Great Backyard Bird Count

Thursday, February 15th – 7:00 pm

If you’ve never participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count (cosponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Audubon, and Bird Studies Canada), and would like help getting started, this is an informal event for you!  This year’s count begins Friday 2/16 and continues for four days. You may count any day, any time for fifteen or more minutes, anywhere – and then submit your data to this great resource powered by Citizen Science.  In addition to reviewing count procedures, the program will include a quick overview of how to set up your own eBird account, and time to chat with other amateur birders about identification and sightings.  Free; all ages welcome; access through north entrance. Call us with any questions.


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What the Heck is Women’s Fiction?

library Valentine_edited-1Tuesday Feb. 13, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Vermont author J. Carter Merwin, member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, discusses the merits, authors and controversy around “Women’s Fiction” followed by a reading from her fantasy series, “Tales of Earden”. Chocolates for all, even any men who dare to attend. Free. Accessible through north entrance.

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Snowshoes in the Library!


Feb. 2, 2018

Thanks to a grant from the Vermont Department of Health, the library has received 20 pairs of adult and children’s snowshoes from the Rutland Office of Local Health. The “Snowshoes in Libraries” Lending Program is part of their 3-4-50 initiative to address chronic disease in Vermont by promoting physical activity and encouraging community members to get outside for exercise during the winter months. Three behaviors (lack of exercise, poor diet, and tobacco use) lead to the four diseases that cause more than 50% of deaths in Vermont each year.  All you need is your library card to start on a path to better health through the snow-blanketed landscape.

Initially we’ve set the lending period to a week to allow for multiple expeditions, so do call ahead to be sure that the sizes you need are not all checked out.


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Vermont Farm Kids Film

Vermont Farm Kids film

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Science Pub Season is here!


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Vermont Reads Books Have Arrived

brown girl dreaming cover          They’ve arrived – a box filled with 75 new copies of the 2017 Vermont Reads book, Brown Girl Dreaming, thanks to a grant through the VT Humanities Council.  This year’s title is a memoir written in exquisite yet simple free verse by award-winner author Jacqueline Woodson, chronicling her childhood and coming-of-age during the 1960’s and 1970’s.  The book simultaneously gives its reader glimpses through a child’s eyes of events during this tumultuous era in United States history, and reflections from an adult perspective.  The New York Times Book Review says that the triumph of this novel “…is not just in how well Woodson tells us the story of her life, but in how elegantly she writes words that make us want to hold those carefully crafted poems close, apply them to our lives, reach into the mirror she holds up and make the words and the worlds she explores our own.”  With universal themes of family, place and home, religion, race relations, and the importance of stories, this is a perfect book for us to distribute far and wide, to focus community book discussions, and to inspire creative programming in the library.

We plan to offer several formal programs centered on the book over the next three months, including intergenerational book discussions, a memoir writing group, and a multimedia evening (film clips, music, and art) – dates to be announced.  Because the writing is so accessible, we also will be sharing copies with students in 4th -8th grade, with an invitation to present their work at a final program in the fall.  But our immediate goal is to get the books into your hands – to read and keep, read and return, or read and pass along to a friend.  Please come in at any time to pick up your free copy while our supply lasts, and sign up for notification of event dates.

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“Build a Better World” challenges

Dear “Build A Better World” reading friends,

Summer Reading Program does resume Monday July 17th at 7:00 pm, but due to a family emergency our Build-a-thon has to be modified. I’ll be in Portland, Maine, but Twyla and Jenna will be on deck to give you some LEGO and KEVA Plank building challenges, and help you with new books and stickers. Thanks for your understanding.

Can anyone design a LEGO lighthouse? (Did you know that Robert Stevenson, a famous Scottish lighthouse engineer, was the grandfather of Robert Lewis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island?)

LEGO Classic 10692 Creative Bricks Lighthouse

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Swing Peepers

M-J-leaning-paint-bg-med-rez-300x217We are excited to share some “rollicking, earth-friendly wackiness for the whole family” with the Swing Peepers, as they kick-off our Summer Reading Program on Monday June 26th at 7:00.  The Peepers are known for their lively, improvisational, participatory music and storytelling. They are a Vermont vocal-harmony and multi-instrument duo comprised ofmusician/storyteller/educator Matthew Witten, and singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist John Hadden.  Between them, they play guitar, mandolin, violin, harmonica, banjo, ukulele and accordion, and have performed throughout New England and NY State at such venues asHudson River Sloop Clearwater, Champlain Valley Folk Festival, Boston Regional Harmony Sweepstakes, and many regional coffee houses.  Hadden has appeared on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” and Witten has performed as the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s Troubadour.

The concert is free and open to all, and appropriate for all ages.   I’ll have Summer Reading Program materials ready to hand out to all students who want to participate in this year’s program.


Meet Your Neighbor From Afar – An Immigration Discussion

About a dozen community members who have emigrated from a half dozen countries around the world have agreed to talk about their stories in an informal program this Thursday, April 13th at 7:00 pm, during National Library Week. Invited guests, who moved from Asia, Africa, and Europe, have been asked to discuss reasons for their journeys and how their experiences did or did not match expectations. Other discussion may include cultural identity in the U.S. (particularly Vermont), traditions, reactions to the current political climate, or other topics of interest. We hope that many community members, born Vermonters as well as transplants, will join us for conversation and light refreshments.

world map


Meg’s Mud Fling: a Community Ceilidh*

*kay-lee (noun) – a social event at which there is Scottish or Irish folk music and singing, traditional dancing, and storytelling.

This woman deserves a party, and you are all invited!Meg pipeline - square

      When: Friday March 24th 

      6:30 pm

      Free, accessible, open to all

Presented by Castleton Free Library

      at Castleton Elementary School

      (off Route 30)

For close to 25 years, Megaera (Meg) Fitch served as the Adult Services Librarian & Tech Watchdog at the Castleton Free Library.  She retired about a year ago, and we’re finally throwing her a party.  This is a free event for everyone who knows Meg and enjoyed talking with her at the library over books, and everyone else who never met Meg, but wishes they had.


Marcos & MaryMusic and calling will be provided by Marcos Levy and Mary Barron of Cold River Band.

If you’ve never contra danced before, come learn!  If you don’t want to dance, come listen to great music!  If you hate music, come anyway to hug Meg, talk to friends, and eat some snacks provided by the Friends of Castleton Free Library. We really hope to see you!