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New Neighbors: Bosnia is a website from the Vermont Folklife Center, “the first of a series that will present the personal experiences and cultural heritage of new Vermonters who have been resettled here as refugees.”  Check it out for film and audio portraits of some of our newest neighbors, including pieces of their “silent history,” the stories that are “violent and difficult to hear.”

In the words of the VFC, “The Web site includes research-generated materials from the Vermont Folklife Center Archive, new pieces by filmmaker Mira Niagolova and videographer Paul MacGowan, and photographic images and text created by photographer/ethnographer Ned Castle, as well as an education section and links to online resources,”  such as a study guide for using the website with Katherine Paterson’s Vermont Reads book for 2010, The Day of the Pelican.  Well done!  

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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 brattleborohistory.com.  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…

DVD:

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

–Jess

Maybe June 16  stream of consciousness but who will care can never remember which day every year but the blogs and the radio are going on about Bloomsday not Joyce’s birthday no it’s the day when the story happens Ulysses with Leopold Bloom and his wife Molly yes yes the soliloquy everybody’s favorite part no doubt a part that got it banned and just learned right now this is hard not a genius no no like that Bad Hemingway contest ought to be a bad Joyce but just think of the entries good God who’d have to read it so let’s just stick with the original much better that way.    jmw

As the school year ends and the shorts come out, minds turn to vacations. With limited time and cash flow, state and national parks can be provide wonderful, inexpensive getaways. The National Park Service has recently redone their website to help people plan summer trips:

http://www.nps.gov/pub_aff/plan_your_visit/index.htm

The site includes information on each park’s features and cost, special events and workshops throughout the summer, and days on which entrance fees are waived. To inspire your trip, the  library has the Ken Burns’ National Parks DVD set and accompanying book, as well as numerous travel guides to individual states.

If you are looking to stay close to home, i.e. in Vermont, for a day hike or an overnight, the Vermont State Park website is very user-friendly and allows you to make camping reservations online:

http://www.vtstateparks.com/

The library has a number of books about hiking and camping  in Vermont. One of the best is 50 Hikes in Vermont by the Green Mountain Club.

How about the Vermont Long Trail, a 273-mile hiking trail that runs from the Massachusetts-Vermont border near Bennington to the Vermont-Canada border… The southern half of the trail is the Vermont section of the Appalachian Trail.  The Long Trail Guide and The Long Trail Newsletter are available at the  library to help plan an excursion on part of the trail.

Happy Hiking!

–Jess

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

Vermont’s White River Junction is headquarters for the National Center for PTSD, the world’s leading center for research and education on the prevention, understanding, and treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  While the Center is a division of the Department of Veterans Affairs, its website offers information of interest to many different populations, including:

  • Veterans and their families
  • Individuals coping with the aftereffects of trauma in their lives
  • Therapists, doctors, and other healthcare providers
  • Researchers and students

In addition to its useful fact sheets and videos, the Center maintains PILOTS, the world’s largest database of research articles on PTSD.  PILOTS is well-indexed and easy to search, and it’s accessible at no cost through the website.  Most articles include substantial abstracts, and most can be obtained in full text from your local library (though libraries will usually request them from other libraries rather than directly from NCPTSD).   It’s worth noting that PILOTS includes a great deal of research on conditions related to PTSD, such as anxiety and depression.

In 2009, NCPTSD marked its 20th anniversary with an interactive website slideshow of some of its accomplishments.  Check it out for an overview of this very important work.

The internet makes copy and pasting a wide variety of materials very easy. However, many of the text, image, and video files are protected by copyright law. Click on image below to watch a funny and informative video on copyright:

Next time you are looking for image resources for your website, report, or screen saver try one of these resources for copyright free images.

Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. They provide an excellent site for searching copyright free images.

Wikimedia Commons is a  repository to make available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) to everyonClick on the upper right hand side to go to the image directory:

The Open Clip Art Library This project aims to create an archive of clip art that can be used for free for any use.

Public Domain Pictures a repository for free public domain photos. You can upload your own pictures and share your work with others.

WP Clipart A collection of clipart, organized by subject, for educational and personal use.

Google’s Advanced Search also allows you to have license type (called Usage Criteria) be part of your search limits:

Happy Searching!  ~ Jess Weitz

Being able to tease out a pressing question with a reference librarian can be a valuable experience. However, sometimes you might be struck with questions in the middle of the night, on holidays, or just prefer to try to find your own answers.  In this moment, many of us turn on the computer and hold our breath as we enter a string of words into Google and wait for the 34,578 responses to sort through.

There is a search engine alternative called a MetaSearch Engine. These search engines comb a number of search engines simultaneously and help to organize the links for more effective results. Here are a few to give a try:

Clusty retrieves results from Ask, Open Directory, and Gigablast. To see which particular search engines returned results for your query, click on the “Details” link at the top of the search results list. Clusty will generate broad subject areas (“clusters”) related to your search term.  You can choose links only within your topic of interest or do another search in your narrowed cluster.


SurfWax searches MSN, AlltheWeb, and Yahoo!. This engine allows you to see “snapshots” of the results list to determine if they are relevant before going to the site. A really geeky feature is the Results Stats link at the top of the page and you will see exactly how SurfWax retrieved those results:

Dogpile and MetaCrawler search Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and Ask. Similar to Google, you can choose to do a general search, an image search, or a video search, as well as yellow and white page searches.  They also offer an ‘Are you looking for’ column on the right side of the search with related search terms.


~Jess Weitz

To sort the history from the blarney, check out the Saint Patrick’s Day page at History.com, which includes text and video and lovely illustrations.

–the Irish Librarian

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Brooks Memorial Library Reference Department:

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