WILMINGTON, MA — At Monday night’s Selectmen Meeting, Wilmington Memorial Library Director Tina Stewart and Wilmington Elderly Services Director Terri Marciello both made presentations to the board. Stewart discussed the library’s latest strategic planning process, while Marciello primarily focused on her department’s successful launch of its “Memory Cafe.”
“Every four years, the library develops a strategic five-year plan… We’ve just begun to do the next plan for the next five years. It’s due to the Board of Library Commissioners on October 1, 2019,” began Stewart. “Having a plan on file with them qualifies us to apply for certain state and federal grants. But more importantly, the strategic planning process is a value tool for evaluating library services, and ensuring that our library gives the greatest possible benefit to residents.”
Stewart then highlighted some of the major steps in the planning process, including the hiring of planning consultant Barbara Alevras, who assisted the library with the most previous strategic plan.
As part of the process, the library also formed a Strategic Planning Advisory Committee, which consists of representatives from town government, local organizations, schools, parents, the business community, Library Trustees, Friends of the Library, and library staff. Their charge is “to provide feedback, advice and to support the plan.”
The library is undergoing an external and internal assessment of the library. The external assessment will include a town-wide community survey beginning in early March, along with two focus groups.
The collected data will then be provided to the Strategic Planning Advisory Committee. Staff will then submit draft goals to the committee, and, once finalized, to the Board of Library Trustees for approval, and then to the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners in late September.
“Planning has served us well,” concluded Stewart. “This is my sixth long range plan since I’ve been Library Director. I think it’s really been a useful tool in guiding us and developing the services that are best for the community.”
Senior Center Update
“We’ve been running a “Memory Cafe” for several months now. When we took the project on, we knew exactly what we wanted to do, but we weren’t sure how things would develop,” began Marciello. “We’re extremely fortunate not only the town, but also We’re One Wilmington and Assisted Hands in financially supporting the program.”
Wilmington’s Memory Cafe — called “Our Moment” — happens once a month at the Fourth of July Building every third Wednesday of the month. It’s an opportunity for caregivers and their loved ones to enjoy a fun activity in a safe and relaxed environment. There’s aroma therapy, background music, and good lighting. Past activities have included pumpkin decorating and flower arranging with the Power of Flowers.
Marciello thanked Case Manager Laura Pickett, volunteer and nurse Lori Hayes, and Wilmington Police Officer Paul Chalifour for their contributions to the program.
“The whole thing is teamwork,” said Marciello. “We have 16-18 people consistently coming… We’re very pleased with things and we’re going to continue it.”
Marciello also briefly touched on the Senior Center’s Monthly Caregivers Support Group, a 4-day mental health workshop for seniors, and the annual free income tax assistance program.
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