Reference USA - The Librarian's Secret Weapon

We would like to share our best kept secret for checking addresses and phone numbers.  Are you finalizing your holiday card mailing list?  Tracking down relatives or friends that may have moved?  Reference USA compiles White Pages listings to give you the most accurate and up-to-date information possible, all in one easy search.  They update their records at least once a month, and you can be assured that if the address or phone number you're looking for is listed, you will be able to find it here.


You have the option to search simply by last name and city, or even as specific as a street address.  You can access Reference USA here:  Just click on Reference USA, then U.S. Standard White Pages and get started!

Of course you can always Ask Us for help with phone numbers and addresses, but Reference USA is available 24/7 through our website. 

One of our most heavily used resources by librarians, and we just couldn't resist sharing it with you!

PS - Reference USA is also a great way to locate and research companies and industries.  Ask a librarian to show you how!

Letting City Directories Work for You

Darien City Directory, 1953
Darien City Directory, 1953

Saturday, January 21 at 2 PM

Co-sponsored by Darien Library and the Middlesex Genealogical Society, presented by Toni McKeen.

City directories are one of the most overlooked source of historical information about families. You will learn how and where to find city directories, the important and surprising clues they hold, and their use in finding those missing census records and vital records.

For the last 7 years, Toni McKeen has been teaching several levels of genealogy in her home town of Ridgefield, Connecticut. Toni also has been a popular lecturer at various genealogical societies in the New York, Connecticut, Boston, and Long Island areas. Toni has been a frequent presenter at MGS meetings. In her lectures, Toni shares the tips and tricks she has developed over the years to help locate difficult relatives who don’t seem to want to be found.

Effective Use of City Directories

Skill Building: Analyzing City Directories

Using City Directories in Genealogical Research

City Directories on Microfilm at the Library of Congress

Circa 1930 City Directories available at the National Archives

City Directories of the United States of America

Old Directory Search: Stamford, Connecticut, 1907

Your Guide to Finding Ancestors in City Directories

City Directories at

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

A Day in the Life of...

Pretty much anyone you could imagine!  Check out our Lives section on the second floor and browse our extensive collection of biographies & memoirs.  To make it even easier, we've put together a display with some featured titles.  Among these books, you can find out How Starbucks Saved My Life, learn about what Mrs. Astor Regrets, get the inside scoop on some of President George Bush's Decision Points and much more!  


Just want to do some quick research on a historical figure that you've always wondered about?  Visit our databases, including the Biography Resource Center and Encyclopedia Britannica Online for articles and short biographies.  They're all here on the History Resources page, and you can browse other databases by subject too.


PS - Every day, Encyclopedia Britannica has a "Biography of the Day!"  Click here to see who is featured now:




Let your geek flag fly!

Wired Magazine recently came out with a list of "nine essential geek books you must read right now." We agree. For a crash course in geekdom, check out some of the titles below. If they look familiar, we salute you fellow geek!

While the folks at Wired have their personal favorites, we want to know yours. What books make your geek flag fly?

Holiday Cooking

Thanksgiving time is just around the corner. To help you prepare for the season, we have arranged a display of our favorite Thanksgiving and holiday cookbooks, recipes and magazine articles.


The magazines include Bon Appetit, Better Homes and Garden, Food and Wine and Cooks Illustrated.


Click below for a list of the books that we have on display.


College Bound




Need help navigating the college admissions process? Let us be your guide!

We've put together a list of our favorite resources. We have books on rankings, insider secrets from the pros, choosing the best majors and even interview tips and early admissions help.

Make sure to stop by our display on the second floor and check out these online resources before booking that next college tour!



A college tour ~ image courtesy of York College of PA

Your Health...and Puzzles!

Image courtesy of flickr user Mykl Roventine.
Image courtesy of flickr user Mykl Roventine.

Did you know that respected organizations like the Center for Disease Control, Alzheimers Association and American Cancer Society promote building jigsaw puzzles to improve your health?  They're not only fun (and a great library activity!) but also have quite a number of surprising health benefits.

Here are just a few of the ways in which puzzles can enhance your health and brain at every age:

  • The CDC and Alzheimers Association assert that activities such as puzzles, reading and board games are all ways to increase brain cells and delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute advises people who are trying to quit smoking to keep their hands busy by doing activities like needlework and jigsaw puzzles.
  • The American Geriatric Society recommends that you exercise your brain by doing word puzzles, number puzzles and jigsaw puzzles.  Switching up the activities will also help keep your brain stimulated.
  • The Center for Mental Health Services recommends creative and fun activities like jigsaw and crossword puzzles for recovery and relaxation.
  • The American Cancer Society also recommends hobbies and crafts including puzzles, playing an instrument and board games to help smokers quit.
  • The CDC’s BAM! Body and Mind program teaches kids to “take time to chill” by listening to music, putting together a puzzle or working on a project when they feel stressed.

Would you like more information about any of these topics?  Email us (, IM or stop by the reference desk!

Get in the Game - Great Sports Biographies for the Summer!

            Image courtesy of Flicker user Chris Yarzab

Check out these books about the sports figures you know well and maybe some that aren't in the headlines.  Now is a good time to find out more about them so we put together this list of some GREAT sports biographies for your enjoyment.  Also, make sure to check out our sports biographies display on the Second Floor. 

For even more sports reading check out Sport's Illustrated's Top 100 Sports Books of All Time.

Shady Places

Tree Conservancy of Darien
Tree Conservancy of Darien

Tree Conservancy of Darien is a newly formed non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing the tree and forest resources of Darien for the benefit of the community, its health and its quality of life.  It's goals are to educate the community about the value of trees; identify and revitalize significant (heritage) trees in town; establish a stewardship program for the care and maintenance of existing trees; and protect and augment our community trees, both public and private.

Darien Library has a variety of resources that support the mission of the Tree Conservancy, including a wide selection of books on the history, care, care and selection of trees in New England. Librarians are available to help with specific questions, just ask us!


It's out of this world!
It's out of this world!

NASA’s final space shuttle launch is currently scheduled for July 8, so we’ve put together a display with all of our best books on astronomy, NASA history, astronaut biographies and more.  Did you know NASA has an “Astronomy Picture of the Day”?

Also check out these great websites:


Astronomy Magazine:                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

And under “Homework Help” on our website ( we recommend these sources for students:

Windows to the Universe:

NASA Kids Club:

NASA for Students:

Image courtesy of Flickr user Matthew Simantov

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