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Monthly News & Updates

November 2023 | Vol. 11 No. 7

The Middletown Library Service Center will be closed on

Friday, November 10

in observance of

Veterans Day.

Antique photo of a large group of soldiers posing together. Text: Veterans Day. Honoring all who served. Thank you!

The Middletown Library Service Center will be closed on

Thursday, November 23

in observance of Thanksgiving.

Wishing you and yours a safe and happy holiday!

Happy Thanksgiving! "For each new morning with its light. For rest and shelter of the night. For health and food, for love and friends. For everything thy goodness sends." R.W. Emerson

Initiatives & Announcements

Photos of participants and speakers at the Open House held at the Middletown Library Service Center on October 25, 2023.

DLD/CLC Open House for New Library Directors!

On Wednesday, October 25, the CT State Library, Division of Library Development (DLD) and the CT Library Consortium (CLC) hosted an open house at the Middletown Library Service Center. More than one dozen new library directors and library staff attended the informational event, and had the opportunity to learn about DLD’s and CLC’s services and engage directly with consultants. 

Participants also had the opportunity to explore the State Library’s new outreach van and to play with some the STEM kits available at the Service Center. Many thanks to all who attended! 


For more information about the Division of Library Development, please visit


For more information about the CT Library Consortium, please visit

Please join us for a Growing Equitable Library Services (GELS) Program: DataHaven’s 2023

CT Town Equity Reports

Thursday, November 16

10:00-11:00 am | Register

In August 2023, DataHaven released version 2.0 of the Connecticut Town Equity Reports featuring disaggregated local data on well-being and equity for all 169 CT towns and many other geographic regions. These reports provide access to relevant town-level information that is not available from any other source. 

Logo for Growing Equitable Library Services (GELS), a program of the CT State Library, Division of Library Development.
DataHaven's 30th anniversary logo in blues and purples.

Since 2021, these easy-to-use, infographic-filled publications have been widely used to inform local- and state-level efforts to improve community well-being and racial equity. Version 1.0 of the CT Town Equity Reports were released in 2021 and version 3.0 is being planned for 2024.

DataHaven is a CT-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower people to create thriving communities by collecting and ensuring access to data on well-being, equity, and quality of life.

Join DataHaven’s Mark Abraham, Executive Director, and Camille Seaberry, Senior Research Associate, as they share what’s in the reports, where they get all that data, and ideas and examples on how your library can use it all. 

Who should come? Perfect for anyone interested in equity and data within their library’s town including directors/administrators, children’s and YA staff, librarians, library staff, library board members and friends as well as town officials.

Read, Renew, Repeat

2024 Read, Renew, Repeat will feature the idea and practice of conservation. Conservation as a movement focuses on protecting species from extinction, maintaining and restoring habitats, enhancing ecosystem services, and protecting biological diversity. Read, Renew, Repeat makes for a wonderfully diversified summer reading program that encourages reading as a restorative method of self-improvement and


Logo for Read.Renew.Repeat, an iREAD program.

iRead Resource Guide

The iRead Resource Guide will be shared with those who fill out the Resource Guide form. The guide will be made available to the email included in the sign-up form. The access code to the resource guide is shared with each library and may only be used once per library system including departments and branches. Please share the guide with anyone who may want or need access to it. If you are not sure if your library is on the list for a resource guide, please check the linked list on the iRead Libguides page

The deadline to submit this form is Friday November 3 at 4:00pm. The access code to the resource guide will be sent out before the end of November. 

New StoryWalk® Books!

A collection of book covers including Thank You, Omu!, Winter Cats, The Library Book, The Snowy Day, Wave, & Sidewalk Flowers

The Middletown Library Service Center (MLSC) has many collection items worth knowing about, exploring, and of course, borrowing! We lend resources to public, school and academic libraries throughout the state of Connecticut to help supplement collections or provide access to resources that otherwise might be out of reach. We lend Picture Books, Non-fiction, Book Discussion Sets, and more!


We recently added StoryWalks® to our collection! A StoryWalk® is a fun activity that engages families in literacy while being physically active through walking or hiking. Pages from a children’s book are placed along a walkable path. Families have fun reading aloud together and building children’s interest in reading while enjoying the physical and mental health benefits of the outdoors. While StoryWalks® are traditionally outdoor activities, we encourage you to use these materials wherever works for your library, including indoors.


Laminated pages can be mounted according to borrowing library's preference. Please do not puncture the laminated pages. Please remove tape, Velcro, and other adhesives before returning. The loan period for StoryWalks® is 45 days.


The StoryWalk® Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Kellogg-Hubbard Library. StoryWalk® is a registered service mark owned by Ms. Ferguson.


Titles available as StoryWalks®:



Click this link to view all available StoryWalks®.


Not sure how to request items? Don’t worry, we made a video!


Do you work in a school? Have your MLSC items sent to the public library of your choice - either the town your school is in or the town you live in! Not sure of your library's deliverIT CT number? You can find deliver IT numbers here!


And remember, you can book items up to 365 days in advance and there are

NO LATE FEES! Happy Browsing!

CT Library for Accessible Books and Your Library

The CT Library for Accessible Books (CT LAB) offers books and magazines in audio and braille formats, for free, to CT residents who are unable to read regular print due to a visual, reading, or physical disability. 

To learn more about this service, eligibility requirements, and how to connect your library's patrons with CT LAB, please complete the CT LAB Outreach Request Form

Logo: CT Library for Accessible Books, a division of the CT State Library, against a e-reader in the background in black&white

CT LAB staff will be happy to schedule an in-person or virtual visit to your library to share information about CT LAB and demonstrate use of its equipment.  

Digital Equity News

National AI Taskforce

A national taskforce is being created to discuss whether and HOW local governments can safely use generative AI. Access the full article about this by clicking on the following link from Government Technology: How Can Local Governments Safely Use Generative AI?

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

How Should Public Libraries Leverage AI Technology?

A report released in mid-October by the Urban Libraries Council outlines five recommendations for how public libraries can use artificial intelligence in their work to serve communities.

The Commission for Educational Technology welcomes your ideas for Connecticut’s Digital Equity Plan

How do we do that? Tell us what you think!

Watch this brief video to learn about the initiative and how you can contribute by using the links below:

Digital Equity Program Overview and Research (Streamed Video)

Transcript to Digital Equity Program Overview and Research (116 KB PDF)

Feedback Form: We want to hear from you!

Questions to consider:

1.   What strategies should the State consider in its Digital Equity Plan to address Internet and device access, affordability, training, and support?

2.   At what level should we implement these solutions — statewide, regionally, or locally?

The Commission for Educational Technology is in the process of writing the five-year Digital Equity Plan for the State of Connecticut to support citizens with affordable access to internet, devices, training, and support. We want to make sure that everyone has a chance to enjoy the benefits of the internet, just like everyone should have a chance to read books and use the resources available in a library.

Big Step Forward for ACP!


The White House just announced that it is asking Congress for $6 billion for the Affordable Connectivity Program. If Congress approves, we’ll have the opportunity to work on a long-term funding solution. 


The request is inside a supplemental funding package to support “critical domestic needs.” Congress and the White House will negotiate what gets included in this bill. 

Logos for The Affordable Connectivity Program and the National Digital Inclusion Alliance

What now? We must keep sharing the value of ACP with our Congressional representatives. This is a great step forward but we’re not to the finish line yet!


NDIA’s ACP Advocacy Page provides guidance on how to advocate for ACP. You can also call (800) 397-2937 to reach your congressional offices. Your call can be less than five minutes. Simply saying that "ACP is valuable and we need it to continue" is extremely important (and is not lobbying). The people who answer the phones are very nice and will document your request. Number of calls and requests matter, so let’s get on the phone! 


NDIA’s official statement: "Today over 21 million Americans enrolled in the Affordable Connectivity Program can feel a sense of hope that their benefit will continue, at least through next year. Along with librarians, digital navigators, and nonprofit leaders from 1,500 organizations nationwide, NDIA celebrates the White House’s renewed commitment to providing internet for all." - Angela Siefer, Executive Director, National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA)

Professional Development & Continuing Education

Workshops & Programs

Intro to Canva

Tuesday, November 7

10:00 am - 12:00 pm | Register

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

In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn how to make logos, social media images, and flyers using the online design site Canva. 

Canva logo in white script text against a gradient blue circle background.

Participants will work on their own designs during the workshop and will finish the class with projects they can use at their library.

**Participants should sign up for a free Canva account prior to the workshop.

How to Wear Many Hats Without Losing Your Head

Wednesday, November 8

10:00 am-12:00 pm | Register

If you had a well-defined job, or if your job didn't shift the moment you thought you'd gotten your work done, life would be fairly easy.

However, when you're cataloging books, handling reference requests, managing acquisitions, etc. plus dealing with customers/patrons with very specific needs, you find yourself multitasking and it's exhausting.

Graphic of a woman with a half-dozen different hats piled on her head.

In this fun and interactive Zoom session, you will learn how to:

  • Minimize disruptions
  • Give yourself breaks
  • Bundle non-essential tasks
  • Ask for help

These critical steps will help library staff of all levels wear many hats without losing your head.

Create Augmented Reality Book Covers

Wednesday, November 15

1:00-2:30 pm | Register

Augmented Reality (AR) technology has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for book cover designs. This session aims to demonstrate how AR book covers can generate interest and demonstrate content knowledge.

Graphic of a book surrounded by golden light with "Augmented Reality Book Covers" on book face.

We will begin with an overview of AR maker-based technology and how it works, then dive into the best practices for designing and implementing the augmented reality book covers.

Note: Office hours will be held following this workshop on Tuesday, December 5 from 2:00-3:00pm.

Beginner Book Trailers with WeVideo

Wednesday, November 22

1:00-3:00 pm | Register

Libraries need online publicity and marketing tools more than ever. In this hands-on workshop, participants will learn to make book trailers to promote their collections using the WeVideo online site by mixing images, music, and text.

Logos for WeVideo and the CT State Library with a graphic of a video "play" button in the center.

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 for those who have little to no prior experience with WeVideo or movie making.

Participants will receive info about signing up for a free WeVideo account before the workshop. 

requestIT CT Open Office Hours

Wednesday, November 29

11:30 am-12:30 pm | Zoom link

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

Join us for our requestIT CT Office Hours - 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. 

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

Visit our calendar

CT Digital Library

Black and white photo of veterans in uniform sitting around a table.
Color photograph of the top of the American flag.
Color photograph of a soldier in uniform smiling over her shoulder while standing with other soldiers.

Veterans Day is Saturday, November 11.

Service to Veterans and Military Families:


The Division of Library Development (DLD) has resources you can share with veterans and military families in your community. We have 39 print titles and 64 ebooks available for you and your patrons as part of the eGO CT program. You can view a sampling of our print books and ebooks, and visit our Libguide to find more information for veterans and military families.

The Service to Veterans and Military Families Libguide contains a broad spectrum of information along with a link to the Libraries and Veterans National Forum Toolkit, which was created with the help of DLD staff and librarians from across the country. The goal of the Toolkit is to provide programming options for organizations that are just getting started in this work - and to make it easier for those already engaged to find new ideas and new strategies to increase the success of their programs.

You can also find information about Blue Star Families, an organization dedicated to strengthening military families by connecting them with their neighbors to create vibrant communities of mutual support.

Book covers: Soldier Girls, A Dog's Gift, The Greatest Beer Run Ever, Invisible Veterans: What Happens When Military Women Become Citizens Again, Charlie Mike, and Treating PTSD in Military Personnel.
Graphic for EBSCO Workforce Solutions. Find your dream career. Prep for certification exams. Apply for open positions. Land your dream job.

We also have free database resources available for veterans and military families.

Military to College: A How-to Guide for New Veterans is a tutorial you can find on EBSCO's Workforce Solutions.

Serving in the military opens numerous doors to veterans who want to attend college or pursue a graduate degree after their years of service. This tutorial can help make veterans in your community aware of all the doors open to them—and unlock unexpected ways to earn college credit, find a “military friendly” college, and maximize their VA benefits.


New eAudio Titles Now Available in the Palace Project app!

Book cover: Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Book cover: Missionaries by Phil Klay
Book cover: Everywhere You Don't Belong by Gabriel Bump
Book cover: Out of Mesopotamia by Salar Abdoh

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: Leading Libraries: How to Create a Service Culture by W. vanDuinkerken and W. Arant Kaspar
Book cover: Achieving Diversity A How-To-Do-It Manual for Librarians by D. Dewey and L. Parham
Book cover: A Trauma-Informed Approach to Library Services by R. Tolley

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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