Music@ New Canaan Library Presents Brian Q. Torff, Speaking on Essential American Songs, From Slave Shouts to Grandmaster Flash

Music@ New Canaan Library welcomes Fairfield University professor Brian Q Torff, presenting a talk and musical program on songs that reflect the American experience over the centuries. The event takes place on Wednesday, November 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Adrian Lamb Room. Please register online at newcanaanlibrary.org. Professor, composer and bassist Brian Q. Torff will survey the important and influential songs of American popular music, from early slave songs and spirituals through the birth of jazz, popular singers such as Frank Sinatra, Elvis and Hank Williams, blues, rock, soul and the birth of hip hop. Torff will explore how these songs and music connect and reflect American life as it has evolved over hundreds of years.

New Canaan Library Presents Cliff Tisdell, Speaking on Artists Avoiding Censorship Throughout History and Today

Artist and lecturer Cliff Tisdell returns to New Canaan Library to present a fascinating look at artists who have managed to express their political or personal viewpoints while avoiding censure. Tisdell will speak at the Library on Thursday, November 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the Adrian Lamb Room. Please register online at newcanaanlibrary.org. Throughout history and up to the present day, artists have cleverly found ways to express themselves, or promote their political ideas, while avoiding censure and in some cases, harm. In his lecture, Artists Avoiding Censorship: Veronese to Street Art, Cliff Tisdell will address this subject, going as far back as the Renaissance, when famed artist Paolo Veronese avoided censorship from the all powerful church.

Ecuador: A Visual Journey presented by International Photographer Daryl Hawk at New Canaan Library

International photographer Daryl Hawk returns to New Canaan Library to offer a unique view of the natural beauty of Ecuador. His photo documentary and talk will explore his most recent expedition to the northern, central, and southern highlands of Ecuador. Hawk will speak on Wednesday, November 7 at 6:30 p.m. in the Library’s Adrian Lamb Room. Please register online at newcanaanlibrary.org. In Ecuador to shoot a documentary, Hawk embarked solo on a 1600 mile journey following the “Avenue of Volcanoes” across the Andean mountain range.

Letter: ‘Thank You’ for Supporting Summer Reading Programs for Kids

Editor,

The kids are back in school at last, and we in the Children’s Room of New Canaan Library would like to take a moment to thank the community for its tremendous support and participation in our summer programs.

People always say New Canaan empties out in the summer but that was definitely not our experience this year. On average, we had over 500 visitors a day in the Children’s Room.  Our summer reading program, which we revamped this year, saw a 250 percent increase in participation, and an incredibly rewarding level of engagement and excitement among our youngest members, who read more than 13,000 books this summer—more than 10,000 more books than were recorded last year. A big thank you goes to the elementary schools for supporting our summer program; inviting our librarians to speak to the students in June really generated excitement about participating. We also thank The Toy Chest and Sky Zone Norwalk for providing exciting summer reading incentives, and United Methodist Preschool for supporting our Family Mini Golf finale celebration.

‘The Great American Read’—What Is it?

[Laura Cavers is the the Readers Advisory at New Canaan Library.]

Welcome back from summer travels! So have you seen PBS’s “The Great American Read?” Have you watched it? Have you cast your vote? I haven’t, and I don’t blame you if you have not, because there are so many books to love. 

So what exactly is “The Great American Read?”