Discover Your Polish, Ukrainian, and Eastern European Ancestors

Presented by Jonathan Shea & Matthew Bielawa
Presented by Jonathan Shea & Matthew Bielawa

Saturday, November 15th at 2 p.m.
Community Room

Two experts on Eastern European genealogy present at the Library, Professor Jonathan Shea and Matthew Bielawa. Shea has written numerous publications and Bielawa on Galacia among other presentations. 

In this program, Jonathan Shea and Matthew Bielawa will show you how to research your ancestors in Poland, Ukraine and the neighboring countries of Eastern Europe. They will introduce you to a variety of sources to compile information about your family. In this program you will learn to:

  • Determine your family’s place of origin using the many documents and sources available in the United States.
  • Determine what records were generated for your ancestral village and where they are to be found.
  • Know where to look depending on the event date and who had jurisdiction, since these countries’ external and internal borders changed frequently in the last 300 years.
  • Know which language the records were recorded in and which publications and tools are available for translating these documents of genealogical value.
  • Learn about the naming conventions and surname distribution in the country.

About the Presenters

Jonathan Shea is a professor of foreign languages in the Connecticut Higher Education System. He has over twenty years of experience in the field of genealogical research, documenting his own family (with roots in the former provinces of Lomza and Grodno, Poland, and Counties Offaly and Mayo, Ireland) as well as the families of others. He is founding President of the Polish Genealogical Society of Connecticut and the Northeast.

Matthew Bielawa is the Associate Registrar at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, Connecticut. His research specialization is in Eastern Galicia and Western Ukraine. He is webmaster of Genealogy of Halychyna/Eastern Galicia, a site devoted to Polish and Ukrainian genealogical research in Eastern Galicia and Western Ukraine.

Focusing On You Meditation Series

Julie Punishill [credit Pamela Ha-Stevenson]
Julie Punishill [credit Pamela Ha-Stevenson]

Thursdays October 30th, November 13th and 20th at 7 p.m.

The "Focusing on You" meditation series leads up to Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season. Do you find you get swept up in the expectations and "busy"-ness of the holidays? Do you find you lose your sense of self? Would you like to increase your personal enjoyment of this very special season, and for that matter, your every day life? This series of five sessions over six weeks is designed to offer meditations and tools to help you focus on you, your presence and ability to live in the moment.

The program will be led by Julie Punishill, a graduate of the two-year intensive training program at the Institute for Conscious Counseling and Coaching in Essex, MA.

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

Friday Night Feature - 'Practical Magic'

We will screen PRACTICAL MAGIC on Halloween.
We will screen PRACTICAL MAGIC on Halloween.

Friday, October 31st at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. - Practical Magic (1998) Starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman; Rated PG-13; 108 minutes. Presented with captions for the hearing impaired.

Sally and Gillian Owens have always known they were different. Raised by their aunts after their parents' death, the sisters grew up in a household that was anything but typical--their aunts fed them chocolate cake for breakfast and taught them the uses of practical magic. But the invocation of the Owens' sorcery also carries a price--some call it a curse: the men they fall in love with are doomed to an untimely death. Now adult women with very different personalities, the quiet Sally and the fiery Gillian must use all of their powers to fight the family curse and a swarm of supernatural forces that threatens the lives of all the Owens women.

"A crafty chick flick about likable witches!" -- Philip Wuntch

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

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



Come Write Your Novel in the Library!

Logo courtesy of National Novel Writing Month
Logo courtesy of National Novel Writing Month

Join local writers in the annual quest to write 50,000 words during the month of November! We'll be working together on the top floor. Bring your notebook, laptop, sketchpad, whatever it is you need to write your story in. Writing a novel during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) can be tough but you'll find lots of friendly company at this write-in.

Saturday, November 1st from 12 noon to 5 p.m
Sunday, November 9th from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, November 30th from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

In the Mezzanine Conference Room

The Annual Meeting of the Friends of Darien Library

Kate Manning
Kate Manning

Friends of the Darien Library cordially invite you to the Annual Meeting

Saturday, November 1st at 5 p.m.

Kate Manning, author of My Notorious Life, will be the featured speaker. This novel is the evocative, absolutely unforgettable new novel from Kate Manning. Inspired by the true story of Ann Trow Lohman, a female physician who became one of the most controversial figures in Victorian New York City. My Notorious Life, now published in paperback, vibrantly portrays a charismatic, passionate woman who changed the lives of countless others. 

Reviews for My Notorious Life:

“A daring page-turner.” — O, The Oprah Magazine

“This intriguing, thought-provoking work of historical fiction is a testament to the strength of the human spirit.”— Real Simple

Preceding the presentation, election of officers and new trustee nominations for the year 2014/2015 will take place.

Learn about the year's developments at Darien Library from Amy Cholnoky, President of the Board, and Alan Gray, Director of the Library.

Reception and book signing to follow. Books will be available for purchase.

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

Résumé and Job Application Drop-In

Image courtesy Flickr user Flazingo Photos
Image courtesy Flickr user Flazingo Photos

Monday, October 27th from 2 to 3 p.m.
Technology Conference Center

Bring your résumé in for help from our Reference Librarians on:

• Editing your résumé
• Proofread your cover letters
• Troubleshoot technology issues with online job applications
• Assist in setting up an email account
• Help with other job application and résumé related advice.

Darien Library Artist in Residence: Ben Larrabee

The photographer, Ben Larrabee, and his muse, wife Trudie
The photographer, Ben Larrabee, and his muse, wife Trudie

Register for the Tuesday, November 4th at 11 a.m. session [This session is full]

Join fine art photographer Ben Larrabee in Darien Library's Artist Space on the Second Level for an informal and fun session on exploring your personal vision through photography. All levels are welcome. Bring your questions. Ben will offer attendees guidance on artistic and technical aspects of photographing, including equipment, editing and image selection. Each session limited to six people.

About the Artist

Ben’s formal training as an artist began in 1962 at the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA) where he discovered his passion through mentor and world renowned photographer Harry Callahan. In 1978, he returned to college to earn an MFA from Yale University.

His fine art background has trained him to photograph as an artist so by instinct he includes artistic elements of composition, rhythm, texture and space in his images. In addition to portraits, he also photographs landscapes and nudes.

Ben has work in the permanent collections of: The George Eastman House (Rochester), The High Museum (Atlanta), The Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), and The Museum of Modern Art (New York).

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

Meet Us On Main Street

Wednesdays at 11 a.m. - Meet Us On Main Street
Wednesdays at 11 a.m. - Meet Us On Main Street

"You Are What You Read" goes LIVE!

Wednesday, November 5th at 11 a.m.

Darien Library staff members are excited to tell you about the latest and greatest books, movies, apps, and articles that we are currently digging. Please join us for this weekly, informal discussion.

There will be "oooohs." There will be "ahhhhs." There will be laughs. We hope to see you there. 


Jean Dubuffet: Soul of the Underground

Image courtesy flickr user Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
Image courtesy flickr user Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

Thursday, November 6th at 7 p.m.

Heather Cotter, a visiting lecturer from the Museum of Modern Art, will discuss the exciting new exhibit Jean Dubuffet: Soul of the Underground. Jean Dubuffet (French, 1901–1985) maintained a rebellious attitude toward prevailing notions of high culture, beauty, and good taste, and was a relentless innovator from the time he committed himself to art making in the early 1940s. By focusing on the key moments in his career, Cotter will illuminate Dubuffet’s radical experimentation with form and material from the 1940s to the mid-1960s.

Heather Cotter is a professional art educator with an M.A. in Art History from Boston University and an M.Ed. in Art Education from Harvard University. She has worked in numerous prestigious art museums including the Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The National Gallery in Washington DC and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Her multi-layered teaching approach encourages students to consider art as a visual representation, an emotional expression and an intellectual investigation.

Refreshments will be served.

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

Information at Your Fingertips: Medicare Open Enrollment

Image courtesy of Flickr user 401(K) 2012
Image courtesy of Flickr user 401(K) 2012

Tuesday, November 11 at 2:00


Overwhelmed by all the options for Open Enrollment?  Learn how to build your own customized Medicare Supplement Insurance Planner. Filled with need-to-know information, this customized report is easy-to-follow and provides all the data for finding the option that is right for YOU.

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