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We brazenly lifted this image from Sen. Sanders’ website and trust he doesn’t mind as long as it encourages Vermonters to VOTE!

Brattleboro residents:  Tuesday’s voting will be 9a.m.-7p.m. at the Brattleboro Union High School gymnasium on Fairground Road.  The Elections page on the Town’s website gives details, including sample ballots so you can plan your choices ahead of time.

For help with decision-making, try the VTDigger site, a project of the Vermont Journalism Trust.  They have a handy “Compare the Candidates” feature on their front page.  Thanks, Jess Weitz, for pointing out this useful site.


The Vermont Digital Newspaper Project has digitized over 11,000 pages of old Vermont newspapers, including the early years of Brattleboro’s Vermont Phoenix.  Read all about it on the VDNP blog, or go right to the papers at Chronicling America, a project sponsored jointly by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

More papers are coming, including a precious handful of issues of the Windham County Democrat, edited by noted feminist Clarina Howard Nichols.

News from the Vermont Department of Libraries and e-Vermont Community Broadband:

FREE 30 min Webinar:
Your Library Presents: Information 24/7

Find out how your library offers resources for job seeking & career exploration, lifelong learning, genealogy, and small business development. All available to you 24/7 from any computer with Internet access!

This webinar is easy to participate in wherever high speed Internet access is available.
Please log in 5 min. before the session begins and turn on your computer’s sound/speakers.

Tuesday November 8th, 12:00 – 12:30 pm or
Thursday November 10th , 6:00 – 6:30 pm or
Tuesday, November 15th, 12:00 – 12:30 pm

No registration required. Go to the webinar link at

Daily updates from Vermont Emergency Management:

Active Weather alerts around state:

Road and Travel conditions – some complaints that it is not up to date:

Windham Regional Road Status:

Crisis Landing: This map displays information about current crises for which the Google Crisis Response team has collected geographic information.

VPR Irene Blog:

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

Vermont Grassroots Help and Volunteer Site:

Red Cross Resources for Vermont:

FEMA disaster relief:

CVPS Power Updates:

Green Mountain Power Updates:

Individual Town Information:

Newfane/Williamsville Facebook Bulletin

Town of Marlboro Facebook Page:

Marlboro Message Board

Dover Town Website (contains information on Wilington):

Never thought I would be so happy to see tax forms, but the IRS finally sent a shipment of instruction booklets for the 1040 form, so we won’t have to rely on our intuition to fill it out.

The Library has the following paper IRS forms free for the taking:

  • 1040 & Instructions
  • 1040 A & Instructions
  • 1040 EZ & Instructions
  • Various schedules and forms to be filed with the 1040 and 1040 A, including the Earned Income Credit (Schedule EIC)

You can also download forms and instructions at, or visit the “Free File” section of that site to learn about free options for online filing.

We also have Vermont booklets with all the major Vermont forms and instructions.  But please note: the booklet doesn’t include the Landlord certificate.  Landlords have to obtain the blank forms directly from the Vermont Department of taxes: (866) 828-2865 or  Renters have to obtain the completed forms from their landlords.

If you want to investigate e-filing for Vermont state taxes, check out this page:  Don’t let the “2009” worry you; if you follow the link, it leads you to information about filing 2010 taxes.

If you need help preparing your taxes, there are several free local services available.   SEVCA offers services for people who live or work in Windham or Windsor county with a household income at or below $49,000: dial 2-1-1 to learn more.  AARP can help as well: call Jean Cornish at (802) 365-7222 for more information, including details on income eligibility.

photo courtesy of:

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 .

This time of year, it’s inspiring to see the crowds at Brattleboro’s winter Farmer’s Market, and to talk to library patrons who are already making plans for their spring gardens.  Here are some excellent web sources for producers and consumers who want to grow, make, and buy local food, even when the weather outside is frightful:

Buy Local, Buy Vermont, from the Vermont Agency of Agriculture.  Includes lists of Vermont Winter Farmers’ Markets, plus suppliers of Vermont delights for the season, including turkeys, Christmas Trees, and eggs & maple syrup for cookie baking!

The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service has lots of information on local food systems and organic agriculture.  Includes a local food directory for the U.S., searchable by region, plus substantial technical databases on ecological pest management, organic livestock feed suppliers, organic seed companies, and more.

Happy local holidays!


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!  

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

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.


About this blog



Brooks Memorial Library Reference Department:

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