At the Groton Fall Town Meeting, to be held at the Middle School at 7:00 p,m, on October 21st, the Trustees of the Groton Public Library (GPL) and the Library Director will request approval to increase the budgeted time for our Young Adult Librarian from 19 to 20 hours per week. We urge the voters of Groton to attend the meeting and support our request.
The Young Adult Librarian has been a position on our staff since 2006 and has been a tremendous success. By focusing the attention of a dedicated, credentialed professional on young adults, we have attracted them to exciting and meaningful programs. They have been provided a place to go and find their peers on half days from school. With the attention of a library staff member, we have seen tremendous growth in use by young adults as measured by material circulation and program attendance. The Young Adult Librarian is a key part of the very high rate of participation of this group in our summer reading program, an activity widely recognized to contribute to academic success. Our programs have attracted praise from parents, teachers, and the police.
Youth services is an area that we plan to grow at the GPL. Our programs continue to expand and we are considering ways to re-orient our building to provide a larger, dedicated space that will be attractive to teens. A key part of this initiative is ensuring that we can retain and attract dynamic professionals to this position. We require that the Young Adult Librarian have a master’s degree in Library Science, strong experience with teens, and the personality to excite (and manage) teens.
It is with this goal in mind that we are requesting the increase in hours for this professional position. We appreciate that the costs to the Town are real but we believe that providing the position with benefits (both vacation and medical) is key to maintaining longevity in the position as well as attracting new candidates when that becomes necessary. We require similar credentials of, and provide benefits to, four other positions at the library, all of which have similar management responsibility. Our original request to the Town was for a full time (40 hour) position. Due to fiscal realities of the time, the Trustees accepted the Town’s only offer of a position funded at 19 hours, without benefits. Given the success of this program and our plans to invest future resources in this demographic, we believe that it is time to upgrade the position.
Again, we ask for you vote of support at the coming Fall Town Meeting. If you have questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact any one of us.
Vanessa Abraham, Groton Public Library Director
Susan Hughes, Chair, Groton Public Library Trustees
Jane Allen, Trustee
Mark Gerath, Trustee
John Kelly, Trustee
Kristen von Campe, Trustee
Nancy Wilder, Trustee