Friday, August 8, 2014

277. Brooks Memorial Library, Brattleboro, Vermont

Until this visit, Brattleboro was simply a place to semi-bypass when driving from NH to points west. Then I read all of Archer Mayor's books and wanted to see Brattleboro in order to become more familiar with some of the sites/sights in his books. Then I developed this library-visiting hobby and learned that a friend of a friend works here, and it became inevitable that Brattleboro would be on my list for the current trip.

The visit started with a parking challenge, but I found a place where I could back in without exactly parallel parking; I ended up with only one tire on the sidewalk, not too bad, and scrounged a few coins in a cup holder to feed the meter. Then a hair-raising trip across the street. Yes, there was a crosswalk just a bit further along the sidewalk, but I didn't see it. A.M. should have more pedestrian accidents in his books!

After looking at a display of watercolors by a local artist and a case full of Fort Dummer artifacts from 1724 to 1760, I came to the browsing area with periodicals and a straightforward sign: "Do not steal. Library magazines are for everyone to enjoy." I looked for Archer Mayor books on the fiction shelves but didn't find any; perhaps they have a special spot, or perhaps they are too popular to stay in place. The first floor also has what appears to be a genealogy office and a phonograph with a turntable. Fiction and part of the non-fiction collection are shelved in traditional stacks. A reference aisle seemed very dark until I took one more step and motion-sensing lights came on. Kudos to Brattleboro for environmental sensitivity. Seriously.

Upstairs I found the rest of the non-fiction. A long hallway has a window wall on one side, looking into the children's area. At one end is a round table with two chairs designated for studying, and at the other end a similar table with two chairs for snacks. The snack table has a time limit of 30 minutes.

A very nice display concerned the writing of The Ten Button Book by William Accosi. I am not familiar with this book, but it looks very cool. I tried to reserve it back home at one of my usual libraries and found that it is a "Children's Reference Book" in the Milestones Collection. Now I really want to see it!

The summer reading program science theme was clear in graphics along the glass window wall, props for exploring force and motion, and an opportunity to make a pinwheel, "adult help required."

Graphic novels have their own corner, with a "handprint" rug and some beanbag seating. After noticing all of this, and the book collections and toddler toys and all, I told the staff person at the desk that a friend in Minnesota knows the children's librarian in Brattleboro. That got an immediate response from the nearby librarian, and we had a fine chat until I had to rescue my car from the meter and the sidewalk and get on to my next stop.

For more about the Brooks Memorial library, go to or their Facebook page at The Facebook page has an interesting approach to maintaining subscriptions to specific periodicals--take a look.

8/6/2014, car


  1. So glad you went here, Ellen! I should have warned you about the traffic triangle there. I would have suggested you visit a few of my favorite shops on Main Street, too.

  2. I'd driven through Brattleboro once before, so I wasn't completely surprised. Besides, Archer Mayor talks about the traffic in his books! And if you'd told me about the shops, I might have been tempted--and then I'd have had to skip Peterborough!


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