Finding Italian Records - Italian Genealogy

Photo by Alessandroferri / CC BY-SA 4.0
Photo by Alessandroferri / CC BY-SA 4.0

Saturday, May 14th at 2 p.m. 
In the Louise Parker Berry Community Room

For the last 12 years, while not doing continuing research on her own family, Toni has been teaching several levels of genealogy in her home town of Ridgefield, CT. Toni is on a mission to expose as many people as possible to the fun, excitement, and importance of tracing their own genealogy. She believes documenting your family history is important for yourself and for future generations, even if they are not interested or don't have the time now. Over the years she has taught over 2100 hours of genealogy courses at Founders Hall in Ridgefield, and Redding, CT as well as Bronxville and Mamaroneck, NY.

She has also been a popular lecturer at various genealogy societies in the New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Boston, and Long Island areas.

About Toni McKeen

Toni was born in Miami, Florida. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Biology from C.W. Post College on L.I. Toni has been married for over 40 years, and has two children and two grandchildren (both gorgeous and brilliant, naturally). Her training from her research background while earning her degrees in biology helped her to establish organized systems and charts for recording family information for herself and her students…a problem for most researchers.

Social Hour at 1 p.m. 

Join your fellow genealogists and family historians an hour before the program at the Social Hour. Drinks and cookies will be provided as you meet with other researchers.

This event is co-sponsored with the Middlesex Genealogical Society.

A Home with Heart

Tuesday, May 17th at 7 p.m.

Psychologist and Executive Director of The Southfield Center, Dr. Christopher Bogart, presents.  He will focus on the importance of the home environment in fostering mentally healthy youth. The talk will cover compelling research about factors that promote resilience and grit, as well as parenting styles that create confidence and a healthy independence in children. Dr. Bogart will discuss the importance of predictability and structure in the home, and will examine current thinking on how to balance outside activities with unscheduled time for family interaction.

A Home with Heart is presented by The Southfield Center in conjunction with The Thriving Youth Initiative (of The Community Fund of Darien), The Darien House Tour:  Homes with Heart, and the Darien Library.

A Gift That Pays Dividends: Launch Kids' Financial Security

Wednesday, June 1st at 7 p.m.

How can you leverage tax-free gifts into substantial nest eggs for kids and grandkids? In this presentation, Julie Jason will discuss tax-free gifting. If you want to start the young people in your family on the right track toward financial security, there is no better way than through a short-term gifting program that leverages time.

Attendees will learn:

• The mechanics of setting up an account for a child
• How to gift to the account
• How to research investments that will appreciate over the long-term
• How to manage risk
• How to teach kids to take advantage of time

About the presenter
Julie Jason
, JD, LLM, Chief Investment Officer, Jackson, Grant Investment Advisers, Inc. Stamford, CT, is the author of "Managing Retirement Wealth: An Expert Guide to Personal Portfolio Management in Good Times and Bad" and "The AARP Retirement Survival Guide: How to Make Smart Decisions in Good Times and Bad.”

Create Your Own Public Access TV Show

Image courtesy of flickr user cjtengi
Image courtesy of flickr user cjtengi

Thursday, June 9th at 5 p.m.

Rich Turcsany, Public Access Coordinator at Cablevision of Connecticut, will discuss what it takes to put together your very own, non-commercial television program, and have it broadcast over Public Access Channel 88. Rich, a 1986 graduate of Emerson College in Boston, and who also has 26 years experience in cable TV, will also discuss the training that is involved.

Passport Day

Photo by clappstar | CC BY-NC 2.0
Photo by clappstar | CC BY-NC 2.0

Saturday, May 28th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Get your passport at Darien Library! We will process and accept new and renewal applications. We will provide all the paperwork. Passport Photos in Darien can be taken at CVS and Big Shots. Specifications for passport photos can be found here.

What to Bring: Birth Certificate, Naturalization Certificate, one color 2’’ by 2’’ photo, a valid photo identification (such as a driver’s license) with a front and back photocopy of the ID, and personal check/money order or debit/credit card for payment of the passport fee.

Minors under age 16 cannot apply for a passport by themselves.  Both parents/guardians must appear in person and provide consent, authorizing passport issuance to the minor.  If one parent/guardian is unable to appear in person, then the application must be accompanied by a signed, notarized Form DS-3053: Statement of Consent from the non-applying parent/guardian.  More information on passports for minors can be found here.

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs available on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).

Short Stories for Summer Days

Carroll Stenson
Carroll Stenson

Tuesday, May 3rd at 3 p.m.

We're back! Our popular discussion series continues with a line-up of stories especially selected to offer insight into the human condition and provoke thoughtful conversation. Please join us and share with other short story enthusiasts.

Stories are available for pickup the week before each meeting.

Art On View: Camilla Cook's EXPLORATIONS

Cook's display will showcase a variety of media types.
Cook's display will showcase a variety of media types.

Tuesday, December 9th to Tuesday, January 20th
Located on the Library's Lower Level

“EXPLORATIONS” is the newest exhibition at Darien Library. Camilla Cook, an independent curator specializing in Connecticut and New York venues, showcasing emerging and established artists, curates this exhibit. A vibrant community of people, The Wilson Avenue Loft Artists continues to evolve, as seen in the latest work of thirteen of its fifteen artists, hailing from Connecticut and New York. ‘EXPLORATIONS’ includes diverse interpretations, as it showcases what is currently being explored in each artist’s studio. Featured are conceptual paintings, plein air paintings, drawings, printmaking, sculptural found objects, mixed media and photography.

WALA Gallery and Studios are located at 225 Wilson Avenue, South Norwalk, Connecticut. Parking is off of Ely Avenue and our second floor studios are accessed via the outdoor staircase. If using GPS, enter 372 Ely Avenue, Norwalk, CT as your destination for most direct route. Our artist studios and gallery are open by appointment. Please go to for further information!

Film Screening and Discussion: 'No Letting Go'

Tuesday, May 3rd at 6:30 p.m. - No Letting Go (2015) Starring Cheryl Allison, Richard Burgi, and David Schallip; NR; 144 minutes. Following the screening of the film, there will be a Q&A with producer/writer Randi Silverman.

No Letting Go, based on a true story, is a feature drama that follows one family’s journey to understand and to cope with the erratic behavior and emotional instability of their middle son, Tim. The family’s world starts to unravel as they discover that their son’s increasing fragility is due to mental illness. No Letting Go is a powerful film that gives voice to millions of families who suffer alone and in silence. This poignant film honestly depicts the potentially devastating impacts of mental health disorders, which affect 1 in 5 children in the United States every year.

For more information, please watch the film's trailer.  Check out what else we're screening.

About the presenter
Randi Silverman is the Executive Producer and Co-Screenwriter of No Letting Go. She has lead community-based awareness campaigns and support groups on the issue of child and adolescent mental health. As the mother of a child with a mental health disorder, she has experienced first-hand what it is to bring a family of three children through this challenge.

Randi is the co-Founder and Director of Parent-to-Parent Support Group, a support network for parents raising children with issues of anxiety, depression and/or mood disorder. Parent-to-Parent has served over 400 families in the New York City Tri-State Area since 2011. Earlier community work includes serving as Vice-Chair and Chair of Byram Hills C.H.I.L.D., a committee of the local Parent Teacher Association supporting families with children of various abilities, and serving on the Board of Directors for the Rosenthal JCC (Pleasantville, NY) as Chair of their Special Needs Department. A former practicing attorney, Randi helps parents advocate for the educational needs of children of all abilities.

The Darien Library is proud to cosponsor this event with the Community Fund of Darien and Laurel House.

Film Screening: 'Chasing Ice'

Thursday, May 12th at 7 p.m. - Chasing Ice (2012) Starring James Balog, Svavar Jónatansson, Louie Psihoyos; Rated PG-13; 75 minutes.

In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.

Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.

Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, Balog comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.

For more information, please watch the film's trailer. Check out what else we're screening.

The Darien Library is proud to cosponsor this film with the Darien Land Trust, the Garden Club of Darien, and the Darien Nature Center.

Friday Night Feature - 'The Lady in The Van'

Friday, May 6th at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. - The Lady In The Van (2015) Starring Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Alan Bennett, James Corden, Frances De La Tour, Dominic Cooper; Rated PG-13; 104 minutes; Presented with Captions for the hearing impaired.

In 1973 London, playwright Alan Bennett (Alex Jennings) develops an unlikely friendship with Miss Shepherd (Maggie Smith), a homeless woman who lives in a van in his driveway for the next 15 years.

For more information, please watch the film's trailer.  Check out what else we're screening.

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).

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