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Adult  Programming  Annual  Report  –  July  2012-­‐June  2013  

  To:  Louise  Berry   From:  Erin  Shea   Date:  October  1,  2013  

  Evolving  Author  Programs     In  Darien,  we  know  that  libraries  are  so  much  more  than  books.   And  in  the  same  vein,  author  events  have  evolved  to  be  so  much   more  than  an  author  standing  at  a  podium  reading  his  opening   chapter.  This  year,  we’ve  had  an  author  perform  magic  tricks   (Alex  Stone,  Fooling  Houdini:  Magicians,  Mentalists,  Math  Geeks,   and  the  Hidden  Powers  of  the  Mind),  introduce  us  in  person  to   the  characters  described  in  her  memoir  (Becky  Aikman,  Saturday   Night  Widows),  and  even  toast  the  audience  as  he  sipped  his   hand-­‐selected  wine  recommendations  (Eric  Asimov,  How  to  Love   Wine).           Drinking  wine  with  Eric  Asimov   New  Series     This  fiscal  year  we  launched  three  unique  series,  each  designed  to  attract  a  different  type  of   library  user.  Read,  Ride,  Imbibe  is  a  book  discussion  designed  to  appeal  to  commuters  who  may   not  otherwise  have  time  to  visit  the  Library.  For  this  program,  librarians  bring  14-­‐Day  copies  of   a  carefully  selected  title  to  the  train  platform  during  rush  hour.  About  a  month  after  this  in-­‐ person  promotion,  we  host  a  discussion  of  the  book  at  The  Goose,  Darien’s  local  watering  hole   located  kitty-­‐corner  from  the  train  station.  Some  attendees  show  up  still  in  their  suits,  and  our   discussion  of  Sheryl  Sandberg’s  Lean  In  attracted  the  attention  of  our  First  Selectman  Jayme   Stevenson,  who  attended  the  program.     Our  monthly  Science  Café  Series  brings  in  hosts  to  talk  about   science-­‐related  topics  like  predicting  the  weather,  3D   printing,  and  microcontrollers.  This  Friday  night  program   attracts  different  generations  and  I’ve  seen  a  lot  of  new  faces   since  the  series  has  started  to  gain  momentum.       When  Stephanie  Anderson  came  on  board  at  the  beginning   Science  Cafe:  3D  Printers   of  this  fiscal  year,  she  and  I  worked  together  to  create  a   series  that  would  support  debut  novelists  who  historically  do  not  bring  out  a  huge  audience  for   their  events.  From  our  discussions,  First  Look:  Darien  was  born.  Three  times  a  year,  Library  staff   members  choose  a  debut  novel  to  highlight  in  this  series.  Then,  we  pitch  it  to  local  book  groups,   promote  it  with  a  display  on  Main  Street,  and  encourage  all  of  our  staff  members  to  read  it  so   they  can  be  poised  and  ready  to  recommend  it  to  interested  patrons.  Finally,  before  the   author’s  talk,  we  invite  users  who  have  read  the  book  or  are  planning  to  read  it  to  a  special  

reception  in  our  conference  room  with  the  author.  Our  readers  in  town  have  loved  this  intimate   meet  and  greet  with  the  author  and  we’ve  loved  seeing  our  attendance  for  debut  author  events   increase  from  an  average  of  about  twenty  attendees  to  well  over  fifty.     One  Book,  One  Community       This  year  we  really  put  the  “community”  in   our  One  Book,  One  Community  series  by   inviting  a  committee  of  readers  in  town  to   help  select  the  town-­‐wide  read.  Starting  in   Fall  2012,  representatives  from  local   organizations  met  in  our  conference  room   to  pitch  ideas  for  the  next  community  reads   title.  After  much  deliberation,  David   Benioff’s  City  of  Thieves  was  clearly  the  best   fit.  His  novel  follows  the  adventures  of  two   adolescents  in  Leningrad  as  they  try  to   David  Benioff,  author  of  City  of  Thieves   locate  a  dozen  eggs  in  a  city  that  is   starving.  The  book  lent  itself  to  a  lot  of  fun  programming  like  a  cake  baking  contest,  chess   competition,  and  my  personal  favorite:  a  town-­‐wide  scavenger  hunt  culminating  at  the  Library.       We  Are  the  Heart  of  Darien     After  seeing  and  catching  up  with  some  of  my  favorite  patrons,  being  entertained  for  an  hour  or   two,  and  perhaps  even  meeting  a  favorite  author,  I  almost  always  leave  library  programs  in  a   really  good  mood.  But  there  are  certain  programs  that  give  me  a  very  different  feeling,  a  certain   je  ne  sais  quoi,  a  “dang  it  feels  good  to  be  a  librarian”  feeling.  Last  year,  in  the  midst  of   Hurricane  Sandy  when  people  were  evacuating  their  homes,  desperate  for  electricity,  and   questioning  how  to  even  access  the  local  news,  Gretchen  Caserotti  suggested  we  host  a  Darien   Community  Hurricane  Potluck  in  our  Community  Room.  The  purpose  of  this  was  two-­‐fold:  one,   to  provide  a  hot  meal  for  those  in  town  still  without  power,  and  two,  to  provide  those  with   power  a  way  to  help  their  neighbors.  The  results  were  incomprehensible:  with  over  300  people   attending,  the  food  just  kept  coming  and  coming  and  coming.  At  a  time  when  our  users  felt   powerless  (figuratively  and  literally)  we  were  grateful  to  play  host  to  such  an  unforgettable   event.      

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