peg scofield photo croppedWelcome to Chester Public Library!  We know it’s not always convenient, or even possible for you to get to the library, so this page provides information about and access to library resources whenever you want them.   Here you’ll find links to library resources, the card catalog, program news, and to your personal library account.  You’ll need a current Chester Library card to access many of the resources. We hope this is helpful to you.


 To search the library catalog, click here. To renew materials, click here.  You’ll need your library card barcode number and password to log in.  First time user?  Your Username is the 14-digit barcode number from your library card and your temporary password is “userpass” (without the quotes). To download ebooks. audio books, and emagazines, click this link to Overdrive , or this one, to researchIT CT.


Upcoming Programs and Events 

Here’s what’s up  this summer:  

FOR KIDS: On Your Mark, Get Set, READ. 

Monday Stories and Crafts, 10:30 a.m., for  Pre-K to 2nd Grade

August 1  Bugs, Bugs , and More Bugs

August 8  Fancy Nancy Party– read at least one Fancy Nancy book to attend!

Wednesday Afternoon Explorations, 4:30-6:00 p.m.

August 3  Fractured Fairy Tales, Grades 3-6.  Create your own board game based on the popular Land of Stories books by Chris Colfer.  If you haven’t read these books yet, come check one out at the library!

August 10, Charades, Grades 3-6.  Read a biography and act out clues to help your friends guess who you read about.  Mrs. Applesauce can help you with your clues ahead of time.  Refreshments will be provided.

Registration is needed for all of these summer programsRegister online here, or call the library, 860-526-0018

FOR TEENS:  Summer Book Discussions

all the light we cannot see cover

August 11, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. 5:30 p.m.   Snails and shells (many kinds), towers and magical radio transmissions guide us through the darkness of World War II as experienced by a blind French girl and a young German soldier.  This book is on the VRHS summer reading list and successful participation in the discussion earns attendees a certificate for their summer reading requirement.  Books are available at the library while the supply lasts.  Space is very limited and registration is mandatory.  Register online here, or call the library.  Oh.. did we mention there will be refreshments?

August 18, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, 5:30 p.m.  A second session of the discussion.  Register here.

FOR ADULTS:  Exercise Your Mind:  READ exercise your mind

Chester Library’s online summer 2016 reading program for adults runs from July 5 through August 31.   Register, read, record and reap the rewards!  Read whatever  (and wherever) you’d like, in whatever format you prefer (print, electronic, recorded…), then share your thoughts by posting an informal review of the book to share with your fellow readers.  At summer’s end, each book you logged throughout the program will represent one virtual ticket in our final drawing.  And you’ll want to be well represented!  “It’s Your Bag”, our program wrap-up prize, is chock full of items to help keep those synapses firing well after Labor Day signals the end of summer.  Drop by the library to see it for yourself.

“Exercise Your Mind:  READ” is brought to you through the extraordinary generosity of the Chester Cares Initiative, Decadent Wellness, Trueform Training Center, Sally Murray, Lisa Tollefson and the Friends of Chester Public Library.  Register here….. (Click on Sign Me Up to get started.)  Those synapses are just waiting to fire up!

Zentangle Drop-in , August 1, 6-8 p.m.  Everyone, from first timers to experienced tanglers, is welcome.  All supplies will be provided.  

In Stitches, a group of novice to expert adult knitters, meets Mondays from 6-8 p.m.   Drop in for an evening, or the summer; new members always welcome!

August is Food for Fines Month

This August the library will once again swap food for fines. Simply bring in non-perishable food, cleaning and personal care items, let us know the value of your donation, and we’ll remove a corresponding amount from your accumulated fines.

Especially needed are peanut butter, jam, condiments, and especially cereal. Laundry detergent, dish detergent, Kleenex and toilet tissue are also needed.  The pantry is overloaded with beans, soup and pasta, so please choose something else to contribute.  All items collected will be given to the Chester Food Pantry, which is located at Town Hall and is open to any Chester resident in need on Mon, Wed, Thurs from  9:00 a.m. – noon.  Please be sure all items are within the ‘use by’ date. The food pantry cannot distribute items which are past date.  Donations may not be used to pay for lost or damaged materials.


The Friends’ annual Paperback Book Sale

This event will be held at the Chester Fair, Aug. 26-28. Beginning Aug. 1, please start leaving your donations of good-quality paperbacks for children and adults (no hardcovers please!) at the library when it’s open. Please don’t leave books with torn covers, musty smells, or missing pages!  ALL proceeds from the sale help the Friends fund children’s programs and adult discussion groups, and purchase movies and museum passes and magazine subscriptions for the library. If you want to help with the book sale, tell the librarians or call Diane Lindsay at 526-2443.


findIT CT graphicThe Connecticut State Library’s Division of Library Development releases the first version of findIT CT, (The Statewide Library Catalog) 

The Connecticut State Library’s Division of Library Development is pleased to announce that the first version of findIT CT, the statewide library catalog, is now live! Over 10.3 million item holdings from more than 150 public, school, and academic libraries from four of Connecticut’s consortia are available for searching. You can findIT at findIT CT is being developed in phases and this is only the beginning. The next phase will see the holdings of all other participating libraries (including Chester) loaded into the catalog, representing approximately an additional 10.4 million item records. The third phase will see the requestIT CT Interlibrary Loan (ILL) system developed and implemented

Library Building Project Update

To see the architects’ April 20 meeting documents, click here  .  This is a large PDF and may take some time to load. As the Library Building Committee works with LLB to refine the details of the proposal, it invites interested members of the community to attend its meetings, scheduled for 7 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month in the Community Room at Town Hall. Agendas and minutes can be found here (scroll to the bottom).


human library- webCURIOUS ABOUT SOMETHING?  Get to know the HUMAN LIBRARY!  A Human Library is just that—a library where the “books” are living people who volunteer to share their stories, unique interests and life experience with “readers”—members of the community.   Want to chat with a fantasy football player, learn about living gluten-free, or start learning to play the ukelele?  Borrow one of our living books for a 30-minute conversation at the library.  

  Now Available at Chester Cinema, er… Library!

Chester Library’s collection of movies contains over 1100 titles with new ones being added every month.  Click here for a list of the latest. (Look for New Movies, below Just Arrived).  Looking for a movie that Chester doesn’t own? Ask about obtaining it through the library’s Netflix account.

Help Your Library While You Shop! AmazonSmileDo you buy online?  Amazon offers to donate  .05% of your purchase total to the Friends of Chester Public Library, IF you make your purchases through AmazonSmile.  All you need to do is sign up and remember to make your purchases through AmazonSmile (we’ve found it works best to just bookmark AmazonSmile and use it as the way we regularly get to Amazon).  Your account remains just as it has been (no new account number or password to remember), purchasing is the same as always, but a bit of philanthropy is added to the mix.   So, c’mon, SMILE on your library!  To learn more, or get started with AmazonSmile, just click here- it won’t hurt a bit! Thank you!


Digital talking book player and cassette

If you, or someone you know has difficulty reading regular print materials, you may want to know about the Connecticut Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.  This special library lends  recorded books and magazines along with the necessary playback equipment, free of charge, to any Connecticut adult or child unable to read regular print due to a visual or physical disability. Materials in Braille are also available.  The disability can be either short-term or permanent.  All materials are mailed to and from library patrons by postage-free mail.  Chester library has a sample digital talking book player and cassette to try out if you are interested- they are very easy to operate and are quite lightweight.  An application for service must be completed and signed by an appropriate certifying authority (such as one of your librarians). Chester Library has applications, or you can call 860-721-2020 or 1-800-842-4516 to request an application or program information. An application can also be downloaded from the CT Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped website.