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Monthly News & Updates

December 2023 | Vol. 12 No. 7

“How did it get so late so soon?” ― Dr. Seuss

The Middletown Library Service Center

will be closed on Monday, December 25

in observance of Christmas.

Wishing you and yours a safe, healthy and happy holiday season!

Initiatives & Announcements

Congratulations to the 2023 Construction Grant Recipients!

  • Acton Public Library, Old Saybrook: $2,000,000, Category 1 grant for a major alteration of an existing building.
  • East Haven Public Library, Inc., East Haven: $43,000, Category 2 grant for maintenance.
  • Hartford Public Library (Barbour branch), Hartford: $2,000,000, Category 1 grant for new construction.
  • James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford: $153,266, Category 2 grant for remodeling.
  • Kent Memorial Library, Kent: $2,000,000, Category 1 grant for new construction and a major alteration, addition, and conversion of an existing building.
  • Licia & Mason Beekley Community Library, Inc., New Hartford: $105,500, Category 2 grant for accessibility and energy conservation.
  • North Haven Memorial Library, North Haven: $249,999, Category 2 grant for emergency preparedness and remodeling.
  • Pomfret Public Library, Pomfret: $1,011,297, Category 1 grant for an addition to and major alteration of an existing library building.
  • Wolcott Public Library, Wolcott: $1,638,250, Category 1 grant for new construction, and addition to an existing library building.

Announcing All CT Reads 2024 Titles!

2024 All CT Reads – Kids

Finally Seen by

Kelly Yang

2024 All CT Reads – Teen

Promise Boys by

Nick Brooks

2024 All CT Reads – Adult

Don’t Cry For Me by Daniel Black

Did you miss us last month? Watch the All CT Reads 2024 YouTube Premiere recording and hear about each of the twelve titles!


Visit the All CT Reads website to see the shortlist titles!


More coming in January 2024! While the website may look a bit barebones for now, there will be rich book and author wraparound resources for each title including engagement resources like discussion questions, author videos, book reviews, and more. Come January 2024, we will have book discussion sets of all 12 titles available for borrowing from the Middletown Library Service Center.

With gratitude and thanks to our Committees!


All CT Reads has three selection committees, one for each age group with rotating members from the greater CT library and reading community.



  • Chonte’ Fields, Babcock Library
  • Mary Beth Rassulo, Easton Public Library 
  • Krissy Warrenger, Derby Neck Library
  • Christine Zeiser, Southwest School



  • Marisa Hicking, Avon Free Public Library
  • Eli Kelly, Southbury Public Library
  • Kristina Lareau, Ridgefield Library
  • Maritza Vargas, Public Library of New London



  • Cindy Haiken, Wallingford Public Library
  • Jasmine Huff, Arthur Banks Library - Capital Community College
  • Marian Huggins, New Haven Free Public Library
  • Cait Orlomoski, Saxton B. Little Free Library
  • Marguerite Rauch, Submarine Base New London Library (Retired)

Stay in the loop!


Sign-up to stay connected!


Find us on Facebook and Instagram with #AllCTReads!

About All CT Reads


All CT Reads is a year-long initiative to promote lifelong reading, learning, and connection that uses a rotating community committee structure to select one main book title and three shortlist book titles, each calendar year for three age groups: children (ages 8-12), teens (ages 13-18), and adults. In addition to the books, All CT Reads provides a supported programmatic structure built around the titles with room for individuality and creativity.


Why All CT Reads?

We want a way to read together. We want continuous conversations across Connecticut. We want to offer avenues of participation for spaces big and small to talk about inclusivity, cultures, acceptance, mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors. We want adventure, mystery, and relationships, too. We wanted a line-up of books that looks just like this one.

Our Partners and Sponsors


All CT Reads is an initiative of the Connecticut State Library Division of Library Development and partners with the Connecticut Library Consortium (CLC) and the Connecticut Association for School Librarians (CASL).


All CT Reads is supported by a generous grant from EBSCO Information Services to the Connecticut Heritage Foundation.

All CT Reads 2024 | Virtual Author Launch

with Kelly Yang, Nick Brooks, and Daniel Black

Friday, January 19

11:00 am-12:30 pm | Register


Join us for an extra-special virtual launch with the authors of the 2024 All CT Reads primary selections. Each author will discuss their work and answer questions from our community.


Recording & Slides: Recordings will be available on the All CT Reads website.


Who should come: Everyone! Please share this with your patrons - they're invited to join the event too! You can add it to your library calendar and newsletter.


Accessibility: This webinar will be captioned. If you require another access service to participate fully, please use the Accommodation Request Form at least seven days prior to the event.

New CT Pages!

Watch the new CT Pages and meet Kari Hamad, Head of Children's Services Librarian at the Wallingford Public Library, who shares the experience of implementing the Summer Buddies Program with support from a CT State Library Summer Enrichment Grant. This six-week summer program supports reading in rising first and second graders in the Wallingford Public Schools and their grownups.

Open to all, the program offers special priority to students who are receiving support services in reading or bilingual education. From modeled read-alouds of high-quality inclusive stories to activities building phonological awareness to family dinner table games and energizer activities, Summer Buddies had it all!

CT Pages is a channel for sharing community engagement success stories by libraries with and for their communities. We partner with CT libraries to create and release short video conversations with the library staff who make things happen.

Do you have a creative program, service, activity, partnership, or project that you want to share with your library neighbors? We are always seeking submissions for consideration – Submit your idea!

Digital Equity News

BEAD Volume 2 Feedback Needed

Your engagement in the DEEP Broadband listening sessions and the public comment process for the BEAD Volume 2 plan is still needed. Here are some materials from the

DEEP Broadband project that can help you participate.

Listen to the recording of the DEEP Community Roundtable held on 11/5/2023.

Graphic containing a keyboard, crystal globe and computer elements. Text reads "Digital Equity."

The public comment period for BEAD’s Initial Proposal Volume 2 closes Friday, December 8, 2023, at 5:00 pm. Comments may be submitted via email to [email protected], or by mail to 10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051.

DEEP requests comments affirming positions and directions, as well as those recommending alternate approaches. Click this link for more information and to read Initial Proposal Volumes 1 & 2.  

Please reach out to Jillian Kara at [email protected] with any questions.

NTIA Posting All State Plans to Broadband USA's Website

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is posting all state plans that are completed on its Broadband USA website. Interested parties can compare and contrast plans to gain insight while crafting their own. 

Summaries of the plans can be found on the Benton Institute’s Digital Beat. 

Broadband USA logo in red and blue against a yellow background.

Digital Equity Article

How to Ensure Community Perspectives are Represented in Digital Equity Program Evaluations - Colin Rhinesmith, Benton Institute blog, 11/28/2023

Participate in the Public Library Association's 2023 Public Library Technology Survey


All U.S. public libraries are invited to complete PLA’s 2023 Public Library Technology survey by Saturday, December 16. This year’s survey will examine how public libraries serve as hubs of knowledge and innovation in our communities, as well as show how libraries have evolved to meet patron needs since the 2020 survey. 

The results of this year's survey will provide nationally representative data to inform and engage elected officials, the media, and funders to increase awareness of the vital role of public libraries in bridging the digital divide and advancing technology services to meet the changing needs of patrons. To take the survey, visit PLA Benchmark and scroll about halfway down on the page.


More information on this year’s survey and the 2020 Technology Survey Report can be found on the Public Library Association’s website. Any questions can be directed to [email protected].

Professional Development & Continuing Education

Workshops & Programs

Information Session | CT Office of the State Comptroller on ArrayRX

Wednesday, December 6

2:00-2:30 pm | Register

The Office of the State Comptroller recently launched the ArrayRx prescription drug discount card in Connecticut. 

Graphic promoting ArrayRX - the state's new pharmacy discount card.

Starting October 2, 2023, Connecticut residents can sign up for a state-sponsored drug discount card known as ArrayRx. Connecticut residents can save up to 80% on generic drugs and 20% on brand name drugs using the discount card at one of thousands of participating pharmacies in the state. 

The card is free for residents, and the only information required to sign up is their name, email address, address, and date of birth. Residents can sign up and start saving by visiting the ArrayRX website.  

Presenter: Join Madi Csejka, Press Secretary for the Office of the State Comptroller for an overview of the program followed by Q&A.

Using Virtual Reality in the Library

Thursday, December 7

1:00-2:30 pm | Register

Virtual reality is a technology that has been gaining popularity in recent years, and it has found its way into every aspect of life, including the library.

In this session, we will explore how virtual reality on the Meta Quest can be used in the library to enhance learning, engagement, and creativity.

We will begin by discussing the basics of virtual reality and how it works. We will then delve into the various ways in which virtual reality can be used in the library, such as experiencing immersive stories and historical events.

Note: Office hours will be held following the workshop on December 20 from 2:00-3:00 pm.

Principles of Great Flyer Design

Wednesday, December 13

1:00-3:00 pm | Register

Making a great flyer is both a science and an art. Learn about the visual design principles that can help your flyers convey information efficiently and effectively, including fonts and the ways they can enhance your flyers.

After discussing design principles, participants will look at sample flyers and use their knowledge to improve them.

Participants are asked to bring a flyer from their Library (digital copy on your laptop is fine) for group discussion and design brainstorming. 

Overview of Northstar Features

Monday, December 18

2:00-3:30 pm | Register

This overview covers Northstar Digital Literacy standards, assessments, curriculum, self-directed learning, and reporting. 

Participants will learn how to start incorporating and implementing digital literacy into their organizations using the Northstar features.

Logo for Northstar Digital Literacy in turquoise and gold against a white background.

Intro to Canva

Tuesday, December 19*

9:30-11:30 am | Register

*Waitlist available for this event.

In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn about the Canva environment and design elements. Participants will learn how to make logos, social media images, and flyers in Canva, and will finish the class with projects they can use at their library.

This is a beginner class for those who have little to no prior Canva experience. 

Participants should sign up for a free Canva account before the workshop.

Visit our calendar

CT Digital Library

Logos for ProQuest, OneSearch, and researchIT CT, a service of the CT State Library.

Share these Business, Job, and Career Resources in researchIT CT with your patrons!

OneSearch can be used to search for business information. Just use the OneSearch Business Profile from EBSCO to search for high-quality business information that is contained across the whole suite of EBSO databases.

Need more information? Check out EBSCO’s Small Business Reference Center which offers exclusive full text for many top consumer small business reference books, as well as tools to address many small business topics. It includes business videos, a help and advice section, and details on how to create business plans.

We also offer international coverage through ABI/Inform from ProQuest, which provides researchers a complete picture of companies and business trends from around the world. You can find these and other resources in researchIT CT.

And don’t forget about Workforce Solutions! Whether you’re looking to find a new job in your current field or pursue a career in a different industry, Workforce Solutions - including Job & Career Accelerator™ - has the powerful tools and expert guidance to help you through every step of the process.

You can find marketing materials to promote these resources on our LibGuide.

For more information about these and other FREE resources, visit the researchIT CT webpage or contact Brad Bullis at [email protected]


New eAudio Titles Now Available in the Palace Project app!

Book cover: An American Sunrise by Joy Harjo
Book cover: The Moon in the Mango Tree by Pamela Binnings Ewen
Book cover: Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros
Book cover: The Unfortunate Side Effects of Heartbreak and Magic by Breanne Randall

Seasonal Picture Book Bundles Available at MLSC!


Winter is coming! Stock up on winter and December holiday books for your upcoming story times and displays by reserving a seasonal picture book bundle.

Book bundles include a mix of 15-20 titles, have a 90-day loan period, and the books included can be lent to your patrons or students. If you have specific requests, you can let us know in the reservation form. Check out additional book bundles available at the Middletown Library Service Center!

A graphic of a person wearing a Santa hat sitting on a stack of books reading a book surrounded by festive holly.

Christmas and Winter Large Print Books Available Now!


Supplement your patrons’ seasonal reading with ten Large Print titles from MLSC. Large Print books have a 90-day loan period and can be lent to your patrons. Email Abbey at [email protected] to reserve your books. 

New Story Time Kit   

Books and wooden Bitty Bao dim sum toys?

What more could you want for the little foodies in your life?

This Bilingual (Cantonese/English) Wooden Dim Sum Toy Set, which comes with the three books and additional items pictured, is now available from MLSC!


Curious to see other Story Time props?

Click here to explore our collection!

Professional Development Titles

These are just some highlights! We've got lots more professional development titles in our collection browse more titles and search our catalog.

Book cover: Inside, Outside, and Online: Building Your Library Community by C. Hill
Book cover: Social-Emotional Learning for Autistic Kids by E. Mori

Find Us

Stay Connected! Join our Email Lists

Our many email discussion lists for the library community help you connect with your peers. Conntech has the greatest reach across the state, and both Goodnightmoon for children's services and Speak for YA services have lively discussions and professional interchange.

Scout the full list and subscription information.

Graphic containing computer-related images surrounding the word "Connect"

Middletown Library Service Center

Open Hours: Monday-Friday | 8:00 am-4:30 pm 

MLSC staff, whether in the office or telecommuting, are responding to voicemail and e-mail during business hours of 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday, except for state holidays.

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