Five Stars Again! Round Two! Number Two!

The results have been announced! Round Two of America's Star Libraries. Five (more) Stars!

Once again, Darien Library was named a Five Star library by Library Journal (LJ), which used four objective measures (visits, circulation, program attendance and internet computer use per capita) to compare the level of services libraries provide to their communities. Darien Library was ranked second in the nation(!) among public libraries with budgets between $1 million and $5 million.

The LJ 2/15/09 issue reported the first star library ratings based on the LJ Index. Less than a year later, they are back with the second round, thanks to a dramatic improvement in data timeliness achieved by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in its annual census of U.S. public libraries. Data for 2006 were released in November 2008, while data for 2007 were released in May 2009—a six-month turnaround. Planned as an annual event, the LJ Index will continue to be published as soon as possible after each year's data become available

For the complete story, click here to read the article in the brand new issue of Library Journal.


The Darien Library is fortunate to have a loyal corps of dedicated volunteers. Some of our volunteer opportunities include:

Book Wrangler: Help keep our shelves neat, hunt for missing books, and help us assure that our books are easy to find!

Library Loudspeaker: Have interest or experience in marketing?  Are you an excellent writer?  Help draft press releases, brainstorm promotional ideas, and make sure that everyone in town knows what is going on at the library!

Book Agent: Sort and orgainse our discarded books to be prepped for sale!  You'll assist in setting up for our book sales, taking payment, and assuring everything runs smoothly.

Web Doctor: Help clean up our website by deleting spam, fixing broken links, and getting rid of outdated information.  Our Web Doctors are comfortable with computers and technology.

Digitization Wizard: Bring our paper materials into the 21st Century!  Digitization Wizards will scan materials and help us make them accessible digitally.

Community Readers' Adviser: Love to talk about books?  Have you seen a great movie recently?  Write reviews and rate materials on our website.  

Videographer Assistant: Aid our Videographer as he films documentaries right here at the library!

Neat and Tidy Committee: Are you organized?  Does everything have its exact place?  Do your friends think you're a little neurotic?  Help us sort through our stuff!  We need volunteers to organize and straighten our behind-the-scenes materials.

Library Farmer: Have a green thumb?  We're looking for a volunteer to help us tend to our vegetable garden and organize our Seed Library.

We are happy to work with you to create a volunteer position that will match your interests and talents with our volunteer opportunities.

Interested in applying?  Start here!


To learn more, contact:

Mallory Arents, Volunteer Coordinator


Technical Details

What's the platform?

  • This is a Drupal site on a Linux server with Apache, MySQL and PHP.

Where did all the great social features come from?

  • This is SOPAC 2.0, the social OPAC.  The original SOPAC was released at the Ann Arbor District Library by John Blyberg when he worked there. John has built upon his work for AADL to create SOPAC 2.0 for the Darien Library.

What's different about SOPAC 2.0?

  • For users, the tagging, reviews, ratings and comments have an improved interface and the advanced search options have a more intuitive layout. Anyone can join the site and add tags, reviews or comments, with or without a library card.
  • Technically, SOPAC 2.0 is very different from its predecessor. It's a Drupal module that is distributable and can work with any library system.

Where does the social data live?

  • This is another feature of SOPAC 2.0  - the social repository. Libraries that allow users to add social information (tags, reviews, ratings)  to their catalog have found that while some members love to add data, others do not and the end result is a small set of tags and ratings that isn't as useful for searching and sorting. SOPAC 2.0 introduces a repository for all of the social information contributed by any library that uses SOPAC 2.0. Libraries can display their own tags, reviews and ratings and those from other libraries. They can choose which library's information they'll use and allow their own member's contributions to be displayed first.
  • Participating libraries maintain their own tags, reviews and ratings. Every night, each library will upload its own social data  and download nightly digests that reflect the changes within the group.

 You mean my library can have this too?

  • Yes, SOPAC 2.0 is a distributable software package. Darien Library is using Drupal for our website and Innovative Interfaces, Inc. for our ILS. John has built the connectors between SOPAC and III and Drupal, but with the right connectors, any ILS will work. For a more detailed explanation, see John's pre-release blog post.

Library Board of Trustees

  • Amy Cammann Cholnoky, President
  • Townsend C. Smith, Vice President
  • Kathryn E. Hammell, Treasurer
  • Charles E. Barnett, Secretary
Terms Expiring 2014
  • Kathryn E. Hammell
  • Kerrie F. Kelley
  • Tara B. Ochman
  • Todd Raker
  • S. Curtiss Roach
Terms Expiring 2015
  • Charles E. Barnett
  • Pamela VanHoven Clark
  • Sara Franzese
  • John P. Shutts
  • Townsend C. Smith
Terms Expiring 2016
  • Edgar W. Barksdale Jr.
  • Amy Cammann Cholnoky
  • Kevin Gasvoda
  • Randall M. Heck
  • Suzanne McGraw
  • Jan Smith
  • Susan N. Weaver
Honorary Trustees
  • Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001)
  • Harold W. McGraw, Jr. (1918-2010)
  • Ann S. Mandel
  • Stephen F. Mandel (1931-2009)
  • Kimberly D. Huffard
  • George U. Wyper

Library Vision and Mission

Our vision is to inform, educate, entertain and enrich our community.

The Darien Library Mission

The Library will provide access to a broad array of content, as well as training and assistance to help people successfully navigate and use information.
The Library will provide a broad array of programs and services to educate, entertain and enrich people.
The Library will be proactive and creative in anticipating and responding to community needs for resources, programs and services.
The Library will be accessible physically to people during convenient hours and electronically twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and three-hundred and sixty five days a year, and without charge to the individual user.
The Library will be the heart of the community, providing flexible and inviting environments within which to access and enjoy its resources.
The Library will be a customer-driven organization with friendly, professional staff dedicated to creating a positive and fun library experience.
The Library will attract, develop and sustain a highly professional staff in an environment where teamwork, high standards and esprit-de-corps support excellence.
The Library will collaborate with other town agencies and community groups to serve the needs of the community.
The Library will be a public-private partnership, funded annually by a combination of taxpayer dollars and individual donations sufficient to sustain a library of excellence.

Using this Site

Welcome to Darien Library's Website!

To get the most out of the site, you'll want to create an account. If you have a Darien Library card (or a card from another Connecticut library that you've registered with us), you can add your Library card number to your online account. If you don't have a Library card with us, you can still register for and use the website's new features.

Looking for more technical details?

New features

Signing in   

  • Instead of using your 14-digit Library barcode as your username,  you can create your own username and password and add your barcode to your account once. You can also create a username without having a Library card at all!

Tags, Ratings, Reviews, Comments

  • Once you've signed in, you can join the conversation. You can add tags (words that you think describe the book, movie, or CD) to an item, post reviews for other Library members to read, and comment on posts from Library staff. Your tags, ratings, and reviews will appear on the items in the catalog and you can see them in your account under the "My Library" link in the left side navigation box.
  • Don't feel like writing a whole review? Just rate an item by clicking on the stars that appear under the title. You can change your mind and your rating whenever you'd like.
  • On this site, tags are separated by spaces and multi-word tags are put in quotes. So green apples are two tags but "green apples" is one tag.

Searching from everywhere

  • The search box is ubiquitous on the new site. You can search the Library's catalog for everything, meaning books, movies, and music, or you can search for just books, just movies, or just music. You can also search our website or the web from the box at the top of each page in the new

RSS feeds

  • Many sections of the new site have RSS feeds (what's that?) associated with them. For a complete list of feeds available from the site, take a look at our site map.

Old Favorites with a New Look

Magazines, Newspapers, and More

  • Our new Research page has the articles that Google can't find. Click on a research area in the first column to begin looking for information by topic. New books are listed by subject area in the middle column.

Borrow a Gadget - Cameras, GPS, Laptops etc.




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