Episode 4 - Mary L Blood Library - West Windsor VT

Published on 1 May 2024 at 12:38

Air date: April 22, 2024 - In this episode I chat with Elizabeth Frederick, Library Director at the Mary L Blood Library in West Windsor, Vermont. The Mary L Blood Library is one of three small libraries built by Benjamin Franklin Blood around the turn of the 20th century. (The others are the Windsor Public Library in Windsor, Vermont and the Weathersfield Proctor Library in Ascutney, VT). This library was built in 1900 and was affectionately referred to as "The Little Library." Liz told me that the library still has some books from the original library collection and they were organized in a very interesting way.

Liz was very excited to share the new programs and services the library is offering, including a new public computer, museum and attraction passes, and the really BIG news - this library completed a very large project to catalog all of its holdings from the older card catalog, to an online catalog! This project allows the library to offer other services to the community that were previously not available - hooray to Liz and everyone who contributed to this project.

We also talk about Friends of the Library groups and how important Friends groups are for all public libraries, but especially for small, rural libraries. Friends of the Library groups hold events that help fundraise for programming, special projects and services, and sometimes they are the main fundraising arm that can make a library expansion or renovation happen. Membership fees are usually minimal and if you love libraries, take a look at your town’s Friend’s group or volunteer at one of their fundraising events. Friends are often some of the unsung heroes of public libraries. Find out more about Friends of the Library groups here

And of course we talk about books. Liz convinced me that the YA book, Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross (, with young war correspondents, a love story, and a magical typewriter may be my next read. She likes historical reads and fantasy reads and this had both (more historical than fantasy). Liz said the story has a 1940s vibe and the writing was beautiful and immersive. Divine Rivals is book one of the two-part “Letters of Enchantment” series. The conclusion, Ruthless Vows, came out in December of 2023.  

For long Vermont winters, Liz recommends Live Lagom: Balanced Living the Swedish Way by Anna Brones (2017), a book that was gifted to her by a friend. This book would be a good companion book to The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living (2017) by Meik Wiking. I agree with Liz that these books can have helpful hints about slowing down and living more intentionally.

My books are all set in London, England. My first book is Dear Mrs Bird (2018) is book one in the “Emmy Lake Chronicles” series by A. J. Pearce. Emmy Lake lives in London during WWII and dreams of getting a job as a war correspondent. She answers an ad in the local paper and thinks she's applying for a position as a war correspondent, but the position is at a failing women's magazine sorting letters for an advice column. When Emmy starts secretly answering some of the letters, some unintended consequences happen.

Book two is The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner (2018), historical fiction set in London in 1791 about a secret apothecary shop in London whose owner doles out well disguised poisons for women to get rid of their oppressors and the modern day woman who discovers secrets. For folks who shy away from dual storyline novels because they can sometimes become muddy and confusing, take a chance on this one. Sarah Penner does a masterful job with both timelines and stories. This one is filled with mystery, vengeance, hope, and suspense. 

My third book is Mudlark: In Search of London’s Past Along the River Thames by Lara Maiklem (2019) a non-fiction book about mudlarking (take a listen to the episode if you want to find out what mudlarking is!).

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Sometimes after I read a book from my library, I know I want to own a copy. If that’s the case for you too, the book covers on this page have links to Bookshop.org, a place where you can purchase books and support an independent bookstore of your choice.


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