Book group returns… with modifications

Are you one of those who have been missing our book groups? I know I have.

The Library Book by Susan Orlean
Join us for a book discussion

I'm not sure how we are going to do it, but I have 15 copies of The Library Book by Susan Orlean on the way. I could collect articles, photos, and commentary into a blog post and invite you to leave comments. We could have a regular online meeting. A few of us could get together to talk about it at social distance and invite you to chime in from home or record it to YouTube and invite comments? I'm just not sure what would be best.

If you're interested in reading it and then joining a discussion, please fill out my handy dandy form and I will create a list and then be in touch about how it will work. Sometimes it's best to just get started, right?

Update on building status

Hello my friends,

Our incredible Board of Library Trustees is regularly reassessing the difficult decision to limit access to the building; weighing a number of factors. Throughout they have encouraged the staff to focus most of our attention and resources on developing new ways to deliver everything you are used to having from us.

We have subscribed to Kanopy to provide movies. We added Creative Bug to offer craft classes. We change our Story Book Trail more often. We developed new policies and conducted research to better guide our decision making. We won a grant to add hotspots and laptops to loan as well as improve our network and wifi to get better internet outside the building. The Friends have hosted outdoor and remote programs. Miss browsing shelves? We are now offering short appointments. Pickups take us thrice as long as simply checking out to you directly and we are glad to do it! We are working several additional exciting improvements or expansions... stay tuned for those.

Kindly continue to observe the following guidelines while picking up materials:

  • Call, email, login to your account or place your request online and then wait until you receive your item-is-ready email or phone call before coming in.
  • Wear a mask in the foyer. We are in and out all the time in order to get folks their items as quickly as possible and soon it will be too cold to leave the exterior door open for extra ventilation.
  • Please only enter the foyer if you are picking something up and do not linger.
  • If the foyer is occupied, please wait outside. Only one person or family in the foyer at a time.
  • Please do not knock or push through the second set of doors and ask us to fetch items for you immediately. It takes us away from getting items to people as quickly as possible. We love a quick hello through the doors or a kind wave - I've even enjoyed some blown kisses.
  • Most of all, be kind and patient. Trust me when I tell you we all want the same thing. If you have frustrations or questions, direct them to me. I am happy to listen and explain anything you would like.

We know that nothing will fully replace the uplifting freedom of lingering in our beautiful space. We all miss it and at the same time if one of our at-risk staff contracted COVID-19 they could easily become gravely ill. On top of that unthinkable possibility, our Library would be crippled by an extended absence and have to shut down even more than we are now. We have concluded that the "something" that we are doing is better than the "nothing" we would all be left with if we opened the building and the worst happened.

Thank you all for your continued understanding while we endeavor to meet your needs as thoroughly as we can. Even at a distance, we need each other more than ever.

With optimism,

Creativebug classes & workshops

We are thrilled to announce our subscription to online craft and art workshops is now live.


Login to our Jackson Library Creativebug page, enter your 14-digit library card number, and access hundreds of classes on everything from origami and sewing to printmaking and painting . Unlike YouTube, these have a high production value and come from credible, professional teachers.
Lotte (10 years old) and I have been working through Lisa Congdon's drawing classes. We both enjoy it and find it easy to follow. My latest product is below.
Crafting season is upon us, friends! Let's start making those gifts. Tell you what, tag your finished projects with #jplcreativebug on InstagramFacebookTwitter or anything else or show it to us in whatever way makes sense for you and you will be entered to win a prize in the early days of 2021.
Make early, make often!

Traces of the Trade

Online Screening & Discussion of the Award-winning New England Documentary: Traces of the Trade

 A Voyage of Realization and Reconciliation

At 5:30pm on both Tuesday, Sept 15 and Friday, Sept 18, evenings the Jackson Public Library and Jackson Community Church co-sponsor the timely online screening of Traces of the Trade: A Story From The Deep North, followed by a discussion facilitated by co-hosts Dain Perry and his wife Constance Perry. Facilitator Dain Perry is one of nine cousins featured in this documentary that unearths a hidden legacy of slavery in America. Traces of the Trade: A Story From The Deep North, first shown at the Sundance Film Festival, follows the journey by filmmaker Katrina Browne  and nine of her cousins — including Dain Perry — into the dark past of the slave trade, which enriched their white New England family.  Allow three hours to watch the film and share in the conversation.

Registration is required for this online event; admission is free. Content is appropriate for family viewing.  Register for free via Eventbrite: More info on the documentary is available via. If public interest continues, the library and church will consider adding additional sessions later in the autumn, if the facilitators are available.

Dain and Constance Perry join us to screen the film and facilitate a conversation on race, reconciliation and healing. Traces of the Trade is both a geographical and psychological retracing of the industry of the largest slave traders in American history, the DeWolf family of Bristol, Rhode Island, and an exploration into racism in America, a legacy of slavery that continues to negatively impact the country even today.

For generations the family’s past has been hidden from view, but a group of descendants decided to retrace the Triangle Trade, from Bristol, Rhode Island, to Ghana, where they visited centuries old slave forts and dungeons and talked with African-Americans on their own homecoming pilgrimage, to the ruins of a family-owned sugar cane plantation in Cuba.  Each encounter on their journey leaves family members shaken with new insights.  Along the way many myths are debunked and new questions pondered.  A primary debunked myth is that the North was the center of the abolition movement and had little to do with slavery. The fact is that the North was the center of the US slave trade, and the ownership of slaves in the north was not only common., but it lasted for over two hundred years.

The film was shown on the PBS series Point of View (POV) in 2008, won the Henry Hampton Award for Excellence in Film in 2009, and in July 2009 was nominated for an Emmy Award for historical research. It was greeted with excellent reviews.  Variety called it “a courageous scab-ripper of a tale.”  The Black Notes blog of the Providence Black Repertory Company praised the “complicated moral circumstances” and concluded, “it is a must-see.”  Sundance’s Geoffrey Gilmore said the film “makes a potent statement about privilege and responsibility.”  In a review Kirk Honeywell, of the Hollywood Reporter, said, the “clear-headed film represents an intense and searing call for national dialogue.”

Dain and his wife Constance are experienced facilitators who will help audience members discuss the lessons of the film.  They have conducted over 500 screenings, facilitated conversations in over 200 cities and towns across the country, and overseas in Ghana and Australia. One family member said the most surprising question was whether Constance Perry, who is a descendant of enslaved people, knew about Dain’s family history before she married him.  The answer: yes.  Now she and her husband travel across the country as a team to screen the film and encourage group discussion of the legacy of slavery.

Discussion participants report, “By creating an atmosphere of safety and openness, the Perry’s cut through the fears (of judgment, of giving offense, of being misunderstood) that often inhibit discussions of race.” Another said, “Dain and Constance brought the discourse to a gut level, while at the same time affirming everyone’s reactions as perfectly and equally valid.”


Cloth masks for pick up

We have cloth masks in our foyer for free pickup. Thank you to Shelley from The Skinny Towel & Washcloth Co. for providing them to the Jackson Library community.

Museum Passes Available

While this summer has not looked like other ones, and the Jackson Public Library’s availability of museum passes hasn’t been the same, there are now some institutions that are allowing visitors.  If you are interested in visiting the Currier Museum of Art, the Portland Museum of Art, or the Remick Museum, please let us know (, 603-383-9731).  We have passes/discounts available for all three on a daily basis. We can prepare your pass and leave it in the entryway for you to pick up. Please be advised that each museum may have its own additional instructions, such as those for the Currier Museum listed below, so be sure to check their websites.

Instructions from the Currier Museum of Art for Visitors with a Jackson Library Pass

Library passes will function the same way they have in the past, providing a 50% discount for 2 visitors with all children under 18 free. The patron will still need to contact the Library to get the pass, but the patron is ALSO responsible for reaching out to the museum to schedule their visit. Patrons can call 603-669-6144 ex 108 to speak with a guest services representative. After setting up a time, the visitor will then inform the guest services rep from which library they received their pass and then shall receive their discount.


New Downloadable Books

Did you know that new downloadable books are constantly being made available to you through our wonderful NH Downloadable Books Consortium (which we also call NH Overdrive and which uses the Libby app)? To see what has been added, check out the blog posts with lists of the the new audio and ebooks. The site also offers numerous books for children of all ages. Emerging readers may enjoy investigating this fabulous list of read-along titles. There really is something for everyone. Your 14 digit Jackson Library card number is your login. If you have any questions or need help setting up an account, please let us know (, 603-383-9731), we’re always happy to help.

Additional Pickup Hours

I apologize for the delay in getting this message out, the power outage slowed us down!  In an effort to meet the varied schedules of our patrons,  we will now be offering  additional pickup hours on Thursdays from 2-6pm beginning August 6th. We are working hard to get the necessary precautions in place so that we can start welcoming folks back into the building on a limited basis; we will keep you informed on our progress. All incoming returns are still quarantined for at least 72, so don’t be surprised when a book or DVD you just returned is listed as checked out to you in your Koha account. Effective immediately, once we pull and prepare your items, we will place your package in the foyer and notify you right away, allowing you to pick up your items sooner if you wish.  Please note that you should continue to wait for the email letting you know your items are ready before coming to get them. The CDC continues to recommend waiting 72 hours before handling materials, so should you collect your items right after we pack them, we urge you to wait 72 hours before unwrapping them. We are now stamping the due date and the date your item was packaged on your pickup slip so that you know when we last had contact with your materials.  We greatly appreciate your support and patience as we navigate this challenging situation, thank you!