Read on to See All of the Exciting News About NMPL!


Monthly Newsletter – September 2017


Letter from the Director
by Sally Tornow, Director

Plans continue to develop for a modern library, with small changes to the interior design and initial possibilities for flooring and wall coverings. We are in the process of completing the design development phase of planning, with the final architectural phase of creating construction documents up next.  We will be presenting the design development plans to the Town Council on Monday, October 23th, and then asking for the funding for the construction documents.  We need you to be there to show your support, but we also want your input.  Have you come in to see the plans?  Please let me know what you think either by email ( or come in to my next Coffee with the Director on September 12th at 1:00 PM.  This modernization benefits everyone, so everyone should have a say! 

Letter to the Editor
by Sally Tornow, Director – published in the Republican American, 8/19/17



You’ve probably seen this message, at least I know you have at my library in New Milford.  But what does that mean, HOW do libraries transform?

 Your neighbor came to the library to use the internet to apply for the Home Depot job, where she now works.  She couldn’t afford the price of the internet before, but now she can.  Several people you know came to the library for the cultural, educational or entertaining programs because they couldn’t afford an expensive night out.  Now, they not only attend the programs, they have formed their own social network who meets outside the library, as well. Seniors (and others!) have connected with family who live far away because they learned how to email, use Facebook, use the iPad their family gave them, all for free at the library.  Teens have a safe space to go after school, where they learn better writing skills, connect with each other through creating Minecraft worlds, and yes, play games like Twister!  Through story times and other children’s programming, libraries promote literacy from babies on up and isn’t knowledge the key to civil discourse?

My library’s Facebook page states that we are where you’ll find the information, the entertainment and the resources you need – it all goes away if libraries are defunded at the national AND the state level. Please ensure that the one institution that serves everybody from babies to seniors, from rich to poor, from educated to those looking to be educated, has the money it needs to continue to offer the services people depend on.


September Is Library Card Sign Up Month
by Sally Tornow, Director

I had the pleasure of speaking with the new NMPS teachers last week about what our library offers them and it was wonderful to see how many jumped on the opportunity to get a card.  Those of you with kids in H&P, Northville, SNIS, and Schaghticoke all should have seen a flier from us with a registration card and information.  I am assuming that if you are receiving this newsletter you and your family already have a NMPL card, but please encourage your friends or new acquaintances to take advantage of all a card offers both the kids and the adults.  As I told the teachers, yes, we have plenty of books in all different formats, but we also have DVD’s, CD’s, free programs for kids and adults, verified research information, language learning, test prep, job search assistance, and consumer assistance – all of these will save you money.  

And just one last thought:



New Calendar Feature: Burbio!
by Peggy Ganong, Library Technology Coordinator

We are excited to announce a free, new calendar service Burbio! This service will allow you to set up an account and sign up for a calendar feed for the New Milford Public Library. No more trying to remember all the programs, all the dates and the times. With your customized, personal calendar you can track your schedule and share the calendar with family and friends. Burbio also features all New Milford Public School calendars! Burbio allows you to follow the local schools and library calendar, add/sync events to your digital calendar and sends you notifications when an event changes. It’s a great tool for Back to School.



Another great feature of Burbio is that the New Milford Public Library events are also available on Amazon Alexa – America’s #1 Voice Assistant. Just enable the Burbio Skill and you can start asking, “What’s happening at New Milford Public Library?”

 So, sign up for free at: or download the iOS App or download the Burbio iPhone App and FOLLOW our calendar to stay up-to-date with the New Milford Public Library and Schools and never miss another event again!

For more details on the website and apps, check out this video Video: This is Burbio

My First Library Card
by Joan McManus, a patron

My mother and I, age four, were a duo embarking on a weighty mission when we entered our local branch of the New York Public Library.  This neighborhood library was not monumental in the traditional sense. There was no grand staircase leading to its portal, no marble lions standing watch by its entrance.  Although I was very young and had only recently awakened to my own self-awareness, even I recognized the power of this deceptively utilitarian edifice.

The rule was that, in order for a child to obtain her own library card, she must be able to sign her name.  I could do that! I knew I could although, in my excited nervousness, I worried if it were possible to forget how to do so.

The children’s librarian welcomed me to her sturdy hardwood desk adorned in ink pads and rubber stamps.  She produced a large, thick book, opened it to a middle page bookmarked by a long ribbon, and pointed to a double-ruled line.  I grasped the proffered pencil and, earnestly and diligently, I successfully navigated the line with uppercase letters.  The approving faces of my mother and the librarian shone above me.  I was infused with pride and thrilled with a new sense of maturity and accomplishment.

The prize for my labor was a small rectangle of cardstock, my name typed across the middle.  In that long-ago era, a typewriter itself inspired childish wonderment and curiosity.  My awe increased when I beheld, for the very first time, my name rendered in typewritten font.

My juvenile library card was treasured – frequently used, never bent, and seldom misplaced.  In due time, it was traded for a young adult card, which, all too soon, transitioned to an adult card.  The years have passed and I have relocated to various locales.  Upon moving to a new home, my task list has always featured “obtain a library card” near the top.  I have cherished all my cards, my beloved passports to a universe of adventure and knowledge, but it is the first one that will be etched forever in memory.


Who’s Who: Meet one of NMPL’s Prized Patrons, Abby Ripley
by Amy Berkun, Children’s Library Associate

Abby Ripley loves to learn and because of this inherent character trait she has had many extraordinary experiences during her lifetime-and there are surely more exciting times ahead! As you’ll see, Abby does things in threes. Read on!

Abby was born on a cattle ranch on the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. She remembers the first time she found she could read and hasn’t stopped since. Her town had only one book on the Dead Sea Scrolls and Abby read it. At 15 years old, Abby, her five siblings, and parents moved to Tucson, Arizona, and she drove the whole way! She even saved the family pet parakeet when he overheated by putting it in an ice chest. With a BMdegree from the Arizona State University, Abby taught music in Mesa for a year. Unfortunately, the students were difficult, and so Abby decided to go to UCLA to further her studies in Music History and Ethnomusicology. By then she had completed an MA at Arizona.

Burned out, Abby joined the Peace Corps and traveled to Niger, Africa. She tried to sustain a well-baby clinic, but was only supplied with vitamins. She was frustrated because she couldn’t help the babies with their ailments, like malnutrition. She transferred to the Ministry of Health to make posters, but felt that she really wouldn’t be making a difference and returned to the U.S.

She worked at her parent’s company making signs and then decided to go to photography school in New York City to become a fashion photographer. Needing an income, she worked at Bankers Trust as a travel agent for three years. In 1973, living in New Jersey, Abby tried to open her own travel school. Alas, it was the gas crisis era and not many people were traveling, and so not a good time to open a travel school. She next worked as a field agent for New York Life then went back to New York. There she worked for three years at Four Winds Travel as manager of the International Department.

Finally, Abby found her life’s work and passion in Ladakh, India. She began doing research for her Ph.D. in Anthropology at Rutgers. She journeyed to Ladakh for her research and lived with a family on and off over a period of thirty years. This family became her family and the five kids now have kids of their own-and Abby is their grandma. Ladakh is a very special place to Abby, but she’s unsure if she will ever return to it because the area is so overdeveloped now. It’s not the Ladakh she discovered in 1982.

Eventually, Abby found herself working at Grolier in Danbury. And presently, she is working on a historical novel set in the late 1800s about a girl on a cattle ranch who leaves her family with an Englishman to go on a hunting expedition in Ladakh. She will use her many real-life experiences to create a sure-to-be thrilling novel. Abby is also the facilitator of one of NMPL’s reading groups-and they read challenging books with Abby leading the discussion! Her personal credo is to work hard at everything, particularly at learning, experience everything you can, and remember that all of us are equally human.

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