COVID-19 – March 15, 2020


Dear library people,

Mary and I are adjusting our strategies for library services now that more closures have been announced in response to the coronavirus. For now, here’s where we stand:

*All programs in the library are cancelled until further notice. This includes Friday Story Hour, Wednesday Playgroup, International Student Presentations, and any Rec programs that were to have been held in the library.

*We will be open Monday (tomorrow) regular hours, but may have limited hours or access after that. Feel free to stock up on extra books/videos, and be sure you know how to access our on-line resources. I’ll be posting more about these in coming posts.

*We will make every effort to deliver materials to you if you send us requests. Interlibrary loan services may be slow and/or limited depending on staffing in other libraries.

*All returned materials will be quarantined for four days before being returned to the shelves.

*Wifi is accessible 24/7 from outside the building. Public access computers, printer & photocopier will be available until the situation warrants full closure.

*We trust that you WILL NOT come in if you are symptomatic or have had known exposure; and that you’ll practice “social distancing” while in the building. We have soap and sanitizer for anyone needing our computer stations.

Please feel free to call, message or email with any questions or needs. STAY HEALTHY!
We can get through this together! (….with six feet of separation)

~ Best, Jan & Mary


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On Writing, On War – Program by Dennis Jensen

On Writing, On War: a talk by Dennis Jensen

Thursday January 16th – 7:00 pm

Please join us for engaging evening with Dennis Jensen. He will be talking about his experiences as a veteran and a writer.

Dennis Jensen was born in Orange, N.J., in 1947. The fourth of six children, he grew up in the slums of Newark and Belleville. He graduated from Matawan High School in 1965 in the bottom fifth of his class. He was drafted into the army in 1966 at the age of 19, volunteered for airborne training, became a paratrooper and served with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam in 1967-68. In 1973, he graduated from Trenton State College with an English-Liberal Arts degree. He was the city editor, sports editor and an award-winning writer for 37 years, with 33 years at the Rutland Herald. He retired in 2010 and continues to write a weekly outdoors column for the Herald and the Barre Times Argus and is a freelance writer for magazines in Maine, New Hampshire and New York. He has completed one novel and is working on a second. He is an avid fisherman and is a passionate turkey and deer hunter.

This event is free, open to all and is accessible.


Light refreshments will be served following the program.


Program by Dennis Jensen

Program by Dennis Jensen

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2019 Tree of Remembrance Lighting & Holiday Events

Tree of Remembrance

Tree of Remembrance

Please gather with us around the Tree of Remembrance on Saturday Dec. 7th to honor loved ones and bring holiday light to our community! This year’s Tree Lighting will signal the start of Castleton’s evening Holiday Kick-Off, with many events in the Village and at Castleton Corners.

Inside the library from 4:00-8:00 pm, the Castleton Woman’s Club (Tree Lighting sponsors) will be helping with hospitality and serving holiday breads, cheese, cookies & warm beverages for you to snack on while visiting with friends. Listen to music; browse tables of new discounted gifts & books (courtesy of Karen McLaughlin) and very gently used books for sale on both floors (proceeds benefiting the library).

Gather outside at 5:00 for the lighting ceremony, watch the Lighted Vehicle Parade pass by with Santa (and follow him to the Fire House for cookies,& cocoa beginning at 6:00 pm), and/or visit the outdoor Christmas Market right across the street from the library. Then come warm up again at our fireplace, and sing carols with the Rutland Area Hummin’ Strummin’ Singalong Ukulele Band at 7:00!

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Science Pub Returns!

The 8th Science Pub season, sponsored by Friends of Castleton Free Library, has just been announced!  The first talk will be on Sunday, November 3rd, 4:00 pm at the Fair Haven Inn.  These timely science talks are free and open to all.  Many attendees choose to patronize the hosting restaurant, staying for dinner, drinks, and conversation with friends after the talks, but this is optional.

Click on the link below for the full schedule and more details about each event.


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CLiF Summer Readers: Book Give-Away and Storytelling


Libraries are all about sharing resources through robust lending collection development, but we also recognize the joy that comes with choosing your own brand-new books to keep, so we are delighted to invite you to another Storytelling and Book Giveaway sponsored by CLiF. This free event, open to children of all ages, will be held on Wednesday, August 7th at 3:30 on the library lawn, 638 Main Street, Castleton. If weather is stormy, the program will be held in the children’s room (ground floor/north entrance).

The Children’s Literacy Foundation has served kids in over 400 towns across Vermont and New Hampshire, raising funds to promote reading through an array of approaches. We are very grateful for their presence in our community, and especially for this upcoming Summer Reader event, designed to keep a focus on reading over summer vacation. Each participating child will choose two new books. “CLiF finds that when children choose their own books, they’re more excited about reading and more likely to read for pleasure. A study by the International Literacy Association found 80% of students say the books they enjoy the most are the ones they choose themselves.” A CLiF presenter will come to the library to tell stories, read aloud, and share their love of words, reading, and writing.


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Moon Landing 50-Year Anniversary!

full-moon50 years ago people set foot on the moon! Come celebrate this amazing feat at the library. 

On Friday night, 7-19-19, we’ll be showing an award-winning documentary film about the Apollo moon landing mission.  Join friends of all ages to either re-live this exciting moment (yes – the Russians were involved back then, too), or to witness the drama for the first time.  New NASA footage.  We’re keeping the library cool.  There will be popcorn.

There’s one more chance for kids to start or continue working on a cardboard-constructed moon lander or rover.  Come between 10:00 am and noon on Moon Day Saturday (7-20) to design and build your model. Kids of all ages welcome, but younger designers will need adult help with the saws, hot glue, and maybe problem-solving.

We’ll still be celebrating the lunar landing on Monday evening, 7-22-19 from 6:00-8:00.  There are a few spots left for kids to come create Spacey Art (including Moon t-shirts) and to hear Moon Stories.  Please call 468-5574 to let us know that you’ll be coming.

And don’t forget to pick up a Universe of Stories reading chart to tally your summer reading!  Hope to see you!

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A Universe of Stories



Keep up the reading and learning with “A Universe of Stories” at Castleton Free Library this summer.  The universe is GINORMOUS, so we’re offering a big journey of FREE activities for all ages – earn incentive stars and prizes while trying new things. All programs include book recommendations.

The following programs REQUIRE REGISTRATION ASAP  – Limited enrollment!

Register by calling (468-5574), emailing, or sending a FB message with program(s) of interest, child’s name & grade, and your contact info. Jan will confirm your registration.



Mon. June 24th 6:00-7:30

Learn to code BeeBots + Ozobots to behave like mini Mars rovers. For kids entering grades 1-3


Mon. July 1st 6:00-7:30

Come dressed as a space traveler or choose props at the library to put yourself in a CGI scene. Stories and other space stuff with Jan.  For kids entering grades 1-3


Mon. Aug. 5th 6:00-7:30

Use Tinkercad to create and print an LED-lit space module or character. Bring personal laptop if possible.  For kids entering grades 4-6.


Mon. Aug. 12th 6:00-7:30

Use Oculus Go VR headsets. For kids entering grades 4-6.



Tue. June 25th 5:30-6:45

We should have a good number of the 2019-2020 books on hand to preview while we eat tacos and plan future activities. We’ll also brainstorm ideas for the award’s new name coming next year. No enrollment limit, but I need to know #’s for getting food.  For kids entering grades 4-8.


Thu. June 27th 6:00-7:30

Official kickoff  to this year’s  “Universe of Stories”Summer Reading Program. Universe storytelling & booktalks, especially for kids in K-4th grade.



Wed. July 10th 6:00-7:30

Movement improvisation with space themes for all levels. For kids entering grades 1-5.


Mon. July 15th 6:00-8:00/Wed. July 17th 2:00-6:00/Sat. July 20th 10:00-noon

(Because you love duct tape + little saws) Design a model Moon Lander, Star Wars craft, etc. in cardboard. Come for one or all work sessions. Display finished work!  Any age with adult help.


Mon. July 22nd 6:00-8:00

Wear old clothes. Any age with adult help.


See the next post for events that don’t require pre-registration,  and fun additions to our collection.

To download printable calendar pages of all events, click links below.

June 2019 Universe of Stories 2

July 2019 A Universe of Stories 2

August 2019 A Universe of Stories at Castleton Free Library




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William Edelglass – A History of the Concept of Race

Humanities – A History of the Concept of Race

We are very pleased to be welcoming Professor William Edelglass back to Castleton Free Library for another Vermont Humanities Council event on Thursday, May 16th at 7:00 pm.  Edelglass will present a slide lecture entitled “A History of the Concept of Race” (you may have attended his well-received “Genealogy of Happiness” lecture last year at this time).  The program is free and open to all, funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This lecture will trace the intellectual history of the concept of race in the West, from its prehistory to the present time. “The first European to divide the peoples of the world into distinct races, in the seventeenth century, claimed that the Sami people of northern Scandinavia were one of four races on earth; Native Americans, Europeans, South Asians, and North Africans together were considered a second race, while sub-Saharan Africans were the third, and East Asians were the fourth.  How did such a bizarre distinction among groups of people develop into one of the most historically significant ideas of the modern world?”

Professor Edelglass approaches this question from a broad, interdisciplinary perspective. While his teaching post at Marlboro College is focused mainly on philosophy, particularly Buddhist and environmental studies, he has strong interest in questions of ethics, aesthetics, and meaning. His course offerings as well as published works often pull in many other disciplines; e.g. phenomenology and climate ethics, deep time, place-based pedagogy, and the science of meditation. He is the principle scholar for the Brattleboro Words Project, using spatial storytelling to bring together the people and institutions of the area, creating a multilayered map to reflect the intersection of people, history and place. He has taught previously at Colby College, in a NY federal prison, and in Nepal; and he presented a version of this lecture at the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay last year.

The library is located at 638 Main St., Castleton, with limited accessible parking and entrance from the west side (additional street parking). For more information contact Mary Kearns at 468-5574 or email

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National Library Week: Strong Communities!

Be sure to stop in this coming week at Castleton Free Library (or any other library that you love) to help us celebrate National Library Week 2019, April 7th-13th. Browsing the list of themes for this 61-year-old event is a fascinating glimpse at changing times and social concerns. A few favorites: 1958 Wake up and read; 1963 Read — the fifth freedom, enjoy it; 1967 Explore inner space – Reading is what’s happening; 1969 Be all you can be – read; 1970 Reading is for everybody; 1980 America’s greatest bargain…the library; 1990 Reach for a Star – Ask a Librarian; 1996 Libraries Change Lives; 1997 Kids Connect @ the Library; 2013 Communities Matter @ your library; 2017 Libraries Transform. Great books are still at the core, but the mission has expanded, shifting the emphasis from individuals to community, and focusing on connections as a tool for transformation. In 2019, Libraries=Strong Communities.

Throughout April, please share your library stories – add to our memory board in the library, or use social media to participate in #MyLibraryMyStory. The American Library Association challenges you to “post photos, videos, or text on social media highlighting what you love about your library, whether it’s a way your library brings your community together or a few of your favorite library resources and activities. Share during National Library Week (April 7 – 13) using the hashtag #MyLibraryMyStory on Twitter or Instagram or on the I Love Libraries Facebook page for a chance to win big: one randomly selected participant will receive a $100 VISA gift card.” The promotion begins Sunday, April 7 at 1:00 pm and ends Saturday, April 13 at 1:00. Be sure to tag us too, @castletonfreelibrary on Facebook and Instagram.

Thanks to our Friends of CFL group, there will be edible treats every day that week at the circulation desk. They’ll be kicking off their “Adopt-an-Author” program. Come in for more information.

Remember that April is also Poetry Month. Mary has poems ready for Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 18th. Come by before or on this day to select a poem, and then carry it with you on the 18th to share with others at school, in the library, at your workplace, on a street corner, and on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem.

Upcoming: a Poetry Reading and an Earth Day Story Walk – stay tuned!

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Access Still Challenging Due to Weather

Although the parking area and back walk have been shoveled, sanded, & salted, access still may be slippery and/or flooded. The back entrance may be partially blocked to prevent flooding into the building. Please bear with us during this challenging weather, and check here updates. Call us (468-5574), and we’ll try to help any way we can. We can bring a walker or library materials to your car.

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