Read a book to someone you love.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Vermont Master Gardener Program

echinacea blooming in Kellogg-Hubbard Library garden,2006, photo by Rachel SenechalYellow crocuses are blooming in the Kellogg-Hubbard Library garden. The tulips are pushing their way out of the ground, too. It's exciting to see this new plant growth and bright blooms amidst the dirty snow and mud. It's a sign of Spring although it doesn't feel like it with the cold wind we've experienced the last couple of days. Each year I enjoy watching the library gardens unfold. They are so beautiful! We thank the Washington/Orange Chapter of the Vermont Master Gardeners Program for creating and maintaining the library gardens. It's fun to see what combination of plants they showcase in the window gardens next to our School Street entrance. Each year it's different. There is always something edible along with the flowers. One year the staff picked lettuce from that garden to add to their lunches. In addition to adding beauty to our library, the Master Gardeners also organize workshops and programs at the library. This Saturday, March 31 at 10:00am we will have our third year of Tree Pruning with Dave Wilcox, District Urban and Community Forester, with the Agency of Natural Resources. We'll meet in the East Montpelier Room for instruction of how and when to prune trees, then head outside to prune the crabapple trees in the front of the library. For the past two years it has rained during this workshop. It probably will rain again this year so bring your raincoat and umbrella and join us for this great program. Next month the Master Gardeners have organized a program called, Wild Edibles: Spring Greens and other Edibles with Mike Ather and in June we'll have another pruning workshop, for shrubs. The Vermont Master Gardeners website has a page of book recommendations from our Washington-Orange Chapter Gardeners that indicates which books are in our collection. Check it out!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

More Art by Frank Woods

partial detail of large drawing by Frank Woods on display at Art Path Gallery Some of you may have visited the Kellogg-Hubbard Library art exhibit by Frank Woods in the last week or so. It turns out that Frank has another exhibit in Burlington at the Artpath Gallery, Wing Building on the Waterfront,1 Steele Street (802) 563-2273. His work has been reviewed by Hillary Archer and is included in the current edition of the ArtMap News. Ray Brown, of The Drawing Board, also has work exhibited in the ArtPath Gallery. It's not clear to me how long Frank and Ray's art will be on exhibit in Burlington. Call the telephone number above to be sure. Frank's work will continue to be on exhibit at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library through April. We Vermonters truly are fortunate to have such talented artists in our midst!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Home Repair Made Simple

Is the melting snow uncovering the problems on your house that you should have tackled last fall? Never fear. The Library has a great selection of books and videos to help and inspire you as you take out your ladder and your paintbrush. Just a few samples include: Basic Wiring: Pro Tips and Simple Steps, The Complete Photo Guide to Outdoor Home Improvement, Decks 1-2-3: Design, Build, Maintain, Repair, The Complete Guide to Home Masonry, Solving Home Plumbing Problems, and Modern Paint Effects: A Guide to Contemporary Finishes. These and many more can be found with the help of the friendly library staff.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Son at Seventeen

My good friend, Francette Cerulli, will have one of her poems read tomorrow morning, Tuesday, March 27, 2007, by Garrison Keillor on National Public Radio's Writer's Edition. The poem is called, Son at Seventeen, and is in her book, The Spirits Need to Eat. You may know Fran - she used to work at Bear Pond Books, she writes an occasional column for the Times Argus, she is a reading and discussion leader for the Vermont Humanities Council and she's fun to be with. Tune into NPR (107.9 fm) at 8:35am to hear Fran's poem. The Kellogg-Hubbard Library has a copy of her book, The Spirits Need to Eat. Check it out!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Frank Woods Art Exhibit

© Frank Woods  Frank Woods, former librarian for the State of Vermont Department of Libraries and occasional sub at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, is exhibiting a small collection of landscape paintings on the 2nd Floor at KHL. This group of paintings is from the Gaspe Peninsula north of Quebec City on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. The works are ‘plein-air’ oil on paper, or wood panel, with additional work in the studio as needed. Frank is interested in exploring the relationship between the “real” landscape and the abstract version he creates. Geometric forms, symbols and heightened color are all part of his approach.

This exhibit is part of the Montpelier Art Walk on Friday, March 23, 2007. Visit Frank at the library between 4:00pm to 5:30pm to talk about his art. The first floor features a Community Art Show, by Washington County artists.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Dear Omnivorous Readers

If you read like I do, it's difficult to go anywhere without a book, magazine or newspaper. I mean how do those people on the treadmill get to the end of the block without something to read? Or how about the folks that sit down to lunch alone? I can't chew solo without a chapter or two to keep me company. And it doesn't need to be a book to entertain or educate. The Kellogg-Hubbard Library has many magazines and newspapers to help expand your horizons.

The issues of Harper's, Atlantic Monthly or The Smithsonian have monthly articles of interest and the weekly magazine, The New Yorker, can keep you up until the wee hours. In fact the New Yorker is so addictive many readers suffer from "New Yorker backlog" syndrome. Far better to read the library copies, if you miss a few it's guilt free (and someone else has to store the back issues).

A stellar recent New Yorker issue was Feb. 5, 2007 . (Click here to read the entire article.) Starting with a terrific review by Peter Schjeldahl,on page 70, of Martin Gayford's book "The Yellow House: Van Gogh, Gauguin and Nine Turbulent Weeks in Arles". The book and review provide a glimpse into the lives of the two artists during a brief period in the 1880's when the men lived together in Provence.

According to Gaylord Van Gogh moved there "looking for a different light" hoping "that observing nature under a brighter sky might give one a more accurate idea of the way the Japanese feel and draw". While Gauguin seems to have moved south to get closer to Vincent Van Gogh's brother Theo, a prominent art dealer. Gauguin hoped for a bigger return for his artistic efforts.

The review is an excellent synopsis of a legendary time of genius and madness. While Gaylord examines Van Gogh the pure artist and Gauguin the manipulative entrepreneur, we also enjoy the reviewer's ability to pick apart the story. Really the review is so good you ALMOST don't need the book.

Roberta Downey, Adult Head Circulation Librarian

(For a second article review from this same New Yorker issue click here to read it on the Montpelier Matters blog.)

Did you know...

The Kellogg-Hubbard Library subscribes to the Vermont Online Library, with support from the Vermont Department of Libraries. VOL provides access to a tremendous range of academic journals, periodicals, and research materials. Students, researchers, writers, and the general public will find a wealth of information that is not otherwise easily accessible from the internet.

To log in, enter the number below the barcode on the back of your library card. Don’t have a library card? The card is free to residents of Montpelier, Berlin (until June 30, 2007), Worcester, East Montpelier, Calais, and Middlesex. You can obtain a card if you don’t live in our service area; follow this link for more information. (One word of warning, I know from personal experience that VOL can be quite slow if you have dial-up internet access.)


Monday, March 19, 2007

Montpelier's Commercial History Along the Winooski RIver

Local historian, Manuel Garcia, will present a slide show called, THE HISTORY OF MONTPELIER'S COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY Along the Winooski River Valley, Thursday, March 22, 2007 at 7pm. Garcia will share photos of many of the earlier business establishments, large and small, along the Memorial Drive, Berlin Street, River Street, Barre Street area neighborhoods. The presentation includes the Manufactured Gas and Electric Generating plants along with some pictures of the Railroad, and Trolley systems that traversed this valley, and the early single span bridges that crossed the Winooski River. This program is for those of you who love local history.

Flood planning at the Library

In preparation for a possible flood, we have moved our outreach book collection out of the basement and transferred everything moveable (supplies, computer equipment, etc.) to a higher level. Our biggest concern is the heating and telephone systems: impossible to move and expensive to replace. Keep your fingers crossed!

Our Children's Library is now high and dry on the second floor. This is quite an improvement over 1992 when the staff and many community members rushed in to save the children's collection which was then housed in the basement. It was in the nick of time; the basement flooded to the ceiling. Without our local heroes, the collection would have been destroyed. When some people ask us why the library had to expand in 2000, we remind them of that flood. Taking the children's collection out of harm's way was the compelling reason for the expansion.

On the bright side, the temporary postponement the flood risk has let us proceed with our book sale. It starts today, so stop in and buy lots of books! Because the book sale is located in the basement this fundraising event could be at risk should we find ourselves in a flood situation.

If our river floods while the library is open, any children who are unattended by parents or guardians will be escorted by the children's staff to Vermont College. The staff is also ready to drive anyone who is unable to walk to higher ground. Again, we will use the Red Cross center at Vermont College.

If you have further questions or concerns, don't hesitate to let me know.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Nature Girl

photo by Rachel SenechalSome of you have probably read Carl Hiaasen's newest book called Nature Girl. One of the characters is Honey Santana. She's featured on the book cover, kayaking. When you read the book you learn that Honey lives in Everglades City, Florida and kayaks in the mangroves of the Ten Thousand Islands. Honey can't stand the incivility of telemarketers and is trying to teach one very obnoxious telemarketer named Boyd Shreave to change his ways. Her methods are creative to say the least.
photo by Rachel Senechal
This ribbon snake is on the boardwalk at Big Cypress Bend in the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve not far from Everglades City. I saw a black snake in the water along side the boardwalk.
photo by Rachel SenechalI love Everglades City and was there last week kayaking in the mangroves. I was a bit dismayed that there were so many tourists and new condos built since my last visit. The everglades is a special place - a wilderness like no other.

Tonight's Movie at the Library

The Kellogg-Hubbard Library is showing the fifth movie of six in the FINNISH FILM SERIES, tonight, Thursday, March 15, at 6:30 p.m. The movie is Invisible Elina (2003), directed by Klaus Härö. Set in 1952 on the Finnish/Swedish border of Lapland, this film follows young Elina who is sent back to school after recovering from tuberculosis. There Elina finds herself in a battle of wills against a stern teacher who punishes the children if they speak Finnish in her presence. As her mother and the “modern" teacher attempt to mediate between our little heroine and her rival, Elina finds herself racing off into the dangerous bog to have conversations with her deceased father. 74 minutes. Scholar Kati Dana will speak before the movie to give context to the time period and location in Finland. This movie if free and open to all.

An Evening with Vermont Women of Mystery

Last night at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library we had a great time with four Vermont mystery writers in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Sisters In Crime an organization that promotes the professional advancement of women mystery writers. The organizer of the "Evening" was Robbie Harold a former KHL Trustee, theater buff, and author of a mystery(not yet published), organizational consultant and member of Sisters In Crime. Our four authors were Nancy Means Wright, Carla Neggers, Sarah Stewart Taylor, and soon to be published author, Jennifer McMahon. Each author read from her most recent book and then, as a panel, answered questions about character development, story ideas, research, the dual role of mother and writer, favorite authors and the importance of libraries in their life. Sarah Stewart Taylor recounted her local librarian's angst at informing young Sarah that there were no more Agathie Christie novels left to read. She had read them all! Carla Neggers, author of more than 50 novels, started writing at a young age sitting up in a tree with pen and pad. Nancy Means Wright used a real life murder in the Northeast Kingdom as her story line with her neighbors as the characters in the book. Nancy's first mystery was written when she was 9 years old with the main character an obnoxious brother. Her mother destroyed it! Jennifer, whose book will be published on April 10th, said that this is her fourth book and the first that's published. Following the program we enjoyed a "Death by Chocolate" reception in the dimly lit library. It's always fun to be in the library after hours sipping coffee and eating dark chocolate cake, cookies, brownies, and biscotti. Today I received emails from Sarah Stewart Taylor with a link to her blog where she talks about our program last night, and one from Jennifer McMahon with a link to her "grog". Jennifer plans to blog on last night's program next week. This program came together with the help of a lot of people: Robbie Harold, Wayne Fawbush, Susan Reid, Marjorie Strong, Roberta Downey, Rachael Grossman, George Spaulding and all four authors and their families. If you missed this program you'll be able to watch it on the local access television channel. Once again the wonderful community-minded people at Onion River Community Access taped this program. The library has books by all four authors - we'll receive Jennifer's soon. Check them out or buy a copy at Bear Pond Books that's been authographed by the author.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Gagged by the government

Gagged by the Government—
Two Librarians Tell How
They Resisted the

March 20, 3:30-5 p.m.
Bailey/Howe Library, University of Vermont
Free and open to the public

In the summer of 2005, a Connecticut library consortium called Library Connection was served by the FBI with a National Security Letter demanding patron information. The board decided to resist and filed suit, with help from the ACLU. After being gagged from saying anything about it for more than eight months, the “John Doe” librarians can now tell their fascinating and moving story.

Don’t miss this chance to learn how the USA PATRIOT Act is really being used.

Co-sponsored by Vermont Library Association and
University of Vermont Libraries

Click here for event flier.

Vermont Women of Mystery

In honor of Sisters In Crime 20th Anniversary the Kellogg-Hubbard Library is celebrating with a program called The Vermont Women of Mystery, featuring Nancy Means Wright, Carla Neggers, Sarah Stewart Taylor and introducing Jennifer McMahon. Readings will be followed by a “Death by Chocolate” reception and book signings with the authors. Wear your trenchcoat and fedora, cloak and dagger or dress as your favorite sleuth, villain or mystery author. We will also sell raffle tickets for a bag full of autographed books by these four mystery writers as well as books by Lisa Scottoline, G.H. Ephron and local favorite, Sarah Strohmeyer.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Town Meeting Day perspective

I feel truly fortunate to work in a community that loves and values its library enough to give it strong support, even in a tough budget year. Thank you to the voters in Montpelier, East Montpelier, Calais, Worcester and Middlesex for supporting your library this year! And thanks also to those in Berlin who voted for library funding, losing only by a slim margin.

Out of fairness to our taxpaying communities, we won't be able to continue providing free cards to Berlin residents, and we will give more information on that following our next board meeting. But we hope that those in Berlin who value this service will work in their community to pass library funding in the future. The more partners we have, the more affordable our library will be.

By the way, did you know that Vermont is one of very few states in the U.S. that does not provide state funding to its public libraries? Do you think that this is (as we say in the library world) OVERDUE? If you'd like to support libraries in Vermont, please call your legislators and let them know.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Town meeting day results

The Kellogg-Hubbard Library asked voters in six towns for taxpayer support. These are the results:

Berlin was asked for $9,845. This was defeated on a vote of 181-204 (Australian ballot).

Calais was asked for $19,200. This was approved on a voice vote.

East Montpelier was asked for $25,321. This was approved 401-200 (Australian ballot).

Middlesex was asked for $20,027. $16,000 was approved on a voice vote.

Montpelier was asked for $230,483. This was approved. The petitioned amount of $34,822 (this is included in the $230,483) was approved 1,071-627 (Australian ballot).

Worcester was asked for $13,124. This was approved by voice vote.

Of our total request of $318,000, $304,128 was approved.

Thank you for your support of the library!


Monday, March 5, 2007

Library closings in Oregon

It does not speak well to our national priorities if libraries are forced to close their doors. The San Francisco Chronicle has an update on the crisis that is brewing for libraries in Oregon. One quote:
"I wish we could call FEMA; this feels like a natural disaster to me," said Ted Stark, interim library director for Jackson County.

"Libraries are so much more than just libraries in rural areas. This is where all the town meetings are held, where all the kids come after school, where everything -- everything -- happens," he said. Indeed, today's libraries have evolved from merely loaning out books to providing Internet access, reading hour for babies, community meeting centers and art galleries.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Town meeting day

We have finally posted some background information on the Library for town meeting day. (Better late than never...) These are links to pdf files:
About the library's request
Comparison of Kellogg-Hubbard to other libraries in Vermont
2007 budget
Please let me know if you have any questions, 223-3338, or


Community Awareness Day at the Berlin Mall

The Kellogg-Hubbard Library will participate in the Community Awareness Day at the Berlin Mall tomorrow, Saturday, March 3rd, from 10am-5pm. We will have program and services information, magnets and bookmarks to give away. Please stop by to see us if you are in the area. We love to talk about the library!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

USAF Colonial Brass

You are invited to a free concert at the Kellogg-Hubbard Library on Monday, March 5, 2007 at 7pm in the Hayes Room. The Colonial Brass features talented musicians with extensive experience in civilian and military bands and orchestras throughout the United States and abroad. The ensemble utilizes a wide variety of music to entertain audiences of all ages. They have appeared at prestigious venues such as Tanglewood, MENC (Music Educators National Conference), and the New York Brass Conference. The creativity and professionalism of the Colonial Brass inspires audiences wherever they perform. The music they will play ranges from classical to swing to the Sound of Music and a military song or two. The organizer of this program, Lawrence Price, is a delightful person. He plays french horn and is a graduate of The Juilliard School. Join us on Monday for the kick off to the Colonial Brass tour of New England!

Income Tax Forms

I hate to bring up unpleasant subjects, but it might help folks to know that the library has tax forms, both federal and state. We've heard that the post offices no longer carry them. We have the basic forms for the taking, and also have a notebook of less common forms (such as "Income Averaging for Farmers and Fishermen") which can be photocopied. The price for library copies is 15 cents, and our copier does take one dollar bills.

On Tuesdays at the library, the Central Vermont Community Action Council provides volunteer preparers who will e-file your federal and state income tax returns at no charge for any family whose total income for 2006 does not exceed $38,000. Hours of service are from 4-8 p.m. in the Frances Holmes Room on the 1st floor. Ask the staff at the front desk for directions. If you want more information on this great program, call the CVCAC office at 479-1053.

Please don't ask the library staff for help with your income tax. We are highly trained professionals, but income tax preparation was not part of that training! However, we'll be glad to direct you to the forms and publications you need.

By the way, if you'd like to get a better handle on your personal finances in the next year, we're displaying books on that subject near the tax forms. You'll find books like, "The Young Couple's Guide to Growing Rich Together", "Personal Finance for Busy People", and "Personal Finance for Dummies".

Montpelier taxes

An editorial in the February 23, 2007 issue of the Montpelier Bridge is critical of city and school spending and the impact on property taxes. As a library patron pointed out to me, there is an unfortunate error in the editorial that results in an overstatement of the rate of increase of school and city budgets.

The editorial states that the city’s budget is increasing at the rate of 2.1% and school budgets are increasing by 4.59%. The author continues, “Now, let’s combine both budgets. If both school and city budgets are approved, we’re looking at a projected 6.6 percent increase.”

This math is incorrect. If the city’s budget increases by 2.1% and the school's by 4.59%, the combined increase is 3.61%, not 6.6%. (The rate of inflation in New England in 2006 also happens to be 3.6 %.)

Montpelier residents have a relatively high property tax burden. But arguments in opposition to library funding, or funding of other community services, should be based on an accurate analysis.

No More Book Donations Please!

We have stopped taking book donations for our next book sale which begins March 19th. Due to the flood watch we are getting things off the floor in the basement where we usually keep donated books. Our space is limited and we will be moving supplies and equipment to the first or second floor. We hope that with all the preparations in place the flood will not materialize! Please keep your book donations at home for now. We'll let you know when we can take them again. Thanks for your understanding.