Check it OUT! Cutler Memorial Library Newsletter #2017-1

posted Jan 25, 2017, 8:57 AM by Cutler Memorial Library   [ updated Jan 25, 2017, 8:58 AM ]

"Welcome, Neighbor!" Potluck THIS SUNDAY!
Prepared for (Almost) Anything: Emergencies & other disasters
Classic Book Club
Neighborhood Watching
Tuesday Night Knitting
Railroad History talk, Microbiome talk videos now online 
Best books of 2016
View this email in your browser

Check it OUT!

the Cutler Memorial Library Newsletter #2017-01

Please join us for our 5th Annual "Welcome, Neighbor!" Potluck,
always the last Sunday in January (29th) at 6:30 pm.
Bring your own plate, fork, cup, etc. and a dish to share! 
And a neighbor!

SAVE THE DATE! Wednesday February 15th, 6:30 pm



a discussion and workshop on being ready in the face of an emergency, presented by the Plainfield Volunteer Fire Department in partnership with the Cutler Memorial Library at the Plainfield Fire Station (169 Main Street).  

Childcare in the adjacent room will be provided: we want you to bring your whole family! Develop your own household preparedness plan, learn about most-common medical emergencies, consider the impact of severe weather events, meet your neighbors. This collaborative event is an outcome of the Resiliency Awareness and Action Committee.
The Classic Book Club will be discussing Joseph Conrad's

Monday, February 6th at 6 pm at the library.
New members are always welcome.



check out the new Facebook page

Thanks go out to Dan Caddy, who has volunteered to organize Plainfield's Neighborhood Watch group, an informal group dedicated to watching for (and reporting) suspicious activities in our community.

In January, Deputy Jason Gould and Deputy State's Attorney Roy Thibeault talked with Plainfield community members about being an effective witness and reporter of suspicious activity, and how detailed statements to law enforcement can help in prosecution of crimes such as domestic violence and theft. Here is a great set of tips that echo much of what Deputy Gould offered, borrowed from an Ohio community's web site:

If you see suspicious activity, look for distinguishing DETAILS and report what you've observed to the Washington County Sherrif's Department. If you see a crime in progress, call RIGHT AWAY. (802) 223-3001  If you can inconspicuously take a picture, great: do not put yourself in harms way and do not try to enforce the law yourselves. 

Interested in getting Neighborhood Watch decals or signs for your home or property? Contact our volunteer Neighborhood Watch organizer, Dan Caddy via the Facebook page above or call 415-568-7101 or by emailing

 These are also outcomes of the  Plainfield Resiliency Awareness and Action Committee.


Have you checked out our Digital Archive?
We continue to add Plainfield and Twinfield yearbooks, historic images and now... educational videos produced in Plainfield, of interest to Plainfield community members! The Plainfield Historical Society 2016 event with Frank J. Barrett, Jr. (history of VT and Railroads) and the collaboratively-sponsored talk at the Haybarn Theater with David R. Montgomery and Anne Bikle' ("The Hidden Half of Nature") are now posted both there and on the library's YouTube channel,

2016 was a great year for books! And we have many of the titles that found their way onto "best of" lists, from NPR, Harper's, Atlantic Monthly, Washington Post and Good Reads!

Monday, February 6th at 6 pm at the library.
New members are always welcome.
Copyright © 2017 Cutler Memorial Library, All rights reserved. 
You are receiving this email because you are a friend of the Cutler Memorial Library in Plainfield, Vermont. 

Our mailing address is: 
Cutler Memorial Library
151 High Street
PO Box 186
PlainfieldVT 05667

Add us to your address book

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list 

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Holiday 2016 Newsletter

posted Nov 20, 2016, 4:26 PM by Cutler Memorial Library   [ updated Nov 20, 2016, 4:27 PM ]

Holiday hours
"Very Vermont" Gift Basket Raffle
Neighborhood Watch Meeting
"Across the Aisle" Audiobook Club
1st-Sundays Ted Talk Salon
Classic Book Club
Tuesday Night Knitting
Post-election Reading Suggestions
Community Group Use at the Library
View this email in your browser (*|ARCHIVE|*)

Special thank-you to the Women's Christian Temperance Union Fund for sponsoring one of our two new public computers!

Tickets: 6 for $10, 3 for $5, or 1 for $2, for sale at Library - Drawing Dec. 3, Twinfield Craft and Artisan Fair, need not be present to win

** Thank you to all of the businesses and individuals who donated for the "Very Vermont" gift basket raffle this year:

Gift Certificates:
Country Bookstore
Green Mountain Crossfit, 1 month membership, plus 8 hours crossfit training
Marshfield Village Store
Plainfield COOP
Positive Pie
Blue glass bowl - Chet Cole and Viiu Niiler
Handcrafted wool felted earrings - Emily Rappold
Homemade dog biscuits - Donna Petterssen
Homemade Italian biscotti - Donna Petterssen
Homemade peanut suet wild bird treat
Felted soaps
2017 Calendar - Plainfield Historical Society
Hand knit scarf - Maria McKnight
Bee balm cream and essential mandarin orange oil - Plainfield COOP
Wiper blades - Wrisley’s Auto Care
Whizzo Bagels - Anna Labrusciano
Granola - Maple Valley
Vermont Maple Syrup - Maplefields
Vermont Maple Syrup - Strong Family
Granny’s Blossom Salsa
Green Tea, 2 vouchers for tea class, ceremony, or private lesson Ben Youngbear
Homemade Jams - Joyce Fowler
“The Ta Ta Weenie Club,” by Bill Torrey
“The Troubled Roar of the Waters; Vermont in Flood and Recovery, 1927-31,” by D & N Clifford
“Vermont; An Outsider's Inside View,” by Edward Rubin
“Cooking with Friends,” Cutler Friends cookbook

There's no time like the present to come together as a community and be there for each other.
Any interest in an "Across the Aisle" Audiobook Club in Plainfield? We'd select two audiobooks to discuss each month, one representing liberal/progressive views and one representing conservative views. Meeting options include: Last Sundays at 12:30 pm or last Wednesday nights at either 6 or 7 pm. Please email if you are interested.
Discuss stimulating topics from hundreds of experts, artists, performers, activists, etc., every 1st Sunday night, 6:30 pm
Classic Book Club will discuss H.G. Well's TIME MACHINE, Monday December 5th, 6 pm
Drop-in Knitting, every Tuesday night (except 1st Tuesdays) with knitting instructor Lynda Volz, 6:30 pm


If you’re a conservative and want to understand liberal & progressive viewpoints:
American Empire
The Making of Donald Trump
Stop the Next War
Who Rules the World
The Color of Water
Prodigal Summer
Between the World and Me
Tropic of Chaos
Before Night Falls
American Maelstrom (on order)
The New Jim Crow (on order)

If you’re a liberal or progressive that wants to understand conservative viewpoints:
Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun
Who Built That?
Atlas Shrugged
Listen, Liberal (on order)
It’s About Islam
Crippled America
Alter Egos

If you want to be a Peacemaker, or are seeking optimistic inspiration for the future:
Radical, my journey out of Radical Islam
Terrorist’s Son
The All New Don’t Think of an Elephant
Peace Pilgrim
The Quickening of America
Strength in What Remains
Sari Revolution
Resiliency in Children and Teens
Teachings on Love
All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes
Be Here Now
Wages of Rebellion
Beautiful Trouble
David and Goliath
Our Common Wealth
The Terrorist’s Son

If all else fails, read:
All the Light We Cannot See

Ongoing community group use of the library:

The Classic Book Club meets every 1st Monday at 6 pm.
The Plainfield Historical Society meets every 1st Tuesday at 7 pm.
The Drop-In Knitting Group meets every Tuesday except for 1st Tuesday, at 6:30 pm.
The Cutler Memorial Library Trustees meet on the mid-month Wednesday, 4:30 pm.
The Resiliency Committee meets on mid-month Wednesdays, 6 pm.
The Friends of the Library meet on the 4th Monday of each month at 6:30 pm.*
*The Friends welcome new active and supportive members: come if you are interested!

Looking for a monthly meeting place? We can offer 2nd or 3rd Monday nights, 1st or last Wednesday nights, any Thursday night, or any time on Saturdays.

August 2016 Newsletter

posted Sep 4, 2016, 4:38 PM by Cutler Memorial Library

Register now for Booklovers' Bingo
New and noteworthy in our collection
Resiliency Survey: help measure Plainfield's readiness
Capacity! Much-needed library addition in the planning stages
Weekly program offerings: Tuesday night knitting & Wednesday story time
Updates from behind-the-scenes: New trustees, policies, ILL delivery system  
View this email in your browser
This summer's MAIN EVENT at the library... 
Please take this brief Resiliency Survey.
The Plainfield Resilience Awareness & Action Committee Wants To Hear From You!  Please take the time to complete this survey. Your answers will help our town prevent natural disasters and help our community be better prepared. Help Plainfield Bounce Back Better!
Click here to take the survey
The Library's plan to expand
We're at capacity, both inside and out!
We're committed to expanding to serve everyone who wants to spent their time at a PUBLIC LIBRARY in their HOME TOWN.
     Based on research, observations and expert consultation (with much more professional assistance planned), we've determined that Plainfield library patrons would be best served with twice as much physical space and twice as much parking. There are many days that people who would have stopped let us know that there was no place for them to park. There are also more and more days and nights that more than one group wants to use the space while we're open: even one group using the space while we're open makes it difficult for others who use the library to access the shelves and/or have a quiet corner to study or read. When more than one family comes to use the children's area, things get really crowded, really fast.  The children's area is also the entrance area to our only bathroom. Maybe you are beginning to get the picture? We'd like to offer more programs and facilitate learning experiences for kids through interactive areas such as an "experimentation station" and to provide a soundproof booth for video gaming, audio or audiovisual recording projects such as oral histories (think NPR's "Story Corps"), youtube cover song videos, book review blogs, etc!
     We're decided that we'll stay at the existing location, which we believe makes the most sense given the challenge of fundraising, grants and related external factors that will all influence the pace and rhythm of site work, construction and interior renovation.

     Our vision includes a "quiet room," enlarged kids' and teen spaces, a kitchenette for events and education, a 24-hour swipe card security system for community groups to access a contained, handicapped accessible meeting and workshop space, a small office for the library director to conduct business, a redesigned entrance (at the rear, by new parking lot). And maybe even a laundrymat!  Wouldn't that be great: come to the library while you do your laundry.
     We're hoping to be very eco-conscious in the construction and energy efficiency of the addition, and our plans at this point do not involve additional staff or an operating budget increase. We know the tax base is small and we're committed to keeping the cost of the expansion separate from our funding requests to the town. We may even find it feasible to increase the number of affordable housing units upstairs: the current rental income from the apartment already helps to offset costs, so additional income could help pay for the addition itself!
     We're currently working to put an agreement together with the town that will satisfy their concerns about partnering with us on a Vermont Community Development Program planning grant. The $30,000 grant must be awarded to the town on our behalf, because we are technically an independent private non-profit organization, not a branch of town government. We have the matching funds on-hand to qualify and if we are able to partner with the town to receive the funding, we'll use it to pay an architectural firm to design, then plan, get permits for and potentially oversee the construction of the whole project. Click here to see the video of a recent selectboard meeting when Loona Brogan and Bob Rosenfeld returned to the town to more fully explain our earlier request for their assistance:

     If you would like to be on the expansion committee, or simply have input, questions or ideas to share... please let us know: 454-8504 or email  

Titles worth checking out... 

If you're curious about the latest new items added to our catalog, use the "location" as your search type and the term "new" in the search box. OR, you can simply scroll to the bottom of the catalog's home page to see items (donated or purchased, new or used) that have been added to our collection in chronological order, with the most-recent displayed first.

Newly donated of note:
  • (the new) Our Bodies, Our Selves
  • "Fishing with John" on DVD
  • Invasive Plant Medicine
  • Born to Run
  • Quiet Water NH & VT (kayak guide)
  • Before the Fall
  • lots of great kids' books including Magic School Bus, Curious George, bilingual picture books and Little Golden Books!
  • a slew of DC Comics hardcover graphic novels
  • Mindful Tech
  • award-winning JF chapter book: Gone Crazy in Alabama

Newly purchased & getting noticed:
  • Barkskins               (Annie Proulx)
  • End of Watch     (Stephen King)
  • Everybody's Fool (Richard Russo)
  • LaRose         (Louise Erdrich)
  • Grunt              (Mary Roach)
  • Knuckle Sandwiches    (local poet Wayne F. Burke)
  • Kill 'em and Leave (biography of James Brown)
  • Lab Girl
  • Lady Midnight     (Cassandra Clare)
  • Notorious RGB
  • Raymie Nightingale (Kate DiCamillo)
  • The Fireman      (Joe Hill)
  • The Rainbow Comes and Goes (Anderson Cooper)
  • The Road to Little Dribbling            (Bill Bryson)
  • The Second Life of Nick Mason 
  • The Three Body Problem           (Cixin Liu)
  • Unbroken Brain
  • Uprooted       (Naomi Novik)
"In the news"
  • Becoming Wise
  • Tarzan of the Apes
  • Making of Donald Trump
  • Alter Egos
  • Spark Joy
  • Crippled America (Trump)
  • Yuge! (Doonesbury)
  • Hard Choices (Clinton)
  • American Girls
  • Who Rules the World? (Noam Chomsky)
  • The Gene (Pulitzer Prize-winning author)
  • The Sympathizer (Pulitzer Prize)
Weekly program offerings
Don't forget about ourTuesday Night Drop-In Knitting group, most Tuesdays at 6:30 pm & our Wednesday Morning Summer Story Time, 10:30 am!  We'll continue story time into the school year if we have at least one participating family each week in August.
Updates from Behind-the-scenes
We're so pleased to announce the transition from the (retiring and moving away) board members to a new, full board of trustees with seven members is complete. Marcy Shaffer Hale' was elected as interim Chairperson, Bob Rosenfeld continues on as board secretary and Janet Nielsen (previously participating as the Friends of the Library's liason to the trustees, and remaining so as their president) was elected as treasurer. Kit Gates, Lynda Volz and Amy Emler-Shaffer also were elected to the board. The organization's bylaws (rules by which the trustees conduct themselves) were updated and will be available to read on our website ( if anyone is interested. 

We thank Linda Bartlett for her service as treasurer and regret that circumstances prevent her from continuing on the board; we'll miss her get-her-dun style and positive outlook.  

In other news, our policies regarding overdue materials and out-of-town borrowers were revised as of July 1st.  If you're unfamiliar, you can find all the details here: Essentially, folks will be reminded if they have items three days or more overdue. There is a five-day grace period after the due date, too.  But items that are still not returned by the sixth overdue day will be charged a late fee of 15 cents per item per day, with a maximum fine of $5 per item or $25 total. Borrowers with more than $5 in unpaid late fees or bills for unreturned items will not be able to borrow from the library until their accounts are brought back to good standing. Folks who do not live in Plainfield, Calais, East Montpelier, Marshfield or Barre (our town and the towns that border ours, plus Calais which borders parts of Marshfield many consider to be in Plainfield) will still be able to use the library but may only borrow from our print collection unless they pay a $15 annual fee to have a full access guest card.

Also: good news for interlibrary loan users! The Green Mountain Library Consortium (the collective that brought you "Listen Up, Vermont") has partnered with the Vermont Department of Libraries to contract with Green Mountain Messenger Service in the provision of an inter-library courier service that will largely eliminate the need to pay postage per-item to mail materials we borrow from or lend to other libraries in Vermont! This means it is easier than ever to facilitate the lending and borrowing of items not available from the borrowing library's own collection. We mean it when we say "If we don't have it, we can get it," whether it is a magazine article, a book or even a DVD or audiobook! Please note, however, that we now require patrons to pay the postage on interlibrary loan requests for video materials unless it is specifically tied to K-12 grade level schoolwork. 

We're proud to say that the ratio of books we borrow from other libraries versus books we lend to other libraries is shifting to a more balanced figure. We used to only get a few requests each year from other libraries; now we get a few each month! The reason this is good news for Plainfield borrowerers: it shows that our collection includes more titles library patrons are seeking out! It's also good to be in a position to comfortably share with other communities, and not just be on the asking side.

Finally: a reminder that you can borrow digital content (using Listen Up, Vermont) as well as craft kits and tools in addition to our collection of DVDs, audiobooks, magazines and books. Our Tuesday Night Drop-in Knitting is a great way to try your hand at fiber arts or refresh your rusty skills: we've got knitting needles, yarn and plenty of instructional material as well as an in-house expert (Lynda Volz) most Tuesday nights!  Or perhaps you'd like to try paper arts, digital media, needlecraft, woodburning, jewelry making, rug hooking, hand weaving or bicycle repair.  You can also spend your library time on one of our in-house tablets: we have an iPad and a Kindle Fire HD that patrons are welcome to use while they are here.

We're having a lot of fun down here at the library: you're welcome to join in!  Stop by to grab a title or settle in for a spell, we're always glad to see you.

September 2016 newsletter

posted Sep 4, 2016, 4:34 PM by Cutler Memorial Library   [ updated Sep 4, 2016, 4:35 PM ]

Come be in the community portrait during Old Home Days, Saturday September 17th, just before lunch!
View this email in your browser
CHECK IT OUT! The Cutler Memorial Library Newsletter for September 2016
Open Sunday, Tuesday, Friday 2pm-8pm and Wednesday, Thursday 10am-2pm
(802) 454-8504

Tuesday Night Knitting continues! 6:30-8pm

September is Library Card Sign-up month!

If you’re reading this newsletter… you probably already have your own library card.  But what about your family members, your best friend, your co-workers and neighbors?  If its been a while since they were in a library, they probably have no idea what they’re missing! Your enthusiasm might be the friendly nudge some of them need to “get around to it.” Don't be embarrassed to bring it up in conversations: “Have you been in your local library lately? Did you know that the Cutler Memorial Library is open 3 nights a week until 8 pm, including on Sundays?” Perhaps they’ll be glad to know how many things their library card provides access to: parks and museum passes, hands-on bins, a telescope, e-books and downloadable audiobooks, magazines, movies and of course BOOKS! The more people who use the library, the better the library reflects and supports the needs and interests of its community. So shout it from the rooftops: WE WANT YOU TO HAVE A LIBRARY CARD!

Libraries are evolving in many ways, but at the end of the day, it's still about providing ACCESS, CONNECTING people with each other and with the resources that will enrich their lives, and supporting individual and community-initiated CREATIVITY and LEARNING by facilitating SHARING... of ideas, materials, talents, experiences, stories, facts, images, et cetera! What WILL that look like in the future? It's fun to imagine. But we're doing more than just imagining at the Cutler Memorial Library; we're planning an expansion for today's increased and changing uses as well as for tomorrow's innovations and challenges.
"Who are you, that we serving?" 
(Or, in other words: what matters most to you? What kinds of things are you interested in? What struggles are you working to overcome?) Please: there are probably ways we could support your endeavors and facilitate your interests that none of us have thought of yet! The best way for us to develop our collection, offer programming, set policies, et cetera, is to know the community we're serving. Take five minutes and tell us about yourself! You might see a reflection of what you shared on the shelves or on the calendar some day...
Practice the steps of "The Lawnchair Brigade" at the library Wednesday the 14th, 6-6:30, or learn during the parade line-up (10 am), Saturday September 17th at the Plainfield Park & Ride. You'll need: a folding lawnchair, a pair of sunglasses and a baseball cap.
The Classic Book Club 
meets most 1st Mondays at the library,
151 High Street
(US Route 2)
at 6 pm.
If you are a first-time attendee, it's best to confirm the date and location in advance (as occasionally a month is skipped or the venue moved).
In October: discussing Shakespeare'sRomeo and Juliet. 
Summer Readers!
Did you challenge yourself to read more this summer?
One reader from each age group (adult, teen & youth) will win a reusable "book browsing" bag; just email me your name and age with preferred mode of contact and the words "Summer Reading" beforeSeptember 15th!
Your text caption goes here. You can change the position of the caption and set styles in the block’s settings tab.

Digital "Content!" Borrow Books to Read or Hear

More and more people are enjoying materials they have borrowed via their local library over the internet. Most commonly-used cellphones and all tablets, e-readers and computers have the capacity to become an "extender" of your local library's collection! Commuters (and other car-riding listeners): most portable devices can be plugged into car stereo systems these days, you might just need an audio cord. The selection on LISTEN UP, VERMONT is far better than what we are able to offer in physical format. Let us show you how! It can be tricky for the less-tech-adept, but we've taught even the most reluctant borrowers how to successfully upload e-books and audiobooks onto most devices. Let us show you how. In fiscal year 2011, the first full year statistics were available, 13 Cutler Memorial Library patrons borrowed 82 titles. This past year, 57 users borrowed 881 titles. In total, since we began to offer e-content, 138 different people have borrowed material 3,213 times! If they can figure it out, you can too. Five people from Plainfield have borrowed more than 200 titles from this collection. Just in terms of audiobooks, 1167 different titles were borrowed. Our physical audiobook collection has 211 items, for comparison.

So how to get started? Go to the App Store (called Google Play on Android devices) and download the Overdrive app for your device. If this is already Greek to you, just make an appointment with the librarian to bring your device to the library and get some 1:1 help! We don't mind a bit, we're glad to show you. But if you're still following along... create an Overdrive account if you don't already have one. Store your user name and password somewhere handy for reference. Then "search for a library" and it will point you to the Green Mountain Library Consortium. This web site is "Listen Up, Vermont," the portal to the digital collections. The Cutler Library has obtained exclusive content (we own dozens of licenses so our people don't have a long line to access those), plus there are many titles that are shared with patrons from libraries all across the state. You'll need to sign in, entering/selecting "Cutler Memorial Library" and then point and click on the text box that appears beneath the library name. On the log-in page, use 8504xxxx (8504 and your four digital library card number) to log in. If you are using e-books, you'll have to choose which format (e-pub, Kindle or in-browser) to borrow. If you're borrowing a Kindle-formatted e-book, you'll also need your Amazon account log-in and password, as the final borrowing step will be from and delivered to your device via your Amazon account 'cloud.' Some formats of e-book require being opened/transferred onto your device by way of Adobe Digital Editions so that access to the material is restricted to either one or two weeks (as you choose in your Listen Up, Vermont account settings). It sounds complicated, and it is a little bit... but most people get the hang of it after a few tries.

Why is there a wait for so many popular titles? Publishers prefer to sell libraries licenses that restrict access to their content to one borrower at a time. Most have a set number of uses and then the license expires. Some licenses to material are metered to only be available for a specified length of time, regardless of how many people borrow that material. Overdrive is our vendor and the web site Listen Up, Vermont is our platform for delivering the material. Green Mountain Library Consortium is a collective of (most) Vermont libraries who pool funds to afford this service and these licenses. There are multiple licenses for the most popular materials, but still there are often long waits for bestsellers. That's why the Cutler recently made a budgetary decision to pay not only as a subscriber for access to the entire collection but also for exclusive-to-Cutler-patrons licenses so that some items are only shared among our community members and not with the whole state. We have two recommendations as far as availability: chose to search first for only those items that are available to borrow immediately, using the settings on the advanced search page. This way you're sure to pick something you can borrow right away. The second time, browse without restricting results to "available now," but any time you see a title you would borrow that is currently on-loan, save it to your "wish list" so that the next time you log on to borrow, you can start there and see which of the items you've already identified as interesting are available immediately. 

So how much does this cost the library? Just as with the physical print and media products, digital audiobook licenses are, on average, far more expensive than e-book licenses. They range from $20 to $90, depending on the publisher, the title and the model of use (one-borrower-at-a-time, unlimited users for set periods of time, et cetera. E-books licenses can be as little as $6 but are typically in the $20 price range. Our wholesale and contracted discount prices for print and physical audiobooks are on-average about 2/3 that cost. Of course, physical books get damaged, lost, kept, stolen, defaced, moldy, etc. And the audiobook CDs get scratched, broken, lost and stolen too. Another factor to consider: digital content doesn't have to be recycled or given precious landfill space once we're done with it! E-book readers and reading apps allow readers to adjust the font size and brightness (usually) to accommodate different preferences and abilities. E-readers and tablets are much lighter than most physical books, too, so people whose strength is diminished from illness or advanced age can read for longer their arms tiring from holding the book! And audiobook players automatically remember where listeners leave off so that you can pick right back up where you left off even if you change listening locations (ie bring it in from the car). You never have to worry about changing discs or protecting them from damage! 

One final thought for people who have ignored e-books and downloadable audiobooks out of loyalty to physical-over-digital and the print medium. It doesn't have to be one or the other (in our lifetimes, at least)! Certainly, we'll be using BOTH into the foreseeable future. However, books made of paper might assume a different place in the lives of people several generations from now; most of use don't use scrolls or slate tablets anymore, after all, even though they still exist. The structure and form of libraries has and will continue to evolve right along side the formats we use to convey our stories, facts, lessons, rules, et cetera! Just as e-books are conveying the material contained within, the same as print books do, libraries will continue to serve by facilitating sharing, connecting, learning, creating and by providing access to information, materials, expertise and a safe, comfortable, functional space for all comers. 

June 2016 newsletter

posted Jun 1, 2016, 10:53 AM by Cutler Memorial Library

Parks & Museum Passes    
Summer Reading                    
a Big Shout Out to the Friends  
Donated Books

New Policies        
Quiz yourself!
Passport to Vermont Libraries
Digital Collection
Book Review Links
View this email in your browser



Question: How Many Different Parks & Museum Passes Can You Borrow This Summer from the library?

Answer: SIX! Can you guess which ones?
From: Vermont State Parks, Vermont State Historic Sites, the Vermont History Museum in Montpelier, the American Precision Museum in Windsor, the Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock, and the ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center in Burlington. Are there other passes you’d like to see us get for next summer? Please give us your feedback! Passes can be reserved and are due back 4 days from checkout.

Resiliency Awareness Meeting Tonight

Interested in joining the Resilience Planning Committee? Meet Wednesday, June 1st, 6:30 pm at the Town Hall Opera House
The Town of Plainfield has been awarded a planning grant to develop a Resiliency Plan, a response, in part, to lessons learned during the May 2011 flood. Resiliency is a broadening of the social and civic networks engaged in emergency preparedness. It’s about being able, as a community, to recover quickly in times of collective crises and catastrophes such as severe weather events due to climate disruption, which are seen now as eventualities (not just possibilities) not only by climate scientists but also by planners and engineers. The library is represented on the committee forming to help shape the plan (with planning coordinator Sarah Corey McShane) by the librarian, Loona Brogan. Loona was one of several committee members who attended the 2016 Vermont Resilience Conference at Norwich University in May.

Anyone interested in Plainfield's Resiliency Plan should come to the meeting tonight6:30, Town Hall Opera House.
Summer Reading Challenge
The theme at public libraries all over the country this summer is “Ready, Set, Read!” We offer families three options for the best way to encourage their kids to challenge themselves this summer and read for the fun and even “the sport” of it. We invite teens grown-ups to “Get in the Game” too; choose from Personal Best (find out how much you can read in one summer!), Train your Brain (set a learning or literature-exploring goal, make a reading plan, follow through), or RACE! (recruit a couple of friends and family members to see who reads the most titles, the most minutes
or the most pages before August 30th).

We’re offering “I (Heart) BOOKS” re-usable bags and “Book Bingo” challenge sheets to borrowers this month. We’ve got stickers and bookmarks, too. Summer readers: come take your pledge and choose your challenge! Three people who meet their reading goals this summer will win a “definition of libraries” book browsing bag, and anyone who at least pledges* to take a reading challenge this summer will be eligible to form or join a team and enter the big “Book Lover’s Bingo” event slated for mid-August. The winning team will get first dibs at great (local) prizes! Check out our web site for any of the reading challenge tracking sheets or forms.

*Pledge deadline for contest eligibility is July 15th.
Thank you everybody for a successful Plant & Book Sale!

KUDOS to the Friends of the Cutler Memorial Library for hosting this year’s successful Plant and Book Sale. The Friends donate the funds they raise to the library for collection development and programming. Wow, we are so grateful to all of the Friends members who volunteer their time and energy for this important annual fundraiser, and the gardeners who provide the top-quality seedlings and plants! Also thank you to everyone who donates books throughout the year and to everyone who shopped and supported the library!

The plant sale brought in $1000 and the books sale netted about $500. Many people showed up to help prep for and set up/break down the sale: a special thank you to Tim Phillips, Addy Guth, Randall Meyer, Braden DeForge for helping with NINETY boxes of books! We are so fortunate to live in a community where it’s just natural for folks to pitch in for the collective good.
What do we do with donated books?
A gentle note to booklovers everywhere: some books will live in another’s hands, others have run their course because it is unlikely any more readers will read them. Approaches to topics become outdated. Great works of literature are printed in the hundreds of thousands of copies (at a time). And new, amazing books with the latest in thinking, creating and inventing are rolling off the press right now en masse; every WEEK. We can’t all just build new book shelves every year! Sometimes we have to “let go” of some books simply to make room for newer books. Of course, SOME of the “let-go-of” books that come our way do have lots of “shelf life” left in them; sometimes on the shelves of the public library in Plainfield, sometimes on the worldwide web-fueled book market, sometimes in a Little Free Library, or a free box at the Health Center, or a boxful addressed to the “Books for Prisoners” project, with shipping costs sponsored by willing library patrons.
We manage to get many donated books back into readers’ hands, and since we encourage reading, that’s a really good thing. Better World Books, our on-line bookselling partner, which uses part of the money they raise reselling books like ours to support literacy initiatives, pays our shipping costs to send them specific titles! And they send us three or four checks each year for between $45-65. We only send them titles they know they can resell; the rest get given away or sorted out for the big spring book sale.
Guess how many boxes of donated & discarded books went out in the sale this spring? NINETY!  We sold about one third of those. That’s after we’ve diverted the ones our online partner, Better World Books (BWB), confirms they want to sell online.
So how many went to BWB, and what happened to those? Well, in the last year, we shipped them 791 pounds of books (about 22 boxes).  They recycled a little less than half of that (which saved 4 trees, more than 1500 gallons of water and almost 900 kilowatt hours of electricity), and resold the rest. These resold products were not only diverted from the landfill, but saved 4 trees, almost 4000 gallons of water and more than 1000 kilowatt hours of electricity! In the last year, we’ve offset more than 1200 pounds of greenhouse gases by recycling and reselling these books with our partner, Better World Books. Since we began our partnership with them, we’ve sent them almost 2700 books (more than 3600 pounds, more than 100 boxes!); it’s saved 42 trees, more than 26,000 gallons of water, 5750 pounds of offset greenhouse gases, 8800 kwh of electricity and 5 cubic feet of landfill space! We’ve also earned several hundred dollars for collection development.
We are able to use these procedures only because of the many wonderful volunteers who scan and sort each donated or discarded book and process them (either for shipment, other redistribution, or storage for our book sale). A special shout out to Annabelle M., our youngest volunteer, who has done a lot of this work, and too many others to list. Of course, if we applied these metrics to the books resold or recycled from our books sales over the past five years, the totals would probably be doubled. So when the trustees ask the librarian if it’s worth it to accept donated books and hold a book sale, she answers “definitely yes; for more than one reason. People who love books want to know that their books are getting a decent chance of being read again (and again!).”  We understand; that’s how we feel about the books from our collection that we choose to “pass along,” too.  But if it’s a dozen or less recent bestsellers you’re trying to part with—check our catalog online or call us to see if we’ve got copies already. If we do, keep them in the neighborhood by donating them to the Little Free Library at the corner of Hudson and Mill Streets. If we don’t, by all means, bring them to donate when we are openPlease don’t put book donations in the book drop, or leave them on the porch or in the parking lot. And thank you for loving books, too! If you didn’t, you wouldn’t still be reading this. 
New Policies Go Into Effect
July 1st
There’s a new era dawning at the Cutler Memorial Library; policies that will enforce billing for lost items, assign late fees for overdue materials, and introduce “Full Access Guest Accounts” for folks not living in Plainfield or an adjacent town starting on July 1st. Valid identification and verification of a mailing address will be required on new accounts, but we’ll accept a (verified, local) personal reference in lieu of a picture ID for folks that don’t have one.

Out-of-town card holders can borrow from our print collection, and will be given free access to our physical space and our digital resources. But an annual fee of $15 will be charged for a “Full Access Guest Account.” Only local borrowers (living in Plainfield or neighboring towns: Barre, East Montpelier, Marshfield or Groton) and Full Access Guest card holders can request Interlibrary Loans or borrow movies, audiobooks, digital devices or the hands-on bins. However, we will still interlibrary-loan these items to other libraries requesting them for their patrons.
We’ll call or send email reminders when items are three days overdue; there is a five-day grace period. But for items more than five days late (ie returned more than 2 days after the courtesy reminder), the fine is .15 a day with a cap at $5 per item or $25 per account. People who have more than $5 in late fees will not be able to borrow materials, unless arrangements are made with the librarian. Items more than 5 weeks overdue will be re-categorized as “lost.” Patrons with lost (or damaged) materials billed to their account will be required to pay for (or return) the item/s before they can continue to use their library card, unless arrangements are made with the librarian. Volunteer hours can be credited (at $10/hour) towards late fines owed (but not to replace billed items), in most cases.

The late fine for digital devices, parks & museum passes and other physical objects such as the LCD projector (for public events use only), and the telescope will be much higher: $1/day (with a maximum fee of $25). We’re also setting stricter limits on borrowers who are extremely late returning materials on a routine basis: folks who keep items later than 6 weeks past the due date (and therefore billed for replacement cost), more often than 3 times a year, whether or not the item was returned and/or paid for) will have their account temporarily restricted. We know you tardy people don’t MEAN to be so irresponsible with library materials that you promised to return on-time, so we can’t stay mad at you. But getting mad at you hasn’t helped motivate you to try harder anyway. So perhaps these gentle nudges, these ‘natural consequences’… late fines, billed items, account restrictions… will inspire us all to be more organized (and considerate of others) when it comes to sharing collective resources. We also hope it results in more great choices available the next time you come to check stuff out at the library. We have a new “policies” page on our web site, for all the details:
We will be updating our patron records in the coming month to be sure we have up-to-date contact information and complete mailing addresses for everyone with an active account. If you use email, please keep your email record up-to-date so we can email you reminders when your materials are overdue.  We promise not to use it in any other way unless you’ve given us permission to receive this newsletter, too!  Thanks.
“Other than a Book”
Quiz yourself! How many other kinds of “things” can you borrow from the Cutler Memorial Library besides “the obvious” (books, movies, audiobooks and magazines)?
  1. (?#) Hands-on bins:
  1. Needlecraft
  2. Fiber Arts
  3. Rug Hooking
  4. Hand Weaving
  5. Jewelry Making
  6. Digital Media
  7. Wood burning
  8. Pencil, Ink and Brush
  9. Bicycle repair kit
  10. Paper Arts
  1. Household toolbox
  2. Telescope
  3. E-reader
  4. Mp3 player
  5. LCD projector
So how many did you know? What was the total # you came up with? The total so far: FIFTEEN ITEMS
In other words, not only can you borrow a great book about jewelry-making, but you can take home a set of tools and basic supplies too, and try your hand at it before you invest in your own kit. You can get inspired by library books which led you from exploring tree types to construction techniques to treehouses… and then borrow a bow saw, a drill, a level… you get the picture.
We’re still seeking out useful additions.  If you have any of these items kicking around, consider donating them: we would love to lend out:


A pair of fishing poles & a tackle box
A ukulele
A banjo
A guitar
A fiddle & bow
Cross-country skis
Passport to Vermont Libraries
Perhaps you've heard of the 251 Club. That’s the loosely-affiliated enthusiasts who document their visit in each of Vermont’s 251 municipalities in order to become official members. Well, last summer Vermont Librarians took the idea and, er, “drove” with it! And they’re bringing it back again, due to popular demand. Yes, you can keep track until you’ve visited all 183 of Vermont’s public libraries, if you don’t want to squeeze it all into one summer. But if you feel your passport might have the most visits logged this summer, ask your local librarian about putting your name in for 2016 champion. In the meantime, it’s a great excuse to stop in for a look-see in other small Vermont town libraries. What good, clean fun! Bring the family or fly solo; so many libraries, so little time… The Cutler Memorial Library is a participating library; pick up your passport at any participating location.
“Plainfield’s own” collection expands to digital:
Download library e-books and audiobooks!

Perhaps you are already familiar with the vast assortment of books available to download with your library card number from Listen Up, Vermont. At any time, there are thousands of titles available in e-book and/or audiobook format. We’ve got e-readers and an mp3 player we can lend you if you’d like to try this technology but don’t have a portable device such as a smart phone or a tablet. We can show you how, whether you bring your own device or use one of ours.
This isn’t news, though! All of the above has been true for years in Plainfield and around Vermont. But NOW the Cutler Memorial Library has started to assemble a digital collection that is exclusively available to our patrons, not shared by the entire consortium of libraries (GMLC) that split the cost of providing access to “Listen Up, Vermont.” In 2015, 12,822 Vermont library patrons borrowed 88,073 e-books and 86,206 audiobooks from Listen Up, Vermont. 62 of them were Cutler Memorial Library patrons.

When Plainfield was new to this service in 2015, 5134 Vermonters were using it to download library materials. But as more and more people acclimate to handheld digital technologies (i.e. smartphones, tablets, etc.), that number has more than doubled and the demand for popular titles via this shared collection has been hard for the consortium to manage. Members who attended the 2016 Vermont Library Association conference meeting of the GMLC this May were encouraged to include curated, specific digital collection development in our overall collection development budget. In 2015, Cutler patrons borrowed 915 digital titles from Listen Up, Vermont, representing around 13% of total circulation in 2015.

To that end, we’ve added 9 audiobook titles and 14 e-book titles we expect will be popular with Plainfield area library patrons.

All You Need is Love
A Cat Was Involved
Fool’s Assassin
I Saw Her Standing There
I Want to Hold Your Hand
The Iggy Chronicles, Volumes 1 & 2
Just Mercy
Midnight Crossroad
Santa 365
Strega Nona
Tuesday Nights in 1980
Cat and Jemima J
The Defenders and other stories
The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up
The Nest
Second Variety and other stories
Upon the Dull Earth and other stories
A World of Talent and other stories
NPR Book Review Links: Looking for a critically-acclaimed novel to borrow? Try one of these…
Joe Hill, “The Fireman”

“The Sympathizer,” Viet Thanh Nguyen

Louise Erdrich, “LaRose”

“Everybody’s Fool,” Richard Russo

“Maestra,” L.S. Hilton

Helen Simonson, “The Summer Before the War”

Elena Ferrante, “The Story of a Lost Child”

“The Widow,” Fiona Barton

Alvaro Enrigue, “Sudden Death”
“Raymie Nightingale” Kate DiCamillo
Sara Pennypacker and Jon Klassen, “Pax”
 “A Gathering of Shadows,” V.E. Schwab
Pierce Brown, “Morning Star”
Coming Up in July’s Newsletter:

2015-16 at the Cutler Memorial Library, by the numbers
How to Win Book Lover’s Bingo: Assemble a diverse team of readers
“Free Accessories Radio”
Local favorites: most-circulated titles in 2015-16 at the CML
Update on the Expansion Proposal
A Night Under the Stars
Google Search Box Tips & Tricks

January 2016

posted Jan 16, 2016, 5:19 AM by Cutler Memorial Library   [ updated Jan 16, 2016, 5:23 AM ]

"Check it Out!"
the Cutler Memorial Library's occasional newsletter
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
Jorge Luis Borges

CONTENTS: Potluck invite.Teen book club. 2x Story Time. Classic Book Club. First Fridays game night. Encore naturalist talk. School vacation break offerings. Link to town report library narrative.
POST-SCRIPT: Thank you, kind people. Digital Learning Day.
** Happy 2016!
** It's going to be a great year to use the library.
What's new in 2016 at the Cutler Memorial Library?
New neighbors have moved to town since last year! Let's enjoy a community potluck & introduce ourselves to recent Plainfielders.  New to town?  Please do come to our  "Welcome, Neighbor Potluck" Sunday, January 31st from 6-8 pm.  Bring your own plate and cutlery, please, and an ingredient list for folks with food sensitivities.

We're launching a new teen book discussion series, "HACK THE FEED: Media, Resistance & Revolution." Come to an intro session on Wednesday January 20th, 3 pm & pick up your copies (to keep) of MT Anderson's FEED, Suzanne Collin's HUNGER GAMES, and John Lewis's MARCH.  The Great Stories Book Club will meet Wednesdays from 3-4:30 over several school weeks in February and March.  Participation is limited to the first ten teens to sign up, so don't wait to register!  Just email your contact phone and email, name and age to: ( .  In addition to free books, participants will have a chance to discuss FEED with the author, who lives locally!!

We're offering Story Time at 10 am and 1 pm on Thursdays now, please bring your wee ones!  We love a good picture book break.

There's nothing new about the Classic Book Club, which meets most 1st Mondays, but they have a new list of titles to discuss in 2016! February's book discussion features Cheri, by Colette, Monday February 1st at 6pm.

We have new board games for 2016!! Yes!! We invite gamers to converge for First Fridays Game Night at 6pm (February 5th); use our games or bring your own! Call 454-8504 for more information or email

SAVE THE DATE!! We've got another "not-new" for you in the new year: renowned naturalist Susan Morse of Keeping Track returns to the Haybarn at Goddard College, Wednesday March 9, 2016 at 6:30 pm to present a talk & slideshow "Animals of the North: What will global climate change mean for them?" Co-sponsored by the Conservation Commissions of Marshfield & Plainfield, the Jaquith & Cutler Memorial Libraries & Goddard College.  Donations encouraged, free and open to the public. Families welcome!

** SCHOOL VACATION PROGRAMMING: We've got hands-on bins for crafting, games, puzzles, toys & more for anyday library fun.  We'd like to offer a couple of robotics workshops and a paper/cardboard construction exploration day if enough interested kids & adults indicate an interest. Would you come to a robotics workshop? Wanna learn together how to construct objects using paper and cardboard with fellow enthusiasts? GIVE US YOUR NAME AND CONTACT INFORMATION, we'll let folks know dates and times if enough people "pre-register."
It's that time of year, when we look back at how things went in the year that has passed.  We recently submitted our summary of the fiscal year 2014-2015 for the town report, which includes the estimated value of the services we provide in the community as well as some encouraging statistics about increased use of the library in Plainfield over the past five years.  For those of you who geek out on numbers, or otherwise just want the details as they've been submitted for the town report... follow this link:

Many big "THANK YOU!"s to the generous supporters who responded to the trustees annual appeal for donations. Also, thanks to Cabot Cheese, Chet & Viieu Cole, Country Bookstore, Vermont Crackers, George Bellerose, Green Mtn. Crossfit, Angela Miller, Herb Garden Lady, Friends of the Library, Maplefields, Nutty Steph, Joyce Fowler, Plainfield Co-op, Plainfield Hardware, Positive Pie, Strong Family, Vermont Sausage, Willow Moon Cheese & Wrisley Auto Care for their contributions to the Friends of the Library's Vermont Gift Basket Raffle! Congratulations Nicola Morris, this year's winner.
Seeking volunteers tech tutors & tech novices: let us connect you on "Digital Learning Day," Wednesday February 17th, 12-2pm.


"Holiday Season" 2015 Newsletter

posted Nov 29, 2015, 11:59 AM by Cutler Memorial Library

'Tis the Season

Spread Joy

It's that time of year.  For some it's religious, for others more a cultural tradition.  For some, it's a nightmare of oversweetened commercialism fraught with family issues, financial circumstances, and other peoples' Martha Stewart lives.  No matter which description suits you better, the LIBRARY is here for you.  Holiday craft ideas?  We've got it, and even some crafting tool kits you can borrow!  Coping with personal grief?  We've got it (how-to books, literature & films to relate to or retreat with).  Need a film you can watch with your cousins AND their aunt and uncle (your folks)? We've got some.  Need an audiobook to listen to during your holiday travel? We've got some of those too. Looking for a workshop to make a gift for that someone who has everything?  (WGI, see below.) Hoping to gather with some other interested souls to discuss classic literature as an antedote to all things t00-much-too-soon-already? You guessed it; it's on the calendar.
Also, all year round, you can just come here and curl up in a corner with a book, a tablet or a magazine or newspaper and just chill out for a while. Bring your tablet or smartphone in for a 1:1 lesson on how to use it to access library content! Bring your kids to play in our children's area while you find the perfect instruction manual or cookbook or biography...  It's "where neighbors meet and everyone is welcome!"

"Basic ESL Online" logo

We've also got a new digital resource, BASIC ESL ON-LINE to share with non-native speakers! Use the web site tagged "Basic ESL: Learn English OnLine" link on this page:
"Hack the Feed" book group bookmark

We're pleased to announce that Plainfield was one of 50 communities sponsored to host a special teen book club starting this winter: "HACK THE FEED: Media, Resistance & Revolution" will meet 4 or 5 times over 4 months, probably at 4 pm on Wednesdays. Please let us know if you're an interested teen since we've not yet set the schedule; each reader will receive a free copy of each book featured, MT Anderson's FEED, Suzanne Collins' HUNGER GAMES and John Lewis' MARCH, volume one (a graphic novel), thanks to sponsorship of the Great Stories Club project by the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Teens who participate for the whole series will be invited to a pizza party at the library with one of these authors!!  Send your contact info to or call 454-8504 to let us know you're interested in signing up.  

Waking in Oak Creek film screening poster

"Waking in Oak Creek," a short film screening & discussion.  Watch how another American town overcame a terrorist ask and then let's discuss how people overcome and prevent terrorist attacks. 11/29 from 6 until 7:30 pm. This film was produced by the US Department of Justice as part of the Not in Our Town project.

The Classic Book Club will discuss 

"The Country of the Pointed Firs" 
by Sarah Orne Jewett for December's meeting, December 7 at 6 pm at the library.  They meet most 1st Mondays, but to confirm before your first meeting, please call Amba at 793-0418.  In January, they'll be discussing Alexander Pushkin's EUGENE ONEGIN.

custom framed gifts
"YOU'VE BEEN FRAMED!" Join us at the library as we explore the myriad techniques and styles you can choose from to create a custom gift in-a-frame: use our paper arts bin tools, the color printer and take home up to three free simple wood and glass frames to complete your creations for your loved ones who "have everything." Friday, December 11 at 5 pm, with librarian Loona Brogan.

photo: Skip O'Rourke, St. Petersburg Times
Special THANK YOU to Susan Green, Liza Earle-Centers, Anne Miller and Sarah Norton of the Jaquith Library and Marshfield Conservation Commission and Sarah Albert of the Plainfield Conservation Commission, and Paul Shper and Meg Hammond of Goddard College for being willing partners with the Cutler Memorial Library in bringing Keeping Track Founder Susan Morse to Goddard's Haybarn auditorium for an excellent natural history and wildlife habitat presentation focussed on the return of BIG WILD CATS to New England.  Big thanks to Sue Morse and her team, too!! Plans are in the works to bring her back in late March to present on a different topic, using the money collected at the door of last Thursday night's talk.  Stay tuned!   

Our hours are Sunday, Tuesday & Friday 2-8 pm, Wednesday & Thursday 10 am to 2 pm.  

Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day & 
New Year’s Eve, 
open New Year’s Day


April 2015 Newsletter

posted May 8, 2015, 4:57 PM by Cutler Memorial Library

  • Most popular circulating materials 
  • "How do we measure up?"
  • Coming Up in May 
  • Keep Calm and Smell All the New Books
  • Thank you, Plainfield Taxpayers!!!
~ We are open Sunday, Tuesday and Friday 2-8
& Wednesday/Thursday 10-2 ~
View this email in your browser

"Check it Out!"
Cutler Memorial Library News for April/May 2015

Most popular titles in the last 12 months
What have Plainfield Library Patrons borrowed most often in the last year?

All the light we cannot see 
The goldfinch 
My brilliant friend
Gone girl : a novel 
The invention of wings 

Can't we talk about something more pleasant? 
What I was doing while you were breeding : a memoir 
I hate to leave this beautiful place
Being Mortal : Medicine and What Matters in the End 

The pigeon needs a bath! 
My new friend is so fun! 
Sing along with Old MacDonald
Spin and learn: our neighborhood

The silver linings playbook 
Book Thief
12 years a slave

The magician's land : a novel 
A game of thrones 
The firebird 

Artemis Fowl
Blood of Olympus
Dragon's Eye
House of Hades

The Amber Spyglass
Alice 19th
I am here!

The Cuckoo's Calling
The Mercy Watson Collection
Wild Child and other stories
The Lacuna
Get the latest book club info any time at
     The Vermont Department of Libraries asks every public library in the state to submit an annual report, and the results are published and made available for anyone to compare their town’s statistics with not only other towns but also their library’s own measurements in previous years’ reports.  We recently analyzed the last four years’ data to compare the Cutler Memorial Library to other libraries in towns between 1000-2500 people as well as the average for all libraries in Vermont.  For those interested, we offer this summary of our findings:

     Circulation trends over the past four years have shifted from well below the median for other libraries in communities our size as well as the state median to almost the same as the average for libraries serving similar-sized populations, where circulation has been decreasing slightly.  Circulation around the state as a whole has remained fairly even. The number of items circulating per person has gone less than 3 to around 6, almost matching the state average.  The volume of our interlibrary loan requests to other libraries went steeply higher (to almost 300 requests) from 2010-11 until 2013-14 , when it dropped to the average number of requests sent from Vermont libraries (about 160); while requests sent to the CML from other libraries went up steeply in 2013-14  to almost the average for other communities our size.
     Across Vermont and at libraries in other small towns (with populations between 1000-2500), staffing has the greatest expense over the years examined; roughly half of the total average budget and close to twice the amount of other operating expense averages. They are primarily tax-supported, with less than 20% (on average) coming from grants and fundraising efforts.  The Cutler Memorial Library derives between 30-35% of its income from sources other than taxes, thanks to the income from the rental upstairs and from fundraising and the support of the Friends of the Library as well as grants.  Other operating expenses (not the collection and not the staffing) are the greatest expense at the Cutler, although the last measured fiscal year saw staffing expenses almost at the same level as other operating expenses. State-wide trends for collection expenditures have gone from almost 13% to just over 11% of the annual budget.  At the community level, it has been a little higher but quite similar.  Plainfield typically spends a little more of its total income on the collection; as much as 15%. We spent more money on the collection than the average spent at other small-town libraries, as well as the libraries’ average across all community sizes in Vermont.  We spent more than $5 per person in Plainfield last year, while the other two groups each had an average of around $4.

     We have more videos than either the state average or other libraries our size, but our book collection (while steadily increasing over the past four years) is smaller than the other two comparison groups and we have fewer audio books in our collection.  But when looking at the ratio, our print holdings per person in the community have increased to outshine both the average for other small communities and the state average, both of which have been steadily decreasing.  We have almost 7 books for every person in Plainfield, while the state average is (and has been, these past four years) less than 5.

     As previously noted, we consistently have around 42% higher “other” expenses than either the small-town or state-wide average; conversely, the percentage of our total budget spent on staffing is consistently more than 35% lower.  It is likely this is a factor of being an independent entity (a non-profit organization) as opposed to being a municipal entity, where some operating expenses (like water, plowing, building maintenance) are likely included as part of the municipal budget instead.  There are 54 other incorporated libraries in Vermont (not part of town, county or state government), of the 182 libraries in the state.  Fun fact: Did you know that Vermont has the highest number of libraries per person in the United States?

     Digital downloading trends aren’t surprising: every January has shown a spike in the use of “Listen Up, Vermont!” (our collective access to e-books and audiobooks), probably due to holiday-season gifts of e-readers, smartphones and tablets each year.  From 2010 thru 2011, about 450 people were registering each month across the state.  In 2012, it picked up to more than 1000 new users, and more than 600 library patrons have been signing up almost every month since, about 37,600 Vermonters to date. Translated: about 6% of Vermont’s population uses Listen Up, Vermont. In Plainfield, more than 10% of our residents use the service: a total of 137 people.  While there are a few of us that use the service a LOT, about half the people using the service have only borrowed between 1-5 titles.  However, the 25 people who do use the service often borrowed 1475 titles between 2010 and 2014.  At this point, an average of about 20 people a month are borrowing between 30 and 80 titles a month.  Our entire physical audiobook collection has about 100 titles; Listen Up, Vermont offers access to 2034 audiobooks and 3865 e-books. 

     Does that mean fewer people coming to the library? NO! Our visits per year have almost doubled since 2010-11, to a point just slightly less than other libraries in communities our size.  In 2010-11, there were 3120 visits and last year (2013-14) 4836 visits.  When comparing visits based on the number of people in the community, we went from 2.5 to more than 4 visits per person per year, almost matching the average for other small-town Vermont libraries.  While the visitor count in Plainfield has gone steadily up from year to year, at both the state-wide and the (other) small-towns level, average per capita visits have decreased.

     While the average computer use at the small-town and statewide level have gone down each year, Cutler Memorial library’s computer use more than doubled between 2012-13 and 2013-14.  It will be interesting to see the data from the other FiberConnect libraries to compare with our experience since “turning up” the speed-of-light WiFi in 2014.  While data only goes back to the beginning of this fiscal year, we’re seeing between 150 to almost 600 hours of WiFi use per month!  We are open an average of 102 hours each month, so that is equivalent of between 1 to 5 people accessing high-speed internet for every hour we are open.  Between 35-65 people are connecting on their own devices for between around 4 hours to almost 13 hours every month.
Four more weeks of Thursday morning story time, 10:30 am!  We will continue it into summer if participants request it.  

Classic Book Club discussion, May 1st at 6 pm at the Cutler Memorial Library.  discussing Basho - The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches.  The group will likely decide the titles for the coming several months at this meeting also.

The Youth Poetry/Spoken Word workshop series invites you to a community-night-zine-release-poetry-slam-doodle on the 21st of May!  Check our web site at for all the details.
Thanks to the support of the Friends of the Library and generous individual contributions, we have some of the most-talked-about books of 2014 as well as many newer books getting attention among readers and critics. 

Don’t know what to read next?  We’d be happy to match you with a book based on your personal taste in reading.   
The Cutler Memorial Trustees are accepting letters of interest from community members wishing to be considered for the vacant seat on the board of trustees.  The commitment is approximately four hours per month, including a monthly meeting of about 2 hours currently scheduled for the 3rd Tuesday night of each month.  If you would like to join this diverse group of easy-going but dedicated and involved community members (current trustees are: Monica Light, chairperson; Bob Rosenfeld, secretary; Linda Bartlett, treasurer; Ryan Horvath; Bev Thomas; Sandra Wells), please send a letter describing your interest/background in community service and any fundraising experience you have or mail it to Cutler Memorial Library, att: Loona Brogan, PO Box 186, Plainfield, VT 05667.
Copyright © *2014*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

February 2015 newsletter

posted Feb 27, 2015, 12:15 PM by Cutler Memorial Library

  • Help us determine: "What's the best Story Time?"
  • Babysitter's Training, SIGN UP NOW!
  • Hands-On Bins
  • Vermont On-Line Library
  • New Books in many categories, thanks to many funders
View this email in your browser

"Check it Out!"
Cutler Memorial Library News for February/March 2015

Please help us determine: "What is the Best Story Time?"
We are trying (really, really hard!) to create a weekly story time tradition at the Cutler Memorial Library in Plainfield.  Since January, every Thursday at 10:30 am we eagerly await children and their grown-ups to come gather around a few of the really great new picture books we’ve recently acquired thanks to grant support from the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation.  And then it’s 10:35.  And then it’s 10:40.  And then it’s 10:45, and still… no one comes. We aren’t sure why. But we’ll keep putting the invitation out there through May, unless we get feedback that suggests we should be doing something differently.  Wednesdays and Thursdays are the only days we are open in the morning, and Wednesday morning there’s an awesome story time in Marshfield already.  But we could offer a Sunday afternoon story time instead, if weekday story time isn’t what Plainfield families want.  Or perhaps we should just try to expand the outreach we already offer via local home child care programs with the help of more mobile volunteer storytellers?  We’d really like to know we’re doing the best we can.  Parents and guardians of preschoolers: please take a minute to give us your input. You can email us at or leave a voice message at 454-8504.  Your feedback is most appreciated!
Babysitters’ Training, SIGN UP NOW!
We still need six registrants for the FREE American Red Cross Babysitter’s Certificate Training, scheduled for Tuesday, March 3rd from 9 am to 3 pm at the Cutler Memorial Library in Plainfield.  This course can cost up to $125, but thanks to the support of the McClure Family Foundation, the ARC can offer it at NO COST to Vermont teenagers between eleven and fifteen years old.  American Red Cross Babysitter’s Training is fun and fast-paced with hands-on activities, exciting video, role-plays and lively discussions.

You’ll learn to be the best babysitter on the block. Plus, you’ll gain the confidence to make smart decisions and stay safe in any babysitting situation.
You’ll learn how to—
• Supervise children and infants.
• Perform basic child-care skills such as diapering and feeding.
• Choose safe, age-appropriate games and toys.
• Handle bedtime and discipline issues.
• Identify safety hazards and prevent injuries.
• Care for common injuries and emergencies such as choking, burns, cuts and bee stings.
• Communicate effectively with parents.
• Find and interview for babysitting jobs
At your Babysitter’s Training class, you’ll receive excellent materials to help you be prepared and professional, including:
• Babysitter’s Training Handbook—full-color handbook filled with great information and resources to use in class and on the job.
• Babysitter’s Training Emergency Reference Guide—this easy-to-
carry, compact booklet provides step-by-step instructions to handle common emergencies.
• Babysitter’s Training CD-ROM—provides tools to run your babysitting business, including a babysitting organizer; a printable activity booklet with games, crafts, songs and recipes; a resume template; and more.
But there’s a catch: if we don’t fill the class, they won’t run it.  Please call 454-8504 or send an email to with the contact information of the parent or guardian and the name and age of the registering teen(s).  Please bring your own lunch: an electric kettle, microwave and fridge are available.
Where's the Book Club Info?
Bookmark this link for the latest information!
Hands-on Bins
Thanks to support from Ben & Jerry’s and from Walmart, we have begun the assembly of 10 “Hands-On” Bins that adults can borrow in the interest of pursuing a new (or occasional) skill or hobby.  We’ve got state-of-the art instructional books in every bin, so our next step is the assembly of the rest of the bin’s contents. This is where we turn to you, dear neighbors: we need your tool and accessory donations! Most of us have useful items we don’t use any more. Perhaps you have some crochet hooks or knitting needles you’d like to share with novice fiber artists?  Cookie cutters, cake pans, candy molds will round out our “sweet tooth” bin.  Wood carving tools, scrapbooking accessories, embroidery thread, fabric hoops, felting needles… you get the idea, right?  Here are the categories and associated activities for each bin:
BASIC TOOLS includes jewelry-making, household repairs  ●  BICYCLE REPAIR  ●  DIGITAL MEDIA MAKER includes digital voice & video recording equipment for oral history interviews, video creation, music/sound recording  ●  “FARMERS’ FRIEND” BIN includes items to assist cheese making & sausage making enthusiasts  ●  FIBER ARTS BIN for knitting, crochet, felting enthusiasts   ●  INK & BRUSH BIN includes ink stones, brushes and calligraphy pens   ●  NEEDLE & THREAD BIN provides basic items for embroidery, needlepoint, cross-stitch and hand sewing     ●  PAPER ARTS BIN includes a paper cutter, paper punches, a screen for paper-making, for & misc. implements  and supplies for scrapbooking, pop-up card & book-making, book binding, cardboard construction, paper sculpture, kite-making & origami  ●   “SWEET TOOTH” BIN provides basic items for bakers, cake decorators and candy-makers   ●  WOOD & LEATHER BIN for carving, burning, whittling of wood as well as punches and accessories for leather working.

We’ll be inviting enthusiasts interested in the development of each bin to join us over tea every Sunday at 3 pm beginning March 8th (to discuss/assemble the BASIC TOOLS Bin).  The remainder of the month we’ll host get-togethers for the BICYCLE REPAIR Bin (March 15th), the DIGITAL MEDIA MAKER Bin (March 22nd), and the FARMERS’ FRIEND Bin (March 29th).  Even if you don’t have items you’d like to donate, we’d love for you to join us to weigh in on the “must include” checklist for each bin if it supports a hobby or skill dear-to-your-heart.  We do have some funds set aside from the grants we received to purchase what we cannot ‘dig up’ from the attics, basements and junk drawers of our craftiest community members.  
Vermont On-Line Library
If you haven’t already checked out the amazing list of information resources at your disposal with your Cutler Memorial Library account, we encourage you to take a peak:  Everything from Chilton manuals, resources for job seekers, medical information, business, news, popular culture, foreign language lessons, science research and information & homework references geared to a variety of students at a full range of levels from kindergarten to post-graduate to the ‘simply curious’… there are so manyKINDS of reliable and well-organized sets of information available to you through the Vermont On-Line Library.   Google isn’t the answer to everything.  TRY IT: you’ll LIKE IT.
So many new books, (still) so many cold days to read them....
We have been blessed with many sources of funding to boost our meager 2014-15 book budget.  

The generous support of THE FRIENDS OF THE CUTLER MEMORIAL LIBRARY has been paramount in so much of our book buying this year and in several recent years: we cannot acknowledge them enough, for without their help our New Books shelf would be a lonely and often near-empty display.  Specifically for new adult fiction, including many "best of 2014" selections, THANK YOU, FRIENDS!!

THE BEN & JERRY'S FOUNDATION has also recently enabled us to bring our picture book collection up-to-date.  In a separate grant, Ben &Jerry's money provided most of the instructional materials that will circulate in our new "Hands-On Bins" collection.  

An anonymous donor provided funding that we used to improve our mystery fiction, audio book, and junior readers' chapter book collections (yes, we now have Captain Underpants & Geronimo Stilton books as well as Daisy Dawson, Ruby Lu and Marty McGuire!).

Finally, with the overall increase to the book budget thanks to all of these supporters, we acquired a rich assortment of DK Eyewitness Books, and we're happy to announce we've got a complete set of the books by Vermont author and illustrator David Macaulay,
 for our nonfiction Youth Collection!

And let us not forget the 2014 grant from the Samara Foundation that provided funding to increase works representing the perspectives and experiences of people identifying as gay, lesbian, transgender, queer, questioning, and androgynous as well as last year's help from the Friends of the Cutler Memorial Library in acquiring many new DVDs for our video collection.  Wow, we're a lucky community with a lot of wonderful supporters.  

Come and borrow some of these great new materials!  
It's why we're here.

August 2014 Newsletter

posted Aug 6, 2014, 9:20 AM by Cutler Memorial Library

Check it OUT!  News from the Cutler Memorial Library for August 2014


Enrichment Opportunities

For young kids and their families:


Come enjoy a free lunch (no pre-eligibility required) & stay for a story or three.  Everyone welcome.


For independent learners of any age: 


 “Become a Digital Documentarian!” with Loona Brogan and David Ferland.  Record, Edit, Post!  It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?  Well, it’s not that complicated, but whether you want to make audio or video recordings, there are some basics to familiarize yourself with such as understanding file types and conversion/compatibility issues as well as free software options and production techniques.  Bring your recording device and your laptop, if you have one.  We have a few computers for folks that don’t.  Bring some recorded audio or video content to work with, or leave enough memory on your device to record a three-minute stretch of material.  Make sure there is more than a smidgeon of free space on your computer, too, for installing and working with the editing software.


For school-age kids 13 and under ONLY:


“The Library Friday Night Freak Out Sleep Over!” What you need to bring: sleeping bag, tooth paste, tooth brush, night time snacks, games, pajamas, pair of clothes for August 16th, any scary story if you want to bring one.  NO ELECTRONICS.  (We will hold cell phones.)  Adults will chaperone.  Please pick kids up by 8 a.m. prompt!  For more info, call 454-8504.


For families and individuals of any age:


“What’s UP?!? The Sky at Night”  with the Northeast Kingdom Astronomy Foundation.  Come learn about the stars!  We have a telescope you can borrow, too!  This is our last special summer program for families and kids; we hope you can make it out.


For teens ONLY:

WEDNESDAYS 6:30-8:30 PM, AUGUST 27, SEPT. 3, 10, 17 AND 24


“Catching the Fire of Hope!” An exciting five week Poetry for Change workshop series for teenagers at the Cutler Memorial Library in Plainfield, VT.  Participants will join local mentor Erik Gillard, aka Uncle E-rock, on a journey through the many worlds of powerful poetry, from verse to spoken word, SLAM poetry to haiku, visual poetry to hip-hop and song.  Each workshop will feature a special guest poet who will guide us through activities and work.  AND the workshop series will culminate with a rockin' creative presentation of our work on Saturday September 27th (100,000 POETS FOR CHANGE day of action).  All participants will receive a journal and pen as well as pizza and snacks!  Limited space: only 8 more seats available.  Sign up now at


For book lovers:

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 1ST AT 6:30 PM, David Strong & Laura Zeisel’s place.

The Classic Book Club will discuss William Shakespeare’s Hamlet and enjoy a potluck dinner together before deciding the selections for the coming month’s (mostly) 1st-Monday meetings, which usually happen at the library.  For more information, contact Daniel or Amba at 793-0418.


INTERESTED IN STARTING A BOOK CLUB? Members of Plainfield Book Club are interested in re-forming if other readers show an interest in meeting once a month to discuss contemporary books.  Call 454-8504.


Community Engagement Opportunity

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 6TH, 10 AM – 1 PM, village of Plainfield. The library board of trustees will perform their Lawn Chair Brigade again this year at the Old Home Day Parade, and we need troops!  Come march for literacy, for community, and for fun!  Call Bev Thomas (476-6968) to sign-up.  There will be one rehearsal before the big day!  All you need is a lawn chair, a pair of sunglasses and a book or magazine.  

1-10 of 12