Embracing the inner poet

This month’s CT Poetry Society Workshop is Saturday, Dec. 21, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. It is open to adults who wish to share their original poetry with a small group of poetry enthusiasts. All that is required is the willingness to read one’s original poetry aloud to the gathering.

The group is limited to 15 participants. There is no charge, but registration is required.

The giving season

The Wilton Library is hosting an American Red Cross blood drive Monday, Dec. 23, from 1 to 6:30 p.m. Appointment hours for giving blood are 1 to 6:15 p.m.

Donors wishing to participate can sign up at redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Walk-ins will be accommodated. A positive ID is required at the time of donation. People are reminded to wear sleeves that easily roll up.

Family fun at museums

The library’s Museum Pass Program features more than 12 area attractions available for free or heavily discounted admission.

The list of attractions includes the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo, Connecticut’s Old State House, Connecticut Parks and Forests, Discovery Museum and Planetarium, Earthplace: The Nature Discovery Center, Everwonder Children’s Museum, Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum (NYC), Maritime Aquarium, Mystic Aquarium, Stamford Museum and Nature Center, Stepping Stones Museum for Children, and Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

Visit the library’s websire for information such as hours, discounts and phone numbers. Museum passes are available on a first-come, first-served walk-in basis. Passes will be held for one hour if they are available and requested over the phone (no phone messages please).

To inquire about a pass, call the Circulation Desk at 203-762-6334. The passes will be loaned out for three consecutive days. The passes themselves are free; patrons are responsible for actual admission fees including parking, etc.

The Museum Pass Program is generously supported by the Van Raalte Family in loving memory of Peter Van Raalte.

Last minute holiday gifts

The library is full of ideas for last minute gift giving. Beginning with the Holiday Book Sale running now through Dec. 29. The items are new, like-new and gently used for babies through seniors. Art books, cookbooks, histories, mysteries are just some of the categories that are available and replenished daily.

Standing tall in the library’s gallery is the “Giving Tree.” Patrons are invited to select “ornaments” from the tree, which are items that are being requested for the library’s collection or materials that are needed for services. Patrons may purchase the item in honor or in memory of someone special. When applicable, a bookplate can be put on the item. Patrons will receive cards acknowledging the donation in someone’s honor so that the people can be surprised with the gifts given to the library in their names.

“Giving Gelt” is another way in which patrons may donate to the library in someone’s honor or memory. Giving gelt, or money, is a Jewish tradition during Hanukkah. The act of giving, gifting or donating $18 or multiples thereof is commonly referred to as “giving chai.” Symbolically, these gestures are representative of giving a gift of “life” and represents a good deed. Donations made to “Giving Gelt” will benefit the Children’s Library collection.

The library’s art exhibition, “A Harvest of Hues,” also provides gifting opportunities. If an artwork is purchased, for this month only, it may be picked up early so that it is ready for someone to open at Hanukkah or Christmas.

Jazz it up

Jazz is the theme of many programs that kick off the New Year, starting with a Hot & Cool: Jazz at the Brubeck Room concert on Saturday, Jan. 11, at 6 p.m. and again at 8 p.m. With 2020 being the centennial year of Dave Brubeck’s birth, his sons Darius, Chris and Dan will be joined by Dave O’Higgins for “Brubecks Play Brubeck.” As of this writing, both concerts are waitlisted only. The Hot & Cool concerts are funded by the William and Karen Tell Foundation with special thanks to Ed and Catherine Romer, and Chris and Tish Brubeck.

The theme continues with “Jazzed Up: The History of Jazz in America” for the 13th Wilton Library/Wilton Historical Society Scholarly Lectures Series collaboration. The five-part series begins on Thursday, Jan. 16 with a talk by Darius Brubeck entitled “Dave Brubeck: Twentieth Century American” at the library, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Darius will give an overview of the panorama of Dave’s life in music over several decades. The series continues on four Sunday afternoons, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. as follows (please note the locations of each lecture): Jan. 26 at Wilton Library — Jazz, Civil Rights, and Social Justice — Dr. Gil Harel, Naugatuck Valley Community College; Feb. 9 at Wilton Library — Seriously Satchmo: The Importance of Louis Armstrong, The Early Years — Chris Coulter; March 8 at the Wilton Historical Society — The Harlem Renaissance: Connections and Creativity — Reggie Quinerly; and April 5 at the Wilton Historical Society — Women in Jazz: Past, Present, Future — Brenda Earle Stokes.

Registration is required separately for each individual lecture. The Charles Schwab Corporation is the series sponsor and The Wilton Bulletin is the media sponsor.

Please note: The library will be closed on Christmas Eve day and Christmas Day. To register for programs, visit www.wiltonlibrary.org and click on Events or call the Circulation Desk at 203-762-6334 for adult programs; the Children’s Library at 203-762-6336; Teen Services and Innovation Station at 203-762-6342.