To the Editor:

First Wednesdays 2013-2014 has come to its conclusion. Once again, the Vermont Humanities Council lecture series hosted by the Mark Skinner Library was a rousing success. FW Manchester's biggest audience ever - over 1,400 people - gathered in Manchester between the months of October to May to explore thought-provoking topics that educated, enriched, and inspired.

We are most grateful to the Vermont Humanities Council for providing this lecture series to the people of Manchester and the surrounding communities.

The Perfect Wife Restaurant and Tavern, the Spiral Press Cafe, and Vermont Renewable Fuels generously underwrote the Mark Skinner Library's First Wednesdays' fees and expenses. Their philanthropic community spirit made it possible for residents of Manchester and the Mountains and beyond to consider themes as diverse as "Brain Lessons and Life Stories: Understanding Your Emotional Life," "A Life in the News with NPR's Tom Ashbrook," and "The Duel: Aaron Burr vs. Alexander Hamilton," delivered by some of our country's most prominent authorities.

In addition, the Israel Congregation of Manchester, Keelan Family Foundation, Northshire Bookstore, Vermont Public Radio, and Witten, Woolmington & Campbell, P.C. graciously sponsored programs in the series.

First Wednesdays would not be possible without the statewide support of the Vermont Department of Libraries.


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And since the Mark Skinner Library is not fully accessible to people with disabilities, we rely on the hospitality of our neighbor, the First Congregational Church, to provide an accessible venue.

We've been delighted with how fervently area high schools have embraced First Wednesdays and encouraged student involvement. The presence and participation of BBA and Long Trail School students created a rich, multi-generational experience for all.

Manchester's Public Library is proud to serve as the host for this extraordinary lecture series. It is a gift to the people of Manchester and the Mountains and we applaud the above businesses and organizations for making it possible.

Linda McKeever, President, Mark Skinner Library

Betsy Bleakie, Executive Director, Mark Skinner Library

Cindy Waters Adult Services Librarian/ Adult Programming Coordinator

Manchester