Robert Birbeck Drawing Exhibit

We are very excited to be hosting a rotating exhibit of pencil sketches by Wells, VT artist Robert Birbeck, opening on Monday November 23rd at the Castleton Free Library. Birbecks drawings represent authors of the Modern Library 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century. Of the 100 books on the list, there are 75 authors, as some have more than one title on the list. Each week continuing through the beginning of January, twelve different author portraits will be on display, accompanied by copies of their works. Links and lists are posted on the Castleton Free Library webpage and Facebook page.

This work has been exhibited previously at the Provincetown Public Library in Massachusetts and Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury, VT. The series emerged after a period during which Birbeck struggled to create new designs for sculpture, his medium of choice. I felt I was repeating myself, and I decided to take a break and began reading, explains Birbeck. After finishing several books from the Modern Library, he began sketching the authors. What began as a rest period from creating new sculpture became a wonderful new experience in itself.

Please stop by for conversation and snacks during an informal reception from 6:00-7:00 pm. on Monday Nov. 23rd, and revisit often. A full display schedule will be available at that time.
iphone Nov. 2015 145

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R.I.P. Ruth

Ruth Navin was our beloved and devoted volunteer and sub at the library for many years – working the front desk, passionately recommending books, and whipping around the place like a highly organized bee (the latter skill set no doubt honed during her years of raising 8 kids). Even after her very reluctant “retirement” from the library, she continued to crochet blankets for us and all our kin, planning ahead by “spreading herself all around” so we wouldn’t forget her when her time came to leave this earth. Dear Ruth, Do not worry – we will remember your cheerful smile, determination (stubbornness?) and spunky attitude always.Ruth

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Reception for Mark Shea and Peter Mantello

The Friends of Castleton Free Library invite all Castleton residents to a reception for Castleton’s new Town Manager, Mark Shea, and new Police Chief, Peter Mantello.

Please join your friends and neighbors at 6:30 on Tuesday, February 24 at the Library, and enjoy an open conversation, homemade snacks, and live background music.

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Amelia Bloomer 2015 List Announced

The 2015 Amelia Bloomer Project list has been announced.  These are recommended feminist titles for birth through age 18. We have some of the titles now, and many on order. Please let me know it you’d like me to get any particular books. Here’s a link to the complete list for this year and lists from previous years:  Amelia Bloomer lists

Bloomer image

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New book order – Adult

Our recent book order includes new books by the ever-popular writers—Midnight in Europe by Alan Furst; Revival by Stephen King; Soul of Discretion by Susan Hill; Private Down Under by James Patterson; Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. But we also have some interesting lesser-known books that got great reviews. There’s a mystery by a fairly new suspense writer Urban Waite called Sometimes the Wolf. In the non-fiction category we have a book with a wonderful title: The Chutzpah Imperative; Empowering Today’s Jews for a Life that Matters by Rabbi Edward Feinstein; Finding Zero by Amir Aczel, a book about uncovering the origin of numbers; and a book on working with mosaics. And many, many more. Come in and browse and while you’re here have a cup of coffee provided free by the Friends of the Castleton Free Library.

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30 Years!

Dear Friends,

I am overwhelmed by your kindness. Now that my daughter Twyla has landed in Denmark, and I have a minute to reflect on the amazing celebration last weekend, I am struggling to put feelings into words. Equal parts mortification and delight? The personal attention was über-embarrassing – I am the one who should be expressing gratitude for this 30-year (and still going) ride. I’ve been blessed with a dynamic job that, while anchored in a community, has provided ever-changing challenges for growth, new ideas, and interesting people to meet. It has presented opportunities to help people; continuous crops of hilarious preschoolers; wonderful colleagues; books in ultimate surround-sound. Being a public librarian allows one to be as creative as one wishes, while simultaneously paying homage to OC tendencies. (Scholastic Story DVD’s shelved in rainbow order? Yes!) And any unique accomplishments at the library these past three decades have been the result of cooperative efforts by staff, trustees, and a huge array of talented volunteers. Thank you, all.

Now about that party – oh my goodness! Enormous thanks to those of you who listened to the “no gifts” plea, and navigated thick fog and darkness just to have some fun. And to those who didn’t listen, what can I say? You are brats, and I will think of you in a few months when I travel to see my baby-turned-21 in beautiful, beautiful Copenhagen.

The party was just what I’ve been longing for: an old-fashioned, multi-age, community bash to celebrate all of us, focused on what binds us together rather than what drives us apart. We need to do this more often! (Street dance next summer, okay?) Thanks to everyone for the sumptuous food (though I was too excited to eat), for laughter and conversation, and for dancing with me in the basement. Who knew three and four-year-olds could rock out for so long? And thanks most especially to my ever-supportive work partner, Meg, and my beloved daughters, Zoe, Twyla and Ivy, for conceiving this event and roping in everyone else.

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Happy New Year!

It’s down to 2 degrees with a nor’easter on the way, and my feet are freezing in the room with the computer, so I’ll just send a fast blast of wishes to all for renewed hope in whatever you do, happiness, health, love, curiosity – all the good things. To feed the curiosity, of course come to the library, but also come to Science Pub this Sunday, 1/5/14  at Fair Haven Inn. Click on the link for more info.

And, just when you thought the celebrations were over, please  mark your calendar for a special PARTY on Sat. Jan. 11 in the afternoon (bad weather date Sunday). There will be dancing!  Like a potluck wedding reception but without gifts, alcohol, or a bride or groom!  Much more info will be forthcoming, but this is a save-the-date to everyone.

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Tree Lighting 2013

Another year coming to a close; another tree filled with points of light, each reflecting a loved one in someone’s heart. May we all carry the love forward in time to our children, and outward through our community – a big, embracing net of love. Thank you to all who came and to the community groups and individuals who helped make this event happen.  Special thanks to Linda Pritchard and members of the Castleton Woman’s Club (who made and served all the cookies and cocoa), to Skip Fenton and his Castleton Village School band students,  to Tina Rampone for playing guitar and leading carols, and to special guest Ron Splatt. I also want to express gratefulness for my wonderful colleagues – volunteer extraordinaire (for 30+ years) JoAnn Richardson, who arrived early and shoveled walks; and the ever-flexible Meg, who hauled firewood, moved computers, and crawled around in wet snow handling electrical cords while wearing dress pants. We’ll post some photos soon.  Great to see all 106 (or so) people who came!


Big thank you to Upward Bound students and Nathan Hickey

We want to express our deep gratitude to the Upward Bound crew who worked cleaning up the library grounds this past Saturday.  For many years, we (and you, dear patrons) have benefited from the services of this wonderful organization.  They arrive on one Saturday each spring, ready to tackle any project we throw at them for several hours. On fair days, this usually involves cleaning up the leaves, sticks, and other winter detritus; rain sends them indoors to dust shelves or move books around.  This fair year, Meg worked with them to prepare the vegetable garden for planting, and snag those pesky, stray leaves that crowd our back door. In a couple short hours, there were five stuffed leaf bags and a big pile of brush, trimmed hedges, and lovely turned earth.  Thank you, from all of us!


Happy New Year dear library users!

We hope you all had wonderful holidays, and that you borrowed some great books, videos or audios. Have you made any resolutions to learn something new in 2013?  If so, be sure to check out the courses available through the free Universal Class, or start a foreign language using the Powerspeak tutorials in our Vermont On-Line subscription package (click on the Services tab or call us for more information).

We love our new front staircase and lamps, and want to thank Jim Roberts and Dan Grey for working through challenging weather and holidays to finish the building and installation by the new year!  We are also grateful for a large donation from the Friends that helped to cover the cost of the lampposts.

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