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What we said about libraries for years has been proven true with the statistics for the Joshua Hyde Library for the calendar year of 2009. In bad economical times the public goes to their library. Not only did we have the highest circulation of books, DVDs, CDs, magazines ever, 138,800 items, but we also showed an increase of 5% over last year. The community is making their dollar stretch farther by using a service which gives them free information. Not only do our users get access to the newest best seller, but also to books on financial management, writing resumes, getting jobs, sustainable living and much more. They can help themselves in making a choice for a new or used car by borrowing our copy of Consumer Reports. Although we are not as fast as Netflix, we have all the new releases of DVDs and as many as ten can be requested at once. Libraries ease the hardships the community is facing in a recession.

This past year saw an extremely successful collaboration between this library, the Charlton Public Library, Southbridge’s Jacob Edwards Library and Old Sturbridge Village in presenting a 12 month program, “Moveable Feasts – A Year of Local Harvests.” Included were author visits, harvest dinners, one for free held at Tantasqua with donated local foods, and one professionally prepared at the Oliver Wight Tavern again with local food at OSV, and a truly magnificent event held on the Sturbridge Town Common, The Great Tomato Plant Giveaway and Gardeners Fair. On the last sunny Saturday in May over 1,000 people availed themselves of free tomato plants, and a mother lode of plants from area garden retailers and non-profits. It was great.

Our services to children have continued to be high quality with new programs for children aged 6 months. All of our extras for Children’s story hours and crafts are funded by our Friends of the Library group, who hold book sales and membership drives to cover these costs. The town’s support of the library is limited to basic library service which includes our salaries, utilities for the library building, and our materials budget (books, magazines, DVDs, CDs). Our computer hardware costs have always been covered by the State grant we get for being certified by the State as a complying library for our population size. We thank the community for their strong support of library services in Sturbridge.

The staff of the Joshua Hyde Library is dedicated to providing excellent service to you. They include Cheryl Zelazo, Patricia Lalli, Jan Bickerstaff, Judy McDonald, Sylvia Lenti, Elaine McClain, Susan Briere, Kim Kvaracein, Carol McKinstry, Kim White, Katie Coderre,, Kelsey Schauwecker and new Library Director, Becky Plimpton.

Respectfully submitted, JOSHUA HYDE LIBRARY

Ellie Chesebrough, Library Director


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