Brownell Library Annual Report



By Wendy Hysko, Library Director


Brownell Library continues to serve many in FYE 2016

  • 123,188 visits and 128,727 items circulated.
  • There were 626 programs offered with a total of 8,558 people attending.
  • Our volunteers, aged 15 thru 90, donated 2,750 hours of their time helping with various tasks and programs.


  • Ongoing Adult programs include: Must Read Mondays book discussions; Fiber Fridays Knitting and Crocheting; the Vermont Humanities Council First Wednesday lecture series; TEDx Talk discussions; AARP tax preparation; Tech Help with Clif; Vermont Astronomical Society programs.
  • Ongoing Youth programs include: Story Times for Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers; Friday Night Movies for Families, LEGO play, Dorothy’s List, GMBA 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.


  • iPad stations were added to provide library catalog access with less space and maintenance required. Two iMacs were added to the Adult Computer Room, one with a flatbed scanner attached. The Library became a member of Overdrive Advantage, allowing Brownell to purchase copies of in demand ebooks and downloadable audiobooks for Brownell cardholders reducing the waiting time for some popular titles.


  • After nearly 23 years serving the community of Essex Junction, Youth Librarian Mary Graf announced her retirement scheduled for October 2016.


  • The main floor was renovated with a new carpet, fresh paint throughout the Youth area and a few others spaces, some new signage, and new youth furniture.
  • The picture book collection was rearranged by genre to help kids connect with topics of interest: Vehicles, Nature, All About Me, Concepts and Stories.
  • The Library began participating in a statewide delivery program for interlibrary loans, and it saved staff time, postage money, and expedited  delivery from many libraries.
  • The Friends of Brownell Library merged with the Brownell Foundation so the Library now has one supporting nonprofit. The Brownell Library Foundation now manages the ongoing book sale, as well as their former fundraising activities – all funds raised help enrich the Library’s activities, collections, space, and help keep pace with technology changes.
    • New non-traditional items are available for loan to Brownell cardholders including: a telescope; a portable DVD player; a disc golf kit; and a birdwatching kit.
    • New attraction passes were added to the collection. Now available to Brownell cardholders: American Precision Museum; Birds of VT Museum; Brattleboro Museum & Art Center; Echo Lake Aquarium and Science Center; Elder Education Enrichment; Fleming Museum; Lake Champlain Maritime Museum; Shelburne Farms; Shelburne Museum; VT History Museum; VT State Historic Sites; VT State Parks; Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum.
    • Brownell Library collaborated with the following community organizations: Summit St. School and Natural Playground Committee; ADL School Library; EHS Library and Botany Dept.; Essex Free Library; EJRP; St Michael’s College; Five Corners Farmers Market; Essex Rescue; EPD; Essex CHIPS & Teen Center; RETN; Peace & Justice Center; Vermont Lake Monsters; Green Mountain Roller Derby; Essex Art League; VT Special Olympics; VT Astronomical Society; Essex Junction Farm to School; Essex Area Senior Center; and area preschools.

Summer Reading 2016

Our summer reading program was centered around sports, fitness, health and nutrition. “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!” for Kids attracted 187 kids who read 1,834 books. Kids spent over 202 hours reading and 146 preschool activities were done! 57 Kid events drew in 717 participants. Kids were rewarded with a free book and a No Strings Marionette Puppet Show.  Due to renovations, programs were held outside under the tent and at the Teen Center.

“Get in the Game, Read!” for Teens attracted 76 teens who read 490 books. 8 Teen events drew 77 participants. Teens assisted with the renovation preparation and summer events totaling 217 hours. Teens were rewarded with an after-hours Volunteer Party with a raffle of great prizes.

Highlights: Kids kept active with Fitness Fridays and Young Athletes programs, and experimented with healthy food in Grow Yourself a Meal programs. Mystery Word Week got young people reading for an ice cream cone. Teens hosted the annual Marshmallow Roast and Lawn Games, performed drama with kids, were buddies for our Young Athletes program, hosted a Teddy Bear Sleepover and taught ballet to kids.

Looking Ahead to FYE 2017

  • Masonry and woodwork on the original 1926 section of the Brownell Library building will be stabilized, repaired, and refinished or repointed.
  • Wireless internet offered to the public will be upgraded.
  • A new phone system will be installed.

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.