3/11/2014 - Fairfield Senior Center and Pequot Library to offer Beyond the Book Club

Ms. Terry Giegengack, Director of Human and Social Services, announced today that the Fairfield Senior Center is partnering with the Pequot Library to offer a new program at the Senior Center, called Beyond the Book Club. All sessions will be held at the Senior Center located at 100 Mona Terrace, Fairfield, Connecticut.

Beyond the Book Club is more than just a book club. Taking inspiration from Pequot Library’s founder, Virginia Marquand Monroe, this book club focuses on both women and Pequot’s Library’s mission of “Bringing Literature, Music, Art, Science & the Humanities to our Community.” Last year participants met throughout the year to discuss women of the 19th century and their contributions to literature, science, history and art.

This year, Beyond the Book Club will focus on extraordinary women. Fairfield is in the midst of preparing for its 375th anniversary along with the 125th anniversary of the founding of Pequot Library. Through her generous gift, an extraordinary woman, Mrs. Virginia Marquand Monroe, built the Pequot Library on her estate and gave Pequot Library to the community to be “Free as air to all.” In honor of both such historic dates, this year’s Beyond the Book Club focuses on womens’ contributions, starting with the life of post-revolutionary midwife, Martha Ballard.

One of Pequot Library’s librarians, Marianne Pysarchyk, MSLIS, graduated from Pratt Institute and is currently enrolled at Southern Connecticut State University to pursue an MA in Women’s Studies. She is Pequot Library’s Teen Librarian and Head of Technical Services. Marianne will host each session at the Fairfield Senior Center, located at 100 Mona Terrace, Fairfield, CT 06824. There is no charge for Beyond the Book Club or the movies. The books to be read and discussed, however, are available at the Pequot Library on 720 Pequot Avenue Southport, CT 06890. The library can be reached at 203-259-0346.

Beyond the Book Club will take place during six dates in 2014. The first meeting will be held on Monday Feb 10th at 12:15 p.m. and run to 2:45 p.m. Two movies will be shown as introductions to the books. They include: A Midwife's Tale (PBS) & Call the Midwife (BBC) Season 1, Episode 1. The movies explore midwifery in the context of women and community nurturing,A Midwife’s Tale (PBS) and Call the Midwife (BBC) Season 1, Episode 1.

The second session will take place on Monday, February 24, 2014 from 12:15 P.M. to 2 P.M. at the Senior Center. A book discussion will follow the movies, focusing on womens’ experiences in the latter half of the 18th century, as told in: A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 (Ulrich) and Book of Ages: The Life and Opinion of Jane Franklin (Lepore).

Monday, April 21st, from 12:15 – 2 p.m. will feature a Travel theme and focus on the hardships that both men and women had to face in wake of exploration of the sea and the poles. The documentary movie, The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition (2003) provides insight into the “greatest of all adventures” with original film and pictures by the ship’s photographer. The book club will read Polar Wives: The Remarkable Women behind the World’s Most Daring Explorers (Herbert) as well as a fictionalized account of a female adventurer in Cinnamon and Gunpowder (Brown). The April meeting will be held on Monday, April 28th from 12:15 P.M. to 2 P.M.

September 29, 2014 will feature women who defied their gender roles in between the World Wars and November 10th session’s theme will feature women who re-defined themselves during and after World War II. The final meeting of the club will take place on Monday, November 10, 2014. For further information or to register for Beyond the Book Club contact Marianne at (203) 259-0349 ext. 19 or

The books may be checked out at the Pequot Library. The Fairfield Senior Center is handicapped accessible and transportation is available for Fairfield Residents. Call Pequot Library to register at: 203-259-0349 ext 19.