The 125th anniversary of Wilton Library is a big deal, something the town will celebrate throughout 2020 with events and commemorations. In fact, the celebratory flag waving has already started, as colorful banners bearing the Library’s special anniversary logo now hang on lampposts throughout Wilton Center.
Library officials are quick to credit the support of First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice for giving the nod to having the 125th Anniversary banners decorate the lampposts. It’s the first time something other than a town-coordinated effort–like the flower baskets or holiday decorations–have adorned the lampposts.
“There are a lot of reasons why Wilton Library is special. Even though it is a nonprofit, we do fund 75% of the library’s operating expenses, so it really is an extension of town government,” she said. “And also the uniqueness of the 125th anniversary–the library is central to this community and 125 years is a significant milestone. So when they came to me with the idea, I thought it was great.”
The Town’s Parks and Grounds Department staff hung the banners earlier this week. Funding the banners was made possible by an anonymous donor.
The cheery banners show the logo designed especially for the anniversary. Library officials have said that the multi-color motif was inspired by the colors of the four seasons, as seen from within the library by visitors as they view the changing seasons outside.
Library executive director Elaine Tai-Lauria says that the banners are meant to be an “open invitation” to the community to celebrate with the Library.
“The colors bring a smile to my face. We had some people yesterday who literally stopped by to tell us how beautiful the banners were and that’s when just a few of them were up. We’re really thrilled with how they turned out and we’re so grateful to our trustee, Sandy Stein, who designed the logo for us,” she said.
Another banner has been hung on the front of the library’s exterior. As spring comes, there will be additional banners hung on the light posts in the library’s parking lot, in preparation for a community social event that’s planned for May 9. Wilton Library will also celebrate its 125th Anniversary Gala on March 28, its annual meeting on June 17, and many other events.
As for what makes it such a beloved place in town, Vanderslice says she, like so many other people in Wilton, has stories and memories linked to Wilton Library that make it such a special place.
“You hear that all the time from residents. As a stay at home mom, my son and I spent hours at the library. He loved the children’s section–he loved to read, to be read to, the Brio train set. For me, this library has fond memories because he’s long gone and I don’t get to see him very much. That’s my personal experience with the library, but I know everybody else has their own story. There are a lot of other families who created those same memories with their children,” she says, adding, “But it’s also a wonderful place for seniors to gather. It’s really for people of all ages.”
Wilton Library Association was founded by a forward-thinking group in May, 1895–the same year that the New York Public Library was started. These stalwart members of the community gathered 150 books in someone’s home. This inception has led to the beautiful, modernist building in the center of Wilton that sees more than 250,000 visitors per year and has a collection of more than 500,000 items.
Wilton Library is a nonprofit association and the cultural and intellectual heart of the community in the center of Wilton. The library’s mission is to inform, connect, enrich and inspire the community, which it strives to do every day through conversations, thought-provoking programs, up-to-date technology and customer-centric services. Visit the Wilton Library website or call 203.762.6334 for more information. Wilton Library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Rd. in the heart of Wilton Center.