Library News

Unearthing History: 2023 Virtual Lecture Series

Unearthing History: The discovery of a 12,500 year old Paleo-Indian site along the Farmington River in Avon. Join us for a virtual series of lectures, sponsored by a grant from the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic Committee that will cover the many aspects of archaeology, with a focus on the Brian D. Jones Paleo-Indian discovery in Avon, Connecticut. All events begin at 7:00pm EST on Zoom.

This 2023 VIRTUAL HISTORY SERIES is sponsored by Avon Historical Society, Avon Free Public Library and Avon Senior Center, in partnership with the Avon Land Trust, Farmington River Watershed Association, and the Institute of American Indian Studies in Washington, CT.

Times are EST: Eastern Standard Time.  Events are free to attend. Webinars will be recorded; links appear at the end of this post and are available on the Avon Library’s YouTube Channel.

View the full 2023 series flyer here

March 23The LIDAR Revolution in Earth Surface Mapping, presented by Will Ouimet, Assoc. Professor, Departments of Geosciences and Geography, Univ. of Connecticut.  Prof. Ouimet participated in the discovery of the Brian D. Jones (BDJ) site and has since produced LIDAR images of the dig site and extending out farther to show where the potential whole site is located. He also will explain the techniques used by LIDAR for locating historic human settlements and land use patterns. LIDAR = Light Detection and Ranging using lasers for 3D scanning. Register here.

April 20 Hunting Techniques of the Paleoindian, presented by Richard Boisvert, retired New Hampshire state archeologist, who is very familiar with the discovery and analysis of the BDJ site and other Paleoindian sites in northern New England. Register here.

May 11The Big Importance of Small Things:  Microscopic and Blood Residue Analysis of Ancient Stone Tools, presented by Heather M. Rockwell, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Cultural and Historic Preservation, Noreen Stonor Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation Program, Salve Regina University. This presentation will examine the process and limitations of blood residue and use-wear analysis, and how they have contributed to our understanding of ancient people. Register here.

September 21 –– Paleoindian Sites, Site Patterning and Travel Corridors along the Southern Arm of the Champlain Sea, presented by Jess Robinson, Vermont State Archaeologist, Vermont Archaeology Heritage Center, Barre, VT. He will compare and contrast Paleo sites in Vermont with the BDJ site in Avon. Register here. 

October 13Update on the Brian D. Jones site in Avon, CT since discovery in 2019 presented by Eric Heffter, Senior Prehistoric Archaeologist, Archaeological and Historical Services, Storrs, CT.  October is Archaeology Month in Connecticut, so his presentation will be 90 minutes with time after for Q&A. Register here. 

Questions? Email Terri Wilson, President Avon Historical Society, president@avonhistoricalsociety.org

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Giving Tuesday

GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good.  This year, Giving Tuesday is on November 29.  Please consider making a donation to Avon Free Public Library on or around that date.

 

Avon Library is a 501(c)3 non-profit that derives over 90% of its annual budget from the Town of Avon.  That last 10% funds things like educational and cultural programs for all ages, technology, staff training, and additional books for the collection.

 

Visit https://www.avonctlibrary.info/support-the-library/ and click the donate button to donate online via credit card or PayPal.   If you prefer, you may print out a paper donation form that you can return to the library with cash or a check.

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A Real Giving Tree Story!

During the 2021 replacement of the geothermal heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems at Avon Free Public Library, several trees had to be cut down on the library grounds, including the beautiful maple tree pictured here.

photo of maple tree

Now in 2022, that tree has returned to the library in the form of two benches and a conference table.  Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of Avon Library who funded this project, and the talent of Ted Esselstyn and the team at City Bench, the wood from two maple trees was milled, dried, and used to create this beautiful furniture!

A “live edge” bench in the library’s Gallery

An eight foot long table in the first floor conference room

A “waterfall” bench in the library’s Gallery (since relocated to the Children’s & Teen Services floor)

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The Stages of a Business: From Start-Up to Succession – presented by the Avon/Canton Chamber of Commerce

The Avon/Canton Chamber of Commerce and the Avon Free Public Library are pleased to offer business-oriented presentations free for interested area professionals.

What stage is your business currently — Start-Up? Established? Approaching Retirement? At each stage there are new challenges along with new opportunities to grow and improve, but many never take the time to look at where they are and take action. Please enjoy this panel discussion to learn more about, and an honest assessment of, each phase of a business.

Presented by Gena Hamilton from Exact Digital Media, Michael Mezheritskiy from Milestone Asset Management Group, and Vic Bible from IFFS Eldercare Consultants

Moderated by David Olchowski from Acadia ActionCOACH

Stream the presentation here.

Visit the Avon/Canton Chamber of Commerce website.

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Avon Library receives a Save America’s Treasures Grant, in the amount of $50,016

Left to right: Michael Howser and Greg Colatti, CT Digital Archive; Rob Berman, Avon Library Board member; Lisa Berman, Friends of the Avon Library President; Donna Gianini, Avon Library Board member; Joan Resikin, Vice President, Friends of the Avon Library; Tina Panik, Reference & Adult Services Manager, Avon Library; Heddy Panik, Avon Historical Society Board member and history room volunteer; CT U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal; Glenn Grube, Avon Library Director; State Representative Eleni Kavros DeGraw; Terri Wilson, Avon Historical Society President; Nora Howard, Town Historian; Brandon Robertson, Avon Town Manager; Barbara Ausiello, Avon Town Council.

Connecticut U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and Connecticut State Representative Eleni Kavros DeGraw visited the Avon Free Public Library today (10/17/22) to congratulate them for their 2022 Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Save America’s Treasures Grant. This grant, in the amount of $50,016, will cover a two year project, beginning in November 2022.  This award is part of $24.25 million in Save America’s Treasures grants to fund 80 projects in 32 states and the District of Columbia.  Save America’s Treasures, funded through the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), provided $356 million to more than 1,326 projects between 1999 and 2020. Requiring a dollar-for-dollar private match, these grants have leveraged more than $500 million in private investment and contributed more than 16,000 jobs to local and state economies. 

The Avon Free Public Library will use this federal grant to preserve and digitize objects relevant to the agrarian history of Avon. Their existing collection consists of 298 linear feet of historical material and includes cataloged books, as well a map cabinet with over 276 geographic maps. Nearly 20,000 items have been digitized for the CT Digital Archive .  This two year project will focus on digitizing collections of the Avon HIstorical Society from the National Register’s  Pine Grove Historic District consisting of four 19th-century farmsteads, a late 18th century house, and a restored Gothic Revival schoolhouse, and the separate National Register’s Avon Congregational Church, designed by local architect David Hoadley. 

This agrarian grouping is representative of Avon, Connecticut’s history, as reflected in the artifacts held within the archives, which contain ledgers, tools, clothing, household items, and photos from the Thompson and Woodford families who settled this area. The Woodford farm was established in 1666 and is one of the oldest farms still operating in Connecticut. Other names associated with Avon’s dairy, poultry, and tobacco farms were Alsop, Buckland, Colton, Delbon, Distin, Gold, Silver, Stone, Strong, Thompson, Watson, Westerman, and Viti.  

Farms, mills, blacksmith shops, taverns and dry goods stores began to punctuate Avon’s landscape during the mid 19th century. In the heart of this historic district is the Pine Grove Schoolhouse, built in 1865, which remained in use until 1949. The students and families from West Avon’s Pine Grove area comprise the majority of this project. Their photos, ledgers, journals, land deeds, books, household items, tools, and ephemera showcase the connections between residents and detail daily life during this era. 

 “The goal of this project is to connect all of the artifacts within our collection digitally, so that patrons and researchers can experience 24/7 access to Avon’s complete story as they explore life in the 19th century,” said Tina Panik, Project Director. 

The federal grant will expand the organization’s capacity by hiring an archivist to help assess, organize, store and digitize approximately 1,000 items from the Avon Historical Society’s collection, integrating access to materials within both the library and historical society’s collections.  

“These 1,000 items need professional archival assessment, storage, conservation, and digitization. These artifacts are temporarily housed in a climate controlled storage facility, as their home location, Schoolhouse #3, is in the process of a renovation, making this the perfect time to complete the work,” said Terri Wilson, Avon Historical Society President. 

Glenn Grube, Avon Library Director and Grant Administrator added, “The same dozen or so names populate our archives throughout the 1800-1900s, framing Avon as a New England town with a deeply interconnected social history.  Previously neglected from our archive projects, this segment of Avon’s history that incorporates the Pine Grove Historical District and Avon Congregational Church deserves our attention, preservation, and digitization focus.” 

Those interested in loaning items for scanning or donating items from the agrarian history of Avon to enhance the collections of the Avon Free Public Library or the Avon Historical Society can email historyroom@avonctlibrary.info for further instruction. 

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)  is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov 

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Online test preparation resources from Avon Library

Avon Library is excited to announce a new online test preparation resource available with your Avon Library card.  Mometrix e-Library has the largest catalog of any test preparation publisher, now offering over 3,500 products covering over 1,500 different standardized exams.  With your Avon Library card, you can access a curated collection of 50 different online test preparation resources for college admissions and placement, graduate and professional schools, occupational licenses, and career advancement.

Test prep tips, digital flashcards, and sample exams area available for a variety of standardized tests including the ACT, AP, and SAT college entrance exams, the GRE, LSAT, and MCAT graduate school exams, and various professional exams for careers in fields such as public safety, social work, teaching, and transportation.  Mometrix e-Library also has employment resources including interview and resume tips.  Your Avon Library barcode from your library card is required to login to Mometrix e-Library from outside of Avon Library’s network.

See all of Avon Library’s online job and career resources by clicking here, or go to the Research tab of our website to browse all of our online databases and learning platforms.

 

 

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New collection in our digital archives: the William J. Huebner, Jr. papers

The Avon Free Public Library is pleased to announce a new donation to its digital archives: the letters, articles, and photos of veteran William (Bill)  J. Huebner, Jr., as curated by his daughter, Holly Huebner Ryan. The Avon Library will retain the digital scans of this collection, as Bill’s original typed onion skin and handwritten letters from Korea along with pictures will become part of the Library of Congress collections. This Huebner digital collection, including a full biography, joins over 20,000 items of Avon’s history that are available on the CT Digital Archive. The Huebner collection can be viewed at https://ctdigitalarchive.org/islandora/object/150002%3A23288

Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) interviewed Bill as part of the Library of Congress/American Folklife Center/Veterans History Project. The interview and transcript can be viewed at https://memory.loc.gov/diglib/vhp/story/loc.natlib.afc2001001.18710. His letters are also on the Korean War Educator website, http://www.koreanwar-educator.org/memoirs/huebner_william/index.htm In addition to his letters home, some stories were taken from this oral interview and others were documented in the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3372, Avon, CT Military Service History, which is available at the Avon Free Public Library.

William (Bill) J. Huebner, Jr. was proud a veteran of World War II (WWII) and the Korean War (Conflict).  In WWII he was member of the 595th Signal Aircraft Warning Battalion in the South Pacific.  During the Korean War he was in the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division as the Training, Information & Education (TI&E), Public Information Officer. He soon became the US Army Correspondent reporting on the operations of the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division. His articles were published in the Stars and Stripes, the Army Frontline newspaper, The Providence Journal (Rhode Island), The Publishers’ Auxiliary, and other local newspapers.

After the war Bill worked for the Hartford Times (a Connecticut newspaper) as a reporter and editor for 24 years. As a reporter he covered the development of the Apollo Project and rocket development in California and other states.  He covered the advent of commercial and military jet aviation in the U.S. and Europe.  He received several writing awards as a reporter.  He then took a position as the Director of Public Affairs for the Connecticut Construction Industries Association for 18 years before retiring.

Bill’s love of writing continued after retirement as a Ghost Writer for several organizations.  Bill left more typed fascinating stories of his experiences in WWII and Korea but due to the secrecy of some of his missions and his work with Psyops and Intelligence they cannot be fully verified by his family as all names were in code.  Bill and “His Honey”, Janice, had two daughters and two grandchildren.  They divorced after 25 years of marriage.  Bill remarried several years later.  Bill passed away on January 18, 2010 in Avon, CT.

Questions about this collection can be directed to Tina Panik, c/o Avon Free Public Library, 860-673-9712 ext 7235, tpanik@avonctlibrary.info or Holly Ryan, 860-205-9855, h.ryan@comcast.net.

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Unearthing History: 2022 Virtual Lecture Series

Unearthing History: The discovery of a 12,500 year old Paleo-Indian site along the Farmington River in Avon. Join us for a virtual series of lectures, sponsored by a grant from the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild and Scenic Committee that will cover the archaeology, genetics, ice age mammals, trade routes and food ways of early life along the Farmington River, with a focus on the Brian D. Jones Paleo-Indian discovery in Avon, Connecticut.

This 2022 VIRTUAL HISTORY SERIES is sponsored by Avon Historical Society, Avon Free Public Library and Avon Senior Center, in partnership with the Avon Land Trust, Farmington River Watershed Association, and the Institute of American Indian Studies in Washington, CT. 

Times are EST: Eastern Standard Time.  Events are free to attend. Webinars will be recorded; links appear at the end of this post and are available on the Avon Library’s YouTube Channel.

Questions? Email Terri Wilson, President Avon Historical Society, president@avonhistoricalsociety.org

View the full Paleo 2022 FLYER

Completed 2022 programs:

Thursday, April 7, 2022, 7:00 pm. Ice Age Animals of New England presented by Dr. Sarah Sportman, CT State Archaeologist & Dr. Nathaniel Kitchel, Dept. of Anthropology, Dartmouth College.  They will present the Pope Mastodon (found in Farmington, CT on the grounds of Hill-Stead Museum) and the Mount Holly (VT) Mammoth, among other animals of the Ice Age. Watch the recording here

Thursday, March 10, 2022, 7:00 pm. What Genetics Teaches Us About the Peopling of North America  by Dr. Jennifer Raff, anthropological geneticist at the University of Kansas.  Presentation is based on her May 2021 Scientific American cover story “Journey into the Americas” and her new book, Origin: A Genetic History of the Americas being released Feb. 2022. Watch the recording here

Thursday, May 12, 2022, 7:00 pm. Paleo-Indian Peoples in the Northeast: Survival in the Ice Age and After, presented by Dr. Jonathan Lothrop, Curator of Archaeology, The New York State Museum. His focus is on the Pleistocene (Ice Age) into the Holocene period where Natives colonized 11,000-8,000BC. His research is on their technology, settlement and subsistence. He is a consultant on the Brian D. Jones site analysis.

According to Dr. Lothrop, the earliest indigenous peoples of the glaciated Northeast migrated  into the region shortly after 13,000 years ago, while this landscape remained in the grip of the last Ice  Age. Today, their ancient campsites are marked by small scatters of fluted points and other flaked  stone artifacts. This scant material record of these first peoples – known to archaeologists as  Paleoindians – testifies to an amazing story of ingenuity and perseverance in the face of daunting  challenges as they spread across the eastern Great Lakes and New England-Maritimes. How and when  did that peopling process happen? How did these people survive on this late glacial landscape? And  how did they interact with each other across these subarctic regions? In this presentation, we’ll review current evidence from recent and ongoing archaeological research that helps to answer some  of these questions. Finally, with the end of the Ice Age roughly 11,600 years ago, we’ll examine tentative indicators for how this abrupt climate change event may have affected these early peoples. Watch the recording here

Saturday, June 25, 2022, 1:00-4:00 pm. In-Person Event: Artifact Identification Day. Bring your artifacts for identification! Free event, open to the public. Presented by staff and volunteers of the Institute of American Indian Studies, Washington, CT. Paul Wegner, Co-Director; Craig Nelson, Member and Secretary of the Board of Trustees; Nancy Najarian, Collections Volunteer. The Institute will have selected items, from various time periods, on display for viewing. Event held at the Avon Senior Center, 635 West Avon Rd., Avon, CT 06001.

Thursday, September 15, 2022, 7:00 pm. Looking into the Past with Ancient DNA. Presented by Christina Balentine and Samantha Archer, PhD candidates and research scholars at the UConn Dept. of Anthropology. They will present a broad overview of ancient DNA (aDNA) research past and present, discuss the ethical considerations of working with priceless aDNA samples, and highlight their own dissertation research using aDNA. View the recording here

Thursday, October 13, 2022, 7:00 pm. Update on the scientific analysis of the Brian D. Jones site in Avon, CT since its discovery in 2019. Presented by David Leslie, Dir. of Archaeological Research, Heritage Consultants, Berlin, CT & Eric Heffter, Senior Archaeologist, Archaeological and Historic Services, Storrs, CT.  They will present will present new findings based on artifacts and new analysis techniques. October is Connecticut Archaeology Month! Register here

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Check out our new library card options!

Beginning this summer, your Avon Library card just got a lot cooler!  Check out the six new designs available to choose from when you apply for or renew your library card.  Your card still provides you all the same great benefits, including free access to books, DVDs, and more inside the library, the ability to download e-books and e-audiobooks from our website and apps, and a free login to our online learning platforms and research databases.  But now you can choose from six exciting library card designs in addition to our “classic” card.  All six versions of the card were designed and created by Avon residents.

Stop by Avon Library today to get or renew your card.  While you are here, be sure to check out our summer gallery display of more than 50 designs entered in our Art on a Card contest earlier in the year.

Congratulations to our winners Aishwarya Balaji, Sara Curran, Shadan Gadkarim, Lidia Kapylova, Dagny Tang, and Shriya Vinodh!

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Download our new Library Connection app!

The Library Connection Mobile app gives you access to many of Avon Library’s resources, all in one place.  Store a digital copy of your library card, search our catalog and place holds, check your library account, see upcoming library events and more!  Download the app by going to the Android Google Play Store or the Apple App Store and search for Library Connection Mobile.

Launch the app and then enter your library card number and PIN to get started. For assistance, please ask at the Reference Desk or reach out by phone (860-673-9712 x4) or via email.

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