Besides Dedham Reads Together, in the past 5 years DLIT has also sponsored the recently unveiled Dedham Little Libraries Project, two Murder-Mystery night events at the Dedham Public Library, independent film screenings, a speaker series, and children's programming. In addition, DLIT has funded annual technology and book purchases and provided advocacy for both Dedham's Public Libraries and our public school libraries. In 2015, DLIT was honored with a Massachusetts School Library Association Advocate Award.
Dedham Reads Together
A town-wide reading initiative to build community, foster learning and love of literature, and provide opportunities to support and celebrate the town’s libraries.
- 2011 Dedham Reads Together - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- 2012 Dedham Reads Together - Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition by Daniel Okrent & The Season of Open Waters by Dawn Clifton Tripp
- 2013 Dedham Reads Together - The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe & Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
- 2014 Dedham Reads Together - The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro
- 2015 Dedham Reads Together - Strong Boy by Christopher Klein
- 2016 Dedham Reads Together - The Lincoln Letter by William Martin
- 2017 Dedham Reads Together - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
- 2018 Dedham Reads Together - Havana by Mark Kurlansky
DLIT Annual Gala
Each year, in association with the Dedham Reads Together program, DLIT hosts a Gala event inspired by the selected book, to raise funds, build community and celebrate the libraries!
The Little Free Library Project
The Dedham Library Innovation Team & Dedham High School, in association with the Dedham Square Artist Guild, are excited to be the stewards of the Dedham Little Free Libraries Project!
Dedham’s individually-decorated mini lending libraries have been built by Dedham High School students and painted by both students and community artists. The locations, titles and artists of the ten fully painted and installed little libraries are as follows:
- Town Hall: “Little Red Schoolhouse” built and painted by DHS students
- Dedham Square Keystone Lot – “Head In The Clouds, Feet In The Trees” painted by Marietta Apollonio
- Endicott MBTA Commuter Rail Station – “Poppies” painted by Susan Hoy
- Veteran’s Road Housing Complex/East Dedham – “Library in the Leaves” painted by Rev. Rali Weaver
- Memorial Field on Eastern Avenue, “Pattern Recognition” painted by Lisa Houck
- Oakdale Square, Church of the Good Shepherd – “Stars & Stripes” painted by Luke Barry
- Legacy Place, “Our Little Library” painted by Peter H. Reynolds
- DHA Housing Complex, High Street/O'Brien Way, "A, B, Cs of Literacy" painted by DHS '16 Leah Badessa, Hannah Romanish, and Rachel Strykowski
- DHA Housing Complex, Parker Staples Road, "Dedham's Norfolk Tavern" painted by DHS Class '16 Leah Badessa, Hannah Romanish, and Rachel Strykowski.
- Dedham Corporate MBTA Station: "Celebrating Dedham Pottery" painted by Clarissa Robyn
- Terri's Market - Dedham Manor: "Under the Stars" painted by Cindy Mootz
- East Dedham Triangle Park (Colburn Street): "Victorian Roses" painted by Sarah Edson
To build the little libraries, DLIT partnered with Dedham High School working directly with Director of Technology and Libraries Don Langenhorst, and DHS faculty teams, which included Engineering/Construction Teachers Steve Dewar (now retired) and Dave Haluska, as well as Fine Arts Director Jeff Bolduc, and Art Teacher Maureen O’Sullivan.
ABOUT LITTLE FREE LIBRARIES: The Little Free Library Project was originally founded by Todd Bol. Bol designed the first “little library” built on a post as a tribute to his mother, who was a book lover and schoolteacher. As the concept spread, the goal was the creation of 2,150 Little Libraries, which would surpass the number of libraries founded by Andrew Carnegie. The mission of the Little Free Library Movement is to promote literacy and the love of reading by building free book exchanges worldwide and foster a sense of community and connection as we share skills, creativity and wisdom across generations.
- 2012: Donation of bookcases to Dedham High School English classroom library
- 2013: Donation of 2 iPads, 2 Dell laptops, a projector and speakers to the 2 town libraries
- 2014: Donation of $500 to each elementary school library to launch Lego Makerspace robotics labs, an iPad2 to the Early Childhood Education Center, and $1000 to the High and Middle school libraries for digital audiobooks
- 2015: Donation of $700 to each elementary school library to add to their Makerspace supplies, and $1400 to the High & Middle School libraries to launch their Makerspaces
- 2016: Donation of $600 to each elementary school library to add to their Lego Makerspaces of different types, and $600 to the High and Middle school libraries for their Makerspaces including 2 Raspberry Pi 2 mini-computers; and 5 Raspberry Pi 2 mini-computers donated to the Public Libraries
- 2017: Donation of $600 to each school library to expand Makerspaces and STEM programming with educational manipulatives and STEM-themed books for the elementary schools; and materials and supplies to foster technical and creative skills in the middle and high schools; as well as $1900 to the Dedham Public Libraries to fund a Flight Lab wind tunnel and other supplies to support STEM instruction for library patrons.
- 2018: Donation of $600 to each school library to expand Makerspaces and STEAM programming; $1500 to the Dedham Public Library to fund chalk spinners, deskcycles and starling literacy devices.
Book It! 5K Race to Support the Dedham Public Library
The Inaugural Book It! Library 5K was held on Saturday, August 20, 2016 as part of the finale for the annual Summer Reading Program. The theme for 2016 Summer Reading was "Wellness, Fitness and Sport!" -- and the race was designed as a fun family-friendly activity for the entire community to raise awareness for the town library system and the many resources it provides. About 150 runners/strollers participated, local dignitaries attended (Selectman Jim MacDonald, State Rep Paul McMurtry), lots of DPL staff were there to meet and greet - including the new DPL Director Bonnie Roalsen & out-going Interim Director Chuck Flaherty. Book It! was possible due tot the sponsorship of Dedham Savings, Whole Foods, and DAVIDsTEAS, with free coffee from Mocha Java. In August, 2017, the 2nd Annual Book It! Race was successfully held to support the library, with the 3rd Annual Book It Race held in August, 2018.
Murder Mystery Fundraising Parties:
Community interactive theatre productions at the Main Library starring local celebrities, celebrating literacy, and raising funds for the libraries:
2011 Murder at the Main - Whodunnit mystery play
2012 Murder at the Main - Whodunnit mystery play II
2014: Free Public Screening at Dedham Community Theater: The Big Picture - Rethinking Dyslexia, a documentary presenting the issue and some solutions for helping dyslexics
2015: Dedham Little Free Libraries Project - Solicited donated materials from local businesses, and labor provided by high school students, staff and townwide volunteers to build, paint, and install 10 Free Little Libraries throughout the town of Dedha
- 2017: The Future of Our Library: Working to Make the Dedham Public Library the Best in the Nation - tours and discussion with library director Bonnie Roalsen. Over 100 residents attended!
Smack Dab in the Middle - Dedham's Middle Grade Author Festival
DLIT partnered with the Dedham Public Library and The Blue Bunny Bookstore to host an author festival for local middle-grade authors on March 3, 2018. The event included 3 consecutive panel discussions, Q and A time with the authors, and a book sale and booksigning. Writing workshops for kids ages 10-14 were offered prior to the event with several of the authors. Hundreds of attendees enjoyed the free event at the Dedham Public Library. The 2nd Annual Smack Dab event is scheduled for March 23, 2019.