Early April 2024

Happy National Poetry Month!

Two years ago, I did a poetry reading via Zoom to celebrate National Poetry Month. That presentation led to the creation of Well-Versed, our monthly poetry reading. It’s hard to believe it’s been two years; but, if you stop by the Well-Versed page on the website, you can see two years’ worth of programs.

Over the course of putting together Well-Versed, I’ve come across a lot of poetry, and I certainly have my favorites, the poets I keep returning to for the programs. You’ll find some familiar names in there, but also some you might not have heard from before. There’s a wealth of poetry out there in the public domain that doesn’t get covered in literature classes. (And I took my fair share of those at university.)

Typically—though not always—I put together twelve poems per episode. I’ve also done my best never to repeat a poem, and as far as I know, I’ve held really well to that. Though granted, I don’t remember which poems were in the first few episodes (not without looking back, at least). I’m always a little worried that I’m going to run out of poems or themes, but so far, everything has worked out.

If you haven’t had a chance yet, I’d invite you to check out Well-Versed, either this month’s episode, or any of the previous ones. You can stream the latest episode from our website, as well as access all the previous episodes. Or, if you use Spotify, you can find all the episodes of Well-Versed there.

I’d also invite you to check out the poetry that the library has in print. It’s not a large collection, but we have poetry spanning eras and geography; there are some real gems there waiting to be read. And I’m sure there are folks who prefer to enjoy their poetry from the page, instead of out loud.


Late March 2024

The temperatures are warmer. The days feel longer. The lawn does, in fact, still exist—and is even visible! All signs point toward spring being upon us. Even though we’re already planning for summer, we enjoy the spring here at the Library.

As spring rolls around, many folks still do their traditional spring cleaning, and with that cleaning comes the inevitable calls to the Library asking if we’re taking book donations. And unfortunately, we’re not…at least, not yet.  We’ve been going through our own collection, pulling books that haven’t been looked at in nearly a decade. And we’re having a hard time figuring out where to put those.

Don’t fret, though! As always, the Friends of the Library will be having their annual book sale during Old Home Week, and we’ll start collecting books for that sale on Ducky Day (June 29th). If you can hang onto the books you have until then, we’ll be happy to take them!

If you find yourself desperate to buy books before then, our front vestibule is fully stocked! There are lots of books to choose from out there, and they’re all for sale by donation. We’ve even got puzzles available, and magazines that are free for the taking. And it’s open 24/7 for your convenience!

Early March 2024

Sometimes, I have trouble figuring out what I want to say in my little corner of the Internet.  There are so many great things going on at the Library, but I don’t want to sound like a broken record talking about them.

I do my best to spread the word whenever anything is happening at the Library. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re already receiving our e-newsletter, which goes out twice a month. You can also access the Librarian’s Corner and the latest Newsletter from our website.

The website is also a great place to see what’s going on at any given time—we try to keep upcoming events featured on the homepage, and there’s a calendar of events as well. There’s also links to lots of useful information; if you haven’t poked around the website lately, I’d encourage you to explore.

If you’re the social media type, we post regularly to our Facebook page, as well as our Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) accounts. Whenever possible, we try to cross-post to all three.

We also try to post regularly to the Freedom Bulletin Board whenever we have something happening. It’s a great place to see what’s going on in town.

You can imagine that trying to keep up with all of these is quite the task, and I have to admit, there are times when events don’t get to all of these options. But, we do our best! And, if you’re curious whether something is going on, we’re always happy to answer phone calls, emails, or in-person queries. We hope to see you at a library activity soon!


Late February 2024

Some would say it takes skill. Some go through an in-depth analysis. Some just close their eyes and point.

No matter your method, I think the Oscar Ballot contest is one of my favorite activities we have at the Library. It’s a great time to highlight a lot of great movies from throughout the year—many of which the Library purchases on DVD, and are available for you to check out and view. Our DVDs make up a significant chunk of the Library’s collection, and we’re one of the few places still around where you can pick up a movie to watch. (I’d say “rent,” but since you don’t have to pay anything to borrow a movie here, it’s even better.)

We have major motion pictures, independent films, documentaries, instructional videos, family films, TV programs for children and adults, and so much more.  The Matinée Café is a great opportunity to see films on a big screen—not as big as a movie theater, but definitely bigger than a television. We try to select more out-of-the-way features for the Matinée Café, the ones you might not hear much about but are still great watches. And we’ll throw in a big name once in a while too, if the length isn’t too blockbuster-y.

We have the rotating BVLA collection as well, which we share with other libraries in the county. It features a lot of the popular British television series, as well as popular American series, documentaries, and other features—and there’s a new section to look through every couple of months.

The Oscars are airing on Sunday, March 10th on ABC, so make sure to get your ballots into us by the 9th—and make sure your name is on your ballot. (Keep a copy handy if you want to see how accurate your predictions were!) The ballot with the most correct predictions will win a DVD or Blu-ray of their choice of one of this year’s nominated movies. (Subject to availability. Predicting when movies will be released on DVD nowadays is just as much a guessing game as filling out a ballot.)

And even if you choose not to fill out a ballot this year, you can always borrow nominated films from us to have your own watch party, and see what all the buzz is really about. We even have a portable DVD player in our Library of Things, in case you don’t have a player at home to use.

Early February 2024

I love this library.

You might think I’m a wee bit biased when it comes to that, but I don’t think so. Not too much, anyway.

I love that the library feels cozy. Coziness is something you can get with a smaller library like ours; it’s a lot harder to pull off with a big library. We always feel like we could use a little more space—who doesn’t?—but the space we have is used well. And we’ve got a great variety of items to check out, from books, to DVDs, to other actual things. We really do try to have something for everyone.

I love how personalized our services can be. We can recommend books or movies anytime you need a suggestion—and if we don’t have something, we can try to find it for you from another library. We can provide fun and comfy spaces for you to enjoy, whether you just want to sit down and read, or bring along the family for a little fun time. Heck, we can even help get your electronic devices working! (Usually…if the problem’s not too big, at least…)

I love the community where the library lives. It’s a community that’s always supportive of the library, and often uses the library as well. And I love being there for the community.

I love the staff and volunteers I get to work with every day. They make the library a warm and welcoming place, and are darn good at the things they do at the library. It helps put my mind at ease knowing that while I’m wrangling with statistics and other back-end operations, the library is in great hands.
I could go on gushing, but I suspect that most folks love the library just as much as I do, if not even more. And even if you’re shy about saying it, don’t worry: we love you, too.


Late January 2024

I know New England weather has a tendency to be unpredictable, but one would hope it would at least make up its mind as to what it wanted to do. No matter what the weather is doing, the Library will always try to be a pleasant place for you.

If you’re the type who loves to get out in the snow (when it’s not rained on), don’t forget that the Library has several pairs of snowshoes to borrow in a variety of sizes for kids and adults. If you’re the indoorsy type, don’t worry—there’s plenty in the Library of Things to do for you as well! Our newest item is a thermal scanner, to help you see where in your house the cold might be creeping in. We’ve also got a radon testing kit, courtesy of the Green Mountain Conservation Group.

If you’re looking to get out of the house to do something, we’ve got some things to do! Amanda will be hosting a crafting session on Saturday, January 20th from 10:30am-12:30pm. Email or talk with Amanda to sign up, or for more details. The first Matinée Café of the year will be on Sunday, January 21st; the house opens at 2, movie starts at 2:30, and there’ll be a light soup supper after the movie, around 4. And we have Game Night on Tuesday, January 23rd, from 5-7pm. Not to mention our weekly programs: Mah Jongg, Preschool Story Hour, Cribbage, and Crochet with Amanda.

And don’t forget—January is National Puzzle Month! Stop in to check out one of our many puzzles for something to do on those chilly evenings. We’ve also got a mystery puzzle for kids to solve in the Library! (Adults can play, too, they’re just not eligible for the prizes.)

Early January 2024

Happy new year!

When you look out the window, it might not be quite what you’d expect when the year turns over anew, but it’s happened nevertheless.

A new year at the library means a lot of looking back at the previous year—and trying to remember everything that happened! I’ll be spending time putting together statistics for the town report, as well as annual reporting to the state library. It’s always interesting to go back and look at the year as a whole; it’s a very different experience than looking from inside it.

January is National Puzzle Month, so it’s a perfect time to check out our puzzle collection, and maybe take one home with you to enjoy. We’ll have a puzzle out for folks to work on at the Library, and we’ll also have our annual puzzle contest for kids. There will be puzzle pieces with letters on them hidden all over the Library. Be one of the first to figure out what the letters spell out, and win a prize! (Adults can play along, too, if they want; they’re not eligible for the prizes, though.)

Starting in January, we’ll be moving the Matinée Café, our monthly movie showing for adults, to Sundays. The first showing of the year will be on January 21st. For the winter months (January-March), we’ll also be offering a light soup supper after the movie, instead of the usual baked goods. If you’d like to help out by making a soup, or some bread, let us know! We’ve got a sign-up sheet at the circulation desk, or you can give us a call and we’ll get you on the list.

I’m looking forward to seeing what other new and exciting things will be happening at the Library in the new year. I hope to see you there!

Late December 2023

Happy Holidays!

The year has finally wound down, and we’re not far from welcoming in a new year of excitement and adventure. But there’s no reason to rush into it, right?

I enjoy this last half of December; everything seems to slow down a little bit, even with the holiday hectic-ness. It’s a chance for a bit of retrospection, to look back on the past year—assuming you can remember most of it!—and getting ready for the year to come. It will be a couple weeks yet, but I’m looking forward to seeing how many items we were able to lend out this year, how many people attended programs like the Matinée Café, and listened to Well-Versed.

I hope that you’ve been able to get everything from the Library that you hoped for. And if there are things still on your wish list that we haven’t been able to help with, let us know. We’re always looking to improve and provide the best experiences for everyone who comes through our doors. And now that it’s getting chillier, don’t forget you’re always welcome to just come in and warm up a bit. We’ve even got hot beverages to help with the warming up process.

And if you need that last minute movie to show to the family, or want to grab a book for a bit of an escape during the holiday craziness, feel free to stop in. We’ll be closed the Saturdays before the holidays, but open for the rest of the week, so there’s plenty of time to pay a visit.

From all of us at the Library, have a safe and happy holiday season.

Early December 2023

At some point in my adult life—I couldn’t name the point—December became more about giving than receiving. As time has gone on, my habits have begun to reflect this. Even in times when I don’t have much to give, I try to give what I can, when I can.

This season of giving is one of the reasons I’m happy to host a Giving Tree at the Library for Starting Point. It’s a chance to pay the giving forward, by helping those in need during the holiday season.  The tree is beautifully barren—nearly every ornament listing an item has been taken from the tree. It’s quite literally amazing.

Worry not, we’re working on getting some more ornaments on the tree, so if you didn’t get a chance to take one before, there should be more available soon. We’ll be hosting the Giving Tree until December 16th.

Freedom is a giving community, and not only in December! The Giving Tree is just one example. The generosity of this community never ceases to amaze me, and I know there would be so much that the Library, and so many other places in town,  couldn’t do without it. I hope that the Library can give to the community as well, all year round.

Late November 2023

It’s that time of year when people reflect on those things for which they’re thankful. Among those things I’m thankful for is the Freedom community, and its unwavering support for the library. Without that support, we wouldn’t be able to do what we love: serve the community.

The more I’m able to speak with other directors around the state, the more I realize just how special Freedom is, and how lucky we are as a library to be located here. This is a community that twice banded together to create a library space for the town. And it’s a unique space, more modern than many library buildings, and built specifically to meet the community’s needs.

I’m also thankful for our assistant librarians, Margarete and Amanda. They handle the day-to-day operation of the library, and I know the library is in good hands while I’m tending to the behind-the-scenes activities.

I’m also thankful for the library’s Board of Trustees, a group who is always looking out for the library’s best interests. They are passionate stewards and advocates that champion the library and everything it offers.

I’m also thankful for the Friends of the Library; a truer moniker has never existed. We are blessed to have their assistance in bringing you library programs and services. The effects of their generosity cannot be understated.

I’m also thankful for our patrons—everyone who uses the library, be it for the materials we house in our building, or those that are accessed electronically.  

I could go on, but I don’t want to take up too much of your time. I just wanted to make sure I had the opportunity to express my gratitude, since I’m not sure I do so as much in my everyday life as I ought to. But maybe this is my cue to improve at being able to say “Thank you.”

Early November 2023

Nowadays, there’s no shortage of streaming services available. But, there’s only one that’s available for FREE to everyone with a library card: Kanopy. Now is a great time to give Kanopy a try if you’ve never used it before. If you’re a regular Kanopy user, you may notice that there have been some changes.

Kanopy is made available for us through the generosity of the Friends of the Library. It’s like Netflix for public libraries: a collection of movies, TV shows, and other works like the Great Courses, made available for you to stream on your computer, mobile device, or smart TV.  Apps are available in all the major app stores, as well as on devices like Roku and Amazon Fire Stick.

Once you’ve entered your library card information, you’ll need to create a Kanopy account. You can also use your Google or Facebook accounts, if you want to. Once you do this, your card will be associated with your account. After that, you’re ready to watch!

For people who’ve used Kanopy before, this is the new part:
At the beginning of every month, you get 30 “tickets” to use to watch titles on Kanopy; a title can require anywhere from 1-5 tickets to watch, depending on your choice. Next to the ticket information, it will tell you how long you have to watch the title, and you can watch it as many times as you can fit into that time period.

Kanopy features many documentaries, as well as feature films (some from major studios), television series, and the Great Courses. There’s also a kids section for younger viewers. They’re regularly rotating in new titles, so there’s always something new to watch.

If you have any questions about using Kanopy, just let us know, and we’ll be glad to do what we can to help. There’s also a nice help section on Kanopy’s website. If you’re interested in an in-person introduction to Kanopy, we’ll be having one at the Library on Tuesday, November 7th at 6pm at the Library.

Late October 2023

The night when ghosts and goblins descend upon the village is nigh. They shall be appeased with treats to avoid their tricks, before they vanish into the night for another year. And it’s in part thanks to everyone who donates candy at the Library that the village is prepared.

It may hardly seem possible, but well over 100 kids come to the village for trick-or-treating each year. Candy donations make it possible to supplement the stocks of village residents to ensure that there’s enough for everyone. As one of the hubs of the village, the Library is happy to coordinate these efforts every year.

And don’t forget to stop at the Library, too! We’ll be set up to hand out candy along with the rest of the village. We’ll also be open until 7 in case someone needs to make a pit stop while out gathering their sugary hoard.

There’s still time to drop off a donation, if you’re able—we’ll be accepting donations until October 21st. Then we’ll be getting a hold of folks in the village to do our best to distribute the donated candy. And come the 31st, the village will be awash with costumed kids, prepared to treat everyone who wanders through.

While not always as crowded as it will be on Halloween, the village does see a good amount of foot traffic, from people out walking dogs to the monthly visits from the Freedom Elementary classes. You may even catch me on my way to or from the Library. If you’re driving through the village, remember to be mindful of your speed, and of any pedestrians who may be out and about.

Early October 2023

The leaves, they are a-chagin’, and the chilly evenings are a sure sign that Fall has settled over New England. Other sure signs include skeletons popping up on doorsteps, pumpkin spice everything, and a couple of annual events at the Library.

First up is our annual candy collection. Each year we collect candy to help the village prepare for the influx of children who descend on the village Halloween night for a healthy dose of treats. These supplies supplement those of the village residents to ensure there’s enough candy to go around. If you have the means to donate this year, we’ll be accepting donations of sealed, wrapped candy until October 21st. Thank you so much for any help you can give us in hosting a happy Halloween!

The beginning of fall also marks the arrival of Banned Books Week. As described by the American Library Association, “Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read and spotlights current and historical attempts to censor books in libraries and schools.” Challenges to books have been on the rise over the past couple of years, and Banned Books Week is a great time to reaffirm the Library’s commitment to the ALA’s Freedom to Read statement.

We’ve had a slew of new books coming in lately, and it might be the perfect time to find just the right book to curl up with. (No pumpkin spice books yet, though.) Early fall seems to be a popular time for putting out books, so definitely stop by to see what we’ve picked up. And as always, if you think there’s something that might make a good addition to the collection, let us know! Many of the books we get over the course of the year are from patron recommendations.

Enjoy the arrival of fall, and make sure to stop by the Library to say hi!


Late September 2023

One part of the Library that doesn’t get the attention it deserves is the Young Adult section. Tucked into a corner next to the adult fiction, it’s often ignored by the less-young adults. There seems to be this idea that once you age out of a particular bracket, that literature is suddenly off-limits to you, that it no longer has anything to offer. I assure you that’s not the case.

I would encourage you to try out a book from the YA section if you haven’t before. It can be an excellent option if you’re not finding anything in the adult section that tickles your fancy. The main feature that characterizes the YA novel is that its protagonists are usually in their teens, sometimes early twenties. There’s plenty of adult fiction with young protagonists as well, so don’t let that younger perspective be a deterrent.

YA literature covers a wide range of genres; chances are, you’ll be able to find something you’d typically read in the adult fiction. Looking for historical fiction? YA’s got that. Something grittier? Something more romantic? YA’s got you covered. And yes, there is a lot of YA fantasy, from low to high, but that may be just the stepping stone into the genre you’ve been looking for, if some of the tomes in the adult Sci-fi/Fantasy section seem a bit daunting.

You’ll even find some familiar names there, like James Patterson, Jodi Picoult, and Philippa Gregory, just to name a few. Many authors take an occasional dip into the realm of YA. Many YA authors will also release books marketed for adults, so you may find an author you like, and find they have other offerings for you to sample.

And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out the YA graphic novels. If you’ve never experienced a graphic novel before, think of it as a book-length comic, often with incredible art. There are some great award-winning memoirs in graphic form that are well worth a read. It’s a different reading experience, but no less worthy of your time.

Not sure where to start? Many YA novels have been adapted into movies and television shows—one of those items might be the perfect starting place. Or, we would be happy to help you find just the right book to start your YA journey. Give it a chance, and I think you might find a whole other section of the Library opening up right before your eyes.

Early September 2023

The beginning of September always seems to sneak up on me, even when I’m looking at the calendar and can see it coming. The surprise is always punctuated by the reemergence of yellow school busses and pumpkin spice. But, this always ushers in part three of the Library year.

Part three is the rest of the year after summer reading. With kids going back to school, it means visits from the Freedom Elementary School classes will begin soon—and I need to pick some books to read to the classes when they visit! I enjoy reading to the kids; it’s one of my favorite Library activities. If you’re feeling left out of the fun, don’t worry: we’ve also got Well-Versed, which is like reading aloud for adults, with poetry. And unlike class visits, Well-Versed is recorded, and available for listening at any time.

Part three is also where our canning supplies and our dehydrator get the most use. Both items are part of our Library of Things, and just a small example of the items we have available for checkout. We’ve got everything from a blood pressure monitor to a portable ping-pong set, so there should be plenty to help keep you occupied. There’s even an ice cream maker, if you want to cling desperately to the last vestiges of summer.

The beginning of part three also marks a spike in book releases. Why so many books come out at this time of year is still a mystery to me, but I do my best to gather in as much as I can for everyone to read. Keep an eye out for a bevy of items coming to the NEW shelves in the Library over the next month or so. Hopefully we have room for them all!

Part three is also when our Museum Passes start to wind down, but don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time! Many of the attractions we have are open until the beginning of October, so if there's somewhere you've been meaning to visit, stop in and see if a pass is available.

Sadly, the arrival of part three means the departure of our summer friends for other climes, be they sunny and southern, or not too far away. We hope everyone will stop in to see us before they take off, and wish everyone safe travels.

Late August 2023

The lazy days of summer have descended, past the frenzied activities of high summer, but not yet ready for the frenzied activities of fall. It’s a great time to do a bit of reading (which I plan to do), and just relax a little bit. Even the Library is relaxed in this time, though that’s not to say there’s nothing going on.

While the weekly schedule isn’t as jam-packed as during Summer Reading, we’ve still got a great weekly schedule of activities happening: Mah Jongg on Mondays and Fridays at 1:30; Preschool Storytime on Wednesdays at 10; Cribbage on Wednesdays at 2. We’re open to the idea of offering other activities as well—let us know if there’s something you think would be a good fit for the Library.

We’ve also got our monthly activities: Well-Versed, a poetry podcast with new episodes posted at the beginning of every month (see our website, or check it out on Spotify); the Matinée Café, a monthly movie showing with snacks and beverages (the next is on Saturday, August 19th). And keep an eye out—we’ll be trying to bring back Game Night as well in the months to come!

If you’re looking for something to do while doing nothing at home, there’s  always Kanopy, the streaming service available to all Library patrons, brought to you by the Friends of the Library. There are lots of different films there for you to enjoy, from documentaries to major releases, so it’s definitely worth checking out. (And free to use…did I mention that?)

Then there’s always the tried and true activity to pass the time: reading. If you haven’t had a chance to pick up bookmarks from this year’s contest winners, make sure you do—we had a lot of great entries this year, and the winners will make an excellent addition to your collection. And we get new items in every couple of weeks, so there’s always something fresh. Or, since we’re being lazy, maybe it’s a good time to re-read an old favorite. Both are perfectly viable.

Stop in and see us when you get a chance—we love seeing folks. And if you’re only with us for the summer, then definitely stop by so we can make sure to catch up. Let us help you enjoy those lazy days before you have to go back to the hustle and bustle of the rest of the year.

Early August 2023

Happy Old Home Week, everyone!

The Library has been around for every Old Home Week held in Freedom, from its time as a room in the Town Hall, to its current location on Old Portland Rd. We’re pleased to be able to take part in Old Home Week as well, by sponsoring two programs during the week, made possible by the Friends of the Library.

On Wednesday, August 2nd at 10am, we’ll be hosting Wildlife Encounters at the Freedom Elementary School Gym. Join us on an “imaginary safari around the world!” Meet animals whose ancestors lived in a variety of habitats and places on Earth, while discovering their amazing adaptations, learning their eco-contributions and learning their personal stories. This program will be replacing Preschool Storytime for Old Home Week.

On Friday, August 4th at 3pm, we’ll be hosting entertainer Steve Blunt upstairs at the Town Hall. Join us there for a fun, upbeat performance of songs that celebrate diversity & build community—with warmth, humor & lots of audience participation. Steve is an award-winning children’s musician who plays a delightful mix of original tunes & beloved standards, and we’re delighted to have him back again!

And, of course, it wouldn’t be Old Home Week without the Friends of the Library Book and Bake sales, happening on Friday, August 4th from 9am-3pm, and Saturday, August 5th from 10am-1pm. Stop in to check out this year’s collection of books and baked goods for sale, and treat yourself to a little something. A big thank you to everyone who donated books, baked goods, or their time to make these sales possible.

Old Home Week is also the last week of the Summer Reading Program. If you have time between all the great events happening, make sure to get the last of your reading in! Saturday, August 5th is the last day to turn in your Bingo card to win a prize.