Faces of New Canaan: Jeff Zaino


There could be no better candidate for the “Faces of New Canaan” series than Jeff Zaino—or, as I’d thought of him for 30-plus years (before two weeks ago, when I asked him to participate in this feature), ‘That Library Guy.’ Here, we spotlight individuals who—though they may not be familiar to us because they’re famous or hold especially prominent positions in town—make up the fabric of New Canaan. These are people we associate with our town—the people, who, say, if you go away for a while, upon returning to New Canaan, you spot them again and know you’re home. I remember Zaino from when I was a kid and our mom took us to the library several days a week—I found out during our chat (transcribed in full below) that I was about eight years old when Zaino came here. I asked Zaino about his background and hobbies, experiences at the library and ways that New Canaan’s taste in things like reading materials has changed, or not, through the years.

Faces of New Canaan: Fatou Niang


Since moving to New Canaan a decade ago, France native Fatou Niang has immersed herself in civic work through church and charitable organzations here, learned the nuances of American football— and learned to love it, though she worries about on-field collisions for her son, a New Canaan High School sophomore who plays JV and varsity—and started working as a Realtor, while finding an area nonprofit to which she feels deeply connected. During the 30 minutes or so that we talked at Dunkin Donuts on Elm Street (our interview is transcribed in full below), at least four passersby stopped to greet Niang and say hello. That makes her a wonderful candidate for this debut installment of “Faces of New Canaan.” In the feature, we talk to New Canaanites that—through often quiet or unnoticed work or other ways—make up the fabric of our town. Though they may look familiar to fellow New Canaanites, the individuals we profile in this feature are not known because they’re famous beyond New Canaan or prominent through high-profile jobs or elected office. It’s also a timely interview for Niang with respect to her involvement in a cherished nonprofit, Carver Center.