New Book Display: Trauma and its Care

Trauma is more common than we often think. Many, many individuals have had traumatic experiences of some kind. Trauma doesn’t only impact individuals; it can be felt on a much broader scale. Structural inequities and systemic oppression generate trauma for minoritized communities. Many professions are recognizing a need to incorporate understanding of, and support for, trauma in their practices. Everyone, not just those in caring professions like teachers and nurses, can benefit from understanding more about trauma and how it effects our lives and our society.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about trauma and trauma informed practice, we’ve got you covered. Last fall, Professor Marian Kurath and other faculty from the Castleton University Center for Social Justice and Trauma Informed Care curated a great selection of new books for our collections on exactly those topics. Come and check out the display outside the Vermont Room in the library to see some of them!

And if you’re interested in learning more about the Center or getting involved, contact Dr. Linda Olson at

Earth Week

It’s Earth Week at Castleton. See below for the week’s events. Also check out the books on display in the library on environmental topics. And, take a look at some learning resources compiled on a Sustainability guide, featuring materials on reducing food waste.

Ukrainian Decorative Arts Exhibit

Come take a look at an exhibit in the library gallery now through April 7, curated by Academic Support Center Director Jennifer-Kristina Jones. Textile arts, apparel, ceramics and elaborate Ukrainian Easter eggs called pysanky are on exhibit, as well as educational materials about the traditional motifs and techniques of these arts.

Pysanty eggs and textiles from the exhibit in the library

Exhibit objects are on loan from Yana Walder and the family of Olena Lilia Kricka, maternal grandmother of Jennifer-Kristina Jones.

Also on display in the library is a set of books related to Ukrainian history and culture.

Also available, with both of these exhibits, are packets of sunflower seeds provided by “Vermont Plants Sunflowers for Ukraine,” a Vermont-based community action group. Their mission is

“to inspire countless acts of solidarity with the people of Ukraine by sharing thousands of free seed packets and inspiring the planting of hundreds of thousands of sunflowers in every corner of Vermont. Come late summer and fall, our message of multi-colored sunflowers splashed against our blue Vermont sky will give us all hope and inspiration for positive action. Every seed planted will be a statement of solidarity.”

All are welcome to take some seeds and plant them to contribute to this effort.

Jennifer-Kristina Jones has also organized a lecture and a workshop celebrating and educating about the Ukrainian tradition of pysanty Easter eggs.

March 30, 2023 12:30 pm
Herrick Auditorium—Lecture
Christine Levy—Pysanky artist
Christine Levy is a self-taught artist who works primarily in two art forms: pysanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs) and ceramics. As a second generation Ukrainian American, she learned the history, significance, and art of pysanky as it is passed down through family traditions. She has been writing pysanky most of her life, starting when she was about ten. Christine lives in upstate NY in rural Washington County and has an art studio in nearby Cambridge NY where she works and teaches. She participates with the Ukrainian community in sharing the beautiful tradition of pysanky with anyone who has an interest.

March 30, 2023 1:30 pm
Fine Arts Center—Instruction
Open only to students of Castleton University. Please register for this hands-on class in beginner pysanky writing with Professor Schemm. Space is limited to ten students.

Vermont Reads Book and Event

This year’s Vermont Reads book choice is The Most Costly Journey: Stories of Migrant Farmworkers in Vermont, Drawn by New England Cartoonists. The library has multiple copies, so come on in, ask for a copy at the circulation desk, and check one out. You can see a preview of the book online.

On Thursday, April 13th at 6:30 pm in the Hoff Hall conference room, in a joint program put on by the Castleton University library and the Castleton Free Library, you can come discuss the book, and meet representatives of the nonprofit organization Migrant Justice as well as local farmworkers. They will talk about the challenges they face as well as the organizing work that Migrant Justice is doing to improve conditions for farmworkers through the Milk with Dignity Campaign.

Hoff Hall is Number 26 on this map.

You can learn more about this year’s book and how it was created, the experiences of migrant farmworkers in Vermont, and the Vermont Reads program on the Vermont Humanities Council website.

Castleton Loves its Library

Library staff appreciate the appreciation!

Students’ comments on what they appreciate about their library, its staff, and its books, posted in the library

On February 7th, Vermont State Colleges leadership announced a plan for the libraries in the system to go “all-digital” on July 1 when four of the colleges join to become Vermont State University. Castleton faculty, staff, students, and community members gathered in the library on February 13 to express their appreciation for library staff whose jobs would be eliminated on July 1 and the books in the library that are also at risk. You can read the coverage of these events in the student newspaper, The Spartan. You can read about the VSC’s plan for the libraries, and the media coverage of this plan and the opposition to it in this compilation of sources. Double click on an item in the list to open it in another tab.

The new display in the library is on this theme, with books about…books, reading, libraries, best practices in academic libraries, and digital media. All are welcome to come peruse this exhibit and consider and imagine libraries of the past and libraries of the future, and check out some of these books while you still can. You can see a list of the books included in the exhibit here.

Faculty, staff, students and community members gathered to express their appreciation for the library and print books on February 13

Celebrating Black History Month

The library is celebrating Black History Month this year with a book display on the theme of

Black Stories Matter

The books selected for the display in the library include recent popular and award-winning novels by Black authors, recent popular and award-winning books on the Black experience, like memoirs, books on important or previously neglected figures in Black history and culture, and books informing anti-racism work and education. Please come take a look and check out one of these books and learn from our most celebrated Black authors.

The books in this exhibit represent just a sampling of books we have on these topics in the library. To find more, consult our catalog. Also see a sampling of ebooks on anti-racism education in our EBSCO ebook collection. You can also access a wealth of additional resources on the library’s Race Matters guide, including reading lists and syllabi.

Eliminating racism in our society is the work of all of us. One way to get involved is to educate yourself. Reading is a way to educate yourself without asking people of color to do extra work.

If you are new to learning about racism and white supremacy in the U.S., library staff recommend So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo.

An important book on the history of racist ideas in America is Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi. There is an abridged version of the book available, and a version for young readers.

We hope all of you Spartans have an educational Black History Month this year!

Welcome back, Spartans!

And a big welcome to any new Spartans! The library is here for you! You can contact the library to arrange a one-on-one orientation to library resources and services. You can email with any questions. You can make an appointment with a librarian here. See our Ask a Librarian page to see all the ways you can get help using the library or get answers to questions you may have while doing research. Use the chat feature on our website to get help from a librarian any time of day or night, 24/7.

We use the Dewey Decimal System to organize our book collection by subject, like school libraries and public libraries. We have a few special sections, like our Casual Collection for recreational reading and self-help books. The stacks are “open,” meaning you can access all the books in the library on your own, with the exception of books professors put on reserve that we keep behind the circulation desk.

We hire work study students, so be in touch to learn more about these positions.

Again, welcome! We hope you’ll stop in and say hi and let us know how we can help you.

Journal Subscription Suggestions and Changes

As with our databases earlier in the year, our journal subscriptions are being updated. Initial changes have been made based on cost and usage statistics. We are maintaining a current list of periodical changes that you are welcome to view. Please note that we also have full text access to many journals through our database subscriptions.

Still, there may be resources (journals or other subscriptions) that you would like to see us retain, or new ones you’d like to see added. We value your input and you can still make recommendations by filling out our Database and Journal Suggestion Form.

If you have any questions or comments, please always feel free to reach out to the library staff.

Shop the Library Book Sale December 5-22

Come check out the bargains on hundreds of books in the library book sale, December 5 – December 22. The library gets donations of books from the community all year long, and we are also “weeding” our own book collection on a regular basis, so we can pass along these books to you for a song! (Not literally–it’s also a fundraiser for the library–but the prices are low!)

  • Hardcovers $1.00 
  • Paperbacks 50 cents
  •  DVDs $1.00 
  • Children’s books 25 cents

Come browse and shop! Grab a last-minute gift or treat yourself with a book for break!!

Best Books of 2022

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!