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Easton Library Takes Pride as 'Great Equalizer'

EASTON, Conn. – Gone are the days of stamped due dates, dusty reference stacks and grumpy ladies telling kids to “Be quiet!” The Easton Public Library is turning into a culture hub for art exhibits, musical performances, public speakers and yes, even weddings.

“Oh yes, we have had quite a few weddings take place here in our community room,” said Easton Public Library Director Bernadette Baldino.

At first glance, the Easton Public Library looks like the older libraries across the country: You are surrounded by rows and rows of books, community pamphlets and posters promoting reading. But the Easton Library sets itself apart as a true entertainment asset to Easton.

“There really isn’t a lot to do for the adults here in town. The kids have that outlet, adults do not and that is something that we try to create here at the library. We are the culture’s hub,” Baldino said.

The library offers programs to all ages and all interests from a baby/toddler movement class to a Scrabble club to Murder 203, a two-day event focused on everything mystery and thriller novels. The library’s community room is used 12 times a week by town organizations. It also shows artwork by locals monthly. And don't forget the weddings.

“We have people who come just to look at the artwork or to use the computers. We have people who stop in, and that is what the library is what it’s all about,” Baldino said.

As technology changes, so does the library. It has an extensive online database, allowing users to access thousands of outside resources, download eBooks for devices such as Nooks and Kindles and put audio books right onto their iPods.

Baldino has worked in libraries for nearly 45 years, and even though she has seen it go through several changes, it always holds its core value. “The purpose is to offer different options on different subjects. The library is the great equalizer: It’s for rich and poor and young and old. It is a place for everyone and that will never change.”

But it's still about the books. “One of the things that hasn’t changed is the feeling that I get when I see a child with a book. It is an amazing feeling, and it never gets old."

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