Blue State Coffee and The Institute Library

Help The Institute Library become one of the contestants to win 2% of Blue State Coffee‘s profit.

Blue State Coffee invites customers to vote for one of four non-for profits to win 2% of the cafe’s profits.  The Institute Library is hoping to be one of these choices in the upcoming voting session (starting in July).  Please nominate The Library!  The nomination jar is next to the voting vases at both Blue State Coffee locations (York Street Location and the Wall Street Location)  All you need to do is write “The Institute Library” on a slip of paper and drop it into the nomination jar.



500th Member

Today – Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 – The Institute Library gained its 500th member – Jay Miles of East Haven!  Hooray! Thank you to all 500 of our members!

Busójárás – Another Carnival

Since the New Haven Free Public Library will be honoring one of the many carnival traditions by hosting a Mardi Gras fundraiser on Tuesday, I felt it appropriate to celebrate the same holiday but with traditions from a different country.

Busójárás (non-technical pronunciation: boo*show*yar*ash. Meaning: Busó Walking) is part of the Hungarian Carnival, Farsang, that, like Mardi Gras, coincides with the week of the seventh Sunday before Easter, but exclusively celebrated in the town of Mohács (Moe*hach).

There are two legends about the origins of the festival:

1. During the expansion of the Ottoman Empire, the people of Mohács hid in the swamps and woods surrounding the town to avoid slaughter.  One night, an old man appeared out  to the refugees.  He instructed them that on the night of the next storm a knight will arrive and that he would lead the people to reclaim their town.  He told them to dress in animal skins and wear wooden masks.  The knight arrived as foretold, and the costumed refugees raided the village, making as much noise as possible.  The Turks were so frightened by the masked men and noises, thinking they were evil spirits, they fled Mohács before sunrise.  The town reenacts the reclaiming of Mohács every year.

2. The less popular legend is that the Busó chase away the winter.

I participated in Busójárás last year, and am making the Institute Library participate this year.  I have my authentic Busó mask and am encouraging patrons to let me take their photo whilst we scare away winter and the Turks of a fallen Ottoman Empire.

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“MY” Library

The beautiful thing about the Institute Library is that each member feels as if it is his/her personal library – it’s a very intimate space but yet builds and offers community.

I first came to the library last September – September 20th, 2011 to be exact – per the recommendation of a board member, Eva, – who I met for the first time in person earlier that day (Facebook brought us together for childcare reasons).

Post meeting Eva & her offspring, Eva went to her meeting while the child and I spent the afternoon flying, jumping, singing, and dancing.  Eva returned after the child fell asleep, which gave me the opportunity to inquire about her whereabouts.  She informed she was at a board meeting for the Institute Library and insisted I visit immediately.

I fell in love the moment I walked in.  I wanted to live in this library – be completely part of it in every way.

I was a regular patron immediately – utilizing the space to finish my thesis and volunteering five hours a week.  I decided to show up every day until someone thought I worked there – which worked out for me.

In December, the executive director, Will Baker, suggested that we apply for a small grant from the Community Foundation to hire me as the Membership Services and Community Outreach Intern.  The grant was approved in January and TA-DA! I, Megan E. Black, am now the MSCO Intern of the Institute Library.

Stay tuned for upcoming events, library factoids & anecdotes, and more!