Library’s ‘Friends’ help fill in the blanks

Since the fall of 2011, the Friends of the Bristol Public Library has been handing out grants for programs the library might not be able to fund.
Earlier this year, the group contributed $500 each to four programs that are geared toward a variety of age groups and interests.
“We pick things we think the public would be interested in attending,” said Nancy Turski, chairperson of the Grants Committee at the Bristol Library.
The funding each year comes from profits at the Friends of the Bristol Public Library’s book sales. (However, as of June this year, the grants will be distributed twice per year, rather than four times.)
“We have always been very successful at the book sales,” Turski said, adding that there is always a major sale in February and another in June, then a holiday sale.
Funding for these grants comes from sales at the book store at the main branch of the library, as well as books sold at the Manross Library. The book store also has regular hours on Monday from 1 to 3 p.m., Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Turski said one of the funded programs was held earlier in the spring, and her granddaughter participated and “absolutely loved it.”
The program was Yoga for Children, where youngsters learned about different yoga poses and were evaluated at the end of the classes.
“You’d be surprised at  how much they learned,” Turski said.
The next program will be in June and will be “An Evening with the Gillettes,” where a couple will portray William and Helen Gillette, a prominent Connecticut couple from the late 1800s to early 1900s. William Gillette was an actor and a playwright who is known for his role as Sherlock Holmes on stage and in a 1916 silent film. This program will be held on June 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the main branch of the library, and then on June 26 at 1 p.m. at the Manross Library, and registration is required.
The next program that was grant funded will be held in July and will be a children’s program where Mystic Aquarium will visit the library with a live exhibit. The “Spark a Reaction-The Science of CT Comes to the Library” event will have three parts. In addition to the Mystic exhibit, the Connecticut Children’s Museum and then the Connecticut Science Center visiting.
The third program, “Guns of August: Commemorating WWI,” will be held in August and will provide information and speeches about World War I and local Bristol soldiers and the role they played in the war.
All information for these programs will be available on the Bristol Public Library website at, and anyone with questions should call the library at (860)584-7787.