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The year 2001 is fast approaching, commemorating the Ashby Free Public Library's 100th year of service. As we enter the next century, the role of the library as a community resource has expanded to include multimedia.

As of June 30, 1998, a total of 22,195 books, 371 audio tapes, and 6,044 videos were circulated. The library had 1539 card holders and was open 18 hours a week. 61 children's programs were held during the year with the support of the Friends of the Ashby Free Public Library and (Ashby) Massachusetts Cultural Council. Most of the programs were held in the newly refurbished (by the Friends) Sibley Room.

Two public access computers, acquired through state grants are now available. Free graphic Internet access is made through CW MARS as well as statewide catalog and text information access. Computerized automation of the library collection is becoming more of a necessity.

We are members of and serviced by the CMRLS (Central Massachusetts Regional Library System). Ashby receives inter-library loans, bi-monthly audio tape deposits, and monthly video deposits. Quarterly visits by the book mobile, (about 300 books per visit), young adult theme, and CD ROM kits have augmented our available materials.

Library hours are Tuesdays and Fridays 1:30 to 9:00 and Saturday mornings 9:00 to 12 noon. Arrangements for use of the Sibley Room during library hours for non-profit or town groups can be made by calling 386-5377. We will also be happy to make book deposit arrangements for handicapped or housebound patrons. Suggestions of books, programs, etc., or service is appreciated. Please feel free to voice your opinions, we want to make this library patron-friendly.

Thank you for your continued support of the Library and to the volunteers for their most appreciated help.

Respectfully submitted,

Marja-Leena LePoer

Library Director