March 2018 News
Library Director's Message
As March blows in, spring is on the horizon!

In Connecticut, spring is budget season. If you are reading this e-newsletter, you likely value the materials, programs and services provided by the Mystic & Noank Library. We need your help in letting your elected and town officials know just how much we matter to you!

Our library’s town and state funding has continued to decline at an exponentially fast pace. If we continue on this trajectory, it is likely we will face reduced hours and services as early as June of this year . We need your voice to tell local funders that our library is important to you and your families.

As we all know, Mystic is the town that is not a town. This status makes organizations that serve both towns (like the MNL) an equally appealing target for budgetary cuts from both sides. In FYE2009, MNL received $300,460 in combined Town and State Funding. Ten years later, in FYE2019, we anticipate receiving a total of $186,500. This projected total represents just 62% of municipal support received a decade ago. Our costs have continued to increase, while our funding continues to decline.

MNL currently funds 67% of our annual operating budget using non-governmental dollars. Please let your representatives know that you support local tax dollar support of our community library.

If you live on the Groton side of the river, please contact your local Representative and the Groton Town Council members to voice your support for continued funding for the MNL. A public budget hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, March 28 at 7:00 p.m. at the Groton Senior Center. Please show your commitment to the MNL by stepping up to the mic that night and identifying yourself as an MNL patron.

On the Stonington side, please use the online contact form to inform the Board of Selectmen and Board of Finance that you value the services we provide you.

Together we can mitigate the March Budget Madness! I am proud of all of the educational and entertaining events you will read about below, and thank you for your continued partnership and trust in our special Library.

If you have a suggestion, compliment, or question, please feel free to stop by the library or  email me  anytime.

-- Chris Johnson
Please note! The Library will be closed on Friday, March 30 in honor of Good Friday.
Our Featured Programs
We invite you to share your original poetry with the Mystic & Noank Library community! 

1st Annual Blanchet Poetry Contest
In celebration of April's National Poetry Month , and in honor of the bequest of Jean K. Blanchet, the Mystic & Noank Library is proud to announce the  1 st  Annual Blanchet Poetry Contest!

Submissions will be accepted March 1- March 31, 2018. One winner from each of five categories (Gr. K-3; 4-6; 7-8; 9-12; adult) will be announced on Saturday, April 14 at 3:00 p.m. at the Library.

We will be awarding prizes to the 5 winners, and winners will have the opportunity to read their poems aloud should they wish!

On this day, we will celebrate the birthday of our library founder, Capt. Elihu Spicer, as well as  National Library Week . The selected poems will be on display in the library. Can't wait to see read what you write!

Full contest rules can be read  here
Young Engineers Club (YEC)
Meet and Greet with the YEC Instructor
Saturday, March 3 at 11:00 a.m.

Meet John Persano, the YEC instructor and ask any questions about the program and spring project!

What is the YEC?
  • A 12-week program for kids ages 10+ that want to learn more about electrical and software engineering. The 2018 Spring project is an automated plant watering system that will be built from the ground up. Topics covered will include the basics of electricity, Ohm's law, electronic components, schematic design, circuit board design, soldering, 3D modeling/printing and the basics of C programming.

When does it start?
  • This exciting new program will begin Saturday, March 10 (11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.) during Teen Tech Week! and continue through Saturday, May 26.

How much does it cost?
  • We are thrilled to offer this FREE initiative thanks to generous support from the Sidney Gross Memorial Fund.
The YEC is free but class size is limited and registration is required.

Additional thanks to  USB Memory Direct , a custom flash drive wholesaler, who is providing free flash drives to all YEC participants!  
MNL 125th Event: An Evening with the Gillettes
Wednesday, March 21 at 7:00 p.m.

You will be treated to a unique and entertaining performance about the Gillette family, Gillette Castle, and Sherlock Holmes!

Join us for a special evening at the Union Baptist Church, Mystic!

Not only do the performers Harold and Theodora Nive r talk about William & Helen Gillette, they  become  the Gillettes, flitting back and forth between being presenters and portrayers. Who was William Gillette? What was his connection to the greatest fictional detective of all time? Was Sherlock Holmes fact...or fiction?

Since both Harold and Theodora are professional musicians, you will be treated to several songs from the English Music Hall era. Prepare to be educated and entertained! 
This event will be hosted by the Union Baptist Church at 119 High St., Mystic, 06355.

This program is free and open to the public; no registration is required.
Adult Programs at M&NL
Great Decisions Returns
Fridays, beginning March 2 at 10:15 a.m.
Join us in a civil discussion of 8 timely topics for 2018 --
  • The waning of Pax Americana?
  • Russia’s foreign policy
  • China’s geopolitics
  • Media and foreign policy
  • Turkey: a partner in crisis
  • U.S. global engagement and the military
  • South Africa’s fragile democracy
  • Global health issues

According to the Foreign Policy Association, Great Decisions is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs. The program model involves reading the Great Decisions Briefing Book and meeting to discuss that week’s topic in a courteous and respectful group setting.

No other prior knowledge or expertise is expected of participants.

There is a $30 materials fee payable when you pick up your briefing book prior to the first session, or feel free to order you own copy via the  Foreign Policy Association website.  A reference copy of the Briefing Book is also available for in-library use for participants who do not wish to purchase their own copy.

Learn more about the Great Decisions Discussion Program by clicking on the image above.

Our group will meet on the following Fridays: March 2, 9, 16, April 6, 13, 20, 27, and May 4.

Refreshments are served at 10:15, discussion begins at 10:30.

Registration is required using the link here.
Art in the Ames Room
The Four C’s: Land and Ocean in Oil
Four Self-taught Artists Showcase their Work in the Ames Room!

 Beginning Friday, March 2
Carol Connor, Carrie Reynolds, Carole Erdmann and Carmel Bourneuf, four accomplished painters from the towns of Stonington and Groton who are collectively known as “The Four C’s,” will be displaying stunning oil paintings of landscapes and seascapes at the Mystic & Noank Library! We invite everyone to come view and enjoy.
This exhibit is free and open to the public. As this display is in our Ames Meeting Room, access may be limited at times due to programs in the room. Please call the library for more information.
AARP Defensive Driving
Saturday, March 3 from 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.
The AARP Smart Driver Course, offered by AARP Driver Safety, is the nation's largest classroom and online driver safety course and is designed especially for drivers age 50 and older.

The fee is $15 for AARP members (please bring your AARP Card) and $20 for non-members. Remember to bring your driver's license to the class.  Please register online here  or by calling the main desk at (860) 536-7721. 
Powerful Beyond Measure with Cynthia Mazzaferro
Tuesday, March 6 from 6:00-8:30 p.m.

Cindy is a recognized expert on bridging the science between spirit and our limitless human potential. She is a master energy practitioner and an authority on emotional clearing and energetic healing that addresses negative subconscious memory and emotional debris that impacts our health and human performances.  

Her passion is to assist people in their personal growth, establishing their inner and outer-health, and awakening their passion and purpose. Her ability to give intuitive readings and focus attention on what individuals need to hear is amazing and very powerful.

This program is free and open to the public; no registration is required.
Books will be available for purchase.

Tech Classes @ MNL
Monday, March 12: Intro to Skype
Learn all about Skype, a free program that allows you to talk to people face-to-face on your device! You'll be able to chat with long-distance friends and family members as well as use special 'bots' to play games, learn new skills and schedule your calendar!

Register for 10:15 a.m. session HERE.
Register for 5:30 p.m. session HERE.

Monday, March 19: (NEW!)
Discover, a website for tracing your genealogy and family tree! Students will learn how to set up an account, navigate the settings and website options and connect with others that may share some of your genealogy!

Register for 10:15 a.m. session HERE.
Register for 5:30 p.m. session HERE.

Monday, March 26: Facebook Business Pages
Learn to use Facebook to promote your business, whether it is a hobby gig or your full-time job! Find out about all the ways you can use a social media page to advertise yourself and find your audience.

Register for 10:15 a.m. session HERE.
Register for 5:30 p.m. session HERE.
Students should provide their own devices. Registration is free, but required via the library website (or links above), or call for assistance.

Do YOU have an idea for a new or different tech class? Please contact  Rachel Taylor via email here  or call the library and let us know! 
Masonicare Lunch n' Learn Series in the Ames Room
Register for any of these informative sessions by clicking on the program name.

11:00 to 11:45 - presentation and question & answer session, followed by lunch and conversation
March 15 Brain Fitness/Dementia Education, resented by Grace Martha-Giannini
Learn techniques to exercise your brain health and stay cognitively fit!

April 19 Yoga & Meditation, presented by Jennifer King
May 17 Healthcare Ethics, presented by Carl Anderson

Registration is FREE but space is limited! Please register separately for each session.
Friday Feature Films
Fridays at 3:00 p.m.

Bring a snack and a favorite covered drink to enjoy during the show! All are welcome. Click on the title to preview the movie. 

March 2 The Beguiled   (R, 2017) 

March 9:   Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri   (2017, R, adult content)

March 16: Darkest Hour  (2017, PG-13)

Funding generously provided by the Friends of the Mystic & Noank Library--thank you! 
The Environmental Activism of Beatrix Potter
Monday, March 12 at 7:00 p.m.

While English author Beatrix Potter went on to fame and fortune as a children’s book writer and creator of Peter Rabbit, her true passion was preserving the landscape that provided inspiration for her stories: the hills and farms of western England’s stunning and dramatic Lake District.

Tom Verde will discuss how Potter, an active conservationist, practically single-handedly saved the Lake District from development and deforestation, using the proceeds of her books to fund her efforts.
Small Business Administration Workshops
Starting Your Own Business
Wednesday, March 21 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Have you ever thought about starting a business? Doing it right from the start is a key to your success. A great place to start is this free seminar that helps point you in the right direction. Seminar will cover topics such as choosing a business name/structure, licensing, and registrations. You can register HERE .

ABCs of a Business Plan and Understanding a SWOT Analysis
Wednesday, April 18 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
How important is it to have a Business Plan? Do you know what a SWOT Analysis is? Can the two be connected? You will learn the importance of both, what they are used for what information they should contain and what they say about your business. Instructor Lisa Powell is from the US Small Business Administration. You can register HERE.

Financing Your Small Business
Wednesday, May 16 from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Finding capital for your small business is not impossible. Get pointers from the SBA that will help you get your business moving toward financial stability. Topics discussed will be traditional (SBA's guaranteed loan program) and non-traditional (SBA's micro-loan program) ways of financing. You can register HERE.

All sessions are taught by Economic Development Specialist, Lisa Powell, from the CT Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Friends of the MNL: Indoor Yard Sale
Friday, March 23 from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 24 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Ready to get out and start the Yard Sale Season?

Start at the Library where we have been collecting all kinds of great things for the sale. As you think about spring cleaning at your house, consider donating your gently-used treasures to the Friends. 

Donations are accepted inside during regular Library hours---
no furniture or clothing, please. 
15th Annual Mystic Irish Parade
Friends of the MNL Book Cart Drill Team

Sunday, March 25; parade step off at 1:00 p.m.
Please support the Library with your cheers and parade presence!
12th Annual Edible Books Contest
Sunday, April 8 at the Groton Public Library at 1:30 p.m., sharp!  

Entry forms are available from all three participating Libraries (Bill Memorial, Groton Public, Mystic & Noank) and should be submitted by April 2. This is a great family event and all are welcome to enter a creation or to just admire the entries. 

Books & Brew: Premiere Event!
 Monday, March 26 at 7:00 p.m .

Do you love reading? Do you love drinking coffee? Spend an evening getting caffeinated and discussing the things that matter: books!
Books & Brew is a new monthly book group for all led by our very own MNL Staffer, Nat Rivkin!
No registration is required. Join Us!

This month we will be discussing My Brilliant Friend  by Elena Ferrante.
SCORE Workshop:
Thursday, March 29 at 10:00 a.m.

Save the Date! Details to follow on our website!
Book Clubs
All book club meetings are scheduled for the Ames Meeting Room at M&NL. All readers are welcome to join any of these groups. There are no fees, and the Library works to provide copies of the books being discussed. Note: CLAMs participants purchase their books. 
Afternoon Book Club   (first Wednesday of the month at 1:00 p.m.)

March 7 A Fall of Marigolds  by Susan Meissner

April 4:   Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family in Crisis  by J.D. Vance
History Book Club   (second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m.

March 13 Catherine the Great  by Robert Massie (Parts 1-4)

April 10: Parts 5-end
March 5 and March 19
Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Evening Book Club 
(usually first Wednesday of the month at 7:00 p.m.)

March 7:   A Gentleman in Moscow  by Amor Towles
Captain John Porter Civil War Book Group  (third Wednesday of the month at 6:00 p.m.)

March 21 Stanton: Lincoln's War Secretary  by Walter Stahr

April 18 : Days of Defiance by Mary Klein
Teen and Children's Programs
Tween/Teen Art Workshops
Our wonderful and art-astic partnership with the  Lyman Allyn Art Museum  continues! 

All classes are free  but registration is required. Programs begin at 1:00 p.m. Ages 10+ please. 

March 24 : Paintings inspired by famous female artists to accompany Women's History Month.  Register HERE.  

April 28 : Design your own art deco poster inspired by the traveling NEH exhibition Spirited: Prohibition in America (on view April 4 - May 25 at the Museum).  Register HERE

May 19: Color your own tote inspired by works from our permanent collection on view in American Perspectives.  Register HERE.
Afternoon Wii U Gaming

Stop by the Mystic & Noank Library on Fridays from 3:30-5:30 p.m. for some fun among friends! Join casual tournaments and games with your friends!

Gaming offers an outlet for creativity and problem solving, while the Library provides of atmosphere of community and sharing. Games are appropriate for ages 9 and up. Come join the fun!
Be a Part of 1KBK!
We are delighted with the response to our  Groton Education Foundation  funded program 1000 Books Before Kindergarten! 

We have 60 'readers' registered and 2 have already read 1000 books! Congratulations! 

So far, more than 5,500 books have been read by our participants--WOWe! 

The program is available to all families with children between the ages of birth to 5 years old. The goal is to read 1000 books together prior to the child's start of formal schooling or Kindergarten. Sound impossible? It's not! 

Three books a day for one year is over 1000 books! 

 We love celebrating the children's successes and honoring them with prizes to keep them motivated! Interested? Stop in the Children's Room and find out more--we'd love to see you.
Sign up in the Children's Room during regular library hours--it's FREE! 
Spring Preschool Storytime Registration is here!

We are offering storytimes this spring!

Scheduled to meet weekly, these classes consist of stories, finger-plays, and crafts.
The spring storytimes will begin the third week of March; register now using the links to the right!

In the case of over enrollment classes will be determined on a first-come, first-served basis. Story time sessions last for eight weeks and are free and open to the public.
Lapsit (6 to 23 Months)
Session One : Wednesdays @ 10:15 am
Session Two : Thursdays @ 10:15 am
Toddlers (Just 2’s to Just 3’s)
Session One : Wednesdays @ 11:00 am
Session Two : Thursdays @ 11:00 am

Three Year Olds
Session One : Mondays @ 10:30 am
Four and Five Year Olds
Session One : Tuesdays @ 1:15 pm
News to Use
Due to scheduling limitations, AARP Tax Prep Assistance  will not  be available at MNL this year. 

Appointments are available at the Groton Senior Center on Tuesdays through April 10, 2018. The hours will be 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 

Please call the Senior Center to schedule your appointment. This service is open to both Groton & Stonington residents.

You can reach them at  Groton Senior Center, 102 Newtown Rd. Groton at (860) 441-6785.
AARP Tax Prep Assistance
TVCC also offers Free Tax Prep Assistance by IRS Trained Volunteers at two Mystic Locations by appointment only for households earning less than $54,000. Call 800-425-6597 for more information and to schedule an appointment. 
Connecticut Book Awards

Connecticut Center for the Book at Connecticut Humanities is now accepting submissions for the  Connecticut Book Awards

These awards recognize the best books of 2017 by authors and illustrators who reside in Connecticut. Categories include: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, and Young Readers. Deadline is April 20, 2018. For more information and to submit, please visit
Volunteer Readers: "Check!" 

Thank you all for the generous response to our call for Volunteer Readers. We have secured enough volunteers for this project!

In Need of Technology Tutoring?  
If so, please consider the Mystic & Noank Library's Book-a-Librarian program, in which you sign up for an individual one (1) hour session with a librarian and receive a private tutorial on whatever technological query you may have! 

Lesson topics have included Windows 10, web design, Microsoft Office, and the use of devices such as Smartphones, iPads, e-readers and social media! New topics include employment websites, resumes and cover letters, web design, and more! 

To register, please call the library at (860) 536-7721 or  use our online form here!  Appointments must be requested AT LEAST one day ahead of the desired date; they will be scheduled according to the patron's and the librarian's mutual availability.

Don't forget to register for our information service, Wowbrary  by  simply clicking here! . Be sure to then check your email for the verification message. 

With Wowbrary, you will receive a weekly email on Saturday mornings highlighting any new book, audiobook, DVD or CD titles added to our collection in the previous week. A smart link directly into the library catalog will allow you to easily place a reserve on any titles that you wish to check out! 
On-Going Clubs at M&NL
Cribbage Club 
Cribbage is a great way to keep your mind sharp and meet new friends. We meet every Thursday at 3:00 p.m. For more information, please call Donna Anderson at (203) 470-4566 or email
Writers' Group

Join a varied group of writers every Monday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. We welcome all genres to discuss, review and work on our craft together. 
Knitters Unite
Knitting Club meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. each month (March 13 and 27). All levels are welcome. Please join us! 
Join us on the 2nd Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. each month (March 14)! For more information,  click here.  
Bereavement Counseling
March 20 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. (ongoing on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month). No meeting on March 6 due to a conflict.

These sessions are open to all who are coping with the loss of a loved one and led by caring professionals from the  Center for Hospice Care of Southeastern CT . Sessions are free but do require pre-registration. Please call (860) 848-5699 to register. 
Museum Passes Available

The weather in March is changeable, so be prepared with 'what should we do today?'

Stop by the Children's Room to review the passes and discounts available. You'll find something of  interest  to brighten your day! 
Lyman Allyn Art Museum , New London 
Maritime Aquarium   at Norwalk
Mystic Aquarium , Mystic
Mystic Seaport , Mystic
Old State House , Hartford 
State Parks Pass, CT  (various)
Wadsworth Atheneum , Hartford
More information on our website  here!  
We thank the Friends of M&NL for their generous funding of the museum passes. 
Give a Little and Get a Lot
Make a Grand Gesture
Thanks to many generous patrons, more than 150 bricks have been purchased for the library--thank you! Book your brick today! 

The snow is melting and we love to see patrons reading the inscriptions outside. Is your special message part of this unique collection? Don't miss this opportunity to make a gift of a commemorative brick at M&NL in honor of your loved one, a special memory or to promote your local business. 

We are proud to display these meaningful messages on our beautiful entryway and would love to add your personalized brick to our ever expanding special sidewalk. 

Order your brick online here  or download the order form  here  and return it to the library.

Each brick can include up to 3 lines of text with 16 characters per line. Each 4" x 8" paver is $125.00 and installation of engraved bricks will be done in sections on a rolling basis. Questions? Contact Karen Bradshaw at (860) 572-8191.
Please Support the Library!
All things grow with YOU!

Renewing your commitment to the Library is a lot like committing to growing new seeds in your garden this spring.

Plant some hope within our special and valuable community resource! Your gifts fuel our programming, buy new books, support professional development and make YOU the designer of our future.

Create Lasting Change
If you are thinking of making a lasting gift to the Library, we urge you to consider becoming a member of The Maine Society

Those that join The Maine Society are looking to the future by making provisions for the Library through planned giving . Planned gifts allow donors to continue to support the Mystic & Noank Library after their death, often in a more generous way than what is possible during their lifetime.

By becoming a member of The Maine Society, you will join many others who are a special part of our valued Library community. Your gift will help the Library remain a vibrant, intellectual and important Mystic community resource for another century to come. 

Please contact the  Director of Development  at (860) 572-8191 to learn more about planned giving and other ways to give to the Library.
Evening at the Engine Room: 2018
Mark your Calendar!
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
6:30-9:30 p.m.

We had so much fun last year, we are planning another FUN fundraiser!

We would love to showcase your business as an event sponsor so we can raise as much funding as possible for our programming and critical upgrades. Please join us and have your company listed as a sponsor soon!

Event sponsorship information can be downloaded HERE. Questions? Contact Karen Bradshaw via email or (860) 572-8191.
A Preview of April Programs
Spring Is On its Way!
Passport to Connecticut Libraries
Begins April 2
To celebrate National Library Week during April, the Passport to Connecticut Libraries Program invites you to visit all of the participating Connecticut public libraries. More info HERE!

12th Annual Edible Books at Groton Public Library
Sunday, April 8 at 1:30 p.m.

17th Annual Honor Books Event
Saturday, April 7 at Bank Square Books from 12:00-5:00 p.m.
Visit our literary neighbor and buy a book for our collection in honor of someone special! New this year: online sales and books available at M&NL for your convenience both before and after April 7. More details to follow!

M&NL Founder's Birthday Party and Blanchet Poetry Contest Winners Announcement
Saturday, April 14 at 3:00 p.m.

Shredding Saturday at M&NL
Generously sponsored by  Chelsea Groton Bank
Saturday, April 14 from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

School Vacation Week Fun
Monday, April 16 at 11:00 a.m. at the Mystic Aquarium
Come see their new Jurassic Giants exhibit and enjoy Library crafts and activities!

3rd Annual Roode Memorial Concert Series
O'Brien Strings Trio: 1800s Music and More 
Thursday, April 19 at 6:00 p.m.

Monday, April 23 at 7:00 p.m.

PeaceLove Workshop: Mandala Poetry with Julie Johnson (rescheduled from January 30)
Tuesday, April 24 at 6:00 p.m.
Mystic & Noank Library | 40 Library Street, Mystic CT 06355 | TEL: (860) 536-7721
Monday-Wednesday 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Thursday-Friday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday Hours 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 
In March the soft rains continued, and each storm waited courteously until its predecessor sunk beneath the ground .”