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Public Libraries: The Story Behind the People, Communities and Buildings

April 9 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm


It’s National Library Week!! Why not learn a little about the fascinating history of public libraries?

Join John Cilio, our story teller, as he shares some of the anecdotes, process developments and introduces us to the people that created the library of today, or should we say the facilitators of 21st century literacy. The first American book sharing institutions date back to colonial times. We might not recognize them; they were neither public nor free and counted their book collections by the dozens. In the earliest days, books were expensive, difficult to acquire, and imported. Most people couldn’t read anyway. As the colonies grew into the 1700s, private book clubs began to evolve among wealthy men. They communally shared their books, building knowledge for each member of the club. Eventually those private club memberships expanded to much larger groups. They evolved into subscription libraries, for anyone who could pay a membership and a book borrowing fee. You may have a new appreciation for your library after joining the talk.

John Cilio is a historical storyteller, author and a member of the Organization of American Historians and the Association for the Study of Connecticut History. He is a storied researcher who has brought historical stories back to life for over 15 years. He retired from IBM corporate marketing communications and has published seven historical books and numerous articles for national and regional periodicals. His book about the evolution of helicopters, whose foreword was written by a son of Igor Sikorsky, is a listed reference source at the Smithsonian Institution. He is an honorary member of the Danbury WWII Lost Squadron veteran’s organization and lives in Connecticut.


April 9
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
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Woodbury Public Library
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Woodbury Public Library
269 Main St S, Woodbury Public Library
Woodbury, CT 06798 United States
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