It’s National Poetry Month!

Library Blog - April 14, 2015 - 10:57am

The Rice Aron Library is celebrating this month with a display of some of the wonderful poetry books in our collection. Come by and check it out to discover some of the treasures of our poetry collection! As always, feel free to check out any of the books on display, or peruse the stacks to find more.

There are also numerous ways to participate in NPM:

Here in the library we will be hosting a Magnetic Poetry Contest, open 24/7 for submissions. We’ve set a up a magnet board with plenty of words to help you create poetic masterpieces on the ground floor of the Library, next to the poetry display. Come by anytime and compose a poem! If you wish to submit a poem to the contest, take a picture of it and email it to with your name and contact information. We will remove your contact info before we post your photo.

We’ll highlight some of our favorites on our Facebook page, and one lucky poet will win a gift certificate to the Potash Grill!  The winner will be selected at random from all eligible entries at the end of the month.

Additionally, April 30th is

Join people across the country who will be selecting a poem to carry around their pocket and share with others throughout the day.

To learn more about National Poetry Month, visit

Celebrate your poet friends! Write poetry! Enjoy the month!


Research trip to the UMass Amherst Libraries, 4/19

Library Blog - April 13, 2015 - 12:23pm
Yes, that’s the library!

This Sunday, April 19th, the Library is sponsoring the second van trip of the semester to the UMass Amherst Libraries. Space is limited! Sign up on the sheet at the Library Research Bar.

The van will leave the Dining Hall at 11:30am and return by 5:30pm.

While at UMass, you can search their hundreds of databases and download or scan articles from their extensive journal holdings (e-journal list; library catalog). If you are a Massachusetts resident, you can get a library card and borrow books; if not, you can jot down any book titles that look useful and request them via Marlboro’s Interlibrary Loan service.

Beth is happy to meet with you this week to help you make the most of your 3 hours (roughly) at UMass. Stop by or email us to set up an appointment!

Karen White Wins Axiom Business Book Award

Center for New Leadership - April 9, 2015 - 10:45am

This month Karen White’s “Practical Project Management For Agile Nonprofits” received an Axiom Business Book Bronze Award. The Axiom Awards were launched in 2007 “to honor the year’s best business books and their

authors and publishers.”

Karen teaches Project Management and Change Management in Marlboro’s MS in Management- Mission-Driven Organizations program, where she has become known for her expertise and her use of real world examples in her teaching. “Karen White’s classes have consistently received rave reviews as a game changer for how people organize their work and teams,” says Sean Conley, Associate Dean for Graduate and Professional Studies.

Karen was inspired to write the book while volunteering for a local fundraising event. She realized that project management tools would really assist in managing volunteers, and potentially even impact the revenue from the event. She was right.

“Feedback I have received from students and other practitioners with whom I interact confirm my thoughts that the needs of the non-profit sector are really not that different from the for-profit sector,” says Karen. “Both sectors range in size from the very large with perceived unlimited resources to the very small surviving through the efforts of two or three dedicated employees. Both sectors are focused on improving the return on their investments – be it increased shareholder value and profits, or increased programs and community support – while containing costs.”

Nonprofits have their own unique challenges, including the education of donors and board members about the benefits that can be gained by investing in project management discipline. “That is where I see the book and my teaching making a difference,” says Karen, “advocating for the mind change needed.”

More information about the awards program and other winners can be found at  

Faculty Book Release: The Social Profit Handbook

Center for New Leadership - March 26, 2015 - 11:34am

Marlboro’s Board Leadership Institute kicked off on Saturday with a retreat on organizational life cycles and assessment led by David Grant.

David is the former president and CEO of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation in Morristown, New Jersey, where he was responsible for development and evaluation of the Nonprofit Capacity Building initiative as well as all other major programs. He now consults with organizations that have a social or educational mission, specializing in strategic planning, design of assessment systems, and board development.

We were excited to have David with us the day after his new book appeared in print!  The Social Profit Handbook, published in Vermont by Chelsea Green, offers those who lead, govern, and support mission-driven organizations and businesses new ways to assess their impact in order to improve future work rather than merely judge past performance. Assessment doesn’t have to mean piles of quantitative data, David insists:”if you can describe it in words, you can measure it.”

Spring Break @ the Library

Library Blog - March 12, 2015 - 1:44pm

Spring is finally here! Well. Kinda. Though the snow lingers and the temperatures continue to toy with us, at the very least, Spring Break is upon us.

During Spring Break, the Library will be open, so come see us! Our hours will be:

Friday, March 13: 8:30am – 4:30pm

Saturday, March 14 & Sunday, March 15: Closed

Monday, March 16 – Friday, March 20: 8:30am – 4:30pm

Saturday, March 21 & Sunday, March 22: Closed

Monday, March 23 – Friday, March 27: 8:30am – 4:30pm

Saturday, March 28: Closed

The Library will resume regular Service Desk hours on Sunday, March 29th, at 12:30pm.

During the Break, we’ll be doing some cleaning in the Library building; if you are leaving personal items in the Library, please make sure all library books are checked out and displaying yellow slips and other items are placed in designated areas in the stacks.

If you’re not going to be on campus, library staff will still be available to help during break — just email or give us a call at 802-258-9221. And, of course, our electronic resources remain available to you 24/7 via our website.

Safe travels to those venturing off the Hill, and we admit to a small amount of envy of anyone heading to warmer climes!


Better Living Through Zotero: Meet with a librarian for tailored help

Library Blog - February 13, 2015 - 9:56am

Zotero is a useful (and free!) tool that can help you manage and format citations as you research and write. No longer just for Firefox, Zotero now works with most browsers, operating systems, and word processing platforms.

You can…

  • Capture and keep citations and links to books and articles as you come across them;
  • Organize your citations into folders for different classes or projects;
  • Format citations in any of dozens of formats (including APA, Chicago, and MLA) with just a few clicks;
  • Insert citations in your paper as you write and have them formatted automatically;
  • Sync your Zotero library across computers;
  • Create group libraries to share citations.

On three upcoming weekend days, librarians will offer individual meetings to help you get the most out of Zotero.

To get going with Zotero, or become a power user, sign up for 15 minutes of individual help (Marlboro login required to sign-up) at the Research Bar during the following times:

  • Saturday, February 21st, 10-12:15 p.m. with Beth
  • Sunday, February 22nd, 3:00-5:15 p.m with Amber
  • Sunday, March 8th, 2-4 p.m. with Beth

If you can’t make any of those times, Beth and Amber are also available for one-on-one Zotero help at other times; just stop by the desk or email us to set up a time.

Rachel Selsky of Youth Services on Get On Board Windham County

Center for New Leadership - February 2, 2015 - 12:09pm
Theory Into Practice Innovative Action from Students and Alum Are you interested in joining the board of an organization in your community? Wondering if you have the skills or knowledge needed to contribute? Rachel Selsky was feeling this way shortly after moving to Brattleboro in 2010. She joined the Get On Board Windham County program to gain leadership skills and learn more about nonprofit boards. Four years later she is the Vice President of the Youth Services Board, an organization she connected with through the Get On Board Program.

Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What do you do for work?

For my day job I do community and economic development consulting for a firm based in Saratoga Springs, New York named Camoin Associates. We work with communities all over the country, primarily in the northeast providing a variety of economic development services.


I grew up in the Albany, New York area and moved to Vermont in 2010 with my husband. We bought a house in west Brattleboro, and after that I was looking for ways to get more involved in the community and meet new people. I saw an ad for the Get On Board program and it looked really interesting. It seemed like a good way to get involved, so I applied and was accepted.


What was the highlight of the Get On Board program for you?

There were two highlights. We learned a lot of nuts and bolts things, like how to fundraise and how to make that first ask. Those are important skills with any work you do with a nonprofit. But then, secondly, in the bigger picture, we also learned great leadership skills and various communication styles. In my personal life and professional life, learning those leadership and communication skills was something I found important and useful.


You were matched with the Board of Youth Services of Windham County. Did you have any initial fears about joining a nonprofit board?

I wouldn’t say there were necessarily any fears, but before I took the Get On Board program I wasn’t quite sure what I had to offer and whether there would be room for someone like me without any experience or training on a board. I got involved in the program to gain leadership skills and learn more about nonprofit boards. I knew it was something I wanted to be involved in down the road but I wasn’t quite sure how to do it on my own. I thought it was a good way to take that first step and learn about it.


I was really lucky to get matched with the Youth Services of Windham County Board of Directors for the six-month trial period. They are a really fantastic, highly functioning, working board. I was able to go to their meetings and learn about their programs and how boards run. David Brown and Ben Underhill are on the Youth Services board and were my mentors. They came to the Get On Board meetings and would also meet with me after Youth Services board meetings to help me get settled and answer my questions. They checked in with me regularly to make sure that I was transitioning and understanding all of the different programs that Youth Services had.


After the six-month trial period I was honored to be asked to with officially join the Youth Services Board of Directors. I had learned so much and I was really comfortable with the board.


Has there been anything about your time on the board with Youth Services that has surprised you?

I was surprised by how much time people put in. The volunteers on the Youth Services board (and really all nonprofit boards) are dedicated and passionate about the work they do. They put in a lot of their personal time to achieving the various goals of the nonprofit that they are working for. This is true of both staff and volunteers on the board.


When we serve on boards all sorts of unexpected challenges rise up. Were there any in particular that your time with Get On Board helped you meet?

Like most nonprofits, the funding for many of the programs of Youth Services has been cut or relatively stagnant over the years. Fundraising, having successful events, and creating events that bring in new age groups and demographics has been a challenge. It is really important that the board helps face the challenge, find solutions, and keep the organization financially stable.


The training through the Get On Board program in communication and fundraising has been really vital, and also the information about the ways that different age groups are choosing to get involved with causes. We are trying to find ways to familiarize new demographics with Youth Services and connect to us in some way. We want them to get involved, possibly give money, or at least be familiar with what Youth Services has to offer. And all of these things were talked about in Get On Board.


Did your experience with Get On Board contribute to other parts of your life?

A big part of my professional life is facilitating meetings and building consensus . We learned about that in Get On Board. One of our first meetings focused on leadership and different ways that leaders lead and command a room. I’ve been more aware of that as I’m leading meetings and try to ensure that everyone is encouraged to participate and that I’m communicating with them in a way that they understand and respond to.


Who do you think should apply to Get On Board?

Anyone who is looking to get more involved but isn’t sure where they would fit in. Or anyone or unfamiliar with the various programs or nonprofits that are out there. I know that having access to Get On Board provides you with access and familiarity with a wide variety of different nonprofits in the Windham county area. There are tons of them.


Also people who are looking to meet new professionals who are like-minded. It was a great way for me to meet people as I moved into the area. I have a few close friends that I gained from the program. It’s always nice to see familiar faces and feel like you are part of the community.


Learn More About Youth Services:

Youth Services provides programs and services that promote the healthy development of local youth and families in Southeastern Vermont and help them gain the skills necessary to lead constructive lives within the community.


At the same time, their private, nonprofit agency is taking the lead on addressing some of the underlying conditions affecting youth in the area: a lack of transportation, a need for positive relationships with caring adults, places for youth to gather, housing and jobs for a more hopeful future.




Top Tips for Conflict Resolution

Center for New Leadership - February 2, 2015 - 12:05pm

by Greg Hessel

When you’re anticipating a tough conversation, complex theory isn’t as useful as some quick reminders for effective action. Marlboro College trainer Greg Hessel, of Regeneration Resources, offers his top tips for managing hard conversations. Greg will be sharing more conflict management tools on April 2 as part of Marlboro’s Board Leadership Institute.

The list, taken in part from Thomas Crum, is divided into two sections: 1) Work to do on your own before the difficult conversation, and 2) the work to be done with the other person.

List for you to do on your own

  1. Identity the emotions you are feeling and commit to suspend reacting from your emotions.
  2. Ask, “What can I learn from this?”, “What buttons of mine are being pushed and where do those buttons come from?”       Look at your conflict triggers.       Don’t think about what you can say or do to win or be right.
  3. Commit to not confronting the other person when you are off balance or when your goal is to win, or make them wrong.
  4. Look at your contribution to the conflict and commit to taking responsibility for it with the other person.
  5. Consider what to say and how to say it so that they won’t feel blamed.

List to do with the other person

  1. Pick a time and a location that is conducive to good communication.
  2. Acknowledge specifically what does work.
  3. State your long-term goal in a positive way.       The goal should not be about what you don’t want, but rather about the most positive future you can imagine. (“I want to have this conversation with you, even though I am nervous about it, because I want to work in a stress free environment and I think we can achieve that.” Or “. . . because I want to have an authentic, long-term friendship with you.”)
  4. Invite them to have a conversation and tell them the topic.
  5. Deliver the message by:
    • Telling them what you discovered about yourself.
    • Using “I statements” be conscious of:
      • Communicating emotions after saying “I feel . . .
      • Using descriptive rather than judgmental language.
      • Making sure that your requests are not demands.
  6. Ask them how they see things and then listen to them without interrupting.
  7. Now really try to listen. Don’t judge, don’t react. Just be present and listen.
  8. Problem solve with them by asking what you could do differently.
  9. When you think you have reached a decision, restate it to them to make sure you are both agreeing to the same outcome.
  10. Talk about what to do when things go wrong in the future.
  11. Come back to envisioning the future (number three).


Celebrating the scholarship of Willene Clark and Jaysinh Birje-Patil

Library Blog - January 28, 2015 - 4:04pm

Along with the rest of the Marlboro College community, the library is mourning the loss of beloved former faculty Jaysinh Birje-Patil and Willene B. Clark. As well as serving as inspiring professors and trusted mentors, Birje and Willene were also published authors.

We encourage you to explore their books held in the Marlboro College Rice-Aron Library.

Willene B. Clark

Beasts and Birds of the Middle Ages: The Bestiary and Its Legacy. Middle Ages Series. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989.

The Medieval Book of Birds: Hugh of Fouilloy’s Aviarum. Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, v. 80. Binghamton, NY: Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, 1992.

The Stained Glass Art of William Jay Bolton. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1992.

Valleys of the Shadow: The Memoir of Confederate Captain Reuben G. Clark, Company I, 59th Tennessee Mounted Infantry. Voices of the Civil War Series. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1994.

A Medieval Book of Beasts: The Second-Family Bestiary: Commentary, Art, Text and Translation. Woodbridge: Boydell, 2006.

Jaysinh Birje-Patil

Ten Short Stories by Suresh Joshi. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, 2001.

Chinnery’s Hotel. East Sussex: Bodiam Books Ltd, 2004.

The Good Muslim of Jackson Heights. Burlington, Vt: Fomite, 2011.