What’s new at Jericho libraries

By Phyl Newbeck
For The Essex Reporter

The town of Jericho is lucky to have two libraries to educate and entertain its citizens: the Jericho Town Library (JTL) in Jericho Center and the Deborah Rawson Memorial Library (DRML) in the Riverside area. Both libraries have a variety of programs for the young and old alike.

Colleen Korniak, the new JTL Librarian, is just settling into her job but she’s got big ideas to get more people to use the cozy library in Jericho Center. Korniak is pleased to continue one of the library’s most popular programs. Every Wednesday morning from 10 to 11 a.m., storyteller Elizabeth Bernstein and musician Derek Burkins combine their talents for Story Time, which is geared to children aged four and younger. Story Time features crafts and healthy snacks and each week has a different theme. Some days there are as many as a dozen kids and eight adults although attendance varies.

Beginning in January, volunteer Christy Liddy will visit the Jericho Playgroup, which meets on Mondays at 9 a.m. to begin the “Ready to Read” initiative. The group is sponsored by Building Bright Futures and is geared towards children five and younger and their caregivers. The program emphasizes skills needed for school readiness and helps children understand the importance of books. The goal is to have caregivers and children read together at the library and at their homes and Korniak hopes it will help make the library an essential part of improving childhood literacy.

For older kids, there is Homework Hang-Out on weekdays from 2:30-4:30 p.m. This is an opportunity for students to have a place to do their homework in the company of others. Korniak hopes to arrange for tutors to be available during this time. She wants to see the library become a focal point for students to gather and has offered groups the opportunity to reserve the conference table for special projects. A proposed “Tween Scene” program is also in the works. Korniak envisions a kids-designed program to create poetry, short stories, music, art and the spoken word, perhaps enough for the publication of a “Tween Zine,” which would be both on-line and in print.

Tweens and teens are invited to a Monday night Crafting Circle that takes place from 6-7 p.m. Crafts include embroidery, knitting, quilting and paper arts. The Crafting Circle has only been around for a few weeks but interest is growing and Korniak has agreed to bring a sewing machine for kids interested in learning how to use it. Her goal is to have youngsters work together on creative projects rather than be guided by their parents.

Korniak is hoping to have special themed events every month. In February, she plans to inaugurate Let’s Grow Jericho. The month will include a variety of gardening workshops to complement the seed catalog she will institute for patrons to “borrow” organic High Mowing Seeds. In return, gardeners must allow some plants to go to seed so they can replenish the library’s supply. Patrons will learn how to save seeds and start plants. The month will include a composting workshop courtesy of the Chittenden Solid Waste District. Korniak will also work with the Jericho Conservation Commission on a plan to help save the trees planted on the Jericho Center Green.

At the Deborah Rawson Memorial Library there are also a number of regular events for children and adults. The youngest library patrons – those two years of age and younger – can attend Baby Time for finger play and rhymes with their caregivers on the second Tuesday and last Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. Preschoolers have their own Story Time on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. and Thursdays at 10 a.m. For slightly older kids there is Tinker Time; an opportunity to work with tools and circuitry; taking apart old technology and putting things back together or creating new objects. Tinker Time focuses on students in third grade and up and meets on either the second or third Thursday of each month at 3 p.m.

For adults there are a wide range of options. A French language group meets twice a month on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. for lively conversation. Those more interested in English skills meet on the second Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. for the Adult Writers Group. The group includes novice writers, as well as those who have been honing their craft for years. On the first Sunday of every month from October to April (excluding January), the library hosts a musical group at 2 p.m. with local and some not-so-local performers in a variety of genres. Parents of kids with special needs have their own night at the library on the third or fourth Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. when the Parent Support Group shares ideas on how to raise children with behavioral challenges.

For those interested in games, the library hosts a chess club and a Scrabble night. The chess club meets on the first Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m. with the first half hour devoted to adults helping younger players improve their game. The Scrabble group meets on the third Monday of each month at 6:30 and occasionally some bridge players join the gathering.

Of course this is a library, so books are the primary focus. The Deborah Rawson Book Lovers group meets to discuss pre-arranged books on the second Tuesday of every month and the Mystery Book Group meets on the last Tuesday of each month, both at 7 p.m. The Book Lovers group is one of the largest to meet at the library, often numbering a dozen people.

Nicole Thompson, Program Assistant at the DRML, is always looking to expand the array of programming. An Italian movie night has fallen by the wayside but the French language group is talking about a possible foreign film festival and the Jericho Energy Task Force shows at least two films every winter. She’s open to a variety of ideas and is even considering a ukulele group. “Whether a group meets in front of the fireplace, in the children’s space or in the multipurpose meeting room, patrons are fortunate to have a warm and inviting library space at DRML,” she said. “We work to offer a variety of informative and fun programs that welcome all members of our community.”


Free movie series kicks off in Jericho

Jericho - Trashed 1_22_15 WEBOn Jan. 22, the Jericho Energy Task Force will start their free winter movie series with “Trashed: No Place for Waste,” narrated by Jeremy Irons.  The winner of awards at the 30th International Environmental Film Festival, the Kyiv International Documentary Film Festival and the UK Green Film Festival among others, this 2013 film is described by the Los Angeles Times as “a vital documentary.”

The movie follows Irons as he documents huge piles of accumulating garbage on land and in the water across the planet, but ends with a look at potential solutions.  The Jericho Energy Task Force and co-sponsor Chittenden Solid Waste District hope that it will spark discussions about what we can do to help reduce waste in our community.

Trashed will be shown at the Deborah Rawson Memorial Library at 7 p.m. on Jan. 22.  Popcorn and cider will be provided but this is a waste-free event so movie-goers are encouraged to bring their own cups and bowls.  The Chittenden Solid Waste District will raffle off some prizes including a backyard compost bin.  For more information contact the CSWD at 872-8111 or Larry Lamb at