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Woburn Public Library

 45 Pleasant Street
 Woburn, MA 01801
[P] (781) 933-0148
[F] --
-- --
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-6047185

LAST UPDATED: 10/19/2015
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

The Woburn Public Library is a medium-sized library serving an economically developed suburban community of approximately 39,000. The library seeks to be an integral part of the community by providing its residents with an environment which invites them to meet and interact, which satisfies their needs for current topics and titles, which helps to meet their needs for general information, and offers local history and genealogy services.

Mission Statement

The Woburn Public Library is a medium-sized library serving an economically developed suburban community of approximately 39,000. The library seeks to be an integral part of the community by providing its residents with an environment which invites them to meet and interact, which satisfies their needs for current topics and titles, which helps to meet their needs for general information, and offers local history and genealogy services.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2012 to June 30, 2013
Projected Income $1,056,406.00
Projected Expense $1,056,406.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Children's Room Programs
  • Farino Photo Program
  • Summer Reading Program

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2010 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

The Woburn Public Library is a medium-sized library serving an economically developed suburban community of approximately 39,000. The library seeks to be an integral part of the community by providing its residents with an environment which invites them to meet and interact, which satisfies their needs for current topics and titles, which helps to meet their needs for general information, and offers local history and genealogy services.

Background Statement

Woburn has maintained a library since 1789, when the first subscription library began. In 1854, local resident Jonathan Bowers Winn donated his salary (earned as a delegate to the Convention to revise the State Constitution) to Woburn with the stipulation the town match the funds to create a public library. The offer was accepted and within two years the first public library was opened in a room in the Municipal Building. The library proved popular with citizens, and so required more and more space as time went on. The need for a permanent library building was evident by 1875 when Charles Bowers Winn (Jonathan's only son) died. In his will he bequeathed to the Town a large sum of money for the purpose of building a library that would be “an architectural ornament to the town.”

In accordance with Mr. Winn’s expressed wishes, the best know architects of New York and Boston were invited to submit plans for a library building that included an art gallery, a reading room, and a museum. The Library Building Committee chose the design submitted by Henry Hobson Richardson who had recently completed Boston’s Trinity Church. With elements of Romanesque and English Victorian design, the building is easily recognizable to anyone familiar with Richardson’s style.

Opened on May 1, 1879, the basic structure has not changed in any significant way. Modern systems and conveniences have been added over the years, but there has never been a major renovation of the entire building. The funds we seek will be used to renovate and expand our historical landmark building (so designated in 1987) allowing it to remain a vibrant presence and symbol of the community in Woburn.

Impact Statement

Accomplishments that relate to our physical space and our ability to use it in the best way to follow our mission statement dominated our achievements in the past year.

1.      The primary and most important goal achieved in the past year is our placement on the waiting list for a Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Building Grant. We are currently number three on the waiting list with a potential grant of just under $10 million.

2.      In an effort to raise community awareness about the need for renovation and expansion, a Strategic Planning committee was formed to develop plans for community outreach. This will include presentations to community organizations, informational letter writing campaigns, brochures, etc.

3.      The Board of Trustees identified a number of opportunities to add to our Building Fund. These included selling donated materials that have no connection to our community, re-allocating investments, and sales of library related items (pins, notecards, etc.) whose proceeds are designated for the Fund.

4.      While awaiting our turn to access state funds, the library has made every effort to make the available space as user-friendly as possible. This includes rearranging materials and removing unused furnishings.

For the current year, our goals will work toward putting the Woburn Public Library into the best position to proceed once we move to the top of the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Building Program list. These include:

1.      The hiring of a Development Director to oversee the details related to raising funds and awareness.

2.      The creation of a Foundation which will manage funds raised both for the current Building Fund and later for ongoing programming and needs.

3.      The establishment of a Capital Campaign.

Needs Statement

1.      The most pressing need facing the Woburn Public Library is space. While a beautiful building, the library space is not practical for daily library use. In order to renovate our historical landmark building, and add practical, usable space we estimate building costs in the neighborhood of $24 million (estimate based on information provided by our architects.)

2.      It is essential that we work to raise awareness in our community about the need for expansion and renovation of our iconic building. So long a symbol of our City, the building has become “invisible” to residents who see it every day.

3.      We recognize the desire within the community to have access to the many historical documents and artifacts stored at the library. We must provide conditions that allow us to share these important pieces of local history.

CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement

The need for additional space in our Library was recognized as early as 1900, a mere 21 years into our service. This building was designed for a community with a population of 13,000, with only a fraction of that population having access to our collections. Quickly realizing the need to serve all members of the community (including women and children), the various Boards of Trustees have worked to realize the dream of expanding our building while maintaining the architectural integrity of the "gem" that was bequeathed to us. Rejecting subpar options, including prefabricated boxes and moving library services to a new building, Trustees have envisioned a complementary addition that will preserve our National Historic Landmark library while allowing the necessary growth to serve our current population of about 39,000.
We find ourselves in a position to achieve that goal. Third on the waiting list for a Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners Building Grant, we are trying to narrow the gap between the $9.9 million grant and $3.5 million we have on hand from income earned on donations and Trust Funds designated for the purpose of caring for our building.
We truly feel this is the last chance we have to preserve our historical building while providing a structure that will carry public library service in Woburn forward during the next 150 years. Without relief, our building is deteriorating. Large portions of the building are now off limits to the public due to liability issues. We are looking for help from every corner and we hope you will be willing to step up. Thank you.

Geographic Area Served


Woburn Public Library primarily serves our local and neighboring communities. As part of the Minuteman Library system, we are able to extend our services to other cities and towns in eastern Massachusetts. Anyone with a valid library card has access to our catalog and databases no matter where they are located.

Organization Categories

  1. Education - Libraries
  2. -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Children's Room Programs

Programs provided by the Children's Room include such things as Bookeaters, Baby Songs, Story Time, Scrabble Club, yearly visits from Mother Goose and Mrs. Santa, the Annual Teddy Bear Picnic, and other programs as might be available. The ages served by these programs start with infants who come to listen and move to Baby Songs through young adults who participate in Scrabble Club learning to play the game and participating in tournaments. Our Bookeaters are presented with age appropriate books about which they talk in a book club setting. Young children enjoy visiting with performers portraying Mrs. Claus and Mother Goose when they visit our library each year.
Budget  $0.00
Category  Education, General/Other Library
Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5) Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
We measure the short-term success of each program from the joy on the faces of the children attending the programs, the intensity of the discussion of each new book, the focus on the letters coming out of the bag during a Scrabble game.
Program Long-Term Success 
The popularity of our Children's Room programming proves the long-term success. Each year more and more parents and children ask when sign-up will begin for their favorite performer, club or group. In recent years, due to the high number of responses, most of these programs have moved from the cramped Children's Room to the Adult Services area.
Program Success Monitored By 
Parent feedback is an important tool used to measure the success of Children's Room programming. Feedback is measured by various means, including anecdotal responses, occaisional surveys, and librarian observation.
Examples of Program Success 
The increasing numbers of children participating in each program provide us with the information that a particular performer, club, or group is doing well.

Farino Photo Program

A dedicated volunteer has sorted through thousands of donated photographs in an effort to identify people and places in Woburn. This program brings the photographs to the public, giving them a chance to reminisce about their school days, local businesses, annual events, and one-of-a-kind experiences. In this way, the photographs are catalogued with as much information as can be recalled. This is a popular program with Senior Citizens as the photos span several decades with which they are familiar.
Budget  $0.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Historic Preservation & Conservation
Population Served Adults Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens Families
Program Short-Term Success 
Short-term success is measured by the enthusiastic community response to each public viewing and the increasing numbers of attendees.
Program Long-Term Success 
The goal of this program is to identify the local people and places in thousands of donated photographs, then catalog this information into a database so that future generations are able to access it. This is an on-going program with public viewing of the photos held every three months or so. Success will be measured by the percentage of photos catalogued with 100% being the ultimate goal.
Program Success Monitored By 
Tools used to measure the success of this program include feedback from attendees, increasing numbers who come to the showings, and the growing database of identified photos.
Examples of Program Success 
One example that indicated to us the popularity of this program is the disappointment expressed when, due to a major snowstorm, the showing had to be postponed. Numerous contacts were made by phone, email, and facebook, to find out what the rescheduled date would be.

Summer Reading Program

Summer Reading is open to all library patrons. Participants keep track of what and how long they read using either paper or online tracking. Small donated prizes are randomly awarded each week and all participants are acknowledged in publicity at the end of the program. Primarily coordinated by the Children's Room, this is a popular program with all involved.
Budget  $500.00
Category  Education, General/Other Library
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) College Aged (18-26 years) Adults
Program Short-Term Success 
The high percentage of participants who complete the program each summer represents the short-term success of the program.
Program Long-Term Success 
The long-term success of the Summer Reading Program is evident in the high numbers of repeat participants.
Program Success Monitored By 
Participants must submit a log each week, and must complete a set number of logs for successful completion of the program. The specifics are variable depending on criteria established each year.
Examples of Program Success 
The key indicator of the success of this program is the high percentage of repeat participants as well as the ongoing usage of the library when the program is not in place.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Providing programming is always a challenge in our limited space. Rearranging furniture, blocking off public areas, and even closing the building to the public are all ways in which we have attempted to utilize our building for various programs. Children's Room performers are very popular, so much so that they can no longer be held in the cramped, lower-level children's area. Instead, a portion of our Study Hall is blocked off. The happy sounds of kids participation is often disruptive to adults attempting to study or read in the same room.
Expansion of our building will give us the opportunity to incorporate a bright, new area dedicated to the children of our community. A community meeting room, quiet study space, and increased availability of public access to computers are all goals of our project.
Much of our current programming budget is funded by donations from our Friends of the Library group. Volunteers and community donations are additional sources that help offset any costs of the programming. With the expansion of the building and the development of a library Foundation, we hope to expand our programming capabilities to maximize our possibilities.


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Kathleen O'Doherty
CEO Term Start Jan 1986
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Kathleen O’Doherty, the Director of the Woburn Public Library since 1986, has over 40 years of library experience. She started her library career as a Northeastern University Co-op student at the Woburn Public Library. She has also served as the director of a private school library and a college library. Kathy is the author of “Images of America:Woburn” which was published in 2000. She received the Woburn Business Association 2003 President's Award in recognition of her community involvement. Kathy has a Master of Science in Library Science from Simmons College. She is married to Dr. Shaheen Mozaffar and lives in Woburn.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience
This position is currently vacant.

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Mr. Thomas Doyle Archivist --
Ms. Cynthia Fordham Children's Librarian --
Ms. Beverly Thompson Head of Technical Services --


Award Awarding Organization Year
PR Awards - 1st Place Film Award Massachusetts Library Association 2011
PR Awards - 3rd Place Social Media Award Massachusetts Library Association 2011
Bronze TELLY TELLY Awards 2010
National Historic Landmark National Park Service 1987


Affiliation Year
Public Library Association 1995
American Library Association 1900
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
National Register of Historic Places - Listed Property 1976


The Woburn Public Library relies on the City of Woburn for management and organizational plans.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

In 2010, The Woburn Public Library’s film “Your Community, Your Library” was chosen as a Bronze Telly winner from nearly 11,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries. In 2011, the film won first place in the Mass. Library Association PR awards. The Library's social media efforts received a third place award.

Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 12
Number of Part Time Staff 6
Number of Volunteers 2
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 90%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 18
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 12
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A


Board Chair Mrs. Janet Rabbitt
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Chair Term Jan 1985 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. William Angelo Community Volunteer Voting
Dr. Mary Hines Community Volunteer Voting
Attorney Judith A. Kelley Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Richard Mahoney Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Joanne McNamee Community Volunteer Voting
Mrs. Loretta C. Schuck Community Volunteer Voting
Ms. Carol B. Seitz Community Volunteer Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 8
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 6
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy No
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 15%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 40%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Building
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance
  • Personnel

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2010 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2012 to June 30, 2013
Projected Income $1,056,406.00
Projected Expense $1,056,406.00
Form 990s

2012 WPL Form 990

2011 WPL Form 990

2010 WPL Form 990

Audit Documents

2012 Audited Financials - City of Woburn

2011 Audited Financials - City of Woburn

2010 Audited Financials - City of Woburn

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
Total Revenue $1,709,818 $1,402,942 $1,368,686
Total Expenses $1,007,748 $1,048,285 $1,066,853

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $1,034,928 $1,015,536 $1,008,587
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $1,034,928 $1,015,536 $1,008,587
Individual Contributions $129,659 $19,869 $12,368
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $22,949 $22,172 $74,964
Investment Income, Net of Losses $518,839 $344,232 $200,067
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $3,443 $1,133 $8,732
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- $63,968

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
Program Expense $1,007,748 $1,048,285 $1,042,307
Administration Expense $0 $0 $24,546
Fundraising Expense $0 $0 $0
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.70 1.34 1.28
Program Expense/Total Expenses 100% 100% 98%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
Total Assets $9,633,390 $8,931,320 $8,576,663
Current Assets $940,461 $754,483 $825,718
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Total Net Assets $9,633,390 $8,931,320 $8,576,663

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value $5,000,000.00
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? Anticipated In 3 Years
Capital Campaign Purpose The purpose of the Woburn Public Library Capital Campaign is to raise additional funds to add to the $9.9 million State of Massachusetts Building Grant, $3.5 million in Trust Funds currently allocated to the Building Fund and any money received in individual donations for the expansion and renovation of the existing national historic landmark. In 2010, our architects estimated that the total cost of the building project at $24 million.
Campaign Goal $5,000,000.00
Capital Campaign Dates Sept 2013 - Jan 2015
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount $3,500,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities inf inf inf

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2012 2011 2010
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Over the years, Woburn Public Library has received as donations several Trust Funds, most of which have restrictions on how the income only can be spent. Any difference between revenue and expenses is the amount earned on those Trust Funds. All trust fund income that can be directed toward this project has been included in this profile.
Additionally, over the last several years, we have actively worked to raise funds which would be designated to our Building Fund. We have held galas, Ice Cream Socials, and Haunted Halloween parties, each of which has increased our fund. We have a number of dedicated people who regularly donate small amounts. In this way, we are slowly closing the gap between the cost of the project and the funds available. 

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs above is per the organization's IRS Form 990s.  Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.
Per the Woburn Public Library: the library entity is included in the City of Woburn's Audited Financial documents posted above.



The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


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5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?