Director's Report May, 2023

Report To The Board of Sherman Free Library

May 11th, 2023

Prepared by Kris Jarrett

General Library News:

The State Report is done! (again). We received a few questions from the state on our numbers, mainly around how we reported the time closed for COVID in 2022. We had listed the missed time in hours, they needed it reported in total weeks closed, even if not consecutive. Corrections have been made and we should be done with the process for 2022.

Numbers Snapshot:

Total Patron Interactions: March, 2023: 251, April 2023: 207

Facebook Reach: Last 28 days:

Post reach: 3,660

Post engagement: 1,598

New Page likes: 16

New Page Followers: 32

Social Media & Web Presence: 

Our Facebook reach continues to grow. Our second Evening at the Library talk was streamed on Facebook with a number of folks joining there and interacting with questions live during the talk. We have our first two videos on YouTube (; our first two Evening at the Library talks. (edit: the second video is processing as of this report and will be available shortly.)

We continue to post history items as well as general library news to Facebook and now to Instagram as well (

As we continue to digitize our non-book collections we will want to be thinking about how to make those items available to the public online. We could very easily have a section of our website which hosts these files as a decent resolution useful for researchers not local to the library. 

Staffing & Personnel:

We have a wonderful new volunteer, Athena, who is planning to start a college program in Information Science this fall and has been helping with our collections indexing and digitization efforts. Right now we are working through the map case to index that collection including reference photos for items too large for our scanner. This index will be extremely helpful internally as well as to researchers and interested patrons. Next up for review are the Witherbee and McLaughlin collections. There is no shortage of very interesting documents and ephemera, but there is a lack of proper cataloging and indexing for many non-book items. We are working to correct that, develop a system for items accessioned going forward, and it is always fun to uncover and share the treasures held in our library. Recently we came across a folder full of 18th and 19th century documents which have been scanned and will likely, with other newly rediscovered items, become the subject of an upcoming Evening at the Library talk tentatively titled “Archaeology of History: Rediscovering Our Collection'' in which I will report on the newly digitized collection items, what we are learning from them, and, if we are ready, announce a plan to make the files available to the public.

During the summer season I will be in the library most weeks Tuesday-Friday, and Barbara will cover Saturday. I have agreed to cover the Roost Visitors Center at the bridge on Saturday/Sunday with occasional contract work for CPSHS.

Documents Recently Digitized:
Vintage library cards, overdue postcard
“Teaching About Freedom” pamphlet
“Historic Mount Independence” booklet
Document authorizing the restoration and addition to the library after the fire
WWI Photo Album (we will be working on learning more about this piece as it has no associated information)
Sanborne Map Book, Mineville
“Milling and Metallurgy” November, 1943
Bay State Map, 1913
Port Henry School Graduation handbill, 1953
“Ordinances Relating to the use of Village Water, booklet, 1921
“Our Champlain Story”, comic style illustrated story book
Spring photo collection
Three booklets on Crown Point
“Crown Point Pothole” booklet
Ice fishing at Port Henry brochure
“The Ideal Mining Co., Maps of the Model Mine” large format book
Folder of assorted 18th and 19th century documents, many relating to a Mr. Doolittle
Library meeting minutes and other records, books for:
1888, 1909-1932, 1933-1963, 1960-1970, 1969-1973, 1974-1980, 1981-2000
Special Building Committee record book

Events & Programming:

Spring Volunteer Day: What a fantastic day! We had a beautiful day and 17 volunteers who made short work of sorting our book sale books, cleaning out the basement (one dump truck and one flatbed trailer went away), and sprucing up the flower gardens.

April’s Evening at the Library: On Thursday, April 27th, we hosted Sam Huntington of Crown Point State Historic Site who gave a presentation titled “Fire, Running with the Wind: The 1773 Fire at Crown Point”. The talk was attended by 17 people. 

May’s Evening at the Library: On Sunday, May 7th, we hosted Tim Breeyear who led a talk and discussion on our local history which was attended by 35 guests. 

Both talks were filmed and have been made available on our YouTube channel. 

Physical Infrastructure: 

Generator: We are on the list for service by TAYLOR RENTAL SALES & SERVICE, of MIDDLEBURY, VT.
I have checked with them a few times, they are down to one technician and can’t give me a time when he could be here. Could be months. I have called around to other shops; same situation or they are just not taking any new people. At this time it seems prudent to wait patiently. 

Printer: We have had the printer looked at by SymQuest. The fuser is on its way out, which is why we have all the streaks. The part is almost 600, plus a few hundred to install. Clearly not worth it. To replace it with the updated current version of this same printer would cost just under $500. At this time I think it makes sense to ask for board approval to spend that amount.


Two researchers working on Mill 7 spent the bulk of two days in the library working on their report. We were able to assist with their project and uncovered interesting details about the purchase of Mill 7 by Republic Steel and the ramp up in production for WWII. 

We need to schedule the installation of AC units with the town crew.

We have a date for the town-wide sale; Saturday, June 3rd. I would like to gather information as to what we have done in the past, and assemble a team to handle the sale this year. Given my arrangement with Roost, I will not be available on the day of the sale, though I could come in at 5 to help clean up. That same day is the “Library Crawl” which encourages patrons to visit a few libraries in one day. 

We are collecting and updating local attraction and museum free/discount passes which can be checked out by patrons. Sadly, many places are doing away with this program or adding a fee to the library. I am tracking down only those which are free or discounted passes with no charge to us.