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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  
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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.