2008 Annual Library Report


Hours: Tuesday        3-6 PM

                   Wednesday   10AM—8PM

                   Saturday                  9:30AM—3:30PM        


Librarian: Rosie Heidkamp

Assistant Librarian: Joy Brenneman



Library Trustees: Sylvia Wetherby, Chair; Laura Botkin, Olga Holmberg, Phyllis Lawrence, Judy Putnam, Kathleen Swaim



                In July, the new Wendell Free Library celebrated the first anniversary of its opening. During this inaugural year, the number of library patrons nearly doubled from the previous year in the old library and the library issued 120 new library cards. The number of programs offered and participation in programs sponsored by the Library increased more than ten-fold from the previous year (by July, 36 programs and on-going groups had involved over 1,100 people). During the Summer months, a number of arts, crafts and theater programs were held for children as well as a program on North American Birds of Prey with live raptors including a golden eagle. In the Fall professional bookbinder, Julia Rabin gave a series of workshops on book binding. The Library also partnered with Northfield Mountain Environmental Center to offer a class in Map and Compass skills.



                In the spring, our long-time Assistant Librarian Clearwater Liberty submitted her resignation. A number of applicants for the position were interviewed, and Joy Brenneman was selected as Clearwater’s replacement. She and Librarian Rosie Heidkamp are assisted by an able group of volunteers who greet and assist patrons, check in and re-shelve borrowed items, assist users with the on-line catalog, and undertake many “special projects” behind the scenes.


                A number of groups from the region and across the state found the new library “the place to see” and held meetings in our Herrick Room. These include the Friends of the Western Regional Library System and The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners.


          In December, the Wendell Library was featured in the national professional publication, Library Journal, in their annual review of “The Year in Architecture.” We were one of twenty-four libraries out of over 200 singled out for special mention (“A+”) in an article called “Library Buildings 2007: Going, Going, Green,” accompanied by a photo. And in their series “Making It Here,” Public Television Station WGBY included shots of the Wendell Library in their half-hour show on “our” architect Margo Jones.


                The Friends of the Wendell Free Library remain active under the able leadership of Helen Haddad. The Friends continue to support much of the Library’s enhanced programming, the popular computer stations and WiFi access, museum passes and the soon-to-be fully installed audio-visual equipment (HD projector and 10’ screen) in the Herrick Room.


                Long-term goals for the Library include: designate a volunteer coordinator, complete automation of circulation system, continue collection development, enhance programming for teens, upgrade internet access, build and organize Wendell History Collection, and develop new Library website.


                The Library staff, trustees, volunteers, and members of the Friends are committed to keeping and enhancing the role of the library as the center of community education and activity for the town. In these times of fiscal challenge, our rich home-grown cultural resource has never been more needed and more valued.




FY 08 Data

Hours open per week:  19

Number of new cards issued: 120

Library users during regular hours: 7,850 (adults 5,689, teens 712, kids 1,447)

Number of Wendell Library items loaned to public: 11,525

Number of Inter Library Loans to public: 1,158

Number of programs offered:  36 programs, plus 6 ongoing groups

Participants in programs: 1,100

Number of public access computer terminals: 6

Plus wireless access 24/7

Average volunteer hours per week:  46.5


Respectfully submitted,


Margo Culley

Friends of the Library, Treasurer


Rosie Heidkamp

Wendell Librarian