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Vermont Reads: We Contain Multitudes

Read over break and come discuss next semester. Multiple copies available for check-out in the library.

Vermont Reads choice for 2021

The library and CU’s Peer Advocates for Change invite you to join us in reading the novel We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra. This book is the 2021 selection for Vermont Reads, a program of the Vermont Humanities Council.

From the VHS website:

“Our Vermont Reads choice for 2021 a novel in letters. It tells the paired stories of two very different teenage boys who are initially reluctant to participate in a pen-pal assignment from their high school English teacher, but ultimately grow well beyond the boundaries of the school project to reveal earth-shattering revelations about themselves and their families.

The novel contains many strands relevant to current community conversations including economic disparities, how veterans return from war, domestic violence, opioid addiction, bullying, and coming out. But lest it sound too heavy, it is also a beautiful story of friendship, poetry, coming of age, and aspiring to move beyond social expectations.”

There is plenty to talk about in this compelling and emotional book! Look for an announcement next semester of a book discussion event coming in February.

If the library’s copies are all checked out, please see your public library for a copy.

More information about the book and the Vermont Reads program on the Vermont Humanities Council website

Book Sale Extended to January 30!

Best Books of the Year

As the year draws to a close, various book-related publications and news outlets post their picks of the best books of the year. There are also several book awards that choose finalists and winners each year. Your librarians compile these best books of the year lists and award winners on a guide, and also create a link to books from these lists the CU library has ordered or already added to our collection that you can find in our catalog. Take a look to find some of the best reads of the year!

We can’t purchase all the books on these lists, so if you see a book on one of these lists that the CU library doesn’t own, you can request the book through interlibrary loan (for CU students, faculty and staff only) or suggest the library purchase the book.

Of course the library has lots of books not on these lists for you to peruse and find the ones YOU think are best!

Librarians are here to help

Miranda Axworthy
Charlotte Gerstein

It’s that time of the year when final papers and projects are being assigned, many involving independent research. Like many things at Castleton, support is available. In addition to the Academic Support Center, librarians are here to help too.

Miranda Axworthy and Charlotte Gerstein are the two Reference and Instruction Librarians at Castleton. We are ready to help with any information or research needs you may have. Often we help students refine their topic or find relevant, appropriate sources for a research project.

Author Neil Gaiman said, “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you back the right one.” While there isn’t always a right answer, librarians can help you quickly find the kinds of sources you need.

You can make an appointment with either of us through the Appointments link on the library website or here. We can meet with you in person or by Zoom. You can email us at or or simply You also can get help 24/7 through our chat service. This link pops out a chat widget. We cooperate with librarians in other time zones, so a trained librarian will answer and chat with you about whatever you need help with.

Don’t be shy! We are here for you. And look at our friendly faces! We don’t bite and we love to help students.

Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend

Image by Gabe Raggio, from Pixabay

It’s that strange and disorienting time of the year when we turn back time, or, rather, we turn our clocks back an hour to end daylight savings time. To be on time for whatever you have going on from this Sunday on, turn back your clocks one hour by 2:00 a.m. Sunday, November 7.

Since this time of year gets us thinking about time, the library put together a display of books related to the concept of time, like the physics of time, stories of time travel, ways we measure time, work-life balance, advice on time management, and more. Click above to see the list of books included in the display or come in any TIME the library is open to check it out.

To learn more about why we have daylight savings time, see a recent article from NPR: Daylight saving time ends soon. Here are 4 things you should know.

Here is a video from Michael Downing, a Tufts University professor who wrote the book Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time.

Whether you are a fan of Daylight Savings Time or not, it’s the law of the land for the TIME being, and TIME heals all wounds, so you’ll get used to it, all in good TIME.

Hispanic Heritage Month

See for more info

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month and the library invites you to join us in celebrating and recognizing the legacy, contributions and experience of Hispanics in the U.S.

Of course we have lots of relevant materials to share. We are highlighting a sampling in a book display in the library. Click to see a sampling of books on Hispanic heritage currently on display in the library.

Baseball might be on your mind right now too. Certainly Hispanic baseball players have made a significant contribution to the sport. See an extensive online exhibit from the National Museum of American History called “¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues.”

From the exhibit website: “Baseball is the national pastime. But it’s also an American export, one with a tradition that’s constantly evolving. ¡Pleibol! shares the experiences of Latinas and Latinos whose love for the game and incredible talent have changed baseball and transformed American culture forever.

Throughout the last century, Latinas and Latinos have used baseball to chase their dreams, challenge prejudice, and build communities. Whether in the barrios or the big leagues, in rural backyards or barn-storming travel teams, they left a mark on how we see, hear, and play the game.”

This exhibit uses the terms Latinas and Latinos. You might have also seen the term Latinx for a gender-neutral alternative. Click to read an article from the Pew Research Center to help you understand “Who is Hispanic?”

From the article: “The terms ‘Hispanic’ and ‘Latino’ are pan-ethnic terms meant to describe – and summarize – the population of people living in the U.S. of that ethnic background…

Some have drawn sharp distinctions between these two terms, saying for example that Hispanics are people from Spain or from Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America (this excludes Brazil, where Portuguese is the official language), while Latinos are people from Latin America regardless of language (this includes Brazil but excludes Spain and Portugal).”

New book display: What Floats Your Boat, or What Parts of YOU Will You Grow

Stop in to the library to see a new exhibit of books on the theme of nurturing your interests while here at Castleton. You can learn about anything here at the library, including any interests or concerns you already have, or ones that develop while you’re here at Castleton.

You can also work on personal growth while here and come to better understand your mind or personality or any mental health or personal challenges you face. We have lots of books on topics like mindfulness, gender identity, procrastination, and more.

What parts of *YOU* will you develop while you’re here? What floats your boat? In other words, what piques your interest? What buds of a career or hobby are there in you? You can also peruse the books in this display online. If you have an interest that you’d like to explore that isn’t represented in this display, you can check the library catalog for books, or ask a librarian for help finding information.

Also, please understand that the books pulled out to display are there for the purpose of letting you know they exist and are ready to be checked out. Please check one out if it floats your boat!

Honoring workers on Labor Day

Labor Day graphic

Library closed on Labor Day

The Library will be closed Monday, September 6th, in observance of Labor Day. Library staff will be off enjoying the waning days of summer, honored to be recognized as workers on this holiday.

Book display on the theme

Click below to see a list of books currently on display in the library on the theme.

Books on display in the library on work, workers, and the Labor Movement

Learn about Labor Day

What is Labor Day?

“Observed the first Monday in September, Labor Day is an annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers. The holiday is rooted in the late nineteenth century, when labor activists pushed for a federal holiday to recognize the many contributions workers have made to America’s strength, prosperity, and well-being.”

“History of Labor Day.” U.S. Department of Labor website

History of Labor Day

“Although workers’ holidays had been observed since the days of the medieval trade guilds, laborers in the United States didn’t have a holiday of their own until 1882. This was the year when Peter J. McGuire, a New York City carpenter and labor union leader, and Matthew Maguire, a machinist from Paterson, N.J., suggested to the Central Labor Union of New York that a celebration be held in honor of the American worker. Some 10, 000 New Yorkers paraded in Union Square, New York, on September 5 of that year—a date specifically chosen by McGuire to fill the long gap between the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. 

The first Labor Day observance was confined to New York City, but the idea of setting aside a day to honor workers spread quickly, and by 1895 Labor Day events were taking place across the nation. Oregon, in 1887, was the first state to make it a legal holiday, and in 1894 President Grover Cleveland signed a bill making it a national holiday. The holiday’s association with trade unions has declined, but it remains important as the day that marks the end of the summer season for schoolchildren and as an opportunity for friends and families to get together for picnics and sporting events.”

“Labor Day.” Cultural Studies: Holidays Around the World, edited by Pearline Jaikumar, Omnigraphics, Inc., 6th edition, 2018. Credo Reference,

About the Labor Movement

“The labor movement is a broad and ongoing effort to organize workers into unions in order to gain collective strength in negotiations with employers about wages and working conditions.”

“Labor Movement.” Gale Encyclopedia of U.S. Economic History, edited by Thomas Riggs, Gale, 2nd edition, 2015. Credo Reference,

“Curbside” pick-up now available. Good news for book lovers!

Good news for book lovers, especially for those of you who prefer reading in print: the library is now prepared for “curbside” lending!  This means you can request to pick up items from our collection that are available to be checked out.

You can identify items you would like to check out in our online catalog and follow these steps to place a hold on those items.  We will be in touch to confirm that the item(s) are available and the date and time of your pick-up.  Pick-up will be at the loading dock area behind the library, so you can drive right up.  We can place the item(s) directly in your car if you’d like.

Student, faculty, staff, and guest borrowers who already have a guest borrower card are in our system and we will look you up to check out the items to you.  Community members who don’t already have a guest borrower card, can contact us at or (802) 468-1256 to become a guest borrower.

Students, faculty, and staff who would like to borrow an item we don’t have in our collection can fill out this form to make an interlibrary loan request.

What we ask of you:

  • Please refrain from curbside services if you or anyone in your household has symptoms of respiratory illness.
  • Masks must be worn during face-to-face delivery/return of items.

Books can be returned to our outdoor book return bin in front of the library.

The library building is still closed to the public but we are working on re-opening in mid-August.

If you have any questions please email or call the circulation desk at (802) 468-1256.

Race Matters: Resources for Anti-Racism Education

Your library staff strives continuously to provide the campus community with resources to support anti-racism work and learning.  Resources are compiled and updated on the Race Matters: A Castleton Dialogue guide.

If you haven’t read it yet, see Interim Castleton University President Jonathan Spiro’s recent statement responding to recent police violence against Black Americans.

See books in the CU library on racism, law enforcement, and the criminal justice system.

On the Race Matters guide, there is an opportunity to suggest additional resources.

In the Castleton University Reads group on, you can recommend and discuss anti-racist books.