$3000 grant to support Town Meeting 2021

$3,000 Grant provides funding for Orwell Library to support the Orwell Select Board with virtual Town Meeting offerings.

We were selected as one of 200 libraries to participate in Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries, an American Library Association (ALA) initiative that helps library workers better serve their small and rural communities.

The competitive award comes with a $3,000 grant that will help the library purchase quality streaming technology and support staff time to bring the 2021 Orwell Town Meeting safely to town residents. 

We are excited and ready to assist our town officials with a COVID safe Town Meeting alternative.  The grant funds will also allow our library to build infrastructure for quality virtual programming. This moment in time is special and challenging in so many ways.  It is wonderful to be given opportunities to work together and serve our community as best we can.

The pandemic put small Vermont towns in a difficult position.  Running a virtual informational meeting with a Q & A piece is a challenge many are not comfortable offering.  Local libraries are positioned to provide advice and, in some cases, assistance to local governments amidst this challenge.

More than 300 libraries applied for the grant, according to ALA.

Since 2014, ALA’s Libraries Transforming Communities initiative has re-imagined the role libraries play in supporting communities. Libraries of all types have utilized free dialogue and deliberation training and resources to lead community and campus forums; take part in anti-violence activities; provide a space for residents to come together and discuss challenging topics; and have productive conversations with civic leaders, library trustees and staff.

“Libraries Transforming Communities: Focus on Small and Rural Libraries is an initiative of the American Library Association (ALA) in collaboration with the Association for Rural and Small Libraries (ARSL).”

Virtual Discussion Group: Me and White Supremacy

Join us for a virtual 3-part discussion as, together, we work through Me and White Supremacy: a 28 Day Challenge to Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla Saad.

ABOUT THE BOOK, from the publisher
When Layla Saad ran a free month-long Instagram challenge during the summer of 2018, she had no idea it would become an international cultural movement. Thousands of people from around the world were galvanized by the #meandwhitesupremacy challenge, examining and owning responsibility for the ways in which they uphold white supremacy. Over 80,000 people downloaded her guide to the movement, Me and White Supremacy Workbook in the space of just six months. And now, that guide is a published book. Me and White Supremacy leads readers through a journey of understanding their white privilege and participation in white supremacy, so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on Black, Indigenous and people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too. The book goes beyond the original workbook by adding more historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories and anecdotes, and includes expanded definitions, examples, and further resources. 

Ramona Akpo-Sani will facilitate the discussion. In addition to reading and discussing the book there are questions for each participant to answer for themselves in an effort to help the reader personalize the material by looking at their own history, attitudes, and actions.

Meetings will take place on Saturday November 7, 21, and December 5 at 1:30. Link to the virtual meeting, held on the Zoom platform, will be emailed out to all participants 24 hours before the start of each gathering.

Layla Saad is a globally respected writer, speaker and podcast host on the topics of race, identity, leadership, personal transformation and social change. As an East African, Arab, British, Black, Muslim woman who was born and grew up in the West, and lives in Middle East, she has always sat at a unique intersection of identities from which she is able to draw rich and intriguing perspectives. Saad’s work is driven by her powerful desire to ‘become a good ancestor’; to live and work in ways that leave a legacy of healing and liberation for those who will come after she is gone. She earned her Bachelor of Law degree from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. She lives in Doha, Qatar with her husband, Sam, and two children, Maya and Mohamed. Learn more at www.laylafsaad.com

Halloween Pumpkin & Storywalk

In the spirit of new, different, and COVID safe, we are creating a Halloween Pumpkin and StoryWalk.

This event is full of fun. Read on to be fully informed!

  • The featured story is There Was An Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid Of Anything by Linda Williams.
  • Enter your jack-o-lantern into our Pumpkin Carving Contest! Fill out the entry form and leave your pumpkin at the library on Friday, October 30th with the form inside. Bring your phone to vote on your favorite pumpkin.
  • Wear a costume! The Mordasky family is providing hay bales for a fun photo scene at the end of the walk.
  • Candy will be given out along the storywalk between 1 pm and 4 pm. If you’d like to sponsor a candy stop, bring candy (a large amount of one or two varieties only) to the library before Saturday morning at 10 am. Donors will be listed at their candy stop.
  • Not interested in the candy? Visit the Pumpkin and Storywalk before 12:30 pm on Saturday for a sugar free Halloween experience.
  • Masks and social distancing are required to participate in this community event.
  • The walk begins at the library, crosses at the crosswalk, circles the town green, and crosses back to the lawn next to the library parking area. Use extreme caution with small children.

We will be safely passing out candy during regular trick-or-treating hours.

The Homecard Program

Orwell Free Library is now a member of the HomeCard library system, a cooperative lending program of 27 libraries in and beyond Chittenden County. All residents of Orwell are eligible to receive Homecard borrowing privileges.

With a library card issued from your home community, you can check out materials from libraries in Chittenden, Grand Isle, Franklin, Addison, and Lamoille counties.

This cooperative system provides users with expanded library hours and a vast collection of books, magazines, videos, music, and audiobooks available for check-out.

How to participate:

  • Visit OFL to update your account and get a new library card. All users must be Orwell residents and be in good standing for 3 or more months.
  • Visit a library in the Homecard system. Sign up for an account with that library using your Orwell Free Library card..

By participating, patron agrees to:

  • Abide by the lending libraries’ policies
  • Return items to the lending libraries
  • Pay any fines for damaged or lost items

Overdue policies:

  • Titles become overdue at the discretion of the “lending library.” Patrons are responsible for visiting or calling the library from which they borrowed an item to find out if it can be renewed.
  • Orwell Free Library is responsible for sending overdue notices to Orwell library patrons.
  • If patrons do not return the items they borrowed from another library they will be suspended and lose library privileges at the Orwell Free Library and all homecard libraries.
  • Patrons are reinstated when the item is returned or when the patron pays for the lost item.

Patrons with ten or more overdues from homecard libraries will be immediately suspended.

The success of the HomeCard system depends on patrons using it responsibly. We urge you to return your materials on time. Thank you.

HomeCard Libraries:

Bristol- LAWRENCE MEMORIAL LIBRARY 40 North St. 05443 PHONE: 453-2336 lawrencelibrary.net
HOURS: Mon 10-5, Tues & Thurs 10-8, Fri 1-5, Sat 9-1

Cambridge – VARNUM MEMORIAL LIBRARY Box 198, Jeffersonville, 05464  PHONE: 644-2117     thevarnum.org
HOURS:  Mon & Tues 12-7,Wed 3-7, Thurs 9-7, Fri 2-5, & Sat 10-3

Charlotte – THE CHARLOTTE LIBRARY  115 Ferry Road 05445  PHONE: 425-3864  www.charlottepubliclibrary.org
HOURS:  Mon, Wed 10-7, Tues, Thurs, Fri 10-5 & Sat 9-2

Colchester – BURNHAM MEMORIAL LIBRARY 898 Main Street 05446  PHONE: 879-7576   www.colchestervt.gov/Library/
HOURS:  Mon & Wed 10-8, Tues & Thurs 10-6, Fri 12-5, Sat 9-3

Essex – ESSEX FREE LIBRARY  1 Browns River Rd. Essex Jct.  05452  PHONE: 879-0313 www.essex.org
HOURS:  Mon, Wed & Fri 9-5, Tues & Thurs 9-8, Sat 9-2 (closed on Saturday in July & August)

Essex Junction – BROWNELL LIBRARY 6 Lincoln Street 05452  PHONE: 878-6955  www.brownelllibrary.org
HOURS:  Mon, Wed & Fri 9-9, Tues, Thurs & Sat 9-5 (closed Sat July and Aug.)

Fairfax – FAIRFAX COMMUNITY LIBRARY 75 Hunt Street 05454 PHONE: 849-242 www.fairfaxvtlibrary.org
HOURS: Mon & Wed 8-5:30, Tues & Thurs 8-8, Fri 8-3:15, Sat 9-1; Summer: Mon Wed & Fri 10-5:30, Tues & Thurs 9-8, Sat 9-1

Georgia- GEORGIA PUBLIC LIBRARY 1697Ethan Allen Highway Fairfax, 05454 PHONE: 524-4643     www.georgia.lib.vt.us
HOURS: Mon & Wed 9-8, Tues & Thurs 3-8, Fri 9-5, Sat 9-1

Grand Isle – GRAND ISLE FREE LIBRARY 10 Hyde Road 05458  PHONE: 372-4797  www.grandislefreelibraryvt.wordpress.com
HOURS: Tues 1-8, Wed 9-12, Thurs 4-8, Sat 9-3

Hinesburg – CARPENTER CARSE MEMORIAL LIBRARY Box 127 05461  PHONE: 482-2878  www.carpentercarse.org
HOURS:  Mon 10-1, Tues & Thurs 10-8, Wed & Fri 4-9, Sat (Summer 10-2)

Huntington – HUNTINGTON PUBLIC LIBRARY Box 98 05462  PHONE: 434-4583     www.huntingtonpubliclibrary.org
HOURS:  Mon 10-6, Tues & Thurs 12-5, Fri 10-5, & Sun 12-5.

Jericho/Underhill – DEBORAH  RAWSON MEMORIAL LIBRARY  8 River Road 05465  PHONE: 899-4962 www.drml.org
HOURS:  Tues & Thurs. 12-8, Wed & Fri 10-6, Sat 10-2, Sun 1-4 (Sept. to May)

Jericho – JERICHO TOWN LIBRARY  POB 1055 05465  PHONE: 899-4686  www.jerichotownlibraryvt.org
HOURS:  Mon , Tues, Thurs & Fri 2-5, Wed 10-12, 2-7, Sat 10-12

Middlebury ISLEY PUB. LIBRARY  75 Main St. 05753 PHONE: 388-4095  www.ilsleypubliclibrary.org
Hours: Mon – Thurs 9-4, Fri 9-5, Sat  9-4, Sun 10-1 (Oct – Apr)

Milton – MILTON PUBLIC LIBRARY  39 Bombardier Road  05468  PHONE: 893-4644  www.miltonlibraryvt.org
HOURS:   Mon – Thurs 9-8, Fri 9-5, Sat 9-1

Monkton RUSSELL MEM. LIBRARY   4333 States Prison Hollow Rd 05469 PHONE: 453-4471    russelllibraryvt.wordpress.com
Hours: Tues & Thurs 3-7, Fri & Sat 9-1     

New Haven NEW HAVEN COMM. LIBRARY  78 North St. 05472 PHONE:453-4015    www.nhcl.org
Hours: Tues 10-5, Wed & Thurs 1-8, Sat 10-1

Richmond – RICHMOND FREE LIBRARY  P. O. Box 997  05477  PHONE: 434-3036  www.richmondfreelibraryvt.org
HOURS:  Mon & Wed 10-8, Tues & Thurs 1-6, Fri 10-6, Sat 10-2

Shelburne – PIERSON LIBRARY  5376 Shelburne Road 05482  PHONE: 985-5124   www.piersonlibrary.org
HOURS:  Mon, Wed & Fri 10-5:30, Tues & Thurs 10-8, Sat 10-3

South Burlington  –  SO. BURLINGTON COMMUNITY LIBRARY  540 Dorset Street 05403  PHONE: 652-7080   www.sburlcomlib.com
HOURS:   Mon, Wed & Thurs 9-8:30 (3rd Thurs. 10:10-8:30), Tues & Fri 9-5, Sat 9-4

South Hero – SOUTH HERO COMMUNITY LIBRARY  75 South Street 05486  PHONE: 372-6209 www.southherolibrary.org
HOURS:   Tues 9-4, Wed 11-8, Thurs & Fri 9-4, Sat 9-2

Vergennes BIXBY MEM. FREE LIBRARY   258 Main St. 05491 PHONE: 877-2211  bixbylibrary.org
Hours: Mon 12:30-7, Tues & Fri 12:30-5, Wed 10-5, Thurs 10-7, Sat 9-2

Westford – WESTFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY  Route 128 05494  PHONE: 878-5639  www.westford.lib.vt.us
HOURS: Wed 1-7, Thurs 10-7, Fri. 1-7 & Sat 10-2

Williston – DOROTHY ALLING MEMORIAL LIBRARY 21 Library Lane 05495 PHONE: 878-4918   www.williston.lib.vt.us
HOURS:  Mon & Wed 10-8, Tues, Thurs & Fri 10-6, Sat 10-3 (July & Aug, 10-1)

Winooski – WINOOSKI MEMORIAL LIBRARY  32D Malletts Bay Ave. 05404  PHONE: 655-6424 www.winooskilibrary.wordpress.com
HOURS:  Tues 10-7, Wed 3-7, Thurs 10-6, Fri 10-6, Sat 9-5

Homeschooling Resources

OFL provides resources to local homeschooling families. Check out materials that cover a multitude of subjects and reading levels (for free!) on our shelves or through inter-library loan. We will assist in gathering items for you or can support you while hunting through our stacks. Easy readers, transitional chapter books, exciting juvenile fiction stories, biographies, animal stories, historical fiction and nonfiction, astronomy, nature guides, and so much more are readily available on our shelves.

Please let us know how we can help.

Here is our collection of how-to homeschool books. Reserve a copy by clicking the images (or email us). To sign-in to our online catalog, use your library barcode number and the password userpass for first time users.

Vermont Homeschooling/Schooling from Home Support Resources

Homeschooling BooklistBooklist compiled from Vermont library listservs  

Browsing Hours Available

We our opening our doors for 6 hours a week to patrons as of July 25th. We ask all visitors to wear masks and practice social distancing to help keep our space and users as safe as possible, under the circumstances. Check with the librarian before entering, in case our space is at capacity.

Browsing hours will be every Tuesday from 1 pm – 4 pm and Saturday from 10 am – 1 pm.

Computers and printing will be available during our regularly staffed hours, Tuesday & Friday 9 am – 4 pm and Saturday, 9 am – 1 pm.

Pick up and delivery continue to be our preferred access point to the collection. If possible, please use our online catalog and/or pick up and delivery form. Calling or emailing are also great ways to catch up and order items. We’ve separated our open hours from our packing hours as much as possible, so this option continues to be safe.

Virtual Trivia!

Get ready to geek out over trivia with the Orwell & Platt Library every Friday, between July 10 and July 31. Each night will be an online adventure of pop-culture, fairy tales, movie adaptations, geography, Vermont history, and so much more.


Teams may have a maximum of 6 players.

  • No outside help (internet, phone, etc.) of any kind, including during breaks!  If you are caught, your team will be disqualified.
  • You will have 1 minute (3 minutes for picture round) to answer via your designated reporter via Zoom private chat to The Point Taker
  • The game is comprised of 5 rounds of 6 questions—each question is worth 10 points unless otherwise noted.  After 5 rounds, there will be a FINAL TRIVIA round where each team may place a Jeopardy style wager.
  • In the event of a tie, a tie-breaker question will decide the winner.  In the unlikely event that the tied teams each answer the question correctly (closest), the winner shall be the team which chats the correct answer to the Point Taker the quickest.
  • The Point Taker and the Quiz Queen have the final say on all rule interpretations and disputes.

Sign up your team here.

We will send out specific login/platform information via email on Thursday, July 9, to all participants.

Public Computers Now Available

While the library remains closed, we recognize a need to provide public computer access to the community. Locals can now use our laptops outside the library walls during staffed hours (Tues & Fri 9 am- 2pm, Sat 9 am- 12pm). Fill out our online form to reserve a machine, call the library, or drop by and wave at the librarian. We will do our best to accommodate all requests. Our wireless reaches across much of the town green, providing lots of places to work while remaining social distant from other users of the space.

Each computer will have a layer of press n’ seal wrap over the key board during each patron use. This will allow us to keep the keyboards clean. The laptops will be wiped down and, if possible, quarantined for 3 days before recirculating.

Please contact us if you have questions or would like to use one of our computers. Help us spread the word!

Hurray for Hoopla!

Orwell Free Library is pleased to present Hoopla Digital. This service dramatically increases our online and mobile access to movies, music, eBooks, audiobooks and more. OFL card-holders can instantly explore, borrow and enjoy dynamic content on their smartphones, tablets and PCs, 24/7, no holds, no waitlists.
Each patron gets 6 borrows per month. All you need is your barcode number to sign in. Check out this new resource and get started at hoopladigital.com.

Checkouts are limited to six items per month. The month resets on the first of each month. Items cannot be renewed, but you may re-borrow. Music titles may only be borrowed twice during the month.

Checkout Times

  1. eBooks, Audiobooks, and Comics – 21 days
  2. Music – 7 days
  3. Movies – 3 days

Downloading the App

For Nook Colors, Android tablets and phones, iPads, and iPhones, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your device’s App Store, and install Hoopla Digital.
  2. Open the app and choose sign up to get started. If you allow the app to access your location, Orwell Free Library should be listed in “Nearby Libraries”, or you can search for your library. You will need to give your email address and create a password for Hoopla. You will also need with your OFL library card #.
  3. You can search for eBooks, audiobooks, movies/television, and music by title, author, or keyword in the search box and narrow by filter, or just browse through their pre-established categories. Click on the cover for more information about the item or to borrow.
  4. Once you’ve chosen an item, click borrow. You will have the option to read or play, otherwise the item will be in “My Titles” for you to access later.
  5. You can see the items you have out under “My Titles”. Tap on the item you wish to read/play, and then click read/play to start or continue. The selection should pick up from where you last left off. You can also see when a title is going to return automatically, or return the item from this screen.


If you want to see all that Hoopla has to offer, check out Hoopla’s YouTube page.


If you need help using Hoopla, please feel free to stop by the Orwell Free Library for assistance. You can also visit Hoopla’s help section.