Otis Library- The Year in Review 2019

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The Otis Library is the place to find new materials, a place to connect electronically with the world outside, a place to learn and appreciate the Otis area.

We invite you to become Otis Library Patrons.  Currently we serve over 1300 patrons with an attendance of 9264 yearly and a circulation of over 13400 items from this library.  We welcome all this activity.  Now with our membership in CWMARS, as well as members of the Commonwealth Catalog, and the Massachusetts Library System we share over fifteen million items with libraries throughout Massachusetts.  In addition to hard copy items over            150,048 e-books and 7,300 e-audios are available electronically.

The Otis Library is more than just materials.  Five computers with Broadband Internet are available to the public. We offer WIFI access for use with individual devices, such as IPADS, IPODS, Smart Phones, Tablets, and whatever is yet to come! Our signal and our connectivity is always available.

This year the library sponsored 27 programs for over 200 adults, families, and children. Tom Ragusa presented a program on his work on the Knox Trail, Steve Otfinowski presented his book Captain Sully’s River Landing, Dave Malloof conducted a Ukulele workshop for all ages, and Jonathan Charow from Nova Computer Systems conducted 4 computer workshops as well as several computer help sessions. Mary Ames Mitchel, a descendent of Henry Knox presented a musical reading of her book Henry’s Big Kaboom for young children! Under the direction of our Children’s Librarian Kerry Bean we have offered over 12 programs for children.  Our summer reading program included story telling of Noodles and Albie by Eric Bennet, an Imagerina creativity workshop, making Alien Balloons with Ed the Wizard and the GSK Science in the summer program. Library Trivia encouraged cross age competition.  A Special thanks to the Otis Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council for helping to fund several of these programs.

We were delighted that the Otis Library Country Crafts Fair returned! The trustees worked diligently to bring this community event back.  Craft vendors, baked goods for sale and delicious food were activities on the town green.   While at the Church Green there were family activities such as Bike Helmet Check, infant car seat check, Ed POP variety show and the copsicle truck were sponsored by the Otis Recreation Commission. The library held its Book, Audio, & DVD sale and live music was provided by Sandy & Sandy.  The was a true picture of the Otis Community at its best!

These materials, services and programs are expensive.  The town provides approximately 66% of the total Library Budget.  The remaining 33% of the budget must be provided through private donations, grants, and state aid.  We have been fortunate to have supportive patrons.  Our state certification has provided for some state aid, and technology grants.

As we enter another challenging year, striving to meet the demands of society, working to maintain our technology services, and meeting the needs of our patrons, I thank those who have given us compliments and positive feedback. I thank Lois Hall, Assistant Director who has worked in my absence. I acknowledge the Trustees who have worked to study the library and assess the needs of the community. This year Eve Kummel and Walter Engels have left the Board of Trustees.  Thanks to them for their many years of service.  We have been fortunate to replace Eve and Walter with Sue Brofman and Donna Rich.  Have you noticed how well maintained our library is outside and inside? Special thanks to Jim Crandall and his maintenance crew for their hard work and perseverance.

As the winter comes and brings us a new picture of Otis and the Berkshires, I invite you to come and visit the library.  Please see what we have. It is a pleasure to provide services to such a wonderful community.

Kathleen Bort


Otis Library & Museum

January 10, 2020