Library History – 2000 to Present
2002 - New website launched in December.
2003 - Side entrance expanded. New circulation desk and office space added. The East Middlebury Fire District #1 and the library’s Board of Trustees agreed to have Ilsley staff manage the Sarah Partridge library, led by Mona Rogers. Air conditioning installed throughout the library. Governor Douglas spoke at an open house in September to mark the completion of the building projects funded by the Freeman Foundation, Town of Middlebury, and Friends of Ilsley Public Library.
2004 The U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science awarded IPL a Blue Ribbon Award for the Collier Health Information Collection. First Wednesdays lectures began in conjunction with the Vermont Humanities Council. The Ilsley Book Cart Drill Team, with its precision formations, debuted at the 2004 Memorial Day parade.
2005 Two graduates of Middlebury Union High School, Kathryn Scott and Christopher Kirby (who later completed degrees at Mt. Holyoke and University of Chicago respectively) joined the staff. Middlebury topped the list of Vermont public libraries on the seven year old Hennen’s American Public Library Rating system. This rating was based on 15 factors such as cost per circulation, visits per capita, expenditures per capita, and collection turnover.
2006 The board of trustees adopted Sustaining Excellence: Plan for Service to the Middlebury Community 2007-2011. A self-check terminal was added.
2007 The Imagination Library program of the Dolly Parton Foundation began in July and expanded in January 2008 to all residents of Addison County. This program provides each child under the age of 5 years a free book mailed to his or her home once a month. Addison County Readers, Inc, with the United Way of Addison County as their fiscal agent, partnered to bring this program to all county children.
2008 Downloading audiobooks available through the library’s website. Carol Chatfield, IPL’s youth services librarian since 1996, retired in January after a 40 year career.
2009 Ilsley staff are leaders in the Green Mountain Library Consortium that brings electronic services to libraries throughout the state. Judah Hamer is treasurer of the consortium and Chris Kirby is the technical coordinator.
2010 The library recieved a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for $319,522 to digitize 90,000 pages of Vermont newspapers published between 1836 and 1922.
2011 The library starts offering downloadable e-books, and discontinued use of VHS tables.
2013 More materials were borrowed this year than in any of the library’s previous 146 years. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012, 184,010 items were loaned, 19% more than the previous year. Youth circulation now totals over 45% of total loans.
2014 Kevin Unrath is library director.
2017 Library Trustees completed their strategic planning process in 2016, and are pleased to invite the Middlebury community to Discover, Read, Create at Ilsley! The Library Building Committee and Gossens Bachman Architects conduct a feasibility study on the renovation and expansion of the library building, at a proposed cost of $9.6 million.
2018 The Teen Collection is moved to the small room that previously held periodicals, giving teens a space of their own at Ilsley. A First Robotics Team is formed in collaboration with the Hannaford Career Center. Four sections of the furnace are replaced. Lynn Goldsmith joined the staff as an Circulation Assistant in the youth department. Dana Hart is library director.
2019 The library adds a new position, Adult Services & Circulation, to focus on adult programming, and Renee Ursitti is hired to fill the new position. The library adds season ski passes to the Middlebury Snowbowl and Rikert Nordic Center to the circulating collection. Library trustees participate in the planning processes for a Downtown Master Plan.
2020 The library building closed to the public and staff from March 24 to May 25 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, library staff worked remotely to provide reference and tech support, help applying for unemployment, and to continue creating library card accounts so new patrons could access our digital resources during the shutdown. Five staff were furloughed, and one staff member was partially furloughed. On June 1, the library started offering Outside Pickup Service (returned items were quarantined seven days). On August 12, the library reopened the lobby and reference room (transformed into a children's collection) for three hours a day, five days a week, for a maximum of eight patrons at a time. On November 24, the library closed the building to the public again, returning to Outside Pickup service only, in response to rising numbers of COVID-19 in Vermont. Laura Fetterolf is the branch manager at Sarah Partridge.
2021 On July 1, 2021, the library went fine free. Patrons no longer accrue fines for materials returned late. The library continues to adapt to the ongoing pandemic, reopening the building in the spring, but then requiring masks in the building in the fall. More and more community members use the library for distance learning and remote work; a new router and additional access points provide longer-range deployment of our wireless to the garden and parking lot. Haley Coble joined the staff as Circulation Library.
2022 The Middlebury Selectboard ccreated the Ilsley 100 Project Team and charged the group with guiding the development of design options for a library building, and coordinating funding to bring the project to fruition. The library purchased and began circulating an electric bike. Royce McGrath joined the staff as Operations Manager.