June 2012 Archives

A new Strategic Plan that charts the future course for Greenwich Library was unanimously adopted by the Library's Board of Trustees at its meeting on June 12. 

"While some may argue that libraries are not relevant in the digital age, it is very clear that the Greenwich community loves its library and cares deeply about its future," said Nancy Better, President of the Library Board of Trustees. "The world is changing around us, and we must change with it." 
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The Plan is the culmination of an eighteen month-long process which included a community-wide survey, focus groups, a Trustee survey, a staff survey and retreat, as well as countless hours of analysis and evaluation by the Strategic Plan Steering Committee. Staff and Trustees worked with consultant Maureen Sullivan, now the President of the American Library Association, and Berk Associates, a Seattle-based consulting firm, throughout the process. 

The Strategic Plan builds upon the Library's strengths and identifies five key areas of focus: Collections, Technology, Lifelong Learning and Enrichment, Service and Community Space and Community and Connections. Strategic Initiatives within each of these five topical areas outline short- and medium-term efforts to improve operations. A new mission and vision are identified within the Plan, along with a new set of values. 

"Over the next five years, patrons will see Greenwich Library change in significant ways, maintaining the core aspects that make the Library a cherished Greenwich institution while boldly embracing new approaches, new technologies and new priorities," said Carol Mahoney, Greenwich Library Director. 

Library staff has already begun implementing changes identified throughout the planning process, said Mahoney. When 83% of respondents to the Community Survey indicated they would like to be contacted via email, staff launched a bi-weekly e-newsletter which highlights collections and services, as well as programs. The Library has begun sending all borrowing notices by email, as well. A staff programming committee has been organized to review current programs and make recommendations. The committee's goal is to plan programs that promote and extend the collections, services and mission of Greenwich Library. This spring, the Library will launch a new Self-Service area, which includes self pick-up of holds

Following are ten Strategic Initiatives identified in the Plan
  1. Continue to expand and curate our collections and provide easy access to Library resources. 
  2. Embrace and integrate emerging media into our collections. 
  3. Use appropriate media and targeted messages to raise patron awareness of relevant Library resources. 
  4. Ensure our patrons and staff have access to established and emerging technologies and the opportunity to achieve technological literacy. 
  5. Meet the needs and interests of Greenwich residents by making strategic programming choices. 
  6. Support the academic and life success of Greenwich children by promoting early literacy and a love of reading. 
  7. Strengthen our focus on satisfying the questions, needs and preferences of our patrons. 
  8. Reimagine our public spaces to reflect changes in technology and how people use the Library. 
  9. Strengthen our community of readers by increasing patron connections to one another and to our collections. 
  10. Expand and focus our partnerships for the collective benefit of the Greenwich community. 
Mahoney said the Library will use the Plan to develop services and collections, "We will focus on partnerships, building community and providing access to technology. The Library will be truly integrated into the community. Greenwich Reads Together is a great example of partnership, and we look forward to organizing more initiatives like this," she said.

"We're excited about completing the Plan, not because the document is 'finished' but because our future path is clear and the journey is underway." 

To read the complete Plan, please visit www.greenwichlibrary.org/strategy

Embrace the night-life with activities, books and materials for Greenwich Library's 2012 Teen Summer Reading theme "Own the Night." The Summer Reading Program is part of Greenwich Library's commitment to promote the love of reading. 


The goal of the program is to encourage all participants to continue to read over the summer and at the same time have fun doing so. Own the Night is open to Greenwich students entering grades 6-12. This year, the program is available online at www.greenwichlibrary.org/teens. Register with your library card and participate from July 1 through August 11. Teens will log their reading throughout the summer, whether they're reading books, magazines, graphic novels, audiobooks or eBooks. For each 1,000 pages logged (up to 3,000 pages), teens will receive a goal prize, plus a chance to win an iPad 3. To earn extra chances, submit reviews online or attend an Own the Night program at Greenwich Library. Random weekly drawings will be pulled from reviews submitted that week.

To find a full schedule of programs, or to register for Summer Reading, please visit www.greenwichlibrary.org/teens.

This Spring, Greenwich Library will introduce self-service pickup of holds. Patrons will be able to pick up their holds themselves without waiting in line The initiative is a result of information learned in the Community Survey, which is part of the Library's Strategic Planning process. 

Currently, in order to pick up their holds, patrons must visit the Returns Desk, where there can be lines during peak times. This initiative will empower patrons to find their own material without waiting. The new self-service holds area will join the self-service checkout machines, creating a Self-Service area on the first floor, adjacent the main entrance. Existing shelving will be repurposed from other reference areas in the Library, which have been shrinking physically as more material becomes available online. Lending staff will be stationed in the area to assist patrons for the near future. 

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"Many local libraries have offered this service with great success. It's exciting to be able to offer more choices to our patrons and also save time in checking out materials," said Elaine Tai-Lauria, Lending Services Manager. 

Materials will be organized according to the first four letters of patron's last name and last four letters of the Library card number, and indicated through clear signage. To maintain privacy, books will be shelved spine down so titles will not be visible. There's no need to worry about someone else taking that bestseller, as patrons will only be able to check out items reserved for them. Since physical cards will be required for self check out of materials, patrons are reminded to bring their library cards with them. 

For more information, please contact the Patron Services desk at (203) 625-6524.
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Greenwich Library and its Byram Shubert and Cos Cob branches will be closed on Friday, June 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. so that Staff may participate in a Strategic Planning session. The libraries will open at 1 p.m.
Greenwich Library will present Greenwich resident Claude Johnson, author of Black Fives: The Alpha Physical Culture Club's Pioneering African American Basketball Team, 1904-1923 on Wednesday, June 13, at 7 p.m. in the Meeting Room. 

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Formed in 1904, the Alpha Physical Culture Club of Harlem was America's first African American athletic club. Conrad Norman, its Jamaican-born founder, hoped to address rampant lung disease among blacks living in New York City's overcrowded tenements by providing proper exercise facilities they could use without bias. The club's basketball team, the Alpha Big Five, became nationally famous during the 1910s while sticking faithfully to the strictest amateur ideals. West Indian sports promoters were controlling black basketball then, and favored this approach. But the times were changing. The Alpha's version of pure sport for its own sake was threatened by new black fives with visions of play-for-pay, led by team owners like fellow Caribbean immigrant Robert Douglas. Which ideal would prevail? The future of basketball was at stake. 

Claude Johnson is the founder and president of Black Fives, Inc., a vintage sports licensing company dedicated to researching, preserving, promoting, and teaching about the history of African American basketball teams that played from the early 1900s through the racial integration of the National Basketball Association in 1950, a period known as the Black Fives Era. 

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Johnson created the company starting with little more than his library card. "I've always liked history, but history is limited unless we make it meaningful for today," says Johnson, who is a considered a leading authority on this subject. He also advocates on behalf of the descendants of the pioneering basketball players and contributors of the era. 

AuthorsLive@GreenwichLibrary is made possible through the support of the Greenwich Library Board of Trustees and contributions by generous donors. Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event. This program is free and open to all, doors will open at 6:30 p.m. For more information, please contact the Public Relations Office at (203) 622-7965.

This summer, Dream Big: Read!

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This summer, Greenwich Library encourages children to "Dream Big - Read." Children are invited to read books that will spark their imaginations, carry them to other places, times and worlds, and explore endless possibilities. 

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The Summer Reading Program is part of Greenwich Library's commitment to promote the love of reading and to encourage children and their families to continue reading during the summer break and have fun doing so. Studies show that children who read or are read to during the summer are better prepared for school in the fall. Children who are already reading increase their skills, reading fluency and comprehension; those who are just starting to read do not lose the early achievements they have made during the school year. 

"Dream Big - Read" will be explored through a variety of programs, including a classic fairy tale puppet show, storytelling, interactive science programs and a finale filled with the wonders of magic. Check the Children's Room calendar for story times, drop-in crafts, book clubs and special Stories in the Park at Bruce Park Gazebo. All children who are reading independently are welcome to join the Summer Reading Program. Toddlers and children who are not yet reading have their own Read-To-Me Club. 

Registration for the Summer Reading Program will begin on Monday, June 18. This year children can register in person or online at www.greenwichlibrary.org/children. Using the new Summer Reader online program, children and their parents can track reading progress, find out about special events and win prizes for reading. This online feature makes it easy to keep up with summer reading wherever you are. Children can also participate by playing our traditional reading game. Children may register and join the program at any time during the summer.

For more information, to register, or to view the full schedule of programs, please visit www.greenwichlibrary.org/children.

Greenwich Library and the YWCA Greenwich will present CNBC's Hedge Fund Specialist Maneet Ahuja on Thursday, June 7, at 7 p.m. in the Cole Auditorium. She will discuss her book The Alpha Masters, which lifts the curtain on the notoriously private $2.1 trillion (according to Hedge Fund Research) hedge fund industry and unlocks the most valuable stories, secrets and lessons directly from the managers who have played the game best.

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Written during one of the most volatile years for the U.S. markets, The Alpha Masters presents in-depth interviews with the biggest and most successful names in the history of the hedge fund business, including Ray Dalio, John Paulson, David Tepper, Bill Ackman, Marc Lasry and Sonia Gardner, Dan Loeb, Jim Chanos, Boaz Weinstein, Pierre LaGrange and Tim Wong, many of whom have never provided access to their businesses and their lives in this way. 

Maneet Ahuja is CNBC's Hedge Fund Specialist and a producer on "Squawk Box". She was awarded CNBC's prestigious Enterprise Award in 2009 for her groundbreaking coverage of the industry. Noteworthy work includes hedge-fund titan David Tepper's first-ever TV appearance, sparking a two-week "Tepper Rally" in the markets, David Einhorn's warning call on Lehman Brothers as well as his bid to purchase the Mets, and John Paulson's letter to investors in response to the SEC investigation into the Goldman Abacus deal. She has covered the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and produces quarterly shows at the Department of Labor with Former Federal Reserve Board President Alan Greenspan as well as Competitiveness Summits at Harvard Business School. 

Prior to joining CNBC in 2008, she was a part of The Wall Street Journal's Money and Investing team. She began her career on Wall Street in 2002 at age 17 in Citigroup's Corporate and Investment Banking division as a credit risk analyst. Before that, she worked part-time at the Greenwich Library. She is one of Forbes' "30 Under 30" (Jan 2012), was featured in Elle magazine's annual Genius issue (April 2011) and in 2010, was nominated for Crain's NY Business' "40 Under 40 Rising Stars". This is her first book. 

AuthorsLive@GreenwichLibrary is made possible through the support of the Greenwich Library Board of Trustees and contributions by generous donors. This event is co-sponsored by the YWCA Greenwich. Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event through Diane's Books. This program is free and open to all, but seating in the Cole Auditorium is limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. For more information or to register, please contact Tiffani Metti at t.metti@ywcagreenwich.org or 203-869-6501, ext. 106.
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