Kiera Parrott

Kiera Parrott, Former Darien Librarian, Named the Library’s New Director

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The Board of Trustees of the Friends of Darien Library today announced it has appointed Kiera Parrott, MLIS, as the next director of Darien Library effective Sept. 8. Parrott, who was selected by the Board after a nationwide search, succeeds Alan Kirk Gray, who recently retired after six years as Director and 11 years in various other roles. — an announcement from Darien Library

“The Board of Trustees was seeking a visionary leader ready to reimagine the Library’s role consistent with its culture of excellence in service to its patrons and the Darien community, and we are thrilled to have found this leader in Kiera,” board President Tamara Sload said. “She is an inspirational and gifted leader, understands and values the importance of excellent communication and respectful relationship building, and brings a unique and compelling perspective to strategic planning that we believe make her uniquely suited to assume this role.

1894 Day Darien Library

Darien Library Launches ‘1894 Day’ Fundraiser

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Today we are launching our Second Annual Day of Giving. Our goal is to raise $126,000 in 24 hours from our incredibly generous Friends and community members who continue to enjoy the programs, services, and collections of our Library each and every day, even from home during these unprecedented times. Now more than ever, we need your support to help ensure the long term vitality of the Library. Donate

To commemorate this day, each donor who participates in 1894 Day will receive a special gift at the following suggested contribution levels:

$12.60: A Darien Library koozie
$126: A Darien Library Travel Tumbler
$1,260: An L.L.Bean waterproof outdoor blanket with an embroidered Darien Library logo OR a custom Vineyard Vines 1894 Day tote bag
$12,600: All of these items plus extra Darien Library swag! All funds raised today, as with all gifts to our Annual Fund, will be dedicated directly to library resources, including all of the books, DVDs, technology, learning resources, and programs for children, teens, and adults.

Frankenstein https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Frankenstein%27s_monster_(Boris_Karloff).jpg

Townwide Book to Read in June: ‘Frankenstein’ — Events Planned Around the Classic

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Darien Library invites you to join them in June to explore Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” as part of their One Book One Community program. The town-wide read encourages the community to enjoy the same story and then participate in a shared exploration of the tale. — an announcement from Darien Library (followed by information from the library website)

The month of online activities is a way for the community to come together while remaining isolated. The program kicks off on June 1. The classic tale of Frankenstein is a touchstone of popular culture and can be experienced in any way you choose: from a literary exploration with the guidance of Carroll Stenson, a journey through the music of horror movies with Gil Harel, or a search for meaning within the many film iterations with Max Alvarez.

Darien Library General 10-13-17

Visit the Library This Week Online: Mark Your Calendar With Events for Adults, Teens, Kids

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Visit Darien Library this week without leaving home: Here’s a list of events (some a bit beyond this week) that you can take in from home. Some are for adults, others for teens, others for kids. This article, from the Darien Library regular newsletter, also has some other information you can use, especially during the social distancing shutdown. You can subscribe to the library’s newsletters from the library website (scroll down to the blue bar near the bottom of the home page). Online Events for Adults
Know What You Grow: Native and Invasive Plants Discussion
Tuesday, 4/28 at 10 a.m.

Short Stories for Long Days
Tuesday, 4/28 at 3 p.m.

Introduction to PowerPoint
Wednesday, 4/29 at 11 a.m.

Perennial Borders Plants Discussion
Thursday, 4/30 at 10 a.m.

Books ‘n Banter with Penguin Random House and Darien Library
Thursday, 4/30 at 11 a.m.

American Mah Jongg: 2020
New Card Classes on Zoom
Thursday, 5/7 at 6 p.m.
Register by 5/1

Watch What You Missed:
“American Women and the Right to Vote: Helen Keller, Connecticut Socialist”
Online Events for Kids + Teens
Poetry for Kids: Haiku for You
Tuesday, 4/28 at 3 p.m.
Ages 7 to 10

Boredom Bustin’ Book Club
Wednesday, 4/29 at 3 p.m.
Ages 8 to 12

Poetry for Kids: Free Verse Poems
Thursday, 4/30 at 3 p.m.
Ages 7 to 10
Are You a Darien Educator?

Darien Library General 10-13-17

Darien Library Is Open Online: Here’s Some of What You Can Get

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The Darien Library building isn’t the only place the library delivers services. If you’ve got a library card (and sometimes even if you don’t), you can use the library’s resources on its own website or through its subscriptions to other online services. Here are several suggestions from the latest Darien Library newsletter:

Many of us are adjusting to working from home, with sometimes distracting new office mates! library staff, too, are working hard from home to keep patrons connected, informed, and entertained. Below are some digital goodies that delighted us this week.

Middlesex Middle School wikipedia 5-25-16

Darien Schools to Close for Two Weeks After Early Dismissal Thursday; Separately, Darien Library Announces Closure

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Darien schools will close early, at 11 a.m., Thursday, and not reopen until Thursday, March 26, schools Superintendent Alan Addley announced in an email to parents Wednesday night and at a Board of Education meeting the same night. Separately, Darien Library also announced it will be closed “until further notice,” also as a step to prevent spread of COVID-19 in the community. “Today, the State Department of Health shared that the spread of the Coronavirus is not only imminent but is actively occurring across local communities,” Addley wrote. “While no Darien resident has been diagnosed with the Coronavirus, in an abundance of caution, the district is being proactive in its response to close schools in order to prevent the potential spread of the virus.” No academic, athletic or extracurricular activities at all will take place in the schools during the two-week closure—except for deep cleaning Addley wrote, “and school facilities may not be used for any event during the period of closure.”

Darien Library General 10-13-17

All Darien Library Events Canceled in Anti-Coronavirus Measure, Delivery Program Available

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Darien Library is canceling all programs effective immediately as part of efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, Library Director Alan Kirk Gray announced in a 12:04 p.m. email. The library’s Novel Tea fundraiser, a major way the library raises money, is included in the canceled events, Gray wrote. The library remains open to visitors (unless they’re displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19). The library is suspending late fees and telling patrons about an already existing program for delivering books, videos, magazines and audiobooks to home-bound residents, Also, the library will sponsor a discussion Friday on video between Darien Health Director David Knauf and a Stamford Hospital official about the COVID-19 outbreak. “All Darien residents who are permanently or temporarily unable to visit the Library in-person are encouraged to sign up for our home-bound delivery service,” library Publicity Manager Amanda Goodman said in an email to Darienite.com.

Darien Library 04-05-17

Library Patrons With Coronavirus Symptoms — Fever, Coughing, Short Breath — To Be Asked to Leave

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If you’ve got either a fever, are coughing or have shortness of breath, don’t visit Darien Library — you’ll “be asked to leave the library and return when fully recovered,” the library announced Monday morning. That’s the new element in the library’s policy on dealing with COVID-19 in an “updated coronavirus action plan” announced by library Director Alan Kirk Gray in an email Monday. “Any patrons who are experiencing symptoms of the virus (fever, cough, shortness of breath) are encouraged to seek medical attention immediately,” the email said. “To protect other patrons and staff, visitors who exhibit these symptoms will be asked to leave the Library and return when fully recovered.” The library’s website homepage didn’t mention the additional policy as of 12 noon on Monday.

Coronavirus illustration CDC wide for facebook

Protecting Against Coronavirus: Darien Library, YMCA Each Issue Statements on What They’re Doing

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Both the Darien YMCA and Darien Library have issued statements to the public about what they’re doing to protect people from COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus. Cleaners “are taking extra care while wiping down door handles, elevator buttons, push bars and other public services,” said the March 3 emailed statement signed by Library Director Alan Kirk Gray. The Darien YMCA statement described essentially the same policy: “Our staff has increased wiping down of door handles, ledges and counter surfaces throughout all shifts,” said the statement signed by Darien YMCA CEO Jennifer Gardner. “After closing all surfaces which include floors, counters, bathroom/shower fixtures, equipment, and gymnastics mats are cleaned with hospital grade cleaners and sanitizers.” Other Recent Darien Statements on COVID-19

School District Letter to Families: Here’s What We’re Doing to Protect Students From the COVID-19 Virus (March 2)
How to Guard Against Covid-19 Coronavirus: Here’s What Darien Health Director Advises for Town Employees (Feb.

Darien Library Introduces New Projects and Tech in Its TEA Room for Kids

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Does your kid use the TEA Room at Darien Library? If your boy or girl in Grades 3 to 6 does use it, here’s what’s new; if they don’t use it, consider this a list of reasons why they might want to. In an email Tuesday the library announced “new, fun projects and tech to explore in the TEA Room,” the library’s mini-makerspace/learning lab/artist studio for kids in Grades 3 to 6. What the TEA Room Is
The library offers classes in the TEA Room on subjects from circuitry to printmaking (learn more about scheduled classes here — although there aren’t any for this week). You’re also welcome to reserve the room to explore all of our supplies and technologies.

Author Lara Prescott and The Secrets We Kept book cover

Darien Library’s Novel Tea Fundraiser on March 25 Features Novelist Lara Prescott

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Darien Library presents the fifth annual Novel Tea fundraiser featuring Lara Prescott, bestselling author of “The Secrets We Kept” at a March 25 luncheon held at Wee Burn Country Club. — Darienite.com previously published articles about the upcoming visit by Lara Prescott. This announcement from Darien Library has more information about the Novel Tea fundraising luncheon. “We look forward to having Lara Prescott who is touring with her first novel, The Secrets We Kept,” said Alex Eising, development chair for the Board of Trustees. “This is a gripping novel inspired by the true story of spies, the Cold War and Doctor Zhivago.

Biggest Little Farm showing

Library to Show Movie About Creating a Sustainable, Organic ‘Biggest Little Farm,’ 7 PM, Wednesday

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In “The Biggest Little Farm,” a 2018 movie, a documentarian and his wife attempt to establish a farm outside LA while facing wildfires, pests and predators. The movie is being presented at 7 p.m., Wednesday at Darien Library, co-sponsored by the library, the Darien Pollinator Pathway, the Darien Land Trust, the Garden Club, the Darien Nature Center and Planet New Canaan. The movie also was shown back in August at the library as a Friday night feature. Here’s the announcement Darienite.com published then:

Starring Molly Chester, John Chester; Rated PG for mild thematic elements; 91 minutes; presented with captions for the hearing impaired. Official website | Metacritic | Rotten Tomatoes | IMDb.com | Wikipedia

Learn more about Apricot Lane Farms in Moorpark, California here.

Music Sheet Piano Keys Studio Showcase Series Darien Library

Concert and Open Lesson: Studio Showcase Series at Darien Library, 5 PM Sunday

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Darien Library and pianist Zachary Saffa will team up to bring you a one-of-a-kind concert experience. Up-and-coming musicians will perform uninterrupted, followed by an open lesson for all to enjoy. — an announcement from Darien Library

During the Studio Showcase, you will see first-hand how music teaching can have a transformative effect on a student’s musicianship, perspective, and character. Zach will be joined by violinist Lindsey Castellano for this performance. This month Zach would like to honor longtime Darien resident Marc Thorne, who unexpectedly passed on the date of our December showcase last year.

Alan Kirk Gray wide dimensions for facebook

Darien Library Director Alan Kirk Gray to Retire in Six Months

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Alan Kirk Gray, director of Darien Library for the past six years, plans to retire on Aug. 1, he said at a recent Board of Selectmen budget meeting. “I’ve been talking to the Board of Directors for the past couple of years” about retiring, Gray, who just turned 76, said in an interview on Monday. He mentioned it at the budget meeting, he said, because there are budget implications in his leaving as director and in the search for a new director. Asked what he’s going to do in retirement, he said he doesn’t have any plans.