The 2010-2011 Darien Library departmental annual reports:
Darien Library hosts over 400 programs each year for over 18,500 adults. We aim to be your destination for intriguing author conversations, thought-provoking guest lectures, toe-tapping concerts, and films that stay with you all weekend.
The Children's Library serves children from birth to twelve years of age, as well as their parents and caregivers. Each week we provide an average of 20 to 25 programs to the community including 16 storytimes per week. Our most celebrated initiative was the arrival of the Early Literacy iPad Kits. Each kit includes an iPad 2 pre-loaded with librarian selected apps and eBooks as well as information resources on early literacy for parents and caregivers.
The Knowledge and Learning Services Department is the reference arm of the Library, specializing in finding you the information you need when you need it. Our staff works to provide you the best available online resources, with an emphasis on tools for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and investors. For bigger projects, we offer one-on-one research assistance, matching your needs with a librarian's information expertise. This year we became a FamilySearch Library, providing in-depth access to the largest genealogical collection in the world.
The Materials Management Department orders, receives, and oversees cataloging and processing of all the new items which come in to the Library. Last year we handled over 26,000 new items which were added to the Library’s collection of books, audio books, DVDs, video games, and magazines. Matman is also responsible for re-shelving all the returned items. In a typical day, 1500 items are returned through our state of the art materials handling system which automatically checks in the items and sorts them in to bins and carts. Matman’s shelving staff manages the system and gets all the returns back on the shelves quickly and in good order.
The Readers' Advisory department, the first people you see when you walk in the front door, specializes in helping patrons just the right book. With over 75 years of experience in recommending books and twice as many years of reading, we're always excited to answer the eternal question: "What should I read next?"
The Teen Lounge offers a wide range of young adult literature divided up by genre for simple browsing for readers ages 12-18. Whether looking for a good book, some friendly competition, or just a nice place to catch up with friends our teen services department has something for everyone. Supplied with all the newest gaming consoles and our own Minecraft server, the Teen Lounge is sure to meet Darien teens’ gaming needs.
We are a three-member team that specializes in managing the library's technology, website, social media, and discovering new ways to make your visit to Darien Library a better experience. Our big project for the forthcoming year is the Digital Media Lab.
Yesterday, at the Connecticut Library Association (CLA) Annual Conference, the documentary, Darien Library: The Great Good Place, was awarded Best in Show in the 2010 (CLA) Publicity Awards Contest.
The conference and the awards ceremony were held at the Stamford Hilton. The contest honors materials designed by a library to promote a library concept or event.
Accepting the Best in Show award were Library Director Louise Berry and filmmaker, Manny Perez (both, pictured).
Click here to read more about it.
Click below to watch the documentary's trailer.
The documentary, Darien Library: The Great Good Place, was recently awarded Best in Show in the 2010 Connecticut Library Association (CLA) Publicity Awards Contest! Click below for a preview. Click here to learn more and to view the full-length feature.
"Great good places" are defined as third places; in contrast to home (first places) and work (second places), third places are the heart of the community -- a neutral place where people gather and interact. In his book, The Great Good Place, author Ray Oldenburg explores the essential roles served by the third place and its impact on the social vitality of the community.
Heart of the Community. Gather. Essential. Social vitality. These are all words that happen to describe Darien Library, don't you think? Manny Perez, documentary filmmaker must have thought so, too. After months and months of filming at Darien Library... and getting to know us... and our members... and all we strive to achieve, this documentary director/photographer/editor/producer aptly named his documentary film about us, "Darien Library: The Great Good Place."
During the months and months of filming, we also got to know Manny Perez -- a talented, tireless, devoted, and creative filmmaker and man of integrity. We are so proud to have had the opportunity to work with him. We are also proud to premiere the documentary to the public today and say "Greetings from The Great Good Place."
Longtime Smith College professor Elliot Offner died Friday, October 15, 2012 at the age of 79. Mr. Offner, was a nationally known sculptor whose artwork is found in many private and public collections. His impressive work is locally known as well; the Great Blue Heron has resided in Darien for more than 20 years at Darien Library.
The Great Blue Heron sculpture was commissioned by Darien Library and was the first piece of public art in Darien. The dedication ceremony took place on May 31, 1987 and since then, the beloved sculpture has graced our courtyard. From its original perch in the courtyard at 35 Leroy Avenue, to its new home in the reflecting pool at the new Library, the heron has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors to Darien Library.
Two years ago, when we were preparing to move to the new Library, among one of the biggest concerns voiced by our members was whether or not the heron would be moved, too. That is the language of community pride, of shared memories, of continuity, of roots. We are proud that Mr. Offner's Great Blue Heron has become a symbol of Darien Library and as always, we embrace its beauty, its strength, and its grace. We mourn the passing of Elliot Offner.
Smith College is home to our heron's twin, which resides on the campus in a small pond next to Victorian greenhouses. Smith's moving tribute to Mr. Offner includes a description of the Great Blue Heron: " ...with its exhilarating and unfolding of wings and elastic curve of neck --lithe and filled with potential."
Recently, while at a convention in New York, I was having trouble locating a major (huge!) exhibit area. Feeling puzzled and lost, it was by pure coincidence that I found myself in very familiar territory...right next to the Google booth. Of course Google would know!
Though I found it amusing at the time, the reality is, in virtual life as well as real life, Google is great but it cannot get you everywhere. The Library, however, can help you locate the online resources and articles that (even) Google can't access.
Facts on File, New York Times Historical, Mergent Online, Biography and Genealogy Master Index, Reference USA, and Consumer Reports Buying Guide are just a few of the available resources. Click here for an alphabetical list, and click here for an overview of our online resources and research tools.
As a member of the Darien Library community, you may use them free-of-charge. While at home, you will need to provide your library card number so that we can verify that you are a Friend or town resident.
(DL Did You Know is a new way for us to get the word out about the wonderful services and resources that Darien Library (DL) provides. Each installment will direct our members to information that may have escaped their notice; our way of knowing that you're in-the-know about all things DL.)