Members of the Community,
On November 3rd, 2021, I became your Town Librarian. At the time, libraries were facing exciting but uncertain times, but since then I have watched Fairfield Library slowly return to normal: longer hours, open study rooms, and the reopening of meeting rooms for rental. The buzz in our building is palpable– members of our community of all ages have returned, and they are happy to be back: browsing, borrowing, working, and in the case of our Children’s Department, playing. While our numbers are not where they were pre-pandemic, we continue to see steady growth each day, largely thanks to our hard-working and welcoming staff.
The last two years of reduced open hours saw members of the community becoming familiar with the digital collection of books, magazines, movies, TV shows, and music that FPL offers, as well as databases and resources that offer reference information, online learning opportunities, and homework assistance. While we are happy to provide these digital resources, we are finding there are just as many patrons eager to return to borrowing physical materials, and parents who want their children to have the tangible experience of visiting the Library. I can assure the Library community that eBooks– also 3-4 times more expensive to purchase than print books– will never replace the need for a well-maintained physical collection.
We are also finding that members of our community who were late digital adopters are coming to the library for instruction and assistance, not just for their devices but also for help with municipal services– state, local, and federal– that have now been moved online. We are pleased to have a tech-savvy staff who can provide this service to patrons at no extra cost.
For those adopting a hybrid work-from-home model, I would suggest that “working from home” does not mean “staying at home.” The library functions as an ideal work space with robust wi-fi, printing capabilities, vast resources for research, and a helpful information desk at your disposal. Please come and see our new study rooms at Main Library equipped with AV equipment for small meetings.
All in all, Fairfield Public Library is pleased to have been here for the community from the beginning of the pandemic, offering digital borrowing, curbside pickup of materials, and virtual programming when attending in person was not an option. We will continue to be here for the community in an ever-increasing capacity.
Each year I plan to provide a community report to share with you the library’s operations. It is an institution this town should be proud of, and I am very grateful to be at its helm.
Scott C. Jarzombek