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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.

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 Goodreads.com, you can recommend and discuss anti-racist books.


Join Castleton University Reads on Goodreads

Maybe you miss inspiring conversations on campus, or maybe you would like to keep reading and thinking during the summer, along with others.  Maybe you’d like a little more motivation to get to books you’ve been meaning to read.  Well, one possible solution is to join a group of fellow Spartans in a discussion group on Goodreads.com.  You can click the link below, join Goodreads and join the group, and add to discussion topics already started, or start new topics of your own.

Join the Castleton University Reads group
for faculty, staff, and students

About Goodreads
It’s useful for keeping lists of books you’ve read or want to read, learning about books, and connecting with other readers. It’s free to use.  Advertising is minimal. You can use the website or the app.
About Goodreads.com

iOS app
Google Play app

In the app, click on More in the bottom right corner, click on Groups, then search for Castleton University Reads.

To access the group after you’ve joined
On the website, click on Community at the top, then Groups. In the app, click on More (bottom right), then Groups.

Please consider joining!  It’s a way to maintain connection to our Castleton community, and to encourage each other in our reading and thinking.

Sample discussion topics:

  • What are you reading now, how is it, and how did you decide to read it?
  • What are some of your favorite books ever?
  • For faculty and staff: What books are you reading this summer for professional development?
  • Is there a book you could point to as influential for you, that changed you in some way?

About privacy on Goodreads
You don’t have to designate any Goodreads friends or be active on Goodreads in any other way to be in the Castleton University Reads group.  You can edit your Goodreads profile so the books in your lists, if you make any lists, are only visible to your Goodreads friends.  About privacy on Goodreads.com

To check or change your settings, click on the little circle icon for you/your account in the far right of the top menu bar.  Choose profile, then edit profile.  You can choose to have your last name hidden to anyone but your Goodreads friends, like this:

Also in “edit profile,” under Settings, you can choose who can see your profile, like this:

Library building closed, resources and staff available

Dear Spartan community,

Your library staff misses you!  But, we are working remotely and are still “here” virtually to help you with your research needs or any questions you may have.

We are still available to help!

You can…

  • email reference@castleton.edu
  • call us at (802) 468-6409
  • use the chat feature from the library website or here 24/7
  • make an appointment with a librarian for help by phone or Zoom
  • request interlibrary loans of journal articles and other materials we can send by email

Library books checked out

If you have materials borrowed from the library that are overdue or due soon, just let us know and we will renew them, including interlibrary loan items.  You can hold onto them until we are open again.  If you are in the area, you can put books (but not CDs or DVDs or other non-print media please) in the outdoor book return bin in front of the library. If you are not in the area, you can mail materials to this address:

Calvin Coolidge Library
Castleton University
178 Alumni Drive
Castleton, VT 05735

We are no longer able to get physical items through interlibrary-loan for you, but we can still obtain digital materials for you. Use this link or the link to “Interlibrary Loan System” under Research Help on the library’s website to make a request.


And a large portion of our resources are online anyway!  Please explore our website if you haven’t already to see what’s available to you.

Additional Resources


In addition to our regular resources, several publishers have been generous in allowing access to ebooks and additional content during this emergency.  You can access thousands of additional ebooks now through our EBSCO ebook platform, for example. These ebooks will be searched and included in OneSearch for the rest of the semester.


Several textbook publishers have offered access to textbooks and other learning materials online for free for the rest of the semester.

Learn more about all of these free-for-now materials as well as open educational resources available to you on the library’s Teaching and Learning guide. Contact us through the channels above if you’d like us to see if a particular textbook is available.

Please stay safe and be in touch if we can help with anything, or if you just miss your Castleton people.  We are thinking of you!


Coronavirus Information

Here are links to up-to-date, reliable information on Covid-19, the coronavirus:

Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Updates
from Castleton University

Women’s History Month

March is Women’s History Month
This year’s theme is Valiant Women of the Vote

Two key resources on Women’s History Month are

The Women’s History Month site from U.S. government cultural organizations like the Smithsonian Institution.

The National Women’s History Alliance, the organization that founded Women’s History Month and chooses the theme each year.

You can see resources on this year’s theme of women’s suffrage here,
on the CU library’s Women’s History Subject Guide

Take a look at some books in the CU library on women’s suffrage.

See the books on display in the library this month on Women Making History.

Castleton has a slate of events scheduled for the month.  You can see all of Castleton’s Women’s History Month events here.

And, of course, all of today’s valiant women should take advantage of their enfranchisement and VOTE!


Mental Health Resources

As the semester wears on, so does the stress.  Your library staff are aware that college is stressful and that our students face any number of mental health challenges in addition to the usual stress of college. Library staff are collaborating with Wellness Center staff to get trained to help students in distress, and to compile  resources for guidance and education.

Your emotional health and mental health are important as you move through your college years and deserve attention and care, along with your physical health and academic well-being.  We wish our students much success, and much health, of all kinds, and offer these resources for anyone who wants to access guidance or information to learn about attaining and maintaining emotional and mental health.

Mental Health Subject Guide

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Black History Month

The 2020 theme is African Americans and the Vote

From https://africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/about:

“The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of African Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society.”

The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASAALH) started the celebration of Negro History Week in 1926. The week ASAALH chose was the one that contained the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.  Now they celebrate Black History Month.  (The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) also calls it Black History Month.)

About this year’s theme:

“The year 2020 marks the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment and the culmination of the women’s suffrage movement. The year 2020 also marks the sesquicentennial of the Fifteenth Amendment (1870) and the right of black men to the ballot after the Civil War. The theme speaks, therefore, to the ongoing struggle on the part of both black men and black women for the right to vote”

From https://asalh.org/project/asalh-announces-2020-black-history-theme-african-americans-and-the-vote/

The CU library’s new book display is a tribute to African Americans’ struggles and a celebration of their contributions to American culture, with an emphasis on prominent individuals, including writers, artists and musicians, and newer books which have garnered awards and considerable recognition. You can see a list of the books included in the display here.

Black History month book display

Books on display for African American History Month

Not everyone is a fan of Black History Month.  In an interview on “60 Minutes” actor Morgan Freeman said, “I don’t want a Black history month. Black history is American history.” You can learn more about this concern in this short video from the PBS Newshour.


Since 2016 you can learn more about African American history by visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAHC) in Washington DC, part of the Smithsonian Institution.

Lucky for anyone interested in learning more about African American history, the NMAHC and the library’s book collection–and the vast amount of information on the Internet–are available all 12 months of the year.   See #CharlestonSyllabus and the library’s Race Matters: A Castleton Dialogue guide for links to many more resources.