Castleton Free Library Rocks! – Summer Schedule for Kids



The national library theme this summer is LIBRARIES ROCK! It’s about music, yes, and great books that sing, but in Castleton, it is also about rocks (because we love them). So we’re doing programs about music and geology, and it’s not too late to join the fun! Our reading incentive: help your children keep track of their reading (we have sticker charts), and every time they read three books on any subject (or you read them together), they can choose a rock sample to add to their collection. Reader? Geologist? Rock star? It’s all good.

Here’s a line-up of free programs for all ages. We don’t have a “regular” night this year, so check dates carefully:

Sat. July 7th at 6:30 pm: ROCKIN’ RON THE FRIENDLY PIRATE kicks off the program with music and swashbuckling fun. Pirate books to borrow. Rock the boat!  All ages. Free – supported by a grant from the VT Department of Libraries.

Mon. July 9th at 7:00 pm: JUST ROCKS! Geology basics, rock identification, painted rocks, and books. Start building your own rock collection – earn rock samples for reading.

Wed. July 18th at 7:00 pm: SUMMER ENCORE presents “In Search of a Song” – an original play about finding your own song, directed by Cathy Archer. Outdoors if weather is good (bring blanket); inside if rainy. All ages. Supported by a grant from the VT Department of Libraries.

Mon. July 23rd at 7:00 pm: ROCK TO ART – a kid-friendly tour of the West Rutland Carving Studio & Sculpture Center, a re-imagined industrial site. Marble quarry holes, post-industrial landscape, sculpture garden, artists’ works-in-progress, and gallery. Meet at the library by 6:40 to caravan, or in the Carving Studio parking lot at 7:00 pm. This is a great trip for all ages, but children must be accompanied and transported by an adult. If weather is a problem, the tour will be rescheduled and an ALTERNATIVE PROGRAM will take place at the library at 7:00.

Thu. Aug. 2nd at 3:30 pm: CLIF SUMMER READERS GRANT STORYTELLING AND BOOK GIVEAWAY – Presented by the CLiF Foundation. Every child (preschool-age 12).who attends will be able to choose two new free books.

Mon. Aug.13th at 7:00 pm: SMUSHED ROCK – pottery and rock music. What could be better? After a short intro to books about pottery and clay hand-building techniques, we’ll listen to rock music as we construct pots. Especially for school-aged kids.

Every Fri. at 10:30 am: STORY HOUR ROCKS! – Come to Preschool Story Hour to meet other parents/caregivers while your wee ones listen to stories, sing, move, and do open-ended art projects. Geared toward 0-5 year-olds, but anyone is welcome. Don’t worry if children aren’t quite ready to fully participate – we have a play area for escapees. In July and August, we’ll have a rock theme.

Every Wed. at 10:00 am: PLAYGROUP – Through partnership with the Rutland County Parent-Child Center, Lynn Gould facilitates weekly playgroup for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Drop-in any Wednesday.

Aug. 6th-Aug. 9th 6:00-8:00 pm: MAKER CAMP WITH LISA CACCIATORE – Four nights of projects for techies entering 5th-8th grade. Limited enrollment. Free, but you MUST PRE-REGISTER.

GARDEN CLUB – Kids are encouraged to join adults at our new Garden Club which meets about every two weeks to share gardening projects and advice. Call or email to find out the next meeting time.

Check our Facebook page and website for updates. New programs may be added. Programs are FREE and open to all (except Maker Camp which is by enrollment only).  Please call or email Jan with questions (468-5574;
This summer, remember the 3 R’s: Rock & Roll (of course, because summer is for extra fun) & Read!



Rockin’ Ron the Friendly Pirate


 Rockin’ Ron the Friendly Pirate – Sat. July 7, 2018 at 6:30 pm

Come rock the boat with Rockin” Ron the Pirate as he kicks off our Libraries Rock Summer Reading Program season with swashbuckling music for kids of all ages and adult pirates. He describes his style as “‘Sesame Street’ meets Monty Python,” Performing most often at Smugglers’ Notch Resort (entertaining families who come to Friendly Pirate Dinners and Breakfasts), Rockin’ Ron also shares nautical tunes throughout northeastern North America at schools, libraries, bookstores, museums, hospitals, parties and festivals. He’s a friendly pirate with an edge.  This program is supported with funding from the VT Dept. of Libraries. If weather is fair, we may be outside. Feel free to dress and talk like a pirate, and please spread the word – it’s a FREE pirate p-ARRRR-ty!

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Composting Workshop

Composting Workshop Tuesday April 10th at 7 pmschool camera June 2012 262

The chilly weather will not discourage us from thinking about spring! We’ve scheduled the first in a series of workshops for home gardeners, this one presented by Farm-to-Community mentors from the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT).
“Compost in Your Backyard”  will be held on Tuesday, April 10th at 7:00 pm. at the town library. Come to learn the basics of composting, and then see a variety of proven methods for setting up a simple backyard compost system. Presenters will share resources, discuss what can be composted at home, and share ways to make a compost system work for everyone. They will bring hands-on displays (but “don’t worry – nothing stinky”) and hand-outs for participants to take home.
With the deadline approaching for Vermont’s Act 148 Universal Recycling & Composting Law (by 2020, residential food scraps and organic waste will be banned from the landfill), this is a perfect time for experimenting to figure out best practices for managing your own household organic waste. According to the VT Department of Environmental Conservation, “Food scraps make up nearly 1/3 of the total waste a typical Vermont family generates at home… Food scraps and leaf and yard wastes represent valuable resources that can be re-used in many products, such as compost, garden mulch and animal bedding.” Compost is particularly useful as a soil amendment.
It’s also a perfect time to borrow some garden books! Free and open to all. Accessible entrance and parking is on the west side. For more info call us at 468-5574.

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When You Vote “Yes”

When you vote “yes” on March 7th to approve your public library’s budget, you are voting for intellectual freedom, local control and flavor, ultimate resource sharing, collaboration, and free access to information for all people.  You are voting for community, culture, and creativity.  You are supporting the belief that books and other reservoirs of human thought are valuable, belonging to all – not something to be burned or censored, but to be collated and protected; a means of passing on collective wisdom, wit, sorrow, and joy.  You are voting to support a warm building that provides common space for neighbors (even antagonistic neighbors) to cross paths and interact; a building for cozy stories, passionate discussions, meetings, movies, maker events, computer access, dance classes, crafts, celebrations, and sometimes just sanctuary.
A Castleton Free Library patron (a dad and preschooler building with construction toys) joked that libraries offer all sorts of things now besides books – museum passes, snowshoes, pizza delivery (he happened to be there at lunchtime).  But the truth is, public libraries do provide all sorts of services. A man walks in on a frigid Friday afternoon needing an inexpensive room for the night. He has no phone. This is a fairly common kind of reference interaction. The library phone rings multiple times every day with inquiries about tax forms and help.  Twelve kids explode off a school bus to mess around with stopwatches at a Crazy 8s Math Club. Tables covered in chocolate treats for a “Galentine” program on Women’s Fiction are folded to make room for Playgroup the following morning (when the library is “closed”).  The librarians pack sacks of books for deliveries to homebound patrons and classrooms. Typical week.
The means of procuring library funding varies from one Vermont town to the next as much as the towns differ in character and infrastructure. Vermont libraries are a grassroots phenomenon, cropping up in each town through local efforts and ideas, with no “template” or direct funding from the top. Some towns developed municipal libraries as official town departments, while others (such as Castleton Free) organized as non-profit corporations. In both cases, library boards are responsible for budgeting, policies, and stewardship; and for most libraries, day-to-day operational funding is raised mainly through tax appropriation, supplemented by endowment interest, small grants, gifts, and local fundraising.
Castleton Free Library FY18-19 proposed operating budget is the same amount as in FY13-14, the fifth year of level funding. About 61% goes toward payroll, insurance costs and benefits for two part-time librarians and Saturday workers; 17% covers building and utility expenses; and 22% pays for the lending collection, computers and programs.
If you have any questions about your library’s budget before Tuesday, please call or stop in.  And then vote “yes” to support library services.

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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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