7:00 PM On Wednesday, October 16 at the Essex Library

Please join us as we:

  • Introduce “Books & Beyond, Celebrating 125 Years of Excellence at the Essex Library”
  • Unveil highlights of the Library’s dynamic new Strategic Plan that embraces more services, expanded hours, improved spaces and new technologies
  • Vote on a newly revised set of bylaws (copies are available at the Library)
  • Honor Marilyn and Richard Buel as Honorary Trustees for their years of dedicated service and philanthropic spirit
  • Elect new trustees, say farewell to former trustees, and more

So gather, friends and Library lovers, to kick-off a milestone year at the Annual Meeting and Social!


This fall, we’re offering two registered story hours for children aged 3-5. This session will take us from the week of October 1 to December 12. We will have afternoon story hour from 4 – 5 p.m. on Tuesday afternoons and an early morning story hour on Thursdays from 10 – 11 a.m. During our story hours, we typically read two to three stories, have a short show and tell and work on a themed craft. We end our time together by spending time selecting and checking out books.

Siblings are always welcome and are encouraged to spend time with us in the program room or in our children’s department while our preschooler crew works to read, socialize and play together.

Registration is now open! Space is limited as we welcome up to twelve children for each group. Please call the library at 860-767-1560 for more information or to register.


Essex Library Association Director– and this year’s Connecticut Library Association President, Richard Conroy, (far right) attended Governor Malloy’s ceremonial signing of Bill HB 5614: An Act Concerning Ebooks…yesterday. The bill authorizes a study of the availability of electronic books to Connecticut public library users. It’s a step in the process of helping ebook publishers set fair prices for libraries who want to offer ebooks to their patrons. Also in attendance are Carl Antonucci–co-chair of the Connecticut Library Association Legislative Committee and Director of Central Connecticut State University Library (far Left),  and Connecticut State Librarian Ken Wiggin (second from left).

“The Man Booker prize aims to promote the finest in fiction by rewarding the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland. To maintain the consistent excellence of the Man Booker Prize, judges are chosen from a wide range of disciplines, including critics, writers and academics, but also poets, politicians and actors, all with a passion for quality fiction.

The winner of the Man Booker Prize receives £50,000 and, like all the shortlisted authors, a cheque for £2,500 and a designer bound copy of their book. Fulfilling one of the objectives of the prize – to encourage the widest possible readership for the best in literary fiction – the winner and the shortlisted authors now enjoy a dramatic increase in book sales worldwide.” (Man Booker Prize website)

The dozen books on this year’s longlist:
(click on the bold titles to put a hold on the book in the LION catalog. You’ll need your library card barcode.)

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton  (due for U.S. release in October)
Harvest by Jim Crace
The Marrying of Chani Kaufman by Eve Harris (due for U.S. release in September)
The Kills by Richard House (not available yet)
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri
Unexploded by Alison MacLeod (not available yet)
TransAtlantic by Colum McCann
Almost English by Charlotte Mendelson (not available yet)
The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan (not available yet)
The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín

grief groupGrieving is tough –  but you don’t have to go it alone. The Essex Library is hosting a Bereavement Support Group, with leadership provided by Middlesex Hospital Hospice volunteer Reverent John Talbott, a retired Episcopal priest who has run similar groups around the Shoreline area for the past eight years. The group will meet on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 2 p.m., and is free and open to all. If you’re struggling with loss – of a spouse, a parent or other family member, or a close friend –  please consider coming to a meeting; sometimes just having a place to share our feelings makes them easier to bear.  No advance registration is necessary, and drop-ins are welcome.

April 4th at 7 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall

Is time travel possible? Einstein thought so – and so does Dr. Mallett, University of Connecticut Professor of Physics and researcher into particle and field theory. In fact, his determination to unlock this particular secret is why he became a physicist in the first place. You may have seen him on the Science Channel, or on the BBC’s documentary about time travel researchers: Hear about his current research into this fascinating topic.

Sincere thanks to local business BrandTech Scientific, Inc. for sponsoring the Science For Everyone series.

Friday, March 29th at 7 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall

The erudite and witty Dr. Chuck Benson — architect, professor, lecturer —will speak on “Hewn Architecture From Living Stone”— examples of buildings and whole cities carved into Mother Earth can be found world-wide; pictured here is Petra in Jordan, A UNESCO heritage site.

Dr. Benson has been teaching Art and Architectural History for more than twenty five years at various universities and colleges across the United States, and has led groups to explore and visit a variety of sites to Italy, England, Scotland, France, Spain, Austria, Germany, Greece and Turkey.  He also has led art and architecture trips to New York City, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles.

His lecture credits include the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, MOMA, the Whitney Museum, the Getty in Los Angeles, the Art Institute in Chicago, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.  He studied the history of art and architecture at Yale as an undergraduate, and holds advanced degrees from Columbia University.  He also has studied at Cambridge and Oxford, as well as the University of Goettingen in Germany.

Dr. Benson currently serves as the Director of Colorado Operations, and Head of Design for a Group that specializes in the architecture and engineering of Satellite Operations Centers and Mission Control Stations.  He currently teaches as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and has taught at the Colorado College and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Our Essex Library audiences have enjoyed his lectures on Edward Lutyens, Gian Loernzo Bernini and Antonio Gaudi.

Click here to register for this program.

Click here to see the Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series 2012 – 2013, the 2011 -2012 Lecture Series and links to YouTube films of specific Lectures.

billchiltonFriday, March 15th at 7 p.m. at the Essex Town Hall
As Principal of Pickard Chilton, an architectural practice in New Haven, Bill has directed projects for leading corporate and institutional clients worldwide including the Eaton Headquarters in Cleveland; the ExxonMobil Office Complex in Houston; CalPERS Headquarters in Sacramento as well as projects in the Middle East and Asia. Based on the belief that the practice of architecture is a collaborative art, he will address how the relationships the firm cultivates with clients, consultants and construction professionals is translated into the design of its buildings.

William Chilton has directed projects for leading corporate and institutional clients worldwide including the world headquarters for Eaton Corporation (LEED Gold) in Cleveland, Ohio; Devon Energy World Headquarters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; 900 New York Avenue (LEED Gold) in Washington D.C.; ExxonMobil Office Complex in Houston, Texas; the US Environmental Protection Agency Headquarters (LEED Gold) near Washington D.C.; AIM Corporate Headquarters in Houston, Texas; and CaIPERS Headquarters Complex (LEED Gold) in Sacramento, California.

Prior to the founding of Pickard Chilton, he was Ellerbe Becket’s President of Architecture and collaborated on such notable buildings as the Science Museum of Minnesota and Kingdom Centre in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which, when completed, was the tallest mixed-use complex in Europe and the Middle East.

William Chilton received his Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from Iowa State University and Master of Architecture from the University of Minnesota. Iowa State University recognized him with its Design Achievement Award (1995) for distinguished contributions to the arts and the Christian Petersen Design Award (2007), the highest award given by the College of Design. In conjunction with Jon Pickard, he is co-recipient of the 2011 Iowa State University Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor given to alumni by the University. He is actively involved in teaching, serving in Spring 2010 as Professor in Practice at the University of Minnesota College of Design.

Click here to register for this program.

Click here to see the Centerbrook Architects Lecture Series 2012 – 2013, the 2011 -2012 Lecture Series and links to YouTube films of specific Lectures.

Would you like to win an iPad Mini, and help the Essex Library out at the same time? We need your input; the Essex Library Association is developing a strategic plan, which will guide the Library in serving the Essex community for both the next several years and the next generation. A committee headed up by Association President Fred Szufnarowski and Library Director Richard Conroy is working with nationally recognized Library Development Solutions of Princeton, NJ to address challenges specific to the delivery of library services during this period of rapid transition to electronic media.

Community outreach will be a key element of the strategic planning process as the Library develops service models to meet the needs of patrons and residents. We’re asking Essex residents to take a survey, either on line at or at the Library, on paper or a computer set up for that purpose. Anyone who takes the survey and provides the Library with their email address will be entered in a drawing for an iPad Mini. If you’ve already taken the survey, and didn’t provide an email, you can enter the drawing by calling the Library and giving your email address to the librarian. Community engagement is critical to the success of this initiative.

Some of the questions to be explored during the planning process include:

  • What do residents and leaders of Essex expect and need from the library, both now and in the future?
  • Does the current vision and mission of the library reflect those needs?
  • What are the contemporary roles of the library for the community’s children, teens, older adults and parents?
  • How does the library respond with services, collections, staffing, and facilities to meet identified community needs and expected future needs?
  • How does the library respond to a quickly changing environment in which the issues of library funding, content and collections, and staffing?
  • What are the challenges and barriers associated with creating the Essex Library of the future?

The consultants will facilitate interviews and workshops with key stakeholders, as needed, to ensure the involvement of the community, staff, ELA Board, and town leaders in order to assess residents’ current awareness and satisfaction with library services, programs, collections and the facility and to discuss their ideas for future library services, collections, programs and facilities. Both   online and print surveys may be developed and distributed through which residents can contribute open-ended ideas and feedback to the strategic planning team.

Leslie and Alan Burger of Library Development Solutions have worked with many Connecticut libraries, both municipal and association, consortia and boards throughout the state on strategic planning, facilities and funding projects. The consultants will provide a process that includes the community, staff, and director.

Library Development Solutions was founded in 1991 to assist librarians and library boards with strategic planning, building programs, service program design, improvement and evaluation, community needs assessments, and organizational and staff development. In the past few years, they have interviewed over 5,000 library customers and potential customers in focus group sessions and have surveyed over 25,000 individuals to determine their library and information needs.

For more information or to learn how you can participate in the strategic planning process please contact Richard Conroy at (860) 767-1560.

Jess with basketWhat is smarter than a smart phone, more enduring than a dozen cookies and classier than a Chanel handbag?

The answer is — a gift membership in the Essex Library Association, the perfect holiday gift!

Membership in your local library is a truly meaningful, lasting gift for family and friends. Long after the holiday gifts are used and set aside, a library membership keeps on giving, because it keeps the library thriving.

Membership matters because it provides funding to keep the library doors open, the children’s and adult programs lively and relevant, and the shelves stocked with the best new books, audiobooks and DVDs.

Beyond that, a gift membership makes both the donor and recipient partners of Essex Library in promoting reading, lifelong learning, community spirit, and civic pride.

What better gift could there be?

Membership is available at levels from $35 to $1,000.

And membership does have its perks! Each level of ELA membership comes with an attractive and functional ELA keepsake, including magnets, mugs, totes and boat bags, plus a special treat for children. The recipient of membership will remember your thoughtful gift and your support of the library for years to come. Your donation to the Library is also tax deductible.