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Date: Fri 04-Sep-1998



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Date: Fri 04-Sep-1998

Publication: Bee

Author: JAN

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$14,500 Grant Will Help Jumpstart Library's Music Collection

(with photo)


The Booth Library's Music Department will be the beneficiary of a $14,500

grant the library recently received from the Praxair Foundation.

The grant, funded by Praxair, Inc of Danbury, will be used for establishment

of a music collection to be located on the second floor. The library has set

aside 650 square feet of space and furnishings to house the music-related


Resident Robert Bassett, an employee of Praxair, said, "Our goal is to provide

a music library resource that befits the high level of music interest that

exists in the Newtown community. Beginning with our schools and our youth and

extending to organizations like the Newtown Friends of Music and the Newtown

Choral Society, Newtown has a great musical tradition and culture, which the

library should help nurture and support."

"The library is very excited about the grant," director Janet Woycik said. "It

will be wonderful to have the material available for students as well."

According to Reference Department librarian Beryl Harrison, the library has a

very small music collection at the present time.

Mrs Harrison said $12,000 will be used to fund the immediate acquisition for

the music collection, with a concentration on CDs. There will also be seed

money of $2,500 to establish an endowment to provide funds in future years for

ongoing maintenance of the collection.

Mrs Harrison said she learned about the opportunity to apply for the grant

from Mr Bassett. He helped her and part-time employee Nanette Maturi draw up

the grant proposal in May.

"The foundation supports employee volunteer involvement in their communities,"

Mr Bassett said. He is a member of the foundation's board.

"This is a fairly substantial grant," he said. "The grant is a great

jump-start, but I hope it will also trigger a renewed community focus and

interest in developing the library's music resources."

Ms Maturi, who is a teacher, has a degree in music and works part time at the

library, will oversee development of the music collection, Mrs Harrison said.

"She's excited about it," Mrs Harrison said.

Ms Maturi said she hopes to add print materials, such as scores to operas and

Broadway shows, as well as about 200 CDs, to the library's collection through

use of the grant.

She said she would also like to purchase materials that would provide parallel

pathways of art, literature and music. This would make it possible for the

library to provide students who are studying a certain period of art with

relevant materials of the same era in literature and music, she noted.

The CDs will be able to be checked out, she noted. Headsets and portable CD

players will be available in the music department so patrons can listen to

music anywhere in the library.

The grant will also be used to purchase materials not usually offered in small

libraries, Mrs Harrison said, such as a CD ROM for Phonolog, which lists all

recordings and artists, and listening stations for library use only.

"Eventually we would like to have a computer station that would have music

composition software," Mrs Harrison said.

"When we were planning the library addition, music was one of the requests of

what people wanted to see in the library," she said.

Mrs Harrison said an advisory committee of six to eight residents will be

formed this month to help the library decide what materials should be part of

a core collection.

Residents with recommendations or suggestions should call Mrs Harrison in the

Reference Department at 426-8552.

Cash and material donations are sought from the public and area businesses for

the Music Department, Mrs Woycik said. The library's Board of Directors has

devised a policy for accepting items for the library, she said.

Contributions of materials are welcome. In particular, the library would

welcome CDs, performance videotapes, sheet music, libretti, scores, music

biographies and histories, and texts on music theory, music business and music


Future plans for the music department depend on what the advisory committee

decides to do.

"We want to make this as fair and equitable for the town as possible," Ms

Maturi said.

"The Praxair donation is intended to encourage the rest of the community to

jump in and add to the collection and to the endowment," Mr Bassett said.

"The key is residents' involvement in getting their companies involved," he

said. "This is to let the town know this is under development."

Mrs Woycik said the library is also looking into other sources of grants for

the music department.

Mr Bassett said an additional vision for the library's music room is to

include in it an archive or repository of Newtown music memorabilia and

history. This might include photos, videotapes and programs of music and music

theater performances in town, photos, biographies and memorabilia of Newtown

residents, past and present, who have made a mark in the music world, either

locally or elsewhere.

Anyone who has access to, or wishes to donate, these materials or has ideas as

to what such an archive might contain should contact Mr Bassett at

203/837-2033 (days) or 426-8091 (evenings).

According to Mr Bassett, Praxair, Inc is a worldwide corporation that has been

in existence for six years as an independent company. It was formerly a

division of Union Carbide. It is the largest industrial gases company in North

and South America, and one of the largest worldwide.

Comments are open. Be civil.

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