Westbrook Public Library

The Westbrook Public Library sits nestled against a small forest and away from the hustle of Route 1 in Essex, CT. The first thing I noticed when heading towards the building was the beautiful landscaping. The garden club is taking very good care of the trees, shrubs and potted plants. The flowers were so colorful and drew my eye up towards the crisp building.

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It is apparent that the Westbrook Public Library is proud of it’s building and yet, the tropical turquoise accent was a fun and unexpected detail.

In the lobby I was excited to see a box to recycle cell phones and a place to drop off canned goods. From my first steps I could tell that this library was invested in its community which became more apparent as I walked past the front desk and was greeted with an enormous community bulletin board.

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Westbrook Library has incredibly high ceilings that have been accentuated by huge white beams. As I explored the library, I imagined I was walking through the belly of a massive ship. A ship that was not made of wood but of a dreamy cumulus cloud. Maybe my imagination was running or maybe I was just feeling sleepy because it was kinda dark in there.

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It appears that Westbrook Library prefers  to rely on natural light and that makes sense considering it’s spanning windows and luscious forest backdrop.

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This public library has incomparable views of the woods. It was truly magical but if I were doing research I think I would have to bring a flashlight.

The day I visited Westbrook Public Library was overcast and pretty dark. I found myself gravitating towards the windows (not the shelves) to give my eyes a good scratch and a refocus.

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On the other hand, the children’s room had all their lights on and more people were in this room using the computers, reading the paper and hanging out.

It was during school so no kids were in the children’s room, but I smiled at all the adults that were using the light.

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Westbrook Children’s room is so sweet. There are several places for caregivers and children to sit. Many chairs, couches and crannies for reading and exploring.

My absolute favorite part was the beach pebbles that decorated the book shelves. Very unique and very appropriate for tiny hands cultivating their sensory skills.

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After visiting the Children’s Department, I noticed a room for magazines and planted in the middle was AN ACTUAL CARD CATALOG!!!! I swooned, I sighed, and I took way, way, wayyyy too many pictures of this treasure. Turns out, the librarians at Westbrook Public Library still regularly use the card catalog!

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Like many libraries, Westbrook Public Library is more than just a place for books. The natural surroundings provided a calm while the busy bulletin board begs you to get involved. This is not the busiest library but I felt welcomed by the friendly staff and was truly grateful for a quiet moment.

Book Sale Magic

Hello Friends!

Did you know that I love books? I can’t help it. I love borrowing books, I love talking about books and I love buying books. I especially love buying books when the proceeds support a library.

Many libraries have a designated nook where they sell donated or “deselected” books (deselected means they were pulled from the library’s collection). Recently, my partner in all things library- Brainerd Memorial Library- had an enormous book sale and I was so lucky to get a sneak peek at all that it takes to put together a SUPER library book sale.

Here is the recipe for a successful library book sale:

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ONE Organized Director

Planning a book sale can take months. A good director brings people together and makes some tough decisions. They are supportive of staff, supply refreshments and foresee all the bumps in the book sale road. A director smiles and makes you laugh even when a volunteer (me) throws half a box of vintage encyclopedias away (whoops!)

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PLENTY of Library Friends


Carrying and sorting books is exhausting and every book sale needs a group of cheerful people that aren’t afraid of a little dust, a little sweat and a whole lot of questions about where books should be shelved.



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GOBS of Donated Books

A successful book sale must have a solid community of people that love to read and love to support their library. It is only through donations that a book sale can really shine.






I am so happy that I participated in this process. I met some awesome library friends who love their library as much as I do! We traded recommendations, shared high fives and had fun! We raised some money and had the opportunity to support the community.

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Friends, if your library ever has a book sale I suggest you volunteer. You will be surprised by how rewarding the experience is and how many books you’ll want to take home.

It was a lot of work but it was so worth it. HUGE high five to Brainerd Memorial Library!

Thanks for checking in.