Magnificent Magazines @CPL

Today’s post comes to us from Cheshire Library’s Deputy Director, Deb Rutter:

Magazines are popular with our readers at  Cheshire Library and there are more ways than ever to access them!

Prefer traditional paper? The last decade or so has been tough on print magazines.  Favorites such as Newsweek, Glamour, Cooking Light, Vegetarian Times, Redbook, and the Ladies’ Home Journal have ceased publication or switched to a newsstand-only or digital-only format.  Others have reduced the number of issues per year.  But even with the decline in print magazines, there are still great new titles popping up.  We’ve just added 3 new magazines to our collection: Cowboys and Indians, which highlights the life and style of the modern American West, The Magnolia Journal, created by popular HGTV hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines, and Pioneer Woman, created by author and TV personality Ree Drummond.  We have over 130 other magazine titles on the lower level adjacent to our new quiet reading area.   Enjoy reading the latest issue of your favorites in the library in our new quiet reading lounge, or check out previous issues to take home.

Downloadable magazines are a great option as you can read them on your tablet, phone or computer.  We have two magazine platforms available to our CPL cardholders, RBdigital and Overdrive/Libby (non-CPL cardholders, check with your local library to find out what digital platforms are available there).  RBdigital features 34 magazine titles, including The Economist (which we do not offer in paper format), Eating Well, Discover, Better Homes and Gardens and more.  One of my personal favorites is National Geographic, which includes additional video content and is absolutely glorious on an IPad—so glorious that one of my neighbors purchased an IPad after seeing the National Geographic on mine!  You can “subscribe” to as many magazines as you would like and receive an email notifying you when the newest issue is ready to be read or downloaded to your device of choice.  It really doesn’t get much easier. Overdrive/Libby offers about 50 magazine titles including Cosmopolitan, Car & Driver, Esquire, and TV Guide.  There is some overlap in content between the 2 platforms, (for example, you can access Newsweek and Popular Science through both platforms) but the subscription feature is available only through RBdigital.

Are we missing some of your favorites?  Email us and let us know what they are.  No promises, but we may be able to add some of them to our collection!

Gardens, Gardens, Everywhere

For most gardeners, there is no better season than spring. After a long winter, we forget about previous garden disasters (like those darn deer that ate their way through last summer’s flower beds…) and look forward to what will surely be our most fabulous garden ever!  As I do every year, I spent part of last winter looking through gardening books and catalogs and planning improvements to my home landscape.  One of the many wonderful aspects of working at a library is easy access to all of the best books on any subject, including lots of garden and landscape books.  Here are some of my favorites from the last couple of years.

Jacket.aspxCoffee for roses : …and 70 other misleading myths about backyard gardening  Garden “myth-busting” done with wit and style.  Save yourself time and money–one of the tips I picked up from this book will save me both.

Jacket.aspxThe Know Maintenance Perennial Garden  This simplified approach to perennial gardening uses hardy, attractive plants grown on a 10×14 foot grid. Each of the 62 garden plans combines complementary plants that thrive together and grow as a community and are designed for easy maintenance, the goal of most home gardeners. Even if you don’t switch to this system, you will find some good ideas.

Jacket.aspxLandscaping Ideas That Work.  Your yard should be an extension of your home and this terrific book covers front, back, and side yards and provides strategies for combining elements and creating spaces that work with any home. Some great before and after photos.

Jacket.aspxLawn gone! : low-maintenance, sustainable, attractive alternatives for your yard.  My husband and I have ongoing “discussions” about our too-large lawn.  Every year I drag books like this home in hopes that he will give up the turf war.  No luck yet, but I keep hoping!

Jacket.aspxThe Shady Lady’s Guide to Northeast Shade Gardening.   This is a great book for those of us whose yards are graced with large shade trees.  The Shady Lady identifies best practices, best plants, and best information, specifically designed for the zones of the greater Northeast – and leaves out all the rest. Includes a large yet highly selective illustrated plant gallery that includes all the indispensable perennials, ferns, and bulbs.

Don’t forget magazines!  We get many home and garden magazines in paper and downloadable formats, including Better Homes and Gardens, Fine Gardening, Organic Gardening and more.

This year, in addition to my own gardens and a period herb garden I help maintain at the Thankful Arnold House Museum in Haddam, I am assisting with a garden project here at the Cheshire Public Library.  Cheshire Garden club member Anupa Simpatico has designed a low-maintenance garden with four-season appeal for the front of the library.  This project supports and promotes a healthy environment for birds and pollinating insects and carries out the Cheshire Garden Club’s mission of garden education, civic beautification and the preservation of wildlife.  Click here to see the plan and plant list. This project wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Friends of the Library, who are helping fund it with money donated in memory of Margaret Andersen, a long-time member of the Friends and an avid gardener. The Cheshire Town Beautification Committee and several anonymous donors have made  generous contributions towards the cost of the plants and shrubs.
The garden will be enjoyed by library visitors as well as countless people who pass by the front of the library  in vehicles and on foot. We are looking for volunteers to help plant and maintain the garden.  Please contact me at if you are interested in helping.



What’s Happening at Cheshire Library in January…


Happy New Year! January is shaping up to be a busy month at CPL – here’s what’s happening:

January Movie Matinees

Tuesdays at 1:00pm

January 7 : Lion In Winter 

January 14 : Flags of Our Fathers

January 21 :Suspicion

Cheshire Cats Classics Club

Wednesday, January 15, 7:00pm.
  This month we are discussing one of the great classics of the English language, Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Set near the end of the 14th century, 29 travelers from vastly differing backgrounds set out one April for Canterbury on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Thomas Beckett. Travel is arduous and wearing, so to maintain their spirits this band of pilgrims entertains each other with a series of tall tales that span the spectrum of literary genres. Five hundred years later people are still reading The Canterbury Tales.This month’s book is available to check out at the library. Please join us!   To register, please visit our website.

Powerful Positive Thinking

Thursday January 16  7:00pm

1061 Speaker Diane Frankel-Gramelis is director of Community Education at Milford Hospital and a Health & Wellness Educator at Yale New Haven Hospital and other institutions. She has been designing and implementing health and wellness programs for over 25 years. Diane has a dynamic and varied background in childbirth, parenting counseling, stress management and health promotion; she is an empowering wellness speaker, bringing warmth, wisdom and real-life solutions to her audience.   To register, please visit our website.

Guitar and Mandolin featured in January Sunday Showcase

Sunday, January 26, 4:00pm

   Husband and wife duo Judy Handler and Mark Levesque blend Brazilian, Latin American, swing, gypsy, classical and folk music influences to create their sophisticated and expressive arrangements. Audiences respond with great enthusiasm to their extraordinary sound and the uplifting spirit of their music. They have performed over 1,500 concerts together throughout the Northeast and Midwest.   All ages welcome – no registration required.

Free Video Production  Training and Facilities at Cox Communications – Tuesday January 28, 7:00 pm.
   Cheshire Library will present David Smith, Cox Communications Cheshire Public Access, on Tuesday January 28 at 7:00pm. Mr. Smith will discuss the video production training and equipment that Cox Communications offers free of charge to residents of Cheshire, Southington and Meriden. This includes the use of field equipment, studio production and video editing.  Mr. Smith will also answer any questions participants may have about Cox’s local facility. To register, please visit our website.

 Chocolate for Valentine’s Day! 

Thursday, January 30, 7:00pm

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many of us wonder what kind of goodies we can easily make as gifts for family and friends. Think chocolate!   Long time chef and chocolate expert Maria Brandriff will demonstrate both some decadent truffles and some healthier chocolate treats in a program entitled Chocolate for the Holidays.  Recipes and ample samples will be available.  Space is limited.  To register, please visit our website.

Children’s Programs

Monday/Tuesday Storytime

Mondays-January 6, 13, 27, February 3, 10

Register for Mondays.

Tuesdays- January 7, 14, 21, 28, February 4, 11

Register for Tuesdays.

10:00 – 10:30 AM

Stories, songs, rhymes and a craft.Enhances children’s literacy and social skills. Children may stay with the librarian without parent or caregiver to create a sense of independence.

For ages 3-kindergarten

Mother Goose Time

Wednesdays-January 8, 15, 22, 29, February 5, 12

Session 1-9:30-9:55 AM (for children ages birth to 24 months) 

Register for Session 1

Session 2-10:00-10:25 AM (for children ages 2-3)

Register for Session 2

Stories, songs and fingerplays that help develop speech and social skills. Children attend with a parent/caregiver.

Family Time 

Thursdays-January 9, 16, 23, 30, February 6, 13.

10:00 – 10:55 AM

Age-appropriate toys, craft activity, games and books.  Provides opportunities for socialization and development of fine and gross motor skills.  For children ages 1-3 with parent/caregiver.  Register.

Gizmos, Gadgets and Goo: Mad Scientists’ Club

Thursdays, 3:45-4:45 PMThis hands-on, one-hour science program offers children a chance to see just how cool science can be! For grades 3-6.
Select  Track A or B (the programs will be duplicated).

Register for Track A (January 9, 23)
Register for Track B (January  16,30)

The following programs do not require registration:

Builders’ Brigade

Wednesday January 8, 22, 4:00-5 PM. For all ages.

If you love to create masterpieces with LEGO® bricks or MEGA BLOKS®, then this program is perfect for you! This program is geared toward kids ages 7 and up, but younger builders are also welcome!

Bookmarks Book Club 

Tuesday January 21, 4:00 PM  Grades 1-3

Tween Book Club

Tuesday January 28, 4:00 PM  Gradeimages 4-6.

Fab Film Saturday 

“Turbo” Saturday, January 11, 2:00 PM.  All ages.

Schedule subject to change
See our
calendar for more information or check the KIDS’ PAGE on the library website!

Just For Teens                                                       

 Please join us for the following teen programs:
Cheshire Anime Club Friday, January 17, 3:00 pm
Anime Club Xtra Tuesday, January 7, 6:00 pm
Teen games, drop-in Fridays, January 3, 10, 24 at 2:30 pm
Yu-Gi-Oh: It’s Time to Duel   Friday, January 31, 2:30 pm
See the library’s teen page or the calendar for  more information!

Local Newspapers Available on Library Website

Want to check up on a news event from yesterday, last year, or even as far back as 25 years ago?

Then Cheshire Library has an online resource for you.

Cheshire residents have access to articles from the following Cheshire-area newspapers: Cheshire Herald 2007 to present; Meriden-Record Journal 12/7/1997 to present; New Haven Register 1988 to present.  This Newsbank database is indexed and searchable, and provides full-text articles from electronic editions.

To access Cheshire-area newspaper archives, online:

  • Go to the Cheshire Library homepage:
  • Mouse over the Research tab
  • Click on Newspapers and Magazines
  • Select the title you wish to search
  • Enter your Cheshire Library card number

If you have any questions, call the library’s Reference Department at 203-272-2245, ext. 4.

Federal and Connecticut State Tax Forms Available

Federal and State tax forms and instruction booklets will be available in the Reference Department located on the Library’s lower level. Forms will be delivered to the library throughout the month of January, but please note that the library does not receive all forms and cannot guarantee when forms will be available. Please call (203-272-2245, ext 4) to determine if a particular form or booklet is in stock.Federal forms may be downloaded at state tax forms may be downloaded at

 From the Director’s Desk:  

Technology Survey on Library Website

CaptureWe are writing our first Technology Plan and need your help to determine the best technology services for our library. The Impact Survey, developed by staff of the University of Washington Information School, ask how you use or would use various library technology services such as public computers, wireless networks, online resources, digital literacy training, etc. The survey will take about ten minutes to complete.  Thank you in advance for your time!

Technology Survey

Zinio Downloadable Magazines


I am completely hooked on Zinio, the library’s downloadable magazine service and want to tell everyone how terrific it is! Haven’t tried it?

Just go to Zinio on the library’s website and sign up with your Cheshire library card.  Over 60 popular magazines are available.  Need some help getting started?  Check out the library’s “Downloadables” page.

Ramona Burkey
Cheshire Public Library

What is Zinio?

If you’re a regular visitor to our website, you may have noticed a new service we started offering recently – digital magazines! Cheshire Library has partnered with Zinio to bring you digital versions of some of your favorite magazines, available free with your Cheshire Library card.

Flip through vivid, full-color magazine pages identical to the print version–only better. Unlike the library’s paper copies, digital magazines can be viewed by many people at the same time and include links, audio/video features, and a clickable index. Back issues of the same magazine will be available.

Zinio is the ultimate app for magazine lovers, with digital magazines that can be read on an iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac & PC. Anyone with a computer or mobile device can use Zinio as a paid service, but as a Cheshire Library card-holder, you receive the additional benefit of having free access to over 60 popular magazine titles. The interface was updated in June to make it easier than ever to use!

Give Zinio a try and let us know what you think!