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Monthly News & Updates

May 2023 | Vol. 7 No. 5

The Middletown Library Service Center will be closed on

Monday, May 29 in observance

of Memorial Day.

Text says, "CLOSED TODAY. Be back soon!"

Initiatives & Announcements

Creative Aging in CT Libraries

Pilot Program Application - Now Open!


Applications Due: Friday, May 19, 2023

Access the Application


Lifetime Arts, the CT Office of the Arts (COA), and the CT State Library are partnering to pilot and strengthen arts education programing for older adults in CT public libraries, as well as build and deepen opportunities and relationships with established and emerging COA teaching artists and CT libraries.


Lifetime Arts will provide training as well as access to new online resources, including Creative Aging Foundations On Demand, for all public libraries in the state and with the lead partners, will oversee the implementation, documentation, and dissemination of ten creative aging programs in CT libraries.


Acknowledging the diversity, complexity, and changing needs and interests of older adults, this opportunity seeks to position libraries and Connecticut as an age-friendly state through this arts-centered experience.


Visit Creative Aging in CT Libraries where you will find the following information:


  • Program Overview
  • Application Process and Timeline
  • Eligibility Guidelines
  • Application
  • Contacts
  • Resources


Creative Aging in CT Libraries - Introductory Webinar with Lifetime Arts


Watch the recording*


*To be eligible, applicants must have attended Creative Aging in CT Libraries - Introductory Webinar with Lifetime Arts on April 27 or watch the verified recording. You will need to enter your name, email, library in order to access and view the recording before submitting an application.


What impact can creative aging have in your library? In this 90-minute webinar, join Lifetime Arts to learn the foundational principles of the creative aging educational program model, tools for implementing a program at your institution, and how it can serve the older adults in your community.


Learn more about Creative Aging in CT Libraries Pilot Program Application.


This opportunity is in partnership with Lifetime Arts, the CT State Library Division of Library Development, and the CT Office of the Arts, Dept. of Economic & Community Development.


Creative Aging in Connecticut Libraries is supported by a generous grant from the Pasculano Foundation.

CT State Library Awards $22,759 to 13 CT Public Libraries for the

2023 Summer Enrichment Grant


Hartford, CT – The CT State Library is pleased to announce awards in the amount $22,759 to 13 Connecticut public libraries for the 2023 Summer Enrichment Grant.

CT State Library, Division of Library Development logo in white against a purple background.

Launched last year, the purpose of the Summer Enrichment Grant is to empower public libraries to enhance their Summer Reading Programs with additional enrichment opportunities for their public by providing library-led programs and activities that spark creativity and productivity, engage individuals, and benefit their communities.


This year, the CT State Library awarded 13 Summer Enrichment Grants, up to $2,000 per library. These grants will support summer activities that are outcome oriented, engage the community, and promote active learning experiences that are positive, experiential, educational, and fun.


We congratulate the following CT public libraries, and their summer reading programs:

  • Burlington Public Library – Community Through Quilting
  • East Hampton Public Library – East Hampton Public Library Bike Rodeo
  • Essex Library Association – Find Your Voice at Essex Library: Summer Reading 2023
  • Killingworth Library Association – Find Your Voice with American Sign Language
  • Oxford Public Library – Find Your Voice 0-18
  • Prospect Public Library – A Library and Community Garden
  • Russell Library (Middletown) – Find Your (Artistic) Voice
  • Southington Public Library – ImprovAbility!
  • Stratford Library Association – Stratford Library Forest to Shore Tour
  • Wallingford Public Library – Summer Buddies
  • Waterford Public Library – Health Habits for Life
  • Westbrook Public Library – Comicas & Connections
  • Willimantic Public Library – Summer Reading Goes Sustainable


“We are pleased to be able to offer this Library Services & Technology Act federally funded Summer Enrichment Grant,” shared Dawn La Valle, Director of the Division of Library Development. “One objective of this grant is to empower CT libraries to be a catalyst for lifelong reading skills, library connection, and peer engagement across all ages of their communities.”


“Building on our recent transformation of our Summer Reading Report to be an outcome-based community impact model,” said Kymberlee Powe, Children and Young Adult Consultant, “we wanted to offer support for libraries to dive deep and design creative opportunities for all ages summer reading engagement, thus the Summer Reading Enrichment Grant.”

Digital Equity News

Looking Forward to Funding Opportunities for Digital Navigation: What Steps Should You Take to Prepare?

In 2024, there is reason to expect a variety of funding opportunities for digital inclusion activities to flow from state planning for the BEAD and DEA programs. Libraries will likely be considered for grants for digital inclusion activities carried out in collaboration with other libraries, with your towns, and/or with community partners. How can you prepare for this moment?

1.   Familiarize yourself with the digital inclusion movement and models by delving into the resources provided online by the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, or NDIA and the State of CT on Digital Equity Planning.


2.   Fill out a survey created to help the State of CT plan digital inclusion funding. This will put you on the outreach list.

3.   Do a community/digital needs assessment of your catchment area. Using tools available from the NDIA and the State Library, do a map of your town and determine:

a.   How many residents need a high-speed internet connection at home.

b.   How many need a large-screen device at home.

c.   Use maps with overlays to determine the characteristics of the streets or neighborhoods where there are concentrations of residents in need. The State of CT has created a useful group of maps and other assessment tools.

For a complete list of ways to prepare or for more information, contact Christine Gauvreau, [email protected] or 860-704-2224. 

CT Library and Partners for Digital Equity is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Connecticut State Library.

2024 Nutmeg Nominee Book Discussion Sets! 

Book sets for many of the 2024 Nutmeg Book Award nominees are now available in our Equipment Catalog! Nutmeg nominee book discussion sets circulate for 45 days and can be reserved up to a year in advance.

Due to high demand, the loan period of these sets cannot be extended and libraries are limited to two sets of current Nutmeg nominees at a time. Quantity of books in each set varies and is listed in the item description.

Logo for the Nutmeg Book Awards

Browse 2024 Elementary Nutmeg Book Discussion Sets

Browse 2024 Intermediate Nutmeg Book Discussion Sets

Browse 2024 Middle School Nutmeg Book Discussion Sets

Browse 2024 High School Nutmeg Book Discussion Sets 

Please note: we are still waiting for some sets to arrive at MLSC and will add them as soon as we are able. All of the sets that are currently available can be found in the Equipment Catalog.

Last year's sets remain available! You can browse the equipment catalog by age group or search by title for backlist Nutmeg nominees and many other book club sets.

New CT Pages!     


Watch the new CT Pages and meet Jared Goldman, Technology Coordinator from the Cheshire Public Library, who shares the experience of building and developing the new AV Studio. The AV Studio offers the technology, equipment, and software to digitize outdated mediums, including 8mm film, slides, VHS tapes, and more! Plus, a digital music and editing suite is available for editing or original creation.

The library staff also offers training to their community, who can then sign up and use the studio in two-hour blocks. So much to do!

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!

Professional Development & Continuing Education

Workshops & Programs

GELS: Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth

Monday, May 8

9:00-11:00 am | Register

Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth is a professional development training that focuses on helping library staff understand the challenges LGBTQ+ youth face and ways they can support and affirm LGBTQ+ youth who are patrons of their library.

Logo for Growing Equitable Library Services (GELS), a program of the CT State Library, Division of Library Development.

Recommended for all library staff, including librarians, administrators, managers, and volunteers:

  • Common terms and acronyms so we have a shared language
  • Defining gender
  • Important statistics
  • Pronouns
  • How you as library staff can support LGBTQ+ youth

Assistive Technology Petting Zoo

Tuesday, May 9

10:00 am - 12:00 pm | Register


Session 2: 1:30 am - 3:30 pm | Register

Want to make your library more welcoming for people who have disabilities?

Join us for the Assistive Technology Petting Zoo - in-person at the Middletown Library Service Center (MLSC)!

Graphic for the Assistive Technology Petting Zoo with fun icons of technology items.

Representatives from the CT Library for Accessible Books (CTLAB), the CT Tech Act Project, the New England Assistive Technology Center (NEAT), the State Education Resource Center (SERC), and United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Eastern CT will be on hand to share and demonstrate various forms of Assistive Technology (AT) that may benefit your library’s patrons. 

A range of low- and high-tech AT will be featured, including:

  • Apps for tablets and smartphones
  • Screen reading and screen magnification software
  • Handheld and desktop magnification devices
  • Smart pens
  • Computer Access devices (alternative keyboards & mice, switches, etc.)
  • A range of hearing-related devices
  • Accessibility features for tablet

GELS: Fostering an Inclusive Environment in Your Organization

Monday, May 15

9:30-11:00 am | Register

Fostering an Inclusive Environment in Your Organization is a professional development training that focuses on educating the staff at

CT Public Libraries about how to create a safe and affirming environment for employees in your workplace.

Logo for Growing Equitable Library Services (GELS), a program of the CT State Library, Division of Library Development.

We will cover information about LGBTQ+ identities, the complexities of gender and sexual orientation, how to use respectful language, inclusive practices to implement, and more. This workshop is geared towards all employees of CT Public Libraries, including administration, managers, and employees.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Legal Considerations
  • Common terms and acronyms so we have a shared language
  • Defining gender
  • Important statistics
  • Pronouns
  • Inclusive language
  • Inclusive practices
  • Do’s and Don’ts for admin/managers and colleagues

There is a Better Way!

Re-Thinking Strategic Planning

for Your Library

Tuesday, May 16

10:00-11:00 am | Register

The COVID-19 Pandemic demonstrated that libraries, schools, hospitals, businesses and other organizations and industries did not have plans to function in a global pandemic. 

Graphic containing the words "Strategic Plan" in white letters on a dark blue background.

Libraries scrambled to adapt services for their communities, but it would have been extraordinary if libraries had a plan to flip the switch and activate strategic and tactical actions to seamlessly transition to a new normal.

Traditional linear strategic plans collapsed and became irrelevant, but there is a better way to plan for your library.

This session will provide the content and tools for libraries of any type and size to effectively create robust, resilient, adaptive strategies that will allow the library to thrive in volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environments.

requestIT CT Open Office Hours

Wednesday, May 24

11:30-12:30 am | Register

Join us for our requestIT CT Office Hours! This is a great opportunity to ask a question or have a discussion about the fulfILLment system or any topic related to Interlibrary Loan that you may have. 

Graphic containing text that says, "Yes! We're Open!" in bright colors. The requestIT CT logo is on the bottom.

Representatives from Equinox, Bibliomation, and the Connecticut State Library will be available from 11:30-12:30 so drop in anytime during the hour. The Zoom link is:

Construction Grant Information Session

Wednesday, May 24

1:00-2:30 pm | Register

If your library is thinking of applying for a construction grant from the CT State Library, this webinar will walk you through the process. You'll learn what you need to do before applying as well as what's required after you receive the grant.

Text says, "Construction Grants"

We'll cover funding categories, application process, grant application evaluation, timeline, grant contract, starting and managing the project, state requirements, and advice.

Grant Requirement: Attendance at a construction grant information session is a requirement for all applicants. 

Who should come? Anyone considering a public library renovation or construction project, including library directors/administrators, library board chair and members, municipal leaders, procurement officers, and building committee members.

Who must attend?

Association Libraries- Library Director and Building Committee Chair

Municipal Libraries- Library Director, Town Manager or chief executive (Mayor, First Selectman).

Visit our calendar

CT Digital Library

The eGO CT Program Supports Reading Programs!


DLD purchases content that supports All CT Reads, Experiencing America, and Summer Reading Programs. We aim to provide titles in eBook and eAudio format and in Spanish language when available. We purchase multiple copies of titles, including many classics that are available without loan restrictions and are great for book discussion groups!

Book covers for The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by D. Walton, Living with Viola by Roseana Fung, Hollow Fires by Samira Ahmed, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehesi Coates, They Called Us Enemy by George Takei and Disability Visibility by Alice Wong.

During the month of April, DLD purchased a total of 193 items for both platforms. There are now 25,627 items provided for free to public libraries. This includes 16,025 open access titles provided by Lyrasis in the Palace Bookshelf. A sampling of titles available in Palace can be found on our LibGuide.

DLD is continuing to work with Baker & Taylor to bring the eGO CT Community Share Program to Connecticut schools. This program allows DLD to deliver eBook and eAudio content, including Nutmeg, Charter Oak, Summer Reading, and All CT Reads titles from eGO CT directly to schools in Connecticut. To date, we have 108 sites that are active in the program and over 1,100 items have been purchased specifically for this program.

DLD will continue to host quarterly requestIT

Office Hours in 2023.

Logo for requestIT CT, a program of the CT State Library

Representatives from Equinox, Bibliomation, and the Connecticut State Library will be available to answer questions and share information about the fulfILLment platform and about interlibrary loan in general.

Office hours will be held from 11:30 am-12:30 pm on:

May 24, 2023

August 23, 2023

November 29, 2023

Always feel free to submit questions to [email protected] ahead of time so we can prepare for you. 


New Titles: Books on CD Collection

The titles below are NOW AVAILABLE in the Middletown Library Service Center’s Books on CD Collection (and are also available in the Palace Project app)! Find these titles and many more in our catalog.

Audio book cover image for Too Soon for Adios by A. C. Macias
Audio book cover image for Old God's Time by S. Barry
Audio book cover image for Justice for Animals by M. Nussbaum
Audio book cover for A Mystery of Mysteries by M. Dawidziak

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: Making the Most of Your Library Career by L. Stickell and B. Sanders
Book cover: Workplace Learning & Leadership: A Handbook for Library and Nonprofit Trainers by L. Reed and P. Signorelli
Book cover: Staff Development Strategies That Work! Stories and Strategies from New Librarians by G. Donovan

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.

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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