Librarian Recommendation: The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman

This is not my normal go to book, but I must admit that I completely enjoyed The Charm Bracelet by Viola Shipman. I read it in 3 days. It is very engaging from the first page.

This is a story of 3 generations of women: the grandmother, the daughter and the granddaughter. The family tradition is to start a charm bracelet for each woman when she is young and add to it with each event in her life, thus giving a full history of her life through jewelry. The story goes into what each charm means and why it is given to each woman. It is rich with their family history, their sorrows, and their triumphs.

I heard about The Charm Bracelet through a friend in another book club I belong to. I liked it enough to want to do read it for the Second Monday Book Club but it wasn’t to be. However, we were invited to join the other book club when they met with Viola Shipman (actually Wade Russo, he writes under his grandmother’s name). He started writing women’s contemporary fiction when he didn’t find books he enjoyed reading. Wade and his husband Gary have offered to come back and discuss any book that the Wilton Book Clubs read.

What are you reading today?

Celebrate Banned Books Week

This week is an important week for most libraries around the nation. Libraries are pillars of knowledge and learning. But libraries are also places of great rebellion. Libraries stand up for the first amendment, freedom of speech, they stand for the freedom to read, and they stand for intellectual freedom. What all those mean is that you can read what you want, learn about the topics that tickle your fancy, and speak your mind freely, at least in these hallowed halls, roosts of notoriety, and small rooms of brain boosting books. Since 1982, libraries have been defending books and authors against those that wish to see them removed from shelves, not only in libraries, but schools and book stores.

Since 1982, when banned books week started,  libraries have championed over 11,200 titles and fought to keep them on bookshelves. Challenged books have faced serious charges such as racism, sexism and obscenities. Which in 2022 and the free access we have to many objectionable materials, one would think that folks would stop challenging books and start challenging other materials. The truth is that in late 2021 and into 2002, over 1,140 books were challenged for their contents.

If you’d like to learn more about banned books, or why these books were challenged, stop by and visit us at Wilton Public Library. We’d be happy to help you discover a banned book or two and allow you to visit your rebellious side.

Halloween Party! Coming soon…

If you haven’t heard the news already, we are planning a community Halloween Party on October 28, 2022 to start at 6:30 pm and go until the kids have had enough. While most events are still in the planning process, this is what we have so far:

Tracy Chipman, storyteller, is going to come in and tell us some spooky tales. She will be in the library at 7 so those that want to her tales will not be disturbed. If you remember, Tracy was here in July and delivered a fantastic, mesmerizing hour of stories in the gazebo. If you missed her this summer, don’t worry, you have a second chance.

We will also have face painting, thanks to the cheerleaders at Hillsboro High School. They did fantastic at the Hillsboro Labor Day celebration this past weekend, so we are very happy they agreed and are able to come and do some faces for the kiddos!

Even with this much ready to go so far, we are asking for the community’s involvement and help.

  1. So that we can have the gym ready for a super spooktacular time, we are asking that you please consider donating any extra Halloween decorations to the library. We would love for the environment to be one where the kids get a great Halloween experience.
  2. To ensure that every kid that wants to come has a costume, please donate any costumes that do not fit your child any longer. You can drop them off at the library starting September 12. After October 1st, all costumes will be available for pick up at the library. There is no charge for costumes. We will do our best to ensure that all donated costumes are given back to the community.

Please keep in mind that the Halloween Party is open to the entire community and free to the public.

Thank you for your help and support. We couldn’t do any of this without you!

Our Visit from Amanda Zieba

A few weeks ago, we had a visit from Amanda Zieba. First, I want to encourage all of you to come and be part of these events, even if you’ve never heard of the presenter. I promise they are fun people, and we always have a good time. Second, I need to apologize to Amanda. I didn’t take a picture when she was here, I was simply mesmerized by her personality, laid back approach to life, and her willingness to be so open about her life and who she is. The picture above is a snip from her website that I stole. She looks great, doesn’t she?

We had scheduled Amanda for a kids’ presentation and writing workshop but sadly, no kids. We spent the time wisely and I got to know Amanda a little. Amanda is a self-described word nerd with her website entitled WordNerdopolis. It is set up like a tiny town. Just for the creativity and fun, I highly recommend visiting.


When facing graduation from high school, Amanda had to make a decision: teacher or writer. The safe and practical path was to become a teacher, which is also what she was encouraged to do by all the adults in her life, so she went to college for teaching, graduated, and found her first job. Even with the busy life of working as a full-time teacher and new wife, she still found herself needing to write and tell stories. Her husband was, and is, heavily involved in coaching, which allowed Amanda to spend quite a bit of time on her own. She used this time to write.

Her first paid writing assignment came from answering an internet ad that said, “write for us.” For those of us old enough to remember, this ad led Amanda to Yahoo! where she could write evergreen (content that wasn’t connected to a date or timeline) articles about topics that interested her. This was a pay per click job, and while it was pay, it certainly wasn’t going to replace her salary as a teacher. Amanda said this is where she gained the most confidence as a writer as it showed her that someone would pay her for this work.

Yahoo! couldn’t afford the article writing side of things and removed all the content from the internet. From there, Amanda wrote and published lesson plans and curriculum downloads to a site called teachers pay teachers. There someone posted about finishing a historical fiction book for kids, which was to become her first book “Orphan Train Riders” (available in the library btw). Her second book is “Breaking the Surface” which is about leaving the underwater world and spending time on the surface of the world.

Goals and Choices

Amanda’s number one goal right now is to be traditionally published. The advertising dollars that the traditional publishing world has is much higher than what she can do alone as a self-published writer. In order to reach this goal, Amanda says no to a lot of things that aren’t writing so that she can spend time doing what she loves and honing her craft. Honestly, this is great advice for any goal, and if you want to reach it, you say no to things that won’t get you there, and yes to things that will.

To get ideas to write, Amanda stated that they come from all over. Normally the ideas are inspiration from images and what Amanda considers a cool picture. One book was inspired by a picture of a woman reaching for the sky with lightning bolts and another from an ad for an IMAX movie about the ocean. In addition to visuals, she asks herself a ton of questions: who are the main characters? What problems do they solve? From her own life, she has written a series of books inspired by her relationship with her cousins, the snapchat thread they share to keep in constant contact and took 8 real people’s personalities and boiled them down into 4 characters. She admits she has way more ideas than time.

Amanda’s best advice to become a writer is to:

  1. Read a lot of books, then read some more.
  2. Be sure to read a variety of books, and don’t be afraid to try new authors.
  3. Write, a lot, then write some more.
  4. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and topics.
  5. Find writing friends so that you always have someone who understands your victories and your challenges.

If Amanda was to be remembered for something, she wants to be remembered for being kind and thoughtful; that she left people feeling good about themselves, the world, and their interaction with her.

If you get the chance to attend one of her workshops, I recommend going. Amanda is engaging, funny and full of great information on how to write and self-publish your work.

Welcome CD boom boxes to the Family!

Another piece of equipment that has been floating around for a while are these CD boom boxes. Wilton has 2 available and they will be checked out with their power cords, but batteries are not included. They are available for 3 weeks (same amount of time as the Audiobooks) for your listening enjoyment. Wilton has a lot of Audiobooks to go with these but if you’re looking for regular audio CDs, then just search our catalog. I know several libraries have a quite large music library as well.

The CD players are behind the circulation desk, so ask me, Kelly or Debbie for assistance and we will be sure to get one of these for you. If you need help getting music CDs or Audiobooks, we can help with that too!

Wilton Now Offers DVD Players

These cool DVD players were found buried in a cupboard. So, we have made them available for check out. They are available for a week at a time, and they come with headphones and a car power supply so these little guys can go traveling with you, should you so desire. They can also be hooked up to your TV so you can view them comfortably at home too.

Wilton has 2 available for check out. They are behind the circulation desk, but just ask me, Kelly or Debbie and we will be sure to help you get what you need.