Bent Northrop Memorial Library

Fairfield, Vermont, Public Library

LifeStory Memoir Writing Workshop


memoirsWednesday, June 10, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

This is a FREE workshop with Charley & June Kempthorne.

Please call to register: 827-3945.

What happens in a LifeStory Workshop?

Most LifeStory Workshops are about two entertaining hours long. They are exhilarating and exciting workshops in which people discover that they’ve been very good writers all along. They just didn’t know how to get started! The best way to get started is to join with friends and others and write and share what you’ve written.

Charley Kempthorne, an experienced writer and writing coach, has presented these entertaining and instructive workshops all over the USA and Canada. He is assisted by his wife, June.

There are four parts to every workshop:

  • First, we start with some memory-stimulating exercises.
  • Second, we write for fifteen minutes
  • Third, we read aloud (this is voluntary, of course) what we’ve written
  • Fourth and finally we talk about ways to publish what we’re doing–and (not exactly by the way) to keep on writing and publishing!

June and I started doing LifeStory Memoir Writing workshops (sometimes called “family history writing” workshops) in 1991. We have presented our workshop at hundreds of libraries, schools, churches, senior centers, recreation programs and even at police and fire stations! Just a few of the libraries we’ve presented at are Seattle, Little Rock, Tucson, Omaha, Kansas City, Wauwatosa (Milwaukee), Huntington Beach (California), Perryton (Texas), Lawrence (Kansas), Topeka (Kansas), Lamar (Colorado), Coeur d’Alene (Idaho), Grand Forks (North Dakota), Medicine Hat (Alberta), Moose Jaw (Saskatchewan), Winnipeg and Brandon (Manitoba), Puyallup (Washington) and many others.

Some workshops are done for a fee, but other libraries and senior centers can’t afford to pay. Please click here to visit the website and donate to help us gather stories–real human history–when we travel North America. Thank you!





BNML Lecture Series

Farm Legacy

A Sense of Place: Vermont’s Farm Legacy

Thursday, May 14, 6:00 p.m.

FREE, Accessible to people with disabilities, and open to the public.

The character of a place is shaped by its cultural heritage and folklife, the informal traditions of family and community in which a person plans a meal, treats a neighbor, or understands civic responsibility. In Vermont, the cultural legacy of farming has strongly influenced the identity of Vermonters, and it is these distinctive traditions (which have persisted even with the decline in farm numbers) that help make the stat unique.

This lecture by Gregory Sharrow explores the fabric of farm culture in the past and probes its relationship to the world of Vermont today.

A Vermont Humanities Council Event* hosted by Bent Northrop Memorial Library, 164 Park Street, Fairfield, Vermont. Call Sarah Montgomery at (802) 827-3945 for more information.

*Under grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the NEH or the Vermont Humanities Council.




Cailey’s Closet is coming to BNML May 5!

Cailey might have one! Come check out her closet! 

Cailey’s Closet is a dress recycling program brought to you by the Highgate Public Library with the intention of helping to reduce the financial costs associated with semi-formals and proms to families and young women across Franklin County.

We will have approximately 50 dresses to give away and we invite all local high school girls to join us Tuesday, May 5, 4pm-7pm to see if they can find their perfect dress!

If anyone would like to donate a gently worn prom, cocktail, or bridesmaid dress, we welcome you to drop it off before the event.

Guidelines: * All those attending the event are asked to sign in. * Only one dress per girl is allowed. * Parents are welcome and encouraged to attend the event with their daughter. * This is a first come/first serve event. Dresses will not be held or reserved for anyone. * We cannot guarantee every girl will find her perfect dress. Availability is based on what has been donated from the local community during our dress drive.



The Traveling Storyteller


Saturday, April 18, 10:00 a.m.

The Traveling Storyteller is coming to Bent Northrop Memorial Library to perform “The Little Red Hen!”

This performance is an interactive presentation that is geared towards ages 3+ and will tap into the imagination of children of all ages!

In this performance The Little Red Hen shares a house with a dog, a cat, a rabbit and a mouse. The Little Red Hen does all of the housework. What would happen if the Little Red Hen became sick with the flu and was unable to get out of bed? Find out in this messy comedy of errors.


Paper Mache Pinatas & Cinco de Mayo!

What can we make with old newspapers, glue, and flour? Paper Mache!

Join us at BNML, where Martha Burns will teach us how to create colorful and festive pinatas using paper mache.

Grades K-5 are welcome and must pre-register by April 13th.

We will meet on two Thursdays (April 16 and 30) from 3-5 pm for pinata making.

Then, bring the family to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and test the strength of our pinatas on Saturday, May 2nd, from 11 am – 1 pm. There will be food, fun and games!

To register: Click here for the online form, call the library at 827-3945, or stop by!”

This program is free thanks to a grant from the United Way.
Space is limited to 12 students – first come first serve.

FREE MOVIE: “Trashed” starring Jeremy Irons

Join us Thursday, March 26th, from 6:00pm – 8:30pm, for a free showing of the movie “Trashed” starring Jeremy Irons. This documentary looks at the risks to the food chain and the environment caused by the pollution resulting from human consumption patterns. In this film, Irons reaches out globally and talks to scientists, politicians, and ordinary people whose lives have been affected by this pollution.

(“Trashed” does contain some disturbing material. Please contact Aaron Shepard [NWSWD] @ 524-5986 with questions.)

This movie showing is sponsored by the Northwest Solid Waste District (NWSWD) and will be followed by a showing of “The Story of Stuff”, a 20 minute film which provides a quick look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. Aaron Shepard from NWSWD will also speak about these issues, especially in relation to what can be done locally.

Popcorn will be provided – we will be making an effort to make this a zero waste event with no paper products and by composting any leftover food or drinks! Please bring your reusable cups or water bottles, bowls, and cloth napkins!

Produced by Blenheim Films. For more info on the films:,




HomeBrew Class Rescheduled to March 12!!


Hello Friends!
We have rescheduled our beer making class with Anne Whyte from Vermont Homebrew in Winooski!
The class will be on Thurs, Mar. 12th, from 6-8 pm.
Anne will be coming to teach how to make beer at home. She will bring ingredients and equipment to show examples of what is needed to brew beer. She will also bring different beers for sampling!
If you like beer, you won’t want to miss this! I hope to see you there!

“Take Your Child to the Library Day” ~ Thursday, March 5th


During the 1st week of March, VT libraries celebrate children coming to the library! 

BNML will celebrate “Take Your Child to the Library Day” Thursday, March 5th.

Come by with your child/ren anytime from 2:30pm to 8:00pm to do a story walk through the library, make a monster bookmark that will nibble on your book corners, or do a book scavenger hunt to earn a golden ticket!

If your child doesn’t have their own library account, this is the perfect time to sign them up for one!

At 6:00 pm, come in your PJ’s for a Cozy Story Hour where we will have time to play together, read some of our favorite bedtime stories and sing some songs.

Afterward, we will enjoy hot chocolate together.

I hope that you and your child/ren will be able to join us as we celebrate this special day!






Beer Making Class

Due to the weather, Beer Making Class has been cancelled for this evening. We will let you know when we are able to reschedule.

Anne Whyte bottling beerTuesday, January 27th, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Anne Whyte, from Vermont Homebrew in Winooski, Vermont, will be coming to teach all about how to make beer at home. She will bring ingredients and equipment to show examples of what is needed to brew beer.

She will also bring different beers for sampling!






Afterschool Program: Tinkering

Wed, January 21, 3:00pm – 4:30pm

We will be having five weeks of after school programming for kids in grades 4-6. For this program, we will be focusing on tinkering and creating!

During these classes, we will take old things apart and create new things, learn about electrical circuits, and find out how things work through experimentation. We will make scribbling machines using small motors and create squishy circuits using batteries and homemade play dough!

Sign-up is required and space is limited to 12 students.

You can CLICK HERE to register online, call the library at (802) 827-3945, or e-mail Sarah at

FREE thanks to a grant from United Way.





Mini Technology Series

January 15th and January 22nd, Fairfield resident and RIT student, Dominic Cicilio, will be teaching two technology classes at Bent Northrop Memorial Library:

Thursday, January 15th, 6 – 8pm:  Google Applications 
How can they be useful to you? Google provides free apps such as Blogger, Hangouts, Google Wallet, Sites, Calendar, Forms, Voice, and Picasa. Dominic will cover all these and answer any questions you might have about using these resources.
Thursday, January 22nd, 6 – 8pm: Online Security
Dominic will teach why online security is important and what you can do to keep your information safe. He will talk about creating secure passwords, avoiding phishing scams, and what is and isn’t safe to put on social media.

Bring your own device to follow along or use one of ours! 


Build Your Own Gingerbread House!


Please note change in date and time! To avoid conflicting with the FCS Holiday concerts, we have moved the build date:

Tuesday, Dec. 16, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., come build a Gingerbread House at Bent Northrop Memorial Library!

WE will supply graham crackers, gumdrops, frosting, and other fun building supplies.

YOU bring the ideas and creativity.




After School Skilled Arts Program


Starting in November, FCS Art Teacher Sara Wolfson will be leading six weeks of after-school programming for grades K-6 at the library.

You will learn to construct origami chandeliers, make a community puzzle, create decorations for Thanksgiving, and more! Join us to learn some new skills and create some cool art.

We will meet each Thursdays for six weeks, starting November 6th and excluding Thanksgiving week. Classes will be on 11/6, 11/13, 11/20, 12/4, 12/11, and 12/18. Students will be picked up after school and will be finishing at 4:30 p.m. 

Sign up is required and can be done online by clicking this sentence.
If you have any questions, please call the library at (802) 827-3945
or send Sarah an e-mail at

Trunk or Treat!

Saturday, October 25th at 5:00 pm.
Come early to set up your vehicle if you would like to hand out treats and compete in our trunk decorating contest! There will be a bonfire, games, spooky music, soup made by the outdoor classroom at FCS, and many other fun activities.
We are also looking for wood to burn in our bonfire if anyone has any that they would like to donate.
HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS: Want to earn a few hours of community service time? We need volunteers for Trunk or Treat! Please PM us so we know you’re coming. You’ll need to be here by 4pm, October 25th. You’ll help set-up, monitor/run the games, and help clean-up. Feel free to dress up if you want!

Liam McKone’s Talk on the Fenians

Tue, Sept. 23, 7pm – 8pm

Liam McKone, Cambridge resident and author of “Vermont’s Irish Rebel,” will be sharing the history of the Fenian Brotherhood in Vermont.
This militant nationalist movement twice invaded Canada to strike a blow for the restored independence of Ireland. Plans are underway to commemorate the 150th anniversary of their first action that used Fairfield as a storage point for arms and supplies.