The latest news from the Wellesley Free Library:
Challenges of keeping part-timers
Wellesley Free Library Director Jamie Jurgensen and Chair of the Board of Trustees Marla Robinson presented an update on the library’s operations and plans before the Advisory Committee on Dec. 14 (see Wellesley Media recording below).
A big focus of the update was reassessing and improving staffing given employment realities and demand for services, especially in the children’s and information services areas.
“I know everybody’s having problems hiring people, retaining people. We have big issues with retaining part-time people,” said Jurgensen, who shared data on how much turnover the library sees with part-time people, often because they find full-time work elsewhere (15 part-timers turned over during fiscal year ’22 and there have already been 8 in the current fiscal year).
Jurgensen is looking to combine 2 part-time children’s librarian jobs into 1 full-time and to do likewise with 2 information services part-time positions to create 1 full-time job.
Other takeaways from the presentation:
- The library will explore the concept of going fine-free during as part of its next strategic plan, which will be filed next September. About 300 of the 367 libraries in the state have already gone fine-free, Robinson said.
- The library is on the verge of contract negotiations with its supervisor and staff unions for fiscal year 2024.
- A traffic study will be pushed into FY ’25 to get a handle on how the new Hunnewell Elementary School opening will affect traffic around the library.
- The library is making a concerted effort to attract a more diverse staff, and part of that simply involves placement of job openings in more general places (like Indeed.com) vs. only library-centric job boards.
- A cybersecurity audit, like the 1 the town has done recently, is in the plans.
Fire Chief DeLorie honored, gets a book
The Library Board of Trustees presented retiring Wellesley Fire Chief Rick DeLorie with a proclamation and a copy of one of his favorite books (“Team of Rivals”). The library also purchased a copy of the Doris Kearns Goodwin book for the library dedicated to DeLorie’s 30-plus years of service to the town.
“The Library has always been a special place with very special people,” says DeLorie, who recent read books to kids at Fells branch for the Heroes Garden celebration.
Flash fiction contest
Wellesley Free Library is holding a flash fiction contest, with winners’ stories being uploaded to the Short Story Dispenser at the main branch.
All ages are welcome to submit an entry, which must be fictional, though can deal with historical or biographical topics in a literary way.
Maximum length: 8,000 characters, including spaces. Most flash fiction is around 500 words.
Submit entries via email in the body of the email, single-spaced. Include a story title, your full name, and a 2-sentence statement about yourself.
Flash fiction workshops for adults will be held as well on Jan. 11 and 18 from 10am-noon. Register for these programs.
A creative writing program for tweens (5th-8th graders) will be held on Jan. 5 and 12 from 3:30-4:30pm. Register beginning Dec. 29.