Blackstone Library 125th Anniversary

Laugh and the World Laughs with You
Weep and You Weep Alone

Did you know these famous lines were composed by Branford’s own Ella Wheeler Wilcox? Her portrait hangs in the Blackstone Library Reading Room, so we’re making her the topic of today’s 125th Anniversary Fact! Ella was born in Wisconsin in 1850 and began writing poetry at the age of 5. She settled with her husband, Robert Marius Wilcox, in the Short Beach section of Branford in 1891. She published numerous volumes of poetry throughout her life, the most famous of which was Poems of Passion published in 1883. During her time in Short Beach, she organized a village improvement society called White Wings with the aim of beautifying Short Beach and making it a center of intellectual life. Robert died suddenly in 1916 and Ella never recovered from the loss. While visiting injured WWI troops in France, she fell ill and passed away in Short Beach on October 30, 1919.

This portrait was painted in 1899 by Lilly Martin Spencer of NY, one of the most popular genre artists of the mid-nineteenth century. Both she and Ella were strong female figures in male dominated fields, and we like to think they had much to discuss with one another!

Service Update July 7

The adult collections can be browsed without an appointment.

Computers are available in the computer lab for one hour sessions during library hours, no appointment necessary.

Face coverings are still required in the library when visiting the Children’s Department and for those individuals who are unvaccinated.

The Blackstone Library is currently open regular hours, Monday – Thursday 9 am – 8 pm and Friday & Saturday 9 am – 5 pm.

Teen and Children’s shelves  –  We are asking that you make an appointment to browse the Teen and Children’s Collections. Please limit your visit to 15 minutes. Call 203-488-1441 x 321 to book a time slot. Read more…

Join a Conversation and Get Free Ice Cream!

We Want to Get to Know You Better

The Blackstone Library is working on a strategic plan to better serve our community, and that means we need to know you, your perspectives, experiences, needs and wants!

If you are:

  • a teen or a family with children who are looking to connect, be inspired and learn new things
  • a job seeker, either unemployed or looking to move up or change careers
  • an entrepreneur, either looking to start or grow your business

>>>  we want to talk with you! Read more…

Awakening to Change: Antiracism Resources

Awakening to Change is a lecture series designed to help unify our community by developing a shared understanding of the history, policy, and experiences shaping contemporary discussions of race. It was inspired by a conversation between Branford resident Roberta Gill-Brooks and former State Representative Lonnie Reed about growing up Black in Branford in July 2020.  Read more…

New Addition to Library of Things

Now available to borrow: Kill A Watt® home energy use monitor Read more…

Friends of the Library Virtual Book Cart

On Hiatus until Fall 2021

The Virtual Book Cart will be on a temporary break so that we can prepare for our Annual Book Sale on the Town Green scheduled for September 30 – October 3. Look for us again in October 2021!  Read more…