Category Archives: News

The Tolland Library was filled with authors, artists, poets and technology in 2017 thanks to the Tolland Public Library Foundation

Thanks to grants from the Tolland Public Library Foundation in 2017, patrons of the Tolland Public Library could use a 3D printer, research their family tree, meet award-winning authors and learn how to start their own business.
All of these services and more were provided by $22,964 in grants the foundation made to the library in 2017, using income from its Eaton-Dimock-King Endowment.
The foundation’s largest grants came for technology as the library expanded into the old Hicks gym in town hall. They included $4,885 to purchase the projector and sound system for the new Library Program Room and $3,500 to buy a 3D printer, laptop, software, a light tracing box and media conversion equipment for the new library Maker Space.
Library Director Barbara Pettijohn urged library patrons to sign up for lessons on using the equipment and thanked the foundation for its support.
“As the library expansion was being finished in 2017, the foundation’s grants were essential in helping us to outfit the Program Room and Maker Space with technology that was not included in the project budget,’’ she said. “I truly appreciate the foundation’s support.”
Grants from the foundation also funded the, JobNow and A to Z Database for residents to conduct research on their ancestors, on how to find a job and on companies nationwide, respectively.
A foundation grant is also funding a Tumblebooks subscription for the library. The online database includes 1,100 titles for children in kindergarten through sixth grade, including animated picture books and read-along chapter books.
The foundation also held its sixth annual Teen Poetry Slam in March with more than a dozen enthusiastic poets and is planning its seventh annual slam on April 5. Entry forms will be available soon at the library at 21 Tolland Green.
In 2017, foundation grants also brought authors P.W. Catanese and Caragh O’Brien to the library as well as author/illustrator David Biedryzycki as part of its Eaton-Dimock-King Authors Series. The foundation also sponsored  a zentangle workshop in which library patrons learned how to make drawings using repetitive art patterns.
Tolland residents hoping to start their own business also received useful advice from a lawyer and insurance executive, thanks to a foundation grant.
Linda Byam, president of the foundation board of directors, urged residents to attend its programs this year and to check out all of the offerings in the expanded library.
“Our library is a Tolland treasure, and the expansion is allowing it to truly become a community hub for residents of all ages,’’ she said.
For more information on the Maker Space and databases, call the library at 860-871-3620.

Poet Zoe Livingston of Tolland

3-D printer in the new Maker Space, funded by the Tolland Public Library Foundation


Young adult author P.W. Catanese with a couple of his young fans.

Tolland Library Foundation Matching Drive Raises More Than $8,500

Thanks to the generosity of Tolland residents, a recent matching drive to support the purchase of books and materials for the Tolland Public Library has raised $8,668.
Residents and library patrons donated a total of $4,334, which was matched by the Tolland Public Library Foundation during its drive from September to December. The Foundation had pledged to match up to $10,000 in tax-deductible donations.
The drive was held to support the purchase of books, magazine subscriptions, e-books, audio books, DVDs and other materials for the library. It was started following a cut to the materials budget, but even though the funds were restored in September, continued uncertainty over future state funding to the town convinced the Foundation board of directors to continue the matching drive.
Library Director Barbara Pettijohn said she was pleased to have the additional funding.
“Thank you very much to Tolland residents and library patrons who provided us with their generous support during this matching drive,’’ she said. “The library staff and I are grateful and will use the donations wisely.”
For more information on the library foundation, like its Facebook page.

Tolland Public Library


Tolland Library Foundation Announces Generous Bequest

The Tolland Public Library Foundation is pleased to announce that it has received a $36,000 bequest from the late Lois Barlow Cox Query, a beloved library patron and Tolland community activist.
The unrestricted gift will be used to support library initiatives and programs that are not covered by the town budget.
A small portion of the gift was used to purchase a commemorative clock in Query’s name that is now mounted in the Tolland Public Library at 21 Tolland Green.
A plaque was recently unveiled by Library Director Barbara Pettijohn and Foundation President Linda Byam with Query’s nephew and godson, George Schiebel of Vernon, present. He was joined by his wife, Kimberly, and their daughter-in-law to be Heaven Charpentier as well as Query’s longtime friends Kathy Bach and her husband, Dr. Louis Bach.
Query, who died in 2014 at the age of 82, also lovingly left bequests to the Tolland Historical Society and her church, the United Congregational Church of Tolland. Query was a volunteer with the Tolland Library Association, a past moderator of the church and a past member of the Tolland Garden Paths Garden Club and the Tolland Conservation Commission.
“Lois left a legacy of strength, vision, service, good works and a commitment to the community that she loved,’’ Kathy Bach said.
About the Tolland Public Library Foundation 
The Foundation was established in 1996 to receive donations to benefit the Tolland Public Library and to enhance library services beyond what the town budget provides. Tax-deductible donations can be sent to the Tolland Public Library Foundation, Inc., 21 Tolland Green, Tolland, CT 06084.

Clock dedication with, left to right, Library Director Barbara Pettijohn, George Schiebel, Kimberly Schiebel, Heaven Charpentier, Kathy Bach, Dr. Louis Bach and Library Foundation President Linda Byam

Clock in memory of Lois Barlow Cox Query




Mystery writer Chris Knopf to speak in Tolland Jan. 24

Mystery writer Chris Knopf of Avon, the author of more than a dozen books, will speak Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Tolland Public Library as part of the Tolland Public Library Foundation’s Eaton-Dimock-King Authors Series.
“Back Lash,” the 7th book in his Sam Acquillo Hamptons Mystery Series, was a finalist for the 2017 Connecticut Book Award. The 8th book in the series, “Tango Down,” is being released this month. Booklist has said that the series is known for its smooth prose style, brisk dialogue, well-drawn characters and keen sense of place.
“Tango Down” disrupts the illusion that the Hamptons on Long Island are safely immune from the struggles that enflame much of the world today. It is an examination of how fear of the unknown ignites prejudice and hate.
In 2013, his book featuring off-the-grid sleuth Arthur Cathcart, “Dead Anyway,” won the Nero Award and was named one of The Best Crime Novels of 2012 by The Boston Globe.
Knopf retired in 2017 as CEO of Mintz + Hoke, an Avon advertising agency. He is now co-publisher and editor of The Permanent Press, an independent book publishing company in Sag Harbor, New York.
The free book talk will be held in the Tolland Public Library program room at 21 Tolland Green in Tolland. Registration is required. To register, call the library at 860-871-3620 or register online at
Since 2010, the EDK series has brought well-known authors to Tolland, including Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Dan Barry, Caragh O’Brien, Dawn Metcalf, Susan Campbell, Denis Horgan, Jeff Goldberg,  Cindy Rodriguez, Susan Schoenberger and Lucy Anne Hurston to town.


Mystery writer Chris Knopf

Mystery Writer’s Talk Cancelled

Due to unforeseen circumstances, mystery writer Chris Knopf has had to cancel the free book talk he had planned at the Tolland Public Library on Jan. 10.
The Tolland Public Library Foundation is working to reschedule with him and will alert library patrons and Tolland residents when it has a new date and time.