Sunday, December 9, 2007

FVGLA' s Barney Library Grant Celebration: the first step to success

An open house/press conference and celebration was held with Public Officials, Friends, colleagues and fellow citizens at the Barney Branch Library on Thursday Evening December 6th. I would especially like to thank those who were able to attended: State Senator Jonathan Harris and Representative Demetrious Giannaross along with Town Councilors Michael V. Demicco, William A. Wadsworth, Councilor-elect, Mark Fey, Town Clerk Paula Ray and School Board Chair, Mary Grace Reed with School Board member Nancy Nickerson. Library Chairman, Bill Hayhurst, FVGLA Chairman Mike Andreas, Treasurer, Michael Schloss, Library Board members: Andy Baron, Alan Coykendall, Karen Williard, Kathy Piccirillo, Alan Sherman.
State Library Board member Mary Etter, Connecticut Library Consortium Executive Director Christine Bradley and a host of Library, FVGLA board members along with many friends and supporters attended this defining event

The celebration punctuated the state library’s green light on the Barney Branch Library Improvements and Renovations Project for a $1,000,000 Library construction grant. The State funded grant proposal must be voted favorably upon by the State Bond commission later on during the month. The Farmington Delegation consisting of: State Senators Donald DeFronzo and Jonathan Harris with State Representatives Beth Bye and Demetrious Giannaross each have supported the project and all look forward to its success. Please keep posted for further developments regarding the exciting fund raising events we are in the process of planning along with other opportunities to become involved in the Barney project.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Barney Branch Library Improvements and Renovations Project has received a green light from the Connecticut State Library for a $1,000,000

The Barney Branch Library Improvements and Renovations Project has received a green light from the Connecticut State Library for a $1,000,000 Library construction grant. Please come join us at the Barney Branch Library on Thursday Evening, December 6th, between 5:30 and 6:30 for an open house/press conference and celebration to better understand what is on the horizon and to meet and visit with Friends, colleagues and fellow citizens.

About the Project

The Barney Branch library constitutes an architecturally precious reminder of the past grounding us in those traditions which are Farmington today. The Library was built in 1918 with three levels serving patrons entering at the East side on the main level of the building. Architecturally, the building is Greek Revival with a grand pediment, generous cornice and frieze supported by four Ionic columns on a wonderful portico looking out over the historic green and on to Miss Porters School.

The principal rationale for the project is to meet current ADA requirements, and improve HVAC and other systems that are inadequate to current efficiency and ergonomic standards. Particularly, the current physical layout of the building presents difficulties for wheelchair users, the elderly, and mothers with strollers, and those who are physically challenged. Furthermore, the book stacks are often too close together to allow access to the physically challenged and the additional classes listed above.

The need for an elevator and the removal of the antiquated exterior iron fire escape and the addition of a safe interior stairway to provide access to both the upper and lower levels of the building is critical to the Library’s efficient operation. Currently, without an elevator the use of the upper level meeting room and the lower level program space in not feasible for public programming.

The project is estimated at three million with:

One million by a Connecticut State Library construction grant.*
One million by referendum.
One million by fund raising.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Come and help us celebrate Children's Book week on Thursday, Nov. 15 from 4:00 - 6:00.

I am delighted to announce our Children’s department celebration of Children's Book week on Thursday, Nov. 15 from 4:00 - 6:00. Five authors, sponsored by Jan from Millrace Books, will be here. This is a great opportunity to get autographed books for the little people on your holiday list. It is also a wonderful opportunity to introduce your children to a "real" author... someone who writes books. The authors are:

Barbara McClintock, ADELE & SIMON
Bethany Roberts - COOKIE ANGEL
Doreen Hampton, I LIKE GUM

Adele & Simon the Connecticut Book Award winner for best illustrated children's book will also available for purchase

The 2007 National Book Award Winners

November 14, 2007

The 2007 National Book Award Winners were announced live tonight during a black tie ceremony and dinner at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel, Times Square.
Young People's Literature

Young People's Literature

Sherman Alexie
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
(Little, Brown & Company)
Photo © Rob Casey.


Robert Hass
Time and Materials
Photo © Margaretta K. Mitchell, 2001.


Tim Weiner
Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
Photo © Jessica D. B. Doyle.


Denis Johnson
Tree of Smoke
(Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Photo © Cindy Johnson.

For more information, including the list of Finalists, visit

Video, audio and pictures from this week's National Book Awards events will be featured on the Foundation's website over the coming month

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

We are celebrating the Liberation of the Dachau Concentration Camp at the end of the Second World War

On Saturday November 10th we produced a wonderful program celebrating the Liberation of the Dachau Concentration Camp at the end of the Second World War. Ben “Doc” Cooper, an army combat medic, attached to our 45th Infantry Division arrived at the Dachau Concentration Camp on April 29, 1945 just two days after its liberation. Neither he nor his combat buddies were prepared to witness, firsthand, the terrible cruelty, inhumanity and suffering that was inflicted upon over 200,000 prisoners from more than 30 countries of which nearly one-third were Jewish people killed and burned there by their Nazi captors. “Doc” held his story deep inside until 1992 when a school teacher implored him to share his story with his students. “Doc” was so moved by the care the teacher took and the student’s reactions that he set off over the next several years telling his moving and human story. The audience of 86 was deeply moved by “Doc’s” story, artifacts and the photos of his experiences. I have asked “Doc” to return next year to refresh our memories and learn from the experience of others. I am interested in your reaction to this program and look forward to presenting other timely topics for your benefit in the near future. There is a fine collection of books relating the Holocaust here at the library to bring the true meaning of Veterans Day to us all.

Monday, October 29, 2007

How modern communications can impact business through social networking

I had a very good experience this morning speaking to the Farmington Chamber of Commerce regarding: “The Changing English language, from instant messaging to blogging: How modern communications can impact business through social networking”. The talk included and The information below, as promised to the Participants, will allow all of my participants, plus any guests who wish to join in, the Webnar listed below. Please let me know how you enjoyed the experience. jj click Webinar Registration to participate, Tuesday October 30th at 10:30 PST or 12:30 EST…..

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Farmington Rug Hookers celebrating their second anniversary meeting here @ the Library

It is very impressive to see the fellowship and camaraderie expressed in the Farmington Hookers group. If you are interested in rug hooking stop by and join this great group of artisans. Stop by on Thursdays @ 10:00 in the morning to join in the fun.

Don’t miss the latest film releases on your way home from work or on a rainy weekend.

We have concentrated on collecting the “best” recent film collections possible. In order to serve you in the most productive way, new DVD’s are loaned on a 24 hour basis, this way we are able to serve many more people with the same collection.
New DVD’s are available for three day periods as well. These Fast Views and Fast Books are located in the Lobby by the Lending Desk.

October 23, 2007 view from the West Wing of the main building

Sometimes, pictures say a thousand words.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Farmington Village Green and Library Association Board Members convened for the semiannual meeting on October 16th.

The Farmington Village Green and Library Association (FVGLA) has been in existence since 1901 as a non-profit corporation. It manages the village green, the libraries, the old Main Street cemetery, and the Stanley-Whitman House.

Thursday, October 11, 2007



Mischa Berlinski, Fieldwork (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Lydia Davis, Varieties of Disturbance (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Joshua Ferris, Then We Came to the End (Little, Brown & Company)
Denis Johnson, Tree of Smoke (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Jim Shepard, Like You'd Understand, Anyway (Alfred A. Knopf)
Edwidge Danticat, Brother, I'm Dying (Alfred A. Knopf)
Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything (Twelve/Hachette Book Group USA)
Woody Holton, Unruly Americans and the Origins of the Constitution (Hill and Wang/Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Arnold Rampersad, Ralph Ellison: A Biography (Alfred A. Knopf)
Tim Weiner, Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA (Doubleday)
Linda Gregerson, Magnetic North (Houghton Mifflin Company)
Robert Hass, Time and Materials (Ecco/HarperCollins)
David Kirby, The House on Boulevard St. (Louisiana State University Press)
Stanley Plumly, Old Heart (W.W. Norton & Company)
Ellen Bryant Voigt, Messenger: New and Selected Poems 1976-2006 (W.W. Norton & Company)
Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Little, Brown & Company)
Kathleen Duey, Skin Hunger: A Resurrection of Magic, Book One (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
M. Sindy Felin, Touching Snow (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Scholastic Press)
Sara Zarr, Story of a Girl (Little, Brown & Company)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Dr. Frost presents a memoir to the Farmington Libraries

James A. Frost Ph.D, father of the Connecticut State College System, presents me with "Life with Elsie" a fascinating memoir.

Hang out with Your Toddler at the Library

Reading and emulation of people who are significant in a young person’s life are directly correlated. Look at this mother with her child. They are connected and learning together. It is very simple yet not happening enough. Although young people do learn differently to day due to Medias influence. Basic reading, language comprehensions, and abstract thought are all linked to the behavior shown in this picture I shot this morning. It is earsy, free and fun to connect to your child in this most profound manner.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Increase your SAT scores @ Farmington Libraries

Good news fore college bound farmington high school students.

SAT Prep Software available to Farmington students
PrepMe is a premium online test preparation company founded by graduates of top schools. Their course will identify your strengths and weaknesses and create a custom week-by-week schedule for you to help you raise your score. PrepMe has been featured on the front cover of Fortune Small Business, CNN/Money, BusinessWeek and is the test preparation of choice for many schools and districts around the country including the entire state of Maine.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Library Closed in celebration of Columbus Day October 8th 2007

Portrait of Columbus: The Mariners' Museum: Newport News, Virginia

Columbus Day: New York City first celebrated Christopher Columbus’ 300th anniversary in 1792.

We have celebrated the Italian Explorer’s discovery of the New World consistently in the United States on the second Monday of October since 1971.

Learn more about History a @ Farmington Libraries and read David West’s , 2005 biography, Christopher Columbus : the life of a master navigator and explorer.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

New Look and content for our Web Portal

The web portal and pages will continue to be in the process of improvement and change over the next several months. I am interested to know if you have noticed changes for the better and if you have any suggestions regarding future changes. We have worked to create a graphic, natural logic approach to access and need your input for the continuation of this process. Please comment here.

I wish to congratulate Barbara Knibbs and Terry Matava on their work toward this end and a job well done.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Archaeological Assessment, FVGLA Library Connection

Farmington Libraries parent organization, the Farmington Village Green and Library Association was founded in 1901 as the result of a land grant from Sarah Porter, The founder of Miss Porter's School. The Association has grown in scope and purpose over the years and now stands as an amalgam consisting of four entities: The Stanley Whitman House, The Village Green, Memento Mori, and Farmington Libraries. I work directly for this non-profit association parochially referred to as the FVGLA.

Since, the Village Green is historic ground and will somehow be affected by the road work, the State is required to have an archaeological assessment of the land affected to proceed with the route 4 realigninment project. I stopped by to photograph archaeologists: Jolene Karpinski, Ray Harris, Project Archaeologist Nichole Gillis, and Becky DiAngelo at work.

Knitting at the library. What, other than knitting, do you suppose these children are learning?

Knitting is a skill and craft which has waned over the years. However here @ the Library the joy knitting and making something from scratch is reemerging through the efforts of children's programmer Paula Montes. Bring your children, grand children and great grand children to the library to learn many more skills than knitting.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

ESL at the Farmington Library

As I stopped by the English as a Second language (ESL) class today, I was stricken by the energy, enthusiasm and determination the students displayed as they convened to learn our language. Kudos to them and their teachers.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Teen Librarian Emily Platz visits with Principal, Curt Pandiscio and Assistant Principal,Veronica Ruzek at Farmington High Schoo l

Teen Librarian Emily Platz visits High school to meet studentrs, teachers and administratiors to better understand how to help our youth.

Weekend notes: from the virtual and roving Farmington Library

A few snapshots from the Unionville Festival held on Sunday September 30 2007. It was a great event showcasing the Unionville section of Farmington. And, special thanks to George and Carol Reider, Norma Hartley and Holly Walden for all of their help and collegiality during the event.

Emily Platz in action with our Teens on her first day

Welcome Emily..........

Friday, September 28, 2007

Jay Johnston welcomes Emily Platz

Farmington Libraries, Executive Director, Jay Johnston welcomes Emily Platz to Farmington.
Emily was selected from a national pool of over 30 candidates. The selection panel consisting of Farmington Libraries Hal Bright, Leader for Information Services, Veronica Ruzek, Dean of Students Farmington High School, and Christine Bradley, Executive Director of the Connecticut Library Consortium. The panel was very impressed with the enthusiasm, energy, intelligence, and knowledge Emily has and will bring to Farmington. She also brings a solid understanding of how to work with and motivate young people. I expect and look forward to great things coming through Emily's work as she progresses through her career here at Farmington.


Babies Tessa & Phillip enjoy Baby Rhyme Time, a special program for infants ages birth to 12 months & their parents.
Language & literacy skills begin at birth and Mother Goose rhymes, board books & music provide a language rich program.
Baby Rhyme Time will be held Tuesday mornings in October from from 10:45 - 11:30 (October 2, 9, 16 & 23) & the last Thursday evening of the month from 6:45 - 7:30 pm.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

EqualAccessLibraries Institute @ the Farmington Libraries

I am especially excited to host the EqualAcess Libraries Institute here at Farmington on September 26-7. Kathy Lesco and Hal Bright attended this Two day seminar on the Future of Libraries providing new and innovative methods for delivering outstanding and salient library services in the 21st century.

Children's Depatment staff meeting

I stopped by the children's department staff meeting yesterday and took this photo. Our children’s staff is the most creative and wonderful people I have ever worked with. And, I can tell you, with the utmost certainty, that the children of Farmington are very fortunate to have the services they provide.

It requires a great deal of planning and preparation to provide the high quality services they deliver and I am most happy to be affiliated with them. Please stop by and see all the great things happening here.

Unionville Festival September 30th Noon Till Five

I am looking forward to seeing you at the Unionville Festival on September 30th from Noon Till Five. The Farmington Village Green and Library Asociation's (FVGLA): Libraries, Stanley Whitman House, and the Friends of the Library will all be there to answer questions and especially to sign up new people for free library cards.. See you there.

Master Gardners Appreciation Brunch

In recollecting the summer I am compelled to share this photo of the Master Gardner’s appreciation brunch. These people are just the best! They work diligently to maintain our world class flower gardens and continually prune our trees and mulch and maintain our shrubbery. Keep on the outlook for their new web page that will have listings of all the plants in our garden along with planting and maintenance instructions. Furthermore, did you know that the master gardeners are here every Friday from around 9 till 11 in the morning to work on the garden and answer any gardening questions you may have about plants and plant care.
Please strop by to learn about growing beautiful living things...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Perennial Garden Project

I want to acknowledge the Collection management Team for their positive efforts in beautifying the south east corner of the main library with a lovely perennial garden. This project is ongoing so please notice its dynamics over the next few years. They are left to right: Lucille O'Connell, Karen Ziegler, Bernadette Dostaler and Debbie McGuinness.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Reluctant Reader Help Project

This is a very exciting Fall Programming season highlighted by Time With Tucker this past Saturday when Tucker, a very well behaved and compassionate dog, listened to children read. Tucker has no opinion only love, appreciation and a wagging tail, for those who read to him. Therein is the secret, Tucker allows young minds to work as hard as they can without the fear of making mistakes or criticism. It works Tucker is a great tutor.. Bring your reluctant reader to visit the next time he comes to the Library. Please check the Children's blog and calendar for up to date information.I have listed a few of the upcoming events which may peek your interest and hope you visit the library soon. Tue, Oct 2, Learn Pastel Painting (a free class/workshop) 6pm.Wed, Oct 3, Chefs and Books, Shelburne Farms author and chef, 7 pm. Cosponsored by Metro Bis Restaurant.Thu, Oct 4, Afternoon at the Bijou Classic Movie, 2pm.Thu, Oct 4, "Garden Earth" lecture with The English Lady, 7pm.Sat, Oct 6, Passport Day, Get your Passport Application processed, 10am-2pm. No registrationThur, Oct 11, A Passion to Lead, UConn coach Jim Calhoun book talk and signing 7pm.
Tue, Oct 16, Bonsai Basics lecture and demo. 1:15pm. at the Barney Branch. Register at 677-6866
Kids Events Sat Oct 6, Daddy and Me Daddy and childen enjoy games, music and play time! Ages 3-6 with an adult. 10:30am.
Bus trip
"Greenwich Village Literary Prowl", The library will sponsor a trip on Saturday, November 10, 2007 to NYC to visit 21 independent bookstores within one square mile. Register by Oct 17th. Call the library for more info.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Friends of the Farmington Library's 60th Anniversary Bash

1946-1947: In the Beginning

In November 1946, having learned that the endowment was no longer sufficient to cover the operating budget of the library, the Trustees of the Farmington Village Green & Library Association
appointed a special Public Relations Committee. Its functions were to publicize library services and conduct a financial campaign.

The original members of the committee were:
Lydia Hewes, Chairman
Sally Smith, Secretary
Mrs. Walter Wilson
James Soby
William Camp

This group solicited 750 First District families by a letter in
December, followed by another one in January 1947. Anyone who responded with a contribution was designated as a “Friend of the Village Library”. There were 477 individuals from 119 families who became the first “Friends”. Memberships were $1, $5, $10, and
25 cents for children. The committee received $1545 from the first appeal, then another $1486 from the second letter. With that money, they balanced the budget, built the outside fire escape stairway, and fixed up the basement.

The committee sponsored its first public program in January 1947, a lecture by Mabel Hurlburt on “Old Farmington Houses”, with colored slides, held at the Porter Memorial. They also decided to hold annual open houses at the Village Library, each one to have a popular theme. The first one was March 1, 1947, and featured exhibits on “Old and New” in books, travel, and occupations.
There was also a newsletter, untitled, edited by Lydia Hewes, and published in May 1947. A contest was held to name future
issues; and when the second one appeared in October, it was called “Book Ends”, the name it still bears.

The Entire History of the Farmington Friends will soon be posted on the Friends web page. This history was compiled and written by Betty Coykendall