Library Attacked

Allan Appel Photo Four five-foot red and blue creatures with stubby and odd facial markings have landed on the roof of the Ives Main Branch of the New Haven Free Public Library (NHFPL). But you don’t need to be afraid.

That’s the word from Marie Jarry, who bears the responsibility-inducing title of Manager of Young Minds for the NHFPL.

The creatures on the roof — and also decorating the library’s stairwells and hallways — are the cozily strange creations of Frank W. Dormer, local children’s book author and illustrator.

He did a program on May 16 celebrating his new picture book for little kids called Socksquatch, and the creatures, hoisted atop the roof by Dormer and friends, are based on characters from that book, said Jarry (pictured).

Jarry learned about Dormer from Mitchell Branch Librarian Sharon Lovett-Graff, who hosted the Branford-based author and illustrator for a program for the kids out in Westville last spring.

Jarry was so impressed that she asked if Dormer would do a program at the main branch. The idea of going larger to include the exterior and make it “huge” emerged from those conversations, said Jarry.

To her knowledge this is the first time that the library has used its roof to announce the huge, perspective-changing pleasures of reading.

The creatures will remain atop the roof and in exhibition inside through the summer.

“We wanted something to call attention to the library during Arts & Ideas,” said Jarry, who has been on the job for two years.

She said it was drawing good attention already. People have commented and spread the sighting of the creatures through Instagram postings.

Another reason to leave the creatures up is to promote interest in the library’s summer reading club. This year’s theme is superheroes.

In Socksquatch, Jarry said, the titular character is a monster simply trying to stay warm by having two socks on his feet. “So he goes around to his monster friends to ask for socks,” she said.

The story has a happy ending, she added.

Further details will not be revealed here.

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posted by: RichTherrn on May 28, 2015  1:22pm

I was staring at these all throughout the Memorial Day ceremony Sunday! Interesting it didn’t get more notice…Thanks Allan for letting us know what they are!

posted by: cupojoe on May 28, 2015  1:37pm

Those are the 4 new positions we’re giving the library?

posted by: wendy1 on May 28, 2015  6:48pm

Sad and pathetic PR and I hope my taxes didn’t pay for this display.

Elections next fall so the city shines a light on the ghetto and its problems until after the election, then status quo…poor schools and poor parenting by men and women working 3-4 jobs just to eat and pay rent…forget about reading the kid a story or playing classical music.

There are solutions to these problems but the city isn’t interested.  You’re lucky if they answer the phone at cityhall (any dept.)

posted by: robn on May 29, 2015  7:49am

If it gets kids more interested in reading, it’s good.