Friends of the Darien Library cordially invite all  to the Annual Meeting on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 5 p.m. in the Louise Parker Berry Community Room. Kyle Cassidy, author and photographer of This Is What a Librarian Looks Like, will be the featured speaker.

This is What a Librarian Looks Like is a photographic and written ode to more than 200 librarians and libraries from all 50 states and Canada, their essential value to our communities, and the importance of open access to information for all.

Before Cassidy’s presentation, learn about the year's developments from Kevin Gasvoda, president of the board. Election of officers and new trustee nominations for the 2017-18 year will be held. A reception and book signing will follow. Books will be available for purchase courtesy of Barrett Bookstore.

Cassidy has made it his mission to remind us of how essential librarians and libraries are to our communities, and how close we are to losing so many of them. He spent hundreds of hours traveling around the country photographing and interviewing librarians for this project. His subjects are men and women of all ages, backgrounds, and personal style-from pink hair and leather jackets to button-downs and blazers. In short, not necessarily what one thinks a librarian looks like.

The nearly 220 librarians photographed also share their personal thoughts on what it means to be a librarian, what challenges libraries face today, and how people can help. Beyond lending books and looking up information, we learn from their candid testimonials that librarians are guardians of our collective knowledge, protectors of free, uncensored information, and champions of our communities in ways that most of us don’t even realize. They provide safe spaces for people to gather and learn, Internet access, job placement assistance, ESL classes, connections to childcare services, and even, on occasion, food and shelter.

Cassidy is an author and photographer whose work includes the forthcoming Where I Write: Fantasy & Science Fiction Authors in Their Creative Spaces. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Vanity Fair, the Sunday Times (UK), Marie Claire, NPR and elsewhere. He lives in Philadelphia.