May 2024
Director's Dispatch
What a beautiful May! Wildflower and fruit tree blossoms greet us wherever we venture throughout our five towns, spring’s exuberant annual reminder of new possibilities and vibrant growth. And speaking of exuberant…

On Friday, May 31 from 7-11 pm, the Bixby's Celestial Soirée Fundraiser will bring library lovers together for a fabulous evening of celebration, dancing, friendship, and new connections.

If you don’t already have your tickets, now is the time! Your $75 fundraiser ticket grants you a welcome drink, dancing under the stars to The Grift, live and silent auctions, a photo booth, local bites and beverages from 3 Squares, Daily Chocolate, Basin Harbor and so much more! 

Can’t make it on May 31? Consider making a special tax-deductible Celestial Soirée Fundraiser donation of any amount here.

The Bixby's Celestial Soirée Auction offers the perfect opportunity to shop local for all those special occasions coming up this summer: graduations, weddings, anniversaries, Father’s Day, family reunions, and birthdays. The Auction Committee has been so grateful for all the amazing items and experiences donated so far. If you’d like to get visibility for your business by donating gift cards, private dinners or tours, tastings, etc. please let us know here.

Are you an individual or business who could become a Sponsor? Having many Sponsors is essential to our success, with levels beginning at $250, so we would love to hear from you. As a Bixby Celestial Soirée Fundraiser Sponsor, your generosity will be recognized at the event, on our website, social media, in a full-page Addison Independent ad, and in the library throughout the year. Let us know here or give us a call to discuss.

Your support of our local cause benefits our 5-Town community. All Soirée Fundraiser proceeds help expand the free resources, services, and programming featured in this newsletter that we provide to everyone in our five-town community - Addison, Ferrisburgh, Panton, Vergennes, and Waltham.

Thank you so much for being a part of this wonderful Bixby Library community.

Library Director
What's New at the Library?
Farewell, Mary Neffinger
We extend our heartfelt thanks as we bid farewell to Mary Neffinger, the Bixby’s Children & Youth Services Librarian. During her years of service, Mary nurtured meaningful connections with patrons, families, and our community through storytimes at the library and area preschools, launching our LEGO Robotics program, leading the Booked for Bikes summer reading program, organizing fun programs like Dinoman and 802Reptiles, diversifying our Young Adult collection and so much more.

Please join us in thanking Mary for her contributions to the Bixby Library and wishing her every success in her future endeavors. We will miss you and wish you nothing but the best!
Win Tickets to the Celestial Soirée Fundraiser
Three pairs of Celestial Soirée tickets were generously donated by our sponsors to encourage you to connect with your library. Every time you come into the library and check out an item, you can enter a ticket into our raffle!

Three winners will be drawn on May 21st and each will take home a pair of tickets to the Bixby's Celestial Soirée Fundraiser.
Try Our Digital Bixby Jigsaw Puzzle
Puzzlers wanted! Try our 'Springtime at the Bixby' digital jigsaw puzzle. Let us know what image you'd like to see in puzzle form next!

The puzzle is set at 72 pieces, and you can adjust the difficulty by clicking the three lines in the left-hand corner → Modify Puzzle → Square Icon → Continue → Select Your Desired Number of Pieces.
Thank You VUHS Green Team
Last month, we were joined by 13 members of the VUHS Green Team, who volunteered to do some major spring-cleaning in our outdoor spaces. We could not be more grateful for their hard work!

And boy, are these students hard workers. They showed up right on time, and immediately took initiative to determine the best course of action, from scrubbing lichen off the railing, to clearing leaves out of the service entrance, dismantling a broken picnic table, and planting colorful flowers to make our ADA walkway a welcoming and beautiful sight.

Thank you, Green Team, for making our library, and our community, a greener place!
Volunteer Spotlight: Linda Braginton
Linda Braginton has been a part of the Bixby family since 1993. She originally joined us as the Bixby's Assistant Librarian.
What is your role as a volunteer?
  • I keep Sticky the Pleco Fish and Lucky the Goldfish healthy and the fish tank clean. I feed them green peas for a treat once a week. It's nice to see how much everyone enjoys watching the fish.
  • I take care of the library's many plants, large and small. I water them twice a week, fertilize, trim, and talk to them. Plants make everyone smile.
  • If needed, I work at the Circulation Desk, greet visitors and patrons, find books for patrons, etc.
  • I pick fun puzzles for the puzzle table and try to keep the puzzles in the bookcase a bit neat.

Why do you volunteer at the Bixby?
  • I retired in 2011 from the Bixby after 17 years as the Assistant Librarian. Less than 6 months later, I signed up as a volunteer!
  • Volunteering connects me with the staff, other volunteers, patrons, visitors, and the world.

What is one of your favorite memories of volunteering at the Bixby?
  • The project to automate the Bixby Library was quite a challenge for everyone. It took a lot of staff time, volunteer time, training, and patience to accomplish this task. I really enjoyed being part of the team.
  • A few memorable Volunteer Appreciation parties: Tea and Quiche at the Strong House Inn, BBQ and Bingo at Button Bay, and Tacos and a Bagpiper at the Bixby.
  • The Bixby 100-Year Celebration in 2012 was a wonderful day. I was the "tour guide" for the Vermont Room. There were speakers, music, punch & cake, and a reenactment of the Opening Day (1912) photo on the front steps.

What do you like to read?
  • I like to read mystery books (not too gory) i.e. Agatha Christie, M. C. Beaton, Rhys Bowen, Mary Higgins Clark, and cozy mysteries from new authors. 
  • The Vermont Room is my favorite place to browse and pick up a few books about everything Vermont from A to Z.
  • And, of course, I read People Magazine weekly!
Thank you, Linda! You are an inspirational, dependable, and thoughtful team player at the Bixby Library.

If you are interested in joining the Bixby Volunteer Team, click here to learn more and fill out a volunteer application!
Mark Your Calendar!
Programs for All Ages
Adult Programs
Youth Programs
Librarians' Corner
May has arrived, which means it is time to get outside! The library has so many fun items for the outdoors that you can check out with your library card, including a birdwatching kit, corn hole set, croquet set, and a volleyball/badminton set. And don't forget that we have free seed packets--veggies, flowers, and herbs--for your garden.

If you're more of an indoor cat, check out one of the curated titles from the Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month display in the lobby.
Amber Lay, Assistant Director/Adult Services Librarian
Hello Community,

This might come as a surprise to many, but May is my last month as the Children & Youth Services Librarian here at the Bixby Library. It has been an honor to serve the youth of this community for the past two years. I began this position in the last gasps of a global pandemic that continues to affect us. Now, I have found such joy in watching regulars return to the library and seeing new families bring their babies and toddlers to Storytime. As more children attend preschool than ever, the character (and length!) of our Storytimes have changed. The gratitude I have for being a part of early literacy for so many kiddos continues to grow.

With the help of many community members and volunteers, I was able to bring Lego Robotics to the Bixby, a program which served 20 kids from 6 different towns just in this last year. And with the help of grants we've been able to host a plethora of different performers and programs from VINS to Dinoman and 802Reptiles.

While I will not be here this summer, I am planning summer programs to keep young readers engaged and programs to entertain until the next Youth Librarian arrives. Booked for Bikes will be back June 15th and bigger than ever this year, so keep your eyes peeled for more info on summer programming and get ready to record your kid's reading minutes!

Thank you for sharing your kids with me, and keep reading!
Mary Neffinger, Children & Youth Services Librarian
What would your pet be caught reading?

In celebration of National Pet Month in May, the library announces the Pets Caught Reading Photo Challenge! Send us photos of your pet reading, and we will share them on social media and display them near the Children’s Room.

Here are some pictures of our bookish staff pets to get you inspired:
Martha Sanborn, Circulation & Information Desk Manager

Thank you to everyone who came to the first meeting of the Queer Joy Club to create mini paintings, collage masterpieces, and color together. We learned that there’s no better way to connect with the queer community than over art supplies!

Join us for the May meeting of the Queer Joy Club on Wednesday, May 15th from 5-6:30 PM. This meeting will offer an open space for all types of art as well as three art stations to spark your inspiration. Make your own stickers, buttons, coloring pages, or choose one of our fun LGBTQIA + coloring outlines to doodle in!

✨ All folks are welcome at the Queer Joy Club, regardless of age or orientation. Feel free to send me an email with ideas, questions, or comments! ✨
Cedar Winslow, Program and Outreach Manager
We Recommend
Flour & Salt by Florence Virginia Stephenson
Flour & Salt should be required reading for anyone who finds themselves in a stage of flux or discontented with the life they find themselves living. Chock-full of compassionate characters and words of wisdom, the book will transport you to a bakery in rural New York. You will fall in love with the place, the people, and the pastries. And in the meantime, you might just see your own life with new eyes. After reading Vermont author Florence Virginia Stephenson's fantastic debut, I am thrilled to see what the author has in store for us next.

Cedar Winslow, Program & Community Engagement Manager
I Cheerfully Refuse by Leif Enger
Can a dystopian novel also be a cozy read? Leif Enger's new book comes pretty close. The tale takes place in a not-too-distant America where billionaires rule, fresh food is limited, intense weather events devastate, reading is frowned upon, and society as we know it has collapsed. However bleak this may seem, the book is surprisingly hopeful. The story follows the bereaved protagonist's sailing expedition along Lake Superior, which turns into an odyssey of self-discovery, resilience, and the power of defiance in the face of adversity. A magical and heartwarming read.

Amber Lay, Assistant Director/Adult Services Librarian
The Lost Library by Rebecca Stead
The Lost Library by Rebecca Stead follows the mystery of Martinville's library. When 11-year-old Evan takes a few books from a new Little Free Library, he and his friend set off on an adventure to discover the secrets of Martinville's old library. Told in turns by the old library cat, a ghost librarian, and Evan, this book has a little mystery, a little fantasy, and a lot of self-discovery. The Lost Library is a Golden Dome nominee this year for a reason. Stead spins an engaging tale with a worthy moral.

Mary Neffinger, Children & Youth Services Librarian
News from the Bixby's Historical Collections
In light of recent improvements to the bridge over Vergennes Falls, just down the hill from the Bixby, we are highlighting a Bridge Spotlight from the Archives!

As both a key route of travel and a local landmark, this bridge has been not only a highlight of car trips down Route 22A but also a site of many photos, drawings, and postcards over the years. We share these images with you, courtesy of the Bixby's Archives and Special Collections, to admire how far this Vergennes landmark has come. We're pretty sure that you won't get fined for driving faster than a walking pace on it anymore!

Other than the picture with the warning sign, which is simply marked "Early Bridge over Otter Creek," these photos and illustrations come from souvenir postcards and are dated between the 1910s and 1950.

To see these images in person or for more information, contact us to schedule an appointment with a History Team member!

Bixby History Team
Community Happenings
Ilsley Public Library's Bond Vote Passes
Congratulations to our friends at the Ilsley Public Library and their community for the overwhelming support shown in the passage of the bond vote! With 83% voting in favor, it is clear that the Middlebury community supports the library's renovation and expansion project.

A special shout out to the staff, board, and the supporters who did such a great job in engaging the community. We look forward to an exciting future for this treasured library and community center!
Play in the Vergennes City Band
Monday, May 13, 20 and June 3, 10, 7-9 PM
Vergennes Opera House

Weekly concerts:
Monday, June 17th and through the summer, 7 PM
Vergennes Green

Come to the rehearsals/concerts that fit with your schedule.

You are invited to play in the Vergennes City Band! The VCB is composed of instrumentalists ages 12-90. Woodwind, brass and percussionists of all abilities are welcome. Bring a music stand, if you have one. Percussionists should bring their own snare drum and sticks.

Interested? Questions? Email Susan O'Daniel or call 802-349-5906.
Waltham Town Wide Reappraisal
Tuesday, May 21, 6 PM
Waltham Town Hall
2053 Maple Street, Waltham

The Town of Waltham is holding a public information meeting about the upcoming town reappraisal process. The purpose of the Town Wide Reappraisal is to update all property data and calculate new Fair Market Values reflected as of 4/1/2025.

Visit the Waltham Town website for further details, or contact the Town Clerk at (802)877-3641.
Panton Art League
Saturday, May 25th, 10 AM to 4 PM
Panton Town Hall
3176 Jersey St, Panton

Discover a world of creativity at the art exhibition, "Artful Escapes." Presented by the Panton Art League, the exhibit features a range of artworks including oils, acrylics, mixed media, ceramics, monoprints, and felted sculptures, created by local artists.
Memorial Day Parade
Monday, May 27th, 11 AM

On Monday, May 27th, the American Legion Post 14 will host the annual Memorial Day Parade! Parade participation along the 1.5-mile route is free. The theme for this year's parade is "All Gave Some, Some Gave All." The parade honors all the men and women who have served our country during times of conflict and gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Click here to submit an application to participate in the parade.
If you enjoyed our newsletter, forward it to a friend near or far!
Library Hours:
Tuesday-Thursday: 10 am-7 pm
Friday-Saturday: 10 am-3 pm
(802) 877-2211