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Monthly News & Updates

March 2024 | Vol. 3 No. 8

The Middletown Library Service Center will be closed on

Friday, March 29

in observance of Good Friday.

Closed today. Be back soon.

Initiatives & Announcements

CT State Library in Partnership with Libraries Without Borders Held Community Launch Event at

David M. Hunt Library in Falls Village


The David M. Hunt Library’s Community Storytelling Pathway, in both its physical and digital forms, elevates the voices and stories of community members and groups. Its intention, highlighting diverse perspectives and experiences of community members, brings people together to engage with personal and global topics.

Photo of attendees of the Community Launch Event at David M. Hunt Library smiling and standing outside in the snow.

Each element of the pathway connects to internal library displays, highlighting resources that support additional learning opportunities in relation to pathway topics and themes. This experience further anchors the Hunt Library as a place that brings people together for connection, learning, and discussion. 


The launch event was a beautiful celebration of some of the rich, personal stories of the Falls Village community, and attendees noted being moved by the opportunity to learn with and from one another in this way. One referenced the "beautiful, stirring exhibit" and shared that she was "amazed at how relevant past history becomes when shared by and about one's community." Read the coverage in the Lakeville Journal.

Program Update: The GIANT Room 

Staff from the GIANT Room led in-person workshops at each of the libraries participating in our pilot program. All workshops were filled to capacity with families on waiting lists. We’re thrilled to see so much curiosity and excitement about STEM!

The GIANT Room has received stellar reviews from the participating libraries and families about the program.

Logo: The GIANT Room in white letters against a bright red circle

To view photo albums of what each community created, please click on the library name below:

Ansonia Public Library

Bristol Public Library

Granby Public Library


In addition, the GIANT Room has set up a “Remix Station” at Killingly Public Library, providing families in that community with the opportunity to design their own collectible trading cards in collaboration with AI. Families can submit design ideas for their cards, which will be printed by the GIANT Room and delivered to the Library by Easter.

For more information about our collaboration with the GIANT Room, please contact Gail Hurley at [email protected]

Coming Soon: Learn How to Develop a Diversity Plan for Your Library


DLD will be offering curated training sessions and an array of professional development resources on developing a diversity plan for your library.

In addition, DLD will present: From LSTA

Five-Year Plan to DLD Diversity Plan: An In-Depth Look at the DLD Process of Integrating JEDIA (date TBA).


For more information, please contact Dawn La Valle at [email protected]

Diversity. Equity. Inclusion. Belonging. Accessibility.

New CT Pages!


Watch the new CT Pages and meet Lynn Pawloski, Librarian at the Southington Public Library, and James Brunelle, Director of the All Access Program at Southington Community Cultural Arts who share the experience of co-creating ImprovAbility!, an improv comedy/fine art series for intellectually and developmentally disabled adults with support from a CT State Library Summer Enrichment Grant.

Participants completed improv workshops with Hartford-based Sea Tea Improv Comedy Theater and created collaborative mixed media art pieces inspired by their comedic experiences. ImprovAbility! was featured as the Library’s November 2023 Artist of the Month, showcasing to the community that arts participation can and should be accessible and enjoyable for 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!

Statistical Trends in Connecticut Public Libraries 2022-2023 Now Available!

Each year, Connecticut Public Libraries make an impact in their communities. The Statistical Trends report identifies and explains the important trends over fiscal year 2023.

As always, we thank all the libraries for providing their data and sharing their amazing work with us.

Image of data-related graphics including colorful pie charts and graphs.

Please visit the CT Public Libraries page to read the report and look at the FY2023 Statistical Profile. 

Also available with the Statistical Trends Report:

Statistics Advocacy Flyer

Create a flyer specifically for your library. Visit the link above to view a sample and see instructions for requesting yours.


New FY2023 Chart & Report Creators Create suites of charts or reports in seconds. Please note: the 2023 Chart maker was updated on 1/31/2024.

Sample Statistics Advocacy Flyer

borrowIT CT Year End Information 

February 2024 ended the borrowIT CT (formally Connecticard) reporting period for 2023-2024.

Logo for borrowIT CT, a program of the CT State Library.

Libraries should complete the report form (an Excel file) for their March 2023-February 2024 non-resident loans. Please remember to certify the form.

For more information on this process, visit our borrowIT CT page.

As a reminder, non-resident loans are loans of library materials to any non-resident who visits your library in person to borrow items that are on the shelf, showing their valid borrower card issued by their home library in Connecticut. Using their hometown cards, non-residents may visit any public library and borrow any of the materials that participating libraries lend to their local borrowers. Click this link for complete program regulations.


Please send the completed form as an Excel attachment to Barbara at the email address below by March 15, 2024, and she will confirm receipt. There are no extensions. Figures must be accurate and complete to receive a reimbursement payment. The 2024 funding for the borrowIT program is $703,638.


If you have any difficulty with the form or have questions, please reach out to Barbara at [email protected]. Thank you for your participation in this important program!

Digital Equity News



Reminder: You can now file for a discount for fiber internet to go with your already existing dark fiber IRU. 

The deadline for filing for fiber operations and maintenance discounts and for fiber internet discounts is March 27

Logos for E-Rate and the CT State Library, Division of Library Development against a light blue background.

For your fiber maintenance discount: please use the number of the Form 470 used for your original dark fiber IRU connection. 

For your fiber internet: if you submitted a Letter of Agency to Chris Gauvreau at the State Library, use Form 470 240013514. There were two bidders for the latter. 


If you would like to file while screen sharing with the E-Rate coordinator, Chris Gauvreau, please set up an appointment by emailing her at [email protected]If you need to reach Chris by phone, please call her cell: (860) 478-5300.  

Affordable Connectivity Program Wind-Down

The Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) is a federal benefit that helps qualifying low-income households pay for internet service and devices. Since January 2022, the ACP has grown to help over 22 million U.S. households (roughly one in six of all Americans) access the internet. However, the ACP is running out of funding.

Logo: Federal Communications Commission's Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP)

Congress originally appropriated $14.2 billion for the ACP, but over time that amount has been spent down to the point where the ACP is on course to run out of funding this Spring. Congress may yet appropriate additional funds, but, since that is not certain, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must proceed as if the program will end.

In January, the FCC released guidance for the wind-down of the program.

The guidance aims to inform interested parties about:

  • The process for notifying enrolled ACP households about the impact of program termination on their broadband service and bills
  • Freezing of new enrollments in the program
  • Advertising, awareness, and outreach requirements for providers and outreach partners
  • The timing of claims submissions
  • Participation during a possible partially funded month of ACP

Last month, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) released information about the ACP wind-down

For more information, please visit the Federal Communications Commission's ACP website.

CT Libraries & Partners for Digital Equity

Do you need practical advice on how to help those in your community losing the Affordable Connectivity Plan access to low-cost internet?

Logo: CT Libraries & Partners for Digital Equity, a program of the CT State Library.

East Hartford Public Library's Digital Navigation Team presented best practices on how to transition ACP-enrolled households to other low-cost internet plans at the February CT Libraries & Partners for Digital Equity meeting. Please click this link to view the presentation slides.

Seasonal Book Bundles at MLSC!

Spring is almost here! Stock up on spring and upcoming holiday books for your 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.

Graphic of a child reading a book with a flower on the front while sitting on a stack of books.

Curious to learn more? Explore all the book bundles we offer at the Middletown Library Service Center.

Important Changes to the Military Saves Program


As part of their ongoing commitment to support our transitioning military personnel, veterans, and their families in achieving financial well-being, Military Saves is transitioning to Veteran Saves.


This move is a focused effort to enhance the support and resources provided to financially empower veterans as they transition from military service or as they continue their journey as a veteran. 

Veterans Saves logo against a faded American Flag in the background

Veteran Saves is dedicated to addressing the unique financial challenges and opportunities faced by veterans, transitioning service members, caregivers, and their families. The initiative is built around the essential pillars of Financial Stress, Housing, Banking, and Employment, offering practical tips and resources to support your financial journey.


The Military Saves website and resources will remain accessible during this transition, with announcements on when content will move to

Please send any questions about these changes to [email protected].

Professional Development & Continuing Education

Workshops & Programs

New Series Starting This Month!

Lead Your Library | Practical Management of Public Libraries

Join us for a collection of introductory workshops for public library administrators and the “hands on” issues they face every day.

This is a Wednesday afternoon virtual series running from March through June. Attend all if possible, or as many as you can! 

Graphic containing words related to Leadership including Teamwork, Support, Mentor and Goals.

The Critical Partnership: Trustees and Library Directors with Jerry Nichols

March 13 | 1:00-2:30 pm

Register for The Critical Partnership

The most critical partnership in a public library is that between the library director and the public library trustee. Join Jerry Nichols for an interactive session that will address public librarianship core values; duties and responsibilities of public library trustees; duties and responsibilities of the public library director; how to make the partnership work and the value of effective meetings. Note: This session will be recorded.

Administration Basics: Being a Library Director 101 with CT State Library, Division of Library Development (DLD) Staff

March 27 | 1:00-2:30 pm

Register for Administration Basics

Whether you are a new director or a seasoned director, this session will provide an overview of the Handbook for CT Public Library Directors covering:

  • Connecticut Laws Affecting Public Libraries
  • Quick Guide to Governance, Laws, and Eligibility
  • Best Practices for CT Public Libraries
  • Policies
  • DLD Resources
  • Consultants and Training
  • Partner Organizations

DLD consultants will be on hand to answer your specific project and program questions.

The Toilet is Backed Up! Hands on Facility Management with Jerry Nichols

April 10 | 1:00-2:30 pm

Register for Facility Management

Review the basics of managing your building and creating a healthy, safe, and inviting environment for staff and patrons. Topics will include a discussion of facility evaluation, maintenance, safety, and security, as well as working with contractors. This workshop provides a practical perspective for living with your library building, regardless of its age or condition. Note: This session will be recorded.

Keeping Staff Happy and Motivated: Supervision and HR Basics with Jerry Nichols

May 1 | 1:00-2:30 pm

Register for Supervision and HR Basics

Knowing the fundamentals of staff supervision as well as the cycle of Recruitment: Orientation & Training; Evaluation and Discipline is critical to your success as an administrator. This overview of Human Resources will introduce you to the basics and provide you with guidance to expand your understanding of this essential field. Note: This session will be recorded.

It’s Not About Math: Understanding Budgeting and Financial Reporting with Jerry Nichols

May 22 | 1:00-2:30 pm

Register for Budgeting and Financial Reporting

Though finance and budgeting are often the least favorite tasks library administrators face, they are skills that are essential to understand in order to assure the viability of your organization. We will review the tools and tasks that must be mastered including accounting standards, internal controls, the budgeting process, audits, and insurance. Note: This session will be recorded.

Save the Date!

June 12 from 10 am-3 pm as a possible in-person workshop to conclude this series.

CT State Library, Division of Library Development: We support... Libraries as community anchors with increased institutional capacity, strategic partnerships, and programming.

Related to the Lead Your Library series, we are offering Construction Grant Information Sessions and Capital Projects Workshops in April and May!


Construction Grant Information Sessions with Dawn La Valle

Tuesday, April 16 | 10:00-11:30 am

Register for Construction Grant Session

Wednesday, May 15 | 10:00-11:30 am

Register for Construction Grant Session

Capital Projects with Libby Post

Thursday, April 25 | 10:00-11:00 am

Register for Capital Projects

Friday, May 10 | 1:00-2:00 pm

Register for Capital Projects

Workshops will have captions enabled. If you require another access service to participate fully, please use the Accommodation Request Form at least 7 days prior to the event.

For other workshops, please visit our Continuing Education Calendar.

For any questions, please contact Gail Hurley at [email protected] or 

(860) 704-2223.

New Series Starting This Month! 


Growing Equitable Library Services (GELS): Trauma-Informed Services Webinar Series with Beatriz De La Espriella, LCSW

Part 1: Decoding the Neurobiology of Trauma

Tuesday, March 19 | 10:00-11:30 am

Register for Decoding the Neurobiology of Trauma

Compilation of BeaMindful Coaching with Beatriz De La Espriella, and Growing Equitable Library Services (GELS), a program of the CT State Library, Division of Library Development.

Delve into the neuroscience of trauma in this informative session. Understand how the brain responds to trauma and explore the implications of trauma on cognitive functions and emotional regulation. Examine the impact of childhood trauma on brain development and discuss strategies for creating trauma-sensitive library services. Finally, explore generational and historical trauma, and how libraries can contribute to healing within cultural and historical contexts.

Recording & Slides: This program will be recorded. The recording and slides will be made available on the GELS Trauma Informed Services Libguides page.

About Beatriz De La Espriella, LCSW: Beatriz De La Espriella is a licensed clinical social worker and mental health expert in anxiety, stress, and trauma. Beatriz works with individuals and libraries to improve the mental health and well-being of library staff, so they can feel empowered to serve their community and thrive personally and professionally. She provides training and coaching to libraries on trauma-informed services, mindfulness, self-care, and more. 

Upcoming Workshops in the GELS: Trauma-Informed Services Webinar Series:

Tuesday, April 2 - GELS: Unlocking the Principles of Trauma Informed Services in the Library (Part I)

Tuesday, April 16 - GELS: Unlocking the Principles of Trauma-Informed Services in the Library (Part II)

Tuesday, April 30 - GELS: Creating a Trauma-Informed Library Environment

Tuesday, May 14 - GELS: Becoming and Planning for Trauma-Informed Services

Tuesday, May 28 - GELS: Navigating Trauma: Insights for LGBTQ, Children, and Immigrant Populations

Every Child Ready to Read

Friday, March 1 | 1:00-3:00 pm

Register for Every Child Ready to Read

Every Child Ready to Read empowers public librarians and library specialists to take a central role in supporting early literacy through teaching parents and other caregivers how to support the early literacy development of their children.

Logo: CT Ready to Read

Join Children and YA Consultant Kym Powe in this online workshop to learn about the six skills of Early Literacy, the five practices of Every Child Ready to Read and how they can be intentionally implemented into storytimes and shared with caregivers.

Who should come? This workshop is perfect for anyone who works with children or wants to learn more about early literacy.

Let's get CT Ready to Read!

Note: This workshop will have breakout rooms and group sharing, so please make sure you have a working microphone for that portion of the workshop.

Rescheduled Date! Booktalk Your Way to the Friendliest Library in Town

Wednesday, March 6 | 10:00-11:30 am

Register for Booktalk Your Way to the Friendliest Library in Town

Booktalking is at the heart of what we do with patrons at the public library. Whether we are sharing books informally at the services desk, presenting a prepared list of books, or posting information online, talking about books is something we do every day. It is a core service, but it is also hard to do. Or is it?

Cute graphic of an owl with BIG glasses reading a book with a full bookshelf in the background.

It is not, especially if you focus less on tallying transactions and move toward an environment of cultivating conversations.

Join experienced Readers’ Advisory Becky Spratford as she shares the secret behind deepening patron engagement, creating relationships, and increasing circulation, all by simply rediscovering the power and joy that comes from sharing a good read.

*Note: This workshop does not require you to attend the first RA for All workshop January 31st, but it does build off it. If you are unable to make the first workshop, feel free to view the recording in the DLD Professional Development LibGuide.

Strategies for Budgets


Friday, March 8 | 10:00-11:00 am

Register for Strategies for Budgets

From building library champions in your community to creating the “need” for the library as an essential service, this workshop will walk library leadership through what’s needed to build an effective strategic communications campaign for upcoming budget efforts.

Graphic containing elements of budgeting including a calculator, pie charts, graph charts and a pen.

It’s never too late to start looking at who your friends (organizationally and individually) are, how to get them engaged in your efforts, and how you can bring this all together to get the funding you need.

Customer Service Tune-Up: Tips to Help You Care for Yourself as You Care for Others

Tuesday, March 12 | 10:00 am -12:00 pm

Register for Customer Service Tune-Up

You already know a great deal about customer service. You’ve experienced a wide range of behavior as you do your best to satisfy your patrons. But sometimes it can feel a bit lonely as you struggle to balance your library’s policies with the endless requests that make up your job.

A compilation of photos of people helping other people in a library setting.

In this two-hour Zoom workshop, the goal is for you to make small, sustainable changes that will keep you focused and energized. You’ll share best practices, experiment with a range of strategies for resolving conflict, learn why investing in yourself is critical, and you’ll have fun as you help each other!

At the end of the session, you’ll have a personalized plan to help you maintain the essential balance of providing excellent customer service while caring for yourself.

Library Programing for Neurodiverse Youth

Tuesday, March 12 | 1:30-3:00 pm

Register for Library Programming for Diverse Youth

In this online workshop, join us to learn about neurodiversity and how you can lower barriers to make your programs, services, and spaces more inclusive and welcoming. We'll spend time focusing on best practices for running an adaptive storytime program.

Graphic of a rainbow-colored heart behind an infinity symbol in black.

Who should come? Perfect for anyone interested in or working in youth services.

Presenter: She/Her - Ashley (ah-shlee) Waring (wear-ing) Ashley is a Children's Librarian at the Reading Public Library in Reading, MA. She is also the Family Engagement Manager for Operation House Call, a health equity program at The Arc of Massachusetts. Ashley has been offering adaptive programs at Reading Public Library since 2011 and has presented workshops throughout New England about inclusive library services.

Recording & Slides: This presentation and the slides will only be shared with program registrants.

Build VR Art in the Library

Wednesday, March 20 | 10:00-11:30 am

Register for Build VR Art in the Library

In this session, attendees will explore the intersection of technology and art by creating virtual reality artwork. We will start with a brief introduction to virtual reality art applications, followed by examples of pieces using the tools available on the Meta Quest. The wide range of virtual brushes, colors, and textures makes bringing your vision to life easy.

Graphic of a woman laughing while wearing AR/VR goggles and standing in front of an artistic, painted background.

Making Instructional Videos

Tuesday, March 26 | 10:00 am-12:00 pm

Register for Making Instructional Videos

If your library has databases or apps available for patron use, chances are you’d like to make a video explaining how to access them. Learn to make instructional videos to promote your electronic resources using video editing and recording products with this hands-on workshop.

Graphic of a video screen in white with a "play" button in the center against a gray background. A hand holding a red pencil is found at the right.

Since this is a small group class, participants will need a computer with a camera and microphone so they can share thoughts and ask questions throughout the class.

This is a beginner class - it is helpful if participants are comfortable with downloading things from the internet and adding web browser plugins. Participants will receive info about signing up for any needed free accounts prior to the workshop. 

Readers' Advisory Series: Demystifying Genre*

Wednesday, March 27 | 10:00-11:30 am

Register for Demystifying Genre

Nothing is scarier than trying to help a fan of a genre you don’t enjoy yourself. Never fear! In this program, Readers’ Advisory expert, Becky Spratford will teach you the basic appeals of the major genres, give you the inside track on what a fan of that genre is most drawn to, and provide you with talking points to get your genres readers to tell you what they want.

Cute graphic of an owl with BIG glasses reading a book with a full bookshelf in the background.

This program focuses on providing you with a diverse and inclusive list of up-to-date authors with at least 40% of the example titles representing “own voices”. You will leave this session with the confidence and skill to help fans of every genre, regardless of whether or not you have ever read a book in that genre yourself. And that will leave a trail of happy patrons in your wake.

*This workshop does not require you to have attended the first RA for All workshop January 31st, and the Booktalk workshop on March 6, but it does build off of them. If you were unable to make those workshops, feel free to view the recordings in the DLD Professional Development LibGuide.

Visit our calendar

CT Digital Library

Logos for the eGO CT program and the Palace Project, both in white against a black background and St. Patty's Day elements including 4-leaf clover and a rainbow mixed into the design.

Ideas Roadshow Titles Available in the Palace Project App!


We continue to add additional content to the Palace Project app to support the 163 sites that have now moved into production and are actively sharing content with their patrons.


Our collection aims to support both leisure reading and lifelong learning. Did you know that we have 100 simultaneous use titles from Ideas Roadshow available? These titles present conversations with experts in the fields of Science and Social Science, and go a long way to enrich our collection for both students and lifelong learners. 

Covers of Ideas Roadshow books: Philosophy of Brain, The Power of Principles - Physics Revealed, Improving Human Rights, Democracy: Clarifying the Muddle

Don’t forget, you can read or listen this year’s All CT Reads titles in the Palace app!

Have questions about EBSCO, researchIT CT, or eGO CT? Please reach out to Brad Bullis at [email protected].


New eAudio Titles Now Available in the Palace Project app!

Book cover: Everyone In My Family Has Killed Someone by B. Stevenson
Book cover: Empress of the Nile by L. Olson
Book cover: Wrong Side of 40 by J. Deleon
Book cover: The Art Thief: A True Story of Love, Crime, and Dangerous Obsession by M. Finkle

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: The 12 Steps to a Community-Led Library by A. Barbakoff and N. Lenstra'
Book cover: The Fight Against Book Bans: Perspectives from the Field by S. Ottman
Book cover: Libraries Without Borders: New Directions in Library History by S. Knowlton,

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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