Who is the imposing yet amiable man greeting you from above the entrance to the reading room in the Library? He is Samuel Denison Babcock, eminent financier, President, VP or Director of twenty-one different corporations including banks, telephone, railroad and steamship companies. He was born in Stonington in 1822. He was described as ‘a venerable patriarch, self-made, a very respectable man’.
Beth Walker has been part of the Stonington community for many years. She loves it here and she loves the Library. So, it is no surprise that when she approached the front door on a Friday afternoon in July and found it locked, she was incensed.
We are deeply appreciative of the many generous contributions made by a group of area residents and businesses which will allow us to reopen the Library on Friday afternoons through July 1, 2019. Local resident Beth Walker spearheaded this independent fundraising effort. Beth has long been a passionate supporter of the Library and took it upon herself to reach out to her network both to raise awareness of the Library’s current funding challenges and rally her friends, local businesses and the community to show how important the Library is to them and everyone who lives in Stonington.
The Little Free Library movement began in 2009 when Todd Bol built a miniature model schoolhouse, put it on a post in his front yard, filled it with books and put up a
sign stating, “Free Books.” It was a way to honor his mom—a former school teacher— and to share his love of reading with his neighborhood. The idea took off, and now there are thousands of Little Free Libraries and thanks to a collaboration between the Stonington Village Improvement Association, Stonington High School and the Library, we have four of these magical structures right here in Stonington.
Our sincerest thanks to the Mystic Woman’s Club for their grant of $550 which has allowed us to purchase an additional book cart and materials for our branch at the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center. Library volunteers run the PNC branch every Wednesday from 10 to 11:30. Stop by to sign up for a library card, check out items or place requests for items to be brought at an upcoming visit. The Library’s collaboration with the PNC to create this branch began in January 2017. Since it began the branch has served 301 people who have checked out 514 items.
Our Adult Summer Reading Program is back from Monday, June 18 through Friday, August 3. Participating is easy! Each time you visit the Library and check out materials, enter our weekly drawing – entry forms will be available at the front desk.
If you live in Stonington, then there is a darn good chance that you either know Nick Kepple or benefit from his tireless work. If you have not yet met him, please allow me the pleasure of introducing you by characterizing the many roles he plays in our community. He is the father of four, a dedicated husband (it will be 44 years this July), a beloved probate judge who consistently demonstrates kindness, compassion and a steadfast drive to do what is right for those who come before him. Among many other things, he is the President of the Board of Trustees of the Stonington Free Library. By now, you undoubtedly see a pattern in these roles that describe his character—selfless community servant and leader, with a love for family and community at his core.
The Library is once again participating in the Connecticut Authors Trail, now in its 10th Season. This event is organized by a consortium of Eastern Connecticut Libraries and features Connecticut authors who are invited by participating libraries to present their work. The Trail begins on July 10th and ends on September 20th with a Grand Finale at Mohegan Sun. This year our Connecticut author will be Gail MacDonald, an associate professor in residence in the journalism department at UCONN Storrs. On Thursday, August 30th at 6:30 pm here at the Library Professor MacDonald will be talking about her book “Morton F. Plant and the Connecticut Shoreline: Philanthropy in the Gilded Age.” Morton Plant was one of the founders of Connecticut College and also the Shennecossett Golf Club.
On a mild Saturday evening in April, over 150 guests strolled up a path lined with shutters and Spanish moss to the tune of “When the Saints Come Marching In,” performed by our very own two-man jazz band featuring Teddy Leamon on trumpet and Campbell Gray on sax. Upon entering the Library for the 10th annual Mystery Dinner, patrons were welcomed to Antoine’s Restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans circa 1948, inspired by Frances Parkinson Keyes’s bestselling novel Dinner at Antoine’s.
The tremendously popular Stonington Free Library Mystery Dinner is set for April 28th. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Louisiana and Dinner at Antoine’s by Frances Parkinson Keyes, the literary theme for the evening. Set 70 years ago in New Orleans during the Mardi Gras season of parties and masked balls, it was a runaway