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Ten Minutes with Jean Chapin

A dedicated Library Director



Photo by Antoine Bootz

Jean Chapin has been at Gunn Memorial for 35 years and still gets excited about going to work. She was instrumental in the library’s expansion and has created numerous programs to encourage more people to visit. Not only have her own children and grandchildren been instilled with a love of books, but children of children she first introduced to the world of books are now ardent readers because of her commitment to literacy and reading. We sat down with her recently.

Does one grow up wanting to be a librarian? 
I wanted to be a teacher, but I never thought of being a librarian. However, it turns out to be a perfect fit for my Type A personality: everything has an order to it, everything has to be done a certain way. But there is also a creative side to the job, which I love. 

Are you a native of this area? 
We moved to Washington when I was 12, so I’m not really a native. You have to be conceived in Washington to be one. When I was 16 my parents bought the former Waramaug Inn, which became our home. The lake was quite different then. My teenage years were filled with waterskiing and parties. Then I went to a parochial school in Quebec and became very proper. 

Back to being a librarian—how did that happen? 
After my youngest son went off to nursery school I found a part-time job at the children’s library. I became an assistant and then the librarian. The library was on the verge of being open only half days because of poor circulation. My first charge was to develop innovative programming to attract more visitors. 

The library has such distinctive features. What is its history? 
The upper level comprises the original main rooms of the 1908 building. The oak paneling and dentil moldings are still intact, and the crowning glory is the gilt-accented ceiling mural by H. Siddons Mowbray. The memorial stained glass was restored in 2010.

Has the borrowing of actual books decreased with the advent of audio and e-books? 
Not in the way people worry about. Thankfully there are still so many people who want hardcover books. We have every format available so we appeal to everyone. I don’t think that will ever change.

What is the most challenging part of your job? 
More than 70 percent of our operating budget comes from fundraising, and I think we do it very successfully, but it’s always about raising the bar and attracting more people to our events. Our Library Luminaries event has grown amazingly.

What inspires you?
The people I come in contact with every day—my fellow employees, the patrons, board members, visitors to the Gunn. And thinking of new ways to promote reading!

When you are not at the Gunn, what do you do? 
About six years ago I started playing bridge and I’m addicted. I
have four grandchildren and I spend as much time as I can with them. Four years ago I thought I might just work part time. But here I am 35 years later still loving my work. 

 

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Profiles

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July 2018

Landmark Community Theatre will be extending it’s Youth Theatre Education program this July with a summer camp intensive focusing on Acting, Dance, and Voice. The camp...

Cost: $175

Where:
Landmark Community Theatre Production Center
9 Center St.
Thomaston, CT  06787
View map »


Sponsor: Landmark Community Theatre
Telephone: 860-283-8558
Contact Name: Andrea Bingham
Website »

More information

Marty’s Best Dog in the World Contest  A Fun Fund Raiser to support the work of Greenwoods Counseling Referrals  Prizes will be given out to the winners. Live music,...

Cost: Free to the public

Where:
Washington Depot
6 Green Hill
Washington Depot, CT  06794
View map »


Sponsor: Greenwoods Counseling Referrals
Contact Name: Barbara Gold
Website »

More information

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Join in the fun this summer as we challenge you to OWL Reads! Challenge yourself to read six to nine books this summer! How to participate? Beginning June 20th come to OWL to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Landmark Community Theatre will be extending it’s Youth Theatre Education program this July with a summer camp intensive focusing on Acting, Dance, and Voice. The camp...

Cost: $175

Where:
Landmark Community Theatre Production Center
9 Center St.
Thomaston, CT  06787
View map »


Sponsor: Landmark Community Theatre
Telephone: 860-283-8558
Contact Name: Andrea Bingham
Website »

More information

5 - 10 years old Drawing is fun and a great way to be creative and use your imagination. This workshop is designed to encourage kids to explore their ideas through drawing. Expressing your ideas...

Cost: $300

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Think about songs that you love to listen to, songs you comb through your CDs or playlists for because you just have to hear them. Don’t take these songs you love for granted....

Cost: $300

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Though we live in New England, some of our favorite foods come from North, South, East and West of us. Just thinking about traveling across America may create visions of Chicago Style Pizza,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

We are featuring a four week Foreign Film Festival in July. The selections, each from a different country, are among some of the best rated in their genre. The films will be screened Mondays at 1pm...

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Where:
Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road
Washington, CT  06793
View map »


Website »

More information

8-13 years old Painting can be a lifelong activity, whether as a professional or as a hobbyist. Learning about color and the wonderful affect it has on people can help guide your painting...

Cost: $300

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Join in the fun this summer as we challenge you to OWL Reads! Challenge yourself to read six to nine books this summer! How to participate? Beginning June 20th come to OWL to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Landmark Community Theatre will be extending it’s Youth Theatre Education program this July with a summer camp intensive focusing on Acting, Dance, and Voice. The camp...

Cost: $175

Where:
Landmark Community Theatre Production Center
9 Center St.
Thomaston, CT  06787
View map »


Sponsor: Landmark Community Theatre
Telephone: 860-283-8558
Contact Name: Andrea Bingham
Website »

More information

5 - 10 years old Drawing is fun and a great way to be creative and use your imagination. This workshop is designed to encourage kids to explore their ideas through drawing. Expressing your ideas...

Cost: $300

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Think about songs that you love to listen to, songs you comb through your CDs or playlists for because you just have to hear them. Don’t take these songs you love for granted....

Cost: $300

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

8-13 years old Painting can be a lifelong activity, whether as a professional or as a hobbyist. Learning about color and the wonderful affect it has on people can help guide your painting...

Cost: $300

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Join in the fun this summer as we challenge you to OWL Reads! Challenge yourself to read six to nine books this summer! How to participate? Beginning June 20th come to OWL to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Landmark Community Theatre will be extending it’s Youth Theatre Education program this July with a summer camp intensive focusing on Acting, Dance, and Voice. The camp...

Cost: $175

Where:
Landmark Community Theatre Production Center
9 Center St.
Thomaston, CT  06787
View map »


Sponsor: Landmark Community Theatre
Telephone: 860-283-8558
Contact Name: Andrea Bingham
Website »

More information

5 - 10 years old Drawing is fun and a great way to be creative and use your imagination. This workshop is designed to encourage kids to explore their ideas through drawing. Expressing your ideas...

Cost: $300

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Think about songs that you love to listen to, songs you comb through your CDs or playlists for because you just have to hear them. Don’t take these songs you love for granted....

Cost: $300

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

8-13 years old Painting can be a lifelong activity, whether as a professional or as a hobbyist. Learning about color and the wonderful affect it has on people can help guide your painting...

Cost: $300

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Join in the fun this summer as we challenge you to OWL Reads! Challenge yourself to read six to nine books this summer! How to participate? Beginning June 20th come to OWL to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Landmark Community Theatre will be extending it’s Youth Theatre Education program this July with a summer camp intensive focusing on Acting, Dance, and Voice. The camp...

Cost: $175

Where:
Landmark Community Theatre Production Center
9 Center St.
Thomaston, CT  06787
View map »


Sponsor: Landmark Community Theatre
Telephone: 860-283-8558
Contact Name: Andrea Bingham
Website »

More information

5 - 10 years old Drawing is fun and a great way to be creative and use your imagination. This workshop is designed to encourage kids to explore their ideas through drawing. Expressing your ideas...

Cost: $300

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Think about songs that you love to listen to, songs you comb through your CDs or playlists for because you just have to hear them. Don’t take these songs you love for granted....

Cost: $300

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

8-13 years old Painting can be a lifelong activity, whether as a professional or as a hobbyist. Learning about color and the wonderful affect it has on people can help guide your painting...

Cost: $300

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Join in the fun this summer as we challenge you to OWL Reads! Challenge yourself to read six to nine books this summer! How to participate? Beginning June 20th come to OWL to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

EVERY THURSDAY | 7:30 PM - 10:00 pm Music | Spoken Word | Comedy | More Hosted by Don Lowe Hunt Hill Farm is excited to announce OpenMic night every Thursday night.  Please stop by to...

Cost: donation

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Road
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farm
Telephone: 860.355.0300
Contact Name: John C. Maxwell III
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Landmark Community Theatre will be extending it’s Youth Theatre Education program this July with a summer camp intensive focusing on Acting, Dance, and Voice. The camp...

Cost: $175

Where:
Landmark Community Theatre Production Center
9 Center St.
Thomaston, CT  06787
View map »


Sponsor: Landmark Community Theatre
Telephone: 860-283-8558
Contact Name: Andrea Bingham
Website »

More information

5 - 10 years old Drawing is fun and a great way to be creative and use your imagination. This workshop is designed to encourage kids to explore their ideas through drawing. Expressing your ideas...

Cost: $300

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Think about songs that you love to listen to, songs you comb through your CDs or playlists for because you just have to hear them. Don’t take these songs you love for granted....

Cost: $300

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

8-13 years old Painting can be a lifelong activity, whether as a professional or as a hobbyist. Learning about color and the wonderful affect it has on people can help guide your painting...

Cost: $300

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

In the inaugural exhibition of Art Tripping, twelve artists from the Litchfield Hills come together to showcase a melangé of mediums. From sculptures to watercolors, oil paintings to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Milton Hall
530 Milton Rd
Litchfield, CT  06759-2113
View map »

More information

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Friday, July 27 •  8:00PM •  Music Shed Debussy once said, “I have a horror of sentimentality and cannot forget that its name is Saint-Saëns.”...

Cost: Tickets: $60 – $20, $10 (Young Adults 18-25), and Kids under 18 Free!

Where:
Norfolk Chamber Music Festival
Ellen Battell Stoeckel Estate, 20 Litchfield Road
Norfolk, CT  06058
View map »


Telephone: 860-542-3000
Website »

More information

Join in the fun this summer as we challenge you to OWL Reads! Challenge yourself to read six to nine books this summer! How to participate? Beginning June 20th come to OWL to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Are you just dying to get some dirt under your fingernails this season? Come to Back 40 Farm for Friday Field Days and help us out with weeding, transplanting, hoeing, harvesting, and more! Who:...

Where:
Back 40 Farm
Washington Depot, CT


Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Pilobolus, the international dance and bespoke entertainment company headquartered in Washington Depot, CT, is proud to announce its first Five Senses Festival: a three-week multi-arts festival...

Cost: Various

Where:
Five Senses Festival
292 Bee Brook Road
Suite 308
Washington, CT  06777
View map »


Sponsor: Pilobolus
Telephone: 646-795-4930
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

A unique blend of eclectic Rock, Honky-Tonk & Roots music.   The line-up is over 12 acts: Hard rock girl band Bat Fangs, New Orleans Jump Blues, Honky Tonk, Rockabilly and Western Swing of...

Cost: $23 in advance, $30 at the door

Where:
RoeliffRoeliff Janssen (Roe Jan) Park
9140 Route 22
HIllsdale, NY , NY  12529
View map »


Sponsor: Oldtone Productions
Telephone: 914 466 8947
Contact Name: Trevor Roush
Website »

More information

Summer Concert Series Package includes 4 concerts that will be shown all at Hunt Hill Farm. All concerts start at 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM on the dates below with artist information. For more...

Cost: $100

Where:
Hunt Hill Farm
44 Upland Rd
New Milford, CT  06776
View map »


Sponsor: Hunt Hill Farn
Telephone: 860-355-0300
Website »

More information

Saturday, July 28 •  8:00PM •  Music Shed The festival is delighted to have the Shanghai Quartet back at Norfolk for their first appearances since the 1980s when they...

Cost: Tickets: $60 – $20, $10 (Young Adults 18-25), and Kids under 18 Free!

Where:
Norfolk Chamber Music Festival
Ellen Battell Stoeckel Estate, 20 Litchfield Road
Norfolk, CT  06058
View map »


Telephone: 860-542-3000
Website »

More information

Join in the fun this summer as we challenge you to OWL Reads! Challenge yourself to read six to nine books this summer! How to participate? Beginning June 20th come to OWL to...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

Jennifer paints with vibrant hues in multiple layers, capturing her exuberance and fascination with color and texture. She has developed her own style through many years of experimentation,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oliver Wolcott Library
160 South St
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Sponsor: Oliver Wolcott Library
Telephone: 186-056-78030
Contact Name: Jordan McCorison
Website »

More information

The Farm-Fresh Market was created in 2007 with 15 local vendors, and has grown over the years to become a staple of the Litchfield Hills community throughout all seasons. We were so proud to be...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Center School Parking Lot
Woodruff Lane
Litchfield, CT  06759
View map »


Telephone: 860-567-3871
Website »

More information

Pilobolus, the international dance and bespoke entertainment company headquartered in Washington Depot, CT, is proud to announce its first Five Senses Festival: a three-week multi-arts festival...

Cost: Various

Where:
Five Senses Festival
292 Bee Brook Road
Suite 308
Washington, CT  06777
View map »


Sponsor: Pilobolus
Telephone: 646-795-4930
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

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