‘It’s Been Overwhelming’: New Library Sees Huge Demand for Meeting Rooms

The celebrated new New Canaan Library is seeing high use and traffic from residents of all ages, availing themselves of features such as quiet work spaces, programming, café, reading areas, rooftop terrace, business center, MakerLab, garden, community events and computer stations. With the creation of the green overlooking Main and Cherry Streets, a range of outdoor areas will soon join that list. Yet one of the most-used features of the new library has been its plentiful—and always booked-out—meeting rooms.

“It’s been overwhelming,” CEO Capital Campaign Major Gifts & Endowment Ellen Crovatto told NewCanaanite.com Monday morning on the library’s main floor, as patrons moved through the nearby stacks. “The response has been great and people are using the rooms at a very, very high rate.”

The library has had 7,000 room bookings in the new building since it opened in February. The meeting rooms—five smaller (four to eight people) in a row on the second floor, with a series of larger conference rooms nearby—are “in demand constantly,” Crovatto said.

New  ’Green’ at the Library About 8 Weeks from Completion

The widely anticipated “green” taking shape at Main and Cherry Streets is about eight weeks from completion, according to New Canaan Library Executive Director Lisa Oldham. The hardscaping of the green has been underway since the library-owned 1913 building shifted 115 feet to its new location at the western edge of the library’s privately owned property, and new footpaths along Cherry Street have been poured. “You’ll notice they’re double width, so there’s one width of footpath similar in size to what was there before, from the street inwards, and then another as deep again as that, which is where the benches will go,” Oldham told NewCanaanite.com. 

“And then seven tons of stone has been delivered for all the stone work that’s going to be done in the next month. Planting is supposed to start this week, if the weather cooperates, and they’ll be starting on the Main Street frontage. There’s a lot of shrubbery and other types of plantings that have to go in.

Broadway Cabaret Under Direction of Professor Gil Harel

The best of Broadway cabaret comes to New Canaan Library! Students from Naugatuck Valley Community College, part of the Connecticut State college system, will take to the stage to share classics from beloved Broadway shows such as Hamilton, Les Miserable, Come From Away, and more. Under the direction of Professor Gil Harel, these talented students will perform solos, duets, and ensemble numbers that are sure to charm and bring iconic theater melodies to mind.

1913 Library Move Expected To Start Friday; Time Capsule Unearthed

The original New Canaan Library—a grid of steel beneath it, hovering five feet in the air—is expected to start moving Friday toward its new destination on the organization’s campus, officials say. The move likely will take a few days, meaning it could be on its new foundation next Tuesday, according to Keith Burton, project manager for Wolfe House & Building Movers. “Initially we were going to be moving it on dollies, which is a different type of move,” Burton told NewCanaanite.com. “In this case here—because of ground levels, grade levels, that sort of thing—we’re going to be using a ‘slide steel system.’ Beginning on Friday we’ll start the move off of the site. And it will be a multi-day process.

Podcast: Moving the 1913 Library Building 

This week on “0684-Radi0,” our free podcast (subscribe here in iTunes), we talk to New Canaan Library Executive Director Lisa Oldham about the relocation of the legacy 1913 building on the organization’s campus. Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0: