Submitted by Catherin McLachlan of the Darien Library:
There’s great, good news at Darien Library! The documentary, “Darien Library: The Great Good Place,” has been awarded Best in Show in the 2010 Connecticut Library Association (CLA) Publicity Awards Contest.
The award-winning documentary about the New Darien Library, which opened in January 2009, was submitted for consideration for the Annual Awards Contest and will be on display at the 2011 CLA Conference at the Stamford Hilton on May 2 and 3, 2011. The award will be presented at the CLA Awards Reception on May 3. The contest honors materials designed by a library to promote a library concept or event.
“Darien Library: The Great Good Place” is the result of an extraordinary effort by filmmaker Manny Perez, who volunteered his time, his talent, and his expertise to make this hallmark documentary. Months in the making, the 50-minute film, thoughtfully conceived and executed, is also skillfully edited -- incorporating historical footage and images, video vignettes and photos from the busy and beloved Library, and interviews with Library staff members, trustees, members of the community, and VIPs in the library world, such as Francine Fialkoff, Editor-in-Chief, Library Journal. Ms. Fialkoff says in her interview, "...that's why I admire what's going on here so much. [T]here's such an integration of all the different kinds of services here."
Manny Perez is the CEO of Alexandra Productions in Fairfield and is a highly-experienced videographer who produces and directs local and national commercials, corporate videos, short and long films, and family biographical films. His long career as Creative Director at the world's largest advertising firm, Young & Rubicam, made him uniquely qualified to tell the unique and inspiring story of the New Darien Library and the role it plays in the community.
When learning of the award, Darien Library Director Louise Berry was thrilled that Mr. Perez's excellent work had been recognized, telling him "It's wonderful and completely appropriate that CLA made a "best in show" award for you!" Darien Library Assistant Director Alan Gray added his congratulations to Mr. Perez, saying, " What you have done for Darien Library is beyond compare, priceless, and a tribute to your skill and commitment."
The documentary premiered in November 2010 to local, national, and international praise. Library trustee S. Curtiss Roach exclaimed that the documentary exhibits the "fantastic feat this town had done through the generosity of its citizens." Said Stephen Abram, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Markets of Gale, Cengage Learning, "I was genuinely moved and engaged (and I’m not just saying that because I was surprised to be in it!). It’s not every library that can pull this off but everyone can try. Congratulations to the Darien Library team for showing leadership." Letters and congratulations arrived from across the globe, including news of a request for popcorn for the special screening of “Darien Library: The Great Good Place” in Manchester, England by a leader in libraries in the United Kingdom.
"Great good places" are defined as third places; in contrast to home (first places) and work (second places), third places are the heart of the community -- a neutral place where people gather and interact. In his book, “The Great Good Place,” author Ray Oldenburg explores the essential roles served by the third place and its impact on the social vitality of the community.
To view the award-winning documentary, “Darien Library: The Great Good Place,” visit darienlibrary.org/greatgoodplace.
Darien Library is located at 1441 Post Road, Darien, Conn.