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EXCITE Transformation for Libraries: Blackstone Memorial Library

"Uncover Branford," James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford

 "Uncover Branford" is designed to bring the Branford community together to create personal connections while exploring the hidden gems that make Branford unique. Participants will explore sites around town to take pictures and learn more about Branford, and then will share their stories at an Open House at the library and through a booklet published by the library.

Project Details

Project Name: Uncover Branford: Your town, your people, your story.

Purpose: Designed to bring the Branford community together to create personal connections while exploring the hidden gems that make Branford unique. Provides a space to share the special stories that can only be told by those living here.

Grant Funding Amount: $2,000

Key Elements:

COLLABORATION:Opportunities to meet new people, share stories, and work together to create a special group project.

EXPLORATION: Visit the sites you choose to take pictures and interview people, discovering new places and learning more about Branford.

CELEBRATION: Share experiences at a special Open House held at the library. Stories will be highlighted and archived on the library’s website. Special booklet with the group’s work will be printed and distributed.

Target Audiences: Adults (45 – 65), teens and families, people who want to spend more time being active in the community, make new friends, and get to know Branford

Community Support: Branford Historical Society, Branford Land Trust, Friends of the James Blackstone Library

Use of grant funds: development of tip sheet for taking high-quality photographs, story write-ups/photography displays, editing/layout services, printing booklet of write-ups/photos for distribution

Why:

Members want to collaborate and connect because:

  • they feel disconnected from each other
  • they have a strong desire to meet neighbors/other Branford residents
  • they want to feel stronger ties to their town and community, whether new to town or longtime resident

Uncover Branford addresses the emotional & functional jobs they want:

  • encourages getting out and visiting special sites in Branford
  • provides a neutral place to meet others in community, build relationships
  • gives a clear end product to work toward and allows for pride of completion

Uncover Branford is different from other alternatives:

  • landmarks will be selected by participants
  • participants get up close, take own pictures
  • provides for face-to-face conversation & interaction
  • participants encouraged to visit sites with each other

Uncover Branford transforms Our Library for the 21st Century:

  • technology is amazing (& we have a lot of it!), but human connection is key
  • keeps library as the hub of the community, glue that holds it together

Project Announcement - July

Thursday, July 13 @ 6:00 pm

Get up, get out and uncover Branford! We’re bringing you and your neighbors together to share your favorite Branford places and stories. Then, plan a group outing to a special spot! As you go out into the community to explore and uncover new places, you’ll make new friends, have lots of fun, and discover the hidden gems of Branford.

Document your adventures with photos and a short write up of your own personal favorites and we’ll turn that into a community exhibit at our Uncover Branford Open House and Reception at the end of the summer.

Registration required. To register, click here.

Project Announcement - June

SATURDAY, JUNE 10, 2017 @ 2:30 PM

Get up, get out and uncover Branford! We're bringing you and your neighbors together all summer long with meetings in June, July and August to share your favorite Branford places and stories. Learn about new hidden gems in town. Then, work together to plan a group outing to 1 or more locations. As you go out into the community to explore and uncover new places, you'll have lots of fun, make new friends and create memories.

Document your adventures with photos and a short write-up of your own personal favorite spot and we'll turn that into a community exhibit at our Uncover Branford Open House and Reception at the end of the summer.

To register click here or call the Reference Desk at 203-488-1441. ext. 318.

Team Members

Whitney Gayle, Karen Jensen, Katy Dillman, and Carly Lemire

The James Blackstone Memorial Library has 17.3 FTE employees.

Presentation Slide

Credits

This pilot of EXCITE Transformation for Libraries and the seed grants awarded to pilot libraries were funded by the State of Connecticut and the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Connecticut State Library.

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