Brownell Library Annual Report


Brownell Library continues to serve many, in FY2015:

  • 128,180 visits and 140,723 circulated.
  • There were 602 programs offered with a total of 9,030 people attending.
  • Our volunteers, aged 15 thru 90, donated 3,864 hours of their time helping with various tasks and programming opportunities.


  • Ongoing Adult programs include: Must Read Mondays book discussion; Fiber Fridays Knitting and Crocheting; the Vermont Humanities Council First Wednesday lecture series; Dine and Discuss book discussion; AARP tax preparation; Tech Help with Clif; Vermont Astronomical Society programs; Return of the Coupon Queen coupon sharing; Creative Writing Group.
  • Ongoing Youth programs include: Story Times for Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers; Friday Night Movies for Families, LEGOS, Dorothy Canfield Fisher and Red Clover Award Book Programs; Dungeons and Dragons gaming; Magic the Gathering gaming; Crafternoons; Teen Advisory Board (TAB); Middle School Planners and Helpers (MPH); Songs and Stories with Matthew; Chess for Kids; Knitting for Kids; Tutoring.


  • All Adult public computers were relocated to the Library Main Floor allowing for better staff monitoring and assistance. The location of the Youth Public computers was also more centralized for better service. New furniture to accommodate these moves was generously funded by the Brownell Library Foundation and Friends of the Brownell Library.


  • After a nationwide search, Assistant Library Director Wendy Hysko was promoted as the Library Director.
  • Carol Boucher, a previous Brownell employee was welcomed back to the staff roster as Adult Circulation Assistant in August.
  • Hannah Tracy was hired as the new Assistant Library Director.


  • Brownell Library worked with the following community organizations: Summit St. School and Natural Playground Committee, AD Lawton School Library, Essex High School Library and Botany Dept., Essex Free Library, Essex Junction Recreation & Parks, St Michael’s College; Five Corners Farmers Market, Essex CHIPS & Teen Center, RETN, Essex Junction Farm to School and Essex Senior Center.

Other Milestones

  • Significant rearrangement of public computers has provided better customer service and more building safety.
  • The Friends of the Brownell Library Book Sale Room increased open hours to all Library open hours.
  • A quiet work space was established on the lower level of the Library.
  • New Playaway audiobooks were purchased for the Youth collection with the help of Rotary and Heart and Soul grants.

Summer Reading 2015

  • “Every Hero Has a Story” for Kids focused on local heroes in our community and finding the hero within. 254 Kids registered, and 2380 books were read. 70 Kids’ events drew 1553 attendees. “Unmask!” for Teens attracted 70 teens, who read 253 books. 34 Teen events drew 406 participants. Teens assisted librarians with summer events and served as mentors to Reading Buddies.
  • Highlights: We brought kids to Essex Police Dept., Essex Junction Fire Dept., Essex Rescue and Whitcomb Farm. We planted flowers for Seniors, cooked for Essex Eats Out, wrote letters to soldiers and brought food to First Congregational Church Food Pantry. We had visits from Police K-9 Units, a Water Rescue Dog, Chittenden Solid Waste Recyclers, and Cartoonists who taught us how to draw comic book heroes. Teens hosted the annual Marshmallow Roast and Lawn Games, performed drama and puppetry for kids, participated in a week-long Greek Mythology program, did activities with kids at the Farmers’ Market, hosted a Teddy Bear Sleepover and cooked with our Library Garden produce at the Essex Senior Center.

Looking ahead to FY2016

  • New carpet will be installed on the main floor - the layout of this area will be reevaluated with a space consultant funded by the Brownell Library Foundation.
  • A telescope, provided through a partnership with the Vermont Astronomical Society will be added to the circulating collection for Brownell cardholders.
  • Adult board games will be available to check out for in library use.
  • Brownell will transition a majority of interlibrary loan materials delivery, currently sent through the US Postal Service to a courier based delivery service used by libraries statewide which is expected to save postage funds.
  • An iMac computer and flatbed scanner will be added to the Adult public computer room.

Thank you for your continued support of library services in the heart of the Village.

For more information about the library, go to, or call us at 878-6955.