The following is a press release from the Wilton Library announcing the selection for Wilton Reads 2022.
As the town of Wilton welcomes the arrival of many new residents, Wilton Library decided it is an opportune time to educate all Wilton residents — from the newest arrivals to the longest established citizens — about the rich and vibrant history of the town of Wilton. The history of Wilton over the last three centuries is the topic for Wilton Reads 2022, the library’s community-wide reading program.
At Thursday night’s (Jan. 20) Board of Education meeting, Elaine Tai-Lauria, Wilton Library Executive Director, and Fran Kompar, Director of Digital Learning for the Wilton Public Schools, announced the Wilton Reads 2022 selection: Wilton, Connecticut: Three Centuries of People, Places, and Progress by Robert (Bob) H. Russell. The library will again collaborate with the Wilton School District to facilitate discussions and conversations throughout the community on all levels.
Tai-Lauria credited Lauren McLaughlin, Assistant Director of Wilton Library, for the selection.
“In Wilton, we are in the midst of a sea change. Our community is growing and changing so quickly, and we are seeing history happen right before our eyes. We believe it is the perfect time to look inward and explore Wilton’s fascinating story, and we could not think of a better selection than Bob Russell’s Wilton, Connecticut, which is the definitive history of our town,” said Tai-Lauria of the choice.
“As with Wilton Reads collaborations in the past, the school district will choose age-appropriate reading selections and create supplemental activities for the various schools,” said Kompar.
“We believe that the library’s selection for Wilton Reads 2022 provides a wonderful learning opportunity for all Wilton residents. For our students, we’ll be able to engage them on so many levels — such as virtual author visits and other educational programs,” said Dr. Kevin Smith, Superintendent of Wilton Public Schools.
Author Bob Russell led Wilton as first selectman for six years after his 35-year business career with IBM. He also served on the boards of several Wilton organizations including Wilton Library. His lifelong interest in history led him to research and write Wilton, Connecticut, a comprehensive record of Wilton’s 300-year past, published by the Wilton Historical Society in 2004. To write the book, Russell drew upon records at Town Hall and local libraries, including the extensive archives in Wilton Library’s History Room, as well as the personal accounts of many Wilton residents.
The Wilton Reads program will culminate with an author talk by Bob Russell in the spring. During his talk, the author will be recognized with the Grodin Family Fine Writers award.
The library plans to offer free copies of Wilton, Connecticut this spring, courtesy of Fairfield County Bank. However, copies of the book are currently available via the library’s catalog.
For Wilton Reads 2022, a slate of programs featuring local and state history is being planned for this spring. The library will also provide educational resources for further exploration. Further details of the library’s Wilton Reads 2022 programming will be posted this spring on the library’s website. Wilton Public Schools’ programming details may be found by visiting the school district’s website.
This is the 16th season of Wilton Reads. The program originated with a reading of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. A list of past Wilton Reads selections can be found online. The media sponsor of Wilton Reads is GOOD Morning Wilton.