On 13 Reasons Why


We’ve been getting a lot of questions from parents and adults, and having some great conversations with teens about the new Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, based on the popular YA book by Jay Asher.

Our teen librarian Nicole has watched the show and read the book, and she thinks they are both important works for parents and older teens to be aware of and explore. This story, in both formats, could have great value if the experience of reading or watching is shared and talked about by families, as well as in classrooms.

While she would not recommend it to teens who are, or have been coping with suicidal ideation, bullying, or sexual abuse/assault, she believes it has value for people who have connections to people who have dealt with these challenges.

Anyone who engages with this narrative should consider it carefully, with awareness of support resources on the topics it addresses. Here are some things to help you learn more about the show, the controversies surrounding it, and suggestions on ways to address its content. If you have articles or ideas to share, please add them in the comments below.


From our Rightbook blog: “Asher’s prose is both dark and beautiful as he narrates from both the perspective of Hannah Baker-a high school girl who committed suicide and left behind a box of tapes with the thirteen reasons why she ended her life-and Clay Jensen, who admired Hannah from afar and finds himself on her list. Hannah’s tapes reveal secrets not only about herself, but also secrets about bullying and its dramatic consequences.” – Marissa B., Teen Library Associate (2011)

About the show:

Common Sense Media: 13 Reasons Why

The Mighty: 4 Important Lessons From ’13 Reasons Why’

Vanity Fair: 13 Reasons Why Writer: Why We Didn’t Shy Away from Hannah’s Suicide

USA Today: How ’13 Reasons Why’ gets suicide wrong: Voices

Rolling Stone: Does ’13 Reasons Why’ Glamorize Teen Suicide?

Huffington Post: What ‘13 Reasons Why’ Gets Right And Wrong About Rape


Conversation Starters:

The Mighty: Parents: Read This Before Talking With Your Kids About ’13 Reasons Why’

Common Sense Media: 5 Conversations to Have with Your Teens After “13 Reasons Why”

We are Teachers: 7 Essential Discussion Questions for “13 Reasons Why”

JED: 13 Reasons Why: Tips for Viewing & Discussing New Netflix Series


Helpful Information Sources

For those currently in crisis, please call the Suicide Prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

National Association of School Psychologists: “13 Reasons Why” Netflix Series: Considerations for Educators

Stop Bullying: How to Talk About Bullying

Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide: Suicide Prevention Information for Teens

American Psychological Association: 7 Essential Steps Parents Can Take to Prevent Teen Suicide

American Association of Suicidology

Suicide Awareness Voices of Education

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

As always, you can visit your Branch of the Fairfield Public Library to talk with our librarians if you have questions, are searching for more resources or are looking for support. We are here for you.





PEEPS! Winning Dioramas Revealed!

Cute…or creepy?

After another spectacular week of candy-based crafting, and another of voting by Branch library patrons and staff, we have the results of  our 9th Annual Peeps Diorama contest! Whether you love (or love to hate) these hyper-colored, slightly sticky marshmallow treats, you ‘ll surely appreciate all the creativity displayed by the teens of the downUNDER Teen Center!

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There is always something going on at the downUNDER for teens in grades 6 & up, including weekly craft-stravaganzas each Wednesday. Stop by from 3:00 – 4:45 pm Mondays-Thursdays when school is in session to get in on the action!

Getting Ready for College!


We have four fantastic events in our ever-popular Getting Ready for College series coming in the next few weeks. As always, we strive to provide you with the information you need to conquer the (sometimes overwhelming) admissions and preparation process. This season, we are thrilled to welcome back some fantastic presenters and to bring a new session to the college-bound young people of Fairfield and all who support them:

Up Next!:


How to Pay for College

Wednesday, April 26 at 7 PM in the Rotary Room

For parents/guardians: With the ever-increasing cost of tuition, can you afford to put your children through college? While there are many different ways to finance higher education, parents often feel like they need to choose between risking their retirement or burying their children in debt. This class will explore efficient ways to save for college, different types of funding and grants, and strategies to find a college that fits your budget. Register here for each individual separately.

Completed Events:

Finding Your College: Tuesday, March 21 at 7 PM in the Rotary Room

Popular presenter Mary Spiegel returns to lay out the best practices for getting in to the colleges that best fit your needs. She will cover the college search process and an overview of the steps and strategies to create a plan for success in the coming months and years. High school students and their parents are welcome. Please register here for each individual separately.

Demystifying Test Preparation: Tuesday, March 28 at 7 PM in the Rotary Room

Test prep expert Lynn Carnegie returns for what is sure to be another popular discussion of the ins and outs of standardized testing. She will address the different standardized tests (PSAT, SAT, and ACT), which have all made important changes in 2015-2016. High school students and their parents are welcome. Please register here for each individual separately.

Admissions: Visual and Performing Artists: Wednesday, April 5 at 7 PM in the Rotary Room

Have you invested years developing a talent in art, music or theater arts? Are you interested in pursuing your education in the visual and performing arts in college? Not sure whether to focus on a conservatory or music program within a larger university; an art school or an art degree in a liberal arts college? We will explore the differences between various arts and music courses of study and the unique requirements of each regarding online or in-person auditions and portfolios. Come learn about how to navigate through the additional components that go beyond a traditional college application. Please register here for each individual separately



Due to snow day cancellations (that’s what we get for making an arctic-themed game!) we have new sessions for teens and families! Spaces are limited, so register quickly for the third installment of our popular ‘locked room mystery’ game! We’ve broken out of the attic and found the pirate treasure. We’ve found the last hidden horcrux in Malfoy Manor. Now…

Can you foil the plans of a mad scientist and save the world from disaster? Work in a team to solve the complex puzzles and riddles before time runs out. Be sure to wear comfortable clothes and be prepared to think on your feet.

Registration is strictly limited and organized by age group, so you must register your each separate person in your party individually or we may not be able to accommodate everyone. Follow the links below to sign up for a session. If you are planning on attending with a group, make sure to plan ahead and register together!


For Teens:

Saturday, March 18 at 3:15 PM

Sunday, March 19 at 3:15 PM

For Families (Please register each family member separately):

Saturday, March 18 at 10:00 AM

Saturday, March 18 at 12:30 PM

Trust vs. Truthiness


Flummoxed by fake news? Teens and adults can shore up their media literacy skills at ‘Trust vs. Truthiness: Navigating the News’ next Monday, January 23rd. In a post-truth world flooded with information where you can choose your news, how can you find out the truth?

Join Matthew Bernstein from the DiMenna-Nyselius Library at Fairfield University, and Nicole Scherer. Head of Teen Services at the Fairfield Public Library  for a fast-paced conversation about the dangers of fake news, and learn ways to cut through jargon and gibberish to get to real information.

Register here for either the afternoon session for teens, or the evening session for all:

For Teens: Monday, 1/23 from 3:30 – 4:30 pm in the Main Library – Rotary Room

For Teens & Adults: Monday, 1/23 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm in the Main Library – Rotary Room


Star Wars Trivia Tournament!


Are you getting ready for Rogue One? Come celebrate the latest Star Wars story with a winner-takes-all trivia game at the library on Thursday, December 15th!

Bring your phone or other internet-enabled device to play this fast-paced, fact-filled and fun game. There will be prizes, snacks and a chance to win eternal (library) glory.

We have two games, and you can register for them here:

Teens at 7 PM

Adults at 8 PM

We’ll see you there, and at the movies this weekend!


Teen Volunteering – Fall 2016!


We are excited to let you know that we have added a new option for high school teens looking to complete service hours in the community here at the library!

We are looking for Teen Tech Coaches to volunteer their time and expertise each Tuesday, helping people learn how to use apps and social media. The program begins on October 4th, and you can register here for a two-hour volunteering shift.


Each coaching session, in the area just outside the Teen Room, will be shared by two volunteers, and will coach two adults (one per hour), and will also be supervised by a library staffer who can help out if needed. You can receive a letter of acknowledgment at the end of each session for your record-keeping.

Teen Tech Coaching is a great opportunity for people who are patient and who might be interested in teaching. This is an easy way to score hours doing something you know and helping others who would appreciate your assistance!


And, returning for its gazillion-th season, Service Saturday, our no-registration-required, drop-in volunteering option for teens in grades 6 and up, returns on October 1st. This popular program is offered on the first Saturday of each month (*except January) from 10 am to 4 pm, through the school year. Volunteers shelve stuff, alphabetize shelves, clean things, and generally help out with whatever needs to be done in the moment. It is perfect for people who need to get those hours completed. As always, you don’t need to let us know you are coming, you can turn up at anytime during the session, and stay for as long as you’d like (or need to!) Bring some music to listen to!

If you are a teen seeking volunteer hours outside of these two options, please email Nicole at nscherer@fplct.org and we’ll do our very best to arrange something that works you and the library.