Fall Fun at the Fox!

FrankenFest200 at the Fox Library
October 17, 6–9 p.m.

Please join us at the Fox on Wednesday, October 17, to launch Arlington’s week-long FrankenFest200 — a celebration of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s extraordinary novel. The first half of the evening (6-7:30pm) is a family party, and will include some background on Mary Shelley’s life and the world she lived in as well as trivia and costume contests highlighting the influence of the book on popular culture. The second half of the evening (7:30-9pm) will be a book group discussion of Mary Shelley’s novel led by Brandeis professor Susan S. Lanser. Refreshments will be served.

Want more FrankenFest200? Check out the event’s Facebook page for info about events at the Kickstand Cafe, Book Rack, and Regent Theatre.

A Statement from the Board of Directors, and Job Announcement

The Friends of the Fox Board of Directors provides the following statement regarding the temporary closure of the Little Fox Shop. Please see this Job Posting as we seek to open the store as soon as possible!

Dear fellow Friends of the Fox Branch Library and Little Fox Shop:

In recent days there has been misinformation circulating about the closure of the Little Fox Shop. We are sorry that this is the case, as closing the shop was not our preferred course of action. We certainly did not make the decision lightly, as we know closing the shop for any length of time would impact volunteers, donors, and customers. Unfortunately the Board has not been provided access to the Little Fox Shop Facebook page, website, or volunteer list, which has created a barrier to communications with the larger community, and for this we apologize.

Our intention is to make sure the Shop continues to provide secure and ongoing benefits to the Fox Branch Library. It is our responsibility as Directors to do all we can to that end.

The volunteers who started the Friends of the Fox (who now serve as volunteer Board members) established the Shop as one of several projects undertaken in an effort to maintain funding for the Fox Library. We secured space from the Town, obtained start-up inventory from a now-defunct PTO Thrift Shop, and interviewed and retained the original managers. We obtained 501(c)3 nonprofit status through a months-long process with legal counsel.

For the past 10 years we have supported the Shop managers in every instance, from providing regular increases in stipends on request under their status as independent contractors, to paying others to be onsite during hours of the week when volunteers are harder to schedule.

In late 2017, the Board took on a review of accounting policies and the role of the Shop manager. We sought advice from our regular pro-bono lawyer and two local CPAs on best management practices for the Shop. As a result, we added two items to the managers’ job description: (1) Standard accounting policies and procedures would be followed; and (2) At least one manager would be onsite during Shop hours (an average of 23 hours per week between them). The Board shared with the managers that we would hire an accountant to devise best accounting practices and provide straightforward policies and procedures, to mitigate any additional burden on the managers.

In January of this year, the managers requested $18,000 each, per year, to run the Shop (a 240% increase), with additional increases to be guaranteed over the following several years. In response, the Board offered the managers a 160% increase in their stipend, to $12,000 each, per year, to carry out the job as described. The managers asserted that between them, they could not be onsite during all Shop hours. The Board asked if changing the Shop hours would help, or if we could hire an additional paid management position to be onsite. The managers were not willing to accept either of these options, and in fact could not guarantee that they would be at the Shop during any specific times.

Finally, through a unanimous decision of the Board, we determined that the Shop should be closed until a manager can be retained who can meet all requirements of the new job description. We posted a call for applications today. We have committed to including a representative from the Shop volunteers on the interview committee. We hope to have the search completed and the shop reopened as soon as possible. 

We appreciate the community’s ongoing concern about the Little Fox Shop. We know that the managers worked hard to bring the Little Fox Shop to this point, and in fact the current situation is a result of the growth the shop has seen under their management, and with contributions from many volunteers and donors. Indeed, closing the shop is not by any means a judgment on the managers' past work, but rather their inability to step into an expanded role that we deem necessary based on our fiduciary responsibilities as Board members. As a nonprofit, our primary purpose and mission must be to support the Library, and in addition to maintaining Saturday open hours, we  look forward to a significant investment in planned library renovations based on the success of the Shop. 

Our volunteers and donors are the heart of the Little Fox Shop and we hope you will agree that we all have a shared goal – making the Edith M. Fox Library, Arlington’s only branch library, the best it can be.


The Fox is open on Saturdays!

We look forward to seeing you there!

With funds from the Friends of the Fox Library - and thanks to your contributions through the Little Fox Shop - the Fox is now open Saturdays through next Spring. 

Regular Fox Branch Library hours
Tuesdays  9am to 5pm
Wednesdays  12pm to 8pm
Thursdays  9am to 5pm
Fridays  9am to 5pm
Saturdays (Sept-June)  9am to 5pm

Little Fox Shop hours
Tuesdays  9am to 1pm
Wednesdays  2:30pm to 7:30pm
Thursdays  9am to 5pm
Fridays  9am to 1pm
Saturdays (Sept-June)  9am to 1pm

Thanks to Shun for the drawing.

Thanks to Shun for the drawing.

Spring 2017 Update

Spring? Sprung! Bounce on over to the Fox, Arlington's only branch library!

Wednesday Night Out: May 24th, 7pm   

register for Scrabble at the Fox!  

Feast of the East: June 17, 10am to 4pm

East Arlington's annual festival will feature the 2nd Fox Festival Parade, beginning at 11:30am in front of the library. You too can make a giant puppetfor the parade - meet us at the library on June 7th between 4 & 7pm, or June 14th between 3 & 6pm.

With funding from the Friends of the Fox, the Fox Library will be open 9am to 5pm, and the Little Fox Shop will be open from 10am to 4pm.

Reimagining Our Libraries

Tuesday June 13
7pm Fox library (RSVP requested)
Wednesday June 21
7pm Robbins Community Room (RSVP requested)

Did you know that the Edith M. Fox Library is 100 years old this year? And the Robbins is a ripe old 125!

It's time to dream about the next 100 years for the Arlington library system. Join us for a meeting with Ann Beha Architects, the firm retained by the town to lead the process. Let us know what you'd like to see!

For more information and to keep an eye on progress, visit the Reimagining Our Libraries website. The website includes a suggestion box for ongoing input to the process.

Winter at the Fox

Take a wintry walk to the Fox Library! Always a friendly face, lots of books and DVDs for everyone, and the Little Fox Shop, too. Regular hours are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9am to 5pm, and Wednesdays from 12pm to 8pm.

January 18th, 2017: An "End-of-Term" internet archiving gathering, to nominate government websites for preservation by the Library of Congress and the Internet Archive. Drop by between 6:30 and 8:30pm and we'll supply instructions and some snacks -- be sure to bring your laptop! It helps if you register ahead of time -- but we won't turn you away!

The Internet Archive is the keeper of the WayBack Machine, where you'll find any website from anytime!

The Internet Archive is the keeper of the WayBack Machine, where you'll find any website from anytime!

February 11th, 2017: Special Saturday hours at the Fox. The library will be open from 9am to 5pm, and the Little Fox Shop will be open from 10am to 4pm. Show Arlington's only branch library a little love on a Saturday -- we're hoping to have more Saturday hours in the future!

February 15th, 2017: Scrabble!! Join us from 7pm to 8:30 for refreshments and adult conversation while showing off your 7-letter vocabulary words. It helps if you register ahead of time -- but we won't turn you away!

Fall happenings

Take advantage of the last few warm days to meander through the Fox's neighborhood!

1. Keep an eye out for East Arlington Stories as they pop up along Mass Ave. These larger-than-life profiles of local businesses and their owners will only last as long as the wheat paste that holds them up. Consider volunteering in front of the Fox on October 15th between 12 and 4pm, when the artists will be on hand!

2. Join the Friends of the Fox for a documentary film screening on October 26th at 7pm. Beats of the Antonov "reveals the power of music to bring Sudanese people together in time of war," and documents a different view of the conflict in Sudan. The screening is free; join us for discussion following the film. Register here so we'll be sure to have enough free snacks.

Join us for a free screening of " Beats of the Antonov ," a  POV documentary , on October 26th at 7pm

Join us for a free screening of "Beats of the Antonov," a POV documentary, on October 26th at 7pm

3. The Arlington International Film Festival runs from October 27th to 30th. The Festival will take place at the Capitol Theatre with a series of films intended to “foster appreciation for different cultures by exploring the lives of people around the globe through independent film — to nurture the next generation of filmmakers.”

4. The Fox library will be open on Saturday October 29 from 9am to 5pm (a Saturday, hurray!). The Little Fox resale shop will be open from 10am to 4pm.

5. Join professional organizer Elizabeth Goodsell for a free one-hour workshop on October 29th. Join us in the Community Room (downstairs from the library) from 1 to 2pm and pick up some strategies for tackling clutter and ideas for corralling kids' toys.

6. November 16th is Scrabble Night! A Wednesday Night Out event at the library for adults, 7 to 8:30pm.

Fox Festival Parade & Feast of the East

One of our favorite events of the year -- the Feast of the East street festival -- is only getting better! This year, Arlington Public Art is organizing a series of workshops and activities to get ready for the Fox Festival Parade, which will kick off this year's Feast. 

Downstairs at the Fox, giant puppet workshops are open to the public on a drop-in basis; children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult or older sibling. Join artist Sara Peattie for one or both workshops:

  • Wednesday, June 8, 4 to 7 pm
  • Wednesday, June 15, 4 to 7 pm

At Spy Pond, Arlington Public Art will offer pop-up flag making tables for the parade on two upcoming Saturdays:

  • May 21, 12 to 4 pm as part of It's Your Move at Spy Pond Park near Linwood Street
  • June 11, 12 to 4 pm during Porchfest, in front of the Fox Library in Capitol Square

Don't be afraid to step out with your own creation at the parade at noon on June 18th, even you can't make it to a workshop: Make your own costume, banner, mask, or moveable sculpture inspired by the themes of nature and urban wildlife. 

Then we'll see you at the Friends of the Fox table on June 18th for the Feast of the East (12 to 4pm) -- and be sure to stop in to browse inside the library and outfit the kids at The Little Fox, which will both be open from 9am to 5pm that day! 

Wednesday Nights Out

The Friends of the Fox want to help you take advantage of later open hours at the library on Wednesdays, with free adult-oriented programming once a month. Unless otherwise noted, programs run from 7 to 8:30pm (note that the library closes to non-participants at 8pm). To help us plan, please register (though we probably won't turn you away if you haven't). Watch this space for information about upcoming events, and be sure to let us know if you have any suggestions for other programs you'd like to see!

Learn Shogi, Japan's Chess: April 25, 2016

The Art of Code, or The Art of Designing Delightful Digital Experiences: May 25, 2016