lookingaheadWinter 2013/2014 Newsletter 
Three images from our daily photo series. From left to right: July 31, 2013, October 17, 2013, and November 22, 2013. To see more photos from this series, visit our Facebook page.

Looking Ahead 

Every day, I take a photo of the Athenaeum from across the street at the court house. When it rains or snows or the sky is particularly blue, I know I'll have an interesting and unique photo to add to the set. This coming summer, a year after I started this photo series, I will turn the collection into a time-lapse video, showing the Athenaeum going through a year's worth of seasons. As the weather and seasons change around it, the Athenaeum remains constant.

That said, there have been a few big changes over the years and even in this past year. When the Athenaeum opened its doors in 1871, it did not yet have its art gallery: that was added on in 1873. Its balconies were added a few years later still. The children's room was added in the 1920s. From the 1970s until 2003, the children's department was located upstairs. When we renovated in 2003, it returned to its original location, next to the art gallery. This year, we reorganized some of our existing spaces, creating a space for teens, consolidating our multimedia collection into our "media corner" in Athenaeum Hall, and moving our reference materials upstairs to be with our reference desk and non-fiction collection, including our excellent collection of art books.

As significant as some of the changes have been over the years, the heart of the Athenaeum hasn't changed. Our mission, to promote lifelong learning through art, literature, and information services, matches the goal our founder, Horace Fairbanks, set forth in 1871: to make the rooms of the Athenaeum a favorite place of patient research, reading and study.

This newsletter features updates, announcements, photographs, and a look back to our founding, 142 years ago.

Happy reading!

Alex Lent
In This Issue
acceptsofferBob Joly Accepts Offer to Be Athenaeum Director

On the evening of November 21st the Athenaeum trustees voted unanimously to offer the position of Athenaeum Director to Bob Joly.


Bob has accepted this offer enthusiastically.


Bob's training and expertise prior to joining the Athenaeum in 2004 and his responsibilities as a member of the staff since then have made him eminently suitable to be Athenaeum Director. He has experience in all facets of our services and programs.


Bob joined the Athenaeum in 2004 working primarily in library services while expanding his experience in the presentation and preservation of the Athenaeum's significant collections. For nine years, he served as Athenaeum library associate and coordinator of collections interpretation and volunteer services.


Prior to coming to the Athenaeum, Bob was Director of the Peacham Library and from 2004-2012, while employed at the Athenaeum, he was, also, Director of the Woodbury Community Library.


His interest in collections and archival work spawned in 1997 the creation of R. Joly Bookbinding, providing services for individuals and institutions and created an on-going interest in preservation and conservation of collections. Bob has studied book conservation at the University of Iowa and at the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia as well as painting preservation at NEDCC.


Bob served a key role in 2011 in the reinstallation of the Art Gallery, following the completion of the Skylights Project, and supervised a frame survey to examine, gather information and prioritize the need for conservation treatment of the gilded frames.


In 2013, Bob became Curator of Collections and played a prominent role in the successful collaborations with St. Jobnsbury Academy's Freshman Capstone program and Catamount Arts and the St. Johnsbury Recreation Department's Summer Arts Camp. With both of these collaborations, he utilized the collection and the gallery as educational resources to connect to other institutions in the area.


Now as Athenaeum Director, Bob has assumed the responsibility for the overall management and promotion of the Athenaeum's library services, collections, cultural programs and its National Historic Landmark facility. He is well regarded in the Vermont library community and has demonstrated his ability to connect with other institutions and the public and to utilize the Athenaeum's considerable educational resources for the benefit of the community.


Bob shared, "I am excited to work with the terrific library services team of Shara, Donna, MacKenzie and Alex."


We are thrilled that Bob has accepted our offer to be the Athenaeum Director.


 Bill Marshall, Athenaeum Board Chair
plcDonna Stinehour Completes Public Library Certification
The Vermont Department of Libraries offers a variety of workshops designed for the working librarian who needs skills to provide responsive, effective public library service. A "Certificate of Public Librarianship" is awarded upon successful completion of 150 credits accumulated by taking workshops offered by the Vermont Department of Libraries, or by taking approved courses relating to public library service provided by other organizations, institutions, or agencies.

I am pleased to inform you that Donna Stinehour has met all of the requirements for Public Library Certification and will be awarded a certificate at the Vermont Library Conference in May, 2014.

Mara Siegel
Continuing Education Coordinator
Vermont Department of Libraries
hoursNew Athenaeum Hours
We are excited to announce our new hours! Beginning on January 2, 2014, the Athenaeum will keep the following hours:

Monday: 10am-5:30pm
Tuesday: 2-7pm
Wednesday: 10am-5:30pm
Thursday: 2-7pm
Friday: 10am-5:30pm
Saturday: 10am-3pm
Sunday: Closed

This schedule will allow us to offer you a wider range of times to come to the Athenaeum.
connectConnect 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.
adulteventsUpcoming Events for Adults
First Wednesdays Series: What We Learn When We Learn About History, with Professor Woden Teachout
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 7pm in Athenaeum Hall
Henry Ford famously said, "History is more or less bunk." Author, historian, and professor Woden Teachout discusses why history does matter, exploring the intellectual skills and larger cultural understandings that come from studying the past.

2013 Vermont Reads - Poetry 180, A Turning Back to Poetry by Billy Collins, led by Poet Ralph Culver
Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 4pm
Please join us for a book discussion of this year's selection from the Vermont Humanities Council's Statewide One-Book Community Reading Program. Billy Collins, VT Poet Laureate from 2001-2003, selected this anthology of inviting, contemporary poems. Limited copies are available at the Athenaeum to borrow, but anyone who loves poetry, or who has read this collection is welcome to attend. Ralph Culver, one of our Readings in the Gallery poets, will lead the discussion. Refreshments will be provided.

Scrabble Club
Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 11pm in the Teen Room
Scrabble Club meets at the Athenaeum the first Saturday of each month from 11:00 to 3:00. This is an all-inclusive group of players from beginner to intermediate who love to play Scrabble, and who are looking for more people to join them. No commitment or fees required. If interested, just stop by on Saturday, December 7 or call Tim Hogeboom at 563-2934 for more information.

Readings in the Gallery Series: Elena Georgiou
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 7pm in the Gallery
The St. Johnsbury Athenaeum will host the year's final Readings in the Gallery on Wednesday, December 11 at 7:00 p.m. Vermont poet, Elena Georgiou of Grafton, will read from her two poetry collections and a new short story collection, The Immigrant's Refrigerator. The event will be followed by a book signing and reception.

Victorian Christmas Celebration with the Friends of the Athenaeum
Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 2pm
Join the Friends of the Athenaeum for this annual event featuring holiday music, refreshments, and a special reading of The Night Before Christmas. 

First Wednesdays Series: Daily Life in Prewar Nazi Germany, with Professor Paul Vincent
Wednesday, January 8, 2014 at 7pm in Athenaeum Hall
Focusing on the prewar experience of non-Jewish citizens, Keene State professor Paul Vincent examines how ideology and terror undermined human dignity, numbed self-awareness, and atomized German society.

First Wednesdays Series: The Life and Times of Thelonious Monk, with Eugene Uman
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at 7pm in Athenaeum Hall
Artistic director of the Vermont Jazz Center Eugene Uman considers the life and improvisational style of American jazz pianist and composer Thelonius Monk, widely considered one of the giants of American music.

Arts and Culture Series: Photography with José Benitez  
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 at 7pm in Athenaeum Hall 
Don't forget that you can watch some of our previous events by visiting our YouTube page.

teeneventsUpcoming Events for Teens
Teen Advisory Board meeting
Date and time to be announced. Email MacKenzie Ross, our Youth Services Librarian, at mross@stjathenaeum.org, for more information.
kidseventsUpcoming Events for Children
  • Friday, December 6, 2013 at 10:30 in the Children's Room
  • Friday, December 20, 2013 at 10:30 in the Children's Room
  • Friday, December 27, 2013 at 10:30 in the Children's Room
  • Friday, January 3, 2014 at 10:30 in the Children's Room
  • Friday, January 10, 2014 at 10:30 in the Children's Room
  • Friday, January 17, 2014 at 10:30 in the Children's Room
  • Friday, January 24, 2014 at 10:30 in the Children's Room
  • Friday, January 31, 2014 at 10:30 in the Children's Room
  • Friday, February 7, 2014 at 10:30 in the Children's Room
  • Friday, February 14, 2014 at 10:30 in the Children's Room
  • Friday, February 21, 2014 at 10:30 in the Children's Room
  • Friday, February 28, 2014 at 10:30 in the Children's Room
Family Workshop - Fun with Pop-Ups with MaryLiz Riddle
Saturday, December 7, 2013 from 10:30-12:30 in the Gallery
On December 7 from 10:30-12:30, the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum will host a workshop for children in Grades K-3 in collaboration with Catamount Arts. All you need to bring is your imagination and a parent or older friend to help out and share the fun. All materials will be provided. However if you have a picture or drawing of a pet or animal, bring it along for inspiration. You will fold, cut and glue to create your very own pop-up! This workshop is free, but you MUST register in advance, as space is limited. Please call Outback Artspace at 802-748-2600, ext. 108 or St. Johnsbury Athenaeum at 802-748-8291, ext. 306. Instructor MaryLiz Riddle is a bookbinder and paper artist with more than 30 years of experience teaching a variety of book arts. She is a working member of the Northeast Kingdom Artisans' Guild and the Memphremagog Artists' Collaborative.
yslFrom the Youth Services Librarian

The Year of the Book 


2013-2014 is the Year of the Book in St. Johnsbury! The St. Johnsbury School is one of six schools in Vermont and New Hampshire that the Children's Literacy Foundation (CLiF) has nominated to receive a year-long grant to support literacy for St. Johnsbury kids. So far, the St. Johnsbury School has held an assembly where 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students were able to choose books to keep, and the School Library and Athenaeum each received a collection of books that kids can borrow. At the Athenaeum, you can now find some classic folklore picture books, including Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock, retold by Eric Kimmel, and Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears, by Verna Aardema. You can also find new chapter books, such as Clare Vanderpool's Navigating Early and the much-anticipated sequel to Jennifer Nielsen's The False Prince: The Runaway King. Be sure to keep your ears open for more news from the School!


News from the Teen Room 

If you haven't been in the Teen Room recently (located on the First Floor, just off of the Reading Room), be sure to check out the small collections of music and video games! Video games include Katamari Damacy for PlayStation 2, Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly for Nintendo GameCube, and MechAssault for Xbox. Our growing music collection includes 19 from Adele, the self-titled album from Metro Station, and John Mayer's Heavier Things. Visit the Teen Room for more items, and if you have any music CDs, video games, or DVD movies you'd like to donate, contact Alex Lent at alent@stjathenaeum.org.

MacKenzie Ross
Youth Services Librarian
gallerynewsNews from the Gallery
Frank Mason Paintings and Raffle

The Athenaeum recently acquired a significant landscape by internationally recognized artist, scholar, and instructor Frank Mason. On October 12 Anne Mason unveiled the painting, The Great Elm, which now hangs in a place of prominence at the entrance to Athenaeum Hall. The oil on canvas composition demonstrates Mason's command of materials and was inspired by Mason's many summers spent in Vermont and his love and admiration for the beautiful landscapes of the Northeast Kingdom.


In 2005 the Athenaeum honored Frank Mason with the Athenaeum Award, whch recognized Mason's extraordinary body of work and his passionate dedication to keeping alive the traditions of the Old Masters. International recognition of Frank Mason's work earned him a legacy of honors and awards, including election to the National Academy of Design. We are very grateful to Frank's wife Anne Mason and the Frank Mason Estate for the donation of this major work.

Anne and the Foundation have also donated a smaller landscape of Frank's, River Scene, Hyde Park, Vermont as a fund raiser for the Athenaeum. Only 100 tickets will be sold at $120 each.


Tickets can be purchased online at  http://stjathenaeum.org/mason.htm, or by calling Director Bob Joly at (802) 748-8291, extension 306.  


The drawing will take place on December 15, 2013.

Warren Kimble Exhibit

Through December visitors can see recent work by renowned artist Warren Kimble. Well known for his American Folk Art this exhibition features thirteen abstract pieces from a larger body of work entitled "Let The Sun Shine," a "collection of abstract oil paintings (that) reflect an unusual optimism for the future through the textures, shapes, and color palette that Warren creates". The exhibit is in Athenaeum Hall, the Athenaeum's second floor lecture and gallery space. At an October celebration in his hometown of Brandon Warren Kimble was awarded the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts for 2013.

Bob Joly
poemA Poem by Alice Burnham
St. Johnsbury Athenaeum

--- Alice B. Burnham, June 2011

Georgia O'Keeffe, 2009 Lifetime Original Movie starring Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons


Known for her striking flower paintings and other captivating works, Georgia O'Keeffe was one of the greatest American artists of the twentieth century. This movie was a beautiful drama chronicling her life and work up until her death at age 98. Her infamous love affair with and marriage to gallery owner and photographer Alfred Stieglitz inspired some of her most famous paintings, and the story that unfolds is bittersweet. Available on DVD. The Athenaeum also has O'Keeffe's biography in both our adult and juvenile collections. 

- Donna Stinehour, Associate Librarian 

Bootstrapper, a memoir by Mardi Jo Link


This book was a classic case of you can't tell a book by its cover! At first I avoided it because I could only see the ax, and thought it was about a Maine logger, or an ax murderer! It couldn't be farther from either. This book is the true story of a woman from Michigan who, after a difficult divorce, reclaims her century-old farmhouse, raises three sons and makes a success of her life, all with grace and humor. She literally pulls herself up by her "bootstraps" and survives. Great read! Available in print and audio.

- Donna Stinehour, Associate Librarian

Knit One Knit All by Elizabeth Zimmermann


Based on Zimmermann's garter stitch designs, this is a great "how-to" book for beginning knitters and contains fun projects for the experienced knitter too. She writes, "One can only cite the elegant appearance of Garter stitch. It forms beautiful crinkly ridges, which are handsome in themselves." The pages are filled with lovely designs from socks to hats, potholders to vests, and a wonderful assortment of sweaters. For young and old, the patterns are varied enough to satisfy anyone's taste. The patterns range from basic to stylish and even the most timid of knitters will feel inspired to tackle several projects. With the holidays coming and gift ideas resting on everyone's mind, check out this great knitting book. Available in print

- Shara McCaffrey, Librarian

30 Arduino Projects for the Evil Genius by Simon Monk 

An Arduino board is an open-source electronics platform that contains a USB plug that can connect to your computer and sockets that can connect to motors, light sensors, microphones, relays, and more. A community of engineers, programmers, art enthusiasts and others share their designs and expertise on the internet. This book explains how to install the software, how to order the Arduino Board, and offers step by step instructions for building various projects, including a strobe light, a traffic light, and a Morse Code translator. Radio Shack sells Arduino starter kits. Have fun! Available in print.

- Shara McCaffrey, Librarian

Wonder by R.J. Palacio


The Vermont Humanities Council just announced the 2014 Vermont Reads book: R.J. Palacio's Wonder. This book starts out with our hero, Auggie Pullman, telling us how he is very much like an ordinary kid who likes ordinary things like eating ice cream and riding his bike and playing with his Xbox. However, Auggie admits the he is also very much NOT ordinary because "ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds." Auggie has a facial deformity, and he is just starting 5th grade. Throughout the story, we hear from a variety of characters, including Auggie himself and his friends and family members, about Auggie's year in 5th grade. As expected, it includes numerous struggles, and Auggie learns who his true friends really are, but it ends on an uplifting note. A superb read for greater discussion about self image, bullying, and finding the courage inside of yourself. Available in print

-MacKenzie Ross, Youth Services Librarian 

Warning: Do Not Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt 


You should not open this book, no matter what. It is immensely dangerous. This is a hilarious picture book that gets kids excited about reading and embarking on an adventure. Sneaking from the sides of the pages, we have our messy monkeys that paint all over the pages, then the ear-splitting toucans disrupt the monkeys' haven, and finally the terrifying alligator that attacks the monkeys and toucans. The audience must plan a trap to keep all of the animals inside of the book, but will it work? A fun and interactive tale that kids will ask for again and again. Available in print

- MacKenzie Ross, Youth Services Librarian

Blink & Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones 


If you're a fan of thrilling, dark mysteries, this is the book for you. Blink (Brent) and Caution (Kitty) find themselves on the streets of Toronto-Blink running towards a girl he thinks he can help and Caution running away from her abusive boyfriend. By chance, they run into each other on the train platform and end up working together to solve the mystery of an "abducted" businessman (the father of the girl Blink is trying to help). They quickly find themselves in over their heads, but their kindness and support for each other triumphs. Not only a great mystery, but also a touching love story. Available in print

-MacKenzie Ross, Youth Services Librarian

fairbanksHorace Fairbanks' Opening Day Speech

Fellow Citizens: It was early a much cherished purpose of mine, to place at the disposal of the citizens of this town in my life time, a Free Public Library. A little more than three years ago the work was commenced - the foundations of this building were laid. We now see it completed.


Some of you have been made aware of the tedious and vexation delays experiences in seeming the complement of books - American and Foreign - for this Library, and the great labor in arranging and cataloguing the books. For your patient waiting you have my thanks.


The advantages to be derived from this Institution have been truthfully and forcibly set forth in the able lectures just delivered in this Hall, and I here take great pleasure in expressing to these gentlemen my most hearty thanks and appreciation of their labor of love: and in expressing my own gratitude and obligation I am sure it is shared in by all who had the pleasure of listening to these lectures.


In the practical working of an Institution of this kind, it is obvious that it will be necessary to have the best system. Much time has been spent in preparing a code of rules and regulations, providing for the proper protection and preservation of the building and its contents. These regulations have been printed in pamphlet form and will be furnished to all desiring to share in the privileges of the Library. I doubt not we shall have the hearty co-operation of all our citizens in efforts to secure a strict observance of the established regulations of the Athenaeum.


The following persons have kindly consented to be associated with me as Trustees of the Institution: Messrs. William W. Thayer, Edward T. Fairbanks, Andrew E. Rankin, Franklin Fairbanks.


In seeming for Librarian such a man as Mr. Thayer - a man who has so much at heart the elevation of the public mind and taste - in connection with this Institution, our citizens are to be congratulated.


I should do injustice to myself if I did not here make mention of the faithfulness and personal interest shown by my Architect and Master Builder, and all who have had part in the erection, construction and fiting up of the building. They have my warmest thanks.


One word of explanation in regard to the Reading-Room. The newspapers of the day (with the exception of a few leading standard dailies and weeklies)., will not be found there, but a full line of periodical literature, and this is offered as an introduction to something higher in the adjoining rooms.


And now fellow citizens and townsmen, it gives me profound satisfaction and sincere pleasure to present to you and your children, and to all who may come after you, the free use of this building and its contents. My highest ambition will be satisfied and fullest expectations realized, if now, and in the coming years, the people make the rooms of the Athenaeum a favorite place of patient research, reading and study.


- Horace Fairbanks, printed in The St. Johnsbury Caledonian, December 01, 1871 

 supportboxSupport 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.
giftshopSt. Johnsbury Athenaeum Gift Shop
Visit the Athenaeum to purchase holiday gifts. We have posters of your favorite pieces of Athenaeum art, note cards, postcards, catalogs of our art collection, bookmarks, holiday ornaments, and books from local authors.

Following is a selection of some of our most popular gifts.
Handbook of the Art Collection................................................$19.95
Ornaments.............................................................................$10 each

Ornaments available: North Congregational Church, St. Johnsbury House, Summer Street School, St. Johnsbury Railroad Station, Fairbanks Museum, Fuller Hall, St. Johnsbury Athenaeum 
Notecards...............................................................$2.50 each

Postcards........................................................................$1 each

IRAInformation about 2013 Gifting to the St Johnsbury Athenaeum using the IRA rollover provision:
The IRA charitable rollover legislation is set to expire this year on December 31,

2013. This tax provision allows you to transfer up to $100,000 per year from your individual retirement account (IRA) to a qualified charity without incurring undesirable tax effects. You may contribute funds this way to the Athenaeum if:

  • You are age 70˝ or older at the time of the gift.
  • You transfer any amount up to $100,000 directly from your IRA(s) to the Athenaeum.

Please note that:

  • This tax-saving opportunity applies only to IRAs and not other types of retirement plans such as pension, profit sharing, 401(k) or 403(b) plans.
  • If you have not yet taken your required minimum distribution, the charitable IRA rollover gift can satisfy all or part of that requirement.
  • You must transfer the funds outright to the Athenaeum.  
  • If your spouse has an IRA, they may also transfer up to $100,000.

Your donation will support the Athenaeum in providing services, programs and

benefits to our community! If you wish to make donation that uses this tax provision, contact your IRA custodian to determine if your IRA plan is available for a rollover and to complete the gift by December 21, 2013.

friendsFriends of the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum
The Friends of the Athenaeum's annual Victorian Christmas will be held on Saturday, December 14, from 2-3pm at the Athenaeum. Join us for this annual event featuring holiday music, refreshments, and a special reading of The Night Before Christmas.

The Friends of the Athenaeum have recently joined Operation Paperback. This non-profit organization collects gently used paperbacks nationwide and sends them to American troops overseas, as well as to veterans and military families here at home. Several times a month, Secondhand Prose volunteers will respond to requests from military personnel through Operation Paperback and ship books as requested.

We need your help to defray the mailing costs. You can make a donation via check, payable to Friends of the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, and mail it to 1171 Main Street, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819 or drop it off at the Athenaeum's front desk. Make sure to add "Operation Paperback" as a note on your check. Thanks for your support.
The St. Johnsbury Athenaeum
A National Historic Landmark Library and Art Gallery
Established 1871 

Copyright © 2013. All Rights Reserved.