Thursday, April 30, 2020

Play Bingo To Win--a Double Layer Cotton Facemask!

Bingo Board

The Library is still closed, and it can be hard to get to the bookstore. What do you do if there is nothing to read? Take our Viral Reading Challenge and “get the reading bug!”

Look around you. Are you sure there is nothing to read? This bingo board challenges you to find something to read right where you are. We hope you will share your thoughts about what you find to read below or on the library's Facebook page. 

Library staff is also available to help you access  ebooks and audiobooks, streaming videos, classes to take, and articles to read. Contact us or visit our YouTube Channel for tutorials.
Our hope is that between the hidden gems you have at home and the extensive virtual opportunities the library offers, you will have plenty to read!

Download your own printable bingo board here! Print it, fill it out, and take a photo to send to Or you can mail it in to South Burlington Library, 155 Dorset Street, South Burlington, Vermont 05403. If you don't have a printer, ask us to mail a paper copy to your home!

Act quickly for a chance to win a quality cotton face mask. 

Friday, April 17, 2020

National Library Week: Got Photos?

Hello Library Friends!

How are you using the South Burlington Library while our physical location is closed? Perhaps some of you are
  • Reading e-books downloaded from the Green Mountain Library Consortium
  • Taking a course through Universal Class or Learning Express
  • Fixing your car using the Chilton online library
  • Streaming movies on Kanopy
  • Scrolling through our Facebook feed
  • Cooking something delicious for our (now online) Cookbook Club
  • Enjoying Kelly’s fabulous YouTube story times
  • Filling out our “viral reading challenge” bingo board for the chance to win a face mask
  • Checking out the library’s website, or our new blog 
  • Reading a book or article in preparation for an online library discussion group
  • Sharing poetry in honor of National Poetry Month

In honor of National Library Week, which runs from April 19-26, we are asking you to give us a photo of yourself and your family, reading or doing something at home related to the library.

Please send your photo to We may use your pictures on our website or other social media platforms and may include your first name.

For more information on what the library has to offer you, please visit our website.

Thanks! -SB

Movie Night, Anyone?

Get your popcorn ready and pick out a film on Kanopy – an amazing resource for indie, classic, and Credit-Free Viewing movies.
South Burlington residents with current library cards can watch 2 movies per month through Kanopy. An unlimited number of films can be streamed from Kanopy’s Credit-Free Viewing selection. This includes award-winning documentaries, classic black-and-white films, and The Great Courses series.

Kanopy Kids is also unlimited in usage, so families can spend their viewing credits elsewhere. Sesame Street, PBS Kids, and story time favorites are part of K-Kids; parental controls can also be set up for K-Kids viewing.

Some films I’m looking forward to watching:

Girls Rock! is a documentary about, well, girls who rock. Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp lets girls express their inner rock star as they choose a band, an instrument, and write an original song. Along the way they’ll be coached by indie rock artists and will eventually perform their song before an audience of over 700 people.

What We Do in the Shadows is about three vampires just trying to make their way in the world. These three are just like you and me (except for the being immortal part): they have to pay their rent and clean the house. When a 20-something hipster is turned into a vampire, the trio is tasked with showing him the ropes of never-ending life.

What Kanopy films are you looking forward to watching? Are there any you’ve viewed that you would recommend to others? -JJ

Friday, April 10, 2020

Poetry Out Loud

Decades ago, poetry and recitation were a regular part of American education. The memorization of poetry, it was thought, strengthened mental “muscles,” and exposed students to models of higher, moral thinking.

Today, for many people, exposure to poetry is rare.  I am a devotee of the poet, Mary Oliver but, despite having a line of her poetry permanently inscribed on my skin, I would be hard pressed to recite any of her other work.  The flood of information with which we are barraged on a daily basis keeps us from seeking out the quieter, slower pleasures of poetry, especially if it’s an art we’re not used to. Perhaps these strange times could offer us the necessary respite?

As one entry into the wild world of poetry, I give you Poetry Out Loud.  Partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts, state arts’ agencies and the Poetry Foundation, Poetry Out Loud offers a yearly poetry recitation contest that encourages high school students to learn about great poetry, both classic and contemporary.  The competition starts in classrooms and moves to regional and state contests.  The fifty state winners then compete in Washington, D.C. where, after semi-finals and finals, third-place, runner-up and first-place finishers are chosen.  

The competition has been offered since 2005, and is supported by the Vermont Arts Council. Sadly, this year’s national competition in Washington, D.C. has been cancelled due to the coronavirus. In 2019 and in 2018, however, South Burlington High School student Vera Escaja-Heis was the Vermont winner. In 2017, Emily Friedrichsen, a freshman at CVU (and also this writer’s niece) was the state winner. Both young women should be very proud of their accomplishments.

Vera Escaja-Heis's performance can be found here. Emily Friedrichsen's performance can be found here. (Go to 7:55.) The Poetry Out Loud Website also has information about poetry anthologies and judging criteria. 

We hope you enjoy this sprinkling of Poetry Out Loud! Please post poetry--or poem titles--that you consider excellent choices for reading aloud in the comments section below. -KK

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Taking a Pause: Poetry in Times of Uncertainty

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? If the physical library were open, we would have our poetry displays up and offer fun activities like magnet poetry. Instead, we are stuck on “pause” while we watch and wait for the curve of novel coronavirus cases to flatten. 

Here are three poems to read and contemplate. If you have a favorite poem to share, please type it in to the Comments section below. Let’s fill the month with poetry! -SB

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.


Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting—
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Mary Oliver

Monday, April 6, 2020

Be Counted: Census 2020

Have you filled out your 2020 Census form yet? I know it's hard to focus on the Census when so much of our attention is taken up with news of the Covid-19 pandemic and coping with the Stay-at-Home order. But I went online and got it done in just a few minutes last week, because I know it's important.

Why is it important? According to the Census website, things like school lunches, plans for highways, support for firefighters and families in need, and much more, depend on an accurate Census count.

It helps if you have the letter from the Census that most likely arrived at your house in March. That contains a code that identifies you. But you can fill out the Census with or without that code.  Just go to the Census website and click on the green Respond button.

You'll also find a link on the Library website. -SB

Combat the Stress of Social Distancing with Podcasts

If you haven’t heard of podcasts, or haven’t tried any before, they might become your new best friend! Entertaining and informative, podcasts are a great tool for fighting isolation and boredom. Listeners feel like they’re part of a conversation, even if the recordings were done years before.

What is a podcast exactly? Here’s a definition from website:

A podcast is essentially a talk radio series, but on demand. This means that listeners don’t need to turn up and tune in live, but can listen any time (and pretty much anywhere) they like.

You can listen to podcasts on any device. Subscribe to podcasts or stream them online using any podcast app. The most popular platforms for listening to podcasts include the following. Click on the app's name and it will open on a new webpage.

Apple Podcasts          



There’s a podcast for virtually every area of interest, be it sports, science, history, news, or celebrity culture. These are some story- and book-related pods for various ages.

For little ones:
Calming and relaxing short stories that can be used at bedtime, or anytime kiddos need to practice mindfulness.

For bigger kids:
Vivid performances of fairy tales, classics, and original stories aimed at children who have moved past the picture-book age.

For tweens:
The 11-year-old main character of this fun mystery series is searching for his missing friends; middle-schoolers make up the voice cast.

For teens:
Creepy and atmospheric, this podcast is presented as a community radio show for the fictional desert town of Night Vale.

For adults:
Hosted by Zibby Owens, author and mother of four. Listen to conversations with writers and get the latest news on upcoming books.

Produced by the New York Public Library, this podcast features books, culture, and what to read next.

Podcasts are free, portable, and can be addictive. You become part of a group that enjoys the same listening experience; many podcasts have cult followers and hosts tour the globe to perform before live audiences. Join the fun!

What podcasts do you love listening to? -JJ

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Middle-Grade Children's Book Awards and Two Great Book Lists

The Vermont Middle-Grade Children’s Book Award List, formerly the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award or Dorothy’s List, 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 30 nominees. Voting takes place in the spring, generally beginning in April—right about now! This year, voting will happen remotely, and the voting deadline has been extended.

The voting extension is the perfect opportunity to squeeze in a few more excellent reads from the 2019–2020 list of nominees. If you need a recommendation, check out Sweep, A Story of a Girl and her Monster by Jonathan Auxier (for grades 5 and up). Fantasy, history and Jewish folklore combine into a heroic tale of a girl righting wrongs in nineteenth century London. I cheered for Nan, her chimney sweep friends and her beloved Golem.

Another favorite was Just like Jackie by Lindsay Stoddard, a Vermont author (for grades 5 and up). Set in Vermont, this is a real story about hard challenges for the main character, Jackie, a ten-year-old girl who lives with her Grandpa. Based on this story, I predict Ms. Stoddard will become a popular author for middle grade readers. You'll find the link for the 2019-2020 award nominees here.

New Nominees

We will keep you up-to-date with any voting deadlines, but almost as exciting as the announcement of the winner is the announcement of the new list of nominees. You'll find the 2020-2021 list here!  

What looks good to you from this list? Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? Big Questions from Tiny Mortals about Death by Caitlin Doughty (for grades 7 and up) makes me very curious. What an intriguing title! These titles also grabbed my attention, and made it to my “read first” list: A Wolf Called Wander by Roseanne Parry (for grades 4 and up), and The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horowitz (for grades 5 and up). I’d love to hear what titles look good to you.

Nominees from both lists are available as e-books through the Green Mountain Library Consortium on the Overdrive or Libby apps. Check out the Libby tutorial on our website to learn how to use this great resource.

Remember to let us know your favorites, what you’re reading or what you’d like to read, or even what you didn’t like!  We look forward to reading your posts. -KK

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Explore What Overdrive Has to Offer!

While you’re on hold for the latest bestseller, take advantage of the thousands of titles Overdrive has to offer, with absolutely no wait times. Whether you’re into self-improvement, biographies, science fiction or mysteries, Overdrive has something for everyone.

When in Overdrive, look below the GMLC logo and click on the Collections heading. Under Ebooks and Audiobooks you will see the Available now category. There are over 38,000 ebooks and over 3,000 audiobooks available for immediate download.

Some escapist ebook reads include Blue Moon by Lee Child and Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan. In the mood for something a bit deeper? Give The Overstory by Richard Powers a whirl, or The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Are you or your kids Interested in listening to the newly announced 20-21 DCF titles? In Collections, look under the Audiobooks category and select New kids additions. Here you’ll find most of the books on the latest DCF list.

Why not throw caution to the wind and pick a title from the Try Something Different collection? You could Trace Your Roots: Know Your Genealogy and Explore Your Family History with author Maureen Vincent-Northam. Or perhaps tackle that mess in your closet while listening to Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

The point being, there’s really no excuse to let long wait times get you down. Be an Overdrive adventurer! And please post a response telling us the best of what you discover.

Click here to get to the Green Mountain Library Consortium page. -JJ