Posted by: whimsicallibrarians | April 1, 2009

April is National Poetry Month

In celebration of National Poetry Month, Fairfield Woods Branch Library is featuring a wonderful poetry and art work display by local author Jim Norton. His works will be on display throughout the month of April.

Mr. Norton is an accomplished and talented poet. For the past four years, he has won first or second prize in the Connecticut Artist and Publishers Association’s annual writing contest. He also won second prize for poetry in the Trumbull Arts Festival’s writing contest in 2005. His poetry has also been exhibited at the Plumb Memorial Library in Shelton, Connecticut.

Please take a moment to stop by the Fairfield Woods Branch Library and experience the beauty of Mr. Norton’s work – you’ll be so glad you did!

Posted by: whimsicallibrarians | March 4, 2009

Hugo Cabret

We’ve begun our fantastic month of everything Hugo Cabret!! “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” is our One Book One Town selection.  Our 250 copies of the book have not been able to stay on our shelves.  Karen, the Assistant Director and I did our first One Book One Town bookclub meeting.  We had a great discussion of the book with the Hadassah Book Club.  As one of the members said, “Thank you for bringing so many new insights into the book.  While we all had enjoyed reading it, you added many layers of depth to our understanding and enjoyment.  It’s terrific that the library encourages you to go out into the community and do this work.”

There’s still time…..if you’re bookclub has been enjoying our selection, give us a call, Karen and I would love to come and meet your group and discuss Hugo.

Check out our webpage, there’s lots going on this month – in fact everything is HUGO!


Posted by: whimsicallibrarians | February 9, 2009

Trader Joe’s

I love Trader Joe’s! Why am I so enamoured with them? This past Saturday they Co-Sponsored a great program on developing the perfect “Healthy Valentine’s Day Menu”.  The food they supplied was outstanding. Scallops and green beans and quinoa and poached pears all cooked to perfection – the aromas, oh my gosh, to die for!

Analiese Piak, developer of the Fairfield Green Food Guide, and Jo Ann Englund, demonstrator extraordinaire, of Trader Joe’s products were our fantastic chefs.  Professional and so much fun to watch.  As they chopped and cooked they gave out healthy information on the products they were using. They talked about growing and eating locally and Analiese brought in wines from area winery’s that could be used as part of the cooking recipes or to go with the meal.  The best part for the 30 people that attended was of course the tasting, after each dish was made.  Yum! Oh, and Trader Joe’s supplied some delicious teas that were available throughout the program.  It was really a great afternoon of sharing and learning new ideas and techniques in cooking.

Analiese advocates eating locally and her website promotes “helping consumers source fresh, local, sustainable food….  because our future depends on it.”  Check out her site, there’s lots of great information on it and is a great on-line resource for our Fairfield community. 

The library has some great book choices as well, Mark Bittman’s “Food Mattersand “Natural style: decorating with an earth-friendly point of viewby Janet Sobesky to name a few.  Come in and ask for help, if you need, to find other great books and resources.

We’re thinking of doing a cooking series this fall, with local chefs.  Focusing on healthy living and local prodcuts. I’ll keep you posted.


Posted by: whimsicallibrarians | November 20, 2008

It’s been awhile

It seems like forever since I’ve posted any comments and being extra busy doesn’t seem like a perfect excuse!

I’m so excited about our bookclubs. As you know libraries can be great places for bookclubs to meet.  We’ve started three very exciting and different ones here.  One of them actually meets outside the library and in Einstein’s Bagels, on Black Rock Turnpike.  Laurie, one of our most ferocious readers and a part-timer here, is the facilitator of Books n’ Bagels.  Meeting at 1:30 p.m. in a bagel shop where you can discuss an interesting book and enjoy a cup of coffee and a delicious bagel, has been a great success.  The Woods International bookclub meets the first Wednesday of every month and is facilitated by our volunteer, Khorshed.  Each month they are picking a different place in the world and reading a story that takes place in that country.   On December 3rd they will be discussing “Brothers”, by Da Chen.  Da Chen will be speaking at our Writer’s Conference on December 6th, so this bookclub could have the opportunity to hear him speak.  We’ve also got our great Woods Book Group, which meets the last Wednesday of the month, in the afternoon.  This group is facilitated by Claudia, another great part-timer and her group has also chosen some thoughtful and interesting books.  Their next book is “The Madonnas of Leningrad.”  These three bookclubs have a combined total of about 70 participants and each has grown their own special flavor.  What a great tribute to our facilitators and the booklovers who attend.

Karen, the Assistant Director, and I have started our own Librarian on Loan visits to the Senior Center in Fairfield.  We are really enjoying going out to the Senior Center and holding our book discussions.  Our next meeting, at the Senior Center, is on December 3rd, in the morning. We will be discussing “The Glass Castle.” 

The library and our staff continues to be an important contributor to our town. We are becoming a gateway to our community that freely opens discussions and debates about books, current events and everyday living. We share in our stories and our lives. Join one of our bookclubs if you can. Each welcomes new participants.


Posted by: whimsicallibrarians | September 16, 2008

Banned Books Week

Ideas matter.  The right to express ideas and read ideas is the foundation of our liberties.  Recently my husband and I finished watching the HBO series “John Adams.”  It brought back to mind for both of us how rich our nation’s history is and how important it is to safeguard our rights.  Especially the rights of speech for everyone.

September 27 – October 4 is Banned Books Week, a campaign sponsored by the American Library Association since 1982.

What does it mean?  Banned books.  In schools and libraries across the country people have requested that a book be removed off the shelves of a library, or from a school’s curriculum.  It could be because of the language of the book, or the theme, or even the pictures.  I believe Judy Blume, a great children’s and adult author, expressed her opinions about censorship and the freedom to read and write perfectly.

She said:  “[I]t’s not just the books under fire now that worry me. It is the books that will never be written. The books that will never be read. And all due to the fear of censorship. As always, young readers will be the real losers.” — Judy Blume

Check out the link to her website about censorship if you get a chance and take a moment to remember some books you’ve read and enjoyed that may be on the top 100 banned booked list.  “Of Mice and Men”, “Native Son”, “Blubber”, “Julie of the Wolves”, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, “A Light in the Attic”, and “Harry Potter” to name just a few.

Banned books week is a perfect opportunity to pick up a banned bookand enjoy the freedom to read it.






Some of the over books that have been challenged, “Of Mice and Men”, “Native Son”, “Harry Potter”

Posted by: whimsicallibrarians | September 10, 2008

downUNDER help

I’ve posted a couple of pictures of our downUNDER teen space.  It has been a whopping success so far.  We’ve got great plans for it’s future.

If you live in the area and would like to help us out we need all kinds of donations. A couple of our teens are into fashion so we would love interesting pieces of any leftover material you may have.  They can use it to experiement with fashion ideas.  If you’ve got any paper doll sets laying around that is another thing we would love to have, so that they could make paper doll clothes.  We’ve also got some teens who want to learn how to knit so if you’ve got any matching needles or yarn that you’re not using?  Anybody have any bandana’s?  They make really cute handbags (no sewing!).  Of course bright colored duct tape is always wanted.  For the favorite things teens love to make, wallets, flowers, ties….. Oh, does anybody have any gimp? Last but not least, if you are brave at heart and would like to lead a teen class on a special hobby you may have, let us know.  We can meet and see if it’ll work for our group.

Thanks to anyone who can help – if you would like to donate any of the above mentioned items, you can drop them off at Fairfield Woods Branch Library.  Let whoever helps you know that the stuff is either for me of Jen, our teen librarian.  I’m thanking you in advance.


Posted by: whimsicallibrarians | August 27, 2008

downUnder teens

I’ve been talking about our new teen space all summer and the time has arrived!! School starts tomorrow.  We are going to have a very, very soft opening tomorrow as there are a few things we are still waiting on.  Regardless, the room is looking great and even though I’m not anywhere near that “teen” age, I would love to hang out here.  Will let you know how it goes.

Garden update: I canned and processed the most unbelievable Vegetable Salsa last week.  I’ve got 4 jars of it and I’m going to guard it with my life.  Used my own tomatoes, peppers,  and onions.  Added some cilantro, hot peppers and with a little bit of cooking – voila! Salsa.  Pumpkins are still going strong.


Posted by: whimsicallibrarians | July 25, 2008

Ikea trip

Nicole, Jen, (teen librarians) and I had an exhausting trip to Ikea this week. (Check out the photos in flickr).  We bought tons of stuff for our new teen space.  We wouldn’t have been able to have this great opportunity without the support from our Friends of the Library.  They are allowing us, with their generous donation, to bring together a room for teens that will be energized, imaginative, and productive.  The rooms been painted and we are beginning to mount cork boards, magnetic boards, and chalk boards on the wall.  We have a fabulous artist, Adam Weisblatt, volunteering his time, to design our wall space into something outstanding.

Something I’ve always wanted to do, at a library I worked at, was to have a puzzle corner.  I’m so happy that the one we started here has been so successful.  Vicki, one of our volunteers, was the one who started us on this by bringing in the first 1000 piece puzzle.  We’ve heard some incredible stories from peiople who are sitting there working on them. (We are on our third one this summer!) I love seeing an older person sitting there working on the puzzle with an elementary age child.  Both searching for those very difficult pieces.  Our community of neighbors is growing here at the branch.  People who use the library almost daily are becoming aquainted with other neighbors who they hadn’t met before.  Our sewing and yoga classes are going strong as well.  Wait til you see our Fall schedule.  It’s chock full of really great programs.

Did you notice no mention of my garden.  A woodchuck!! That’s all I’m going to say.

Keep reading,


Posted by: whimsicallibrarians | July 17, 2008

Peter Rabbit and Mr. McGregor

Do you remember the story of Peter Rabbit.  He wanted to enter into Mr. McGregor’s garden so badly, even though his mother told him not to.  Well, I had my own Peter Rabbit enter into my garden this past weekend.  Who would have thought it could be so traumatic, not for the rabbit, but for me!!!  I just couldn’t believe it, that this cute,fluffy, adorable rabbit would actually do all he could to get through my fence and double wrapped deer netting into my garden.  I know, I know the vegetables are looking particularly gorgeous and healthy and delicious, who wouldn’t want to chomp on some, but to dig “deep down and under” to sabotage them….geesh, I can understand poor Mr. Mcgregor’s frustration but how can you stay angry at something so cute!  So I went into my brother’s barn and found a bunch of pins that can tack down the netting.  I banged so many of those things around the circumference, of the netting, that I’m really feeling good about outsmarting my garden intruder.  I’ll keep you posted.  The cukes are delicious as are the peas and tomatoes.  I’m not sick of yellow squash yet but might be getting to my limit soon.

An update on our teen room.  The painters have arrived and are doing a really great job transforming our downstairs space.  The teen librarians and I are going to IKEA next week to start looking for furniture and rugs and pillows and such.  The teens have been busy helping Jen get ready for her fall programming.  She’s planning a teen/grade school event once a month based upon popular kids books.  The first one will be on the “Diary of a Wimpy kid” series, it’ll be happening in September.  I’ve also met with our facilitator for our evening International Book Club group.  She’s got the first 3 books chosen for October,(“Suite Francaise”) November,(“Daughter of Fortune“) and December (“Brothers“).  The fall programming here at the branch is shaping up quite nicely and I think we’ll be offering things that will interest many of our neighborhood friends.

Have you read the newest Harlan Coben book yet?  It’s called “Hold Tight“, check it out, you won’t be able to put it down.

Keep reading!


Posted by: whimsicallibrarians | June 17, 2008

downUNDER teens

This summer is going to be really exciting for us here at the Branch.  We will be designing a new space for the teens who visit us after school.  Because our library is next door to a middle school there are some afternoons when we can have between 20 and 50 middle schoolers here.  They are filled with energy and can be noisy and boisterous, who wouldn’t be after spending a day in school. The library has become a place for them to kind of “crash”.  Unfortunately, we’ve had a very small space designated for them, obviously a place that couldn’t accommodate that many teens. 

We needed some type of makeover and new space.  We needed an identity and a concept for our teen area.  I had worked in the past with a designer named Peter Robinson, whose company Mildly Delirious has worked with many libraries throughout the country, helping them define their library space. I think he’s pretty brilliant. He doesn’t look at a library as an institutional place (typical library building)  but as a space that defines the community it is in.  I asked Peter if he could visit (he lives in West Palm Beach, Fl.) and he came this past winter.  He met with a group of teens, our teen librarians and some library staff.  He has helped us put together a plan for a very cool space.  We’re calling it downUNDER teens. Very appropriate since we’re going to develop the area in a large space we have downstairs. (study rooms and meeting rooms are part of the space.)

Friends of the Library, what would we do without them.  They advocate for libraries, sponsor awesome programs at libraries and fulfill wish lists and dreams of the library staff.  I am so thrilled that our Friends group has offered to pay for many of the things we are going to need for our new teen space. We are going to be meeting with a few Friends members who are going to help us reach out into the community, tap some contacts, for possible donations for the space.  We hope to have an HD TV for gaming, computers for designing newsletters, podcasts, and YOUTube productions. We’re also looking at perfectly designed furniture where teens can work together as groups, collaborating on homework assignments or other creative endeavors, and is hopefully indestructible!  I’m going to dream big and say we’d also love to have college students volunteer two or three days a week to mentor the teens and help them with the computer lab aspects of the space.

I’ll keep you posted on our progress.  Thanks Friends of the Fairfield Public Library for being so supportive and so generous!


p.s. If you’ve been following my garden exploits we are “growing” along so smoothly.  No mishaps, no animal invaders and just enough rain to make everything grow, grow, grow!

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