Brownell Library Annual Report



By Wendy Hysko, Library Director


Brownell Library continues to serve many in FYE 2017

  • 110,915 visits and 123,061 items circulated.
  • There were 346 programs offered with a total of 4,640 people attending.
  • Our volunteers, aged 15 thru 90+, donated 2129 hours of their time helping with various tasks and programs.


  • Ongoing Adult programs include: Must Read Mondays book discussions; Friday Evening Sit & Knit; the Vermont Humanities Council First Wednesday lecture series; TEDx Talk discussions; AARP tax preparation; Tech Help with Clif; Italian Movies; 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; Live-Action Role-Play (LARP); Dungeons and Dragons gaming; Magic the Gathering gaming; Crafternoons; Teen Advisory Board (TAB); Library Elementary Event Planners (LEEP); Spanish Musical Kids; Songs and Stories with Matthew; Chess for Kids; Knitting for Kids; Reading with Therapy Dogs Daisy and Archie.


  • A second iMac was added to the adult public computer area.
  • All PCs throughout the Library were updated to Windows 10
  • Public wifi was upgraded and converted to a cloud controlled system for better system management and security.
  • Joined Twitter and Instagram


  • After nearly 23 years serving the community of Essex Junction, Youth Librarian Mary Graf retired in October 2016.
  • In March 2017, Julia Rigsby was hired as Youth Services Librarian.


  • 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.
  • 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; Essex Rescue; EPD; Essex CHIPS & Teen Center; Essex Reporter; Essex Cemetery Commission; National Honor Society; RETN; Peace & Justice Center; Vermont Lake Monsters; Green Mountain Roller Derby; Essex Art League; VT Special Olympics; VT Astronomical Society; VT Humanities Council; Dogs Rock Vermont; Italian Club; Flynn Theater; Union Bank;  Essex Junction Farm to School; Essex Area Senior Center; and area preschools.

Summer Reading 2017

“Build a Better World” was the 2017’s Summer Reading Theme. 287 Kids registered for our Summer Reading Club. 2133 books were read. Kids spent 12,746 minutes (over 212 hours) reading and 291 preschool activities were done! 68 Kids’ events drew 993 attendees. Kids were rewarded with a free book and an afternoon with the Big Blue Trunk.

Teen Summer Reading attracted 46 teens, who read 399 books. 16 Teen events drew 103 participants. Teens assisted librarians with and summer events for a total of 137 hours. They were rewarded with an after-hours Teen Volunteer Party with a raffle of great prizes.

Highlights: Mystery Word Week got young people reading for an ice cream cone at Sam’s Scoop Shop. Teens hosted the annual Marshmallow Roast and Lawn Games, performed drama with kids in Page to Stage, were buddies for our Young Athletes program, and hosted a Teddy Bear Sleepover. We also implemented weekly STEM programming for children and teens whose popularity demanded that we host it year-round.

Looking Ahead to FYE 2017

  • First Wednesday Encore programs – First Wednesday programs recorded around the state - will be offered monthly during afternoon hours.
  • Weekly STEAM programs will be offered after school.
  • The Youth area will be opened up with the young adult wall being removed to create a more welcoming environment, more space for shelving and better access to Library materiels.
  • Long-time Technical Services Assistant Nellie Zansler will be retiring in the fall of 2017.

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.