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Logo: CT State Library Division of Library Development

Monthly News & Updates

May 2024 | Vol. 5 No. 8

The Middletown Library Service Center will be closed on Monday, May 27 in observance of Memorial Day.

Initiatives & Announcements

Photos of the CT State Library Outreach Van on site at the CT Library Association's annual conference in Mystics, CT on 4/29 and 4/30.

The CSL Outreach Van at CLA!


The CT State Library Agency’s new state-of the-art library/ museum/ archives on wheels was on site at the CT Library Association's annual conference in Mystic on April 29 and 30. Members of the Division of Library Development (DLD) team - including Dawn La Valle, Kym Powe, Suzanne Kiss, and Brad Bullis - invited conference participants inside the Outreach Van to experience it firsthand and answered questions about our new vehicle and about DLD's programs and services. We are thrilled that so many members of our library community came to visit us and that the van is generating so much excitement!

Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) America Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), CSL’s Outreach Van will be used for community engagement, programs, special events, professional development, library programming support, and pop-up exhibits for all State Library divisions and units, including DLD, the CT Library for Accessible Books, Archives, the Museum of CT History, and more!

For more information or to book the Outreach Van for an upcoming event, please reach out to Suzanne Kiss at

Kym Powe Wins 2024 CLA Special Achievement Award and Will Receive Literacy Champion Award!

We are beyond thrilled, overjoyed, and proud to announce that our very own Kym Powe is this year's winner of the CLA Special Achievement Award, which honors an individual who has implemented a significant project or initiated an innovative program during the past year!

Photo of Kym Powe, DLD's Children's and Youth Services Consultant holding her award and standing next to DLD Director, Dawn La Valle.

In addition, Kym will receive a 2024 Literacy Champion Award from Read to Grow at their event - "A Night For The Books" - on Thursday, May 2 at 6:00pm at The Westport Library. Kym's exceptional, enthusiastic, and creative dedication to making books and dynamic literacy experiences accessible to all children across Connecticut makes her a stellar choice for both awards and we congratulate her wholeheartedly! Congratulations, Kym! You're AWESOME!! 

If you would like to attend the Read to Grow event in support of Kym, please click the link for the event ticketing site.

Advisory Council for Library Planning & Development (ACLPD)

Call for Nominations!


Get Involved in Library Planning and Development!

The Connecticut State Library’s Advisory Council for Library Planning & Development (ACLPD) is seeking volunteers to serve on ACLPD for the following groups:


The mission of the Advisory Council for Library Planning and Development (ACLPD) is to provide the State Library Board and staff with advice, perspective, and communication from the library community on matters relating to the State Library's various statewide program and service responsibilities, including the aspects of the federal Library Services and Technology Act.


In meeting its mission, the ACLPD will provide advice, assistance, and recommendations in the following specific areas:

  • Strategic Scenarios planning for, and coordination of statewide library and information services.
  • Assist CSL in the development of policies for the operation of statewide library and information services.
  • Assist CSL in the development of programs and services including but not limited to statewide professional development opportunities, special programs, pilots, and initiatives.
  • Environmental scanning of trends; development of patterns leading to scenario planning.
  • Collaborative and cooperative problem-solving including EDI, Digital Inclusion, and other national initiatives.

Interested in volunteering? Please forward completed application to Dawn

La Valle, Director, Division of Library Development at

Congratulations to the 2024 Summer Enrichment Grant Recipients!


Launched in January 2022, the purpose of the Summer Enrichment Grant is to empower public libraries to enhance their summer reading programs with additional enrichment opportunities for their patrons by providing library-led programs and activities that spark creativity and productivity, engage individuals, and benefit their communities. 

Summer Enrichment Grants in bright, bold colors against a yellow background

This year, the CT State Library accepted 12 Summer Enrichment Grant applications and awarded grants in amounts ranging from $300-$2,000 per library. These grants will support 2024 summer activities that are outcome oriented, engage the community, and promote active learning experiences that are positive, experiential, educational, and fun.


We congratulate the following CT public libraries and their summer reading programs:


Clinton – Henry Carter Hull Library

Paddling Together: Summer Enrichment on the Shoreline | $2,000


Danbury – Danbury Public Library

Skill Builders Club | $2,000


East Haven – Hagaman Memorial Library

EH Summer Gaming Academy | $1,800


Granby – Granby Public Library

The Great Granby Goosechase | $2,000


Lebanon – Jonathan Trumbull Library

Neighborhood of Make-Believe | $2,000


Monroe – Edith Wheeler Memorial Library

Robot Invasion | $1,920


New Britain – New Britain Public Library

Play in the Park: Summer Outreach with New Britain Public Library | $1,550


New Hartford – Licia & Mason Beekley Community Library

Beekley Community Garden | $1,950


North Branford – Edward Smith Library

Choose Your Own Adventure Book Club | $940.98


Portland – Portland Public Library

Caregiver Community of Practice | $2,000


Prospect – Prospect Public Library

Library Garden | $2,000


Wallingford – Wallingford Public Library

We Read | $1,050

DLD Participated in DEEP Eclipse Watching Event!

On April 8, hundreds of families, couples, and friend groups brought picnics, beach blankets, camp chairs and curiosity about the natural world to the eclipse viewing event at Camp Harkness in Waterford, a 102-acre state park and swimming beach for people with disabilities.

DLD's Kym Powe shows participants at eclipse watching event how to use a Sunspotter.

Organized by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the event enabled participants to use telescopes, eclipse eyeglasses and other equipment to view the eclipse, including scopes people could make themselves out of paper.

One of the most popular event offerings was brought by DLD's Kym Powe, who set up a unique wooden device called a Sunspotter and showed visitors how to use it (see above photo).

Kristen Bellantuono, coordinator of CT DEEP’s No Child Left Inside initiative and one of the event organizers, said, “Any time we can engage people in learning and exploring and give them a positive outdoor experience, the better off we are.” 

Recordings Available for the Growing Equitable Library Services (GELS): Trauma-Informed Services Webinar Series with Beatriz De La Espriella, LCSW

Watch the recording of Decoding the Neurobiology of Trauma

Delve into the neuroscience of trauma in this informative session. Understand how the brain responds to trauma and explore the implications of trauma on cognitive functions and emotional regulation. 

Compilation of BeaMindful Coaching with Beatriz De La Espriella, and Growing Equitable Library Services (GELS), a program of the CT State Library, Division of Library Development.

Watch the recording of Unlocking the Principles of Trauma-Informed Services, Part I

In the first part of our two-part webinar, we delve into the guiding principles of trauma informed services tailored specifically for library settings. In this session, we explored the core concepts of safety, trustworthiness and transparency, and peer support. 

For more information, including presentation slides and videos related to trauma, please visit the GELS Trauma-Informed Services page.

Beatriz De La Espriella is a licensed clinical social worker and mental health expert in anxiety, stress, and trauma. Beatriz works with individuals and libraries to improve the mental health and well-being of library staff, so they can feel empowered to serve their community and thrive personally and professionally. She provides training and coaching to libraries on trauma-informed services, mindfulness, self-care, and more.


Beatriz developed a Trauma-Informed Services Professional Development Curriculum that highlights the prevalence of trauma and provides library staff with essential skills to recognize and respond to trauma. Beatriz launched the “Empowered, Confident, and Thriving: A Mental Wellness Program for Library Staff'' that focuses on promoting mental well-being by practicing self-care, building resilience, and gaining the tools and strategies needed to navigate life’s challenges. Beatriz earned her MSW from Rutgers University and her Trauma Informed Professional Certification from Barry University.


Join us for more GELS sessions this spring with Beatriz – see the Workshops section below or head straight to the Continuing Education Calendar.

Digital Equity News

Human Infrastructure of Broadband


The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society (in partnership with the American Library Association, METRO’s Digital Equity Research Center, and National Digital Inclusion Alliance) is researching the work of people who help

connect others to broadband. 

Graphic containing interlocked rainbow-colored arms encircling digital elements. Text in white at the bottom reads, DIGITAL EQUITY.

Whether they are called librarians, digital stewards, or digital navigators, they perform a wide range of activities like helping people enroll in low-cost broadband plans, making low-cost computers available, providing digital skills training, or helping people use digital services like telehealth.


If your organization works on these or related issues, please take our survey!

Logo: The Benton Institute for Broadband & Society in white and red with black text

The data you provide will help us better understand what you do and will contribute to a report that will recommend strategies to sustain this work beyond the current Digital Equity Act investment. 


For questions, please send an email to

News of Note

This month, we're sharing a few articles related to Mental Health Awareness Month....

Professional Development & Continuing Education

Workshops & Programs

Growing Equitable Library Services (GELS): Trauma-Informed Services Webinar Series with Beatriz De La Espriella, LCSW

Becoming and Planning for Trauma-Informed Services

Tuesday, May 14 | 10:00-11:30 am

Register for Becoming and Planning for Trauma-Informed Services

Compilation of BeaMindful Coaching with Beatriz De La Espriella, and Growing Equitable Library Services (GELS), a program of the CT State Library, Division of Library Development.

Embark on the journey of becoming and planning for trauma-informed services in your library. This webinar will guide libraries in assessing their readiness for trauma-informed services, and learn the steps needed to become a trauma informed library, including the significance of community feedback, self-care practices and ongoing professional development for staff.

Through interactive discussions and practical activities, participants will develop a trauma-informed services plan that includes key milestones, measurable goals, and evaluation strategies.

CT State Library, Division of Library Development: We support... Libraries as community anchors with increased institutional capacity, strategic partnerships, and programming.

Construction Grant Information Session with Dawn La Valle

Wednesday, May 15 | 10:00-11:30 am

Register for Construction Grant Session

*Please note: This will be the last construction grant information session for the upcoming construction grant cycle. If your library is planning to submit a Notice of Intent, you MUST ATTEND this session along with designated officials (indicated below).

Who should come? 

Anyone considering a public library renovation or construction project, including library directors/administrators, library board chair and members, municipal leaders, procurement officers, and building committee members.

Who must attend?

Association Libraries: Library Director and Building Committee Chair

Municipal Libraries: Library Director, Town Manager or chief executive (Mayor, First Selectman).

Workshop will have captions enabled. If you require another access service to participate fully, please use the Accommodation Request Form at least 7 days prior to the event.

Building the Metaverse in the Library

Thursday, May 16| 3:00-4:30 pm

Register for Building the Metaverse in the Library

Building the metaverse in the library explores the possibilities of designing augmented and virtual reality experiences. This session will examine how libraries can leverage the technology to provide a unique experience for their visitors, allowing them to explore and learn in a new way.

To build and share immersive experiences, we will use web-based Virtual Reality (VR) platforms and simple Augmented Reality (AR) apps.

Capital Projects with Libby Post

Tuesday, May 21 | 1:00-2:00 pm

Register for Capital Projects

So, you got a state construction grant and . . . it may not be enough to complete your project. Or it’s enough but you need to make sure the community and your local elected officials are behind you.

This capital projects workshop will walk you through how to tell the story of your project to enhance community engagement, build project champions and, if you need to, raise money!

Captions will be enabled in this workshop. If you require another access service to participate fully, please use the Accommodation Request Form at least 7 days prior to the event.

Lead Your Library | Practical Management of Public Libraries

It’s Not About Math: Understanding Budgeting and Financial Reporting with Jerry Nichols 

Wednesday, May 22 | 1:00-2:30 pm

Register for Budgeting and Financial Reporting

Though finance and budgeting are often the least favorite tasks library administrators face, they are skills that are essential to understand in order to assure the viability of your organization. We will review the tools and tasks that must be mastered including accounting standards, internal controls, the budgeting process, audits, and insurance. Note: This session will be recorded.

Growing Equitable Library Services (GELS): Trauma-Informed Services Webinar Series with Beatriz De La Espriella, LCSW

GELS: Navigating Trauma: Insights for LGBTQ, Children, and Immigrant Populations

Tuesday, May 28 | 10:00-11:00 am

Register for Navigating Trauma: Insights for LGBTQ, Children, and Immigrant Populations

Compilation of BeaMindful Coaching with Beatriz De La Espriella, and Growing Equitable Library Services (GELS), a program of the CT State Library, Division of Library Development.

In this workshop, gain specialized insights into addressing trauma challenges within distinct groups such as LGBTQ individuals, children, and immigrants and refugees.

Led by experts with hands-on experience, this seminar offers exploration of the unique hurdles faced by these populations and provides practical strategies for trauma-informed intervention. Participants will leave equipped with a deeper understanding of tailoring approaches to specific needs, fostering inclusivity, and contributing to the well-being of diverse communities.

Visit our calendar

CT Digital Library

The eGO CT Program Supports Reading Programs!


The Division of Library Development (DLD) purchases content that supports All CT Reads, Experiencing America, and your Summer Reading Programs. We aim to provide titles in eBook and eAudio format and in Spanish language when available.

If your library is planning a reading program, let us know. We can purchase copies of the titles for the program and even create a lane in Palace to highlight those titles. We also purchase multiple copies of titles, and many classics are available without loan restrictions and are great for book discussion groups!

Covers of 2024 All CT Reads books: Finally Seen by Kelly Yang, Promise Boys by Nick Brooks, and Don't Cry for Me by Daniel Black
Book covers: Finding LatinX by Paola Ramos, Disability Visability by Alice Wong, and They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, all part of DLD's Experiencing America book discussion series.

During the month of April, DLD purchased a total of 780 items for both platforms and there are 36,000 items provided for free to public libraries. This includes 22,569 open access titles provided by Lyrasis in the Palace Bookshelf.

DLD is continuing to work with Baker & Taylor to bring the eGO CT Community Share Program to Connecticut schools. This program allows DLD to deliver eBook and eAudio content, including Nutmeg, Charter Oak, Summer Reading, and All CT Reads titles from eGO CT directly to schools in Connecticut. To date, we have 149 sites that are active in the program and over 1,100 items have been purchased specifically for this program.

Have questions about eGO CT or the Palace app? Please reach out to Brad Bullis at


New eAudio Titles Now Available in the Palace Project app!

Book cover: The House on Biscayne Bay by C. Cleeton
Book cover: The Neighbor Favor by K. Forest
Book cover: Crescent City by S. Maas
Book cover: Ghost Station by S.A. Barnes

Professional Development Titles

These are just some highlights! We've got lots more professional development titles in our collection browse more titles and search our catalog.

Book cover: Libraries Without Borders: New Directions in Library History by S. Knowlton,
Book cover: Get Free: Antibias Literacy Instruction for Stronger Readers, Writers, and Thinkers by T. Ebarvia
Book cover: Community Archives: Inclusive Strategies in Practice by H. Crumme

New StoryWalks® at MLSC!


We recently added new StoryWalks®

to our collection! A StoryWalk® is a fun activity that engages families in literacy while being physically active through walking or hiking. Pages from a children’s book are placed along a walkable path.


Families have fun reading aloud together and building children’s interest in reading while enjoying the physical and mental health benefits of the outdoors.

Book covers for City Beet and The Earth Gives More, two new Storywalks available from the Middletown Library Service Center.

While StoryWalks® are traditionally outdoor activities, we encourage you to use these materials wherever works for your library, including indoors. Thank you to the Richmond Memorial Library for generously donating several of our new StoryWalks®!


The loan period for StoryWalks® is 45 days. Laminated pages can be mounted according to borrowing library's preference. Please do not puncture the laminated pages. Please remove tape, Velcro, and other adhesives before returning.


The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier,

VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. StoryWalk®

is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.


New titles available as StoryWalks®:



View all available StoryWalks® here. And keep checking back for new additions!

Find Us

Stay Connected! Join our Email Lists

Our many email discussion lists for the library community help you connect with your peers. Conntech has the greatest reach across the state, and both Goodnightmoon for children's services and Speak for YA services have lively discussions and professional interchange.

Scout the full list and subscription information.

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Middletown Library Service Center

Open Hours: Monday-Friday | 8:00 am-4:30 pm 

MLSC staff, whether in the office or telecommuting, are responding to voicemail and e-mail during business hours of 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday, except for state holidays.

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