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Seasoned celebrates National Library Week

This week on Seasoned, we’re talking with people connected to our state’s libraries who mix their work with a passion for food, drink and community.

The downtown branch of the Hartford Public Library may be closed for renovations, but that hasn’t stopped Andréa Hawkins and Doug Barber from opening up a coffee shop on the light-filled first floor of the library. They talk with us about how the shop fosters community.

And, pairing wine with cheese and charcuterie is too obvious. What wine might pair with Virginia Woolf’s Orlando? How about Madame Bovary or Anna Karenina? Shannon Barillari, of the Russell Library in Middletown, talks with us about how she pairs wine with books.

Plus, how does Youth Services Librarian Kristen Slepecki get kids excited about the library's Teen Test Kitchen program? "I bribe them with food," she says. "Sugary treats are, for sure, the way to go." We talk with Kristen and Christine Michaud, the Durham Library's director, about the intrinsic value of the library's Cookbook Club, which is part book discussion, part pot luck.

Also, some city and town libraries in our state have what's called a Library of Things. Home cooks, ask your librarian if you can borrow a Barbie cake pan, cookie cutters, an air fryer, rice cooker or pizza oven! Bridget Quinn, President and CEO and Head Librarian at the Hartford Public Library describes the awesomeness of the Library of Things.


Interested in the book and wine pairings Shannon Barallari suggests?

This show was produced by Robyn Doyon-Aitken, Meg Dalton, Katrice Claudio, Stephanie Stender, Tagan Engel, and Meg Fitzgerald. Scout Raimondo is our intern. Sabrina Herrera, Francesca Fontanez, Martha Castillo, Katherine Jimenez and Janae Spinato are our Social team.

Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email: seasoned@ctpublic.org.

Seasoned is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, TuneIn, Listen Notes, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode.

Robyn Doyon-Aitken is the Deputy Director of Audio Storytelling and Talk Shows
Meg Dalton is the director of audio storytelling and talk shows for Connecticut Public where she oversees the station’s talk shows and podcasts, including the limited series 'In Absentia'.
Katrice Claudio is a producer of Seasoned.
Stephanie Stender is a producer of Seasoned.
Tagan Engel is a producer/contributor and guest co-host of Seasoned. She is the founder of The Table Underground radio show, podcast, and website, and is a social justice organizer and trained chef.
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