News

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, which also includes a list of books from these lists the CU library has purchased 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 miranda.axworthy@castleton.edu or charlotte.gerstein@castleton.edu or simply reference@castleton.edu. 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.

Want to help out the VSCS Libraries?!

We are creating a list of potential participants willing to help us with user research and testing as we work toward a new unified library website. Your input will help us design a website that works for you. If you are interested in helping or would like to know more about the research and what testing would entail check out the Panel Signup.

Hispanic Heritage Month

See HispanicHeritageMonth.gov 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
https://www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history

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, https://castleton.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/hfcwd/labor_day/0?institutionId=5016.

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, https://castleton.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search.credoreference.com/content/entry/galegue/labor_movement/0?institutionId=5016.

5 Things You Need to Know About the Calvin Coolidge Library

  1. We absolutely love information literacy!

Helping students with their academic research and teaching them how to find, critically evaluate, and effectively use a variety of information resources is our main objective.

2. We provide access to a variety of wonderful library resources.

We hold more than 147,000 volumes and over 100 print subscriptions, and provide online access to the full text of over 41,000 periodicals. We also offer Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services! This means we can borrow materials from other libraries for you to use.

3. We can help you with your research.

Contact us or make an individual appointment to discuss your research needs.

4. We offer course reserves.

Your professors can place course materials (library books, personal books, DVDs, and copies of articles or readings) on reserve for student use in the library. Check with your professor or at the Circulation Desk!

5. We want your suggestions about resources.

While we can’t purchase every resource, we want to hear from you about your needs.

Contact us!

Checking out books? Call (802) 468-1256 or contact Stephanie Traverse at (802) 468-6061 or stephanie.traverse@castleton.edu.

Interlibrary loan? Contact Kim Bailey at (802) 468-6062 or kimberly.bailey2@castleton.edu.

Help with research? Stop by the library or contact Miranda Axworthy at (802) 468-1359 or miranda.axworthy@castleton.edu.

Suggesting resources? Contact Billie Langlois at (802) 468-1471 or billie.langlois@castleton.edu.

Archives and special collections? Contact Michele Perry at (802) 468-1343 or michele.perry@castleton.edu.

April is National Poetry Month!

Photo Credit: Ashley Haguewood

Continuing to highlight the topic of Mental Health Awareness we would like to introduce you to Ebony Stewart. She is a slam poet artist that tours internationally. In her work she illustrates her life experiences as a black woman. Spotlighting the topics of sexuality, race, gender and mental health. Ebony is also pursuing her license as a clinical therapist. She hopes people will relate to her poems and encourage dialog about these important subjects. 

Watch Ebony perform her poem “Mental Health Barz”

Watch Ebony perform her poem “Transparent”

Learn more about Ebony Stewart on her website.


For the last week of #NationalPoetryMonth we would like to highlight the topic of mental health since we are approaching May which is #MentalHealthAwarnessMonth. The first poet We would like to present is Neil Hilborn. He is a College National Poetry Slam champion. He got his degree in creative writing at Macalester College and is also the co-founder of a Macalester literary magazine called Thistle. In a lot of his work, he illustrates what his life is like living with his mental illnesses. Neil became noticed online when a video of him at a poetry slam reciting his poem “OCD” became viral. 

Watch this TEDTalk to hear Neil talk a little bit about his story and read his most famous poem:

Listen to Neil read his poem “You Can’t Be Depressed”:


Learn more about Neil by visiting his website.


Poet Laureate of the United States Joy Harjo, June 6, 2019. Harjo is the first Native American to serve as poet laureate and is a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation. Photo by Shawn Miller/Library of Congress. Note: Privacy and publicity rights for individuals depicted may apply.

Continuing our week of highlighting Indigenous poets this #NationalPoetryMonth, allow us to present Joy Harjo, the current U.S. Poet Laureate and the first Native American appointed to the role.

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Harjo is a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and belongs to the Oce Vpofv (Hickory Ground). Her award-winning work includes nine books of poetry, two children’s books, two memoirs, and seven music albums. Her most recent book of poetry, American Sunrise, was published in 2019. Her Poet Laureate Project, entitled “Living Nations, Living Words,” is an interactive Story Map and a Library of Congress audio collection of work by Native American poets.

Learn more about Joy Harjo and her work on her website.

Explore “Living Nations, Living Words.”

Listen to Joy read and discuss her poetry during the virtual National Book Festival 2020:

For more information, contact your library!


Black and white photo of Cheryl Savageau.
Photo Credit: Cheryl Savageau

This week for #NationalPoetryMonth, we are exploring Indigenous poets.  To start this week, we are acknowledging that our institutions are on the traditional territory of the Abenaki Nation. 

Cheryl Savageau is an Abenaki and French poet.  Cheryl’s poetry frequently retells Abenaki stories, and she also describes her bipolar disorder.  Joseph Bruchac of the Abenaki Nation is a poet from the Adirondack region of New York; he is involved in environmental education and some of his poems, such as “Transplanting Trees” and “Sun Moves” reflect his interest in nature.  Stay tuned for more Indigenous poets later this week!

Listen to Cheryl Savageau speak and read some of her poetry here.

Listen to Joseph Bruchac speak and demonstrate the significance of drums to Native American culture; you can also hear him read selected poems on his website.

For more information on any of these poets, contact your library!


Color photo of Tina Chang

Photo Credit: Poetry Society

Another Asian American poet that we would like to celebrate this week for #NationalPoetryMonth is Tina Chang. She is an editor, a professor and the first woman to be named Poet Laureate of Brooklyn. Tina earned her BA at Binghamton University, and MFA at Columbia University. She is currently the Director of Creative Writing at Binghamton. Tina is the author of three poetry collections: Hybrida (W. W. Norton, May 2019), Of Gods & Strangers (Four Way Books, 2011), and Half-Lit Houses (Four Way Books, 2004). If you would like to find more information about Tina Chang and her Poetry, check out her website.

Feel free to watch this video of her reading “My Father. A Tree.”

Tina Chang reads from “The Revolutionary Kiss,” a poem featured in her latest collection, Hybrida.

For more information, contact your library!


Black and white photo of Janice Mirikitani
Photo “Janice Mirikitani” by Nancy Wong, CC BY-SA.

This week for #NationalPoetryMonth we are celebrating Asian American poets!  With so many to choose from, a good place to start is with Janice Mirikitani and Marilyn Chin.  Janice Mirikitani (1941–) was born in California.  She was interned in a camp in Arkansas during World War II and uses poetry to advocate for women and poor people, as well as addressing war, institutional racism, and more.  Marilyn Chin (1955–) was born in Hong Kong and raised in Portland.  Not only does she write poetry, she also translates poems by Ai Qing, a modern Chinese poet, and co-translates poems by Gozo Yoshimasu, a Japanese poet. 

Listen to Janice Mirikitani read “Bad Women”

Listen to Marilyn Chin read “How I Got That Name”

For more information on any of these poets, contact your library!

Note: Register to virtually attend the free event, “Remembering Robert Frost,” on April 25th at 4PM!  Find more information and register here.


Listen to Maya Angelou in “Try to Be a Rainbow in Somebody Else’s Cloud” for #NationalPoetryMonth.  Maya Angelou (1928-2014) was known for her rhythmic poetry and wrote poems such as “Still I Rise.”  She was born in Missouri and lived in North Carolina at the time of her death.  You can find many books, eBooks and other resources to learn more about Maya Angelou, her poetry, and autobiographies through the libraries at the Vermont State Colleges.  If you want help locating more information about Maya Angelou, contact your library!

VT Tech & CCV – Hartness Library

NVU – Samuel Read Hall Library & Willey Library

Castleton – Calvin Coolidge Library

“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 library@castleton.edu 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 library@castleton.edu or call the circulation desk at (802) 468-1256.