By Jill Larrabee

A new year and a new face at Stonington Public Library! When I accepted the job as the Stonington Public Library director in 2018, I was told that it is the best job in the world. It has lived up to that promise—and more! The library has brought many wonderful people into my life and broadened my experiences in our incredible community. It is with a heavy heart that I step down as the library director. The Covid-19 pandemic has necessitated many changes in everyone’s lives, and I am no longer able to balance the time required to run the library with the demands at home to care for my family. I am not saying goodbye to the library; rather, I am changing hats from director to volunteer.


Thankfully, the library’s search committee found a highly qualified library director, Christopher Ross, to fulfill the mission of the Stonington Public Library. I have had a chance to work with Chris over the past few weeks, and I am impressed with the energy and passion that he brings to the job. I look forward to seeing all he does to continue community connections, plan programs for all ages, and, of course, get books into the hands of readers.


By Christopher Ross

Looking back on the past year, I experienced the same break from the “before times” to life during a pandemic that Covid-19 dictated in everyone’s lives, so when I learned of the director opening at the Stonington Public Library, it offered hope for a brighter outlook in 2021. Spoiler alert: I got the job. I am ready to meet the challenges of managing the library’s services through the pandemic and into the “after times,” and my top priority is to connect with the people of Stonington through whatever means are available to us. The library’s figurative door remains open for book requests, reference questions, printing services, and more, and I greatly anticipate when I can welcome the public back inside the library.


There is no neat way to give my full back story in one column, so I will share a few highlights. I have lived on Isle au Haut for the past three years, where I have gotten used to taking on many different roles, but my work in the island and school libraries has been the most rewarding by far. I have taken equal pleasure in reviewing and cataloging the collections and serving as the winter librarian and the board’s co-chair. Libraries are not unlike gardens for the amount of work that goes into tending them in order to cultivate something for all to appreciate.


Libraries run in my blood. I am hard pressed to think of an earlier memory than walking through our local library’s turnstile hand-in-hand with my mom. She instilled me with an appetite for discovery through reading, and she went on to a 30-year career in New Hampshire public libraries. I shadowed the children’s librarian in my hometown before I was old enough to think of myself an intern. I have been a proud card holder at libraries spanning from rural New England to northeastern China, and I earned a master’s in library and information science from St. John’s University in New York. For me, this opportunity is like setting a kid loose in a candy store. 


 I majored in Chinese language and literature at Oberlin College, and I have spent nearly a decade in total living, working, and studying in China, where I achieved near fluency in Mandarin Chinese. I am already at work on plans for a Chinese New Year themed story time and craft to welcome in the Year of the Ox. Finally, no introduction would be complete without a mention of my crossword addiction. More accurately, I love wordplay. The New York Times daily crossword puzzle is just the tip of the iceberg, and I can go from zero to geeking out faster than you can say “logophile.” Don’t hesitate to ask me more about my years abroad, crosswords, or anything else that piques your interest.

64 Main Street, or in Einstein’s words, “The only thing that you absolutely have to know is the location of the library.” See you there.

Please join us on Zoom for a Meet the Director event on Wednesday, January 13 at 6pm. Registration is required to obtain the Zoom invitation. To register, call the library at 367-5926 or email librarian@stoningtonlibrary.org

Closed Christmas Eve & Day and New Year’s Day

The Stonington Public Library wishes all in our community a warm and loving holiday season. Our doors will be closed Christmas Eve & Day (Thursday & Friday, December 24 & 25) and again on New Year’s Day (Friday, January 1) to give our team a chance to spend the holidays at home.

There’s still time to stock up on books through our curbside pick-up service. Call us during library hours at (207) 367-5926 or email librarian@stoningtonlibrary.org with your request. Please note that Maine state interlibrary loan is already on holiday leave, so we can only fill requests from our own collection until after the New Year.

Our team wishes you continued health and well-being and new beginnings in 2021. Our recommended New Year’s resolution: read more!


For the present the Library will be closed to the public until further notice due to the community’s sudden and alarming increase in Covid 19 cases.

We advise you to take advantage of our curbside service, and to call 367-5926 or email the library stonington.public.library@gmail.com for both specific book requests and also for the librarian’s assistance in choosing titles for you to pickup at curbside when the books are ready.

Important Library Information

Saturday, November 14 we will be implementing a few limits in the library to keep our patrons and staff safe. Only 5 people or a single “pod/family” at one time. Also we ask that you limit your time to 15 minutes. Our hope is that these precautions will help us to stay open and available for you! We love doing curbside pick up! Call us at 367-5926 or email stonington.public.library@gmail.com for requests!

Celebrate Election Day with Cake!

Have you voted absentee? Plan on showing up to the town office tomorrow to cast your vote? Either way stop by The Library for a piece sliced piece of election cake! A almost forgotten tradition dating back to 1796.
“The story of the cake goes as follows: In early spring, elections for governor and other offices were held in towns around Connecticut, and in May, representatives from around the colony gathered for the ballot counting in Hartford, an event that often ran long into the night.”

ONLINE Author Talk: Anne Gass: Voting Down the Rose co-sponsored by League of Women Voters, Brunswick, and Curtis Memorial Library.

ONLINE Author Talk: Anne Gass: Voting Down the Rose

Author event co-sponsored by League of Women Voters, Brunswick, and Curtis Memorial Library.

This event is in celebration of the 100th year of women winning the vote! In this session, join us as Anne B. Gass talks about her book, Voting Down the Rose: Florence Brooks Whitehouse and Maine’s Fight for Woman Suffrage.

Voting Down the Rose is a lively account of Maine native Florence Brooks Whitehouse’s efforts to win women voting rights in the decisive final years of the campaign, 1914-1920. Considered radical for picketing the White House, Florence helped win women suffrage against a backdrop of conservative views of women’s roles, political intrigues, WWI, and the 1918 influenza epidemic.

Anne is the great-granddaughter Florence Brooks Whitehouse. You can purchase the book or borrow it from your local library in advance of the discussion.

This event will be available via Zoom and will also stream on Facebook Live, on the Curtis Library Facebook page.

To join via Zoom, use this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84696294863

To view on our Facebook page, visit https://www.facebook.com/curtislibrary

Sunday, October 18, 2020
2:00pm – 3:00pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time – US & Canada (change)
  Author Event / Speaker 

Annual Halloween Spooktacular

This year the Spooktacular takes on Covid-19 and things will look a bit different. We are doing this year’s Spooktacular drive thru style. Dress up yourselves (and if you choose, your cars) and join us at the Island Community Center to begin a parade through town. With designated stops for treats from a few downtown businesses. We ask that everyone remain in their cars with a window down to receive a treat. Businesses will hand them to you. Parade route begins at the Island Community Center at 10:00am — cars will meet us in the parking lot – drive down around the back of the center – up through Memorial Street – over to Highland Rd – turn left onto West Main Street – straight through Main Street and up Thurlows Hill. We ask that families drive slow and keep stop times to a minimum to avoid a traffic jam. There will be some at home projects for each family to do. The Island Community Center will be handing out spider craft packets The Rec Board will be handing out pumpkins to decorate. The Stonington Public Library will be passing out a scavenger hunt.

Take and Make Story Hour is Back!

Pick up a “Take and Make” craft kit! Today until 6:00pm, tomorrow 10:00am to 4:00pm, or Saturday 10:00 am to noon. Then check out this website or our Facebook page on Saturday for a video reading of the children’s book “The Squirrels’ Busy Year”, craft directions, and snack ideas.