Twitter beef leads to the many offers of Fairfield’s library system
FAIRFIELD — A Twitter skirmish broke out recently between the first selectman and the Representative Town Meeting moderator over the town budget, library hours and bicycle locks. Bicycle locks?
RTM Moderator Pam Iacono chastised First Selectman Mike Tetreau on the social media site for spending money on bike locks while cutting library hours.
Turns out, those bicycle locks, and some bicycle pumps, were purchased with grant money, according to acting Town Librarian Nancy Coriaty.
“Several years ago, Fairfield Woods Branch Library participated with our Health Department in launching the free Fairfield BikeShare program,” Coriaty said. “A healthy life style is something our Health Department and town promotes.”
Coriaty said they received a small grant to supplement the bike share program, and used it to buy two bike pumps, two locks, and a few other repair pieces. Those bicycle accessories can be borrowed by library patrons.
Bike locks may not seem like the usual type of thing you can borrow from a library, but Coriaty said libraries are much more than books these days.
“Public libraries across the country exist to serve the needs of their community, and as needs have evolved, so have library offerings,” Coriaty said.
So, you can check out books, movies, bicycles locks, and what else from the Fairfield libraries?
The Fairfield Woods Branch has a very active gardening community, Coriaty said and received a grant to begin the Seed-to-Seed Library several years ago.
“Our patrons have had the opportunity to ‘check out’ seeds,” she said. “Through classes and our magazine and book collection, they have also learned not only how to garden, but to save some of their seeds to ‘return’ back to the library.”
And knitting needles.
The branch library has hosted a knitting group for over five years, Coriaty said. “This group of knitters has donated to the library knitting needles they no longer want,” she said. “These knitting needles are cataloged and sit side by side with our knitting and crocheting collections, and can be checked out, along with a book or DVD on knitting.”
Also, museum passes.
The library has had a collection of museum passes for more than 10 years, an endeavor supported by the Friends of the Library.
“Fairfield residents are learners and are curious about art, design, animals and so much more,” Coriaty said. “By checking out a museum pass, they are able to experience culture in a new way, along with supplementing it with our collection of books, magazines etc.”
How about a telescope?
“Children learn through discovery and curiosity, and through a grant, our children’s department was able to add to our collection many STEM-related resources,” Coriaty said. “Children can check out telescopes, BB-8’s, Sphero Droids, and for our youngest patrons, Little Learner Kits, again purchased through the generosity of The Friends of the Public Library.”
Coriaty said when people hear “21st-century libraries,” they think that means technology and digital access — which the town’s library system also provided.
“But 21st-century libraries are more than that,” she said. “They are places where people can gather to learn new things, be curious, and discover new ways to experience our around us, either in a class, a workshop, a story time, or on their own. That’s what libraries do, inspire learning.”