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Compiled by Marlboro College – Resources describing Vermont’s attempt to recover from the damaging flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene on August 28, 2011.

Windham Status: one-stop switchboard for county information post-Irene

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Newfane/Williamsville Facebook Bulletin

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Dover Town Website (contains information on Wilington):

Happy summer!  The sun is shining as I post the hundredth entry on the Ready Reference blog.  But I know you don’t want to spend the day online: you want to get outside, even if it’s only for a stroll on your lunch hour.  If you live in the Brattleboro area, check out the Brattleboro Chamber of Commerce Hiking & Biking Guide or the Retreat Trails map & podcast or the lovely pamphlet called Treasured Trees: A Walk Thru Brattleboro by the Brattleboro Tree Advisory Board.  JMW

During National Library Week (April 10-16), Reference Librarian Jeanne Walsh & friends will pack up the laptop and venture into café society to show off the Library’s online resources.  So mark your calendar for a coffee (or tea or cider) break at one of these wonderful Brattleboro cafes:

The Works Bakery Cafe, 118 Main St., Wednesday, April 13th, 10:00-11:30


The Blue Moose, 29 High St., Thursday, April 14th, 10:00-11:30 (with special guest: Christine Friese, Vermont’s Assistant State Librarian!)

Mocha Joe’s, 82 Main St., Friday, April 15th, 10:00-11:30

(Mocha Joe’s painting by Linda Marcille)





The Brooks Memorial Library, in conjunction with the University of Vermont’s Center for Digital Initatives and with funding from the Windham Foundation, is undergoing a project to scan and catalog the almost 1,300 photographic images made by local photographer Porter Thayer.

Porter Thayer was a photographer, born in Williamsville, Vermont,  who took photographs around Windham County from 1903 – 1930. Thayer used a 5×7 and a 6.5 x 8.5 view camera and  glass plate negatives to create his images. The detail available in his large format images creates an extraordinary glimpse into early 20th century life in Southeastern Vermont.

Currently, Porter Thayer’s images are only available to the public on microfilm, which maintains little of the beauty and detail of the original images. The vision and detail of Thayer’s work will be better preserved through digitization, as well as allowing these images to be more accessible to the local public, scholars of Vermont history and of early 20th century photography online free of charge.

The photographs are being scanned and cataloged by Jess Weitz, staff member at the Brooks Memorial Library, in batches of 50 images. The first set of images will be available online by the first week in December 2010. The database of images can be accessed through the Center for Digital Initatives site at

The project staff hopes to gain feedback from individuals and local historical societies about their knowledge of the people and places in the images.. On each images page, there will be a place to submit comments and have your knowledge added to the image’s historic record.

Please join us for an afternoon talk about “The History of the Town Photographer”by local photographer Forrest Holzapfel, sponsored by the Vermont Humanities Council, and a discussion of the Porter Thayer project to date, on January 15th at  3:00 PM in the Library’s meeting room.

For more information about the project, please contact Jess Weitz at or Robin Katz (of the CDI) at .

The files in the Library’s Local History Room are full of interesting (flat) objects as well as lots of newspaper clippings.  All of them are searchable in the online catalog, and anyone is welcome to view them.  Just visit the Reference Desk or the Circulation Desk, and we’ll sign you up and take out the files you would like to see.

For example, check out these printers’ sample books from the  “Printing and Publishing” folder:

Avoid social faux pas when using calling cards

Learn about the Vermont Printing Company & its neighbors down by the tracks

Enjoy a sing-along with your angelic child

George Houghton, 1826-1870, is best known as a Civil War photographer, but he was also a portrait maker and chronicler of life in 19th-century Brattleboro.  From his “Picture Rooms” at #2 Granite Block, Houghton created his “Life Size Photographic Portraits…surpassing everything that has yet been before the public from the Photographic art.”  Or so promised his ads in the Brattleboro city directories!

One of the jewels in the Library’s historical collection is Houghton’s photograph of Main Street in Brattleboro, circa 1865.  The photo, reproduced here, is on display in the Local History Room and is accessible digitally at the website  There, historian Thomas St. John has enlarged and reproduced details of the photo and written notes to place the details in historical context.  From Revere House to the Union Billiard Hall, business signs are now readable, and those who love Brattleboro’s Main Street will enjoy this virtual tour.  There is also biographical information about Houghton and a couple self-portraits.  Nice work!  –Jeanne

A week ago a new Veterans Administration Community Based Outreach Clinic (CBOC) opened in Brattleboro, Vermont. The clinic is located in the  exit 1 industrial park and will provide outpatient services to local, tri-state veterans, including lab work and mental health services. The new clinic will be open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. On Tuesdays, it will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In addition to this new local clinic there are a number of important internet and book resources available  for veterans and their families. The U.S. government site for the Department of Veterans Affairs offers a large amount of information on health care resources and benefits available to veterans.

U.S. Veterans Services

The government site includes an excellent section on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This section would be very helpful to veterans and their families to help understand the symptoms of PTSD and how to find help through books and mental health providers. The site also provides PTSD resources specific to families, women, and children.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for Veterans

The Brooks Memorial Library has a number of resources for recently returned vets and the reference librarian can help individuals find information about benefits and other related concerns. Here are a few titles that might be of interest:

Soldier’s Personal Accounts:

Chasing Ghosts: A Soldier’s Fight for America from Baghdad to Washington by Paul Rieckof, New York : NAL Caliber, 2006.

Faith of Our Sons: A Father’s Wartime Diary by Frank Schaeffer, New York : Carroll & Graf, 2004.

Heroes Among Us: Firsthand Accounts of Combat from America’s Most Decorated Warriors in Iraq and Afghanistan edited by Chuck Larson, New York, N.Y. : NAL Caliber, c2008.

I am a Soldier, too: the Jessica Lynch Story by Rick Bragg, New York, Knopf, 2003.

The Long Road Home: a Story of War and Family by Martha Raddatz, New York, NY : G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2007.

The Unforgiving Minute: A Soldier’s Education by Craig Mullaney, New York : Penguin, c2009.

Books on Trauma:

Overcoming Traumatic Stress: A Self-Help Guide by Claudia Herbert and Ann Wetmore, New York : New York University Press, 2001.

Trauma and Recovery by Judith Lewis Herman, New York : BasicBooks, c1997.

War and the Soul: Healing Our Nation’s Veterans from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder by Edward Tick, Wheaton, Ill. : Quest Books, 2005.

More on order…


The Ground Truth by Patricia Foulkrod, Universal City, CA : Universal Studios Home Entertainment, c2006.


The 9th annual Brattleboro Strolling of the Heifers will take place on Saturday, June 5th at 10am.  The event started as a way to highlight Vermont  dairies and local agriculture. The weekend events are  a great opportunity to get to know some of the local farmers, through the Friday night discussions, the Saturday marketplace,  and the Sunday Farm, Food, and Fiber tours.

Spring and the Strolling of the Heifers are  great times to get reacquainted with local food sources and there are a number of great resources to help you do just that! We can start with the list of farms participating in the Strolling of the Heifers tours. These farms are located mostly  to the West and North of Brattleboro and range in products from vegetables to cheese to wool to wine.

Our own Brattleboro Farmer’s Market website offers information about their vendors. The Saturday outdoor market on Western Avenue opened on May 1st and the Wednesday downtown market opens June 2nd.

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture provides farm contact information searchable by Vermont county, types of products, CSA farms,  and pick your own farms.

The Vermont Farms! website, run by a nonprofit group, is a fun resource for locating farms in your area and posts a calendar of agricultural events around the state. This group also produces a Vermont farms pamphlet that is available for free at rest stops and information kiosks.

Another free Vermont agriculture publication that can sometimes be found in the front doorway of the Brooks Memorial Library is EdibleGreenMountains. This quarterly magazine is beautifully produced by a publishing organization called Edible Communities and contains extensive articles highlighting Vermont producers. The paper issues can be hard to find but you can view issues online or subscribe to the publication.

If you are interested in becoming a homesteader or small scale farmer yourself, there are a few indispensable area resources.

Post Oil Solutions is a local volunteer organization that provides workshops on gardening and animal husbandry.

NOFA-VT is the Vermont branch of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. In addition to providing information on Vermont organic farms, NOFAVT also offers workshops across the state on various organic practices and dispenses information on organics to media and political outlets.

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture publishes a bi-weekly newsletter called Agriview, which has articles on Vermont agricultural issues and an extensive classified section for livestock and farm equipment.  Newsletter contents can be viewed online, or you can stop by the library’s newspaper shelves to look at a print copy. — Jess

During Town Meeting this Saturday, the Town Meeting representatives are slated to vote on whether Brattleboro will adopt the pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) system.  If you’re interested in learning more about PAYT, the library is a great place to start.  We have copies of the PAYT memorandum sent to Town Meeting representatives by the Brattleboro Solid Waste Committee.  The articles on PAYT that have appeared in past issues of the Reformer can be found through the Reformer Newsbank database.  A link to the database can be found on the Resources page of the library’s website.  Finally, if you want to keep track of the ongoing commentary being posted on iBrattleboro ( but you don’t have a computer at home, you can access the website via one of the library’s public access computers.

The issue of PAYT has also highlighted the key role that reducing, reusing, and recycling can play.  Unfortunately, confusion surrounds the issue of what can and can’t be recycled.  The Brattleboro Community Brain Trust wiki has a page outlining what can and cannot be recycled in Brattleboro (; they even have information on how to obtain a recycling bin if you don’t already have one.  Not sure when recycling gets picked up on your street?  Visit the town’s web site (; the Trash and Recycling has a Word document with the recycling schedule.

The website for the Windham Solid Waste Management District ( has a plethora of information on what can and can’t be recycled, as well as when and where items can be brought for recycling.  There’s also some information on the site about Project Cow, a commercial organic waste composting project subsidized by the WSWMD.  Compostable items can be brought to the WSWMD’s Convenience Center on Old Ferry Road (details as to what items qualify can be found on the web site).

If you are interested in starting your own compost, the library has some great books on the subject that you will definitely want to look through for tips.  There’s Let it rot!  The gardener’s guide to composting by Stu Campbell (631.8 CAM) and The Rodale book of composting, edited by Deborah L. Martin and Grace Gershung (631.8 ROD).  Many of the gardening books located at 631.5 have information related to composting as well. — SER

Happy March, Vermonters!   Most of you will be gathering for Town Meeting on Tuesday the 2nd.  We oddballs in Brattleboro will have Representative Town Meeting on Saturday the 20th, but we’re voting on the 2nd at the high school (9 AM -7 PM).

The Vermont Secretary of State’s website has a nice resource page on Town Meeting, including sample petitions, FAQs, guides for town officials, links for kids, a list of 2010 polling locations, and other useful stuff.

Brattleboro citizens will want to check out the excellent 2010 Town Meeting Headquarters at for important dates, voting information, and profiles of Selectboard candidates.  There are even videos on how to register to vote and how to vote in Brattleboro. – JMW

About this blog



Brooks Memorial Library Reference Department:

Jeanne Walsh, Therese Marcy, Sharon Reidt, Jess Weitz, and sometimes Jerry