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Friends Summer 2018 Newsletter

Friends Membership and Gift Form

A Message from Jeffrey O’Sullivan, President, The Friends of The Southbury Public Library

When you join (or re-join) The Friends, you’re supporting the entire community. Membership is the foundation of our fundraising. The Friends help the library provide programs and services beyond those provided by the library’s regular budget funded by the Town appropriation. That’s why your membership in the Friends is so important. Please remember to return the enclosed membership form you received with the Friends mailing, or click the membership link in the Town email.

The Friends fund all of the core programs offered for adults, teens, and children– summer reading, films, concerts, lectures, and educational programs that educate, entertain, and stimulate your thoughts and imagination. Other special programs and events are funded by grants, personal or directed donations, and the Library Gift Fund.

Your membership money is well spent. Last year, the library offered 181 programs for adults. A total of 5,721 people attended those programs. Programs for children and teens were equally well-attended: 7,360 children and 930 teens participated in programs of various types. That’s over 14,000 people!

Joining The Friends shows that you care about your library and value its services, and are willing to make a contribution for the benefit of everyone in town. We welcome you as a part of our effort.

Jeff P. O’Sullivan


The Friends of The Southbury Public Library


Everyone Needs a Friend – Even the Library!

What a year it’s been! The Friends held an extremely successful annual book sale that will fund many of the services and programs you rely on. We held our first Antiques and Collectibles sale, which was a resounding success. Let’s not forget the tornadoes that ripped through Southbury on May 15, destroying countless trees, damaging homes and cars, and blocking roads, while leaving many of us without power and water for days or weeks. The library again came to the rescue of many in the community by providing respite, charging stations, and Internet access.



The Friends of the Southbury Public Library recently awarded scholarships to three graduating Pomperaug High School seniors.

Carly Fernandes, who participated in the Junior Friends of the Library for four years, was awarded a $1,000 scholarship. She will major in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Carly also volunteered at the Friends Book Sale, the library’s Pizza and Pages Book Club, and led a library class on improvisational acting for her peers. She notes “Teaching this class opened my eyes to something new. It wasn’t just about being a leader, and it wasn’t just about being a volunteer. It was about being a friend, being someone that people could trust to give them something entirely unique, and it brought me out of my comfort zone. Running this class also taught me to be kind, to be firm, and to be myself.”

$500 scholarship was awarded to Morgan Darby, who will attend the University of Connecticut at Waterbury, with a major in Developmental Psychology. Morgan was a member of the Junior Friends of the Library, volunteered at the library, and helped with the book sale. Morgan’s application reads “I feel grateful for all the resources the library has offered me. Being the first person in my family to attend college, the outpour of generosity from everyone in the building has been a large part of how I got to where I am today. The building is rich with both tremendous knowledge and people. There is no other place I would have been happier dedicating my time.”

Justin Callanan was awarded a $500 scholarship. He plans to major in Mathematics at Northeastern University. Justin was a member of the Junior Friends of the Library for the past four years, and also volunteered at the annual book sale for four years. Justin’s essay states “The library has been particularly helpful to me and many of my friends through its numerous programs and events open to the public. I have attended author visits, game nights, and I am proud to call myself a founding member of the (short-lived) Cheesy Movie Club. The library calendar has always offered activities that I can show to my friends and actually get them interested. That is a rare thing.”

Awarding these scholarships to college-bound Southbury residents is an investment in the future of our community. The Board of the Friends of the Southbury Public Library believes that encouraging the further education of our children benefits all of us. The success of our book and collectibles sales and membership dues allow us to continue to award these scholarships.


Antiques and Collectibles Sale

Our March Antiques and Collectibles sale was a resounding success! Hundreds of people ¬– antiques dealers, collectors, and “regular” people – browsed through literally thousands of items. The sale offered porcelain, china, crystal, blown glass, teapots, art and studio pottery, early glass, and vinyl records. There were small collections of toys, puzzles, games, sheet music, lamps and lighting, ephemera, wooden ware, and antique and Mid-Century Modern furniture. The Art and Wall Décor Gallery held over 250 items.

The Friends would like to thank our generous donors for supporting the Southbury Public Library, especially Dr. Frieda Denemark of Southbury and the Williams Family of Woodbury. The Friends would also like to thank our donors from Southbury, Litchfield, Brookfield, Washington, and Kent. All proceeds from the sale support the services provided by the Southbury Public Library to the community.


A Message of Gratitude From Head Librarian Shirley Thorson

The library staff and I are grateful to the Friends for their on-going support of library programming for adults, children and teens. The Friends fund all of the refreshments, craft supplies and fees for special programs not conducted by library staff, and sponsor over 20 museum passes. They continue to match the Leroy Anderson Foundation’s donations for music programs, and continue to purchase special equipment, including the upgrade of the three tablets for preschoolers in the Children’s Department.

While doing all of the above, the Friends oversee a daily book sale and a coffee café, and on a weekly basis and more, they sort thousands of donated materials in the basement in preparation for their book sales.

The library staff and I are grateful for the Friends’ dedication and enthusiasm and wish them great continuing success.


Upcoming Book Sales

The Friends of The Southbury Public Library will hold a Fall Sale from  Thursday, November 15, through Sunday, November 18. The sale event will have four activities:

  • A Fall Book Sale from Thursday, November 15 through Sunday, November 18 on the lower level.
  • The Antiques and Collectibles Sales, also on the lower level.
  • The Annual Holiday Book Sale in the Library Lobby will begin on October 25 and run to the end of the year.
  • Book and Media Donation Day will be held October 13.


Southbury Library Offers Passes to Museums and Attractions

You can take advantage year-round of the museums and attractions available here in Connecticut and nearby. The Friends of The Southbury Public Library have purchased passes to help entertain you, your family, and your visitors. Southbury residents are invited to borrow a pass offering free or discounted admission to a wide variety of museums and attractions.

For example, the pass for the Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport offers $5 admission for each guest up to six; regular admission for adults is $15, and $12 for children up to the age of 12. The pass for the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amhurst, MA provides free admission for two adults and four children, a substantial discount from the regular admission of $9 for adults and $6 for children up to 18. Some passes are child and family oriented (Stepping Stones, The Children’s Museum, EverWonder Children’s Museum), while others may be of more interest to adults and older children, such as the New Britain Museum of American Art.

You will find the passes at the Children’s Checkout Desk upstairs. They can be checked out for three days, and are first-come, first-served. Passes are available only to Southbury residents with a valid Southbury Public Library card; library cards are free to all residents.


 Museums and attractions include:

Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield

American Clock and Watch Museum, Bristol

American Museum of Natural History, NYC

Beardsley Zoo, Bridgeport

Children’s Museum, West Hartford

Connecticut Science Center, Hartford

Connecticut’s Old State House, Hartford

Discovery Museum, Bridgeport

Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amhurst, MA

Everwonder Children’s Museum, Newtown

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford

ImagineNation Museum, Bristol

Maritime Aquarium of Norwalk

Mark Twain House and Museum

Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury

Mystic Aquarium

New Britain Museum of American Art

New Haven Museum

Peabody Museum, New Haven

Pequot Museum, Mashantucket

State Parks & Forests parking pass

Stepping Stones Museum, Norwalk

Wadsworth Museum, Hartford

White Memorial Conservation Center, Litchfield


For a list of discounts and admission policies, please see the library’s website at


A Message from Shirley Michaels, Chair,  Southbury Public Library Board

The Library Board Is working with the Friends of the Library, the Town and architects and designers to improve the front entrance of the Southbury Public Library. The project is being funded principally by a major gift from the Friends and a supporting allocation from the Library Gift Fund. The Library Board has authorized a work group composed of Edgar Mills for the Friends, Shirley Michaels for Library Board, John Cottell, Town Public Works Director as advisor for the Town of Southbury, Shirley Thorson, Head Librarian, Ken Kerin, former chairman of the Library Building Committee, architect Hugh Sullivan, and garden designer Bruce Bennett, with the knowledge and approval of the 1st Selectman Jeffrey Manville.

The Library Board thanks its lucky stars for our Friends Group which is funding this major project along with its annual Library support.


A Project Update from Edgar Mills, Vice-President Southbury Public Library Memorial Courtyards and Gardens

The success of the Friends’ Book Sale and our Spring 2018 Antiques and Collectibles Sale has allowed the Friends to make a gift to the library that will improve the appearance of the front of the Southbury Public Library, reduce the maintenance required to keep the area attractive, protect and preserve the Memorial Bricks, and improve public safety.

In the courtyards, the masonry contractor will replace the grass and soil in the oval and portico courtyards with concrete pavers. They will move the Memorial Bricks away from equipment and salt damage, while keeping the current brick groups and pattern intact. The project will also create fast-draining beds, with a sand-like base material for the bricks to be set in.

The project will improve public safety by improving the pedestrian walking patterns, installing corner pavers where patrons cut across existing grass, widen the entrance and exit to the oval courtyard, add lighting in the courtyards, walkways and handicap parking along the right front of the Library, and illuminate the name of the library on the front of the building.

As for the gardens themsleves, the landscape design firm will use an organic, weed-seed-free, soil-less planting mix with time-release fertilizer. Dwarf plants, selected to thrive in our hardiness zone, will greatly reduce pruning requirements. Groundcovers will be planted to minimize weed growth and mulching requirement. Drip Irrigation will eliminate the need for manual watering.

As a result of the low maintenance design criteria, the cost of professional annual maintenance will be reduced 65% – 75%.

New Delivery Option for our Newsletter:

Please help us save on postage by signing up for email delivery of our news letter. We will email a .pdf file of the newsletter to you, rather than paying postage to send a hard copy. To sign up, be sure to fill in the email line on the enclosed membership renewal form.