Library Trustees Hear of Library Improvements

The Library Trustees met remotely on Wednesday evening, March 3, 2021, at 7 PM. Trustees voted to accept the minutes from the February 3, 2021 meeting.  Chair Nancy Baron requested Library Director Leslie McDonnell present the Director’s report to the group.

McDonnell began with a review of the successful One Book, One Holliston program, held on February 17, with 33 people attending.  The book, Say I’m Dead: a Family Memoir of Race, Secrets and Love is by E. Dolores Johnson. The program was recorded will be posted on the Holliston Library website.              

Other updates provided by McDonnell included:

  • Staff are presently being trained on Hoopla, a digital media service offered by the Library, allowing patrons to borrow movies, music, audiobooks, ebooks, comics, and TV shows. 
  • Library budget FY22 was brought to the Finance Committee meeting.
  • The new boiler pump has been fully installed.
  • Painting of the library began on February 22.  Staff removed books from the shelves.  The Children’s Library is 98% completed, and the upstairs is 60% complete.  McDonnell says the place looks great—“It’s incredible!” Painting should be completed by week’s end.  (See photos below.)
  • New carpeting will be installed beginning March 15.
  • Owner of the new Jensen-Sheehan building adjacent to the Library has agreed to lend 3 parking spaces to the Library for employee parking.
  • Projects that will go out to bid this spring include the thermostat and some old stonework restoration. (See also photos below.)
  • Security cameras came in and will be installed April or May.
  • Information on the present website is being migrated to the new website.
  • James Keast, Building Facilitator, has locked in gas and electric pricing so as to save on future energy costs.

McDonnell summarized conversations with Fire Chief and Emergency Management Director Michael Cassidy and Town Administrator Travis Ahern concerning the reopening potential for the Library.  Because Holliston is in the yellow zone (moderate risk), they have discussed a possible April 1 reopening date.  This would be dependent upon the positivity rate remaining at or improving from the present rate, the precautions put in place (or maintained from previous reopening in 2020), State regulations, agreement of Cassidy and Ahern, and the degree of comfort of the staff.  Some of the former precautions included no in person programming or meetings, a limited number of patrons at any one time, plus retaining the safety measures that include plexiglass dividers, the wearing of face masks, and the ready availability of hand sanitizer. 

McDonnell adding that Friends of the Library will provide new posters for the Children’s Room.  The Friends will also fund a book discussion/art class of the book “Gift from the Sea,” by Anne Morrow Lindberg on March 25.  For registration (limited to 20) and more information, see the Library website. 

With the completion of the Director’s Report, the meeting adjourned at 7:51 PM.

See photos below of the Library’s new look in progress and try to imagine the new carpeting that will be installed later this month:

Above photos, taken from the second floor balcony, show the brightly painted walls of the main floor.

Above note original woodworking highlighted by the new library colors.

These two photos highlight the brightness of hallways and stairways.

The Children’s Room (above) has also been lightened and made more special with accent walls.

A future project (below), soon to go out to bid, includes restoration of the façade and stonework. (Note the tree growing from the stonework outside a window!)

Note:  Many thanks to Leslie McDonnell for allowing me to take photos of the work-in-progress!


Yvette Cain

1 Comment

  1. Karla Alfred on March 6, 2021 at 12:32 pm

    The new paint looks so good!