If you're young and agile, consider parking in front of the library on the Post Road while part of the lot is closed for a small construction project. Leave the lot for the elderly, children and those less able to dodge Post Road traffic.
Starting Tuesday, Oct. 1, the two rows of parking at the end of the Darien Library parking lot farthest from Hecker Avenue will be out of service as lines for a new emergency generator are installed.
They may not be available again for as much as a week (and, just maybe, longer) at a parking lot that is often near capacity. Don't try to park at Thorndal Circle during weekday working hours, either -- that parking is only available for weeknights and weekends, according to the library.
The Post Road in front of the building is actually available for parking at any time, said Alan Gray, chief administrative officer for Darien Library.
The Library website says about a third of the parking lot will be out of commission as a trench is dug for wires to connect lines between the building a new, larger emergency generator. The Post Road driveway entrance will be open on Tuesday, but probably not for the following days, Gray said.
Cars entering the Hecker Avenue entrance (next to Darien Police headquarters) will be able to drive over to the drive-in book drop-off, even when the Post Road entrance is closed.
The emergency diesel-powered electricity generator will be located at the far end of the lot -- the only spot where there's enough room for it, according to Gray.
During four of the past five storm-related power outages in Darien, the library has been open and a welcome resource to those without power for days at a time. But the last of those storms, Sandy, knocked out power even on the Post Road, and the library had to stay closed.
Therefore, Gray said, the library's governing board decided to buy a new, larger emergency generator that would fully power the entire building. The generator will be located next to the Darien Police Department's generator, Gray said, and the library might be able to get a good deal from a fuel company that could supply each generator at the same time.
The current emergency generator, which is big enough only to keep very minimal light and heat in the building, will be sold, Gray said.
Once the construction outdoors is done, the project still won't be over. That and other projects will close the library for half a day on Oct. 23, and for a full day on Monday, Nov. 4.
"At present, we are planning to have the Library closed from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23 for some electrical work inside the building, for which we will need to turn off power to the building for the safety of the electricians," the library said on its website. "After that, the next big event will be the delivery of the generator at the end of October and its installation on the pad at the right rear of the parking lot."
That installation day will also take up parking spaces, Gray said.