This week, we were able to sit down with the new director of the Southington Public Library, and it was so good to see the passion, energy, and dreams of a rookie library executive in Southington. We had almost forgotten that a library can be a source of wonder and imagination. In Southington, the library is usually an afterthought.
We hope Kristi Sadowski can continue to be upbeat and tireless for the tough road ahead. Town Councillors will say that they care about the library, but a close look at the town’s history shows that few of them actually do.
As we pointed out a few years ago, the current library was built in the 1970s, and it really hasn’t seen much improvement since that time. Even when it was built, it wasn’t the envy of many towns, but it was a step up from the tiny hut across the street (today’s Historical Society building). Today, the Southington Public Library is one of the smallest libraries per capita in the state.
Don’t take our word for it, a simple search through the Connecticut Division of Library Development databases shows that Southington’s commitment to the library pales when compared to similar towns with similar populations. Middletown, Enfield, Shelton, and Wallingford are all similar in size and population, but each of those towns has—per capita—bigger buildings, more employees, and bigger budgets for materials.
We are glad that Sadowski comes to town with library building project experience. She’s already adept at applying for grants and organizing community movements. The fight for the local library will certainly be an uphill battle, but we support her.
When the Southington Library was built in the 1970s, town officials applauded the new building, saying that it would fulfill the town’s needs through the year 2000. (Of course, even they couldn’t have predicted the housing boom of the 1980s and 1990s that saw Southington grow by 42 percent since 1970). Even without the boom, the current building is almost two decades past its expected expiration date.
We hope that the community rallies for this new director. We wish her a lot of luck with the library expansion… she’ll certainly need it.
To comment on this story or to contact Southington Observer editor John Goralski, email him at JGoralski@SouthingtonObserver.com.
We’re fans of Southington’s biggest sports fan
Whether he’s waving down friends in Stop & Shop or holding court at Dunkin’ Donuts or the high school, if there’s a sports discussion in town, Southington’s top fan is probably close by.
Anthony Thibeault is a fixture at high school softball games, football games, and almost every other varsity sport. He’s even traveled on the bus to boys basketball road games with each of the last two high school coaches. Anthony loves to cheer on the local athletes and teams.
Now, it’s our chance to return the favor. We were excited to follow our local golfer during his triumphant journey to the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle in early July. Anthony owned the course at Willows Run Golf Course, and he came away with a fourth place medal in the national competition.
In his first trip to the national stage, Anthony represented the town and the state as a three-time Connecticut golf champion. “I proved it for my town. I proved it for the state of Connecticut,” he told us, and we agree.
Great job, Anthony. We’re proud of you.