News & Updates

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
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
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
HOURS:  Mon, Wed 10-7, Tues, Thurs, Fri 10-5 & Sat 9-2

Colchester – BURNHAM MEMORIAL LIBRARY 898 Main Street 05446  PHONE: 879-7576
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
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
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
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
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
HOURS: Tues 1-8, Wed 9-12, Thurs 4-8, Sat 9-3

Hinesburg – CARPENTER CARSE MEMORIAL LIBRARY Box 127 05461  PHONE: 482-2878
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
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
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
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
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
HOURS:   Mon – Thurs 9-8, Fri 9-5, Sat 9-1

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

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

Richmond – RICHMOND FREE LIBRARY  P. O. Box 997  05477  PHONE: 434-3036
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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

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.

Trusted COVID-19 Resources

During these uncertain times, we look for information and leadership that we can trust. At the library, we use the following resources to keep up with this quickly developing situation.

Vermont Department of Health novel coronavirus website

Center for Disease Control site

CDC videos with information about the virus and how to protect yourself.

World Health Organization novel coronavirus site

Comics for Good – weekly comics on COVID 19, coloring pages

Psych Central – How to Cope with Coronavirus Fears

How Can I Help #prepare – Vermont based facebook group.

Sign Language Club

Students of Sign Language 1 at Orwell Free Library can’t keep their hands quiet! Children from grades 3-5 participated in activities learning the ASL alphabet and numbers, as well as, signs for colors, people, foods and animals. They are learning to put together short sentences and are excited to show off their skills.

Sign Language 2 begins soon. Our experienced signers will take their learning to the next level over the six week course.

Retired speech therapist and library volunteer extraordinaire, Cindy Werner, provides this wonderful opportunity for our local children.