Letter in Support of New Canaan Library’s Rebuilding Project


Proposed rebuilt New Canaan Library. Rendering courtesy of New Canaan Library

To the Editor:

As a proud New Canaan resident for 25 years, a mom, and a marketer with economic impact experience, I am enthusiastically writing in support of the rebuilding of the New Canaan Public Library.

When our adult children were young, like many families, we enjoyed the many youth programs offered by the library and met families who have become lifelong friends. Our 24-year-old son is now the founder of a startup and, when he is local, he uses the library as his “We Work” thanks to high-speed Internet and an environment conducive to productivity and focus. I continue to enjoy the library’s diverse lectures, programs and offerings—and I often bring my 81-year-old mother-in-law who lives nearby. It’s a multi-generational center of learning.

For 15 years, I was the executive director and CMO of Market New Haven. I had the privilege and pleasure of working alongside Yale University to tell the story of New Haven’s renaissance. And I can assure you that the New Haven Free Public Library played a role—and continues to play a role—in creating economic vitality on so many levels.

I have learned first-hand:

  • Libraries today are the heart of a community because they support strengthening literacy and reading, and it’s so much more than that.
  • Libraries today are true community centers.
  • Libraries today are the most democratic institutions in the world because everyone is welcome and everyone benefits, learns, and grows from the many offerings.
  • Libraries today are a stabilizing effect for a community, especially critical in today’s chaotic world.

For all these reasons and more, an expanded New Canaan Library will not only enrich the lives of our current residents, it will undoubtedly attract new families to New Canaan. Families looking for new communities are attracted to strong school systems and strong libraries—the two go hand in hand.

For all these reasons and more, I wholeheartedly support this rebuilding project. Thank you.

Kind regards,

Anne Worcester

One thought on “Letter in Support of New Canaan Library’s Rebuilding Project

  1. I have lived with my family in New Canaan for over 35 years. While it has been great, I have long said that New Canaan is managed for the rich. We have never identified a dog park on which we weren’t willing to spend $20 million.
    But as I said to the Board of Finance, we live in different times, times that require more prudent financial planning. Real Estate values have plummeted and the mill rate increased dramatically.
    Which brings me to the library. I do believe that the current library needs to be upgraded, but am opposed to another major expenditure forced upon the beleaguered tax payers. This would also include the likely increase in annual operating costs.
    I would also suggest stepping back from the actual decision and look at the process that seems to be resulting in acrimony and name calling unbecoming to New Canaan. I believe that the citizens of New Canaan should be asked via a vote whether they believe this is a priority worthy of a $10 million investment. Remember that we seem to have many other priorities such as the police station , senior housing / Waveny, and continuing upgrades to our precious schools.
    If the citizens agree with the new library then I would suggest a strong level of oversight by the town. Perhaps we start with a detailed and transparent budget for the project. And the $25 million contribution from the benefactors should be invested first to insure the project remains on track. Lastly, the town’s contribution should be a max $10 million (Why is it $10 million?) with no overages and with any underspending reverting back to the town.
    Managing our bucolic little town is far more complicated than it should be. I believe that to be the result of the many special interest groups that influence decisions …either to pursue a project or often times not to pursue. The process is broken. We need a process that better involves the citizens of New Canaan.
    Maybe a majority will support the new library?

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