offered in the winter. Special Story Times were offered for ages three and up, including Teddy Bear picnic, Safari Hunt, A Pirate’s Life for Me, and Storybook Trees, in coordination with the Concord Museum. The Library held two sing-alongs for our youngest visitors, one each with Sulinha Boucher and Liz Buchanan.
For school age audiences the children’s department had the Animal Invaders of the Museum of Science, funded by a private grant, Henry the Juggler and Steve Blunt, songster were sponsored by the Carlisle Cultural Council, and “A Walk Across the Solar System” with Steve Golson. The children’s department offered a fiction and non-fiction book club for grades one and two and a book group for grades three and four. These groups met seven times each in 2011. Participants read the book (or have it read to them), discuss the book and participate in a fun activity.
The 28th Annual Great Pumpkin Spectacle featured storyteller Mary Jo Maichack, with a hundred or so guests at the Corey Auditorium, followed by a contest of carved, decorated, or decorated and carved pumpkins of kindergarten through third-graders at the Gleason Public Library.
The summer reading program for all ages is always a fun and important part of what the Library provides the community. “One World, Many Stories” was the theme, and the participants were invited to travel the world with us as they read books set around the globe. The Library hosted kick-off events, craft sessions, and a final celebration for grades one through eight. They made colorful masks, rain sticks, duct tape creations, and more. Special performers included a Rhythm Instruments with a Brazilian Flair by Ricardo Frota, the Creature Teachers with wildlife from Australia, and the antics and stunts of Alex the Jester. For all ages, Everest summiteer and professional mountain climber Craig John told tales from around the world and Carlisle’s own Anthony Mariano shared his personal experiences as a geologist of renowned traveling through Brazil’s Amazon, and of the rare gems that can be found there. Special Read-Aloud by Carlisle teens was held for ages three and up. In the tally of the over 160 people of all ages that participated and read in 2011, the children read 24,728 pages and high school through adult was 28,630.
The children’s programming was led by Milissa Fellers, Seana Rabbito, and Marty Seneta. Jennifer Petro-Roy, the teen librarian, also participated in the children’s programming in the fall of 2011. Many thanks to our volunteers who helped with the craft sessions and parties: Caroline Means, Emma Marshall, Susannah Krapf, Amelia Cox, Meg Doucette, Lauren Rayson, Lauren Tice and Hannah Merry.
The display space in the children's department, purchased by the friends, continues to be in demand and our young patrons love sharing their collections as guest curators. Supplies, prizes, and tools for Story Times, book groups, and special programs were provided by the Friends of the Gleason Public Library.
Displays are an important part of the library, to highlight collections or tell a story. Throughout the Library, Library staff regularly provides displays around subjects and collections, as well as writing material for local press outlets and blogs. In addition to these regular communications and displays, there were several historical displays of Historical Society/Gleason Public Library Collections, curated by Janet Hentschel. The Library and Historical Society work closely to preserve and share the story of Carlisle.
The Gleason Public Library staff donned Dr. Seuss costumes and decorated the book carts to participate in the 99th Carlisle Old Home Day parade. Much to our surprise, considering our lack of theatrical experience, the coordinated book cart routine won the Grand Prize of the Parade.
The Art at the Gleason program coordinated by a team of energetic, creative, and organized curators, Amy Livens, Emily Stewart, Andrea Urban, and Jean Barry had an extraordinary year. They organized shows throughout the year, including watercolors by Roger Goulet and works by Carlisle high school and college art students including Lili Boxer, Grave Fitzpatrick, Alec Hutson, and Marcus Kulik. With the spring came the annual school art exhibit, featuring over 500 examples of the creative and innovative works of Carlisle’s youngest artists. Next was a mixed media show with the The Depot Square Artists, followed by “Pysanky: Ukranian Easter Eggs” by Dan Kostyshyn, presented by Laura Scarbro, and art by Caroline Rufo, Joni Levy Liberman, and Elizabeth Carter. Art receptions were held for each show with the culinary contributions of Elizabeth Parsons, Joan Klickstein, and Barbara Lewis.
The year culminated with a major show titled, “Essence of Carlisle,” from October through December. The art displayed the artistic range and creative energy present in the town of Carlisle. Seventy-one artists of many media were represented. In tandem with the art show and a reception, the curators worked with an event committee to put together a gala event and art raffle to raise funds for a mural for the children’s media room. The raffle included seventeen pieces of art donated by Carlisle artists. The gala sold out, with 150 people attending an evening of hors d’ouevres, desserts, and wine, in which the Library was transformed into an elegant evening venue. Our thanks to the entire committee who put this event together, including Amy Livens, Emily Stewart, Andrea Urban, Jean Barry, Lisa Chaffin, Trustee Larissa Shyjan, Ann Rosas, Shelagh Tomaino, and Angela Mollet.
Throughout the year the Library continued to produce an e-newsletter to our six hundred subscribers listing events, updates, good reads, and more. This is done by the hard work of Martha Patten with input from staff and help from volunteers Ann Rosas and Trustee Priscilla Stevens. Martha Patten was also the lead in the renovation of our website, utilizing the skill of Accent Design and Silver Oak Design. Material to this and the website are created by all Library staff and some volunteers.
Over Memorial Day the Library went through a major migration of our catalog. This was a tremendous endeavor for Library staff in cooperation with the other 35 libraries and staff of the Merrimack Valley Library Consortium. The Library went to Evergreen, which is an open source system that allows for more controlled development.
In 2011, the Library staff focused on the migration of our Library system. This preparation involved database cleanup, collection review, training, and three staff meetings with hands-on case-by-case experience. We added fun to these by brainstorming our parade entry and footwork, which resulted in a triumphant victory. These activities speak to our Long-Range Plan, which articulates a desire to do the most the public would like within our budget and make the library a welcoming and fun place for the community.
In 2011, we said farewell to two long-time staff members of the Library, Shirley Pearlman and Shelagh Tomaino. Shirley Pearlman was with the library for sixteen years and Shelagh was with us for eleven years. The two were devoted to strong customer services and committed to going beyond in their roles as librarians. We also bid goodbye to Jennifer Barnes (shared between CCHS library and the Gleason Public Library), Milissa Fellers, a very popular children’s librarian, and our long-time page Lauren Tice. We welcomed pages Hannah Merry and Matthew Hill. To our regular staff we were able, with Personnel Board approval, to shift two staff to full-time, including Martha Patten, Head of Technology and Reference Services, and Jennifer Petro-Roy, teen librarian. In addition, part-time staff joined us, including George Collins, maintenance custodian, and librarians Janet Hentschel, Kelly McMaster, and Nicole Basbanes.
We ask staff to continuously improve the ways we can assist Library visitors in the building or via our digital branch. We must stay current in the continuously evolving modern Library that balances historical artifacts with e-devices, and always attuned to the need for reading and community connectedness. We acknowledge the contributions of all staff as they strive to do their best, including Nicole Basbanes, Linda Dodge, Kay Edelberg, Jean Forman, Janet Hentschel, Joan Hoffman, Kelly McMaster, Martha Patten, Jennifer Petro-Roy, Seana Rabbito, Shoba Ramapriya, Sukie Reed, Deena Scaperotta, Charles Schweppe, and Marty Seneta, and pages Hannah Merry and Matthew Hill. We were fortunate to have custodians Dan Brainard and George Collins keeping the Library building continuously well maintained.
Volunteerism and the involvement of Senior Tax Workers keep the Library rolling by helping with shelving, cleaning shelves, displays, programs, landscaping, marketing, and completion of special projects. Volunteers help the Library keep up with circulation, organization, and special projects, and ensure community involvement in the day-to-day functions of the Library. Not counted in this number are the hours committed to the administration of the Library by the Trustees and other informal committees and groups, who balance the varied needs and limitations of resources, public, building, and time to keep the Library operating at a high level of which the town can be proud. Annually, the Library staff, with the support of the Trustees recognize the essential role of volunteers with a celebration of their service.
As part of the regular policy review under Gleason Public Library Trustees, the practice of collecting fines for the majority of items was abolished. Based on the decrease in circulation of items, increase in circulation of e-items, the time it takes to process and manage fine collection and deposit, and finally due to the increase in notifications and communications with the Evergreen migration, the Trustees decided, in October 2011, to stop the practice of collecting the fines. Response to the policy was viewed as an improvement in the use of staff time, a convenience for patrons, and thus, an improvement in overall customer service.
To articulate the Long-Range Plan wish list items funded by enhancements, the Trustees worked with the Endowment board to prepare a mailer to Carlisle residents noting the long-term role the Endowment plays in supporting the Library. The Trustees of the Endowment include the Library Director, the three GPL Trustees, and the President of the Friends of the GPL.
A key component of the new Long-Range Plan was to improve the preservation of and access to historical collections in the community, especially those Town-owned collections placed in the purview of the Library. As discussions over the use of the Highland School Building evolved and the request for tenant interest was articulated to community groups, the Trustees resolved to consider Highland as a potential long-term space for the conservation and display of such materials. Recognizing that a concerted approach, working with the Carlisle Historical Society, would be the most attractive option for the community and the various collections, the Trustees met with CHS board members to discuss it. The Trustees determined that they would pursue a tenancy and hoped that the CHS would join them at a degree at which they were comfortable.
The Gleason Public Library had several small incidents of water leaking into the building in 2011. Ice dams forced some water into the second-floor byway of the roof vents, and after a heavy rainstorm and snowmelt, the Library drain system and wetlands were at capacity and water covered about half of the first floor. It came in through the west side door. In both cases, the materials were returned to a stabilized condition and nothing was lost. We continuously monitor these two areas of vulnerability and have made efforts to prevent them occurring in the future.
Of note in 2011, alongside minor item replacement and repairs, the Library replaced the boiler. Our landscaping is ever evolving, as a tulip tree was planted in memory of Wyatt Cragan and in appreciation of the work of his mother, Brooke Cragan, when she served as a Trustee. The new tree has thriven with the attention of arborist John Bakewell. A donor helped return Felix the cat, our outdoor sculpture, to a more permanent home on a rock on the west side. Finally, a plan for a permanent lawn sign was drawn by architect Neal Emmer, Levi + Wong Design Architects, Inc., which was approved by the Carlisle Historical Commission. It is anticipated this sign will be installed in the Spring of 2012.
The Library was fortunate to receive additional private grant awards in 2011. These awards are described throughout this report, but essentially provide enhancements, such as professional development opportunities, staff time for program development, funds to bolster our collections and technology, and monies to provide upgrades to furniture. In 2011, the Gleason Public Library received a two-year grant for $10,000 over each year to implement enhancements articulated in our Long-Range Plan. Our appreciation goes as well to the support the Library receives across the community.
In another opportunity for townspeople to contribute directly to the library collections, the "Pick-a-Periodical" program began. We received several donations directly for magazine subscriptions which extended to donations for our e-books.
The Friends of the Gleason Public Library rely on their membership drive and the Library Book Sale to raise the funds necessary to support enhancements to the Library. The July 2, 2011 Book Sale, chaired by Kathleen Ryder and John Putnam, and with hundreds of volunteers and local readers, raised record funds. The Friends held two "mini-booksales" in April and December, and began selling select books online.
Under the leadership of President Ann Quenin, the Friends made some major contributions to the library in 2011, including providing funds for a third of the Sunday hours and their programs, passes to fifteen area museums, additions to the collections, and sponsorship of and supplies for the following programs: Summer Reading, Cover to Cover, afternoon lectures, the Pumpkin Spectacle, and the Potluck Supper. In addition, they supported refreshments, matching funds for outside grants, speaker honoraria, and the Art at the Gleason program. They were instrumental partners in our big events including Jazz 'n' Jambalaya and the Essence of Carlisle. Their annual meeting speaker was Ken Gloss, a rare book expert.
The Keys to Library Success: