Friday, January 15, 2016

Life 2.0

On December 18, I retired from my position at the Brooks Memorial Library as Library Director in Brattleboro Vermont. I was in that position for 22 years, and worked for the Library for a total of 37. Now, what do I do?

For the next several months I am enrolled in the Genealogical Research Certificate program at Boston University.  It is an asynchronous online program that will go for 15 weeks. There are five modules, which cover the following topics:
  • Foundations of Genealogical Research
  • Problem-Solving Techniques and Technology
  • Evidence Evaluation and Documentation
  • Forensic Genealogical Research
  • Professional Genealogy
I began my career in the Texas State Genealogy Library in 1974 as a student at the GSLIS program at the University of Texas,  which is now called the ischool. So, in a way, I am coming full circle.  I will use this blog as a journal for my studies in these next 15 weeks, if I am not too overwhelmed by the course work, but what the heck, I am retired.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Traditions-based Folk Music November 7, 7:30 PM,
Main Room

Please join us for another Friends of the Library fundraising concert on Friday, November 7, 7:30 PM, with Vermont folk-based traditions duo  Hungrytown.  Tickets are available at Main Circulation Desk and at Brattleboro Tix,

$10, Friends of Library member; $15/non-member.

Hungrytown is the musical and married duo of Rebecca Hall and Ken Anderson.  They have released two highly acclaimed CDs,  Hungrytown (2008) and Any Forgotten Thing (2011), both of which continue to receive much airplay on folk and Americana stations worldwide.

Ken is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist as well as a talented producer and arranger.  He learned to play drums and keyboards as a child, and has since moved on to bass, guitar, mandolin, banjo and harmonica.  He also has a remarkable gift for musical harmony, and is responsible for Hungrytown's luxuriant vocal stylings.  Having produced all of their recorded works, his artistry has been singled out for praise:

 "Anderson has a knack for crafting rich arrangements that don't clutter things up," writes Casey Rea of Seven Days (VT) magazine.

When not touring with Rebecca, Ken is often hiding out in their home studio, Song Catcher Recording, working with other songwriters and instrumentalists.

 Rebecca and Ken tour full time; their adventures have taken them throughout the US, Canada, Europe and New Zealand.  Their songs have been performed by many other artists, including Nashville songwriting legend David Olney and bluegrass veterans the Virginia Ramblers.

Hungrytown's music has also appeared on several television shows, including the Independent Film Channel's hit series, Portlandia.Before Hungrytown, Rebecca made two well-received CDs under her own name (with help from Ken behind the scenes), Rebecca Hall Sings! (2000) and Sunday Afternoon (2002).  Rebecca learned to sing in church as a child, and had developed into a skilled interpreter of jazz and blues standards by the time she was in her 20s.  Her discovery of roots music coincided with the reissue of the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music in 1997, and inspired her to write her own material.  She soon developed a reputation for crafting classic, instantly memorable songs, weaving modern themes into traditional song structures.

"Rebecca Hall is a true rarity: a new folk classicist." wrote Daniel Gewertz of the Boston Herald. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Dublin in Story and Song at Brooks Memorial Library, Thursday, June 19, 7:30 PM

James Joyce's Bloomsday is Monday June 16, and now is the time to purchase those tickets to DUBLIN IN STORY AND SONG with Dublin born musician and folklorist Tom O'Carroll. Sponsored by the Friends of Brooks Memorial Library on Thursday, June 19, 7:30 PM. Get tix at or Library's Main Desk. Listen to interview with Tom

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Fund Raising concert/talk on "The Land Where the Blues Began", Friday, March 21, @ 7:30 PM, Library Main Room

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Join Brattleboro's Archer Mayor in Cyberspace this Wednesday, January 29, at 7 PM

Friday, January 10, 2014

Armchair Travelers....all aboard for India...Brooks Memorial Library , Saturday, January 11, at 2:30 PM

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Author Douglas Wissing discusses book, Funding the Enemy: How US Taxpayers Bankroll the Taliban, Monday, July 2, 7 PM

Join author Douglas Wissing as he discusses his new book, Funding the Enemy: How US Taxpayers Bankroll the Taliban, on Monday, July 2, 7 PM, in the Library's Meeting Room.

During Wissing's research and fieldwork in Afghanistan's war zones, a drumbeat of off-the-record and offhand remarks pointed him to one conclusion: "We blew it." The sentiment was even blazoned across the US military's fortifications, as Wissing saw at Forward Operating Base Mehtar Lam in insurgency-wracked Laghman Province: "I glanced over at a concrete blast barrier while waiting for a helicopter," Wissing says. "Someone had spray-painted in jagged letters: 'The GAME. You Lost It.'"

This is the first book to detail the toxic embrace between American policymakers and careerists, Afghan kleptocrats and opportunistic Taliban.

"Douglas Wissing's book Funding the Enemy is a sobering account of the attempts by several US administrations to both wage war in and provide aid to Afghanistan, often with confusing and contradictory results. Backed by extensive interviews as well as on-the-ground embedded-reporter experience, the book illustrates the nearly impossible task of nation-building in a country with a long history of factional friction and transactional corruption." --Lee H. Hamilton, former Indiana congressman and co-chair of the Iraq Study Group

Photo: A Khost Province tribal elder listens to the Americans soldiers’ development proposal as a younger tribal leader sits in the shadow. (Photo by Douglas Wissing)