Librarians Recommend: Wilder Girls

Kat Recommends: Wilder Girls by Rory Power

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

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Upcoming Events

We’ve got some exciting events coming up this weekend!

We are hosting a drop in Halloween card and craft event for families on THIS
Friday, October 15
and
Saturday, October 16,
between 10 am and 1 pm.

All materials will be provided for making some cute Halloween cards and decorations. Please join us for some creative fun!

Also on Saturday the 16th at 10:00 am, the Grounds Committee is seeking volunteers to help plant trees and mulch around the community and library building! If you can, bring shovels, rakes, trowels, and other gardening tools as equipment will be sparse.

Genre Feature: Ghost Stories

‘Tis the season for the scary ghosties. Want to check out some haunted houses, people, and places? Here are some of our favorites:

The Invited
by Jennifer McMahon

In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate have abandoned the comforts of suburbia to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams.

As the building project progresses, the house will become a place of menace and unfinished business: a new home, now haunted, that beckons its owners and their neighbors toward unimaginable danger.

hardcopy at RML – ebook audiobook

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Podcast Feature: Spooky Stories

There’s just something so pleasing about making yourself a hot beverage and settling in to listen to someone tell a scary story. Don’t know any good spooky storytellers? No worires. The following fictional podcasts, basically scary stories told by professionals, are free for anyone to listen to from the comfort of their own internet compatible device.

13 Days of Halloween

Aaron Mahnke’s 13 Days of Halloween is a unique auditory adventure that tows the line between ethereal horror and thrilling campfire tales. Each episode explores a different chilling story from the residents of the mysterious Hawthorne Manor.

Apple podcastsSpotifyStitcherWebpage

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Happy October!!!

The time has come again, folks. Our Assistant Librarian’s FAVORITE time of the year. With that in mind, a few words about this month’s Spooky Theme.

Halloween is for EVERYONE

Don’t like being scared? That’s okay. While this is a month where a lot of people are celebrating horror and you may feel or be pressured to go there, it is okay to celebrate the Spooky Season without diving head-first into slashers or thrillers.

And it goes without saying, we celebrate queer stories here, stories by people of color, stories by people of all genders, and stories from all over the world. Stephen King is a lovely dude who’s proven to be an ally to all, but he is far from the only storyteller out there. Even our limited shelves have more than just him.

Halloween is what you make of it

Every year my friends and I do a secret-santa-style book exchange for Halloween. It’s called All Hallow’s Read, and even though the original tradition calls for scary reads, we don’t hold to that. Heck, some participants who move lots don’t even get physical books, but digital ones. It’s not much, but it’s our little tradition now that none of us are young enough to trick or treat. And in the time of Covid, it’s been one of the few things that we can carry on just as normal.

That and me standing out front of the library in a subtle costume handing out candy. I like doing that a lot too. I need to figure out this year’s costume…

Dressing Up is Fun

Costumes don’t have to be fancy or complicated or expensive to be awesome. Some of my favorite costumes I’ve ever seen were as simple as carrying around a cereal box with a fake knife stabbed through it (he was a Cereal Killer) or an umbrella with tentacles draped off the sides (they were jellyfish) or a guy with a particular beard and a touch activated light ducktaped to his sleeveless shirt (his Tony Stark impression was phenomenal).

Don’t be afraid to incorporate your mask, either. We had an awesome group of Among Us cosplayers last year who wore masks that looked like the avatars’ face window thing. Super clever. Did everyone know who they were? Nope. But dang if it wasn’t awesome for those of us who did.

And last of all, I won’t be offended if this isn’t your favorite holiday.

Like, seriously, I get it. It won’t dampen my enthusiasm if spooky season isn’t your favorite. We will still have all the regular books available, still be open for browsing, still have other socially distanced programming happening that’s not necessarily around the theme.

But don’t hate on the Halloween nerds, yeah? At least we don’t start celebrating it in July, unlike some Hallmark Holidays…

Happy Banned Book Week!

Every year hundreds of books are banned from public libraries, schools, and other institutions. This might sound like something that only happens in super rural or religious communities, but our Assistant Librarian fondly remembers the closet of illicit comic books that Mt Abe had in the early 2000s.

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Dragon Egg Hunt!

Have you heard? There’s a hidden dragon’s egg in town! We’ll release clues every few days to help participants in our Dragon Egg Hunt. The lucky person who finds the egg may bring it to the library to win a baby dragon!

Note: for the safety of the egg, we are actually hiding a PICTURE of the dragon egg, not the egg itself. Cold and wet just isn’t good for eggs–ask anyone.

Here is the first clue: Welcome to the game, the hunt is on! Can you find the egg, before it is gone? Only look on public ground. That is the only place where it can be found!

Watch our social media for the rest of the clues–they’ll be posted every three days.

You don’t need an account to view our Instagram, so if you don’t love social media, that’s the place to watch: https://www.instagram.com/russellmemlibrarians/

Genre Feature: Contemporary SFF

AT LONG LAST, our Assistant Librarians evil plan has come to fruition and she has been allowed to start adding Science Fiction and Fantasy books (SFF for short) to the ADULT collection. (She’s not excited at all.) If you’re a SFF fan, welcome. If you’ve never tried anything from like these before, consider giving them a try. SFF is more than just white dudes getting into fights on space ships–these books tackle questions of business monopolies, artificial intelligence, privilege, gender, language, and more.

Infomocracy by Malka Ann Older

It’s been twenty years and two election cycles since Information, a powerful search engine monopoly, pioneered the switch from warring nation-states to global micro-democracy. The corporate coalition party Heritage has won the last two elections. With another election on the horizon, the Supermajority is in tight contention, and everything’s on the line.

With power comes corruption. For Ken, this is his chance to do right by the idealistic Policy1st party and get a steady job in the big leagues. For Domaine, the election represents another staging ground in his ongoing struggle against the pax democratica. For Mishima, a dangerous Information operative, the whole situation is a puzzle: how do you keep the wheels running on the biggest political experiment of all time, when so many have so much to gain?

available @ RML

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New Building Updates

It’s been a while since we moved into our beautiful new building, but there is so much more still in motion. For those who haven’t had the chance to stop in (or, for pandemic reasons, felt safer staying to home), here are some of the things we’ve been working on at the new library location.

SO MANY GRANTS!

Our Trustees have been hard at work applying for grants we can use to serve the public. We have successfully received the The Children’s Literacy Foundation (CLiF) Grant for Rural Libraries, which will allow us to fund new acquisitions for the new space as well as joint programming with Monkton Central School. We also received funding through the Walter Cerf Community Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, the ALA Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries Grant, and the American Rescue Plan Act.

These funds are being put toward furniture, both for our brand new patio and new space, book acquisitions, guest speakers, programs, and more. It is a lot to juggle, and we couldn’t do it without Theresa Schwegel. Seriously, she’s amazing.

Image courtesy Architect Chris.

The Patio has been poured!

At long last, there’s a patio out our front door! And thank goodness, because the pandemic is out here kicking everyone’s butts.

We’ve ordered furniture to sit on, around, and under and it’ll be outside for public use as soon as it arrives. We are looking to start doing more programming outside where it’s safer to be around other people. This patio will make that all the easier. Anyone up for a round of outdoor knitting?

New Bookdrop!

Thanks to the intrepid research of Sandy May, the construction skills of Paul Low, and the Cricket cleverness of Sharon’s family member, we now have a book drop at the new site!

It’s a bit of a homemade contraption that came out twice the storage of our previous drop at less than a quarter of the cost of pre-made options you can find at library supply shops like Demco or The Library Store.

Memorial Funds

We have received the honor of two separate donations from the families of recently departed library patrons. The Vera Allcroft fund is being put toward a cozy reading nook, now in development. The John Phillips fund is still in planning stages with everyone leaning toward shelving in his name.

New Hire!

We have added a new substitute worker to our list. Give a warm welcome to Kim Marshall, fellow library enthusiast and now a pinch-hitter helping fill in when Gretchen and the librarians cannot cover open hours. She is also employed as a circulation supervisor at Middlebury’s Davis Family Library and walks dogs from Homeward Bound in her spare time.

Visiting Magicians!

Tom Verner and Le Fleur of Magicians Without Borders were the very first guests to entertain town residents in the new community room. Everyone had a blast, even though we had to mask and social distance. We would love to have them back again.

More things to come…

These are just some of the things accomplished in the sparse few months since we moved into the new building. We’re anxiously awaiting delivery of our new circulation desk and computer stations. We had a huge box of new books arrive after months of delayed shipments thus tightening are already lacking shelf space. There’s no formal sign up by the road alerting people to our presence, and that sandwich board is dang heavy to haul back and forth for every open and closing. Also, we’re still figuring out what to do with the George Russell Collection and the old building.

There is much work to be done before we are comfortably settled into our new space, but we are making leaps and bounds of progress every day. Sending huge thanks out to our trustees, patrons, volunteers, and staff who have made this library such an amazing place.