In the best of times, Darien Library plays a critical role in our community, connecting patrons to books and other content, to new ideas and experiences, and to one another. During the COVID-19 shutdown, our Darien Library staff drew on its long history of compassionate service to keep our community connected by delivering virtual programs on Zoom; reaching out to individual patrons via email, phone, and social media; making new virtual content available to a growing group of users; and grappling with new challenges that presented themselves every day. Even with our building closed, the Library stepped up to offer support for patrons whether they were working at home, entertaining and educating children, looking to learn something new, or feeling isolated from family and friends.
As the state of Connecticut gradually opened up, Library administration met with staff and the Board to ensure that Darien Library would be ready with safe and careful courtyard pick-up as soon as possible. Ongoing communication with Town government and public health officials enabled the Library to open the building with procedures in place that balance the need to protect our staff and patrons with the goal of allowing access to the building and to our collections. This was possible because of herculean efforts by every employee of Darien Library and because of the financial support of the Friends of Darien Library.
It is telling that even in the middle of the pandemic, 1894 Day, our annual giving day that celebrates the founding of the Darien Library, was an unqualified success. Thank you for being a Friend of Darien Library and for enabling its service to the community.
As this Annual Report is being printed, we are in the midst of a leadership transition. We will miss Director Alan Kirk Gray, who retired in August. Alan joined the Library in 2003 and served as Director from 2014 to 2020. We are all beneficiaries of Alan’s devotion to the Library and his incredible service. The new Lyngsoe booksorter is dedicated in Alan’s name and marked by a plaque in the entry to the Library.
We are excited to welcome Kiera Parrott as our new Director. Kiera is returning to Darien Library where she worked from 2008 to 2013, including as head of the Children’s Library. She brings a wealth of recent experience from School Library Journal and Library Journal and from New York Public Library, where she worked before coming to Darien in 2008.
Thank you for all that you do for the Library.
President of the Board
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