PRESS RELEASE: Grand Opening of South Hero’s Worthen Library


Keagan Calkins, Library Director
Worthen Library
(802) 372-6209

Grand Opening of South Hero’s Worthen Library

South Hero, Vermont: After years of study, conceptualization, fundraising and nearly a year of construction, South Hero’s Library Director and Trustees will hold a formal ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration, with activities for kids and adults, of our community’s new library on Saturday, July 20, 2019, 10 a.m. at 260 US Route 2 in South Hero, VT.

“We are all excited to finally arrive at this day when we can share this wonderful new resource with our community,” said Library Director Keagan Calkins. “We’re also looking forward to sharing this day with Jason Broughton, our State Librarian,” she added.

South Hero’s library will be the first new public library in Vermont since Waterbury built a new library after theirs was destroyed by Hurricane Irene. “What makes our grand opening unique,” said Library Board Chair Ken Kowalewitz, “is that we have built this great new space without asking our local taxpayers for a bond. Each board and brick has been paid for by the generosity of over 400 individuals, businesses, and foundations.”

“We are also renaming our South Hero Public Library the Worthen Library in honor Dr. Edward Worthen, a great friend and scholar. Ed made a significant pledge to get our campaign underway and then named the Library as the beneficiary of the majority of his estate. His generosity is truly an example of the difference one person can make.”

In addition to the formal ribbon cutting, Opening Day festivities will include refreshments, activities for children, and tours of the new facility. The Cub Scouts will be on hand selling hot dogs.

“We hope everyone can join us in our celebration,” added Keagan Calkins.

The new Worthen Library will have increased space for programming, such as the reinstated Preschool Story Hour, and will be will equipped with new computers to enhance digital access for everyone. The new Community Room will offer meeting space for area organizations both during and outside of regular library hours. For more information about the Worthen Library, contact the Library Director, Keagan Calkins, at (802)372-6209.



PRESS RELEASE: Vermont State Grant Helps Close Funding Gap


Keagan Calkins, Library Director South Hero PublicLibrary
(802) 372-6209

Vermont State Grant Helps Close Funding Gap

South Hero, Vermont: The South Hero Library Director, Keagan Calkins, and Library Board Chair Ken Kowalewitz, didn’t need costumes to get a real treat on Wednesday, October 31. They were presented with a $25,000 check by Governor Scott and Speaker of the House and State Representative Mitzi Johnson at the Vermont State House. Continue reading

PRESS RELEASE: Local Couple’s Donation Puts Library Close to Goal


Keagan Calkins, Library Director South Hero Public Library
(802) 372-6209

Local Couple’s Donation Puts Library Close to Goal

South Hero, Vermont: Soon after this summer’s Snowfarm Vineyard kickoff of the Worthen Society, when this new group was started to recognize Library donors, our Library Director opened an envelope and found a check for an amount that puts the donors, Taylor and Jennifer Buckner of South Hero, in the Philanthropist level of this new Society. Their generous gift also puts the South Hero Library very close to our $1.5 million goal to build a new library. Continue reading

Inaugural Worthen Society Meeting Honors Library Supporters

20180814 Board MembersOver 80 supporters of the South Hero Library met Tuesday, August 14, at Snow Farm Vineyard to celebrate groundbreaking for the new library building and to induct members into the Worthen Society, a group formed to recognize financial supporters of the Library.

Over hors d’oeuvres and wine from locally grown grapes, attendees heard from local residents about the impact of the South Hero Library on their lives and on the community.   Continue reading

PRESS RELEASE: Groundbreaking Ceremony Kicks Off Construction of New Library

The South Hero Library will break ground on a new, 5,500 square foot library at 260 US Rte. 2 at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 21, 2018. All are invited to join in the celebration.

“We are excited about the progress we have made in securing the support of our community,” said Ken Kowalewitz, head of the Library Board of Trustees and the South Hero Library Foundation. “Groundbreaking is possible in large part because of Dr. Edward Worthen, our major benefactor. Now we need to match his generosity with $165,000 to complete the $1.5 million funding to build the Library for our community. You can help put us over the top with your gift and ensure that our community has a well-equipped space. We have decided to begin construction because we are keenly aware of rising construction costs. This celebration of our new Library allows our summer as well as year-round residents to join in this important step in our history.” Continue reading

PRESS RELEASE: Mergens Foundation Grant Puts South Hero Library Closer to Campaign Goal


Keagan Calkins, Library Director
South Hero Public Library
(802) 372-6209

Mergens Foundation Grant Puts South Hero Library Closer to Campaign Goal
New funding helps close the gap so that construction can begin

South Hero, Vermont: The South Hero Library celebrated Independence Day with a $20,000 grant from the George W. Mergens Foundation that brings the campaign to build a new library close to the $1.5 million goal. This grant, plus other recent gifts, will help close the $150,000 funding gap so that construction can begin on the new library at 260 US Rt. 2 in South Hero, Vermont.

“We are impressed with the vibrancy and success of the capital campaign thus far and with the overwhelming community support that it represents,” said Paul Mergens, President of the George W. Mergens Foundation. “The new library will undoubtedly be a hub of learning, connecting, and collaborating for all South Hero residents. On behalf of the foundation, let me wish you the very best in completing the campaign and in realizing the dream of creating a new and impactful space for everyone to enjoy.”

This grant, and funding from over 200 individuals, businesses and foundations bring the campaign total over $1.3 million. Foundation funding has been received from: the Hoehl Family Foundation, Amy Tarrant Foundation, Richard E. and Deborah L. Tarrant Foundation, and the Vermont Community Foundation. The new library will be a free-standing, fully accessible, energy efficient 5,500 square foot facility. The added space allows for increased programming and additions to the collection. Once completed, Library hours will increase from 24 to 40 hours a week. New programming plans include:

  • Preschool story hour will be reinstated and a play time added for young children.
  • Home-schooled students will have a place to share curriculum, host book clubs, and research topics during regular school hours.
  • Teens will have space to come to after school or in the evenings for book clubs, after-school homework help, and other programming geared to this age group.
  • Retirees and other adults will enjoy history lectures, book clubs, film screenings and discussions held during the day to make them more accessible.
  • Community groups will have a comfortable, accessible space in which to meet and present their programs outside of regular Library hours.

About the South Hero Public Library: South Hero’s Library has programming geared for all ages. For more information about programming, and the campaign, contact the Library Director, Keagan Calkins, at (802) 372-6209. You can make a donation to the campaign by stopping in the library, mailing a check or making a secure gift online at




We Want Your Ideas!

As published in The Islander on Feb. 20, 2018.

We would LOVE to hear your ideas about the programs and collections YOU would like to see at the South Hero library.  Be wild!  Be practical!  Be silly!  Be creative!  No idea is too off-the-wall!   I have been blown away by the energy and passion of the people in the Islands for having fun, learning, and just coming together to do something different.    Our combined brain power will make our library ROCK!

Let’s consider what we’ve been able to do together even in our current small space in the Folsom School – and how we can make it even better now,  and in the future when we have our beautiful new building. Continue reading