Wednesday, August 15th at 7 p.m. in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects  

Christopher Buckley’s father, an avid sailor, once owned a wooden sloop named Panic. In describing a few of William F. Buckley’s adventures at sea in the memoir “Losing Mum and Pup” he adds that his Mum often commented, “Bill, why are you trying to kill us?” In a special Essex Library event, Christopher Buckley will share details about a lifetime of sailing with his father: on Long Island Sound, across the Atlantic twice and Pacific once. Expect tears, laughter, the whole schmear.

Christopher Buckley is a novelist, essayist, humorist, critic, magazine editor and memoirist. His books include Thank You for Smoking, The Judge Hunter, and The Relic Master. He worked as a merchant seaman and White House speechwriter. He has written for many newspapers and magazines and has lectured in over seventy cities around the world. He was awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor and the Washington Irving Medal for Literary Excellence.  Copies of The Judge Hunter will be available for purchase and signing.

This event is free and open to the public. Please call (860) 767-1560 to register.

BlandChairman of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Architect Fred Bland, FAIA will present an illustrated talk this Friday, May 8th at 7 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall entitled: The Making of A Garden(er): an urbanist architect in the garden as part of the Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series.

His garden in Stony Creek, CT has been published and is a regular offering in the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days calendar. Come hear the talk and then go see his garden at the Open Days event on Saturday, June 6th. For more info see our website: http://www.youressexlibrary.org/adult-services/adults-featured-events/#centerbrook4

Fred Bland, FAIA will highlight the garden he designed for his Stony Creek home. He chronicles his development as both an internationally known architect and a local horticulturalist, and the connection between the two strivings.

A partner in Beyer Blinder Belle and Chairman of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Bland’s design portfolio includes: the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky, Minnesota’s St. Paul Union Depot, and the Shanghai Cultural Center in China. His Stony Creek garden was featured in the book “Private Gardens of Connecticut.”

Bland earned his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in architecture at Yale University, and as a Commissioner on the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission he plays an active role in shaping the future of America’s largest metropolis. An adjunct professor in the Art History Department at New York University, he also has served as a visiting lecturer at Columbia University, Yale University, and Pratt Institute.


tony 4.tifA photography exhibit will be held at Essex Library Association through the month of May featuring guest artist, Tony Donovan. Items in the exhibit will be for sale with the Essex Library receiving a 20% donation from each sale.

Ivoryton resident Tony Donovan began his photography career in Ireland in north Belfast in the early 1970’s. As he puts it: “It was a difficult place to take pictures, the people were on-edge and wary; suspicious of a stranger.” He shot street scenes and people he befriended, mostly children, with a handheld Leica and the available light. The situation was extreme since he had no control over events and that has shaped his work ever since. He considers himself a documentary, artistic photographer seeking to make expressive, poetic pictures from life. The photograph’s subject is the most important consideration for him.

Donovan has also captured woodsman Amos Congdon at his Lyme, CT sawmill. Congdon makes the perfect image of the American past; sharpening a saw, feeding cattle and tallying a woodlot. A sawmill is a wonderful place to take photos with its patterns of circles and squares, scattered pieces of wood and the lines lumber produces.

Donovan has been photographing a summer basketball tournament, more recently, for a number of years, even receiving a Middletown Commission on the Arts grant to do so in 2010. The Middletown Summer Hoopfest has offered Donovan the opportunity to record some of the drama, effort, spirit and grace played out in those games. He states, “Photography, like any creative process, often requires a subject that summons up in the artist the will and commitment to work over a long period of time. The Hoopfest has been such a subject for me. Certainly, these basketball images have an historic value and, hopefully, some of them attain a poetic worth.”


Touch a Truck LogoSaturday, June 14th

Start your engines; the Essex Library’s popular Touch A Truck Event roars into town on Saturday, June 14th to kick-start your summer. From 10 AM to 3 PM, Essex Town Hall parking lot will host a whole convoy of trucks, earth moving equipment, a school bus, bucket trucks, fire trucks, police cars, an ambulance, and more, for your kids to explore and enjoy. There will be live music, face painting and pretend tattoos, a children’s book sale, even a miniature railroad to ride on. Tickets will be available at the Essex Library and at the event; the price is $4 per person, or you can save money with a family pass for $12. Proceeds from this “fun-raiser” will go to support Library programs and services. This event is part of the Essex Library’s ongoing 125th Anniversary celebrations.

New Teen Blog

May 27, 2014

jessicaIMG_2831-1Essex Library’s YA Librarian, Jessica Branciforte has created a new teen blog which will be THE place to look for book recommendations, program information and resources for the kinds of information young adults are looking to find.


Free-Fork-Spoon-Knife-Clip-Art-GraphicsFairy-174x300Perle Mesta, Martha Stewart and Bobby Flay, move over!

The iron chefs of Essex are preparing to stir up appetites on behalf of the Essex Library on April 26 at an elegant and delicious Festival of Dinner Parties.

More than 15 area hosts will open their homes for a series of simultaneous dinner parties to benefit the Library. The Festival opens with one big gala wine reception at the Library at 5:30 p.m., after which guests will depart for their dinner party destinations.

Wherever you dine, you will find a hostess with the mostest (or host with the most!) ready to serve you in style. Bon appetite!

Drop by the Essex Library or  

call 869-767-1560  

to reserve tickets at $75 per person.

Friday, March 28th at 7 p.m. at Valley Regional High School
After a revolution overthrows a despotic leader, how do the newly liberated citizens fill the resulting power vacuum with a functional democracy, and avoid the pitfalls of a military takeover or another strongman taking control? America’s Founding Fathers faced this dilemma – George Washington was actually pressured by some to take the title of King – and in the wake of the chaos that has followed on the heels of the Arab Spring, Egypt faces it now. The Essex Library is proud to host Pulitzer-prize winning author and historian Gordon S. Wood, Alva O. Way University Professor Emeritus at Brown University, who will give a talk on this topic at Valley Regional High School.

The Future Of Libraries

February 4, 2014

State Librarian Ken Wiggin will speak on the future of libraries and the Edge Initiative at the Essex Library at 7 p.m.  on Monday, February 10.  This program is free and open to the public.

In an increasingly digital world, will the Internet replace your public library? Or will libraries find renewed relevance as the purveyors of information and enrichment, leading the way into the future? Kendall Wiggin, Connecticut State Librarian, will speak about the intersection of libraries and digital literacy and explain the impact of the new Edge Initiative on how your library will work for you today and in the years to come.

Kendall Wiggin has served as Connecticut State Librarian since October 1998. As the Chief administrative officer of the State Library, he directs the development and administration of library programs and services including: Administrative Services, Information Services, Library Development, Public Records, State Archives and the Museum of Connecticut History. Developed by a national coalition of leading library and local government organizations, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and led by the Urban Libraries Council, The Edge Initiative was created with the vision that all people should have opportunities to enrich and improve their lives through open access to information, communication, and technology services provided by public libraries. Please join your community for this inside look at the future of libraries.


Read full digital copies of your favorite magazines on a computer, tablet, or mobile device using the free Zinio Reader app.

The Essex Library and Libraries Online (LION) are now offering a large selection of downloadable magazines via Zinio, the world’s largest newsstand, offering full color, interactive digital magazines for your enjoyment. Browse from the library’s collection of popular titles with no holds, no checkout periods, no fines, and no limit to the number of issues you can download.

New issues are released simultaneously with the print edition; many are available for download before they arrive at the library.

Using the library’s free Zinio magazine subscription service requires the creation of two accounts–a library Zinio account to view the library’s collection and a free Zinio.com account to read magazines online or via the Zinio Reader app on your mobile device. Follow these steps to create both accounts:
(note: You must use the same email address for both accounts.)

Create a library Zinio Collection account:
1. Go to the library’s Zinio Collection page. Browse the collection and click on a magazine to check out.

2. If you haven’t already created an account, click create an account. Enter the required information and click submit.

3. Once your library collection account is validated, click confirm check out.

4. Your magazine is now checked out and available to read in your Zinio.com account.

Create a free Zinio.com account to start reading

5. After checking out your magazine, a Zinio.com window will open and prompt you to log in.

6. If you are new to Zinio.com, click create an account. Enter the required information and click submit.

7. Your personal reading account is now activated and your magazine is available in the your library tab on Zinio.com.

Install the Zinio Reader App

Visit your device’s app store to download and install the free Zinio Reader App. Note: use the Zinio app only to read your magazines. Browse and check out new issues of library magazines using a Web browser.


Follow these steps to read your magazines using your device’s browser or the Zinio Reader app.

Using the browser on your computer or smart device

After checking out a magazine, click the cover image to open it for reading.

  • Some magazines require the Zinio Reader app. If your device is not app-compatible, those titles will not be available on your device.
  • Mobile devices with small screens may cause slow loading or prevent loading of content altogether.

Using the Zinio Reader app on your computer or smart device

After checking out a magazine using a Web browser, open the Zinio Reader app, sign in to your Zinio.com account, find your magazine and start reading.

Return to the library Zinio Collection page using your Web browser to check out additional magazines. Note: You cannot check out magazines with the Zinio Reader app.


  • Use the Account Settings area of your Zinio.com account and or the Zinio Reader app on your mobile device to stop receiving unwanted sample magazines, emails from Zinio.com, or to block adult content.
  • Edit your collection to remove magazines on your computer and/or mobile device.

1. Connect to your Zinio.com account.
2. Click Your Library (PC/Mac) or Read (mobile apps).
3. Click Edit Your Reading List near the top of the screen.
4. Use the dropdown arrows to select the title of the subscription you wish too cancel.
5. Click the red X button to remove the issue, then click DONE.

Please visit our library’s Zinio web page to view the FAQs, How-to Video, and User’s Guide for more information.

On Monday, October 7 & Tuesday, October 8, the Town Hall Parking Lot will be CLOSED. Visitors may park on West Avenue, and there is also parking at the Pratt House on West Avenue for Town Hall use as well. (Thank you to the Essex Historical Society for use of the Pratt House.)

Starting Wednesday, October 9, and thereafter, there will be limited parking at Town Hall – a portion of the parking lot is planned to be open each day for public use.

The Tennis Courts will be closed as of Monday, October 7. The courts will be rebuilt this fall, however we must wait until the spring for weather conditions to permit us to paint and stripe the new courts. Essex residents may use the tennis courts at Valley Regional High School during non-school hours.

The Grove Street Park Playscape will be closed as of Monday, October 7 as well for demolition and preparation of the new playscape. Curious what the new playscape will look like? … click here.