Last year may be known as Schrödinger’s Year – the year the library was both opened and closed. We started the year operating under Gov. Scott’s recommendation that curbside service was the preferred method of operation. During this time the building was closed to the public. We continued to offer porch-side pick-up, responding to requests by phone, email or a knock on the door. Readers’ Delight and our Friday Coffee Hours continued to meet via Zoom. This did not stop people from accessing our resources, as our total circulation for 2021 increased 15% over our 2019 pre-pandemic circulation.
Our annual Winter Coffee House Series continued in 2021, bringing music into your living room. Many thanks to Pipe and Slippers, Deb ‘n Dean, Fifth Business, Jonathan Kaplan & Carol Hausner, Pete Sutherland & Oliver Scanlon for working with us and taking our concerts to a new technical level. Thanks to the Trustee tech crew for making the Coffee House series possible.
We continued to offer other programming through Zoom, including “Meet the Artist” with Al Morgan artist on the “Kill a Man” graphic novel, Birds of Peacham with Charlie Browne, a visit to Slovenia with Barry Lawson and a session with Efficiency Vermont on ways of saving energy and money around your home.
We provided Storywalks® from February through October. In April we celebrated Poetry Month with Poem Stops around town that continued through the summer. Each sign featured a poem from local residents or a favorite poem. Once again we teamed up with the Peacham Historical Association to create a Quest. “The Stories We Tell: Freedom and Equity in Peacham” which offered historical insights into how race and racism were addressed in Peacham, as well as in the larger context of Vermont. The Quest was up for two weeks in July and then again in October as an activity for Fall Foliage Day visitors. In July the Gilmore Gallery reopened with Jennifer Barlow’s photographs, followed by Cecelia Kane’s Pandemic painting and photographs by Jay Hessey.
Craft and project kits for kids included strawberry plants (thanks to a generous donation), art kits supplied by Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity to celebrate Fair Housing Month, and Arbor Day Kits from Vermont Urban and Community Forestry.
Beginning June 21 we returned to all our regularly scheduled open hours, with no appointment needed. The Library participated in “Sundays in Peacham” at the Farmer’s Market with Story Times, making nature prints with Mr. K, and a drop-in gyotaku (fish printing) printmaking session. We gathered in the library’s backyard for our annual tie dye and ice cream summer celebration.
Regular programs resumed meeting in person at the library including Coffee Hour, Family Movie Night, and AWIP programs. Other uses of the Community Room included a showing of Jay Craven’s film “Jack London’s Martin Eden” and a new Teen Cinema Night. Our program with Abdi Nor Iftin, author of “Call Me American” was held at the Congregational Church.
Community groups using the meeting room included: Selectboard, Planning Committee, Energy Committee, PFD #1, Peacham Church Committee, Democratic Caucus, Peacham Historical Association, Yoga Class and On Guard.
In the fall we held an ice cream social and hosted a concert with the duo Pipe & Slippers as the opening act for the Bob & Sarah Amos Concert. Thanks to everyone who baked pies to make the Library Pie Stop the high point of the Peacham Fall Fondo. We hosted the book discussion series, “African American Experience: South to North” with the Vermont Humanities Council.
A big thank you and shout out to the 30 donors who donated $210 or more to our 2020 Annual Appeal. These donations resulted in an additional Birthday Challenge donation of $6,300. This money has been used to replace the carpeting in the library.
The library is a key community resource. The Staff and Trustees thank you all for supporting us, whether through the town appropriation, our annual appeal or our auctions and other fundraisers and your kind words.
Susan Smolinsky, Library Director