Library Lines: June 1

Retirement strategies

Many Americans assume their taxes in retirement will stay the same or go down; unfortunately for most this may not be the case. Retirement social security, pensions, rental property income, capital gains, dividend and interest income may all be taxable at high rates. In the program, Are You Prepared? Tax-Free Retirement Strategies, on Monday, June 5, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., attendees will be able to learn valuable information about their retirement finances. Speaker Michael Alimo addresses these topics and more: if taxes increase in the future, will chances of outliving one’s money be reduced?; how to prevent taxable IRA from growing and why; what is “the tax bridge” and when is it crossed?; how will retirement accounts impact heirs? Michael Alimo is a 30-year industry veteran and for the past 15 years has been a financial services adviser. See the library’s registration link for more details. Free; registration is recommended.

Getting crafty

For those who love to work with their hands or wish they knew how, the library has two engaging crafting projects just for the fun of it. The first is Create Book Bird Houses, which is a two-day workshop on Tuesday, June 6 and 13, from 11 to 1. Attendees will paint, decoupage and produce one of a kind bird houses using classic children’s books for adornment. The bird houses can be given as unique gifts or cherished by the crafters for themselves. The fee is $10 to offset costs, payable the first day. The program is for adults and students in grades seven and higher. Betsy Huffman brings her talents to the library for Make Big Beautiful Flowers on Wednesday, June 7, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Once attendees learn the steps in the process, they will be able to make flowers of any size for any occasion — centerpieces, wedding picture backdrops, party decorations and more. The program is free and for ages 18 and up. Space is limited in both programs and registration is required.

Jefferson revisited

In his new book, Thomas Jefferson, Revolutionary: A Radical's Struggle to Remake America, Kevin Gutzman gives readers a new view of Jefferson ― a revolutionary who effected radical change in a growing country. Gutzman talks about his book at the library on Tuesday, June 6, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Though remembered chiefly as author of the Declaration of Independence and the president under whom the Louisiana Purchase was effected, Thomas Jefferson was a true revolutionary in the way he thought about the size and reach of government, which Americans were full citizens, and the role of education in the new country. Gutzman is professor and chairman of the Department of History at Western Connecticut State University and author of James Madison and the Making of America. He is the author of several books, has published in all the leading history journals, and writes and speaks frequently for audiences. A Q&A will follow the talk. Books will be available for purchase and signing. There is no charge for the program and registration is highly recommended.

American influence in WWI

Jean-Pierre Lavielle once again brings The Great War to life in his presentation, World War I: From Chaos to Victory — Military Operations on the Western Front, on Thursday, June 8, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. In this 100th anniversary year of the United States’ entry into The Great War, Lavielle examines how the arrival of the American Expeditionary Force, and the influx of 250,000 doughboys per month starting in September 1917 changed the course of WWI. This wide-ranging lecture will cover the draft and training of American soldiers, the Russian Revolution, the German offensives after the United States became involved on the ground, two decisive battles (Second Marne and Meuse-Argonne), and the Armistice that ceased hostilities and more. Notable personalities who fought will be highlighted. See the library’s registration link for more details. Registration is recommended.

Special art exhibition

Paula Reens, who died last month, was the owner of the Branchville SoHo Gallery of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, which thrived through the 1980s and ’90s. Wilton Library is honored to have the Branchville SoHo Gallery “Estate” Art Exhibition opening on Friday, June 9, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The exhibition highlights the gallery’s artworks by noted American artists such as Ben Benn (1884-1983), Jack Youngerman (b. 1926), Marvin Hayes (b. 1939; lived in Wilton 1965-1991), Robert Heindel (1938-2005), and Gabor F. Peterdi (1915-2001) among others. The exhibition features 50 works of these and other contemporary artists from the gallery’s collection. Through the generosity of Paula and Lou Reens, all proceeds from sales of the paintings will benefit Wilton Library. The works are priced to be enjoyed in people’s homes and offices. The reception is open to the public. The exhibition runs through Thursday, June 29.

To register for programs, visit 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.