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August 2013 Newsletter
August 3rd at the Athenaeum, part of our daily photo series. To see more photos, click here

August at the Athenaeum

This month's newsletter is all about books! We're recommending some of our favorites, explaining how to download digital audiobooks, plugging our curator's upcoming talk on rare books, and showing off a new display designed to help you plan a last-minute summer "staycation." All books at our affiliated bookstore, Secondhand Prose, are 50% off right now. It's a great time to find a new favorite book.

We've also made it easier than ever to search our catalog - you can now search directly from our home page. Just go to www.stjathenaeum.org and type what you're looking for (a title, an author, or a word describing the subject of the book) into the search bar on the right side of the screen. Press enter to see the results. If you have any questions - or if you'd like a book recommendation just for you - feel free to call us at 802-748-8291, or to email me at alent@stjathenaeum.org.

Happy browsing!

Alex Lent
In This Issue
events_adult Upcoming Events for Adults
Medicare Facts Bingo
August 14 at 2pm in Athenaeum Hall

A fun way to learn a little about Medicare programs and how to prevent error, fraud and abuse. Sponsored by the Vermont Senior Medicare Patrol and funded by the Community of Vermont Elders. This event is free and open to the public.

Arts and Culture Series - Rare Books and the Art of Book Binding Lecture & Demonstration with Athenaeum Curator Bob Joly
August 21 at 7pm in Athenaeum Hall

Bob Joly, Curator of Collections at the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, will discuss the care, handling and making of some of the important books in the Athenaeum's collection. Among the books on display will be Owen Jones' Grammar of Ornament, David Roberts' Egypt, and William Bradford's monumental Arctic Regions. Joly will discuss and demonstrate the use of traditional bookbinding tools, techniques and materials, and present slides of his conservation work. This event is free and open to the public.

Summer Arts Camp Open House
August 23 from 6-8pm in Athenaeum Hall and the Art Gallery

On Friday, August 23 from 6-8 pm, the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum and Catamount Arts will host an Open House at the Athenaeum to celebrate the conclusion of their Summer Arts Camp. Paintings and drawings, ceramics, books, and other art work by first through fourth graders will be on display. The Summer Arts Camp was jointly hosted by the Athenaeum and Catamount Arts as part of the St. Johnsbury Recreation Department's Kamp Iwannahavfun.

Readings in the Gallery Series - Christian DeKett and Ben Tripp
August 28 at 7pm in the Art Gallery

Our Readings in the Gallery series continues on Wednesday, August 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the Athenaeum Art Gallery with a celebration of young talent. Our third in a six-part series, we are pleased to present Christian DeKett, a St. Johnsbury Academy senior from Wheelock and 2013 VT State Poetry Out Loud Champion. Christian will share his original work as well as recite one of his award-winning selections. Joining Christian is Ben Tripp. Ben grew up in St. Johnsbury and received his B.A. from Bard College in 2010. He is a poet who has also written critically about poetry, new books, music and other things for the Brooklyn Rail and HTML Giant online. He writes fiction as well, with one short story from last year appearing in the Vermont Literary Review. Ben lives in New York City. This series is supported by the Fund for Poetry and is free and open to the public.

Don't forget that you can watch some of our previous events by visiting our YouTube page.

events_kids Upcoming Events for Kids
Creepy Crawly Critters with Stephen Amos
August 12 at 11am

Stephen will bring engaging visuals, fun hands-on activities, and exciting live animals to the Athenaeum! This program will cover arthropod characteristics, including live critters: tarantula, scorpion, walking stick, hissing roach, hermit crab, and a giant millipede. This is an Acorn Club event and is recommended for families and kids of all ages.

Every Friday, every 1st and 3rd Saturday at 10:30am in the Children's Library

Story time at the Athenaeum takes place every Friday, and the 1st and 3rd Saturdays at 10:30 AM. Join us for stories, songs, activities, games and a small snack. All ages are welcome!

Summer Reading Ice Cream Social
August 19 at noon in front of the Athenaeum

The Friends of the Athenaeum will be hosting an end-of-summer Ice Cream Social on Monday, August 19 at 12:00 in front of the Athenaeum. This event is a fundraiser for a new rug in the Children's Room, as well as recognition for Summer Reading Participants. Price is $1.00 per scoop. Everyone is invited to attend!

Summer Arts Camp Open House
August 23 from 6-8pm in Athenaeum Hall and the Art Gallery

On Friday, August 23 from 6-8 pm, the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum and Catamount Arts will host an Open House at the Athenaeum to celebrate the conclusion of their Summer Arts Camp. Paintings and drawings, ceramics, books, and other art work by first through fourth graders will be on display. The Summer Arts Camp was jointly hosted by the Athenaeum and Catamount Arts as part of the St. Johnsbury Recreation Department's Kamp Iwannahavfun.
connect Connect with us
Facebook Did you know that we're on Facebook and Twitter? We post new content almost every day, including book reviews, library events, links to our YouTube videos, and much more.
reviews_mross Quick Picks from MacKenzie
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
by Neil Gaiman

Less epic than Anansi Boys or American Gods, but extremely touching. Gaiman's voice is a pleasure to listen to, and he makes great work of making you squirm in fear and empathize with the characters.

Available as an audio book and in hardcover.
Life: An Exploded Diagram
by Mal Peet
A fantastic blend of a fictional love story and nonfiction information about the historical context: the Cold War in Britain. Also, a great updated version of the age-old and forbidden "Romeo and Juliet" relationship.

Available as an ebook and as an audio book from Listen Up Vermont and as a hardcover.
Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World 
by Sy Montgomery

On this year's Dorothy Canfield Fisher list. Provides superb insight on what it was like for one person to grow up with autism. A must-read for everyone, particularly if you're interested in learning more about autism, animal welfare, or cow behaviors.

This is a children's non-fiction book. It's available as a hardcover book and as an ebook through Listen Up Vermont.
childrens_lib From the Children's Library

If you have children in St. Johnsbury daycares, you may know Sarah Broome, our dedicated Literacy Outreach Coordinator AmeriCorps member. Since October 2012, Sarah has been providing superb Acorn Club outreach services by leading engaging storytimes, providing books to the daycares for borrowing, and interacting with the children and childcare providers.

Sarah also helps me a tremendous amount in the Children's Library by helping with storytime, shelving books, and staffing the Children's Library circulation desk. However, my favorite moments are when she's in the Children's Library, and a child walks in, only to exclaim, "I know you!"

Sarah will finish her AmeriCorps term of service in August, and I hope everyone will help me to thank her for everything she's accomplished these past 10 months.

MacKenzie Ross 
Youth Services Librarian

americorps Job Posting - AmeriCorps Literacy Outreach Coordinator 
The Athenaeum is now looking for a new AmeriCorps Literacy Outreach Coordinator. To apply, or if you have any questions, please contact MacKenzie Ross, the Athenaeum's Youth Services Librarian, at mross@stjathenaeum.org or by phone at 802-748-8291, extension 303.

Job Description

Basic duties:

Under the supervision of the Youth Services Librarian, this position provides direct service to groups and persons outside the library building-daycare and child care centers, Head Start classes, and home-bound patrons. Book bags are provided to centers where the Literacy Outreach Coordinator spends time each week reading aloud and leading early literacy activities with the children. Her or she will also assist seniors with selecting materials and will spend time with home-bound patrons as part of their delivery and pick-up service. The person in this position must enjoy working with children and elders. The outreach portion of this job will take about 9 hrs/week.

In addition, this position will assist in the Athenaeum's Children's Library (about 2-5 hrs/wk). This will include assisting the Youth Services Librarian with all aspects of providing library services to youth, including helping with storytime and other programs,circulating materials, providing computer help, and answering reference questions.

Skills needed:
Must love working with people and reading! Excellent organizational and clerical skills; ability to attend to details; good communication and interpersonal skills; commitment to serving the community; good computer skills; ability to work independently and with self-motivation; knowledge of children's literature and reading levels. Ability to lift 40lbs; valid driver's license and a reliable car is a must. Prior library experience or Vermont Library Certification is a plus.

Service year stipend - $3500
Education Award at end of service - $1468

Start date:
September 2013

MacKenzie Ross
Youth Services Librarian
802.748.8291 x303

review_elevy Book Review: Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones

Owen Jones was a Welsh architect, theorist, and designer whose work is still influential today. This is remarkable given that few if any of his buildings survive. The Athenaeum owns a first edition of Jones's 1856 Grammar of Ornament, as well as a reprint from Dover. In addition, the Athenaeum has a copy of Owen Jones: Design, ornament, architecture, and theory in an age in transition by Carol A.H. Flores, published in 2006.

"Ornament" in this case refers to the ornamentation of objects and buildings. The Grammar of Ornament begins with "General Principles, in the Arrangement of Form and Colour in Architecture and the Decorative Arts."  The ceiling of Athenaeum Hall might well have been influenced by Grammar of Ornament. The work continues with a presentation of an analysis of many current and historical styles ranging from the ornamentation of "Savage Tribes to Pompeian, Roman, Hindoo, Chinese and Mediaeval Ornament" among others. He gives spirited opinions and his scorn for Pompeian ornamentation stands out.

Jones was a forerunner to William Morris, and is cited as an important influence on Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier.  I thoroughly enjoyed going through these books. Anyone interested in learning more about Grammar of Ornament and Owen Jones should attend Bob Joly's talk on August 21. A part of the Athenaeum's Art and Culture Series, Bob's talk will include a discussion on the Grammar of Ornament. Attendees will be able to view our original copy of Grammar.
Elinor Levy
Trustee and Chair of the Collections Committee
staycation "Staycation" display
A "staycation" is a vacation spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions.

Upstairs in Athenaeum Hall, we've created a display of books designed to help you to turn your home into a French bistro, a relaxing spa, or an art movie theater. There are books and pamphlets you can use to tackle a home improvement project, play the best golf courses in the area, and hike or bike the most beautiful trails in the Northeast Kingdom. And there's much, more much the Athenaeum's collection. We're here to help you plan the summer staycation of your dreams.
audio_books Downloadable audio books

More downloadable audio books than ever before


In order to increase the amount of available downloadable audio books, the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum now subscribes to Recorded Books from the One Click Digital Library Program through Vermont's Department of Libraries. This subscription service is being offered in addition to Listen Up Vermont and provides more titles to choose from. All you will need is your library card and a device to read on or listen to.

From our home page at http://www.stjathenaeum.org, click on the  OneClickDigital link on the right hand side of the page. You will see the OneClickDigital and the Vermont Department of Libraries logos at the top of the page. You will need to create an account to get started. Once you have an account set up you will need to download the OneClickDigital Media Manager.  (Mobile device users may skip this and use the OneClickDigital Mobile Apps). You can use the Media Manager to download and listen to audio books on your computer or use it to transfer downloaded audio books to your portable MP3 player. To transfer the recording to a portable device you will need a copy of either iTunes or Windows Media Player.

If you have any questions, just ask a librarian!


Shara McCaffrey


newest_books The Athenaeum's Newest Books
Looking for something new? Visit
to view a list of our latest books, movies, and music.

reviews_alent Series Reviews from Alex 
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adam and Eoin Colfer

A "trilogy" of six books, the last of which was written by Eoin Colfer, author of Artemis Fowl, this comical science fiction series has been a radio show, a stage play, a comic book, a television show, a computer game, and a movie, and remains, 35 years later, a cultural phenomenon. Follow Arthur Dent, a staggeringly average English man, as he stumbles his way through the galaxy along with a super intelligent, but severely depressed robot, an overly optimistic space ship, a two-headed, three-armed alien who happens to be president of the galaxy (and a wanted criminal), his best friend, who he didn't know was an alien doing a report on the Earth, and a girl he met at a party.

The Athenaeum own all five of the original "trilogy" in paperback:
  1. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 
  2. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe 
  3. Life, the Universe, and Everything 
  4. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish 
  5. Mostly Harmless 
The Ugly American & Sarkhan
by William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick

The Ugly American is a collection of short stories about a group of Americans in the fictional Southeast Asian nation of Sarkhan. The characters are good and bad, they make mistakes, and have little triumphs. They become corrupt, they become enchanted with the majesty of their surroundings.

Sarkhan, a novel that comes seven years after the events of The Ugly American, takes place during the abdication of Sarkhan's King Diad and the succession of his son, Prince Lin. As power over an entire subcontinent shifts, Sarkhan traditions, Community threats, and Washington politics collide. Sarkhan was later retitled The Deceptive American.

Authors Lederer and Burdick met at the Breadloaf Writer's Conference in Middlebury, VT.

The Ugly American and Sarkan are both available in hardcover. We also own the hardcover of The Deceptive American.
support Support the Athenaeum Today!
The Athenaeum needs your support in order to continue to offer great services and events. Please consider becoming a supporting patron. To make a donation online, visit our home page.

The Athenaeum is also looking for donations of DVDs, musical CDs, and board games in excellent condition.
friends Friends of the Athenaeum

There will be an Ice Cream Social on August 19th at 12 PM in front of the Athenaeum. We'll have ice cream, syrup and sprinkles for $1.00 a scoop to help you cool off on a hot summer day. All proceeds will help underwrite a new rug for the Children's Library.


It's time to start thinking about pies for the Annual Book and Pie Sale during the Colors of the Kingdom Festival on Sept. 21st. The sale will start at 10 AM. If you can bake one or more pies for the sale, please email friends@stjathenaeum.org. The remaining pewter Christmas tree ornaments will also be available at the sale. We need pies!


Second Hand Prose
Secondhand Prose, our bookstore selling quality used books at bargain prices year round is located at 1222 Main Street. All books are 50% OFF until further notice. Stop by and browse - and buy some bargain books! Hours are Mon, Tues, Thurs, Sat 11-3; Wed 1-5; Fri 11-5.
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The St. Johnsbury Athenaeum
A National Historic Landmark Library and Art Gallery
Established 1871 

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