Kids read to therapy dogs at RFL.

Libraries are places of stories; stories in books, stories about people. Here are some stories from people at Rutland Free Library. Or feel free to tell us your story!


“Libraries help open up the wider world for people, and provide opportunities for community involvement.” — Nancy Bridges

For Nancy, community involvement is helping with the popular Sunday Night Movies at The Gables, where she lives. And to make that happen, she regularly selects, reserves and borrows DVDs from Rutland Free Library.

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She has also attended the library’s popular First Wednesday series. First Wednesdays, which the Library presents monthly with Vermont Humanities Council, regularly draws 80-100 people to the historic Fox Room. The Fox Room is also free and open to all who wish to provide public events.

Nancy believes “libraries help open up the wider world for people, and provide opportunities for community involvement.” She grew up in small-town Pennsylvania and as a child rode the bus 15 minutes to the nearest library, which was the original Carnegie Library. She still remembers the excitement of the Silver Chief: Dog of the North series. When she and her family settled in Tarrytown and then Hampton, NY, she enjoyed the wide range of services at the local library – from children’s story hours to stimulating evening gatherings for adults. She developed a fuller appreciation for libraries, and is a big fan of Rutland Free Library. Check out the wide range of programs RFL offers at our website,

Nancy would love to work with the Rutland Free Library staff to help deliver requested books for Gable residents who find it too challenging to get to the library themselves.  She describes it as “Books on Wheels…like Meals on Wheels, and just as nourishing.” Rutland Free Library currently delivers books and DVDs regularly to ___ people who cannot leave their homes.

Nancy believes “It’s important for everyone to support the library as much as possible.” Please follow Nancy’s lead by making a tax-deducible donation to Rutland Free Library or by getting involved with this critical community resource.


“There’s always a story behind the cover, and it takes you on a journey …” — Bradee Traverse

To say that 5th grader Bradee Traverse is an avid reader is an understatement.  She reads 3-4 books a week, and last summer engaged in a personal “reading challenge”.  By the end she had read 33 books, totaling 3,083 pages.  Her “sponsors” paid her a penny per page, and she donated half of this to her favorite charity, the Humane Society (she also came home with a new kitten!).

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A love of books runs in the family and her mother Yvonne recalls that she could hardly wait to start reading to her daughter.  By seven months Bradee was “hooked” on books, and for years mother and daughter read stories together. Bradee still recalls details from many of her early favorites, but now reads on her own, particularly loving series such as The Magic Treehouse, No Excuses, Mr. Nobody, and Who Was.  She often shares books with her cousin, and donates some to her school library.

The Traverse family actually lives in Castleton, but since Yvonne works in Rutland and Bradee has many activities here, they purchase a Rutland Free Library card every year.  They appreciate both the library’s convenient location and its expansive selection of books and movies.  Bradee adds that she also likes seeing all the art on the walls and the Lego displays.

While Bradee certainly enjoys her friends, basketball and laser tag, she already thinks of herself as a “half-librarian” and hopes to volunteer in a library in the future.  She urges other children to discover libraries and find the joy of reading: “Why don’t you try it…there’s always a story behind the cover, and it takes you on a journey.”  Mom adds, “You can do anything if you’re reading…can learn how to do anything.”


“In all times of life books can be a saving grace,” — Liz Wizda

Liz Wizda was born into a family that treasured books and loved good literature.  This passion for reading was passed down to her from her grandmother and mother, the former frequently proclaiming that “you can live with orange crates, if you have books and a good rug!”.  Liz vividly recalls getting her first library card at age ten – “hand written in pencil, and I kept that card for twenty years!”

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She soon discovered Ernest Hemingway, devouring all his books, with Rudyard Kipling, John Dos Passos, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Mark Twain becoming favorites as well.  As a new mother, she recalls taking her young toddler to the local library so he too might experience the lure of books; today he is an avid reader of fantasy series like The Game of Thrones.


In 1996 Liz and her family moved to Rutland , where her husband grew up.  She jokes she came to see cows and snow, but also soon discovered the Rutland Free Library.  She raves about the beautiful old beautiful building, “with a marble fireplace in the bathroom!”; the friendly, helpful staff; the extensive DVD collection; and the interlibrary loan service which once secured a Mick Jagger biography for her all the way from Louisiana.  She describes it as “my home away from home”, noting that this is true for many members of our broader community.


Seven years ago her connection to the library became even stronger, as she sought to recover from a serious stroke.  Suffering partial paralysis and spatial issues, “I copped an attitude and started to re-read all of Hemingway; one of my solaces was reading…in all times of life books can be a saving grace.”


Today Liz is hoping to start volunteering at the library. She remains passionate about introducing young children to the joy of books, encouraging them to “use your imagination, and read, read, read!”


We want to hear from you!

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Individual photos courtesy Vibe Portrait Art, Rutland.