More about The Brookfield Library
Libraries are for everyone and we at TownAppeal challenge you to run, not walk to the Brookfield Library to take advantage of their offerings.
First, let’s start with the notion that traditional books are out of vogue and it’s now all about e-books and audiobooks.
“Not so” says Yvonne Cech, the Brookfield Library’s Director. “When e-books/electronic books were introduced, we saw a decrease of only 10% in the number of residents checking out traditional books.”
However, the library does also offer e-books and e-audiobooks through two services, Hoopla and Overdrive, so that patrons can download them electronically to their devices. “It’s a very popular service,” said Yvonne.
Below are some of the other amenities offered by the library and ALL are free!
- In addition to offering DVD’s, the library also shows movies and they supply the popcorn too!
- Sewing and embroidery machines are available and the library offers classes to teach you how to use them. For example, over the holidays there was a large attendance at the Embroidery machines with students making fleece scarf and embroidered snowflakes. Another creative idea was a T-Shirt quilt for graduates. (** These machines are available for public use during library hours but you should call a day in advance so that the machine can be set up.)
- Mobile hotspots- Going somewhere that doesn’t have internet service? Borrow a mobile hotspot and bring wireless internet service with you.
- VCR to DVD conversion – You just need to supply the blank DVD – the service is free. (Don’t you wish you knew that before you paid hundreds of dollars for that gift last December?)
- Have a document you need to have notarized? Come to the library and visit our Notary Public
- 3D printing- Jennifer Doyon, the Information Technology/Teen Librarian, can help turn your ideas into reality.
- Classes, classes, classes! Some of the more popular programs include jewelry making, calligraphy, computer skills, and book clubs.
- A Home Delivery Program which caters to anyone who cannot get to the library.
- The “One Town-One Read” series was launched last summer and concluded with a visit from the authors of “My Dear Hamilton” and a grand prize of tickets to the Broadway showing of “Hamilton”
- New in the Spring, the library will have rotating art exhibits showcasing showcase local artists’ work in the newly refreshed community room.
Of special note are Childrens’ programs which are one of the library’s most popular offerings. They have between 800 to 1100 participants on a monthly basis. Some favorites are “Fun and Friends” which involves play time, story time and then a craft (usually STEM or STEM-based). They have also had several nature and animal programs. “We were at capacity, 162 people, the last time the llamas visited.” explained Dawn Cioffi, Library Administrative Assistant. This Saturday, they are once again hosting the “Teddy Bear Sleepover” (see details under events)
Although libraries are for everyone, there is one population that the Brookfield Library is having trouble serving – Teenagers. “We have a strong partnership with the school system.” explained Cech. “In the fall, we visited all of the freshman classes at the high school to make sure that all of the students had a library card. We have such extensive databases; students can do online research through the Connecticut Library system”.
Also, they extended their hours during BHS mid-term exams and brought in tutors, therapy dogs and even pizza to help students study. Despite these efforts, the number of Brookfield teens involved in library programs is significantly less than in neighboring towns because there just isn’t space to accommodate programs for teens specific needs.
So how can you help our library thrive? The staff is always looking for volunteers to help with programs, patrons and class offerings. Have a skill you would like to share? Teach residents through the library. Have old books lying around? Donate them to the library to be sold at the Book Sale in July. Want to participate in offering services discussed in this article? Even one or two hours will help make a difference. Contact Yvonne Cech, Library Director firstname.lastname@example.org or call 203-775-6241.
And most of all, consider supporting the library’s biggest challenge: finding new space. The current building is insufficient for 21st Century Library services. There is a committee which continues to investigate possibilities since voters objected to the cost of a plan to expand the library’s footprint at a cost of $14.7 million in a referendum last February. Consider joining! Contact the library director for information.