Love Libraries? Help!

Love libraries? Keep reading, we need your help.
April hosts National Library Week, April 12 – 18. However, this year the mood is not one of celebration but one of worry. The proposed budget for the state will eliminate 30% of the funding provided to the state library. This cut would deeply affect the services of the Clark Memorial Library, as well as the way you use any Connecticut library. The service known as Connecticard will be eliminated. This is the program of library reciprocity. Right now library card holders can use any library in the state. When a non-resident uses another library, that library receives a dime per item checked out. This is an incentive for libraries to share their collections. Smaller libraries and towns greatly benefit because we cannot purchase every item a patron might want to use, and the yearly payment goes directly back into book purchases. Patrons benefit because you are free to use any library and have greater access to materials that you want to borrow from anywhere in the state.
Also, the service known as the Connecticut Library Consortium will lose more than half of its funding and will be de-authorized. This touches Clark Memorial Library because the membership of this consortium consists of over 800 libraries. The Consortium negotiates vendor contracts for all participating libraries. Some of these savings are up 72% off the list price. The Consortium also runs professional development workshops and round tables to keep librarians growing just as fast library users’ needs grow. Without the Consortium our new website would not have been completed in-house, saving us at least $6,000 a year. The Consortium manages and runs the circuit which provides us with our DVDs and keeps us with a refreshed DVD collection. With all the savings the Consortium provides us, the library saved $19, 341.60 last year.
Finally state grants to libraries will be eliminated altogether. These are grants which help to fund programs and advance library improvements. Just last year Clark Memorial Library was in contention for a grant. Though it did not come through, knowing that there is money to help develop and grow libraries inspires investment in Clark Memorial Library.
Love libraries? Help save these services which keep us running smoothly. Write to your state representatives and consider rallying with us at Hartford on Wednesday, April 15 from noon to 1 p.m.

Big Read for big readers in the virtual world

Patrons are invited to download the critically acclaimed e-book Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates through Overdrive, our provider for e-books and audio books. There are no holds on the book as Overdrive is making multiple copies available and guarantees that anyone who wants to read this inspirational book will have access to it.

Big Library Read is an international program that gives libraries and library patrons unlimited simultaneous access to a popular title during the program dates, creating a virtual, global eBook club. Interested patrons will be able borrow Shakespeare Saved My Life using a valid library card, and read on all major computers and devices, including iPhone®, iPad®, Nook®, Android™ phones and tablets, and Kindle® [U.S. Libraries] without worrying about wait lists or holds. Titles will automatically expire at the end of the lending period, and best of all, there are no late fees!

The Big Library Read program is made possible through a partnership between OverDrive, the leading supplier of eBooks and more to libraries, and Sourcebooks, publisher of Laura Bates’ autobiography. To borrow the eBook version of Shakespeare Saved My Life as part of Big Library Read, patrons can visit [].

About the book

Shakespeare professor and prison volunteer Laura Bates thought she had seen it all. That is, until she decided to teach Shakespeare in a place the bard had never been before — supermax solitary confinement. In this unwelcoming place, surrounded by inmates known as the worst of the worst, is Larry Newton. A convicted murderer with several escape attempts under his belt and a brilliantly agile mind on his shoulders, Larry was trying to break out of prison at the same time Laura was fighting to get her program started behind bars.

Thus begins the most unlikely of friendships, one bonded by Shakespeare and lasting years—a friendship that, in the end, would save more than one life.

About the author

Laura Bates

Laura Bates has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in Comparative Literature, with a focus on Shakespeare studies. She is Professor of English at Indiana State University, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Shakespeare. For more than twenty-five years she has also taught in prison. She created the world’s first Shakespeare program in supermax—the long-term solitary confinement unit. Her work has been featured in local and national media, including two segments on MSNBC-TV’s Lock Up. She is the author of “Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard” (Sourcebooks, 2013).

Clark is now a LION!



As of January 7, 2014 Bethany residents may enjoy the benefits of being part of the LION/Libraries Online Consortium. Benefits are plentiful for all patrons. Patrons may begin to download digital items using Overdrive and Zinio. Overdrive gives readers access to electronic and audio books. It works with over 200 types of devices ranging from personal computers to tablets to e-readers to smart phones. Zinio is a portal to 180 magazines which can be downloaded to most electronic devices. When you begin to use both services, you will need to download the Overdrive or Zinio software to your reading device.

More choices and more possibilities for reading become available to Bethany residents simply by using the LION wide catalog. Let’s say a book or a movie you really want to borrow is not available at Clark but is at Woodbridge Town Library. Instead of having to drive to Woodbridge to checkout and pickup the book, you can order it from the catalog to come to Bethany and check it out at Bethany. And, fans of Amazon, that’s for free!

If you already have a library card at Clark, your card is automatically part of the LION system. You will not have to go into another LION library to register your card. Do register your card through the LION catalog in order to set your home library and enter your email.

Here is an alphabetical listing of all our fellow LION libraries:

James Blackstone (Branford)

Durham Public Library

East Lyme, East Lyme High School

Essex Library Association

Guilford Free Library

Brainerd Memorial (Haddam)

Rathbun Free Memorial (East Haddam)

Ivoryton Library

Ledyard Libraries-Bill

Ledyard Libraries – Gales Ferry

F.C. Scranton Memorial

Meriden Public Library

Russell Library (Middletown)

Public Library of New London

Mitchell College Library

North Branford Libraries – Atwater and Smith

North Haven Memorial

Otis Library (Norwich)

Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes

Acton Public Library (Old Saybrook)

Orange-Case Memorial

Willougby Wallace Library (Stony Creek)

Wallingford Public Library

Yalesville Library

Westbrook Public Library

West Haven Public Library – Piantino and Mason Branches

Woodbridge Town Library.