Why is RML Closed? (and other FAQ)

RML closed its doors to the public on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020.

How can I get books out of the library?

We are officially offering Porchside Pick-up! Contact us at 453-4471, russellmemlibrary@gmail.com, or here to tell us what books you’d like (or to request a librarian’s recommendation). Then come pick things up from our porch during open hours on Tuesdays, from 2-6 pm, Thurs from 2-6, and Sat from 9-1 noon. See here for the full details on how things work.

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What is the Golden Dome Award?

The Vermont Golden Dome Book Award was created to honor excellence in children’s literature. Each year since 1957, Vermont students in grades four through eight have selected their favorite book from a list of nominees. It is recommended that students read at least five of the year’s nominated titles before voting. Voting for 2020-21 will take place between April 30, 2021 and May 28, 2021.

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Video Feature: #StopAAPIHate

Not everyone learns best by reading about certain topics. Prefer to learn from audiovisual media? Here are some spectacular videos that can get you started learning about why the #StopAsianHate campaign is so important, especially in these pandemic times.

Here’s a short report on the spike in hate crimes courtesy PBS News Hour:

This is far from the first time that AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) communities have been targeted with violence, however, the sharp increase in hate continues to rise. This is why we need to educate ourselves and others about what’s happening and why it needs to stop.

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New Books !

This week we got a shipment of new books! All items listed below are officially available for check-out:

The Island by Victoria Hislop

The Petrakis family lives in the small Greek seaside village of Plaka. Just off the coast is the tiny island of Spinalonga, where the nation’s leper colony once was located—a place that has haunted four generations of Petrakis women. There’s Eleni, ripped from her husband and two young daughters and sent to Spinalonga in 1939, and her daughters Maria, finding joy in the everyday as she dutifully cares for her father, and Anna, a wild child hungry for passion and a life anywhere but Plaka. And finally there’s Alexis, Eleni’s great-granddaughter, visiting modern-day Greece to unlock her family’s past.

available at RML

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RML Book Club – The Art of Taking it Easy

RML has a new pick for Book Club! Our next Zoom meet-up will be Monday, April 19th at 6:30 pm to discuss:

The Art of Taking it Easy: How to Cope with Bears, Traffic, and the Rest of Life’s Stressors
by Brian King

From a psychologist and stand-up comedian comes a practical, yet laugh-out-loud guide to embracing humor to reduce stress and live a happier, fuller life.

Dr. Brian King got a degree in psychology before becoming a world-touring comic and the host of humor therapy seminars attended by more than ten thousand people each year. In this brilliant guide he presents hands-on techniques for managing stress by rewiring our brains to approach potentially difficult situations through a lens of positivity. To do so, Dr. King explores what stress is, where it comes from, and what it does to our bodies and brains. He delves deep into how to address everyday stress—as well as anxiety, insecurities, repression, and negativity—and gives insight into resulting ailments such as anxiety disorders, depression, hypertension, obesity, substance abuse disorders, and more. Dr. King’s techniques are chemical and cost free, and embrace humor, resilience, relaxation, optimism, gratitude, and acceptance. Instead of a dry medical approach to dealing with stress, this unique volume is filled with life-changing tips and instructions presented with humor and a wealth of memorable, smile-inducing anecdotes.

ALWAYS available as an ebook until April 19th

We’ll meet and discuss with the RML crew on Monday, April 19th at 6:30 pm.

Sign up here to join our mailing list so you can get the Zoom link.

Genre Feature: Picture Book Gardens

Garden tending time is fast approaching. Want to get the little ones in the mood to help? Here are some fun reads that may help.

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

While out exploring one day, a little boy named Liam discovers a struggling garden and decides to take care of it. As time passes, the garden spreads throughout the dark, gray city, transforming it into a lush, green world.

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Librarians Recommend: Upright Girls Wanted

Kat Recommends: Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey

Esther is a stowaway. She’s hidden herself away in the Librarian’s book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her–a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda.

The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.

Gailey’s prose is lyrical and quaint and really has that Western feel even without relying on the traditional tropes of cowboys and casual misogyny. Also, this story gets dark in places, totally not shying away from death and violence. In the old Westerns I used to watch with my dad, death was pretty cheap–random characters got shot and killed all the time and no one really seemed that affected by it. In Upright Women Wanted, shoot’outs are scary and not all the people involved are brave and gallant in their response.

That said, the character work here is deeply thought out and it was absolutely fascinating to see so many women supporting and helping one another. Respect was shown for ALL types of femininity, not just the kind that wore skirts or the kind that weilded guns. This took me all of a day to get through and I savored every minute of it.

Especially recommended for feminists, fans of Westerns, and librarians.

Happy GAYpril!

While June is technically Pride Month, many also celebrate LGBT+ pride in April, referring to the month as GAYpril. At RML, we love any excuse we can use to celebrate diversity of all sorts, so here goes nothing.

If you don’t spend much time in queer communities, it can be hard to keep up with the lingo. Here are some resources you can check out to make you a better ally and/or learn more about yourself.


It’s a wikipedia all about LGBT+ concepts and people. Unlike most wikis, this one cannot be edited by just anyone, meaning that there’s a bit more control over what is and isn’t added to the entries. Also, you can scroll down to see commentary on each issue left by queer folx.

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Author Feature: Amy Tan


One of the best known AAIP authors in America is Joy Luck Club author Amy Tan. She’s not been featured in the literary world as heavily in recent times, but she is certainly a beloved and influential author worth your time.

Born in the U.S. to immigrant parents from China, Amy Tan grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. At age 15, after a family tragedy, her mother impulsively took Amy and her younger brother to Europe to see the world. After several missteps, the three wanderers settled in Montreux, Switzerland, where Amy fell in love, nearly eloped, played an unwitting role in the drug bust of friends, and still managed to graduate from high school one year early.  

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Page to Streaming Screens

Lots of delays last year means tons of premieres this year, both in blockbusters and little indie productions. Here are some of the book-based TV shows and movies that are premiering in the first-half of 2021.

Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
Feb 3rd, Netflix

Firefly Lane (Firefly Lane, #1)

In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the “coolest girl in the world” moves in across the street and wants to be her friend. Tully Hart seems to have it all—beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer’s end they’ve become TullyandKate. Inseparable.


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Genre Feature: Gardening Prep

Spring is here and the gardening supplies have appeared at the hardware stores. Considering putting in a garden of your own? Whether it’s for flowers or foodstuffs, we have some fun books to help you get started. Or to up your game. Or to satisfy your curiosity about gardening in general.

The Garden Primer by Barbara Damrosch

Remarkably complete, this is the one: the indispensable one-volume reference guide to gardening simply, beautifully and well. It is jam-packed with useful information, old-fashioned common sense, and a lifetime’s worth of experience. It includes: The basics of landscaping, emphasizing sustainable methods. Understanding what plants need and avoiding complex rules and formulas. How to choose and combine flowers for season-long color, orchestrating with perennials and accenting with annuals. Extending the season – that’s right, harvest carrots in January. The secret to raising roses without fuss, less demanding lawns, vines with discipline, and trees that will enhance your property. There is new information on native species, and all the gardening resources you need—explained in a voice that “has the snap of a good snowpea and the spice of an old rose.”

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