Thursday, March 29, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
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
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.)
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
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
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.
I 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.
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—
Two Librarians Tell How
They Resisted the
USA PATRIOT Act
March 20, 3:30-5 p.m.
Bailey/Howe Library, University of Vermont
Free and open to the public
Don’t miss this chance to learn how the USA PATRIOT Act is really being used.
University of Vermont Libraries
Friday, March 9, 2007
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
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.
Monday, March 5, 2007
"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
Thursday, March 1, 2007
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".
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.