Greenwich Free Library

December Staff and Volunteer Newsletter

Merry Holidays and Happy New Year

Library volunteers are truly the gift that keeps on giving. Although there hasn't been snow, there have been plenty of other reasons for you to stay snug at home, rather than venturing out to the library this winter. But you just keep showing up! Your participation in this community venture is a gift of the best kind; a gift of yourself. I don't know how many people realize that it is our dedicated and reliable volunteer force that allows us to keep the library open more hours than any other in the area, offer programs and services on such a wide variety of topics and for every age group and keep the place looking good and running smoothly. You also contribute enormously to the friendly, welcoming and helpful atmosphere that our library is known for. The small staff, wonderful as they are, and I could not possibly do this all ourselves. I, for one, don't know how to thank you enough but here goes . . . THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! (That's me shouting and jumping up and down and waving my arms) - Annie

Putting more Free in the Greenwich Free Library

As the result of discussions I have had with local organizations, other libraries and our board of trustees, the Greenwich Free Library is trying out new policies to keep money from coming between our services and our patrons.

In November, we uncoupled computer privileges from late fees. When we really thought about how necessary computer access is to people looking for jobs, paying bills, dealing with agencies etc., we decided it ran counter to our service mission to block people's access because they returned some DVD's late.

Starting in January of 2016, we will stop charging new late fees. Old fines will still need to be payed and replacement costs for lost items will still be charged. Books, CD's and DVD's will still have due dates, we are just relying on our patrons to bring them back on time - which most already do - without the threat of fines. In July, we will take a look to see if there have been drastic changes to return rates. At that time, the Board of Trustees will decide whether to continue the policy.

How will this affect you at the desk? Not much. The Polaris system will simply not register new fines. Old fines will still be on patrons' records and need to be cleared up as usual. Reminder notices will still go out. There will be notices up that you may need to explain, so please make sure to look at what is posted on the circulation desk and talk with staff members if you need clarification.

Going fineless is an idea that not everyone on either the staff or board is totally excited about. That is why were are implementing it as an experiment. I see it as an opportunity to make our library more welcoming to those in our community for whom the fines on a bagful of late children's books or a couple of DVD's mean they are locked out. I don't think anybody should be locked out of the library for that.

Some of December's Volunteer Teachers

Wireless Printing at Last!

Also new in 2016, we will be offering wireless printing - Black and White only. Instead of having to email things to themselves and get on one of our computers to print, patrons can send an email directly to the printer under the circulation desk. The email and the attachments will all print. The cost is 20 cents per page. Starting on January 1st, there will be a flyer on the front desk with the email address for the printer and a list of the kinds of attachments that will print. I encourage you to try it yourself one (for free) to see how it works.

As with all new things, there will be a period of adjustment as we get used to how this will work for us. I have complete confidence in our ability to make this a routine part of what we do.

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Last Minute Shopping with Amazon Smile

Of course shopping local is best but, if you're going to shop on Amazon, please go through the Amazon Smile portal and choose Greenwich Free Library as the recipient. It costs you nothing and Amazon donates a percentage of your purchase to us. Win/Win

Staying Safe in the Library

It is a terrible fact of our times that those of us who spend time in public places have to think about what to do in case. At the last staff meeting, I gave out these links. The videos are upsetting but informative.

Los Angeles County Sheriff: Surviving an Active Shooter

City of Houston: Run, Hide, Fight