New Haven Free Public Library is Finalist for Prestigious National Award

The New Haven Free Public Library (NHFPL) is among the 30 finalists nationwide for the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, presented by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to their communities. For 25 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.

“The 30 National Medal finalists showcase the tremendous ability of libraries and museums to serve as vital community resources,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “The Institute of Museum and Library Services is honored to recognize these leading institutions. We congratulate them on the work they are doing across the United States.”

The New Haven Free Public Library welcomes more than 500,000 library users through its doors each year, realizing its mission of fostering lifelong learning, inspiring curiosity, and building community through shared access to resources, experiences, and opportunities for all. Open to all, the New Haven Free Public Library is described as a “community pillar of learning, exploration and inspiration.”

“We are honored that the New Haven Free Public Library is a finalist for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, and appreciate the inaugural nomination by U.S. Senator Christopher Murphy,” said City Librarian Martha Brogan. “We proudly share this nomination as recognition of our home, the community and the City of New Haven.”

“I nominated the New Haven Free Public Library for this award because of their unmatched commitment to serving the New Haven community. NHFPL has gone above and beyond to offer innovative 21st Century programming to fit the diverse needs of New Haven residents. I’m so excited the IMLS is recognizing and celebrating their great work,” said Murphy.

Finalists are chosen because of their significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Each year, five museums and five libraries are awarded for their exceptional contributions to their communities. Representatives from winning institutions will be honored for their extraordinary contributions at the National Medal Ceremony on June 12 in Washington, D.C. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums.

Brogan added: “Our application emphasized the civic-minded fighting spirit of our founders which continues to this day, our training with EXCITE Transformation for Libraries – originally funded by IMLS in a grant to the CT State Library – and our new Strategic Framework, along with highlights of a few of our exemplary programs and partnerships including READy for the Grade, Long Wharf Theatre, and Ives Squared anchor role in the Elm City Innovation Collaborative.”

IMLS is encouraging community members who have visited the New Haven Free Public Library to share their story on social media. To #ShareYourStory, please visit www.facebook.com/USIMLS  or www.twitter.com/us_imls  and use #IMLSmedals and #myNHFPLstory.

Wesleyan Grad, Former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper to Seek Presidency

John Hickenlooper, a former two-term Governor of Colorado, Mayor of Denver and 1974 graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, is the latest Democrat to announce he will be seeking the party’s presidential nomination in the 2020 election cycle. Hickenlooper, 67, is expected to point to his eight years governing Colorado, a modern-day political swing state with an electorate nearly evenly divided among registered Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters, the Denver Post reported this week.

In addition to leading the state during an explosive economic expansion following the Great Recession, Hickenlooper nudged the state to the left, the Post reported. By the time his second term ended in January, he had expanded the state’s Medicaid program, signed comprehensive gun-control legislation and helped establish civil unions for same-sex couples prior to the U.S. Supreme Court legalizing marriage equality.

“I’m running for president because we’re facing a crisis that threatens everything we stand for,” Hickenlooper says in a taped announcement, promising to “repair the damage done to our country and be stronger than ever.”  He will kick-off his campaign at a rally Thursday in Denver.

Hickenlooper graduated from Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in geology. He began his career as a geologist and later opened a series of restaurants and brewpubs across the country, including the Wynkoop Brewing Co. in downtown Denver, which helped spark the revitalization of the city’s now-thriving Lower Downtown (“LoDo”) district.  He served as the mayor of Denver from 2003 to 2011.

Hickenlooper delivered the commencement address at Wesleyan in 2010, where he said “Frankness impels me to say that my Wesleyan undergraduate career was notable, which is not to say distinguished. I came to Wesleyan as a slightly dyslexic extrovert with attention deficit disorders. And don’t you think that’s a particularly cruel irony – that the slowest readers could also have the short attention spans?”

On a more serious note, he explained that “in spite of the fact that my degrees are in English and geology – what I learned at Wesleyan was how to be an entrepreneur. The essence of entrepreneurship is not just the economic bottom-line so much as it is an exploration of innovation and creativity.

It’s the creative spark that has always interested me most, because there is such joy and satisfaction in the process of creating something that works, that fills a need, building something where nothing existed before, adding value to people’s lives so that their creative energies can also flourish.”

Reflecting on his time as Mayor, he said “I like to refer to myself, because the word ‘politician’ is still somewhat tainted despite our efforts, as an entrepreneur on loan to Public Service.”

Hickenlooper described a start-up as “the single best learning process in American enterprise. When you build something from scratch, you acquire a depth of understanding that no ‘professional,’ no management expert can match. There are few better ways to learn about yourself, your strengths and your weaknesses, than in beginning and building something, an enterprise. It is a wonderful mirror.”

“Entrepreneurship,’ he added, “is all about innovation, re-invention, adaptation and perseverance.”

A past chair of the National Governor’s Association, he was guest on the weekly podcast hosted by the leaders of Middletown-based Community Health Center a year ago, discussing how expanded coverage under the Affordable Care Act has improved access to health care in his state, how embedding behavioral health in primary care is improving outcomes, lessons learned from the state’s marijuana legalization, and how the opioid crisis was being combated in Colorado.

His Wesleyan commencement address at the start of this decade included this description of his years as Mayor:  “We challenged the status quo that government can’t work. We were transparent and accountable. We sought talent, without regard to politics, whether someone was Republican or Democrat. We weren’t bi-partisan, we were non-partisan. Every good restaurateur learns early that there’s no margin, there’s no profit in having enemies. You need everyone. We were always about solving problems, and you can’t solve problems with only half the people.”

 

https://youtu.be/QwIk0hUmzk8

 

Pedestrian Deaths Climb in Connecticut, Nationwide

The number of pedestrian deaths in Connecticut in the first half of 2018 jumped by 53 percent compared to the same period the previous year, according to preliminary data released by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. There were 29 pedestrian deaths between January and June in Connecticut in 2018, compared with 19 between January and June 2017.  Based on population, Connecticut’s fatality rate was 16th among the states.

Nationwide, there was a 3 percent increases, as the number of pedestrian deaths climbed from 2,790 to 2,876 during the six month periods.  Five states (Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, and Texas) accounted for almost half — 46 percent — of all pedestrian deaths during the first six months of 2018.

Overall, pedestrian fatalities during the first half of 2018 declined in 23 states compared with the same period in 2017.   Six states (Alabama, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, Oklahoma and Wisconsin) reported double-digit declines in both the number and percent change in pedestrian fatalities from the same period in 2017. Three states (Iowa, New Hampshire and Utah) reported two consecutive years of declining numbers of pedestrian fatalities.

During the 10-year period of 2008 to 2017, according to the National Highway traffic Safety Administration, the number of pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. increased by 35 percent, from 4,414 deaths in 2008 to 5,977 deaths in 2017. This translates into more than 1,500 additional pedestrian deaths in 2017 compared with 2008. At the same time that pedestrian deaths have been increasing, the number of all other traffic deaths combined decreased by six percent.

In its review of state efforts to promote pedestrian safety, an initiative in Connecticut is highlighted:  “Connecticut introduced the “Watch for Me CT” campaign, which is a statewide educational community outreach campaign involving media components and community engagement in partnership with CT Children’s Medical Center.” A statewide signage project was recently completed to ensure pedestrian signage was up to date with current standards, including near schools and bus stops, the report states, indicating that “every state is addressing pedestrian safety using a combination of engineering, education and enforcement.”

In addition, the GHSA report indicates that nationwide “about 75 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur after dark, and increases in pedestrian fatalities are occurring largely at night. From 2008 to 2017 the number of nighttime pedestrian fatalities increased by 45 percent, compared to a much smaller, 11 percent increase in daytime pedestrian fatalities.”

The change in the prevalence of various vehicle-types on the road is also noted, with the report pointing out that pedestrians struck by a large SUV are twice as likely to die as those struck by car.